[Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Sat Dec 14 15:55:52 UTC 2013

Andy Mabbett wrote:
>Indeed there have. But until a widely-advertised consultation is held
>(advertised in the manner of the recent discussion on logos and
>branding), we wont know the views of the community at large, rather
>than those who have an axe to grind.

Your logic here is broken. There are certainly times to have widely
advertised discussions, but doing so is not free: they often require
creating and deploying banners (with an associated increased risk of
banner blindness), related mailing list posts, time taken to draft and
re-draft proposals, and, of course, the time taken by members of the
community to discuss and re-discuss how best to move forward. Time is
precious, especially volunteer time, so we should make every effort to
ensure that when we ask people to donate theirs to a global discussion, we
don't do so lightly. In this case, nobody has made a case that this small
amendment to a previous resolution required a global discussion. Generally
speaking, implementing common sense does not.

> We won't know, for instance, whether the amendment goes too far, or not
>far enough, in reflecting the communities wishes.

I think what you're saying here is neither fair nor accurate. We know that
the amendment doesn't go too far because we can read it and evaluate it.
The underlying issue here is that Commons is plagued by a community that
needs to get its house in order. I'm certainly not alone in this view.
Passing the biographies of living persons resolution without explicitly
mentioning media was probably a small oversight, in hindsight, though it's
a bit disheartening that the spirit of the resolution couldn't carry the
day and that the Board felt it necessary to explicitly dictate what common
sense was already saying. It's perhaps ironic that Commons seems to hold
common sense in such short supply. :-)

As for these theoretical objections, if _you_ or anyone else objects to
this amendment, I'd certainly be interested to read why. Positing that
someone could have objected in the event of a global community discussion
in an alternate universe, while an enjoyable weekend activity, isn't
actually the same as objections actively being raised against this

Resolutions, as this amendment itself explicitly demonstrates, can be
modified, as necessary and appropriate. This is also not to be done
lightly or carelessly, but nothing is permanently and indefinitely "set in
stone" should there be legitimate reasons to modify a previous resolution.
As it stands, this is operative global policy and Commons and every other
project must respect it or exercise its right to fork.


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