Wiki management

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Revision as of 04:25, 16 February 2004 by (talk)
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Wiki management of the Content Wiki and Opinion Wiki, and the sysop power structure of each, is a major concern of Consumerium Governance. It must be supervised by the Consumerium Governance Organization under the guidance of a genuinely independent board.

A poorly managed wiki, e.g. those run by Wikimedia, can generate legal and goodwill problems that spread far beyond their own services. For instance, a libel pit amplified by an echo chamber can generate an unlimited number of cease and desist letters from individuals who believe, probably correctly, they have been misrepresented or slandered by a bad copy problem or broken telephone picking up the output of the echo chamber.

democratic user roles

We may require formal Wiki Editor and Wiki Lawyer/advocate/mediator roles to guide Wiki Sysop behaviour. Left on their own they tend to be little tin gods - each hoping to grow up to be GodKing. This shouldn't be encouraged. Nor should a clique of usurpers doing sysop vandalism, which seems to be the next step in the "evolution" away from GodKings to some priestly hierarchy. None of these poor management methods will be able to generate or respond to real world pressures, and only work in a fantasy world.

Consumerium buying signal will not stand up under scrutiny in a democratic society, or even cease and desist letters directed to its board, unless it has democratic sysop power structure. Good sysops are disposable, period. Good editors are not. And good lawyers can keep your project going when it otherwise would be flushed down the toilet (see reference to Wikimedia above, which will almost certainly be destroyed by failure to democratize in time).


Specific wiki management problems include, from longest to shortest term:


  • Picking wiki code that actually makes it easy to do the above, and avoiding that which has requirements set by a small clique of control freaks.


  • Detecting and moderating usurper behaviour before they must be driven off by trolls; making sure that trolls do not unfairly charge the usurpers with things they have not actually done, or create their own echo chamber.


  • Degrading or placing on standby the status of those engaged in ad hominem delete or other transparency-reducing, content-degrading tactics, which can easily result in the database falling into a state where it is legally liable.
  • Desysopping those who participate in creating or echoing spun death threats, or granting these credibility or official status beyond what was actually said; this sort of libel has extremely serious consequences in an age of no-fly lists. If a comment is an actual threat of specific violence, it must be investigated. If not, then claims that it is, must be put to rest, before the conflict over the comment escalates to the point of violence itself.

People will actually care about the material we manage here. Jobs, companies, perhaps whole industries or national economies, will be at stake. It's foolish to imagine that Consumerium will not have all the same problems, and worse, than have been seen in every other large public wiki, and some they haven't yet seen. If we are not prepared for the problems they have seen, it's not possible to be prepared for problems they haven't...