[WikiEN-l] Quitting Wikipedia and wanted you to know why.

Stephen Streater sbstreater at mac.com
Fri Oct 6 09:22:45 UTC 2006

On 6 Oct 2006, at 10:04, Tony Jacobs wrote:

>> From: "Parker Peters" <onmywayoutster at gmail.com>
>> Reply-To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l at Wikipedia.org>
>> To: wikien-l at wikipedia.org, jwales at wikia.com
>> Subject: [WikiEN-l] Quitting Wikipedia and wanted you to know why.
>> Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 21:38:18 -0500
> There's a lot of truth in that email.  I'm disappointed with David's
> response, which is to question the examples given, and basically  
> evade the
> point.  The point is not wrong, and it's that we've allowed  
> ourselves to
> develop a culture of disrespect, contempt, and dickishness.  We  
> haven't made
> it a priority to insure that Wikipedians, especially admins, treat one
> another with respect and dignity at all times.  We're actually  
> developing a
> reputation as a place of arrogance and nastiness, a place of heavy- 
> handed
> thugishness, a place where people treat each other quite badly.   
> That's bad
> for the project.
> Rather than defensively trying to say why Parker Peters is wrong,  
> we should
> be introspectively asking what we can do to make Wikipedia a better  
> work
> environment.  I see no reason why Wikipedians shouldn't set a  
> standard for
> excellent treatment of contributors.  In Jimbo's Statement of  
> Principles, I
> read #7: "Anyone with a complaint should be treated with the utmost  
> respect
> and dignity."  We seem to be very quick to revert to the final  
> sentence of
> the paragraph, which says, "I must not let the "squeaky wheel" be  
> greased
> just for being a jerk."  The trouble is in being too quick to  
> decide that
> someone is "just a jerk".  When you decide someone's just a jerk -  
> they
> often become one, and I don't blame them!
> I've seen admins treat regular users like dog shit way too many  
> times.  Why
> doesn't ArbCom come down on admins who fail to respect  
> contributors?  Why
> isn't that a high priority?  We're not in an early development  
> stage at this
> point, where the whole cowboy, run-and-gun mentality is all that  
> valuable.
> We've reached a plateau where other things start to matter a lot -  
> things
> like maintaining an atmosphere in which good writers will want to  
> contribute
> their valuable time.  Wikipedia's grown up a bit, and we should  
> really start
> acting like grownups.
> The email from Parker Peters makes me sad, because it hits so close  
> to home.
>   If we don't start demanding civility, not in some hollow sense  
> where we
> manage to avoid personal attacks, but in a real sense that involves  
> treating
> people with actual dignity, we're going to start seeing a lot more  
> fallout.
> I'm not citing any examples, or getting specific, not because I  
> can't (I
> could go on and on), but because I don't want people to focus on  
> attacking
> whatever particular case I bring up.  The point is that more and  
> more people
> are thinking of Wikipedia as a place to go and get showered with  
> abuse, with
> little or no provocation.  Is that what we want?
> I suggest we take a cue from those great philosophers from San  
> Dimas, and
> make it a site policy to "Be excellent to each other".

It's the respect of other contributors which is sometimes lacking.

Ultimately, this place has to be fun.

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