[Foundation-l] Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Ting Chen wing.philopp at gmx.de
Thu Jun 24 18:59:12 UTC 2010

Hello Ziko, hello Milos,

some time ago, when the board was discussing about the sexual content 
problems I made the following proposal. I didn't published it because I 
feel it still very premature and also because I wanted to wait for the 
research work that Sue should do and see what the experts propose. But 
it fit in this discussion:

So in my imagination the audience of the project are mainly primary 
school children, at most the lower grades of secondary schools, so of 
the age between 6 and 12, at most 14. I think to define the audience is 
very important, because thus it also frames the scope. Let's take an 

*Earth* (or *the Earth*) is the third planet 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet> from the Sun 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun>, the fifth-largest and the densest of 
the eight planets in the Solar System 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System>. It is also the largest of 
the Solar System's four terrestrial planets 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrestrial_planet>. It is sometimes 
referred to as the World, the Blue Planet,^[note 7] 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#cite_note-blue_planet-21> or by its 
Latin name, /Terra <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Terra>/.^[note 8] 

This is the start of the article Earth on en-wp. I don't think that a 
primary school child can really comprehend what is said here. Another 
good example is the first sentence on en-wp of the article "United 
States". By defining the audience, we necessarily also defines what 
language to use, what content to tell. It doesn't necessarily exclose 
every content. Children of 7 or 8 years (or even eariler) ask where do 
babies come from, but the answer to a child that age would be a totally 
different one as to an adult, both in language as well as in the form of 
the explaination.

I would also suggest that the project start with Flagged Revision in the 
version that only approved content would be shown to the reader. The 
flagged revision does not prevent dedicated attacks but is very good to 
prevent casual vandalism. I would suggest using this feature at the 
beginning because the audience of the project is quite different to the 
audience of Wikipedia or other our projects. Often they cannot decide 
even in a very basic way what is correct and what not. And they probably 
would not be the ones who edit the content.

There are certainly quite some problems like how to handle NPOV (how to 
explain to a child what is God in an NPOV way?), how to handle disputes. 
But I am quite confident that the community would seek ways for these 
"technical" problems. What we should do is to define a clear frame for them.


How do you think about this?

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