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

Steve Summit scs at eskimo.com
Thu Jul 5 00:54:50 UTC 2007

jayjg wrote:
> On 7/3/07, Steve Summit <scs at eskimo.com> wrote:
>> I'm not talking about wiki-drama, I'm talking about hypertext.
>> Wikipedia is a website.  Websites link to each other.  It turns
>> out it's an incredibly powerful and useful concept.
> It's only useful to link to sites that have useful content. Wikipedia
> has all sorts of rules about not linking to useless sites.

Wikipedia has rules about the insertion of useless *links*.
And even if every link to a site is useless, we don't need
an additional rule saying, never link to this site.  The
no-useless-links rule is both necessary and sufficient.

>> I wish you'd answer the question.  Why do we need a blanket ban?
>> How does it prevent Personal Attacks (in ways that WP:NPA can't)?
>> How does it help us build an encyclopedia?
> That has been explained at length.

(But this is still no explanation:)

> Wikipedians volunteer their time to
> help in this project; as a result of that volunteer work, they are
> exposed to often vicious harassment by a small number of banned
> editors on websites. We should not in any way bring attention to those
> websites. It's common sense, good policy, and basic decency.

(I should really decline to take another turn on this
merry-go-round, but:) Links to the vicious harassment, for
the purpose of additional harassment, are vile and should be
prohibited.  But you still haven't shown why other kinds of links
must be prohibited.  You still haven't shown why a blanket ban is

The argument in favor of a blanket ban seems to rest on one or
two assumptions:

  1. that a link to site X is an "endorsement" of site X, and/or
  2. that a viciously harassed volunteer Wikipedia editor,
     once harassed, is further wounded by every mention of
     the harasser, in any context.

>>> What cost? I've seen none so far.
>> An illogical, censorious policy exacts a significant (albeit
>> intangible) cost in that observers are left with the impression
>> that our policies are driven by emotion, not logic.  One begins
>> to trust and respect our policymaking process less.
> I'm talking about real costs, not radical philosophy.

You'll have to define "real cost", then.  The cost in terms of
rational people throwing up their hands and walking away from a
madhouse is at least as great as the cost in terms of thin-skinned
victims wailing that the bully's name got mentioned again.  It's
not "radical philosophy" to point out that irrational, emotion-laden
policies weaken a project that's supposed to welcome rational,
mature contributors.

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list