285: Wikipedian Protester

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Wikipedian Protester


Cueball holds up a sign reading "[CITATION NEEDED]" during a political speech. The sign text is based on the Wikipedia template that can be placed next to statements that need citations, (that look like this[citation needed]) usually because of questionable validity. Cueball is using this template to challenge the politician's speech.

The title text below the comic, “SEMI-PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION”, represents an alternative sign the protester could be holding. It is a pun on an occasionally-heard phrase “protect the Constitution,” which urges politicians to pass and enforce laws in a way that preserves the rules and rights set down by the U.S. constitution. “SEMI-PROTECT” references semi-protection, a protection measure applied to some articles on Wikipedia, which basically protects some articles from being edited anonymously. More specifically, it does not allow articles to be edited by people who have been on the wiki for less than 4 days and made less than 10 edits. Semi-protection on an article is shown by displaying this lock semi-protection-lock.png on the top right of an article. Constitutional amendments cannot usually be proposed anonymously.[1][2], meaning that in effect, all articles of the Constitution are semi-protected.


[There is a politician speaking at a podium, which sports an American flag. The podium and speaker are on a stage, and there are four red stars on the side of the stage. The politician is raising or wagging his pointer finger while leaning into the microphone.]
[In front of the speaker, there is a crowd of people listening. In the middle of the crowd, Cueball is standing up and holding a sign reading "[CITATION NEEDED]" in blue underlined text, as in Wikipedia articles.]


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link titleI wanna sneakily add [citation needed] to EVERYTHING on the article -- Citation Needed on Wheels

There is too much seemingly-spam edits that attempt to insert "citation needed" on various pages on this wiki. Many of these attempts got reverted. 06:14, 11 May 2023 (UTC)
It seems to amuse some people, who may have just discovered the idea. More annoying than the attempt to tag every paragraph (at least once!) in every article, or so it seems, is not understanding that the tag goes on the other side of the punctuation (comma, and/or sentence/parenthetical ending), or plonking it down mid-sentence with seemingly no thought to "why there?".
As we have had a recent string of misplaced zeal (an IP, like me and you, so hard to tie down or try to tell them where they're going wrong), I suspect a newbie to the site. But it seems we have some people (other than me) who either edit or revert such 'errors'. Which is nice. Maybe newbie'll take note and pick up the art of subtlety. Or at least the conventional style. 09:51, 11 May 2023 (UTC)
This appeared again twice in 2466. 09:55, 12 May 2023 (UTC)

Does this need a citation? --Dalonacueball (talk) 16:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

No.[citation needed] Just some random derp 03:54, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

My favorite [citation needed] joke was the fact that the Wikipedia article for "List of Whales" used to have "Cetacean Needed" if it was missing an image or scale diagram of the creature in question. -Pennpenn 05:11, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Still does! Thanks for pointing that out. Zeusfaber (talk) 18:41, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Checked last week, there's still a cetacean needed for the page to be complete. ChessCake (talk) 22:20, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Some anonymous wikipedia editor was enjoying themselves far too much when writing that wiki. Its so genius that no-one has changed it yet! Wikipedia is normally maintained pretty well for the big pages[citation needed]. sam0fc 14:49, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Amazingly, it's still there! There's 12 of them still! aoijgpisbHtejsykl7ekderhtsjk6r64os4kys\\\[]jsrtjgdrghtvgwrhtejyku5dli6;78t7l6rk5j4h|||||#Rty-----WWWWWWfflfllfllfllfeogk0q9wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww4-cv;c;;c;c[;]z\]d;v[\]????????OH GOD IT'S CRASIHNG MY PC����������������������������������������������� (talk) 12:22, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
If you check the discussion, people have tried to change it before. But, strictly speaking, "cetacean needed" goes where they need an image of a cetacean. No citation is needed at all, and it is 100% fair to say that (an image of) a cetacean is, in fact, needed. Tsumikiminiwa (talk) 08:28, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

Is it just me or does the politician in this comic (from almost nine years ago) look suspiciously like Mr. Trump?-- 22:09, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Nah, this one has better hair. 00:25, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Plus, this came out a long time before he became...big.[citation needed] Dontknow (talk) 19:42, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Don't know how you define "big," but by most definitions Trump has in fact been "big" since *long* before this comic. [citation needed] Abcasada (talk) 22:20, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

Huh, in my memory, this comic specifically included the phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident". I guess not - but I wonder if some Wikipedians would consider a [citation needed] for that one? Cosmogoblin (talk) 19:42, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

[citation needed]. AnonymousSub61 (talk) 15:32, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

Does this mean you can play SMBC's game using this website? 15:00, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

I had the same idea! 14:31, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

Funtime Activity: Create citations for all pages with [citation needed] in them. 02:35, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

  1. https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution
  2. Constitutional amendments are proposed by Congress, which isn't anonymous.[citation needed]