Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 1/Diversity/6

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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". :)


Mostly harmless (so long as it's not mandatory), but if this is your idea of "urgently needed"... Seraphimblade (talk) 16:18, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

It can give the impression that it is strongly recommended or even mandatory if it is widely used - much more than userboxes today. While filling out these forms truthfully is mostly harmless in Western countries this is not universally true. 1, 2, ... this suggestion can literally kill people. --mfb (talk) 08:36, 21 August 2019 (UTC)


There are citations in the document that are not fleshed out. Libcub (talk) 05:23, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Example: Based on previous research (X, Y, Z) --MarioGom (talk) 15:54, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Highly uncomfortableEdit

There are very valid reasons to not give the impression to new users, that we are Facebook's clan-brothers. Well-meaning-newbies can disclose a lot of info, unknowingly and be subject to doxing attempts. Further, privacy is a fundamental aspect of our project. Also, I recall the polarising userbox-wars .... Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:28, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Yes. Although this proposal may support diversity it also can make easier for those who is against diversity. --Wargo (talk) 14:55, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
That, and while Facebook is a place for talking to other people and presenting yourself on Wikimedia projects you are expected to contribute quality work. To quote someone from enwiki, a Wikipedian has responsibilities to a Wikipedia reader, not just to other Wikipedians (this principle can be generalized to cover non-Wikipedia projects) Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:21, 15 August 2019 (UTC)


I imagine User: pages on Wikidata made as Wikibase entity content model <3 --Wargo (talk) 14:55, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Strong opposeEdit

  1. Wikipedia is not Facebook.
  2. I thought you were trying to increase privacy (see e.g. Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Community Health/Recommendations/Safety).
  3. If you self-disclose as a (say) black transgender (fe)male, aren't you making yourself a lightning rod for harassment originating elsewhere on the tubes, no?
  4. Self-disclosed information is not accurate.

If your goal is to make userboxes machine readable, say it explicitly. MER-C (talk) 19:24, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

(+1).--Vulphere 09:47, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
It is not clear how this will fit in with the diversity metrics plan. Is the idea that you would encode all identity group attributes of each user and then gather statistics on the diversity of each WikiProject or the editing diversity of each page? What would you do with the data and how do you protect the individual data and avoid its misuse? Suppose that two accounts have exactly the same identity group profile -- could that be used as evidence in a sockpuppet investigation? Even if the two accounts never use the same IP addresses, will the user be open to SPI accusations just because the user gave a very complete profile?
Is there a suggestion or assumption that people can authoritatively edit WP articles if they have an identity group that matches the subject? Will the diversity metrics punish an article or a project if the editors in a topic are not demographically balanced? What if the Israel-Palestine pages are edited 70% unidentified, 20% Jewish, 5% Muslim and 5% Catholic -- how would that data ever be the basis for a valid action? Will the diversity metrics raise red flags if no indigenous Americans ever edit the Elizabeth Warren article?
You recommendation of storing detailed data on each user is directly contradicted by the recommendations of the Revenue Streams Working Group which wants the WMF to sell the idea that we are "the good guys" that do not collect and store very personal data.
Unless you can show that the data collected will serve a useful purpose and not be misused for evil purposes, the community is better off not opening up this Pandora's Box. Hlevy2 (talk) 14:36, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Very significant conflict with user privacy principlesEdit

The idea that I'd be expected to put significant demographic information onto my userpage is horrifying - and I say that as a 14-year Wikimedian who has publicly linked her real-world identity to her username. A core principle of participation in the movement has always been that one reveals as much or as little about one's personal status as one wants. As someone who's been an oversighter for 10 years, I can tell you that just about every one of the criteria being suggested here is a *current* criterion for suppression if it is posted by anyone other than the user on just about every project. Anything that mandates that a user is expected to post *suppressible* information about themselves is a non-starter, as far as I am concerned. We have tens of thousands of contributors today for whom this expectation would be very problematic, including users living in countries with suppressing regimes, those living in countries where certain gender identities can lead to longterm imprisonment, and people who are already targets of harassment external to their Wikimedia participation. I understand that there are not a lot of ways to get good demographics of our participant base, and there are plenty of people who provide this information on a voluntary basis. But I'll tell you that, as an oversighter, one of the biggest issues we run into is users who have come to regret having provided this sort of demographic information about themselves, because it has often led to real-world issues for them. Risker (talk) 20:00, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

It will not be mandatory to give these information. --Wargo (talk) 20:10, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I have a problem with it even being a "recommendation" that people do this, particularly if targeted at new users, because they will feel it is some kind of community expectation that they do so. Risker (talk) 20:13, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Aye, in my experience calling something a "recommendation" leads to people treating it as a mandate. It's not a new user thing, either. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:31, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I would like to second Risker here. We should not invite newcomers to self-identify themselves in the described manner as they possibly do not know about the consequences. The problem is that in case of conflicts these informations are used for harassments. Much of this can no longer be suppressed or oversighted as frequently well-known third-party sites are used to prolong this forever. I am familiar with some of these cases as OTRS member. --AFBorchert (talk) 06:52, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The problem is not whether it is mandatory or not. Encouraging users to publicly disclose personal information is putting new contributors at risk. I think we should actually increase warnings for new editors advising to be careful when disclosing personal information online. I guess I don't need to put examples of harassment online to illustrate the point. --MarioGom (talk) 23:18, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Another issue is that a share of volunteers have replaced their user page with a link to their talk page: they prefer you learn about them by interacting with them. Or they are willing to share some information about themselves, but keep the rest private. Some users prefer to not advertise their gender; I add this because in the last month I found I had incorrectly identified the gender of 3-4 of my fellow editors. As an example, I included on my user page everything I think another volunteer needs to know about me: there is no need for me to share how I make my living, or my religious beliefs, or even my sexual orientation. If you want to know more about me, read what I write. It will likely be more accurate than anything I intentionally share with you. -- Llywrch (talk) 17:52, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

How does this fit into the general idea of wiki identityEdit

Hello, this recommendation has similar merits and flaws as other recommendations. It tries to tackle some fundamental challenges for WP/WM, but there is not enough elaboration on the consequences. I have also the impression that the working group members did not make explicit enough what are their basic ideas on what a wiki member is and what the community is (or should be).

On the surface, this recommendation looks like just a better technical solution in order to improve what already exists/happens on Wikipedia. Instead of categories and babel templates, we should have a more sophisticated system so that Wikipedians can express their opinions, skills and identities more easily. And that like-minded Wikipedians can find each other more easily. Like when Wikidata replaced the old system of interwiki links.

But if this is supposed to be only a limited technical improvement, then I wonder why this is part of a strategy discussion. And indeed, it seems that the authors of the recommendations have high expectations of this reform: to change (improve) the social fabric in Wikipedia.

This raises the question of what do we think about a wiki identity, and how it does or should relate to the real world identity of a Wikipedian. Should the wiki identity of an individual only be shaped on the actions and merits in the wiki, or should external identities play a bigger role.

For example, imagine that I am gay, catholic and Wikipedian. What does that mean for my wiki identity? Do I want to be seen by others as a Wikipedian, or as a gay Wikipedian? How important is it for my Wikipedia work to be catholic? Would my edits be different if I was Jewish? I suppose that different Wikipedians have different views on these questions. Some love to inform extensively on their user page about their skills, opinions, preferences, identities. But even then, if someone informs that he is a vegetarian: does this mean that he wants to be identified all the time as a vegetarian Wikipedian? Does he want to read on talk pages: "You being a vegetarian, what is your opinion on this issue?"

As pointed out above, when we support new Wikipedians, what are our recommendations for them? Should we encourage people to publish a lot of information about themselves? Or should we warn them that these informations can later be used against them? What kind of information we recommend to publish, what not? Do we know the individual newbie well enough to make a specific recommendation? Can the newbie himself make an informed decision on what information is okay and what not (still not knowing much about Wikipedia)?

What are the consequences of encouraging people to inform about their identities? More subgroups within the Wikipedia community? More filter bubbles, more social clustering?

What do we know about the present state? What is the relationship between the external and the wiki internal status of a wiki member? For example, what does it mean if someone works on Wikipedia under the real name? Is that a benefit, or a curse? Does someone who cannot reveal her real identity have disadvantages in the community? Can you "import" status to Wikipedia; e.g., when you are a professor, or rich, or leading member of a religious group, does this give you status within the wiki community? And is that desirable? Does that lead to better content? Where is the research about these questions?

It is regrettable that the "recommendations" are not more evolved, more refined at this moment. Is it true that they are expected to be finalized already in November? Ziko (talk) 08:13, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

I share Ziko's concerns, but I am also concerned about the granularity of the data. How do you encode an editor's religion? Do you have separate options for Jesuit, Catholic and Lapsed Catholic? Do you separate Conservative Jews from Orthodox Jews? Do you have an option for LGBTQ or separate options for each type? How truthful do you expect users to be when completing the questionnaire and how does the user's understanding of the categories match the designer's?
There is also the important question of the relationship between Wikipedian identity, subject matter expertise, and bias. Currently, we want any editor to edit NPOV vegetable articles and give all equal weight. If an editor self-identifies as a vegetarian, is he assumed to have bias or expertise when editing those articles? Should we discount or amplify his views? Thanks, Hlevy2 (talk) 10:00, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Status of the recommendationEdit

Could someone from the Working Group give an update of the status of this recommendation? It is hard to tell whether this recommendation was changed, dropped or merged with others. --MarioGom (talk) 17:43, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

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