Talk:Contributing

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Two questions now[edit source]

Hi @Reception123: Hi @Dmehus: Originally I only had one question - which I'll get to in due course, I guess - but after clicking Discussion|View_History I have another one, viz: How on earth did deleting the old talk page (by way of housekeeping, apparently) improve Meta? How can I now tell whether or not my question has already been addressed? Isn't that precisely one of the main reasons why talk pages are so useful? -J CptRabid (talk) 09:36, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Simply put CptRabid, there were two sections, one was advertising a webinar and the other was as follows.
== Facebook ==
If we built a community of users on Facebook we access Facebook's tools for fundraising: https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/
^ The webinar was an even more advertisy version of this for something related to mariadb which has long become irrelevant. So, there was no content worth retaining, nor was it topical to what the page is supposed to be about. Laxer moderation is why the page even continued as long as it did, as the content sat awkwardly for some years. Procedurally it may have been better to simply blank it so the history was transparent (none of the content was extreme) but simply wiping a page that never did its job was sufficient as well. I hope this sheds some light, as well as my reply on the FAQ page (though that one may be better followed up by a more relevant volunteer). --Raidarr (talk) 12:23, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

OK, look: I despise Mark Zuckerberg. I'm proud to say that I've never, ever trusted him any further than I could comfortably excrete him - and these days I'd pretty much reserve a special place in hell for him, frankly.

Nevertheless, writing "If we built a community of users on Facebook we access Facebook's tools for fundraising: https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/" simply does not justify a page deletion that smacks of censorship because it is censorship and conveys to users that if you transgress here, or are thought to have done, or in fact just say something some admin doesn't think worth leaving in place, your transgression/suggestion/contribution will be memory-holed. So: just you get used to it, serf. -J CptRabid (talk) 21:31, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think you're making a bit too big of a deal of it, to be honest.
This is a wiki platform, and wiki platform must ensure that their content is at least somehow being topical. Criticism of process - such as your comment - is indeed topical, even if we've started to go a little out of scope here and if you have a sincere complaint about meta-wide process it is best taken to the Meta:Administrators' noticeboard (there is a case going there right now in fact). But I digress; I'm glad to issue this reply, and if you think it is contentious as a process on Meta we should discuss it more deeply there. In this case, advertising a fundraising system per above is not pertinent to the scope of Meta at all let alone in discussing the Contributing page. It is strongly established by convention that content which has nothing to do with Meta even tangentially is simply removed. In this case, the deletion was completely uncontroversial.
I think you're making a very liberal case of censorship, using the term to imply suppression or arbitrary removal based on personal taste or convenience when that was in no way the case here. The content had nothing to do with the topic and so was ultimately removed, and a patroller here on Meta would even have a reasonable argument to move this conversation to the above link, though not remove it entirely - suppression procedural discussion is what could be actual censorship, though even then it's the wrong word. I feel you're conflating a website's right, even duty to keep its content focused on the its topic with civil liberties, 'freedom of speech', government level concepts which are absolutely not obligatory even to US businesses or US web servers unless they were an official government forum. Further it is worth noting that your final line would only be applicable if the deletion was accompanied by undue action on the account, such as a final warning or a straight up lock of the account. In that case the most that would have happened was a talk page message making a note of topicality, while in the case we're discussing I don't see evidence of any further action at all. Only housekeeping.
I hope this sheds some clarity. --Raidarr (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Also, in reply to what I believe is referenced here and on your user page (which is definitely a bit out of scope here, but for consistency all in one place) - login wiki is not intended for chat and only to create global user pages, so access to the talk namespace is restricted and talk pages on Meta are what is encouraged. What you have on the login wiki page is displayed whenever people view your profile elsewhere on the platform. So, we can best triage and address your request through your user talk page on this wiki. I believe another steward recently made adjustments to put this in place at a technical level, which would explain why you were able to do it some time back but not now. If you just want to remove that talk page I can do that for you, and if you want to change it I can see what I can do. --Raidarr (talk) 22:05, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
First and foremost, thank you for both this detailed reply and your kind offer of help: I'll give the latter some thought and, perhaps next week, draft an appropriate update that you might see fit to set in place that should serve indefinitely. (Or would it be better to move the existing content to meta and replace it with a redirect? If you think so, go right ahead). In the meantime:-

There's a fallacy that I've come to call the "fallacy of intent." It rests, I suppose on Hume's Law (so-called). This being something of a tech space, the GET-POST distinction in HTTP(S) provides a handy example. The design intent was for GET transactions to be idempotent, POST transactions not. (This is an old idea: it mirrors John Langshow Austin's Constantive-Performative distinction which he was ultimately forced to abandon because, pace soliloquy, every utterance turns out to be performative in some way; indeed, to go out on something of a limb, I've got the short end of a wee bet that GET-POST will suffer the same fate.)

Plainly, intent matters at the design stage. Critically, however, intent ceases to be relevant once the thing exists - and it is neglect of this truth that I call the 'fallacy of intent**'. I would argue that at present the most significant difference between GET and POST is that whereas data sent with HTTPS/POST is encrypted just as one would very naturally expect, data sent with HTTPS/GET is not. (Note that HTTPS did not exist - because SSL did not exist - when HTTP was specified.)

⟨⟨ **If this fallacy has a broadly-accepted, 'official' name, then the author would very naturally wish to be informed of it. ⟩⟩

In the present case, the choice (as you, @Raidarr:, very rightly acknowledge) was between page-blanking and outright deletion. Let us agree from the foregoing argument that the intent is irrelevant. The difference between the two actions is that, when pages are deleted, every nonpriviledged user is thereby deprived of the opportunity to inspect the page history. What signal does that send? How do you yourself react when, say, some Wikipage that a friend or colleague has recommended to you turns out to have been deleted, leaving you powerless to do anything about it? Call me paranoid, but the signal I receive is: "You must not see this. It is not for your eyes. It has been hidden for a reason, and you must accept that - and move on. The content was such that its obliteration serves a higher good than (in this case) your desire to know what has and has not been written in the past about this topic."

No doubt such cases exist. One would like to think, though, that they occur almost vanishingly rarely. With very best wishes, -J CptRabid (talk) 15:57, 30 March 2022 (UTC)

PS: To repeat, I do very much appreciate the fullness of your response above; I haven't engaged with much (if any) of the detail here because it has instead prompted me, possibly misguidedly, to draft an MH 'proposal' (RfC) by way of indirect reply: watch this space.[reply]
You lot are putting way too much thought into this. This page, in a few revisions, has gone from 500 bytes to 8000 bytes all to argue that deleting pages is bad. If you have an issue with that, please go and argue on the Administrators’ noticeboard or the deleting sysop’s user page to contest this deletion rather than a back and forth with someone who was not involved. Agent Isai Talk to me! 16:25, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
8k, huh? Bill me. -J CptRabid (talk) 18:20, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]