[Foundation-l] check user...

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Sat Mar 31 19:09:51 UTC 2007

On Sat, 31 Mar 2007, Sebastian Moleski wrote:

> Actual abuse isn't necessary to be subject to a lawsuit. People who
> volunteer to perform checkuser functions must be fully aware of the
> responsibilities their actions incur and the possible consequences of those
> actions. It may be customary to assume good faith in Wikimedia projects.
> Unfortunately, the real world doesn't always work that way.

With respect: ANYTHING AT ALL can subject a project or person to a 
lawsuit.  Every editor of the site can do something that would subject 
someone to a related lawsuit -- the someone could be an individual editor 
who the suer tracks down, the foundation, or anyone else in the world. 
Many such suits would be woefully misguided, but they could be brought all 
the same.

Please describe actual risk of exposure if you are proposing policy 
changed founded in legal FUD.  FUD is not always 'wrong' -- there are 
cases in which there really is justifiable uncertainty and doubt, and in 
which it is proper to be fearful as a result.  But please do not spread
this sense without attention to detail, or without addressing the question 
of how likely a particular disaster scenario is.  Then we can consider why
such scenarios have not yet happened, and what the tradeoffs are to being 
paranoid about security [at what point do we shut down the site to all 
edits, remove all biographies, and only modify it further in response to 
takedown requests?].


[I said earlier that I agree weakly with the statement that IF we have 
explicit legal concerns, it makes sense to describe the necessary response 
in terms of age of majority in the local jurisdiction... I am not at all 
convinced that these concerns merit the policy changes being discussed.]

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