Fred Bauder wrote:
I shudder to contemplate what Mr. Goodman wants for
If a pack of dogs fall on someone after he and his ilk are in control,
I guess we will simply be obligated to stand by and do nothing.
Fred, with all due respect, this sounds uncomfortably close to
the fallacious arguments that keep being made in support of the
failed BADSITES policy.
1. "Site X has been doing unspeakably horrible things to Wikipedia
editors, so obviously we need to ban hyperlinks to Site X."
2. "If you disagree with this ban, I guess you condone those
#1 is fallacious because it is not obvious that banning links is
an appropriate or effective remedy. #2 is fallacious on its face.
I get the impression -- and I'm sorry if this analysis offends
anyone -- that the primary motivation behind blanket link bans
goes something like this:
Site X (Encyclopedia Dramatica, Wikipedia Review, Wikitruth,
whoever) has done something unspeakably horrible. Unfortunately,
what they've done is not actually illegal or anything. Also,
there's absolutely nothing we can do to stop them, because
they're not a site that's under our control. But we *must* do
something, we must punish them somehow, we can't stand idly by
and do nothing, because silence = assent, and we have to show the
aggrieved Wikipedia editors that we care, that we're absolutely
*not* going to let Site X get away with this.
So we apply the only sanction we can, which is: ban links to
those nasty, nasty folks. "And if you don't stop being nasty,
we'll... ban links to you some more!"
But there are several problems here: banning links to them is no
"punishment" at all. It doesn't hurt them, it doesn't stop them,
it doesn't make their information any less accessible. All it
does is makes some of us feel a little better.
And it also exacts a significant price, because making blanket
bans against all links to a certain site, for any reason, is a
draconian, censorious rule without precedent in the five pillars
or anywhere else in Wikipedia policy (that I know of).
Unthinking blanket bans do hurt the project. They shouldn't be
necessary, if the activities they ban are already proscribed
by existing, less-draconian policies (i.e. WP:NPA, minus the
controversial "attack site" wording). They make it difficult or
impossible for people to make reasonable exceptions. And they
(the bans, that is) are just about guaranteed to end up being
bandied about in unintended, abusive ways.