[WikiEN-l] Jimmy Wales should reconsider

Jimmy Wales jwales at wikia.com
Sat Apr 21 10:53:16 UTC 2007

Seth Finkelstein wrote:
>> James Farrar
>> I suppose you could call the belief that any policy must be fairly
>> enforceable "pure dogma", but I don't think it helps.
> 	I call the belief that Wikipedia couldn't figure out a policy
> on this topic a laughably absurd excuse that doesn't deserve a moment
> of being taken seriously. It is the essence of the difference between
> "can't" and "doesn't want to" (with "put critics on the defensive"
> in the mix).

Well, of course we already DO have a policy on this: WP:BLP.

Arguments that suggest that any change is equivalent to "might as well 
shut Wikipedia down" are useless and will of course be sensibly ignored 
by the community.

"Delete any bio if the subject objects" is pretty clearly too simplistic 
a policy.

But I think it is entirely possible to strengthen our policies in a way 
that is consistent with our values and traditions, and broadly 
acceptable within the community.

One possibility that someone mentioned the other day would be to have a 
shift in policy that looks something like this:

Whenever the subject of a biography objects on the grounds of being 
non-notable, the subsequent AFD has a shifted "default"... instead of 
needing a "consensus to delete" we would have a "consensus to keep".

Another version would say this for ALL bios of living people:

For biographies of living persons, there must be a "consensus to keep" 
rather than a "consensus to delete".

Another version would say this for ALL bios of living people:

For biographies of living persons, a "majority to delete (taking into 
account sock puppets, and taking into account the number of edits of 
those participating in the discussion" shall be sufficient to delete.

Another version... another version.  The point is, it would not be 
difficult or the death of Wikipedia to lean a little bit more in the 
direction of structural deletionism than we have done in the past. 
Standards of inclusion shift all the time, and can and will shift again.

We can think creatively about that, rather than engaging in rhetoric 
about shutting Wikipedia down. :)


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