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Submissions/The Peelian Principles - A Victorian Solution to Community Issues

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
The Peelian Principles - A Victorian Solution to Community Issues
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Presentation and Discussion
Author of the submission
Panyd & Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry works for WMUK and we both volunteer there.
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

With the recent execution of Global Bans by the Wikimedia Foundation, many members of the Wikimedia community have had feelings of powerlessness exacerbated. With the increase of offline activities assisting with both content creation and outreach, and efforts to stop the decline in editor detention ramping up, perhaps it is time to ask - how do we define ‘community’, and how can we begin to work together to achieve the aims of Wikimedia as a whole?

To that end, we aim to look at the Peelian Principles of Policing by Consent, and how they might be adapted to create greater community trust and cohesion. Bringing every cog of Wikimedia together, be they an editor making their first change, or a staff member of the WMF, and including them under the banner of ‘community’, we might enact changes as equals, in the spirit of Wikimedia.

The proposed principles are:

  • The basic reason for which any permission exists is to prevent disruption.
  • The ability of those with permissions to perform their duties is dependent upon community approval of the actions they take.
  • Those with permissions must secure the willing cooperation of the community in voluntary observances of policies.
  • The degree of cooperation of the community that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of using those permissions.
  • Those with permissions should preserve community favour not by catering to popular, disruptive, or democratic opinion, but by demonstrating impartiality in acting within consensus and guidelines.
  • Those with permissions should only exercise those permissions to the extent necessary to prevent disruption, and then only when discussion and warning is found to be insufficient.
  • Those who have been granted permissions should maintain a relationship with the wider community so that all members of the community have the ability to be heard. Those with permissions are merely those with the tools to take extraordinary action, as an extension of tasks which are the community's agreed goals and principles.
  • Those with permissions should only use them to carry out the tasks they were assigned. (i.e. administrators should not usurp ArbCom decisions)
  • The test of a well-functioning community is the absence of disruption, not the visible evidence of people dealing with it.

We aim to spend the first thirty minutes of the presentation exploring how these principles might be applied practically, and how they might be hindered by necessity, especially in light of current events. The last 15 minutes will then be opened to the floor, for discussion as to how the participants would either apply or dismiss these ideas, and how they perceive current community events in light of these proposals.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
45 minutes - 30 minutes for presentation followed by 15 minutes for discussion
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Depends on scholarship application
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. EdSaperia (talk) 21:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Mrjohncummings (talk) 21:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Leela0808 (talk) 22:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 23:44, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Jalexander-WMF (talk) 21:46, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. WereSpielChequers (talk) 15:39, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Battleofalma (talk) 15:52, 2 March 2015
  8. HJ Mitchell (talk) 17:15, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Pigsonthewing (talk) 17:24, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  10. As a sceptic. CT Cooper · talk 22:31, 10 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 05:11, 26 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]