Universal Code of Conduct/Initial 2020 Consultations/Vietnamese/da
Vietnamese Wikipedia is a Wikipedia for Vietnamese speakers all over the world. It is a medium-sized Wikipedia, with about 1.240.000 articles. There are 21 administrators and several eliminators [a role falling between admin and normal editors. Eliminators can lock articles but cannot ban editors] who are responsible for maintaining this Wikipedia. Now it has about 2400 active users each month, and its editor base is still expanding. Vietnam is a developing country with a high level of education, so a lot of people are using Wikipedia each day to learn new things.
The Vietnamese government is very critical of Wikipedia due to its independence and inclusion of broader sources. Like in China, the Vietnamese government maintains strict control in all kinds of media, free expression is rather restricted, and Wikipedia is one of a few kinds of media that they cannot control yet. Vietnamese Wikipedia editors tend to be not open, and all editors do not openly engage in online and offline activities, they contribute independently most of the time.
Summary of behavioural policies
This Wikipedia is content with the policies that are inherited from English Wikipedia and translated in Vietnamese. The core rules of English Wikipedia are translated and followed mostly to the letter. Some conditions, such as the requirement to vote for administrators are reduced due to lack of editors that meet the criteria.
The difference is that the dynamic IPs are used by all ISPs in Vietnam, so it is easy to evade bans and people do not hesitate to re-emerge with a new account almost at will. Therefore harassment incidents are quite common.
At first, I posted a message in the Village pump and Administrator’s board, but without much success.
Secondly, I posted a topic in the Facebook group of the Vietnamese Wikipedia community. The response was lukewarm.
Thirdly, I chatted personally with members of the community. In that format, they were more responsive, and after being reassured that all information about them personally will be kept private, 22 users responded. They engaged in a dialogue and told me about some of their experiences, shared their negative conflicts with other editors, and sometimes their self-doubt as well.
Thinking back, I should focus on Facebook and assure editors about privacy right from the start. That would have attracted more opinions early on.
General Summary: Positive feelings about UCoC. All of the editors who have responded realize the need to have a UCoC, some of them think that it’s good to have a first-hand guide. But they are sceptical about the possibility of implementation of such a guide in Vietnam, a country with dynamic IPs where editors can evade blocks and bans quite easily.
Positive feedback: The UCoC would be generally welcomed. It would be a guide for us while navigating Wikipedia and editing it. For most young, quick-to-react editors, it is a must.
Negative feedback: None aside from the country-specific ISP issue noted above.
Concerns and opinions: UCoC should include a paragraph about respecting others’ privacy and religion and being patient towards newbies.
Agreement to a Universal Code of Conduct: Yes, definitely.
A Wikipedia editor who is a Falun Gong practitioner said that In Vietnam, this religious group is considered a cult, and is repressed, similarly to China. He said, “I came to Wikipedia to read the Falun Gong article in Vietnamese, and I started to edit it to clarify some points that are inadequate. But I was ridiculed for my faith. Some editors left provocative remarks on my Wikipedia personal talk page. When I responded, the discussion escalated into becoming an argument and ultimately to threats. After some interventions from admins, they switched to one of my social media accounts and threatened to kill me. Sometime later, I was attacked by a group of men outside my house. I was hurt with bloody scratches on my head. I recovered, but I have not come back to Wikipedia since then.
I think intellectual or religious clashes on Wikipedia can become fights in reality. I think the Universal Code of Conduct should have some content about equality regardless of religion or faith we are believing.”
Agreement to a Universal Code of Conduct: Yes, it is necessary.
Since I am a student, In my free time I like to go to Wikipedia to learn about new things. When I read interesting things, I want to befriend editors who wrote those articles because I think they would have more interesting things to talk to. But, I have found out that along with some friendly people there are some nasty, irritating people who love to show off and can be angry quickly. They were knowledgeable nevertheless, and some of them must be respectful people in real life. Admins are good guys but not always around. So I have to learn almost everything by myself by watching what other editors were doing. That’s not bad, but it takes too long.
I hope that Universal Code of Conduct could include forceful regulations about helping the newbies like me, otherwise, we may get lost and leave Wikipedia for good.
Agreement to a Universal Code of Conduct: Yes.
I notice many newcomers ask me private questions about myself, such as my name, my age, the place I live. They perhaps only want to get closer to other Wikipedians, or they are just curious about those who donate their time to Wikipedia. Despite their naive motive, I doubt people will be comfortable with these questions. So I suggest the Universal Code of Conduct should include a rule which is "respecting other people's privacy and not asking private questions".
Agreement to a Universal Code of Conduct: Yes.
I have an edit disagreement with an editor about an article of Japanese manga. I use Vietnamese-based names, and that editor uses Chinese based names. We cannot compromise and revert back and forth. After such reverts, an admin comes in and protects the article and asks us to sit down and talk. After several days of talking we still cannot compromise, but talking about that has made us calmer. I think Universal of Code of Conduct should include a cool off interval when resolving conflicts, it is useful for me.
From the facilitating process, I learned that our Vietnamese community is a small group of respected, reserved, thoughtful and quite knowledgeable people mixed with a lot of young students and pupils who are wandering in Wikipedia, soaking free knowledge in as they jump from one article to another.
We must learn to be patient with young people so that they can learn how Wikipedia works and to keep knowledgeable people happy and staying with Wikipedia.