Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies/Concordances, Dossiers, Scathing Indictments, and Ethics

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This page was created with contents from Case Studies 1 (which was originally named "Case Studies")

Concordances, Dossiers, Scathing Indictments, and Ethics[edit | edit source]

This area includes on-wiki publications of non-article space compilations of an individual's identifying information, linking avatar names, screen names, e-mail names, Skype ID, geographical identifiers, IP identifiers, business or career identifiers, photographic identifiers, educational identifiers, real name, address, phone number, age, rap sheets and prior conflicts, etc.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Section owner: WAS 4.250

Wikipedia has many groups (which are sometimes labeled as "cliques" or "cabals", particularly by opponents), each with varying and overlapping memberships based on interests, points of view, and friendships. They communicate though varying means: email (example: Jayjg sent a "back me up on this Israel article" message to the Wikipedia public mail list by accident instead of some other private email list), Wikipedia projects (such as IDcab = Intelligent Design Wikipedia project, members mostly against Intelligent Design. More information about "IDcab" and how it relates to Wikipedia:WikiProject intelligent design is in the next section, below.), off site coordination sites (such as the Wikia "anti-harassment" site made famous by Durova), Internet Relay Chat (made famous by Giano's efforts and Arbcom's broken promises), or other means (example: London pubs). The groups differ greatly. There are two groups that have stood out from the rest for their brazen waring. SlimVirgin and friends (main 2008 edit war interests: Israel, animal rights) and IDcab (main 2008 edit war interests: evolution and creation "science"). Both currently (as of August 7, 2008) have Arbcom cases pending (see links in the next page section, below). Both have years of abusive behavior. Now notice the tricky part: Both also have years of wonderful constructive behavior creating great content and blocking others who are even more abusive. So what to do? There is no consensus. So the cases stay pending. And both abusive and wonderful behavior by both groups continues. So Moulton claims the solution is something called "ethics". WAS 4.250 likes learning new things so he talks to Moulton about it at Moulton's Wikipedia talk page. Which gets protected from editing. So they talk about ethics at Meta. Which gets protected from edits. Someone mentions Wikiversity, and it looks like the right place to take the talk. So here we are.

  • Suggestion: Part of the problem with Wikipedia is that its form of wiki "culture" does not support the needs of its editors, particularly editors who are involved in conflicts over article content. Wikipedia editors are told to resolve content disputes by discussions on article talk pages, but this is inadequate. Article talk pages where edit wars are common often contain statements such as, "This talk page is to discuss the text, photographs, format, grammar, etc" and editors are told to go off-site for other types of discussions. One possibility is for such Wikipedia article talk pages to be linked to Wikiversity where we could have "study groups" such as Wikipedia Editing disputes related to Intelligent Design and Wikipedia Editing disputes related to Biographical articles. Wikiversity has a much broader range of content and could function as a "relief valve" to take pressure off of Wikipedia. For example, some editors have problems working within Wikipedia's rather restrictive rules for article creation. Wikiversity could have learning projects on conflict resolution and be a center for educating people about Wikipedia's NOR and NPOV while at the same time showing Wikipedia editors that there is a Wikimedia wiki where original research is welcome and learning resources are allowed that do not follow the NPOV restriction.

The players and the game[edit | edit source]

Section owner: WAS 4.250

See also: w:Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Mantanmoreland#Statement by User:WAS 4.250 and Wikimadness XVII: The Return of Byrne

While the name IDcab comes from the Intelligent Design Wikipedia project, the IDcab members are actually those individuals that continually vote as a block and is not identical with the membership list of the Intelligent Design Wikipedia project. "IDcab" is more of a shorthand for "wikipedians who usually show up on evolution or creationist articles and talk pages to back each other up with votes, intimidation, hypocracy, blocking, uncivil comments and/or false accusations when maintaining in articles the point of view that creationism is religion and not science and evolution is a fact" (that point of view is fully backed up by the best sources; it is their methods, not that goal that is the problem). For example, Filll has claimed that incivility should be allowed and not punished. The point is to deliberately drive away, ban/block, and claim anyone with similar opinions is a sockpuppet who then is also blocked/banned. The strategy is to make it a bannable offense to believe certain things and thus control article content. Creating content based on consensus means anyone can get their friends together and edit any article and make it say what they want it to say. These methods are being used because good people and not so good people both find the combination of anon editors and rule by consensus on divisive claims to not be working. Wikipedia has a problem. The system works good enough on most articles most the time. But when people try to game the system, we get this mess. Both this case and the current (August 7, 2008) C68-FM-SV arbcom case illustrate and document this.

Alternative presentation[edit | edit source]

Section owner: Salmon of Doubt

The above presentation is quite confusing. The first section discusses the movement of individuals into interest groups. The second discusses a specific interest group. The third discusses an alleged infringement on other uers privacy. I will provde an clarified, alternative view of each of the three cases below.

Interest groups[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia editors naturally gravitate into interest groups. Sometimes these interest groups can go too far - relying on unethical methods to force changes on articles without seeking consensus. There have been examples of emails that appear to have been designed to be sent to interest group participants that were instead sent to large public mailing lists that showed advocacy-editing by interest groups. Many individuals who appear to have relied on these unethical methods also do a huge amount of valuable work.

Intelligent design interest group[edit | edit source]

One interest group often referred to is a series of editors opposed to the treatment of Intelligent Design as legitimate science. It is alleged by some that these editors have gone overboard in reaction to unethical editing practices by their opponents, and instead of relying on consensus based processes to deal with other unethical editors, instead use threats and attacks to remove them. The editors who oppose the treatment of Intelligent Design as legitimate science dispute this, and state that they do not intend to use threats and attacks.

Privacy infringement[edit | edit source]

In one case, one editor involved (the "involved editor") with the above interest group sent an email to another user (the "revealing editor"), in which it appears that he revealed his real name. When this email was quoted on Wikipedia, the editor involved with the group was angered that his privacy was violated.

This same editor connected the revealing editors real name to his online handle. While there no disagreement that the involved editors real name was not connected to his handle, the revealing editor has had his real name connected to his handle, he states that he had not done so in a "tight paragraph" for reasons of a google search. (This is disputed) Two other editors who were not involved in the involved editor's complaint also revealed the revealing editors name in a "tight paragraph."

See also[edit | edit source]