[Foundation-l] English Wikipedia ethnocentric policy affects other communities

Aphaia aphaia at gmail.com
Wed Dec 20 18:29:54 UTC 2006

Japanese editors around me is worried when they would be forced to
change their username and thought SUL as the Coming of such Latin-name
age. They worried with sadness to cast away their familiar accounts
which some of them have used for years or cannot choose good
alternation of their current username. For them, introduction of SUL
is equal to application of English Wikipedia naming policy. I would
like to say English Wikipedia community blocked one of foundation wiki
editor permanently only because his account wasn't in Latin and he had
a good history of edits for years. For my eyes the current "fighting
vandalism" on English Wikipedia is beyond the limit of common sense.
Before doing such rude and unthoughtful action, they could have
checked his contributions or user page.

And I would like to say the editor I introduced on the above is not
the first one who was blocked from this reason and forced to change
his username. I know another editor who was blocked permanently and
then was asked to change username. I think it is not a kind
persuasion. I wouldn't like to call their "request" voluntary. They
are not happy and feel treated as second citizens. One of such editors
came to me and said (in Japanese); I am accepting the fact the fact
preferences of English community takes over after all." That is the
result of what English Wikipedia is doing. Result of their
ethnocentric and rudeness.

Shifting to the general issue, As Gerald said, I am afraid "changing
user name with latin literation" is not a good idea from two reasons -
1) if they want, they would have done so already; Commons folks may
know Searobin, a Commons admin; his account on Japanese project has no
Latin character part. If they don't now, it could mean they don't like
so - most of them prefer to keep consistency of username on several
projects. And generally forcing someone to change their username in
that reason is not good. If we are going to recommend a modified
signature, it is fine for me and perhaps for others. 2) We have no
reason all Wikimedia editor know Latin-character. It would not make a
sense to have a username consisting in two parts, but nothing of them
cannot read for the editors. Latin-script using people may think that
too theoretical, but it could happen. Specially for young people in
non-Latin script language world, or rather illiterate folks. I am
afraid from this reason your idea is still Latin-character-centric.

I would like to point out the English Wikipedia rejected my proposal
for asking those people to render such combined signature. I thought
it a compromise but they didn't. So I am afraid, Neil,  you are better
first to go to them and persuade them to think compromise and
improvement. Now they are driving other communities even to folking.
It would be bad and disrespectful if we persuade non-Latin script
account editor to change their signature and after they follow, again
go to them and say "sorry, it couldn't be a comparison. You should
alter your username or just go away".

On 12/21/06, Neil Harris <usenet at tonal.clara.co.uk> wrote:
> Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> > Neil Harris schreef:
> >
> >> Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>> Neil Harris schreef:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> Gerard,
> >>>>
> >>>> The problem does indeed occur symmetrically, and while I phrased my
> >>>> reply in terms of making non-Latin names unambiguous on
> >>>> native-Latin-script Wikipedia editions, you might want to re-read my
> >>>> comment, and notice the bit that said:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> Of course, to avoid any appearance of linguistic imperialism, the same
> >>>>> facility should be available for users with Latin-script names to add
> >>>>> transliterations in other scripts.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>> -- Neil
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> I can only say that I disagree.
> >>> Thanks,
> >>>
> >>>       *ゲラルド・メイセン*
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >> Gerard,
> >>
> >> Given that you disagree with both of my suggestions of possible
> >> solutions for the script-incomprehensibility problem, perhaps you could
> >> suggest a better solution to the problem, preferably one that does not
> >> involve the users of every Wikipedia learning to be literate in every
> >> writing system supported by Wikipedia?
> >>
> >> -- ኒለ ሃሪሰ
> >>
> > Hoi,
> > There is no solution that suits both of us. I disagree with the stance
> > that people have to change their name in order to accommodate. When
> > people are happy to do that it is ok. When they are forced to do this it
> > is not ok. The key is that the user uses ONE script and is allowed to be
> > him or herself. Given the amount of people around there is no chance for
> > you to know if someone is ok even in Latin. You will have to check their
> > talk page and/or edits. This applies here as much.
> >
> > I did not react to the number game because I utterly dislike it.
> > Remember, this is the Wikimedia Foundation where people are allowed to
> > edit anonymously, and you propose to reduce people to numbers.. :( We
> > are talking here about people from other projects. These people that
> > also go to the English language wikipedia should be treated with respect
> > and not with suspicion.
> >
> > When you need a signalling system that someone is probably ok, then you
> > can think of all kinds of metrics that could be applied. Reducing people
> > to a number is ugly, requiring people to change their name is ugly.
> > Creating a system with metrics is ugly. To me it is the best of a bad
> > bunch. The saving grace of metrics is that it can be applied to everyone
> > with equal justification.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >     GerardM
> >
> >
> I'd be interested in the opinions of some of the native-language users
> of non-Latin scripts on this list about this idea, rather than having
> Gerard imagining what they might think.
> I'm not asking the (fictional) Takeshi to change his name, just to make
> it intelligible for others. If he's participating on en:, he is
> presumably able to read/write English. By extension, I'd like to be able
> to extend the same courtesy to others were I to participate on ar:, he:,
> zh:, ko: or jp:, rather than just assuming they could read English, and
> again I would hope that I would bother to learn to read/write
> Arabic/Hebrew/Chinese/Korean/Japanese respectively at at least an
> elementary level, before trying to make any non-trivial edit to those
> Wikipedias.
> For example, on ar: or am:, I'd rather that people didn't think of my
> own Latin-script name as "bunch of funny Latin letters I can't read and
> can't tell apart". Likewise, if my name was 武, I believe I'd much
> rather have other, non-Japanese-literate people on en: (ie. nearly all
> of them) think of me as "Takeshi", rather than as "yet another
> unintelligible squiggle".
> And again: nothing I'm proposing involves hiding anybody hiding their
> own, preferred spelling of their username in the script of the choice,
> just adding an extra tag to let others be able to read, pronounce and
> remember it. In effect, my proposal offers each user more personal
> choice, not less, since it offers them the ability to choose their
> preferred name in each script, without hiding their true, single, chosen
> unified username.
> Incidentally, a possible third option, instead of numeric tags, would be
> offer by default a machine-transliterated version of their name, if they
> don't choose their own: but this might be ugly, and providing machine
> transliteration code/tables for all script/language combinations will
> probably be too much to expect.
> It may be that my ideas are completely wrong; but not having a solution
> to the name-confusability problem is not an option because of the
> vandalism problem. Can anyone come up with a better solution?
> -- Neil
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KIZU Naoko
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  * Nessuna poesia prima di noi *

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