Talk:Openness and Participation

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Where to introduce a new idea.000:44, 21 May 2011
SPI processes and newbies – a suggestion004:19, 12 May 2011

Where to introduce a new idea.

I have a Grand New Idea for the Openness and Participation movement. AFAI can tell I should present in section 2 Ideas on this page's mainspace. Is that correct?

Or is there a better venue?

If I don't see a response in a day or two, I'll goassume that is the correect page.

Thanks, Michaeloqu 00:44, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Michaeloqu00:44, 21 May 2011

SPI processes and newbies – a suggestion

In Wikipedia at present, there is a template for notifying people that they have been mentioned in relation to an SPI case. However, it seems to be at the sole discretion of the accuser whether or not to use it. The page about SPI in fact warns accusers that if they do inform the accused, it may result in further disruptive behavior.

Now, I've recently experienced both sides of SPI – I know that manoevres involving sock puppets can be a disruptive challenge to the editing process and that it is good to have a means of redress. I also know that being the accused party in an SPI can also feel kind-of threatening, though there can be a funny side too...

My own experience as an accused was not as bad as it might have been. My accuser did at least tell me, on a talk page we were both using, that he suspected me of being someone else's puppet, and had reported me as such. However he didn't use the template, and he didn't offer me any link to the SPI page. I didn't worry too much about it, as I thought any investigation would show I was no such thing...

Several days later, I did find my way to the SPI page, where I found the report from my accuser. It was a very well written report, actually, though to my mind somewhat one-sided... Underneath it, a comment by the SPI person indicating that they were almost convinced by the material presented — "almost a duck block" — but requesting a check-user to confirm. And then a CU saying "unrelated accounts - different continents". I then added my own brief comment to the SPI page, and the case was archived as "no further action for now".

Now, I understand that SPIs are often settled without a CU, and that in fact policy is to decline a request from a CU from an accused account-holder who hopes to prove innocence. So it seems I was lucky that the CU was done. Although even without the CU, I think a careful look at the contribs lists of myself and my supposed puppet-master would have provided evidence in my favor.

Perhaps one reason I may have looked like a "duck", is that I looked like a newbie, in the sense that I had never got around to writing stuff on my user-page, and therefore my username appeared as a red link.

The real point I want to raise is this... What if I had been a real newbie? In that case my list contribs would not have been evidence for the defense... Maybe no CU would have been done, maybe my account would have been duck-blocked as a puppet... Which, of course, would not have been the end of the world, either for the newbie, or for WP...

It's just one of the topics in the current Wikimedia discussion is how to be welcoming to newbies. And I would suggest that it would not be much of a welcome to be dismissed as a someone else's sock-puppet without having been 1st notified of the investigation, and without being invited to answer the allegations.

My suggestion is a simple one...

When an SPI takes place, why not have a bot that sends a message to the talk page of every accused party? The content of the message could be exactly the same as the existing template. Whenever a further name is added to the list of suspected puppets, again the bot should send out a message to the talk page of that name...

Which would mean, of course, that real puppeteers would receive multiple messages, and probably to them it would feel like spam... However, I somehow don't see that as a serious downside.

Kalidasa 77704:19, 12 May 2011