Hi Cherian,

Thanks a ton for sharing!

I'm going through th discussions on

I am finding echoes here with an earlier email I'd shot out, requesting the
community to end the "article genocide" and to treat new articles as babies:


I hope the community takes decisive action against the negative elements
soon before it is too late. My take : stop accepting bullying as if it's a
part of life. And let's take a stand against it.

Two solutions suggested that I think would go a long way in getting us out
of this mess:
1. Limit terms of editors (aka the privileged class) and keep a considerable
gap before they are allowed to edit again.
2. Make any deletion, if at all, a matter of voting among a panel of
randomly selected editors. Automatically this measure will also guarantee
more time provided for the article before speedy deletion that has come down
to a few minutes now.

One question that's been bugging me vis-a-vis India:
I, and many others, DO NOT TRUST our mainstream media, including our
established newspapers. They have been betraying us time and time again with
erroneous or biased coverage and in many cases, outright suppression of
stories till the point where it's inevitable. The peer-reviewed journals
culture doesn't extend to every single topic under the sun in this country.
Book culture isn't quite widespread. Many books have bias or lack sound
research. Blogs and small online news groups are more of opinion. In this
vacuum, how can wikipedia expect REFERENCES? Most references cannot be
trusted. In many cases, for genuine topics, adequate references do not exist
- compounding the need for that topic to have a presence on wikipedia.

I fear references have become a crutch and wikipedia is getting handicapped
because of them. As long as we keep putting our faith in them, the real
contributions will not come. May we ask ourselves this question : Do we want
wikipedia to be the world's largest knowledge repository, or the world's
largest reference repository?


I wish there were a system to "thumbs-up" comments or replies on that page,
sharing here a few good ones I found:

The Swedish language Wikipedia appoints administrators for one year at a
time. It works great and everybody is happy.
(this one sent me the shivers: Coz it's happened with me too!)

Recently I had an article nominated for speedy
an amazingly strong emphasis on "speedy". After researching other
similar articles (about websites) I proceeded to write mine. Within an hour,
a more experienced editor nominated it for speedy deletion and tagged it.
When I signed back on several hours later, I saw the tag and read that I
could request a "stay of execution", but when I went to the article it had
already been deleted by a different and apparently even more experienced
editor. And the method used for deletion requires a editor with certain
privileges to retrieve it, otherwise its actually gone from WP. I have to
locate a senior enough editor and then convince them to retrieve my article.
Rather than point out the perceived problems with my, the choice was to
erase it. It was demoralizing to say the least. -
13 March 2011 (UTC)
As someone who came into the project about 18 months ago and was extremely
enthusiastic to start, fell into being morally crushed by highly-experienced
users, had come back and again soundly mentally defeated, I feel there is a
gigantic problem with exclusivity (or "cabal-like behavior") by longer-term
users, and among administrators in particular.
As someone who came into the project about 18 months ago and was extremely
enthusiastic to start, fell into being morally crushed by highly-experienced
users, had come back and again soundly mentally defeated, I feel there is a
gigantic problem with exclusivity (or "cabal-like behavior") by longer-term
users, and among administrators in particular.
Asking people who tried, in current times, to write for Wikipedia how was
their experience, their answers is pretty and a little shocking revealing: “
*I gave up, the administrator was a bully, I don’t have time to deal with
that*;” or “*I just have published a small number of lines while still
writing and few seconds after my article was erased, I hate this rudeness,
scr.. up Wikipedia*.”
It is really necessary to end with personal abuses by some administrators.
The deletion of articles must be attributed to a *random commission* of
administrators composed by *dozens* of them and *never* by few couples of
The key point to attracting people is to value their work. Deletion of
articles is the ultimate opposite of that. If we notice "something used to
work in the past, and doesn't work now" the next logical question should be
"what changed?".

And one of the things that changed is the zealous deletion policies. The
relaxed spirit of the past is gone.

*We must acknowledge that every article deletion, be it justified or not,
does harm to Wikipedia!*

The deletion process should be formalized so that the flash mob/gang
mentality of it goes away. Well predefined and frequently changing deletion
committees, a reversal to the burden of proof on notability (not the article
must prove notability, the contesting party must prove the lack of it) and a
general spirit of inclusion should be there. Also notability rules must be
seriously relaxed in a number of areas.

And - bring back the stub! The good old stub is basically dead these days,
the situation in German Wikipedia is even worse than in the English one.
Bring it back, let articles grow naturally! Forumulate modest minimum
requirements for a stub and give any stub a survival guarantee of 1 year
provided it meets them. Again, even more here, any petition against a stub
mus be independently proven; lack of anything can not be hold against a
Value reader input. Hit rates on an article themselves establish its
notability - it is always notable when people want to read it.
Deletion is all or nothing. We don't have to throw out the baby with the
bath water. We have other options. If there is a copyright problem, remove
the part that's a problem. If there is an attack page, remove the attack. If
there's a BLP violation, remove the violation. There is no need to delete
the entire article. An entirely blank page is better than nothing. Articles
should be given at least a year to grow. If it's invisible to the public,
how could it matter to anybody?

If there is something that would never be notable, or if it's so-called
"fancruft" or if it just doesn't belong in an encyclopedia, then move it to
a new sister project. Wiki-non-notable or
was proposed years ago for fan related articles. We should strive to
keep new editors somewhere in the Wikimedia fold. We shouldn't be driving
away people that desperately want to contribute.


Nikhil Sheth
Pune, India
Teach For India <http://www.teachforindia.org/> Fellow, 2011-13
Find me on: Twitter <http://twitter.com/nikhiljs> |
LinkedIn <http://in.linkedin.com/in/nikhiljs> | Google
RangDe<http://www.rangde.org/investor/nikhilsheth>| Youtube
Join me on: Pune Documentary
Club<http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=138497769525636>| Let's
Do it Pune <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lets-do-it-Pune/103857326346659> |
Toastmasters in
For Schools 

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM, CherianTinu Abraham

> In case, you are not subscribed to Foundation-l mailing list.
> Regards
> Tinu Cherian
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Ting Chen <tc...@wikimedia.org>
> Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 1:48 AM
> Subject: [Foundation-l] Message to community about community decline
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundatio...@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Dear all:
> The Wikimedia Board of Trustees just completed its two-day meeting [1]
> this weekend in Berlin. We devoted the longest time to discussing
> declining trends in editing activity and our collective response to it.
> I encourage everyone to review Sue’s March update [2], and the editor
> trends study itself [3]. It is a deeply important topic, and each report
> is only a few pages long.
> The Board thinks this is the most significant challenge currently facing
> our movement. We would encourage the whole movement - the communities,
> wikiprojects, Chapters, Board, Foundation staff - to think about ways to
> meet this challenge. We know many contributors care about this and have
> worked on outreach and hospitality in past years. We are considering how
> we can help make such work more effective, and ask for suggestions from
> the community to this problem now and to invite discussion and
> suggestions [4].
> Greetings,
> Ting
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Board_meetings/March_25-26
> [2] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/March_2011_Update
> [3] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Trends_Study
> [4] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:March_2011_Update
> --
> Ting Chen
> Member of the Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> E-Mail: tc...@wikimedia.org
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