Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 2/Diversity/8

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it.
Most likely, new comments will not be taken into account by the new three Working Group members in their work of developing the final Recommendations. You are free however to continue discussing in the spirit of "discussing about Wikipedia is a work in progress". :)

Top-down imposition of notability and reliability criteria: no!Edit

If individual projects want to change their notability criteria and what counts as a reliable source, then that's fine; it's what happens now. But "Standardization of notability and reference criteria enabling easier cross-platform collaborations and addressing systemic biases" is a top-down imposition and thus goes against the principle of individual projects drawing up and implementing their own criteria. If you want to build an alternative site for content currently not regarded as notable or reliable, then "create alternative platforms", as suggested; the proposal to tell individual projects what their criteria have to be won't be accepted, so should be dropped. EddieHugh (talk) 20:39, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

This. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:03, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Yep. And I would also be unhappy about creating alternate projects to by-pass these requirements if those projects in any way link back into Wikipedia. Wikidata has been a disaster in that respect due to its lack of verifiability, potential for circularity etc. - Sitush (talk) 21:05, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

An extra key assumptionEdit

There's an extra assumption that was missed off the list:

That a broader inclusion of permissible content is worth the reduction in reliability of that content.

You can't say a change will make things more reliable when one of the premises is changing what we define reliable sources as - that's begging the question Nosebagbear (talk) 18:03, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Not necessarily true. The change could be stricter. in some cases this is even likely. Even there it may be inappropriate. Foe example, Wikivoyage does not cite sources and welcomes original research. It works there. Anyone can verify what is written there by going to the destination and seeing for themselves. If the information is no longer valid they can update it to match with current reality. Changing this would not be helpful. Watering down ENWP standards would generally also not be useful, we have spent a long time and a lot of effort on developing those to work for us. You cannot have a reliable encyclopedia that "anyone can edit" wthout having fairly robust standards for verification. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:13, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Watering down ENWP standards must be a non-starter. - Sitush (talk) 21:06, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

What does it meanEdit

"There will be those who view looking for sources based on context as lowering the standards, but in fact, it is the opposite. Searching for anything where it is unlikely to be is almost guaranteed to result in not finding it. Instead, we need to focus on where sources would logically exist based on the human characteristics of the people involved. "

I'm confused by what this means and how it has relevance to the rest of the recommendation. We aren't saying we shouldn't look for reliable sources in a broader set of areas. This negatives section says that's where the issue is, but the rest of the recommendation wants us to change the meaning of what "reliable is". If the characteristics of those involved in making those sources was less reliable (e.g. editorial control and fact-checking weren't so present), then that has to lower our standards. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:07, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Is this some attempt to allow oral history sources etc? I think I've seen somewhere a proposal to create a bank of oral histories that could then be used in Wikipedia. I would oppose it, of course: we already effectively see that at ENWP in caste-related articles and it doesn't work - what one's grandmother said while you sat on her knee is simply not good enough. - Sitush (talk) 21:09, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
I hope not, I think it is more likely to be a redefining of what RS is (such as my grans diary that is in my attic or the international journal of my families history).Slatersteven (talk) 13:22, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Fundamental breach of community autonomyEdit

I support the vast majority of the recommendations in the process and agree with many of the points that led to this recommendation, but this is the first one I've seen that I really can't get behind.

Thousands of volunteers have extensively discussed every aspect of notability and verifiability over the course of many years, and discussions about wording and application take place on a daily basis. To try to change those policies/guidelines from the outside would be a fundamental breach of community autonomy and a rejection of collective judgment exercised since the project began.

Our notability guidelines and verifiability policy are far from perfect, and that's why it is worthwhile and important to continue to talk about them, their application, and their implications beyond of Wikipedia. That includes the points, proposals, and recommendations listed here, even! I have great respect for the working group that was thoughtful enough to develop these recommendations, which are based on very important points/goals -- and furthermore would recognize that it takes guts to post something like this, since I know you're all experienced enough to know there would be pushback! :) ...But the place for the points raised are on the policy/guideline talk pages that would be changed (on each language/project on which you would propose changing them), subject to our consensus-based processes.

Like the rest of Wikipedia, our policies and guidelines are community projects that can always be improved, and are open to anyone to make/propose changes. Of course, just like the rest of Wikipedia, high-profile pages require a lot of discussion and patience to make substantial changes, which can be frustrating to those who see problems. Sometimes there's a good reason why there's resistance to change. Other times, it just takes persistence/discussion. (I think both are relevant to various points here). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 19:53, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Does this recommendation apply to non-Wikipedia projects?Edit

Wikidata has its own notability policy. Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikibooks don't have their own notability rules because those projects have different purposes and allow original content. Wikisource collects old preexisting content, so notability wouldn't apply to that project. Wikispecies doesn't have its own notability rule for some reason. Isn't the recommendation (still) more Wikipedia-centric? If it is, is the movement also more Wikipedia-centric than it should be (not?)? --George Ho (talk) 20:15, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

It's also not clear what is meant by "new platforms". Does that mean new Wikimedia projects? If the recommendations were written in Wikimedia language, comprehension would be easier; right now it seems this was written by someone from some random web industry. Nemo 18:42, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

More centralization = badEdit

Without prejudice to the remaining recommendations, while I agree with most of the points raised by the group I'm afraid I can't support this proposal. Very few people go to Meta relative to, say, the English Wikipedia. This would have to result in the decision-making process related to content being migrated to a wiki that fewer people go to, leading to more star-chambering. The whole Fram incident, while not directly bearing on these recommendations, does not inspire confidence in me that such star-chambering could be fair and impartial, and in general the ability for this relatively small global wiki to affect thousands of local wikis should be limited to conduct and broad principles, rather than something specific and content-relevant such as notability. John M Wolfson (talk) 01:47, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Hi John M Wolfson, could you please rephrase star-chambering? I happen to know what Camera stellata was, but I'd like to gain more certainty and clarity. I'm sure your reaction would be similar if I was to mention a XVI-century Polish court ;) SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 20:11, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
    • No worries SGrabarczuk, the Star Chamber was a medieval English court that was designed to prosecute people while bypassing the normal courts of common law. Originally intended to prosecute those considered too popular or otherwise difficult to prosecute in a normal court, it nevertheless went against several precepts of English jurisprudence such as due process and equality before the law and was a major sticking point in the English Civil War, after which it was abolished. I might have gotten some history wrong but that's the general idea I believe. I hope people see some parallels between that example and the Fram stuff, without any prejudice to the WMF in general. John M Wolfson (talk) 20:31, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

What do we mean?Edit

By this I mean, what does "flexible and context-sensitive interpretations of notability policies", does it mean

A: That third party RS are no longer needed for certain types of person.

B: That a person does not have to have actually done anything notable by our current standards.

C. That OR will be permitted to establish notability.

D. What do we mean by "missing or suppressed voices".

There may well be other questions I have not thought of yet.Slatersteven (talk) 14:00, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Also what under representation do we tackle, The fact that women did not (historically) perform functions considered noteworthy (such as being generals or medical pioneers)? The fact that when they did they were ignored? The fact that today many women in many fields are ignored when men are not? Because each of these are not the same issue, and require different approaches to deal with (assuming we on Wikipedia can or should deal with them), for example.Slatersteven (talk) 14:21, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

If I'm being completely honest, I'm still waiting for any of these working groups to come up with any concrete proposal whatsoever. I the Product & Technology recommendations. After careful deliberation, they have formed a committee to make recommendations, and upon careful deliberation, they have recommended that we should form a number of committees in order to make recommendations. The entire thing could be mistaken for a Vogon-esque parody if you weren't paying close attention. GMGtalk 15:14, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Maybe I am being cynical, but it all reads to me like the kind of stunt Sir Humphrey would pull. Lets make the process so obtuse and opaque that we can get whatever me and my mate Barry wants. This may not be the case here (or even there), but how hard is it to say "my proposal is" and then discuss it?Slatersteven (talk) 15:27, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
If we're ditching Verifiability, & Reliable & Independent sources, well, my mum says I was great as second shepherd in my primary school's Christmas Nativity play. It may even have got a mention in the parents' newsletter. I look forward to embracing the opportunity of publishing my autobiography on the wiki. Cabayi (talk) 14:40, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
But are you one of the "missing or suppressed voices"? Who and what are they?Slatersteven (talk) 07:54, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
Is there a reason why so many of these recommendations are not written in easily accessible language? Lepricavark (talk) 04:36, 30 September 2019 (UTC)


Is this still live? What is meant to be happening?Slatersteven (talk) 15:57, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

I was wondering that myself. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:42, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
From here, "The Movement Strategy core team is currently processing the large amount of information that was generated at the sprint and will be sharing outputs with the greater community soon." Given that the summary of the final day of their activities at a Tunis resort begins with, "The work on day 3 centred on the need to have some serious conversations", I'd guess that plenty is supposed to be happening but not much has happened. EddieHugh (talk) 12:03, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
@Slatersteven and Barkeep49: The answer is slightly tricky. This recommendation is up-to-date in the sense that it's the latest version produced by the Diversity working group and, therefore, its content is still suppoesdly relevant.
On the other hand, as @EddieHugh: more or less pointed out, at this point in the process the presumption was that this recommendation shouldn't be relevant anymore. The reason is that the Harmonization Sprint (an event held from September 19th-21st in Tunis) was planned to synthesize the updated 89 recommendations from all strategy working groups into a new, unified set of "Meta Recommendations".
As that didn't happen, and since the next steps in the process are now confusing and being discussed and re-modelled, there are no newer recommendations to replace this one and thus it remains, in a sense, 'live' --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 16:20, 11 October 2019 (UTC).
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