Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Brainstorming

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Recruitment of people outside of the English WP and WMF systems?[edit source]

It seems to me that for this process to have meaning, people outside of this system need to be involved to provide added perspective to the process. People invited might include scholars who study these types of phenomenon on the web, professional journalists, people who have written works on the subject in the past, people active in other online communities who have encountered these issues etc. Would it be possible to consider adding the recruitment of such people into this timeline? The Fieryangel 08:48, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Not only is it possible, I intend to include my academic colleagues in this project, either directly, or by proxying their contributions. Given that this is midsummer, there aren't a lot of journalism students accessible right now, but I hope to engage some of them as well. —Moulton 10:21, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I added it.

September - Create learning resource to help with identified problems. Moulton intends to include his academic colleagues in this project, either directly, or by proxying their contributions; and involve journalism students if possible.

WAS 4.250 14:56, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

As tech guru for the undergraduate program at USU, I've installed forum software and streaming audio for the HardNewsCafe, and helped migrate them to the blogosphere and to Facebook. I plan to propose that the courses in Online Journalism and Media Ethics tap into these Wikiversity resources, going forward. —Moulton 15:47, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
You are the educator here. I'm not going to second guess how you do your role (job). But pay attention to the politics of all this as indicated on my talk page. That's my role (job). WAS 4.250 16:15, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
When cluing Moulton in on WikiPolitics, assume that he's an Anthropologist from Mars who is entirely unfamiliar with and perplexed by Earthling Politics. —Barsoom Tork (Talk) 16:34, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Recently, I participated in a study which examined the English WP articles of the 100 US senators in a three month period.[edit source]

Is there a link to the results or the study available ? ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 11:38, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

On Wikipedia Review, Greg talked about getting some of the Wikipedia Review people together to do such a study and has hinted that the results are planned to be released to the media and the Senators in a way to maximize the results they seek. Greg is an Advertising/Marketing person and hates Jimbo, so I am concerned about what those desired results might be. But prior attempts by Greg to interest reporters in what he perceives as scandals have not gone as he anticipated. His hatred for Jimbo clouds his judgement. I have seen no published results of the claimed study. I suppose you could ask at Wikipedia Review or ask people who claimed to have participated in it. It is one of two media sensations promised by Wikipedia Review people to yet materialize. The other is a bunch of emails by a sockpuppet at Wikipedia in the long running now over "naked short sales" scandal. It is not at all clear to me what those emails are supposed to be good for, but the guy who has them has as his main interest ending what he sees as the destruction of financial markets in America by illegal naked sort selling of stocks. Is "war" such a wrong word to summarize all this? WAS 4.250 12:55, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the additional info, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 15:24, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Suggested outline...[edit source]

If I might be so bold:

  1. Why Wikipedia is important
  2. Who edits?
    1. Is anonymity important?
    2. Does anonymity represent a social contract?
  3. The ethics of Wikipedia:
    1. "Early days" (why "anyone can edit", how the original admins were appointed, what were the first policies?) -- there's an interesting conversation about life before RFA on w:WT:RFA now.
    2. What does "consensus" mean? Does it have a special meaning within the WikiMedia communities?
    3. Current policies (are the policies standing in for the ethics? are the policies working?)
  4. Problems
    1. Has Wikipedia's role as a community space interfered with the encyclopedia?
    2. Has anonymity become a problem? Was it always a problem? Why?
    3. Are there too many editors now?
    4. Are the policies good? Are they flawed? Are they enforced? Should they be enforced?
    5. What is the relationship between management and the administrators? Are only admins part of the management? Was it always like that? Should it be like that?
  5. Discussions
    1. Can ethical systems emerge organically from large online communities, or do they need to be imposed?
    2. Is consensus effective in Wikimedia? Is there a better way?
    3. How can things be improved?

Huh. --SB_Johnny | talk 11:50, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia/Overview2 WAS 4.250 13:12, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
  1. Wikipedia is important because most young people get all their reference material from it. They consider it authoritative, even if their teachers do not. There is a generation gap, and it would be good if scholars who care about reliability and trustworthiness would work together to improve Wikipedia.
  2. It is not easy to determine who edits Wikipedia; critics say it is teenagers and the chronically unemployed; i.e., those with copious time on their hands. I'd say it's people with a high capacity or appetite for drama. [] I am unaware of any scholars or scientists who are leaders in their fields, writing under their own names for Wikipedia.
    1. Anonymity makes participation much easier: you don't have to worry much that your employer will be annoyed if you contribute when you're supposed to be working. And the fact that most pages don't even require sign-up also makes it easy to get started. (But see "Problems" below.)
    2. Anonymity both entails and nullifies the social contract. Users promise to put true information, free from bias in articles. With the accountability of a consistent handle (such as the the same IP in a few cases, or an easily remembered pseudonym like "Dragon's Flight"), users develop an online reputation. You can evaluate their contributions, since the wiki keeps an exhaustively complete track record of all changes. (But again, see "Problems" below.)
  3. Ethics of Wikipedia:
    1. Early days.
      1. "Anyone can edit". This is a rebellion against elitism. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in chemistry or astronomy to compile facts about elements or planets. And with enough other people checking their work, amateurs can do much better than many people would expect. Wikipedia is comparable to Britannica; i.e., at least one study was done comparing the two, and WP didn't come off too badly.
      2. Original admins were appointed by consensus on the mailing list, and a developer would make an entry in the database. This was when there were only a couple hundred regular contributors. Everyone knew everyone else.
      3. The first policies were simple and unbureaucratic. NPOV was the gold standard, supported by "work together" and "be civil". It was only in 2004-2005 when the project become a top 100 website and start attracting a lot of attention that the user population became enormous. An attempt was made to codify guidelines and policies (see below, "Policies").
    2. Consensus means an agreement by enough people to do things a certain way. After a while consensus can become a guideline or an official policy. (See "Is consensus effective" below)
    3. The current policies are a codification of ethics and they sound great on paper. However, in certain significant cases they fail completely. I will explain this below with examples.

First half. --Ed Poor 13:04, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks!!! Could you move it to

Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia/Overview2? WAS 4.250 13:14, 19 July 2008 (UTC)