Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

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Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Emilio J. Rodríguez-Posada
Hi all;

The events regarding Italian Wikipedia blanking[1][2] of all its content are
a serious precedent IMHO. They can make a lot of noise using other
procedures, like a big blinking site notice, but giving no choice to read
the content is against the main goal of Wikipedia.[3]

Italian Wikipedia has about 500,000 page views per hour,[4] and readers are
getting worried about how long is this going to last. A global encyclopedia
managed in these ways is not trustworthy. This is worst in public image than
any gender, global south or image filtering media flame war.

Furthermore, this only make me more concerned about the missing updated,
secure and trustworthy mirrors of Wikipedia content.

Fortunately, you still can read the mobile version, but it is "limited".[5]
(Please, spread the word about this)

Regards,
emijrp

[1] http://it.wikipedia.org
[2] http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Comunicato_4_ottobre_2011
[3] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vision
[4] http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/Sitemap.htm
[5] http://it.m.wikipedia.org/
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Fred Bauder-2
> Hi all;
>
> The events regarding Italian Wikipedia blanking[1][2] of all its content
> are
> a serious precedent IMHO. They can make a lot of noise using other
> procedures, like a big blinking site notice, but giving no choice to read
> the content is against the main goal of Wikipedia.[3]
>
> Italian Wikipedia has about 500,000 page views per hour,[4] and readers
> are
> getting worried about how long is this going to last. A global
> encyclopedia
> managed in these ways is not trustworthy. This is worst in public image
> than
> any gender, global south or image filtering media flame war.
>
> Furthermore, this only make me more concerned about the missing updated,
> secure and trustworthy mirrors of Wikipedia content.
>
> Fortunately, you still can read the mobile version, but it is
> "limited".[5]
> (Please, spread the word about this)
>
> Regards,
> emijrp
>

No, it is a very good idea. The public needs to know what is at stake. It
would be nice if it were otherwise, but most people only learn by
experience.

Fred


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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Mathias Schindler-2
On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 22:32, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:

> No, it is a very good idea. The public needs to know what is at stake. It
> would be nice if it were otherwise, but most people only learn by
> experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_where_English_is_an_official_language
makes me wonder if we are going to have fun at en.wikipedia.org any
time soon.

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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

M. Williamson
Another important point here is that Wikipedia is an international project;
there are speakers of Italian in Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and
in smaller numbers in lots of other countries who may not care so much what
happens in Italian politics. If the UK proposed a new law to shut down
Wikipedia, what would US, Australian, Canadian and other non-UK users say if
sysops tried to shut down en.wikipedia for everybody? Granted, the Italian
language doesn't have the same level of multinational character as en.wp,
but Wikipedias are for languages, not countries, and we can't forget this.

2011/10/4 Mathias Schindler <[hidden email]>

> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 22:32, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > No, it is a very good idea. The public needs to know what is at stake. It
> > would be nice if it were otherwise, but most people only learn by
> > experience.
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_where_English_is_an_official_language
> makes me wonder if we are going to have fun at en.wikipedia.org any
> time soon.
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Mathias Schindler-2
On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 22:55, M. Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Another important point here is that Wikipedia is an international project;

No, this is not another important point, this is exactly my point. Is
the Kiribati based community (or a part of it) of Wikipedians allowed
to block en.wikipedia.org for x hours because a new Kiribatian (sp?)
media law might come?

Mathias

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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Milos Rancic-2
On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 22:58, Mathias Schindler
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 22:55, M. Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Another important point here is that Wikipedia is an international project;
>
> No, this is not another important point, this is exactly my point. Is
> the Kiribati based community (or a part of it) of Wikipedians allowed
> to block en.wikipedia.org for x hours because a new Kiribatian (sp?)
> media law might come?

So, you think that it is reasonable that Italian Wikipedia lays on
Italian speaking community from Kiribati?

If this law passes, the most reasonable choice of every editor of
Italian Wikipedia would be to abandon it.

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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Jalo
In reply to this post by Mathias Schindler-2
>
> Is the Kiribati based community (or a part of it) of Wikipedians allowed
> to block en.wikipedia.org for x hours because a new Kiribatian (sp?)
> media law might come?
>
> Mathias
>

You're right, 2-3% of it.wikip users live outside of Italy, but this new law
will affect every page in which a user that live in Italy save a single page
version (that is 100% of articles).

Kiribatian users edits all en.wikip articles?

100% of articles may be written by the person to which the article refers,
and all these articles will be blocked infinite. Maybe this scenario, this
italian law, is a little bit worst than a Kiribati law?
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Mathias Schindler-2
On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 23:08, Jalo <[hidden email]> wrote:

> You're right, 2-3% of it.wikip users live outside of Italy, but this new law
> will affect every page in which a user that live in Italy save a single page
> version (that is 100% of articles).

Then can you specify the threshold for the community-ratio that is in
your opinion required for some Wikipedians to vandalize a language
edition of Wikipedia in such way?

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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Jalo
>
> Then can you specify the threshold for the community-ratio that is in
> your opinion required for some Wikipedians to vandalize a language
> edition of Wikipedia in such way?
>

I've already told that: 100% of articles. Do you need a larger threshold?
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Dirk Franke
In reply to this post by Mathias Schindler-2
They should be enough, to convice the rest of the community. And when
Kiribati users are actually able to convince all the others on en, then: Go
Kiribati! Go!

southpark

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 11:10 PM, Mathias Schindler <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 23:08, Jalo <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > You're right, 2-3% of it.wikip users live outside of Italy, but this new
> law
> > will affect every page in which a user that live in Italy save a single
> page
> > version (that is 100% of articles).
>
> Then can you specify the threshold for the community-ratio that is in
> your opinion required for some Wikipedians to vandalize a language
> edition of Wikipedia in such way?
>
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Mathias Schindler-2
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 22:55, M. Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Another important point here is that Wikipedia is an international
>> project;
>
> No, this is not another important point, this is exactly my point. Is
> the Kiribati based community (or a part of it) of Wikipedians allowed
> to block en.wikipedia.org for x hours because a new Kiribatian (sp?)
> media law might come?
>
> Mathias

Different fact situation. Doesn't sound like it would be a good idea though.

Fred


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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Benjamin Lees
In reply to this post by Mathias Schindler-2
On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM, Mathias Schindler
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Then can you specify the threshold for the community-ratio that is in
> your opinion required for some Wikipedians to vandalize a language
> edition of Wikipedia in such way?

Unless the WMF decides it should intervene, the de facto threshold is
whatever allows them to get consensus and have an admin make the
necessary changes and not be reverted.  As a practical matter, the
Kiribati-based community would not be able to do something like this
on the English Wikipedia.

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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Mathias Schindler-2
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 23:08, Jalo <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> You're right, 2-3% of it.wikip users live outside of Italy, but this
>> new law
>> will affect every page in which a user that live in Italy save a single
>> page
>> version (that is 100% of articles).
>
> Then can you specify the threshold for the community-ratio that is in
> your opinion required for some Wikipedians to vandalize a language
> edition of Wikipedia in such way?

Defining such a threshold would be inappropriate. We need to do what is
appropriate in the circumstances we encounter.

Fred



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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Thomas Morton
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lees
On 4 October 2011 22:15, Benjamin Lees <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM, Mathias Schindler
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Then can you specify the threshold for the community-ratio that is in
> > your opinion required for some Wikipedians to vandalize a language
> > edition of Wikipedia in such way?
>
> Unless the WMF decides it should intervene, the de facto threshold is
> whatever allows them to get consensus and have an admin make the
> necessary changes and not be reverted.  As a practical matter, the
> Kiribati-based community would not be able to do something like this
> on the English Wikipedia.
>
>
FWIW because of the way this has been implemented, it is not (at least
obviously) possible to rollback/reverse via the web interface (it appears to
be a change in common.js - and even that page redirects to the message).

Tom
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Jalo
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lees
>
> the de facto threshold is whatever allows them to get consensus and have an
> admin make the
> necessary changes and not be reverted


You can see the consensus in
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bar/Discussioni/Comma_29_e_Wikipedia

I know, it's in italian and google translate sucks, but you can see the
"opposite" "favorable" templates. Italian wiki community (not only italian
inhabitants) are compact
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Jalo
In reply to this post by Thomas Morton
>
> FWIW because of the way this has been implemented, it is not (at least
> obviously) possible to rollback/reverse via the web interface (it appears
> to
> be a change in common.js - and even that page redirects to the message).
>
> Tom
>

You can disable javascripts and css in your browser. For firefox:

*tools -> Options -> content -> deselect "Enable javascript"
*view -> page style -> no style
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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Amir E. Aharoni
In reply to this post by Emilio J. Rodríguez-Posada
2011/10/4 emijrp <[hidden email]>

>
> Hi all;
>
> The events regarding Italian Wikipedia blanking[1][2] of all its content are
> a serious precedent IMHO. They can make a lot of noise using other
> procedures, like a big blinking site notice, but giving no choice to read
> the content is against the main goal of Wikipedia.[3]
>
> Italian Wikipedia has about 500,000 page views per hour,[4] and readers are
> getting worried about how long is this going to last. A global encyclopedia
> managed in these ways is not trustworthy. This is worst in public image than
> any gender, global south or image filtering media flame war.
>
> Furthermore, this only make me more concerned about the missing updated,
> secure and trustworthy mirrors of Wikipedia content.
>
> Fortunately, you still can read the mobile version, but it is "limited".[5]
> (Please, spread the word about this)

1:
In 1995 the famous Russian TV journalist [[Vladislav Listyev]] was
murdered. A day after the murder most Russian TV channels were blanked
for a whole day in protest against the rampaging lawlessness and
violence. As far as i know, most people who watched TV in Russian - in
Russia, as well as in Israel, Germany and elsewhere - identified with
the protest.

2:
A few weeks ago the Israeli court required the Channel 10, a Hebrew TV
channel, to apologize to the millionaire [[Sheldon Adelson]] after
broadcasting a journalistic investigation that showed him in negative
light. The channel tried to claim that the investigation was
well-based, but broadcast an apology nevertheless. A few minutes after
the apology the news presenter Guy Zohar told the viewers that he
quits his position in Channel 10 in response to the events; in
addition, the news bulletin ended with blank credits list. The whole
thing took about 30 seconds and received wide attention iring the few
days after that.

3:
Is this Italian law proposal as bad as a murder of a journalist? As
bad as a court-forced TV apology? Maybe it is and maybe it is not. I
know too little about this affair to state an opinion here; I am just
giving a couple of cross-cultural points of comparison.

--
Amir

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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Mark
In reply to this post by Jalo
On 10/4/11 11:20 PM, Jalo wrote:

>> the de facto threshold is whatever allows them to get consensus and have an
>> admin make the
>> necessary changes and not be reverted
>
> You can see the consensus in
> http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bar/Discussioni/Comma_29_e_Wikipedia
>
> I know, it's in italian and google translate sucks, but you can see the
> "opposite" "favorable" templates. Italian wiki community (not only italian
> inhabitants) are compact
>

This is one reason I think non-it.wikipedian action should be fairly
cautious. Afaik, language communities generally run their wikis'
affairs, unless they depart so far from the mission that the Wikimedia
Foundation finds it necessary to overrule them and intervene. It's
relatively easy to intervene to e.g. desysop a few rogue admins and
restore control to the community, but if the vast majority of a
language's editors and admins are making the decision deemed "rogue",
it's a bit trickier.

It may be that, their point made, the it.wiki community would agree to
put the site back up in a day or two, or, if they don't want to put it
back up themselves, perhaps informally agree to have the Wikimedia
Foundation restore it without opposing that move. Imo that would be the
best action. I don't think it would be helpful to intervene in a
heavy-handed manner (certainly no mass-desysopping of an entire
language's editor base).

-Mark


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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

Tobias
In reply to this post by Mathias Schindler-2
On 10/04/2011 10:38 PM, Mathias Schindler wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 22:32, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> No, it is a very good idea. The public needs to know what is at stake. It
>> would be nice if it were otherwise, but most people only learn by
>> experience.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_where_English_is_an_official_language
> makes me wonder if we are going to have fun at en.wikipedia.org any
> time soon.

It's probably possible to limit such a protest to one country via
CentralNotice's geotargeting feature.
At least a huge banner would be trivial to implement, a read lock is
going to be harder (you could to it with JS, which can be circumvented
easily).

--Tobias


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Re: Blanking a Wikipedia, a very bad idea

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by Jalo
Editors aren't the only people who use Wikipedia.

2011/10/4 Jalo <[hidden email]>

> >
> > Is the Kiribati based community (or a part of it) of Wikipedians allowed
> > to block en.wikipedia.org for x hours because a new Kiribatian (sp?)
> > media law might come?
> >
> > Mathias
> >
>
> You're right, 2-3% of it.wikip users live outside of Italy, but this new
> law
> will affect every page in which a user that live in Italy save a single
> page
> version (that is 100% of articles).
>
> Kiribatian users edits all en.wikip articles?
>
> 100% of articles may be written by the person to which the article refers,
> and all these articles will be blocked infinite. Maybe this scenario, this
> italian law, is a little bit worst than a Kiribati law?
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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