Fri 21st November 2008, 5:15pm
QUOTE(Casliber @ Thu 20th November 2008, 5:31pm)
I went to bed musing on this whole civililty thing, trying to figure some sort of algorithm about why (and what) it is the problem — I guess it is something along the lines thus:
*A positive and collaborative atmosphere is highly important (if not essential) to the whole collaborative editing thing.
*Thus, any posting or exchange which gratuitously aims to deteriorate the atmosphere between editors is a no-no. This includes baiting and snide remarks of people already angry as well as 'incivility'. I always try to look at the malignance or intent rather than the language, so an explosive 'fuck off' means less than something really cutting or demeaning said with polite language.
Not sure where to go with this as yet, I suppose trawling through all the archives (oh gawd...)....to see if I am not reinventing the wheel
The concept of civility
does appear to be one of those abstractions which Wikipedians perennially struggle with.
On Wikiversity, the official Civility Policy
provides some examples of serious breaches of civility
QUOTE(Examples of Serious Breaches of Civility on Wikiversity)
More serious examples include:
- Personal attacks
o Racial, ethnic, and religious slurs
o Profanity directed at another contributor
- Defacing user pages
- Giving users derogatory names via Pagemove Trolling
- Calling for unjustified bans or blocks
This style of interaction between editors drives away contributors, distracts others from more important matters, and weakens the entire community.
Note, especially, that two of the above examples include common practices of admins: Defacing user pages and calling for (and even summarily executing) unjustified bans or blocks.
It is a precept as old as the Rule of Law itself that one must justify a ban with a provable cause of action. And yet it is common to block or ban rival editors on arbitrary, capricious, and specious grounds whilst bypassing the checks and balances of community or judicial review.
And so there is both the irony and the disgrace of profoundly incivil conduct by unethical admins who routinely block, ban, deface, and baleet user pages without just cause, without review, without due process, and without remorse.
QUOTE(One @ Thu 20th November 2008, 5:44pm)
I agree in principle, Casliber.
The problem seems to be that "civility" is an excuse to block people you don't like. This is why "Civil POV pushers" infuriate some admins. The site is more focused on user speech than wholesale destruction to articles, and since we rarely look at the latter, "civility" is the most common excuse for dealing with users — whether their article editing is problematic or benign.
I should also add that civility rules aren't usually applied against admins. If you think about it, admins are the ones who would be most capable of creating an oppressive working environment. Ideally these would be flipped; admins would be removed of their bit for incivility, while users would have a somewhat longer rope so long as their editing quality is good. The current situation creates its own kind of oppressive environment due to the backwards double standard.
I agreed that civility rules should exist, but I don't agree with the current regime.
The current regime exemplifies incivility by dint of their bullying practices. The primarily tool of the bully is to block or ban someone for capricious and undemonstrated reasons, without the checks and balances of a review by neutral parties.
QUOTE(Pumpkin Muffins @ Thu 20th November 2008, 6:15pm)
The old blocking rules identified 'disruption' as a valid reason for blocking. It was subjective and required an administrator's judgment to interpret and use. Then, a couple of years ago the words 'civil' and 'civility' were thrown into the block policy. Then some admins started blocking for 'civility' whenever Giano made a good point. I personally find the stupidity of those admins far more disruptive, not to mention offensive, than anything Giano ever did.
Precisely so. Another instance of irony, in which the block for the specious reason of "disruption" is genuinely disruptive of civil process of resolving issues that divide rival factions. The current practice is for the dominant faction to kibosh editors promoting the minority viewpoint. And of course the ethical viewpoint is traditionally a minority viewpoint when facing down the pitchfork wielding mob.
QUOTE(One @ Fri 21st November 2008, 10:54am)
QUOTE(JoseClutch @ Fri 21st November 2008, 12:45am)
The big problem is that "civility" is one of the few things you can block someone for, or get someone blocked for, and make it stick. Sockpuppeting as well, and spamming. But that is about all.
But "persistent fringe POV pusher"? Very hard. "Disinterested in working together but polite?" Very hard.
So people grasp at the straws that have traction.
I agree 100%. That's why civil POV pushing really can be a problem. But that's a problem of Wikipedia where we look at the behavior rather than the expertise. Our anti-elitism, and all that.
Eventually those straws are too weak to support and sustain the outlandish bullying practices of unethical admins who at best gain a temporary advantage by abusing their power to haphazardly block and ballet rival editors who seek to introduce more ethical practices into an increasingly unstable and unsustainable WikiCulture.