[WikiEN-l] Wikipedia's destiny

Ben Lowe ben.lowe at gmail.com
Fri Feb 24 05:02:22 UTC 2006

btw, [[Brian Peppers]] got unlocked about 20 minutes ago..... any theories?

On 2/24/06, Delirium <delirium at hackish.org> wrote:
> Mark Gallagher wrote:
> >I'm a bit concerned that sometimes Wikipedians have a habit of writing
> >articles or including information, not because it's the right thing to
> >do, but just basically as a way of saying "you can't tell US what to do,
> >mate" whenever the subject of an article complains.  In our rush to send
> >a big "FUCK YOU" to any censors, real or imagined, we can ignore what's
> >editorially or morally appropriate.  As the man who has to deal with the
> >angry 'phone calls and possible press issues afterwards, it's quite
> >clear why Jimbo might object to that sort of thing.
> >
> >
> That may be why some people support it, but I think it's ascribing too
> much bad faith to accuse most of us of supporting publishing information
> simply as a way of saying "fuck you".
> I, personally, believe correct, verifiable information on a subject
> someone might be looking for is nearly always a net positive, and that
> withholding such information is almost always a net negative.
> Publicly-available information is a cat that can't be put back into a
> bag, and refusing to provide it in a neutral, verifiable manner does
> nothing but: 1) increase the prominence of misinformation from
> alternative sources; and 2) increase inequality in access to information.
> Many people object to many things Wikipedia publishes, and make
> arguments for why we should make a special rule against publishing a
> specific type of information.  Among other cases are:
> * Information some organizations consider non-public, such as Mormon
> temple rites, Freemason ceremonies, and so on.
> * Leaked information alleged to be damaging to the national security of
> one or another country (e.g. details on how military training in
> specific countries operates).
> * Photographs deemed by some cultures to be highly offensive (e.g.
> [[en:clitoris]] or the Jyllands-Posten Muhammed cartoons).
> In each of those cases, the eventual decision has been to continue
> publishing the information, which I think is the correct decision.  I
> don't see how we can reasonably begin to limit what we publish for moral
> reasons, especially since Wikipedians come from all over the world, with
> vast differences in their moral views.  I also don't think it would be
> ethical to do so, anyway.
> -Mark
> P.S. -- Lest the above get misconstrued into an overly radical
> inclusionist viewpoint, I should point out that I do support a weak
> notability criterion.  If someone is so non-famous that the only people
> who might seek information on them are actually connected with the
> person somehow (friends, family, employers, potential employers, friends
> of friends, and so on), then an encyclopedia is not the proper place for
> information on them.  That covers many of the speedy-delete cases
> (garage bands, high-school students, and so on).
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