Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 1/Diversity/9

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it.
Most likely, new comments will not be taken into account by the new three Working Group members in their work of developing the final Recommendations. You are free however to continue discussing in the spirit of "discussing about Wikipedia is a work in progress". :)


  • Not just no but hell no. Wikimedia projects are, and always should be, free content. We absolutely should not permit NC and/or ND licensing; this would destroy that aspect of our movement. It is in the very motto of the Wikipedias: "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." "Free" in that sense means "libre", not just "gratis". The fact that you have buried a proposal to undermine the fundamental nature of our projects in an area like this is totally unacceptable (as is proposing to do it to begin with). Seraphimblade (talk) 16:33, 10 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Not just no but hell no. Aside from the licencing issue, the Foundation can expect an angry mob with torches and pitchforks storming the castle if you attempt to destroy the Reliable Source rules (referred to as Western-idea of academic-based knowledge) or other core policies and guidelines. In regard to the text All change has negative connotations to some members of the community, that is all well and good up until opposition constitutes a majority consensus. A community consensus could place banners on every article telling readers to stop donating. Criticism should not be causally dismissed without consideration of whether that criticism is a majority or even catastrophic. Alsee (talk) 21:10, 10 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Not just no but hell no
    The two cited pieces are self-describedly into uncharted territories and unless WMF is prepared to fight scores of such novel battles, it shall expect to be sued left and right; you don't fuck about in these areas under the pretext of righting great wrongs.
    As an example, for an article in which an indigenous historian/scholar has provided “authoritative” input and marked with distribute only through GNU, it would be semi- or fully-protected from drive by editing for those sections marked. goes against the fundamental tenet of hosting free editable content and I also doubt that contents can be mixed from different licenses (all are not compatible) w/o getting entangled in a mess . We can easily paraphrase that input, if it is there at the first place and fulfilling that 'if' shall be your task.
    Wikimedia projects are and always should host free content. We shall not permit NC and/or ND licensing. This is a holy grail. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 11:57, 11 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    Having certain content being uneditable by the majority would make Wikipedia so much more complicated. I get requests from potential partners asking for this fairly often. It is not a good idea. Even though I am an expert in my topic area I would never request greater "rights" than others. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:26, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    Absolutely agree with you. Experts are always welcome but collaboration supersedes that. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 08:19, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Absolutely not. There is absolutely no good reason to allow NC or ND material. Wikimedia should stay part of the Free Content movement, this is fundamental. It suggests such a grave misunderstanding of the nature of this project that I suggest to ignore the entire output of this workgroup and start from scratch. Kusma (talk) 13:45, 11 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • No There's a lot in this recommendation that sounds interesting but represents significant changes from the original principles of Wikipedia. Allowing alternate licenses (ND / NC as mentioned) is something that's not that far off from some projects allowing fair-use, but at the Project level? No way. Free and open means exactly that - free for others to use and re-use as they wish, not based on your preferences. Open to new ideas and new ways of using what you originally created. The "it would be semi- or fully-protected from drive by editing for those sections marked" comment basically means no more IP editing. I won't even touch the line just before that one, it's just so insanely contrary to everything that is Wikipedia. Ravensfire (talk) 04:15, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    Not too sure what you mean by “at the Project level” − I think the recommendation is indeed about project-level, ie en.wp or ca.wb or else (per If this cannot be applied across the board, we need to evaluate project specific use for multimedia such as the “fair use” policy on English Wikipedia.)). It is a fact that many projects already allow Non-free content (Not that I personnally agree with this). Jean-Fred (talk) 10:29, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Absolutely not. ND/NC licence is restrictive and should never be utilised for a free/libre project like Wikimedia.--Vulphere 08:40, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose This would destroy the whole purpose of Wikimedia Commons, which is to provide free media for the whole world. Rodhullandemu (talk) 09:43, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Absolutely not. The notion that the freedom to use, modify and redistribute content for any purpose constitutes re-colonisation and oppression(!) is so wrongheaded it boggles the mind. If you want to fail at liberating the world through non-free content, you can always fork the Wikimedia projects. The tendency to hide rider provisions for completely unrelated power grabbing measures in the recommendation's excess verbiage is also deeply concerning. Everyone involved should be utterly ashamed of themselves. LX (talk, contribs) 09:48, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Widening the inclusion of non-open content is contrary to the entire ethos of the Wikimedia movement. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:24, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

As votes about Commons policies should happen on Commons, I have created c:Commons:Village_pump/Proposals#Proposal_to_introduce_Non-Commercial_media_on_Wikimedia_Commons where you may wish to vote and discuss the NC license change specifically. If there is a need, we can create another proposal for the ND license change. Thanks -- (talk) 10:00, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  • yes to the extent that fair use is not used when it could be, it harms open scholarship. time has passed by the "live free or die" ideology. outsiders are astonished by the license purity tests. google is already front running images on knowledge graph results, resulting on fewer clicks to content. when a rich media fork comes along, it will be a serious competitor. Slowking4 (talk) 16:04, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Please DO NOT Answers to question #3 are frightening to say the least. Moreover, none of the proposals actually do something to foster diversity, rather smother it. Sannita - not just another sysop 17:47, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • The proposal to accept alternative non-free licenses (like NC and ND) is in fundamental opposition to the Wikimedia Foundation Mission, i.e. [t]he mission [..] is to [..] develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain [..]. And it contradicts the 2007 WMF resolution regarding the licensing policy. Whoever wants do divert from these foundations of the Wikimedia projects ought to read The case for Free use: reasons not to use a Creative Commons -NC license and Creative Commons licenses and the non-commercial condition: Implications for the re-use of biodiversity information. Please do not wreck the pillars of our projects. --AFBorchert (talk) 21:14, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Short answer, no. Long answer, whoever wrote this seems to have little or no association with the WMF and/or is willfully ignorant of the projects' mission and on that basis this recommendation should be dismissed. Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 00:06, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Not just no, but hell no - This is a self-destructive aim for the project. I don't know what's worse: "let's do away with RS and NOR because it creates standards" or "standards are oppressive and modern colonialism". Perhaps the worst bit is that underpinning this radical proposal is a belief that "only the West has standards", you almost out and out say it with Western-idea of academic-based knowledge. Academia exists in more than just Europe and U.S. Mr rnddude (talk) 06:12, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Not just no but hell no. Also, GFDL must die. Alexis Jazz (ping me) 08:27, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • One hundred loud nos. I don’t want to hurt anyone who has written this up, but it is really strange that someone had even come up with this idea. If people in disadvantaged communities need more protection and recognition of their contributions by commercial entities, they, sadly, need to create different projects for this. On the most basic level, existing commercial re-users will never comply with GFDL terms, and will soon just drop using Wikipedia altogether instead of trying to navigate this convoluted mess of a licensing system. stjn[ru] 15:52, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Absolutely not! Don't let NC licenses get legitimized through adoption by Wikimedia. An let link another time to the above mentioned The case for Free use: reasons not to use a Creative Commons -NC license. --Marsupium (talk) 21:04, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • It's already allowed on most pedia projects (English, Deutsch, etc.), with reasonable criterias, and the wikipedias are still alive and well. If there was a catastrophy, then everybody would already know about the Non-free content policy, and the EDP. Is there any reliable evidence that a minor proportion of non-free content caused any damage? — Aron M (talk) 09:10, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    This is not correct, de:wp does not accept non-free media. But de:wp accepts media which are permitted according to German, Swiss, and Austrian law which are (in regard to copyright) quite close – all of them share pma70. This has the consequence that de:wp is in some cases more restrictive than Commons and in other cases more permissive. --AFBorchert (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • No, absolutely no - and it's not even Wikimedia's concern All this stuff about misappropriation and unwanted commercial use of certain content which is being used to justify the inclusion of NC/ND CC licenses in Commons and other Wikimedia projects, really isn't Wikimedia concern. If some communities object to certain types of use on content produced by them, they should secure them in the law, same way as personal image rights, trademarks, etc. No one at Commons cares if the Coca-Cola logo we host there, which is both PD-old and PD-textlogo, is misused by 3rd parties to sell some other cola beverage as if it was the original one. That's Coca-Cola concern, not ours, and they are absolutely free to sue the infractor. If those communities object to certain uses, first they secure their concerns in a legal way, then act upon it. As it is now, anyone who gets access to that content in a legal way and wants to share it, can do it freely at Commons, and nobody at Commons is going to delete it just because some other people, which have not any legal right over that content, claim that using it commercially is against their beliefs or traditions.- Darwin Ahoy! 21:58, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

"On a governance level"...[edit]

..."the community has the responsibility to carry out its work in a manner consistent with the mission of the Foundation and strategic plan of our movement. This secondary responsibility is currently missing from the ToU and should be added, as it’s omission has created conflict when the WMF has acted to enforce such things as office actions." No. What has caused conflict is the WMF grabbing power for itself and failing to consult or communicate adequately. The solution to this is not (as appears to be suggested in this "Recommendation") to oblige volunteers and projects to accept whatever the WMF decrees. This 'WMF knows what's best for you and for everyone else' attitude is what needs to change – people will follow a strategic plan if they have been involved in its development and believe in it, not because a legal document technically compels them to. Don't double down by seeking to codify this attitude in the ToU. EddieHugh (talk) 19:24, 11 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

This is getting into Die Lösung territory. Kusma (talk) 20:26, 11 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for that link, It says it all. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:25, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Motivation for ND/NC recommendations[edit]

Hello, I try to understand the sometimes quite difficult text. I am struggling also with understanding why the authors think that ND and NC is necessary for minorities. The argument give is "misappropriation", and there are two links: one to the NY Times about the modern use or abuse of pictures about slaves in the 19th century, the other one about a fashion company using names and iconic props of Native Americans. I wonder what those two cases have to do with ND and NC. Pictures from the 19th century are usually in the Public Domain.

As I have said elsewhere: I am open to discuss ND and NC, although personally I am not very fond of them. But if you don't give us substantial arguments, a meaningful discussion is not possible.

Also, I wonder about this section: "Q4a. Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change? - All change has negative connotations to some members of the community." The question is very important: If you make such a proposal that would fundamentally alter our understanding of "free content", you must think through the possible consequences. This generalistic "answer" is totally inappropriate. I actually find it rather disrespectful to the members of the community. Ziko (talk) 13:53, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

+1. If the Working Group wants to engage with local communities, dismissing all possible negative feedback before even asking for any, is counter productive verging on being openly hostile. -- (talk) 14:19, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
you should be aware that certain communities do not trust your intellectual property licenses. they are accustomed to being disrespected by the colonizing powers that be. they reserve the right to control their indigenous knowledge. to the extent you cram down or blackball those communities , you are an impediment to the sharing of the sum of all knowledge. and questioning motives, is explicitly hostile. Slowking4 (talk) 16:12, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Well, if they don't trust them, we will respect that as best we can: If they are not willing to release their produced content under a free license, we'll respect their wishes and not share it under one. Many other sites don't particularly care about copyright or authors' rights, and respond only when explicitly required to by the DMCA. We actually proactively look for and get rid of violations, even when no one has yet complained. I don't know how we could do any better than that. But we are a free content project, so at the end of the day, if someone does not wish to share their content under a free license, this isn't the proper place for it. Seraphimblade (talk) 21:31, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
How are you so sure their unwillingness to share it is due to the licencing and not because of cultural copyright? Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 19:53, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Request for explicit sources with respect to "re-colonizing"[edit]

The following statement is the first paragraph of Q2:

A careful examination of the four sources given, which includes academic papers, shows that there is no claim about "re-colonizing ... diverse knowledge". Some of the academics do have research areas which include aspects of decolonizing knowledge. Because the sourcing is vague, I may be missing which of the four sources support or make this claim, perhaps using different language but with identical meaning. Could someone please specify how to find it or correct the text to make the sourcing explicit? Thanks -- (talk) 14:26, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

see also Intellectual Property at the Intersection of Race and Gender: Lady Sings the Blues; Creating Selves: Intellectual Property and the Narration of Culture -- Slowking4 (talk) 17:13, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I am unsure of the point being made by quoting two other sources. A brief read through of source 1, appears to make no specific rationale as to why NC or ND is better or worse than other copyright restrictions, such as the currently permissible SA and BY. Source 2 is a book, and waving at an entire book, rather than pointing to specific evidence it may contain, seems unhelpful. Books on colonization or empire(s) and property law exist, they may or may not be relevant to the point made in the recommendation.
Other than that, the question of this thread is which of the four sources support or make this claim, as none appears to directly support the claim in the recommendation or provide any specific evidence for why this is an issue for Wikipedia specifically. -- (talk) 13:33, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Case against NC and ND[edit]

I'm aware that part of the case against allowing NC is that NC has been used, arguably misused by some people who licence their material NC and then catch people out by pointing out that their use is commercial when people thought they'd be OK because they were a charity etc etc. In effect NC is not a free licence. Is the argument against ND the same, people being caught out because they didn't realise that cropping or poor colour fidelity from a cheap printer meant that they had to pay because they hadn't complied with the terms of an ND licence? Should we improve our documentation on Commons of the case against NC and ND rather than just dismiss NC or ND advocacy as a newbie mistake? Clearly part of the mistake on this occasion is by people thinking that ND protects against "culturally significant works marked ND which might suffer from misappropriation." ND does not address the issue of misappropriation, it addresses the rather different issue of derivative works. If you make a faithful copy of an ND image then you can use it for whatever you wish, however appropriate or not the creator of the image might think your use is. What you shouldn't do is create a derivative work, whether by including part of that image in a collage, or by changing the colour scheme. I can understand that some creatives would be unhappy if their images were downloaded from Wikimedia Commons and used for novelty toilet paper or shooting targets, in some cases it would count as insults and misappropriation. But NC might not be violated if no one was being charged for them, and ND would not be violated if it was a faithful reproduction. WereSpielChequers (talk) 14:51, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Hi WSC, these questions are valid, but I think are starting in the wrong place. The draft recommendations do not read clearly to my eyes with respect of why allowing NC or ND media or text solves a problem. As per the related email list discussion, it would be incredibly helpful if the Working Group were to consider compiling some specific examples to discuss, where the cases are not currently allowed on Wikimedia projects, and by not allowing them, or requiring an "unconstrained" free license, is a colonization issue or re-enforces existing systemic bias.
Proposing to allow NC media rears its head every few years, and especially in that historical context, it makes discussion much easier if we look at cases rather than repeating rhetoric or pointing to academic views which of themselves are opinions rather than verifiable facts. -- (talk) 15:09, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Fæ, you and I have both had discussions with cultural institutions re image collections. My default spiel ended with advising them that there'd be a few images they would hold back, either because they weren't sure if they owned the copyright, or the object, or there might be concerns about open publication of that image. I see "cultural appropriation" as the sort of concern that would result in some images being held back. I don't see NC and or ND as a solution, not just because they don't restrict faithful copies being used for non commercial purposes; but also because the WMF makes little to no effort to get reusers of our content to comply with those licenses, and worse, copyrights expire. If your concern is getting paid for your work and you want to use Wikipedia to publicise your photos so that lots of people will pay you to use commercially the photos used on Wikipedia, then you probably aren't too worried how long after your death your descendants will continue to get paid for those photos. But if your concern is cultural appropriation, the it should probably worry you that even if the work you upload as NC, ND is still in copyright when you upload it, eventually it will cease to be in copyright and become public domain. Whatever reassurance that those NC and ND conditions give you, you should know that they are temporary and will lapse in at most the next century or two. WereSpielChequers (talk) 07:41, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Hello! On the topic of NC see this WMDE brochure of 2012. Kind regards Ziko (talk) 20:50, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Do not contaminate Wikipedias with pseudo-free licences, start alternative projects.[edit]

If the WMF wish to start new projects using NC, ND and similar licences, and to remove requirements for reliable sourcing, they can create new projects to do this, but should not under any circumstances call them Wikipedias. Wikivoyage does not require references, and it encourages original research. That is not a problem, it does not pretend to be Wikipedia. (I work on both, both are fit for purpose, but should not be confused, they are very different.) There may be a good niche for projects with the relaxed requirements for free use and reliable sourcing, but this must be done in a way that does not contaminate Wikipedia or destroy the credibility we work so hard to achieve. It may work. If it does, great, we have an alternative educational site - Hooray! Wikipedias can reuse the content which is good enough and free enough. If it fails disastrously it must not drag down the Wikipedias. That is not negotiable. People will work on the sites of their choice. An alternative site may become a spam and woo magnet, and a place to write an article on every non-notable topic that can be imagined if the policies allow it and there are not sufficient volunteers to do the maintenance, so it may be necessary for WMF to provide staff to look after it. This does not bother me in the least, they can experiment with their top-down social engineering to their heart's content, and we on the Wikipedias can adopt anything that actually works after we see it work, and the rough edges have been worn off. Wikipedias can continue as a control group. I would really like to see this experiment in action, and would be quite happy to see it work marvellously, but it is not worth the risk to the Wikipedias or their communities to play around with them in this way as there is no guarantee. At the worst such an alternative set of projects could take some of the load of vandalism fixing and similar drudgery from the Wikipedians for a while and let them concentrate on building the encyclopedia. If WMF and the strategy theorists really think this could work, let them put their money where their mouth is.
Similar conditions apply to Commons, It must remain closed to unfree and pseudo-free media. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:59, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Suggestion: sources to support NC and ND licensing[edit]

The 2 articles (1, 2) portray the issue well. I suggest the proposal should explain how NC and ND licenses will benefit this issue. If possible, give more sources, that address the doubts.

The main premise of the proposal ("we assume that it would be necessary to modify the “Terms of Use” especially to address community health, foster diversity and address systemic biases") is welcome, independent of the licensing question. — Aron Manning (talk) 17:19, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Worth reading: WMDE's brochure about Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) and CC license in general — Aron M (talk) 22:49, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

better idea![edit]

I have a better idea! We disintigrate this repressive organization "Wikimedia Foundation"! Tenthusand of authors over 18 years do so much work and now we shoud well-behaved everything the Foundation wants? Are you really so short-sighted that you did not realize, that you can't act in this way with the volunteers, who are working for the money that this systems keeps running? -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 17:27, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Terms of Use for the WMF[edit]

I think that the recommendations regarding the role between the WMF and the communities are completely backwards. It is not time to extend the terms of use. To the contrary, the board should create "terms of use" that the foundation has to comply with in their dealings with the communities. These should, in my opinion, entail the following rules:

  • The WMF must respect the fundamental principles of the projects (en:Wikipedia:Five_pillars, fr:Wikipédia:Principes_fondateurs, de:Wikipedia:Grundprinzipien,...). It will not attempt to change them against the will of the communities or act against their spirit.
  • The WMF has the role of a facilitator, not a leader. There are many independent projects that are self-governed, only restricted by a limited set of global policies. In particular, each project is free to independently decide whether to implement strategic goals set by the WMF or ignore them. This is necessary to sustain diversity among the different projects.
  • The WMF will not interfere with the decision processes of the local projects unless this is required by law or to enforce a restricted set of rules that does not considerably exceed the current set of global policies.
  • The WMF recognizes that it is, by far, less diverse than the different communities representing all cultures of the world. It will not attempt to impose their notions of civility upon the communities with very diverse cultural backgrounds in the form of a central "code of conduct".

--Tinz (talk) 17:37, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Of all the "recommendations" that I have read (which means most of the official 'strategy 2018–20' ones), these are easily the best, both in content and how they are expressed. The overall summary is pertinent and clear, and each point is expressed with precision. These proposals would aid diversity: local groups are more aware of local problems than are people in Californian offices; suggestions from the WMF would be welcome, to provide some impetus for positive local change ... WMF orders and universal obligations are likely to be anti-diversity. EddieHugh (talk) 18:14, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I am in 100% full agreement with Tinz, and that's not being smartassed or sarcastic. These really should be adopted by the WMF; it would have prevented a whole host of unfortunate incidents between the WMF and various communities. Seraphimblade (talk) 19:12, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1, 100% agree to Tinz too. How many percent of the persons working there are active writers in Wikipedia? I cannot see, that anybody reflects, how and why thousands of persons wrote millions of articles free of any charge for such a long time. Every change has to start there and not in any desert.--Brainswiffer (talk) 19:55, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, too. I feel deeply dedicated to our fundamental principles as mentioned above, whereas I can hardly see any point in the vague, ambiguous social engineering slipslop I had to read on this and other working groups' meta pages.--Mangomix (talk) 20:24, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1: It would be indeed helpful to endorse and respect the fundamental principles of the projects which provided the very foundation for the success of the Wikipedia projects (and without which WMF would not exist). --AFBorchert (talk) 20:50, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Brilliantly stated. I agree completely. Kusma (talk) 20:50, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1, i fully agree to Tinz's statement. --Ghilt (talk) 20:51, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 ...Sicherlich Post 21:00, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 21:10, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Tinz. --Gustav von Aschenbach (talk) 21:11, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1. --DCB (talk) 21:40, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 --StYxXx (talk) 21:56, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 - 100 % for the recomendations of Tinz, -jkb- 21:58, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I fully agree. You do not achieve "diversity" by globally enforcing Californian "moral" standards. --voyager (talk) 22:07, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1--Kmhkmh (talk) 22:09, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Agree with this. Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 00:16, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1.--Vulphere 03:48, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 --Itti (talk) 04:57, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Full aggree with Tinz -- Ra'ike (talk) 05:35, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 This is the most important thing to go on in the nearer future. Otherwise, WMF try to put the cart before the horse. Martin Bahmann (talk) 07:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Nasiruddin (talk) 08:13, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Grueslayer (talk) 08:32, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 --Einsamer Schütze (talk) 08:47, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1, full support! Best regards, Bernhard Wallisch 10:23, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Completely agree. Shoy (talk) 12:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 support --smial (talk) 13:07, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding about the Wikimedia Movement here. --MGChecker (talk) 13:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 --Niki.L (talk) 16:28, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1, absolutely. The WMF exists to support the community, not to give orders to it. (Wikimania starts tomorrow, and I hope some people there will be able to bring this up with some of the relevant individuals during the event.) --Yair rand (talk) 17:33, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
We will! -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 08:27, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support Sargoth (talk) 19:15, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 --Hogü-456 (talk) 20:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 MER-C (talk) 09:56, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 11:58, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 --CennoxX (talk) 14:00, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 –Davey2010Talk 14:00, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Marrakech (talk) 17:57, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 - Darwin Ahoy! 22:03, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Full agreement. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 03:21, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 - The best recommendation I've seen! Nosebagbear (talk) 15:26, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1--J. Patrick Fischer (talk) 12:44, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1. This recommendation goes against many other recommendations which try to reduce the power of the wmf and give as much of it as possible to community leaders. Strainu (talk) 16:51, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 This would make things easier. ChristianKl08:37, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1: Aye, with this as the foundation, a better way forward can be found, with the Foundation in a supporting role. Javert2113 (talk) 00:04, 21 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1, Full agreement, I am of the same opinion as Tinz. The WMF exists to support the community, not to give orders to it. --Maimaid (talk) 07:52, 22 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support Fine statement.--Chief tin cloud (talk) 23:43, 23 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 --Rainald62 (talk) 22:43, 24 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 This would be a good reform. --EllenCT (talk) 06:17, 25 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Philosophically a diversity policy needs to start from the understanding that human cultures are very diverse. Structurally a global organisation that wants to embrace diversity needs to be a confederation not a federation. There are also some universal rights and values, and real risks that we face, including the risk of a project being captured by a government. This reccomendation is a sensible way forward. WereSpielChequers (talk) 07:10, 25 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 We would need a full workshop to get this into proper shape, but overall this is vastly better than the other recommendations I've seen. Alsee (talk) 21:47, 21 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support The WMF is a necessary evil for a community as big as we are for organisational purposes, but it's definitely not the boss. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:22, 9 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 This makes a whole lot more sense than anything I have seen proposed by the foundation to date. Thanks! --Millbart (talk) 09:18, 10 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support --Symposiarch (talk) 13:29, 14 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support --̴̴̴̴ — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bahnmoeller (talk) 25. Mai 2020, 22:24:27 (UTC)
Support Support --Wuselig (talk) 12:34, 24 June 2020 (UTC) All this talk about "Movement" makes us appear more and more like a Cult or a Nation being governed by a Central Party than as a Community. Organization in this Community should be Bottom-up, not Top-down![reply]



It's good that you share your thoughts, I can only ask for more. Please just remember that one of the Roles & Responsibilities group's draft recommendations is to implement more subsidiarity. Depending on the scale of implementation, comments that are all about WMF, and the community vs. WMF paradigm, could turn out to be... not reflecting who's who. In the end, we're talking about desired distant future. Please take it into account. Also, I must add, this is my 100% personal view and please not be guided by (WMF) in my signature. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 10:06, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

SGrabarczuk (WMF), I would absolutely love it if editors on the various Wikimedia projects could just go about their business, and more or less forget the WMF exists aside from the annual banners. And that was happening for a while. We didn't change that. A bunch of us didn't go to San Francisco and try to forcibly remove a WMF employee. WMF employees came to our projects and tried to forcibly remove our editors and administrators. So yes, it sucks that created a climate of mistrust, but WMF is responsible for that. If they'd kept to their side of the line, we wouldn't be having these issues, and it wouldn't be causing so much consternation that this WMF-sponsored Working Group are now asking them to overstep even worse and even more frequently. Seraphimblade (talk) 18:50, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
There are many contexts mixed in your answer. I'll elaborate on 3 of them. I won't answer to the part with the WG members, because I feel we need to agree on more fundamental issues first. Obviously, this is my personal view.
  1. WMF is not a monolith, a tribe that is able to participate in a tribal war, or a 300-head hydra. That was so clear almost 4 years ago. I'm not the best person to remind the details, because I wasn't in SF in front of the microphone, so I'll just pick 2 random links: [1] [2]. Every time there are issues, it's about a part of people who are somehow associated with WMF. An example: in spite of the (WMF) in my signature, a large majority of WMF staff desn't know me, has never spoken with me, no clue at all. I've got friends among them, though. I guess there's also silo mentality (this institution undertakes so different activities at the same time with one budget, to name but 3: servers, product development, grantmaking).
  2. Wikimedia structures (= WMF and affiliates) in general, are a good concept. Volunteers themselves don't have the capacity to, i.e., collaborate with many institutions, offer grants to each other, organize big events. This isn't a right place for The Cathedral and the Bazaar-like discussions, I'd like to avoid that, but please take the assumption that the structures are good, they just need to change. (Besides, do we really want to go back to dreams about decentralized Internet, and personal servers in pockets? why not, but our potential enclave wouldn't affect Google or Facebook or Chinese net). From my personal perspective, a radical reduction of Wikimedia structures' activity is distant from any good, desired situation.
  3. Now, Wikimedians live in different Wikimedia bubbles, but the strategy is for future and for all. To my colleagues from Polish Wikipedia, WP:FRAM means nothing. I bet hardly anyone in my community knows who Fram is. Also, the perspective of Wikimedians from the US may differ from the perspective of Wikimedians from countries where big chapters are established. In my country, when you ask an editor which Wikimedia structure comes to their mind first, the answer would probably be Wikimedia Poland, and not WMF. So in a discussion about the strategy, an argument based on WP:FRAM and some behavior by the WMF staff, might seem to be (sorry, I'm just being honest) off topic.
That's why I ask to focus on the desired future that Wikimedians want to achieve together. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 21:44, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, well, you clearly knew I was talking about Fram, though that's not all. Superprotect, the VE issues, ACTRIAL, all of those. And during FRAM, editors from the German and Chinese Wikipedias came over to tell us they'd experienced similar things. (You'll note many of those objecting here primarily edit on the German Wikipedia; this isn't some kind of "en.wp only" bit.) But, that's fair enough. The future I envision is one in which WMF provides stellar support to the communities in terms of finding and making available reliable sources, and in which editors of Wikimedia projects can count on WMF support (regardless of their gender, race, etc.), if they need some help in making available such sources, but in which WMF does not in any way ever interfere with how such projects run their day-to-day operations. Yeah, that essentially means that the future looks a lot like the past. It's worked to make us a top-5 website so far, so really, the envisioned future is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Seraphimblade (talk) 22:00, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
In a nutshell: SGrabarczuk (WMF) does not know anybody. is not aware of any important events and the community he is most active in lives under a rock. Therefore, the WMF in its role as benevolant dictator has to lay down stricter rules for all volunteers world wide. I must admit, this makes not really sense to me. Cheers Sargoth (talk) 07:23, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Dear @SGrabarczuk (WMF):, this is a little bit confusing: "Also, I must add, this is my 100% personal view and please not be guided by (WMF) in my signature." Should you not, then, use your private account? Ziko (talk) 04:51, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

That the trick with these liaisons - they are both and in doupt nothing. You were installed by the WMF and I dont see that any community has endored you. --̴̴̴̴ — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bahnmoeller (talk) 25. Mai 2020, 22:29:29 (UTC)

A good way to reduce contributions - "each time an editor acts anonymously as an IP"[edit]

"each time an editor acts anonymously as an IP" - really? That helps? This page pops up every time an IP tries to edit? And to make sure its been read you have to scroll down? This is the bullshit everybody of us knows; "Please read this software licence carefully before installing ..." - who reads that? Its just annoys people, "nobody" reads it anyways and even if someone reads it: "oh, because its written I'll care" 😂 - in a perfect world with perfect people maybe. ... IMO thats a very good way to reduce contributions by "outsiders" so Wikipedians are not disturbed by IPs or other folks ...Sicherlich Post 20:24, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Q4a. Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?[edit]

"All change has negative connotations to some members of the community." - Thats the deep thought to a proposed strategic change? - 42 as an answer would be as helpful as this one. ...Sicherlich Post 20:30, 12 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I would appreciate the Diversity Working Group giving more thought to the assumptions being made to justify this recommendation. For example, en:Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the basis for insulating the WMF from liability for content posted by WP editors. In essence, by delegating content to the community, the WMF avoid legal responsibility for the content. You seem to propose having the WMF take over content responsibility for the sake of diversity and Knowledge Equity. What assumptions are you making regarding the legal liability that comes from this? What estimate have you made regarding the costs of implementing this new content responsibility? If a minority viewpoint will be subject to Western standards in a Western legal system in terms defamation, how do you propose to navigate the gap between the goal of broadcasting authentic viewpoints and defamation concerns.

How would the Diversity Working Group propose to handle "hate speech?" If an oral interview includes the ranting of a holocaust denier can/should WMF edit it out? What about documentary video from a Klan rally? What about a Nazi rally from the 1930s? It seems to me that the WMF may want to establish or cooperate with an archival project without compromising Wikipedia, which as an encyclopedia offers its contents as being the truth, not advocacy. Hlevy2 (talk) 04:03, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

" In essence, by delegating content to the community, the WMF avoid legal responsibility for the content." actually that is a misreading of section 230. i.e. "Courts have held that Section 230 prevents you from being held liable even if you exercise the usual prerogative of publishers to edit the material you publish." [3] so the promotion of more diversity is well within the bounds. for "Western standards" see Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/2 -- Slowking4 (talk) 16:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
This is literally a problem with *all* the recommendations given here. When asked to outline the negatives, it's clear that they can't imagine any; the "negative" is usually something to the effect of "bad people won't be aware of how awesome we are." It strongly suggests that these groups had limited (if any) members with contrary opinions/beliefs and that this whole exercise was more a sounding-board of an a echo chamber.CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 14:26, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • @SGrabarczuk (WMF): - could you explain why so little detail was provided when there are clearly major known negatives. It's possible (I don't think so, but clearly others might disagree) that they are outweighed by the stated positives. But that doesn't explain why the negatives weren't stated, expanded and considered rather than such an amorphous statement. Why was this the case? Nosebagbear (talk) 15:31, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Nosebagbear, sorry, I don't know. This is a question to the Working Group members. I've got nothing to do with content of the recommendations, except for wikifying and making them public on Meta. All I can do is to ask the Core Team to ask the Working Group to watch these pages and react, which I already did. This was, BTW, intended and designed that the recommendations are written exclusively by the Working Groups, which are as diverse as possible in existing circumstances. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 16:00, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    • @SGrabarczuk (WMF): Not as "diverse as possible", but as diverse as the core team wanted it to be, as I know from solid sources. I wonder if anyone from this WG will ever care to appear here to discuss this with the community, or if they will just read this in the diagonal (or not even that) and send whatever they want as a final draft.--- Darwin Ahoy! 16:06, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Support Terms of Use changes[edit]

Support the following very important points of the recommendation, independently from the licensing questions.

  • "it would be necessary to modify the “Terms of Use” especially to address community health, foster diversity and address systemic biases."
  • "The ToU policy should be easily accessible." (Currently it is hard to find, even if one's looking for it.)
  • "In addition, the community has the responsibility to carry out its work in a manner consistent with the mission of the Foundation and strategic plan of our movement."
  • "Incorporating a Code of Conduct, would better ensure the health of the community."
  • "The current version of the Terms of Use does not reflect the present reality. The roles of stakeholders have been modified over time and should be accurately reflected to state that the WMF creates policy to meet strategic targets, (such as community health, diversity, and addressing systemic biases) that the community has a responsibility to also create policies which are guided by the movement strategy and goals."
  • "policies should be developed collaboratively." — Aron M (talk) 01:43, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support: making ToU clear, accessible and up-to-date is sensible. The community responsibility part should be ok too if the end result gains wide community acceptance. --MarioGom (talk)`

How to protect from uploading possibly free content as non-free?[edit]

Worth reading: WMDE's brochure about Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) and CC license in general

> The concern is that allowing NC and ND would lead to more content being uploaded under these "unfree" conditions that otherwise would be uploaded as "free". - Ziko

I share those concerns, yet believe it's not in the general interest of editors to use non-free licenses. These licenses limit the visibility of the content, therefore editors are generally demotivated from using it. I think we should focus on how to communicate that the use of these licenses do not benefit the editor, or Wikipedia as a whole, or its users, except in a few marginal cases, when it is a necessity.

There are a few options to do so, and minimize the proportion of possibly free content uploaded as "non-free":

  • Free is the default. Make it a significant effort (multiple steps) to choose NC or ND license. This is what the cookie opt-out UIs do, very successfully.
  • At each step inform the uploader, that a non-free license severely limits the visibility of the content (no media, no private schools, no Internet-in-a-Box).
  • If a user mostly uploads non-free content, notify them, this negatively affects Wikipedia as whole in its mission to be a free encyclopedia.
  • If non-free content is uploaded in great quantity, that content should be examined by other editors, and proposed for deletion, if similar content is available with free license.
  • If some content is available elsewhere with free license, the content and license can be replaced with that. This can be automated to an extent with reverse-image search.
  • After all these measures, I will have good faith, that most editors understand the benefit of free content over non-free, and only uses non-free licenses when it's truly necessary.

The use of non-free licenses should be marginal as a result, but allow to host content about underrepresented communities, while respecting and protecting their cultural heritage. The draft refers to 2 articles of such cases:

— Aron M (talk) 02:04, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

The refered to NYT article Who Should Own Photos of Slaves? The Descendants, not Harvard, a Lawsuit Says is not a case of NC as the daguerreotypes taken by J.T. Zealy are out of copyright. You will find them already at Commons: c:Category:Agassiz Zealy slave portraits. The other article Appropriating traditional culture – the controversy, consequences and challenges is about personality rights, see c:COM:PEOPLE. Many countries provide non-copyright restrictions in regard to personality rights. See following example on how this can be done responsibly without ND or NC restriction: File:Navajo Cowboy-1.jpg. --AFBorchert (talk) 11:52, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Hmmm... In my understanding the 1st article is more about the personality rights of a deceased person. Thanks for linking that guideline. The 2nd is about cultural heritage, not specific persons. One - very illustrative - example it brings up is the No Doubt - Looking Hot music video. As I wrote in my view these are "motivations", not exact cases for NC, ND. I hope the WG will explain their interpretation in detail, and provide more direct examples. I'm more focused on keeping free content free licensed. — Aron M (talk) 01:14, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
"The concern is that allowing NC and ND would lead to more content being uploaded under these "unfree" conditions that otherwise would be uploaded as "free" = citation needed. i hear how we will promote free licenses by deleting "non-free" ones, but have seen no evidence to support this thesis. rather it is a culture clash, with content creators of both free and "non-free" content being blocked, resulting in less free content not more. Slowking4 (talk) 16:38, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1) Citation is from the mailing list. 2) The Enwiki non-free content guideline (and related policy) permits the use of non-free content, and it hasn't turned enwiki into an apocalyptic "culture clash". That policy serves as an example, how non-free content can be managed, and kept to a minimum. — Aron M (talk) 01:25, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
How about we go with a simpler scheme, rather than all this complexity? Step 1: Don't allow nonfree content. Step 2: See step 1. There are plenty of sites that will accept nonfree licenses if someone wants to use them; Wikimedia just shouldn't be one of them. Seraphimblade (talk) 06:22, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1: It is indeed helpful to keep it plain and simple. See, for example, the difference between the articles about the famous painting Guernica by Picasso at de:wp and en:wp. The en:wp provides a non-free media rationale for en:File:PicassoGuernica.jpg to use under the fair use clause. In contrast, de:wp provides in its info box just a link to a picture. This is no big difference for the reader but makes sure that the entire German-language Wikipedia is entirely free without exceptions. This makes re-use much simpler. For some time, contents of de:wp was printed by Wikipress. And PediaPress allows to print user-selected contents of de:wp as books on demand. All this is no longer possible if the contents is contaminated with non-free works. --AFBorchert (talk) 08:17, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
As a reader: thanks, no! I want to see the picture on the webpage, on my mobile screen (without touching a miniature link), and on the preview from en:Pablo_Picasso. The problem to pass only free content to Wikipress and PediaPress, is a technical detail on the API level, that I thought is already solved (the acceptable licensing configured for the API key used by the client). The user experience of the online reader should not be diminished because of offline publishers and licensing, as it is now on — Aron M (talk) 09:32, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I understand that you might find a direct inclusion of a picture more comfortable. But please accept that the freeness of our text and media is of great importance for many Wikimedians. The introduction of NC and ND would be in conflict to the Wikimedia Foundation Mission: 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 or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. This is one of the most fundamental pillars which goes back to 2001. At that time and as now we should be inclined to do The Right Thing where the openness and _viral_ nature of it [..] are fundamental to the longterm success of the site. Jimbo Wales was amazingly right when he wrote this in 2001 and continues to be right. Many Wikimedians trust that their collaborative work will not be contaminated with non-free elements. The freeness of our work makes sure that it can be continually preserved and developed even if WMF folds down. Hence, an extra click is a comparatively small price to be paid for this freedom. Moreover, as we are very strict in this regard, we could in the past convince many artists and photographers to release their work under truly free licenses which would not have been happened otherwise. --AFBorchert (talk) 18:22, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

GNU Free Documentation License[edit]

"We currently use for text both Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and/or GNU Free Documentation License."

Currently, yes. GFDL must die. Alexis Jazz (ping me) 08:24, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Agree, GFDL was ok when CC was not around, let's just put it away once and for all. Sannita - not just another sysop 16:01, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Agree. Let's deprecate, Wikipedia is not a manual. — Aron M (talk) 02:43, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I support deprecating GFDL for new content. It's very confusing for a new users to understand what they need to do to comply with using it and there's little good faith reason why newly added content should be licensed with it. ChristianKl08:29, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

“Western-idea of academic-based knowledge”[edit]

Quote from Q5: The focus on mainstream, Western-idea of academic-based knowledge limits the inclusion of other ways of knowing or presenting knowledge. Academic-based knowledge is based upon research methods that permit intersubjective verifiability. This is an universal principle that works across all cultures and lays the foundations for our pillars of the Wikipedia projects, i.e. our content must be verifiable, citing reliable sources. Fortunately, academic research universities exist around the world, not just Western countries. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings enumerate multiple non-Western universities among the top-100 universities like Tsinghua University in China (22), National University of Singapore (23), Peking University (31), University of Hong Kong (36), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (41), University of Tokyo (42), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (51), Chinese University of Hong Kong (53), Seoul National University (63), Kyoto University (65), Sungkyunkwan University (82), and University of Science and Technology of China (93). Other non-Western countries follow. The top-500 include universities from Russia (Lomonosov Moscow State University, 199), South Africa (University of Cape Town, 156), Brazil (University of São Paulo, 251–300), India (Indian Institute of Science, 251–300), United Arab Emirates (Khalifa University, 301–350), Chile (University of Desarrollo, 401–500), Qatar (Qatar University, 401–500). Even in comparatively poor countries we have universities who made it into the top-1000 like Makerere University in Uganda or the University of Ghana. I think that one of the major obstacles is the access to published research papers. We have the Wikipedia Library and projects like the resource exchange but these are currently primarily working for the major Wikipedia projects. I think that it would be helpful to explore how access can be provided to smaller communities as well. Likewise, it could be a good approach to donate books and equipment (like a camera) to Wikipedians in third world countries. I think that this would be infinitely more helpful than to consider the abolishment of our pillars. --AFBorchert (talk) 09:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

see also Western science and traditional knowledge: Despite their variations, different forms of knowledge can learn from each other; Critical Analysis of the Production of Western Knowledge and Its Implications for Indigenous Knowledge and Decolonization; Systems of knowledge as systems of domination: The limitations of established meaning -- Slowking4 (talk) 16:55, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, I actually looked at one, and quickly spotted the following utter bullshit: ...truth is also a matter of perspectives. No. No, it is fucking not. Truth is not a matter of "perspectives". Two plus two equals four. Gravity is directly proportional to mass and inversely square proportional to distance. Truth is not a matter of perspective, facts are facts regardless of perspective. This idea that there are "alternative facts" depending on one's "perspective" is postmodernist crap, and it is wrong. There are things which are true, and things which are false. There are certainly matters of opinion, which have no factual answer, but questions of fact have right and wrong answers and which answers are which don't depend on "perspective". Seraphimblade (talk) 06:42, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I don't believe that fact is an exact synonym for truth. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:16, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Good point. Also in my experience, the ability to incorporate reliable sources from China or Nepal, just to put some examples I had to deal with recently, is usually not limited by a supposed lack of sources in Eastern regions, but by the language barrier and online access issues. Also bucketing modern sciences into the West and traditional or pre-modern knowledge into the East is actually a discriminatory and patronizing form of cultural relativism. --MarioGom (talk) 08:09, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • The only name I recognize from the diversity group is SusunW, so I'll ping her. Wikipedia is an Enlightenment project; we value reason, logic, science, critical thinking, so I'm troubled by the phrase "other ways of knowing". Susan, can you give some examples of what the group has in mind?
    Also, I'm alarmed by this: "an article in which an indigenous historian/scholar has provided 'authoritative' input and marked with distribute only through GNU, it would be semi- or fully-protected from drive by editing for those sections marked." That could mean that a community leader in an area that practices FGM would be given a protected section of the article to explain why girls' vulvas must be sewn closed. That presumably isn't what you have in mind, but how would you decide what is authoritative and appropriate if the usual high-quality source-based "anyone can edit" model is ditched? SarahSV talk 21:47, 18 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
SlimVirgin, I am not a spokesperson for the working group, so understand that this is my take only. We were tasked with brainstorming ideas to answer the question "How can we make Wikimedia more diverse and open up participation in the project in areas in which typically have not participated?" After numerous discussions and research into why many community members do not participate it became obvious that a big part of the problem is that dominant cultures are perceived to have the authoritative voice for many unrepresented and underrepresented groups. We aren't saying that documentation should go out the window, but that the perspective of the people involved matters. Scholarship from within their community should form the basis of articles about their culture and traditions. Obviously to maintain NPOV, other perspectives should be compared or contrasted from people outside of the community. What we heard over and over again was that sourcing from within local communities, were dismissed as being either biased or non-independent, and removed in favor of works from people who had no authentic knowledge of a community. It's an idea, not a policy and designed to get people thinking about the bigger problem of inclusiveness. SusunW (talk) 22:32, 18 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
SusunW, what you describe is people participating but having their contributions rejected. That's a content problem, caused by a sourcing problem, not a matter of participation. Yes, current standards for accepting sources could be torn up, but to what end and with what negative consequences? The ultimate focus is (should be) content, not participation. Good content starts with good sources; if we want to improve representation, then target the development of, access to, and awareness of, good sources on under-represented topics. EddieHugh (talk) 00:36, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I think User:SusunW is right. The exact idea probably of a specially protected section doesn't work for me, but the problem is real. The problem is not fully described as "people participating but having their contributions rejected": It's one person trying to participate, and lots of people having heard how badly it went and not even trying. Failed editing doesn't happen in a vacuum. (Which reminds me, we probably still need to go sort out w:en:Typhoid Mary w:en:Super-spreader. It blew up on a prof's Twitter account when an editor reverted major changes a couple of years ago.)
On the flip side, an academic who successfully navigates the larger communities is often the recipients of requests from colleagues to fix errors. They've heard that w:en:WP:RANDY believes their entire field is garbage ("Oh, there are eight pages about her in the world's foremost journal all about those people? Well, that's no evidence of notability – if she was really notable, she'd be in my country's newspaper"), and they don't want to touch it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:07, 26 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
It is more than "people participating but having their contributions rejected", but that's an accurate summary of SusunW's "What we heard over and over again was that sourcing from within local communities, were dismissed as being either biased or non-independent, and removed". If sources are bad or people don't know about good sources that do exist, then what will be rejected by current standards is the sourcing, not the content or the contributors. The natural solution is to help with sourcing (thereby improving content and representation/participation), not to help with participation while weakening sourcing standards (thereby worsening content, but hoping that some under-represented people will feel better). Successful editing requires sources. Having double standards over sourcing would also be condescending towards those groups we'd be trying to encourage. EddieHugh (talk) 09:14, 27 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
EddieHugh, I'm sorry to be the one saying this, but your comments are – maybe a bit naïve? That's a nice theory, and it's what's written in the various rulesets at the English Wikipedia, but it's not what's always happening in practice, at least at the English Wikipedia.
For example, the English Wikipedia has a very long-standing rule that says non-English sources are equal to English-language sources for verifiability and notability (although we prefer English language sources when those exist), but it's still true that I watched AFC decline an article written (in English) by a German admin about a German poet for a supposed lack of reliable sources. Upon discussion, it turned out that the real reason was because the half-dozen sources were not in English. And this happens all over the place: My celebrity is notable because American Gossip Magazine mentioned her being drunk twice, but your historical farmer isn't notable because he's only documented in academic sources that I've never heard of, and besides, their titles contain words like "Ethnic" and "Feminist", so I think your sources are "biased" (oh, wait, the actual written rules at w:en:WP:BIASED said that biased sources can still be reliable, and that scholarly sources are the best, but I'll just ignore that, because you probably don't know that, and besides, I can just feel that this person isn't important enough for a Wikipedia article). This happens every day at the English Wikipedia. (And you'd hardly expect otherwise, because AFD is open to anyone, including people who are too young or too little educated to know anything about academic sources or be aware of their biases.) I've spent a lot of the last dozen years working on the English Wikipedia's rules, especially WP:V, WP:MEDRS, WP:N, and WP:ORG. I like the rules as written. But I do not see them being followed fairly in practice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 27 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I was responding to what SusunW wrote, which I saw as confounding participation with content/sourcing. What you have described does happen, but it's a separate matter: centrally changing policy so that sourcing standards are weakened (the topic of this discussion) is different from the failure to apply existing local policy (what you describe). I'd welcome a discussion on how to develop awareness and understanding of how to assess sources, including for people who make decisions on the outcome of things such as AFC and AFD, but that's a different discussion, for a different place, I suggest. Linking to this talk page section's topic, surely if some local policies are not being implemented consistently, then the answer can't be to make new, central policies and then hope that they will be implemented consistently at the local level. EddieHugh (talk) 00:23, 28 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
EddieHugh, sure, the failure to follow our written rules when writing about marginalized people and subjects – we could even call that a double standard – is a serious problem, and won't be solved here. But I don't think that SusunW is calling for "weakened" standards. She recommended that we use more "Scholarship from within their community" (which is obviously a higher standard than non-scholarly sources, right?) and reported the practical problem that "sourcing from within local communities, were dismissed as being either biased or non-independent, and removed in favor of works from people who had no authentic knowledge of a community." Overall, that sounds like a call for higher standards to me. More scholarly sources, and more sources that know what they're talking about. I know that we're fond of our sourcing standards, so any criticism is assumed to be unlikely to improve matters until proven otherwise, but I don't see a single sentence in Susun's comments that I could honestly interpret as a request for lower standards. Feel free to quote me a sentence in which SusunW says that she wants lower standards. I've seen her work on wiki; "lower" is not a word I'd use to describe her sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:25, 28 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't intend to imply negative things about SusunW's current standards; however, I don't see how the suggestions could be implemented without making future standards weaker. Isn't the "sourcing from within local communities..." bit a criticism of current standards being applied – meaning that sources currently judged to be "biased or non-independent" would, under this "recommendation", be accepted? To me, that's proposing a weakening of sourcing standards. This "recommendation" includes a proposal to allow material added by "an indigenous historian/scholar" to be fully protected; the implication is that this material will not have been published in what is normally regarded as being a reliable source. (This might be the key difference in our reading: I imagine a group saying, 'this person is an authority in our community', and then whatever that person says/writes about the group can/must be accepted, even if it has not been published in what is currently known as a reliable source.) To me, that too is proposing a weakening of sourcing standards. And, of course, it would be doing so in a top-down manner. EddieHugh (talk) 12:04, 28 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think that "sourcing from within local communities" is inherently weaker. If we're writing about [[<Cultural tradition> in <country>]], then the recommendation is to pay particular attention to what relevant <country> scholars say about their own culture, and not just to what outsiders say about them. Consider the Swedish version of a "coffee break", which is called Fika. Doesn't it make more sense for the Wikipedia articles on that tradition to be written from sources by Swedish scholars, such as DOI:10.1080/21568235.2018.1458637doi:10.1080/21568235.2018.1458637, rather than from an "independent" British website such as this article? These scholarly sources are normally regarded as high-quality sources, but the fact is that they're not being used, or they're being minimized because they don't always agree with editors' personal beliefs. (If you need an example of that, then I can suggest w:en:Breast cancer awareness, where I spent a year or two dealing with editors who "just knew" that the whole article's POV was wrong, because the scholarly criticisms don't match their personal positive perception of pink ribbons as a happy thing. But funnily enough, none of them were able to produce scholarly sources that said "Yes, it's just great that women with breast cancer are given crayons and pink toys to play with and told to fix up their hair, and that research is focused on how to maximize the number of patients instead of on minimizing the number of women dying, and that most of the pink stuff people buy each October doesn't result in a single extra cent being spent for The Cause!" That's because nobody actually thinks those things, because the way many patients are treated is bad, the current focus of research is widely believed to be wrong by everyone except the imaging device manufacturers, and fraud is a crime. But they're startled to see all of that put together in one place, because almost none of that turns up in advertisements and newspaper puff pieces, and that's how people form their opinions.)
(As I said above, the idea that you'd lock part of an article is a non-starter for me, although I'm aware that readers have been asking for us to identify "approved" versions of articles for years.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:24, 30 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]


I checked the bizarre dispute over Superspreader and I come across such routine stubborn nonsense, at the rate of dozens per month. Other editors soon flocked in his support and it was all good, soon enough. If you seek to have no scope for conflict with an expert, citizendium is that-way.

Homeopathy is garbage and an eight page coverage in Dana Ulmann and his trade-brothers' journal will be (and ought be) certainly rejected.

Overall, social-justice-warriors need to pursue higher quality scholarship rather than finding ways to infiltrate into WP. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 16:13, 27 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

The results, AFAICT, were:
  • Some of the well-sourced content that an established editor reverted is still lost in the article history.
  • The established Wikipedian felt so attacked (including off-wiki) that s/he requested a new username.
  • A motivated, knowledgeable new editor – who had brought the idea of improving Wikipedia to the prof for a special project, not as part of a no-choice-allowed class assignment – left Wikipedia after just eight days.
  • The story was spread around academic circles, which hurts our reputation and probably discouraged future participation by the people who could contribute the most non-pop-culture content.
If that's "all good", then I think we're operating from different definitions. And this wasn't a case of the people you're denigrating as "social justice warriors" (those are the people who think that Wikipedia should treat Desi people and culture about the same as British and American people and culture, right?). This was a student in the hard sciences who wanted to write about a basic concept in infectious diseases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:38, 27 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
WhatamIdoing, I regret that happened but I have witnessed it happening the other way: academic figures discouraging educated & motivated people from contributing. (I once witnessed a professor tell an entire class that Karl Marx was nothing more than "a rabble-rouser". And he was a tenured professor, head of a department.) If academia thinks we are unfair, that there is a mote in our eye, maybe they ought to remove the beam from their eyes first. In my experience, I've used sources written in German, French & Latin without any other Wikipedian even lifting an eyebrow. I would have happily used sources written in Amharic or Tigrean about Ethiopia if I could have gained access to them at all. And been able to translate them into English somehow. On the other hand, we have a problem with a number of articles a now-banned editor contributed which are hoaxes, yet he was able to get accepted because he cited a source in French -- although omitting to include page numbers; & because these hoaxes got into the English Wikipedia, they've been copied uncritically into other language Wikipedias, including the French Wikipedia.
In short, we will always have problems with the process, some more severe than others. But so far no one has convinced any of us that this recommendation will address the root problem: finding & identifying reliable sources everyone can readily & quickly accept. And keeping the process as disinterested & unbiased as possible. -- Llywrch (talk) 01:23, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know about you, but I think I'm ready to give up on the idea of "reliable sources everyone can readily & quickly accept". There's always going to be someone arguing that bad sources are good ones, and that good sources are bad ones, even if we aren't in the tricky territory of figuring out whether this source is reliable for this particular statement, and whether that statement is being given due weight within this particular article.
I saw a second- or third-hand summary of some research on "trust", in the context of reading online. It appears that "trust" is highest when the source tells me what I already believe. After all, most of us like to have our biases reinforced with authority and in detail. The problem is that this isn't just true for Wikipedia's readers. It's also true for editors. So, for example, if editors believe that Example Film is about <subject>, then potential sources will be considered reliable if they say that the film is <subject> and unreliable if they say that the film is about anything else. Short of banning humans from the site, there is no way around this.
Wikipedia, if we are lucky, is probably going to work like real-world science, which means that when we've got the wrong end of the stick entirely, we're going to make small adjustments, while pounding on the table and insisting that our familiar ideas are the real ones. Over time, with enough small adjustments, we will slowly grope our way towards reality, and then scholars will look back at us and laugh about how silly we were to not just jump from "this is true" to "that was completely false". We are not going to suddenly say, "You know what? Everything we thought we knew was just completely wrong. It turns out that what these scholars were publishing in these niche journals about this subject is correct, and everything we learned from our school textbooks was wrong".
And even if we did somehow manage to do that – although the history of science suggests there's no real chance of that happening on a large scale – we'd lose some readers' trust, because they'd find contents that don't line up with their expectations, and some of them would figure out where the edit button is, and "correct" the article back to the wrong information. I don't really see a stable solution to this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:14, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
We may disagree on whether "reliable sources everyone can readily & quickly accept" can be found. But I don't see how the recommendations presented here provide a better solution than what we have now. -- Llywrch (talk) 06:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Why not new licenses?[edit]

CC-NC-ND would bring many problems, but why not a new license? The Spanish-speaking community suggested a CC-EDU, that would work as a NC one, but completely free when used in Educational projects.--TaronjaSatsuma (talk) 17:27, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

New licenses are welcome, provided they grant the four essential freedoms as originally defined by the Free Software Foundation for free software:
  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
This definition was adapted to the more general Definition of Free Cultural Works according to which free content grants the freedom to
  • use the content and benefit from using it,
  • study the content and apply what is learned,
  • make and distribute copies of the content, and
  • change and improve the content and distribute these derivative works.
CC-EDU does not conform to this definition because of its restriction in regard to the fourth freedom. The Wikipedia projects have this as one of the five pillars: Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute. Likewise it is one of the most significant policies of Commons: c:COM:L. --AFBorchert (talk) 21:29, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Enwiki allows CC-EDU, NC, ND content with the non-free content guideline. This is not in conflict with the 3rd pillar, the encyclopedia can still be edited with a non-free image in it: the image can be replaced, if need be. — Aron M (talk) 01:28, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
It is quite unfortunate that en:wp decided to divert from its 3rd pillar by allowing non-free media. Other Wikipedia projects like de:wp are still very strict about this. And, of course it conflicts with the third pillar as such content is no longer considered to be free (see above). These freedoms include the freedom to edit an image and, from a copyright perspective, to use it for any purpose including commercial usage. --AFBorchert (talk) 05:28, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, exactly. I was very much against en.wp allowing nonfree media, as that was against the free content mission. They still decided to do it, but that was, nonetheless, an error. Even so, though, it's still the policy that such media is used minimally and only when there is no choice, and we do not allow people to license their own media as nonfree. If someone would have the legal right to license media freely, they must then agree to the license and release it as CC-BY-SA. Similarly if it would be conceivably possible to replace the nonfree media with free, such as images of individuals still living or buildings still standing. But we should never permit contributors to license their own media under nonfree licenses. You want to put it on Wikimedia, you license it under CC-BY-SA at most, no more letters than that. Seraphimblade (talk) 06:28, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
German Wikipedia actually tricks me to think it allows non-free (EDP) content. No, generally not: verfügt über keine formelle EDP, but it allows 32k+ logos and 20k+ very old images (out of 110k all) with unclear license. Edit: — Aron M (talk) 01:03, 16 August 2019 (UTC) [reply]
Most pedia projects do, (non-zero free-only) and it's still working. If this conflicts with the 3rd pillar for you, I don't share that sentiment. I can edit the encyclopedia with non-free images in it. I'm just looking for the solutions, not conflict.
Non-free is presumed to have tragic consequences, so I'm curious what's lost for the wikipedias (not commons) without the ability to edit an image (which we seldom do), or put an ad next to it (that we never do), besides that it won't be included on the next WP DVD and WikiPress print? Not that I'm particularly fond of non-free licenses, but it would be good to see some evidence of the destruction foreshadowed by these claims that so far sound like mass panicking, at best. — Aron M (talk) 09:44, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Please avoid promulgating misleadingly false information. It is correct to state that "Most Wikipedia projects do not allow the use of non-free content". See the section below, which you also created. If you still want to make this claim, please provide verifiable statistical evidence. Thanks -- (talk) 14:08, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Did you notice the awkward capital P in WikiPedia? I mean only the PEDIAs: Sort the first table that lists the PEDIA projects by the "Non-free content" column. There's just a few red boxes. Now it's your turn, "please provide verifiable statistical evidence" for your contradicting claim. If you meant wikiMEDIA (with M) projects (that is all of them listed on that page), then I agree there's a lot without non-free content. Wiktionaries would be particularly weird with non-free content, imho. I hope I answered your concerns satisfyingly. — Aron M (talk) 02:47, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Did you notice the notice about reducing page size? Your statistic is inherently biased because the page is deliberately set up to list mostly projects that accept non-free content. The referenced section lists 57 Wikipedia projects as accepting non-free content. There are a total of 294 active Wikipedia projects according to List of Wikipedias. Only those that have an EDP are allowed to host non-free content. That's less than 20% of all Wikipedia projects. LX (talk, contribs) 19:17, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Please make a statistics based on article count. — Aron M (talk) 22:41, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Those allowing non-free content have a combined 27967952 articles, out of 50848928 total (55%). --Yair rand (talk) 22:56, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Article count is an interesting metric, but not perfect. Note that some Wikipedias (e.g. Spanish) do not allow too short stubs while others rely on bots to create large amounts of stubs. And English Wikipedia sits somewhere in the middle. --MarioGom (talk) 23:42, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
It seems like the question changes when reality turns out to be wrong. Interesting as the question of whether most articles exist on projects that accept non-free content might be, can we agree that the statement "Most Wikipedia projects allow non-free content" is false? LX (talk, contribs) 09:34, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yair rand: Awesome. Thank you.
Statistics are interesting. From the right perspective, it shows what we want to see: non-zero free-only. — Aron M (talk) 00:48, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Aron Manning: Nope, de:wp does not permit non-free media. --AFBorchert (talk) 15:31, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
These 2 sources say it's allowed, all EDP as on enwiki. Is there a source that confirms your statement? I'm kinda thinking you mean in the actual practice non-free content is not used, regardless of these documents? Please be more specific, thanks. — Aron M (talk) 02:48, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Apparently you are not able to read the German text you are refering to. The text begins with the statement “Wikipedia soll eine freie Enzyklopädie sein, deren Bestandteile – also auch die Bilder – frei genutzt werden können. Dazu zählt, dass die Bilder nicht nur in der Wikipedia, sondern überall kommerziell genutzt und verändert werden können” – which translates to “Wikipedia shall be a free encyclopedia whose elements – including its images – shall be freely usable. This includes not just the use of images in the Wikipedia but also their commercial use and adaption anywhere else.“ It is quite obvious from this text that non-free materials are not permitted at de:wp. The rest of the text elaborates just some of the differences between German and US law in regard to copyright. de:wp is even more restrictive as no material is allowed that is not free according to German, Austrian and Swiss law. --AFBorchert (talk) 06:53, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1) Civility, please. 2) There are ca. 20k old images on dewiki, and ca. 32k logos, that does not have a free licence (or unsure). There are 110k images alltogether. Please understand my doubt :-)
3) After the first sentence you cite comes the exceptions, including EDP: "Außer auf Wikimedia Commons ist es zulässig, in eng begrenztem Rahmen sich auf eine projektspezifische Ausnahmeregelung zu berufen: Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP)."
More lines below comes this: "Die deutschsprachige Wikipedia verfügt über keine formelle EDP", this is what matters, that I've missed. Would have been helpful to start with this.
4) The old images might or might not cover the images that motivated this proposal. 5) Anyway, I remove dewiki, as only two special cases of "maybe" non-free images are allowed. 6) I'll bring this up at, where it should be clarified. — Aron M (talk) 00:53, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
"there should be efficient checks and balances to ensure that materials in these categories can be proven as lost media." (hard to find media with unknown copyright).
Apparently the motivation for this proposal is exactly the kind of images that are allowed on German Wikipedia: de:Spezial:Linkliste/Vorlage:Bild-PD-alt-100. It's great that we argued, without doing the research. — Aron M (talk) 02:12, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Please, de:Vorlage:Bild-PD-alt-100 is the de:wp-equivalent of c:PD-old-assumed at Commons. In Commons this was introduced on 17 February 2017‎ on base of this accepted proposal whereas de:Vorlage:Bild-PD-alt-100 exists since 28 January 2007. Both address the problem that we have very old pictures where we have a date of publication but no information about the creator and his or her date of death. These files are free according to US law (as published before 1924) but possibly protected in other countries. A typical example is de:Datei:Hochrad2.jpeg which was published in 1890. This is not an issue of introducing non-free media but a question of how careful we are in regard in older files where the creator probably died long ago. The approaches between Commons and de:wp are somewhat different. Commons has a simple rule with a cut-off date of 120 years. de:wp appears somewhat more relaxed with 100 years but de:wp insists that serious research is done in regard to the creator and their life span. Many of these cases are discussed at de:Wikipedia:Dateiüberprüfung/Schwierige Fälle to get input from others and to find a consensus. Many logos were uploaded at de:wp as the associated discussions regarding the threshold of originality is quite challenging and many de:wp authors prefered to have any upcoming discussion in their language at their project. This is not an approach to accept unfree logos which are beyond the threshold of originality at de:wp. I am admin at de:wp and at Commons and know what I am talking about. Please do not be offended that I assumed that you do not speak German but your statements seem to be at odds with the policy pages at de:wp you refer to. --AFBorchert (talk) 10:02, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for clarifying the differences between de:wp and commons. This will be valuable input for the WG, I appreciate it. I actually agree more with the dewiki process, that "insists that serious research is done in regard to the creator and their life span". — Aron M (talk) 17:23, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
One of the tragic consequences of some projects accepting some non-free content is the complexity it adds, the confusion it causes for new users, and the frustration that ultimately results when we have to delete the files they upload to Commons because they've seen the words "It is believed that the use of low-resolution images..." on other images which they think are on the same site (or because they assume that all Wikimedia projects have the same rules). Adding more complexity to the mix isn't going to help. LX (talk, contribs) 09:34, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Talk about "decolonization" might actually be colonization in disguise[edit]

One theme I've seen in these draft recommendations is a de-emphasis on Western attitudes in favor of non-Western ones. However, it's ironic that the people most vocal about this are from Western Europe & North America. What do the non-Western people think of this?
This is not a snark. There is more than a little documentation about this from countries which escaped the brunt of physical colonization such as Japan, China, Turkey, & even Ethiopia. I mention Ethiopia because I am best informed about this: Ethiopian intellectuals during the 1920s were fascinated with the model of how Japan adopted Western ideas & technology without sacrificing too much of their culture, thereby losing what could be called their "Japaneseness". They weren't alone; a number of other independent non-Western countries likewise looked to Japan as an example. However, before Ethiopian intellectuals could begin to explore Japan's success & act on it, the Italians invaded that country, & exterminated those intellectuals still within its boundaries, whether traditionally educated or educated in Western countries. In China, there was the New Culture Movement which debated the roles of traditional Chinese culture & Western ideas.
My point is that this is not a new debate, but one that has come up frequently in the past. One might even find this theme in Greek texts written during Hellenistic & Imperial times, where the matter of how to best import Roman ideas & technology without losing their own Hellenic heritage is part of the subtext. Yet none of this is touched on in this proposal. Part of the reason is that both Western & non-Western intellectuals are largely ignorant of these earlier figures & what they thought. But without considering the points they made, we Westerners are simply acting in condescendingly insisting we are acting on their behalf. -- Llywrch (talk)
There are also people who claim that evidence-based medicine is "Western", and that the Human Rights are not universal but "Western"... Good for some parts of the world, but not for others, they say. Ziko (talk) 21:59, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Ziko, you make a good point, but consider this. Have you heard of the Great Green Wall? In its first iteration, First World countries sent experts & provided millions of seedlings to create this barrier against the Sahara inching southward. Only to have all of these seedlings die & nothing change -- although the experts returned to North America & Europe where they found other jobs & landed grants & continued advancing their careers. In the second iteration, which was missed by the press for the most part, the local inhabitants relied on traditional, common-sense steps to encourage native plants & trees; this succeeded & turned the at-risk Sahal fertile & green. The first approach was the kind of disguised re-colonization I worry about above; the second is an example of the locals gaining autonomy & freeing themselves of colonization.
If all this proposal does is perpetuate more useless planting of seedlings in the desert, then it is just another example of the Foundation betraying the volunteer communities in the pursuit of employee careerism. -- Llywrch (talk) 06:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Dear collegue, I agree that one needs the people at the location itself. But I do believe that the concept of encyclopedia, the scientific method, evidence-based medicine, the human rights etc. are good for every country in the world. If there are not enough resources in a country for historiography, for modern hospitals etc., that is regrettable. But "oral history" (= primary sources with all the problems coming along with them) or "alternative/traditional healing methods" are not the solution. Ziko (talk) 12:12, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

NC and ND practicalities[edit]

How does the working group propose Commons and sister projects manage the use of NC and ND permissions ? How do we manage existing CC licensed material and ensure derivatives of these files aren't licensed with NC and/or ND licenses. How do we handle non CC but still CC-BY compatible licenses, such as the UK's OGL license and ensure derivatives of those files aren't uploaded with more restrictive licenses. How do we stop contributors re-uploading their work with more restrictive licences, with the inevitable knock-on impact on downstream re-users ? How do we ensure any new uploads under the ND license are safe from derivative works. How do we protect our downstream re-users who have commercial requirements or whose use strays into derivative works ? We've only 55 million files to manage, after all. The idea is cute, until you think about it, at which point it becomes completely fucking impossible purely on a logistical basis. Nick (talk) 22:26, 13 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Reposted by request from [Wikimedia-l] mailing list:
 One way to make it very clear is to have a separate project for non-free and pseudo-free media. Keep it off Commons altogether, so Commonists have no new problems, and to use it on a project would require specific permission by that project, so that Commons is not the only repository that can be used. Keep Commons the default, and make it necessary to use a prefix to use the not-so-free media files, so it is quite clear that they are different. If it is all on Commons, people will be sneaking it onto projects where it is not allowed, making yet more maintenance work for volunteers who might prefer to spend their time creating and improving valid content. To make it less of a hassle, the upload wizard could automatically switch to the alternative project if any of a specific range of licences were to be used, with an explanation of why the file could not be stored on Commons.
Cheers, Peter
· · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:41, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Most WikiPedia projects already allow the use of non-free content[edit]

List of projects that allow Non-free content#Wikipedia by the Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP). English Wikipedia: non-free content guideline (and related policy)

  • What will this proposal add to the EDP policy? Is this proposal an extension of that policy to all the wikimedia projects?
  • The rules of EDP are reasonably strict. Will this proposal relax those criterias, such as: "No free equivalent is available", "Minimal usage"?
  • What are the pros and cons of allowing non-free content on Commons, compared to the pros and cons of starting another project similar to Commons, only for non-free content?

— Aron M (talk) 02:40, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Commons must not accept non-free content per EDP and the Commons community appears to be quite united against any proposal to wreck one of its core pillars. --AFBorchert (talk) 05:22, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
15:1 votes after one canvassing on a site with 2600+ users/day... is less than 1%. I think we need to put more effort into research before we can make such conclusions, but anyway that will be a con. Maybe there will be other pros and cons too. — Aron M (talk) 09:45, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
If you have evidence of canvassing of the Commons proposal, please present it on Commons. A proposal existing, of itself, is not canvassing as defined by any project policy or guideline. Thanks -- (talk) 13:26, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
This is the occasional reminder that "canvass" is a normal English word that means "asking people for their opinions" rather than "a violation of our rules against soliciting votes in unfair or biased ways". WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:24, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@WhatamIdoing: Thanks, that's what I meant. Fae: this is not the dramaboard ;-) The point is that 99% of the users in one day did not express their opinion about this question. — Aron M (talk) 01:58, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
We cannot allow non-free content on Commons, in addition to being the unchanging wish of the Commons community, it's actually a result of legal requirements forced upon the project by US copyright legislation. You can't just go around hosting non-free files without a fair usage claim/exemption, in the hope that a random photographer's work will be useful to one or more projects at some point in the future.
Where local projects (such as the English Wikipedia) make use of non-free files, we do so on a usage by usage basis, with an explanation of why we believe each usage is acceptable and in line with our fair use policy. We have fair use policies on those projects which permit fair-use files primarily to ensure that when a third party's copyright material is used without permission, it complies with the US fair use copyright legislation and/or similar fair use/fair dealing legislation in other countries. We also ensure what we believe and understand to be maximum levels of compliance with various sections of fair use/fair dealing legislation globally by ensuring we limit resolution, provide as full attribution as we can, that we link back to the original source from where the file was taken, and that we do our utmost to ensure commercial opportunities are not limited by our usage of such a file.
There have been perennial proposals to allow files uploaded under fair-use on one local project to move to Commons, so they can be used under fair-use by all other projects which permit such files, but the continual problem that occurs with this proposal is that due to legislation, each usage requires a specific explanation of why such usage is permissible, and by hosting a file on Commons, we lose the ability to ensure compliance with this. It's unclear whether or not software changes would prevent fair use files hosted on Commons being used by other projects without an appropriate fair use rationale.
The issue of hosting non-free material on Commons also has the additional problem is how we would communicate such changes to our own users, to external re-users, and to our downstream project re-users, and to ensure they check their re-use is compliant with either fair use legislation or the proposed NC and/or ND licences. Nick (talk) 14:08, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
That's a very good and detailed argument. Finally something that is valuable feedback for the WG. Thank you for typing it. — Aron M (talk) 02:21, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I hope the WG will weigh the costs and risks of allowing non-free licenses in Commons, and in a separate project accordingly. — Aron M (talk) 02:53, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I'm also curious why a user indefinitely blocked on en.wp for sockpuppetry, and who has made a grand total of four edits to Commons is trying to take the lead on changes to copyright policy here and at Commons ? Nick (talk) 14:08, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
(+1) to the reasons behind ours' not allowing non-free content. Also, Aron's SUL is pretty interesting ... Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1) Why? "Leading" (I wouldn't use that word) out of the negativity. Actually by accident: my interest is the ToU change, that's the majority of the draft, yet the talk page was hijacked into licensing questions, and many off-topic threads.
2) There is no "abusive use of multiple accounts", aka. socking. Perhaps all sockmasters will tell you that, so I've put up a simple solution to this mystery on my user page. — Aron M (talk) 02:21, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

The title of this section "Most WikiPedia projects already allow the use of non-free content" is false, based on the linked list given. It is correct to state that "Most Wikipedia projects do not allow the use of non-free content". The confusion may come from the fact that the list only contains a subset of Wikipedia projects. -- (talk) 14:03, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

"To reduce page size, projects listed at List of Wikipedias having zero local media files are only listed if they have an EDP." (2 lines above the list). On diagram: non-zero free-only — Aron M (talk) 00:35, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal to introduce Non-Commercial and No-Derivative licenses[edit]

While I completely understand the impetus for making this recommendation, it is out of line with our movements' values to promote free knowledge and re-usable content. In short, it would be throwing the baby out with the bath-water. Please see [4] and [5] for some of the reasons why we don't allow NC and ND licenses. While it might increase slightly the scope of material we could host, it would erode the ability of people to re-use our content and would undermine the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation. I would strongly suggest that this recommendation be removed from the draft before it is finalized. Kaldari (talk) 02:30, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I agree, free knowledge is an important value that parts of the mission that shouldn't be thrown out because it would be nice to help certain actors who don't want to freely share their content. ChristianKl08:24, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yah I used to support a limited use of NC content (specifically videos such as those from Khan as video is hard to produce and these videos would help our readers). But than I had an NGO tell me that I was not allowed to use their NC content in Internet-in-a-Box (a money losing effort run by Wiki Project Med).
Before we consider NC we would first need explicit clarity around what is and is not permitted when it is used. This is something that may be worth exploring in collaboration with Creative Commons. Even better may be just getting rid of that license / Creative Commons no longer supporting it so that people are no longer able to pretend that they are "open" when they are not. But that is not our decision. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:57, 29 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Facilitating access to orphan works[edit]

GFDL Invariant sections[edit]

There seem to be some incorrect assumptions in the recommendation regarding current licensing, and the GFDL "invariant sections". First, the recommendation states We currently use for text both Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. This is true -- contributions must be dual-licensed with both. Then it also states Specifically the ToU says “reusers may comply with either license or both”. While also true, that is unrelated to the first part and irrelevant here. "Re-users" are outside users who make use of Wikipedia/Wikimedia content, not the editors themselves (and re-users are of course not beholden to the terms of use). More specifically, the ToU states:

When you submit text to which you hold the copyright, you agree to license it under:
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (“CC BY-SA”), and
GNU Free Documentation License (“GFDL”) (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).
(Re-users may comply with either license or both.)

(emphasis mine). Users must dual-license their text under both CC-BY-SA and GFDL. The "and/or" is only for subsequent users who copy works elsewhere -- the nature of dual licensing means they can use either license they want (or both, if importing into another dual-licensed environment). There is no choice for contributors here to choose either license -- they have to choose both. That, in turn, means that anyone can then subsequently edit the text, since the derivative work would still be dual licensed.

The GFDL "invariant sections", which is part of the GFDL license, are indeed a section that may not be edited. The original need was so that Richard Stallman's GNU Manifesto (a personal opinion) could be published along with, say, the GNU Emacs manual, without giving up rights for that part to be modified while the actual manual could be.[6] The rule was then generalized into "invariant sections". However, the definition of "invariant section" has some critical parts which were omitted in the recommendation text:

A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter section of the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the Document's overall subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject. (Thus, if the Document is in part a textbook of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.) The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them.
The "Invariant Sections" are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. If a section does not fit the above definition of Secondary then it is not allowed to be designated as Invariant. The Document may contain zero Invariant Sections. If the Document does not identify any Invariant Sections then there are none.

(again, emphasis mine). Any "invariant section" must also be a "secondary section", and a "secondary section" cannot have any subject matter relationship with the main document. It is very explicitly for unrelated items, so that the ability to edit the actual subject matter is always preserved. That is fundamental to the "free" movement. Secondly, the required GFDL license that we have does not allow invariant sections, so none of those exist, and none can (that fact was omitted from the recommendation text). Even if they were allowed, per the license they cannot involve any of the subject matter of (for example) the Wikipedia article, so it doesn't really make any sense to allow them.

The desire to have "ND" sections of text is completely against the "free" movement ethos that Wikimedia was founded on. The WMF does not define that term -- the principles are at but it was already existing. If the WMF desires to move to a license that allows ND sections, that is by definition non-free. Any such license would not be CC-BY-SA, nor would it be GFDL, so the WMF would have to create a new license. Worse, no existing text could be mixed with that license, since it is fundamentally incompatible with the ones we have, both of which have share-alike requirements. One solution to that would be to get permission from every contributor to add this third license to their contributions, but that is basically impossible in a project of this nature (especially when anonymous IP users can contribute). The other possibility is something along the lines of happened last time, when the WMF got GNU to draft a new version of the GFDL license, which could be migrated to, which in turn allowed any works to be dual-licensed with CC-BY-SA. However, getting both Creative Commons and GNU to release new versions of their licenses which allow free material to be mixed with non-free licenses would seem to be exceedingly unlikely, to say the least.

If the desire is indeed to move away from the "free" movement, I would expect the "negatives" section to go into depth (with specific examples) as to why that stance is now a net negative. Instead, it just says All change has negative connotations to some members of the community with no discussion or examples. There are many editors who contribute *because* of the free content policy, and we could lose those editors, for example. There could also be ways that other users could use that ability to non-proportionally push minority (or worse) viewpoints, and then not allow those sections to be edited. There are some vast implications in that desire which are not even discussed. Wikipedia is both "the free encyclopedia" and "The encyclopedia that anyone can edit", and both of those would no longer be true after a change such as this. I would expect there to be acknowledgement of that, and a seriously-backed rationale for it.

In short, I seriously doubt it's legally possible to move Wikipedia off of the current licenses, which means there can not be any ND nor NC sections, and the recommendations should be aware they need to stay within that reality.

When it comes to NC images, that is much more possible, but there are further issues there. While there are currently EDP policies, they typically follow the U.S. "fair use" law (or similar allowances in laws from other countries). Those are typically uses where it's OK (i.e. not a copyright violation) for anyone to use it, based on the context of its use. If a re-user copies an article from Wikipedia, typically the illustrations are all OK to be used with it, since the context is the same (or should be). If NC images are allowed, now that allows only *some* re-users to copy that; if for example a non-profit organization copies the article somewhere, they would now possibly be committing a copyright violation, if their use was deemed commercial (such as fund-raising), if it does not fall under fair use. Similar for ND works -- if there is a feature to make articles available on, say, smaller devices and they are cropping images to save some visual space, that could then be a problem where it is not today. None of the negatives of this far-reaching change are discussed at all. Clindberg (talk) 19:27, 15 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Many thanks to Clindberg for a detailed examination of the issues with the proposed changes to the core licencing for the text elements of our projects, and to further examine the problems inherent with accepting NC and ND media. I believe it would be prudent for WMF Legal Counsel to explain what parts of the proposal they believe WMF could implement and what parts are legally impossible, with further input from the WMF Developers who can explain what is technically impossible. Nick (talk) 11:39, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Thank you, this is great work. The licensing proposal should have presented the motivating use-cases, to better understand the purpose, for which there might be a solution without the controversy of just plain simply allowing NC, ND licenses without any constraints. — Aron M (talk) 18:39, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
These look like valid points. More reasons why any use of not-so-free material should be restricted to new projects or those that already allow it. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:41, 18 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Case studies to support recommended changes[edit]

Rather than hypothetical claims or analytical thinking that bias must exist, case studies from Wikimedia projects would be a far better way to convince the wider community that a change is needed, and what changes might be effective. Presumably the Working Group have discussed case studies, so listing a half dozen here should be possible. Thanks! -- (talk) 07:00, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  1. ?

Junk sources being used in the recommendations[edit]

The current recommendations appear to randomly throw in almost entirely irrelevant, misquoted and misleading sources. These should be removed as they give a fake impression of the text being based on reliable sources, when the recommendation text may simply be personal opinions with zero reliable sources. This is not simply bad practice, doing this gives the impression of political spin rather than credible recommendations that can help the wider community understand why change is needed, and for the wider community to be convinced that they should support the recommendations. -- (talk) 07:12, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

To remove: "Strengths and weaknesses in a human rights-based approach to international development – an analysis of a rights-based approach to development assistance based on practical experiences"[edit]

This source is being used to justify that action is needed to counter "limit the aims of the movement to diversify or to represent broader kinds of knowledge", however the source is about the importance of human rights when NGOs are planning projects to improve development in poorer countries. The source is very high level and throws no light at all on the recommendation, it's entirely unhelpful and irrelevant. -- (talk) 07:12, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think these links are being used to "justify" anything. I think they're there to explain things. For example, if you don't happen to know what "a human rights-based approach to international development" is, then you can read this source about the importance of human rights in international development projects. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:35, 26 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
No, that's not the whole truth. Were this a Wikipedia article, these references would be removed because they are not meaningful references. Similarly were this one of my undergrads writing an essay, I would be crossing out these "sources" and asking them to check for a relevant bibliography as these are not relevant, some are not even of enough quality to make it into a bibliography for anything.
Including sources which are so high level they prove nothing, or sources which might actually demonstrate the opposite of the point being made in this recommendation, just shows sloppy thinking and an absence of relevant research. It is surprising that these recommendations are said to be the product of many months of work. They clearly are not. -- (talk) 17:41, 6 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
You: "This source is being used to justify that action is needed."
Me: "I don't think these links are being used to 'justify' anything."
You: "they prove nothing"
Me: Right, we'll just take it as read that they don't prove anything at all, but since they're IMO not meant to prove anything, their failure to prove anything doesn't really matter. Maybe we could encourage them to link to the most relevant Wikipedia article instead, but the links seem to be there for the purpose of providing background information. They don't seem to be there to "prove" that their idea is a good one. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:46, 6 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

To remove: "Scaling up from the grassroots and the top down: The impacts of multi-level governance on community forestry in Durango, Mexic"[edit]

This source is being used to justify that action is needed to counter "limit the aims of the movement to diversify or to represent broader kinds of knowledge", however the source is irrelevant. It includes discussion of "multi level arrangements", but provides no evidence that is directly relevant to the recommendation. -- (talk) 07:19, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

To remove: "Classical Versus Grassroots Development", Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine[edit]

This source is a very generic article about grass roots development and is fairly strong in criticising the generic concept of bureaucracy. It is the type of source that gets quotes in business management essays about top down management, but is not helpful in illustrating the recommendation apart from giving a false impression that the statements being made in the recommendation are built on evidence hidden in sources elsewhere. It contains no evidence relevant to Wikimedia projects. -- (talk) 07:26, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

To remove: "Who Should Own Photos of Slaves? The Descendants, not Harvard, a Lawsuit Says", NYT[edit]

This is an unusual property dispute against Harvard. The case is ongoing so is not yet useful as a legal precedent, nor is it clear that it will set any case law precedent. As the case is about 170 year old photographs, as an example this is inflammatory rather than illustrative. This source is being used to justify "Present licensing for both text and photographs should change to allow restrictions for non-commercial use and no derivative works", however it does not justify the use of NC or ND, if anything if this is a case that the wider Wikimedia community accepts as "misappropriation", then Wikimedia projects should not host these photographs in the legal case at all under any license. -- (talk) 07:36, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Indeed, these pictures do not relate to ND/NC. It is rather the question of moral appropriateness of using pictures that have been taken under certain circumstances. Ziko (talk) 13:33, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
If anyone wishes to set a case precedent on Wikimedia Commons, based on the argument put forward in the ongoing legal case of "misappropriation", the photographs are hosted at c:Category:Agassiz Zealy slave portraits and anyone is welcome to raise a deletion request on them. -- (talk) 18:37, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Irrespective of the proposed recommendation here, I've started as discussion at c:Commons:Village pump#Agassiz Zealy slave portraits. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:04, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

To remove: "Appropriating traditional culture - the controversy, consequences and challenges", House Marques, March 2013[edit]

This source is being used to justify "Present licensing for both text and photographs should change to allow restrictions for non-commercial use and no derivative works", however in no way does this very high level "legal brief" justify this recommendation. Again it does the opposite, as it simply would encourage businesses to put "possible indigenous rights claims into a clearance checklist." All this source would justify is for Wikimedia projects to avoid hosting any material with possible indigenous rights claims rather than working around them with NC or ND restrictions. In the words of the source because the impact could "resulting in lost sales and corrective advertising expenses, and may even adversely affect the company's stock price." This source is so irrelevant, it appears to have been slapped as an afterthought in the recommendations based on a Google search for some links with the same keywords.

P.S. if anyone can explain what "House Marques" is, it would be much appreciated. It does not appear to be a peer reviewed journal still in publication and my suspicion is that this may be a "trade" publication for "brand owners" who are members of Marques rather than an academic publication. -- (talk) 07:46, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Misattribution: "the Foundation views its responsibility as being to the long-term health of all Wikimedia projects"[edit]

This is a misattribution as the recommendations state We need to create such policy considering that the “the Foundation views its responsibility as being to the long-term health of all Wikimedia projects” as it has been discussed previously by the Trust & Safety Team. However the quote is actually from the WMF CEO in what appears to be a 1,300 word open letter in the Fram ban case. Using this quote to justify the recommendations is unhelpful as it cherry-picks a part of a sentence from a personal letter specifically in response to the Fram case, rather than a WMF board resolution, or the WMF board official response or WMF approved policy. When the WMF CEO wrote their personal statement it was not intended to be used as a replacement to the Trust & Safety team's actual policies, nor the WMF board's passed resolutions. This needs to be given the correct context, or preferably removed as these specific words are not a WMF position statement or a WMF policy. -- (talk) 08:34, 19 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Test big changes in user experience[edit]

Providing IP editors every time they want to write with the ToS has the potential to reduce their contributions. If there's a desire to implement such a feature, there should be an A/B test on the change. Metrics about what makes the change successful should be defined and after a few months there should be a review whether or not the feature provided the desired effects in changed behavior and whether that's worth the loss in contributions. ChristianKl08:20, 20 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I tend to agree with this; a proposal I made simply to make the "you are editing logged out" notice somewhat more prominent on English Wikipedia met with very significant opposition from IP editors a while ago. Further, the ToU is linked on every single page of every project, to the best of my knowledge, so the link is already there. It might be reasonable to suggest moving it to a more prominent location, but I'd suggest the fact that the working group doesn't seem to be aware of the link on all pages (including the editing interfaces, regardless of project) implies that we're more likely dealing with link blindness than anything else. Risker (talk) 02:32, 23 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

What the hell is the recommendation?[edit]

Can somebody show me, what is recommanded? I read:

That the Terms of Use (ToU) and licensing requirements stipulated therein be modified to better address community health, foster the diversity aims encapsulated in becoming “the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge”, and address systemic biases in the policies of the foundation and related projects.

Thats just very expensive hot air - and we should not support this. Why not just write: "We will change something" - please sign here. --Bahnmoeller (talk) 12:20, 21 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Bahnmoeller: I think you'll need to read the rest of the document. If it was just "we will change something", this would not be the longest talk page across all recommendations ;-) --MarioGom (talk) 16:48, 22 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Who reads the ToU before checking the box ?[edit]

I believe this Recommendation 9 from Diversity is one of the most interesting recommendation in the drafts :

  • It's sourced.
  • It takes in account that things have changed since the foundation of the movement.
  • It focuses on an essential point : no free knowledge can exist if it is not accompanied by a Code of Practice. But please, simplify that shit, or nobody except depressed insomniacs will read the ToU. It's ok to check a box for the IPs, but the engagment must be ethically clear and simply understandable at a glance (and what you risk if you don't respect the rules).
  • Wouldn't it be also time to put in the navigation bar of WP a clear "WP:" access ? Creating a strong Index of all the rules, putting a good search engine for the rules, creating a database for all these rules ? WP is a digital edition space with medieval rules. It's important to give a clear access to the rules and to simplify them in many cases.
  • Ah, and, oh, liking the place of "women" in this list : 7th and last position for the half of the spectrum of the society (Yes, women are everywhere the half of the society...): "underrepresentation/misrepresentation of a broad spectrum of society, including but not limited to differently-abled communities, elders, indigenous groups, the LGBT community, racial and ethnic minorities, and women;"

--Waltercolor (talk) 20:37, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Invariant sections[edit]

I am not a lawyer. But I think that the working group has misunderstood the GNU license, and I think that the legal folks they talked to might have been trying to be kind rather than clear. The working group is relying upon the idea of an "invariant section" in the GNU license. The GNU license says that it's possible to have "secondary sections" that cannot be changed. Here is the definition:

The "Invariant Sections" are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. If a section does not fit the above definition of Secondary then it is not allowed to be designated as Invariant. The Document may contain zero Invariant Sections. If the Document does not identify any Invariant Sections then there are none.

Okay, so that's possible. But it's only possible for "certain Secondary Sections". What are those? Here's the definition for "Secondary Section":

A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter section of the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the Document's overall subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject. (Thus, if the Document is in part a textbook of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.) The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them.

Notice the bit that I highlighted in the second definition. This means that if an expert is writing about an ethnic group, then these "certain Secondary Sections" that could be designated as "Invariant Sections" can't say anything about the ethnic group. A "Secondary Section" is a sort of copyright page, or a note from the authors at the back of the book to talk about why they wrote it. They're not ==Article sections== in the way that we understand sections on wiki.

If this recommendation is not removed entirely from future iterations (and I support its removal), then I think that it should be reframed to remove mention of the GNU license, since the recommendation is essentially "let's do exactly what the GNU license prohibits". If you are determined to keep this concept, then you might instead consider using the w:Right of reply as a model instead. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Western knowledge[edit]

The recommendation mentions Western-idea of academic-based knowledge limits the inclusion of other ways of knowing or presenting knowledge.

A WG member, while clarifying the above sentence, writes:- ... the perspective of the people involved matters. Scholarship from within their community should form the basis of articles about their culture and traditions ...

A few sections above, WhatamIdoing, Seraphimblade and others have hovered around this locus of essentially postmodern epistemological domain of knowledge production. From the WG_member's clarification, this also (somewhat obviously) relate to the (mainly phenomenological) concept of lived experience and right-to-theorise.

Below, I provide selected quotes from various works by reputed academics and try to establish that this paradigm shift towards accommodating these concepts is not at all a black and white territory contra the image projected by the recommendations. I also choose to append a standard COI-disclaimer at the very outset that I am personally acquainted with some of the folks, whom I am going to cite but I guess that does not takes/lends anything from/to the broader locus.

Indian context
  • ... By "internal critics" Rao means not the usual academic process of peer review prior to publication—which both Courtright and Laine passed through, and Malhotra's self-published online writings did not—but "vetting" by people whom Malhotra considers fit representatives of Hindu traditions, whether they have any scholarly credentials or not. He and his group are self-appointed judges of who is "internal" (recall that they do not accept Indian Americans who study at the University of Chicago); they have their own view of what the tradition must and can be, which they are prepared to use as a litmus test, no matter what the evidence says. Here we see a true disregard for the usual canons of argument and scholarship, a postmodern power play in the guise of a defense of a tradition ....

    — Martha Nussbaum, Pg. 258, The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future
  • Hindutva is a nightmare phenomenon in India right now, which seeks to discount all established scholarship, under the guise of being produced by Muslims/Western scholars who have no right to theorize on Hindus. Thus, a succinct paragraph from one of the most renowned philosophers of our time, about how the postmodernist school of thought and right-to-theorize is being abused in an etho-nationalist right-wing adventure. Please read the book for more detailed explorations of these themes.
  • ...Over the last couple of decades, a set of very fashionable, supposedly "radical" critiques of modern science have dominated the Western universities. These critical theories of science go under the label of "postmodernism" or "social constructivism". These theories see modern science as an essentially Western, masculine and imperialistic way of acquiring knowledge. This perspective also has numerous sympathisers among "patriotic science" and the environmentalist and feminist movements. As we will see, postmodernist attacks on objective and universal knowledge have played straight into Hindu nationalist slogan of all perspectives being equally true - within their own context and at their own level.

    The result is the loud - but false - claims of finding a tradition of empirical science in the spiritual teachings of the Vedas and Vedanta. One of the most ludicrous mantras of Hindutva propaganda is that there is "no conflict" between modern science and Hinduism. That is precisely why the Hindutva apologists are so keen to tame modern science by reducing it to "simply another name for the One Truth" ...

    Social constructionist and postmodernist attacks on science have proven to be a blessing for all religious zealots, in all major faiths, as they no longer feel compelled to revise their metaphysics in the light of progress in our understanding of nature in relevant fields. Postmodernist theories of knowledge have rehabilitated this "method" of drawing equivalences between different and contradictory worldviews and allowing them to "hybridise" across traditions. The postmodernist consensus is that since truth about the real world as-it-is cannot be known, all knowledge systems are equivalent to each other in being social constructions. Because they are all equally arbitrary, and none any more objective than other, they can be mixed and matched in order to serve the needs of human beings to live well in their own cultural universes. From the postmodern perspective, the VHP justification of the guna theory in terms of atomic physics is not anything to worry about: it is merely an example of "hybridity" between two different culturally constructed ways of seeing, a fusion between East and West, tradition and modernity. Indeed, by postmodernist standards, it is not this hybridity that we should worry about, but rather we should oppose the "positivist" and "modernist" hubris that demands that non-Western cultures should give up, or alter, elements of their inherited cosmologies in the light of the growth of knowledge in natural sciences. On the postmodern account, there is nothing irrational or unscientific about this "method" of drawing equivalences and correspondences between entirely unlike entities and ideas, even when there may be serious contradictions between the two.

    The extreme scepticism of postmodern intellectuals toward modern science has landed them in a position where they cannot, if they are to remain true to their beliefs, criticise Hindutva's eclectic take-over of modern science for the glory of the Vedic tradition. The problem is that postmodernist intellectuals do not stop at criticising any specific political abuse of scientific knowledge. Instead, they attack the very idea of objective knowledge as a myth of the powerful who want to claim the status of truth for their own self-serving social constructions of reality.

    These radical critiques of objectivity and universalism have become so popular that they have acquired a ring of truth among social critics. But all these arguments denigrating the rationality of science are based upon a flawed understanding of science that has been rejected many times by working scientists and prominent philosophers of science. A complete debunking of post-modern misunderstanding of how science actually works and why objectivity is possible despite the deeply social nature of science will require a different set of articles. Suffice it to say, the radical denigration of science has very little following among the mainstream of scientific community and in the mainstream of philosophy and history of science. Owing to a fundamental misunderstanding of how science actually works, coupled with a great deal of cynicism, many left-wing critics among feminist, environmental and anti-imperialist movements have developed a knee-jerk condemnation of reductionism. Reductionist science is considered bad science with politically oppressive implications.

    Hindutva ideologues see themselves as part and parcel of postcolonial studies. Decolonisation of the Hindu mind, the Hindu Right claims, requires understanding science through Hindu categories. Echoing the postcolonial critiques of epistemic violence, Hindutva ideologues such as Murli Manohar Joshi, Konrad Elst, Girilal Jain, David Frawley, N.S. Rajaram and others see any scientific assessment of the empirical claims made by the Vedic texts as a sign of mental colonialism and Western imperialism. Many of these Hindutva ideologues cite the work of postcolonial scholars such as Edward Said, Roland Inden, Ashis Nandy, Claude Alvares, Gayatri Spivak and subaltern studies historians with great respect.

    Any erosion of the dividing line between science and myth, between reasoned, evidence-based public knowledge and the spiritual knowledge accessible to yogic adepts, is bound to lead to a growth of obscurantism dressed up as science. It is time secular and self-proclaimed leftist intellectuals called off their romance with irrationalism and romanticism. It is time to draw clear boundaries between science and myth, and between the Left and the Right.

    — Meera Nanda, Postmodernism, Hindu nationalism and `Vedic science'
  • From another leading Indian sociologist, a firebrand critic of Hindutva scholarship. In Frontline, prob. the second-most reputed non-academic journal/magazine in India.
  • Prophets Facing Backward, my book under discussion here, claims that the cluster of social constructivist, feminist and postcolonial theories that deny any cognitive distinctions between warranted knowledge and collectively accepted beliefs or between facts and opinions have provided philosophical justifications for the kind of populist interpretive flexibility that right-wing folks find so “beautiful”. Set against the backdrop of the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, the book argues that the relentless debunking the very idea of universally valid, bias-free facts has received in the hands of its many academic critics, has added to a culture of doublethink where truth has becomes infinitely malleable, open to all kinds of nativist, pseudo-scientific and faith-based interpretations.

    It has made it easier for the religious right to present itself as the defender of the tradition, dressed up as “alternative science”, which it claims has been unfairly rejected and willfully suppressed by the secular elite. The logic of deconstruction of modern science simultaneously provides the logic for the construction of “sacred sciences” by the resurgent religious-political movements that have sprung up among the Hindus, Christian and Muslims alike.

    There are two kinds, one coming from the postmodernist left and the other from the religious right, both united in seeking inspiration for the future from the non-modern past. My book traces the many points of convergences and contacts—but also divergences––between the two. One of the aims of the book was to raise an alarm about the unintended consequence of anti-Enlightenment ideas as they have filtered out of the globalized Ivory Tower into the messy world we live in.

    I show that there are strong family resemblances between the social constructivist theories of “equal rationality of all sciences” and the Hindu nationalists’ propensity to establish equivalences and parities between Vedic cosmology and modern science. The same logic that leads the left-wing postmodernists to decry the universal meta-narratives of modernity in defense of the rationality of local knowledges of “the people”, fuels the right-wing nationalists’ project of glorifying the “scientific rationality” of the Hindu metaphysics and mysticism. Both sides, I argue, are engaged in removing science from the larger Enlightenment project of creating a secular society and a disenchanted nature and translating it into the jargon of cultural authenticity of the folk culture (on the left) and an elite, Brahminical religiosity (on the right). The overall result, on both sides, is to restate the logos of science into the mythos of Hinduism (p. 30), a mythos which Hindu right-wing uses as badge of superiority over other faiths and other peoples. What is more, both sides defend this translation by making a social constructivist argument about the inseparability of the logos from the mythos, or the inseparability of the logic of science from the larger culture. Both sides are engaged in advocacy of “alternative universals”, or an alternative ways of being modern, which do not require either the disenchantment of nature or secularization of the culture.

    — Meera Nanda, Response to my critics
  • From the same author, intended as a response to those who praised as well criticized her pioneer book in this area. I am not quoting anything from her actual book:- Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and the Hindu Nationalism in India but that ought be a necessary read to understand the S.E. Asian landscape.
  • Over the last two decades, especially since the fall of communism, there has been a proliferation of discourses which claim to be progressive but whose political implications are actually questionable, if not outright conservative or reactionary. Culturalist discourses like postmodernism and post-structuralism have been particularly criticised by liberals as well as leftists and, more recently, linkages between certain strands of these and the emerging cultural politics of the right in the west have been drawn.

    Today the success of the right can be traced in significant part to the spread of certain strands of scholarly culturalist discourses of various sorts - such as postmodernism, post-structuralist and cultural studies.Today, modernist (inauthentic), rationalist/statist/bureaucratic (oppressive), developmentalist (historicist) and universalist (alien) left liberalism is rejected.

    The notorious sati in Deorala, Rajasthan in 1987 was actually the public and ritualised murder of a young widow. Nandy, however, issued a tirade against the widespread condemnation of the perpetrators rather than against the perpetrators. He argued that urban, westernised feminists were pitting against a tradition, which they did not seek to understand and blamed the epidemic of condemnations on market-morality, w/o discussing on the ample evidence of coercion. in backward capitalist social formations in which the bulk of the third world, and certainly Indian, population lives (and arguably in stagnant capitalisms everywhere), the authoritative assertion of tradition is the discourse of a now more or less capitalist elite harnessing the non- economic resources of 'tradition' in the hyper-exploitation of lower castes, classes and women, perpetuating a distinctive fraud against even the capitalist ideal of the exchange of equivalents, not to mention wielding it against 'modern' and 'alien' ideas such as social justice.

    While slippages, self-contradictions and inaccuracies characterize dominant cultures generally, powerfully flouting rational constraints on their wishful self-images, in Nandy's discourse, these become instances of a fashionable transcendence' of social science:- myth-making. However ostentatious Nandy' s rejection of ('modern') fascism, fundamentalism and Hindutva, one would have to be captive of a rather extreme form of nominal-ism not to see that amidst such distantiation from unsavory labels, their substance is being redeemed and reconstructed by shedding unacceptably 'modem' and dated elements - such as statism and the unfashionable emphasis on assimilation - under the sign of all that is acceptable - 'tradition'. As 'tradition' hindutva can appear intrinsically and wholly humane.

    — Radhika Desai, Culturalism and Contemporary Right: Indian Bourgeoisie and Political Hindutva
  • One of the most detailed and well-written critiques of (perhaps) the most influential proponent of the postmodern school of thought in Indian sociopolity. Sheds immense light on how Nandy and his academic comrades played into the hands of a right-wing proto-fascist force.
  • ... Hindutva is nothing but a postmodern pseudoreligion with its own rituals, myths, and doctrines.

    — Jose Kuruvachira, As interpreted in a review of Roots of Hindutva: A Critical Study of Hindu Fundamentalism and Nationalism by Erik Reenberg over The Journal of Religion
  • In his books, he has shed immense light about how postmodern scholarship and specially, the right to theorize was cross-polated with neo-Vedanta to lend mileage to the Hindutva cause across the years.
  • ... Many of my fellow-academics have inquired of me, as to how I feel of our work in the postcolonial domain being ill-exploited for the hundred and one radical cultural nationalism(s) spreading across the globe with highly dubious motives and a range of ill-effects. I don't have any definite answer. [long pause]. Our school of thought did fairly enrich our understanding of history and helped the long-downtrodden sections of our society to gain their long-due recognition; I am not accepting any contention on that. [laughs]. But to be frank, (we) did not foresee these effects; [pause] some did foresee but certainly not to the scales, playing out in India. As much as I reject these misappropriations, I think that this question needs far more discussion and thoughts, than this hour-long interview. Can write a book on this locus, probably [smiles] .....

    — Ashis Nandy, Transcripts of interviews of leading sociological scholars, A CSDS initiative, 2017 (unpublished)
  • Interview of Ashis Nandy (the above-mentioned leading proponent); intended as a rebut to Meera Nanda, Nandini Sundar and multiple EPW pieces blaming him and others for the passive complicity of their scholarship in creating the monster of Hindutva.
  • ... at two moments, nearly a century apart, a perceived affinity between anarchism, postmodernism and Hindutva might cause some progressive activists and historians to reject all three as hopelessly entangled. However, while it is important to take note of some commonalities in their jumping-off points and traits of form and sensibility, their differences are equally telling. And it is crucial to note these, if we are to jump in good directions.

    — Maia Ramnath, Reading Sumit Sarkar through Anarchist History and Historiography
  • This is a position, I (personally) most agree with. But, Wikipedia is never ever the place to perform novel epistemological experiments.
  • A few scholars and activists, influenced by postmodern scholarship, produced good pieces of texts upholding the identity assertions of marginalised communities in India. Their discourses have fostered a lively debate among advocates and critics of identity politics.

    They think that because of identity politics the rules of healthy academic discourse in the universities are distorted and the academic institutions have become an arena for interplay of identities. In their view identity politics produced a breed of apparent academicians turned into full-time politicians, who have started playing with identities to promote their own personal agendas. It is true that we do come across some such persons in the universities who make career out of identity politics and vitiate the academic atmosphere in the university for personal gains.

    Do Harshe and Patel mean that all feminists, postmodernists, subaltern theorists, dalit intellectuals and human rights activists working in the universities, who rightly or wrongly lend support to identity politics, also involve in such mean politics?

    — H. Srikanth, Identity Politics and Its Conservative Critics
  • Usual concerns about the academical rigor of postmodern identity-based-scholarship and about how it leads to different banes.
  • In my paper, I refract religion, namely Hinduism through the lens of Postmodernism. I would like to argue how caste origin stories which reimagine origin myths are grounded in postmodern ideas. Further, by exploring postmodernism, I’d like to bring about the concept of postmodern religion and how Hinduism has always displayed aspects of postmodernity, also embodied in the explosion of religious sects and godmen. The parallels I draw are more rooted in the central tenets of postmodernism:- (1) multiple truths (2) contextual or socially-conditioned nature of knowledge claims and (3) and the idea of one’s truth being one’s own ....

    — Satish Deshpande, Myth, Religion and Scholarship in Indian Ethnography: Towards new models
  • The piece throws light on how post-modern scholarship and the concept of subjective truths is throwing away established and rigorous historiographical methods for a toss to claim mythical stories of origin and then, weaponize that for social mobilization of the caste group. It is not entirely negative and later goes on to discuss certain positive aspects of such scholarship, though. It also wanders off a bit about connections of such myth-generation with the rise of rubbish pseudo-scholarship in the field of theology by Hindutva ideologues.
  • Criticism of his sociology by dalit scholars impressed him for the vigour it generated but Srinivas felt that to convert the rhetoric into a serious discourse, more rigorous arguments based on fieldwork were needed. He was perturbed that emerging trends in the discipline undermined the tradition of fieldwork and empiricism. He felt that sociologists had become too impatient or had come too much under the spell of rising ideologies to substantiate their statements.

    — M. N. Panini, M N Srinivas and Sociology
  • Views of one of the leading sociologists of India -- en:M.N. Srinivas, about the increasing hullabaloo about right-to-theorize and the new brand of scholarship that was essentially by, for and of the Dalits.
  • Do those with no lived in experience have the right to theorise? Analysing the elements that constitute lived in experience, this essay brings out the views of Gopal Guru and Habermas - two opposite approaches to the relation between theory and experience.

    Such concerns are true of religious communities, where at various times the community members react to any writing about either their religion or community by saying that unless one believes (or shares a lived experience of that particular religious belief) she has no right to criticize that experience. Vernacular language writers, especially after Indian English writing became newsworthy, have taken the position that Indian writers who write in English cannot claim to speak for the Indian society since a large number of Indians are not English speakers.

    We cannot theorise about religious fundamentalism unless we are part of fundamentalist organisations. And so on. When we talk about empathy with a suffering person we are able to project something of the other's experience into ourselves although we do not in any sense have a lived experience of the suffering of the other. When we claim that untouchability is a crime, we do not have to have been an untouchable. When we ask for equality of citizens, including women, we do not have to be a woman or dalit to say that.

    In many of these cases the recourse to authenticity and lived experience comes primarily when something unfavorable is written about the community or experience. When an outsider writes what the community perceives as good, the outsider is not only accepted but also valorised. When outsiders write about contemporary or ancient India in a flattering manner the outsider status is conveniently forgotten or is sometimes referred to show how even outsiders can recognise the greatness of these societies. But the moment there is some form of criticism the outsider status is invoked to debunk the criticism.

    If lived experience is to be final validation for theory then we will have to look at auto- biographies as epistemologically legitimate in a fundamental sense. We can extend this argument further, as I had indeed done, to claim that fiction based on lived experiences should actually be seen as a legitimate mode of theorising. But this mode of autobiography or fiction runs counter to the traditional, modernist view that depends on the empirical-theoretical dichotomy to generate objective knowledge.

    One's experience may not be enough to validate our right to have a say about the conceptual world which describes that experience.On the other hand, not having any experience but theorising about it also seems intrinsically problematical. It is this tension about theorising that is manifested in two radically different approaches by two thinkers.

    One such way is through the binary of emotion and reason. Experience is often placed under the idea of emotion and related terms whereas theory is something that arises under the action of reason. To hold Habermas' position is to give into this absolute dichotomy between emotion and reason or experience and reason. There are many pointers to why such a dichotomy seems to make apparent sense. Experience is first person; reason overcomes individual capacity. Experience is local specific and context specific. Reason attempts to establish the universal present in local specificities ..... Reason does this very effectively in many ways: depersonalising traumatic events, creating new categories to place these events in, creating explanatory structures as part of its structure, abstracting concepts and ideas that then simulate universality and so on.

    — Sundar Sarukkai, Dalit Experience and Theory
  • Selected portions about alternate/contrarian thought-schools to right-to-theorise and why they have a valid point, from an Indian sociological context.
  • Not a quote of anyone but I recall Madhu Kishwar who used to be an internationally-acclaimed feminist from India but sadly, in the course of pursuing a postmodern variant of feminism, got absorbed into the right-wing Hindutva-vacuum and now makes regular headlines for spreading communal poison or fake-news, in a bid of rejecting alleged intellectual invaders (Marxists/West/Islam) and embrace an atavistic past corresponding to the Hindu-version-of-knowledge.
    • Mentioning, since am currently developing her article over en-wiki.
  • Many of the philosophical doctrines purveyed by postmodernists have been roundly refuted, yet people continue to be taken in by the dishonest devices used in proselytizing for postmodernism.

    — Nicholas Shackel, The Vacuity of Post Modernist Methodology
  • The modern sciences are among the most remarkable of human achievements and cultural treasures. Like others, they merit and reward respectful and scrupulous engagement. Sokal and Bricmont show how easily such truisms can recede from view, and how harmful the consequences can be for intellectual life and human affairs. They also provide a thoughtful and constructive critical analysis of fundamental issues of empirical inquiry. It is a timely and substantial contribution.

    — Noam Chomsky, Fashionable Nonsense: PostModern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont
  • Praises Sokal's book which sheds light on some of the utter bunkum that gets propagated in the name of multiple versions of fact/truth and other facets of post-modernity, eventually leading to proliferation of pseudo-scientific adventures.
  • Mythic apologetics seem especially well suited to our cultural context in the postmodern West.

    — John W. Morehead
  • I guess, we need to give equal space and opportunity to the UFO-cultists for airing their truthful view about the subject. Afterall, the cult has been a study of multiple postmodern scholars, some of whom have written utter trash in the process.
  • Postmodernist thought is being used to attack the scientific worldview and undermine scientific truths; a disturbing trend that has gone unnoticed by a majority of scientists.

    Unlike regular science, ‘parallel science' serves political goals and describes itself with positive-sounding terms such as ‘science in society', ‘concerned', ‘responsible', ‘independent' and ‘citizen' science, which the ‘other' science is not. It aims to substitute apolitical scientists, especially for risk assessment, with ‘experts' sympathetic to the cause; they can be from official institutions, universities or self-proclaimed, irrespective of whether their opinion is accepted by other scientists or whether their research methods and conclusions are trustworthy.

    Scientists will never be able to win in postmodern courtroom-style debates: all “social constructs” of science are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    — Marcel Kuntz, The postmodern assault on science: If all truths are equal, who cares what science has to say?
  • One of the very few coverage of postmodernism in a scienctific journal.
  • Postmodern theory may be the most loathed concept ever to have emerged from academia .... Facts were debatable, that individual perspectives mattered most, that shared meaning was an illusion and that universal truth was a myth

    Challenges to postmodern theory did identify an important crisis: Losing a shared vocabulary for the world’s problems, for the way we relate to one another and for current events may be the greatest threat to American society. What did it mean that the pro-life movement could fashion itself as an avatar of women’s empowerment or that a white woman like Rachel Dolezal could simply declare that she is black?

    It is certainly correct that today’s populist right employs relativistic arguments: For example, “identity politics” is bad when embraced by people of color, but “identitarianism” — white-nationalist identity politics — is good and necessary for white “survival.”

    But simply because this happens after postmodernism doesn’t mean it happens because of postmodernism.The postmodernist theorists we vilify did not cause this; they’ve actually given us a framework to understand precisely how falsehood can masquerade as truth.

    — Aaron R. Hanlon, Postmodernism didn't cause Trump; it explains him.
  • Apologist-argumentation but still, he manages to see the ill-effects of postmodernism and multiple truths.
  • I think what the postmodernists did was truly evil. They are responsible for the intellectual fad that made it respectable to be cynical about truth and facts. You’d have people going around saying: “Well, you’re part of that crowd who still believe in facts.”

    — Daniel Dennett, Interview of Daniel Dennett by Carole Cadwalladr
  • From post-modernism to filter bubbles, ‘truth decay’ has been spreading for decades.

    Relativism has been ascendant since the culture wars began in the 1960s. Back then, it was embraced by the New Left, who were eager to expose the biases of western, bourgeois, male-dominated thinking; and by academics promoting the gospel of postmodernism, which argued that there are no universal truths, only smaller personal truths – perceptions shaped by the cultural and social forces of one’s day. Since then, relativistic arguments have been hijacked by the populist right.

    In his 2007 book, The Cult of the Amateur, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Andrew Keen warned that the internet not only had democratised information beyond people’s wildest imaginings but also was replacing genuine knowledge with “the wisdom of the crowd”, dangerously blurring the lines between fact and opinion, informed argument and blustering speculation. A decade later, the scholar Tom Nichols wrote in The Death of Expertise that a wilful hostility towards established knowledge had emerged on both the right and the left, with people aggressively arguing that “every opinion on any matter is as good as every other”. Ignorance was now fashionable.

    The postmodernist argument that all truths are partial (and a function of one’s perspective) led to the related argument that there are many legitimate ways to understand or represent an event. This both encouraged a more egalitarian discourse and made it possible for the voices of the previously disfranchised to be heard. But it has also been exploited by those who want to make the case for offensive or debunked theories, or who want to equate things that cannot be equated. Creationists, for instance, called for teaching “intelligent design” alongside evolution in schools. “Teach both,” some argued. Others said, “Teach the controversy.”

    Personal testimony also became fashionable on college campuses, as the concept of objective truth fell out of favour and empirical evidence gathered by traditional research came to be regarded with suspicion. Academic writers began prefacing scholarly papers with disquisitions on their own “positioning” – their race, religion, gender, background, personal experiences that might inform or skew or ratify their analysis.

    — Michiko Kakutani, The death of truth: how we gave up on facts and ended up with Trump
  • The contrast about how multiple versions of truth led to an egalitarian discourse and provided a much-needed voice to the sub-altern but also empowered the fringe and the right in the process.
  • Perhaps the most distinctive feature of postmodernist theory is its denial of a basis for critical judgment and moral responsibility, except as the arbitrary reflection of a tradition. This poses basic problems for its own attempt to take cultural difference seriously, since it precludes genuine learning from the Other. It opens postmodernist theorists (and political activists) who attempt to persuade others to the charge that either they are committing a performative contradiction or they are simply exercising a will to power no more legitimate than any other.

    Because processes of power and exploitation are increasingly systemic and removed from the everyday discursive grasp of the lifeworld, however, it is all the more important that a critical theory be developed through which to understand them. It is not enough to rely on play, intuition and ordinary experience. Postmodernist thought has generally been presented in a radical, challenging mode and rhetoric, as though it were a critical theory with clear implications for collective struggle. Indeed, the postmodernist movement has without question informed and in some cases invigorated popular struggles. But it is not equally clear that postmodernist thought can stand very clearly the tests which must be demanded of a critical theory. Ideally, a critical theory ought to provide for an account of the historical and cultural conditions of its own production, to offer an address to competing theories which explains (not just identifies) their weaknesses and appropriates their achievements, to engage in a continuing critical reflection on the categories used in its own construction, and to develop a critical account of existing social conditions with positive implications for social action. Postmodernism contributes to some of these desiderata, but also falls short of them in varying degree.

    The postmodernist rejection of grand narratives and other overarching sources of meaning challenges the possibility of a standpoint from which to develop a critical theory (or more generally to defend critical judgments across significant lines of difference). Relatedly, the postmodernist notion of the insularity and incommensurability of traditions of thought suggests that there is inherently no basis other than power or mere persuasion for resolving conflicts among theories. Finally, the postmodernist claim to represent a historical transformation raises the issue of historical specificity. As I tried to show above, however, it does so largely in pseudohistorical manner, dependent on oversimplifying notions of modernity to justify premature claims for its super cession.

    — Craig Calhoun, Postmodernism as pseudo-history
  • While we spent years trying to detect the real prejudices hidden behind the appearance of objective statements, do we now have to reveal the real objective and incontrovertible facts hidden behind the illusion of prejudices? And yet entire Ph.D. programs are still running to make sure that good American kids are learning the hard way that facts are made up, that there is no such thing as natural, unmediated, unbiased access to truth, that we are always prisoners of language, that we always speak from a particular standpoint, and so on, while dangerous extremists are using the very same argument of social construction to destroy hard-won evidence that could save our lives.

    My argument is that a certain form of critical spirit has sent us down the wrong path, encouraging us to fight the wrong enemies and, worst of all, to be considered as friends by the wrong sort of allies because of a little mistake in the definition of its main target. The question was never to get away from facts but closer to them, not fighting empiricism but, on the contrary, renewing empiricism.

    — Bruno Latour, Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern
  • Emphasising an experience that is ‘lived’ immediately puts the focus on an experience that is highly individual or unique. This of course poses difficulties for generating generalisable accounts based on lived experience. It is possible that, whilst establishing knowledge claims based on experience, wider social structures and narratives that shape, or even cause, disadvantage, disempowerment and oppression are moved further to the background, hidden from analytical gaze.

    — Ian Mcintosh and Sharon Wright, Exploring what the Notion of ‘Lived Experience’ Offers for Social Policy Analysis

As much as I have my sympathies with the intended objectives, I cannot but feel that the scantily written recommendations (and their clarifications) have got far more to do with sociopolitical activism than harvest in net improvement of encyclopedia. While I have primarily covered the downsides of the proposed approach in the Indic-sphere; ample scholarship of rough similarities exist as to the Eurocentric sphere, w.r.t to their own unique issues. To me, it's neat intellectual dishonesty to discount the volumes of literature that covers the plethora of issues surrounding these newer forms of knowledge-models/scholarship models and give a patronizing answer to the boilerplate-query, that explicitly asks for the negative impacts.

In entirety, I feel that this needs far more discussion among established academically qualified scholars, before we even begin thinking of these stuff. Coupled with the complete and near-fundamental misunderstanding of intellectual property and allied affairs, I have precisely zero confidence in the output and honesty of this working group. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 13:02, 6 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

This is an issue of fundamental importance. When the founders of Wikipedia adopted an "encyclopedia" as the model for the project, they baked in a lot of assumptions of what made an encyclopedia useful and what users expected from it. Although the 2030 strategy adopted goals that contained a few buzzwords, most people did not understand that a fundamental abandonment of the current model was proposed. Certainly, there should be much more academic debate about the merits of this shift before resources are expended to implement it. This is not something that must be resolved quickly without pilot studies and focus groups to avoid an irrevocable mistake. We have 11 years to research, discuss and experiment before 2030. Hlevy2 (talk) 11:59, 22 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback from Strategy Salon from Wikimedia Portugal[edit]

Wikimedia Portugal have held a Strategy Salon on 15 September, and one of the things discussed there was this recommendation. The majority of participants felt strongly that the acceptence of a non-commercial license in Commons would cause more harm than good. The main points raised against were that it complicates reuse of our content further down the line, the usability of non-commercial licenses for educational purposes is dubious and some went as far as saying that the Wikimedia Movement should recommend to Creative Commons that CC-NC type license be no longer supported or should be abolished. As upsides, a few participants mentioned that we would be able to probably host ten times more content than we do now. The consensus view was however, that the difficulties were greater than the advantages. GoEThe (talk) 10:28, 20 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

New draft[edit]

As far as I can tell, this recommendation was dropped from the new recommendation drafts. A new recommendation seems to take a different approach: working with external partners so that more content is made available which we can use as references for Wikipedia (or that is my interpretation so far). Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Diversity/6. --MarioGom (talk) 17:36, 22 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

@MarioGom: Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Diversity/4 still includes a proposal to modify the Terms of Use to enforce o global code of conduct. --Yair rand (talk) 19:14, 26 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
"enforce" :-) Having a CoC is the norm in open online communities. Wikimedia_community_code_of_conduct#Codes_of_conduct_for_other_online_communities — Aron M (talk) 18:20, 29 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly. In the WikiWorld these codes are called "Wikiquette" and "No Personal Attacks", enforced by elected administrators in each project who are familiar with "local" communication habits and able to truly distinguish between engaged discussion, rude tone, and inappropriate language. A global communication conduct policy is as useful to Wikimedia projects as a bicycle to a fish. --Martina Nolte (talk) 21:51, 11 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]