The more I think about it, the more I agree with the
first. I find it
harder to assume good faith when someone blatantly states their strong
This depends--context is everything. For instance, I'm libertarian,
but I've edited [[Libertarianism]] because I like to pretend I know
something about the subject. In the interest of full disclosure I
might mention that I am libertarian, which might unknowingly color my
contributions. If I edited a lot about politics (I don't), I might
want to outright state, "Here are my biases, if they get in my way
let me know and help me improve."
If someone's pushing a POV, you can tell from editing patterns alone.
On the other hand, if someone is making valuable, good-faith, albeit
biased contributions, it's a lot easier to assume good faith when
they say straight out "here's my bias, if it shows in my
contributions too much feel free to correct."
Someone says "I am anti-abortion", then
proceeds to edit pages
pertaining to abortion - what are you going to assume? That he's there
to fix typos?
This might surprise you, Steve, but people with a strong interest in
something generally have an opinion about it too, and vice versa.
People usually edit articles about their own interests, after all.
Abortion in particular is the biggest issue where people's opinions
tend to create blind spots. Pro-lifers tend to fail to understand and
appreciate abortion-choice arguments while abortion-choicers tend to
fail to understand and appreciate pro-life arguments, and no one
seems willing to acknowledge that the other side holds their opinions
in good faith. It's these blind spots which make it utterly crucial
for us as editors to be open with one another about our biases so we
can correct one another's mistakes.
For the same reason that we don't allow strong POV
(AntiAbortionCrusader etc), shouldn't we discourage stating of POVs on
Not if we want to get an encyclopedia written according to the
neutral point of view.
Philip L. Welch