[Foundation-l] Request for your input: biographies of living people

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Mon Mar 2 22:30:07 UTC 2009

2009/3/2 philippe <philippe.wiki at gmail.com>

> On Mar 2, 2009, at 2:38 PM, Joe Szilagyi wrote:
> > If OTRS is understaffed, then there's an easy fix to that too. Make a
> > separate queue that this specifically will go to, have less stringent
> > requirements in place for that, and have the form be explicit that
> > it's ONLY for articles/issues about living people.
> >
> > - Joe
> Half-agree - we don't want LESS stringent requirements, we want MORE
> stringent requirements for a BLP queue.  These are the articles that
> can do real, manifest, actionable harm to real people.  We want our
> most highly trusted and most experienced editors working on BLPs, imho.
> Philippe

I agree with this. I also believe there is a higher requirement for tact and
kindness when dealing with BLPs, relative to other types of articles.  To me
this is a fundamental ethical issue and also a practical one - there is no
point inviting people to engage with us, if we are planning to then slap
them in the face. Particularly if they are already feeling wounded due to
(what they perceive as) a problematic BLP.

This is similar to the issue of public outreach - as Frank Schulenburg has
said many times, there's no point actively recruiting new editors, if we
intend to then be rude to them. I personally believe that friendliness and
civility are important for the Wikimedia projects, both as ends in and of
themselves, and as important drivers of successful collaboration.

Also and separately ..... I just got a note off-list from someone pointing
out that we are spending a lot of time here talking about how to fix
problematic BLPs, rather than how to support quality before-the-fact (ie.,
preventative measures). I think it's a reasonable point. I asked whether
raising the notability bar would improve the overall quality of BLPs. Do we
have other ideas for preventative measures?

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