[Foundation-l] Jimbo's Sexual Image Deletions

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Sat May 8 12:33:49 UTC 2010

On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 8:13 AM, Andrew Garrett <agarrett at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 10:07 PM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
>> How can you call this 'affirmed'?  Jimbo has made strong suggestions,
>> but it is the Commons community that must create and enforce its own
>> policies.  The founder flag is an indication of respect, and provides
>> 'crat rights on all projects, but doesn't provide any more 'power'
>> over the project than any bureaucrat has.  The real power on wikis is
>> social, not technical -- and where there is a vacuum without local
>> consensus, Jimbo is often persuasive and effective at providing
>> guidance.  However once the community decides how to proceed, it
>> should do so with confidence.
> Let's talk about Jimmy's role, then. What happens now is that he has
> unlimited technical power over all projects, and everybody is of the
> impression that they are not permitted to remove or limit it, lest it
> be restored and their access similarly or more harshly curtailed.
> Community efforts to reverse actions taken by Jimmy with the
> assistance of his technical power have been immediately reversed by
> him without any further explanation, and occasionally threats or
> actual retaliation made against those reversing his actions.

You have a point, and threats and retaliation aren't helpful or
needful in such circumstances.  But where local communities persist,
reversions are often let stand, in my experience (and looking at some
of the recent image deletions on Commons).

> This isn't an ideal situation. We should have a situation in which
> Jimmy's technical power derives from the authority of the board of
> trustees or from a community mandate, or we should have a situation in
> which Jimmy does not have unlimited technical power.

I don't think this is a technical issue at all.   Considering how
flexible and reversible wiki-actions are, it seems eminently
appropriate to me for the project founder to have 'unlimited technical
power' on the projects -- just as you and all of our developers do, at
a much higher level.

English Wikipedia has addressed this fluidly over the years:

I'm not sure anyone has tried to address the role of developers
through policy ;-)


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