[WikiEN-l] The Register decries Wikipedia's "censorship" via OTRS

Guy Chapman aka JzG guy.chapman at spamcop.net
Mon Jul 9 10:51:13 UTC 2007

On Sun, 8 Jul 2007 20:36:21 +0100, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:

>> I am one of them, I know a lot of others, all we actually want is for
>> people to be prepared to wait a while for things to be cleared up.
>Being able to enforce this is office level powers.

Not having to "enforce" it is evidence of maturity in the project.  We
received a complaint, naturally some people will automatically react
by pushing as hard as possible for inclusion of the material the
subject wants excluded, but these people are not likely to be our
finest contributors.  

>> Step 1: remove the offending material to forestall legal action;
>Um I suspect that may be problematical in some situations because it
>could be used as admission that there was a problem.

Maybe.  But probably not.  Leaving it in despite knowing that it is
contested is, in my view, far more likely to result in a real problem.

>> step
>> 2: tell people as much about why as you can.
>given the level of legal qualification on OTRS what makes you think
>you know what that is?

You want to put your hand in your pocket to hire qualified lawyers?
Great!  The donate button is on your left.  In the mean time,
volunteers is all we have.  Yes, I know, having an encyclopaedia run
by unqualified volunteers is never going to work, God alone knows why
we even try.

>> People are genuinely upset when Wikipedia says bad things about them.
>> Sometimes the bad things need to be said, albeit sometimes with
>> somewhat less obvious spite, but it does us no harm to demonstrate at
>> every point that we have listened respectfully to their concerns, even
>> if we ultimately dismiss them as baseless.

>Removing verifiable material is harmful.

And leaving it in may well be more harmful.  Sometimes "verifiable
material" amounts to a tabloid story from a couple of local papers
being elevated to worldwide prominence on a top ten website by some
folks whose motivation is less than pure.  Attempts to portray such
issues in black and White terms are rarely productive.

>> As with any trusted position in Wikipedia, isolation and burnout are a
>> risk.  Do be sure to be as kind and supportive as you can to the
>> volunteers, because there are barely enough to keep on top of the
>> flood of email, some of which requires a very great deal of work to
>> get to the bottom of.

>So get more people. En.pedia got seven new admins last week. How many
>have been invited to OTRS?

Everybody is invited to OTRS.  You don't have to be an admin.  What
happened when you volunteered?

>> Or of course you could always stand on the outside pissing in, but
>> since all that will do is increase the siege mentality about which you
>> appear to be complaining I don't consider it a smart alternative.

>False dilemma logical fallacy

False dilemmas are indeed a logical fallacy.  But you are on the
outside pissing in, here.  You are bitching about the system and not
actually offering any practical help in fixing it.  And no, "do
nothing" is not an option when hurt, upset people contact Wikipedia.
Just ask that nice Mr. Wales.

Guy (JzG)

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