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Request from WMF T&S to review the book Suicide[edit]

I have moved this discussed from Requests for Deletion, where I originally posted it, as it isn't strictly a deletion request. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 09:22, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

@CSteigenberger (WMF), Pi zero, Leaderboard:

Background[edit]

In early August the WMF Trust & Safety team contacted (some / all?) admins on Wikibooks requesting a review of the content of Suicide. They noted two concerns: much of it had been created by a globally banned user in violation of the Terms of Use; some of it may be illegal in certain jurisdictions. They specifically requested the deletion of Suicide/Amitriptyline cocktail as crossing the legality line. The Terms of Use allow the Foundation to delete this content without community involvement. However, they requested instead that the community takes action, which for this one page I was happy to action pending a wider conversation (i.e., I have removed the potentially illegal content on precautionary grounds without prejudice to it being restored later). For the rest of the book we face a dilemma (as we do for all content here) - how do we ensure the content is accurate and, above all, legal when we lack the knowledge and skills to do this? If a subject is "on the border" so-to-speak, should we take the risk and allow it, or remove it? QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 09:22, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Comment
  • The community has considered this book for deletion at least twice, and has consistently chosen not to delete it.
  • Looking at recent events, Trust and Safety —as a collective entity (I've nothing to say atm of any individual person)— I do not trust, and makes me feel very unsafe.
  • Ultimately if the Foundation says we have to do something, all our principles and policies (regardless of whether supposedly shared by the Foundation) count for nothing.
--Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:26, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Comment . This book is one that has been controversial on Wikibooks (see Talk:Suicide), and I remember conversing with users who were concerned about such books. That being said, I would still keep the book. This is a scientific discussion about suicide, and there is a clear disclaimer on the front page about the scope of the book. Nothing in the book explicitly promotes suicide e(and it isn't telling 'lies' either). To remove this book would be a sign of censorship on the part of WMF, and I would want WMF T&S to provide a clear rationale on why they think the book does not deserve to be here. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 13:10, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
They have provided a clear rationale for the single page I have deleted. However as I'm on a phone editing this week I can't be bothered to try and type it all in. I will do so on Monday. For the wider issue, which I will also expand on, they have the right to delete it but have instead deferred to the community. I will expand on this next week too but for now I'd say they are being very reasonable and consultative. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 19:16, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Comment : How about adding more warning materials to hopefully stop unjustified suicides? I have added some ways.--Jusjih (discusscontribs) 04:05, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I distantly recall a suggestion that the book can help to talk down someone who is considering suicide by speaking to them rationally about the subject, rather than patronizingly. Warnings need to not lose that scientific honesty. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 05:00, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
That would dilute the meaning of the subject. Wikipedia's article on suicide does not have a warning, so why should Wikibooks? Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 15:56, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
A cogent point. Likewise Wikipedia's article on suicide methods. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 16:59, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
(I see that one has an RFC about adding a hatnote.) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 17:05, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
My take is this, T&S most likely will like to prevent people from learning how to suicide. I chime in as in Chinese Wikiversity I once AFD an article on how to kill someone in an enclosed room on the basis of it being unethical. The community decided to keep it. I find similarities between my thought as per what T&S are thinking, let's not teach people to do harm. However, the arguments then presented in the AFD is that there are ways many sites out there teaching the same, the article is just something that summarize ideas out from the web. Hence, my take is this, for those contents that are original research i.e. some manner to commit suicide - I don't know is the amitriptyline cocktail is available on the web or not but these should be deleted per TOU of ensuring a safe environment. We can have a book focusing on suicide, but not to teach people how to suicide, at least not more than what the enwp article have. Regards,--Cohaf (discusscontribs) 17:33, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I now tried to read some of the pages and stop at 2 pages, the detail is making me uncomfortable as an adult. The main page is ok for me, but once I clicked into the methods of suicide, it makes me very uncomfortable (I have no issues reading the enwp version). I think these should be trimmed down. --Cohaf (discusscontribs) 17:37, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
There should be something sobering for a Wikibookian about the idea that it's okay to provide a shallow treatment —which is the purpose of an encyclopedia article— but it's not okay to provide an in-depth treatment — which is the purpose of a book. I'm not saying some of the book content doesn't make me uncomfortable; I'm saying that when I recognize in myself an impulse to censor, that also makes me uncomfortable. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 17:50, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Concurred, I dont wish to censor either. However, I'm trying to understand what T&S is thinking and trying to get a win win solution. Be aware that even if we dont agree for deletion, they could still summary delete if they wish to although I dont think they will given the recent FRAM issue. An approach will be to look up into some of the books in this category on Amazon or etc, if they cover the same content, ours should be safe to keep. I remembered something along the lines of commons:COM:PORN or Wikipedia WP:NOTCENSORED can be ways we set the boundaries of what can or what cant be included in a book. Regards, its indeed sobering and I wish we never have to discuss this kind of inclusion issue with T&S involved.--Cohaf (discusscontribs) 03:37, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
We must make our decisions based on our own ethical principles. We can listen to concerns expressed by T&S, as we would to any intelligent party raising such concerns, and weigh those concerns in the light of our ethics; but if we compromise our ethics because we feel intimidated by T&S, then our behavior is unethical. If we consider concerns raised, make an ethical decision that T&S doesn't agree with, and T&S then decides to override us, they are violating our ethical principles but we are not, and we can hold our heads up high. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 04:09, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Just to note that I did ping T&S (at their request) so they could see and comment on this discussion. Given their failure to do so, I will email them as we really need their input. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 09:38, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
@Pi zero: Sure, this seems a fair approach. I just don't want things such as FRAM to happen here, when we hold our heads up defying them, we simply don't have the ability to do any form of civil disobedience, so my approach is to try to reach a compromise as far as possible. I seen summary deletion and even protection on zhwp by T&S, the feeling is really very bad. I seen CU rights being yanked away with superficial explanation of safety and the Ombudsmen Commission have yet to finish the report for 1.5 years leaving stewards having to do CU which is a horrendous but necessary arrangement. I have always stick to my principles and will oppose what nonsense I don't believe in (like I did on meta regularly) and will sure to do so here using an approach that will not be that sour. @QuiteUnusual: Is there anymore T&S share with you or just this is it? Then they should really elaborate on what their concerns are and I think we should wait for their response before discussing any further. I will also email them too.--Cohaf (discusscontribs) 12:20, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
It was specifically User:CSteigenberger (WMF) who emailed and I think I have provided all of the relevant info from the email. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 14:02, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Dear Wikibook community,

First of all thank you all for taking this matter seriously and taking the time to look into it. Also thank you for getting back to us with your questions.

We are highly concerned that the kind of detailed descriptions given in this book, especially in the pages around methods, could create a risk of harm to readers and is not within the scope of educational content as it reads almost as a how-to on suicide methods. We've seen studies that people do go to Wikimedia projects, when researching methods of suicide, and that when they find this kind of specific information, it makes the harm worse, so these pages are a serious risk.

We also have serious doubts on the educational value of parts of the book - see for example the page on “Methods/Immolation”.

Another concern we have is that this kind of information is illegal in many places in the world and raises the chance of Wikibooks and other projects being blocked in those places.

This kind of information hurts the projects overall and makes it more difficult for us to defend the community governance structure from harmful legislation.

I hope this information is helpful to you for making an informed decision about the ongoing deletion discussion. If you want more background, feel free to ping me again and I will try to provide whatever you need to make a good decision. --CSteigenberger (WMF) (discusscontribs) 07:24, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

@CSteigenberger (WMF): Misuse of statistics is, alas, a very widespread problem. "We've seen studies that..." is hearsay; we'd need to examine the studies and assess what they actually mean, if we're to take such claims seriously. Can you direct us to information about these studies? --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 23:02, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks CSteigenberger (WMF) for clarifying, and I got the gist of T&S concerns right in my guess above. My response: Per Pi zero, can we have some examples of these studies, preferably blind studies for those who read wikibooks and then committed those acts vs those who don't, in a large enough sample and random enough sampling. The demographics will also be helpful as I know we can present different content to different audiences (based on mediawiki extension). On per educational value, this is something we can discuss and improve I guess.
For legistration and illegal, I don't buy this. I know these firewalls personally as I interact with people living under firewall on a daily basis. I will say that if we censor our content just to make sure the censors don't censor us, we are quasi bowing down to the censors. Let it be IP Block Exemptions, paid VPN subscriptions or etc, we should use these rather to trim our contents and values to satisfy the censors.
I suggest we examine the entire book page by page to see how we can make sure people don't get hurt or there isn't false information. An approach can be having warnings on every page (my homewiki does this for every medical / legal article) or a landing page for people to get the warnings before diving into the books?
However, I would like to thank T&S for their good handling of this situation by talking and not arbitrary summary deletion as office actions. Commendable and Kudos to the team. --Cohaf (discusscontribs) 15:52, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
Hi Cohaf and Pi zero,
Thank you both for your continued interest and the good, respectful discussion.
I really appreciate the idea of going through the book page by page, leaving hatnotes where it makes sense and either improving content or deleting pages, where there is no educational value to preserve. After our initial review, there are a number of concerning paragraphs that include personal advocacy, do not include reliable citations, or cite repeatedly to the same limited, unbalanced sources, and have other issues. Part of our concern about the legal and policy issues is that these articles, in their current state, do not reflect Wikibooks policies. Ensuring that potentially harmful content is treated with utmost respect and care helps us defend the projects. Do you have any idea about the time it would take to do this kind of review? --CSteigenberger (WMF) (discusscontribs) 08:04, 4 September 2019 (UTC) I am almost tempted to jump in and help in my volunteer capacity, as several of those pages offend my professional knowledge in that field, but I am aware this would be outside our standard practice.
@CSteigenberger (WMF): Please note, you have not yet responded to the question that I and Cohaf both asked, regarding studies. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 11:23, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I have one study that is specifically about content on Wikipedia about suicide—Gunnell, David; Derges, Jane; Chang, Shu-Sen; Biddle, Lucy (2015). "Searching for Suicide Methods". Crisis (Hogrefe Publishing Group) 36 (5): 325–331. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000326. ISSN 0227-5910.  There are also studies that discuss the way people consult general information resources on suicide—Biddle, Lucy; Derges, Jane; Goldsmith, Carlie; Donovan, Jenny L.; Gunnell, David (2018-05-24). Harris, Keith M.. ed. "Using the internet for suicide-related purposes: Contrasting findings from young people in the community and self-harm patients admitted to hospital". PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science (PLoS)) 13 (5): e0197712. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0197712. ISSN 1932-6203. —and the effects of media coverage of suicide-related topics—Gould, Madelyn; Jamieson, Patrick; Romer, Daniel (2003). "Media Contagion and Suicide Among the Young". American Behavioral Scientist (SAGE Publications) 46 (9): 1269–1284. doi:10.1177/0002764202250670. ISSN 0002-7642.  There are extensive bibliographies of research in this field available at Reporting on Suicide and the 13 Reasons Why Toolkit. I appreciate your interest in looking at this issue closely. --CSteigenberger (WMF) (discusscontribs) 07:27, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
@Pi zero: and @Cohaf:, did you find some time to look at the articles I linked? If you need more time for reading, this is perfectly understandable! I just would love to continue this discussion, so please let me know when you feel up to coming back to it. --CSteigenberger (WMF) (discusscontribs) 13:37, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
For my part, I've not yet gotten to them but fully intend to. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 15:10, 27 September 2019 (UTC)
@CSteigenberger (WMF): I've been there. I've had a rope around my neck. So please, listen. Every second a depressed person is reading about suicide, including methods, they are not cutting their wrists. That's a win. I'll look at the studies you linked, but it's extremely difficult to get such research right. I bet none of them will take into account how many badly informed botched suicide attempts that resulted in permanent damage were replaced by more successful attempts when better information was available. It's even less likely they will consider the ethical implications of that. If I had to guess, better information would result in some botched suicide attempts become successful suicide attempts but also some botched suicide attempts becoming no suicide attempt. But the latter is really hard to measure. Many botched suicide attempts are followed up later by successful ones. If such a succesful attempt is replaced by a botched attempt, researchers would likely consider that a win because the heart of the patient is still beating. But it's a shallow victory. All you've won is a little more time in now even more pain.
If you want to reduce suicide (in the US), restrictions on gun ownership would likely be effective. Guns allow for very impulsive actions. Getting a chair and a rope, tying a knot, etc. simply takes more time. Making any kind of death cocktail takes more time. Getting in your car and driving off a cliff takes more time. You wouldn't even have to ban them, putting them in a safe that takes at least 20 seconds to open would help. (but this is difficult to enforce) Even just storing the weapon and ammo in different rooms would help. WMF can't do much about this, but maybe that should be added to the book. A depressed person who reads it may actually separate their weapon and ammo to protect themselves from an impulsive decision. You might save someone. And this isn't patronizing.
But now, the book. If you tell a suicidal person they are not allowed to kill themselves or try to keep information from them, they'll become more suicidal. They already lost control. Control over their lives, their destiny, their happiness. People don't become suicidal because they're too lazy to fix their problems. They become suicidal because they believe they can't fix their problems. You need to respect their decision. It's a Chinese finger trap. If you try to talk them out of it, you're only pushing them further away. Don't censor the book. The information can be found elsewhere, and anyone looking for it will go there. And if you think that's a good thing, consider this: if they are reading stuff here, chances are they will make a contribution. You may think that's insignificant, but it isn't. If they become a member of this community, they will gain both some respect and control over something. (their contributions) So maybe after all there is something the WMF can do. Figure out how to reach out to people who feel depressed and get them involved in a WMF project. Let the community embrace them. And yes, this is an alternative account. You have almost certainly seen a contribution of mine. But that's how much of a taboo still exists on being depressed, even more so on being suicidal. Chinese finger trap.. Suisock (discusscontribs) 17:43, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for sharing those thoughts. I'd sensed the discussion was lopsided due to something missing on that side of the ledger. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 15:40, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
@Suisock:, thanks for weighing in and bringing your own, individual and emotional perspective.
However, I still think we all, staff and volunteers alike have the same responsibility here - and that is to ensure that the content we present is correct and presented responsibly in alignment with all the policies of our projects. Looking at some pages of this book, like e.g. Suicide/Firearm or Suicide/Toxification/Diazepam we doubt this.
Please let us discuss what we can learn from the studies linked above about how content on suicide can be presented in a responsible way. Let us discuss if the book and all its chapters can be redacted in a way that meets such criteria.
Please also be aware that we as WMF staff are not the only ones concerned with the book in question and the impact parts of it might have. We have been contacted by the Samaritans, a major suicide prevention organization, and they have expressed concern over several pages of this book. I really think we should listen to the experts in the field, bringing their professional expertise and either improve the book or delete it. --CSteigenberger (WMF) (discusscontribs) 10:41, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
@CSteigenberger (WMF): You appear to have missed some important points re Suisock's remarks and the overall situation. (And yes, I'm very aware I still have to examine the documents you recommended.)
  • Their remarks were evidently highly rational and carefully thought out. Don't stray down the road of labeling things you don't want to hear as "emotional"; I've seen institutions do that to trivialize their opponents when the institution doesn't care what anyone else says except as a nuisance to be overcome.
  • A major theme of their remarks, and a major problem for the Foundation generally for (many) years now, is that statistics are usually misinterpreted. People who claim (often sincerely) to be basing their decisions on statistics are likely to be seeing in the statistics what they want to see rather than anything actually there. So when you talk about "what we can learn from the studies above" — what that is remains to be seen; and Suisock's remarks bear on what can and perhaps cannot be learned from the statistics; and there are things to be learned directly from Suisock's remarks, so that it's not safe to think of a decision here as being based solely on statistics.
  • A pessimistic reading of your remarks would suggest you'd force us to decide to do what you have made up your mind to require us to decide to do, and you want to be able to pretend (perhaps even to yourself) to have given us a voice in the decision. (Remember Henry Ford, offering the Model-T in any color as long as it's black?)
--Pi zero (discusscontribs) 16:28, 9 October 2019 (UTC)


Content added by Leucosticte[edit]

User:Leucosticte added a great deal of content in a very short time. Some of it appears to have been published before they added it here making all their additions suspect. For example:

  • This edit[1] was made a minute after there prior one and added more than 16,000 bytes of text. It is unclear if the emails that that page contains were released under an open license.

Additionally the content is not really educational in nature. Together with that and the copyright concerns I believe we should delete their contributions. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 08:38, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

(@Doc James: Moved it here as it is relevant to the deletion discussion going on here. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 15:04, 5 September 2019 (UTC))

100% agreed. Nathan has some serious issues that he needs to work out in a venue other than our wikis. —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:09, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
@Koavf: Who's Nathan? Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 16:56, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
The person we were just discussing. —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:42, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
So, is there a potential copyright issue with some of the material? If so, that ought to be removed first so we can contemplate what remains without that complication. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 23:39, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
User:Pi zero The thing about picking up copy and pasting is it is not always easy to detect especially years later. If a number of a users edits have concerns and they are adding text faster than a human can reasonable write such text than based on the cautionary principle IMO it is reasonable to simple delete it all. Expecially when you add in the fact that the contributions are not educational / are fairly unsavory. Seriously Wikibooks should not be a "how to guide" on how to die by suicide. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 12:23, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Now, that's clearly mixing the issues; I was especially hoping to separate them, so we can get a clear reading on each. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:52, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

PDF.[edit]

You cannot upload PDF., Right?--46.35.99.34 (discuss) 00:45, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Usually, uploads should go to c:. What did you have in mind to upload here? —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:30, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
I would like to move File:Manual de Bolsillo Wikipedia - Wikimedia Argentina.pdf from Commons. Just as I pass text to b:es:.MONUMENTA (discusscontribs) 01:58, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
@MONUMENTA: If it's already on Commons, why do you need a local copy? —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:05, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

The consultation on partial and temporary Foundation bans just started[edit]

-- Kbrown (WMF) 17:13, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

@Kbrown (WMF): The first two wikilinks on your message are broken, because they need an additional Wikipedia: prefix; at least, that's how it misbehaves on this project (and, I see, also on en.wn). --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 18:41, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Feedback wanted on Desktop Improvements project[edit]

06:53, 16 October 2019 (UTC)