User talk:DuncanHill

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Please address any talk to my talk page at the English Language Wikipedia, here.

In case of incomprehensible IP blocks. To be retained for future reference, as no-one will tell you about it until after the situation has been resolved[edit]

Special:Contact/stewards

Hey[edit]

This seems to say that the WMF knew that some of the results were poor in 2017, and deleted it in 2019. I've only (personally) seen evidence that the WMF learned that some of the results were poor in mid-2019, and that it deleted it within days of that discovery. Are you sure of the timeline in what you wrote? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:07, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): See this post by @DannyH (WMF):, particularly this part - "In 2017, the Anti-Harassment Tools team tried out using Detox to detect harassment on Wikipedia, and we found the same kinds of flaws that you have. The tool is inaccurate and doesn't take context into account, leading to false positives (flagging the word "gay" as aggressive even in a neutral or positive context) and false negatives (missing more nuanced uses of language, like sarcasm)." It's rather counter-intuitive that you should have to ask me to tell you what the Foundation has previously said. DuncanHill (talk) 20:12, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
You'd have to ask the "Anti-Harassment Tools team" why they didn't share their results with the community, or ask for the tool to be taken down. DuncanHill (talk) 20:32, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Why do I bother? DuncanHill (talk) 23:50, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): Am I to take it from your lack of response that you no longer have any interest in this matter? Is that because you've been told to ignore it, or was it a personal decision? DuncanHill (talk) 14:05, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
Hi Duncan, I didn't see any question in that for me to respond to, and I wasn't sure what to say that would be honest, useful, and not make you feel even worse about a bad situation.
If I were writing the story of this project, I think the beginning might sound more like this:
In 2015, a Google company decided to that it wanted to work on the question of measuring tone in very large collections of conversations (e.g., Twitter). It looked around at the available options, and noticed that Wikipedians happened to have produced a conveniently large, freely licensed collection of conversations on talk pages over the years. It then paid non-Wikipedians from around the world to rate the tone of some public comments on Wikipedia.
The story I've learned sounds so different from yours that I don't know what else to say about it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:19, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF): A "thank you for giving me the information I asked for" would have been something. What is the story you've been told? By the sound of it, at least one of us is being lied to by the Foundation. I've only seen what's been posted publicly. Is there a different story being propagated within the WMF and kept from the community? DuncanHill (talk) 20:30, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
I think some people might be looking at only pieces of the story. For example, the quote above could be understood as imply that the Anti-Harassment team was a significant player in this project. It could also be read as meaning what it said: AHT "tried out using Detox", in much the same way that I "tried out" grilled cactus earlier this year. (Cactus is not going on my list of favorite foods.)
I think that the latter is closer to the truth, because when you look at the timeline, the research work seems to have started in 2015, it was publicly documented on this wiki in early 2016, and I don't think AHT technically existed until almost a year later. A WMF researcher supported (in practical terms) some parts of the work, and some staff were hopeful about it, but it seems to me that the WMF's role was more like an interested stakeholder, and not actually the owner or controller of the project. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
"I think some people might be looking at only pieces of the story" - to be perfectly frank I think it's pretty clear that nobody knows (or will admit to knowing) the whole story, and I doubt anybody ever will. No accountability or responsibility all through the project, and nobody now is going to own up to cocking things up, or worse. Why did you not know that WMF knew the results were bad in 2017, thinking they did not know until 2019 ("I've only (personally) seen evidence that the WMF learned that some of the results were poor in mid-2019") - were you actively misled, or are people simply not bothering to tell you things? And "the WMF's role was more like an interested stakeholder, and not actually the owner or controller of the project"? The WMF hosted the damn thing, and then quoted it approvingly in its efforts to exert control over editors. And nobody from the Foundation seems to know why. Again I ask why didn't AHT bother to tell anyone about the bad results? Were they happy for the Foundation to host a tool that could easily be used to harass editors? Is an "anti harassment team" that doesn't challenge homophobia and racism when it finds it actually competent? Have they told you why they left it up and kept shtum? DuncanHill (talk) 00:18, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
The WMF "hosted" that tool on the public toolserver in the same way that, at any given point in time, the WMF "hosts" a certain amount of vandalism on the public projects. We wouldn't even think of asking why the WMF allows content contributors to make mistakes, or to keep badly written drafts unchanged in their userspace for years. Do you expect technical contributors be held to a higher standard? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

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@Whatamidoing (WMF): Again you fail to answer my questions about why you were so misled about the dates. On your last point, I do expect an Anti Harassment Team to take action when they identify homophobic or anti-Semitic results such as those the tool produced. Concerning your email - if you have identified material which you believe is abusive then you should report it, not abuse the email function to try to put a guilt trip onto me or to seek to excuse the Detox tool. DO NOT EMAIL ME AGAIN. If you do I will make a formal complaint. And don't tell a gay editor to go and have a look at homophobic material that you are using as part of that attempt. Please do not contact me again, on or off wiki. DuncanHill (talk) 10:47, 14 November 2019 (UTC) re-sign for typo in reply template. DuncanHill (talk) 12:18, 14 November 2019 (UTC)