[WikiEN-l] Re: What we need

Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com
Thu Nov 21 11:57:08 UTC 2002

O.k., I hereby proclaim the following:
> * We will not tolerate biased content.  The neutral point of view is not
> open to vote; it's decided.  If you don't like it, go somewhere else.
> * There are certain other policies as well that basically define us as a
> community.  We have arrived at them by broad consensus, and they should be
> respected.  Wikipedians working in good faith should feel empowered to
> enforce those policies.  They shouldn't have to apologize for doing so!
> * We will not stop banning vandals.  We should seek out the best ways we
> know how to make sure that non-vandals are not lumped in with the vandals,
> but please stop talking as if we'll just stop banning them, because it
> ain't gonna happen.
> * We try to help newcomers who want to contribute but don't quite
> understand the body of good habits (and rules) we've built up.  But we
> should not and *will* not tolerate forever people who are essentially
> attempting to undermine the system.  See below.
> * To whatever extent we are or are not, or should be, a democracy, the
> following is also true.  We are a benevolent monarchy ruled by a
> "constitution" or, anyway, a developing body of common law that is not
> open to interpretation, but not vote.  This has been the case from the
> beginning, and we aren't going to change that.

None of this is new.

> In addition to this, it would help a LOT for you to solicit draft
> statements of policy regarding clear circumstances in which people can be
> banned for being really egregiously difficult.  There has to be a
> *reasonably* clear line drawn that distinguishes difficult but
> on-the-whole useful contributors, on the one hand, from contributors so
> egregiously difficult that the project suffers from their continued
> presence.  The policy should codify, for example, the reasons why we did
> ban 24 and Helga, and the reasons why we might ban Lir.  Let's have a
> discussion about this, bearing in mind that one option that is *not* on
> the table is that we might decide *not* to ban people for their trollish
> behavior at all.  We definitely will, so let's make the policy clearer.
> You could start the discussion and make it clear that at some point soon,
> we *will* determine a policy.
> I don't mean to put words in your mouth of course.  I'm just saying that,
> IMO, Wikipedia is really suffering, and even losing people.  You're in a
> position to help embolden the most productive members of the project, who
> it seems to me are, in at least some cases, getting very discouraged.

I agree with all of this, except with your diagnosis of the current
situation.  Can you show me examples of "anarchists" who are arguing
that we "we might decide *not* to ban people for their trollish
behavior at all"?


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