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

Dan Rosenthal swatjester at gmail.com
Tue Nov 6 15:44:29 UTC 2007

Have you ever read through the comments section of any relatively  
high-traffic website? Try the washington post, or digg, or youtube.
I can't spend 10 minutes reading those things without shaking my head  
in disgust. Libel, racism, sexism, hatred etc. All by supposedly  
moderated websites.  We absolutely do not want wikinews turning into  

-Dan Rosenthal

On Nov 6, 2007, at 10:30 AM, Brian McNeil wrote:

> What is being missed here is *Wikinews' comment namespace is  
> outside NPOV*.
> We want opinions, we want people proposing half-assed solutions and  
> getting
> them shot down in flames. We want people to come back to Wikinews  
> to see
> what issues catch their attention and provoke them to  
> {{haveyoursay}}. I
> think that particular template goes on virtually every single new  
> article.
> It is positive feedback for our contributors because they get to  
> see people
> are reading their articles and are provoked to comment on them.
> For some the blunt, but succinct, "Don't be a jerk" is not the way  
> WM should
> do things, and I have sympathy for their point of view. If someone  
> can come
> up with something as pithy in about 10 words or less I'd be happy  
> to see it.
> On the other hand, I'd remind people who have a focus on other  
> projects that
> Wikinews is, well, a news site. Every article we keep makes its  
> appearance
> on the front page. What we have here is an online equivalent of  
> letters to
> the editor, but with retroactive moderation. There has been limited  
> use of
> profanity on these pages to date, but some have been very active  
> and are now
> longer than the articles they are attached to.
> My personal favourite... (from [[WN:BJAODN]])
> Article: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Nebraska_Senator_sues_God
> Comment: "In a stunning twist, God countersued the entire human  
> race for
> distruction of property and loitering. "I clearly said they could  
> eat of any
> tree except that one. That fruit was off limits," He remarked, "But  
> did they
> listen? No. There are consequences, people!" Meanwhile, Morgan  
> Freeman sued
> the senator for infringement of "look and feel." --  
> 02:37, 19
> September 2007 (UTC)".
> Brian.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
> [mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of  
> David Gerard
> Sent: 06 November 2007 15:19
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Do we need a Code of Participation?
> On 06/11/2007, Marc Riddell <michaeldavid86 at comcast.net> wrote:
>> David, 'because everybody does it' is not an excuse to do  
>> something in the
>> Wikimedia Projects. Wikimedia must create its own distinct  
>> identity; and
> its
>> reputation and credibility will be a great part of that identity -  
>> and its
>> use of language a crucial part as well.
>> The language of social pages should not be the language of Wikimedia
>> policies.
> No, I mean it's actually, functionally speaking, the first rule of all
> social spaces on and offline.
> - d.
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