[WikiEN-l] Corporate vanity policy enforcement

charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com
Sun Oct 1 10:23:39 UTC 2006

"David Mestel" wrote

> I don't think that "implied discretion" is a good idea long-term -
> it's better to codify it in policy so that everything is consistent
> and in the open.  Apart from anything else, it's kind of inadvertantly
> biting the newbies when stuff happens for reasons which aren't
> explained.

Well, as for explanation, when deleting a page one is supposed to fill in a Reason box, and something like 'promotional material' is a quite adequate explanation.

But your reply shows that (per David Gerard, and others of course), we have dialogues here in two languages. Let's for the purposes of argument call them Wonkish and Arbish.

In Wonkish, 'discretion' stands for certain grey and disreputable areas of policy, where what should happen is not yet properly regulated. In Arbish, however, and I speak here as an Arb with the publicly stated aim of keeping admins' discretion something meaningful, you have always to look behind applications of policy to see intention, and the application to the mission statement we have of writing the encyclopedia. 

In other words, discretion in Arbish is read as saying that pro-active admins are the first, second and probably third lines of defence of the project. It is much better to have them out there doing their best, and taking away the mop-and-bucket from a very few, than doing up the constraints ever tighter, because it is felt that this pre-empts misuse of admin powers.

This debate, of course, will run and run.


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