[Foundation-l] Do we need a Code of Participation?

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Mon Nov 5 09:38:00 UTC 2007

I like this idea of having a display of principles for anonymous editors and
issuing those who accept with a session cookie.

Erik is right that the list should only be 3-5 pithy statements, otherwise
it won't get read.

So, which wiki should host the more open discussion of what statements
should go in? And how difficult is this going to be to implement?

-----Original Message-----
From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Thomas
Sent: 05 November 2007 10:18
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Do we need a Code of Participation?


That's a very good idea, but it would be nicer if that would also be
possible or even necessary for anonymous editors, I mean a kind of
"guest" login, before they can edit. If anonymous editors don't have
to read and opt-in these principles, they would not know them (if they
are not experienced Wikimedians on other projects or the like). I come
across many anons who come and edit and when they are told not to
bring in their personal opinion into articles they react somewhat
astonished... ;o) (Btw., I think the neutrality principle should be
included in the list.)

Best regards,
2007/11/5, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org>:
> I've been thinking a bit about the whole issue of civility, and other
> expectations that we may have from our editors.
> While Wikimedia has a stronger tradition of civility than most online
> communities, we still often fall short -- and perhaps part of the
> reason is that we never ask our users to explicitly "opt into" the
> core cultural principles of Wikimedia. Rather, we expect that they
> will "soak them up" simply by being exposed to them in practice.
> There are a few reasons why I think an explicit opt-in to a small
> number of core principles would be a good idea:
> * It means the user has to make an explicit choice. This may make them
> more likely to think about those principles, to internalize them, or
> to recall them later.
> * It makes it clear that, "Ignore all rules" or not, there are
> non-negotiable principles upon which the project is founded.
> * It establishes more firmly the idea of "being a Wikimedian" -- it
> contributes to a shared identity, across all projects.
> I favor an opt-in statement that is _not_ a bunch of legalese "Terms
> of Use", but short and to the point (possibly even illustrated :-).
> Implementation-wise, it would be something that's part of the sign up
> procedure. Rather than adding yet another checkbox, we could simply
> use the existing account creation captcha image as a confirmation
> method.
> If we do this, it would, in my view, be wise to ask any existing user
> to also confirm their agreement with these principles upon their next
> login.
> Here's a (very rough) example text:
> - - -
> I agree that, as a member of this community, I shall
> * treat others with respect and kindness, and assume good faith in
> their actions;
> * participate in service to the mission of this project:
> [one-line summary of project's mission, e.g. "to create a freely
> licensed encyclopedia"]
> * disclose any conflicts of interest, and recuse myself from editing
> where they could impair my judgment.
> - - -
> Obviously this would still need a lot of editing. Whichever bullet
> points would be considered most important, I believe the total number
> should be limited to 3 to 5.
> Thoughts?
> --
> Toward Peace, Love & Progress:
> Erik
> DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
> the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

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