Requests for comment/Ideals and realities on the ground in Norwegian Wikipedia
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For some time I have observed a gap between what is held up as an ideal, and what can be experienced on the ground, in Norwegian Wikipedia. What is promised and what is experienced, and the gap between; I can only give my view on that. I have done that.
In this instance, here by the handling of an article that has been under pressure over time. NO:WP TERF. The article has been written as part of the LGBT theme, and has been written from such a point of view. Two main contributors with an LGBT/gender-research point of view have in turn contributed most. The discussion page on that article has, from the first posting, been driven by what must be seen as gender-critical POV. A viewpoint opposing the LGBT/gender-research POV. In December 2022, after a summary process by an experienced contributor and two administrators, the article was reduced from 80,000 characters to 5,000 characters, most of which were criticisms of the term. Here is a comment from one of the main contributors, afterwards, at my request.
Here I both criticize what has happened, and give my understanding of the situation. The problem cannot be reduced to a problem with an article on Norwegian wikipedia, another Norwegian encyclopedia has also been under pressure, and have changed its own editorial practice to a smaller extent. (But basically hold the ground.) And is not "sure whether this can or should or should be resolved as a public order problem." And wonder if "foundation:Policy:Universal_Code_of_Conduct says anything about the type of conflict resolution?" This in extension of this EdoAug's problem including "My first instinct is actually blocking a couple of users, but I don't know if I've managed to stay neutral or not."
When "experienced users" appear as "schoolmasters" and "gatekeepers". Whether it exists or not, whether it is seen or not, and by whom; will be decisive for how the situation is perceived. An expression of a Systemic bias may very well be blind to its own practice. The own practice can be the most difficult to spot. (Which could mean that this could affect me myself.)
At NO:WP Tinget in January 2023 I participated in three topics; "== Deleted page on human rights in Norway ==" ("== Slettet side om menneskerettigheter i Norge ==") (Thread starter has been referred to the Tinget by WMNO), "== Order! Order! ==" (My response to an exchange of words, in the extension of what I perceived as hate-speach in the previous topic, was moderated.) And the topic "== Wokeness and political bias ==" ("== Wokeness og politisk slagside ==")(An IP address that has opinions about NO:WP TERF).
Here ("The revision from 25 Jan. 2023 at 15:32") I propose a solution to "== Deleted page about human rights in Norway ==" ("== Slettet side om menneskerettigheter i Norge ==")
Here ("The revision from 25 Jan. 2023 at 19:27") suggests TommyG a vote to block and remove the three topics mentioned above. "== Block User:Andrez1 from editing in Wikipedia, Discussion and the User Discussion Room for 14 days. ==" (Topic archived here.)
Here ("The revision from 26 Jan. 2023 at 08:52") 4ing comments the unusualness of the situation, and points to NO:WP's Wikipedia:Directions for blocking # Disruption of Wikipedia as a possible basis for action.
Here ("The revision from 26 Jan. 2023 at 01:19") Ulflarsen deletes "== Order! Order! ==" and "== Wokeness and political bias ==" from the Tinget. Moved to my NO:WP's User Discussion page (Since deleted.)
here " 28 Jan 2023 at 23:10 4ing (...) blocked Andrez1 (...) from the namespaces Brukerdiscussion, Discussion and Wikipedia with an expiration time of 2 weeks (autoblocking turned off) (After a vote at the Tinget: Wikipedia:Tinget#Ilegge_Bruker:Andrez1_en_blocking_from_editing_in_Wikipedia,_Discussion_and_User Discussion Room_for_14_days.)"
(Without justification in Wikipedia:Guidelines for blocking)
Here "The revision from 12. Feb. 2023 at 12:02" I start the topic "== To change other people's statements in discussions ==" ("== Å endre andres utsagn i diskusjoner ==").
Here Ulflarsen deletes "== Changing other people's statements in discussions ==" "The revision from 13 Feb. 2023 at 00 :16" with the comment "Removed discussion, not relevant to the Tinget in particular, or Wikipedia in general, thread starter blocked, again."
here "13 Feb 2023 at 00:17 Ulflarsen discussion contribution blocked Andrez1 discussion contribution with an expiration time of 1 year (account creation disabled , email blocked, cannot edit own talk page) (Disruption of Wikipedia)"
And this is then done with reference to Wikipedia:Policies for blocking # Disruption of Wikipedia.
There is no local possibility to contest this type of blocking. As far as I know. Discussions that are deleted and not archived implies that other people's statements, entire threads, are massively changed and cease to exist. I also hope that the next time I come across statements I perceived as hate speech. - "The user can blame himself for the way the criticism has escalated." - Again will react to such a claim. I will then have to fear an eternal blocking on NO:WP.
I understand that what I have grasped are expressions for what sorts under UCoC Unacceptable behaviour. And that what I do falls within the same UCoC Expected behaviour "Looking out for fellow contributors: Lend them a hand when they need support, and speak up for them when they are treated in a way that falls short of expected behavior as per the Universal Code of Conduct."
When this leads to repeated blocking, the experience is that within NO:WP there is room for "Unacceptable behaviour", but no room for "Expected behaviour". What is held up as an ideal is not feasible in the face of practical experience. NO:WP's local formulation Disturbance of Wikipedia is diffuse and can then be filled with content as needed.
- "The disturbances can include, for example, accounts that are used for personal attacks on other users, trolling, querulation and similar behavior that disturbs the working peace of Wikipedia. Blocking in such cases should only occur if this behavior persists and is a disturbance to Wikipedia, and attempts to talking to the user does not produce results."
What constitutes a personal attack, and what constitutes legitimate criticism of "Unacceptable behaviour". What constitute a disturbance of "the working peace of wikipedia" can all be used to silence any discussion. What is someone's, to the best of their ability, presentation of their own argument and point of view. Will with an inability to -
- "Practice empathy. Listen and try to understand what Wikimedians of different backgrounds want to tell you. Be ready to challenge and adapt your own understanding, expectations and behavior as a Wikimedian." (UCoC Expected behaviour)
- could appear as trolling, querulation. And such. When someone with such a starting point tries to "talk to the user", it is not "experienced users" who come forward with authority. There is something authoritarian emerging. Here there is a problematic undercurrent in NO:WP.
Now NO:WP is not alone in the world with this. Have had to deal with the Russian «экстремизм» here. Where everything that can disturb a given social order can be defined as extremism. And prosecuted as such. Then the liberal freedoms an open society needs disappear. The same lack of freedom of speech is NO:WP's Forstyrring av Wikipedia a guarantor of. It does not allow room for UCoC Expected behaviour.
I believe that what is happening is an expression of something more than what is emerging locally. Here (and other places) -
- ":Not that administrators have any police authority. Some choose to fill the role with something authoritarian. They can keep going. There is nothing in them to stop them. There is no one around them to stop them. And then the whole thing can quickly become a lawless gun-slinger-i."
- Do I express this. What I am pointing out is that the lack of Accountability leads to this kind of abuse of power. That what can be seen as an autocratic form of government has within it a sovereignty that does not answer to or is responsible to anyone other than itself. This problem can then bee seen as expressing what is structurally and systemically inherent. Not personal but structural faults.
- "Exercise of authority without accountability, Accountability, promise for little other than abuse.. Whoever makes decisions must be able to answer for himself and be held responsible for the decisions that are made. A sovereign authority is responsible only to god. Other answerable in relation to other authorities.
- Self-righteous autocrats answer only to themselves. If it is a problem, then it is also a behavior that should stop. "
Now I can be both verbose, full of digressions and imagery and reservations. - "a behavior that should stop" - Constitutes a normative statement about something that is not as it should be, and then should be changed. That is how much I raised my voice.
The context of all the discussions is specifically about conditions in NO:WP. This is precisely what NO:WP - The Tinget should be used for. And not "not relevant to the Tinget in particular, or Wikipedia in general".
When conflicts are resolved by using aggression against the other party, it can be read as a "the continuation of policy with other means." se here. I understand NO:WP's treatment of conflict, be it around the TERF article, the unpublished human rights article (and the contributor there), and the treatment I myself have been met with; in such a framework.
In other words; I can't see that I have myself to blame for other people's aggression. What can at times be seen as self-righteous vigilantism crosses boundaries where this activity itself constitutes the problem. That activity cannot be prosecuted within the framework of NO:WP. That theme becomes anathema.
When idealistic purpose justifies actions that would otherwise be difficult to defend, then there is the risk that the goal is drowned in the use of methods. "The end justifies the means" can also sum up behavior where "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
This also applies to Wikipedia. It is then possible to hold up images of external and internal enemies and ideal goals to be achieved. Political and religious (and other values/identity-related) movements; Whether it is a family relationship or a state power; Has been observed throughout recent and distant history moving into those types of patterns. There is some messianic liberation movement who have soured along the way. And there is no lack of self-righteousness when aggression is directed against alleged internal and external enemies. Which is then typically portrayed as they had themselves to blame for what befalls them. What triggers that type of process, and whether it is what is present in NO:WP. Here there will be several views on the matter.
Is what I observe rooted in personality structures or does it express a systemic failure in the extension of a Systemic bias. Here I think both parts are in operation. Are there social processes with a need for belonging that drive the type of loyalties and enemy images that are observed? Does it express a deliberate deficiency in NO:WP's constitution where the principle of distribution of power is sacrificed in favor of action? If so, sluggish behavior can be seen as truly representing what is to be represented. Hopes of Civility, Collegiality, Mutual support and good citizenship runs counter to that, could be wishful thinking, and something more cosmetic than anything achievable.
- Unfortunately this is my exact understanding of the situation also. It seems impossible to get past some of the administrators cognitive biases even over prolonged time where they could think and reflect. The only argument given for deletion that the text is "not good Norwegian" does not seem to hold logical ground as when repeatedly requested as to what, exactly, in the language text needs editing 0, zero, nil examples are given. The text is certainly not grammatically incorrect. The spelling is also definitely not incorrect. The language may perhaps seem unusual (pompous?) in some parts to some people, but this is due to the their lack of knowledge of human rights and experience with the language of human rights promoting texts and the effect it should have in language, culture and persons. The fact that the language seems unusual in parts to their persons is actually an integral part of the language of human rights and really only shows the limitations of their Norwegian language skills or ability to reflect on their indoctrinated and wished language culture or indeed the limitations of the Norwegian language itself and the integration of human rights over it.
- The language of the human rights is ment to make people think and reflect on language, culture, themselves and governance. So changing this language to something more superficial unfortunately could make the human rights language less true to it's core values and degrade the content and effectiveness of the human rights text. However I have asked repeatedly for what language they want changed as I have been completely open to changing faulty language, but there are still zero replies on this even after more than a year and repeated questions as to what exactly over time, that should have been ample time for them to make a coherent reply. The (only) argument made, that the text does not contain "good Norwegian," thus does not seem to be reasonably about language at all and does seem indeed to be about points of criticism of human rights abuses and violations in Norway that is being taken personally even though this article is not about them personally, but simply a general summary of *all* public and international criticism of the human rights situation and history in Norway with credible and well known sources.
- Some indications about what these problems really are can also be gleamed from the replies, but I don't want to go into detail as to what because it could hurt the chance of the article being published. And indeed threats as to not do so were repeatedly made to me after I suggested they should disregard their personal biases. However there were no other logical arguments to reply to and thus I had no option as to stay silent. But there does seem to be a tendency for the criticisers to repeat the illogical arguments as to what they have written instead of giving information that would clarify as to what exactly is wrong in the text and provide logically sound arguments as asked to, and this is to me clear indications of conscious concealment of intent. The argument on the text not being "good Norwegian" was also the last argument, if indeed the language was the problem and such a huge problem it would have made sense to make that argument in the beginning and not as an ad hoc at the end and then ignore and/or deny all the replies and questions with nonsensical illogical "arguments."
- Unfortunately it can be very difficult to appease everyone with such a long list human rights abuses and violations, as the majority of people (if not all) have some sort of complicity in human rights abuses and violations directly or indirectly, or may have or have had some urge to partake in violating human rights that they now want to conceal. I had however really hoped the majority would choose to side with the principles of the Wikipedia charter and elevate themselves above their own persons, and that they would reason with logical arguments it would be possible to reply to, or at least allow a reasonable logical discussion without getting involved. Instead they choose make several more logical fallacious "arguments" and to censor and delete the discussion from the public view and from more admins and editors, and to completely ban people when third parties criticise with reasonable non-offensive language and tries to make them come off of their authoritarian and nonsensical behaviour so that a logical argumentative debate on the content of the text could be made - which I must add is further evidence of and rather telling really as to the true intent of suppressing the article on human rights abuses in Norway and as to why there is still total lack of coherent written logical and reasonable reason as to why the article has been deleted.— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Editor456991 (talk) 22:22, 3 March 2023 (UTC)