Wikiversity talk:Privacy policy

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I think we should probably copy the policy page over to this wiki and try to generate some discussion. Related issue: Questions about anonymous researchers. --JWSchmidt 01:37, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Implied Consent[edit]

Don't include information that could be used to identify or contact a person without their consent. Your privacy could be at risk if you include information about yourself on Wikiversity.

Editors who undertake to publish encyclopedic information about third parties cannot expect to do so anonymously and unaccountably. Editors and publishers are necessarily accountable and answerable for their published remarks about third parties. Similarly, officials who endeavor to exercise political power over others are obliged to defend their actions according to normative standards of due process. In short, those who engage with the public automatically yield their right to do so in an utterly oblivious manner. —Moulton 02:13, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Can you expand on "publish encyclopedic information" and "exercise political power over others" and "utterly oblivious manner" in the context of Wikiversity and the proposed privacy policy? Also, the title of the is section "Implied Consent" seems to refer to a legal concept...can you expand on the legal argument, if any, you are trying to introduce? --JWSchmidt 14:39, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Publish means to make available to the public. Encyclopedic means purporting to be comprehensive accurate information on a subject. Exercise political power over others means the power to unilaterally impose roles, rules, and attendant consequents (i.e. rewards and punishments) over others without their prior consent. Utterly oblivious manner means without any understanding or concern for downstream harm or other reasonably predictable consequences. Implied consent means that an initiative act by Party A impinging on Party B implies consent by Party A to be subject to reasonable responses from Party B. So, if you ask someone a direct question, that implies consent to receive an appropriate answer. —Moulton 22:39, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that "encyclopedic" is the best term to use in the context of Wikiversity since this project was explicitly founded as a wiki that would not try to replicate Wikipedia's mission of being an encyclopedia. Wikiversity does strive to be accurate, but generating accuracy is a collaborative effort than depends on the edits made by all the participants. Every webpage here has a link to Wikiversity:General disclaimer. I'm not aware of anything at Wikiversity "purporting to be comprehensive accurate information on a subject". Publishing under a pseudonym has a long history. I'm not a lawyer or a social scientist, but as an observer of Western Culture I have the feeling that many people feel the benefits of anonymous speech are valuable enough that it should be protected even if it reduces accountability. In our society it is not a black and white choice between publishing anonymously and unaccountably for what is published. Wiki websites can transfer unaccountably from individuals to the wiki community. Problems with wiki content can be addressed either by discussions with individual anonymous editors who created the problematical content or by calling on other members of the community to help deal with identified content problems. I think it is very much an ongoing process by which wiki communities are learning how to responsibly deal with problematical content that arises from anonymous editing. In the case of Wikiversity, it is up to the editors to collaborate towards the goal of finding ways to set and uphold content standards and build the principle of due process into the community's practices. --JWSchmidt 16:07, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
One can think of a course of instruction as a sequence of modules with a common theme. Each module might correspond, roughly, to an encyclopedia article. That is, when a professor puts together a presentation on the day's topic, there is some expectation that the material will be comprehensive and accurate, as if drawn from an encyclopedia article. What you have in a course is some kind of continuity linking one module to the next, plus some kind of demonstrated competence that the course participants are expected to achieve. Participants in a course are presumed to be open to dialogue and discussion vis-a-vis their participation. They are expected to ask and answer questions and otherwise participate actively in the group learning process. In that regard, there is an implied consent by each participant to be open to communications from their peers. Moulton 16:23, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
An interesting part of the history of Wikiversity is that the original proposal called for creation of a fairly conventional educational institution. I think the assumption was that it might be possible to translate conventional educational practices from the domain of bricks and mortar into wiki format. That original proposal was rejected and we were instructed to make a new proposal that would "exclude online-courses". I think the meaning of that restriction was really "no conventional courses with institutional accreditation, certified teachers, registered students, fixed times for classes, granting of degrees, awarded grades, etc". That kind of conventional educational environment is a good match for the type of "course of instruction" you described above. The approved proposal for the Wikiversity project opened the door to experimentation that might lead to new ways to use wiki technology to support online learning. Learning at Wikiversity can take place within the confines of the kind of "course of instruction" you describe above or it can take place in many other ways that are not conventional...what basically amounts to "learning by editing" and following your personal interests and learning goals in any direction you discover is available at Wikiversity. "implied consent by each participant to be open to communications from their peers" <-- I think most people have a fundamental need for communication with others but some people contribute to wiki websites by mostly reading the page contents and occasionally correcting small errors they find on pages. However, some learning projects can be designed to involve more extensive interactions with peers. There is no single formula for participation at Wikiversity. I'm very interested in finding ways by which participation in learning projects can be restricted and regulated. For example, if you want all participants in a learning project to "be open to communications from their peers" then you should be able to set the rules for that and keep out participants who might disrupt the project. --JWSchmidt 18:51, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
In fact, WikiCulture did evolve a new kind of learning process — interactive, Web-based dramaturgy, wherein learners adopt characters or personas, reprepresented by avatars, and engage other dramatis personae in dramatic scenes and recreations in which participants learn from dramaturgical experience. —Barsoom Tork 19:32, 28 January 2009 (UTC)