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

Marc Riddell michaeldavid86 at comcast.net
Fri Nov 9 12:50:28 UTC 2007

on 11/9/07 2:39 AM, The Cunctator at cunctator at gmail.com wrote:

> This is sad and pathetic. And I mean "pathetic" in the sense of
> "arousing sadness and compassion".
> A code of conduct tells people "We don't trust new people, and we have
> problems with each other, and we don't know how to build a community."
Cunc, a code of conduct is a set of guidelines - like road signs - they help
people to go in the right direction. The Community that was built was going
in the wrong direction; we're trying to correct that. Keep the faith.

Marc Riddell

> On 11/5/07, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
>> 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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