[WikiEN-l] Jimmy Wales should reconsider

Bryan Derksen bryan.derksen at shaw.ca
Sun Apr 22 17:29:11 UTC 2007

doc wrote:
> Most of the real BLP issues group round biographies of little known 
> people. Bios that be nature can only ever have information about the bit 
> part they played in some small-town scandal, and thus can never be a 
> balanced 'biography' of the person's life. Bios that highlight news that 
> otherwise would be forgotten. Bios that are damaging because they may 
> are the only public biography of the person in existence. Bios that by 
> nature are under-watched. Bios where few will know enough to spot spin 
> and hatchet jobs.

Actually, when I was browsing through that list of {{unreferenced}}
biographies last night I didn't come across a single one of these. The
only person I found whose notoriety was due to a "scandal" actually
looked pretty significant (not just some small-town thing) and had a lot
of information about him out on the web.

The vast majority of the little-known people with biographies were minor
sports figures, singers, actors, models, race car drivers, etc. whose
articles were completely non-controversial and didn't mention any
scandalous events.

> What we've got on this list are reactionaries who don't want any change 
> and would rather pretend that everything's jolly and no change can ever 
> improve everything. Sure, any change will have some downsides - but 
> that's not the end of the story.

Please don't mischaracterize those who disagree with you. I don't
believe that "no change can ever improve everything", I just think that
this specific change of being more aggressive about deleting biographies
is not the best way to improve Wikipedia and may in fact be detrimental.
As someone said elsethread, "we need to do something, this is something,
therefore we need to do this" is flawed logic.

Personally, I think that once stable versions are finally implemented
many of the major deletionism issues that have been going on for years
will fade away. That's the change I'd really like to see, it'll make
Wikipedia safer for work-in-progress again.

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