User:Jonas D. Rand/Transparency

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Proposals for a more accountable SEW will be outlined below. This is to serve as a hub for discussion of this issue.

Jonas' proposal[change | change source]

The basics[change | change source]

Important discussions regarding Wikipedia, unless special and unusual circumstances occur, should occur on-wiki. IRC is not to be used for discussions regarding a proposal, desysopping, or other decision whose significance is so great that it will potentially affect the community in a vast way. This is done to prevent groups of people secretly planning to work together with one agenda, and to further the goal of an encyclopedia. Goals that seek to further a personal agenda, or the likelihood of them, will be partially eliminated due to the lack of a venue for laying out the plan and recruiting people to be involved. If this happens "out in the open", it will probably be spotted and caught, and the editors involved admonished.

Specific guidelines, for the #cvn-simplewikis and #wikipedia-simple channels[change | change source]

  • The channels will be publically logged, and published by a bot on-wiki. I will not be responsible for programming or maintaining it, as I know little about programming.
  • The rules of Wikipedia should not be exempt from the channels, basic dignity is to be maintained. However, socializing is permitted within the guidelines below.
  • IRC is not to be used for things that can be done on-wiki.
  • Socializing is perfectly alright in the chat channels, however this does not include tag-team editing. If something questionable is spotted in the IRC logs, it should be reported and dealt with and not left alone. If there is any kind of tag-team POV pushing going on, it should be appropriately pointed out. Such behavior should not be accepted in a site that purports to be an encyclopedia.

Reasoning[change | change source]

The reasoning behind this is to prevent abuse of Wikipedia, namely editing as a team to advance a certain agenda. It makes sense that if a channel that was formerly secret is publically logged and monitored, that is one less way that editors can communicate and plan to build a powerful network to control certain articles. This way, if there is something suspicious in the IRC logs that an editor feels is, or hints at, a plan to abuse Wikipedia, it can be reported and brought to the attention of the community. The community will take it into consideration as if it were on Wikipedia, and things should continue as normal.

However, this will not completely eradicate all private means of communication. E-mail via Wikipedia is still enabled, and it may be a last resort for blocked users to communicate with their blocking admins and/or other users to appeal a ban. In addition to that, people who actually know each other can conduct an operation to push their personal agendas on-wiki, communicating in real life with each other. All of these avenues of communication cannot be eliminated completely, however we can try as best as we can.

Expertise in a specific field[change | change source]

If an editor claims that they have intimate knowledge of a certain subject because they graduated from a university and/or have written articles that are displayed in a publication relating to the field, and this editor has written about that said field in one or more Wikipedia articles, they are to reveal their name, university, and degrees. This is necessary to allow the public to easily verify the credentials that the editor claims with the university. If it so happens that the credentials are spurious, the user should initially be notified of this and kindly asked to explain themselves. In the case that an appropriate explanation for these actions is not given, the university should be contacted about this and editor should be topic-banned to prevent further abuse of the encyclopedia, and forced to remove the falsehoods.

Verifying academic credentials[change | change source]

It should nor be very difficult to find an academic/professional if a real, full name is provided on the user page, using a simple web search. It also helps simplify the process of searching, however, if the name of the university is provided, in the case of an academic editor. One can easily find, on the website of a university, the real name of a graduate of that university, especially if that person has done a moderate amount of work on the subject that he has edited on and claimed expertise in. Essays and publications can also be found, and the factuality of the editor's claims can be determined. This openness is to help stop personal agendas and using credentiials to win edit wars, as Essjay did.