Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2007/Candidates/Kingboyk/questions

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2007 board elections
Organization


Please ask me questions here, new questions at the bottom. --Steve 11:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

Wikinews and Accredited reporters attending events[edit]

Wikinews may be one of the lesser-known projects, but we recently managed to get a contributor entry to the G8 conference. Efforts were made to get the Board involved in the drafting of a letter for the reporter's entry to the G8, but these received no response. As an involved party there is more about this issue on Eloquence's questions page [1]. What is your opinion on this, it is - I believe - an issue the board should take seriously. Those of us who contribute on Wikinews are ambitious enough to think that we can overtake the Wikipedia article count (although I may be retired before we manage it there are new news stories every day). As we really want to be able to do truly original reporting we need people who can "almost" say they represent us. Do you support this, and do you believe the board should have been involved for something as important as sending a reporter to the G8 conference? --Brian McNeil / talk 21:10, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the question. Wikinews is an important project, and in many ways a quite remarkable one. That we now have the clout to send a reporter to a major international event such as the G8 Conference is really quite wonderful. Naturally, then, the problems you have outlined concern me - what, prey tell, was the outcome? Did you get a reporter to the conference or was the opportunity lost? I think that answers the first part of your question; yes, I support sending accredited reporters chosen by the community to newsworthy events wherever possible.
To answer the second part of your question, the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation is entrusted with the good governance of the Foundation, including finance, planning, staff issues, and so on. Ordinarily, the Board is not involved in day to day administration: not only do we have staff to do this, we have our most important asset - the community. The Foundation wiki says it is not the role of Board members to "[interfere] in day-to-day operations, except in emergencies". That said, the impending failure to send a reporter to such an important world event would count as an emergency in my book. Wikinews:Accreditation policy isn't the clearest policy I've ever read, and after doing some a little reading through old mailing list discussions and so on, it's not exactly clear to me how it's intended to work. I do believe that this is an important issue and that somebody should have stepped in to help, whatever the process is meant to be.
Looking to the future, which is far more important, we clearly need to re-evaluate the accreditation scheme to ensure that trusted reporters chosen by the Wikinews community are able to receive their passes. It's not the role of the Board to micro-manage, but we certainly should take an interest in ensuring the process is in place and working and that the day to day administration is delegated to the proper person or persons. Finally, I have to wonder - per my private personal platform statement - whether Wikinews is one of our projects which would benefit from being independent. It's content is "organic" and to an extent transient, rather different from the majority of our sites which are reference works rather than news, and it would appear that being part of a larger project is bringing some unnecessary bureacracy. Please note that this is just food for thought at this stage, and an attempt to stimulate debate. I'm not actually proposing that you become independent, merely suggesting it as something your project might want to think about, and that the Foundation might want to consider as part of a wider-reaching strategy review/roadmap. --Kingboyk 11:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your comprehensive response, and taking the time to look into our accreditation policy. The letter that I personally sent to our reporter is quoted on DragonFire1024's questions page. We got the guy in, but only got a couple of stories out of it. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:38, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome, and thanks for replying to me. Good luck with your project! --Kingboyk 15:26, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Non-free images and other media[edit]

What are your opinions on the use of non-free images and media on Wikimedia Foundation projects? Should they be used at all, or disallowed completely? And what do you think about the 23 March board resolution on this issue? Is it sufficient, too much, or does not go far enough. Thanks. Zzyzx11 00:50, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I think the resolution gets it about right. Our business is free content (in beer and in speech), and the bottom line is that wherever possible we should be publishing and using freely licenced images and media. However, in my opinion there must be exceptions. Creating quality educational material has to be our top priority, and sometimes that necessitates the use of copyrighted images - quite legally and in my opinion quite morally too. The resolution reflects this. At this stage, I don't propose any change to the Foundation's licencing policy vis-a-vis images and media.
Wikipedia is now a top ten website, and that ought to bring with it some clout. Whilst in fact the resolution already says "An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals", I think it would be worthwhile for the Board to issue a press release on this and drum up some publicity targeted at PR agencies and copyright owners. I'm quite sure we have enough power to move at least some new press pack photos into free licences. Generally, press pack photos are high quality professional portraits, issued to the media free of charge as a way of promoting a person. There's no reason at all why such photographs should not be released under, say, a Creative Commons licence and, if they are, everybody benefits. More preferable of course is a user-created free image, and we're starting to see those in ever increasing numbers, although sometimes the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Hopefully this can only improve with time.
On the English Wikipedia, we have had a bot tag all non-free images with new, easily parseable template names. This makes it easier for downstream publishers to use our content devoid of any non-free images. If other projects haven't done the same, I would encourage them to do so.
In the interests of disclosure I should point out that I have been quite vocal in defending the use of certain non-free images, most specifically album covers, on the English Wikipedia. The policy says non-free images may "complement (within narrow limits) articles about copyrighted contemporary works". As an editor most active in the area of popular music, I consider album art to be irreplaceable and (in my sphere of interest) of huge importance. Whether or not they are within the narrow limits defined by the Foundation's policy is moot (as interpretation of Law always is); I contend that they are. I don't see this as particularly important to my Candidacy as, unless there's a sudden attempt to delete all album covers, I don't propose any changes to the media licencing policy right now. I think that just about answers your questions; if not, please let me know. --Kingboyk 12:15, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Portraits of living notable individuals and other similar images are routinely deleted because a free image could theoretically be created, at some point in the future, leaving lots of biographies indefinitely with no images of their subject. The rationale I've seen is that including a non-free image prevents free ones from being created. I somewhat agree, but think the harm done to our educational goals by deleting the images outweighs the potential benefits, and that there are plenty of better ways to encourage the creation of free content that don't destroy information. What are your thoughts? — Omegatron 03:21, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree with you, and have argued along those lines in the past. However, I believe it's a minority view; there's also a substantial minority who believe we should have no fair use at all. Therefore, I think we have a reasonable compromise. I propose no changes to our image and media policies at this time; if in the future what you describe becomes an insurmountable problem, or there is a clear sea-change in the views of our communities, we can revisit the issue. --Kingboyk 10:37, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Ah yes, the clout of Wikipedia. And while we're dealing with those stingy press packet holders, why don't we also right a couple dozen countries, the people of Europe, etc. and expect them to bow to the clout of Wikipedia. Copyright is important--for a bunch of reasons. The first is that it protects the artists. Encyclopedia's haven't had a problem with this before and they haven't tried to clobber people over the head asking for copyrights either. We shouldn't either. The idea that copyright is bad and that we should interfere in this process goes against so many things that Wikipedia is for--starting with just reporting, just being an encyclopedia and staying out of the way. And even if everyone agrees to willingly starve, there are so many places where copyright protects the image--not the image holder. The international symbol of access? It's currently being used as fair use--only in one article, even though so many more need it. Why? Because it's copyrighted--to keep people from using it to represent something other than restricted mobility access, or by a person with restricted mobility. It's copyright doesn't cause a problem--not to have the image in articles for places that have restricted mobility access--not even to be used in a userbox--the copyright gives permission for people with restricted mobility to use the image to represent themselves that way. But Wikipedia sees copyright and the answer was no---though Jimbo kindly offered to write to them and ask them to release it. An entire category of euro images was (I believe) deleted because the people of Europe hold the copyright. Does that copyright prevent us from using the image in ANY meaningful way? No. We haven't even gotten rid of most of these images because they aren't being removed by bot--they have self made tags and categories, or they're loaded as public domain (someone takes a photo of money or a flag and...), which means that the problem spreads over numbers of wikis and is prevelant on Commons as well. Commons would need to be cleaned up no matter what, but there are lots of images that are copyrighted, but where the copyright gives us permission, and where we have no alternatives.
Is this not an insurmountable problem? Add on all of the various types of images problems. We have people arguing whether a fair use image of an actor is acceptable on an article about a character that the actor played. If it's a big difference--clearly not. But what if they only gained weight or changed their hair or wore slightly different clothes? Editors are spending oodles of time on minutia of varying sorts--it's no longer the editors of an article who try to decide what images they think are appropriate for the article that they are writing--someone going through image files and tagging them comes to the article and decides that the article can go without images or that, the character doesn't look that different from the actor and zip, it's gone! Is this not an insurmountable problem? Miss Mondegreen talk  12:11, June 27 2007 (UTC)
I am probably the most lenient candidate on "fair use". Indeed, I've got myself into a few scrapes over it in the past. I've also made clear in my answers here that writing a quality encyclopedia is our most important goal; arguing over images which we can legally use isn't the best use of our time, in my opinion. Nonetheless, the Foundation's remit is to produce free content, and as a Board member I have to be mindful of that.
I don't believe I've ever said copyright is bad. Some candidates may feel that way; I don't. We could debate copyright for days, but suffice to say even our content is copyright (to the author). Perhaps you need to reread what I have written?
The Foundation has a policy which I believe is a fair compromise (remember, some people don't want us to use non-free images at all!), and I propose no changes to it. I'd like to see us use our clout to encourage the publication of more free content specifically in the area of portraits of famous living people (Creative Commons, preferably, which is not anti copyright in any way), i.e. press packs. These promotional materials are already intended for publication without payment of royalties; why not formalise this and make it easier for us and other publishers by releasing them as copyrighted Creative Commons images?
Do we face an insurmountable problem right now? I don't think so. Not long ago, an article I co-wrote (w:The KLF) was on the front page of the English Wikipedia complete with a non-free image, because there is no free alternative. I'm bothered that we can't use album covers in discographies, but we can use them in articles about albums (at the present time, anyway). We are getting new, free images of living people being uploaded every day. The process you describe of people coming along to "your" article and removing unfairly used non-free images or making other changes is, I'm afraid, how wiki works. As the warning says below the text box, "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here."
Honestly, it's very hard to satisfy everybody. The Italian wiki as far as I know is very anti non-free images; some folks think we should use whatever content it is legal for us to use, in the interests of writing a quality encyclopedia. I lean towards to the latter (as above, quality is most important to me), but I accept the Foundation's current policy as "about right". --Kingboyk 12:47, 27 June 2007 (UTC) PS I'm intrigued by the "euro images" deletion. Could you give me a link please?

Impending failure[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation at a corporate level is soaked in its own drama and if conditions don't improve soon, it will crash and burn. I want the newly elected trustees to act as catalystic mediators to simply and peacefully transform drama into productivity and then success for the foundation. How do you plan on doing this? Signed, your friendly neighborhood MessedRocker. 06:06, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I think if you elect me to the Board that's exactly what you'll get. I believe my track record is one of quiet achievement and of consensus building, not least through my considerable involvement in WikiProjects on the English Wikipedia. I'm not a Wikipedian for the politics, nor am I a careerist. I care deeply about our Project, and don't care much at all for drama.
All that said, it remains to be seen whether the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia will still be here in 10 or 20 years time, or whether we'll crash and burn. The latter is certainly a possibility; why pretend otherwise? We've come a long way and we've achieved a great deal, but our underlying model is in no way proven just yet. I'll do all I can to help the Foundation move forward and to ensure that we are here to stay, and I can't say much fairer than that.
For more specific commitments and concerns of mine (including comments on finance and fundraising), please refer to my private personal platform statement. If after reading that you have any more specific questions about how I would operate as a Board member please fire some more questions at me. Cheers. --Kingboyk 15:24, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Change[edit]

Hi Stephen,

What is the top 3 things you want to have changed in the current strategy of the foundation? Thanks, Effeietsanders 09:27, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Hello, and thanks for the questions. I've outlined in some detail my thoughts at User:Kingboyk/2007 Board election/Personal statement. I think the top 3 strategic changes would have to be:
  • Thinking bigger in terms of fundraising, and considering hiring somebody to manage our fundraising efforts.
  • Encouraging our sub-projects to improve the quality of our articles instead of quantity.
  • Becoming more pro-active in attracting editors and readers from outside Europe and North America.
In terms of strategic planning, I have advocated the creation of a roadmap for our future development. We need to outline where we are going and how we are going to get there; currently we seem to be drifting along with no real direction. --Kingboyk 19:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Added Value[edit]

Hi Stephen,

What kind of value do you add to the current set of boardmembers in the area of Legal, Financial, Accounting etc expertise? Thanks, Effeietsanders 09:27, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I am competent in all of the above, but an expert in none. I have studied some English Law but I am a not a lawyer; I can read a balance sheet but I'm not an accountant; and I've sat on the Finance Committee of another large volunteer-run organisation. The Foundation employs a laywer and an accountant, and I'm perfectly capable of listening to their professional advice and acting on it. I do not accept any suggestion that every member of the Board should be a hot shot; we employ some excellent people and presumably pay them quite healthy wages, to advise the Board on just these issues :) Indeed, one of my strengths as a candidate is that I'm a regular, unaffected Wikipedian. --Kingboyk 20:29, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Professional?[edit]

By nature and design, wiki communities are an amateur, unstable amalgam of widely differing perspectives and agendas. There is no individual or collective responsibility and no competence test for participation. Yet, the board of the ever-expanding and legally constituted foundation that runs one of the world’s top websites, needs to be highly professionally, highly competent, collectively coherent and responsible. It must have business savvy, and be willing to make hard-nosed and even unpopular decisions. In your opinion:

  1. Is the current board, vision and structure fit for that purpose?
  2. Are you? (Would you be a competent candidate for a board in any non-profit venture?)

(same asked of all candidates)--Doc glasgow 10:49, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi Doc. Your questions are based on your preceding statement of opinion, which makes it difficult to answer them without seemingly accepting your opinion :) It is my position that this is a grassroots project which needs to be governed, as far as possible, by members of the community - the people who create the content and do all the important hard work. We have many competent and talented people within our Community who are ready and willing to serve (I'm one of them). Any competent board member should be capable of listening to and acting on professional advice, and that's most of us.
Talk, as others have, of "captains of industry" running Wikimedia is all very well, but these people became captains of industry by being ruthlessly selfish and it's unlikely they share our philosophical or egalitarian values. We are only a website; even if the Foundation were to die tommorow the content would live on. Therefore, I have to reject to an extent your assertion that our status as a top ten site suddenly makes it imperative that we are governed by professionals. We must retain our core values, we must choose the best people from within our community to represent us, and we must hire well. Indeed, there's way way too much focus on personalities around here (around the Foundation and projects in general). Let's concentrate on getting the job done.
  1. I'm not a politician nor do I want to engage in negative campaigning, so I will merely ask the rhetorical question: did we get where we are today because of or despite the Board?
  2. Yes. I would be a competent candidate for any non-profit venture. I am not, as I've said before, a professional nor an expert in corporate or non-profit governance, but I'm smart enough to do the job with the assistance of our hired professionals and my more experienced colleagues on the Board. It's a little curious that nobody has mentioned technical knowledge. That I have.
--Kingboyk 15:56, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Ads, business dev., GHGs.[edit]

  1. On the board, will you vote for ads on Wikimedia sites?
    1. yes
      1. pop-ups/flash/banners/graphics
      2. flash/banners/graphics in skin whitespace or at bottom
      3. company logos in site notices
      4. prominent text ads
      5. company names in site notices
      6. text ads in skin whitespace or at bottom
      7. opt out
      8. opt in
      9. other
    2. maybe
      1. only for a huge amount of money
      2. only during budget emergencies
      3. only if editors support it
    3. never
    4. other
  2. What are your thoughts on the foundation's hiring of a business developer?
  3. How would you vote on the board about the foundation reducing or offsetting anthropogenic greenhouse gases, e.g. power used by hardware, flights, etc.?

Thanks. -- Jeandré, 2007-06-21t14:00z

1. I reject categorically pop-up ads, Flash and large graphic adverts. They are obtrusive and unprofessional, and I'm quite sure their presence would alienate a number of readers and editors. Furthermore, the runaway success of Google AdWords proves that they're not necessary.
It does seem a little peculiar that there are so many Wikipedia mirrors who offer nothing offer than "our" content plus adverts, whilst we struggle for funding, and I'm certainly not shy in suggesting that we may have to be ad-supported some time too. I'd prefer it if we stayed ad-free, but if our financial situation warranted it my choice would be opt-out.
2. I've outlined my thoughts on our brand in some detail here. I am however not a marketing expert and would listen to the community feedback and professional advice before taking any decision.
3. I think hiring a business developer is a good move. Of course, this needs to be kept under review to ensure we are getting good value for money. I would prefer that we focussed on charitable donations and fundraising over commercial activities, however, and have proposed hiring somebody to manage that effort. Perhaps the two roles could be combined?
4. It's a wonderful idea that I support wholeheartedly in principle. However, it's doubtful we can afford it right now (I'll leave the debate about whether anybody can afford not to take action like this for another time). I do like the idea of a specific fundraiser to pay for going carbon neutral and would support that if it were felt to be practical. In summary, then, I would support this as a Board member only when it was financially prudent to do so. I suspect that would not be for a long time to come, unfortunately. --Kingboyk 16:07, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Experience and Qualifications[edit]

Your platform makes no mention of any relevant experience to running a major organisation; please detail what experience you have in the running of corporate organisations, specifically regarding their finance, management, marketing, and human resources. --Alison Wheeler 11:57, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

With respect, you've placed the same question to numerous candidates, whereas in fact my platform points out my involvement with the finance and governance of a Student Union (with it's associated commercial activities). I've also made my position quite clear above that I'm quite capable of listening to and acting on professional advice; I reject and object to the notion that the Foundation should only be run by corporate types. We are a grassroots organisation. Thanks. --Kingboyk 12:39, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Student Unions (with very few exceptions worldwide) are hardly 'major organisations', but that aside I would express some concern you would be happier following advice than leading. The Board of the Wikimedia Foundation is, whether you like it or not, a Corporation (a 501(c)3 to be precise) with all the legal and business obligations that places upon the members of its Board. Grass needs to be fertilised and weeded, but thank you for your reply. --Alison Wheeler 13:02, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
The turnover of the organisation in question was in the order of 6-7 figures, with a sizeable commercial operation and some responsibilities for pastoral care. I'm quite sure the comparison is a fair one. Nonetheless, I don't want to be clutching at straws. The fact is that, in line with most but not all of the other candidates, I am not a career businessman, lawyer or accountant; I believe I am, however, sufficiently competent to hold this post and carry out my duties per the law. Thanks again. --Kingboyk 10:29, 27 June 2007 (UTC) PS Apologies to all for my absence over the last couple of days; I will endeavour to catch up on answering questions today and tommorow.

Usability[edit]

Most Wikipedia users are technically inclined, but usability studies have turned up serious problems for non-geeks, and many of these problemsd remain uncorrected.

Have you read these usability studies? Do you consider them to be important? Would you commission more such studies? How would you implement their results?

Here's an example from just a couple months ago: a journalist working for a major newspaper thought that "there's no way to tell who wrote the entry or how many people contributed to it" until one of his readers corrected him -- he works for the media! How many regular people know how to check an article's contributors?
 If i might be permitted to opine for a second: the fact that you can view the revisions of an article should be obvious from the design of the webpage, but it's not: "history" is a terrible, non-obvious name for the function.

Put yourself in your parents' shoes: you're reading a page about Thailand that you found through Google, and you see a square that says "history". You click the square expecting to read about the history of Thailand and suddenly you're faced with a long, mysterious list of nonsensical words and numbers. You click the back button.
 Aaron Swartz gave one of the best summaries of the issue that I've seen:

"The page design the site uses encourages specific actions by making some links clear and prominent. Software functions like categories make certain kinds of features possible. The formatting codes used for things like infoboxes and links determine how easy it is for newcomers to edit those pieces of the site.

All of these things are political choices, not technical ones. It's not like there's a right answer that's obvious to any intelligent programmer. And these choices can have huge effects on the community.

...

One presentation was by a usability expert who told us about a study done on how hard people found it to add a photo to a Wikipedia page. The discussion after the presentation turned into a debate over whether Wikipedia should be easy to to use. Some...questioned whether confused users should be allowed to edit the site at all -- were their contributions even valuable?

As a programmer, I have a great deal of respect for the members of my trade. But with all due respect, are these really decisions that the programmers should be making?"

How would you solve this problem?

Tlogmer 00:09, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I haven't read the usability studies (I will if elected to the Board), but I can't say I'm surprised. Whilst I personally have no problems using Mediawiki, it is a complex piece of software. The image uploading feature is particularly poor, and I think Mediawiki isn't the best solution in its current form for Commons. I know there has been some discussion on improving the upload experience, and I have no doubt the issue will be revisited. (The specific issue with "History" is a skinning matter, however; it's not "History" on every Mediawiki site, and it's easily changed.)
I believe that issues of usability might best be covered in roadmap I have proposed we develop and, yes, at some point it wouldn't be a bad idea to commission an independent report. As a programmer myself I can assure you that I'm not the right person to be designing a UI either! I would point out, however, that the Mediawiki developers are very responsive and flexible; I'm sure if the Foundation were to present them with changes we need to enhance usability they would do their best to implement it. What is absolutely certain is that if we are only accessible to people with technical skills we are systematically biased; Wikipedia's article base already reflects that systematic bias to quite a considerable extent. --Kingboyk 11:52, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Recruiting expertise[edit]

Danny Wool has proposed replacing the current board with "a professional board consisting of captains of industry and academia" -- presumbaly, web leaders and information academics, etc. Do you agree? What do you think Wikipedia can learn from, for example, professional writers of paper encyclopedias like Britannica? How should the foundation best recruit their advice and put it into practice? Tlogmer 00:09, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I've made it clear in my answers above that I am diametrically opposed to that outcome. That's not to say the idea is without merit; if we aim to be a sleek, Google-like giant then perhaps that is the way forward. Personally, I believe we are a grassroots organisation and we should be run by our community, from top to bottom. We trust "ordinary" people to write our content (which is more important than the Foundation itself, dare I say) so we can trust them to run our business affairs too. We may have a rockier path this way, but we will stay true to our vision. What philosophical ties does the average captain of industry have to a free encyclopedia, a free newspaper, or a free image repository? Probably none. I believe that the Foundation until now has been a wonderful example of "people power"; if we lose that, we lose.
I would, however, like to see greater collaboration with the world of academia (this goes back to my previous statements on how we need to raise our game vis-a-vis quality), and I would like to see more academics become Wikipedians (or Wikiquoters, Wikinews reporters, etc etc). Those people are then free to stand for election to the Board like any other member of our community. I can't tolerate wheeling them in as Board members without them having been Wikipedians first, however. I don't think I can be any clearer on this.
With regards to printed encyclopedias such as Britannica, we already have them as a benchmark to compare our project against. I would hope that every Wikipedian would aim to surpass those publications in terms of quality (neutrality, breadth, reliablity, prose); alas we're not there yet - far from it. What else can we learn from them? I'm not sure. Perhaps (vanity aside) we should be asking what they can learn from us? --Kingboyk 12:09, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Appropriate conduct for Board members[edit]

Recently, in a non-Mediawiki forum, Erik Moeller made the following comments: "Cyde's and Kelly's arguments are on the same level: they are driven by blind hostility, not thoughtful analysis." [2] Do you believe that responding to criticism of one's credentials and conduct as a member of the Board with personal attacks such as these is appropriate for a member of the Board of Trustees? Kelly Martin 00:55, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

In general terms, no, I don't believe that "responding to criticism of one's credentials and conduct as a member of the Board with personal attacks" is appropriate. Far from it. I don't wish to comment any further on the specific exchange you link to, however, as the question isn't about me or my role as a Board member, and I'm not in the business of points scoring. Voters may read the exchange for themselves, if they are interested. Thanks. --Kingboyk 12:52, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikiquote & copyright[edit]

What's your stance regarding Wikiquote and copyrights? As it is, most wikiquotes depend and extensively use fair use content, which is contrary to the philosophy of most other projects. What are your views on this? Should wikiquotes move to only free content? Should resolution on fair use have a special exemption for wikiquote? Should fair use be removed from Wikiquote after deadline for the resolution? drini [es:] [commons:] 16:06, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

A Wikiquote using only free content would be a total and utter waste of time. Of course Wikiquote is a special case - it's very remit is the publication of "second hand" material - the wit, wisdom, stupidity, profundity, profanity, etc etc of notable people. It can't be done without taking full advantage of copyright exemptions and allowances. (The same goes for small, properly attributed quotations of copyright text in Wikipedia). --Kingboyk 13:02, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
But board resolution applies to all wikimedia projects, and it forbids fair use unless it's justified case by case. So, would you work on a wikiquote special resolution? drini [es:] [commons:] 19:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
It's something I would look into, yes. It may also be that Wikiquote is one of the small number of projects which might be better off as independent? --Kingboyk 12:01, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Quality vs. Quantity question[edit]

This question is coming from someone whose scope of contributions is largely small, underwhelming articles, none of which come even close to GA status, let alone FA. I noted a quote from you where you said for some wikis you might like to see a "moratorium on new articles or a Featured Article drive" to improve the quality of the existing content. Particularly for some of the underrepresented areas of wikipedia, like underdeveloped countries or other subjects which might be somewhat objectively important but which don't currently have a lot of editor interest, I could see a real problem with creating the proposed moratorium on new articles. This is not to say that I would necessarily object to some sort of drive to create FA's though. I'd be interested in any comments you might like to make about any details of such a moratorium proposal, although I can understand how the idea might be only in the formative stages and such details might not yet be available. Warlordjohncarter 20:19, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi John. I should first of all point out that I can't take credit for the moratorium idea; it's something I've seen proposed before and felt was worthy of consideration. In all likelihood it wouldn't be accepted by the community, but I feel it's important to at least stimulate some debate on article quality. So, besides being in the formative stages, I'd see it as an opening gambit. For the sake of argument, however, a moratorium would be designed to focus editor attention on improving existing articles, including stubs - if you are telling me we have red links for such important topics as countries I would be quite shocked! Remember, the English Wikipedia is heading towards 2 million articles; the problem as I see it is that most of them are below-par and many of them are appallingly bad. I also have to apologise because hereon in, my answer is focussed on the English Wikipedia which, as you know, is where I do most of my editing.
Danny has said we need 100,000 Featured Articles, and I agree with him. At current rates, we just can't achieve this in any reasonable time frame (according to w:WP:100K we'll all be dead by then). There is a school of thought which says we have no problem, that article quality will improve over time, but if "over time" means beyond the natural lifetime of everybody reading this in June 2007, can we really wait that long? I believe not, and that the essay Wikipedia is failing is closer to the mark.
My desire is to raise the priority of this issue. Unfortunately I don't have any easy answers. --Kingboyk 14:07, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

IRC Debate[edit]

Hi, as this seems to get closer to the time that the elections are to start, I thought it would be best to go ahead and attempt to get the unofficial IRC debate a time and a place. By the time analysis on the talk page, the best time for the debate appears to be 1800 UTC, to 1900 UTC. As it would be best for this debate to occur before the elections, June 27 was chosen as the day. I know that this is short notice, but the whole unofficial debate thing was on a very short notice to start with. I hope that you are able to attend. Again the time is 18:00 UTC, June 27, 2007, it will be held at ##wikimedia-debate. Please do note that this debate is unofficial, and you are not required to attend. —— Eagle101 Need help? 20:38, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Donors and scope[edit]

Asked of all candidiates: Okay, I'm not naive so yeah, it follows that large donors will probably get some pull when policies, direction and the scope of the foundation get decided, but what's your take on it all? How far do we bend to satisfy our donors, and to what extent are ideals of the foundation non-negotiable? In five years say, would you expect the foundation to still exist in the same legal fashion as now and assert ownership over the assets it currently has? Steve block 20:44, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

The ideals of the Foundation are totally non-negotiable. We can do business deals (such as licencing our logo), we can even consider becoming advertising supported, but the day we decide to allow corporate donors to dictate policy is the day the Foundation has failed. Don't misunderstand me; we need to be adventurous and we need to become more business minded (the recent recruitment of a business developer is a good step, provided the post is monitored to ensure we get value for money). There's simply no need to give donors this level of influence and it would be foolish to do so.
The Foundation doesn't own much in the way of intellectual property. All content is owned by the people who created it, unless they released it to the public domain (and in some jurisdictions releasing to the public domain is moot). So, I'm struggling to understand that part of your question - if you can reword it so I understand please do and I'll be happy to attempt an answer. Do you mean our brands and websites, our tangible assets, or something else?
Do I expect the Foundation to still exist in it's current form in 5 years time? I see no reason why the form should change. Whilst I am not a lawyer, it's my understanding that 501(c) is the most appropriate corporate structure for an organisation of this type. I can't see it changing unless the Foundation were to move overseas, and that seems unlikely. I'm also quite sure we'll still be here in 5 years time. There are challenges ahead, not least financial challenges, and it's not going to be all rosy, but I'm confident we can do it. I would like to see us in a better financial situation by then; and I'd like us to have a clearer vision of where we're going (indeed, after 5 years we should not just have a clear roadmap but we should be well on our way down the road). I'd hope also that by 2012 we will have taken some serious steps towards improving the quality of our offering. --Kingboyk 15:25, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
You've pretty much covered it, truth be told. What I was angling at was where you stand on, as another candidate intends, the hiving off of some projects, anything like that. There are other issues, but en:WP:BEANS applies there. Thanks for a thoughtful and insightful answer. Steve block 15:50, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Multilingual collaboration[edit]

Dear Kingboyk, how should the Foundation stimulate en.wiki users to learn foreign languages? And give us examples of successful multilingual collaboration in Wikimedia projects please. Best regards, Incnis Mrsi 21:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi and thanks for the question. I don't believe it's the role of the Foundation to tell people they must learn foreign languages. As a provider of free educational resources, however, publishing language guides is well within our remit, and I see that work has begun on these at Wikibooks and Wikiversity.
Multilingual collaboration is sadly lacking between our projects, something I have raised in my candidacy. I think the best example of how multilingual collaboration does work is at Wiktionary (example). --Kingboyk 15:38, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

What do you do when faced with a difficult decision to take ?[edit]

I saw in the recent irc debate the following question. Would you support releasing the state of the foundation's finances quarterly? Why or why not.. Of course, making such a decision is a matter of board-level policy. Now, the job of the board is also oversight. So, let's imagine the hypothesis that the board made a policy for quarterly release, the staff was asked to provide the statements according to the policy... and in spite of this, the report does not come. As board, you are embarassed. First because the policy is not respected. Second because the community is complaining. And third because, with no financial statements, there is no oversight possible. Please imagine you are facing this situation, reminded the staff once, then twice, then three times, and still no report.

What do you do ? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Anthere (talk • contribs) .

My understanding is that we now have an Executive Director to whom staff issues are delegated. If faced with this unlikely scenario - staff wilfully refusing or failing in an unacceptable way to do the job for which they are paid - the Executive Director must implement the Foundation's staff disciplinary code (I trust we have one?) It's really not as difficult a situation as you make out. Of course we have a duty of care, of course I want to see our staff treated well and fairly, but every employer sometimes has to discipline or dismiss staff. Again, I would say I find the scenario you paint rather unconvincing, however. --Kingboyk 17:17, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

fund raiser and chapters[edit]

do you support to facilitate fundraising by offering a direct link to country specific donation possibilities? an example woulde be medecins sans frontier's donation page. in wikimedia's case the donation page for the year end fundraiser would contain flags, and the links behind the flags would go to the donation page of local chapters, for two reasons:

  1. local law (which donators know and can make use of) strengtens donators feeling, that their donations are used at their will
  2. local tax exemption allows to donate up to 50% more without paying more

--ThurnerRupert 12:12, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

It's not something I have considered. Could you please tell me what would happen to the money once it has been received by a local Chapter? What would it be used for and how much of it would the Foundation receive for the important tasks of running the servers, paying staff, buying hardware, and so on? In principle it sounds fine, but as a Board member I must ensure that donations are spent wisely and in particular that we have enough money to keep operating. --Kingboyk 17:39, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
chapters bylaws state "support of wikimedia projects" and many donators even "hardcode" "for servers". currently only a very slim percentage comes from outside the u.s., and we consider the main reason that (especially european) donators choose to give money to other organisations which have local presences but are not wikimedia related. --ThurnerRupert 15:44, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I see, thanks for telling me. This sounds sensible, and a large tax bonus is not to be ignored. If elected to the Board I will certainly look into this and think some more about it. --Kingboyk 21:09, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Committees[edit]

The committee system has been around for roughly a year and a half now, not counting previous initiatives. Several of the committees are now dormant and some never got off the ground. Some, conversely, have done fairly well.

I know this is a long-standing and groan-inducing topic of debate, but what is your view on the committee system? Do you have ideas for reviving the current committee system or making it more functional? Do you think there is a place in the Foundation, in theory at least, for community-based committees to do some of the day-to-day work or oversee certain areas? Who should the committees report to, ideally? Are there new committees that should be formed, or old ones to be reworked?

Sorry about posting my question(s) so late! -- phoebe 00:31, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

When involved in Student Union politics, I found committees to be very helpful in getting specialist work done. The Executive wouldn't have the time or expertise to do every task, and elected committees also allowed more people to become involved in the governance of the Union. Finance committee, for example, scrutinised the accounts and the financial actions of the executive; each year the accounts would then go before the membership at an AGM. Of course, we don't have a "membership" so we don't have an AGM of this kind but, nonetheless, I can see committees being useful in the future as we expand. They allow us to use the particular talents of community members, allow the Board to delegate (or indeed can be set up to "keep an eye" on the Board), and increase involvement. They also cost very little as all members would be volunteers. In theory then, yes, I think this is worthwhile. Looking at "Wikimedia committees" the glaring omissions are "Fundraising" and "Technical". I'm sure it would be helpful to have dedicated people working in these areas and reporting back to the Board.
Thanks for your question; it's provided some food for thought. --Kingboyk 11:23, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Free resources[edit]

Wikipedia, being one of the ten most visited sites in internet, has some negotiation power. I believe we should be able to use this power in order to increase both the freedom and quality of the encyclopedia. In example, the board could contact copyright holders of promotional images (places, objects, models, singers, bands, etc), and convince them to release their items under a free license. I have been doing this myself, but I believe the Board could have better chances than a single person, a WikiProject or even a Wikipedia project. What do you think, do you think this could be a priority? And good luck! -- ReyBrujo 18:37, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Hello, thanks for the question. It wouldn't be practical for the Board to be doing that for individual images - there's far too many, and it's not an efficient use of trustees' time. It's a community job. Nonetheless, I do believe we have some "clout" now which may bring us some leverage with regards to licencing. Please see #Non-free images and other media for my thoughts on this. --Kingboyk 11:29, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Of course, I don't expect the board members, individually, to do this. What I think is that the board, in the name of the Foundation, could prepare a press release requesting free images, so that the press department of the Foundation could contact media and copyright owners (movie makers, records, agencies, etc), and prepare press releases whenever an agreement is reached. In example, the Dutch government gave us a CD with free images of its governing board for us to use. Were not for the Signpost, it would have been just another anonymous success. Instead, the foundation should have released a big press note thanking the government, and inviting others to act in a similar way. Centralizing these press releases (both requesting and thanking) in a single place at the Foundation site would also allow us, individual editors, to demonstrate companies being contacted that others, probably bigger, probably from the same industry sector, had already donated images with no harm to them. And now that Mike is on board as legal counsel, we may also offer legal counsel to companies unsure of releasing content for free (it would be nice, although I guess pretty impossible). Thoughts? -- ReyBrujo 03:30, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
That sounds like a good plan, yes. If I am elected to the Board it's certainly something I will put forward for discussion. --Kingboyk 17:50, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks again for your reply. -- ReyBrujo 13:07, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Several questions[edit]

I am asking these exact same questions of you and all your opponents so I can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

  1. Do you think the Wikimedia Foundation should invest in stocks and bonds so that it has a source of income if donations dry up? If so, should its investment strategy be active or passive, diversified or focus, value or growth?
  2. Do you think the Foundation's spending on travel and conferences before it has a long-term source of income is responsible?
  3. Should some of the Foundation's major financial decisions, such as expansion of the paid staff, be subject to referenda of the editors and donors?
  4. The oversight function -- where edits are hidden even from admins -- has legitimate uses, but the potential for misuse is Orwellian. How can abuse be avoided?
  5. Do you believe control over Wikipedia content policy should ultimately rest with the man who created the skeleton of the site, or the editors who create its flesh and blood and/or their elected representatives?
  6. What is your position on freedom of expression in the User namespace?
  7. Where U.S. copyright law unfairly impedes Wikimedia Foundation projects, should the Foundation lobby for the law to be changed? If so, how should it do so without spending money it can't afford?
  8. To what extent is Wikipedia yet reaching the developing world, and what could you do during your term to speed that up?

Seahen 05:37, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

  1. I would have to take professional advice on that. I would certainly be wary of exposing the Foundation to the vagaries of the stcok market, however - the organisation collapsing because of a bad investment would be intolerable. Funding should never totally dry up if we stick to our mission; if it does (and if other measures such as advertising are insufficient) I'd rather we failed due to public indifference than because we made a bad move on the stock market.
  2. Yes of course. Travel is a reasonable expense required to keep the organisation afloat. First Class travel and 5 star hotels is out of the question, but we have to spend money to keep the Foundation running. Such is life.
  3. I don't think so. That's the job of the Board as trustees. It's my position that all Board members should be elected by our community of editors. Once elected those people need to be trusted to get on with the job in hand.
  4. All systems have potential for abuse. Can you be more specific? There might be something I have missed; if so I'd be happy to tell you how I think it can be fixed.
  5. Let me say that whilst I have never met Jimbo, he seems to be an energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated leader who has done great work for our project. That said, I believe that having a self-appointed "God king" is an anathema to our community spirit and how we should operate. Whilst Jimbo founded the site it is now an independent not-for-profit with a worldwide community, a community which is mature enough to make it's own decision. I believe that Jimbo should no longer have a seat for life on the Board, and that he should edit as a private individual. (This is in my platform statement).
  6. The User namespace exists to facilitate development of the encyclopedia (or dictionary or newspaper or...). It's not a free web hosting service nor are we obliged, as far as I know, to allow free speech there. That said, I prefer to let the individual projects decide on user space policies.
  7. Do you have any examples? Seems purely hypothetical at the moment. In general terms, we are not a lobbying organisation, nor should we ever be spending money we really "can't afford". However, if we were faced with some obstacle which endangered the very existence of our project we would have no choice but to conduct lobbying. If this general answer isn't sufficient you'll need to provide me with a detailed example.
  8. "Developing world" is something of a catch-all phrase (covering countries where PC ownership is low and internet access difficult, through to quite advanced economies with widespread internet access but low usage of our sites). I do believe we need to more effectively target the latter group, and refer you to my Signpost interview for an answer.

Thanks for the interesting questions! --Kingboyk 12:34, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews and building on an unexpected publicity opportunity[edit]

As I would hope you have seen, Wikinews has made a splash in the news as the original non-blog source for the story of a prank edit to w:Chris Benoit's Wikipedia page. Our Alexa rating has skyrocketed, Google news has hundreds of articles that mention - or cite - us. I had planned to sponsor a Writing Contest on Wikinews following these elections - but this seems like too good an opportunity to miss. I've asked a few people to contribute to the prize pot, but most of our local contributors don't have the spare cash.

  • First question, should we do things like this - we've had other competitions in the past and the daily article count has gone up significantly.
  • Second, are you prepared to put your money where our projects are and donate to the prize fund?
  • Third, if you are prepared to donate to the prize pot would you also be prepared to help out as a judge? I feel the impartial position the board should strive to take day to day would be welcome in defining rules and judging a competition. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:16, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Asking an election candidate publically if they will donate money strikes me as being very dubious. People should vote for candidates based on their platform and their qualities, not on how deep their pockets are :) I'm therefore declining to answer questions 2 and 3. Question 1 is for your community to decide and it's not a Board issue. It sounds like a good idea to me though and I wish you luck. --Kingboyk 12:51, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

International Symbol of Access[edit]

If elected, would you act to remove the Foundation's ban on the use of the International Symbol of Access and International Symbol for Deafness outside the scope of fair use? If you are unfamiliar with this issue, it boils down to the fact that these symbols may be freely used for their intended purpose but are extremely unlikely to be released under a free license. Because they are internationally recognized symbols, no free equivalent could be created to replace them. There would be no legal risk to either the Wikimedia Foundation or to downstream users if we were to use these symbols in infoboxes to designate handicapped accessible metro stations, Disney rides, etc. I'm not asking for permission to use them in userboxes or the like. I just think that the current Foundation-level policy of lumping them into the "fair use" category is quite detrimental our goals.

There is actually general consensus to make this change on the English Wikipedia. The only thing standing in the way is the Foundation's policy. —Remember the dot 04:01, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm intending to answer this question, but I need to read up on the issue and think about it first. I'm planning to work on AWB tonight, and I'm likely to be busy during tommorow daytime, so please bear with me. --Kingboyk 17:52, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
All right. Just make sure to answer before the elections end, of course ;-) Remember the dot 23:21, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Unlikely now, but I will look it (and answer), and I'll give you a definitive answer if I'm elected. I'm sorry, but I made a mess of the AWB code repository, which I need to fix it, I have a wedding present to work on, and some official paperwork to do. All jobs seem to have come at once! --Kingboyk 20:22, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

"Attack site" link bans[edit]

On English Wikipedia, there has been some controversy about whether it is, or ought to be, the policy that linking to so-called "attack sites" against Wikipedia and Wikipedians is to be banned. Some administrators have (overzealously, in some others' opinions) removed links to criticism sites from such places as talk pages, evidence pages for ArbCom cases, and even in a few cases from actual articles where they were being used as a source. I wrote an essay on this issue. What is your opinion? Dtobias 04:01, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

My opinion is that, unless I were to receive legal advice to the contrary, this is a matter for the community of the English Wikipedia and for ARBCOM, not for the Board. I'm not convinced that we need a Foundation-wide policy on this; the less rules we have at a central level the better, lest we become a heaving bureaucracy. --Kingboyk 13:07, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

How will you deal with this...[edit]

Whenever I can not find the specific answer to a question in an article I turn to Wikipedia help. In many instances, however, the reply is devoid of thought or knowledge and merely a student's guess to fill blank space on the page as if to say: "Here is my guess. I've done my job. You have received my authoritative response." The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.100.1.114 (talk • contribs) .

That's wiki. The person who answered your question is a volunteer, and it cost you nothing. They're not an employee, and they've done their best to help you. You have to use their answer as a starting point for your own research I'm afraid. --Kingboyk 13:05, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Quantity vs quality[edit]

In "Change" above you said: Encouraging our sub-projects to improve the quality of our articles instead of quantity. How would you do this? Would the threshold of notability have to be raised, or would you encourage new editors to improve their articles (perhaps by a bot message)? Or perhaps you have another answer? Totnesmartin 08:15, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

How to deal with consensus of uninformed editors[edit]

Sometimes a popular opinion is contradicted by scientific evidence. Majority of editors stick to the popular opinion (which is also theirs) and vote to delete all pages that contradict their opinion (intrinsic weakness of democracy). As a result Wikipedia propagates old prejudices. How would you solve this problem?

Supporting evidence for the problem: Once I wrote several pages on Einsteinian physics (I'm just doing my PhD on it) and all of them were deleted by consensus of editors (9:1) who preferred their old high school physics :-). Unfortunately their high school physics was invalidated about 100 years ago by Einstein. Yet till today one can read as the first statement of Wikipedia's Gravitation: "Gravitation is a natural phenomenon by which all objects attract each other". According to contemporary science objects don't attract each other they just look like they do. Similarly as the Sun looks like running around the Earth while it doesn't and there exists a simple explanation in both cases. So I just explained the simple Einsteinian mechanism of this apparent attraction, since I thought it may be interesting to Wikipedia's readers. All those pages were deleted by consensus of editors cooling my enthusiasm for Wikipedia. So the issue of propagating old prejudices, because of democratic process involved in editing, seems to be very real in Wikipedia. JimJast 14:02, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

how will you deal with transparency and corruption[edit]

how come that some admins in wikimedia can take over and block other users at their own will? More than one year ago the wikimedia world seemed nice to me. By edit count I was quite high in en:WP. But then the first out-of-policy block came in (3RR violation, but I only did 2RR). Then the next. And so it went on and on. Blocked for blanking a user page (this blanking was based on prior agreement with that user), blocked for moving "Eisenkappl" to "Bad Eisenkappl", admins directly lieing to me "I have a checkuser at hand that confirms you used socks" - it turned out there never was a checkuser. And I never used socks. ... On and on. I collected evidences, they got deleted, just because some admin in the middle of a discussion decided to do so. This deletion even did not show in the deletion log.

I asked at ComCom about transparency and corruption handling - this was directly deleted, with claim that it does not belong there (ComCom task page says otherwise). I called the Foundation where Danny shouted at me, hang up the phone in middle of talking, talked in hebrew etc.

What can a normal editor do to stop admins abusing their rights? - Tobias Conradi

Majority biasing the facts[edit]

12:33, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Dear Candidate,

it is an increasing frustration to me that a supermajority of wikipedians has apparently decided to defend their common view of the world as the only truth. All minority views are blocked. This goes so far as to not allow facts, which are acknowledged to be true, on article pages when they are seemingly at odds with this view. This tends to make the articles POV and destroys the knowledge and hard work brought together by many, many editors in this unique enterprise. It makes wikipedia a very unreliable and biased source of information. Subjects are e.g. terrorist attacks. Will you make an effort to change this trend? It is imortant to us that the guidelines are upheld fairly and equally, and not just to defend a single viewpoint.

regards,

Xiutwel
NL

How to attract authors who know facts[edit]

How to attract authors who know facts (e.g. from the scientific literature) and could pupularize them dispelling cultural prejudice about those facts but don't have time to waste on fighting misinformed editors. Those editors unconcsiously push their popular, and therefore already generally accepted, POVs (since brain, being a perfect antibody, automatically rejects any new idea) deleting the new pages by those authors. Those editors always prevail since they have much more time than those authors. How would you address this issue? JimJast 17:37, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Who Writes Wikipedia?[edit]

Late question: do you have any thoughts on this essay (and if so, what)? It suggests that Jimbo formed a radically false picture of anonymous users and their contributions to Wikipedia. This may have far-reaching implications. Dan(pedia) 21:32, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia and the media at large[edit]

  • 1. Could you name the top five services (or advantages) that Wikipedia is offering to the Community that no other media provides now? Could you also briefly explain WHY?
  • 2. Do you think there are subjects that the major media do not cover or cover in a biased manner?

If so, could you list 5 examples in different fields that come to your mind, without censuring yourself? ;-) Could you explain WHAT Wikipedia can do that is not yet done to remedy this problem?

  • 3. What challenges do you see ahead in terms of opportunities and potential threats (financial, organizational, technological, behavioural) to Wikipedia's independence and growth in the next 3 years?
  • 4. Do you think it is appropriate for Wikipedia to have an article about media control and concentration of financial power (2 sensitive & essential subjects for Wikipedia itself)?
  • 5. Do you agree it might be difficult to find an analysis in the major media about this subject because it goes against their own interests? If so, does Wikipedia have a moral obligation to treat the subject nevertheless, if verifiable evidence can be provided (without references to the major media)?
  • 6. Truth shall make you free: Are you aware there might be a real conspiracy to discourage some editors by harassing them or defaming their work unjustly in order to drive them away, create divisions, or marginalize them for the reason they have been tagged as a danger to the LIES spread in the media about new world order, central banking [3], many historical facts, valuable academic and scientific knowledge in various fields; who are therefore feared by a tiny minority of editors on Wikipedia for the essential knowledge they can bring to the Community (which is suppressed now)?

Thanks. 69.116.234.208 22:40, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Censorship on Wikipedia[edit]

Does this extraordinary true story, completely censored by the major media, with verifiable evidence to back it up, deserve its page on Wikipedia? If so, WHY? Thanks for your truthful answer.

69.116.234.208 22:40, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


A Fairer Voting System[edit]

Would you support the use of choice voting in the next Board Elections?


Choice voting protects majority rule while providing for the fair representation of minority views. Voters rank the candidates 1, 2, 3, and so on, in order of preference. If your top choice either is not elected or already has enough votes to win a seat, your vote goes to your next choice. No vote is wasted, and all viewpoints are represented. Choice voting would drastically reduce the number of wasted votes.

Choice voting can be used for single or multiple position elections. It is used for national elections in a number of countries including the Republic of Ireland. It is also used by a wide variety of organsations such as students' unions, charities, trade unions, universities, hospital trusts and housing associations. Choice voting is already used to elect the board of Nominet UK.

Choice voting is also called preference voting or wikipedia:single transferable vote (STV)

John Cross 16:59, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm familiar with STV, and when reading the election announcement was quite surprised to see we weren't already using it. I can dig out an old (A+) essay of mine detailing the pros and cons of the various systems of proportional representation - and PR itself - but I imagine you'll be happy with the short answer :) - I would support this. --Kingboyk 20:11, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for supporting this suggestion. If you are interested in campaigning for STV please check out STV Action. John Cross 14:21, 8 July 2007 (UTC)