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Submissions/Welcome to the Internet, Assholes

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
Welcome to the Internet, Assholes.
Type of submission
Author of the submission
  • Jared Zimmerman
  • Maryana Pinchuck
E-mail address
  • Jared.zimmerman@wikimedia.org
  • mpinchuck@wikimedia.org
  • Jaredzimmerman (WMF)
  • Mpinchuck (WMF)
Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Foundation

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Nobody likes mean people on the Internet. But what can we do about it?

What do you need to build communities of constructive, respectful individuals who collaborate together toward a common good, both in their words and actions? What is the impact of various social, technical, and product choices – such as strong ties between real world and online identities, reputation metrics, technical incentives, informal and formal community management structures – on civility and behavior of online communities? Are online communities more lenient toward online bad behavior as compared to face to face interactions? What societal shifts have occurred that make us divide the "real" from the online world? What can we learn from purely anonymous communities who express high levels of civility between their members? Finally, how does the changing nature of technology – the proliferation of devices, increased focus on ephemerality, and greater fragmentation of time and focus between many different sites and services – change the way we think of online communities and collaboration in the online space?

To answer these questions, this presentation will focus on examples from a wide range of online communities: other sites that seek to engage experts in high quality knowledge-gathering (e.g., Quora, StackExchange); more general purpose discussion fora (e.g., Reddit); and new discussion apps based on anonymity (e.g., Secret, Yik Yak). We hope to share some specific best practices, as well as obvious pitfalls, that may be relevant to the technical and editing communities of Wikimedia projects, as well as the various outreach initiatives – editathons, hackathons, meetups, and training sessions – that are organized by volunteers in our movement.

This talk isn't specific to Wikipedia or Wikimedia communities, but rather an exercise in thinking about how online communities can learn from each other to create self-sustaining communities of people who look out for each other, mentor and and teach new members, respect community norms while looking out for those who do not yet know them.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
  • Yes
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Harej (talk) 18:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Panyd (talk) 17:27, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Mrjohncummings (talk) 19:07, 9 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]