Anonymous User Protection Squad (AUPS)

(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Mission edit

Strange strange ideas that wikipedians themselves come up with for some very odd reason, to target exactly the freedom and openness of Wikipedia, are on the rise. We are an action oriented association, and we are out to defend those qualities, freedom and openness, by protecting those who will be the first to be marginalised and prevented; the Anonymous users.

Counter argument edit

The one sole lone exclusive unpaired unwedded virgin first and last only reason around which all the hassle of restrictive applications and procedures revolve, is VANDALISM. Many many fellow participants state and act as though vandalism is an imminent danger that haunts Wikipedia, and that it is such a great danger that it justifies introducing many restrictive measures and procedures, to prevent anonymous users from enjoying the same full capabilities of direct and immediate editing. For that they came up with many such restrictive measures, the most prominent and current of them is the most hated and repugnant Flagged revisions, which is varyingly used in the German, Russian, Arabic, Polish, and other Wikipedias.

This, however, is UNTRUE! Vandalism has never in the history of Wikipedia been a problem big enough to deserve any special treatment apart from just reverting it whenever it happens. We do not oppose any procedure that will handle vandalism as long as it will not diminish any of the natural scopes of accessibility and capability of the anonymous users to edit directly and to have their edits effectual immediately. We believe that restrictions on anonymous users are very potentially harmful to Wikipedia both practically and morally, and that they might result in very unfortunate consequences on the long run. Many of us started their expereince with Wikipedia as anonymous users, if this experience was not full, maybe many of us wouldn't have been here now, and doing their own, really free projects. We want to keep Wikipedia really free and open. With every restriction and every aversive response to anonymous users, we are loosing a potentially new editor who could have become just one of us Wikipedians.

A 2007 study on vandalism in Wikipedia shows that “roughly 25% of vandalism-reverting is done by anonymous users”, which shows how many anonymous users out there care, and do participate in a constructive manner even in reverting vandalism. The study also concludes that “the mean average time vandalism reverting is 758.35 minutes (12.63 hours). The median time vandalism reverting is 14 minutes.”[1] which really shows how controllable vandalism is by simply reverting it, without having to resolve to mass punishment and restriction of anonymous users.

Finally, it seems that what really lays behind all these restrictive measures and procedures that are always sought, is a sort of unconscious enmity to the condition of “anonymity”, and association of the anonymous identity (or IP) with a negative state of being! This is probably the most reasonable explanation to the condescending perspective of anonmyous contributions and users, as unexpereinced, passing by, ignorant of policies and procedures, vulgar and concerned with personal matters, detached from the community, and insignificant as a whole! Combined with this condescending perspective of the other, is a self-lauding, majestic and masterful deluded perspective of the self (i.e. registered users), in the form of experienced, caring, protective, possessive, and righteous users. There is in reality no basis upon which to find truth in these perspectives, and there is nothing to prevent any user, regardless of what type of user it is, to develop any kinds of thoughts and feelings about Wikipedia, and to adopt individual approaches. In other words; there is nothing that the registered user can think and do, which the anonymous user cannot. But in any case, of course, non of all this has anything to do with the mission and purpose of Wikipedia.

Goals and Action edit

The squad works to perpetually achieve three distinct goals by the following means:

To provide protection for individual anonymous users In the same fashion as those who watch anonymous edits to check if they are vandalistic, we watch reverts of anonymous contributions to check if they are prejudiced or aversive, and we interfere if this was the case. At the same time, we welcome and provide assistance to new IPs.
To safeguard and promote freedom and openness of accessibility and participation We will oppose and campaign against all restrictive measures, procedures, and policies, which result in anyway in diminishing the power of anonymous users.
To promote respect of anonymous users By establishing dialogue with Wikipedians and presenting our views in the different talk pages, and inviting interested users to join AUPS.

Our mission dictates us to side with what came to be known as an inclusionist and an eventualist perspectives of the workings of Wikipedia. In other words, we support anonymous contributions regardless of the question of their quality and independently from any evaluative process, unless they evidently violate Wikipedia policies and guidelines, in which case we respond with the least restrictive action (for example, add the [fact] tag instead of deleting the fact statement). We believe that when an anonymous user makes a small, insignificant, or even wrong contribution, and when no body teaches him/her lessons and react aversively, only then does the anonymous user begins to feel the power and capability that is given to him/her by Wikipedia; and we try to encourage Wikipedians to leave anonymous users alone to discover and experience Wikipedia as they please. We also employ common sense in our judgment and decisions regarding anonymous contributions, and we oppose and revert destructive edits without hesitation. We simply treat anonymous users exactly as though they are registered users, no difference what so ever.

Structure edit

This is a squad, and it functions very much like one. It is intimate, united, cooperative, disciplined, dedicated, energetic, and effective; and it is so only because its members believe in its tenets and practices. It has an elected robust and decisive leader who ensures all is in place, morale is heightened, action is being carried out, and principles being committed to. Users of all types and from around the world are welcomed and encouraged to join the squad. No requirements are imposed on anyone to be part of the squad, even if their time does not permit them to take action and support the mission and goals. It is enough action when they state that they belong with us, fellows and brothers and sisters in defense of freedom and openness.

Leader: Elected when position is empty, or when at least 1/3 of members demand reelection due to discontent with performance. Regular reelection takes place following the passage of on term (six consecutive months) from the date of leadership by one leader. Any member can be nominated and elected for leadership. Leaders may be reelected only for a second term, after which they must leave the position for a new leader, unless no one is nominated to the position. A leader may be reelected to the position after leaving it for at least one term.

Any changes to these rules may be suggest by any member, and require the approval of at least 2/3 of members to be enacted.

Guards: Any member can assign himself or herself a Guard, no process is required from them to be thus assigned. Guards are active members, on watchers, and they reflect on the incidents and condition that are related to the protection of anonymous users, and they frequently report on such issues in the talk page. They are engaged in the matter, and they take the lead in times of engagement in wars (polls, votes, and heated discussions!)

Fellows: All those who believe in the principles and tenets of the squad, and who list themselves as members of it. They can report here, and to Guards about incidents and ask them to take action if they can't themselves.

Code of conduct edit

  1. Never under any circumstances cross the bounds of politeness toward those with whom you are involved in “action” as a member of AUPS.
  2. Never intentionally violate a wikipedia guideline or policy, or otherwise perpetrate or state anything that is harmful to Wikipedia.
  3. Seek assistance and support from fellow members by posting news here in the talk page.
  4. Do not fuel an edit war, but seek to decide the dispute and achieve victory through discussion.
  5. Do not overwhelm individual users by resolving to excessive contact; an individual user is to be contacted only by one member.
  6. Mass participation by AUPS members in any relevant event or occasion must be restricted to polls, all forms of voting, and discussions on general talk pages. It must follow the following procedure:
    1. AUPS members must be aloof of resolving to the pity techniques of repeating one another's arguments; use such commonly accepted words as “agree” or “support” in bold and sign your username beneath those arguments with which you are in accordance. This will give a sense of unity more than perplexing the discussion.
    2. Try to make it appear as though you do not belong to the squad, and that you are a passing by user (members may camouflage their association by removing AUPS userboxes from their userpages, and even removing their listed signatures from the AUPS members list if necessary, then put them back after the event is over). Awareness by non-members of the existence of AUPS and of mass participation might induce adverse effects in polls and discussions. Commit yourself to target the reason of others, rather than their emotion.
  7. Do not promote AUPS in general talk pages. Contact potentially interested users on their own talk pages. Recruiting other members must be initiated by the interest of those potentially new members.
  8. Exercise your right in protecting anonymous users against oppression and prejudice decisively and adamantly.
  9. Do not attempt to exploit AUPS for ends which has nothing to do with protecting anonymous users.

Pledge edit

By being a member of this squad, I pledge to act and state, at all times, according to its tenets, principles, and code of conduct, and never to adopt a position that deviates from them.

Members edit

For the time being, you might like to add this userbox to your userpage en:User:Meeso/Userboxes/AUPS member

Leader edit

Position currently vacant!

Guards edit

  1. Maysara 20:04, 31 August 2010 (UTC) (founder)[reply]
  2. Bobbitybob69 (talk) 06:31, 27 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Fellows edit

  1. Anonymous
  2. PiRSquared17 (talk)
  3. add yourself here

Tasks edit

  1. Opposing the current Pending changes anti-vandalism tool and voting against it in the Pending changes/Straw poll
  2. Creating userboxes related to the Squad!

See also edit

References edit