[Foundation-l] Porchesia

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Sun Oct 1 14:09:14 UTC 2006

On 10/1/06, daniwo59 at aol.com <daniwo59 at aol.com> wrote:
> While I generally agree with Birgitte, I have to take exception here.
> Porchesia appeared on one of our projects for ten months. It was caught quite by
> accident, when someone pointed it out to me. This raises an important issue,
> relevant to all major languages and projects--what are we doing to ensure the
> veracity of the information we provide. This is especially relevant, given the
> other discussion about spamming, which Brad raised. If we can have a fake
> island  with 300,000 imaginary people get through for ten months, we can
> certainly have  a fake company get through for 10 months. This company can even get
> people to  read up on them and take their money. And if you look the company up,
> it is on  Wikipedia, Answers, and any other mirror. This is a serious
> problem. Wikipedia  provides credibility.


> Given our position and the respect we  receive, Wikipedia
> in all languages is an open target for spammers and con  artists. I believe
> that this is also an issue that should be addressed by the  larger community, and
> not just limited to WP:EN.
The thing is, there is no larger community.  The foundation consists
essentially of the board, with a few hundred people giving advice and
voting on a minority of the board membership.  Management and
membership of the foundation is almost completely separate from
management and membership of en.wp or any of the other projects.  The
membership of the projects, it seems, wants to keep it this way.  I
get the sense that we don't, for the most part, want the foundation
coming in and micromanaging things.

> There is a tension between accuracy and openness.

Are you sure about this?  I thought the whole point of Wikipedia was
that accuracy and openness were *not* in conflict.  I thought I
remembered Jimmy Wales bragging about how Wikipedia kept getting more
open - does that mean it was also getting less accurate?

If there really is a tension between accuracy and openness, then it's
quite clear which side we want to be on.  Openness, after all, is
merely a means to an end.  With that in mind, in what ways do you
suggest making the Wikimedia projects less open?


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