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Mon Jan 19 21:31:31 UTC 2009

with their articles don't complain at all. The accounts I've heard
(or, at least, my interpretation thereof) of Wikimedians being
approached at events by people with bad articles have all been along
the lines of "my article is rubbish, how do I get it fixed?" not "my
article is rubbish and I've been trying to get it fixed but nobody is
listening to me". That suggests that those subjects that don't happen
to meet a Wikipedian never actually complain. There are two possible
explanations for that that I can see: 1) They don't really care all
that much and the complaints we get are just opportunistic moaning or
2) they have no idea where to even start with complaining. While there
may be some cases of (1), I'm sure (2) is a significant factor.

I've just looked at a BLP and nowhere can I see an guidance on how to
complain. I suggest a "Report a problem with this article" link to
added to the sidebar of all articles as a mailto link to the
appropriate OTRS address.

> * Are there technical tools we could implement, that would support greate=
> quality in BLPs? =C2=A0For example =E2=80=93 easy problem reporting syste=
> particular configurations of Flagged Revs, etc.

Flagged Revs is an excellent way of dealing with vandalism to BLPs,
technical solutions to more subtle problems are a little trickier.
Flagged Revs could be used with addition levels - a "free of
vandalism" level and a "well balanced, fact-checked and free of
anything remotely libellous" level. Two separate levels are necessary
since the 2nd takes far too long to be a practical vandal fighting
tool - I'm not sure which level would be shown by default to whom,
that needs to be worked out.

> * Wikimedians have developed lots of tools for preventing/fixing vandalis=
> and errors of fact. Where less progress has been made, I think, is on the
> question of disproportionate criticism. It seems to me that the solution =
> include the development of systems designed to expose particularly biased
> articles to a greater number of people who can help fix them. But this is=
> pretty tough problem and I would welcome people's suggestions for resolvi=
> it

Tagging with templates is our usual method, but it isn't particularly
effective. Perhaps we need to be a little more demanding about getting
things fixed. An addition to the multiple flags suggestion above could
work here - introduce a new deletion procedure by which any BLP (but,
in theory, BLPs with problems) can be tagged for deletion in 1 month
if a recent version of it hasn't been flagged as fact checked, etc. by
that time. (The "No article is better than a bad article" theory.) I
suspect we may end up with every BLP being so tagged so it would
basically be a policy of never having a backlog of much more than 1
month on fact checking - a nice idea, but I'm not sure if we could
keep up with it without deleting most of our BLPs.

> * The editors I've spoken with about BLPs are pretty serious about them =
> they are generally conservative, restrained, privacy-conscious, etc. But =
> wonder if that general attitude is widely-shared. If Wikipedia believes (=
> is said in -for example- the English BLP policy) that it has a
> responsibility to take great care with BLPs, should there be a
> Wikipedia-wide BLP policy, or a projects-wide statement of some kind?

There isn't really any such thing as "Wikipedia-wide", that's why
wikipedia-l is pretty much dead. Decisions of the entire Wikimedia
community are pretty difficult to achieve. They have to be done by
vote, nothing else is practical, and discussion to put together a
proposal to vote on is tricky because only people that speak English
can really be involved. I think, if we want any kind of statement like
that, it has to come from the WMF.

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