Ravishankar <ravidreams(a)gmail.com> [2014-05-20 21:24:56 +0530]:
None of the community members and FDC knew about the
popular existence of
the user name The Solipsist and that is the reason HPN highlighted that it
is a new account in Meta.
There are multiple new accounts on Meta that participated in the
Yet, mine was the only one of which HPN asked whether it was created
solely for these discussions.
Or, you could have at least declared your professional
affiliation when HPN
HPN did not ask for my professional affiliation. He asked me if my "ID
been created for just this discussion?"
And when you differ with the
community's view point, FDC could have judged its merit keeping in mind
your professional affiliation.
Please don't reduce a heterogeneous community into a homogeneous one
which has a single view point for me to differ from. I responded to
specific people's comments, agreeing and disagreeing with them; I did
not differ from "the community's view point".
I request you to link both user accounts now and let
us leave it to the FDC
to decide if anything could be considered lobbying.
Could you please point to:
a) any intervention made by me where I have supported the CIS proposal:
b) the rule that prohibits "lobbying" in the sense that you're using
I see that many are complaining about the noise,
personal attacks and
trolling in this list and elsewhere.
Yes, a hostile environment created by a small minority is not good for
the larger community.
I hope that the fact Wikipedia itself is
irrespective of all such issues can be appreciated.
No, I do not appreciate the hostility on Wikipedia. The truth is there
are many people who are driven away from Wikipedia's hostile environment:
From a blog post by Sue Gardner:
4) Some women don’t edit Wikipedia because they are
conflict-averse and don’t like Wikipedia’s sometimes-fighty culture.
There is lots of evidence to suggest this is true.
“My research into the gender dynamics of online discussion forums found that men tend to
be more adversarial, and to tolerate contentious debate, more than women,” said Susan
Herring to a reporter from Discovery News. “Women, in contrast, tend to be more polite and
supportive, as well as less assertive … and (they) tend to be turned off by
contentiousness, and may avoid online environments that they perceive as contentious.”
This assertion is supported by women themselves — both those who don’t edit Wikipedia,
and those who do:
“[E]ven the idea of going on to Wikipedia and trying to edit stuff and getting into
fights with dudes makes me too weary to even think about it. I spend enough of my life
dealing with pompous men who didn’t get the memo that their penises don’t automatically
make them smarter or more mature than any random woman.” 
“Wikipedia can be a fighty place, no doubt. To stick around there can require you to be
willing to do the virtual equivalent of stomping on someone’s foot when they get in your
face, which a lot of women, myself included, find difficult.” 
From a commenter on Feministing: “I agree that Wikipedia can seem hostile and cliquish.
Quite simply, I am sensitive and the internet is not generally kind to sensitive people. I
am not thick-skinned enough for Wikipedia.” 
“From the inside,” writes Justine Cassell, professor and director of the Human-Computer
Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, “Wikipedia may feel like a fight to
get one’s voice heard. One gets a sense of this insider view from looking at the “talk
page” of many articles, which rather than seeming like collaborations around the
construction of knowledge, are full of descriptions of “edit-warring” — where successive
editors try to cancel each others’ contributions out — and bitter, contentious arguments
about the accuracy of conflicting points of view. Flickr users don’t remove each others’
photos. Youtube videos inspire passionate debate, but one’s contributions are not erased.
Despite Wikipedia’s stated principle of the need to maintain a neutral point of view, the
reality is that it is not enough to “know something” about friendship bracelets or “Sex
and the City.” To have one’s words listened to on Wikipedia, often one must h
debate, defend, and insist that one’s point of view is the only valid one.” 
“I think [the gender gap] has to do with many Wikipedia editors being bullies. Women tend
to take their marbles and go home instead of putting a lot of effort into something where
they get slapped around. I work on biographies of obscure women writers, rather under the
radar stuff… contribute to more prominent articles makes one paranoid, anyone can come
along and undo your work and leave nasty messages and you get very little oversight.”
“I used to contribute to Wikipedia, but finally quit because I grew tired of the “king of
the mountain” attitude they have. You work your tail off on an entry for several YEARS
only to have some pimply faced college kid knock it off by putting all manner of crazy
stuff on there such as need for “reliable” sources when if they’d taken a moment to
actually look at the reference they’d see they were perfectly reliable! I’m done with
Wikipedia. It’s not only sexist but agist as well.” 
 Source: Cristen Conger, Discovery News, Is There a Gender Gap Online
 Source: From a discussion at Pandagon titled Chronicling the Abuses
 Source: From a discussion at Metafilter titled Wikipedia, Snips &
Snails, Sugar & Spice?
 Source: Commenter, Feministing, Quick Hit: Only 13% of Wikipedia
Contributors Are Women
 Source: Justine Cassell, New York Times, Editing Wars Behind the Scenes
 Source: A commenter named Joyce at the NPR blog, commenting on the
Eyder Peralta post Facing Serious Gender Gap, Wikipedia Vows To Add More
 Source: A commenter named Sabrina at the NPR blog, commenting on
the Eyder Peralta post Facing Serious Gender Gap, Wikipedia Vows To Add
More Women Contributors
Research presented in Wikimania 2013 by Netha Hussain, Jadine Lannon,
and others on the gender gap in the Indian Wikipedia provides further
evidence in this regard.
So let us focus on the real issues instead of viewing
the community with
the following attitude.
One person maketh not the community and the community cannot be reduced
to one person. Please do not expand the objections I took to one
instance of one person's engagement as applying to the whole community.
I do also believe that one should not feed the trolls nor engage with
trollish behaviour (the latter can be exhibited even by people who
aren't trolls per se).
I agree with you: let us focus on the real issues.
Access to Knowledge Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
M: +1 520 314 7147 | W: http://yaleisp.org
Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org
PGP ID: 0x1D5C5F07 | Twitter: https://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash