Talk:Task force/Recommendations/Wikipedia Quality 1

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From Strategic Planning

Please clarify Wikimedia position on anonymous editing

Contributions of anonymous editors are poorly understood

Anonymous contributions are essential to welcoming new users and encouraging their contributions, privacy, blind reviews, and developing the ability to establish veracity on the basis of text instead of authorship. But the contributions of anonymous users are often poorly understood.


I recommend that Wikimedia Staff promptly and correctly respond to questions about the contributions of anonymous users. For example, these questions about privacy and blind review have gone unanswered by staff for more than a month. This comment was added to the page by

Please discuss with task force

Has this been taken to the task force? Has this issue been engaged with? These are recommendations from the task forces, not individual. Can I ask that you come to some consensus to propose this recommendation?

Thanks! ~Philippe 17:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm not sure if anyone still reads this, but - a few concerns about academics is that most academics come to Wikipedia because they discover they have a BLP and end up disputing various things. I have handled many BLPs of academics and it causes many emotional problems and gives Wikipedia a bad reputation. How would this matter be addressed, since academics are the few that would be directly sought after for expertise yet also probably be notable enough for pages? Also, many academics seem to be looked down upon in various areas, or others fake expertise to get their way in others. How would these two problems be addressed? Ottava Rima 03:38, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The second problem is why we propose the Wikimedia-wide thematic projects for: this must be their business to identify the outside experts, to invite them (possibly endorsed by the Foundation) to work on or review specific articles, and to deal with people who just come to the articles and call themselves academics (some of them are, but some of them come for promotion). The BLP issue is actually smth we did not think about, and, as far as I am concerned, this is a different issue: it concerns a more broad range of persons, politicians first, and if accidentally someone coming to correct a BLP violation happens to be an academic, I do not see how it can help him/her to start contributing to his/her field. Actually, I have seen many academics who just came to write an autobiography, but they were not at all interested in creating encyclopaedic content beyond self-promotion. One of them even sent his students to create an article about himself.--Yaroslav Blanter 11:09, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • But as I pointed out, they wont want to come if we invite them. We need to fix the problem that causes them to be unwilling to associate themselves with us. However, to fix that problem would upend a lot of people politically entrenched, dramatically change quite a bit of processes, and cause lots of disturbances. "politicians first" I do not think that the community would accept the idea that politicians' BLPs would be prioritized, or that we should hold them in any kind of importance. Furthermore, since it would be political it would be even harder to determine consensus POV. Ottava Rima 14:59, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      I fully agree with what you write, but I still see it as two separate problems. I am an academic, and in principle, an article about me could exist in Wikipedia. It does not exist, and I am not at all interested in creating this article. I thing 99% of the academics share my stance on this. The point is that (a) the academics have no time to write anything for Wikipedia, since they are too busy; (b) they indeed have a negative image, but not so much because of BLP issues, but because the specialized articles have very low quality and low reliability, and the students prefer to download Wikipedia articles rather than to read the assigned textbooks. This was that problem we though about.--Yaroslav Blanter 16:45, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • I think that there are issues here beyond the tendency of the students to regurgitate WMF articles instead of reading their textbooks. One of the problems is that WMF products are only a recent addition to the Academic Landscape, and that there has been a tendency of Academics to pick textbooks in order to promote other things than the best knowledge for a specific field.
If Academics know that their students are going to read WMF articles in preference to text books, then what they can do is aim their teaching to dealing with the WMF articles first, and using them as a springboard into the textbooks creating a dialogue between sources, rather than forcing the student to rely on a single source. If they do this properly the student will be impressed with the fact that the text is more accurate, and so actually be motivated to read it.
Recently I heard about a college that used good textbooks, but glued the pages together in order to limit the access of students to knowledge deemed dangerous by the particular religious sect that ran the college. I imagine they would be especially annoyed if their students got the missing information off of the internet instead. My question, is, should WMF bow to such pressures, or offer a good product that plays no favorites and represents the worlds ideas of knowledge.--Graeme E. Smith 01:08, 24 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • For disclosure, I'm an academic too, and I have worked on many BLPs of academics and had many contact me about problems relating to their BLPs. :) By the way, my work at Wikipedia was to build a more reliable series of entries that were superior to both Britannica and the Literary Encyclopedia's equivalents. Many of the articles use over 25 sources and I have received quite a lot of feedback from people using the articles to help with their papers and the such. Ottava Rima 17:37, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


One aspect of Global Projects, would the the translation of knowledge between cultures/societies/Languages.

Without an overview of the thought of other versions of the same wiki, as defined by language, Mono-linguistic Wiki-users, would not be aware of the breadth of knowledge held across the world, and therefore would be unwilling to credit current work done in other countries and published in other languages.

One possible role of a Global Project would be the ability to fuse, work done in different languages into a more cohesive whole. For instance while English researchers might be familiar with Markov Chains, they might not have available the rich history of Russian Research that led to their formation. If only because it was originally published in Russian.

A Global Project could flesh out an overview of all knowledge represented on the many Wikis in WMF and Recommend to each translator wiki, how to best structure the knowledge so that cultural collisions and Language limitations of the source documents do not limit the transfer of the ideas.--Graeme E. Smith 01:24, 24 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • We fully apreciate this and, I believe, this point is reflected in the recommendations (even if not firmly enough)--Yaroslav Blanter 12:46, 26 January 2010 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I think these are called "WikiProjects"; translation and inter-wiki consistency are probably better targets

WP does not need another layer of bureaucracy (less, if anything!) If you want WikiProjects, which exists at least on en.wp for most major topics, to behave differently, then propose that, but let's not propose a new kind of project above them. I sympathize with the idea of making them "global", i.e. inter-wiki consistent, but this idea has never taken off before. Hell, I even had my attempt to direct simple.wp cue sports-related (billiards, pool, snooker, etc.) inquiries to en.wp's WikiProject Cue sports completely rejected. Simple.wp essentially demands that people form new WikiProjects there not soft-redir to those at en.wp, despite the latter making much, much more sense (if for no other reason than en.wp actually has more than a tiny number of editors). I can't imagine the hairpulling that would result by trying to combined the football (soccer) projects at en.wp, it.wp, pt.wp, etc., etc. Yeesh. "Globalization" isn't going to amount to much if editors at different projects can't communicate effectively and don't want to be meddled with. I think a more practical goal for harnessing the multi-language power of WP is to make inter-wiki consistency a major goal. Like, the article on Bastille Day should be just as rich in English or Tagalog as it is in French, despite it being "a French topic" in some sense. A whole lot more energy needs to be put into translation. (I put my money where my mouth is a little bit - w:en:Five-pins is more or less a translation by me of the it.wp original - but I'm not actually fluent in anything but English. Innumerable editors are, however, bilingual (and better). SMcCandlish 06:15, 31 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, for making a good translation it is not sufficient to be fluent in the relevant language(s). The translator needs a feel for the topic. Otherwise, translations are part of the problem, not part of the solution. - Brya 05:05, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interwiki's are probably a lost cause: likely they will never be right. - Brya 05:05, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Change name of recommendation to Interwiki WikiProjects, and institute interwiki watchlists

This recommendation would mean more to people if renamed this:

  • Task force/Recommendations/Interwiki WikiProjects

Also, it will not work in my opinion without integrated, interwiki watchlists:

Death anomalies table

I don't know if this recommentation is were it comes from, but anyway I've written a comment on one of such WikiProjects here: Thread:Talk:Strategic Plan/Movement Priorities/Death anomalies table. Nemo 04:41, 16 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Academics: Public Policy Initiative

Update: outreach:Public Policy Initiative is doing this. Nemo 04:41, 16 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]