Hot and bothered over what a celebrity meant, when it's not WP business what they meant.

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Hot and bothered over what a celebrity meant, when it's not WP business what they meant.

Post by Abd » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:25 pm

I came across this discussion because it is mentioned on WPO. It's a poster boy for Wikipedia consensus-formation dysfunction, and an incredible waste of editor time, all to make what amounts to a snippet of text that is not likely to make much difference. In standard deliberative process in the presence of controversy, nothing happens until there is not only a motion, but it is seconded. On Wikipedia, anyone may start a discussion with a proposal or even just with comment. No second is required, and people will start debating. In an AfD, opinions are posted without seeing the full evidence, and these possibly uninformed opinions carry weight later. Some admins will look at timing, some won't. There is no reliability. The Wikipedia adhocracy works, to a degree, but is primitive and unreliable and wasteful compared to what is possible. If consensus is the standard for decision-making, what is consensus and how is it created? (It does not exist outside of a process, except in imagination. Further, it is not an absolute, but something measurable, but Wikipedia never actually measures it).

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Re: Hot and bothered over what a celebrity meant, when it's not WP business what they meant.

Post by Abd » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:57 pm

Using primary sources about a person is always fraught, if any interpretation is required. Wikipedia relies on secondary source interpretation, primary interpretation and putting facts together to create conclusions is Synthesis, prohibited. This text was added by an anon:
Perrette came out as asexual on Twitter on January 20, 2020.[32]
[13:39, 20 January 2020]
[
note 32 links to Twitter:
Pauley Perrette
@PauleyP
Aces, it is actually me.
1:44 AM · Jan 20, 2020
Now, we can imagine what this means. It does appear from context that "Aces" here refers to asexual. But does this establish a sexual identity, or a momentary thought? Or is she speaking to Aces? Translating that remark, plus information (from where? how interpreted) that she is following Aces is more synthesis. Is this notable? Is everything that a celebrity tweets notable?

Apparently it can be used per WP:TWITTER. However, the most substantial question is here is whether or not this was intended as a declaration of sexual identity, or just something said as an off-hand comment. "Came out" implies a clear announcement. Is "asexual" a sexual identity, or the lack of one, or the lack of current function?

So meaning was supplied by the editor, and then there are reams of argument over whether this was reasonable or not. The verifiable source allows
November 20, Perrette tweeted, "Aces, it is actually me."
And that would look ridiculous in the article. Sure, one could link to the Asexuality article, but that would require interpretation. Certain editors are attempting use their own synthesis. It's not uncommon, but it violates policy. This was Recentism. This happened to today! Must put it in the article! This completely bypasses the basic notability standard of coverage in reliable secondary source.

But editors can do anything with consensus. Here, though, some were arguing that inclusion was "right" because the alleged fact was "true." So there was obviously no consensus.

In any case NeutralHomer, with over 70,000 edits, very active before 2010, got hisself blocked for 72 hours for personal attacks over this trivia (it may not be trivia to Aces!) He does have a long block log, though. And he clearly has no clue how to request unblock; surprising for a user with that many years' experience. He could end up indeffed.

If Perrette were to text, "Menopause is really getting to me," would that warrant a category, "Menopausal women"?

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Re: Hot and bothered over what a celebrity meant, when it's not WP business what they meant.

Post by Abd » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:23 pm

Last installment: How could Wikipedia avoid these train wrecks, or make them harmless?

1. Create genuine consensus process that proceeds in stages.

2. Immediately warn over revert warring absent strong cause (such as protection against BLP violation). Require talk page discussion or no controversial edits.

3. Require a clear action proposal on attached talk page. Require an independent second to proceed, by any established editor (which requires clear definition). No discussion is allowed without a seconded proposal.

4. If there is a second with notice as required in a DR policy, and no opposition appears within X days, a temporary consensus may be deemed to exist and the edit may be made as proposed. It is then part of the established article and to remove it is a new proposal. Provided there is no revert warring, it may simply be removed by a new editor, not restoring their own position, just as any original edit may be made without proposal and approval.

5. If there is objection, an RfC is established, and evidence and argument collection begins. This is not a discussion page and may be split into three sections: verifiable evidence with links, arguments pro, and arguments against. This should be a consensus page, not a discussion page. The identity of the user contributing evidence or argument is irrelevant. Thus repetition should be avoided. There should be a class of user designated as consensus clerks, with skill at collecting and organizing arguments and decision. Revert warring with a consensus clerk would be a distinct offense, immediately sanctionable.

6. The RfC does not begin process until a consensus clerk takes the case, and a backup clerk agrees to follow it and act if the primary clerk is not available.

6. It is common in deliberative bodies for members to violate process and be sanctioned by the chair. This can range from "you are out of order, sit down!" to "the Sergeant-at-Arms will please remove the member from the room." That is not a ban. A chair has no power to ban from the organization. (it lasts until the adjournment of that session or the chair allows return before that). A ban, under Robert's Rules, requires a two-thirds majority in an announced meeting, a quorum being present (or an absolute majority of all members, no notice required). So sanctions for violation of process, as determined by a consensus clerk who has taken responsibility for an RfC should be limited to short blocks, possibly targeted blocks or declared topic bans without block). (But if edits otherwise grossly violate policy, they may be as determined by other guidelines, rules, and processes.)

7. A registration section is part of the first RfC page. On this page, users sign up as participants, to be notified when the evidence and argument page is considered complete.

8. The evidence and argument page is considered complete when a two-thirds majority of those voting over a period of at least 10 days approve a seconded motion to close and proceed to vote.

9. Proposals may be amended by seconded motion and process. Evidence and argument collection may proceed pending. In face-to-face meeting process, only one question may be considered at a time. Wiki process can consider more than one, but this would be regulated by the consensus chair, to keep the burden on members low. The goal of amendment is to increase consensus before a final vote.

10. The consensus clerk may rule on anything "absent objection." If anyone objects, the members vote immediately as guided by the clerk (who may instead withdraw the ruling, of course), "Shall the chair be confirmed in this ruling (brief summary)?" Yes/No." No debate.

11. When evidence and argument are closed, the evidence and argument page is temporarily closed and a voting page is opened. Votes are Yes or No. No argument is allowed on the voting page. Certain other options exist. If it is desired to find true consensus, the standard for approval can be higher than a majority of those voting. However, it is abusive when a true majority votes for something, but less than a supermajority, and the status quo stands, so a clerk will declare a result and action on it may be delayed for 10 days, to allow time for anyone who did not vote to vote, or to allow anyone voting with the majority to change their vote. These are standard rules, the only special thing here is "10 days," due to participant availability cycles.
12. So this process takes time. It is not "quick," and therefore not "wiki." And wanting quick decisions without adequate process is exactly how Wikipedia got fucked up. It's great when there is no conflict, but utterly breaks down when there is.

In real organizations, with process like this and skilled facilitation, it becomes quite obvious when a member is attempting to prevent real consensus from forming. Mostly, because of this, they will give up. It is rarely necessary to actually ban them. Because of anonymity, such bans would probably be more common than in real life, where people are visible, face-to-face.

If someone is banned or blocked, but would otherwise be qualified to participate. Under this proposal, canvassing and sock puppetry are irrelevant. They cannot create new evidence and argument. Only with actual voting would this be relevant, and if the goal is consensus, and if only "qualified editors" are allowed to vote -- or those votes are considered distinctly from SPAs and other not-qualified users -- there will be little harm. A consensus clerk will rule that the proposal result is by consensus (probably two-thirds vote or more, with the goal being maximization of consensus) or by majority, or rejected.

The consensus clerk rules on the position of the participants. The clerk does not argue for or against the proposal and is not like a closing admin in existing discussions, who supposedly decides based on policy and arguments. The clerk reports the state of consensus of the members (i.e. those who accepted to sign up).

Appeal is possible, as a separate process with a different consensus clerk, and wider notice, to gain higher participation. However, if the same process is followed, higher participation will not cause the page to explode, the train to be wrecked. Evidence and argument may be expanded some (with distinction being made of new from old), there would be new member sign-up -- taking a fraction of a minute, all prior participants being notified, and then a closure and new vote.

The possibilities are actually many. This looks, to Wikipedians, generally, like setting up a bureaucracy and complicated structure for what should be easy and quick. Yet easy and quick isn't. It has obviously caused years of dysfunction, and the investment of enormous levels of collective time to make decisions that could, in a sane process, be simple. The process described does not place a severe burden on someone proposing some thing or opposing it. Arguing back and forth is irrelevant. Rather work collaboratively with other editors to make sure that evidence and argument is complete, by consensus. Evidence is not "for" or "against" a proposal. Evidence is simply fact. (Evidence presentation should not include conclusions, but verifiable fact. So instead of "So-and-so is a pseudoscientist," a fact could be "According to Source A, So-and-so is a pseudoscientist [link}." This, if verifiable fact, does not create a conclusion that the fact should be in an article. Interpretation and conclusions are easily distinguished from fact.

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