Talk:Requests for comment/Internet Defense League

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Further discussion here, please.  :) Thanks! -- Philippe (WMF) (talk) 17:09, 28 June 2012‎ (UTC)

Observer member[edit]

Is the Foundation becoming an observer member at all plausible? This would be aimed at keeping an eye on actions that might be necessary to specifically defending the interests of its educational projects, especially Wikipedia, as the law impacts on them. There could be a WikProject, for instance, to help keep editors informed and engaged, and on ad hoc basis the project can ask the wider community to decide to take wider action as necessary (from banner ads up to a blackout). Unlike becoming a full member, being an observer member would neither (i) actually commit the Foundation to anything nor (ii) appear to commit the Foundation to anything, as being a full member might. It would also alleviate (if not completely erase) concerns about "politicisation". With the IDL still being set up, the terms of observer membership would be up for grabs, but what's said about full membership sounds like it would be possible to negotiate something that would suit everybody. Rd232 (talk) 19:47, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

One would expect that the Internet Defense League website was BY-SA compliant. John lilburne (talk) 21:09, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

"Declaration of Internet Freedom"[edit]

Just came across this (via an article in the Irish Times). I haven't looked into it very deeply but it looks like something more aligned with our principles. -- RA (talk) 20:28, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

True. But politics is never far away; it's a project of en:Free Press (organization), and I'm sure some Wikimedians would object to supporting it. Rd232 (talk) 10:17, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Create a WikiProject[edit]

It's clear from this discussion that Wikimedia can't formally sign on to an open-ended political alliance. But members can pursue an important goal of this alliance - educating the public. You should amass a group of editors for some "w:WP:WikiProject Internet Defense", the purpose of which would be to document the activities and issues raised by the IDL. This should be done honestly - NPOV - arguments for and against all covered, with the faith that since the cause is just, the totality of the arguments will lead the reader to choose the right response. This documentation should begin at w:Internet Defense League, a sad little article; indeed, it might be politic if you could flesh it out a bit before even trying to get people to join the WikiProject. See w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide for further information.

A cute touch would be to devise a little template for the WikiProject which briefly features current top action alerts. With some doing, I think you might even make a user script to display these alerts in place of the top banner each time you visit Wikipedia; you might then militate on key occasions to feature this data as the main site banner for everyone, if you can get consensus that a specific cause at a specific time is truly crucial for Wikipedia's survival (and it may be).

In short, instead of trying to start from the top down, work it from the bottom up. Wnt (talk) 17:22, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, that's the sort of thing I was thinking. Rd232 (talk) 20:11, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Folks, you're well-intentioned, but that's not what this is effort is all about. Remember, in politics, "faith that since the cause is just, the totality of the arguments will lead the reader to choose the right response", is too often a recipe for losing. Note this was NOT done with SOPA, rather, Google-propaganda was set against copyright-propaganda. And it worked! But wow, it was extremely difficult to find an honest argument, on either side (n.b. I don't count arguments that are not lies in a legalistic sense, but deceptive in implication and emphasis). If you want to do the above project, go for it. But it's completely the opposite of what was effective - which was top-down scare-mongering. Wikipedia is now seen as potential astroturf from heaven, with professional manipulators salivating over how its reputation can be used to further political agendas. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't believe that. The analogy I would make is to the role of mutations of large effect in evolution. Sure, if you want to get a white horse or a six-toed cat, and you select intensively for this appearance, you can quickly get it by some mutation which simply damages the genetic makeup of the organism, and produces this effect with various subtle side-effects. But in the long run, evolution generally discards these drastic changes in favor of the accumulated power of dozens, maybe thousands of tiny alterations that are practically unnoticeable. Likewise, whatever effect can be accomplished in the short term with deceptive arguments will not endure the way that an improved community philosophy will endure.
I have suggested a policy basis for actions of this type at w:WP:Academic freedom, though admittedly, when I mentioned this on Jimbo's talk page I didn't get anybody famous to sign onto it :( Wnt (talk) 18:34, 7 July 2012 (UTC)