[Foundation-l] Wikipedia:Office Actions

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Fri Apr 27 04:42:15 UTC 2007

Brad Patrick wrote:
> (2) Assuming (1) is true, *whether* the Foundation (explicitly meaning the
> board, acting through its own employees or lawyers) chooses to act in any
> particular circumstance is a matter of judgment on which people can disagree
> for many reasons.  The facts of a particular circumstance mean it will
> always be a case of "it depends."

I think this is what people are arguing over, really.  That, and what to 
do in the aftermath.  Office actions are often done when there is a 
suspicion of e.g. libel, but some sort of policy is needed for what to 
do afterwards.  Sit and wait for the office to resolve it?  Empirically, 
this means sitting and waiting forever.  Cautiously start writing a new, 
carefully sourced version?  But how to avoid the original libel if 
nobody says what was objected to in the original article?  And who has 
the authority to put the new version in place?  Jimmy has made some 
comments about the subject, suggesting that the original idea was to 
just leave it alone but he would now be open to careful rewriting taking 
place if nothing has happened after some period of time.  But none of 
this is entirely clear.

In addition, Office actions have historically been used not *only* for 
legal threats.  Jimmy explicitly defended this, as part of our customer 
service and friendly face.  That's quite different from taking something 
down due to an imminent lawsuit.  Again, this needs to be specified in 
policy somewhere, at least some sort of loose policy, so people are 
aware that this should or shouldn't happen.

Basically, we'd like to have some guidelines for: 1) When will this be 
used, in rough outlines and reserving exceptions for exceptional cases?; 
and 2) What are the rules for editing the article subsequently?


More information about the foundation-l mailing list