[WikiEN-l] CSD T1

Peter Mackay peter.mackay at bigpond.com
Mon May 15 22:41:54 UTC 2006

> From: wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org 
> [mailto:wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org] On Behalf Of Nick Boalch
> On Tue, 16 May 2006, Peter Mackay wrote:
> >> It's been a long-standing tenet of Wikipedia (and, in my view, a
> >> crucial and necessary one) that contributors should leave their 
> >> political opinions at the door. Accordingly, any actions 
> designed to 
> >> divide the editing community into political factions can 
> be seen as 
> >> unhelpful.
> >
> > Where is this "long-standing tenet" defined? NPOV, for example, 
> > depends on different points of view, including political opinions, 
> > being given space consistent with their level of support.
> Consistent with their level of support in the world, yes. 
> Consistent with 
> their level of support among the Wikipedia editing community, 
> no. There is a crucial difference.

Beg pardon, but I think you've got that the wrong way around...

> > People are free to express their political opinions so long as it is
> > done in a civil and non-inflammatory manner.
> They may be free to express them, but my point is that they 
> aren't free to 
> inflict them on articles.

That's precisely what I *do* mean. Articles are written by people with
political views, and where I know an editor's political opinions (if they
are revealed on user or talk pages), I find it extremely rare that they
write something in an article that is contrary to those opinions.

A good editor will do it in a civil, factual, sourced and non-inflammatory
manner, consistent with NPOV.
> Jimbo's word on the matter:
>    The point is, we don't act *in Wikipedia* as a Democrat, a 
> Republican,
>    a pro-Lifer, a pro-Choicer, or whatever. Here we are 
> Wikipedians, which
>    means: thoughtful, loving, neutral.
> (<URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category%3AWik
> ipedians_by_politics&diff=33156588&oldid=32840056>)

With all due respect to you and Jimbo, that's not the way it happens.
Thoughtful, loving, neutral, touchy-feely gets good marks, but editors don't
suddenly turn into opinionless automatons. Nor do we want them to. We want
Republicans to have input into articles on the Republican Party. We just
don't want it to be Republican propaganda.

Likewise I am told we have self-confirmed Nazis editing articles on Nazism,
homosexual folk editing material om homosexuality and so on. By and large,
contributions of partisan or opinionated editors are usually consistent with
their opinions and rarely in opposition.

NPOV doesn't mean we present a totally neutral point of view. It means we
present diverse views consistent with the level of support, where the views
are inconsistent. [[Abortion debate]] for instance (rather than [[Abortion]]
itself which deals mainly with methods and history, though the talk page
suggests otherwise).

Peter in Canberra

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