[Foundation-l] #wikipedia

Dejan Čabrilo dcabrilo at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 07:46:13 UTC 2007

Dear all,

I have just subscribed to this list in the light of IRC problems we've
been having. Namely, a couple of users, primeraly seanw (I never heard
of him before) decided to create and enforce rules on #wikipedia.

The most problematic rule is the ban of off-topic talk in the channel.
This is problematic for two reasons:

1) A lot of people have been in that channel for years. We like to
socialize and to help and seek help regarding Wikipedia. Wikipedia being
such an open project, most of us thought of the channel as great,
because people who otherwise wouldn't spend their time waiting for a
question, hung in there and were helpful. Both admins helped regular
users, and everybody helped newcomers. We think of off topic
conversation as a good thing. There is nothing worse than getting into a
silent channel, asking a question, and getting the answer half an hour
later, when you lost all the interest

2) We percieve this as somebody trying to hijack the channel we've been
frequenting for a long time. There is a sort of a _power play_ going on.
A couple of people came in and said "we are in charge now", and they
decided that they are the ones who "officially, unofficially" run the

So, I have some question:

1) Were there any complaints that #wikipedia wasn't helpful to people
with questions? Or this come just because some people don't like what we
talked about?

2) Whom can we ask for help? Most of the people in #wikipedia dislike
both the new rules and how they were implemented and we don't want seanw
in charge. As demonstrated in the channel and on the talk page of the

3) Who are seanw and other people who authorized them to come up with
rules? Can I make a gudeline on wikimedia and say that I'm in charge of
the feud I choose? Please :P

4) Why was there no community input? You can say all you want, but I
first heard about the issues on this mailing list from /topic, and first
saw the guideline after it was enforced. 

5) Is this how we are going to go about other issues on Wikipedia, too?

Thank you,
Dejan Čabrilo

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