Friday, July 02, 2021

Calling a spade a spade and the "friendly space policy"

In my previous blog post I established that facts supported by science trump personal opinions, even community consensus. It follows that pointing out a biased opinion can be hugely unpopular and considered offensive. The "friendly space policy" is applied on the spot and at best can be later appealed at the "trust and safety". This is after the fact, it takes a huge time effort and it is why I did not bother. One other reason is that I told the respected Wikipedian that what he said was biased and I did not make excuses for saying so after prodding by a trusted officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. I am sanctioned and can no longer use certain functions.

I run for a seat on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation and even though it is a popularity contest, I am not in it to be Mr Wonderful; I will not kiss babies. My platform is to improve our service particularly to the projects other than English Wikipedia. To be successful, I have established that this is doable and I have to undermine accepted opinions that prevent us from improving on our service.

I truly respect the Wikipedian who made the biased remarks but I will not apologise for pointing his bias out. 

When I am to establish my aims at board level, there must be acceptance that we do not serve everyone with the sum of all the knowledge we have when there is this persistent bias towards our English speaking public. The recent developments at the Croatian Wikipedia show that "community consensus" can be overridden when this is necessary to establish our accepted global Wikimedia policies. It follows that the board should be mindful of the evolving science about the "gender gap" and insist English Wikipedia to consider its recommendations (aka clean up its act). It follows that even the most respected English Wikipedian and in the light of the "friendly space policy" can be called out for such bias.

As to the organisation of the WMF; its director reports to the board and is to inform about the development for other languages and the effects on the traffic in other languages. 

Thanks, GerardM

1 comment:

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