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

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Mon Mar 2 22:58:56 UTC 2009

2009/3/2 P. Birken <pbirken at gmail.com>

> My experiences are mostly on de-WP. Problems with BLP are coming in
> frequently now, roughly once a week even people with lawyers.We have a
> highly motivated Support-Team that is able to handle the cases coming
> in via OTRS at an acceptable speed and with good success. The support
> team works tight with WM-DE and our lawyers. People strive to become
> better, there have been several RL-meetings of the team, which have
> now become recurrent events, financially supported by WM-DE and also
> by our lawyers. Reason for this is that these meetings have been
> useful to the volunteers attending and that, as I said, the team is
> highly motivated. So: yes, strive to have this for every Wikipedia.
...... [lots of useful comments] .....

> What is so special about Wikipedia as far as the BLPs go is the Wiki.
> It means that anybody can do anything and that means that the
> principle of a lot of people checking an article is important to
> success. Flagged Revs makes at least a four-eye-principle mandatory
> for edits of not yet trusted editors. That's good, but it doesn't mean
> that the people actually know what they are writing/flagging about.
> What I'm saying is: Notability is an important criteria for BLP to
> make sure that there are actually people around who can check what is
> written. When in doubt about notability, delete BLPs. Do not make low
> notability criterias for living persons.

Thank you Philipp - I only quoted two bits, but this entire e-mail was
useful for me.

In general - I have always understood that the German Wikipedia is
conservative, and leans towards building a smaller, higher-quality
encyclopedia, compared with the English version which is bigger and more
variable in quality.  It's my understanding that the policies and practices
of the German Wikipedia are less permissive than in English, in pretty much
every way.

So, two questions strike me:

1)  If we're imagining a continuum with smaller/higher-quality/restrictive
at one end, and larger/variable-in-quality/permissive at the other .... I am
curious to know where the other language versions situate themselves.  I am
assuming that (with some exceptions) they cluster closer to the English
model than the German, but I am just guessing.  Do they?

2) When it comes to the German Wikipedia and other language versions which
put an unusually high priority on quality ..... I am curious to know what
quality-supportive measures (be they technical, social/cultural, or
policy-level) those Wikipedia have in place.  Philipp says a high threshold
for notability is one in the German Wikipedia. Are there others?


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