[WikiEN-l] opt-out and censorship (was: "I want to at least kill the responsible person.")

Chris Howie cdhowie at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 02:58:02 UTC 2008

On Feb 5, 2008 9:32 PM, Ian Woollard <ian.woollard at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 06/02/2008, Chris Howie <cdhowie at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Correction:
> >
> > If another race/group/whatever imposes a rule on themselves then it is
> > not racism to *refuse to* bend over backwards to make sure what you do
> > doesn't break their rule.
> Um, yes it is, depending on what 'bending over backwards' means in
> practice (often that bar is set ridiculously low).
> Consider the case where the owner of a business may pass a rule that
> none of his staff may wear hats (just for simple uniform reasons).
> Sounds reasonable, but in the UK, this was judged racist due to the
> large number of Pakistan immigrants that wore turbans, since they had
> to wear turbans for religious/cultural reasons, and since it greatly
> reduced their chances of getting employment, and hence caused economic
> hardship. Similar deal with some jewish people.

Wikipedia doesn't have such rules for employment, so I don't think
this analogy is valid.  It doesn't require people set aside their
religious beliefs.  As I said, they have a choice whether they want to
look at those articles.  Work is different -- you need to have a job
to survive.

> I really don't respect this argument you're making here Chris, it's
> more or less inherently racist, and your argument that it's all
> inherently simply 'PC' is not well founded. We need to have reasonable
> discussions about tradeoffs, not simply declare that there is
> absolutely no problem and not imply that anyone that anyone that
> thinks differently is 'insane'.

Insane within the goals of the project.  WP:NPOV, WP:NOTCENSORED,
neither of these have been addressed by people supporting the removal
or suppression of these images.

I don't really respect your counterargument either.  You're proposing
that we cave to a minority that has a bone to pick with a project to
build a free encyclopedia.  We are in the (non-profit) business of
providing information to people, including culturally relevant images
that some people may find offensive.  There are many ways they can
protect themselves -- turn off images for example.  This seems
reasonable to me and doesn't require that we bend our core policies to
appease anyone.

> >I do not see how any sane person could argue that this will make
> >Wikipedia higher quality.  Not one bit.
> Quality is a lot to do with how well you meet the users requirements,
> needs or wishes; something that doesn't unnecessarily annoy the users
> would be considered higher quality.

The word I would dispute here is "unnecessarily."  As I've said, there
are things on Wikipedia I find offensive.  The difference is I've
learned that they are there for a reason and I don't have to raise
hell about it.  I stay away.  What's so hard about that?

It comes down to the fact that some people want us to protect them
from things they may not like.  We only have to do this once before
we're going to do it everywhere.  [[Wikipedia:Content disclaimer]].

Chris Howie

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