[WikiEN-l] FredBauder"clarifies"onattack site link policy

Daniel R. Tobias dan at tobias.name
Sun Jul 1 19:12:14 UTC 2007

On 1 Jul 2007 at 16:32:39 +0000, wikien-l-request at lists.wikime wrote:

> See
> Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/MONGO/Workshop
> and the other pages associated with that arbitration.

...which actually impose a ban on linking to Encyclopedia Dramatica, 
not Wikipedia Review, which is the site in question in the latest 

But referring to that arbitration workshop page just underscores the 
idea that it's bad for ArbCom to be making policy, which is exactly 
what it's doing when it does things like imposing sweeping bans on 
linking to sites, regardless of the word-lawyering you may be doing 
to claim that it isn't making policy.  The arbitration workshop page 
was frequented by a fairly small group of people -- the combatants in 
the current case (some ED partisans vs. some editors/admins that had 
been targeted for attack on that site) along with the handful of 
policy wonks who pay close attention to all ArbCom cases and other 
such administrivia.  It can hardly be considered to be representative 
of the Wikipedia community as a whole, of which one is supposed to 
have a consensus when setting policy.  I see that the part on not 
linking to "attack sites" got hardly any discussion or debate on that 
page, with just a handful of comments including your own curt "Game 
Over" against somebody wanting less absolutism.  Some other things on 
the page got a greater deal of debate (the "solidarity" part, where 
admins were expected to close ranks in an us-vs-them manner against 
anybody deemed to be "attacking" one of "us", got some expressions of 
concern for over-broadness and slippery-slope dangerousness, but 
these were dismissed with "if you're not with us, you're with the 
terrorists" rhetoric).

To treat anything emerging from this as binding policy enforceable 
against anybody other than the direct parties to the particular case 
is letting a small handful of people impose policy on a greater 
community unaware that this is even happening until it's too late, 
after which everybody gets told to "shut up and follow the binding 

I know that I was unaware of what was going on in that ArbCom 
decision at the time it was being made; like the vast majority of 
editors, I was busy improving the encyclopedia, not concerning myself 
with silly flame-wars between people on an external site I was not 
interested in and editors on Wikipedia I was not dealing directly 
with at the time.  If I'd known that it was being used as an entering 
wedge to impose sweeping rules on all of us, I'd certainly have 
raised objections at the time.

== Dan ==
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