On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM, aude <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM, geni <email@example.com> wrote:
>> On 18 February 2011 23:24, aude <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> > Heather Ford, a former Wikimedia advisory board member and
>> > in South Africa has written an essay, "The Missing Wikipedians" about
>> > systematic bias on English Wikipedia (especially) against new users and
>> > topics pertinent to Africa and other diverse places/people.
>> > As an example, she cites the English Wikipedia article [[Makmende]] and
>> > deletion request made, biting the newbie.
>> > http://hblog.org/2011/02/16/the-missing-wikipedians/
>> > Please read and discuss.
>> Author appears to be living in 2006 (deletionists vs inclusionists)
>> and apparently this represents a clash between the two groups:
>> Where in practice it's a pretty standard if rather one sided AFD.
> That was after the article was speedy deleted three times and the fourth
> time. They finally recreate the article with the edit summary "Introduction
> of this superhero character -- this is not vandalism"
> Then, Ethan Zuckerman blogged about this and chimed in on the article's talk
> page, surely drawing attention and support in the AFD.
>> > What might we do to help make Wikipedia a more
>> > welcoming place for newbies
>> Since they seem to be determined to read the listing on AFD process as
>> deletion not much we can do. Some changes to
>> perhaps but keeping it within the current length could be tricky.
>> >and for such diverse topics?
>> Drop a prompt to add sources into the article creation process and
>> make adding sources easy.
> Before speedy deleting, how about tagging the article for needing sources,
> leave the author a note on their talk page, and not be so quick to delete?
This is to some degree a question of balance in approach.
Every day, thousands of absolutely idiotic, non notable articles get
started that really have no point or hope. Every day, new page
patrollers find (most) of those, and they go "kerpoof". It would
largely be a waste of time to prod them, mark them "citation needed"
talk to the new user. The user never had any intention of
contributing legitimately to an online information resource /
encyclopedia, they're just trying to insult/promote/blab about their
We could emphasize a more positive engagement intended to get the
message to these people about what an encyclopedia is, what Wikipedia
is, and what contributions would be appropriate. But by and large
these driveby contributions aren't intended to really stick. They're
an advanced form of vandalism, and the perpetrators know it.
Every day, a few legitimate new articles (and every few days, one
about something Really Important, but that has not yet arrived at
worldwide consciousness) get swept up in that. And we lose valuable
new information, contributors, etc.
If we just turn the knob too abruptly, it makes newpage patrollers'
jobs too hard, and we start getting more "leakers" in the
article-as-vandalism category. Which is bad enough when it's
nonsense, but terrible when it's a BLP violation against some teacher,
principal, junior high school student whose rival is now claiming
falsely that they're gay and having sex with a teacher, etc.
This particular phenomenon appears to have hit an uncomfortable corner
of our verifiable information space - where it becomes notable outside
the western-oriented internet users usual comfortable horizon, and
appears in ways we can look up primarily in blogs and so forth, which
are generally not reliable sources.
We can turn that knob down some, but we've had plenty of vicious
vandals do things with disinformation campaigns by creating multiple
fake blogs and websites and then trying to get Wikipedia articles
changed to libel someone or do horrible BLP violations and so forth.
There are reasons why we have reliability filters on sources.
So - It's not just a matter of turning knobs. Our principles are
colliding, in a way that squeezes new phenomena and users associated
with them out of the encyclopedia.
It's not appropriate either to turn the knobs and just allow these
things in blind to the side effects that will have. It's also not
appropriate to ignore that those policies are making us insular. As
with the women-in-Wikipedia problem, it's complicated.
-george william herbert
foundation-l mailing list