Talk:Task force/Living People
|Thread title||Replies||Last modified|
|Status of Task Force recommendations||3||00:37, 1 July 2010|
|Wikibooks etc||2||19:10, 22 April 2010|
|What BLP problems look like||16||20:26, 23 March 2010|
|Moving into policy writing||1||18:48, 23 March 2010|
|Ease of finding OTRS||6||20:00, 16 March 2010|
|Anyone one have the latest BLP related IRC meeting log?||2||09:46, 10 March 2010|
|Patrolled revisions||1||08:59, 8 March 2010|
|List of extensions that could help articles about living people||3||03:40, 5 March 2010|
|Where we stand so far in planning||4||17:11, 2 March 2010|
|Discussion of interest||0||20:24, 24 February 2010|
|Goals of a balanced BLP policy||2||15:26, 24 February 2010|
I don't see too much activity here in the last month or so. I sent an email to the listed task force members, but that doesn't include all the interested parties here and wanted to include everyone.
Can people tell me what's holding them back from continuing to participate? Are people not sure what to do next? Does someone need to get the "Community involvement findings" page started and/or involve other community members with interest?
Do we need to have another meeting?
I was about to ask the same thing. So far this seems roughly as effective as the prior task force.
Well, the recommendations were completed. So a check mark in that box. I'm confident that a policy can be written. What I'm a bit unsure about is the community findings part, since it seems difficult to find a lot of collaboration on this. Stats, observations, how to better the relations with readers, etc. in a format here. It's one thing if people email me individually, which they have been, it's just not very effective if I point them here and they say "Nah. Just wanted to let you know." and don't bother.
Offline work has had me incredibly busy this month, so I haven't been doing much here while I balance my workloads. I was hoping others could pick up the slack, but it's okay if they don't. We'll get back on track and have more by July.
Just a note that some of this BLP stuff might not make sense for all projects. For example, Wikibooks doesn't really deal with BLPs at all. Please make sure any recommendations reflect the broad scope of our projects, and are either targeted, or generic enough to fit.
Indeed, someone mentioned that after the chat yesterday. We have the same issue with Wikispecies, Wikisource, and Wiktionary. Mike, just one question for you. Can you think of any BLP concerns at all with Wikibooks, or the other three projects?
I know there has been a drive to remove poorly sourced stubs of tennis players  that may not have had up to date information on their career, but the real BLP problems happen when heavyweight (in edit count terms) Wikipedia users swing their weight around  with the help of the rest of the wiki apparatus, putting the hapless en:WP:MEAT newbies in their corner . Good luck with your strategy.
You raise a compelling point, that the Foundation and volunteers need to look at ways for users to work with each other, particularly the English Wikipedia. Anyone using a Wikimedia product is a living person, and social interaction is a key concern. I'm not quite sure how that could fit in to this strategy project, but it is something that we keep in mind and have discussed. More feedback is always appreciated.
I can only hope for some cautions. There are clearly disparities between the different Wiki around the BLP issue and i clearly don't think that trying to impose what is done in one language wiki community on another one would have positive results.
I expect the Foundation to be able to accept that recommendations can be rejected by a given Wikipedia. Helping people against their will can only result nothing good.
The recommendations, of course, can be accepted or rejected by any individual project. The global policy, however, a draft of which will be written next month, must be accepted by all projects, though they can make their standards stricter if they so choose.
Written by whom?
I would prefer a panel of editors from as many Wiki as possible.
I would like to point that "must be accepted by all projects" doesn't mean "will be effectively applied by all projects" or "can be applied by all projects". If either the will or the manpower is not there we are good for some drama.
No worries on that end, KrebMarkt, we're not looking at a bootstrap mandate. What we do need is a global policy on the treatment of human dignity, which includes personal interaction and software improvements tied in with Foundation related work. This is obviously a complex issue.
What the policy that will hopefully be adopted by the Board will not do is mandate things, such as semi-protection. What it will do, hopefully, is mandate that projects look introspectively and figure out how the function of the software along with the norms of the individual projects can be properly funneled.
In other words, this isn't dictatorial in nature, and any wiki is free to participate in the process.
The point of having the discussion as part of the Strategic Planning process is to include as many people as possible by having the discussion in an open venue that has several stages for review and revision of the ideas.
Drafting recommendations based on facts and principle that are also "practical" to implement is important. So we need to consider available volunteer workforce and software limitations. But we need to figure out ways to implement the high standards within these limitations rather than be satisfied with producing a lower quality product.
Thanks both of you for your for those positive comments.
Having spend time between the French & the English wiki, i can say that while in appearance they are similar save for the language, they are in fact two different realities. There is nothing like copy pasting a concept from one to the other. There is currently an editor who attempted to pass the English wiki view and standards on fictional works into the French wiki and all he managed to do is getting himself into a French ArbCom case.
In the case of BLP, i strongly urge separating whatever is unfolding in the En wiki discussions from any recommendation from that task force. Let's no one say that the English wiki sung the tune that others wikis had to dance on for the next 5 years over the BLP subject.
That however doesn't mean we can't get the full return from experience on what is happening in the English wiki just that whatever binding results is reached there are not binding the others wikis.
Moreover I think that there is clearly a strong synergy between improving BLP article and baseline quality standard in Wikipedia recommendation. I see sourcing BLP as a first possible test and step into the baseline quality standard drive.
You are correct, KrebMarkt.
This project has been in the works since early July, before the strategy project even started. Consider this the "flagship" strategy project before it even wound up here.
The current flair-up on en.wiki that started in January does not now and will have no bearing on this strategy project. I'm happy to see en.wiki getting their act together, but as you point out this doesn't apply to fr.wiki; a project that I believe doesn't even have a living people policy, because it doesn't need one based on its own governance. En.wiki, as the flagship and most popular site, is a natural target. However, we truly are not seeking to base this process on that one website. Fr.wiki and all other projects are to be under this policy mandate, so it will not be targeted at en.wiki. That userbase is responsible for its own self-governance.
The Living People task force mandate covers a much broader list of issues than those specific to Wikipedia or any one language/culture. The lessons learned on any one wiki may or may not be applicable to other wikis. Part of our work is to sort out which ideas tried on one wiki would be good approaches for other wikis to try.
To be useful the LP task force recommendations will be broad enough to capture the needs of all wikis while providing some specifics to give each wikis a way to move forward and implement them.
We have broken them down into broad topic such as "images" and "quotes" in order to focus on specific issues that occur cross wiki. There will guiding principles and facts that will be constants cross wiki, but the actual implementation may be very different depending on the current structure and exisiting polies of the WMF project.
In terms of the specific issue of sourcing BLP articles on Wikipedia English, I agree that this issue is part of a larger drive to improve the standard for all English Wikipedia articles. The main reason that BLP are at the forefront of the quality improvement drive is because of the ethical and legal obligations that make them a priority to fix first. In the long run all articles on English Wikipedia will benefit from repeat discussions about about the importance of using high quality sources.
That article from the English Signpost while very commendable trying to get more volunteers here could also had negative effects.
I have better to explicit few obvious things that get forgot along way.
- This Task Force isn't a place to continue the English Wiki BLP "In-Fighting" and others tactical maneuvers.
- This Task Force aim for recommendations that are both Acceptable & Workable in the every single wiki regardless the important differences in editing practices, policies & traditions.
I feel bad repeating obvious stuff but thick-headed editors have to get it.
Now back to BLP Task Force :)
I think that we can put a short list of recommendations that can be implemented by every Wiki. What are the locally implemented improvements will be left to those wiki discretion.
I would suggest that within 5 years each Wiki should implement X number of recommendations and local initiatives to improve BLP. The X number will depend the list of recommendations. I personally see something between 1 to 3 to be implemented. By local initiative, i mean improvement that affect durably the quality of the BLP article within a local Wiki and that is not part of the recommendations of this task force.
To summarize: each Wiki would be strongly suggested to do a number of improvements in BLP area whatever those improvements are from this Task Force brainstorming or from a local initiative doesn't matter just have improvements done.
Alerting people about the Living People task force is goodness, so the Signpost article was fine. We need to get the word out to MORE wikis so that we get the benefit of cross wiki ideas.
It would be good if we could get the initial ideas translated into as many languages as possible so that people can see what the task force is recommending.
Generally speaking, although the Strategic Planning process is making a 5 year plan, I don't think that means that 5 years is the time line for implementing all recommendations. Many of the recommendations will be phased in as resources permit them to happen, and will happen sooner than 5 years. It depends on the type of recommendation.
Note that BLP recommendations will be in concurrence with other Task Force recommendations that why i'm circumspect on how much can be done within 5 years.
The English Wiki unsourced BLP clean-up will take at the most one year mobilizing a non-negligible chunk of resources that is non available for other aims.
Smart management is clearly required, available goodwill and workforce are not infinite.
"Smart management is clearly required, available goodwill and workforce are not infinite."
Absolutely, and this is an issue that the WMF is acutely aware of if we want to sustain a positive outcome from this work. I've invested nearly a year into this by the time it's done, the time this will take is, as you say, not infinite. Part two of this task force will work on a sustainable model for projects. Plans, plans...
Can anyone give an idea of what is happening with the proposals? The reason I'm asking is that the situation on the English Wikipedia regarding how BLPs must be treated is currently somewhat confused. SlimVirgin1 18:42, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, we have two things in pipeline.
- Recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The draft is here
- A Baseline standard of BLP policy for every Wiki. This will be the default BLP policy for Wiki having none. Any Wiki can be more restrictive but can't be less restrictive than this one. Any Wiki sticking with the baseline BLP policy will have the freedom to decide how to enforce it.
We should be writing the first draft of the Standard BLP policy but it seems a rather daunting task so no one started it yet.
I hope, that clarified the current situation.
This coming week we are shifting focus into drafting the policy.
Useful links are found on the project page, including the one to the meta draft.
What we need to do to write this part is to come up with a couple paragraphs that are simple and broad, this will be the policy for projects without a local one, or will be the frame for local projects that have or are developing their own policies.
The recommendations part parsed what is not feasible to mandate, but just suggest. From this list we can cull the fine points, i.e. the root of the reason for each recommendation, into the proper prose.
This was received by OTRS today, in regard to an inaccurate biography.
- > Suggestion: I had a heck of a time finding where to send a correction (I don't want to set up an account) or to send a suggestion (couldn't find at Wikipedia). I Googled and found firstname.lastname@example.org at Answers.Yahoo.com
- > Perhaps Wikipedia would add at "Contact Us": "Make a Suggestion" and "Send a Correction" both linked to email@example.com
We have discussed the pro and con to make easier BLP requests and one idea is to have a two layers systems with OTRS acting as Level 2 support so it won't be over-flooded by emails. Level 1 would be handled local probably in a form a "fixing BLP problems" oriented board.
That approach has merit, but is not without problems. I see many OTRS complaints where privacy is as important as the resolution, and others where the correspondent has expressed a lack of understanding of how to even make simple edits on wiki, whereas email is an almost universally understood medium.
Is it technically possible to have a mailing address that automatically posts to a public board?
Of course another solution is to recruit more OTRS volunteers. Probably easier said than done.
Such a thing probably wouldn't be too hard, but I'm not sure how we could say "if your problem isn't urgent, email X; it is urgent, email Y". People already have enough issues following basic instructions.
I like the idea of having a "propose a correction" page in the toolbox, that could, for example, just create a new section on a noticeboard. What do you think of that idea?
That what i has in mind too a simple report error or propose correction button functionality.
The email OTRS option isn't feasible due to potential abuse with the risk to have OTRS over flooded by requests even the least urgent one.
We better have to keep OTRS for situations that can't be handled locally and/or requiring discretion.
I would to have the log of March 8, 2010 IRC meeting so i will stop wondering
if cabal or conspiracy exists :p
Joke aside i would be great to have that one for those who could not attend to that meeting like me. Thanks
Ah yes, I had totally forgot about that. I added the logs to Task force/Living People/Minutes; feel free to write up a summary of the discussion if you wish. I'll have to remember to go back and make the changes suggested during the discussion.
Tried to summarize the whole stuff. See if i'm close to the reality.
- Point 5 suggested rewording:
- "All projects treat the subjects of content and their article with fairness and courtesy even during deletion process"
- The change aims toward editors with BIAS issues toward certain type of BLPs.
- Point 8 can turn ugly if there is no-consensus in AfD and no-consensus on whatever the BLP is minor subject or not. As a French, i have no shame to say that 90% of the US Representatives and Senators are minor subjects from my perception. I know that they pass inclusions criterion but still you get my point.
So I learned today that patrolled revisions is separate from Flagged Revisions. It is part of the MediaWiki core, and apparently has been just been sitting there, unactivated. I'd like that to change – all WMF projects should have it. It's not like it hurts a site if it doesn't want to use it. Where would be the relevant place to put such a recommendation?
It will be good to have a list of available and future tools & functionalities that could be used to improve the BLPs. Whatever each wiki will use any of them is another story altogether but at least they will have the means to achieve whatever BLP related improvements they are aiming to. They will be no left to fend by themselves.
Could you guys give me a hand on this. What MediaWiki extensions, enabled or not, feasible or not, could potentially help out the situation with living people? Feel free to list as many as you want.
huummm. Maybe a refined version of "What link here" functionality could be useful sorting between BLP article linking to an article and non-BLP articles. The rational behind it that with ever increasing scrutiny and watch over BLP articles, malevolent contributors will use indirect smear and misinformation tactics aiming to non-BLP articles related to their targeted BLP. Unless i'm mistaken there is a real issue with non-BLP articles containing libelous BLP contents.
Note that i'm a complete neophyte and outsider on both Mediawiki and BLPs.
- A quarantine area for statements that are not clearly true or false.
- A "report an issue with this article" button, so that casual readers who notice problems can help out more easily. (I'm not sure they have the know-how or the patience to edit the article, or participate in a talk page discussion.)
This is going to be a bit longish.
The resolution from the Board of Trustees outlined this:
The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees urges the global Wikimedia community to uphold and strengthen our commitment to high-quality, accurate information, by:
- Ensuring that projects in all languages that describe living people have policies in place calling for special attention to the principles of neutrality and verifiability in those articles;
- Taking human dignity and respect for personal privacy into account when adding or removing information, especially in articles of ephemeral or marginal interest;
- Investigating new technical mechanisms to assess edits, particularly when they affect living people, and to better enable readers to report problems;
- Treating any person who has a complaint about how they are described in our projects with patience, kindness, and respect, and encouraging others to do the same.
So, this is how I have this broken down and the progress we've made in discussion:
- This will be the global living person policy
- Verifiability or removal. If removed, discuss before reentry.
- Project administrators should err on the side of caution when closing "No consensus" type debates in dealing with living people. In other words, delete the article but talk page continuation is encouraged if consensus is sought.
- Neutrality of wording, with dispute, must be discussed
These points are proposed to be utilized in prose, and of course adjusted accordingly. The idea is to provide a global framework for living people policies; projects with these policies must at least adhere to this minimal standard, and if the project does not have such a local policy then this is the live one for that site.
Points two, three, and four work together in different ways, mainly in the recommendation principles.
We recommend that projects take a serious look at how they deal with living people, from all facets of human interaction. As a great statesman once wrote, "These truths are self-evident". So this involves most of the points of the outline from draft one, to be whittled down into draft two. Many of the human dignity recommendations are concurrent with the recommendations to the projects that I have outlined, but we haven't gotten to that stage yet so I'll focus on that in about three weeks if we have something shaped for the board for April.
In six week's time we need to have a "Recommendations from the Board", "Recommendations to the Board from the Living People Task Force," and "Living People Policy" (for meta) passed. I'm confident that we're making great progress in narrowing the framework. As Cary said, it's an hourglass. We're shifting the sand through a natural whirlpool, with what's on the side going down last and making the top sand when it is time to turn it over.
We've definitely focused a lot on policy. It's not a bad thing, but it makes our work incomplete for two reasons. One is that it's hard for a small group to set policy for numerous volunteers across several language-based projects. Two is that there are other things that have a strong (if somewhat indirect) relationship with BLP.
One is how we resolve disputes. Maybe we can get people to accept that we remove completely unsourced articles, and keep ones that are totally verified. But a vast number of articles are in between. Each article is going to involve some interpretation of policy -- it can't be done by a bot. Do we have the right process to ensure that we get to a compromise? Or is it going to be the battle of two positions, with many discussions hitting a stalemate?
Another is the tools we use to identify, fix, or remove bad BLP content. There are limitations to editing/reading/discussing articles to resolve problems. Instead of just editing what's in or out of the article, would we accomplish anything with a quarantine for certain kinds of unsourced statements? Instead of discussing back and forth, would we accomplish anything with a way to flag specific issues with an article, and agree that those things are issues?
It's hard to get support for policy changes (although we should certainly try). But we could accomplish a lot by changing our processes.
"Verifiability or removal. If removed, discuss before reentry"
That one i have to say no thanks because often the one who can find the source isn't the one who add the fact. That my point of view as an editor specialized into sourcing. If i'm not aware that one fact need to be sourced i won't look for the source to assert it.
The only compromise i could accept is to move unsourced & uncontentious contents unto talk page as quarantine area going further receive a flat No from my part.
How many BLPs have you sourced lately? Counting Japanese voice actors, mangaka & French politicians i'm close to the 50 since the beginning of the BLPgeddon. How many around here have done as much lately?
I'm apologize if i seem rude but that what i as expendable grunt editor who is cleaning up the craps think. I'm dubious that i will be heard or my opinion taken account. If some persons want to jeopardize the whole Strategic Planning on the sole BLP issue then feel free to do so.
Hi KrebMarkt, I wrote a lengthy reply to you that disappeared when I did a preview of it. :-( I will answer you again soon.
en:Wikipedia_talk:Biographies_of_living_persons#Helping_non-editors_fix_BLPs might have some ideas we can adapt for our proposals and recommendations. Does someone want to please take a look and come up with anything?
I've never worked on a BLP article, so I'm relatively disinterested. But I can understand why it's such a big issue and why it's so important to get it right. I've looked at all sides of the debate, and I think I've identified the following goals of all the people involved:
- Protect the dignity of living persons
- Give articles a reasonable chance to be improved
- Protect Wikipedia from lawsuits for libel/slander/defamation
- Preserve helpful additions to the encyclopedia
- Promote Wikipedia's reputation as an accurate source of information
- Create an environment where editor contributions are valued
The key word is balanced. You can see some the goals I have listed conflict with others, but the idea is that they balance each other out.
Is this a complete list of goals for all the parties involved? Would anyone add anything?
I would add to the list:
- Limit systemic bias on BLP
In the English wiki people tend unconsciously to set the inclusion hurdle higher for non Western BLP. I have one occurrence that one Afd nominator could not accept that passing a SNG was enough for inclusion in Wikipedia for a non western BLP, making the exigence that this BLP had to pass the GNG. So that BLP would have been denied SNG inclusion on the basis that it was too exotic/foreign to be have such right. That nominator would never make that kind of exigence had the BLP in question be someone from the Western world.
Every BLPs must have the same treatment and consideration regardless how exotic they may be perceived. No treatment of favor or disfavor on either side.
I really wonder how many editors believe that the systemic bias is a bad thing and not just nodding/accepting that it's a bad thing because the Foundation said it's a bad thing.
I think systemic bias is a hard thing to understand, although I'd like to think that I understand it. It's very important and should be on the list. Maybe we can be more specific, though. It seems that systemic bias can be represented as undue weight on some scandal or some petty disagreement. But systemic bias can also be the exclusion of certain biographies because of fickle perception. So it's really a lot of things that go into fighting systemic bias. It might be better to break this apart, so we can be 100% clear.