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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.

I agree with this - I think "report a problem" would be a very helpful
starting point.

FWIW I'll tell you that when people complain to me, they often say they
tried to find a proper avenue for complaints, but couldn't. I realize there
is a school of thought that "people who can't find the correct avenue for
complaints don't deserve to have their complaints heard," but that's not my

I assume that people are looking for a specific biography complaints
channel, and probably also looking for assurances that it is
secure/confidential. (Bearing in mind that inaccuracies or distortions in
their BLP would feel highly sensitive to most people.)

So - we can create a channel for BLP complaints, and we can label it
appropriately so people have accurate expectations of confidentiality. But
in order for it to be successful, I believe we would need a cadre of
highly-trained and well-supported volunteers who have pledged to investigat=
seriously, communicate tactfully, and maintain appropriate confidentiality.
Do we think we can we do that, and if so, what would it take?


> * The editors I've spoken with about BLPs are pretty serious about them =
> > they are generally conservative, restrained, privacy-conscious, etc. Bu=
> I
> > wonder if that general attitude is widely-shared. If Wikipedia believes
> (as
> > 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.

To me, this starts shading into the "civility" issue that has been discusse=
here before.  Do we agree that we want the Wikimedia projects to be
serious-minded, conscientious, approachable and friendly?  (I do.)  If many
-but not all- of us agree, how can we best work towards a consensus, then
reinforce and support it?

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