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

Mark Gallagher m.g.gallagher at student.canberra.edu.au
Mon Jul 9 11:03:13 UTC 2007

G'day Guy,

> On Wed, 04 Jul 2007 22:24:26 -0500, Rich Holton <richholton at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> The point under discussion is whether a blanket ban of certain sites is 
>> a good step to take.
> It seems to me that some people want to include links to WR on
> ideological grounds, and some people want to exclude them on
> ideological grounds.
> Me, I take a more practical view.  WR has no known editorial process,
> and is a festering den of banned vanity spammers and other
> malcontents.  What they say about Wikipedia has no discernable
> authority, it is a textbook case of an unreliable source.

We shouldn't ban WR simply because we can't think of a good reason not 
to.  That's not how things work on Wikipedia or, indeed, in most of the 
free world.  "Everything that is not expressly condoned is forbidden"?

Okay, so you can't think of a time when it would be a reliable source. 
Neither can I.  That ain't a reason to blanket ban links to it.

> If Brandt, say, wants to say something about what he thinks of
> Wikipedia, and wants to say it on his own site under his name, that
> may be different, but pseudonymous rants by people we kicked off
> Wikipedia, generally for excellent reasons, do not strike me as useful
> to the project in any way.  Especially since it's essentially a forum,
> so crap does not get corrected, it just gets commented on.

WR isn't "essentially" a forum.  It *is* a forum.  Forum software, eh?

We must be alert to the possibility that we kicked people off Wikipedia 
incorrectly.  We must be alert to the possibility that people we kicked 
off correctly still have something to contribute[0].

Wikipedia Review is a site where people who don't like Wikipedia come to 
bitch.  Generally the bitching isn't worth reading.  In my experience[2] 
the value of WR exists only in theory.  Nonetheless, it's a bloody 
powerful theory.

Wikipedia Review, or a place like it (preferably much better), *should* 
exist.  The psychos need it to exist, sure, but so do the rest of us. 
It's perfectly natural and human and understandable and even laudable to 
peek in at the knee-wobbling vitriol evident there and say, "Nuh-uh, we 
aren't exposing our colleagues to *this* place!"  It's also the Wrong 
Thing.  I hope experienced Wikipedians haven't started advocating doing 
the Wrong Thing with the best of intentions.

[0] It may not be worthwhile having them edit directly[1], but that
     doesn't mean we should ignore them entirely.

[1] Hence "kicked off correctly".

[2] Which is broad enough to have seen numerous examples of disgusting
     behaviour, but insufficiently broad to have seen the glimmer of
     beauty possessed by every WR poster as the beaver away for the
     betterment of mankind[3].  This is clearly evidence that I don't
     read it enough.

[3] Perhaps there should be a t-shirt: "I may appear to be a twisted
     emotional cripple eaten up by hate, but in the dark depths of my
     psyche, flowers grow."  It could be black, but with a brilliant,
     glow-in-the-dark flower of indescribable beauty.  I'd wear one.

Mark Gallagher
"'Yes, sir,' said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten 
in the leg by a personal friend."
- P G Wodehouse, /Carry On, Jeeves/

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