Thursday, September 03, 2015

#Wikidata - #Wikimedia Public Policy

To make its point about its public policies absolutely clear, the Wikimedia Foundation dedicated its own website to it. It is well worth a visit, it is well worth it to give this subject a good think.

In Wikidata the discussion was started on one of the more important Wikipedia policies; its "BLP" or Biography of Living Persons. Obviously, Wikidata does not have a BLP because it does not have biographies. We do however have data on living people and data on people can be as libelous as text. Talk about "hard data"...

With data on people, there are all kind of potential issues. It may be incomplete, it maybe wrong, it may be problematic. It is obvious that Wikidata has its problems with quality, this blog has mentioned them before.

When Wikidata is to have a DLP or Data on Living Persons, there are two parts to it. The first is having a way of addressing issues. The second is a way to prevent issues arising.

When issues arise, much of the best practices of the BLP can be adopted. Yes, have sources, Yes, investigate the sources. But first things first, have a policy, have a place where issues can be reported.

The question of quality is in two. Typically Wikidata does not have enough data to be balanced. This can be remedied in many ways. We should be more aggressive in adding data, this can be by cooperating with other sources and by investing in tools like Kian. The other part is in being sure about the veracity of the available data. This is also something where tools will make a difference.

Both a BLP and a DLP are important aspects of a Wikimedia Public Policy. Wikidata shows its maturity by not having had reason to have its DLP. Something to be grateful of.
Thanks,
      GerardM
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