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

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Sat Dec 23 16:12:46 UTC 2006


On 12/23/06, Sam Korn <smoddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12/23/06, GerardM <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > In the Netherlands in the second world war, people had to identify
> > themselves and always have their "persoonsbewijs" with them. At the end
> of
> > the war this was abolished. The Dutch government imposed itself by
> requiring
> > people to have a number and then to always be able to have some form of
> > identity with them. Many people resent this. I resent this. It is said
> that
> > it promotes security while in actual fact it makes government more
> > intruisive while it hardly helps .. mind you I have a background in
> > security.
> With the very greatest respect, Gerard, this is all a long way from
> putting a non-secret number after someone's username.  It's not even
> as if you couldn't go to a different wiki and use a different number
> if you wanted -- you'd only have to make a new account.

You do not get it do you. It is not about the number being secret. I am not
a number and I do not think it correct that people are equated with a
number. Reducing people to numbers is evil.

> The Wikimedia Foundation allows people to edit anonymously. This means
> that
> > for someone who wants to contribute there is no need to provide any
> > credentials. We ask people to create a user because it HELPS to assess
> if a
> > contribution is likely to be vandalism or not.
> Well, that's *one* reason...  There are others --
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Why_create_an_account%3F
> > The current policy will, when the English language Wikipedia insist in
> > keeping it, effectively sabotage the Single User Login.
> You are again spouting untruths.  1) There is no reason the English
> Wikipedia will insist on keeping the policy; 2) there is no reason why
> SUL will be sabotaged because almost everyone thinks SUL is a good
> thing _including en.wikipedia users*.

Using words like "spouting" is not really helpful. It shows disrespect. You
have not read what I wrote correctly; it says clearly that WHEN it is kept,
it sabotages SUL. Please read what is written and react to that.

The proposal of
> > Anthere is a neat proposal because it effectively allows for metrics
> about a
> > user. This information provides much better information than a number
> and it
> > does not have the big cultural problems associated with it that numbers
> > have.
> Yes, some kind of user metric system would be useful.  Perhaps each
> wiki could have a tag that can be applied to a user to designate them
> "trusted" and the software could say "this user is trusted on
> en.wikibooks, fr.wikiquote, de.wikinews and th.wikipedia".
> > The other thing that I have noticed is that in the proposals it is only
> the
> > people from outside the English language Wikipedia who are forced to do
> > things.
> Is there evidence for this accusation other than your polemics?

Clearly, the people not from en.wikipedia have to use Latin script. They are
told to accept numbers, they are told to accept transcriptions /

Admins who go overboard in their heavy
> > handed zeal of fighting vandalism get a blanket excuse because ``they
> mean
> > well``.
> As an en.wikipedia Arbitration Committee member (though not for much
> longer) I can tell you that this is absolutely not true.

But when people implement what is "universally" considered a broken policy
then it is perfectly ok because it is in the policy right ? In the thread
this excuse was used repeatedly.

The suggestion of loading fonts is laughed at because it is seen as
> > an imposition.
> No, it is seen as an *unnecessarily burdensome imposition* to *demand*
> of users.  To expect people to read usernames in languages they don't
> understand or even pronounce is also an imposition.

We disagree here. In order to not see question marks, little blocks, you
need to install fonts. It is likely that you can not pronounce my name. It
is a fallacy to think that knowing how to read Latin script makes you able
to pronounce words in a different language. Seeing a name, a word
originating from another language gives you a handle, by installing fonts
you get a handle. If people do not do this, it is THEIR problem. It should
not mean that it is ok for them to roll their problem over onto others.

> All in all, my conclusion is very much that, yes people say that the
> policy
> > is wrong, but no they do not want to accept that things will change.
> Which is, of course, why there is a current discussion on the subject
> of en.wikipedia's username policy.
> This
> > leads me to conclude that people in the English language Wikipedia see
> > themselves as a rule onto themselves and will not really consider the
> > arguments of others.
> Of course we are.  You've got us at last.
> Will you please stop your inflammatory, unpleasant and baseless rhetoric.

You find the arguments unpleasant, it does not mean that they are wrong.
Calling these arguments inflammatory and baseless means that you do not
recognise that I put serious effort in making my case. It demeans me and in
effect you thereby deny that I argue in good faith. It is fine when you find
it unpleasant. This is an unpleasant affair for me too.



> Sam
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at wikimedia.org
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

More information about the foundation-l mailing list