So what do we do about the people who don't want their biographies written up on Wikipedia? The dead trees standard (see last month's post) has some support but not consensus. Well here, for the first time in two years, is a really new solution:
Suppose we noindexed biographies of living persons, upon the subject's request.
First the basics, then the details. Suggestions welcomed.
Basics: A subject who doesn't want his or her biography to show up on Google could email OTRS with a request to have their biography noindexed. The biography itself would remain on Wikipedia, but the search engines wouldn't crawl it anymore.
Details: The ability to noindex in mainspace would be tightly controlled. Policy would restrict its use to BLP articles only, and the developers would toggle the ability only for select users. P possibly this ability would be restricted to functionaries. A log would be generated of all noindexed biographies, which would be reasonably accessible (viewable by all administrators)? The specifics on access would need to be nailed down, but something along the lines of that scope.
Generally speaking, most biography subjects' chief complaint has to do with the high ranking given to Wikipedia articles by search engines--combined with the difficulty in preventing malicious vandalism. Most of the objections to deleting biographies upon request have to do with the desire for encyclopedic completeness. So this looks like a viable compromise. At the very least, it's worth discussing.
Many thanks to the folks at WikiVoices for the brainstorm that led to this idea.