Wikipediocracy’s List of Demands

Every time I witness the almost reflexive reaction of some Wikipedians when the word “Wikipediocracy” comes up in polite conversation, I’m left in disbelief. To some, we might as well be talking about a full-fledged terrorist organization. I checked; they’re not. Despite all the doxxing, shit talking, personal attacks, and scandalizing they do over there, the guys and gals on Wikipediocracy are pretty fucking smart, and they spend much more time than a lot of Wikipedians might realize actually talking about ways to improve Wikipedia. In fact, some of the worst perps provide some of the most productive comments if asked. Early on in my Wikipediocracy days, I created a new thread and asked a very simple question: What would you do if you were emperor of Wikipedia for a day? That thread was several pages long by the time I left. Initially, I promised to send the list to Lila after I had collated and cleaned it up a bit. Alas, it was a promise I felt I could no longer keep around the 857th time someone told me how freaked out everyone was that I might be providing some special channel to Lila. Sorry, Wikipediocrats, my eardrums just couldn’t take it anymore. What these concerned Wikipedians haven’t realized is that Lila doesn’t pay attention to me all that often. In fact, she never bothered to read anything I put online until she started getting briefed on every comma I would post to Wikipediocracy by WMF staff. So, who knows? Maybe she’ll get briefed on this list, too. As you go through these solutions, please keep in mind that I do not necessarily support solutions on this list; they are suggestions from one or more Wikipediocrats that I have collected, hoping that more Wikipedians will see what Wikipediocracy is all about when they are in the zone constructive-criticism-wise.

Policy

  • Comprehensive Child Protection Policy across all projects with no volunteer triage
  • Comprehensive Harassment Policy across all projects with no volunteer triage
  • Acceptable Content Policy for Commons
  • Policy-streamlining task force, whose mission is to eliminate redundancy, bloat, size, and quantity of policy, including, but not limited to, policyish essays such as “WP:DUCK.” “WP:ROPE,” “WP:DICK,” “WP:DIVA,” “WP:DENSE,” etc. to create one Standard Guidelines document.

Content

  • Article accuracy above all else
  • Article quality, including pertinence, clarity, concision, comprehensiveness, and style, along with appropriate success metrics
  • Call out articles on a company or organization that have been edited by principals, employees, or agents of that organization with a potential Conflict Of Interest
  • Acknowledge the amount of adult material on Wikimedia projects and comply with all applicable laws and rulings for the jurisdictions under which it is collected and distributed
  • Establish a workflow to ensure that content problems are promptly addressed
  • Address article ownership by the WikiProjects
  • Redesign the main page with more relevant content and a more engaging design
  • Prepublication review of all article submissions by at least one other editor
  • Articles that attain Featured Article and Good Article status should be vetted by experts and kept in a “stable” state with a badge or banner calling them out, backport critical updates if necessary, creating a reference version alongside an unstable, possibly more up-to-date version
  • Quality control initiatives in cooperation with academic institutions
  • Reduce systemic bias for developed nations and dedicate more effort, funds, and awareness to developing nations
  • Consider new sister projects of Wikipedia that are appropriate for children and/or optimized for accuracy
  • Establish editorial boards with the authority to resolve content-related disputes
  • Opt-in, or even opt-out, search filter on Commons for potentially offensive or age-inappropriate material
  • Guaranteed reliability and quality of medical articles as a public safety measure, along with a prominent disclaimer

Governance

  • Annual or biennial election of all advanced permissions, including but not limited to admin, project admin, bureaucrat, checkuser, and steward
  • Admin tools more easily granted and taken away
  • Eliminate “founder” status
  • Allow for content editors of a given category to petition for independent administration
  • Whistleblower complaints process with anonymity protection for the whistleblower and no intervention by admins
  • Amnesty for all blocked editors, except for those blocked threatening violence or raising child-protection concerns
  • Make checkuser logs publicly searchable by target, checkuser, and mandatory policy-backed rationale
  • Every block automatically forwarded for appeal via random selection of any three admins, who are to review the evidence at hand, including violated policy, relevant diffs, and an explanation for the block with no interference from the blocking admin

BLP

  • Opt-out BLP Policy for people of marginal notability
  • End anonymous editing on and add pending changes to certain sensitive articles like BLPs and commercial enterprises

Chapters

  • Comprehensive review of chapter grant program and mission
  • Define the purpose of chapters, establish reasonable governance to facilitate that purpose, and limit each chapters’ activities to that fill that purpose

WMF

  • Biennial election of WMF Board of Trustees
  • Discontinue the Wikipedian-in-Residence program
  • WMF employees hired with arbitration experience to replace AN/ANI/ARBCOM and other drama boards, who can also police the admins
  • Raise average pay for employees at Wikimedia HQ to SF Bay averages or above to attract top-notch talent
  • Programs of outreach to active editors who are not active in governance to make them aware of decisions they can help decide in community-wide votes
  • Programs to build trust with the larger community
  • Hire staff at the WMF who have credentials and experience in information science, knowledge management, machine-based text recognition and content recognition
  • Review priorities of all current and future engineering projects in collaboration with the community, along with potential features going forward
  • Be honest about financial status during fundraising

Alternatively, Just Fork It

  • A Wikipedia 2.0 fork administered by an international academic umbrella organisation that gradually takes on real editorial responsibility for the content

Again, I do not necessarily support all of these demands. More accurately, these are less demands than suggestions. Good suggestions on the whole, as far as I’m concerned. And I hope that after you’ve seen the brighter side of Wikipediocracy- and you’re one of the 3 Wikipedians who isn’t already lurking, if not posting there- to take a closer look at the site. That said, there is a threatening aspect to these solutions. It’s no secret that Wikipediocracy can inflict great harm on the project. Of the last 100 controversies, I think that Wikipediocracy and/or Wikipedia Review have been responsible for researching and publicizing about 100 of them. So, I’d say it’s less of a threat than a statement of the obvious: if Wikipedia doesn’t start addressing its biggest issues with some solutions like those above, the folks at Wikipediocracy will continue to publicize Wikipedia face plants that result from continually punting on them. Ultimately, we should address these issues because it’s the right thing to do. But if we can’t motivate ourselves to address them any other way, we should remember that Wikipediocracy has given us all fair warning with many precedents of what will happen if their demands are not met.

,Wil

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53 thoughts on “Wikipediocracy’s List of Demands

  1. Stas says:

    I think it may make sense for WP to look into what StackOverflow is doing. Their reputation based community management seems to work, is more transparent and upfront, and allows to both for people to contribute without too much bureaucratic hassle and for content to be reasonably clear and policed.

    Like

  2. wllm says:

    Welcome, Stas!

    There are some great technical solutions here. I’m wondering if some of the resistance to adding features like there is the wiki ideology shared by many Wikipedians. The idea seems to be that wikis can do almost anything. The problem is that it does most of these things really poorly. Have you ever tried to use a wiki as a forum? That’s all they use on Wikipedia. After a while you get so used to it, that it almost seems as if it’s not complete insanity. 😉 In general, the community is a lot less receptive to technical solutions than one might think.

    Moreover, there is major social dysfunction. Many Wikipedians have invested in the status quo. It isn’t that hard for a small group of Wikipedians to bring a proposal to a standstill. It’s asserted somewhere that “Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy.” Sometimes it seems like it’s an experiment in anarchy, however.

    It’s not all that different from the php-internals dynamic (for those of you who don’t know, Stas is a big shot developer on PHP itself), that has held up innovation there for many years. I hadn’t thought about this before, but the WMF has about as much influence on the Wikipedia project as Zend does on PHP. I think that the WMF continually underestimates its influence and ability to make unilateral decisions. When Zend really wanted PHP 5 to happen, they just pushed it until it was done. Of course, you know more about that story; I could be off.

    Has the PHP project looked at fixing its governance issues? It seemed like Hip Hop might be popular enough to finally motivate people who have been dragging their feet.

    ,Wil

    Like

    • martijnhhoekstra says:

      Hi Wil,

      Interesting points. Some notes (written from my mobile, being a non native speaker, please allow me some badly flowing sentences and grammatical and spelling errors)

      you say you don’t support all points you list here. Could you tell which points you do support? Here is a list of things I don’t agree with makes for an awkward argument.

      Like

      • wllm says:

        Hi Maritijn, welcome! The point I made about not necessarily supporting these solutions is that they aren’t my arguments at all. These were gathered, collated, and distilled from points made on a very long thread I started while I was participating on Wikipediocracy. I felt it was important enough to say that twice. 🙂

        As for my personal opinion, I don’t think that anything in this list is unreasonable. Some items are impractical, but the question I asked to launch the thread was even more impractical, after all. It may be necessary to tackle governance (which no one I’ve met has claimed is as good as it could be) as a first step.

        On the other hand, I believe that the policy issues around children are the most urgent by far. We have to do what we can to protect the most vulnerable in our community or cease all outreach programs and any other form of encouragement for minors to use Wikipedia. It’s not morally, ethically, or- in some cases- legally right to bring children to a site that has not done everything possible to ensure their safety. I also believe that the Wikipedia project can’t afford to ignore this population; these will be the editors of the future. The rest of the issues brought up here strike me as important, but none of them pack as much urgency and importance as child protection policy.

        ,Wil

        Like

        • Hey Wil,

          Child protection is a tricky subject for sure. From my perspective, the English Wikipedia is doing a fairly decent job in it, but perspectives may vary. I certainly agree that the English Wikipedia is not a website children should use unsupervised – nor is Simple English Wikipedia by the way, or Commons, and my guess would be are other projects are not much better.

          That doesn’t mean that I agree with you that Wikipedia shouldn’t be used by children at all. I’m not aware of any current projects that engage in outreach initiatives aimed at children that you think should be ceased – but they may exist. And if they do, I certainly support them, provided they are well designed. I would for example very much support a classroom project that educates children and parents about Wikipedia. For example, it should definitely teach that as an encyclopedia it contains unfiltered sexual, violent, gory and deeply disturbing content. I somewhat naively expected that this would be obvious, but apparently it isn’t. It also isn’t always clear that for each page, there is a small chance that it will contain vandalism with unsuitable content – take for instance the moment the userpage of Ironholds held Badmachines comments. Most of that content lives very briefly, but some may be present for longer, sometimes much longer. That also means there is a small but non-zero chance that a page that was previously OK, isn’t OK at the moment of viewing. Aside from that, I also think it’s a good idea to discuss reliability issues, and articles that may push a point of view by having a negative or positive spin on some subject. Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to also touch upon the often abrasive and sometimes unwelcoming community, as well as that as much care must be taken in communicating with strangers as in every other online community. From my perspective that definitely is a morally and/or ethically right thing to do. As such, I can’t see your comment that you believe any outreach and encouragement must be completely banned relate to your comment that Wikipedia can’t afford to ignore this population, if you don’t believe there is any suitable interaction of Wikipedia with children.

          There is a lot more that can be said on the issue, on possibly even more that already has been said on the issue, but for a comment to a blog post, this is all I have on the subject for now.

          You also say that you don’t find any suggestions on the list unreasonable. I have to disagree with that. I won’t be as elaborate as above, but as a quick shot round of a few that I see grave problems with.

          • Allow for content editors of a given category to petition for independent administration
          • Address article ownership by the WikiProjects

          I see a problem in having both those above at the same time.

          • Amnesty for all blocked editors, except for those blocked threatening violence or raising child-protection concerns: I see no reason whatsoever to unblock users that are long term recently active vandals
          • Stop wasting donors’ money in grants to the chapters: Did you stop beating your wife yet? Many grants are very successful. Some grants aren’t. If reports show a bad history the FDC has been quite stringent in further grant requests.

          • Biennial election of WMF Board of Trustees: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections

          Best,

          Martijn

          Like

          • wllm says:

            I’m gathering all the current child protection policy across the projects for a new post. Stay tuned.

            Here’s one example of a project that seems to be put together out of a subset of the English WP and is vetted for appropriateness for children: http://schools-wikipedia.org/. It looks like that’s aimed at a particular curriculum, but one could imagine a more comprehensive project to create an encyclopedia that is safe for all ages based on Wikipedia. While there might be more restrictions on that project, such as prepublication review, it might be worth the effort to involve this population as much as possible in the project.

            I think that outreach programs to children and other potentially vulnerable groups, like female editors, are completely moral and ethical if we’ve done everything we can to ensure their safety. From what I’ve seen, this could not be said of many of the current Wikimedia projects. But there certainly could be policy changes made to these projects, or sister projects like the one I just mentioned, that would make them very welcoming and safe for everybody. I’ll admit that it strikes me as strange that there would be projects like Wikivoyage, Wikinews, and Wikiversity, when we still haven’t created an encyclopedia that a child can safely use unsupervised.

            Like I said before, this list is built from the suggestions of dozens of Wikipediocrats, and Wikipediocrats don’t all agree on every issue. Wikiprojects is a subject that I haven’t seen come up there very often. When it has, I never got the impression that there was consensus on whether it would be better to scale back or double down on them. It sounds like some Wikipediocrats lean one way and some the other. I haven’t gotten involved with a Wikiproject yet myself, so I can’t really agree or disagree with either viewpoint.

            There are more comments on the idea of amnesty on my user talk page. This is a very controversial issue. I definitely see how wholesale amnesty for banned editors would be a non-starter for a lot of Wikipedians. I have to learn a bit more about the difference between indef blocked and banned, long with how these decisions are ultimately made to ensure justice, before I could weigh in on this one. I do know that there are some very talented editors out there who feel like they were unjustly blocked or banned and who now spend most of their time criticizing WP instead of contributing to it. This seems like a lose-lose situation to me.

            “Did you stop beating your wife yet?” I really don’t know what you mean by this. In English, “beating your wife” means physical spousal abuse. That is something I don’t take lightly, and I don’t see how it fits in to this discussion. I’m gonna take a pass on this one until I get some clarity from you on this.

            Are all of the Board seats up for election every 2 years?

            Thanks.
            ,Wil

            Like

          • martijnhhoekstra says:
            • I’m gathering all the current child protection policy across the projects for a new post. Stay tuned.

            Awesome, looking forward to it.

            I was unfamiliar with schools-wikipedia, but if they are using curated subset of the content of Wikipedia, which is suitable for children. That seems like a great project – but it’s not the project that Wikipedia is. Having content available to read, re-package, curate, aggregate and maybe even sell is what Wikipedia is all about. Other project that are also worth while can take advantage of that content. That could be under the MWF umbrella (though sell wouldn’t be in that list then), or completely unaffiliated with Wikipedia or the WMF like I think schools-wikipedia is (though I’m not sure if they’ve gotten some support from Wikipedia or the WMF. They may well have had, but I’m completely unfamiliar with the project). We have sister projects because people started them. We don’t have a curated content childrens Wikipedia because nobody started it. I’m sure many would find such a hypothetical project a great idea, and you could see if you can get a group of people to get it off the ground.

            The amnesty project and the difference between an indef block and a ban is really too long for this forum, but I’m happy to continue it elsewhere. It’s quite rare for someone who has been banned, and requests an un-ban after half a year or a year of not violating the ban to have their request denied, but getting them denied is certainly not unheard of. Talking in generalities in these cases, while it is the general case that matters, tends to be hard. It’s much easier to find a specific instance, and work outward from there. Test the case. If there is someone who is banned, and wants to be unbanned, and meets the criteria of not having violated the ban, and not being banned for the issues you mentioned request an unban, and see what happens.

            “Did you stop beating your wife” is the prototypical example of a loaded question (it’s the standard phrase, like “no real Scotsman” for the, er, no real Scotsman). By answering either yes or no, the suggestion that the person was beating their hypothetical wife stands. “Will you stop wasting donor money in grants to the chapters” has the implication grants to the chapters are a waste of money. Sure, some programmes haven’t been a success. Those programmes have been shut down, and new programmes where there is a legitimate fear that money is badly spent are not approved by the WMF.

            Not all board seats are directly elected. From heart, of the 9 seats, one is Jimbo, 3 are directly elected, 2 are elected by the chapters and recently the thematic organisations, and a further three are indirectly elected by the rest of the board for specific expertise. If it’s about the indirectly elected members, you could change the suggestion to “remove the members elected by the directly elected board members and make all the seats on the board directly elected”. It sounds less sexy, and has less of an implication that the current situation is outrageous though.

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          • wllm says:

            Hey Martijn, I’ve run in to a lot of Wikipedians who are interested in the idea of a simpler and safer version of Wikipedia for children. I’ll definitely see if there is a core group with enough interest to take on a project this large. First, tho, I’m going to take a close look at existing child protection policy to see what is necessary to ensure that children are protected while participating in a project built for them. Maybe such a project would have its own child protection policy that involves authorities earlier on in the process. Again, more soon.

            It sounds like a case-by-case review process would be more practical than total amnesty. I’ll update this item to include both. I wonder if the current process is sufficient. Your description makes it sound pretty ad hoc. Then again, maybe ad hoc is sufficient for the number of editors who request an unblock/unban.

            I haven’t heard the expression before, but you’re right that this item is phrased as a loaded question. I’ll rephrase it.

            As far as board seat elections go, I need more clarity from some of the WO guys/gals. I’m not 100% sure what the person who suggested this was after, and I didn’t know enough to ask. Please, if you suggested this, let us know if you meant all board seats or something more like what we have now.

            ,Wil

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    • John Lilburne says:

      If an experiment in Anarchy someone has misconstrued what that means. In an Anarchist collective there is still a leadership but that the leaders change from activity to activity and command the respect of the collective. It also presupposes that the collective is reasonably small, as mostly leadership is contingent on expertise in the activity being undertaken. All of which is impossible on that site, as it is too large, and anonymity makes it impossible to judge whether someone has relevant expertise, thus what you get is an entrenched power structure.

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    • dutyp47h says:

      About this idea: “WMF employees hired with arbitration experience to replace AN/ANI/ARBCOM and other drama boards, who can also police the admins”

      For about $1,000.00 per person Wikipedians can get study online for abitration certification from Mediators Without Borders: http://www.mediatorswithoutborders.com/product/24-hour-arbitration-certificate-training/. I have not looked at this agency’s reputation. IMO any training is better than no training. If someone cannot pass a course in arbitration, they shouldn’t be an arbitrator.

      Training WP people to become certified arbitrators makes more sense to me than trying to teach a professional arbitrator about WP, then paying them to arbitrate disputes.

      Another body may need to be created to investigate admin conduct.

      Like

    • Stas says:

      Thanks for the welcomes 🙂 I think wiki is going towards “eating your own dogfood” direction – but this is good only if this leads to dogfood quality being constantly improved, not to “eating something better than our dogfood is blasphemy”. E.g. wiki format for discussion is rather weird. I’ve never really discussed anything on wiki, but I imagine it’s pretty hard to lead any serious discussion there. Not impossible, but much harder than necessary. Multithreaded forums are much better in this case, or something like LiveJournal (yes, this is still alive 🙂 is doing.

      I think Wikipedia is an experiment in crowd governance, whether they want it or not. They don’t have a choice – they have a huge site, they have a crowd, there will be governance, one way or another. The only choice is how it would look like – ranging from Lord of the Files to a dictatorship. I am a libertarian, but not anarchist, so I think Wiki powers-that-be do not do enough to make Wiki an attractive community. Maybe it’s intentional – maybe they want only people motivated enough to take the heat to be staying in the kitchen and others to just leave. But for me it sometimes just look very unattractive. Of course, since I’m not an insider I realize there’s also a “man bites dog” kind of bias.

      Speaking of PHP, google “phpng”. Big things are starting to happen, and Zend is doing some exciting stuff. Like speeding up PHP by 25-30%. And PHP 6 thing seems to be starting off, albeit slowly. And there are other interesting things that may happen soon about which people were talking for years but nobody did it – so now somebody is. People start doing things instead of saying “somebody should do things”, which is awesome. Somewhat ironically, I think doing stuff there is better than discussing governance – and while I wish we could have some Council of Elders of PHP that could take Decisions, I think we’re figuring a way to do it without it. At least Wiki has WMF, so they should be able to do more in the governance arena.

      Like

      • wllm says:

        I think that Mediawiki would actually make a lot of sense as a CMS. Certainly more sense than WordPress, judging by the lineage. But I’ve recently had some experience with the Mediawiki code base. It looks like what it is: an old-school PHP app. There is an extension API that I haven’t looked over much yet. In the end, tho, I could imagine a richer set of more easily installed extensions (if it isn’t app-store easy, it isn’t easy enough) that could turn it in to a much more widely used powerful CMS. It is good at one thing: managing collaborative content. Stuff like threads, etc. that are needed for a forum are pretty easy to build on top of it.

        I think one of the problems with the approach Wikimedia has taken to building on top of wikitext is that they haven’t demonstrated new value to existing users. It might make sense to break the ice by finding some of the biggest pain points of raw wikitext usage and address that.

        As far as the WMF, I could just as easily say that “at least PHP has Zend.” At the end of the day, PHP contributors would like to move forward. AFAICT, it has been cool enough with them if Zend takes leadership as long as it doesn’t abuse it. After all, if Zend won’t take leadership, who will? Rasmus seems to have no interest.

        I believe the Wikipedian community is the same way. As long as the WMF doesn’t abuse it, the community will let them lead. The key difference is in what “abusing” means in each context. For PHP, it mainly has to do with deciding what will go in to a release, which often is associated with a long debate about the architectural approach. Like Wikipedia, for a long time no one seemed to care, and that’s why the PHP API’s are notoriously inconsistent. Like some PHPers, some Wikipedians seem to be concerned about change in general. This is the hard part of taking leadership in both projects. Most people will go along with a change, and some won’t. Now the leader is left with the decision of how much consensus is needed, and how to structure the change to reach it. Finally, the hardest part: telling those who don’t want to go along that it’s going to happen anyways and not caving in while also not losing them as community members. Judging by their past behavior, I wouldn’t give the WMF passing grades on any of these skills. You and I both know that Lila is incredibly good at all of these things, however, so there is hope.

        From one libertarian to another, you know that it’s all about government to protect individual liberty in society. And that means making laws to do so, but with the strong guiding principal. All the same, liberty happens to be one of those incredibly subjective words that gunks up the gears of governance. Sometimes I wonder if everyone is a libertarian, completely at liberty to disagree with what everyone else thinks of as liberty.

        ,Wil

        Like

  3. Tim Davenport /// Carrite /// Randy from Boise says:

    As somebody who has been around Wikipediocracy since its creation, this post does indeed sound like a good general summary of the various views there. Readers here should bear in mind that WPO is not a monolith and just as Wil doesn’t agree with everything, chances are that no regular WPO poster or site insider agrees with everything above either.

    In general, there is a widely-held scorn for Wikipedia’s anti-expert culture, a fairly common belief that whatever excellent content is there is written by a few people and “degrades” over time as less competent individuals participate, and a broad distaste for the way Biographies of Living People are handled. There is an almost universal believe that Wikimedia Foundation wastes money at an alarming rate and that its managerial staff, particularly in the area of software development, lacks basic competence. There is general agreement that Wikipedia’s internal decision-making structure (based on free form Requests For Comment and ArbCom to resolve intractable behavior issues) is defective.

    There is sharp division over whether the existence Wikipedia is a good thing at all, although a big majority accept it at least as a fact of life.

    Some of these concerns are no doubt overblown or wrong.

    tim

    Liked by 2 people

    • wllm says:

      That’s a good point. And certainly different Wikiopediocrats will comment on some causes and seem more or less indifferent on others.

      One that seemed particularly prominent while I was there is Child Protection Policy. There was only one member who openly dissented on this issue, which I believe took some courage as many people there seem to be very concerned with this topic. I got the impression that, if the WMF were to ever regain the trust of the constructive Wikipediocrats, it would be by taking leadership on this issue. Of course, others here have been active on WPO for much longer than I have- including tim, if I’m not mistaken- so they may have a better idea of what a consensus prioritization of these solutions might look like.

      ,Wil

      Like

  4. Vigilant says:

    Awww Wil,

    I’m disappointed.
    You call me a perp, but never define my crime.

    Now I feel like a serial killer without a manifesto.

    Let me pose a question to you, “Who have I negatively engaged with who didn’t deserve it?”

    Wikipediots, feel free to name names for people I have unfairly wronged.

    Like

    • dutyp47h says:

      I’ll chime in though you addressed Wil.

      You are law abiding and you’re a valuable Wikipedia critic.

      Some people think you’ve done some doxxing.

      What do you consider doxxing? Who would you dox, or reveal private information about, and who wouldn’t you? If you can legally obtain and publish information about someone, when would you and when wouldn’t you?

      Wil wrote that some of his private information was posted by someone, not necessarily you, and it made him uncomfortable. Doxxing can make people who don’t deserve it concerned about their safety.

      Like

      • wllm says:

        I can say that the only incidents of significant concern were with Vigilant posting our private information which could be used to compromise our safety. Reading his motives would be about as accurate as reading tea leaves, but considering his follow up suggestions, I suspect that paradoxically Vigilant is very concerned about the safety of others.

        He just pretends that he doesn’t care for some reason. He’s not the only Wikipediocrat who maintains this pretension. I can say for a fact that many of the most abrasive people on Wikipediocracy are projecting internet personas that don’t remotely match their considerate, likable, and welcoming RL personalities. So, Vigilant, what do you say? C’mon, ya big lug. Join us all for a group hug over here. 🙂

        ,Wil

        Liked by 1 person

        • Vigilant says:

          I posted the output of a google search that listed his address.

          Let’s repeat that with more words for the slow.

          I put his name into google, hit search and out popped his address. I posted that. It was redacted quickly.

          In subsequent searches, I found all sorts of interesting and, frankly, unpleasant things that I did not post.
          Anyone in contact with WO management can verify this.

          I then spent a ton of time telling you EXACTLY how to regain some of your privacy and what to do for personal security. It’s very, very strange that you didn’t mention these.

          Like

          • dutyp47h says:

            Fair do’s. Earlier Wil wrote about you in reference to his private information, “more often than not it came with some solid advice on how to make it harder to figure out.” He wrote it below.

            How broad is “unpleasant things?” No criminal wrongdoing, I’d expect.

            Like

      • Vigilant says:

        I’m going to inline this comment since the reply/indent seems to be making readability approach zero. WMF Flow perhaps active here?

        >What do you consider doxxing? Who would you dox, or reveal private information about, and who wouldn’t you? If you can legally obtain and publish information about someone, when would you and when wouldn’t you?

        When the person in question has been a real asshat to people who can’t fight back. When they revel in their untouchability. When they torment those who can have no real response. When they’re evil. When they’re rampant hypocrits. In almost all other cases I take a pass.

        You don’t see me doxxing random people from WP. You don’t see me doxxing admins who try to be reasonable. You don’t see me doxxing people who don’t shit on other people regularly.

        >Wil wrote that some of his private information was posted by someone, not necessarily you, and it made him uncomfortable. Doxxing can make people who don’t deserve it concerned about their safety.

        It was his address from a google search. It was probably unnecessary and was quickly redacted with my tacit approval.

        Show me these imaginary people who I have doxxed that did not deserve it.

        Like

    • Neotarf says:

      Vigilant’s “tits or GTFO” remark, along with the fact that it caused no comment whatsoever, was a pretty good indication that Wikipediocracy has an even bigger gender gap than WP

      Liked by 2 people

      • wllm says:

        This is a great point. I’ll admit that I had to look that one up when I saw it. The definition I saw indicated that it had outgrown its original meaning to basically lose the tits part and and become more or less synonymous with the GTFO part. In the context of the conversation, this was clearly the way Vigilant was using it.

        It isn’t going to play well on many people’s ears; and I imagine it could make for a more hostile environment as far as many women are concerned. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m one of the people who saw it and didn’t comment. I apologize for that. No matter what some online internet meme dictionary says about the current meaning and usage, it is definitely demeaning to women.

        ,Wil

        Like

      • Vigilant says:

        This is a vein of pure internet stupid right here.

        It’s a meme. It means show me the evidence or shut up.

        Not everything is to be taken hyper-literally.
        What are you? 12?

        Like

        • dutyp47h says:

          I’m not crying, “Vigilant’s misogyny is horrible. He’s a sexist!” You chose your meme. There are legitimate reasons to dislike that meme.

          Not the biggest fish to fry, by a long shot.

          Like

        • wllm says:

          OK. Then “you are a chicken shit for not betting your eyebrow. Must I bust out the bok-bok song again?” That’s an internet meme I just made up for “Hey, how’s the weather where you’re at?” 😀

          ,Wil

          Like

          • Vigilant says:

            I’m not sure of the etiquette here. Am I supposed to launch into a maudlin sing-a-long decrying your lack of sensitivity to the chickenly-abled?

            Like

          • wllm says:

            RE: chicken etiquette. I don’t know. Let’s hear what the chickens have to say about it:

            You’re welcome to sing-a-long if you’d like. 😛

            ,Wil

            Like

    • wllm says:

      Disappointed that I called you a perp, or I didn’t give you credit for your many “crimes.” 😛

      To be clear, Vigilant has never broken the law while I was there. He will almost invariably throw out the sharpest, most offensive, and- I’ll dare say it- most entertaining comments when people he feels deserve it come up. It shouldn’t be surprising that most of those people don’t feel that they deserve it themselves.

      The worst incidences of doxxing WRT me and my family were certainly Vigilant’s doing. I’m sure he meant nothing wrong by it; in some cases he was making the point that the information was too easy to get, and more often than not it came with some solid advice on how to make it harder to figure out. If Vigilant didn’t take it down first, the moderator swooped in and did it for him. It didn’t really make me feel uncomfortable. But it certainly would make many others uncomfortable under the same circumstances.

      I’ve been doing a little reading up on Wikipedia Review and Daniel Brandt. It seems doxxing on that site may have been much more common, and that Daniel Brandt may have been the worst doxxer of them all by a wide margin. If this practice is a hold-over from WR, I suggest avoiding it unless absolutely necessary to expose abuses on-wiki. Many consider doxxing one form of cyber-bullying or harassment.

      As as dutyp47h alluded to, we should get back to the reason for bring you up Vigilant. You are simultaneously one of the worst offenders when it comes to. . . offense, I guess. . . and one of the most cogent Wikipedia critics. In fact, it was your list of solutions that kicked off that thread, and it ultimate was the list that I built off of to come up with what’s in this post.

      Vigilant is a person of extremes. I’d encourage everyone who may find what he says a bit too colorful for their liking to stick it out for the less common moments of constructiveness. He’s makes it all up ++ at these times, IMO.

      ,Wil

      Like

      • dutyp47h says:

        Didn’t Daniel Brandt dox to force Wikipedia to remove his not-especially-notable BLP, an otherwise reasonable goal? I seem to recall he doxxed an innocent bystander. Did he renege after negotiating terms to remove his dox of someone? Daniel Brandt was complex, not a simple bogeyman.

        Vigilant’s critiques are exceptional. He’s not a bogeyman, either.

        Like

        • wllm says:

          I know little about Daniel Brandt, beyond his article in ED. It seems that he might have doxxed a very highly respected WP and WO contributor (and I’m among those doing all the respecting), causing great harm to that person and their loved ones. Of course, the ED article is, like so many other articles on ED, essentially an attack on his character and very biased description of events. IIUC, Mr. Brandt took ED on directly, and that probably resulted in a particularly nasty article.

          Beyond that, I don’t know him, I don’t know why he isn’t on WO, and I don’t know if his doxxing behavior was as bad as ED lets on.

          No doubt there are others reading this with more knowledge of the situation. They are more than welcome to chime in if they think that it will add to the discussion. I’ve gotten the impression from some Wikipediocrats in the past that the less said about Daniel Brandt, the better.

          ,Wil

          Like

          • dutyp47h says:

            I think there was a détente that didn’t last. That situation exemplifies how doxxing can cause IRL harm.

            Like

          • John Lilburne says:

            Doxxing has the advantage of both amusing the troops, and annoying the opposition. It is a gross conceit to think that anyone on WP needs to be anonymous.

            Like

          • Vigilant says:

            I don’t know Daniel Brandt. Never met him, never emailed him, never spoke on the phone, etc.

            Daniel Brandt enduring taunting for years from wikipedia insiders.
            They polluted his article with all sorts of terrible lies and laughed when he tried to get it removed.
            People from en.wp went to Encyclopedia Dramatica and made an article there, complete with the picture of a child molester as his supposed portrait. (https://encyclopediadramatica.es/Daniel_Brandt) Still active.
            They defamed him in every possible way and defied him to do anything about it.

            That all changed when he started doxxing them.
            Hivemind went up and WP players started going up on it.
            Name, birthdate, location, employment and a picture.
            Brandt was pretty damn good at unearthing these things.

            Then the long howls of OUTING were heard around the hallowed halls of WP.
            How dare he?! HOW. DARE. HE!?!

            After 14 (?) AfDs, his article was finally deleted and salted(?)
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Daniel_Brandt_%2814th_nomination%29

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Brandt
            Note the voluminous deletion logs.
            Go back through the AfDs and note the number and viciousness of very, very highly placed wikipediots saying horrible, horrible shit about Brandt. On and on and on… FOR YEARS…

            Nobody at WP gets to cry about getting exposed. Ever.

            Like

          • wllm says:

            RE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Daniel_Brandt_%2814th_nomination%29. “Urinary tract infection”? Damn. And I thought it started getting personal with me.

            ,Wil

            Like

          • Re: Urinary tract infection: if you look at the history of that page it reads “To make matters worse, all bios run the risk of either being vandalized, or of containing information in the history that the person would prefer to not be online (sort of like the time you got a urinary tract infection, which is true, but you’d prefer to not share it with the world – and is your right to not have to live-down 24/7)” as a hypothetical example of something that may be true, but doesn’t have to be shared with the world on a highly public page. I don’t see how you think that’s “getting personal”.

            Best,

            Martijn

            Like

          • wllm says:

            Sorry, my mistake RE: urinary tract infection. I didn’t realize it was hypothetical, but I’m very glad to find out it was.

            ,Wil

            Like

        • John Lilburne says:

          So how about the kids that have WP BLP articles that document whether they go to a special school, when they can use a knife and fork, etc? How about the celebs which have documented throat infections? How about the life section of Alfred Gilbert, look carefully at the second paragraph, can you see what the real story is? Hint look just above that section and to the right. The focus of WP editors is screwed towards the private and personal, it is everywhere.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Vigilant says:

        Disappointed that you accuse me of something yet lack the sack to back it up.

        Open post to anyone reading here: Show me someone that I hassled who didn’t deserve it.

        Throw down, boy.

        Like

        • wllm says:

          O, I’ve got sack to spare. And eyebrow, for that matter. 😉

          Me and Lila. When you didn’t know the first thing about us. And most recently that I can remember Kevin Gorman, who, despite our both strongly disagreeing with him, only one of us brought up his huge misshapen head.

          The problem here is that I could cite any number of things you’ve said that taken on their own would look like hassle- maybe even harassle. But everyone who spends a bit of time reading what you’ve got to say knows that this is just the way you say stuff. Like someone who might see “Tits of GTFO” and think that you are some misogynist, yet everyone who has read more than a dozen of your posts is aware that it’s just another meme out of your repertoire of thousands. But I’m sure you’re also aware that without this context- hell, even with this context plus some- you can be offensive.

          In the end, you care. That’s what’s important.

          ,Wil

          Like

        • Stas says:

          Deserving is an inherently subjective matter. I think it is completely plausible that you believe everybody you wronged, offended or hurt deserved it and then some. Most people, except for small amount of extremely disturbed people, believe that. The question if it is true depends on how infallible you are, how little you are subject to cognitive biases common among lesser folks and how your judgment can never be clouded by your emotions, your physical and mental state or just a bad burrito you had last night. I think any discussion on this subject would very quickly converge to what “deserve” means. You’d keep your beliefs, everybody else would keep theirs.

          Like

  5. Edward Trunk says:

    And I thought you had deserted us Will. My mistake, excellent post. Not everyone would agree with everything, but most of us at WO would agree with most things. Excellent, and brave of you.

    Like

  6. wllm says:

    Thanks, Edward. No, I’m never going to desert you guys and gals. I just won’t participate directly on Wikipediocracy. I’ve already told everyone I’d very much like to stay in touch, and most are reciprocating, including- thankfully- you.

    My not participating on Wikipediocracy is actually for the best. There is positive change that I can make on-wiki, even though I have no formal authority there. I can help voices to be heard that would be either immediately dismissed or, worse yet, suppressed. Eventually many voices would be cut out of the conversation entirely through bans on-wiki or at conferences.

    You saw how many people tried to undermine my own voice by saying or implying that I was blindly pushing the Wikipediocracy agenda. On my own talk page, a very prominent, moderate, and, in my experience, reasonable Wikipedian suggested that I was in part responsible for everything that is said on Wikipediocracy, which is of course, total bullshit. Every Wikipediocrat knows that I strongly disagree with some of the things that are said and done on WO or by Wikipediocrats. But WO has gained such notoriety on-wiki that everyone who openly participates on WO and WP is well aware of the consequences of doing so no matter who you are or what you’ve done for the project. I’m not intimidated by these consequences for my own sake; you guys and gals over at WO know that I can stand up for myself. What bothers me is that I can’t stand up for others. I can only support them. With the WO association, people that I support will transitively be associated with WO, and that isn’t OK with many of them.

    In any case, change won’t happen overnight. But as long as WO keeps on keeping on, I do the same, and, most importantly, others start speaking up, I think we’ll start to see a difference in the not-too-distant future.

    Best.
    ,Wil

    Like

  7. wllm says:

    Sorry all, I had to remove a bunch of comments with personal information that was not entirely mine to share. My apologies.

    ,Wil

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Neotarf says:

    Hmm, tried to post a comment here and got the message “sorry, this comment could not be posted.” Wonder what that’s about.

    Like

    • wllm says:

      I wonder, too. It’s pretty common for programmers to display generic error messages like this as a catch all for technical errors. I get a lot of messages like this from WordPress when my wireless is dodgy.

      ,Wil

      Like

    • Neotarf says:

      Okay, I wanted to make some further comment about the “tits or GTFO” meme, and I thought I might have triggered some edit filter. I will proceed in stages.

      Like

    • Neotarf says:

      So.

      The “tits or GTFO” meme. What you need to google is “there are no girls on the internet”. The meme implies that any user with a female name is really a man trolling to flirt with other men. Also that any actual women present will be using male names to prevent harassment. It further perpetuates the abusive environment by demanding that any woman posting comments be subjected to sexual harassment as a condition of participation.

      I don’t understand where Vigilant’s “what are you 12 years old” comment is going. Is he trying to suggest that there is some maturity test to be passed by harassing women? At any rate, other users backed down quickly enough, once it was clear they themselves might be subjected to ridicule. No wonder something like only 8% of WP’s editors are female.

      Does the NAACP engages in cutesy lynching memes? No way. Does the JUF consider ashtray jokes to be funny? Hardly. The presence of the “tits or GTFO” meme on any site is a dog-whistle signal of a site that is hostile to women.

      What you see here is a prime example of “systemic bias”. There are not enough female editors to counteract this phenomenon on Wikipedia. This will have to come from the top down. Other sites, like MetaFilter, have already dealt with this “hostile workplace” phenomenon; their paid admin staff removes this type of comment routinely.

      Like

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