Thank you, Asaf.
On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 11:03 AM Asaf Bartov wrote:
> Dear Wikimedia-l subscribers.
> I write to you in my volunteer capacity of list-admin, to inform you that
> the entire Wikimedia-l mailing list is now under moderation, meaning all
> posts will have to be manually reviewed and approved by one of the admins.
> Here's why:
> Comments on the thread titled (and seeking to remove) "Promotion of
> scientific racism in Wikipedia articles" have upset a large number of
> people, quite a few of whom wrote to the list-admins requesting that the
> thread be shut down.
> Reviewing the thread, we see some comments that AT BEST (assuming good
> faith) are ignorant, insensitive, and tone-deaf, especially in the current
> moment. As always when ASSUMING good faith, the assumption may not be
> correct, and some of the comments may be deliberate trolling, i.e.
> calculated to upset people.
> Be that as it may, people are indeed upset, and the prospects of
> constructive conversation about Fae's original topic -- which was
> essentially an instance of a well-known systemic problem of Wikipedia, viz.
> its susceptibility to relying on outdated or debunked sources, and the
> difficulty to dislodge some such sources -- seem very poor.
> Shutting down a single thread is not technically possible on a plain
> mailing list, so we have moderated the entire list as a stopgap measure.
> Our goal is to restore unmoderated list access AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
> Toward that end, we ask the following:
> 1. Make no more responses AT ALL on that thread started by Fae.
> 2. Recognize that the list is for coordination and discussion of matters
> related to our work as Wikimedians in service of the Wikimedia mission. It
> is *not* the appropriate venue to debate content issues, including the
> concept of "race", various racial theories, etc.
> 3. If you would like to pursue work around this systemic issue, I encourage
> you to create an on-wiki task force or WikiProject, where you would be able
> to clarify methodological questions and plan the on-wiki work. If you
> start such a project, announcing it publicly on this list to let people
> know it exists would be permitted.
> 4. Recognize that whether or not you are personally feeling anything
> special is going on, *a lot* of people around the world are undergoing a
> trying time right now -- over and beyond the already-trying pandemic
> conditions -- specifically involving the diverse phenomena of racism and
> bigotry. People experience it in many different ways, but quite a few are
> hurting, quite a few are raging, quite a few are frustrated and upset, etc.
> Whatever your opinions about these complex and charged issues, it would be
> an act of empathetic kindness and collegiality to your fellow Wikimedians
> who *are* experiencing an exceptionally trying time if you *avoid* choosing
> this time to air out those opinions.
> We shall do our best to monitor the moderation queue at closer intervals,
> to support regular list activity on all other topics. People who would not
> heed our requests above will remain on moderation after the entire list is
> unmoderated. (We will announce when that happens.)
> Your list moderators.
> Asaf Bartov
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Samuel Klein @metasj w:user:sj +1 617 529 4266
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