Wikimedia Ethics/List of questions

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Here we collect, without comment, structure, or order, questions asked by participants in this project. Some of the questions might have been paraphrased or reinterpreted by the editors. Please feel free to change them, or remove those that you feel are not ripe. More detailed questions can be found in the sub-talk-pages.

  • Some questions concerning this learning project in general:
  1. What is the purpose of this learning project?
  2. What are the goals of this learning project?
  3. What are the aims of this learning project?
  4. What assumptions or prior knowledge is assumed about the learners of this learning project?
  5. What issues or problems is this learning project trying to address? What concerns sparked this learning project?
  6. What is the subject or subjects of this learning project's research?
  7. What initial assumptions are the researchers making?
  8. What are the foundations being used for the research?
  9. What criteria are being used for the research?
  10. What does this learning project hope to accomplish?

answers: JWSchmidt

  • What is the vision, purpose, and ethical principles underlying the recurring core processes on the English Wikipedia? How were they intended to support and sustain the project at their inception and how have they evolved over time? To what extent are they efficacious or iatrogenic? How does this evolution and shifting definition or application make these principles more or less effective? "brainstorming"
  1. Write a short essay to recommend a new feature for the revision history web page.
  2. Research the Internet for developments that would help automate detection of edit wars or other such events, and source it in your essay.
  3. Include in your essay how the new feature may affect ethical issues.
  4. Estimate the total amount of space required to store every revision of AN/I since it was created.
  1. Find other websites that have high amounts of users and a moderation system and write about how they handle vandalism.
  2. What can we learn from these other systems in the way they deal with vandalism?
  1. What is the English Wikipedia?
  2. What is the English language Wikipedia?
  3. What is management?
  4. What is corruption in management?
  5. Why is corruption in management a problem?
  6. What is ethics?
  7. How can ethics be a solution to corruption in management?
  8. Who is in charge at Wikipedia?
  9. What are the problems with Wikipedia?
  10. What are some illustrative examples?
  11. What are some key elements of ethical management of a website?
  12. What are some key elements of ethical management of an encyclopedia?
  1. "If a banned user reverts vandalism, what should a good wiki editor do?" - have some people felt that they should put the vandalism back? (I think so) - what sort of internal thought structure leads to this outcome, and why?
  2. "If a banned user sees vandalism, what should s/he do?" - (personal experience) - I logged out and reverted it - was I right?
  3. How/Whether does Wikipedia work as an MMORPG? (my paraphrase)
  4. Responsibility to real people - is it fundamentally unethical to edit anonymously in some (all?) areas?
  5. The 'Don Murphy' question (paraphrase) "If people are so proud of their involvement at Wikipedia, why do they hide their identities?"
  6. Does blocking/banning work? Should we block our friends rather than our enemies? (my paraphrase)
  7. Does OTRS work? Does the system provide sufficient training and support to the volunteers?
  8. What is the "BLP" problem?
  9. When is lying on Wikipedia unethical? (paraphrased)
  1. How are disputes handled on the Internet? How are disputes handled on Wikipedia? Which system will promote the best ethics?
  2. What issues are involved with ethical issues on the internet? What issues are involved with ethical issues on Wikipedia?
  3. How have such processes evolved over time on the Internet? How have such processes evolved over time on Wikipedia?
  • From "overview2":
  1. Who edits wikipedia?
  2. Is pseudoanonymity important? (and other questions)
  3. What does "consensus" mean?
  4. Has Wikipedia's role as a community space interfered with the encyclopedia?
  5. Are there too many editors now?
  6. Can ethical systems emerge organically from large online communities, or do they need to be imposed?
  7. Is consensus effective in Wikimedia? Is there a better way?
  1. Scalability of ethical management & the MediaWiki software
  1. Who founded Wikipedia?
  2. What can governance models teach us about the ethical management of Wikipedia?
  3. How can models of ethical (or non-ethical) behavior present on English Wikipedia be projected on a general understanding of the Internet and vice versa?
  4. How would you change this project?
  5. What is a good way to balance ethics and pragmatism?
  6. Under what conditions should a Wikipedia admin lose their adminship?
  7. MediaWiki Software and Edit Wars
  • Case studies
    • Case 1: Problematic behaviour seen, user blocked indefinitely, text oversighted. - Is that it? Is there anything else we should do? [1]
    • Case 3: Case 3 — 'Privileged' information and competing priorities - Was it ethical, in these circumstances, to share private emails without the author's consent?
      • Another perspective- Was it ethical, in these circumstances, to share information concerning the multiple accounts used, in order to minimise disruption, and maintain policy compliance?
    • Case 4: Concordances, Dossiers, Scathing Indictments, and Ethics -
      • How can wikiversity help in resolving disputes on Wikipedia? (by way of a question) [2]
  1. "Study question": Should editors of biographical pages be required to reveal their real world identity?
  2. Has the Wikipedia:WikiProject intelligent design attracted a group of editors who damage Wikipedia by trying too zealously to defend Wikipedia against creationists and other editors who question evolution by natural selection?
  3. Is Moulton an example of a Wikipedia editor who was unfairly treated by editors associated with the Wikipedia:WikiProject intelligent design?
  4. Is there something we can do to prevent this kind of problem in the future?

  • From "Case Studies" [3]
  1. How can such intractable conflicts be resolved?
  2. How can claims and counter-claims be examined to determine the ground truth in the face of disputed points of views?

  1. Are people in full control of their sections?
  2. Does each section constitute a "case study"?
  3. What is a case study meant to achieve?
  4. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of having individual sections and depersonalised pages?
  5. How can this overall process of describing and analysing case studies help us learn something about Wikipedia — and perhaps ourselves?
  1. How do you think action research could be of help in this conflict? Is it more productive to firstly attempt to represent the case (including different POVs), instead of trying to "solve" it. (rephrased)[4]
  • From Ethical_Management_of_the_English_Language_Wikipedia/BLP,_Ottava_Rima's_investigation, Study Questions:
    • BLP and group membership
      1. What are the ethical concerns in regards to "marking" a biography with something that is viewed by a set of individuals as a negative?
      2. Does Wikipedia have the right to "out" individuals as members of various political, philosophical, or theological movements and would this "outting" be considered original research?
      3. How much involvement does the subject of the BLP deserve in regards to adding/removing/discussing group membership?
    • Intelligent Design as a black mark
      1. Can a situation truly be boiled down to "us versus them" or is doing this creating two false extremes that deny the human reality of a "gray" area?
      2. Does boiling down of individuals into polar opposites negate the ability to analysis their true beliefs objectively?
      3. Is it Wikipedia's responsibility to describe an individual belief in the nuances that the individual feels is necessary, or is it appropriate to instead generalize about their belief into simpler categories in which outsiders can easily identify them with a larger group that they may or may not actually belong to?
    • Rosalind Picard
      1. When does emphasis change how a reader views a BLP and does it affect how one percieves the individual as a whole?
      2. Is it appropriate to link individuals to a group based on a related but not direct connections?
      3. Does the individual in question's statement trump evidence provided and what level of evidence is necessary in order to overcome the individual's profession of the opposite?
  • Distilled from "Conflict of interest", "Notes on semantics": [6]
    1. Are there any conflicts amongst the wikipedia principles and policies on the neutral point of view, conflict of interest and the wikipedia/wikimedia principles/policies on privacy? What are they? Are there practical ways to resolve such conflicts?
  • What does "gaming the system" mean?