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

Bob the Wikipedian bobthewikipedian at gmail.com
Sun Oct 9 19:12:26 UTC 2011

Since no one has explicitly come out and said exactly what the issue is 
here, I'll ask:

*What exactly is harmful about an opt-in filter? *If it's opt-in, then 
you have the choice to not even enable it if you so choose. You don't 
have to use it; it'd just be an option in the preferences page or maybe 
even a link on the margin similar to the WikiBooks link I never use. Can 
another option or link you never click really hurt the world, or even an 
individual for that matter?

Also, *an idea for how this could be implemented*:

Anyway, back in 2008 I attempted to popularize such an "add-on" style 
filter; the means for operating it were very simple. Here's how it worked:

The client installs Ad-Block Plus in their Firefox browser.
They subscribe to any of a set of Wikimedia-image-targeted filters.
The beauty of Ad-Block Plus is you can turn it off as desired, block an 
image yourself, specify not to block something blocked by your 
subscription filter, and receive updates on the filter.

I dropped the project when I realized there were no free places to host 
a text file that had links to hundreds of nude images-- my accounts kept 
getting banned! :-D

This structure would allow for several different types of filters; a 
disadvantage, however, would be that each filter would need maintained 
exclusively by a different individual (for instance, the person who 
maintains a human nudity filter and the person who maintains a human 
torment filter would need to be using different computers), though any 
individual could subscribe to as many filters as he or she chooses. 
Another disadvantage is that each filter can be filled only by a single 
user, so suggestions for the filter would need sent to them.


On 10/9/2011 1:03 PM, church.of.emacs.ml wrote:
> On 10/09/2011 07:20 PM, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>> The community doesn't trust the WMF at the moment. A firm commitment
>> not to go against an overwhelming community opinion would go a long
>> way towards fixing that.
> That's exactly the situation. Right now, we're in a deadlock:
> WMF is waiting for the community to engange in a constructive dialog,
> forming new ideas and consensus.
> The community members* are waiting for a signal of trust by the WMF, a
> real recognition of their opposition, a clear statment that WMF and the
> community are on a par in this discussion and neither will do anything
> deemed unacceptable by the other, before they will rethink their own
> position.
> You know, it's hard to lead a constructive discussion on controversial
> content when half of the people are thinking about forking. Believe me,
> I've tried.**
> --Tobias
> * that is, most of the opposing community members
> **
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2011-09-11_Podiumsdiskussion_Bildfilter_(360p).ogv
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