User:Mr Tan

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May I know who you are, Mr/Miss/Mrs Anonymous Wikipedian?

To a large extent, I enjoy writing on Wikipedia. The good thing about Wikipedia is that after I have read on a topic which I may identify closely with, I can start writing and editing on an article of interest. Unlike writing newspaper articles, Wikipedia has no barriers to entry. It has nurtured my writing skills and discipline throughout my on-and-off time with Wikipedia. As I write and edit, it also helps to reinforce my learning and understanding of the topic. As I see it, my editing patterns are usually focused to one or two articles at a time which I would aggressively expand and edit with the view of promoting the article to GA or FA status.

Over the span of the past 10 years or so, I have been coming in and out of Wikipedia. Since this is kind-of a free and easy place, I re-appear and disappear at will. It depends on my mood, and presence of real life commitments such as work, studies affects how often I come to Wikipedia. I do submit articles for review, and what I loathe is the span of waiting time for articles waiting to be reviewed. By the time another editor comes, I would probably either be in the midst of something important, and it would be very difficult for me to actively respond...

Of course, there is no perfect world. There are editors that slide into Workaholic patterns in Wikipedia, to the extent that other real life priorities become second importance. I have had been affected with such issues before, and this is why I sometimes take occasional breaks from editing. But a permanent break is unlikely, since I see myself as having a flair for writing. Wikipedia can also be psychologically harmful place sometimes, because Users are not required to identify themselves. And there are occasions that you may encounter fanatical trolls that stalk every edit you do, and then engage in revert wars with you. Yet you do not know the real identity of the User, because there is no requirement for Users to self-identify unlike other online organisations such as Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, and as I see it the majority does not identify themselves. Strange, isn't it? Yet Users (or editors) interact frequently through talk pages and reviews. Sometimes the virtual world is more scarier than the real world....One thing as I see it is that Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons must really brush up on its Internet safety rules....

A call to Jimbo Wales
The danger of anonymous communities...thread carefully on a thin stick or you fall into a river of crocodiles...

I shall state it here that it is my hope that all Wikipedia Users be required to submit their real-life photos and personal particulars, but to be honest it would be near-impossible to implement. Wikipedia, for a start may implement this by requiring that their Bureaucrats submit official identification to the paid staff at Wikimedia Foundation. This rule may gradually be introduced up to requiring Administrators to also submit official identification, in particular "normal users" aspiring to becoming administrators, and finally introduce this rule to all Administrators and registered Wikipedia editors. I believe that this would put an end to (or at least substantially reduce) incivil behaviour, sometimes which are very difficult to directly identify or define, edit warring, sock puppetry or other undesirable behaviours that annonymous communities commonly experience.

I would support the idea of allowing newly-registered users the option of not submitting identification papers in the first two years of registering an account so as to entice new blood to make useful contributions. After which, a bot can pop-up to "force" them to submit identification, failing which their user account maybe disabled. What a shame, just run through the list of bureaucrats here and you see that the majority remain annonymous! Having said that, I solemnly declare that I would be among the first users to make my identity public only if Wikipedia has the courage to mandate this change. But of course, I understand that such changes must be implemented slowly and gradually in a form of seismic shift over a period of up to 3-5 years, otherwise Wikipedia could experience a brain drain.

To be fair to other editors who are open to publishing their real photos and details on their personal background on Wikipedia, I welcome anyone who wish to find out more about me to drop me a note on my talk page, together with your email address. Depending on your willingness to reveal yourself, I would be more than happy to let you know who I am.

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UK This user uses British English.
' This user prefers Commonwealth spelling.

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