On 06/11/06, Virgil Ierubino <virgil.ierubino(a)gmail.com> wrote:
'Wikistalk' for short.
Thank you to whoever pointed out I'd missed a section on "Privacy"! Of
course, the wiki does not intend to be a "Wikistalk" - merely a collection
of information that would be publicly viewable anyway. See the brand new:
By your reasoning, the Yellow Pages should be called the Stalker Pages.
This is a major problem of the internet age. Lots and lots of
disparate collections of innocuous and useful information can be
pulled together, again entirely publicly, and have unforseen
cumulative effects. Before, if you wanted to track down information on
someone, it might have taken days or weeks of patient digging, social
engineering, this and that and the next thing. Now? One hour, maybe
fifteen or twenty dollars, and you have a name and an address and a
telephone number and a photo or three, maybe an email address or a
blog, &c &c.
Yes, the source data is all public, but the synthesis of that data is
new and - in many cases - the whole is far greater than the sum of its
parts. We're taking material from "public sources", which can be
anything from the phone book to directory entries... but it can also
encompass the websites which have a particular passion for "outing"
various groups of people, or the sex-offender registry, or court
Whether the collation of this information is "good" or "bad"
essentially depends on the motives of the user, and we have no way of
measuring that - you can usually spot a hatchetjob in an encyclopedia
article, but the end result on a site like this is indistinguishable
from a normal page!
Given the number of complaints we recieve about material like this on
en.wp, which *doesn't* encourage original synthesis or the publishing
of private information, I'm really not confident this project won't
just be a massive liability to us...
Yes, we can make people ex-directory. Yes, we can take them out if
they complain. But that's a reactive method - it relies on them
noticing and complaining, and by then the damage is done.
- Andrew Gray