User talk:Arnomane/WMF board election 2006

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  • de: Hallo. Dies ist meine spezielle Diskussionsseite für Fragen, Kommentare etc. bezüglich meiner Kandidatur für das Board der Wikimedia Foundation. Neue Beiträge bitte unten auf Deutsch oder Englisch anfügen.
  • en: Hi. This is my special talk page page for questions, comments etc. regarding my candidacy for the board of the Wikimedia Foundation. Please add new comments below either in English or German.

Hi. You said that you studied Physics at Erlangen. Do you know Lorenz von Smekal? He is my supervisor. Ok, sorry that wasn't the most relevant thng.Blnguyen 07:43, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry I don't know him. Arnomane 08:40, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

More "Wiki" or more "pedia"[edit]

I count me among those who got suspicious of a "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and fear that those two goals are ever more hard to achieve together. I already notice a (perhaps minor) brain drain on this issue, with contributors like User:Hillman or de:User:Wolfgangbeyer leaving.

Do you consider this to be a problem which in the foreseeable future will leave us with the choice of either going to more closed model of contributorship or accepting that the product of an open contributorship will not exactly be an encyclopedia? And if so, will you vote for "wiki" or "pedia"?

en:User:Pjacobi/de:User:Pjacobi 13:15, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Well I don't stick to wiki purism. If the software does not meet our goal creating an encyclopedia or one of our other projects we shouldn't change the goal but the software. See for example the Commons:Project scope, which I have contributed to quite a bit. Let me quote: "Wikimedia Commons project aim is also not creating a wiki - it only uses a wiki in order to create a free media repository." And if fact changing the software has already been done in the past. The Nupedia failed thus a new approach has been tried with a wiki - the Wikipedia. The open "wiki" process enabled us creating the "pedia" part. As well MediaWiki has quite some features that wiki purists don't like, as talk pages and many other things and often when a serious problem came up the software had been changed. As you're also active in de.wikipedia you probably know the "stable versions" thing that gets pushed hard by de.wikipedia. This feature will enable us to be open to everyone and more "serious" at the same time as everyone can still edit but the impact of an edit gets reduced. "Stable versions" will be for sure one of the things I want to priorize as I think that it is crucial keeping skilled people. Arnomane 08:40, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer, but it provokes a short comment: Who could have missed the heated debate about the stable versions. I'd consider it to be the wrong solution, but better than the status quo. It doesn't question the "anyone can edit" part, and is even advertised as promoting it (by unblocking pages). --Pjacobi 18:33, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Well as you seem to be unhappy with unblocking of critical pages in case there's a better solution available than making it read only: What's wrong with it? For example half protection is as well a very nice thing as it reduces the necessarity of full protections in many cases. Let's take an example: de:Oliver Pocher was edited quite a while ago by Oliver himself in a stupid way during his TV show. Minutes later his fans spammed his page like he did. It was really no fun. Reasonable people were unable editing it (far to many edits) and the crowd of idiots filled it with crap until it was made read only. So nobody could really improve the article for about a week beside the tiny group od admins. Now imagine what would have happened if there was half protection. All random IP's and newly created fool accounts would have been unable editing it and after 4 days most of the vandals interest is gone. In the meanwhile all active wikipedians would have been able improving that article. So half protection is somtimes, not always, a better solution. In case of long term POV pushers a half protection won't help that's for sure. Currently you need to make a full read only. Stable versions will now give us the possibility handling also POV pushers as well without excluding many reasonable people. That's only one aspect of the stable versions thing (another one would be a drastically improved quality of the Wikipedia DVD that could take the last stable versions only). Every alternative more closed model I am aware of won't work. A true fork (like a WP 1.0 branch or like in software projects) that can only be edited by a small group of trusted people is unmanagable. I know out of own experience how hard it is to merge back improvements from a "stable branch" fork of Wikipedia articles. A required login with authenticated email also wouldn't help against POV pushers and such. So IMHO the stable versions a smart way that keeps the "anyone can edit" idea (that did make us the power we are now) and the credibility at the same time with minimum overhead. Arnomane 17:49, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Questions from Dijxtra[edit]

Hello, these are generic questions I decided to submit to every candidate. If you already answered the question in your application, skip it. If you consider any question to be to private for you to answer, feel free to state that and accept my apology for being to intrusive. I also ask you to pardon my English since spellcheckers don't check grammar :-) Here are the questions:

1. Privacy policy of Wikimedia Foundation projects states that: "It is the policy of Wikimedia that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, may be released by the system administrators or users with CheckUser access, in the following situations: 1. In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement" If such subpoena occurs, would you agree that Wikimedia Foundation complies ASAP or would you request Foundation to dispute that subpoena in court, like Google did in January this year? Let me remind you that the second option requires money to be spent.

2. What is your opinion of WP:OFFICE? Do you think that:

  • It is very good solution to bureaucratisation of Wikipedia, allowing a swift action in cases which need such action. We should widen the circle of people who have the power to use WP:OFFICE.
  • It is very good solution to bureaucratisation of Wikipedia, allowing a swift action in cases which need such action. (And only Danny should use WP:OFFICE privilege)
  • I don't like the thing, but we need it so we don't get sued.
  • Community is above any user and we should think of WP:OFFICE as temporary measure until we find a way for the whole community to act swiftly in cases of libel accusations.
  • We should move our servers to jurisdiction which makes it hard for people to sue us for libel.

3. Have you ever been on a paylist of anybody/any organization/any firm connected to any current member of the board? Please understand this question in the broadest sense possible.

Thank you for your time, Dijxtra 20:20, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Question 1:
Well as I am a CheckUser in Wikimedia Commons I have access to such information (but only in Wikimedia Commons). As I take privacy very serious I try to resvere the CheckUser feature for people that do disprupt the project very seriously. This has happened in Commons two times since I got CheckUser. So I use it quite seldom. There are also two things you need to separate:
  • A third party requests giving them log file information: The third party requests have always been denied in the cases I am aware. I also had to position myself in a somewhat related case. The "Tron" case in de.wikipedia. Among many other de.wikipedia admins I openly supported the position of Wikimedia Deutschland that Trons' real name is relevant for an encyclopedia and thus we deliberatly didn't back down but risked the trial, which we did win in the end thanks to the very brave Wikimedia Deutschland staff and the committed lawyer of Wikimedia Deutschland. In order to reduce the impact of problematic information related to privacy I also pushed hard in order to convince the Wikimedia server admins that all talk pages in de.wikipedia do not get indexed in search engines (see Bugzilla:4937) and as far as I can see it really did help de.wikipedia cooling down serious issues.
  • Wikimedia/Wikipedia people request a third party (provider) taking action against a certain IP out of their range. I have requested in one case two german providers taking action against a highly disruptive user in Wikimedia Commons but only as a last resort after nothing else did help. Such cases are much more common for CheckUsers to decide if they write an abuse email and thus unavoidable reveal log file information towards a third party.
Question 2:
I am not that much active in en.wikipedia. So I can only comment from outside on "Office action". In de.wikipedia we didn't need a formal "office action" up to now and it also would produce quite a stir if introduced there. In fact related actions get done in de.wikipedia too but without having a formal instrument. It is probably due to the fact that de.wikipedia has far more strict internal rules what information is beeing kept and probably also due to the fact that de.wikipedia is somewhat smaller than en.wikipedia. And of course de.wikipedia also has significantly more long term page protections compared to other large wikipedias.
More general: I try to avoid bureaucratic structures and lots of policies wherever possible. They tend to attract policy trolls that force you creating yet another policy/structure. The best policy is a policy nobody needs to write down - a policy that gets softly enforced by the interaction of the people with the software interface. Half protection instead of full protection is one such thing. Separation of content and discussion another. In fact there are still strict policies you need. Licensing, asume good faith, NPOV, and so forth and if you need them make sure via interface structure that people can't miss them (for example at upload or at pressing save) and that they do not bite the people at first encounter (no big red blinking messages and such things ;).
Question 3:
No.
Have fun, Arnomane 10:26, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Danish translation[edit]

Hi Arnomane. This is really not a question, but more of an info: I have translated you candidate entry to Danish. Feel free to check it out (if you can :P). I have left some inline comments (or what it's called... those <!- things) about some translations which are slightly different from what you have written yourself. Good luck with the election! :) --Lhademmor 15:24, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for your accurate work. :-) You probably also have highlighted some stilistic glichtes in my original english version. In case you can read German you maybe also want to have a look at the German version (also written by me) for comparison. Arnomane 18:25, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

German Wikimedia Association[edit]

Hi Arnomane,

You are running for the board and from Germany. For me is it a logical question to ask (sorry if the answer is obvious, I haven't really tried to find an answer myself): What have you meant for the German Association? Have you been member? For how long? Have you been boardmember? If so, for how long, if not, why not? If you are still, how will you combine both jobs if you are elected? Thank you for your patience and reply Effeietsanders 13:26, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Well I am not and was not a member of Wikimedia Deutschland or any other Wikimedia Chapter. It's no particular reason, I just didn't feel up to now that I need to be a formal member of Wikimedia Deutschland in order to work efficiently with Wikimedians/Wikipedians that's all. So I did not do anything in order bring Wikimedia Deutschland to life. Up to now if I had a some input or somebody else asked me for joining a project I did just did start it or join, be it an informal Wikipedia project or an official Wikimedia project. I count me to the people that build the glue between full time Wikimedians and the community. I hope that I could answer to your questions. If not please insist. :-) Arnomane 18:17, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

9/11 Wikipedia[edit]

Hi, Arnomane. In light of the four discussions listed below, what course of action would you take with regard to the 9/11 Wikipedia if you were elected to the board?

Looking forward to your response. Thanks. Andreyi 17:40, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Honestly I don't want to make politics with tragedies. But as no decission is a decission too I have to take position towards the 911 wiki if elected to the board. So my very own position is still the same from May this year when I did vote for closing that wiki in meta:Proposals for closing projects. As I was never involved with the decissions on the 911 wiki yet I cannot say today what particular action I would advocate (move or deletion; I'd personally prefer outsourcing it and handing it over to some reasonable other independent organisation that have interest in a 911 wiki) in any case I advocate removing it from Wikimedia in the one or other way. Arnomane 23:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)