[Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Sat Jun 4 14:42:31 UTC 2011

Billinghurst wrote:
> I disagree, this needs to be a decision by the WMF, not by stewards.  Some
> sites are 'independent', and this is a matter that needs to have no wriggle
> room, and hence be a definitive statement.  It is simply a case that the
> worst of the worst need to be managed from the top and at a policy level,
> not as operational issues. This is a due diligence matter.

I think it's a fairly dangerous precedent to have the Wikimedia Foundation
involved in making individual decisions about who can and can't edit. I
realize that in the past, certain system administrators or Jimmy have done
this, but as far as I'm aware, the Wikimedia Foundation (as an organization)
has not and does not get involved in cases like this for a reason.

As Phoebe noted, there have been some efforts at Meta-Wiki (more recently
than I thought, actually) to address this. I'd like to see the community
give it a good-faith try (or two) to solve this without intervention before
seeking top-down involvement. That isn't to say that the two bodies need to
be completely separate. One procedure for a global ban committee could be to
direct the Wikimedia Foundation to declare particular people as completely
unwelcome, or something like that. But I haven't seen too much to suggest
that the community can't solve this, only that they haven't yet.

Regarding independent projects, a local admin is going to do what a local
admin is going to do, no matter whether it's stewards or the Wikimedia
Foundation telling them otherwise. That can be handled on a case-by-case
basis as appropriate.

Honestly, there are other seemingly intractable problems that the community
has faced and the response from seeking Wikimedia Foundation help hasn't
been great. Controversial content comes to mind. A long study that ended in
a report that said "well, yeah, lots and lots of penises on Commons!" I
don't really want to see a repeat of that dynamic again. If there are
technical or legal aspects to this problem that the Wikimedia Foundation can
put resources toward, let's figure out what those are and make it happen.
But the community really needs to take charge here, if at all possible.


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