[Wikimedia-l] Category: French Jews on en.wp / GDPR

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[Wikimedia-l] Category: French Jews on en.wp / GDPR

sashi
Another follow-up:

======
Benjamin Lees wrote: "No, French Christians are just tagged with
subcategories of Category:French Christians. The "requiring diffusion"
category that you complain of is in fact a way to tell editors that
pages in the category should really be in subcategories instead."
======

Aha! You're right, I had not realized that "diffuse" (disseminate/spread
widely) was being used as specialized en-wiki-jargon for
"subcategorize". It might be wise to give that hidden category a more
descriptive name.

I looked into one of the many BLP entries with an unscourced
Category:French Jews tag, and found a review of a book they wrote. In
that book, the person stated that while they had a Jewish mother, they
did not consider themselves Jewish.

Given that the category French Jews contains more members than the
category French Roman Catholics, and that there are living people
included in both categories... I seriously wonder what it is that
motivates folks to anonymously tag others in this way (i.e. whether they
want to be tagged or not).

The Library of Congress, the BNF,  Wikidata, etc. don't label people
according to religion, unless their notability is due specifically to
their religion (e.g. Alfred Dreyfus, Maimonides, etc.).  On en.wp people
being labeled as Jewish/Catholic, etc. tend to be industrialists,
politicians, journalists, bankers etc.  I don't think this is "best
practice" and I'm afraid I do not agree that en.wp is mostly "getting it
right" with regard to this specific question.  Fr.WP and Wikidata are
doing much better.

The relevant section on "data subject" privacy rights in the GDPR (in
English) is based on the 1978 French law I cited earlier (though it has
become more restrictive since -- see below).  As David Gerard noted, it
is quite likely that this affects not only Wikipedians (who can petition
to have libel/slander concerning their *online identity* (cf. definition
of data subject) removed from (inter alia) block logs), but also the
*content* of biographies of living people in the encyclopedia.

== GDPR (Article 9)==

*Processing* of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin,
political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union
membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the
purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health
or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation
shall be prohibited.

======

As one who has contributed to the projects since 2006, I am posting this
here not because I wish to sow dissent, but because I think some quick
thinking and corrective action is needed.

   sashi




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Category: French Jews on en.wp / GDPR

metasj
I agree with everything you say 100%.

On Fri 1 Jun, 2018, 2:50 AM sashi, <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Another follow-up:
>
> ======
> Benjamin Lees wrote: "No, French Christians are just tagged with
> subcategories of Category:French Christians. The "requiring diffusion"
> category that you complain of is in fact a way to tell editors that
> pages in the category should really be in subcategories instead."
> ======
>
> Aha! You're right, I had not realized that "diffuse" (disseminate/spread
> widely) was being used as specialized en-wiki-jargon for
> "subcategorize". It might be wise to give that hidden category a more
> descriptive name.
>
> I looked into one of the many BLP entries with an unscourced
> Category:French Jews tag, and found a review of a book they wrote. In
> that book, the person stated that while they had a Jewish mother, they
> did not consider themselves Jewish.
>
> Given that the category French Jews contains more members than the
> category French Roman Catholics, and that there are living people
> included in both categories... I seriously wonder what it is that
> motivates folks to anonymously tag others in this way (i.e. whether they
> want to be tagged or not).
>
> The Library of Congress, the BNF,  Wikidata, etc. don't label people
> according to religion, unless their notability is due specifically to
> their religion (e.g. Alfred Dreyfus, Maimonides, etc.).  On en.wp people
> being labeled as Jewish/Catholic, etc. tend to be industrialists,
> politicians, journalists, bankers etc.  I don't think this is "best
> practice" and I'm afraid I do not agree that en.wp is mostly "getting it
> right" with regard to this specific question.  Fr.WP and Wikidata are
> doing much better.
>
> The relevant section on "data subject" privacy rights in the GDPR (in
> English) is based on the 1978 French law I cited earlier (though it has
> become more restrictive since -- see below).  As David Gerard noted, it
> is quite likely that this affects not only Wikipedians (who can petition
> to have libel/slander concerning their *online identity* (cf. definition
> of data subject) removed from (inter alia) block logs), but also the
> *content* of biographies of living people in the encyclopedia.
>
> == GDPR (Article 9)==
>
> *Processing* of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin,
> political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union
> membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the
> purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health
> or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation
> shall be prohibited.
>
> ======
>
> As one who has contributed to the projects since 2006, I am posting this
> here not because I wish to sow dissent, but because I think some quick
> thinking and corrective action is needed.
>
>    sashi
>
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Category: French Jews on en.wp / GDPR

Benjamin Lees
In reply to this post by sashi
On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 9:33 AM, sashi <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Given that the category French Jews contains more members than the category
> French Roman Catholics, and that there are living people included in both
> categories...

I would again recommend caution in looking at numbers, because
Category:French Roman Catholics itself has many subcategories, which
likely contain a few thousand entries in total.


> I seriously wonder what it is that motivates folks to
> anonymously tag others in this way (i.e. whether they want to be tagged or
> not).

Probably the same thing that motivates them to create categories for
fictional characters with plant abilities or rail transport in
Karnataka. I can't say whether such categorization is healthy, but
it's certainly pervasive on Wikipedia, and is probably not usually
malicious. (Not everyone edits anonymously, by the way!)


> I looked into one of the many BLP entries with an unscourced Category:French
> Jews tag, and found a review of a book they wrote. In that book, the person
> stated that while they had a Jewish mother, they did not consider themselves
> Jewish.

This is a limitation of categorization systems. In an article's text,
you can just say "X's mother was Jewish, but he did not consider
himself Jewish," but either a category has to lump a lot of things
together or you have to have a category to reflect every distinction
you want to make: Category:American Cultural Reform Jews? (You can
factor out the "American" part if you have category intersections, but
the level-of-detail problem still remains.)

Of course, you can just decline to categorize by religion (or
ethnicity, or nationality, or sexuality), or decline to mention it at
at all in an article unless it's unusually relevant, but I imagine
you're going to encounter pushback to the effect of "what part of 'the
sum of all human knowledge' don't you understand?" A lot of
Wikipedians (and I might count myself among them) see the challenging
nature of some topics as an invitation to address them thoroughly, not
to refrain from addressing them.


> On en.wp people being
> labeled as Jewish/Catholic, etc. tend to be industrialists, politicians,
> journalists, bankers etc.

I'm not seeing the same thing in my cursory look at the categories. If
anything, artists, scientists, and academics seem to be the ones who
are overrepresented in Category:French Jews. In any event, to the
extent that this appears to show stereotyping, it is merely making
transparent the systemic biases in who has an article on Wikipedia in
the first place.


Though I clearly don't agree with everything you say, I do appreciate
your raising this issue. By the way, your messages don't seem to be
getting through until a few days after you sent them. I'm not sure
whether that's an issue on your end, or my end, or if they're just
getting caught in the moderation queue.

Emufarmers

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