User talk:Jayen466

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Welcome on my talk page! You can call me Andreas.

AGM Questions[edit source]

Andreas, regarding this - yes, it was me! You were right to be cautious. I was on the train at the time on the way back from Monmouth, and couldn't log in to my account. Anyway, I have a few issues with the questions you've asked - mostly to do with scope and brevity - which I'll explain in greater detail tomorrow at work, after talking with the other teller (James Farrar). We're quite happy to have difficult or 'awkward' questions this year, though - let me be clear on that! Richard Symonds (talk) 20:57, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Okay, good to hear from you. Safe journey, and speak to you tomorrow. --Jayen466 (talk) 21:28, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

For ease of reference, here are the questions I would like to ask:

  1. Arbitration decisions in the English Wikipedia as well as press reports (e.g. [1][2]) have highlighted that Wikipedia's biographies of living people – like all articles the result of an anonymous content generation process – can fall victim to malicious editing. Do you think Wikipedia's process for writing biographies of living people needs reform, and if so, what changes would you like to see, and what role should Wiki UK play in bringing these changes about? -- --Jayen466 (talk) 19:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  2. Both Wikipedia and Commons provide unfiltered access to hardcore pornography. This includes videos showing such acts as Wikimedia contributors masturbating and ejaculating on themselves, a dog engaging in sex acts with a woman dressed as a nun, etc. The lack of any filter or tags marking adult media means that much of this material is accessible on computers in UK schools. Given that Wikipedia is alone among the world's top websites in not offering any filtering of adult material, do you support the present Wikimedia policy of not even offering users an optional image filter? -- --Jayen466 (talk) 19:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  3. Would you advise UK schools to allow pupils access to Wikipedia, given that the aforementioned material has been found to pass school filters? -- --Jayen466 (talk) 19:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  4. A Commons contributor was recently globally locked from all Wikimedia sites after an off-site critic posted information identifying him as having a prior child pornography conviction. During his work in Commons, the contributor had invited dozens of other anonymous Commons users to contribute sexual images to his private porn wiki by posting to their talk pages. Various contributors who raised the issue in Commons were blocked by Commons administrators. The Commons community refused to take any action against the contributor, forcing the Wikimedia Foundation office to step in. Do you support the action taken by the Foundation office? -- --Jayen466 (talk) 19:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  5. In a recent board resolution, the Wikimedia Foundation board stated that concerns about "human dignity and respect for personal privacy" are "not always taken into account with regards to media, including photographs and videos, which may be released under a free license although they portray identifiable living persons in a private place or situation without permission". This applies in particular to sexual images where the word of an anonymous uploader is taken as evidence that the person depicted is aware of and has consented to the upload. Complaints received demonstrate that this is often not the case. In a case recently highlighted on the Commons mailing list (Personality rights thread), Commons received complaints that images taken in a private place were hosted without model consent, yet consistently refused to remove them (and they are still present on Commons today, although the present deletion discussion is leaning towards delete). Do you agree with the Wikimedia Foundation board that Commons processes for ascertaining model consent need to be improved, and if so, what if any role do you think Wiki UK should play in this? -- --Jayen466 (talk) 19:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  6. In Wikimedia Commons, decisions on whether particular media are in the public domain, and available to the global public for re-use, are usually taken by unqualified anonymous contributors. The professional standard of this decision-making is extremely poor at times (example). In a recent court case in Germany, Wikimedia Foundation Inc. was found to have been a contributor to copyright infringement, when Commons incorrectly declared German stamps to be in the public domain. Do you feel the present Commons process provides the public with an adequate assurance that media declared free by Wikimedia Commons contributors are in fact safe to use, without exposing commercial re-users to the risk of litigation, and if not, how would you propose to improve the process? -- --Jayen466 (talk) 19:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
What we're worried about is a few things:
  1. These questions delve very deeply into various facets of Wikipedia politics, which are simply unanswerable by non-Wikipedian candidates.
  2. A fair few questions - for example, the last one - are about issues which WMUK has no control over. In the example of the last question, it's not up to Wikimedia UK to improve the process, nor is it appropriate for candidates (or current trustees) to comment on legal problems that the WMF has been involved with. While we share some goals with the WMF and have a similar name, we are independent of the WMF.
  3. There are several questions being asked by yourself, compared to only one or two by others. This creates big problems with balance - these questions will dominate the hustings, which isn't fair on either candidates or others who may want to ask questions.
In summary, I think it might be OK to ask one or two questions directly related to a candidates stance on issues directly related to Wikimedia UK - for example, "Would you support Wikimedia UK funding an image filter for Wikimedia projects, to prevent objectionable images from being seen by children?", or "What is your opinion of the quality of articles about living people on Wikipedia?". However, the questions you've asked are not appropriate in their present form. We ideally want an election where non-members can ask questions, but I don't feel that your questions are ones which WMUK members want answering, and I think they will turn the hustings into an overly complex and heated discussion rather than a civil and organised process. I hope this helps clarify things - we're more than willing to consider shorter, less complex questions which relate directly to the activities, aims or values of Wikimedia UK. Richard Symonds (talk) 19:03, 23 April 2012 (UTC)


Richard,

  1. Some of these issues have been key issues in the international community, with umpteen kilobytes on Wikimedia mailing lists, on wiki, etc. Are you telling me that as a member of Wikimedia UK I can't ask candidates about where they stand on some of the most divisive issues facing the community?
  2. Surely you are aware that the chapters have representation on the WMF board, which does have jurisdiction over these matters? By voting for the trustees of a chapter, I am voting for the people who will determine who will fill these WMF board seats. And these issues are demonstrably issues in the WMF board elections.
  3. There hardly seems to be a surfeit of questions, compared to what a candidate for arbcom has to answer. See e.g. [3] Arbcom is a purely internal, in-project role, whereas trusteeship goes far beyond that; the board represent the movement to local, regional and national government, to institutions of learning, and to the public at large. Understanding their views on these matters is important to me, because it will affect how they will perform their jobs. And these questions are directly related to the values, aims and activities of Wiki UK.

I am quite happy with a reply on the questions page. I am not interested in having a public discussion around these questions at the meeting (if that is what the hustings entail). Regards, Jayen466 (talk) 21:02, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Andreas, to reply to your points: you are not currently a member of Wikimedia UK, and even members still have limits attached to the number and style of questions they can ask. The issue is that your current questions are too many in number, too complex, and too out of scope of WMUK's activities. They would disrupt the election process, and make it difficult for our 350+ members to find the time to sit and read through the wall of text and make a clear, informed choice. As to your points, they do not change the nature of your questions: the tellers feel that they are too many in number, too complex, and too out of scope of WMUK's activities for us to allow them in their present form. If you want questions like this to be asked, either you will have to reword them and reduce their number - perhaps asking a single, broad question rather than several narrow ones - or you can ask that the tellers (either myself or James) reword them for you. Richard Symonds (talk) 21:46, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Richard, I joined Wikimedia UK online through this website before posting these questions, and I have a receipt for my payment. If there are limits to the number and style of questions members can ask, then please point me to the place where these are spelt out.
Again, you are incorrect in stating that the chapters and the WMF board are entirely separate entities. Apart from chapters' representation on the WMF board, there are funding connections as well.
I do not believe that the presence of written answers to these questions on this wiki would disrupt the election process unduly. I don't see a discussion or debate format – all I see is a page where people post questions and candidates post answers. These answers are all I am interested in, and it is common practice in our movement for candidates at elections to answer considerably more than six questions. You will remember that, as you had to do it. So if I am missing something, please explain how these questions would cause disruption. Alternatively, if you'd like to suggest a revised wording for one of the above, please do. Perhaps that will make me understand better where you're coming from. Cheers, --Andreas JN 22:02, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I'll come up with some suggestions tomorrow after I run through your ideas with James (User:LondonStatto). James is a long-time Wikimedia UK member and does the teller role entirely as a volunteer. With regards your membership: along with all other WMUK memberships, it has to be discussed and approved by the directors before it becomes valid - see Section 2 (particularly 2.2b) of the Articles of Association, section 'Members'. If the membership is declined, WMUK will refund you your membership fee; if accepted, you will be able to vote at the AGM in person or by proxy, as will be your right. At present, your membership is 'pending approval'. This is standard practice amongst most small membership-driven organisations, and is to safeguard against wikipedia:Entryism, a genuine concern for small charities with large budgets such as ours. I can assure you, however, that you will have a decision made on your membership before the AGM. Richard Symonds (talk) 22:19, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
For completeness, I should also note that by signing the application form, you have agreed "...to support the Objects of the Company, will not bring the Company into disrepute and am aware of my legal responsibilities and duties should I be accepted as a member of Wiki UK Limited.". I'm sure you've read it, but I want to make doubly sure! Richard Symonds (talk) 22:29, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I've arranged a call with James tomorrow - in the meantime, we've come up with some rewrites for your questions that should make everyone happy. The biggest problem is the preambles to each question, but I'll have more info after the meeting tomorrow. Off to bed now. Rest assured that we (the tellers) intend to do this "by the book", without interference or influence from any members of the board. Richard Symonds (talk) 23:58, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that sounds promising. About the preambles – their purpose was to make sure that respondents are aware of such issues as there are, or have occurred in the past. For example, if we are talking about the desirability of an adult filter, I wouldn't want respondents to say later on that they had no idea that the material hosted by Wikimedia was that explicit, and that they would have given a different reply if they had been aware of it. If Wikimedia hosts this material, then it must be alright to talk about it, or ask questions about it. Regards, --Andreas JN 12:14, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Andreas, we've discussed it, and have come up with a list of questions which should answer your questions, and keep the process workable. They are:
1. What role do you think Wikimedia UK could play in ensuring that Wikipedia's articles about living people are kept accurate?
2. What are your views on having an opt-in image filter installed on Wikimedia projects, to enable users to opt-out of seeing images they feel are inappropriate?
3. Is covered by 2.
4. Has to go in its entirety - completely ultra vires and refers to a specific past case.
5. Do you agree with the Wikimedia Foundation board (link) that processes for ascertaining model consent in images need to be improved, and if so, what (if any) role do you think Wikimedia UK should play in this?
6. Relates to Commons policy, not WMUK activities, and doesn't seem to involve the chapter or its activities at all.
Would you be happy with these questions? Richard Symonds (talk) 10:41, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I see what you're driving at. How about the following: 1. What role do you think Wikimedia UK could play in ensuring that Wikipedia's articles about living people are kept accurate and free of malice? 2. What are your views on having an opt-in image filter installed on Wikimedia projects, to enable users to opt-out of seeing images they feel are inappropriate? 3. Would you advise UK schools to allow pupils access to Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia, given that unfiltered hardcore pornography can presently be found on both? 5. Do you agree with the Wikimedia Foundation board (link) that processes for ascertaining model consent in images need to be improved, and if so, what (if any) role do you think Wikimedia UK should play in this?

I'm prepared to waive 4 and 6 (although 4 and 6 involve WMUK no less or more than 5). However, 3 is not covered under 2, and I would like an answer to that question, as reformulated above, because these types of representations towards the public are unquestionably part of Wikimedia UK's brief. It is a fair question, and I will make a stink if it is censored. --Andreas JN 14:52, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Note that I'll shortly be posting to Wikimedia-l und Wikimediauk-l, asking for wider community input on this. Regards, --Andreas JN 15:06, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

The addition to 1 is a good addition - 2 is good, 5 is good - feel free to post those. 3 is more complex though, because I think it's a misrepresentation to say that unfiltered hardcore pornography is available on Commons. It's a question with a strict yes/no answer that tends to force candidates into either 'approving of pornography in schools' or 'banning Wikipedia in schools', when in actual fact there are more nuanced answers; I think it would be better worded as an open-ended question, which would allow the candidates to give a more informative and insightful answer. We're brainstorming a possible question at the moment, but please bear in mind that this isn't the ArbCom elections, and it doesn't work quite the same way. Richard Symonds (talk) 16:30, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Richard, I don't think it is a misrepresentation. The content of this page for example is, by any definition, hardcore pornography; so is this. We can make it an open question, rather than a Yes-No question; something like this: How would you advise UK schools to handle Commons and Wikipedia, given that both contain pages displaying unfiltered hardcore pornography? What we can't do is beat about the bush on this. Commons does contain hardcore pornography. (This is probably the most egregious example.) Regards --Andreas JN 16:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
The problem lies in the use of the term 'hardcore pornography', while the images are pornographic, and in some cases hardcore; they also have artistic, historic, or educational value: as a result, they cannot be defined in a question purely as 'hardcore pornography', as they do not fall exclusively in that category. You might call them "unfiltered pornographic images used for educational purposes", but it is not fair to call a collection of 1905 pornographic silent movies, 'unfiltered hardcore pornography'. To do so would be akin to placing wikipedia:Delicatessen (film) in the 'cannibalism' category: perhaps true, but not entirely accurate. We don't think it accurate to refer to content hosted on the Wikimedia projects as 'unfiltered hardcore pornography', when that is not the whole truth. Richard Symonds (talk) 20:46, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Richard, it may be historic hardcore pornography, but it is hardcore pornography. It was hardcore pornography when it was made, and it is still hardcore pornography now, just like a porn movie featuring dog-on-nun sex made in 1970, 1990, or 2010. It's XXX-rated, and illegal in half the world. Do you think school teachers would show kids this in history lesson, because it's educational? The following are all content that I would challenge you to find equivalents for on any "educational" site. Of course looking at hardcore porn can in some sense be educational; but it is still hardcore porn. Regards. --Andreas JN 21:40, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I had originally inserted an image gallery here, which Richard removed in this edit. The gallery showed a representative selection of sexuality-related Commons material. The gallery can still be seen at the bottom of this earlier version of this talk page. --Andreas JN 23:00, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I am happy to find another word if you like, but whatever expression we choose must make clear to the candidates that we are talking about the most explicit, legally available material that is at or beyond the UK R18 rating. I will not have my question bowdlerized to a wording that leaves the candidates with the plausible interpretation that I might be talking about pictures of girls in bikinis. Regards. --Andreas JN 21:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Andreas, question 3 as it stands is not appropriate, sorry. The term 'hardcore pornography' is not a complete description of the images hosted on Commons, and although the question has merit, the way in which you're asking it is not helpful and seems designed to soapbox your own views or to act as a loaded question rather than to find out about a candidate's views. The question cannot go through in its current form. I understand that you feel strongly on this issue, but if you wanted to make a moral stand on this point, there was ample opportunity to run as a candidate. Please, however, feel free to ask the other questions that you, me and James have agreed on, or to come up with other difficult questions: we've no objection to the difficulty or the subject matter. Richard Symonds (talk) 22:16, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Would "images that have been described by some people as hardcore pornography" be a better description? That is definitely factual, but is less loaded since it gives candidates the option of responding that they don't think the images are pornographic. --Tango (talk) 22:26, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
How about "material carrying the UK R18 certificate"? That is certainly factual. [4] --Andreas JN 22:37, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Very little content on Wikipedia has any kind of certificate. I doubt any content on Commons does (there may be a few fair use screencaps from R18 films on Wikipedia). I have no idea what your link to a page about a film is suppose to show... --Tango (talk) 22:44, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
The nun-dog-nun ménage a trois video is from The Good Old Naughty Days, a collection of short silent pornographic films from 1920s brothels. It carries an R18 rating in the UK, but is also shown in UK cinemas "due to its 'classic' style and age and as "historical footage"." I'll have to have a word with James tomorrow about whether or not that would be appropriate. Richard Symonds (talk) 22:47, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
According to my understanding, the R18 rating means it is restricted to licensed sex cinemas. (I believe the masturbation videos and close-up images of intercourse would likewise receive an R18 rating if they were included in a cinema release.) --Andreas JN 22:55, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
We could call it "sexually extremely explicit (R18 certificate) material". Note that this particular clip has been watched 75,000 times in the last 90 days. --Andreas JN 09:45, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Using a suggestion Errant made on Wikipediocracy, how about the following: With the current concerns over adult and other inappropriate content (including extremely explicit R18 certificate material) appearing unfiltered on Commons, how would you advise schools and other youth groups to handle access to that site? --Andreas JN 10:30, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I quite like Errant's suggestion as it stands, and he's hit the nail on the head: "With the current concerns over adult and other inappropriate content appearing unfiltered on Wikimedia projects, how would you advise schools and other youth groups to handle access to that site?" I don't think it's proper to make a value judgement over the material. Richard Symonds (talk) 10:44, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
The R18 certificate is not our judgment: it is fact. I thought a wording involving the words "explicit" might be fine; I thought we were all agreed that it was an apt description. Note that "inappropriate content" contains a stronger value judgment than "extremely explicit", which is descriptive, though admittedly emotive. How about "With the current concerns over adult (up to R18 certificate and equivalent) [and other inappropriate] content appearing unfiltered on Wikimedia projects, how would you advise schools and other youth groups to handle access to that site?"
The words in square brackets are optional; I am happy to have them or not. --Andreas JN 12:07, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and posted the modified four questions as follows now: [5] I trust and truly hope these tweaks are satisfactory; but if there are any outstanding concerns, do let me know, and I'll be happy to discuss the matter further. Thanks, --Andreas JN 23:13, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

The R18 reference only applies to that one specific clip. I don't think it is a good idea to be asking candidates about one specific item on commons (especially without it being obvious that that is what you are doing) - that isn't within the purview of WMUK, it's up to the commons community. I agree with you that "inappropriate" is a value judgement and should be left out. I think "sexually explicit content" is a good description (even with "adult content" you are making a judgement that it isn't appropriate for children). --Tango (talk) 17:14, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Tango, there are about a dozen separate sections of that R18 film in Commons, and three of them are embedded in articles in Wikipedia mainspace. The term "adult" is generally understood to mean the content of films that are age-restricted to those 18 and over. It is not my value judgment that children shouldn't be able to watch them in the cinema, but the value judgment of the society we live in. Regards --Andreas JN 17:29, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
A dozen separate sections doesn't change my point. Only a trivial number of items on commons actually have any kind of certification. --Tango (talk) 19:31, 28 April 2012 (UTC)