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Submissions/Content and policies

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This is an Open submission for Wikimania 2017 that has not yet been reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 2007 Subject - C2
Title of the submission

Content and policies: a comparison of Wikipedia in English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans and Frisian

Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)


Author of the submission

User:Ziko van Dijk

type of submission


Language of presentation


E-mail address



User: Ziko

Country of origin

Germany, living in the Netherlands

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)


Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

A wiki is a platform to publish content and work on it. Contrary to popular belief, Wikipedia and most other wikis have strict rules and expectations about the quality of the content. Content related policies are an important element of the Five Pillars of Wikipedia.

But wait a minute. Five Pillars of Wikipedia? That is the case in English Wikipedia, but German Wikipedia has only four "basic principles". And Dutch Wikipedia has five bullet points listed as "golden rules" and additionally a longer list of proposed rules. The related Dutch wiki page historically stems from the English example, but at a moment in time knew only "three real rules". Afrikaan Wikipedia has three "core principles" and five "basic principles". Frisian Wikipedia describes Wikipedia in three rules and has additionally a wiki page with the "four F": content should be Frisian, Factual, Free and "Objektif".

My study compared these five language versions of Wikipedia in order to look at their autonomy with regard to policies and content. For sure, all language versions are modelled after the English example, but they also had a development of their own. How big are the differences between the language versions, do the rules actually forbid something in one version what is permitted in another one?

In the lecture I will first make introductory remarks about "wiki law" in general, followed by a short presentation of the five Wikipedians and their social background. I will show some examples and end with what is my general impression of the differences and their relevance.

What will attendees take away from this session?

Attendees are made conscious about the diversity of the language versions of Wikipedia. They learn more about the "legal orders" of wikis, and, maybe some participants are going to look at their own language versions and see how some problemes are solved there.

Theme of presentation
  • WikiCulture & Community
  • Maybe: Legal & Free Culture?
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?

not much of relevance here

Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

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  1. Ragesoss (talk) 00:23, 25 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Gnom (talk) 12:57, 26 March 2017 (UTC) Let's make Wikipedia green![reply]
  3. Rhododendrites (talk) 13:45, 27 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 14:49, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]