Grants:IdeaLab/moderating for sexism instead of vulgarity

moderating for sexism instead of vulgarity
Many participants in English Wikipedia have a strong ethos of free speech, and are strongly resistant to the idea of moderating comments based on a US workplace standard of civility and inoffensive language.

An alternative to moderating speech for vulgar terms can be found at the David Bowie fan site.

The website promotes free speech in the outspoken and rambunctious style of Mr. Bowie, but also enforces swiftly and vigorously regarding any complaints of sexism.

Users at the Bowie site may receive up to 2 or 3 warnings from site moderators for inappropriate language or behaviors, after which they are permanently blocked, without appeal. Blocked users may attempt to start over under a new name. Some users who have been blocked are able to participate on the site under their new names without running afoul of site rules of conduct, and resume a role as productive participants.
idea creator
this project needs...
created on01:12, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Project idea Edit

What is the problem you're trying to solve? Edit


What is your solution? Edit

An A-B test, well advertised, with banners, that applies to all talk pages and administrative sections of English Wikipedia.

During the first phase, A, members of the more outspoken feminist and womens' rights sites are invited to moderate talk page sections for sexist language and statements. These invited moderators are given temporary block permissions to enforce non-sexist langage; but do not enforce any restrictions on profanity or vulgarity.

When new editors start working on Wikpedia, they get a quick splash screen with a link to a one page summary of California cyber law, such as this one.

There is a quick note that indicates something on the order of: Welcome! WMF staff are expected not only to treat you with respect, but also to observe the basics of lawful computer use. Here's the link to the laws in California, where the WMF main offices are located. We hope you enjoy editing here!

In our experience, if you are friendly and polite, and make a sincere effort to present neutral, accurate information and observe copyright laws, most editors will find that they are in compliance with the laws regarding computer use where they live. However, we are providing this reference for your use just in case any question may arise regarding appropriate and lawful behavior when online.

During the second phase, B, invited moderators moderate talk page sections for vulgar language and profanity in accordance with US federal laws about a non-hostile working environment.

Statistics are taken to show how the types and durations of blocks differ under the two enforcement regimens. All blocked editors, and all interested editors, are invited through banners to participate in surveys regarding their experience with the different types of enforcement, in order to elicit the pros and cons of each type of approach.

It may be desirable to alternate between the two different approaches several times to determine whether one is more suitable as a permanent standard for talk pages.

The time period for each approach needs to be long enough for at least one large Wikidrama / kerfluffle to occur, probably 1-6 months.

An in-person meeting, at Wikimania, or at the large regional conferences, needs to take place after the experimentation has concluded, and possibly at a mid-point, to share experiences, and develop a general sense of community preferences for the WMF moving forward.

Goals Edit

increased civility, by strict enforcement of anti-sexism speech.

Get Involved Edit

About the idea creator Edit

Participants Edit

Endorsements Edit

Expand your idea Edit

Would a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation help make your idea happen? You can expand this idea into a grant proposal.

Expand into a Rapid Grant
Expand into a Project Grant
(launching July 1st)