Wikiversity:Colloquium/Wikipedia Ethics

The following long thread is moved from [1] to Wikiversity:Colloquium/Wikipedia Ethics so as not to dominate the colloquium and for archiving purposes. To see in what pages it is transcluded, please go to special:whatlinkshere/Wikiversity:Colloquium/Wikipedia Ethics.

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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]
(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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
KillerChihuahua needs to provide evidence to support her claims. --JWSchmidt 17:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    • 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)[reply]
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)[reply]
    • 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)[reply]
      • 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)[reply]
        • 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)[reply]
          • 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)[reply]
            • 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)[reply]

"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)[reply]
Evidence has been provided and you have yet to respond. --SB_Johnny talk 12:39, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
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. DarkMage 19:12, 15 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
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. DarkMage 19:26, 15 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

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)[reply]

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)[reply]

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." [2] 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)[reply]