On 7/2/07, Steve Summit <scs(a)eskimo.com> wrote:
and no-one is going to insist on a banning if
there is some incredibly
important reason why one must be linked to under some bizarre and
unforeseen turn of events.
But those turns of events are not, in fact, so bizarre or unforeseen.
Yeah, they pretty much are. Rare events, and generally involving
wiki-drama, not actually building an encyclopedia.
I'm not talking about wiki-drama, I'm talking about hypertext.
Wikipedia is a website. Websites link to each other. It turns
out it's an incredibly powerful and useful concept. If whenever
we're talking about something said on site X -- whether this is
in an RFC or Arbitration case, or a topicality debate in project
space, or wherever -- and if site X happens to be on a secret
list of Sites One Must Not Link To, such that instead we're
supposed to use circumlocutions like describing the site in
words, or emailing a URL, instead of just making a hyperlink
like Time Berners-Lee intended -- if we insist on going through
this cutting-off-our-nose-to-spite-our-face exercise, just so we
can feel good about not "endorsing" a site that has (perhaps
egregiously) wronged one of our editors, that's just an
incredibly frustrating and pointless waste of time.
You claim that
the blanket ban is acceptable because reasonable
people can decide to make exceptions if necessary. But why go
that route? Why not say that links -- to any site, anywhere --
which serve as attacks, are attacks, and are banned under NPA?
Why not let reasonable people realize that this is a sufficient
policy, that will disallow all the troublesome links just as
effectively as the blanket ban would? What additional protective
power is gained by proactively applying the blanket ban?
Well, let's say one links to the front page of an attack site, which
doesn't actually contain any attacks, but just links to all sorts of
other pages that do.
I wish you'd answer the question. Why do we need a blanket ban?
How does it prevent Personal Attacks (in ways that WP:NPA can't)?
How does it help us build an encyclopedia?
Is it worth
What cost? I've seen none so far.
An illogical, censorious policy exacts a significant (albeit
intangible) cost in that observers are left with the impression
that our policies are driven by emotion, not logic. One begins
to trust and respect our policymaking process less. Furthermore,
one illogical policy can easily beget another, and another.