Sat 21st March 2009, 11:22pm
QUOTE(LessHorrid vanU @ Sat 21st March 2009, 10:08pm)
I think that, in a nutshell, that these are the two different takes on the matter of whether this benefits the (agreed) problem of protecting BLP's.
I agree with Doc, it will not protect the insidious editing of middle tier (as regards public visibility) - sometimes top tier - BLP's, but it will stop the drive by vandalism of lower tier BLP's; those whose articles do not have anyone watching over them, and whose subjects may feel particularly powerless in regards to having a big website publishing wrong/insulting/libelous material on them.
Per PM, I agree that it is a matter of introducing a concept that is important here. Once, only Jimbo could block an editor, and then it was a small hand picked (by Jimbo) group and now it is anyone who is permitted by the community... Where do the "anyone can edit" zealots go from here, should this be turned on? Do they make a big stand at the next raft of proposals? Perhaps, but if this has the potential of incremental creep then there might be difficulty in formulating an organised response. Even if there is another battleground on the horizon, the fact that that section of the community has been overcome on a related issue is going to encourage hereto ditherers to support the protection of BLP subjects.
Speaking of ditherers - I had best place my name on the supporting list.
Here is my problem.
I do not believe that "drive-by vandalism" is a significant risk to BLP victims. Sure, it makes wikipedia look stupid and annoys the hell out of the vandal-slayers. But ultimately, the obvious vandalism is seldom libellous because it is obvious.
If it is obvious to a "click-click" vandal-slayer, then it will be obvious to the reader. If it is obvious to the reader, then it is unlikely to damage the subject's reputation.
The real risk to the BLP victim is the edit which looks credible, perhaps even has an apparent source, but is actually malicious, distorting, or just lies.
If you flag-protect all BLPs, then you need an army of teenagers to be reviewing the edits - these people will only spot the obvious stuff. Win for the vandal obsessed - useless for the victim.
The only way in which flagged could be useful would be to deploy it on a targeted group of articles: those where there have been BLP violations that have not been spotted by vandal-fighters and quickly reverted. So, at least someone who's been the victim of credible libels or hatchet-jobbery knows that all edits to their article will be reviewed by a limited and diligent group of watchers.
As to the general BLP problem and how to prevent abuse, the ONLY solution is to remove all underwatched and thus undermaintained bios by significantly raising the notability threshhold. There is simply no other solution. The wiki model cannot maintain the hundreds of thousands of BLPs that it does.
In short, I am strongly opposed to enabling flagged protections on all BLPs, and in any case, I do not see flagged as anything more than a potential light weapon in the onslaught that is the BLP libel machine.