Electowiki talk:Editorial policy

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Older Electowiki:Policy discussion[edit | edit source]

Prior to 2020-03-29, the text of Electowiki:EPOV lived on the Electowiki:Policy page. Hence, discussions about EPOV were directed to Electowiki_talk:Policy. In particular, there are these two discussions from late 2019 where the subject explicitly names "EPOV":

Please direct newer discussion about EPOV to this talk page. Thanks! -- RobLa (talk) 23:10, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Anonymous editors and EPOV[edit | edit source]

The Special:RecentChanges log has become dominated by edits from anonymous users. While I appreciate the value of anonymous editors in many contexts, and I believe that people who aren't at liberty to divulge their public identity should be able to participate, I tend to value the opinions of people who are willing to stake their personal reputation on their words. Having witnessed the dangers of undisclosed conflicts of interest on Wikipedia over the years, I'm always skeptical of people who hide behind pseudoanonymous identities.

Checking the validity of anonymously-contributed content is exhausting. It is not what I want to be doing with my life right now. However, because I personally own the domain names for electowiki.org and electorama.com, I have to. Whenever an anonmyous suggests allowing content on this wiki in languages that I don't understand, after having their content deleted in at least one case, it makes me trust that person a little bit less. Every kilobyte of anonymous content that gets added to Electowiki makes me dislike looking at Special:RecentChanges. My fear is that the quality of this wiki has been going down recently, but I honestly don't have enough time to read and understand it all. It's why I put "Investigate what it would take to deploy wikipedia:Flagged Revisions to Electowiki" on User:RobLa/TODO.

User:Psephomancy, I'm guessing you disagree with me about anonymous editors and contribution quality. I have several resolutions in mind for solving this problem, but I want to start with asking an open-ended question: what is your position on this? Back when I started Electorama.com in 2003, my hope was to create an activism infrastructure for the membership of EM list. When User:DanKeshet suggested creating a wiki, it seemed easy enough to do; Dreamhost had pretty good MediaWiki support back in 2005. And wiki.electorama.com became a runaway success for a while. But the spam fighting got to be too much, and my cocktail of MediaWiki extensions stopped working well together. It effectively caused Electowiki to go dormant in 2011 or so. In 2017, I began personally working on a migration to GitHub's wiki infrastructure. When you and User:Homunq pinged me from time-to-time, and (at a couple of points) there were people at C4ES that suggested that I assign "electorama.com" to C4ES. I've considered it (and still consider it from time-to-time), but RobLa-POV and C4ES-POV are slightly different points of view.

User:Psephomancy, I appreciate the work that did to evaluate MediaWiki hosting providers, and choosing Miraheze. I've been pretty happy with that decision, so much so that I joined the Miraheze board. I appreciate that the move to Miraheze has revitalized Electowiki, and I really appreciate the tireless work that you did in 2018 and 2019 to revitalize this community while I was focused on my day job. The modern Electowiki owes a lot to you, Psephomancy.

The good news is that "Electowiki-POV" (what we now call "EPOV") is largely compatible with RobLa-POV. "Electorama-POV" is a bit more compatible with "RobLa-POV" than "Electowiki-POV", but the difference between "Electorama-POV" and "RobLa-POV" is pretty negligible. With all of the anonymous editing is starting to move away from that. The discussion over on Talk:C4ES Election-Theory Forum is really driving that point home. For my continued involvement/support, I think we need to better align RobLa-POV and Electowiki-POV, and I think the first step is for the EPOV editorial board to come up with a policy about anonymous editing. Thoughts on how the EPOV editorial board will define the policy on anonymous editing? -- RobLa (talk) 22:54, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

I don't understand? I only see three anonymous edits in the last month? — Psephomancy (talk) 00:02, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
I'd say that it would be fine to greatly limit the power that anonymous editors (including me) have, both in terms of ability to edit articles, and being treated as equal stakeholders when making decisions or suggestions (such as adding translations, or deciding whether the abbreviation for Center for Election Science should be CES or C4ES). BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 00:04, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
Ok, in Wikipedia terminology "anonymous" and "pseudonymous" are different things. Anonymous editors are the ones who post under IPs only, and pseudonymous ones post under an account without revealing their real name. Obviously I am 100% in favor of pseudonymous editing, and anonymous editing hasn't been a problem at all so far. It is few and far between, and seems mostly from people editing while accidentally logged out. — Psephomancy (talk) 00:13, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
Just to add a bit of nuance, perhaps any restrictions on pseudonymous editors should focus on those who make many edits. It doesn't seem like we ought to restrict someone who makes an account to primarily edit or create a handful of articles. In addition, there could be some priority order to the articles such that greater restrictions are placed on someone editing something like the majority criterion versus some page that they themselves created, like Ideal Representation. BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 00:26, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
Yeah I think this is really about frequency of edits, not pseudonymity of edits. You're probably aware that you're the dominant contributor right now. I don't really see that as a problem, though, as long as you're treading lightly and are open to other people's input. Your edit count is inflated by all the creation of redirects and other benign janitorial stuff, anyway. — Psephomancy (talk) 01:34, 17 May 2020 (UTC)


Psephomancy's response to RobLa[edit | edit source]

This section header was added by User:RobLa on 02:50, 17 May 2020 (UTC) to make his response readable

I'm always skeptical of people who hide behind pseudoanonymous identities.

Are you worried about something in particular? Some ill intentions?

Checking the validity of anonymously-contributed content is exhausting. It is not what I want to be doing with my life right now.

Yes, I've been trying to patrol Recent Changes, but I also don't have time to keep up with User:BetterVotingAdvocacy's enthusiasm.  :) It's true that someone with a lot of energy can completely dominate the wiki, and that could be bad if they didn't share our "neutral" point of view, but 1. there are ways to rein them in if necessary, and 2. I haven't seen any major problems with this here yet, so I'm only very slightly worried about it... They've been good about asking me for advice before starting new articles that might be out of scope, for instance. (Though I would prefer that those kinds of discussions be in a more public place where everyone can give feedback, not just me.)
I think recruiting more editors would help spread out the work, and make sure there are more than one viewpoint being represented, and was actually looking into that yesterday.
The fact that they post under a pseudonym seems like a red herring to me. You know my real name, does that make my edits any more or less legitimate? I can make mistakes like everyone else, which is why other users can freely correct them. A real name account wouldn't make me any more or less likely to dominate the wiki through prolific editing, either.

Whenever an anonmyous suggests allowing content on this wiki in languages that I don't understand, after having their content deleted in at least one case,

I don't know what this is in reference to?

"Investigate what it would take to deploy wikipedia:Flagged Revisions to Electowiki"

I haven't seen anything that needs that drastic of a fix, and that would be a lot of work to patrol. If we don't have time to patrol recent changes, wouldn't Flagged Revisions essentially stall the wiki altogether?

but I want to start with asking an open-ended question: what is your position on this?

On pseudonymous editing, I'm totally in favor of it. Whether I'm interacting with a real name, a pseudonym, or an IP makes no difference to the credibility of what they post. I am used to all of the above from editing Wikipedia since 2003, where it's the norm and works fine.

but RobLa-POV and C4ES-POV are slightly different points of view.

Yeah, as I said by email, I donate to and support CES, but they're an advocacy organization, and I don't think it would be a good fit to have an ostensibly neutral resource hosted by an organization that advocates for one reform in particular. I'm not really sure what the benefit would be for them, either? We're in the same space and can complement each other's work; I'm not sure why a closer relationship would benefit either of us.

With all of the anonymous editing is starting to move away from that.

Again, is there something in particular that's going badly that I've missed? I understand the threat of someone with a lot of energy overwhelming our ability to fact-check, but do you think that threat is actually happening?

The discussion over on Talk:C4ES Election-Theory Forum is really driving that point home.

That discussion certainly confuses me, but I don't see what connection it has with anonymous or pseudonymous editing.

I think the first step is for the EPOV editorial board to come up with a policy about anonymous editing. Thoughts on how the EPOV editorial board will define the policy on anonymous editing?

Unless you have evidence of some problem it's creating, I think it should be the same as Wikipedia's: Contributors are welcome to post under a real name, pseudonym, or IP. It makes very little difference. The only problem is if someone starts being disruptive from multiple IPs after being blocked, but I haven't seen anywhere near that level of problem here, and I doubt a wiki about social choice theory is ever going to inspire the same level of passion as, say w:Donald Trump.
I would think anonymous editing would be even less of a problem here than it is there, in other words. — Psephomancy (talk) 01:24, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for the detailed response. I'm going to respond in a series of new topics, rather than trying to interleave a reply. -- RobLa (talk) 02:50, 17 May 2020 (UTC)

EPOV editorial board[edit | edit source]

In #Anonymous editors and EPOV, I referred to edits made by pseudonymous editors as equivalent to anonymous editors. Psephomancy pointed out that they weren't the same, and questioned my inherent skepticism. I won't get into that yet, but remind me to further articulate my position in a future response.

User:Psephomancy, you said you're also having a tough time keeping up with User:BetterVotingAdvocacy's enthusiasm. Question: what are you doing about it? You claim "You know my real name". Do I? Really? I'm being burdened with keeping track of several pseudonyms, along with many pseudonyms of Miraheze staff and board members as part of my board responsibilites, along with a vaguely plausible description of who you are in a brief email exchange. That's probably good enough for an online discussion, but setting legal and behavior standards for an online, global publishing platform requires a little more trust than is possible to achieve in a short email exchange.

I think the Electowiki:EPOV editorial board is going to have to get to know each other a little better so that we can establish a more trusting relationship as we work together. We probably need to schedule a periodic phone call during the COVID-19 lockdown (or at least a periodic Discord meeting). We probably need a third EPOV editorial board member. I would like to recruit that person from EM list (and I'm pleased that several of the regulars from that list have accounts here). I'd also be delighted to recruit that person from our editor community (e.g. I see several names I know and trust in the Electowiki user list), and I'm pretty sure at least one of them made a generous donation in fundraising drive by the Miraheze SRE team: https://www.gofundme.com/f/7uj22x-help-miraheze-stay-online . And I'm sure it wasn't just User:Southparkfan.  :-D For the record, I also donated to Miraheze at least a couple times in the past year (and at least once in the Gofundme drive, IIRC). Everybody who cares about this conversation should donate a little bit too. You don't have to tell me how much you donated, but the more you donate and can point to proof, the more I'll trust you.

Funding shouldn't matter to editorial content and as once was said "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one". It's cheaper than ever to host a domain, and starting a new Miraheze-based wiki is free. But, Psephomancy, you specifically pestered me to put HTTP 301 redirects in place to make sure that electowiki.org showed up higher in the search results than wiki.electorama.com. Did I make the right decision? I'm truly not sure that I did. I think Miraheze is an awesome MediaWiki host, and I think Electowiki has a lot of promise here. But I don't want Electowiki to become a haven for electoral systems editors that get themselves banned from Wikipedia. And I'm tired of seeing things posted on Electowiki that would pass muster on the EM list. But I suppose I should start a different topic about that.

In the meantime, how do we form a proper editorial board? How often should we meet? What is going to be our official communication tool for private communication between EPOV editorial board members? -- RobLa (talk) 04:26, 17 May 2020 (UTC)