Grants:IdeaLab/Complaint resource research management

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Complaint resource research management
Complaints are a resource which should be made available to researchers without harming the person complaining or the target of the complaint.
idea creator
this project needs...
created on23:44, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Many researchers seek to make Wikipedia a friendlier place. In order to do this, they need access to complaints, and right now the only place to get complaints is to ask a person who has complained in the past to complain again. People who complain cannot tell their story repeatedly without experiencing survey fatigue, and for emotional complaints, it is unfair to pressure such people to retell their complaints anyway. Also, the act of retelling a complaint tends to be a hostile act which harms another person. It is difficult to maintain disinterestedness in collecting complaints for research, and in any case, the research process should be removed from the administration of justice.

People should be able to complain once and have their complaint channeled one way to seek a just answer to it, and another way to have it archived in such a way that researchers can examine it without themselves becoming a party to the event which led to the complaint.

The result of this is that people who complain are isolated from each other, and their common negative experience never becomes known in any form to the communities who experience trouble.

What is your solution?[edit]

After a complaint channel is established, there is some standardized process through which the complaint becomes de-identified and information which is separate from the identities of all parties to the complaint is made available to researchers. Over time, researchers can get insight based on the frequency and nature of complaints in the complaint channel. For example, this system can create an account of how often a certain class of user, like women or LGBT populations, report the experience of harassment in Wikipedia communities.

Complaints should be documented and stored by a professional outside of the Wikimedia Foundation. Information from these complaints, usually not containing personally identifiable information, should be made available in some way at least to researchers and ideally the the broader community. Without information about the nature and frequency of complaints, it will not be possible for the community to build infrastructure to prevent or address them in the future. This need should be balanced against the fact that there probably is no completely safe way to make this information available to the general public while protecting the identities of the involved parties. This system would only be useful in situations in which at least one involved party does not wish to publicize the complaint.

An example of the kind of data which would be useful to share might be as follows: "In 2014 X people complained about harassment. LGBT harassment by prejudiced people and sexual harassment against women by men were the two most reported causes of harassment, but the other causes were... Among people who complained, Y% later reported that they were satisfied with the outcome of their complaint and the rest were unsatisfied."


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