Update on the progress of how to handle "racial" and race theory
categories, tags and content cross-project:
* On Commons the village pump proposal[1] to ensure categories,
descriptions and filenames should be correct for the media content but
should not promote these debunked theories was passed, making it
easier to avoid having to prove a consensus before getting on with
fixing problems.
* On Wikidata the discussion petered out[2] but there seems a general
view that adding debunked human race entries to a parent like
"superseded scientific theory" could be done. However, there is no
agreed action to do something. This means that an entry like "Negroid"
(https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q338460) which disturbingly has been
attached to the Commons gallery "Black People" which includes many
notable black people like Kofi Annan, and the Commons category of the
same name[7] will continue to be subtly misused, and continue to be
applied in this way because blocking its misapplication is hard to do
within the current Wikidata project structure.
* On non-English Wikipedias there has been no change, and any change
is resisted. In the Italian Razza (categorizzazione umana) article[9]
is written to assert that the use of racial terms is a matter lacking
consensus or a matter where popularity votes are reposted as
encyclopaedic, and the recently renamed problematic "races" collage of
modern photographs of living people is still being used to illustrate
human racial types even while saying these are discredited and the
image having been removed twice because it is actively racist.

In general, there is no programme for fixing offensive use of
descriptions on Commons like "A scientific demonstration from 1868
that the Negro is as distinct from the Caucasian as the Chimpanzee",
which is a quote, but is presented without any qualification that
indicates to readers or reusers that this is not in 'Wikimedia's
voice' or is clearly debunked offensive "racial science". The further
one looks, the more we seem to require a systematic project to
identify cross-project misuse or bad framing of archaic racial
theories or terms and to set out a cross-project policy for ensuring
corrective and preventative actions are adopted even while we
correctly present the historical facts and evidence.

Though folks seem reluctant to adopt cross-wiki policies, in practice
I do not see this getting done and sticking without it, along with a
(funded?) project to pursue and analyse corrective action.


1-6. previous message
7. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Black_people
8. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Races_and_skulls.png
9. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razza_(categorizzazione_umana)

On Sat, 18 Jan 2020 at 12:44, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This week the creation of racial categories like "Nordic race A" was 
> discussed on Commons. On digging further there is a fundamental problem with 
> the way modern portraits of living people are being misused to "illustrate" 
> these 1930s race myths. Rather than using available real archive material 
> from the 1930s, a user created collage of modern portraits being used to 
> illustrate these pseudo-scientific racial classes on Wikidata as well as 
> Wikipedia in German, Hebrew, Italian, Ukrainian, and the Tamil wiktionary.
> It is certain that if portraits of WMF board members were misused and 
> labelled "Nordic race" or "Negroid race", then WMF legal would be swept into 
> action in line with the terms of the website. However, as the modern portrait 
> photographs illustrating offensive 1930s racist terminology are not us 
> personally, apparently, we can wikilawyer this to one side rather than taking 
> action.
> The rationale on Wikimedia Commons will default to the faux anti-censorship 
> trope of "if there is one Wikipedia that uses it, we cannot delete it" even 
> though the use of modern photographs to illustrate racist theories of 
> Nordicism or Nazism are clearly anti-educational and so out of scope. 
> Consequently, this appears to need a cross-project consensus to not use our 
> Wikimedia websites to promote race hate or white supremacy, possibly with the 
> authority of WMF Legal to take action behind it.
> Feedback and pragmatic suggestions on how to move this forward would be 
> welcome.
> Links:
> 1. Commons VP discussion 
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#Correctly_representing,_but_not_promoting,_%22racial_theories%22_used_in_Nordicism_and_Nazism
> 2. Wikidata discussion 
> https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:Project_chat#Correctly_representing_archaic_or_debunked_%22racial%22_term_entries
> 3. 
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Human_races_according_to_Coon_(collage).jpg
> 4. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasse
> 5. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razza_(categorizzazione_umana) (where an 
> attempt to remove the problematic image has been reverted)
> 6. 
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Human_races_according_to_Coon_(collage).jpg
>  deletion request for the modern collage of portraits used to promote 1930s 
> racist language

fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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