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WikiDebate

For when an ordinary Wiki can't accommodate strong oposing opinions
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A "Wiki" is a generic name for a Web page that is editable by a visitor. The most famous example of this is Wikipedia, where most of the articles were written by visitors, and edited by other visitors.

Some of those articles are notorious, however. People with opposing views try to edit out what each other have to say. This dilemma needs a solution, that all can live with.

So let's design a wiki page that has two columns of text. Only one column is edited at first. We assume here that eventually someone comes along who disputes something in that column. This is what the second column is for, presentation of the opposing view.

The hard part, of course, is ensuring that people STILL don't try to hack out the view they oppose. I think what might work is a "phrase lock". Since a Wiki page can include a history of edits on that page, it follows that software can automatically determine when some paragraph or sentence or phrase, and possibly even a single word, is being deleted and restored and deleted and restored...and the software clamps down and prevents further deletions of that piece of the web page, without locking the entire page. Eventually an administrator, hopefully impartial, can review the locked section and make sure it is consistent with the rest of the column in which it resides. Then the section can be locked against almost all further edits --while the rest of the column and page (except for other locked sections, of course) remain as editable as ever.

[added per annotation on numbering]
When creating the initial text that leads to a debate, especially when one is reasonably sure that a debate will occur, an "outline form" is recommended. Each Main Point should be numbered with Roman Numerals, the supporting points for each main point can be "numbered" with capital letters, and so on. Those writing an opposing view can easily reference any part found objectionable, and make its "full address", such as II-B-3-a-iv, a kind of "Super Main Point designation", under which the regular outline system can be used to detail points of that opposing view, against the particular full-address point.

Vernon, Dec 08 2007

some overlap here, perhaps Perpetual_20Notion_20Machine
[pertinax, Dec 08 2007]

[link]






       The problem with your "phrase lock" is that the two opposing columns might have interdependent arguments, each of which contains parts that are phrase locked. This might give rise to a "phrase-locked loop".   

       Seriously though, your idea highlights very illustratively that a single page of editorial can at best do justice to a single facet or school of thought, and that most ideas behind the rhetoric have multiple dimensions of understanding and reason. Two columns on one page is a start, but better would be multidimensional editorial conduits. Beyond web 'pages'.
Ian Tindale, Dec 08 2007
  

       1. Add incorrect text to opposing viewpoint from account B
2. Remove it from account A
3. Add incorrect text to opposing viewpoint from account C
4. Remove it from account A
5. Add incorrect text to opposing viewpoint from account D
6. Remove it from account A
etc...
N+1. Wait for system to phrase-lock incorrect text due to account A's repeated removals (assumed to be opposing view vandalism as all other accounts have been replacing it)
N+2. Profit!
vincevincevince, Dec 08 2007
  

       [Ian Tindale], one way to avoid lots of mention of a particular opposing point, when presenting your own view, is for the points to be numbered. I thought about mentioning something about numbering the points, when I wrote the main text, but couldn't think of a good way to make it work, partly because of the multidimensionality thing you raised. However, I think I now know what to do, so will add it.   

       [vincevincevince], what you wrote about only works until the impartial administrator comes along to check on the consistency of the newly locked text. That's why I specifically added that in the main text here. Note the administrator might move the "incorrect text" to the opposing-view column, and lock it there, heh, as a lesson in etiquette.
Vernon, Dec 08 2007
  

       //Note the administrator might move the "incorrect text" to the opposing-view column, and lock it there, heh, as a lesson in etiquette.// Same as previous anno, apart from you do it against your own viewpoint with an aim of having the 'incorrect text' moved to the opposition as a lesson in etiquette...
vincevincevince, Dec 08 2007
  

       [vincevincevince], we all know that anything that can be used can also be abused. I did say "might" in my last anno.   

       Note that one of the things that Wikipedia has is a discussion page, behind the main page. I've noticed more politeness on that page, people not erasing other parts of the discussion. Note that [jutta]'s HalfBakery setup allows discussion that for the most part cannot be deleted by the average contributor to the discussion. I kind of like that, as a way of allowing locked text on the main page to have its consistency discussed. Indeed, a particular block of text might be presented on the discussion page for COPYING/editing, multiple times, before being finally transferred to the main page and locked there. (And after that's done, the discussion relating to it could be deleted, maybe).
Vernon, Dec 08 2007
  
      
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