How to be open about being closed | Limn

“Even if it has its own version of the right to be forgotten, Wikipedia’s procedure for “forgetting” is very much its own. Every edit is logged, stored, and debated with reference to the community policies and principles before being approved. Every point of every debate over every edit is also logged, along with the references to the relevant policies. One can therefore find a comprehensive, indelible memory of everything that was ever forgotten, why it was forgotten, who advocated for it, and who objected. Far from being fundamentally at odds with the idea of forgetting—of closing down material that infringes on individual privacy—the open encyclopedia embraces it. But it manages to reconcile the apparent conflict between open and closed by being open about being closed. This suggests a general strategy by which those working within the open paradigm can feel comfortable within its limitations. If the participation, the policies, the processes, and the end product are all “open,” then maybe forgetting need not be seen as an ideological compromise….”