On 5/2/07, Ken Arromdee <arromdee(a)rahul.net> wrote:
On Wed, 2 May 2007, David Gerard wrote:
we *have* a
process for deleting articles that are legally questionable. It's called
[[WP:OFFICE]]. Out of process speedy deletion is not it.
I believe (a) that's
process over product (b) your views are
completely at odds with the way things actually work, and you should
consider that maybe that's not horrifying.
It's not at odds with how things work in cases like this, because there aren't
a lot of cases like this. Following process is more important when there is
And following process is important, not as "process over product", but
because it means some accountability, even if only that whoever follows the
process risks losing credibility if he/they publically stand behind a bad
decision. *Not* following process in controversial cases like this is a
way to avoid blame for mistakes.
Following process is also less subject to a slippery slope; one big out of
process deletion may lead to others in the future, each one just a bit harder
to justify, until the whole thing collapses.
If deleting something illegal is "out of process", process is broken
and should be ignored. (And possibly changed. Either way, the result
should be the same.)
I see posts further in the thread going on about how admins can't be
trusted to determine what's illegal. This is no argument, however, for
not requiring that what actually is illegal shouldn't be deleted. If
someone makes a mistake in judging that, correct it. The world doesn't
end if something is down for a few hours or a few days that in the
long run shouldn't be.
Look, I'm no fan of the DMCA anti-circumvention rules; neither, I
suspect, are most of us. But Wikipedia is not a venue for unrestricted
free speech or for copyfight activism through civil disobedience;
that's just not what we do. We're a venue to create an encyclopedia
under a free content license, as an alternative to the content only
available within the current heavy-handed and wasteful system of
copyright, and we're actively trying to encourage more content be
created with the same freedoms -- which people on all sides of these
disputes should be able to support.
Hosting illegal content doesn't help us do that. Doing so would only
give fodder to the people who want to accuse us of being bad citizens
or socially irresponsible, and we depend on the perception that we're
trying to act responsibly within the current system to have some of
the leverage that we have in encouraging the creation of free content.
The community deletes things it believes to be illegal and always has,
though it strikes more of a nerve in some cases than others.
To the extent that Wikipedia is fighting the current system of
copyright, we do it through making alternatives viable -- accepting
only free content that can't legally be locked up with DRM, using only
formats that don't require proprietary software or patent licenses.
That method is weakened if people try to take on the current system
head-on through the site, also.
"To enjoy freedom, [...] we have of course to control ourselves." --
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