[Foundation-l] News from Germany: White Bags and thinking about a fork

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Sat Oct 22 20:16:38 UTC 2011

On 22 October 2011 20:58, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> If not, would
> you be interested in organizing some community discussion on whether
> there are solutions within the scope of the resolution that the dewiki
> community would find acceptable, or whether the prevailing view is
> that the resolution itself should be scrapped altogether?

, the official translation of the de:wp poll, says:

"Both the opinion poll itself and its proposal were accepted. In
contrary to the decision of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia
Foundation, personal image filters should not be introduced in
German-speaking wikipedia and categories for these filters may not be
created for files locally stored on this wikipedia. 260 of 306 users
(84.97 percent) accepted the poll as to be formally valid. 357 of 414
users (86.23 percent) do not agree to the introduction of a personal
image filter and categories for filtering in German wikipedia."

This would appear to indicate the opposition is to *any* personal
image filter per the Board resolution, and the category-based proposal
additionally as an example of such rather than as the main topic of
the vote. I think that says "should be scrapped" pretty blindingly

Unless nuances of the translation are inaccurate - is this the case?
Do you see wiggle room in the original German phrasing?

I suspect (I have no direct evidence) that the glaring lack of the
"should we actually have this at all?" question on the referendum
generated a backlash. It's not clear to me how to correct this mistake
- I fully accept and understand the process by which the referendum
questions were generated (quickly dashed-off by three people without
running them past anyone else), and that there was no intent
whatsoever to spin the result - but from the outside view, having
people take them as intended in bad faith is, unfortunately, entirely

I also have to note that Sue's blog post was profoundly ill-considered
at best - it has left a lot of people feeling highly insulted, and
reads like an official staff stance to ignore opposition to the
filter. Using the tone argument was, I think, the fatal element - when
the powerful side of a dispute pulls out the tone argument, it may not
actually neatly divide the powerless side; instead, the claimed
non-targets may get just as offended by it as the claimed targets (and
this is what happened), and take it as the nuclear option it is (and
this is what has happened).

It is not clear in what world any of this was ever a good idea.

- d.

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