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Latest comment: 3 months ago by Ziko in topic Answer from the Klexikon

Privacy protection


The report doesn't take into sufficient consideration the importance of children's privacy rights and doesn't even contain the word "surveillance". Certain so-called remedies mentioned, such as the usage of PhotoDNA, are actually privacy risks because they leak personal information to malicious actors like law enforcement. Nemo 15:38, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

I was quite surprised to see the w:Internet Watch Foundation treated as a credible commentator on the tradeoffs involved in anti-censorship/privacy enhancing technologies as well. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 16:53, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Nemo bis: Surveillance is, indeed, a threat to all Wikimedians regardless of age and was examined in the 2020 human rights impact assessment. As noted in the CRIA’s foreword, this child rights impact assessment was a direct recommendation of that earlier assessment and builds upon it to examine threats specific to users under 18 years of age, which is why surveillance is not reiterated here. The point is noted, though–in distribution I’ll be mindful about mentioning that the CRIA is a follow-up to the more general HRIA.

And to AntiCompositeNumber’s point, the authors of this report consulted a number of external sources and experts to get a plurality of views that ultimately informed the report. While I cannot speak to the specifics of the report referenced in the passage mentioning Internet Watch Foundation, the report was itself examining challenges around internet censorship and the topics of blocklists was materially relevant. RGaines (WMF) (talk) 14:32, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the answer. While surveillance is a broad-based risk, the intensity of the risks is higher for minors. In several USA jurisdictions, consensual "sexting" between minors is criminalised, and indirectly leaking certain information to law enforcement can be enough to ruin someone's life. Similarly, LGBTQ+ youth is notoriously at higher risk of homelessness and suicide pretty much anywhere, and structural homophobia makes centralised surveillance a source of clear and present danger for their life. Nemo 16:25, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Zero tolerance


I'm surprised to find the expression "zero tolerance" in this report. The concept is itself a violation of human rights and children rights, apart from being ineffective and completely discredited. There's abundant research on the topic so I won't include references here, but let me know if you need help finding some. I'll start with the English Wikipedia article, w:en:Zero_tolerance#Criticism: «Zero tolerance violates principles of health and human services and standards for the education and healthy growth of children, families and communities». Nemo 15:45, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Nemo bis: Based on where the mention of “zero tolerance” is in the assessment (“Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct states zero tolerance for harassment”), I suspect Article One was paraphrasing its interpretation of the UCoC and Friendly Spaces Policy in a way that may not be perfectly in line with the community’s intent. While the use of this phrase does not have a bearing on the report’s recommendations, it’s true that these policies leave room to respond to a number of situations based on the individual circumstances. RGaines (WMF) (talk) 14:35, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
If the UCoC can be misinterpreted by professionals as being tantamount to a "zero tolerance" policy, we have an even bigger problem. Nemo 16:14, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Right to information


I'm glad to see "Right to information" was considered as a criterion for the risks. I'm happy to see that recommendations are mostly geared towards providing more information (à la "The Remedy is More Speech"), namely a "Children's guide to editing". I hope such information can be as global as possible in nature (hint: USA-centric entities are not sufficiently global; information from a Californian non-profit is ok but not good enough for children with suicidal thoughts outside the USA).

However, for the general public, the children's right to information has been insufficiently considered. The risk assessment "Exposure to harmful content and misrepresentation of facts" appears to assume that risks coming mainly from getting too much information, but such assumption is not explained and appears to not be based in evidence. In reality, child abuse prevention requires more information and education: «sex education [...] holds the potential to address sexual violence perpetration as well. [...] Primary prevention is the most effective way of fully preventing poor health outcomes by mitigating risk factors from developing» (Comprehensive sexuality education as a primary prevention strategy for sexual violence perpetration; cf. Sex education reduces child abuse: is this the right way forward?).

While the Wikimedia projects obviously can't compensate for the lack of sex education in the mandatory education programs, we should be careful not to introduce changes which could worsen the problem. Nemo 16:16, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Nemo bis:, thanks for your thoughts on this important idea. My team, the Foundation’s Global Advocacy team, works to make sure governments around the world understand Wikimedia’s strong position on knowledge as a human right. Children should have access to more knowledge, though we of course also take our responsibility seriously to combat harmful content like disinformation or child sexual abuse materials, which could harm children disproportionately. It’s a tough balance, and this issue as you probably know has been getting way more scrutiny over the last couple of years as governments try to enact legislation that would intrude on users’ right to privacy and to information–in the name of protecting children online. Last year, when a British law was being considered in Parliament that could reduce access to knowledge among children, the Foundation told the British government that we would not “age gate” Wikimedia projects. Putting out this report and addressing the things we can will, we hope, help us as a movement have good-faith conversations with regulators and avoid getting caught in a wide regulatory net with big, for-profit platforms. Curious on your thoughts about which of these recommendations might most feasibly help us along (while both protecting the right to information and the safety of children on our projects), or if you have other concrete recommendations that we could work towards. RGaines (WMF) (talk) 15:08, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Governance question


I would appreciate if WMF can clarify the response mechanism to protect child rights, both on-wiki and off-wiki activities (e.g. coordinated off-wiki bullying attack) that target on-wiki underage editors. Will the community be empowered to respond to these concerns (for example, placing temporary restriction on page editing) if they believe their actions are performed in good faith to protect the minor? Or will it fall under office action that are restricted to WMF staff? OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:03, 22 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hi @OhanaUnited: Thanks for your message! Any enhancements to the current systems will require collaboration between the Foundation and the community. If you have any ideas about how existing mechanisms can be improved to protect children, we would love to hear them. This exchange of ideas in order to protect children is the most important outcome of this report we could have. RGaines (WMF) (talk) 14:36, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

The Vikidia/Wikikids project point of view


Hi there,

@RGaines (WMF):, I've just come across this work, and I've read it.

I founded Vikidia, https://fr.vikidia.org in 2006, an encyclopedic wiki for children whose main edition is in French.

I guess that a child rights impact assessment may also (or a little more) address the positive rights of the child.

I suggest you consult this page, which summarizes how the Vikidia project is seen to relate to the issue of children's rights: Wikikids/Relation to the Rights of the Child.

You'll see that it's focused on opportunities rather than protection and risk. It is about: Information and documentary material - Freedom of expression and information - Expression of the views and children's participation - Freedom of association - International cooperation.

I've made another text, especially about the information and participation right vikidia:en:User:Astirmays/Vikidia, an equivalent of Wikipedia for children and the information and participation rights.

I hope you find this additional point of view useful.

Thank you and see you soon! Astirmays (talk) 14:41, 24 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

Answer from the Klexikon


Dear all, thank you for the report and the interesting comments. On YouTube I have published a video about the topic with some remarks about the Klexikon.

Let me be clear that I have many concerns about children (certainly below the age of 14) editing Wikipedia and searching for content on Wikimedia Commons. Honestly, I also think that a platform suitable for children must have a lot of special precautions in order to protect the well-being of children. At the moment, I do not see any "wiki for children" that is as strict as it should be.

When it comes to content, I have observed that the different wikis for children have quite different opinions about suitable content.

Kind regards, Ziko (talk) 16:47, 28 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Ziko and RGaines (WMF): There is a lot to say in response to this video and its premise.
Can you beleive that there more rudeness, agression, harassment among adults than among children?
Harassment can be serious between children.
What if, on the contrary, harassment and rudeness were to diminish in an intergenerational community? In other words, simply a natural society like those in which our ancestors lived for centuries.
I even think that older people (adults or minors) spontaneously adopt more responsible behavior in the presence of younger people than they would if they were all the same age : a group of 15 year-olds with one adult is bound to become a bunch of kids to look after (and a group of adults only often behave like a bunch of kids too), whereas if there's one or a couple of adults, teenagers and children of various ages, the 15 year-olds will behave like responsible people in front of the younger ones, which will lighten the adult's load considerably.
This is what happens on Vikidia.
A platform whose starting point is the equality of participants does not imply that people ignore their age (and personality) differences in their interactions.
Next, the legal aspect : we have vikidia:en:Vikidia:Legal matters and (more developped in french) vikidia:Vikidia:Questions légales.
The US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA, 1998) according to w:Children's Online Privacy Protection Act:

"The Act applies to websites and online services operated for commercial purposes that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that children under 13 are providing information online. Most recognized non-profit organizations are exempt from most of the requirements of COPPA."

In France, we just got a law on "digital majority" in July, 2023, kind of equivalent of the COPPA (and mandated by a European Union regulation), which sets a digital majority at 15 but makes an exception for non-profit online encyclopaedias and non-profit educational or scientific directories : "Article 6-7 de la loi n° 2004-575 du 21 juin 2004 pour la confiance dans l'économie numérique Les obligations prévues au I ne s'appliquent ni aux encyclopédies en ligne à but non lucratif ni aux répertoires éducatifs ou scientifiques à but non lucratif."
The Wikipedia way works well for building a children's encyclopedia with an intergenerational community, we've been putting it to the test for 17 years on Vikidia. Astirmays (talk) 21:34, 4 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hello, thank's for the link to the French law, very interesting. Ziko (talk) 21:46, 4 April 2024 (UTC)Reply