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Re: Anonymous/Pseudonymous Editing (was: Template protection, template CSS and anonymous edits)

From: Tobie Langel <tobie@fb.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 16:14:04 +0000
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>
CC: "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F9981AFB970564408FEB7DFCF62D44084367CE8A@SC-MBX01-4.TheFacebook.com>
+1 to everything that Doug said.


On 10/17/12 6:07 PM, "Doug Schepers" <schepers@w3.org> wrote:

>Hi, folks-
>tl;dr: I don't support anonymous editing on the wiki.
>While I appreciate the arguments about lowering barriers, I strongly
>support Janet and Scott's reasoning. I think that pseudonymity is a
>sufficiently low barrier to contribution in practice.
>Requiring users to make an account before making changes may dissuade
>some users, but it will actually encourage those who have made an
>account to make more than a single edit, and to learn what kind of edits
>best match expectations.
>On the subject of attribution, there are 2 sides to it: fame and blame.
>"Fame" is getting recognition for your work, and many studies have shown
>that this not only increases contributions, but also the personal
>satisfaction, accomplishment, and sense of belonging in the
>contributors, which is important for the long-term health of this
>project and its community.
>"Blame" at its most innocuous is giving readers (or reusers) the ability
>to evaluate any given contribution for viewpoint or potential bias, and
>in the most serious case, the ability to audit or remove edits by a
>particular contributor (for any number of reasons, like incorrect
>information, copyright violation, or outright malice).
>(On a side note, just because Wikipedia has used a policy around
>anonymous edits while using CC-BY-SA doesn't mean it's a best
>practice... only that it happens to have worked in their particular
>case; I don't think it would work as well in our smaller community.)
>Even with pseudonymous accounts required, I still support using the
>p.s. I trimmed this down to just the anonymity topic, since I think it's
>a very different issue than template protection or sharing the site's
>source code.
>On 10/16/12 8:43 PM, David Singer wrote:
>> I also agree that anonymous mods are not desirable. If we needed to
>> protect people's privacy or anonymity, maybe, but we're not running
>> Wikileaks.
>> On Oct 17, 2012, at 1:43, Alex Komoroske wrote:
>>> On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM, Janet Swisher wrote:
>>>> Wikipedia (i.e., Wikimedia Foundation) doesn't seem to see any
>>>> conflict between anonymity and attribution, since they allow
>>>> anonymous edits and use CC-BY-SA. Anonymous edits on Wikipedia are
>>>> logged in page history by IP address. Allowing anonymity lowers
>>>> the barrier to participation to as low as possible.
>>>> However, raising the barrier to entry even slightly increases the
>>>> sense of community; requiring contributors to claim an identity
>>>> enables long term interactions and encourages responsibility for
>>>> one's actions. I think the benefits of encouraging long-term
>>>> identities (even if pseudonymous) outweigh the benefits of
>>>> anonymity. This is also not a context where anonymity is needed
>>>> for personal safety or confidentiality.
>>> +1 to this whole paragraph.
>>>> On 10/16/12 11:41 AM, Scott Rowe wrote:
>>>>> The other issue Tomato raised was that of anonymous edits. Are
>>>>> there implications for content imported from elsewhere under
>>>>> CC-By-SA? What about under the CC-By license for the site generally?
>>>>> Frankly, I don't think anonymous editing serves to improve
>>>>> collaboration or the quality of the documentation. As a curator
>>>>> and contributor, I'd like to be able to correspond with other
>>>>> editors. I also think that responsibility is the best policy, period.
>>>> On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 2:33 AM, Chris Mills wrote:
>>>>>> It certainly sounds worth checking out the Abuse Filter,
>>>>>> and considering anonymous edits, to normal pages at
>>>>>> least. Templates and stuff I wouldn't be so sure of.
>>>>>> On 15 Oct 2012, at 18:43, Taylor Costellowrote:
>>>> >>
>>>>>>> Last topic, I want to open up anonymous edits on the
>>>>>>> wiki. Our Q&A has anonymous posting, but not our wiki!
>>>>>>> Let me just throw out there that anonymous editing is
>>>>>>> very easy to watch, any user can revert a bad edit. We
>>>>>>> also have AbuseFilters that will protect from obvious
>>>>>>> spam and tag edits for admins to look at. Any admin can
>>>>>>> add more AbuseFilters in the situation where we need to
>>>>>>> adjust to new spam methods. There are a ton of benefits
>>>>>>> to allowing anonymous wiki editing, and most of the
>>>>>>> negative argument being "to prevent spam".
>>>>>>> You can check out the AbuseFilter here:
>>>>>>> http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/Special:AbuseFilter
Received on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 16:14:34 UTC

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