사용자:Pectus Solentis/작업실/위키백과/Coatrack

This coat rack is almost completely obscured by hats and coats.

A coatrack article is a Wikipedia article that ostensibly discusses the nominal subject, but in reality is a cover for a tangentially related biased subject. The nominal subject is used as an empty coat-rack, which ends up being mostly obscured by the "coats". The existence of a "hook" in a given article is not a good reason to "hang" irrelevant and biased material there.

생존 인물의 전기위키백과에 대한 오해 문서에 있는 강제적인 규제 조항이 makes it clear that "coatrack" articles are a particularly pressing problem where living individuals are concerned.

Coatrack articles can be created purposefully to promote a particular bias, and they can accidentally evolve through excessive focus on one aspect of the subject. In either case the article should be corrected.

Coatrack articles run against the fundamental neutral point of view policy: in particular the requirement that articles be balanced. When a biography of a living person is a coatrack, it is a problem that requires immediate action. Items may be true and sourced, but if a biography of a living person is essentially a coatrack, it needs to be fixed.

Coatrack의 예시편집

이순신 장군이여 만수무강하소서편집

예를 들어, 서울시 문서에

이순신 장군은 과거 시험을 보러 서울시에 올라온 적이 있습니다. 이순신은 세계 해전사에 길이 남을 장군이기는 합니다만, 부하들의 조그만 실수도 그냥 넘기는 법이 없어서 이순신이 지휘하는 함대에는 왜구로 인한 사상자보다 이순신이 참수한 사람들의 수가 더 많았다고 하며, 이순신 장군은 왜구의 침공을 예견한 백성들을 유언비어를 퍼트린다는 죄목으로 참한 적도 있고... (이하 서울시가 아니라 이순신에 대해서 설명하는 문장들).

한 기자가 말하길편집

이민정은 대한민국의 기자입니다. 어느 날 이민정 기자는 음모론 X에 대한 기사를 썼습니다. 음모론 X는 주절주절하고 왱알앵알해서 이렇게 거시기한 이론입니다. (이후 이민정 기자가 아니라 음모론 X에 대해서 설명하는 수많은 문장들)

한결이가 곧 길이요 진리요 생명이니편집

한결이는 유명한 체육인/음악인/배우입니다. 어느 날 한결이는 불교에서 기독교로 개종했습니다. 축하해 주십시오. 이로써 한결이는 구원받았습니다! 이 세상에서 가장 위대한 종교 기독교에는 다음과 같은 거룩한 일화가 있습니다. 왱알앵알…

한 쪽으로 치우친 전기문편집

프룅켄스텐 박사는 항암 치료를 위해 웡고 주스를 깊숙히 연구하는 것으로 잘 알려져 있습니다. … 그 문서는 이 뒤부터는, 있는 척 하는 것이 유용한 경우를 제외하면, 웡고 주스에 관련된 이야기를 하는 것이 아니라 생물학의 일반론에 대한 이야기를 하고 있습니다.

비평란의 신의 한수편집

Criticism section used to connect otherwise unrelated issues.

A halibut is a species of fish. Brief factual information about halibuts.


It has been reported[crackpotreference][nutcaseblog][outofcontextquote] that halibut may be evil invading robots from the planet Ko-trak. I shall now take this opportunity to give you a long lecture on extraterrestrial robots: …

The Attack Article편집

Wikipedia policy specifically prohibits articles whose primary purpose is to disparage a particular person or topic. Articles about a particular person or topic should not primarily consist of criticisms of that person or topic. For example:

John Doe works as a journalist. He has given over 30 years of long and faithful service to his newspaper. However, one day, he made the terrible mistake of nearly reporting an unchecked fact that came within a whisker of ruining an innocent person's life. Because he did this, he is an evil person. Here is some more information about this incident… (and so on, and so forth).

Isn't It Funny편집

Joe Perchero is a person. He runs what was recently voted America's worst literary agency. ZOMG! Isn't that funny… (and so on for the rest of the article about how useless Joe's literary agency is, despite the fact that the article is supposed to be about Joe).

There have been genuine cases where only the first sentence of an article is really about the nominal subject, with several paragraphs following about the bias subject. The "literary agency" example quoted above is a paraphrase of the content of a typical coatrack that was speedily deleted, and the decision to delete endorsed at Deletion Review.

The Flea편집

... the Flea is an insect of the order "Siphonaptera" which is wingless insect with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals (including humans) and birds...

is the response of a student to the question of a biology professor, who asked him to talk about the wolf. And the student begins like this: the wolf, or Canis lupus is a mammal with fur. In this fur, there are many fleas.... Apparently, the student had prepared only about flea related subjects. One of the first signs of "Flea" detection, is a good start and then the subject turns to something else, maybe nationalistic propaganda or irrelevant information about which nobody but the responder cares. So when you talk about the wolf, you should not change the subject to.... hm, Flea.

"But it's true!"편집

The contents of a coatrack article can be superficially true. However, the mere excessive volume of the bias subject creates an article that, as a whole, is less than truthful. When confronted with a potential coatrack article, an editor is invited to ask: what impression does an uninitiated reader get from this article?

  • If an article about a journalist mostly describes a conspiracy article he once wrote, the reader will leave the article with the false impression that the journalist's career is mostly about that conspiracy theory, and he is a vocal advocate of the theory.
  • An article might have a disproportionately large "criticism" section, giving the impression that the nominal subject is hotly contested by many people, when in fact the criticism is merely selected opinions. This, too, gives the reader a false impression about reality even though the details may be true.

The coats hanging from the rack hide the rack—the nominal subject gets hidden behind the sheer volume of the bias subject. Thus the article, although superficially true, leaves the reader with a thoroughly incorrect understanding of the nominal subject. A coatrack article fails to give a truthful impression of the subject. However, a largely critical article about a subject that really is discredited is not covered by WP:COATRACK; see the policies laid out at WP:FRINGE for more information.


Often the main tool of a coatrack article is fact picking. Instead of finding a balanced set of information about the subject, a coatrack goes out of its way to find facts that support a particular bias.

A common fact picking device is listing great amounts of individual peoples' quotes criticizing of the nominal subject, while expending little or no effort mentioning that the criticism comes from a small fraction of people. That small fraction thus gets a soapbox that is far larger than reality warrants.

Even though the facts may be true as such, the proportional volume of the hand-picked facts drowns other information, giving a false impression to the reader.

What to do about coatracks편집

An appropriate response to a coatrack article is to be bold and trim off excessive biased content while adding more balanced content cited from reliable sources. In extreme cases, when notability is borderline, and there is little chance the article can be salvaged, deletion of the entire article may be appropriate.

Editors are not required to fill out the article so that more time is spent on non-biased matters in order to keep bias content. Instead, editors may fix an article by balancing it out with more facts but are in no way required to do so. It is inappropriate to "even out the percentage of bias" by adding fluff, such as minute details of a subject's life. These are considered scarves, hats, and gloves, and along with the coats, obscure the coatrack, and are also good candidates for removal.

What is not a coatrack편집

An article about an astronaut might mostly focus on his moon landing. A moon trip that took only a tiny fraction of the astronaut's life takes up most of the article. But that does not make it a coatrack article. The event was a significant moment in the subject's life, and his main claim to notability. A reader is not misled by the focus on the moon trip. In some cases where an event in a person's life is the only notable thing about them, it may make sense to only have an article on the event and not have an article on the person at all. An article that presents factual information (including criticism) about a discredited scientific theory is also not a coatrack; relevant guidelines are at WP:FRINGE.

An article with a title that can have several meanings, or a term that is used differently in different fields of study, is not a coatrack if it only covers one definition. In this case, the article should be properly framed by beginning with "In {the field of X} topic Y is…" or by using a specific title possibly using parenthetical disambiguation, to show the article's limited scope. When the article is properly framed this way, it is not necessary to expand the article to cover every possible usage for balance—that content can be added over time and either merged or split through normal editing.

It would be reasonable to include brief information of the background behind a key detail, even if the background has no relevance to the article's topic, as long as such information is used sparingly and does not provide any more explanation than a reasonably knowledgeable reader would require. An article on the anatomical feature Adam's apple could explain the term arose from the Biblical character Adam (a regurgitation of the Book of Genesis, or an outline of the full story of original sin would not be necessary).


The use of coatracks, though not the term, dates to the influential 18th century French encyclopedia Encyclopedie, where they were used to hide biographies. The editors of the Encyclopedie were ideologically opposed to biographies, thinking too much ink had been spilled on hagiographies of "Great Men" (kings, church fathers) instead of the common person, and largely banned biographies; dissenting contributors would then hide biographies in other articles – for example, a biography of Isaac Newton was hidden in the entry on Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, his birthplace.[1] Conversely, encyclopedias which were centered around biographies of prominent figures would embed social histories in their biographies; e.g. in one case all information on the post-Roman "Migrations Period" of European History was compiled under the biography of Attila the Hun. See Great Man theory for details.

See also편집



틀:Essays on building Wikipedia