September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Casualties Talk

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For the /Casualties page, I think it might be appropriate for us to make as many obituary entries as possible. Though it's normal practice for an encyclopedia to list only "important" people, I'd rather not do that for this, for what I hope are obvious reasons. If listing everyone becomes unreasonable on Wikipedia, then it would certainly merit becoming its own site. I think a Wiki obituary memorial site could be a wonderful resource and tribute.

-- The Cunctator, from Brooklyn Photos from across the river

I second the thought, and I think it does belong here. This is a great example of how Wiki is not paper. We have infinite space to cover as much as we like. Of course, we'll only have significant information about some of the people. --Jimbo


The /Casualties page here is amazing--I'm very impressed. --LMS

Thank you...there's so much more to add; I hope others get more involved, if only to add the story of one more person. --The Cunctator


I think /Casualties is an amazingly good idea, but maybe we should have the obituaries as sub-pages to the main page. Any objections? -- STG

No objections here, although we are almost certainly going to be moving this page once the incident is given a proper name. --LMS

I'm not sure that's a good idea, since some people would probably have merited entries even without this event. --Pinkunicorn

I have to concur with Pinkunicorn, though I see your points. This is an unusual experiment, which stretches the bounds of the Wikipedia mission. I think for now it's at least a nice guesture to give everyone their own page.--The Cunctator

Good points. I withdraw my suggestion for now. -- STG


Why a "missing persons" page? Won't it be irrelevant in a few days? If so, what's it doing in an encyclopedia?

The "survivors" page doesn't suffer from the above objection, but I'm still puzzled why it is being added. As a resource for the family and friends of survivors, perhaps? Is the point somehow to make Wikipedia a general (not just encyclopedic) resource about the attack?

I looked at some of the links on the survivors page. Wikipedia shouldn't try to compete with those, should we? I'd like to know what you're thinking... --LMS

Hmm...I'm not sure. It felt weird just having a casualties page, and I think my motivations may be to make Wikipedia a general resource. It's really hard for me to tell. A wiki site seems like it would be really good for this, and I am probably trying to abuse the encyclopedia-nature of the site. I think my feeling is that such an experiment probably won't hurt anything, and can be cleared out soon if it serves no purpose. But I'm hoping that if I start putting something up, it'll morph into something useful and appropriate--which seems to be the pattern with Wikipedia. I'm editing boldly right now. It may be editing incorrectly.
The missing persons won't be irrelevant very quickly--there will be people missing forever, and presumed dead, which will I suppose become a subsection of the casualties.
I'm using the max-information principle right now. It may be wrong, but I hope it isn't. The wiki-nature of this is unusual. Maybe this should be done on the original wiki site. I don't know. --The Cunctator

A great help would be to have everyone pick a name from the /Casualties list and fill in their page. Track down the online version of the newspaper local to the lost and use the info to write up the entry. The Cunctator has made up an excellent format that everyone should follow.

We already have seen messages from friends and family on a few names. It would be great for a family member to do a web search and see that someone spent the time to memoralize the lost. ---Jagged


From /Casualties:

(Note that this total includes the 18 hijackers, who reportedly boarded the planes as passengers.)

Where did this count come from? It seems a little early for law enforcement to have this info, let alone release it to the public. ---Jagged

It came from a news conference from some federal official. --The Cunctator


I see that names of the hijackers have started to appear. Shouldn't these go on the /Casualties page as well? I did notice earlier today that the number of people listed for the flight did not correspond to the number of people listed, so I guessed that the hijackers were missing. --Pinkunicorn

I think they should be listed, but I feel weird about putting them on the /Casualties page. --The Cunctator

They need to be listed, any omission would taint the encyclopedia. The question is where do they go. We can move them to the end off each planes' list or list them all at the bottom of the page. Keeping them with the plane tallies is a lot more subtle than the latter. We do need to make sure that the names are confirmed so we don't mark an innocent person who just happened to have a hard to trace background. ---Jagged


Excellent! I just noticed the /Casualties page was added to Yahoo--we're starting to get some more entries. It needs a guide to help people, though. --The Cunctator


It's also been added to Dmoz. --The Cunctator


Moved from Kathleen Shearer/Talk:

I'm sorry to say it, but since there are templates already established, why don't we put off making entries like this one? IMHO it looks both crass and insensitive. By that I mean the obviously fomulaic approach, e.g. "She was survived by [family]. [Information on family, other information.]" --KQ

I brought it more in line with the current listings. It was a little too early for her listing since it appears the family is staying quiet and information is scarce. ---Jagged


Is it possible to make the alphabetical listing automatically generated? Other than writing an outside Perl script, that is? --The Cunctator


At this time (October 17th), what is the concensus on where names should be listed (Missing or Casualties)? I am getting ready to incorporate all the names that Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. has released. They list them as missing, however the official government listing would be deceased. --- Jagged

I think you should add them to Missing and note on the top of the page that all missing are presumed dead. The casualties page (in terms of the World Trade Center) lists all the people whose remains have been found. It would probably be appropriate to rename the pages to reflect that, but for at least a while it's easier to keep things separate (more information that way). Just my thoughts. --TheCunctator p.s. Your work is tremendous.
I understand your point, but I am starting to bend to the idea to list them on Casualties. Not to be crude, but we are at the point where if any of these employees are alive without the company knowing about it, then the employee went missing intentionally. If someone shows up later then we can move them off the page and we will then be listing their unique case elsewhere in the entries.
I don't think we should move all of the Missing page over yet, but I think we are at a point where new listings with a strong reference should be placed on Casualties. Maybe also anyone with an entry should be moved over, but that should probally be a case by case basis. --- Jagged
The only thing I don't want to happen is that we lose the information that we currently have that the people listed on the Casualties page are those who have been successfully identified. What would make sense is to rename pages, to maybe /World Trade Center casualties, missing and /World Trade Center casualties, confirmed. Does that sound good? --TheCunctator
Maybe it is that the word missing is bugging me. How about leaving NYC Casualties and moving Missing to /World Trade Center unconfirmed casualties (The commas in your proposed bug me too)?
When would we move everyone over to the Casualties page? After Ground Zero is cleared? I am not absolutely convinced we need to rename the pages, but on the other hand September_11,_2001_Terrorist_Attack/Missing_Persons does not sound right for a pivotal page. If we were to get a hold of a master list of all the "missing" we would have 5,000 names on this page. I am of the opinion that referring to these people as missing is a disservice to them and others. The families and friends need to accept what has happened, not keep on being in denial. --- Jagged
They're not "unconfirmed casualties" exactly. They're "missing and presumed dead". Referring to them as "missing" is not a disservice. They are. When you can't be found, you're missing. These people are missing and presumed dead. They're "confirmed missing", "official casualties", but not "confirmed casualties". I believe. I'm not sure exactly what the language is, but I think we should follow the language used by the New York City officials who are making up these lists. To my knowledge they refer to them as "missing". (That might have changed.) --TheCunctator
Ok, I can go with missing for now. The /Missing Persons page is starting to get unwieldy so when I get a chance I am going to refactor it to group the names by employer. It should be nice for anyone to check up on a name and at a glance be able see their co-workers. The way it is now, they are just one name in a couple of thousand. By grouping them, you can get a better snapshot of WTC population. --- Jagged
Yeah. We should group first (or as well) by location, I think. I started listing missing on the particular employer pages, like Cantor Fitzgerald. Ideally at some point we'll have it grouped in all different ways, like by floor, by home, etc. Really ideally this would be automatic so people can do searches. One thing: I can pretty quickly write code to snarf info and spit it out in new forms (a simple example is /New York Times stories). When I get a chance, I was thinking of doing that to populate the alphabetical casualties listing. I wish the new person who's been adding names and info would tell us where that info's coming from.

Just a comment on the hastily created Sept. 11th online memorials that I have come across while using Google for information on victums that may stir up others to assist on these pages: They are crap!

  • Newspaper articles - Good info
  • Personal tribute pages - Usually good info
  • Specialist tribute pages (such as airline sites) - Good, but not updated much
  • Wikipedia pages - Great and improving
  • 9/11 specific tribute pages - Utter crap

In other words, no one else is doing what we are doing. This is a big undertaking and we could use any help possible. At the minimum, create an entry with just a link or two and list it as such in the summary; someone else will be able to put that info into an article. --- Jagged