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

Robert Scott Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sun Dec 24 23:10:54 UTC 2006

Ray Saintonge wrote:

>As important as vandal-fighting may be, and as dedicated as some may be 
>to that task, it is also useful to avoid a police mentality where the 
>innocent are victimized for the sake of catching the miscreants.  One 
>needs to accept that some streakers will run around the football field a 
>little longer than others. 
>The strict blocking policy catches too many innocents.  The Earls of 
>Efficiency who engage in such tactics look for technical solutions that 
>allow them to enforce rules while neglecting mitigating circumstances.  
>They make no effort to find out why something happened, and are no 
>different from traffic cops who ignore assumptions of good faith to meet 
>their quota of tickets.
>The block on sight policy needs to stop immediately.  One needs to 
>remember that the unintelligible user names are far less of a problem 
>than intentionally misleading alternative characters.  I have supported 
>SUL ever since the idea was floated at least three years ago, before the 
>conversion problems had a chance to multiply.  It does require some 
>adjustments of which I am technically ignorant, but I suspect that 
>anglo-naval-gazing is more of a problem than what the techies need to do.
I was trying to think about how all this applies to Wikibooks, where on 
at least en.wikibooks such a policy certainly has not been in force, at 
least to my knowledge, ever.

Indeed, in terms of permitting users to use non-latin characters in a 
user name, this user's account came up:


Not only is he "permitted" to be involved in the development of 
Wikibooks, he was elected to become an administrator. (There aren't that 
many admins on Wikibooks.)

I don't know how many admins on en.wikipedia have non-latin characters 
that are like this, but this certainly seems to be an en.wikipedia-only 
policy.  I certainly had never even heard about this being done until 
this current flamefest started.

Robert Scott Horning

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