Talk:Community point of view/Archive 1

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I believe this policy is necessary to get rid of some of the crap pages which have accumulated here on Meta over time. In fact, I have had to explain several times that some pages here (such as simple ideology of Wikitax) have nothing to do with current developer opinion and were created by individuals who stand outside the community (in that case, 142.177).--Eloquence 02:58, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Do we have to dive straight for the vote every time? By setting up a vote, you make it impossible to improve the policy incrementally. -- Tim Starling 04:32, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)


I would like to see Meta become more like the discussion wikis, e.g. Meatball. On Meatball, things that the community doesn't agree with (like content written by 142) is boldly and rapidly deleted. The problem with doing that here is that sysops are the only ones who can do it. Sysops are in a position of power, they find that they need to obtain community agreement before they can do anything. Perhaps we could implement a community-led deletion system. That way, the community point of view doesn't need to be codified, the policy doesn't need to be interpreted or enforced, and we don't need a bureacratic system to manage it. CPOV is just emergent. -- Tim Starling 04:51, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

but MB allow personal opinions on user page. That is perhaps where is the way. Besides, for being one that often create opinion page, I regret to say I would be most happy that people participate and comment on them. What happen is that they rarely do. One may not pretend a page is cpov when the community does not comment and rework it, but the community can only blame itself if that stays a personal opinion. From that pov, MB is a very active community that collaborate a lot, in comparison, meta collaborates very little. ant

What you are boldly proposing is indeed an absolute total change of what meta is. Essays, policies, brainstorming pages, votes, and so forth should clearly have community support and not just be one individual's idea of what Wikipedia should be. is an open door to censorship, and mostly would get in the way of anyone expressing his own opinion on the topic. Are you suggesting that we vote on each page written by anyone here to define what is community opinion ? Are you suggesting that any brainstorming by anyone is later followed by a vote ?


I completely support any attempt to remove the harmful effects of trolling from this site. In my mind, that's what this policy may achieve. Angela 05:27, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)



Here is my opinion. I agree it should be made possible at any time, for a reader, to know which page reflects cpov (at at least, largerly shared opinion), and which is mostly a personal opinion. However, I object to writing that Articles here on Meta-Wiki should be written from the CPOV. because it is too likely to lend to possible censorship and because I do think that basically all pages in the community space reflects povs (I think of all subcultural affiliation pages for example, which are by definition pov), and naturally, all essays and brainstorming are by definition povs and not community opinion. Requesting from people that they write from cpov would just be the best way to limit expression. Besides, we also need to define what is cpov for all points, and we all know how difficult it may be sometimes. You are mostly a writer of policies, and these are not so much problematic. Meta is also a place to prepare contents and policies on wikipedia, and by definition, as long as something is under work, it is not cpov. So, saying that meta should be written from the cpov is just going too far.

But I agree it should (must be) be possible to differenciate these. And I also agree that by default, the one visible should be the community opinion, and the pov or future cpov could be labelled as such.

However, I am troubled Erik, that as an example to show what you think, your first action is actually to write an article yourself (that probably reflect the community opinion, so is probably fine just by default) and remove then a pov opinion. So, what you did and show as an example, is not really making the difference between cpov and pov (and allowing pov as your text indicate) but rather to just remove one pov, and replace it by something else. It is sligtly different, and make me fear that the direct application of your proposition be just the disappearance of pov in meta. In short, redifining entirely the goal of meta. I think what you suggest has value, but is dangerous.

I would like to suggest something. I made two examples, though I would support saying these are not the best two examples, I just followed the cbanged your made to make my point.

I suggest that

  • any article be per default the community opinion
  • if an article is a pov, or a collection of pov, which appear not to respect the cpov, we add a message at the top (that is the draft I made) of it, and try to suggest to the reader, the article that is community approved. Hence, no confusion between pov and cpov. The benefit of it as well, would be that to be able to propose this link, the article must existe, so that would probably be a good way to promote community work on several important issues :-)
  • similarly, I suggest that any previous cpov, which is no more cpov because we just moved on, be labelled "historical page", so that reader can read it, knowing that it holds the memory of a certain time, but do not represent accurately the reality of our opinions any more
  • finally, I would suggest that any page hurting too much the sensibility of some readers, or showing a very strong pov, be moved to the main author space, as a sub page; and eventually that most links to it be removed, so as to avoid readers falling on them too easily. I suggest that these are typically the case of the example page you redirected.

Anthere 06:43, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)


BTW, I do not understand very well what ThreadMode is. If there is no page on a topic, we must start a new page to discuss the topic, no ? So, how do we made the difference between discussion and cpov article in a thread mode when there is no article ? When you look at a humor page, how do you suggest that humor is labelled as such in a thread mode ? ant

Yes, Anthere, the whole point is to move away stuff which is entirely inappropriate here on Meta-Wiki. The purpose of this wiki is not to provide a space for trolls and miscreants to publish their personal ideas, if these ideas include things like "Trolls should form secret societies on every wiki and try to influence it without being detected." By allowing such pages, what you encourage -- being needlessly driven by a desire to prevent censorship -- is a trolling subculture, which will then infect the other wikis.
Think about it: If a troll has all their precious "work" removed without much discussion as being in violation of CPOV, what incentive is there for them to come back? If they, on the other hand, can know that their page will not only be tolerated, but in fact expanded and nicely formatted, they can link to it from elsewhere and use it as their starting point for further trolling sprees throughout the wiki.
We censor ourselves all the time, on all the wikis. Wikipedia has en:Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, and that works reasonably well as a standard of exclusion. Meta-Wiki has no such standard; instead, we just say "Oh, if it's about Wikipedia it's probably OK". This is an invitation to turn this whole wiki into a space for trolling and incoherent rambling.
Here's my suggestion for a compromise. If there is community consensus to keep a page which does not reflect the CPOV, then it may be labeled as POV using the method you described. We do, however, generally not recommend the creation of such pages as essays written in the third person. Instead, people who have an opinion that is only shared by a small minority should try to express that opinion as a point of discsussion ("I think that ..") and wait for responses.
I do not agree with your implication that community pages like the Wikipedians list are "inherently POV". In fact, they are a good example of CPOV -- pages that are supported and wanted to hold the community together. However, pages like "anti-American Wikipedians" may be reconsidered on that basis -- are they useful, or do they do more harm than good?
A page in ThreadMode is one which consists of discussions, like this talk page here. Threads are different than essays in that individual comments discuss a limited range of issues, are clearly recognizable as one user's opinion, signed, and written from the first person. And this is the scope within which we can and should allow minority POV on Meta. Allowing any troll to create a pseudo-policy and then slapping a "POV" label on it will only encourage the troll to write more, and it will not be useful to us as a community.--Eloquence 09:30, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I rather approve your attempt to keep Meta a "cleaner" place to live in. Though I'm quite sure it's totally unrealistic in the medium-long term considering the fact that Meta being multilingual, the control over CPOVness and POVness will actually be effective only on English-written pages. I myself started a few notes here in French that non-French speakers have no chance to qualify correctly as CPOV or not. What about such pages on this very meta written in Chinese or Croatian and read as Meta pages by their people ? Wouldn't it therefore be more pragmatic to decide that : 1° Only English-written pages are eligible to CPOV (sounds harsh but what else ? people speaking another language can be invited to translate prior to make a contribution CPOV) ; 2° Consequence if the status has to be equal between English and non-English speakers : all Meta pages would be POV by default and CPOV labelled only after approval, whatever the form of approbation (otherwise, only English speakers would be deprived of the POV by default feature). My 2 cents. Aurevilly 10:29, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Anyway villy, right now, most pages written in english represent the english community point of view. Nearly all policy pages are about the english policy only. I do not recognise the validity of the claim that there is only one community opinion. I do not see who decide what is the community opinion, and upon which arguments this is the community opinion. Typically, there are different power structures among wikipedias, so any articles on power structure is likely to represent only one pov. Not wikipedia wide pov. Anthere


Yes, Anthere, the whole point is to move away stuff which is entirely inappropriate here on Meta-Wiki. The purpose of this wiki is not to provide a space for trolls and miscreants to publish their personal ideas, if these ideas include things like "Trolls should form secret societies on every wiki and try to influence it without being detected." By allowing such pages, what you encourage -- being needlessly driven by a desire to prevent censorship -- is a trolling subculture, which will then infect the other wikis.

Agreed to the first statement. As for the second, I am not really worried of infection going from meta to go to spoil other wikis. It is much more likely to be the other way around.

Think about it: If a troll has all their precious "work" removed without much discussion as being in violation of CPOV, what incentive is there for them to come back? If they, on the other hand, can know that their page will not only be tolerated, but in fact expanded and nicely formatted, they can link to it from elsewhere and use it as their starting point for further trolling sprees throughout the wiki.

Agreed. There is still to define who decides what the community opinion is. Or even, to define what the community opinion is. Or to go a step further, to define whether there is only one community opinion which may be sorted out. Apart from a couple of points, which are carved in stone, I see much more often groups of opinion, than one opinion only. Actually, even on carved in stone, I see disagreement that can't really be entirely misconsidered (ie, to cite one where I am not involved, the copyright issue and fair use). Just the fact that there are some factions on the wikipedias, and differing policy on different wikipedia is a clear sign "community opinion" is not something easy to figure and define.

: We censor ourselves all the time, on all the wikis. Wikipedia has en:Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, and that works reasonably well as a standard of exclusion. Meta-Wiki has no such standard; instead, we just say "Oh, if it's about Wikipedia it's probably OK". This is an invitation to turn this whole wiki into a space for trolling and incoherent rambling.

true. Then what about rather setting a what meta is not, rather than setting a rule, that if used to boldly *might lead* to censorship ?


: Here's my suggestion for a compromise. If there is community consensus to keep a page which does not reflect the CPOV, then it may be labeled as POV using the method you described.

nod for the first point.

We do, however, generally not recommend the creation of such pages as essays written in the third person. Instead, people who have an opinion that is only shared by a small minority should try to express that opinion as a point of discsussion ("I think that ..") and wait for responses.

I think the principle of writing in the third person by default is to heavy. I give you an example; Some time ago, I wrote several pages on conflict resolution and co. You may look at uncivility (or incivility, I never remember). When I wrote it, I considered it a personal essay. That was my opinion only, and my perspective of the problem only. Most of the time, what I write stays non edited by anyone. Ie, that stays a personal essay. Note that it is note a rule at all, and was not intended to represent community opinion, more an outline of some ideas on the topic. According to your suggestion, I should written such a page in the first person. I think that would have spoiled the article. Because it was not intended to be my opinion only, but rather a set of opinions. So I could not write "I think". It happens that other people edited it, and that someone copied it on en (in clear violation of the authorship rule incidently). So, I think it may be acceptable by community standards. Now, if I had written it in the first person, it would have had to be entirely rewritten. I think it is poor management of people contributions. Also, not everyone is bold as you are, as to propose their contributions as "proposal"; so that will lead to more "personal" things, that could have been community things, but are not because written in the first person. This could be solved by other people editing behind, but I have been enough on meta to know that the number of edition of a text is extremely limited.


I do not agree with your implication that community pages like the Wikipedians list are "inherently POV". In fact, they are a good example of CPOV -- pages that are supported and wanted to hold the community together. However, pages like "anti-American Wikipedians" may be reconsidered on that basis -- are they useful, or do they do more harm than good?

Well, considering the number of times these pages are listed on votes for deletion, you may consider that this opinion (which happens to be mine) is controversial. I fear that with the policy as stated (ie, considering edits should be community opinion), these articles will find themselves listed on vfd even more than before, and that argument that they do not fit the CPOV rule will be used. Consider one article listed a couple of days ago silesia. Humour page. It was listed on vfd because "it has nothing to do with Wikipedia". With this rule, on top of it, it will be listed for "not being in the CPOV rule". All personal essays and humour pages (which I believe are important for community cohesion and editors relief in front of wikistress attack) would be much more likely to be considered "not belonging to meta" because not fitting the rules. I fear that what will have the last word is not "we are more numerous thinking these belongs here", but "according to the rule, we can, perhaps even should, remove this". I am sure you will find I am exagerating :-) But we have to think in the long term. I understand that you wish to protect meta from trolls, but the policy must not leave room for an adept of policy enforcement to get in a deletion frenzy during holidays time.


A page in ThreadMode is one which consists of discussions, like this talk page here. Threads are different than essays in that individual comments discuss a limited range of issues, are clearly recognizable as one user's opinion, signed, and written from the first person. And this is the scope within which we can and should allow minority POV on Meta. Allowing any troll to create a pseudo-policy and then slapping a "POV" label on it will only encourage the troll to write more, and it will not be useful to us as a community.--Eloquence 09:30, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

oki. We can very well decide to sign much more all of our contributions to make it clear who wrote what and who think what. Things not signed will be then a sign of what is approved, just as meatball does.
Let me outline a couple of points which I think are problematic

Community Point of View (CPOV) is a point of view shared by the vast majority of the community of a Wikimedia project. Articles here on Meta-Wiki should be written from the CPOV.

This is highly problematic for me. That means that by default, what is really welcome here is articles by CPOV, and that all not following CPOV are just barely tolerated; Though that might be acceptable for trolls fighting, that also imply that POV expression is just tolerated, but not really welcome. I would really like that you rephrase this, perhaps with finding a way to more generally indicate that pov expressions may certainly be reworked to fit CPOV, or removed, or placed in user space, but that pov expression is not just a tolerance, but is definitly part of meta, and users welcome to express povs. As it is written right now, it means that community opinion is welcome and povs just tolerated. I do not think this reflect the reality (even the *current* reality of what meta is. Meta is not only about policies and technical things, it is a lot about discussion, brainstorming and bonding. And this should be reflected by saying that opinions, discussions, humour and co, are not only allowed, but welcome as well. Because that is the main role of meta. Do you understand what I mean ? As stated, your proposition certainly is meant to fight a limited number of situation and this will be welcome by all, but it is also not representing the reality, and what many users wish meta to be as well. I know some users of meta think that all the governance discussion pages have no room here, and should be generally removed, but I really do not think this is the general opinion. And a policy stating that what is personal is just allowed, but is not what meta should be, is seriously bugging me.


Personal opinions on Meta are allowed, but they are not allowed on document-like pages written from the third person. They should instead take the form of discussions, i.e. the starting statement should be short, to the point and written from the first person, responses should be found on the same page etc. This prevents them from looking like official documents (cf. Wiki:DocumentMode).

this I really do not think is realistic. This is not adapted to the variety of cases of personal opinions voiced on meta. To go back to my incivility article, putting it in the form of discussion would have been totally unpractical and not adapted to the topic. I think either that will force people to write in a very strange way, or force all articles being later approved by community to be entirely rewritten to fit. I would seriously suggest that this is only a guideline, not a "they are not allowed", and suggest that we are allowed to use the msg:pov at the top. I fear that most pages will find themselves with these little toppings very soon, or will have to be entirely reworked from top to bottom very soon. Do you feel ready to rewrite all these articles ? I do not :-( I think this rule is definitly too strict.

This does not apply to proposals, which should be clearly marked as such ("This is a proposal for .. Please provide feedback on the discussion page"), and which need to meet community approval before they become official documents, standards, features, policies etc. Use your own best judgment to determine whether a new page you write is a proposal, or whether it reflects known community consensus.

Essays, policies, brainstorming pages, votes, and so forth should clearly have community support and not just be one individual's idea of what Wikipedia should be.

that is a bit laughable Erik :-) By definition, an essay is a pov, not the expression of community. Besides, when you propose a vote, I would be willing to see what happens if we oppose it :-))) Seriously...even the request to push further a deadline, requested by several people is not taken into consideration. So ... I see very well why you write this, but would you please consider toning it a bit down ? Just a bit ?

For example, the Wikipedia community is not open towards trolls and vandals. While trolls and vandals may be technically considered members of the community, they are more like uninvited and obnoxious houseguests who are kicked out at the next best opportunity.

oki

As such, pages that are written from the point of view of trolls and vandals -- justifying trolling and vandalism and making this position look like the community view -- would not be desirable, neither here nor on any other Wikimedia project, as they do not represent community opinion. Such individuals are free to voice their opinion in discussions, of course.

I hesitate pointing out to you a little hole in your proposed policy... That is so unusual of you... but yeah, otherwise I agree.

When community opinion is split into different factions on a subject, CPOV resembles NPOV in that different views should be attributed, although here the space afforded to minority positions may be directly proportional to the size of said minority. Furthermore, unlike an NPOV article, opinions completely outside the CPOV spectrum need not be included.

If I understand well then, if one editor part of the community (say) support one point voiced by a troll, it will be have a bit of room then. Unless you can prove that this editor himself is a troll, so entirely out of the CPOV. However, if this editor is considered part of the community, then there will be a bit of room. I hope I am not taking too much place on this page, and no one will cut parts of it :-) Ok, agreed with this point.

Does this mean that CPOV is an instrument of censorship? Yes and no. The purpose of CPOV is not to undermine constructive criticism. That can continue as usual on discussion pages or in ThreadMode. Its purpose is to ensure that the documents you find here on Meta-Wiki actually do represent relevant views within the Wikipedia community, to prevent possible confusion and false impressions.

oki, good

Don't worry too much about the policy -- when something you write in the third person is out of touch with community opinion, people will tell you soon enough. There might be a vote or a long discussion to bring the page into the CPOV, it might be moved into your user space, to a talk page, turned into a discussion page, or deleted.

in short, we are setting a full spectrum policy that will apply only to a couple of people really. It is a bit using a nuclear bomb rather than a hammer :-)
One way is to set soft guidelines, and to take responsability to apply them very boldly sometimes. Another way is to set very strict rules, and not to respect it in everyday life as they are too bold. I am rather perplex in front of setting rules that do not reflect reality of daily edition.
Erik, we are on two ends of the spectrum on that. I would like that we meet a tiny bit more in the middle. At least that it is not considered from now on, that "we should edit from the community pov" and that personal things are just "tolerated". Set some limits for keeping/reworking/removing/deleting personal things if you wish, but please let us recognise publicly and officially that personal opinions are still welcome on meta as they have always been. When I say "welcome", I say that we "need" personal input on all topics, we do not need to agress people by telling them that from now on, they should seriously watch out what they write here and be careful not to have the boldness to confuse a comment with a perceived community opinion.
especially when we see how "community opinion" is decided right now.

anthere

How about this:

  1. Policy pages and other "official" community documents should be written from the CPOV
  2. Interactive pages (RfP, Wikipedians etc.) should have the general support of the community
  3. Humor pages, if not widely considered offensive, are allowed
  4. Any personal essay has to be signed with the real name of the author. Unsigned essays can be removed, moved to the user space, refactored to make them CPOV or turned into discussions (ThreadMode)
  5. Personal essays can be removed or moved to the user space if they are widely considered to be detrimental to Wikimedia's goals
  6. Any personal essay has a standard header like this:
This is a personal essay and does not necessarily reflect the point of view of the community (see CPOV).
Written by: Erik Möller, April 2004
Editing policy: Only spelling mistakes


By requiring a real name, we would rule out most trolls, but allow the degree of freedom in writing that you want on Meta.--Eloquence 11:57, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Preventing participation of users who do not provide real names is freedom ?

Problem, but requesting a real name, you also rule out from meta many participants (if not most actually). Your proposal just mean that non real names couln't edit meta any more, but for basically typo or copy of wikipedia approved stuff. For example, I do not have the boldness to claim any of what I write is guaranteed community approved. Hence I will declare all what I write personal essays. If I refuse to sign my real name for things I write here (and I guarantee that my name, while I can say it, will *not* spread everywhere on the web), meta will no more be editable by myself. I think it is a serious infringement to Wikipedia principle of openness Erik. We can't just remove a basic principle of Wikipedia *just* in the hope to avoid trolling. I also note that with your proposal, ips won't be allowed to comment anymore either (unless we accept then "anon" signature as they do on mb). Anthere

Anthere, this only refers to personal essays, not to comments. Anonymous comments are of course allowed. But if you want to write a paper or essay on a subject related to Wikipedia, and do not want it to be edited into CPOV form, then you should have the courage and conviction to stand for it with your real name. Alternatively, put it on your user page.--Eloquence 13:28, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
no, this is totally confused
on one hand you say "only community edits should be allowed". We ask that all edits made without meeting community requirements are indicated as pov and personal essays, and written in the first person (and I believe that when anyone starts a page, by default this should be personal opinion, not community) and now signed by real names ? In short, you suggest that the rule of openness that exist on all wikipedias, with no registration requirements just disappear and that are really allowed to participate and make attempt to write things without the boldness to pretend holding "the truth" be required to write under their real name ? I think this is a basic infrigment of wikipedia policy. And this should be approved by much more than you and I, but rather by Jimbo and everyone on Wikipedia. This I fear, is such a huge change in policy and meta goal that it is serious business. In your attempt to fight one or two trolls, you are putting in danger the fondations of the project Erik. Anthere
Sigh. No, that is not what I suggested. I was trying to accommodate you by allowing essays written in the third person even if they do not represent CPOV, but only under the condition that they are marked (your proposal) and signed (my proposal). This is what is called a compromise, and it is indeed one of the foundations of the project.--Eloquence 14:25, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

On en:user talk:Hephaestos I proposed setting up a single page on meta where we dump the various "pro troll" stuff that various user accounts have felt free to spam throughout the English Wikipedia. Would that be acceptable, if labelled, under CPOV? Incidentally, acronyms are evil. Please move this to the longer title. Thanks. --MyRedDice