Neutral Point of View

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Unlike [wikipedia]Wikipedia we do not strive to present a Neutral Point of View in pages. The value of diversity in a community based wiki helps to present many points of view and opinions that are all valuable and reflective of the community. Freedom of speech is tied to a certain expectation about responsibility of speech; you can't have one without the other.

Traditionally, a wiki is entirely composed of commentary. I.e., the stuff "up top" is written by people with views, expressing those views. So are the comments at the bottom, it's just sometimes easier to toss a oneliner than hit "Edit". Ideally, enough people weigh in to balance everything out (sometimes that will mean, if the community as a whole really likes something, the end result will be enthusiastically positive, and visa versa). In this way, the wiki comes to represent the cumulative viewpoint of the community as a whole. Wikipedia is not a wiki, but rather a project to write an encyclopedia using wiki software. They are popular, so there's this mistaken notion that wikis are supposed to be written like encyclopedias (no original research, cite everything, no opinions). But those notions are all from the "-pedia" part of Wikipedia, not the "Wiki-" half. If there were a popular "Blogpedia" that used blogging software with no opinions allowed in the blog posts, it wouldn't follow then that all other blogs must eliminate opinion in their posts. To try and capture the essence of a community, but to strip all of the community perspective from the topics turns the wiki into a mere listing of trivia and a business database. And there are better, [WWW]more comprehensive databases out there than the Wiki. The Wiki is Davis from the Davis perspective.

See our MPOV page for further details.

Discussion

From Mace Ranch Park:


When I first started here, the idea of editing the main text of a page was intimidating to me, because it was so far from just adding a comment. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes, piss anyone off, or break any norms. Now that I'm far more familiar with the wiki, though, I find that sense of gravity attached to the "main entry" to be somewhat disturbing. It severely undermines the whole idea of collaborative editing, and it reinforces the division between casual editors and the more frequent editors who are more familiar with the wiki. Whatever the name for it, different points of view belong in the "main entry." When the point(s) of view appearing on a page aren't representative of the ideas held by the community, those who feel differently will add their ideas. If no one (snicker) is taking issue with the POV presented, it's probably a sign that, at present, it covers community views on the issue reasonably well. Comments are great and have their place. They increase accessibility to those less computer savvy and/or less invested in the community. But their existence shouldn't be an excuse to steal the energy and vitality from the so-called "main entry" of a page. The two can coexist, happily, and I think it's a terrible idea to exclude something from the main text of a page simply because opinion is more densely packed elsewhere. —TomGarberson

Comments:

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2007-08-29 12:36:01   IMHO, the problem with non-NPOV entries is that it's often hard to tell the biased from the unbiased. Some pages are balanced, others are not and the blend is deemed acceptable bceause we don't do NPOV here. IMHO, we should strive to provide an informative and neutral section of a page and then a separate area where comments, accusations, flames, trolls, are clearly in a space that indicates opinion. That would let me read pages and believe the information in them, as opposed to having to figure out if someone wrote the description from a biased point of view and not knowing if it was true or not. Agreed upon text can be read as agreed upon. CPOV or other less-than-agreeded upon text could be read as informative, but not necessarily a complete set of views and may not be taken as absolute truth. Right now, it's the blur that cause the problem, not that multiple expressions exist. —WesHardaker


2007-08-29 13:25:39   Can we somehow limit revert power? —JamesSchwab


2007-08-30 00:29:40   DWiki needs an overhaul if it doesn't care about POV, because there seems to be an general understanding that POV belongs in the comment sections of a page. This would be fine except that DWiki has such a messy commenting platform. There's no threading, pages very quickly end up being tl;dr, and, yes, we need moderators who are ready to drop the banhammer at a moment's notice. As the wiki grows and there's no set standardization, things will just get worse and worse. —JesseSingh


2010-03-28 20:23:29   I support a non-dogmatic version of the CPOV: one in which all points of view are allowed but not compulsory. Things should only be deleted as a very last resort. This seems to be the spirit of this wiki's introduction and of many people's views up above; therefore, I'm not sure why some people are so eager to get rule-crazy, deleting big chunks of entries at anything that seems even mildly suspicious. —ScottMeehleib


Look, the system isn't perfect — it's people working together, and it will always be imperfect. But we can strive to improve. So, now that we've had this conversation, if there are pages you think that need changing (even if you don't care much about them), change them. If others disagree, work with those editors to come to a resolution. If poll of opinions seems necessary, take one. But I don't see any point in imposing a rule about how we should always do things — that would be to pretend the system is more perfect than it can be, and to impose an unnecessary rigidity to the process. —cp


2011-12-07 00:57:09   Reading through this page tonight (its been referenced a lot in the past weeks), there is a lot of valuable commentary supporting more inclusive points of view. There have been many comments regarding opinions in the pepper-spray protest page, and a lot of the text here would support the more objective editing that has appeared there. Also this page is clearly a multifaceted, ongoing discussion. Many people have referenced this page in defense of the non-NPOV on the pepper-spray page. However, lots of people have, and are continuing to say, the non-NPOV approach is not, and should not be, a set rule. In fact, many of the arguments here are for fair, unbiased, objective editing. Many editors like unbiased edits (I definitely do). I won't say there isn't a call for opinions, there is undoubtably a desire for many diverse and thought provoking opinions, but the its seems like a good number of us want fewer biases in the the main text, and where opinions are included, they are qualified as such (the Sophia's page, for example, was cited multiple times as a notably successful work). All and all, I think this page is presents many good arguments for calling out opinions and removing biases from the main page. —jefftolentino

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