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

SJ Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Sat Nov 10 20:43:27 UTC 2007

A small number of passionate people can make many other people unhappy
or uncomfortable or unwelcome.  Most community members know how to be 
polite and welcoming in most circumstances.

Rather than a small group deciding on a code that others must join, we 
could simply define a way for a small group to say "this is getting ugly 
and has gone too far".  A little template that identifies conversations
that need cleaning up, and a Cleanup section for "unfriendly discussions",
should do the trick.

Just as I suggest that we change AfD to AfR, with the largest body 
handling review of troublesome articles, and a focused group working on 
deletion -- not "whether" to delete, but how to do it cleanly, politely,
and in good faith -- we should supplement Mediation with some sort of DfR 
(discussions for review), which can help identify where these problems 
are cropping up, and can help community members who want to spend time 
making WP a friendly and more productive environment do this effectively.


ps - an addendum for those who think this would be 'too much work' -- this 
is precisely the kind of work that an effective community should undertake.

We spend a great deal of time worrying about whether or not to preserve 30 
minutes of an editor's work -- to ensure that we are fair, and that the 
resulting encyclopedia is balanced.  We should spend at least that much 
worrying about the energetic discussions that can lead an editor with 
thousands of contributions to stop editing, or to become a zealous 
anti-wikipedian, or to remain an editor but an unhappy one, slowly making 
the community into a more stressful rather than a more joyful place.

A friend recently said to me, "I/we LOVE wikipedia, but it doesn't love us 
back".  that's the emphatic unwavering sort of love that often disappears
once people join the community and find that their personal contributions
are only valued in a very narrow subset of instances.

+1 617 529.4266           skype: metasj     en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sj
One Laptop per Child      sj at laptop.org        wiki.laptop.org/go/Content
Give one, get one :       Nov. 12, 2007           http://www.xogiving.org

On Sat, 10 Nov 2007, Rob Smith wrote:

> On 11/9/07, Florence Devouard <Anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> The Cunctator wrote:
>>> 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."
>> Well. I ... yes. Agree.
>> I like the idea of reminding people of our values. Making them check the
>> box reminds me of presidents having to promise on the bible that they
>> will not lie.
>> Ant
> Somewhere a Truth in Advertising Disclosure is needed, particularly in
> WP:DR.  Something to the effect that by participating in the process in Good
> Faith, you risk being viciously defamed without recourse.

More information about the foundation-l mailing list