[WikiEN-l] Fred Bauder"clarifies"on attack site link policy

Fred Bauder fredbaud at waterwiki.info
Tue Jul 3 04:32:56 UTC 2007

Your essay presumes that a parasitic site feeding off us does not suffer lack of oxygen if we don't link to them. I suppose if a tick got on you, you would just let it suck and suck, get bigger and bigger and have a litter of little ticks.

I bet you get rid of that tick in real life.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: Steve Summit [mailto:scs at eskimo.com]
>Sent: Monday, July 2, 2007 07:25 PM
>To: wikien-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Fred Bauder "clarifies" on attack site link policy
>Fred Bauder wrote:
>> I shudder to contemplate what Mr. Goodman wants for Wikipedia.
>> If a pack of dogs fall on someone after he and his ilk are in control,
>> I guess we will simply be obligated to stand by and do nothing.
>Fred, with all due respect, this sounds uncomfortably close to
>the fallacious arguments that keep being made in support of the
>failed BADSITES policy.
>1. "Site X has been doing unspeakably horrible things to Wikipedia
> editors, so obviously we need to ban hyperlinks to Site X."
>2. "If you disagree with this ban, I guess you condone those
> unspeakable things."
>#1 is fallacious because it is not obvious that banning links is
>an appropriate or effective remedy. #2 is fallacious on its face.
>I get the impression -- and I'm sorry if this analysis offends
>anyone -- that the primary motivation behind blanket link bans
>goes something like this:
>Site X (Encyclopedia Dramatica, Wikipedia Review, Wikitruth,
>whoever) has done something unspeakably horrible. Unfortunately,
>what they've done is not actually illegal or anything. Also,
>there's absolutely nothing we can do to stop them, because
>they're not a site that's under our control. But we *must* do
>something, we must punish them somehow, we can't stand idly by
>and do nothing, because silence = assent, and we have to show the
>aggrieved Wikipedia editors that we care, that we're absolutely
>*not* going to let Site X get away with this.
>So we apply the only sanction we can, which is: ban links to
>those nasty, nasty folks. "And if you don't stop being nasty,
>we'll... ban links to you some more!"
>But there are several problems here: banning links to them is no
>"punishment" at all. It doesn't hurt them, it doesn't stop them,
>it doesn't make their information any less accessible. All it
>does is makes some of us feel a little better.
>And it also exacts a significant price, because making blanket
>bans against all links to a certain site, for any reason, is a
>draconian, censorious rule without precedent in the five pillars
>or anywhere else in Wikipedia policy (that I know of).
>Unthinking blanket bans do hurt the project. They shouldn't be
>necessary, if the activities they ban are already proscribed
>by existing, less-draconian policies (i.e. WP:NPA, minus the
>controversial "attack site" wording). They make it difficult or
>impossible for people to make reasonable exceptions. And they
>(the bans, that is) are just about guaranteed to end up being
>bandied about in unintended, abusive ways.
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