[Foundation-l] Interesting legal action

Andrew Gray andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk
Sun May 22 22:03:14 UTC 2011

On 22 May 2011 19:58, Sarah <slimvirgin at gmail.com> wrote:

> The BLP problem is a very divisive one on the English Wikipedia, but
> it's not entirely clear how grounded it is in fact. Sometimes we're
> told OTRS is overwhelmed by the number of BLP complaints, but no
> figures are given.
> Some hard stats -- X number of complaints concerning Y number of
> articles within time T, of which Z were actionable -- would be very
> useful.

Some figures Amory Meltzer and I came up with in 2010:

In a single week in late 2009, we got an average of 40-50 active
tickets per day - not spam, not people thinking we were someone else,
etc. 15% of those were about BLP issues. If we look *only* at tickets
about specific article issues (removing the general WP/WMF-related
enquiries and "normal" vandalism reports), BLP tickets made up 30% of
the traffic. Making an estimate for recurring cases, this suggests we
get contacted regarding 2,000 to 2,500 BLP issues per year. I don't
have any figures on actionability, I'm afraid, but it's an intriguing

The vast majority of these were regarding one specific BLP article; a
couple were BLP issues on non-BLP articles, usually companies and
towns. All told, BLP articles proportionally generated about two to
three times more issues than other content.

The interesting aspect here is that two-thirds of BLP issues are
reported by the subject, or by someone close to or involved with the
subject (a relative, colleague, agent, etc). If we look *only* at
third-party reports, BLPs seem to generate about as much traffic as
any other content. The same held for looking solely at "normal"
vandalism reports - 15%. Read what you will into that one... my
personal interpretation is that BLP failings were more likely to be
seen and more likely to cause some kind of real or perceived harm,
leading to a greater response rate.

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