[Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?

Dan Rosenthal swatjester at gmail.com
Fri Jun 3 22:57:28 UTC 2011

On Jun 3, 2011, at 6:50 PM, George Herbert wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 3:46 PM, Kirill Lokshin <kirill.lokshin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 6:41 PM, Dan Rosenthal <swatjester at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Jun 3, 2011, at 8:29 AM, Scott MacDonald wrote:
>>>> Imagine if poetlister now engages in identity theft and deception at
>>>> Wikiversity.
>>> How precisely does one engage in identity theft in a project that does not
>>> require the submission of identifying information?
>> By voluntarily submitting stolen information, of course.  The fact that
>> Wikipedia (or Wikiversity) does not require that I provide my real name to
>> participate would not make it any more acceptable if I were to claim that I
>> was Dan Rosenthal and put pictures of you on my user page to prove it.
>> (You'd be correct if the project actually prohibited the submission
>> of identifying information, rather than merely not requiring it; but that's
>> not the case here.)
> Right.  Merely staying pseudonymous or anonymous is supported, but
> taking on some other real life person's identity on English Language
> Wikipedia is clearly prohibited now, and should be.  It's bad for all
> the same reasons that real life identity theft is bad.
> From:
> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Wikipedia:USERNAME#Real_names
> "Do not register a username that includes the name of an identifiable
> living person unless it is your real name."

And arguably the action falls under disruptive editing practices, which are a blockable offense anyway (wasting administrator time with a bad-faith attempt to disrupt the project). Except, if you don't know that this is happening, what do you do then? It seems perfectly reasonable to block under existing policies when the offender is being obvious and the offense is clear, but what happens when some random anon puts up their own personal information on their userpage. Are we going to run an inquisition on them to see if they are who they say they are (I'm not referring to cases where it is obvious or a cursory investigation would reveal it)? At what point does the threat that a person might use information gathered from an off-wiki act of identity theft precipitate on-wiki action? We talk about driving off new editors with scary sockpuppet investigations and warning templates and such -- this line of discussion to me seems like it may well have a chilling effect on editors who want to identify themselves in good faith, for whatever reason. 

I'm not nearly familiar enough with the actual history to know if I'm being helpful with this line of inquiry so if I'm totally off base, please let me know (actually it was interesting to read the history from David and John's posts, for what that's worth.)


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