[WikiEN-l] Wikipedia's destiny

Bryan Derksen bryan.derksen at shaw.ca
Fri Feb 24 03:52:38 UTC 2006

Jimmy Wales wrote:
> Bryan Derksen wrote:
>> Woah, a whole _year_? I'd thought the article was just temporarily 
>> deleted while some details got sorted out. _Now_ I've got a serious 
>> grounds for objection.
> The point here is not the article itself, it is the abuse of process
> that was involved.
My understanding of the process involved has changed several times since 
I first involved myself in reaction. Initially, I thought you'd 
instituted some sort of unique Jimbo decree that the article be put "on 
hold" for a year and had used deletion as a way to do that. This was the 
source of my vehement initial reaction - deletion is not a way to 
"store" stuff. I wasn't aware of any of the many AfD/VfDs that had gone 
before since there weren't notices in the talk page.

Then I found out that you'd deleted it "in process" after an AfD delete 
result, and I started feeling quite embarrassed that I'd stuck my foot 
in my mouth as a result of incomplete information. I may disagree with 
the structure of AfD and many of its results but at least it's part of 
Wikipedia's functioning that is being debated widely and may be changed.

Then I found out that the AfD delete result had been for a previous 
version of the article and that the current version had _survived_ AfD, 
suggesting your deletion was a unique "Jimbo thing" after all. I'm back 
to being concerned that your intervention has inappropriately 
short-circuited the development of what seems to be to be a legitimate 
article, but having been burned by misunderstanding before I'm hesitant 
to jump back in to the debate. So far I've just tried to ensure that the 
Brian Pepper talk page has prominent links to the previous AfD pages to 
hopefully keep my original misunderstanding from happening to others.

> As I said in another post, I'm happy to reduce the time period from one
> year, but what I'd really like to see first is for us to all take a
> really serious look at WP:LIVING, and in particular a strengthening of
> the "Presumption in favor of Privacy".
Since I'm just an editor in the trenches and don't participate in all 
the higher-level helpdesk/committee/Foundation stuff I may have a skewed 
perspective on all this, but I worry that this post-Siegenthaler 
biography tizzy is turning into a moral panic of some sort. I would 
think that the existing verifiability and no original research policies 
would be sufficient to deal with almost all of these sorts of cases 
already. Going too far in deference to the privacy wishes of the 
subjects of articles verges into POV territory.

IMO, of course.

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