On 2/27/06, Fred Bauder <fredbaud(a)ctelco.net> wrote:
On Feb 27, 2006, at 7:41 AM, Tony Sidaway wrote:
Should Wikipedia provide an official-looking
don't think so.
And just what is the basis for that crabbed view?
I'd hardly call it "crabbed". Wikipedia isn't a football site and it
isn't really intended to be used to promote rivalry between football
fans, nor would it be in our interests to do so. Templates used in
this manner give the false impression that it is, and also draw focus
away from the encyclopedia and onto external issues.
As there is nothing that can be included on a template that an editor
cannot say much better in his own words, the *only* reasons for using
a template instead would be for social networking on the basis of
shared interests. Such shared interests should be justifiable on the
basis of utility to Wikipedia. Where knowledge of a language and
interest in football may be justifiable, partisanship such as football
teams, political parties and beliefs, don't serve that purpose at all.
All that a "Manchester United fan" template tells you is that its
owner prefer that team to others.
Would we permit a WikiProject with membership restricted to Manchester
United fans, socialists, vegetarians, muslims or Roman Catholics?
Looking at WikiProject Islam and its associated projects I see that
they are very careful not to exclude non-Muslims from membership. The
Judaism and Christianity projects are the same.
Using userbox templates, people with partisan interests can bypass
this restriction, and the Catholic Alliance deletion debate showed
just how effectively this can be used to disrupt Wikipedia. Nearly
every single person in that debate who voted to keep the page did so
after the page's creator spammed his talk page with a plea to vote to
keep the page.
If the neutrality policy is to remain our cornerstone, we must avoid
giving the impression that it doesn't really mean anything.