Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Archives/2008

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Week one...[edit]

I've been trying to keep track of the progress and other events over the past week, so here are my observations:

Custodians vs. Admins on other projects
As you may have noticed, we do things a bit differently here. A rather baiting post to WV:RCA was made within a day or so of your arrival... we haven't noticed any serious troubles other than some content disputes about external links and a few rather annoyed Wikipedians and Wikinewsies showing up and expressing their annoyance. I'm afraid I fall firmly on the side of seeing their state of annoyance with you as completely justified: you're essentially insisting that they drag themselves into this, when at the moment there's not enough content here to justify a call for comments.
Subpage projects in general
At least some of us come here from Wikibooks, not Wikipedia, so we're a bit less concerned about building content either alone or without massive communities around a particular resource. Wikiversity is similar in that respect, so the best way to get the content created is to just do the hard work of creating, rather than trying to push things toward a storm of editors.
WV policies
We have fairly few policies, but rather rely on scope (staying on point) and collegiality. Requesting checkuser action against an anonymous user who has done little but make a few comments and remove some links isn't appropriate, nor is describing him as a vandal, nor is sending email requests for checkuser again after the on-wiki request was explicitly denied. The collegial approach would be to simply explain why the links in question are relevant, which you have failed to do. Not answering direct questions directly (such as those offered by Hillgentleman) will also not attract positive contributors.
Focus
Well, it's only been a week, so it's expected that things be a bit messy :-). I realize that not all of the participants have the same agenda or point of view, but there must be something that brings you all to the same place. Is it that you think the Wikipedian administrators are unfair? The Meta administrators? How and why did Wikinews end up being discussed here? Are you trying to compare and contrast the management of the different projects? Specific case studies of things that led to this (as opposed to forked commentaries on ongoing discussions) would be quite helpful, especially if it includes background on how the case came about, how the case became a "case" (who brought it up on a noticeboard and why, etc.), how the case was closed (what actions were taken by the community where it occurred), whether there were ethical problems with the closure, how it could have gone better, etc. We did have someone here doing that sort of thing a while back, but he didn't stay around for long (see Wikipedia arbitration committee). If it were clear what this resource is about, it would be a lot easier to measure progress and offer assistance.

As a final note, please understand that while "drama" may have some educational merits when all else fails, it's really a lot more welcoming for everyone if all else is tried first. There will inevitably be some drama involved with case studies in particular, because I imagine that those involved on different sides of the case will question the validity of the study. BUT: if you have the studies well-developed and ready for review, there will at least be something to discuss without new participants needing to do endless hours of research to understand what the topic of discussion actually is. Most Wikiversitans will not be familiar with the administrative goings-on of Wikipedia (or Wikinews or even Meta)... some participants here don't participate there at all. While the topic here is about certain aspects of Wikipedia, you should not assume that the reader or participant will have any idea about what's being discussed without starting at the beginning (even simple things like what "BLP" means, if there are specific policies regarding "BLPs", etc.). --SB_Johnny | talk 11:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Excuse me, but you're making these kinds of comments after one week? My academic projects generally take months, and most of the time years, to put together. I think that we're making great progress for just one week. Part of the process involves reflecting, testing hypothesis' and the rest. If things are intended to be sourced and rooted in reality (and I personally believe that they should be), then quite a bit of work has to take place before the first word is written. Please do not try to rush this process as it will take the time that it takes. I don't see what the hurry is, anyway.
Secondly, regarding critics: it seems that analysis of the way WMF projects work does cause quite a bit of angry reactions among those who are supporting the way such projects work. However, it goes against any ideas of academic freedom and freedom of expression to prevent such discussions taking place. If the system really is that good, then no examination (even a slanted examination) should show any flaws or problems. If people are really so convinced that this system is beyond reproach, then the best practice is to allow this examination to take place and say "I told you so" once the study proves them right.
Finally, in terms of what we're doing here, it will take time to answer that question as well. Kepler found the right solution by making the wrong assumptions. Any project involving human beings involves accidents, unreasonable leaps of judgment, and uncertainty. Again, time will bring you answers. The Fieryangel 12:00, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not trying to rush you... quite the contrary: I'm asking you to slow down a bit. You're "advertising" this project all over the place, which is causing considerable confusion for me and several other Wikiversitans because when people respond to the advertisements and post here, there's a huge back story that we don't know about, and therefore can't offer meaningful assistance. One step at a time would be much better: take some time to get your thoughts together and create resource content that anyone can understand and jump into without having "been there" from the start. Coming here and warning us of "future troubles", demanding checkuser actions of a sort that go against our tradition and ethic, and complaining that we the Custodians should be acting just like the Wikipedia admins is not a great start. The content you have created is a great start.
I'm providing a week one review because as mentioned elsewhere I was asked by a Foundation representative to keep an eye on things. Rather than reporting to him, I'm reporting to you (he can come read it at his leisure, if he feels the urge to do so). As you're quite aware, there were a lot of people in a lot of places who were very suspicious of this project, and some of those people were gunning for it to be shut down on day 1. I'm doing my best to provide a firewall against that: not by banning and checkusering people, but rather by sharing my observations and concerns with you here, in the hopes that you won't need firewalls soon. Academic criticism and peer review comes when a paper is submitted, not during the research and outline phase: just do the work and be confident that attention will be available when it is merited. --SB_Johnny | talk 12:25, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Quite a bit of thought, research and writing has already taken place: one only has to read the Media Ethics blog, WR, and various other sources to see that. We are not starting from zero here: but there is one extremely important point to make -
By doing this here, instead of doing this at a place like Wikipedia Review, the participants are showing an acceptance of the idea of working inside of the system, rather than working outside of it. This one consideration should be enough to allow any "foundation officials" (Hi, Cary) from declaring "trolling" immediately. Part of this experiment, from my point of view, is testing to see if solutions can indeed come from within. If discussion of these issues is impossible, even when one is trying to respect the core policies involved, then we should all simply call it a day and go back to WR where we can continue plotting for the eventual destruction of the Evil Empire or whatever it is that you imagine that we do there.
Wouldn't you rather have us try to do something constructive within your framework? Or is it more important that dissenting voices are not allowed to express their views, even if such views conform to WMF policy?
In terms of "advertising", WMF projects are built on consensus. How are we to have meaningful consensus if it's only just four or five of us spouting pronouncements? Getting various perspectives is an essential part of the process of building consensus...and not the kind of consensus where you have "four delete votes" and the article gets deleted...It may very well be that I personally don't like the consensus that this process will bring, but at least there will be a clearer picture of what that consensus might be.
Finally, I didn't ask you to checkuser anyone and in terms of you checkusering me, my own personal information was recently liberally sprinkled all over EN:WP and Wikinews User space--some of which is still there in spite of asking OTRS that it be removed--A checkuser is definitely overkill as far as I'm concerned.
I personally feel that the emphasis on personal interaction, rather than actual discussion of content, is one of the principle problems of WMF projects in general. Please do not lump me in with others for no specific reason. This is not a cabal...Well, other than the opera that I'm planning on writing with Barry...but that's a musical cabal.The Fieryangel 13:04, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Gah! Count your colons, would ya ;-)? I think you really have me confused with a very different type of personality. For one thing, I'm barely familiar with "WR", and from what I saw from the links to it from this project, I see no reason to condemn it (even if there might be some "objectionable" stuff there, I don't see why that's anyone's business but yours and other people who choose to read there). I certainly am not one to insist that people "toe the Foundation line" on anything... in fact I'm rarely impressed by most of what the foundation does (it seems to be mostly about throwing parties sometimes). And Cary didn't ask me to shut it down, he just asked me to keep an eye on it and make sure it didn't cause problems (which I am, and which it hasn't).
"in terms of you checkusering me, my own personal information was recently liberally sprinkled all over EN:WP and Wikinews User space" → I would like to hear about that sometime. User:JWSchmidt, my fellow checkuser, has great concerns about how the tool has been abused on Wikipedia. That kind of crap won't be happening here. (And why on earth would I want to check you, Fieryangel???)
"I personally feel that the emphasis on personal interaction, rather than actual discussion of content, is one of the principle problems of WMF projects in general. " → I agree, somewhat. I think you'll find Wikiversity's population to have a more solid focus on what we can do together than certain segments of the wp/meta population. On the other hand, we do talk to each other a lot... #wikiversity-en on freenode is a great place to ask questions and get a feel for the place. --SB_Johnny | talk 19:18, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Might I suggest something?: maybe you need to familiarize yourself with our culture: ie, maybe you need to read WR. Already, understanding what has already been discussed would probably lead you to a greater understanding (for better or worse) of what this project is trying to do. WR was responsible (according to Wikipedia editors who post there) for the deletion of the category "list of rape victims", of the "Crystal Gail Mangum" article and also for the deletion of a spanking fetish site on Wikia which used photos of under-aged children which were initially used to illustrate a scouting article on En:Wp and which did not have permission of the children's guardians. This may be framed in the context of "troublemaking" or "trolling", but in other circles it may be perceived as behaving as responsible, thinking human beings. Unless you examine the evidence, you cannot make up your own mind about the validity of any such claims. I urge you to do so.

I have no idea why you would want to checkuser me personally, but I also have no idea why my personal information was posted onto En:WP and on Wikinews at a time when I was not active on either site. Please be aware that, although I am trying to be completely objective and give this project a fair shot, I was recently stalked on a WMF project and the person responsible for that is currently editing on En:WP with no one making any comments at all about whether this is appropriate. So, please be aware that I am trying valiantly to not let this situation cloud my reasoning.

Finally, in terms of "peer review", I don't believe that you understood what I was saying: the point of this project (from my perspective) is to "peer review" ethical practices on En:Wp. Since "everyone" can edit WP, "everyone" is a peer. However, I would like to suggest that Moulton is perhaps (to quote George Orwell) more of a peer than other peers. As a matter of fact, I really fail to see why he hasn't been asked to volunteer to work with WMF to solve some of their problems with younger editors, since he has more experience with sort of thing than....well, anybody. The Fieryangel 20:53, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Johnny, the very short backstory of what brought us here (as opposed to any other imaginable meetinghouse on the Internet) is outlined at the top of this very page in a subpage on Participants and Objectives that preserves an earlier discussion thread in this talk page. The much longer backstory is epic, dates back many years, and involves many many more people than the handful of us who launched this learning project here. The primary off-wiki site that reposes that epic backstory is Wikipedia Review. Besides the discussion forums (which can be cantankerous at times), there is a very sober Op-Ed section which happens to be offline pending a security upgrade of the Wordpress software.
My own personal encounters with ethical lapses at Wikipedia date back only to last August and September. In other words, I'm a latecomer to the long-festering issues. That means I haven't stewed long enough to become as frustrated, as cynical or as bitter as many who have suffered under the depredations of Wikipedia's ad hoc ochlocracy much longer than moi. I also bring a different style of action research to the problem. Besides that left-brain scholarly approach, I also recruit my right-brain resources, which yield musical treatments of the issues along the lines of "Slouching to the Darker Side" and "Wikipedia Pie" (among many others). That's my therapy for acedia. Like a Psalm of David, music restores my soul.
Moulton 21:58, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, yeah, agreed (even the music part, but I'm not a lyricist so I just listen to groups like Crass, the Dead Kennedys or Bob Dylan when I'm in that kinda mood). But I think it's the "epic back story" that I'm most curious about. I've always avoided that part of the WP experience, because it's always rubbed wrong against some instinctive part of me. I know it's there, and I want to know why it is like it is, but I don't have 200 free hours to look into it. 10 people with 20 hours to spare could of course come up with a summary the wiki way :). --SB_Johnny | talk 23:49, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
"come up with a summary the wiki way" Not without "outing" people who claim that telling the world their real name "threatens their livelihood". Guess they don't want people who might hire them to know how they act on wikipedia? You can see the mess Wikipedia management is in when the rules are used to prevent accountability. WAS 4.250 23:59, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

SB Johnny, why don't you start by doing this: read this evidence page. I don't think that you quite understand what it is we're talking about. This is one situation (okay, it's a huge one!..but there are others) out of many and has gotten way out of hand. The Fieryangel 23:00, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Maybe a better question to start with:[edit]

Is Wikipedia important? If so, why? This is actually an earnest question: I'm never quite sure whether Wikipedia (or any of the other WMF wikis, including this one) are actually important. (Doesn't matter to me... my work on Wikiversity and the other projects helps me learn, and since I enjoy learning, I participate.) --SB_Johnny | talk 21:50, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

The main (and unobvious) reason it's important is because many people take the content of Wikipedia at face value, and behave as if the content were true. I have witnessed firsthand the real-world damage that occurs when people of ill will act on bad information. I can't do much about ill will, but it occurs to me that it might be possible to persuade Wikipedians not to pepper their articles with false and defamatory content that seriously impacts the lives of real people. —Moulton 22:02, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
And leading from Moulton's comments, Wikipedia is often used as a means of attacking those who ideas differ from one's own. If Wikipedia were content to remain a neutral encyclopedic resource, then these issues would not exist. However, content is created about people, institutions and things which creates harm. This is often done intentionally to support a specific point of view which is not neutral. The point of view is then defended through various strategies which have more to do with "online gaming" than with producing content for an encyclopedia.
If Wikipedia followed its own principles of NOR, NPOV, NPA, RS etc etc etc, then these issues would not be important. Since they have repeatedly been abused, they are effectively causing harm to individuals. I feel that Wikipedia has intentionally attempted to harm my own professional and personal activities. Moulton probably feels the same way. The list of people harmed by these sorts of "retaliation" efforts on WMF projects probably extremely long.
Please explain what this has to do with the stated goal of "writing an encyclopedia"? The Fieryangel 22:35, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Most people, when harmed by those who have the upper hand, prefer to suffer in silence than to make a fuss. That's because those with the upper hand tend to defend their abuse of power with some lame rationalization that makes sense to no one but themselves. And if I'm wrong about that, then here I am making a lame rationalization of my own.Moulton 12:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
  • That is true in my case. When Wikipedia decided (via consensus) that NPOV need not apply to certain key science topics which border on politics and religion, I chose to devote the bulk of my online time to more effective projects. The New World Encyclopedia has excellent (and well-balanced) articles on the Theory of Evolution and Intelligent Design. Conservapedia has top-ranked articles on atheism and homosexuality (just google for them). --Ed Poor 13:57, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia has an article on Wikipedia so it is clearly important as it fits its notability guideline. :) Also it is the world's best place to start in researching something you never heard of. WAS 4.250 22:40, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I often look at the bibliographic references on Wikipedia to see if it includes anything that I didn't find on Google. Now and then a worthwhile hard-to-find reference can be found on Wikipedia. —Moulton 12:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, WAS, you have no empirical proof to back up the statement that WP is the best place to start research. What if the information in an article is sourced...but entirely wrong using sources that don't exist? That has happened before and will certainly happen again. These kinds of sweeping statements don't necessarily prove that the reasoning is correct. The Fieryangel 22:43, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I was just answering a question; don't get hot, Fiery. WAS 4.250 23:31, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't getting hot. I don't understand why you thought I was. I was just pointing out (in a neutral manner, or so I thought) why I didn't think that this type of statement could be justified. Now, here's the question: why did you think that I was angry? The Fieryangel 08:48, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
It struck me as emotional extremist language. Like Moulton, you appear to not recognize when you are guided by emotion. Or so it appears to me anyway. I could be wrong. WAS 4.250 09:06, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I claim the problem is that plain text lacks the affordance of conveying the emotional overtones normally encoded in the prosody of speech, in the inflection of key words and phrases, in overall tone of voice, in facial expressions, and in gross body language. Adding in some background music might help too. —Moulton 12:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Unless I am being delusional (which may be the case), I made that statement in a completely objective, non-emotional state. I have reread it and it still seems to me to be a completely objective statement, devoid of any emotional content whatsoever. Indeed, I even added the phrase "with all due respect" as a means of deliberately giving you a clue that this was not a confrontational statement.
I'm not making a big deal out of this to prove anything, but I do think that it's important to consider what is happening here in terms of various linguistic cues being read in the opposite manner to which they were intended. It seems apparent that confrontation is being imagined where no confrontation exists. The Fieryangel 09:56, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
OK. Fieryangel, I believe you when you say that you were not being confrontational. I read "you have no empirical proof" and wondered "How do you know? Why didn't he say 'What is your evidebce?' or 'Why do you think that?'" Then I read "entirely wrong using sources that don't exist? That has happened before and will certainly happen again." and thought "Well that seems extreme. He chides me for not offering evidence and then offers none himself for such an extreme claim. Sure there have been hoax articles, but every major media source of information has such things. Wikipedia is in fact wrong less often than the average newspaper article." Well, enough of this. How about we agree to disagree on the importance of Wikipedia? WAS 4.250 15:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, WAS, I believe that we've come to that understanding. The only thing which I can state to my defense is that by saying that there was no evidence to support your claim, the evidence was in the statement. I have yet to see any hard evidence to support this claim, so it's impossible to show any.

This isn't really a problem, but since we are trying to figure out what is happening here, it seems to me that documenting these kinds of statements is important and sweeping generalities should be avoided. WP is a tool and is as good as the people who use it/create it. I believe that we're in agreement that something has gone wrong with this process. In order to understand that, we've got to try to see what is really happening, rather than "that which everyone believes is true".

Perhaps WP is indeed the best place to start research. If that is the case, there must be evidence to support this. I have none that does. You're certainly welcome to show me that I'm wrong and I'll be happy to thank you for pointing this out to me. The Fieryangel 22:50, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

There have been studies, but Wikipedia literally changes daily. And different people want different things from it. I think its top ten ranking shows that people find it useful. I think http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080513095431AAFJ81Z reflects what they find it useful for. I think right now it is more accurate than a newspaper, a little less accurate than Britannica, and far less accurate/trustworthy than peer reviewed scholarly material (but our best articles link you to those). The quality ranges as wide as from a peer reviewed scholarly article (experts say our military articles are the best on the web) to crap we speedy delete. WAS 4.250 06:38, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Besides, I can provide empirical proof right now: when I want to know more about something I heard on the radio/saw on TV/etc., I usually check to see what the WP article has to say. I don't rely on it to be reliable, but it's generally a nice place to start. (Ain't it nice to work on a project where you can offer your own empirical data because there's no "OR" prohibition?) --SB_Johnny | talk 23:38, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
(This response is a bit of a combined reply to the Week One section above.) I wanted to find some such empirical distinctions between what constitutes BLP on Wikipedia and BLP on Wikiversity due to the differences of the original research. Wikiversity doesn't devote articles on biographies like Wikipedia, but there is still the non-encyclopedic content that affects living persons the same on either Wikipedia or Wikiversity. One thought, not fully valid at this time, is to adopt more of Wikipedia's BLP policy but to make the distinction to exclude the encyclopedic purpose. "Resources with Biographic Content." Such matters might be good for a suggested essay. Dzonatas 00:34, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
You also have the peculiarity of talking about individuals who are only known by their pseudonymous and disposable avatar names. And even when you have a street name, it's often such a common name that it doesn't go back to an identifiable person. For example, I know the Yahoo E-Mail name of one of my frenemies, but even if that were his real name, it's such a common name that it doesn't lead anywhere. —Moulton 02:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Accountability. Academic freedom. The ability to tell the truth. The ability of unnamed people to censor: unnamed people disingenuously claiming that their right to not be named is more important than the integrity of Wikimedia and its projects must end. Must end. Just say no to BADSITES as policy. Wikipedia did. WAS 4.250 04:03, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Hope you don't mind, WAS, that I edited your sentence above to make the grammar, syntax, and emotional semantics flow a bit more transparently. I was summarily blocked on the English Wikipedia, without review and without being afforded the right to present a defense, when corrupt admins and their sycophants in the WikiClique on Intelligent Design took exception to evidence I supplied in response to an insistent interrogatory from Filll. My response supplied incontrovertible evidence that overturned the counterfactual embedded in Filll's pointedly accusatory question. But since Filll had included his Yahoo E-Mail screen name in the evidence that I turned to, he yelped for help, and his corrupt cronies redacted the responsive evidence and summarily blocked me. That's simply not an acceptable practice in an RfC that examines the very conduct demonstrated by Filll and his ochlocratic gang of corrupt editors and admins. —Moulton 12:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
No problem. WAS 4.250 15:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Why?[edit]

There are a lot of ambiguous statements here but there is still no clear justification for the project. What is all of this for? What is this meant to accomplish and what makes that possible? (The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74.227.157.193 (talkcontribs) .)

In homage to a beloved learning resource named Charlotte's Web, may I address you as Web's Charlotte?
If there are some statements or concepts whose meaning is unclear to you, please ask specific questions requesting clarification of those specific statements or concepts.
The justification for a learning resource is self-evident. There are those in WikiLand who desire to learn how to craft ethical best practices when engaging in their evolving roles of responsibility on-Wiki. This learning resource affirmatively responds to those who desire to learn ethical best practices.
What makes such learning possible is a feature of Homo Schleppians that was most remarkably noted by author Terry Bisson, and celebrated more recently by Barsoom Tork, Anthropologist From Mars.
Moulton 07:57, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Are you in the habit of making vague attempts at indimidation when people question the justification for your actions? That alone makes you unqualified to even writ4e about ethics. My question is targeted to your excess specifiaation of this project. The purpose of resources is not to cause political change on wikipedia, the purpose is to create tools. On that fron this project must be either vastly expanded or scrapped as the illegitimate bastard it is. 74.227.157.193 17:56, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Mu. If you feel threatened by this learning resource, your best ethical practice would be to find more comfortable subjects to contemplate.
As you may be aware, ethics is a subject that is normally taught at the graduate level in Philosophy. Advanced subjects like ethics are electives which nobody can be coerced to learn. Earlier this month, those of us living in the US celebrated Independence Day. On that occasion, we recalled these words, penned by Thomas Jefferson some 232 years ago:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." —Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration of Independence, 1776
I also hold another truth to be scientifically discoverable: That all people are endowed by their Creator with another unalienable right — the right to engage in discovery learning by means of the Scientific Method on the one hand, or the reciprocal right to remain blissfully ignorant on the other hand.
Which hand (or cerebral hemisphere) any individual favors at any given juncture in life is either a matter of conscious free will or a matter of inherent neurophysiology. In either event, I don't believe elective learning can be coerced (nor would that be ethical). Everyone has unfettered free choice in every instance to choose what they wish to learn, when they wish to learn it, and what subjects they wish to disregard for the time being.
You are within your rights to disregard this learning resource, if it doesn't meet your requirements.
You are also within your rights to craft a competing one that does a better job.
It's your choice entirely.
Moulton 21:43, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
You know very well what small segment of your comment I was referring to as your attempt at intimidation since you made a special effort to do it; don't play dumb now. Your current denials do not help your case and make me doubt your legitimacy in any of this. You can post all the quotes you want, but I for one don't particularly care what old American politicians said since I am not an ideologue or a troll. Your specification of the English version of wikipedia in the name of this project is very disturbing. Unless you meant all of this only as a soapbox for your personal complaints against another wikimedia project. Rename this as something more general, for instance "Ethics and Wiki Management". Step back, look at what you've done here focusing on just en.wikipedia and recruiting mostly dissatisfied former contributors from it. There are many more wikis than even the wikimedia foundation hosts. You seem very eager to make case examples from certain personal events, but limit it to that; don't just mirror WR. Without a rename and more fundamental shift of focus this project won't produce an ethical treatise it will produce a list of complaints and won't be useful to anyone. And THAT would never belong on wikiversity. 66.20.190.182 23:54, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
"You know very well what small segment of your comment I was referring to..." I'm trying to read your mind, but I keep drawing a blank. As to the rest of your rant, you are welcome to voice your opinions, but I'd prefer to attribute them to an identifiable person. Do you have an identity other than "Web's Charlotte" that we might know you by? —Moulton 01:25, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
If you want to call my past comment a rant then at least call yours by the same name, though that might be insulting to the concept of a "rant". You are no more a person than I am, since accounts are free. What I have to say is clear enough, but if you only want to play games I can't do anything for you. I'd have a lot to contribute if this project were legitimate but I have nothing to contribute to such an isolated and misdirected one. I will watch and report this project and you for misconduct and abuse of resources through the proper channels once everything has progressed far enough that you can't hide your intentions anymore.66.20.190.182 01:55, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
The issue is not one of personhood so much as one of identity. I have a trivially discoverable backstory. Your backstory is maximally concealed. While what you say may be clear in its meaning that does not automatically mean it is accurate in its semantics or correspondence with objectively discoverable reality. A falsehood may be perfectly clear in meaning, yet patently untrue. Let's take a look at the syntax of your recent remarks:
Example 1: "You know very well what small segment of your comment I was referring to as your attempt at intimidation since you made a special effort to do it; don't play dumb now." This is an example of articulating a haphazard theory of mind about another person's frame of mind. Like any random theory, a theory of mind is subject to examination via the protocols of the Scientific Method. What is your evidence and reasoning to support your remarkable theory of mind regarding my state of knowledge about your mindset? What is your evidence and reasoning to support your remarkable theory of mind about my intentions or objectives? What is your evidence and reasoning to support your remarkable theory of mind about the sincerity of my actions?
Example 2: "I will watch and report this project and you for misconduct and abuse of resources through the proper channels once everything has progressed far enough that you can't hide your intentions anymore." Thank you for candidly disclosing your intentions with respect to your relationship to this learning project. I am looking forward to discovering the outcome of the suggested Shreklisch drama. Under what identity may we anticipate you will be filing your planned complaint with the Wikiversity authorities?
Moulton 08:32, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
So help expand it. WAS 4.250 18:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes. I agree with Moulton. Further, everyone paying attention understands that governance reform is needed at Wikipedia. Just exactly what we should do about that is less clear. We are trying to help. WAS 4.250 08:11, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

(Reset tabs) 66.20.190.182/74.227.157.193, please remain civil. You do have a good point about part of the goals though: the "November Agenda" does in fact fall outside Wikiversity's scope (Wikiversity is for studying, teaching, and learning, not for organizing political activities on sister projects). On the other hand, it is perfectly legitimate to study Wikipedia, whether in respect to its content, its impact on the world, or indeed its culture (including management, ethics, ethics of management, and management of ethics). A more general project on wiki ethics would certainly be welcome though, should you care to start one.

Moulton, I've served in admin capacities on several projects for a long time, and have learned that people who announce their intent to "go to the authorities" shouldn't be responded to. Let him/her go ahead and do that: the "authorities" tend to be pretty busy people. If you choose to engage, you do so at your own risk, since your "opponent" has nothing to lose by racheting up the incivility, while you do have a few things to lose. --SB_Johnny | talk 10:13, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up warning. It had occurred to me that Web's Charlotte was trolling us, perhaps playing the odds and hoping to trip us up so as to provide a valid pretext to file a complaint of misfeasance or malfeasance. Actually, I have something to lose anytime I face an adversarial figure, whether I engage or not. This conundrum is celebrated in a Zen Koan and an associated proverb:
A man is chased by a tiger to the edge of the cliff. The man falls over the cliff but is caught by a tree. If he lets go of the tree, he'll drown in the water below. If he tries to climb back up, the tiger will get him. And in fact, the tiger could come down to get him anyway, and the tree he was on could come loose and he would drown in the river. In the midst of all this panic on what to do, he looked right in front of him and saw a single wild strawberry plant — with a red ripe strawberry hanging from it. He plucked the strawberry and ate it.

Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life — after that you cannot be deceived. —Zen Proverb

Or, as Yogi Berra would say, "When you come to the fork in the road, take it." That's what Dorothy did when she met the Scarecrow at the fork in the road. So we're off to meet the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Odds.
Moulton 17:36, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
"It had occurred to me that Web's Charlotte was trolling us, perhaps playing the odds" ← yeah, I figured you had probably made an assessment (and would have handled it well), but we all get carried away by the spirit of the moment sometimes. The whole thing does bring up a questions for me though: The person commenting chose to use naked IPs (presumably open proxies) rather than create an account. Is not bothering with logging in and creating an account an ethical or moral shortcoming? Personally I think it's a bit rude not to provide a name for people to use when referring to/addressing you, but does the failure to do so mean that you should be dismissed out of hand? For example, only "registered" users are allowed to have their votes counted on most WikiMedia projects: is that reasonable? --SB_Johnny | talk 17:59, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I doubt Web's Charlotte is using an open proxy, Johnny.
IP 74.227.157.193 is adsl-227-157-193.clt.bellsouth.net.
IP 66.20.190.182 is adsl-20-190-182.clt.bellsouth.net.
IP 65.1.135.18 is adsl-1-135-18.clt.bellsouth.net.
IP 72.146.181.16 is adsl-146-181-16.clt.bellsouth.net.
That geolocates to Charlotte NC.
And yes, it is cowardly and unethical for Web's Charlotte (who appears to have both a recognizable identity and a stake in the English Wikipedia) to come here, make ridiculous claims (as I have highlighted in color above) and threaten some kind of complaint proceeding while wearing a sheet over his head to conceal his true identity. If he is a stakeholder in Wikipedia, let him identify himself. Especially if he plans on plunging that stake into the heart of another Wikimedia project.
There is a well-known idiomatic expression that traces back to the Bible: Stand up and be counted. Crosby Stills Nash & Young wrote a song about it.
Title: Stand and be counted 
Composer:  David Crosby and James Raymond 
Artist:  Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young 

There was a peace of a song I heard the other day
Some words I heard this singer say
Something in me loved the way that it sounded
When he said how he wanted to stand
Stand and be counted

Now, sometimes I talk to myself in the early dawn
Before all the fragments of my dreams are gone
Things you don't know why your mind held on to
Or else sometimes you know more than you want to

Stand an be counted, stand on the truth
Stand on your honor, stand and be counted

And I wonder who that kid was standing brave and trim
And I hear myself breathe and I know that I was him
Defender of the poor and those who cannot speak
I thought I'd be standing by the dam trying to stop the leak

So concerned with matters of the heart
And knowing the millenium was just about to start
And knowing that somehow we could make a difference

I want to stand alone in front of the world and that oncoming tank
Like that Chinese boy that we all have to thank
He showed us in a picture that I have mounted
Excactly what it means to stand and be counted 
If you want your vote to count, you have to stand and be counted.
Moulton 19:56, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikimedia Ethics/Ethics and MediaWiki/Privacy#Editor_registration_&_verification -- surely, that issue can be addressed with MediaWiki changes. Exchange anonymous IP for OpenID. Some OpenID providers offer a means to verify users. That would mean that instead of just "registered" (having the login), the editor may be required to be "verified" (OpenID provider verifies user's personal info which is kept private at the provider) before they can cast a valid vote. That page has a link to a modified MediaWiki that replaces the traditional login with OpenID. The extra verification step can certainly help stop the recent issue found at Wikiversity:Candidates_for_Custodianship/Mikegodwin. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dzonatas (talkcontribs) .)

Alright, I'll be blunt. Playing stupid and attempting to make me into a villain here is surely a great welcoming ceremony where ever you are from, but it really doesn't work too well. First you attempted to intimidate me by tracing my IP to Charlotte and making your pitiful snide remarks about Charlotte's Web. Then you quoted the same exact segments you've posted in several other places, not in reply to my actual questions but instead in reply to the one you invented. I did not come here to troll you in any sense, nor to cause you any misstep as has been so carefully stated with such poor effort. You only made concerted efforts from the start of this conversation to deny all criticism. You have a victimization problem and I am not in the mood to let you moan more and distort my comments. I'll watch if I happen to remember any part of this later on, but I believe once wikiversity gets running in earnest the project here in its current form will be recognized and removed anyway. 65.1.135.18 18:47, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Your cowardice, perceptions and misperceptions, misconceptions, protestations, chagrin, distress, disdain, trolling remarks, denial of trolling remarks, criticisms, gratuitous uncredentialed diagnoses, and unscientific predictions are duly noted. I regret that we have no recognizably identified plaintiff to attribute them to. So for now you are only known to us as Web's Charlotte. Would you prefer we called you Web's Charlatan? —Moulton 20:14, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Your IP is exposed, and it is easy for anybody to trace. If you don't want it traced, then login. You obviously have now realized the problem with the use of IP without a login, and that is they are not really anonymous. It exposes a lot of your personal information, in fact. Given the information that can be found through an IP, you can see why it is bad when an admin tries to publish a username to an IP. That is part of the ethical issue we address here. It appears that you have overlooked that. Dzonatas 19:37, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
We also glean this from Web Charlotte's postings on Wikinews:

Wikinews Water Cooler : Policy Discussion : Request Community Input on Ethics

No account but I like this site wikinews and would like to make a comment here. No one can control outside observations or any decisions made anywhere else, but for cooperation the outsiders must abide by certain rules that they are failing to follow. That page probably will not last long on its site. Truly most comments are ridiculously phrased and few there understand the words they are using. It is no better than a personal blog from someone with an axe to grind. It reminds me of a group of angry children at a playground most of all. 72.146.181.16 09:04, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Would you (or someone else in the know) be kind enough to cite the rules which you are referring to here, along with the attendant processes for addressing and resolving alleged breaches of (un)said rules? Moulton (talk) 12:45, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Call it a genuine decorum and an actual desire to follow the rules that are set out here. The numerous links throughout the entire site for starters. To learn about the culture of the site try doing the work you claim to be doing here and you'll see how things work readily enough. But if you want to just keep on with your strained and artificial language, and your harassment efforts.... 72.146.181.16 12:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the vote of confidence in Wikinews. Even if you don't want to contribute articles you might want to create a user account and make use of the Comments: namespace to get involved with discussion on specific articles, and on the discussions behind the scenes such as this one. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:09, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
User_talk:Brianmc : Thanks for the welcome

Thanks for the welcome, I've actually worked on a few articles over the last few days, my IP changes. I can't think of a good name to sign up for an account. Bull? It doesn't sound right. I don't suppose you have any ideas? 72.146.181.16 13:04, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I had a suspicion you weren't a total noob, but most regulars don't track the /16 or /24 of good anon. contributors to guess history. I'm not very good at name suggestions, how about translating "Bull" into a different language like French or Spanish and using that? --Brian McNeil / talk 13:46, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Would you prefer to be called "Taurus"? "Wooly Bully"? "Tauroctony"?
Moulton 11:40, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

A small thought...[edit]

G'day again folks - I'm following this project closely, though haven't figured out quite how I might 'plug in', and am sort of following some parallel lines of thought myself (in my head, and in other wiki places a bit) - what I'm trying to get to at the moment is some simple responses to the question 'might it be unethical to edit a biography whilst remaining anonymous?' - I'd actually like to seek some expert input on this one - does the 'versity have a clinical / behavioural psychologist on board by any chance? - does anyone have any thoughts about approaching someone? (is that ethical??!) - I don't wish to sort of 'thread-jack' the work that's going on here, and apologise that I haven't rolled my sleeves up further, but I thought this stuff may be of interest.... cheers, Privatemusings 23:27, 25 July 2008 (UTC)and I'm very pleased to have completed that post without using the word 'synergy'.

I'll see if anyone I'm in contact with can respond as a credentialed subject-matter expert on that question. Note that on 22 June on my Wikinews talk page, I quoted from this review of the journalistic codes of ethics submitted to the Poynter Institute for review from 33 member newspapers of the ASNE (American Society of Newspaper Editors). Among them, we find this exemplary highlight of a timeless value from the Raleigh NC News & Observer:
In the interest of fairness, we shall seek to report the eventual outcome of any criminal charges that we report. This is particularly important in cases in which an individual is exonerated.
The Deseret News adopts this ethical responsibility in its section on corrections:
If there is a mistake or an injustice, do not cover it up or ignore the situation.
The above cited excerpts from journalistic codes of ethics are ideas set forth by principled professionals in news gathering and reporting.
Moulton 10:34, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
What about a situation where a person can register an account and then declare a single persona for one biography page. That would give a bit of anonymity if the software automatically switches personae per page. That way, a person logs in with a single account, but the name that is shown as the editor is based on the chosen persona. Dzonatas 23:34, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I think what you are talking about is a "By Line" in which an author's "By Line" varies depending on the section of a publication it appears in. —Moulton 11:42, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Dzonatas, could you explain what you mean there? Are you saying that people should use a different account for each article they edit? If so, why? --SB_Johnny | talk 13:30, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Privatemusings had the question above... it appeared based on the current implementation of MediaWiki now which restricts one persona per account and the persona equals the account. If a psychologist is going to examine that by the question, then perhaps the psychologist should also know that it is technically possible to have multiple personae per account. It may involve further changes to the software, but the main idea is that each person only gets one login. The login may be "robin" and the editors name may appear as "tony" when they sign or edit a specific article. When that person edits another article, the login is still "robin" but the editors name may appear as "kim." There is the question above that may be based on the assumption that an alternate account is used for anonymity, and I put in the situation where the account is not anonymous but someone may elect one of their persona to be anonymous per article. The casual reader that sees only the persona's name would not have enough info to connect it to the account. Right now, the software forces people to use multiple accounts to gain anonymity (and it was not a "should use" argument), yet the software could be redesigned to verify the account but still maintain anonymity. In that case, it changes the outlook of the question on what is unethical practice to edit biography with anonymity... multiple accounts... or multiple unverified accounts... one verified account with multiple personae... one unverified account with multiple persona... etc. If the software was changed by engineers to allow multiple persona only when someone verifies their account, that would probably eliminate most of the 'multiple account' arguments over WP:SOCK, and I mean questionable arguments like where admins publish IPs and usernames together too often on Wikipedia that reveal more about someone's personal information than what is normally only revealed when a company is forced by a court to make such a published username/IP log. I mean that technological change affects the psychological aspect that is raised and would be raise by Privatemusings question. Dzonatas 14:35, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Even though I'm logged in as User:Moulton, I can sign this remark with the byline of one of my alter egos. —Barsoom Tork 15:32, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
True, but revision history still shows your account name. With mulitple personae, the persona name instead of the account name is shown in the revision history. Dzonatas 16:57, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
So why would this be a good thing, exactly? --SB_Johnny | talk 17:13, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Look at the information already being disclosed on this talk page when the IP showed up. That would not normally have been disclosed if the person logged in. Maybe that person already has an account, but used another account/IP for anonymity. The ethical nature to disclose the IP's location is questionable -- despite being how easy it can be done. Just because it is easy doesn't mean one should publish it when the intent is to be anonymous. Each revision history contains a series of events, and each event reveals an account, actions of someone's life. In your question of "why would this be a good thing," is that in reference to 'might it be unethical to edit a biography whilst remaining anonymous' proposed above? It is a bit of a straw man argument to go after "why is it good" when an ethical means to stay anonymous has not been shown on Wikipedia (and here); further, biographies have been edited in ways that people usually do not normally consider biographical material, like the revision history being less obvious and a page specifically entitle "A Biography on John Doe" being very obvious. The good thing about this is to learn about what constitutes biographic material and the ethics of anonymous accounts, either passive or active or automated, in biographic material. Perhaps, the GFDL needs to be resourced as well for psychologists to understand the attribution requirements in consideration of ethical uses of anonymous accounts in biographic material. Dzonatas 18:39, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

(reset tabs) Well, I meant why having a different persona for different kinds of editing would be a good thing... I think most people prefer to have one account to each user for most purposes (the Bloom Clock encourages sock accounts for logging from different locations, but that's a special case). --SB_Johnny | talk 17:18, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not convinced either way, with or without anonymity, one or more personae. I merely pointed out where the motive may change when the means is not set in stone. I found an article that may be of interest to you: OpenID Privacy Concerns. Going back to the original question about the ethics and anonymity, multiple personae give people a choice about the amount of information they want to reveal. Is it good to have that choice? I think it is better than the carrot and stick stories that WP:SOCK politics have created. Dzonatas 00:03, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
On the thought of this thread and SB_Johnny's subpage comment below, I added some newer scenarios to consider: Wikimedia Ethics/Ethics_and_MediaWiki/Use_cases#Scenario:_anonymity_by_reverse_proxy. The extra proxy adds a new dimension to ethical management. In such a proxy scenario, between the proxy and the user, the connection is not anonymous, but between the proxy and Wikipedia, the connection is anonymous. The "unethical to edit" question may relate more between the user and the proxy or it may relate more between the proxy and Wikipedia. I'm not sure a behavioral psychologist would consider these kinds of scenarios without being on the Web 3.0 bandwagon. Dzonatas 04:24, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Week two...[edit]

Or perhaps 2 and a half, not sure :-).

Wikiversity's agenda vs. your agenda?
The unregistered user from Charlotte (2 sections above) had a good point, which I was planning to bring up in this week's review. Namely, Wikiversity's goals are served by conducting a study and/or serving as a think tank for the subject of this project, but it cannot serve as a platform for organizing and carying out political efforts on our sister projects (any more than our sister projects should be hosting efforts to change our project). I realize there's a fuzzy distinction between the two, but it's really important to keep that in mind when setting out goals and timelines. My advice on this is to make this resource as strong as possible, and (again) easily understood by a reader who has no background knowledge of what's going on here. Linking to "evidence" should only be done as footnotes (this is a learning resource, not a court case)... let the text on this project explain it fully, and use links only so people can "check the sources" if they harbor doubts.
Is anonymity a central theme?
I'm getting the impression that it might be, but it's still quite confusing.
Are the borders of the community a central theme?
It's become clear to me recently that there's possibly just as much collaboration going on "off-wiki" as there is "on-wiki", which seems to me to have both positive and negative effects. I myself am supposedly getting rough treatment on a private mailing list or two, which perhaps isn't surprising, though I do find it rather curious. I'm still not quite there yet with why people get so angry about it, which relates to "why Wikipedia is important" (above).
Suggestions for subpaging
If I may again be so bold, I'd like to suggest that this group takes better advantage of the subpage environment... it works quite differently than non-subpaged environments such as Wikipedia. For example, the "introduction/outline" on the main page could be rewritten as prose to provide a basic thesis, and then each paragraph could have a "(learn more)" link at the end. Likewise, each of those more specific topics could have "learn more" links for paragraphs or sections leading to other subpages. I also think that some of the threads on the talk pages (as well as on several user pages) could also be made into subpages for incorporation into a narrative. If you need advice on subpages, feel free to ask: I came to Wikiversity through Wikibooks, not Wikipedia, so I've been using subpages for a long time.

Be patient about the timeline: this may take a lot more time, thought, and work than you originally forsaw. It looks like it's going to be more than worth the effort though. --SB_Johnny | talk 13:55, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Feedback pages[edit]

I'm going to start working on feedback pages for this project, using a templating process similar to that developed at Wikimedian Demographics. The templates will ask a series of yes/no questions (or at least questions with a limited number of mutually exclusive answers), which will add both categories and some sort of graphic (probably userboxes). Most will also ask for prose response. The first two I have in mind are something like the following:

Feedback for this project in general:

  • Do you think it's appropriate to study Wikipedia on Wikiversity?
  • Do you think it's appropriate to use Wikiversity as a forum for creating changes in how Wikipedia is managed?
  • Do you think this project (Wikimedia Ethics) is appropriate for Wikiversity?
  • Which Wikimedia project do you primarily contribute to?
  • If you were to choose the priorities, what do you think is the next thing to be done here? ("Prose" answer, 1 paragraph)

Anonymity:

  • Have you made your real identity public within Wikimedia?
  • Do you think anonymity is important for editing Wikimedia projects?
  • Do you think anonymity can sometimes cause problems for Wikimedia projects?
  • Do you think the privacy policies are (too weak/just right/too strong)?
  • Do you think enforcement of the privacy policies are (too weak/just right/too strong)?

I'd like to get at least 5 response pages going... eventually I plan to bring the project up again on foundation-l (maybe the weekend after next?), and having standardized feedback allows people to "jump in" a bit without getting too entangled on talk pages. The categories also enable comparisons using DPL, but also to send talk page notes to people who have certain concerns or opinions when new resources are being developed that are relevant to those topics. --SB_Johnny | talk 12:33, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Wonderful! WAS 4.250 13:10, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I tried out the surveys, and it is good for this. Dzonatas 16:01, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

A suggestion:

Verification:

  • Do you think editors should have their identity verified by Wikimedia or an Internet service (like VeriSign)? (y/n)
  • Do you think the results of identity verification should remain private at Wikimedia or an Internet service? (y/n)
  • Do you think editors should also have their academic credentials verified? (y/n)
  • Do you think the results of credential verification should remain private at Wikimedia? (y/n)
  • If an editor is not verified at all:
  1. the editor can edit any page on any topic
  2. the editor can edit pages not requiring any verification
  3. the editor can only edit talk pages
  4. the editor can not make an edit at any Wikimedia wiki
  • If an editor is not verified at all but has participated in one of more Wikiveristy courses:
  1. the editor can edit any page on any topic
  2. the editor can edit pages not requiring any verification
  3. the editor can only edit talk pages
  4. the editor can not make an edit at any Wikimedia wiki

Dzonatas 17:30, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Cool, keep 'em coming! I'll try to make a template that makes templates so anyone can make them without knowing the parser code, but we should try to come up with "best batches" for the various topics (i.e., the ones most needed by the active editors), and then other surveys on the topic can be optionally added or recommended as related topics (it will work similar to the demographics... you subst one template to add the others, instructions pop up, etc.). --SB_Johnny | talk 18:37, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
A template that makes templates... the idea sounds neat, but I wonder if the template code is the right thing to automate template code. Have you used the Greasemonkey add-on for FireFox and I.E. (gm4ie)? It allows for dynamic content to be added to web pages at the web browser client. An example script, User:Dzonatas/Scripts#Wikianim, adds like a "play" button to animate over the revision history. Dzonatas 22:50, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The ethical implications of pressing 'Save'[edit]

Another thought for the sketchpad - I'm interested in examining the thought processes involved in, and the moral / ethical and legal relationship between the editor, and the material present when pressing 'Save' on a wiki.... I've been talking to a few people in various ways, and it occurs to me that to a degree people are currently only considering the material they have directly engaged with (as in 'Sure, I take responsibility for that paragraph I added - but not the rest of the article...) - this leads to blindspots, with established articles being edited, but not actually substantively reviewed - and there's a possible irresponsibility there I'd like to examine in some way... more fat for the fire, I guess! cheers, Privatemusings 06:27, 30 July 2008 (UTC) ps.. I've also created a subpage for some of my thoughts here - which I'd propose to use as a personal sandbox area - re-organising posts, and structuring in a way that I find useful over time... all feedback on that idea is most welcome - and I hope it's ok! cheers, Privatemusings 06:27, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I've long been concerned about the legal liabilities of admins restoring content that then is sued over. Is restoring/un-deleting content legally actionable? I don't know. I worry about the effect of some future lawsuit against arbcom. These concerns can also be applied against non-admins. WAS 4.250 07:13, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

OTRS...[edit]

further to the above, there are some interesting aspects to the OTRS system that might be worth taking a look at in a friendly, academic environment... most specifically it always raised both an eyebrow and a smile from me that the well evolved system we have for dealing with problem issues is set up systemically to focus all responsibility for any actions on individuals.... I think there's stuff to talk about there too...! cheers, Privatemusings 06:31, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Who aside from individuals shoud be responsible? --SB_Johnny | talk 00:01, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
can't answer that really SB - but I would say that I'm worried about the training and support that volunteers in this area receive, the management of competencies etc. and the ethical implications of allowing volunteers to assume levels of responsibility that may not be properly established or understood.. I recognise that I'm only at the 'asking questions' stage, so apologies for not having more meat on the bone yet! cheers, Privatemusings 04:02, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
PM, do you think (and are you suggesting) that this learning resource should contain a module that directly addresses the application of the fundamental principles of ethics to those volunteers who step into OTRS roles? If so, it would be help if you outlined the elements of ethics you feel need to be highlighted for would-be OTRS volunteers, perhaps with some examples gleaned from the annals of OTRS where ethical issues arise. —Moulton 11:18, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Week 3...[edit]

I guess the cat is out of the bag on the commons stuff, so I assume everyone knows I've been distracted this week. Some very interesting discussion on it though, which brings some questions to mind.

How big a part do consolidated groups of users play in how Wikipedia is managed?
Or is it just a perception that consolidated groups are playing a prominent role? Is there anything actually wrong with it? In a democracy, one would expect caucuses (sp?) to form around issues and interests, so in some sense it seems natural that these groups would evolve. In a consensus-driven body, blocs like this could be disruptive (since they would lessen the likelihood that people will "concede" to the community's chosen direction). Are these organizations permitted? encouraged? discouraged? banned? If the latter, how can one reasonably expect to prevent people who agree from acting as a group? And the usual question: what's the history behind this?
Where are the resources?
There's been a bit of a slowdown here, at least when it comes to making new pages that delve into the issues this project was created to address. A couple weeks ago there was a discussion of going into "case files" that discuss particular events and what they show about "the Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia". Has there been any progress? Related to that (and I'm sure you know this was coming), what's the status of the links page now? Are those links being used for something? If so, for what? Particularly in the case of the links to sites that are about "outing", I think it's time to use them or lose them, because if they're not useful for the project, they're really just causing disruption. Is a page on the who/what/when/where/why/how/effect of outings in the works? As someone else had pointed out earlier, right now all they're really doing is making people angry and creating a hostile atmosphere for users from the other "groups" (see above), which might in part explain why there's less growth in content over the past week.

I hope to have at least one feedback template going by this afternoon for beta testing. If there are pages I'm unaware of that could have feedback questions attached to them, let me know... for DPL-related reasons, feedback templates should only have 3 categorizing questions and one written answer question, because we can only compare a limited number of categories using the kind of DPL we have here. --SB_Johnny | talk 12:54, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

I've spent more time last week in my work, so that's why I slowed down. As for the consolidated groups, I wonder if that is, in part, why history has shown a need to form bipartisanship. People generally want to get rid of such group labels, yet they tend to force a line being drawn. It would be different if there was a template to ask Wikipedians how they register. Dzonatas 15:30, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
You lost me on the last sentence... register for what? --SB_Johnny | talk 18:11, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
To register for one's group, or to have established political parties in Wikipedia. Different. No worries, it is not a suggestion to require registration process. I'm worried more about the links right now. I also concede to the thought to redo/subpage some of the material on the main resource page. Also, would like to see more collaboration on Wikimedia Ethics/Ethics and MediaWiki/Privacy. Dzonatas 18:37, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
The problem is less about cliques, cabals, caucuses, affinity groups, clans, and tribes and more about transparency and vote-stacking via sock puppets. There is little doubt that the English Wikipedia is a battleground of competing interest groups with differing goals, differing ethics, and differing practices. What I think we need to watch for is "RICO" (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations) as some "cabals" muscle in and employ unfair, inappropriate, and unethical practices to silence, disempower, or marginalize competing factions.
Over the past week and a half, I've reproduced a number of our resources as "Google Knol Reprints", to relieve the load on the small private servers where some of them have resided for nearly two decades.
Case study examples seem to be arising faster than we can review them, but the good news is that we are transforming one or two anecdotal examples into a data set that potentially reveals a recurring pattern over multiple Wikimedia project sites. To the extent that what we are studying is a "cancer of corruption", the metastasis of the cancer to Meta-Wiki, Wikinews, Wikiversity, and Commons is useful evidence that deserves careful scrutiny.
Moulton 22:10, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

An important part of what we are doing is not only creating learning resources, but also providing links to other resources. But perhaps resources created elsewhere by participants here could also be copied to this project and listed in our list of resources. There is a catch-22 though. Some of these linked to resources are said to "out" people as a necessary part of the story of what happened. I assume it would break the rules to copy such a document here. Hmmm. Perhaps that part of the document can be redacted and the off-site document be linked to in the on-site redacted copy. Sound workable? WAS 4.250 12:33, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Yup, you can't copy those here, and you can't make any statements saying "User:xyz is actually John Doe", unless the user in question has explicitly said that's OK to do. In general, any discussion of "outing" should make it very clear why the outing was necessary or useful in any way (I don't see why it was done at all, to be frank, outside of a mean-spirited attack). Some of the people "outed" have also had consequences that are simply atrocious, so those consequences need to be weighed in.
If the resources you're linking to are part of a story, write the story, and reserve the links for "references" only (like a Wikipedia article: let the page tell what needs to be told, and leave links only for fact checking or verification). For instance, you wouldn't have a WP article on a plant that says "This is a plant. See <link>." It shouldn't read like an RFC (the wikipedia meaning, not the wikiversity meaning (WV:RFC)), where there's more links to diffs than there is actual narrative content. --SB_Johnny | talk 13:10, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Hysterical allegations of "outting" need to be examined to determine if they are valid complaints and not disingenuous examples of gaming the system by creating throw-away avatars (screen names) who are not initially disclosed as belonging to an established and otherwise well-known editor. Similarly, distinct screen names which an editor routinely uses in conjunction with their Wikimedia identity on parallel media (e.g. Wikimedia-related IRC channels, Skypecasts, blogsites, public mailing lists, etc) cannot on the one hand be "private" and on the other hand be the openly and widely recognized voice of a prominent and well-known Wikipedian. —Moulton 13:07, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
(after e/c) Sockpuppets are a different issue, and in some cases their use is valid. Centaur of Attention, for example, may have been valid since the user in question obviously is quite concerned about outing, and did not want to be identified as the person making those edits. --SB_Johnny | talk 13:14, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to discuss the case of Centaur of attention in terms of two or three contexts. On the one hand, there are perplexing questions of ethics, given the suspicion (and substantial evidence) regarding his well-known identity on Wikipedia. On the other hand, there are concerns and associated policies about privacy, pseudonymity, and anonymity that deserve a fair hearing and decisive judgment by duly vested and impartial examiners who are responsible for establishing policy, procedures, and remedies in this regard. The third context envisions an application of Action Research to jointly address the issues and resolve the problems arising in the wake of Centaur of attention's appearance here. —Moulton 13:53, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Also I added a case to Wikimedia Ethics/Overview#What are some illustrative examples?. More data on that case and other cases can be added. If enough is added, it can be spun off into its own learning resource page(s). Remember guys, the point is to illustrate and not to attack. Wikipedia problems are systemic and not simply the result of a few individuals. We need to illustrate that there are problems that need fixing. Potential solutions can be evaluated by showing how they would have (or would not have) helped prevent the illustrated problems. Potential solutions also need to be evaluated according to how they can be expected to affect what Wikipedia is currently good at. WAS 4.250 12:46, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

We also need to examine the cases and the proposed solutions in terms of two complementary contexts. The first context is the putative mission of Wikipedia as an authentic online encyclopedia. The second context is the emergent characteristic of Wikipedia as a variety of MMORPG. Solutions need to work in all contexts, including subliminal subtext contexts. —Moulton 13:07, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
(e/c) I think more subpaging would be a great idea, but be sure to link things together, and keep the TOC up to date so people can find them. A DPL script could also be used to track which pages were most recently edited, assuming all the pages are put into a category that the DPL can work from. --SB_Johnny | talk 13:10, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I am unfamiliar with the acronym, DPL. Is that some kind of automaton? —Moulton 13:53, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, sorry. "DynamicPageList". It's a wikimedia extension enabled on wikibooks and wikiversity, but not on the larger projects due to concerns about server loads. It's used extensively on the Bloom Clock, but you can see the kind of use I mean on the main page of Wikimedian Demographics, where it lists the most recently edited pages. It's slightly buggy, but gets the job done... I'll set one up for this project so you can see what it does, but it in a nutshell it looks for pages in one category but not another, pages in two or more categories, etc., and can then show the list in order of last edits, so that pages that were recently worked on will pop to the top of the list. I't sort of like a community watchlist when used that way. --SB_Johnny | talk 14:16, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
So it's like "Recent Changes" but custom filtered to show pages corresponding to a specific context such as an individual learning project or a set of related projects/courses/schools? —Moulton 14:26, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

(reset) Yup. Table below is from a template I just made... it relies on 3 categories. To keep track of the talk pages, they should all be added to Category:Wikimedia Ethics/Discussion. Very short on time this morning, back after lunch. --SB_Johnny talk 09:37, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Oh, if anyone knows how to make the tables align to the top, please fix {{Project watchlist-dpl}} :-). --SB_Johnny talk 09:39, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Dynamic page list[edit]

Most recently edited pages in Category:Wikimedia Ethics
  1. Wikimedia Ethics/Brainstorming
  2. Wikimedia Ethics/Suggested essays
  3. Wikimedia Ethics/Overview
  4. Wikimedia Ethics
  5. Wikimedia Ethics/Project Timetable
  6. Wikimedia Ethics/Social contract
  7. Wikimedia Ethics/The fundamentals of ethics
  8. Wikimedia Ethics/Moulton, JWSchmidt's investigation
  9. Wikimedia Ethics/Ethics on Wikipedia and the Internet
  10. Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies2
  11. Wikimedia Ethics/Ethical Code for Wikipedians
  12. Wikimedia Ethics/List of questions
  13. Wikimedia Ethics/Change BLP policy
  14. Wikimedia Ethics/Introduction
  15. Category:Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia
Most recently edited pages in Category:Wikimedia Ethics/Feedback

No pages meet these criteria.

Most recently edited pages in Category:Wikimedia Ethics/Discussion
  1. Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies/Case 1


My Thoughts[edit]

G'day folks — I continue to read all of the above, am happy to be able to contribute at what seems to be an appropriate pace for this project.... I'm sort of still on a parallel stream at the moment, coalescing my thoughts, which at this point involves identifying areas which I think are interesting in relation to Wikipedia in general, trying to pin them down a bit, and then I'd plan on sifting through the ethical implications (in my opinion) — you can see what I'm up to here — and all feedback is hugely appreciated! I haven't really figured out whether I'm a student, course architect, or hanger-on over here yet! — but I'm enjoying the process, and hope something valuable may eventuate... :-) Privatemusings 00:21, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

PM, you have a gift for hosting insightful round-table discussions on Skype, and you are facile at editing and posting the audio recordings of those discussions. It would be most helpful to me if you would consent to host a session or two with participants from this Wikiversity Learning Project. My suggestion would be an initial round-table discussion with those of us who have signed onto the project, followed by subsequent round-tables with those who are not signed up, including those who are curious about the project, those who are wary of or skeptical of the project, those who are concerned by or anxious about the project, and those whose are most adamantly critical of and opposed to the project. Does that sound like a viable and useful role for you to play that would help reify what we are doing here, in the novel medium of voice dialogue? —Moulton 11:34, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
you know me, Moulton! Happy to chat - let's do a small 'sign up' thing here to gauge interest; Please do sign up if you're interested in the idea of a round-table (audio) discussion about this project (don't worry about the technicalities just yet... they're the easy bit!);

Please sign below if you are interested in joining an audio discussion[edit]

Feedback page is ready[edit]

See Wikimedia Ethics/Feedback 1. Instructions are provided on the top of the page, and further instructions will be provided on your user feedback page by the template.

Note that there's a minor bug in the script for the instructions... if anyone knows how to fix that, please do (it's in the instructions template). --SB_Johnny talk 15:50, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

And another one, based on the credentials and verification questions above: Wikimedia Ethics/Feedback 2. --SB_Johnny talk 14:56, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

The fundamentals of ethics[edit]

There is a tendency of the mind to engage in what could be called "conceptual proliferation." Rather than being aware of the utter simplisticity of a particular situation through experiential insight, we would prefer to chop it up into a bunch of tiny bits of pieces, look at each of these pieces under a magnifying glass, labeling every tiny piece, discussing the nature of each piece by itself, and in the process, we end up causing more confusion for ourselves than we had at the outset. This is clear from the huge abundance of problems in western philosophy which are not present in eastern philosophy, where the problems are often clearly resolved. Much of the success of 20th century western philosophy has come through either borrowing from eastern philosophy or re-discovering the same ideas without specifying the originality of these discoveries or giving credit where credit is due.

So, a lot of Wikipedians would therefore like to talk (a lot) about how to improve the wiki-process: in this case, it is geared towards making the process more ethical. If we talk enough about it, hopefully we can make Wikipedia more ethical, hmm? A clear perspective finds that all particular views (for or against identity verification, for example) are merely partial truths, because definitions of terms are personally defined, language is rooted in a deeper human psychology, and so no personal expression of truth can be wholly ingenuine, while on the other hand, if its validity relies solely on language, it can't be totally accurate either. And because managing social situations and resources involve trade-offs, often, it seems totally arbitrary to implement one policy over another (i.e. giving more authority to sysops, or taking such authority away).

In order to have a full understanding of the reality of ethics, we have to therefore understand the deeper psychology which underlies the language in which it is discussed. This kind of thing really cannot be picked apart through conjecture, because it is a direct experience; it can only be understood by means of clear intuition about one's direct experience around them while, once it's taken to the level of logical analysis, its full depth is lost.

With that said, as it seems to me, all ethical actions are rooted in and lead to:

  • Intelligent Observation - Realizing what is going on, distinguishing truth from false, distinguishing useful from the not useful, good from bad, encyclopedic from unencyclopedic.
  • Non-attachment - Not clinging, not being hooked, not being addicted, not being stuck to one's own opinions, others' opinions, particular ways of doing things, one's own personal gain, etc.
  • Reciprocity - The golden rule, treating others the same way you'd like to be treated, seeing others as being inseparable from yourself.

Conversely, all unethical actions are rooted in and lead to:

  • Ignorance - Lack of knowledge and intelligent observation.
  • Attachment - Wanting pleasurable things, wanting things to go our way.
  • Aversion - Wanting to avoid unpleasurable things, not permitting the possibility of not having our way.

Once this is understood, it seems like obvious common sense, "Well, that's so idiotically obvious. Why even mention it?" If it were so obvious, Wikipedia and people, in general, would not have ethical problems.

Anyway, not much more can be said about ethics than that, other than to elaborate on those basic principles. You also need to distinguish conventional ethical standards ("Don't edit war") from the underlying values ("Wikipedia is an encyclopedia") which might override particular rules, under specific contexts. Ethics is defined both by specific rules, but also by transcendent values which, when appropriately generalized, are usually but not always in accordance with the ethical conventions. Because the possible contexts in which the rules may be applied outnumbers the amount of time that can be devoted to analyzing and preparing the rules, there will always be certain cases where it is useful to blatantly ignore the rules, just as there are cases when it is ethical to break the law.

To put it in a different way: Humans are dynamic, sentient beings which cannot simply be predictably thrown around by bureaucratic deliberations on wiki-process. Any social setting will be dominated by some degree of chaos. Furthermore, what is more important than the process is the virtues of the editors themselves. If the virtues of editors are maintained, then it automatically follows that the process will also be maintained as just. If the virtues of the editors are not maintained, any amount of deliberation is a waste of time. Therefore, it is far more important that Wikipedia focus on certain virtues rather than certain processes or policies. 71.178.227.28 23:49, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for that. I will copy it to the learning resource Wikimedia Ethics/The fundamentals of ethics. WAS 4.250 18:23, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Recorded discussion session[edit]

All participants in the Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia project are invited to a discussion, "Introduction to the Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia project". The plan is to use Teamspeak to allow us to record the discussion. Other audio contributions are welcome. For example, if you cannot use Teamspeak, feel free to use Skype or any other means to record your comments. We can get everyone's answers to the 3 questions (see below) and then try to have a group discussion. See Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia/Audio.

    • specific questions: 1) What do you hope the project can accomplish? 2) What ethics/management issues are you particularly concerned about? 3) do you think this kind of project can help Wikimedians find ways to improve Wikipedia?
    • If you want to participate, please list yourself below and indicate good and bad times for the discussion.
      • participants:
JWSchmidt, best time window: Aug. 25-30, 4:00-10:00 and 16:00-22:00 UTC+0
Moulton recorded 8/25/08: Image:3 questions Moulton.ogg
Cormaggio - best for me is 8-22/3 UTC weekdays; weekends similar, but often more erratic; can't do 3-9 September.
please add yourself
...

Is there anything you two want the rest of us to know about what was said or some other aspect of it? WAS 4.250 22:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

We are working on a transcript for Image:3 questions Moulton.ogg. --JWSchmidt 22:16, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. WAS 4.250 22:50, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
"Adjective adjective adjective ethical adjective adjective adjective practice adjective adjective." This was not spoken for an audience. Try it again in English? Salmon of Doubt 22:19, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
You can ask questions. This is all about creating learning resources. WAS 4.250 22:50, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Three users[edit]

This thread has been moved here from SB Johnny's talk page.

Hi Johnny,

I think these three users are one person. Can it be checked, like in ip-adresses, or is that a breach of privacy? Maybe Arb-com on Wikipedia can be asked for guidance?--Daanschr 18:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

My IP address is 68.163.111.150 [alpha.musenet.org]. —Moulton 20:57, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
More info at Wikiversity:Requests for CheckUser (read what is written there) and also see Wikiversity:CheckUser policy, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:32, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Eh, no... definitely not the same person. WAS is active on wp and meta, Moulton active on meta and previously on wp. Not sure about Salmon's activities elsewhere, but he's definitely not a puppet of either. --SB_Johnny talk 18:45, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

On the other hand, Moulton is using his logged-out IP address, 68.163.111.150, inapropriately, to make it appear that his alternative identites are seperate and distinct individuals who agree with him. 18:54, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Do you have any evidence or reasoning to offer in support of that remarkable theory? —Moulton 19:52, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
It would appear that if your opponents are allowed to get away with something; then your "action research" constitutes you acting that way also. Color me appalled. WAS 4.250 20:45, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Opponents? What opponents? Salmon of Doubt and I are engaged in a free-form learning exercise. If you pay attention, you will appreciate how much is being learned in the process. —Moulton 20:57, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, you're also annoying the heck out of people, Moulton. You're also, again, making billions of posts on my talk page. Dann asked me a question, I answered it. Take it elsewhere, please. --SB_Johnny talk 21:01, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Colloquium Exercise: A Perplexing Ethical Conundrum[edit]

Members of the Wikiversity Community Colloquium are invited to review today's Colloquium Exercise, entitled, "A Perplexing Ethical Conundrum."

Preamble: The English Wikipedia ArbCom is about ready to reveal their decision in the FM-SV-C68 case...

The parties are instructed to carefully review the principles and findings contained in this decision. Each of the parties is strongly urged to conform his or her future behavior to the principles set forth in this decision. Each of the parties is admonished for having engaged in the problematic user conduct described above, and is instructed to avoid any further instances of such conduct.

Here is today's Colloquium Exercise...

Consider the following quote from an Ambassador from another Wiki...

Visiting Ambassador: I could obviously use technical means to ban Moulton from any page I wanted to. I am more than proficient enough with Pywikibot to make that happen. I suspect that would quickly lead to Moulton and myself being blocked - and let me make this as clear as I can - I would have no problem at all with just banning the both of us.

1. Who said that?

2. Who did they say it to?

3. When did they say it?

4. On which Wiki was it said?

5. What was the response?

Consider this response...

Diplomatic Response: Mr. Ambassador, thank you for your well thought out comment.

1. Who was the respondent?

2. Where and when did the above response appear?

3. What happens next?

Moulton 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm also puzzled by that comment; see this user talk page for my attempt to understand. --JWSchmidt 21:40, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
See the next sub-thread for my review of the responses to your efforts to elicit an explanation. —Moulton 22:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Analyzing the responses from the Visiting Ambassador[edit]

1. I beleive that there is a universal principal that all actions should be taken to help the wellbeing of the largest number of people in them most effective way, and thus that ethical use of this site is use that contributes to educating the largest number of people in the most effective way. I believe the greatest educational benefit to the greatest number of people would be achieved if Moulton were able to edit this project, in line with it's mission, without dirupting it. Currently, I do not believe he is doing so, nor do I believe there is a reasonable posibility that he will ever be able to do so. Whilst I am doing so, I believe that the loss to this project of my contributions would be more than offset by the gain to the project if Moulton's negative contributions were eliminated. Salmon of Doubt 18:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The problem with the principle of "the greatest good for the greatest number" is that it discards the notion of Civil Rights. The greatest good for the greatest number reaches its most shameful apex with the classical Scapegoat Drama, of which there are many famous examples in history. Probably the best known version of that story is the Passion of Christ, but many other examples are reviewed in the secular literature. René Girard, in particular, studied the Scapegoat Drama and wrote extensively about it. His research led to his well-known model of human socio-cultural dynamics that comes to the Wikisphere as the op-ed essay, "Worrying About Wheel-Warring In Our WikiWoe." —Moulton 22:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

2. I have had no substantial past interactions with Moulton. Your assumptions about my motives and desires are incorrect, and thus your questions, which assume facts not in evidence, are unanswerable. Salmon of Doubt 18:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I have not yet been able to obtain a reliable statement of the respondent's values, desires, or motives. If Salmon of Doubt has had any past interactions, no matter how insubstantial, it would be helpful to me if he would candidly disclose them, in accordance with his pledge not to be deceptive. —Moulton 22:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

3. My use of the template is not deceptive. The existance of the RFC does not indicate he did something wrong - it was his unethical actions at Wikipedia that are evidenced in the RFC. The RFC was created to attempt to get Moulton to act ethically. Moulton was blocked at Wikipedia for disrupting it's mission to inform the largest number of people effectively, an unethical act. At no point did Moulton attempt to correct biased Wikipedia biographies, nor did he get into conflict with editors who claimed ownership of anything. My portrayal of Moulton on my userpage is accurate and ethical. Salmon of Doubt 18:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Since the RfC in question was declared to be a sham, it occurs to me that the RfC is not a reliable source for characterizing anyone other than those who crafted it. —Moulton 22:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

WAS 4.250[edit]

Visiting Ambassador: I could obviously use technical means to ban Moulton from any page I wanted to. I am more than proficient enough with Pywikibot to make that happen. I suspect that would quickly lead to Moulton and myself being blocked - and let me make this as clear as I can - I would have no problem at all with just banning the both of us.

1. Who said that? Salmon of Doubt

2. Who did they say it to? WAS 4.250

3. When did they say it? 22:30, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

4. On which Wiki was it said? Wikiversity

5. What was the response? Salmon of Doubt, thank you for your well thought out comment. I too am "Searching for a solution". Yes I am well aware that your problem with the ethics project is that you think parts of it have nothing to do with ethics. I acknowledge that all project participants, yourself included, have multiple motives for contributing; and sometimes this has led to it partially being used as a platform to express a variety of personal dissatisfactions such as personalized, one-off disputes in the English wikipedia. If you are serious when you say "I will take or not take any action you want me to take or not take, so long as the project space here does not decrease in value over the medium (not short) term." then please: Don't talk to Moulton or about Moulton on any talk page. (When I first arrived at Wikipedia, I got into a misunderstanding with SlimVirgin who misinterpreted a remark of mine as an attack, and I solved the dispute by promising her - I thought up the offer, she accepted - I would not talk to her or about her anywhere; about 3 to 6 months later she came to my talk page and asked for help on something so I asked if I was relieved of my promise - which she had probably forgotten - and she said yes) Ignore Moulton on all talk pages; except for deleting anything he says on your talk page The only ethics project pages that you edit should be ones you yourself have created, but feel free to own those. While the above is written in absolutes it should be interpreted in a common sense fashion, because there will be exceptions that arise. Further at some time, things might calm down enough that it would be useful for you to test the waters by slowing finding more and more useful exceptions to the above until at some time it becomes apparent that there is no longer a need for you to follow the above. Does that make sense to you? Are you willing to give the above a try? WAS 4.250 23:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Consider this response...

Diplomatic Response: Mr. Ambassador, thank you for your well thought out comment.

1. Who was the respondent? WAS 4.250

2. Where and when did the above response appear? WAS 4.250 User talk page at 23:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

3. What happens next? at WAS 4.250 User talk page: Please review the edit history of Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies. I will repudiate our agreement in 72 hours unless real action is taken to solve this ongoing problem. Salmon of Doubt 20:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Well then, you might as well repudiate our agreement now. WAS 4.250 22:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok. Salmon of Doubt 22:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much for giving it a try. I'm sorry it did not work out, but Moulton insists on creating drama. I'm sure I will not approve of what you will do in reaction to behavior from Moulton that I also do not approve; but this is just a wiki, and I refuse to get emotionally engaged over it. WAS 4.250 22:20, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I have had no substantial past interactions with Moulton. Your assumptions about my motives and desires are incorrect, and thus your questions, which assume facts not in evidence, are unanswerable. Salmon of Doubt 18:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)}}

If he is who I think he is (I recognize the style, attitude, and general psychology); then this is indeed true. WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

"The RFC was created to attempt to get Moulton to act ethically." - I agree WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

"Moulton was blocked at Wikipedia for disrupting it's mission to inform the largest number of people effectively, an unethical act." - I agree WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

"At no point did Moulton attempt to correct biased Wikipedia biographies, nor did he get into conflict with editors who claimed ownership of anything." - I disagree WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Moulton attempted to change the biography of w:Rosalind Picard, who is notable for being the founder of an esoteric branch of Computer Science and for being related to the Intelligent Design movement. Here is the biography before Moulton arrived [1]. Here is Moulton's "correction" [2]. If by "correct" you mean "whitewash," sure. To the best of my knowledge, none of Moulton's edits has ever added a single word about Picard's relationship to the ID movement. To the best of my knowledge none of his series of uninterrupted edits to that article has left the section on the ID movement untouched.
Additionally, please cite where someone claimed "ownership" of an article. Salmon of Doubt 22:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion and Moulton's, Rosalind Picard is not notable for being related to the Intelligent Design movement. So in his opinion, removing that data was improving a BLP by removing undue weight data that was using the article as a "coat rack". I am aware you disagree, but your disagreement does not turn his motives from good to bad. Ownership has not been claimed by IDcab in words but in acts. Again, I understand that you disagree; but that does not make the claim an attack. People have the right to disagree with you. WAS 4.250 00:05, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe I ever claimed it was an attack. Here are the articles that talk about Rosalind Picard in the context of the ID movement: New York Times, The Record - (Waterloo Canada). I am not happy with the notability of the Record mention (of course, I'm a deletionist, and believe that to have an article on a totally NN professor is questionable), but if it's in the NY Times, it's worth at least a passing mention if there's to be an article at all. Salmon of Doubt 00:10, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
That is certainly an honorable mainstream position. Sorry to hear you are a deletionist tho. WAS 4.250 08:27, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Analyzing the Responses from the Disgruntled Diplomat[edit]

I'm sorry it did not work out, but Moulton insists on creating drama. I'm sure I will not approve of what you will do in reaction to behavior from Moulton that I also do not approve; but this is just a wiki, and I refuse to get emotionally engaged over it. WAS 4.250 22:20, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

What is your evidence, reasoning, and analysis to support the thesis that addressing and solving long-festering cultural problems creates drama? Is Liminal Social Drama (in the wake of a breach of expectations) inevitable? Is Applied Action Research inherently a source of ineluctible drama? What conditions must obtain for Liminal Social Drama to subside into Applied Action Research? Did you articulate to Salmon of Doubt your disapproval of his stubborn and petulant refusal to engage in Applied Action Research?

If he is who I think he is (I recognize the style, attitude, and general psychology); then this ["no substantial past interactions with Moulton"] is indeed true. WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Who do you think he is? Where and when were did past (insubstantial) interactions with Salmon of Doubt occur, and what were the circumstances?

"The RFC was created to attempt to get Moulton to act ethically." - I agree WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Please review the published "Desired outcome" of the filers of the RfC and exhibit to me the passages therein which support the above quoted assertion. Please do a page search therein for the word "ethics" (it appears twice) and report back which party was expressly promoting ethics, and which party was complaining about and resisting the introduction of ethics into the regulatory processes of Wikipedia.

"Moulton was blocked at Wikipedia for disrupting it's mission to inform the largest number of people effectively, an unethical act." - I agree WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Please review the reason given by KillerChihuhua in the block log and the (different) reason given in the tag posted on Moulton's Wikipedia talk page and exhibit to me the passage which supports the above recited reason for blocking.

"At no point did Moulton attempt to correct biased Wikipedia biographies, nor did he get into conflict with editors who claimed ownership of anything." - I disagree WAS 4.250 22:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

In light of yesterday's efforts by yourself and Ottava Rima to correct the remaining inaccuracies in Picard's BLP, and in light of the inquiries posted by Ottava Rima and yourself to three adjudicating notice boards on WP:RS, WP:OR, and WP:BLP, would you be kind enough to update for us the current status of your level of disagreement with the version of the story as articulated above by Salmon of Doubt. Whose account is more doubtful? Whose account is more accurate?

To the best of my knowledge, none of Moulton's edits has ever added a single word about Picard's relationship to the ID movement. To the best of my knowledge none of his series of uninterrupted edits to that article has left the section on the ID movement untouched. Salmon of Doubt 22:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

WAS, have you been able to clarify and resolve what is known of Picard's hypothesized relationship to the ID Movement? Has Salmon of Doubt (or his allied editors from IDCab) cited any reliable sources, exhibited any evidence, and disclosed any inferential reasoning required to establish a novel theory (plausible or otherwise) among Wikipedians characterizing any hypothesized relationship between Rosalind Picard and the ID Movement. What about the similar BLP on James Tour?

Sorry to hear you are a deletionist tho. WAS 4.250 08:27, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Are you just now becoming aware that Salmon of Doubt deletes more than he adds? Look at his initial contributions here, if there is any doubt. What did he add? What did he delete or dispose of by other means (such as moving relevant and germane content to an unrelated section or to an obscure subpage, thereby breaking the reader's continuity of thought and attention).

Moulton 13:08, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Moulton, I am here to help coordinate and organize the creation of learning resource pages, not to engage in talk page drama. If you wish to create learning resource pages that could usefully use my input, I would be happy to help that effort. WAS 4.250 17:17, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
WAS, there is a Policy on Scholarly Ethics at Wikiversity that reads as follows...

Policy

When Wikiversity members choose to edit pages that exist outside of the confines of a neutral point of view (NPOV) policy, they take on an added level of responsibility and are open to extra scrutiny. Anyone editing Wikiversity articles that exist outside of the NPOV category must

  1. Edit using a registered username and maintain a verified email address.
  2. Keep the "Scholarly ethics" template {{Scholarly ethics}} on their Wikiversity user page:

This Wikiversity editor in their contributing to scholarly works, agrees to strong scholarly ethics. In particular this Wikiversity editor:
  • Is committed to presenting a balanced, objective, accurate, and informative account of all relevant scholarly evidence, facts, analysis, and ideas within all scholarly topics of study in the interest of full disclosure and honesty.
  • Does not condone illegal, deceptive, or otherwise unethical practices in their own contributions or in others'.
  • May for research purposes contribute outside of the restrictions of NPOV.
  • Will respond to all questions about the ethical caliber of their contributions on their talk page.

The “scholarly ethics” template indicates that a Wikiversity editor accepts and supports the Wikiversity policy on scholarly ethics. It explicitly states that the editor will not attempt to use Wikiversity as a platform for advocating or advancing propaganda or any other type of deception or intellectual dishonesty, but rather, the editor is devoted to scholarly consideration of their topic of study. This means not distorting or hiding evidence and not crafting illegal, deceptive, dishonest or otherwise unethical accounts of facts or ideas. Wikiversity scholars can, and must, study their subjects with devotion to honesty and the highest scholarly standards.

It is only by strictly adhering to the highest standards of scholarly ethics that members of the Wikiversity community secure and maintain an opportunity to participate in the Wikiversity community.

As you know, the main page of this Ethics Project states that this project adheres to the above Policy on Scholarly Ethics. Please ensure that both yourself and Salmon of Doubt are in compliance with that Wikiversity Policy to which all participants in this project are honorably committed.
Moulton 20:52, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
proposed Wikiversity policy WAS 4.250 21:17, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
See the template that we put on the top of the main page of this project. This project has adopted that policy, full stop. —Moulton 22:08, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I am unaware of any existing WikiVersity policy related to the ability of a project to impose such rules on its participants and am also unaware of any discussion or vote by this project's members on such a thing. Anyone can add anything. That does not make it project policy or WikiVersity policy. Go add "All participants will say neener neener three times fast", and see if it happens. For someone that claims rule based organizations are dysfunctional, you sure act like someone who believes in rules. Even when rules exist; they do not reflect actual behavior. WAS 4.250 18:50, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I am chagrined at your sudden (and unexpected) lack of familiarity (is it declining powers of attention/recollection?) with the concept of a Social Contract, in which participants in a community project voluntarily pledge and commit — of their own free will — to abide by mutually crafted, mutually understood, and prominantly disclosed terms of engagement. Perhaps it would be best if you would (at least for the time being) retreat from a leadership role in the Ethics Project, since it's important that project leaders clearly understand and personally exemplify the core tenets and overarching values of the project. Should your powers of attention and recollection speedily return to full strength (an outcome for which I fervently pray), I would be overjoyed to welcome you back to a prominant role in project leadership, going forward. —Moulton 11:23, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I understand the concern being brought up by both, WAS and Moulton, but I don't see a need to jump aside on this. At this time, I don't know how to best word my concern here. I don't think the remedial suggestions are needed to solve the disagreement here between you two. I believe both of you can admit that some of it is just silly even if there is, seriously, some heat to it. For now, please just agree to disagree. Dzonatas 16:46, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Most of it is silly to the point of being material suitable for a comic opera. Six years ago, I co-authored a peer-reviewed conference paper for AAAI in which we expressly modeled and characterized such "lunatic drama". Not only do I admit it's silly, I published a peer-reviewed theoretical model that predicted such silliness. And I also gave a recipe for preventing it, as well as one for remediating it. —Moulton 19:39, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Interesting new case[edit]

See w:Talk:Sarah Palin... apparently there was s surge of editing on the article several hours before it was announced that she would be w:John McCain's running mate. Looks like it's being handled rather well, so might be a good positive example? It's both a BLP issue and apparently a sockpuppet issue: see NPR story for a discussion. --SB_Johnny talk 11:15, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

See also Tug of war over Wiki entry on Palin: In the end web process worked. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 19:35, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
The issue of ethics at Wikipedia is like the issue of crime on American streets. Most articles and most streets, most the time, are not a problem. WAS 4.250 19:40, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
My faculty colleague in Journalism, who is an unabashed political news junkie, picked up on the Palin stories (both on NPR and in yesterday's NY Times) and passed along the news items as soon as they broke. As of last night, IDCab had not yet arrived at the Palin BLP to amplify her (well-documented) remarks about covering the topic of ID in public school courses where evolution is taught. When they show up, it will be interesting to see how they spin the news stories and how much weight they give to them, relative to other aspects of Palin's life. Moulton 10:51, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Removal of moulton case studies[edit]

Having taken a nice week off, I looked back at some of my contributions and determined that I was responding in kind rather than taking the high road. As such, I've removed all of my discussion of Moulton and will replace them with alternative scenarios presented below his that lay our the other way of looking at his contributions. It is my hope that this will lead to others not using the Case Studies to seek vengence against people they don't like, or to seek redress of their personal grievences against other editors. Salmon of Doubt 15:25, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

"Special Learning"[edit]

Please do not engage in any sort of non-standard learning techniques with me in the future re this project. No crazy characters, no ironic trolling accounts, nothing like that. It does not help me "learn." Please, either inform me with statements of fact and opinion or elicit me to learn via leading questions, or try to learn yourself by asking me questions of fact or opinion. Do not play-act, any more. Period. No exceptions. Salmon of Doubt 18:50, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Status update, and an introduction[edit]

Sorry I've been around much less than before, but I'm going to be rather busy with other things until at least the end of November. I do think there's been a lot of progress the past few weeks though as we've finally heard from at least one user with an opposing point of view on things, and that will allow a better result in the end when things are compared and contrasted to make a first thesis, at least on what we can learn about Moulton's experiences on wp.

As I'm sure you know, I'm also a bit concerned about how some things have played out, as there have been considerable breaches of civility on both sides of Moulton's case. I started asking around to see if there was someone willing and able to monitor things more closely and try to encourage some level of moderation when things become overheated. The person I found is John Vandenberg, who has considerable experience in dispute resolution on wikis, including a dispute I myself had with another user. I've asked him to lend a hand in keeping things as civil as can reasonably be expected while this project continues to grow and mature, and to try to maintain a neutral position so he can act as a mediator and/or moderator when disputes arise. --SB_Johnny talk 10:48, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the intro. I have been interested in this project since I first heard about it, and would like to see it continue to develop for both the benefit of the participants and the 'pedia. This is my first major involvement in Wikiverity, so I have a lot to learn on the methods and procedures here; I'll keep in contact with the Custodians to learn the ropes as quickly as possible. On the content side of things, I have set up User:Jayvdb/EMELW where I will keep my own notes, but while I settle in I would appreciate it if participants would put together a quick reading list for me. I will read all of the pages in this learning project, but if there are pages that are a higher priority for me to read in a more timely manner, I would like to know of those. John Vandenberg (chat) 11:18, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Welcome, and glad to have you aboard, John. I haven't been very active lately, but I'm still keeping an eye on this project and planning to contribute. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:45, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
A warm welcome, John. Following my post to the Colloquium yesterday, I have initiated a project on "Learning from conflict and incivility" which is directly related to this project and the recent "drama". I hope that it will help in some way to learn from the recent conflict, and perhaps 'resolve' it in some way... Cormaggio talk 19:51, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Cleaning up Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia[edit]

Note
As this Colloquium thread is long, I have moved it to Wikiversity:Colloquium/Wikipedia Ethics. Meanwhile, I have transcluded it below. Hillgentleman

Yesterday Jimbo published the following comment about Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia: "I would recommend that a significant number of the attack pages be deleted, and the project protected at least for now, pending a good community discussion of what something like this should look like." Jimbo's suggestion reflects wide concerns around Wikiversity about this project, but I think we should nevertheless, if we can, try to resolve the problems around this project in a non-authoritarian manner by devolving as much responsibility as possible onto the participants in this project. As editing on this project appears to have stopped by itself for the time being, there is no immediate reason to protect the project, and this in turn means we can leave the project in a state where the participants can straighten it out without recourse to custodial action. Watching User:Dzonatas's edits yesterday gave me an idea about how the participants might want to start their clean-up - but this is just an idea and the participants might do something different. My suggestion is that every participant who feels they have valuable material they would like to preserve, temporarily moves the material to their userspace; after a period of (say) 5 days, we then assume that anything left in the project is unwanted and a custodian is requested to delete all the remains; the project is then recreated, perhaps with a better name, and a discussion begun on the project main page about how best to reintegrate the rescued materials now on the user pages of the participants. But perhaps there are other ways to do the clean-up. As you are all ethics specialists, you won't be surprised by the idea that freedom carries responsibility, and I hope that this high profile project will become self-managed in an impressive manner to all those watching it. Over to the participants now. --McCormack 15:20, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I do not understand the value of your approach. I wish to hold off editing as much as possible at WikiVersity until the custodians here figure out consensus on the problems related to the ethics project. Please copy the entire project into my user space, if you think moving content to user space makes sense. I started this project and feel its structure is mine and wish to preserve that as well as various changes to various parts that I do not actually "own". Thank you to everyone who is using this as an opportunity to better figure out what WikiVersity wants to become. WAS 4.250 16:36, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi WAS. Personally I do not know what the consensus is on the project, short of guessing that there is none at the current time. I'm hoping, as an initial approach to this, that the participants can draw together and state their consensus so that custodians can then implement any recommendations emerging from your consensus. --McCormack 17:07, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) WAS: The custodians can not figure out what the consensus is until those involved start discussing ideas, and then the community comments on those suggestions. Instead of holding off on editing I would encourage you, and others, to draft some ideas on how to manage the project so that it can lead to a constructive learning experience. If you'd like some suggestions on where to start I would be happy to offer some advice. You could, for example, start a narrative at Learning from conflict and incivility or just use a page in your userspace. Feel free to leave a note on my talk page. --mikeu talk 17:13, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
McCormack, can you list all of Moulton's pages that are part of the project and not part of his user space. I think we can then have an analysis of which ones to move and which ones to delete. Perhaps a simple vote (move and delete the two options), with a four point margin being necessary to perform either action, and those without a four point marging having further discussion? If this is too complicated or could cause problems, please, anyone, speak up. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:47, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi Ottava. I must admit my current time expenditure on these issues is so high that I was hoping someone else could step in and help here. Please feel welcome to go ahead yourself if you can. --McCormack 15:49, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I will, but I wont have time until this evening. I was afraid to step on anyone's toes if they already had a list. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:07, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
KillerChihuahua needs to provide evidence to support her claims. --JWSchmidt 17:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Support from me... I hadn't really looked at that page recently. "Salmon: maybe some day you will reveal your identity and why you support Wikipedians who think it is right for Wikipedia to publish false information in the name of "Our anti-Intelligent Design crusade is holy and right, so we can harm other people to further our glorious ends"."(JWSchmidt) is clearly neither civil nor NPOV, and much of the rest of the page is devoted to identifying the evils of the "crusaders" (with kinda shaky references at that, including many to Moulton's own non-peer-reviewed essays). --SB_Johnny talk 17:38, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
User:SB_Johnny <-- I believe that if you examine Salmon's user page and user talk page histories you will find that Salmon has voiced support for a team of Wikipedia editor who worked for over a year to include false negative claims in Wikipedia BLPs. The Wikipedia community has now largely repaired that damage and one of the team members is probably going to be de-sysoped by ArbCom. My accurate description of the situation is civil and based on factual documentation of research which you want to delete from Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 18:57, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Oppose. As the proverb goes, "rumours have wings". Even if they are sometimes written in bad style, there are legitimate concerned raised in these pages, at least to an uninformed onlooker. You cannot stop rumours and lies by deleting them. The correct way to untangle lies and rumours is to confront them directly; the correct way to fix misrepresentation is to provide alternative point of views and let the readers decide; lies will contradict themselves whilst the truth stands. Hillgentleman|Talk 17:52, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
      • Yes, but every time someone has tried to confront, they've been reverted and/or chased off. I doubt we could find a neutral party with the time and willingness to separate wheat and chaff. --SB_Johnny talk 18:18, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
        • Johnny, What do you mean by "every time someone has tried to confront, they've been reverted and/or chased off"? I would be grateful if you could point me to answers to some of the questions that has been raised. For the closest I have seen to confronting the problems is the removal of materials. All I have seen is Moulton's story. I have not seen the story from the other point of view. Hillgentleman|Talk 02:00, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
          • At least two people (Salmon and KillerChihuahua) have tried to request that the tone be changed, and that personal information be removed. KillerChihuahua in particular is, in fact one of the people who could give us the "other side", but Moulton responded to her by addressing her by her RL name (which he knows she finds offensive), and after I removed the name in one place via editing, he used it again (twice) in another place putting the name in the edit comment (those were oversighted). Neutral parties attempted to engage them on the irc channel as well, and were treated very rudely by JWSchmidt and Moulton. --SB_Johnny talk 10:03, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
            • Had they presented their case squarely and fairly, I would have love to read it. I have seen Salmon had a little attempt to explain why Moulton was banned but his project didn't take off, and he hadn't addressed the starting point of the problem - questions concerning the potential problems in the maintainence of biographies of living persons in the English Wikipedia; in the end he focused his wikiversity contributions on an edit war with Moulton; and KillerChihuahua came very late and he had not done that either. And your comment above confirms my observation, that there has not been a genuine presentation of the other point of view. That is very unfortunate for us all. --Hillgentleman|Talk 10:45, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


"treated very rudely" <-- I'd like you to support this statement with evidence. Give specific examples. I believe that you sometimes interpret challenges to authority as "rude". I believe that you sometimes interpret challenges to unfounded statements as "rude". I believe that you sometimes interpret people defending themselves against false charges as "rude". Many conversations in IRC take this form: IRCuserA: "The sky is green." IRCuserB: "Ha ha! Can you provide evidence to support your claim that the sky is green?" IRCuserA: "I like green." IRCuserB: "Your argument is no good. Don't you have evidence and reasoning to support your claim?" IRCuserA: "You are rude! You are calling me a liar! You are are attacking me!" IRCuserB: "When did I call you a liar?" IRCuserA: "I want a pony." <exit channel> Yes, IRCuserA then probably goes away to complain to someone that IRCuserB is rude. Has IRCuserB actually been rude? No. I've asked Moulton to abandon his interest in the real world identities of anonymous wiki editors. When I asked participants in Wikiversity and #wikiversity-en to make Wikiversity:Privacy policy our rule, to make that official policy, to put in the #wikiversity-en topic what the rules are, nothing was done. --JWSchmidt 11:09, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Evidence has been provided and you have yet to respond. --SB_Johnny talk 12:39, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Please provide a direct link to the specific evidence. I've started working through Wikiversity:Request custodian action/Review of JWSchmidt, but it will probably take me several weeks to get through that page. I am on case #3. --JWSchmidt 12:47, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Note: A proposal was already made at Wikiversity:Requests for Deletion by User:Sunstar NW XP for the ethics project to be removed from the site - It might also be wise for anyone to express view on that page. Dark Mage 19:12, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
The listing only mentions two pages, plus the one in the heading. If the request is to discuss removing the entire project, that must be stated in the listing. --mikeu talk 19:16, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Although that maybe so - if those two pages are up for deletion, even the main page then the other pages will be affected by it as well - due to the discussion taking place here about the project, I thought it might be best to alert others that someone had placed a request for deletion about those pages on the page. Dark Mage 19:26, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

The listing has changed several times. I have started a section on the talk page about this. As far as I can tell, this is turning into a bit of a muddle. Suggest a bit of discussion might be indicated before things get even messier. KillerChihuahua 21:31, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

The only two pages listed before were the two pages that are already nominated based on CSD blanking concerns. Since the original creator of the page did not list it for CSD, I could not consider it as a CSD based on author. The original creator then said that the information came from else where, and to prevent any unilateral problems that could occur, I recommended putting it through a community vote. Please do not consider those two pages as part of the above, as they were blank pages that were once host of information but are no longer. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:43, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

The phrase "a significant number of the attack pages" does not mean every page in the entire ethics project. It is obvious the a review of the project is needed. A review can not be easily done when it has been wiped. It makes me wonder why suddenly some take part in this point to make drastic actions. They certainly could have put time into this project earlier; however, it is hard to say that Wales's statement here was not without thought to further the project. The project was active and steps were taken to broaden the topics covered. It appears the main 'case studies' focus is where the hang-up came. I noticed it earlier when edit wars that really shouldn't happen started to happen. No, we can not center out Moulton for the edit wars. In this regards, I do not consider Moulton banned. People went as far to each have their own section, but there still were those that constantly overwrote others content. When it comes down to it, it is not against WMF to be critical about WMF or others.

Sue Gardner even states, "In general, the considerations for Wikinews reporters covering the Foundation are probably fairly similar for any journalist covering anybody: if they are responsible and fair, they'll earn the respect and cooperation of the people and organizations they cover, even if their work is challenging. If they behave irresponsibly, over time they will find that people refuse to cooperate with them." [3] Obviously that quote is more about Wikinews events, and I'm sure the statement is easily applied across Wikimedia since it was in general about media organizations. Wales suggest we find principles, and the obvious principle here is to be able to present any future case studies in a fair and responsible fashion. I believe that principle goes beyond case studies and carries over into other pages as well.

What's fair? I know someone mentioned here on a page that they felt they didn't have to follow scholarly ethics at all because the scholarly ethics policy is not official. If it is simple as that, then I don't think we should be allowed to propose blanket deletion because there is no policy to state blanket deletion is allowed. In fact, the entire deletion policy is not official, so by the same logic applied to when to follow scholarly ethics we can apply to deletion review and just say we can't delete pages because it is not official. That would be fair, and all of these actions are obviously irresponsible.

The ethic project studies these. In that way it does get personal and is hard to be hypothetical and desired. I believe the ultimate goal is to evolve it all into hypotheticals, based on real instances, and principles we know to solve them.

There has been a desire to solve issues with BLPs. This is not easy. It is not easy to talk about. It is not easy to explain or even give examples because those could be BLP issues themselves. By some people's actions here, they show that there answer to BLP issues is to wipe out what is in their opinion a problem and maybe block a few along the way, and that happens often unilaterally. Wales seemed to recognize that new principles are needed to handle projects like this.

Moulton got Wales's attention like he wanted and to recognize some changes are needed, but I don't think Moulton saw that immediately from Wales's statement because of the block. I think this is where people started to say it wasn't handled well.

I have ideas on what to propose on how to handle this or for new principles, but consider that I haven't got any signatures in my contributions (i.e. Albert Einstein) and this awfully rushed desire to delete the entire ethics project, it makes me wonder if they are worth even suggesting. Dzonatas 02:35, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

  • This thread is long. Shall we move to a subpage Wikiversity:Colloquium/Wikipedia Ethics, as we often do on meta? Hillgentleman|Talk 02:59, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Good idea, Hillgentleman. Or perhaps throw it back to the project's main talk page. One gets the feeling that it will get longer yet... -- Jtneill - Talk - c 11:38, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Project name[edit]

Discussions are archived for review purposes. Please start a new discussion to discuss the topic further.
Discussions are archived for review purposes. Please start a new discussion to discuss the topic further.

Quizz[edit]

Please suggest multiple choice self-test questions related to Wikimedia Ethics. What definitions can we ask questions about? Are there some common missconceptions that we can use as distraction in true/false questions? See Wikipedia/Quizzes for examples. Mange01 23:20, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Relation to overlapping Wikiversity pages[edit]

Should this course be part of the Wikis and Wikipedia university level course, or should some of that course material also be used in this course? Ethical aspects are mentioned in the Wikipedia/syllabi.

See also the discussion at Talk:Wikipedia#Organization of all the wiki related resource pages, courses, portals, categories, topics and projects etc. Should some of these overlapping wikiversity pages be merged? Mange01 20:25, 29 November 2008 (UTC)