[WikiEN-l] "should not be written by an interested party"

Steve Bennett stevage at gmail.com
Wed May 3 11:16:57 UTC 2006

On 03/05/06, Phil Boswell <phil.boswell at gmail.com> wrote:
> > And if instead of actually fixing the article directly, the injured
> > party simply left a message on the talk page, and possibly at village
> > pump or something too? No room for cries of vandal, and probably
> > someone would quickly investigate and fix it.
> >
> You're assuming that someone entirely unfamiliar with Wikipedia should, when
> alerted to an unsympathetic and possibly damaging article about them, be
> able to understand when the mantra "anybody can edit" suddenly becomes
> invalid, and furthermore deduce the alternate avenues of change which they
> should pursue, all the while leaving a version of their article on display
> which might well be somewhat distressing to them?

Well, you're making a bit of a leap between an abstract, ideal
situation which I describe, and its immediate concrete realisation. I
take your point though.

> We should be more careful not to bite newbies, especially when we
> have...however inadvertent it might have been, and I'm AGFing here like
> crazy...caused them distress before they even arrive here. We do not exactly
> improve our general reputation by fostering an atmosphere which potentially
> allows people to insert damaging and downright mean disinformation into a
> biographical article, lie in wait for the subject should they turn up, and
> add insult to injury by castigating their well-meaning if naive efforts to
> correct the situation.


Any idea how often people edit their own articles? That is, how
frequently an outsider publicly makes it known that they are editing
their own article? Once a day? Once a week?  We could always have a
set of processes for these situations, where users who are good with
the kid gloves can take them by the hand and help them get the best
out of an awkward situation. There is still the problem of becoming
aware of these situations.


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