Wikipedia:Protecting BLP articles feeler survey/Objections to the poll (was: Polls are evil)

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Objections to the poll (was: Polls are evil)[edit]

Keeping in mind that this isn't a poll, it's a survey to see which ideas are most popular, and worth looking more at later, and keeping in mind there isn't a more practical way to get a wide cross-section of users to simply sound off
  1. Dogmatically: "All polls are evil", but some are more evil than others. This is among the least evil ever :) ++Lar: t/c 21:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
    What makes this poll especially evil? We've discussed this matter for over a year, and a poll seems like a good way of assessing community support of moving forward with implementation of one of these proposals. How should we decide? More inconclusive threads at the Village Pump? A fiat from Jimbo? If there's a better way please suggest it. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:51, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
    It's traditional to have "All polls are evil".... somebody had to vote for it. :) (Note I've voted in several of the other categories too) Personally I think (as I said before) it's about as unevil of a poll as you can get. Because, maybe this time it would be the start of actually implementing some very needed changes. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 00:53, 20 December 2008 (UTC) (PS I don't actually think all polls are evil, myself)
  2. All polls are [evil], but some polls are more [evil] than others. This one is just fine. :) - NuclearWarfare contact meMy work 01:34, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  3. Why no to have an open discussion without the dreadful oppose/support? The result of these so called "polls" is that they die sooner or later and nothing happens. Why? Because they polarize views rather than build consensus. Show me a poll that ever worked. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 18:50, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    1, 2, and probably a lot more. Big site-wide stuff needs a big site-wide review and you can't get hundreds of people in a discussion realistically without senior/power users unfairly dominating it. Besides, Jimmy already said he will act on the outcome of this. rootology (C)(T) 18:59, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    The examples you give are actually votes, not polls. The section below is what was needed in the first place. Then, maybe later, when we have had the chance to discuss and explore, a poll could be constructed and announced to gauge consensus. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 19:05, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    And as I wrote when I made this page, this is explicitly not a poll but a survey. Apples and oranges; lets kill internal systemic bias of frequently posting power users dominating any discussion that will affect the whole site, which is a better idea. All opinions are of value here but no one user is more more valuable in their opinion than another. Thats the neat thing about this format. rootology (C)(T) 19:08, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    Self-serving comments aside, an open discussion rather than a support/oppose format is a much better way to build consensus. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    There is no way to fairly accurately gauge consensus for something of this scale on some tucked away 2004-style discussion for a realistic discussion, without given unearned and undeserved weight to the wikipolitical crowd that loiter on those pages. As this affects everyone, rather than just any of the various "in-crowds", this is how it has to reasonably be. Traditional, potentially outdated discussion formats have never scaled for site-wide matters in all the years I've been following this website. I would argue that this method (same as RFA, same as RFAR elections, same as Board elections) breaks the power that any group or lone people try to claim for themselves. No one user(s) are entitled to any undue weight on a matter of this magnitude. This is an even more important change, for that matter, if it happens than any silly RFA, AC election, or even board election. Self-appointing regulars, to be blunt, have no right to more say in a matter like this than those that don't religiousy, regularly, or too frequently haunt the Wikipedia discussion space. rootology (C)(T) 21:51, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    The reason for this should be explicit, so I'll note it: We've been having open discussion for a long time, and have very little idea how people actually feel about these things. This actually is illuminating - it suggests if a concrete proposal for a flagged revision system for BLPs was developed, a consensus could probably be developed to implement it, and then once we saw how it was running, we might revisit the issue of whether it was the right choice, whether we want to extend or retract the system or whatever. We could've continued the open discussion until it had been running for a hubble time and not figured out what to do or what people felt and thought. WilyD 07:25, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  4. Polls aren't evil, pollsters are evil., this is a good way of determining how the AN reading and otherwise "hooked in" wikipolity feels about the BLP problems.--Tznkai (talk) 21:24, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    Support (lol) ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:34, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  5. The community is good at a lot of things but having polls is evidently not one of them per prior experiences. This should be a threaded discussion and should be advertised on watchlistes. EconomicsGuy (talk) 09:46, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
    The community does fine at polls; the niche crowd that assumes they're in charge of Wikipedia because they loiter more on some pages dislikes it because polls enable anyone who posts to even standing if they say something that makes sense, even non Wikipedia space regulars, as detailed to Jossi by me in painful detail above. In any event, this is already a threaded discussion page. Old-school consensus chat does not and will not ever scale for major site-wide things like this, and will less and less each year. It's not 2004 anymore. But the Watchlist thing is a good idea, and I'll suggest it on WP:AN! rootology (C)(T) 16:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  6. This poll isn't so much evil as premature. We haven't even garnered consensus for a flagged revs trial yet, let alone implemented such a trial, let alone seen it successful, let alone found consensus for rolling it out. Not so much premature then, as still in the first trimester. --Dweller (talk) 13:06, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
    Maybe you misunderstand what we're doing here. We're trying to glean whether there's likely to be a consensus for a trial or implementation. If garnering a consensus is the first trimester, we're scheduling an appointment with a fertility doctor. WilyD 13:55, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
    This is not the way polls work in real life. Polls ask only a small fraction of voters. Instead, you called for everybody to vote here, with the furthest reaching tool Wikipedia offers: An announcement on the watchlist. — Sebastian 04:28, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    That was actually sort of the point. We're not voting to turn it on today for all BLPs in any fashion, or T-Z, or for just the W's, for either flagged or semi. It was just to see if there was even any support for either option, or none, or a mix, so that the next steps would be (if there was support for something) to hash out a probable trial for that something, or nothing, whatever it was. I'm a proponent of flagged, and probably a big one, but even I wouldn't want to see it live without something like this to gauge overall thoughts (seems to support something flagged) and a small trial first--say, BLP FAs. Maybe then if that works, then expand it out to all FAs. Can we keep up? Not working? Maybe scrap it. Working good? Maybe FAs + the letter Z. Still good? Add A. Still good? A-D? Can we keep up? Working right? No? Time to go back to the drawing board. Working right on FAs plus A-D? A-M then, and wash rinse repeat. Or not, depending on if support fails at some point. It would be madness to just flip it "on". That's the point of all this. :) rootology (C)(T) 04:36, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    It doesn't matter what you call it. When you ask 100% of a population, then it is a vote (or an election), not just an inconsequential poll. At least that's the way it is perceived by most, and I would say, rightly so. — Sebastian 22:34, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  7. I remember the idea of flagged revisions appearing some good long time ago; I didn't pay much attention to it, so I haven't a clue what the decision was. Thus I'll just toss in my opinion, rather than "voting" :-) I think the idea of flagged revisions for BLPs sounds like a good idea: permanent semiprotection for BLPs sounds like somewhat of a good idea, but the flagged revisions seems like it would be less restrictive while still reducing vandalism to BLPs significantly. Nyttend (talk) 04:22, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
  8. All of the above polling is aimed at too large a scope. Until we get a control group of articles which have Flagged Revisions enabled, and the community at large can see how they work, we're not going to get very far.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 07:32, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
    Maybe you've misread what we've been talking about here. We're trying to get a general feel for people's thoughts on the issue. Unless there is a decent consensus that flagged revisions may be a good idea for BLPs, no tests are going to happen. Same for semi-protection. What you're indicating your opinion is is "No tests, ever". If this isn't what you mean, you should review where you've put your name. WilyD 15:28, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
    If you think that this discussion receiving a resounding consensus either way won't be used as an informal precedent for future discussion, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. If you read Averanth's comment below, her (just switching gender specific pronouns, last one was he) complaints about the poll are very relevant. It is too broad. It does conflate "flagged revisions" with "anon-vandalism". It does introduce an absurdly large and heterogeneous test group. It isn't fair to say "this is just a poll to see how people feel, don't tell us how you feel". Protonk (talk) 19:49, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  9. Disagree. See Winston Churchill about democracy. -- Iterator12n Talk 21:31, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  10. Of course. But, apparently, I am evil too. Go figure. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:01, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  11. Agree This page is a mess, with a myriad non-trivial options presented in a non-intuitive way. CapnZapp (talk) 19:39, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  12. Polls don't help. I won't call them "evil" since that's a loaded word, and not everyone gets the irony. But polls don't help. This particular poll survey tries to start out by saying it's not binding, which is well-intentioned, but people will point to it in the future and say "[[Wikipedia:Protecting BLP articles feeler survey]] clearly showed that ..." (followed by whatever argument you like). Now we'll also have endless discussions over whether this poll should be ignored/considered/whatever. Plus, the support/oppose format encourages false dichotomies, acts as a barrier to discussion between disagreeing parties, and generally impedes consensus. Sigh. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 00:49, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  13. Premature, per Dweller. Instead of stirring up every Wikipedia editor with a general call to vote on their watchlist, why not first work on informing people what this is all about? I read many of the statements, and I dare say that few of them even understand how flagged revisions work in reality. All you get is a reaction to the initial question, and to Jimbo's statement (while it was on top of this page.) Why not ask on the pertinent pages of existing sister projects for people who have experience with how it works to gather here and present their findings first? There is plenty of experience that once you urge people to take sides, they will take sides, which will make reasonable discussion and compromise much less likely. — Sebastian 04:28, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  14. This is already the third straw poll about this change in less than three months. To me, this seems to be a way of finding when is the other parent in a good mood. Admiral Norton (talk) 14:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  15. Polls are not evil - but how many surveys do we need to get beyond the idea of FRs? -- Iterator12n Talk 03:26, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.