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

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Fri Dec 22 13:59:51 UTC 2006

Sam Korn schreef:
> On 12/22/06, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Do you want to reply to this?
>> You cannot remember all known good editors as it is (see the reply of
>> Andre Engels). It is therefore a non-issue.
> No, perhaps not.  But you can remember a good proportion.  The
> "whitelist" doesn't have to be permanent.  It only has to persist as
> long as one session of editing.  I can remember which users need to be
> looked out for and which users are making good edits at the time I'm
> doing RC patrol.  That is quite comfortably manageable.
>>> And users who aren't admins who want to do this kind of work?  I
>>> started anti-vandalism work within a couple of months of joining
>>> en.wikipedia.  I didn't become an admin for seven months.  I would
>>> probably not have bothered if I'd had to search out my XP disk and
>>> install fonts, when I was far less computer savvy than I am now.
>> If this is what it takes to do the job.. it this is what you find it
>> necessary to do.. You will.
> I don't understand what you mean.  If you're saying that you intend
> that everyone who wants to occasionally HELP OUT the wiki by doing RC
> patrol should install all these fonts for languages they don't
> understand, you're living in a world completely disconnected from
> reality.  We don't make huge demands of our users before we allow them
> to fight vandalism.  Indeed, all they need to do is provide a user
> name and a password.
> What about the non-tech-savvy people?  What about those who edit from
> public computers?  Do you intend to discriminate against them?
What about them? Is it an excuse to discriminate against people who use 
their standard user name? I think you do not appreciate that 
discrimination is exactly what this is about. You are quite happy to 
discriminate against people who use their Single User Login. It must be 
all right because it makes things easy for you.

So if people do not install fonts they see blocks or question marks. 
This will effectively have the effect that people will eventually want 
to install fonts. That is not a bad thing. As to public computers, it is 
reasonable to ask the proprietors of these public computers to at least 
install the fonts that come with the operating system that they run.
>>> But to all intents and purposes, they are anonymous, in that few
>>> admins will a) be able to read and b) be able to remember and
>>> understand usernames __even if they install the fonts__.  That is the
>>> issue that you haven't grasped.
>> Andre Engels answered this better than I have.. There are so many known
>> good editors that it is impossible to remember them all. There are too
>> many. So as it is already not possible to do this for Latin, the issue
>> is not made worse.
> So, in other words, ?????? is just as good as ผู้ใช้:ธวัชชัย.  So
> people needn't bother installing fonts, because no-one can remember
> people's names.
> Of course, there is absolutely no difference at all between
> recognising a name in Latin and Thai, for example.  It's equally easy.
>  And hey, even if it isn't, we might as well not bother trying to make
> things easier for people.
Well no, when you have ผู้ใช้:ธวัชชัย and ยชชธช้:ใผ you can notice that there 
is a difference. The find function of your browser will be quite able to 
discriminate between the two. Without fonts installed you will not be 
able to make this distinction this way. If making things easy is an 
excuse for discrimination then by all means. But do not be surprised the 
extend that people outside of the English language Wikipedia community 
find it problematic to discuss issues where POV is an issue. At the 
Belgrade Wikipedia meeting this was exactly one of the issues raised. I 
am sure you can find the presentation where this was expressed.

By being less then welcoming, by approaching people as suspect you kill 
the goose that lays the golden eggs. Yes, there is vandalism to an 
extend that we do not have elsewhere, but at the same time the resources 
of the English language Wikipedia are equal to none.

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