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

Neil Harris usenet at tonal.clara.co.uk
Wed Dec 20 23:53:58 UTC 2006

Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> George Herbert schreef:
>> It is also unacceptable for dedicated vandals to show up, register an
>> account whose visual depiction is not at all distinguishable from the
>> accountname of an existing administrator or long-time editor due to the use
>> of similar ISO characters, and then go on a vandalism rampage which gets
>> blamed on the normal admin.
>> We had this happen a week ago with an omega character substituted for an O.
>> I've seen it done with 1/L and 0/o.  Someone tried to impersonate me with
>> one letter dropped; I'm suprised they didn't do the 1/L thing instead.
>> There are some very nasty, creative people out there.  If you start enabling
>> them to cause more trouble, you are a problem.
>> I'm all for multiculturalism, but this issue HAS to get looked at and
>> thought about.  That does not mean that en.wikipedia may not end up just
>> having to abandon that policy in the end, but if we do that there's going to
>> be an opening for vandals to impersonate us.
>> We might have to do something like go from (username) to (username, ID#)
>> tuples to ultimately get around this, which is terribly ugly.
> Hoi,
> With Single User Login, this scheme will not be possible anymore .. a 
> user is THAT user and no one else can impersonate him by having the same 
> user. So the basic argument here is incorrect. It will no longer be 
> possible and, this whole ugly affair demonstrates admirably that we need 
> SUL as soon as possible ..
> PLEASE BRION .. get this over and done with.
> Thanks,
>     Gerard

Not entirely impossible. There are plenty of cross-script and 
within-script spoofs (consider "caxap" in Cyrillic vs Latin, and spoofs 
involving 1/l or I/l etc.) that will still need stopping with the 
antispoofing filter rules. I believe that the antispoof filter deals 
with these OK, but running SUL on en: will be a serious test of its 

I _think_ Brion is taking this into account as part of the SUL merge.

-- Neil

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