[WikiEN-l] Wikipedia's destiny

Peter Mackay peter.mackay at bigpond.com
Fri Feb 24 02:27:20 UTC 2006

> From: wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org 
> [mailto:wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org] On Behalf Of Jimmy Wales
> Steve Bennett wrote:
> > I see we have still made little progress in deciding why exactly we 
> > want to have rules on notability, or what notability means in the 
> > Wikipedia context. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I do note that 
> > many others seem to have very different views on why 
> certain subjects 
> > should or should not feature in Wikipedia.
> > 
> > For what it's worth, I feel we should begin by posing ourselves the
> > question: How likely is it that someone will come to 
> Wikipedia looking 
> > for information on this topic. On Peppers, I would say "fairly 
> > likely".
> That is certainly one question we should ask.
> Another question is: does human dignity matter at all?

On sober reflection, unless we are publishing articles on ALL lowgrade sex
offenders (and what Peppers is listed as doing seems to rank very low on the
scale of such things) then by having an article on him, we are singling him
out for demonisation and ridicule based on his looks. Sure, he's notable
after a fashion, but the casual reader might conclude that if we have an
article on Peppers, busted for forcing his affection on somebody, and not on
Joe Blow down the street just released after twenty years inside for rude
things with great aunts and fluffy white ducks, then we must know something
they don't. Particularly looking the way he does. 

It's no great step to find his address on the Ohio database thing, and
before we know it we have crowds of the Wikicurious lurking outside his
house and dogging his steps when he goes shopping so as to get a photograph
for GFDL uploading. "For the good of the encyclopaedia. We're here to write
an encyclopaedia. Moral behaviour and civic responsibility take second

Do we really want people to be Wikipediaed in much the same way as websites
are routinely Slashdotted?

Peter (Skyring)

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