[Foundation-l] Ethics project on Wikiversity

John McC sb_johnny at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 13 16:31:35 UTC 2008

I think it's really important in this case for folks unfamiliar with Wikiversity to hold their fire a bit: this is not the first time that we've had angry, banned Wikipedians come to the project, and so far our track record of preventing Wikiversity from being used as a platform from which to launch attacks on other foundation projects (or any other thing that might be attacked) is 100%. 

These guys just arrived 3 days ago, and we're trying to work with them to concentrate on their stated goals (coming up with ethical guidelines that would improve collaborative content creation on websites such as Wikipedia), rather than what they're being distracted by (they use the language of war to describe their situation). 

It would really be of help to us if folks could just sit on their hands a bit and let us (the WV custodians and community) do our jobs. In particular, we're trying to keep the "battles" out of the picture, and help them focus on the hard work of teaching-learning-sharing that we've spent the last 2 years learning how to do ourselves. We might even learn more about the possibilities of "learning the wiki way" through their efforts. BUT: we're never going to find out if we don't give them a chance. 

Please just give them a month or so to develop this learning resource without interference. The Wikiversity community is very good at exploring possibilities, if nothing else. We're idealists, but not of the dewy-eyed variety, we have a very high ratio of sysopped users to regular contributors, and we even have our own checkusers in case it really gets ugly. We won't allow any harm to come of this, but our scope and policies are radically different from the other WMF wikis, so we're not going to say "no" to things unless they fall outside that (very broad) scope or violate one of our (few) policies. 

I've viewed some of the links they've provided, and as much as I wouldn't want any of them dating my sister (or even my third cousin once removed), I'm completely open to the possibility that I could learn something from them, as long as they're given some space to tell their stories without the distraction of constantly having to defend themselves from what they interpret as "attacks". 

I encourage anyone who wants to work on this to visit the en.wv custodians on #wikiversity-en (freenode). We're definitely keeping an eye on things, and we're interested in *everyone's* opinion. 



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