[Foundation-l] Letter to the community on Controversial Content

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Sun Oct 9 17:32:31 UTC 2011

On 9 October 2011 18:16, Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org> wrote:
> Discussing 'what if' scenarios in public rarely does any good if those same
> people have full power to avoid that scenario in the first place. Both the
> community and the board can avoid the sitation that we don't reach
> agreement. Therefore, discussing 'what if we don't, what will you do' will
> most likely not improve the arguments, discussion or outcome for anyone, but
> only makes that very scenario more likely to happen. Let's cross that river
> when we get there.

I don't think the community really can avoid it, since it isn't a
coherent body. An individual member of the community can't really
achieve anything. The WMF has a hierarchy and structured decision
making mechanisms, so it can take deliberate action. The community

The situation we are in is not dissimilar to that faced in national
politics all the time - a political party wanting to do something that
a large portion of the electorate are opposed to. It's all very nice
to say that both sides should have a mature discussion and reach a
mutually acceptable conclusion, but it can't actually be done. The
electorate can't take that kind of deliberate action. The only way
forward is for the political party to listen to individual members of
the electorate (either through public forums, referenda, polls of a
small sample of the populations, etc.) and then decide on a route
forward that will not annoy too many people.

If, at the end of this, no resolution is reached and you say that the
community is partly to blame, who are you actually blaming?

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