I think it's worth noting that there have been only 3 language hoaxes in
Wikimedia history (that I'm aware of) and only one of them was approved and
created as a Wikipedia.
- The earliest hoax was a person or group of people who filled the Nauruan
Wikipedia with text in a conlang or fake language. The Nauruan Wikipedia
already existed at that point, so this wouldn't have been prevented by the
current LPP anyway
- The Siberian Wikipedia
- Some users attempted to create a Seri Wikipedia in what is clearly not
Seri and is rather some fake language or conlang. It is still in the
incubator (!) but was never approved.
Yes, caution is a good idea, but essentially we are limiting digital access
to linguistic communities that are often already marginalized, due mostly
only to the bad-faith actions of the Siberian Wikipedia clique 12 years
ago. Note that Siberian isn't even in Ethnologue. There has to be a better
I hope the members of the language committee can find a balanced middle
ground that empowers minority language communities while also giving the
appropriate weight to considerations of possible bad faith attempts to
create projects in the wrong language or fake languages. (It does give me
pause that in the Seri case, if it had made it to approval, the fake Seri
users could have caused harm to a real language community).
On Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 6:21 AM Steven White <koala19890(a)hotmail.com> wrote:
I'm happy to wait for your proposal, Amir. Still,
if there is something
that is going to require LangCom approval, there needs to be something in
the proposal that compels LangCom to act within a reasonable time frame.
Yes, we're volunteers, but so are the people who are creating the projects
in Incubator (etc.), and they deserve not to have to wait a year.
I will also add that as long as I'm not so frustrated with the system that
I can stay active, I do watch the active tests on Incubator. Yes, it's
possible for me to be fooled by a hoax, as I don't usually read the
languages involved. Still, as long as Incubator/Beta/Old Wikisource are
being monitored, it needs to be a pretty robust hoax on the concerted part
of a reasonable number of contributors in order to make it all the way to
the point of approvability.
Finally, then, is the tradeoff between avoiding hoaxes and being
responsive to new-project communities. The chances that such a community
is a good-faith community that is being hurt by delay are probably much
greater than the chances that such a community is a hoax community. So
while I think we need a chance for our due diligence, we should not be
allowed an arbitrarily long time to do that due diligence, either.
Sent from Outlook <http://aka.ms/weboutlook>
*From:* Langcom <langcom-bounces(a)lists.wikimedia.org> on behalf of
*Sent:* Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:00 AM
*To:* langcom(a)lists.wikimedia.org <langcom(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
*Subject:* Langcom Digest, Vol 70, Issue 12
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2019 08:52:07 +0300
From: "Amir E. Aharoni" <amir.aharoni(a)mail.huji.ac.il>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Language Committee
Subject: Re: [Langcom] Proposed amendment to LPP (was: Final approval
for four projects)
No verification at all and simply assuming good faith after some arbitrary
time is asking for trouble. There already were cases of hoaxes in the past.
Not many cases, but they did happen, and we're talking about a whole site,
even one case is major trouble.
HOWEVER, I absolutely do recognize that we have unnecessary and harmful
bottlenecks in the approval process, and because of that I'm working on
another proposal that will ease up at least some of these bottlenecks.
I've just came back from Wikimania, and I'm immediately going for a
vacation until the end of August, but after that—expect surprises,
hopefully good ones.
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
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