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Protesting Short-Sighted Wikipedia Censorship
I have explained in depth in an exchange of opinions on my talk page what is wrong with the blocking of El Jigue from his user talk page. Unfortunately the discussion ended with clarification of certain wikipedia policies that appear to intentionally or unintentionally to stifle some opinions even if they are expressed on a users talk page.
I believe this to be a form of censorship for the reasons I have explained on my user talk page.
I can not, as a matter of principle, contribute to an organization that is active in censorship and the muffling of opinions. Therefore as a form of protest this will be my last contribution to an article for the foreseeable future.
However, I plan to keep checking my talk page from time to time for new discussion on this topic. Please let me know what you think of the position that I have taken.
Censorship alive and well on wikipedia
I had no idea what kind of character traits topics such as Castro bring out in individuals, both pro and con. However, a user, El Jigue, has been permanently banned because he repeatedly brought forward information and viewpoints some administrators did not agree with, in a manner that was not cooperative.
Based on what I have seen, it is my opinion that El Jigue has merely brought forward a viewpoint that is not shared by some who are in a position to block him, possibly because of their disagreement with the viewpoint, or disagreement with how he brings his viewpoint forward. I have not seen, but I have been told, that El Jigue has acted in a manner that was making it difficult for others to work with him, and provide their differing views.
I can understand that persistent personal attacks -- if shown to be true -- would be reason for temporarily blocking a user as a form of administrative action.
What was a shock to me is that El Jigue, who has provided valuable contributions to wikipedia, was not only blocked, but banned from wikipedia, including his ability to voice his point of view on his own talk page.
This poses a question to all of wikipedia: should users who are blocked be prevented from continuing to work with their own user talk pages, assuming that the user has a record of contributing to wikipedia?
In my view permanently blocking a user should be limited to those who vandalize, delete and seek to destroy wikipedia, and that blocking a users personal talk page should as a principle almost never take place.
Based on what I have seen, EJ has not engaged in activities that in my view justify blocking him permanently, or blocking his access to even his own talk page. On that basis, the reality of such blocks reflects extremely poorly on wikipedia and those who have participated in blocking him.
Wikipedia is intended to be a collaborative project combining all viewpoints, not just those of a small elite. Unless there is a marked change in this regard very soon, wikipedia will marginalize itself as the information that it contains will be seen as increasingly unreliable and biased.
Feel free to drop me a note on this topic on my talk page.
Principles of Editing
This is a work-in-progress expression of the principles I try to follow, and wish others would, too, when editing, creating, or deleting Wikipedia content.
- If you edit, focus on small changes
- Always choose moving content over deleting it, as content is precious and might never be recreated.
- If you don't know where to move content to, don't delete it just because it doesn't fit where it is.
- Don't worry, poor content will get edited out over time.
- Narrow POV is perfectly acceptable if it's properly marked as such.
- Use references. Preferably have a <ref>..</ref> for every statement and reference to other works.
- Did I mention not to delete content?
- A picture is worth a thousand words! Promote the acceptance of narrower licenses for wikipedia images, e.g. wikipedia-only and non-commercial-use-only licenses.
Why is deleting content bad?
I just ran across a page that had -- under the excuse of clarifying the topic -- a large amount of material information deleted from it. I only noticed as I recalled having added some small details to it some time ago. I don't mind my changes being gone, but I would not be surprised if the original author(s) of the deleted content might feel somewhat frustrated.
If you are an "editor" and you like to use the "delete" button, may I recommend that you focus on deleting vandalism. If you are about to delete actual content, just don't. Move it somewhere else. If you don't know where to put it, comment it out for the time being. (Yes, HTML comment tags work.)
Whatever you do, don't delete content. Once it's gone, it's gone. You may feel that there's a never ending supply of content, but that's only true if you don't care about the quality of content. To keep experts interested, you can't delete their work right and left. They will stop contributing. And then the number of pages without proper references will just keep climbing, and more pages will seem like they were prepared by non-experts parroting "details" from unknown sources.
Are you a deletionist?
Wikipedia provides us with an opportunity to define a new character type, the deletionist. Here's a simple test to determine if you are a deletionist, implemented in the "easy-to-use" IRS form 1040 format:
- State the number of "edits" that you have made in which you only removed content, not including instances that are covered by item 5.
- State the number of "edits" that you have made in which you removed content and made other changes to only account for the now missing content.
- State the number of "edits" that you have made in which you added content without deleting any previously existing content.
- State the number of "edits" that you have made in which you added content and made other changes to only account for the new content you added.
- State the number of times you removed obvious vandalism.
- State the number of minor "edits" that you have made.
- Add categories 1 and 2 and place the result here.
- Add categories 3 and 4 and place the result here.
- Add categories 1, 2, 3, and 4, and place the results here.
- Completely ignore categories 5 and 6.
- Divide the number from item 7 by the number from item 9 and multiply by 100, and truncate any digits after the decimal point, and place the result here.
- Divide the number from item 8 by the number from item 9 and multiply by 100, and truncate any digits after the decimal point, and place the result here.
- Multiply item 11 by 3 and place the result here.
- Deduct item 12 from item 13 (i.e. "item 13 minus item 12"), and place the result here.
- If your result in item 14 is negative, you are just a normal editor of Wikipedia content.
- If your result in item 14 is positive, you are a deletionist.
Federal paperwork reduction notice: 5 out of 5 IRS employees were able to complete this form in 56 seconds flat, and therefore it does not constitute a burden on the general public.