Talk:Victims of Soviet Repressions Memorial

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Scope[edit]

While certainly a worthy project, I wonder if this really falls under the traditional scope of the Wikimedia Foundation. With one notable exception (9/11 wiki), we've attempted to stay a provider of general audience information sources. Would this, perhaps, be more appropriate at Wikia? Kylu 04:13, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, as I mentioned in the proposal, the WMF's mission is simply to "collect" and "disseminate" "educational content." Presenting the human side of history certainly falls under that mission, I would think. That WMF projects generally stay away from this "other side" is likely more a consequence of the types of people who are attracted to these kinds of projects than any limitation of the WMF mission. But this is an essential part of their mission, and the gap here is one that needs to be closed. Far from being out of the WMF's scope, I would contend that it is an essential part of the Foundation completely fulfilling its mission. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:24, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Both your position and my supposition are opinions. I would imagine that others will bring more convincing arguments. It should be, at the least, quite an interesting discussion to determine the ultimate goal of the Foundation. Kylu 04:29, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

The Sep 11 wiki eventually was hosted somewhere else. I suspect this would go the same way. - David Gerard 10:50, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

One thing is certain. It is really the last moment to try to collect some datas. In ten years, it would be too late. If we could promote this project in Russia, specialy in the country, in the Goulags areas, it should give us many informations, that will never be collected any more. Wulfstan 11:04, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

This is merely propaganda.[edit]

  • Victims of American Repressions Memorial
  • Victims of Europpean Repressions Memorial
  • Victims of Male Repressions Memorial
  • Victims of Human Repressions Memorial
  • Victims of White Repressions Memorial
  • Victims of Capitalist Repressions Memorial

Let's not go down this road. WAS 4.250 11:45, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

IMHO, feel free. Personaly, I am more focused on the totalitarian regimes victims. Wulfstan 11:50, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I agréé that we should go down that road. With all the respect for those people but dying in War, Terrorism or something like that doesn't make that perron important. I believe that the information also can be used on the russia wikipedia. But a complete project for those people is tó much. Abigor talk 11:55, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Was Hitler a "victim"? Was Trotsky a "victim"? Social systems are too complex to cleanly divide it up into victims and non-victims. Any such attempt winds up being merely propaganda. To be true to reality, one must tell a complex tale and not merely list "victims". WAS 4.250 11:58, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with WAS 4.250, please let's not get started with this, it is a NPOV nightmare if I ever knew one... --Mbimmler 16:08, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
NPOV is irrelevant; this isn't Wikipedia.
Being "important" is also irrelevant here. This isn't an encyclopedia here--its aim is just as educational and just as important, but approaches it from a totally different angle. An angle that is necessary for the WMF to fulfill its mission, but one that it has sadly neglected. How can an education on the subject of Soviet repressions be complete without something like this? Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 16:48, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
But it is not "educational" - it is propaganda. Wikimedia Foundation does not do political propaganda. WAS 4.250 17:12, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
It is propaganda to claim that knowledge of totalitarian killings is merely "propaganda". Fred Bauder 22:08, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
It most certainly is educational. As I explained in the proposal (did you read the proposal?), it educates people about the effect the Soviet repressions had on real people—something that cannot be had by simply reading an encyclopedia article about the purges or biographies of a few of the better-known victims. I repeat, it is an essential part of the Foundation's educational mission. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 17:24, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

(<---)We disagree. I believe this project would miseducate. WAS 4.250 17:31, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I concur with what you said. It is a propaganda starting on the 2nd paragraph in the content page. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:31, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
This project is sick and cowardly, The sovjet is not even a problem any more... it was a dacade ago... capitalism exists today. start a campain against capitalist realpolitics? 83.188.231.247 16:39, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Maybe Noam can help with designing a proposal. --JensMueller 01:28, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

Hello,

Here above has been said that this project don't have to be NPOV. I believe that all project from the Foundations should be Neutral. Education has te be neutral or else it should be right to learn from. Or can somebody please give a good reasson why dit project should choose a POV? Abigor talk 19:07, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Excellent idea[edit]

This is a good idea that we should implement. Anyone killed in the pursuit of totalitarian political aims deserves at least a mention in the compendium of all knowledge. Fred Bauder 22:06, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Was Hitler a "victim"? Was Trotsky a "victim"? Social systems are too complex to cleanly divide it up into victims and non-victims. Any such attempt winds up being merely propaganda. To be true to reality, one must tell a complex tale and not merely list "victims". WAS 4.250 07:47, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

This is a bad idea. It would be unavoidable that this project would be on someones POV. Surely, it would portray Stalin and Lenin as demons. -- Felipe Aira 11:01, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Why is a project to promote a particular POV a bad idea? Not all Wikimedia projects have to be Wikipedia; what's right for one project isn't necessarily right universally. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 01:07, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Location[edit]

Some of the opinions regarding this, and my opinion of the proposal exist on foudation-l mailing list. NonvocalScream 03:13, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

It should be noted (or possibly renoted) that the discussion of this project should take place solely on this talk page. Foundation-l is not the place for such discussion. -- Zanimum 16:32, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Why not? NonvocalScream 11:56, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I can hammer a nail in with my wrench, but it would be much easier to hammer the nail with my hammer, and it would let other people use the wrench for whatever you do with a wrench.
You can use foundation-l to discuss project proposals, but its much easier to discuss them on the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki, as that's what its made for. Not only is it easier, but it lets everyone use foundation-l for:
  • critical discussions of the Foundation, that couldn't be done here;
  • announcements, including announcements of proposals like this;
  • other very, very important things that need the attention of everybody.
A project proposal doesn't need the attention of everybody, right away. Its welcome to holler "come to this page and discuss", and it's welcome to invite eyeballs to help polish the proposal, and it's welcome to use the mailing list to ask the board to discuss the project's creation at its next meeting, but other than that, it doesn't need to be a discussion on foundation-l. It's just a random proposal. -- Zanimum 16:49, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

I think the most important, will be to raise the help of people in the russian countryside, and to add the help of people from some NGOs, who work on this question from many years. In Russia it is the Memorial association, the Perm-36 Museum. In Poland it is Karta association. Wulfstan 23:14, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is possible that these organizations might help with a wiki, they might even host the wiki themselves. -- Zanimum 16:52, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Put in on Wikipedia?[edit]

Is the wiki going to be in a style of a encyclopedia? If so it should belong to Wikipedia. Techman224Talk 04:00, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Only those victims notable enough to qualify can be added to Wikipedia, as is mentioned above. -- Zanimum 16:52, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Counter-proposal[edit]

How about, instead, creating a Wikipedia project to create NPOV sourced biographies on the people whose victimization you wish to publicize? WAS 4.250 12:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Personally I think this project would be best suited at wikibooks. --Nn123645 20:48, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikibooks is rather clumsy. Entries would be titled "b:Victims of Soviet Repressions Memorial/Firstname Lastname, simply because all Wikibooks have their full titles in each page name. It would be much easier for any interested party to run this on a separate wiki-hosting site, as then they'd not have to have such long page titles. Some other wiki-hosting sites even have WYSIWYG editing, which makes it much easier for non-techies to contribute, as it's just like writing in a word processor. -- Zanimum 16:52, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
That seems the best proposal on the page. It's not clear why Wikimedia should focus on one political issue and not on hundreds of the other ones. - Amikeco 00:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps that would work when the deletionist vandals have finally been eradicated, and people come around to realizing that everyone who has ever existed is indeed a suitable subject for a Wikipedia article. Until it's improved to that point, however, it won't fly on Wikipedia. Besides, that would not be a replacement for this project, which would still be needed, and remains essential to the total fulfillment of the WMF's mission. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 01:09, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

I don't support this proposal.I question how a POV memorial is educational content. I also question alignments that could be generated by such memorials. I question scalability... "They have a memorial, why can't I. You don't think [insert event here] is important enough? I just won't support WMF anymore". With the above, when groups become alienated, I question our ability to effectively disseminate the core projects (wikipedia, and others) effectively and globally. I question the technical strain on our resources. All of these memorials. I question the political implications of having a worded memorial, polarizing an otherwise neutral foundation, or the public perception of the foundation. These are only a few of the things I began to question when I first read the proposal.

I also want to mention by being outside of the mission statement, it is outside the WMF scope. I don't feel comfortable with the foundation taking a political position also.

In principle, it does not scale well. I can understand a Wikipedia article on an event (disaster)... but a memorial project?

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:free_content> or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

The memorial project does not appear to meet the above statement. The "Wikipedia article" on the tragedy would appear to better meet this mission statement, as opposed to a "memorial wiki".

We also risk a bias towards groups. This project would not be neutral, or NPOV. It could not be, by design. That is also a cornerstone of what we are. NonvocalScream 11:55, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Terrible idea, as noted adequately here and on Foundation-l. This should have been ignored from the beginning - since that didn't happen, relegating it to the ashcan of rejected nonsense is second-best.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 12:35, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Agree with both of the above. You want a memorial? Get some hosting and run MediaWiki. ^demon 13:42, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
This is not within Wikimedia's scope. Do what ^demon says. Majorly talk 13:45, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

We have no need to be humouring doctrinnaire anti-Stalinists. Eclecticology 17:28, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Did you read the proposal, where I quite explicitly explained why I believe this IS indeed within the WMF's scope? It's one thing to disagree with my explanation and explain why, but when you simply claim it's outside the WMF's scope without even so much as acknowledging my argument to the contrary, it just looks like you didn't even bother to read it. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 18:24, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

It is you who should bother to read comments from other contributors. Questions "Is Hitler a victim" and "Is Goebbels a victim?" are actually very strong arguments against the proposal until you find an objective and verifiable distinction between them and those you feel are victims. --Yerpo 07:45, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Good idea, but not for Wikimedia[edit]

This is an excellent idea for a historical documentation project - akin to the Holocaust Museum - but utterly non-neutral, and unable to be made so in any form. I really can't see it as being workable at all on Wikimedia.

However, there's no reason it needs to be on WMF to exist.

Suggest: (a) get some good historians together to do quality work on it (b) get some cheap hosting (most of which includes MediaWiki out of the box) and you'll have a project worth doing as a pilot. - David Gerard 15:07, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

It has yet to be explained why non-neutrality is essential for a WMF project.

I could host it quite easily on my own colo'ed box, which I already use to host a couple of wikis (including one medium-traffic one for NationStates). Hosting isn't the issue here; I wouldn't dream of making a proposal for a WMF project for those two because they're not within the Foundation's scope. This one is. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 18:29, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

It has yet to be explained... WHAT? You are going about asking folks if they have read your proposal (see in my oppose heading). But you state it has yet to be explained how non neutrality is essential. I explain it in the section above. Sir, I think it is you, who are not reading. NonvocalScream 19:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

I wish, I really wish that some of the "powers that be" within the Wikimedia Foundation would be a little more open to ideas like this. Some outstanding ideas have been presented over the years that would certainly fit within a wider scope of having Wikimedia projects encompass all of the world's knowledge in various ways that it can be presented.

This said, on a practical basis, creating a new Wikimedia sister project is incredibly bureaucratic and hair pulling. I know, I've gone through the process myself successfully. There is also a rather vocal minority that even wants to get rid of the existing Wikimedia sister projects and concentrate solely upon Wikipedia, which seems to be the largest source of opposition to an idea like this.

In terms of finding a place to host a specialized wiki like this, there are numerous places that will offer web space and even technical support for free if you will help provide the content and the community that will help set up and maintain the content. The Wikimedia Foundation is not the only group to provide this sort of feature, and as I'm pointing out here is very reluctant to expand the scope of the websites it currently has. A well thought out proposal such as what you've already provided would be more than accepted on Wikia, just to name a single example.

What Wikimedia offers, and why the effort is worth doing, is the direct connection to Wikipedia and the existing sister projects. In every case (well, I guess Wikispecies has been derided a few times) they are high quality projects that certainly have attracted outside attention. There is also the advantage that Wikimedia projects do not have outside advertising (a huge problem with sites like Wikia) that clutter up the web pages, and an established infrastructure of legal structures to deal with donations of equipment, money, talent, and other aspects to be able to keep a server farm going without having to resort to a commercial enterprise. I certainly can understand the motivation for why people want to get a Wikimedia sister project going, in spite of the resistance to even the very best of ideas.

I still need to be convinced that there is no conflict of interest issue between Wikia and the Wikimedia Foundation, where deliberate policies have been put in place to encourage project like this to move to Wikia. While the Wikia staff are very friendly and useful, having the "founder" of Wikipedia (aka Jimbo) and another former chair of the foundation as founding partners of Wikia does seem to discourage the Wikimedia Foundation from getting involved in additional projects that might expand the Wikia business model. Yes, I am asserting another reason why this project won't succeed is partly because of voting members of the WMF board that will lose money if this or any other idea becomes a Wikimedia sister project. Follow the money, and you understand motivations much more clearly even if they are denied later.

I hope that a wiki of this nature does get put together. It is a worthy idea that certainly deserves documentation in depth, and can have thousands of pages of content in multiple languages that would be a fascinating read. I hope that it does eventually happen, and that you will find a home. --Roberth 13:23, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

9/11 memorial wiki[edit]

We already had something like this and it was deemed outside the scope of Wikimedia. We simply don't have the resources to care for over 30 million non-notable biographies. Shii 20:33, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Don't think this is in scope[edit]

I don't think this is something the WMF should be looking at. Stifle 15:18, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

It has yet to be explained...[edit]

Why this is not within the WMF's scope. People have brought up "neutrality," but the most that has been done is an assertion that neutrality is essential, with no attempts being made to back it up. It's absurd. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 21:41, 9 July 2009 (UTC)