The Puzzle of Openness
I use the word community to speak of a group of interdependent people who “participate together in discussion and decision making and who share certain practices that both define the community and are restored by it.” Wikipedia community members do share common practices and norms; as we’ve seen, they share a collaborative culture. Furthermore, the Wikipedia community can be further understood as “prosocial” in that it exhibits behavior that is intentional, voluntary, and of benefit to others. But even if we can defensibly claim it is a prosocial community, can anyone claim that it is truly open? Such a question requires a better sense of what open means.
However, there are many questions about the openness: what is the scope of “anyone”? How to balance values?... Wikipedia is an example of an open content community. it can be difficult to balance the associated values of transparency, integrity, and nondiscrimination, as well as other concerns such as free speech and the safety of people and the project itself. Furthermore, boundaries are a fundamental feature of any community, even for those that aspire to openness because it is rarely a simple binary of open or closed. We have to concrete successful open system one by one.