[WikiEN-l] Userboxes: A radical proposal

charles matthews charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com
Fri Feb 17 17:58:11 UTC 2006

"Steve Bennett"  wrote

> We seem to have already lost faith in our users that they can make
> reasonable decisions for themselves. (Assuming you agree with the
> userboxes are evil line of thinking)

I wouldn't see it like that.  There have always been some tensions around: 
e.g. get on and write the 'Pedia versus having a public life here, to name 
one which is not so contentious and where it is kind of obvious we need 
both.  Equally we do need both of the wiki open door, and the right to throw 
a few disruptive users back on the street.

What happens when things get out of kilter?  We seem to have reached a stage 
where the granting of permissions, which  is at the heart of the wiki way, 
is in tension with the assertion of rights.  Everyone here knows that the 
permission to write on a page is quite distinct from the right to have your 
POV on the page; this is Wikipedia 101.  The permission to write on one's 
user page, together with the right to veto anyone else's contributions 
there, is not a right 'of free speech' on a user page.  If people are making 
decisions based on some assumed right of that kind, they are just completely 
wrong.  This is not a feasible policy for Wikipedia.  The fact is that user 
pages are not policed, except in egregious cases.  That is not a reason to 
be confused about the basic situation.


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