[WikiEN-l] systemic bias

Dan Rosenthal swatjester at gmail.com
Mon May 8 19:29:40 UTC 2006

Raphael- I understand and am aware of the controversy regarding the Armenian
Genocide article. What is the issue with Nanjing (which article, what's the
problem etc?) I haven't heard of this before now.


On 5/8/06, Raphael Wegmann <raphael at psi.co.at> wrote:
> charles matthews wrote:
> > "Raphael Wegmann"  wrote
> >
> >>> So, Wikipedia editors need not self-censor, while engaged in writing
> the
> >>> encyclopedia articles.  As decent people, they will self-censor in
> talk
> >>> page
> >>> discussion.  Self-censorship is of course a basic social requirement.
> >> So decency in article pages is forbidden, even if you
> >> can be decent without loosing any informational content?
> >> The problem with this approach is, that you will loose a lot of
> >> readers and editors that way. Some of you will even be happy about
> >> that, but NPOV is in severe danger, if you are offending
> >> editors, who are members of a cultural resp. religious minority.
> >> In the end you will have an American/British/Christian encyclopedia.
> >> If this is what you're aiming at, I would not be interested.
> >> You'd waste a big chance for intercultural exchange and
> >> a true neutral point of view.
> >
> > Too many assumptions.  I don't know why you think that Christians might
> not
> > be offended, at some things:
> I never said so. But since Christians are the majority, their opinion
> will be heard in the poll surveys, that are IMHO carried out way too
> often. Why do you distract the discussion to countries like Armenia or
> Nanjing? I am talking about 1.3 billion people, who happen to be a
> minority on the english language Wikipedia.
> [...]
> > Actually the only way not to offend anyone is  to avoid all
> controversial
> > topics.  It was decided, long ago, not to do that, and not to give the
> kind
> > of treatment you might find in government-approved history books.
> I disagree. It is possible to present controversial topics in
> a non-offensive way by presenting the differing point of views,
> balancing their weight and establishing a consensus among all
> interested parties. It happens all the time on Wikipedia.
> Unfortunately sometimes polls decide how a controversial topic
> should be presented. Thereby Wikipedia will become an Ochlocracy
> resp. Mobocracy, which is bad - even for articles like Armenia
> and Nanjing.
> --
> Raphael
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Dan Rosenthal
IWVO National Legislative Director

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