[WikiEN-l] Corporate vanity policy enforcement

Jimmy Wales jwales at wikia.com
Sun Oct 1 17:23:18 UTC 2006

This should be required reading.  Charles is a voice of great experience 
and wisdom.

charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com wrote:
> "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.
> Charles
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