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

John Lee johnleemk at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 03:52:57 UTC 2007

On 7/3/07, jayjg <jayjg99 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 7/2/07, Steve Summit <scs at eskimo.com> wrote:
> > jayjg wrote:
> > > On 7/2/07, James Farrar <james.farrar at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >> If I'm being silly, it's only because such a blanket ban is silly.
> > >
> > > Define "blanket ban".
> >
> > Several of the people involved in the debate over WP:NPA --
> > specifically its "attack sites" section -- appear to be in favor
> > of banning all links from Wikipedia to those "attack sites".
> > They make no distinction between links from article space versus
> > project or talk space, nor between links which are intended to
> > serve as attacks and links which are merely involved in commentary,
> > or for reference.  They insist on the retention of wording which
> > has this interpretation; they continue to cite Arbcom's "MONGO
> > decision" as if they wish to enshrine and more broadly apply that
> > principle.  They resist the introduction of more moderate wording
> > such as "links to abusive external material which are placed with
> > intent to offend or abuse are disallowed."
> >
> > If the "attack sites" portion of WP:NPA merely banned links
> > which serve as attacks (an interpretation utterly consistent
> > with the rest of NPA), if it did not try to resurrect BADSITES
> > by punitively banning all links to an unnamed (and unnamable) list
> > of shunned sites, I don't think anyone would have a problem with it.
> Look, let's start talking some sense now. ED, WR are attack sites,
> nothing more. They have no value whatsoever, and, unless under some
> extraordinarily unlikely circumstances, there's simply no reason to
> link to them. The MONGO case was clear (and correct) about this.
> On the other hand, the number of sites like them are fairly small, and
> people are generally sensible about these things: no-one is going to
> extrapolate from that to saying "we can't link to the New York Times",
> and no-one is going to insist on a banning if there is some incredibly
> important reason why one must be linked to under some bizarre and
> unforeseen turn of events. Yes, it happened that one editor tried to
> treat a site as an "attack site" and most others didn't agree with
> him. However, his actions were quickly stopped, he apologized, and no
> real harm was done.
> The hysteria-talk really must stop, it adds no value whatsoever.

Look, Jay, I recognise that you and SlimVirgin are sincere when you say you
don't mean this policy to degenerate into the crap we've been seeing. But if
it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

What I'm saying is, intentions are good, but by their fruits ye shall know
them. The consistent implementation of this principle you, SlimVirgin and to
a lesser extent Fred Bauder have been advocating has consistently resulted
in abuses. Now, if this was the only way to achieve the result we all want -
banning links made for the purpose of personal attacks or to otherwise harm
an editor - then I'd be okay with it.

But as many of us have pointed out before, there's no reason a looser-worded
policy or one based on the existing NPA policy would not achieve the same

The fact is, the fruits of this policy are the fruits of any blanket ban
which tars a broad variety of sites with the same brush. You say applying
this blanket ban with some common sense should avoid the problems we've

But when people have consistently exhibited a lack of the common sense
required to apply this, and there is an alternative proposal which can
achieve virtually the same results without relying on people having the
common sense to know what is banned by this blanket and what is not, why
should we not go for the alternative?


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