[WikiEN-l] Arbcom has completely lost its mind

Steve Bennett stevage at gmail.com
Fri Feb 17 19:12:35 UTC 2006

On 2/17/06, BJörn Lindqvist <bjourne at gmail.com> wrote:
> If Wikipedia isn't mine, then who owns it? Who gets to decide whether
Wikipedia is, to the best of my knowledge, owned by the Wikimedia Foundation.

> publishing "I am a fish" on your user page is allowed or not? Why
Jimbo. He delegates most decision making on that to the community, but
definitely holds the final say.

> doesn't my opinion carry as much weight as the next one? AFAIK there
Not if Jimbo is the next one :)

> is no Wikipedia-rule against writing pedophile on your user page. I
> thought that was the whole reason for this email thread.

There isn't a rule against it, but it doesn't mean you have a right to
either. Well, that's my interpretation.

> Information has no moral value, it is neutral. It is the consumer of
> the information that may *choose* to being disrupted or offended. Each

Well that's one way of seeing it :)

> and everyone is responsible for how he or she interprets the
> information and what "mood" that puts him or her in. Within reasonable
> limits of course - false information, hatespeech and goatse is not
> good and is not allowed on Wikipedia.

Sure, I can wander down the street waving a stick and anyone who
"chooses" to get hit by it is responsible. Not a very useful model for
building a community IMHO.

> Most constitutions (the one in the US for example) explicitly
> guarantees every citizens right to free speech. Most countries also
> have laws that makes saying and publishing certain things illegal. In
> most countries with "free speech," you are allowed to put "almost any
> poster you want on your front door." Similarly, Wikipedia allows you
> to put almost any description of yourself you want on your user page.

I think you're mischaracterising free speech. You can say what you
want on the inside of *your* front door. I'm fairly certain that if
you wrote a detailed plan for assassinating the president on the
outside of your front door, you would regret it once the police found

> Quite the contrary, it is important to emphasize that there is no
> protection for offensiveness for anyone.

Not true. We have policies for civility and that includes not using
offensive language, personal attacks etc. We don't guarantee anyone a
swearword-free environment, but we do try and make it pleasant.


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