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

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Sat Oct 22 22:36:18 UTC 2011

On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 2:56 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 22 October 2011 22:51, Tobias Oelgarte
> And, in detail, why is a hide/show all solution inadequate? What is
> the use case this does not serve?

Clearly Hebrew and Arabic Wikipedia found a "show/hide all" solution
inadequate. Are folks from those communities on the list? It would be
interesting to hear from them as to why they ended up with the
collapsing approach they took.

To the extent that there's a discernible institutional view as to why
these options are being discussed in the first place, it's not about
morality of the images, but it's about helping our audience to not be
freaked out, alienated or pissed off by the editorial choices we make
in our projects. And they might be so because they're in a public or
professional setting, or because they're using our projects together
with their kids, or they don't know what to expect when looking up a
given topic, or because they have particular sensibilities.

A show/hide all images function is likely too drastic to serve some of
these use cases well. So for example, if you're at work, you might not
want to have autofellatio on your screen by accident, but you'd be
annoyed at having to un-hide a fabulous screenshot of a wonderful
piece of open source software in order to mitigate that risk.

True, most of the time it's fairly self-evident what images an article
might contain and you could make the choice to show/hide before
looking it up. Not always, though, and of course it's somewhat
illusionary to think that Wiki[mp]edia consumption always follows a
highly predictable, intentional pattern.

Making it easy for editors to say, based on normal editorial judgment
and established practices in their project, "Hey, reader, there's
something here you might not want to see  ... and BTW, would you like
to remember that choice?" seems like a more straightforward
accommodation of the concerns that we're talking about than saying
"We're not censored! Click here to turn off images if you don't like

With that said, the mobile site already has a generic "Disable images"
view and something similar would definitely make sense on the main
site as well. If both options were available (marking images as
collapsible in a standard way, & show/hide all for all media),
communities could evolve standards and practices within that framework
as they see fit.


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