Dynamic Workspace for Article on Systemic Abuse
I'm going to set aside a couple of pages at the Review to work on this initiative dynamically, as I can't get two thoughts together at that Ping-Pong Skool For Hives.
Jonny Cache to Version Control:
Toward a Definition. A '''systemic abuse''' is form of abusive conduct on the part of agents that is facilitated by fundamental properties of the system itself, suggesting a predisposition or a susceptibility to abuse that is "built-in" at underlying levels of the system architecture.
'''Note.''' This page is very rough. Most likely a lot of the material below will be moved to the corresponding talk page as the leading ideas are gradually refined from the mass of raw data. [[User:Jonny Cache|Jonny Cache]] 11:15, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
==Problems With Equal Enforceabilty of WP:COI==
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest Current version of Wikipedia Guideline : Conflict Of Interest (WP:COI)]
* Evaluating whether a Wikipedia account owner is complying with Wikipedia policies and standards does not require information about the person(s) using the account.
====Scenario 1 : Self-Promotion====
Is someone actually arguing that Wikipedia admins shouldn't block people who are only there to self-promote? Does shining a penetrating light on this block reveal any problems? [[User:A Man In Black|A Man In Black]] 09:04, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
The problem that many people experience in Wikipedia is that the provisions that are set up to prevent conflicts of interest, for example, WP:COI, do not appear to be enforceable with any sort of equal justice under the conditions of pseudonymity that prevail there. What happens in actual practice is that honest people get abused on a continual basis while dishonest people get away with all sorts of abuse. [[User:Jonny Cache|Jonny Cache]] 09:34, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
Blocking people who are only on Wikipedia to force ad copy onto Wikipedia by hook or by crook isn't okay. Is someone arguing that it is?
As usual, it's lesser degrees of that which are debatable. How much self-promotional intent or conduct is okay? Is it okay to write a NPOV article about your own business? Is that possible? Should people be allowed to do their best when they have no hope of being impartial about their own work? While everyone agrees that a certain amount of self-promotion (writing about things that interest you) is okay and a certain amount (writing ad-copy articles about yourself, your business, and your products) are not, no two people agree about where the line falls between those two extremes.
You're going to find that any policy or guideline, written down or implicit, is going to be subjectively enforced, full of holes, selectively enforced, and much-debated. As with any project, respected users who push the boundaries are going to be given more slack than new ones, new edge cases are going to be more heavily scrutinized than long-standing ones which are "grandfathered" in, and people who are jerks are going to get less slack than people who are nice.
Characterizing this as a "systemic abuse" isn't terribly useful. It may be useful to describe where the line has fallen in the estimation of specific users, but this will tend to be most useful on the users' individual pages. [[User:A Man In Black|A Man In Black]] 10:48, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
JA: This was just my first try at abstracting the generic, logical, persistent, recurrent, system@ic, ..., whatever features of a problem that certainly does exist in the Wikipedia system of the world, but which it was simply not possible to examine fully there. I am by nature a theorist of systems, and given the choice, I am much more interested in the character and the dynamics of system@ic problems than I am in pursuing yet another interminable shaggy dog soap opera discussion of the sort that I saw breaking out already on JzG's talk page. So maybe the light will be better under this lamp-post. [[User:Jonny Cache|Jonny Cache]] 11:02, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
Here's another one of AMIB's points that seems generic enough to take up here. [[User:Jonny Cache|Jonny Cache]] 12:02, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
<p>All that said, I forsee a trying problem for this project.</p>
<p>Sometimes, an admin is going to do something based on their discovery of who someone is, and it's going to look questionable if you don't know why the admin did it. The typical Wikipedia method of dealing with this is to confirm that the something was done for the right reasons through private channels (OTRS, #wikipedia-en-admins, whatever) for a number of trusted users. This is not a great system, admittedly, but it works in a rough-and-ready way.</p>
<p>Now, you want to shine a light on admins, and I guess that's a good thing. I dunno. But you're going to have to come up with some way to deal with the fact that you're creating a venue for people to rail on about these done-for-private-reasons problems or you're gonna have some jerk blocked for edits that had to be oversighted fighting with an admin who can't justify his actions without violating the jerk's privacy until the end of time.</p>
<p>Moreover, I suggest that you figure out some way to deal with this problem ''soon'', or face being written off as the place for people with grudges to smear the objects of their obsession. [[User:A Man In Black|A Man In Black]] 08:55, 27 June 2007 (PDT)</p>
JA: One of the things that Wikipedia Pundits keep trying to convince people of is that "the application of Wikipedia Policies does not depend on knowing the real identities of Wikipedia Editors". There is obviously some kind of "a trying problem" here, but I think that it is a problem with Wikipedia and not with this site. [[User:Jonny Cache|Jonny Cache]] 12:12, 27 June 2007 (PDT)
:Often, the application of Wikipedia policies results in the revelation of the identity of Wikipedia editors, be it because someone recognizes an otherwise psedonymous Wikipedia author (Hey, I know you from...) or because someone develops an identity on Wikipedia that transcends a particular pseudonym (Hey, Lightbringer. 'Sup?). This site doesn't allow someone to reveal that information when relevant. That's the problem I'm highlighting, here.
:Obviously, Wikipedia accepts the consequences of pseudonymity, which include people who are self-promoting. Right now, [[WP:COI]] describes a common systemic violation of [[WP:NPOV]] (which, if you don't like, you're probably not ''ever'' going to be happy on Wikipedia). People are blocked for blatantly pushing a particular point of view on Wikipedia, not for why they're pushing that point of view. [[User:A Man In Black|A Man In Black]] 00:19, 28 June 2007 (PDT)
====Scenario 2 : Self-Citation====
Academic journals normally have one of two policies regarding self-citation:
# Authors may cite their own works.
# Authors may not cite their own works.
Either way, the policy applies equally to every case — that's what it means to be a policy.
Of course, academic journals don't ''normally'' allow authors to publish under pseudonyms, and especially not to submit articles under names that hide their identities from the journal editors and publishers themselves.
So the Wikipedia system systematically introduces additional wrinkles into the relationship that normally exists among author, publisher, and reader.