While Wikipedia's New Code Of Conduct Gets One Thing Right; Another is Going to Be A Struggle

by WarriorForum.com Administrator
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A new article on Forbes reports that a major social network announced a new set of rules for its members on Tuesday. In itself, that might not rate as big news, but Wikipedia isn't just any social network, and its new rulebook is different from the terms of service handed down by other commercial social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.



The Wikipedia Foundation announced its "Universal Code of Conduct" last Tuesday. The San Francisco nonprofit hosts Wikipedia and other related projects. Wikipedians collaborated to write it, much as almost 356,000 of them regularly create or edit entries in that online encyclopedia. As per Wikipedia's announcement:

"More than 1,500 Wikipedia volunteers from 19 different Wikipedia projects representing five continents and 30 languages participated in the creation of the universal code of conduct."
While Twitter adopted its @ mentions and hashtags and Facebook briefly let users vote on new terms of service up until 2012 when it scrapped the practice, this move goes well beyond how other social platforms tap into the collective wisdom of visitors. Wikimedia's collective drafting is based on input from around the world. Alex Howard is director of the Demand Progress Education Fund's Digital Democracy Project:

"They're an alternative model to the private social experience that exists almost everywhere else. The organization is saying, here are our values. They're giving people scaffolding to interact with each other."
Wikimedia's "Unacceptable behavior" list includes a broadly constructed ban on harassment. It also features the usual categories like insults targeting personal characteristics, threats, and doxing. However, this unique code also covers the broader category of 'being a jerk.' Caroline Sinders is founder of Convocation Design + Research. She's an expert in online harassment and has worked with the Ford Foundation, Amnesty International and others, including Wikimedia itself:

"People at times assume that it's unintentional. A community needs to think about how they're going to document these cases, who has access to them, how are they keeping track of things, how are they going to respond to harassment. In open-source communities, a lot of this arduous labor is falling to volunteers, and that leads to community burnout."
#code #conduct #struggle #thing #wikipedia’s
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I'm not sure how this relates to us. However while researching my competitor's backlink profile I found they had stuffed Wikipedia full of dubious links to their content. They'd mainly done it on obscure articles of limited interest to English speakers from Western countries. One type of thing they did is to make up an award and then link to their awards page.
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