Talk:United States of America

Active discussions

This is not a political forum; please restrict all discussion here to discussion about how best to improve the United States of America article. Off topic debates, political rants, nonsense poetry, etc. will all be removed as it is added. This is a travel guide and political disputes are utterly irrelevant except insofar as they directly bear upon the experience of a traveller. See Wikivoyage:Be fair#Political disputes for further guidelines.


Archived discussions

Formatting and language conventions

For articles about the United States, please use the 12-hour clock to show times, e.g. 9AM-noon and 6PM-midnight.

Please show prices in this format: $100, and not USD 100, 100 dollars or US$100.

Please use American spelling.

Food delivery

Just a clarification on this. They often have a delivery fee and service fee tacked on when you order food delivery, so is that the tip, or do you need to tip on top of that? The dog2 (talk) 08:15, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

You need to tip, regardless, because the fee, if any, doesn't go to the delivery person. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:04, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
By the way, if you order through the likes of Deliveroo, Lieferando, and so on, you should tip as well. They are quite well known for undercutting the minimum wage and union-busting. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:58, 1 January 2019 (UTC)

Horse racing

I think horse racing is a big enough deal in the U.S. to be worth a short mention like the one on the left. I don't think it's comparable to calling the Super Bowl a European event, as that game doesn't take place in Europe. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:53, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

And I will say it is travel relevant, because some people do travel to other countries to watch horse racing. The Kentucky Derby is most certainly one of the world's premier horse races, and coveted by the world's top jockeys. So I really think it's worth a brief mention. Even if you're not the biggest horse racing fan, some people want to go there just to experience the festivities.
If you insist on cutting, perhaps we can cut MLS out. Soccer is most certainly not popular in the U.S., except perhaps among European, African and Latin American immigrant communities. The dog2 (talk) 05:08, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
In 2017, 158,000 people attended the Derby, while MLS gets average attendance of 20,000 people per game. There are 408 regular season games, and a bunch of post-season games. Wikivoyage isn't just for international travel: it for people travelling within their home countries too.
Don't make the desire to have this article a reasonable length sound like something Ikan Kekek is "insisting on", it is something for which there is a clear consensus, and a lot of us would appreciate you respecting this consensus, instead of continuing to add to the article. In the past, you have made good efforts to trim this article. If you think there are things that should be added, others editors are more likely to be receptive to those additions if you trim some of the details in the article at the same time. Proposing to cut soccer, which has hugely bigger attendance than the Kentucky Derby, isn't going to fly. Ground Zero (talk) 10:15, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
That comment wasn't targeted at Ikan Kekek, and he's not the one who brought up the issue of length. But anyway, I will see what I can cut from the history section. Perhaps that can do with trimming of a few details.
I will say though that many horse racing fans will travel to the US to watch the Kentucky Derby, just as many tennis fans travel to the US to watch the US Open, and many golf fans travel to the US to watch the Masters. On the other hand, very few soccer fans, except maybe Canadians supporting their local MLS teams, will specifically make a trip to the US to watch soccer. Europe, South America and I'd say even Mexico make much better destinations for that. An American MLS fan who travels regularly to support his local team would probably not need to read this article, while a foreigner looking to experience US sports culture might find this useful.
And finally, what's the stats on the length of country articles? The U.S. is a much bigger country than say, Germany or France, so I don't think it's fair comparison to say the article is too long on the basis that it is longer than those articles. How does it compare to say, the China article? That would be more fair since both countries are of a similar size. The dog2 (talk) 13:02, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
It's definitely a good idea to broach any idea that would increase the length of this article even very slightly (like the brief mention of horse racing does) on this page, but I don't think that the idea of limiting the length of this article is so sacrosanct that it should be the enemy of useful content. Horse racing merits a brief mention. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:18, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
USA (251,000 bytes) is longer than Germany (233,000) and France (158,000), but not as long as China (305,000). I think that China is longer than it needs to be. The longer the article, the more difficult it is for readers to find information. Splitting detailed information into separate articles makes it easier to navigate. The USA article is an instructive case: after we agreed to cut it down, a lot of detailed information was shifted to branch articles so that it is still available for readers interested in specific topics. There is a tendency to keep adding more bits and pieces so that the article expands over time unless we keep watching it. Adding background information, like history and politics, adds bulk that duplicates what is available through Wikipedia, and makes finding travel information more difficult. I doubt there are any Wikivoyage readers who are unaware of Wikipedia, and we provide a link to its article anyway. Ground Zero (talk) 13:52, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps some stuff from the Eat section can be moved into the American cuisine article. I'm not the best person for this, but I'd be open to looking at what people propose.
And if you want to start an expedition to shorten the China article, I'd be happy to participate in that discussion as well. The dog2 (talk) 16:11, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I've tried to do some trimming, so hopefully now there won't be so much opposition to a brief mention of horse racing. The dog2 (talk) 20:41, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
The trimming, if anything, weakens the argument that horse racing should be mentioned. This is not a matter of "making room": the information about horse racing was not primarily deleted because the article is too long (though that was a secondary reason), but because it's no more than a minor footnote in American culture. And in an article where facts of lesser importance have been moved to sub-articles like American cuisine and only the essential broad stokes remain, the horse racing factoid seems even more minor and out of place by comparison. In the end, that's what we're striving for in moving content to different articles: not reducing length so much as reducing the level of detail and thus the level of difficulty in digesting the information. And it's also a way to prevent those sub-articles from languishing in obscurity, since readers who want to dig deeper on any particular sub-topic will have no choice but to seek out the more detailed information there. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:59, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I understand about not adding trivial things, but the Kentucky Derby is a major event in the world horse racing calendar. MLS may have a larger cumulative audience over the entire season, but nobody really cares about American soccer. In any case, even the top American players aspire to play in Europe. And I bet you the Kentucky Derby gets more attention from average Americans than MLS games, so if horse racing is too trivial to be mentioned, then MLS doesn't belong in the article either. A foreigner is certainly more likely to visit the US to watch the Kentucky Derby than to catch an MLS game. At the end of the day, shouldn't the benchmark we use be how much interest the event will has to a traveller? The dog2 (talk) 05:19, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Why do you exclude Americans in this discussion and focus only on foreign tourism? Domestic tourism is much more important to the US than international tourism. In 2018, domestic travellers spent $933 billion, and international travellers spent $156 billion in the U.S. according to the US Travel Association. We want those domestic travellers to be our readers as much as we want international travellers to be our readers. Ground Zero (talk) 18:41, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The "Do" section should be about typical things for travellers to do when visiting the United States. And let's be clear here about what you're actually arguing. You're saying that because of the importance of the Kentucky Derby, the entire sport of horse racing qualifies as a "typical thing for travellers to do when visiting the United States". But we're talking about a single event that takes place in a single location for one day out of the year, with a follower base that, by and large, couldn't care less about horse racing on the other 364 days of the year. As for the Kentucky Derby itself, no one is arguing that it shouldn't be mentioned in Horse racing, that Churchill Downs doesn't merit a listing in Louisville, or even that the Kentucky article wouldn't be an appropriate venue for this information. But individual events don't belong in this article for the same reason that we wouldn't list an individual restaurant or hotel, regardless if it were the most important or famous one in the country.
Furthermore, you're also arguing that soccer does not qualify as a "typical thing for travellers to do when visiting the United States" despite the fact that MLS alone comprises 24 teams that play literally hundreds of games every year. Regardless if "nobody [outside the U.S.] really cares about American soccer", it's a phenomenon that applies to the entire country rather than one specific location, and it's far more plausible that a soccer fan from overseas might coincidentally find himself in a city with a team on a game day and decide to attend. And that's assuming your statement regarding indifference to American soccer is true: given that MLS is becoming a major destination for overseas superstars toward the end of their careers after they've already proven themselves in Europe or elsewhere (i.e. David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, etc), it's also rather unbelievable that none of those players' fans would be inclined to come overseas to see them in action again. Do you see the difference here?
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:47, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Cutting down the China article is a worthwhile project, and I'll add it to my to-do list, but at the moment I am engaged in a one-person expedition to upgrade Canadian city-level articles from "outline" to "usable". The country-level articles are in good shape: we can do more to make Wikivoyage a good travel guide by bringing up the quality of articles about smaller places than by forever fussing over and expanding already detailed articles. I think any time a reader hits an outline or stub article, they go away frustrated by not finding anything useful when they click through. The USA article isn't a problem for us. Ground Zero (talk) 18:50, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Andre's last comment pointing out that this is an individual event has convinced me that the Kentucky Derby shouldn't be in an already big country-level article. I agree with removing it. Ground Zero (talk) 19:08, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Dietary supplements

I think this section leaves the "information for travellers" category and goes straight into "information about daily life" category. Information about daily life in the USA is far too big a subject to be covered in a single article in a travel guide. We don't provide general diet and nutrition advice here, so why single out supplements for comment? Ground Zero (talk) 16:29, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

I agree. On top of that the section was wrong, but I've corrected the errors I noticed (there may be other errors I missed). Inadequate regulation of dietary supplements is not limited to the United States, and this is pretty deep into the weeds for a travel guide. On the other hand people from China do sometimes shop for vitamins in Hong Kong or Australia—I can imagine they might do it in the US too. I'd say remove or move to Shopping in the United States. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:59, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
My parents sometimes go to the drug store to purchase dietary supplements when they visit me because there are some supplements that are not available in Singapore. I'm pretty sure most visitors to the U.S. will come across Walgreens, Target or Wal-mart, and you will find dietary supplements sold in those places. So I think it is useful to let visitors know that you can't trust what's on the label. Especially on megavitamins, I think this is a safety issue, and because of the lack of regulation, the companies can just sell it to you and claim that is it good for you when it is actually harmful. It may not be widely known, but I assure you I am following scientific consensus on this. Even though popular opinion is that Vitamin C is water-soluble and therefore not a safety risk, at high enough doses it does become toxic just like anything else. It's just that what would be considered a dangerous dose is much higher for Vitamin C than for a fat-soluble vitamin like Vitamin A, but some of these megavitamins actually contain Vitamin C at high enough doses that it becomes toxic (Think of it this way. If you come across a pill that contains as much Vitamin C as 3 gallons of orange juice, there is probably a good reason why your stomach is not big enough to hold 3 gallons of orange juice, so taking that pill is probably a bad idea).
@Mx. Granger: I honestly don't think I'm being inaccurate. I have taken a university-level class in toxicology, and this was something that was brought up by the professor. Also go and check out some of the content put out by Paul Offit, a doctor who has been the main public face leading the fight against pseudoscience such as the anti-vaccine movement, and he brings this up to. I don't know if you're familiar Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Basically, what happened was that the FDA tried to regulate the dietary supplement industry, but the industry fought back and lobbied against it, leading Congress to pass that particular legislation that effectively prevented the FDA from regulating the industry except for when it came to enforcing Good Manufacturing Practice. The dog2 (talk) 17:05, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm certainly not an expert, though for what it's worth I've taken a university-level class in nutrition (but not toxicology). I think many people agree that the industry is insufficiently regulated, but saying that it's completely unregulated is not true. As you mention, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 allows the FDA to regulate supplements for good manufacturing practices.
At your suggestion, I looked up some materials by Paul Offit about supplements, but they seem to be concerned about unsubstantiated health claims and undisclosed risks, rather than inaccuracies in the quantity of nutrients that the products contain.
How would you feel about discussing supplements in Shopping in the United States but not this article? —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:29, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Edit: The dog2 changed the comment above after I replied. This is the comment I was responding to. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:41, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm open to moving it there. The dog2 (talk) 17:34, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I have done so. Ground Zero (talk) 18:03, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Well-done, everyone. Good solution. And yes, lab tests have shown that you can't trust that the stated amounts of vitamins are really in each pill or capsule. I could look for links, but I think what's now in Shopping in the United States covers the problems sufficiently, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:18, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Names for US cities

Swept in from the pub

Currently, the page names for US cities are like "Cambridge (Massachusetts)" or "Covington (Kentucky)". But US cities are far more often called "Cambridge, Massachusetts" or "Covington, Kentucky". Should we change the names to the more common form? SmileKat40 (talk) 07:36, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

No, taking the name used by the people in that region is fine when there are not other places with the same name. When people in other regions use the same name for another location then the page name should be with bracketed region name. Within the article you obviously just used the name without region. The title on the pagebanner can also be overridden. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:03, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Native American cuisine

I've noticed there is no mention of this anywhere in this article or the American cuisine article. Shouldn't we mention something about this for visitors who are curious to try it? Unfortunately, I'm quite ignorant when it comes to this, so would it be possible for anyone to add this in? The dog2 (talk) 14:53, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

American cuisine#Native American -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:10, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Lua error: not enough memory

Am I the only one who can see this error message, in bold, red text which is twice the size of our normal text? In 'Understand', it's in place of the quickbar, and then in place of all the temperature templates. There are other pockets of this throughout the article, always instead of a template. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:48, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

I see that too. Ground Zero (talk) 20:58, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
It seems to be something wrong with Template:Pagebanner—removing the template solves the problem. Is anyone familiar enough with templates to figure out what's going wrong? User:ARR8? —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:02, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Chinese/Lunar New Year

Let's figure out how we should handle this. The U.S. is also home to large ethnic Korean and Vietnamese communities, in addition to a large ethnic Chinese community, and they all celebrate their new year on the same day. I don't think saying that Korean- and Vietnamese-Americans celebrate the Chinese New Year is appropriate because the Koreans and Vietnamese do not identify as Chinese, and lumping them under "Chinese" does seem to hark back to more racist times when people lumped all Asians together as "Chinese" and ignored the significant cultural differences between different Asian ethnic groups (and believe it or not, I still occasionally encounter such attitudes even today). "Asian" New Year is also not appropriate, because the Japanese, Thais and Burmese are Asians too, and celebrate their new years on different days. While I understand the need to avoid bloat, I also think we should reasonably try to be inclusive and not perpetuate old racist stereotypes that could be offensive to their respective communities. Therefore, while it may not be as well-known a name, I think we should stick to "Lunar" New Year as a neutral and inclusive term. The dog2 (talk) 18:40, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

But the Jewish New Year is also a lunar New Year. Any lunar calendar has a new year's day. There may be no way to avoid something like "Lunar (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese) New Year".

Do we really need to get into the weeds about this in the United States of America article? If there is a need to edit this article further, care should be taken not to add it its considerable length. We should not just keep dumping more text in whenever something occurs to us that may be of passing interest to travellers. Let's also remember that we don't want to bore readers with excessive detail. Ground Zero (talk) 19:43, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

How about "Chinese (Korean, Vietnamese) New Year"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:45, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Ground Zero, I saw your solution and I'm fine with it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:15, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. w:Chinese New Year says right at the beginning "Chinese New Year (or generally referred to as Lunar New Year globally)". An internet search for cnn "chinese new year" turns up vastly more results than a similar search for Vietnamese or Korean New Year, while "Lunar New Year" turns up almost as many as Chinese New Year. Same with a search for site:.gov "chinese new year" versus other countries.
Ground Zero's latest edit (making it "Chinese or Lunar New Year") seems like a perfect solution. It covers the two most common names for this US holiday, and omits others that travellers are less likely to hear. TTCF, and a list of holidays is not the place to dive into a subtle aspect of the US's racial history. --Bigpeteb (talk) 20:20, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
That solution works for me too. And I was not suggesting that we dive to into the US's racial history in the article. I was only bringing it up here to explain why lumping the Koreans and Vietnamese under "Chinese" absolutely cannot stand. And given that Korean- and Vietnamese-Americans are also very prominent Asian-American groups, I also didn't think it was appropriate to leave them out. The dog2 (talk) 20:30, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── isn't the Vietnamese name for that festival "Tet" and more used in the west than any "New Year" term at least since the eponymous offensive in the Vietnam War... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:23, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Oh for God's sake please let's not further question a perfectly good solution. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:02, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
The "issue" was a petty non-issue ("Chinese New Year" is what Americans call it and it's done so without malice. There is nothing "anti-Korean" or "uninclusive" about calling Chinese New Year Chinese New Year), but yes, it seems to be solved. Tet is not important in the US. Just because people have ancestry from abroad doesn't mean we need to list every country's New Year and all of their other holidays in the US article... ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:50, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

Should we include a warning box at USA?

Swept in from the pub

Per https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/06/gun-violence-america-prompts-growing-list-countries-issue-travel-warnings/Justin (koavf)TCM 22:28, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Definitely not the entire country but if there are states or cities where crime and gun violence is particularly high, or if they have an established association with antisemitism, white nationalism, etc. it may be worth a mention. It would have to be comparable to other destinations which have a warning box. Otherwise mentioning it in "Stay Safe" is sufficient. Gizza (roam) 22:33, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Related discussion at Talk:Avoiding_travel_through_the_United_States#Some_governments_issue_warnings. Pashley (talk) 22:56, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
No. The United States is a huge country, with many regions where crime is not rampant. High crime rates should be explained in stay safe, and IMO, should only include caution or warningboxes in extreme cases. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:53, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
To be honest, a mass shooting can happen anywhere, and there is no way to predict where it's going to happen. It's purely dependent on luck. And if you're wandering whether or not the U.S. is a war zone, at least in the areas a tourist is likely to visit, it is not. Most of the gun violence occurs in very poor areas that are of little to no interest to a tourist. So at this point, I will say a warning box is neither helpful nor warranted. The dog2 (talk) 03:22, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Mass murders are up, but overall homicides are down drastically from a couple of decades ago. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:29, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Speaking of which, although I think a warning box is overboard, I think it may be worth considering if a mention of white nationalist terrorism in the "Stay safe" section is appropriate. I don't think it is rampant, but if you believe the statistics, it seems to have gone up in the past few years, and the vast majority (98% in 2018, if I'm not mistaken) of terrorist attacks in the USA these days are committed by white nationalists. That said, as a tourist, even if you are not white, I still think that it is quite unlikely that you will be caught in one, so that brings into question how useful such a mention would be for travellers. The dog2 (talk) 03:57, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I feel this discussion is a little hypocritical. A travel warning is a travel warning - it is not up to us to decide how to interpret it. Interestingly, we do not have travel warnings for the US and Israel but Myanmar, Karabakh, the West Bank and many others where dangers to travellers might be equally high/low.
The US is a gun country, let's face it and I reckon we are all on the non-IRA side. I think it is just fair to all travellers, especially non-English, to emphasis this and recommend caution.
Cheers Ceever (talk) 09:38, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Pretty much all of the above. USA does have 'challenges' with gun violence, but these are best addressed in 'stay safe'. Travel warnings are more appropriate for literal war zones or a recent uptake in violence. Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:14, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, that's how I feel. Myanmar is a rather different case, since as I understand it, Muslims are being thrown out of the country (making it dangerous for Muslims to visit, I assume). I think, with the white nationalist issue, it seems to be an increasing problem and we'll have to watch how it goes. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:14, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In the case of Myanmar, it's just the Rohingya people in Rakhine State. If you're a Muslim tourist visiting Yangon, that is not a problem. In fact, quite a significant minority of the Indian community in Yangon are Muslims, and there are mosques in Little India to serve them.

And with regard to crime, both South Africa and Brazil have higher violent crime rates than the US, and we do not have a warning box in those countries' articles, so no, one is not warranted in the USA article. The dog2 (talk) 13:36, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Never mind then about Myanmar. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:11, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm sympathetic to Ceever's point. I think it's reasonable to mention the warnings in "Stay safe", while putting them into context. Because if you think about it, there's no doubt that during the Second Intifada, there would have been a travel warning about terrorism in Israel, although the danger has always been much greater to be killed in a road accident while in Israel than to be killed in any of the wars or acts of terror. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:17, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
The United States is too big to paint with a broad brush. Crime and gun violence rates vary greatly across the country. A similar approach should be adopted for other countries where the danger is confined to a few parts of the country (if it is the case that only one state in Myanmar is dangerous). Gizza (roam) 02:21, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
As I said, sensational mass murders are up, while the number of homicide deaths is way down. That's part of putting things into perspective. And though the U.S. is much safer per driver/passenger hour than Israel, road accidents are a way, way more likely cause of death than a gunshot. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I think the way to do it will be to say that there has been a rise in white nationalist terrorist attacks in the past few years, and that the locations where they occur are random and impossible to predict, but as a tourist your chances of being caught in one are slim. The dog2 (talk) 02:45, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, and that deaths from homicide are also way down, in spite of the public impact of a string of high-profile mass shootings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:19, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I unironically think all our driving articles should come with warning boxes, but I know it's not a viewpoint that'll ever get majority support. Hobbitschuster (talk) 08:30, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I actually see your point, but at the same time, I think drivers should understand the high level of risk that comes with that mode of transportation before they read our articles. We are not responsible for someone's crash of bad driving, as dangerous as it may be. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:13, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
By the way, should we move this discussion to Talk: United States of America? I think that will be a more appropriate place to continue this. The dog2 (talk) 13:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Tough question. I personally think that makes sense, but my decision would rely upon what others think. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:44, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't think the US article needs a warning box for this. In spite of the fun and sensational claims that they're "mostly white nationalists", most of the listed mass shootings do not seem to have any political or ideological bent at all [1] as many are described as escalating from private disputes and arguments. I think the Stay Safe intro describes the situation best "Headline-grabbing major crimes give the U.S. a reputation for crime", but perhaps a short sentence for acknowledgment purposes could be added to the "Gun" section. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:12, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
In minor cases, do we know? I agree that we don't need to go all-out on this, but the racist violence issue should be covered somewhere. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:23, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. A warning box is overboard, but facts are facts. While it's true that globally, Islamic extremism is responsible for the most terrorism-related deaths, in the U.S., it is white nationalism that is responsible for the most terrorism-related deaths. Not all mass shootings are tied to a particular ideology (therefore, those are not classified as "terrorism"), but among those that are, these are the facts. The dog2 (talk) 16:41, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
How long has that been the case? It seems that "white nationalism," as it is called, has grown over the last couple years. Probably since the Charlotte incident. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:43, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My understanding is that statement was true as of 2017 and I think 2018. Of course, the statistics for 2019 are not out yet since the year isn't over. Speaking of which, while there has been no official statement on this, there are indications that the Dayton, Ohio mass shooting may be a left-wing terrorist attack, since the shooter's social media posts indicated sympathies for violence in the name of left-wing causes. Of course, even if true, that's just an isolated incident, and if you look at the bigger trend, there have been far more white nationalist incidents. The dog2 (talk) 17:43, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Is the proposal then to add a brief statement about domestic terrorism, gun violence, or both? The two are related but by no means the same. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:34, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
At this point I'm quite ambivalent about whether to add anything at all, but if anything is to be added, I lean towards white nationalist terrorism. If you look at official statistics, there's no question it's been on the rise in the past few years, but that said, it's still not prevalent enough for us to need to warn non-white vistors away from the U.S. The dog2 (talk) 21:18, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
@The dog2: But it's not for us to say: if several places that we think provide reliable and valuable travel advisories publish them, then we don't need to otherwise vet or second-guess them: we should just republish them. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:01, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Some other nations have issued travel advisories. Trump threatens to retaliate against countries like Japan, Canada, Uruguay that issued travel warnings Pashley (talk) 17:21, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Another: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2019/08/countries-offer-travel-warnings-over-us-violence-and-racism-donald-trump-threatens-retaliation.htmlJustin (koavf)TCM 17:41, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

I agree with you that we are duty-bound to post travel advisories from countries that are deemed generally more or less reliable in issuing them. The issues surrounding them can be discussed in a bit more detail in United States#Stay safe, but we don't have the option to ignore a travel advisory from Canada because it's for the U.S., rather than Somalia, Israel or wherever. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Based on the warning box at Somalia, the only foreign department with a travel warning is NZ which has a yellow light: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/north-america I recommend adding this to the top of USA. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:45, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
We should do so, absolutely. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:48, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
No. Official government travel warnings tend toward needless alarmism even in the best of times, and the more polarized and contentious international relations become, the more politicized such warnings tend to get and the more they need to be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, there have been several recent mass shootings that have received extensive media coverage, but are travellers to the U.S. really in more danger now than they were last year, two years ago, five years ago? The lack of any concomitant increase in the overall murder rate during that time period suggests not, or at least calls for a more nuanced approach to the topic than these overly simplistic warnings provide. I'm no fan of Trump, and believe me, I sympathize with the desire of other countries' governments to stick it to him, but unfortunately our focus has to remain on providing travellers with the most accurate and unbiased information possible. If a warningbox for the U.S. has been unnecessary heretofore, then it remains unnecessary now. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:56, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
We as armchair travel guides are not better equipped to judge on a case-by-case basis. If we assume that State Departments X, Y, and Z are reliable, then why are you second-guessing them now? New Zealand says that travel to America is more dangerous than Canada and less so than Mexico: sounds sensible to me. Either you think that NZ is generally not reliable or they are and if they are, then you shouldn't cherry-pick which travel advisories you personally think are bogus: let readers decide. Since ttcf, give them the information and the citation, and let them decide. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:11, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not cherry-picking reliable vs. bogus travel advisories; I'm prioritizing unpoliticizable hard statistics (i.e. the overall murder rate) over easily politicizable (and indeed frequently politicized) government warnings. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:15, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
That hasn't been our policy. If it becomes our policy, perhaps we should delete every governmental warning that we lard numerous articles with. If we'd post a New Zealand warning for Iraq or Afghanistan, what gives us the prerogative to omit their warning for the U.S.? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:32, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Iraq and Afghanistan are literal war zones, and the need for a warningbox on those articles is self-evident. I'd actually be fine with letting the text we place in those boxes speak for itself rather than supplementing it with links to specific advisories issued by specific countries, but with the U.S. we have the additional question of whether a warningbox is necessary at all. Again I would point to the lack of any statistically significant change in the U.S. murder rate that would warrant a travel advisory being in effect in 2019 that was not in effect in 2018 or previous years. As terrible as these mass shootings are, the cumulative effect is still a drop in the bucket compared to the dangers faced by travellers in many other countries for which we don't have warningboxes, and that's something that's not based on anything other than hard numbers. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:43, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
The point about statistics is a good one that I've made upthread, and it can be made in "Stay safe", but I think there's a fairly decent argument for some kind of warning for tourists, which is that while murders in general are down, mass-casualty murders are up, and tourists tend to congregate in places where there are big crowds, thereby exposing themselves to more danger from that kind of murderer. Moreover, though it's statistically a very small risk, it's still a bigger risk than in most other developed countries. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:52, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think this information can be covered as a section under "Stay safe". I'm a non-white foreigner living in the U.S., and I get to go about my daily life without incident for the most part. You can argue that that is because I live in a blue state, but I've also travelled to rural areas in solidly red states and never run into any major issues. So in short, a warning box is overboard. I am OK with mentioning mass shootings and white nationalist terrorism in the "Stay safe" section, but if I'm still comfortable letting my parents visit me here, we clearly do not need a warning box. In any case, you are far more likely to get murdered in South Africa or Brazil, but we don't have warning boxes in those countries' articles, so I just don't see how I could be convinced that one is required for the U.S. The dog2 (talk) 07:09, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

Exactly. Mass shootings have been in the news lately, and it's natural that travellers will have heard about them and be curious about the dangers they face. We absolutely should include something about them in "Stay safe". But if we include a warningbox, then we endorse the idea that travellers are somehow more likely to become victims of gun violence now than they would have been before, yet the numbers don't bear that out. I understand the argument that mass shootings are more likely to occur in places where tourists congregate than shootings in general, but as Thedog said, the risk is still miniscule compared to other countries like South Africa and Brazil for which we don't have warningboxes, and the idea that the U.S. and other developed countries ought to be held to more stringent requirements for avoiding warningboxes than developing countries strikes me as a case of the soft bigotry of low expectations vis-à-vis the latter. There are many developing countries, notably Indonesia, China, India, much of the Middle East, and even some African countries, where the murder rate is comparable to that of the developed world, so the logic for a double standard is questionable in any event. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:16, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Justin, the NZ website lists word-for-word identical warnings for Albania, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden in Europe. About the UK and several other countries, it says the same thing and adds a warning about crime or civil unrest. Would you reproduce the same warning on all of those countries, too? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:48, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
If we think NZ is reliable. If your argument is, "They have lots of these things indiscriminately" then we should remove them entirely. What we shouldn't do is have to hash out which individual ones we think are meaningful or not. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:07, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
We are a guide for travellers by travellers. Our job here is not to parrot what governments say, regardless of whether it's the New Zealand government, the Chinese government, the U.S. government or whichever other government, but to provide the most reliable and accurate information to potential travellers based on what's happening on the ground. So if there is a conflict between what some government says and what the situation on the ground actually is, I think we should most certainly follow the latter, because that is actually what is of concern to travellers. So yes, we absolutely should be allowed to judge whether or not a government's travel warning is fair when deciding whether or not to incorporate it into our articles. Blindly following some government's travel advisory without verifying whether or not it matches the actual situation on the ground is doing a disservice to travellers in my opinion. And think of this carefully. If the U.S. is really such a dangerous s***hole that a warning box would imply it to be, do you think I'd still be here? Unlike the Americans in this discussion, I have the option of packing up and moving back to Singapore should it ever come to that, and my family will do everything they can to get me out of America if it ever becomes that dangerous. So if I feel safe enough to continue living in America, why should we be unduly alarmist and warn potential tourists to stay away? The dog2 (talk) 20:23, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
"What we shouldn't do is have to hash out which individual ones we think are meaningful or not" is half of my argument. The other half is that travel advisories are routinely issued, or at least the language in them is routinely exaggerated, for political reasons. Together, they add up to the conclusion that we should regard all government-issued travel advisories as potentially politically motivated and therefore dubious, and avoid implicitly taking sides in political disputes, either by using the existence of government travel advisories as a rationale for adding a warningbox to a particular destination or by linking to government travel advisories within warningboxes. There are plenty of other ways for us to determine the real situation on the ground in any given place, to decide whether or not a warningbox is appropriate and if so, what information it should contain. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:49, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Because the subjective experience of one person is inevitably different than someone else. There are plenty of (e.g.) black persons in America who think it is dangerous and outright hostile to them. I personally know a white American who doesn't go anywhere except work and the grocery store because she is afraid of mass shootings. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:51, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
If we don't regard any government's warnings as reliable, we need to adopt a policy of not quoting or linking to them, and then we'll have to use some other justification for why we mention "controversial" things like genocide in Rakhine State of Myanmar (that is, controversial because Burmese people deny the facts). Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:57, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not saying that we completely disregard government warnings. I'm saying that we can and should try to make an assessment on whether or not those warnings are fair. As AndreCarrotflower said, governments often issue travel warnings for political reasons, and that includes governments that most people would deem reliable. For instance, I visited Myanmar back in the day when the U.S. and virtually all Western governments had travel advisories advising people not to go there. In reality, it was no more dangerous than visiting Thailand or Vietnam, which most Western governments did not have similar advisories for. The dog2 (talk) 21:32, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I get you, but I think it's very important for us to have on record in some non-temporary place a clear statement of what our policy on government advisories is. I should say, I completely agree that travel warnings can be unreliable and biased. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:39, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the comment ACF made when this discussion got going earlier on the 19th. What matters is the situation: as he has stated in a different way, a travel warning to Iraq is one thing, but the US is another. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:11, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I think if a government has issued a travel advisory to a particular country, that can be a good signal that the issue is worth looking further into, for instance with a conversation like this one. What I'm against is the idea of not bothering to do our own research and instead taking those advisories at face value. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:20, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Anyway, moving forward, it appears that we do have a consensus on writing something in the "Stay safe" section, just not a warning box. Should we just proceed with that? The dog2 (talk) 01:56, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Seeing that nobody objected, I went ahead and added the point under "Stay safe". Please feel free to phrase it in a better way if you can, but what I've tried to do is to cover the issue adequately without being unduly alarmist. The dog2 (talk) 00:58, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

I agree with AndreCarrotflower that "A travel guide is not the place to get into debates about whether or not the atomic bombing of Japan was necessary, but I disagree with that "abruptly ended the war" is an "accurate, apolitical statement". I think the statement gives the impression that the war would have lasted significantly (whatever that means) longer without the bombs – and ignores the horrific other effects. As such it is far from neutral and apolitical. I am sorry that I could not find a good short wording, due to deficiency in my English skills, but I think a more nuanced statement is needed if we are to mention the bombs (which we perhaps still should). --LPfi (talk) 17:20, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

It is an accurate statement - the atomic bombings were the direct cause of the abrupt end of the war, regardless of whether other scenarios would have caused the war to end with comparable abruptness - and the very fact that it ignores the question of those other hypothetical scenarios, and the inevitable moral debates that spring from them, is precisely what makes the statement apolitical. (As for "horrific", that's subjective; a perfectly tenable argument could be made that the bombings were a more humane option than a protracted and bloody invasion would have been. Personally, I'm of the opinion that the mere fact of the forward progress of human scientific knowledge made it inevitable that nuclear weapons would be developed by some nation at some point in the course of history; I'm just glad it was the Americans who ended up doing it and not the Nazis.) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:19, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I actually find this coverage of WWII to be quite sparse. I know we're trying to prune it down to just a summary and keep the details in other articles, but what we have now strikes me as too little. All we say is that the U.S. joined on the side of the Allies, and then in the next sentence, they dropped bombs on Japan and ended the war. There's no mention of the U.S.'s involvement in Europe, island hopping in the Pacific, or air raids on Japan. The latter should not be neglected, as the firebombing of Tokyo was more immediately destructive than either of the nuclear bombings. The nuclear bombings are important to mention in Japan, but this article is about the U.S., and I'm not sure I'd say they were the single biggest contribution the U.S. made to either front of the war. --Bigpeteb (talk) 22:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the war starts in the first sentence and ends in the next. I think it does need a little something more than what's there now, which more than implies that the atomic bomb abruptly ended the war on all fronts. It's basically true for the Pacific front but had no bearing on the European front. I don't think a lot of details need to be added, because none of the events happened in the US and like most US history texts, WWII is being mentioned mostly to showcase the US came out of that war as the dominant world power alongside Russia to lead into the Cold War. As for "abruptly ending the war", I think that's okay. We just need something about the US' involvement in defeating Europe. Incidentally, we don't even cover the effects of the bomb in the Pacific War article's history section, even in the part titled "Aftermath". It basically ignores Japan aside from the tribunals and then nothing until the return of Okinawa. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:39, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

$6 I-94 fee

The article currently states "Foreigners entering by land are required to pay a $6 fee when crossing the border." Is this true even for Canadian and Mexican visitors (e.g., those not coming to work or study)? Powers (talk) 01:36, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

The Land of Contrasts

I wonder if this is worth mentioning somewhere. At least I think it's something that makes the US a very intriguing country. For instance, the US is the undisputed number one in the world in medical research, but fares the worst in the developed world in terms of access to healthcare for the average citizen. It is home to the highest concentration of the world's greatest scientists, but also home to the highest proportion of non-believers in science in the developed world. It has the highest concentration of the world's top universities, but the public school system for K-12 fares poorly by the developed world's standards. And GDP per capita is at an all-time high (at least it was before COVID-19 hit), but the average salary of the bottom 50% has declined over the past 30 years. There's probably more, but these are just some I can think of. Let me know what everyone thinks. The dog2 (talk) 00:12, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

I guess there's a certain degree to which such matters - descriptions of the "essence" of a place, for lack of a better term - fall within Wikivoyage's scope, since they help travellers contextualize what they see and experience along the way. But none of the examples you list above are really travel-related, and inasmuch as the U.S. is a diverse and sometimes self-contradictory place in travel-related ways, I think the article already makes that point repeatedly. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:25, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
The "Land/City of Contrasts" trope has got to be one of the laziest in travel writing. It's said about basically everywhere. The idea that a place has good points and bad points is essentially true everywhere and at all times. Whatever intrigue those points may have is not really there from a travel perspective. I don't suspect a lot of travelers are actually planning trips to the US just to see how brain-dead the teens are, observe 30 year salary declines in real-time, or watch an anti-vax Power Point (or whatever they do). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:05, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
It does sound like a personal essay to be added to a long article that already has plenty of context. Context is worth having in a travel guide, and I have added it to most of the articles that I've been working to expand from outline to usable, but travel information is always more important. Ground Zero (talk) 15:28, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

Lua errors again

Once again, the article has lots of big red messages saying "Lua error: not enough memory." How do we fix this? —Granger (talk · contribs) 18:34, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

Riots

Should we write anything about the riots going on over the death of George Floyd? The dog2 (talk) 02:29, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

No, I agree with the removal of that information and the reasons given. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 04:29, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I would say put it in the warning box, obviously an immediate danger to travellers in the U.S. Why wouldn't we have a warning box about something like this? Already more people have died in these protests than in months of protests in Hong Kong, which still has a warning box. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:08, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
For reference, FCO advice: "There have been numerous protests across the USA since 27 May 2020, some of which have turned violent, most notably in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Louisville, Kentucky; Atlanta, Georgia; and Los Angeles, California. There is potential for further protests and curfews may be enforced as a result. You should avoid demonstrations and protests, and follow the instructions of local authorities." --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:12, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I don’t feel strongly either way about mentioning this in the U.S. warningbox, but I slightly prefer including it because it’s in so many cities in various regions of the country. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:19, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Let's not take people for fools. If you're one of the few international travellers in the U.S. right now, a Wikivoyage warningbox is not the first you're hearing of what's going on. If you've heard the news already and are just too dumb to figure out it's a bad idea to get involved in situations where looting and arson is going on, there's not much Wikivoyage can do for you. And if you're not in the U.S. right now but are for some reason planning to travel there despite the fact that virtually all the tourist infrastructure has been shut down due to the COVID epidemic, the information will most likely be outdated in short order anyway, for the simple reason that sustained, long-term, dangerous-for-tourists demonstrations lasting for weeks, as in Hong Kong, are simply not a thing that happens in the U.S. Even in the Civil Rights/Vietnam War era they were sporadic, albeit more frequent than the norm. The only situation in America in living memory that's even remotely analogous to the Hong Kong protests was the Occupy Wall Street camps, which, far from being dangerous for tourists, almost became tourist attractions themselves; I remember the one in downtown Buffalo had information booths, buskers, a lot of guerrilla art stuff. And weeks-long riots are almost certainly not going to become a thing now that the U.S. has outfitted municipal police forces with equipment and operational training that's basically military-grade. The analysis I've been reading says that law enforcement held back last night in order to avoid aggravating an already tense situation, in light of the fact that the theme of the demonstrations was explicitly anti-police, and in the hopes that this was basically a spasm of rage that would resolve itself quickly, but if we see the pattern repeat itself tonight and in the future, that we should expect police to respond in a way that's more assertive, so to speak, and that brings a quick and decisive end to the violence.
If all this is wrong, we can certainly restore the warningbox once it becomes clear that last night wasn't a one-off, as we did with the Hong Kong warningbox. But to do so now is premature.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:08, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I suppose it's already clear that last night wasn't a one-off, as there was violence the night before last. There is no requirement to wait until a dangerous situation has lasted for weeks before adding a warningbox. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:46, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
For anyone who hasn't been following the other discussions, there are at least two warningboxes in question here: the one in United States of America and the one in Minneapolis. See User talk:AndreCarrotflower and Talk:Minneapolis for more. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:01, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
If you define "requirement" as written policy, then no, there's no requirement. But it's something that's not appropriate in this situation for two reasons. The goal of a warningbox is to provide travellers with accurate information about situations that are a danger to them, but here we lack both travellers (global tourism is shut down due to COVID) and accurate information (we know where the violence was, but the situation is changing too rapidly for a small wiki with limited manpower to reliably keep up; we have no clear information on whether the danger has passed, and if it hasn't, which cities will be affected, what the exact nature of the violence or the police response will be, etc.) Essentially, what little concrete information we could plausibly offer to what few travellers there are - stay away from violent situations, do what the police say - is Captain Obvious. Weigh that against the prospect of multiple pages being littered with quickly outdated warningbox cruft and I think the negatives clearly outweigh the positives. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:02, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
There are still travelers—much fewer than usual, but still some. Our job is to serve them. That's why we have warningboxes and cautionboxes on dozens of articles explaining the COVID-19 situation in different countries.
Concrete advice includes to stay away from demonstrations and to find out whether the city you're in has established a curfew. More or less the same kind of advice we've put in other warningboxes during civil unrest in other countries.
Frankly, if this were happening in another country, I doubt there would be much debate about whether to add a warningbox. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:12, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I think it's worth mentioning, and I don't care whether it's mentioned here and/or in the specific cities. I also agree with Granger that if something with a similar level of disruption were happening in, say, any South American country, we wouldn't be over-thinking this. Just mark your calendar to remove it in a few days, as most such protests are likely to end within a few days. Also, I think it might be worth mentioning this event briefly but permanently in Minneapolis#Understand or Minneapolis#Stay safe. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:38, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
User:廣九直通車, you are invited to join this discussion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:34, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This has nothing to do with the particular country where the events are taking place, and everything to do with the fact that there's no precedent for adding warningboxes to Wikivoyage articles regarding situations that aren't likely to continue to exist long-term, in the United States or anywhere else (let alone situations that aren't clearly still ongoing). In the example you brought up of COVID, the warningboxes are appropriate because it's known that the pandemic will last at least a few months more, if not a year or two, and we know enough about the science behind the virus to be able to give specific examples of what people should and shouldn't do. (It's also noteworthy that the COVID-related warning box on the top of the United States of America article has had to be updated more or less continuously since we first put it up, which makes me wonder how much important and travel-relevant information we may not be catching. And that's a situation that's not developing as quickly as the riots; where you usually have at least a few days' advance notice before new government restrictions or the like go into effect.) Similarly, where we've discussed civil unrest in warningboxes in the past, it's been in situations where we've had good reason to believe the aftereffects would last weeks or months. But in this situation, not only do we not know what's going to happen in the future, but we can't even make a good guess. There's a broad spectrum of things that might happen next, and no particular point on that spectrum that represents a significantly more likely outcome than the others. In that situation, all we can offer is vague advice that generally falls under Captain Obvious. "Stay away from demonstrations" certainly does; even when they're not violent or not obviously about to become violent, I'd say. As for curfews, as I understand it, most cities that imposed them did so for last night only; in cases where that's not true, we could add warningboxes on a city-by-city basis but then are we going to remember to remove them when this is all over with? Or will some future visitor to the site happen upon an article about some American city that hasn't been edited in three years and be led to believe the city is still under curfew? It's easy to lose sight of considerations like that when we're facing shocking and upsetting situations like we did last night, but that doesn't mean they're not still important. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:42, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
As we don't know what cities will be affected tomorrow, I think putting the warning in this article only would be a good compromise. Then it will get updated along with the corona info. I think there will be little harm in that. Then we have done more or less what we can, other than spamming all city articles to be on the safe side (warning post facto is less useful, and we don't have the manpower to anticipate riots in specific cities). --LPfi (talk) 17:14, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
We could leave out the link to Chinese info – we probably have more reliable info from our own sources. --LPfi (talk) 17:15, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Support LPfi's sensible approach.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:24, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I support LPfi's suggestion too. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:44, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I continue to think this is all unnecessary, but I suppose I'd be okay with LPfi's comprominse; unlike the individual city articles, United States of America sees consistent enough editor attention that the information would likely be removed when appropriate. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:47, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Especially when the protests spread through almost the whole America in several days.
Of course there should be a warning box in the USA & Minneapolis articles at a minimum. It should mention continued police violence, not just rioting. Granger & WhatAmIDoing are right; when there is major civil unrest in any other country we put in a warning & we should do so here. Pashley (talk) 19:17, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I support LPfi's suggestion. The dog2 (talk) 19:23, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I agree, too. This is a scary situation, it's happening all over the country, and it encompasses small as well as big cities. And it's essential to focus on violence from the police and National Guard (though of course not to the exclusion of rioters), as they have more arms than demonstrators and have attacked and in some instances shot at people just for videorecording them on cellphones. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:30, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Very scary. Despite what your president says, the world is not laughing at you now. We're crying for you. Stay safe. Ground Zero (talk) 00:35, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate the sympathy. I added specific language about the dangers of videotaping the police or National Guard, specifically mentioning that people have been shot and assaulted just for doing that. I think that's very important to mention unambiguously because travelers like to take videos and photos. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:37, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
I don't know how true this is, but there are rumors that the looting and violence are committed by people who have infiltrated the protests and not the actual protesters. The daytime protests are by black people and are peaceful, and it is at night that these infiltraters start the violence, and apparently, some of these infiltraters are white supremacists intent on starting a race war. The dog2 (talk) 01:24, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Likely true but not travel-relevant. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:35, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Support LPfi and Pashley's suggestion, as per WV:Fair, such warnings should be completely described from different aspects.廣九直通車 (talk) 04:22, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
I support having a warning in the USA article, and maybe in the worst affected cities as well; rioting has been going on for several days in many cities and it's easy to delete the warnings when the riots end. Over the last years we've also added warnings for other major protests like the ones in Chile and the French yellow vest protests. --Ypsilon (talk) 19:07, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Just to make an update that, it seems that vehicular attacks (such as the police cars in New York City, and the tanker in Minneapolis) against protests are being increasingly common. I suspect they may also be included, as vehicular attacks can hurt innocent bystanders near protests.廣九直通車 (talk) 00:50, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not sure how or whether to cover this, but the protests have spread beyond the US to the entire Western world. There have been protests in Montreal, London, Berlin, Auckland and Copenhagen just to name a few. The dog2 (talk) 21:31, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

Not just the Western world. But there's no reason for us to add warning boxes for those other protests unless they lead to violence that creates a danger to travellers. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:40, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be best to recommend all travelers avoid urban centre areas. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:22, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Given events in the intervening period, I've come around to basically agreeing with the warningbox on the United States of America page, but I also would continue to caution against getting so swept up in the emotional element of this (and believe me, I understand how hard that is to do, especially for our U.S. editor base; those emotions may have colored some of my earlier comments on the matter) that we lose sight of what Wikivoyage's scope is. The operative question for Wikivoyage purposes is a yes-or-no one: are the demonstrations dangerous to travellers or are they not. The demonstrations in the U.S. which are violent or at least potentially so obviously fall into the "yes, dangerous" category, so our message to travellers in the warningboxes is to steer clear. Questions such as whether vehicular attacks are a common thing at protests, or whether outside agents provocateur are behind the violence, fall outside our scope. As for the demonstrations outside the U.S., the same question applies. Without knowing for sure, I would venture to guess that most of those have been peaceful and nonviolent, in which case there's no need for a warningbox. If not, then put one in. I also continue to be opposed to placing warningboxes on individual city articles given that basically every major city in the country is seeing violent demonstrations on some level. That includes Minneapolis; despite the fact that it's the city where the demonstrations began, it's no longer seeing any more or less violence than other cities. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:30, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
I think the ones in Paris and Montreal have seen some violence. In Paris, they are also tied to a local case of police brutality resulting in the death of a black man. The dog2 (talk) 05:42, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
I would at least wait a few days before adding warningboxes to every city, just like what was done in the US article. We don't need warning boxes for 1 or 2 days of protests, but a week of protests and riots that are ongoing makes sense. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:15, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Don't even try going into detail. We do not have the manpower to keep that up-to-date & the inevitable arguments over some of the details would be a huge waste of time. Just give a brief overview & link to other governments' warnings. As for the cities, a link to the main warning (in the USA article) should be enough. Pashley (talk) 01:21, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Pashley, I agree completely. The red box with “WARNING” in all caps is more important than an hours long debate over details, many which will not become clear until after the riots and protests or even perhaps after this administration. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:28, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

What about curfews? They of course affect travellers (by restricting their night-time travelling). As there are different curfew policies for each city, perhaps a brief note of time period of curfew can be added on the articles of each cities. Any comment?廣九直通車 (talk) 12:48, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

I think curfews are changing too quickly for us to give useful information about them on a city-by-city basis. The warningbox in this article mentions that some cities have established curfews; the reader will have to find up-to-date sources to figure out the situation in the city they're in. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:22, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

Relations with China

Given the current political climate, I wonder if this should be added to the list of topics to avoid in the Respect section. I'd like to get insights from some average American here as to how sensitive this actually is (without degenerating into political debates of course, and with a focus on stuff relevant for travellers). After all, Tom Cotton has proposed legislation to ban Chinese citizens from studying science and engineering at American universities, and there is even talk of expelling all Chinese PhD students from America over the Hong Kong issue. The dog2 (talk) 20:06, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Well, wouldn't such legislation have to be passed by the Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives? I think this may be more relevant in six months to a year than it is now, though thanks for mentioning this idea. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:15, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
The latter could in theory be implemented with an executive order from Trump, and I know of Chinese PhD students in America who are very concerned about this right now. The dog2 (talk) 20:18, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
True. Perhaps then it could go in the "Learn" section of the article? (An executive order would likely be blocked by a judge, but it's of course possible to have a Republican-controlled House and Senate in 2021). --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:28, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
In that case, it should go in Studying in the United States, because we don't want this article to include Absolutely Everything There is to Know About the United States, and thus become quite useless for most readers. Ground Zero (talk) 20:51, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. That seems to be the best place for that information. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:53, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
I think that would be in "Get In" should it come to pass given that it's a visa restriction, and the judge can't block it because the president has broad powers to implement executive orders of "national security" reasons, as seen in the case of the Muslim ban. But anyway, should there be something in the "Respect" section telling visitors not to discuss US-China relations with locals? The dog2 (talk) 20:56, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
But it hasn't come to pass, it's all just speculation, and we should focus on building a travel guide instead of political speculation. We dont6 have to guess about what might happen. If it happens, we adjust the text then. Until then, it's a waste of time arguing about it. Ground Zero (talk) 21:18, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
No, there shouldn't. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:10, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

This executive order has been signed targeting Chinese graduate students. Could someone please distill out the important details, because I think it affected certain classes of travellers and hence, should be covered in some form. Unfortunately, I'm not lawyer so I'm not familiar with some of the legal jargon. The dog2 (talk) 05:05, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

I agree with Granger's edit comment and the other commenters above that this belongs in the Studying in the United States. It directly relates to that article's theme/topic. Here on the country article, it is an extreme niche of people who this affects and just clutters the article more as trivia. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:27, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

Mainland Chinese air carriers effectively blocked from US...

Swept in from the pub

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Department_of_Transportation_Order_2020-6-1_(Notification_and_Order_Disapproving_Schedules).pdf/1

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 19:59, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

The full document is at wikisource:Department of Transportation Order 2020-6-1, which suggests that this is due to restrictions on US carriers flying to China. So travellers may have to go via a third country if this not resolved, in the next two weeks, before it takes effect. AlasdairW (talk) 20:39, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
This is an indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic and air travel decreasing dramatically. American travellers are already mostly banned from entering China, and travellers coming from China are already mostly banned from flying direct to the US (again due to the COVID-19 pandemic). And in general flight itineraries all over the world are a mess lately. So while a sad moment geopolitically, from a traveller's perspective right now this is of little importance beyond the warnings and cautions that are already covered in our articles. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:04, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
Let's see how this shakes out long term. I can imagine ugly tit for tats... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:37, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
Let's hope things can be resolved. It always sucks when politics gets in the way of travel. The dog2 (talk) 18:59, 6 June 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. Fortunately, the ban has been cancelled: [2]. Both governments are continuing to set limits on flights, though (as are many governments around the world right now). —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:17, 6 June 2020 (UTC)

Group-organising sites

I previously added a link to Meetup.com as a way to meet people who speak a particular foreign language. To set the record straight, I am not affiliated with them in any way, and I merely added them because I have used them before, and they are one of the better known sites. I have no objection to adding links to other reputable sites, but I think we should have some links so people will know where to go to find these groups should they be interested. The dog2 (talk) 02:19, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

I understand the reasoning behind removing the link, but I think the end result can handily be described as allowing strict adherence to the letter of policy to get in the way of our prime directive that the traveller comes first. At some point, we have to abandon false equivalencies and make peace with the unfortunate reality that - especially in the realm of online services - oftentimes the market in a particular sector is effectively monopolized by one single company, and while a few hardy niche competitors may continue to claim some inconsequential level of cult loyalty, realistically speaking you're wasting your time going anywhere else to do what you're trying to do. And as far as I can tell, Meetup is in the same class as Google, Amazon, and other such colossal Internet market-cornerers when it comes to that. That being the case, I say it's far preferable to straightforwardly direct our readers where they need to go even if it might appear that we're promoting a particular corporate entity, than to be cagey and sacrifice the completeness of the information we provide for the sake of meticulous nonpartisanship. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:45, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
You could always take the BBC approach: after name-dropping a commercial entity in a way that the letter-writers might construe as not impartial, follow it up with "other group-hosting sites are available."--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 06:52, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps a way to write it is that Meetup.com is the most widely used, but there are also other sites available. The dog2 (talk) 15:06, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
That would work. Either way, I support including the link to Meetup, per The dog2's reasoning and because Meetup is by far the most popular site for this service. Ttcf. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:03, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Is Meetup really that dominant? Even over other sites with groups and event listings like Facebook? Powers (talk) 23:22, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Facebook is generally used more to create events where you invite people you know. Meetup.com is specifically for creating groups that members of the public with the relevant interest can join. So if let's say you're a Russian tourist making a trip to New York, and you want to find a group of Russian speakers, Meetup.com is the best option for that. And quite often, these groups will welcome you since in the aforementioned case, the Russian tourist can help Americans improve their Russian-language skills, and the Americans in the group can also help the Russian tourist to improve his English. The dog2 (talk) 22:50, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

News media

While I understand that section of the article currently lists a number of news sources, RealClear is a major news organization providing opinion writing of its own along with useful statistics. It's known for its political coverage but also manages several other websites. Perhaps it should be mentioned along with the Washington Post? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:08, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

I would say no, it's not nearly as well known as the others. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:41, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
RealClearPolitics? I think several other online political sites are better known, and none of them need to be mentioned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:00, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
They also have some other websites, such as RealClearWorld, RealClearInvestigations, etc. but I can see both sides of the issue and understand the reasons for not including it. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:08, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

WeChat and TikTok

Trump just signed an executive order banning the Chinese apps WeChat and TikTok. And with both Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi supporting the ban, it's probably not going to go away anytime soon. Is there anything that we should cover regarding this? The dog2 (talk) 03:46, 7 August 2020 (UTC)

As best as anyone can guess, what is meant by "banning WeChat and TikTok" is that it would no longer be possible to download the apps from a U.S.-based IP address. Presumably, that would mean anyone who had already downloaded the app in their home country could continue using it while visiting the U.S. Additionally, the situation with TikTok is complicated by the fact that Microsoft is currently in talks to purchase the app from the Chinese company that currently owns it; Trump's ban, which is set to begin in 45 days, would only go into effect if the sale doesn't go through. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:36, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
The courts may or may not wish to have a say in that. However, given some of the "horror stories" some hears about border admission (e.g. "If you are unwilling to surrender your facebook password you are denied admission") there might possibly be an effect of this. Not to editorialize, but precisely this vagueness of what is actually prohibited is one of the tools of oppressive regimes. Hobbitschuster (talk) 08:44, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
If we get a report of people being hassled at the border for having TikTok or WeChat, we should add a note about it. I don't see how not being allowed to download a particular app while in the US is something that should be covered in the country article. Wikivoyage is a travel guide, not a newspaper. We shouldn't try to be Wikinews. Also, since you can get around it by using a VPN, it's not a real restriction on travellers. Ground Zero (talk) 10:03, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
Based on news reports so far, it seems the scope of the order remains unclear, so I'd say we should wait to get a better sense of how it will be enforced. If it becomes impossible to use WeChat in the US without a VPN, that is something we should mention in the article, just as we mention similar restrictions in the China article. Also, if it becomes impossible for US citizens to spend money using WeChat in China, that should be mentioned in the China article. Right now I think all we can do is wait for more information. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:12, 7 August 2020 (UTC)
It's not clear yet, but what could happen is that it would become illegal to install WeChat or TikTok on a phone with Android or iOS given that Google and Apple are both American companies, and the order prohibits American companies from dealing with ByteDance or Tencent. So what is likely is that they will be taken off the Apple Store and Google Play Store worldwide to comply with the order. The dog2 (talk) 14:50, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
I am not an American company, so a prohibition for them to deal with ByteDance does not concern me. I would have to get the app from elsewhere, but I suppose Chinese phones would be set up to facilitate that and, regardless, I could probably get the app in a Chinese phone shop. Unless installing, using or importing the software in/into USA becomes illegal, it really is not our problem, other than that we might have to tell how to install it in the China article. --LPfi (talk) 15:47, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It's not just companies. All entities under U.S. jurisdiction are prohibited form dealing with them, so it will probably mean that it will be illegal for U.S. citizens to use TikTok or WeChat. There's a chance that it will be loosely enforced though, given that the Chinese generally don't go after people for using VPNs to access Facebook and YouTube. The dog2 (talk) 15:59, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

It seems to me we don't yet know enough to say anything concrete about how this will affect travellers. I suggest we return to the issue when more information is available. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:24, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
Return to "United States of America" page.