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I think we need to merge (or link more helpfully) contents of Scandal, British political scandals, and American political scandals, and maybe some others.

it would be maybe more inviting to add scandals of other countries if you don't have to create an extra article for it but could just add it to a list. --Elian
I'm rehauling the organization of this page. Tell me what you think of the new structure. --Alex S 18:37, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Much better now! Thanks Alex. --Rj 20:08, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)



How about academic scandals? Not even a single article mentioning them!!! --Wshun

would be interesting... know of any? please add to the list. --Rj 18:22, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)
I was just thinking of creating that myself! Good idea. --Alex S 18:37, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Corporate vs. Accounting


Is there a distiction to be made between corporate and accounting scandal? --Rj 18:41, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)

If you can think of an example or two of an accounting scandal involving an individual and not a corporation, then there isn't. --Alex S 18:42, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
There must be accounting scandals that are not corporate, but there certainly are corporate scandals that are not accounting related. --Rj 20:01, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)
looks like you've addressed this...
Yep. Anyways, I'm rather surprised that Wikipedia has no info about the Firestone incident. --Alex S 17:11, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
or about Firestone...

Removed Varian text


I removed the following text. It's not really a notable scandal, there are certainly better scandals to be listed here.

"The Varian Medical Systems toilet videotaping scandal in the U.S., where executives admitted using a hidden surveillance camera to secretly video record employees and customers urinating or defecating is a classic example of a failed cover-up that cost stockholders millions of dollars."

kmccoy (talk) 07:22, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"7 social scandals"


Was that actually the case? Is there a source for those being especially singled out? (talk) 01:01, 21 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Alleged scandals are not scandals


The sentence "A scandal is a widely publicized allegation or set of allegations that damages the reputation of an institution, individual or creed." may be interpreted as indicating that the content of allegations, irrespective of their veracity, may be called a scandal. This, however, is not the case. A scandal is either actual scandalous behaviour, or it is the allegation itself, if the allegation is being put forward with the intent to defame a person.


scandal noun
[C or U] (an action or event that causes) a public feeling of shock and strong moral disapproval
[U] reports about actions or events that cause shock and disapproval
[S] a situation that is extremely bad
[countable] an event in which someone, especially someone important, behaves in a bad way that shocks people
[uncountable] talk about dishonest or immoral things that famous or important people are believed to have done
1. a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc.
2. an offense caused by a fault or misdeed.
3. damage to reputation; public disgrace.
4. defamatory talk; malicious gossip.
5. a person whose conduct brings disgrace or offense.

  Cs32en  08:40, 28 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

  • I would just like to note that the majority of the definitions above do not say anything about the veracity of the allegations. It seems that the definition in the lead of the article is correct. Dimawik (talk) 09:31, 28 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • If the actual event stays unknown to the public, it is not a scandal. Scandal in English language has little to do with the fact, and very much with exposure. Article gets it right, as well as the dictionaries. Dimawik (talk) 22:40, 28 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Some of the definitions above clearly miss the exposure requirement - I have made a statement that these do not define the scandals we are talking about - and you agreed - good! None of the remaining definitions above require that the fact underlying the exposure is true. Some definitions indeed suggest otherwise (malicious gossip). Case seem to be closed :-) Dimawik (talk) 23:16, 28 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • You still don't seem to understand the difference between allegations and the content of allegations. If you consider the case closed, I will make the appropriate changes to the article.  Cs32en  00:23, 29 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Definitions of a scandal


A detailed definition of modern political scandals can be found in the book Political scandal: power and visibility in the media age by John Brookshire Thompson starting with page 13. In particular, he stresses the following attributes (emphasis is mine):

  1. transgression of certain values, norms, or moral codes
  2. elements of secrecy or concealement, although the transgressions are known or strongly believed to exist by non-participants
  3. some non-participants are offended by transgression
  4. some non-participants disagree with the transgression
  5. disclosure or condemntation may damage the reputation of persons involved

All said, it seems that the definition in the lead that allows the facts underlying the scandal to be untrue is OK. Note the strongly believed to exist part above. Dimawik (talk) 18:49, 29 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for your research on reliable sources on this issue! Something that exists may of course not be "known" to non-participants, but non-participants, in the absence of proof, may of course just "strongly believe" that it exists. The author of the book that you have quoted clearly states: "Some form of transgression is a necessary condition of scandal: there would be no scandal without it." (p. 14).  Cs32en  19:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
By the way, not only did you emphasize words that are actually not there in the original source, you also omitted the rest of the sentence that you have referred to. The complete item 2 reads as follows:
"their occurrence or existence involves an element of secrecy or concealment, but they are known or strongly believed to exist by individuals other than those directly involved (I shall refer to these individuals as 'non-participants');" (p. 14)
The words "occurrence or existence", of course, imply that the transgression actually did take place, and the wording "those directly involved" also presupposes the existence of actual transgressions.  Cs32en  19:38, 29 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I think that we really need the outside help - thank you for seeking one! I am not an expert in moral/ethics, so, although I stay with my opinion that it is obvious that the scandals do not require underlying accusations to be truthful and think that the source I quoted agrees with me, I will let other people provide their arguments. Dimawik (talk) 06:51, 30 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

What constitutes a scandal?


Outside help needed to build consensus on what the actual definition of "scandal" is. The discussion resulted from a controvery on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Climategate scandal Cs32en  19:58, 29 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I think that it must be considered to be a scandal by the community affected. Many events meet the criteria for scandal but are not considered as such. The definition above however does describe what factors are usually present, but I do not think in all cases any transgressions have occured, only that they are perceived to have occured. The Four Deuces (talk) 22:49, 29 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that the transgressions must be considered by the relevant community to be transgressions that significantly violate social norms based on moral values. In addition, they need to be known to the public, or at least the suspicion that they exist needs to be public. That's also what the source quoted in the section above is saying. Can you provide a source for your assessment regarding perceived transgressions? In the cases that you have in mind, does the description "scandal" refer to the (non-existent) transgressions or to the allegations?  Cs32en  23:27, 29 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I was thinking about incidents like the Paula Jones scandal where the story became a scandal before any of the allegations have been proved. In the Jones case the truth remains unknown. Since incidents often become scandals before facts are known it seems that it is the perception of wrong-doing rather than actual wrong-doing that makes something a scandal. By wrong-doing I mean what is seen as wrong by the community. The Four Deuces (talk) 01:18, 30 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your explanation. I agree that scandal can refer to something which is not proven, if there is sufficient belief that it is true. (Can you specify the article that you are referring to? Paul Jones is a disambiguation page.)  Cs32en  01:35, 30 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It's John Paul Jones, the famous one. Guessed wrong, but JPJ had a sex scandal of his own with truth certainly destined to be unknown forever. Dimawik (talk) 04:27, 30 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, Paula Jones. The Four Deuces (talk) 06:25, 30 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for clearing this up. (The relevant section in that article is Jones v. Clinton, as a neutral term, not "Bill Clinton scandal" or "Paula Jones scandal".)  Cs32en  06:33, 30 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
actually, I think the term "Scandal" should only be used historically, when reliable sources have had a chance to solidify whether it is a correct usage for a particular event. using scandal on anything resembling a current event is bound to be to volatile and political for inclusion in wikipedia. so: Watergate is a scandal; Clinton's affairs are a scandal, this thing with the climatologist's emails is not a scandal (yet), except in the minds of people who are politically opposed to them. in a year, maybe the word will have stuck. now it's just so much hot air. --Ludwigs2 17:49, 31 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I'd say a scandal depends on the amount of publicity it generates, true or not.Maarktime (talk) 20:38, 15 September 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This measuring stick would lead to subjects like "1969 Fake moon landing scandal" and "COVID-19 lockdown reign of terror scandal". It's extremely important that we take care as Wikipedians to not label every highly publicized controversy as a "scandal", especially if the underlying basis for the claims are easily disproven. - Hard thoughtful work (talk) 17:32, 22 December 2022 (UTC)[reply]

What's in, what's out?


Is this an article about scandals as a concept and phenomenon, or a catalogue of "notable" (or notorious, or exemplary, or scandalous;-) scandals? A bit of both, I guess. I think the article is badly in need of a fairly objective editing criterion as to which examples to include, and which not, and why. Just saying! I have no simple answer to offer.-- (talk) 21:36, 17 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Outrage ?


(1) The first paragraph of this article should be modified, in my opinion.

I submit that previous talk (see various above) about what a scandal actually is has not been resolved.

I do not think the article should define a scandal as being the accusations : rather a scandal is strong social reactions of outrage, anger, or surprise, when accusations are made about a person or persons (or when facts or rumours or falsehoods appear for some reason). These reactions are usually noisy and may be conflicting, and they often have negative effects on the status of the person(s) involved (my choice of wording, no reference proposed but easy to find in dictionaries).

(2) I think the word 'blatant' is un-necessary (perhaps inappropriate) and should be omitted in the third sentence of the article, which could be reformulated People may feel scandalised when they are suddenly made aware of breaches of social or moral norms or ... .

  • Reactions please : what say you ??

Should I modify this article's introductory paragraph ?
Can you improve on the suggested wording(s) above ? jw (talk) 20:21, 4 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

    • wikiPeople! react please !

please approve [or state that you don't disapprove] my above suggestions instead of simply looking at this and going away again !! [1 visit to this talk page on 4-nov = hardly any following my suggestion, among 72 watchers of this page]
thanks in advance jw (talk) 22:54, 9 November 2019 (UTC).[reply]

Inclusion of religious/theological context


There article could benefit from incorporating a heading summarising and linking to Stumbling block for a religious/theological perspective. IgnatiusofLondon (talk) 19:01, 26 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]