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, as political speakers often throw out claims having dubious or no factual basis. This comic was posted on Independence Day in 2007.

The title text represents an alternative sign the protester could be holding. It is a pun on popular 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" is a reference to the Wikipedia semi-protection policy, which is used to prevent important articles from being edited anonymously or by new users. Semi-protection on an article is shown by displaying this lock semi-protection-lock.png on the top right of an article. Constitutional amendments are proposed by Congress, which isn't anonymous, meaning that in effect, all articles of the Constitution are technically already semi-protected. Funnily enough, the "Constitution" and "Constitution of the United States" articles on Wikipedia are now semi-protected due to excessive vandalism.


[A man with dark flat hair is standing at a podium. He is speaking to a crowd while standing behind a lectern. The lectern has a microphone on the top and sports an American flag in color on the side. He holds an arm on the lectern and the other arm is held up in front of him with a finger pointing upwards. There are four red stars on the side of the podium below him and behind him something that could be high curtains. There is an empty gap between the podium and the first people in the crowd followed by a stick with a red top, which indicates a fence to keep the crowd at a distance from the podium. After the fence there is a large crowd of people listening, most of them only partly drawn, only a few has hair. Three signs can be seen above the heads of the crowd, but they are all empty white signs. Except in the middle of the crowd, where Cueball has been raised above the rest of the crowd. He is holding a large sign up over his head in both hands. The sign has a blue text in black square brackets:]
[Citation needed]


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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)

xkcd Volume 0 (book)

The page with this strip (11011) also contains a note to a character"







ERGUROBEBRLGNVNLSDKETEBI (talk) 23:21, 11 January 2024 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
FYI, the character is Reddit's snoo mascot. 02:25, 12 January 2024 (UTC)

Alternatives for use on Wikipedia talk pages

Alternatives for use on Wikipedia talk pages (don't use these in articles; that would be vandalism): These alternatives are formatted to look exactly like the normal citation needed, but lead to other uses of the words. This tends to remain as an undiscovered easter egg because pretty much nobody actually clicks on citation needed links. You can test these without actually changing Wikipedia bu\y using the show preview button and not using the save changes button.

For use in a Wikipedia talk page comment:

<span style="color:#0645AD"><sup>[[[Citation (horse)|Citation]] [[Northern European Enclosure Dam|Need]][[ed (text editor)|ed]]]</sup></span>
<span style="color:#0645AD"><sup>[[[Edsel Citation|Citation]] [[Northern European Enclosure Dam|Need]][[ed (text editor)|ed]]]</sup></span>
<span style="color:#0645AD"><sup>[[[Citation (horse)|Citation]] [[Nee!|Nee]][[Ded Moroz|ded]]]</sup></span>
<span style="color:#0645AD"><sup>[[[Edsel Citation|Citation]] [[Nee!|Nee]][[Ded Moroz|ded]]]</sup></span>

For use as the edit summary (no formatting needed) when adding the above:

[[Citation (horse)|Citation]] [[Northern European Enclosure Dam|Need]][[ed (text editor)|ed]]
[[Edsel Citation|Citation]] [[Northern European Enclosure Dam|Need]][[ed (text editor)|ed]]
[[Citation (horse)|Citation]] [[Nee!|Nee]][[Ded Moroz|ded]]
[[Edsel Citation|Citation]] [[Nee!|Nee]][[Ded Moroz|ded]] 15:24, 16 April 2024 (UTC)