[Foundation-l] Sigh, problems with non-Latin usernames again

Matt R matt_crypto at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jan 29 20:12:13 UTC 2007

--- Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:

> When people are treated differently based on their language, it is most 
> definitely wrongful discrimination. 

No, it's not. If I started replying to you in Swahili, you'd answer, if you
answered at all, quite differently to if I had used English. (Making the
assumption that you don't speak Swahili, of course). So you'd treat me
differently based on my language. Would that be wrongful discrimination? No --
it's that you don't understand what I'm saying. This is the issue with
non-Latin usernames: they can't be "understood" by all English speakers in the
ways that usernames need to be "understood" for Wikipedia to function.

> And it does not occur to me that the 
> English language Wikipedia has a right to discriminate people because of 
> their name not being English

We can rightfully require that they choose a Latin transliteration of their
name and use that (or something else) if they are going to be doing stuff that
requires interacting with an English-speaking community working on an
English-language project.

> But seriously, Wikipedia is pre-dominantly white, women have a problem with 
> the attitude of some.

These are serious issues, but I don't think a policy about what character sets
can be used in handles is really comparable.

-- Matt

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Matt_Crypto
Blog: http://cipher-text.blogspot.com

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