User talk:Jimbo Wales

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I need some help[edit]

I would like to discuss you with my current situation with things. And it has gotten to the point that i do not trust the administration system itself. If you could hear me out, i would like some help in the matter. the highest i would possibly go is the arbitration committee. Over time, more and more of these occurrences have occurred with these members, however as the same situation occurred, more and more members have noticed the punitive bias certain members have grouped.

With what has happened and very limited both in knowledge and time to get back into Wikipedia, my options are limited (no matter how many people claim i have options, they are simply not in my situation). i would really like to return to Wikipedia, but only if there is an investigation behind the history behind certain recurring members throughout my history in Wikipedia, and perhaps some additional comments from members who also noticed this form of bias. If i'm right about this, this could be a major hole in how the administrative action system works.

If you are free and interested to know more, i would be willing to give further details. If you're too busy to take a look at this, it would be good to at least know you are and perhaps point me to someone with arbitration (that i can trust). But i wuld really appreciate it if i can also mention other editors who have noticed similar action. Lucia Black (talk) 08:47, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Another suggestion i would like to ask for is turn WP:PUNISH to be turned intoa policy, if possible more than just a guideline. Lucia Black (talk) 03:55, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't represent Jimmy, the WMF, or anyone/anything else in any capacity. A lot of people ask me, and I never promise that I'll bring attention to any cause before understanding it fully, and I speak up on relatively few that I have looked in to. I have next to no direct influence, and none that isn't out in the open for all to see. I'm almost 100% pure n00b to the project. Come to think of it, right now all's I got going for me is a blog some Wikipedians look at from time to time. But if you'd like to tell someone your story, I'll lend you my ear. Just drop me a note on my talk page if you're interested in borrowing it. Best. -wʃʃʍ- 08:31, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Wllm I am willing to share. Hopefully it goes somewhere. I would still like Jimbo Wales to be completely familiar with the situation and the loopholes within the ANI system. Lucia Black (talk) 14:55, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
[1] shows the most recent ANI against me, however considering it is heavily controversial decision at the end and was even asked for questioning. Other members have stated certain key issues throughout the discussion for those who stone-walled more sanctions primarily near the end that i find very informing. However, I personally consider Calathan's comment to be the most informing on the current situation. She noted that all i was doing was questioning the previous sanctions, and that was not necessary to put more sanctions on top it. Even if there was a "clear" consensus for it by the community, there was not any additional action that they could've implemented after the AN report, other than the use of WP:BATTLEGOUND, which they use completely on the basis of word choice, not that my edits are done in efforts to play games with members or go to war with them.
There are a group of members who are familiar with me who see there is a sense of bias in the AN/ANI community. Members such as TheFarix, Knowledgekid87 have noted these members in my talk page [2][3]. Not only that, but even members who had no prior history with me such as betafive and Reyk also noticed this.
What i do want to get out of this is that the AN process was butchered or not done with proper procedure. There was no clear consensus for an indefinite topic ban, nor was there a discussion of which topics i should be topic banned. Not only that but there was clear strong opposing opinions to at least say no additional action, especially on grounds of just questioning sanctions (which i was given permission to do so). But more importantly, there was no additional action that they had to warrant any additional sanction. So even if there was a consensus, the admins should've looked carefully. This is why i believe there needs to be a double jeopardy rule, sort of speak. A member can't have additional sanctions if he has not done anything knew afterwards. One member claimed he was un-involved, but if you read carefully, he appears not to be bias in favor of a certain member. Another uninvolved was more tackling of whether he "could" not whether it was viable. Which the bulk of it is, that technically an Admin "could" go against the community if s/he feels there's not enough to warrant it. if Go Phightins! knew that, he would've most likely went against the community if he truly felt against the sanctions were unwarranted. So i urge you to please look deep into the matter, at least in this current situation. Lucia Black (talk) 07:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
While I do not wish to relitigate the issue – it was a complicated thread with all kinds of proposals, and my closure was upheld by a community review – I believe your suggestion that admins should have the power to override community consensus is fundamentally at odds with the goals of this project ... one of the five pillars is that we are governed by consensus. Not just as an admin, but as an editor, I have a major problem with changing that. Go Phightins! 10:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I tried to understand your situation. I really did. But after 30 minutes of reading through impossibly long ANI discussions about which blocks previously imposed on ANI may or may not have been violated according to rules that may or may not be enforceable with various punishments no one can agree on, I'm no closer to figuring out what any of this has to do with an encyclopedia. Simply put, these proceedings have taken on a life of their own. A very tedious, repetitive, and artificial life, at that. It all strikes me as a colossal waste of time; in any case, I'm not going to spend any more of my time reading through it. And it's not because I don't care. It's because this soap opera only obscures the most important issue at hand. In your fight against injustices that you think you've received at the hands of others, you are doing yourself the greatest injustice of all. Whether you decide to continue contributing to Wikipedia or not, please don't forget to take good care of yourself. -wʃʃʍ- 13:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
@Go Phightins!: It was held on whether you had the right to conclude it the way you did not whether it was just. In the past, administrators have chosen against the community if they are aiming simply to be WP:PUNITIVE, but it all depends on the administrator. You wouldn't be breaking the 5 pillars if you did. You could've banned me, even if there was no consensus and you would've worked within your rights, and i definitely believe an uninvolved admin would have allowed it anyways. But even then, you yourself don't agree with the action done, and with shaky grounds, rather than closing it, you could've added your 2 cents and further establish a consensus.
But before we this gets off topic, the key point is that regardless of consensus, there wasn't any new grounds to hold any new action. Administrative action was already done, all i did was question it (and was given permission to do so). Instead of defending it on the grounds of it being reviewed by admins, lets look at it objectively. I asked an admin if i had any ground on questioning a sanction, and if i did. I could i have permission to do so. The admin told me to i did have some grounds and i did have permission to do so. Quickly afterward, the same group of editors you know nothing about have stone-walled the consensus into turning it into additional administrative action.
To me, you allowed the group to game the administrative process and so did several other uninvolved members, not because what was asked was "warranted" but because of what subjectively is "consensus". But lets not change the reality, there was no consensus for an indefinite topic ban on all Japanese media. Yes, the supporters of the siteban compromised within themselves last minute for a topic ban, but again, these were the same people who had no consensus for a siteban, and no one really had a chance to discuss it properly to even establish that it indeed was a "consensus". Wikipedia relies on consensus, but consensus does not mean "vote-count". Its all about what the community wants. But subjectively, the community was split, and also several members also disagreed with it. Even most of the supporters among themselves have agreed that the topic ban in range would definitely equal to a site ban. And the fact that the community opted for a closure review suggest there was no consensus.


@Wllm: I think you are choosing to not understand if you're telling me you're not going to read through the discussion. My issue has definitely become on the Administrative system and how easy the community can deceive them. And quite frankly, your ending statement is sort of insulting as you're telling me i'm giving myself an injustice and really not even attempting to clarify what you mean. There's a larger picture, but it will take a load of time to explain. I rather just talk about the most recent issue. Lucia Black (talk) 17:46, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah. I meant that you seem to have spent a lot of your time on the ANI page with only stress and a topic ban to show for it that could have been spent on editing articles about stuff you're passionate about instead. Maybe the word "disservice" would be more accurate. But, again, it's just my stupid opinion. In any case, best wishes. -wʃʃʍ- 19:07, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thats part of the problem. I'm banned from the very thing i 'm not only passionate about, but knowledgeable too...My editing has put at a halt. And if you read it, there really is no strong consensus for an indefinite topic ban on the subject i'm passionate about. Lucia Black (talk) 19:16, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

@Jimbo Wales: I urge you to take a look at this, and truly see the injustice of it. I know there are multiple editors who don't see this as what the community wanted. And if you just a quick glance at it all, you'll notice some gaping holes in the administrative system. I genuinly believe a double jeopardy rule needs to exist, even though it seems like the principle is already being taken place, the current situation proves that administrators are willing to overlook it and add more sanctions on top over literally nothing. Lucia Black (talk) 18:13, 20 October 2014 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Let's clear a few things up. "And the fact that the community opted for a closure review suggest there was no consensus" -- this is a load of garbage. I opened the closure review in order to make sure I read consensus correctly. Uninvolved administrators and editors (Drmies and Thibbs for example) reviewed my close, and found sufficient basis thereof. Promulgating misinformation is not going to help your case, nor, frankly, is an extended discussion on Jimbo's talk page. You may appeal your ban in due course, but I would suggest demonstrating non-combative editing elsewhere in the encyclopedia first. Go Phightins! 01:03, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

  • At best I see unfounded accusations of admin abuse and a conspiracy here. Attempting to discredit the admin who closed a discussion will not lead to a removal of the topic ban that the admin saw consensus for. The community's patience with these ponderings (and the ever-present battleground mentality) from Lucia Black is, I believe, exhausted. Drmies (talk) 01:09, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • All I can say is that I remain skeptical that the only area in which Lucia Black is capable of editing is that from which she is banned. When asked to demonstrate to the community that she can edit collaboratively and abide by WP:CIVIL in other topic areas, Lucia Black's repeated refrain has been that she is caught in a Catch-22: she can't demonstrate that she can edit collaboratively because she is banned from the only kind of articles she is capable of editing. Well I'm dubious. This really looks like a self-imposed WP:PUNISHment to me. There is a clear path forward toward rehabilitation if Lucia Black only chooses to follow it. -Thibbs (talk) 02:09, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Lucia it sounds like the issue is what happens when things don't go well. You can work with other editors very well I have seen you do so and really want you to come back to the anime/manga project (isn't the same without you and your knowledge about Sailor Moon).When things go the wrong way though I have also seen you not show the best judgement and this is being honest I wont give you answers you want to hear here. I feel though that editors were already upset over things you did and some were looking for the perfect excuse to pin you down. Had you stayed silent and continued working on other things related to anime and manga for at least a few weeks I am sure the pot would have cooled. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:21, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • It's not a good idea to let the community get too strongly involved in judging other editors. The role of the community here should be restricted to presenting its views on what the problem with some editor is. But when that's done, the community should move on and let Admins or Arbitrators handle the process. Because we do let the community far too much say in the entire process, we end up with mob justice in some cases. In the real world, we have independent prosecutors, juries and judges who are completely free to take decisions regardless of what the community thinks. Count Iblis (talk) 02:38, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Reply to Lucia[edit]

Lucia: You are your own worst enemy. Please stop being so antagonistic, and please stop trying to blame everything on a punitive Wikipedia culture or on your enemies. I have said, at WP:AN, that I support the lifting of your topic-ban. However, if you continue fighting, I will strike that !vote. Remember that I proposed the topic-ban as a substitute for the site-ban that some other editors wanted. Remember that you started this by arguing that the local topic-ban on Ghost in the Shell would give Ryulong an "incredible advantage", not on the grounds that the local topic-ban wasn't appropriate. You were more concerned with getting at least a draw in your fight with Ryulong than with the quality of the encyclopedia. That was you, not us. I am willing to give you one more chance to contribute to articles in the only field that it appears that you want to edit. Don't blow that chance away. Stop forum shopping (and if you don't know that coming here was forum shopping, you should be site-banned). Your case is running at WP:AN. Please stop trying to get Jimbo or the WMF to intervene. Just let the process run its course, and stop being your own worst enemy. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:15, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

I will only say that is inaccurate. If you wish to know the full truth, i will gladly mention it. But I ask you to not insult me. Lucia Black (talk) 03:23, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Jennifer Lawrence naked on Wikipedia again[edit]

Jimbo, exactly as I predicted, someone has made stolen naked images appear on Wikipedia's biography of Jennifer Lawrence again. I don't credit myself with any special powers of prognostication, it was just obvious that this would happen again if we didn't find a way to prevent it. Dozens of female celebrities have recently had stolen private images leaked to the public. Unless we find a way to stop this, we can look forward to it happening over and over. And the remarks on Talk:Jennifer Lawrence show that readers do notice and aren't happy. What are we doing to fix this? Legit Alternate Account (talk) 14:30, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

I highly recommend that we move the image that we want in the article onto English Wikipedia and link to it locally rather than at Commons. In this way, we can make sure that at least English Wikipedia lives up to our ethical standards. This should be the case unless and until Commons does the right thing and protects the image on their end. It is a terrible loophole that something critical on Wikipedia is left vulnerable to shenanigans on commons.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:38, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
The infobox image has been fully protected on Commons for several days. The other images were fully protected about 12 hours ago, and are set to stay so until April. You know, if someone had just asked a Commons admin to do that.... -mattbuck (Talk) 14:44, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Why weren't the other images protected after the first time this happened? Legit Alternate Account (talk) 14:50, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
JImbo, that's fine for Jennifer Lawrence, but what about the literally dozens of other celebrities involved in the recent leaks? And what stops naked Jennifer Lawrence pictures showing up on unrelated articles? Legit Alternate Account (talk) 14:50, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Apparently you can just ask Mattbuck to protect them and... problem solved. If that turns out not to be true (I won't prejudge the question) then I recommend moving them to English Wikipedia and protecting them here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:53, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Post a list of articles whose pictures you want protected at commons:COM:AN and we'll take care of it. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:59, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I avoid participating at commons due to the blatant harassment of me that is tolerated there.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:01, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't stating that you in particular had to do it, but if someone could come up with a list of what articles/images need protecting, that would be helpful. -mattbuck (Talk) 15:45, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
What is your suggestion to stop this? --NeilN talk to me 14:51, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Beyond not allowing uploads, there's not really any way to avoid it. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:59, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
That's obviously untrue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:00, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
???. What's to stop editors from uploading pictures and adding them to wherever they like? There's no magic solution, just like there's no magic wand to wave away vandalism. --NeilN talk to me 15:04, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I have to ask why we (or commons) allow images to be replaced in this way, without any checks. It is an obvious vulnerability, and we appear to have no mechanism whatsoever available to detect it. Why not? There must be software available that can compare old and new images to see whether they are similar (reverse image searches clearly work that way) and the occasional false positive would be no more problematic than those from our existing anti-text-vandalism bots. And if we can't do that, perhaps we should consider some kind of mechanism for allerting those watching articles using images that the image has been changed - an automated post to the article talk page would be better than nothing. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:04, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Is there anyway I can help out?Mirror Freak My Guestbook 15:06, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
It seems that if someone can get a list of images in 'Fappening' affected articles to Mattbuck, he'll protect them at commons.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:09, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Have we tried to compare the names of the photos that the vandals are uploading? There may be some kind of similarity between them.Mirror Freak My Guestbook 15:12, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Changing file names is trivial. --NeilN talk to me 15:14, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
The vandals are replacing images that are already on Commons, so the filename doesn't even get looked at. Someone correct me if I'm wrong about that. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 21:08, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Such a mechanism would be very helpful, Andy. Some easy way to detect that stuff certainly. I mean, I have some 82k pages on my Commons watchlist, which is enough that I can't actually edit the raw watchlist anymore, but even if all those were images it's not even close to 1% of Commons. Most images likely are watched by their dead account uploader and no one else. -mattbuck (Talk) 15:50, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Following a suggestion above by AndyTheGrump: could software be used that assesses the similarity between an existing image and a replacement? I suspect most updates are very similar and could be accepted automatically, while radical changes with low similarity could be flagged for attention. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:58, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
It's better than nothing, but for images where there's cropping or things are being moved around for any one of a hundred legitimate reasons, it's going to create a significant number of false positives which will require equally significant amounts of volunteer effort to approve. Nick (talk) 00:21, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

For so you know, All pictures from enwiki article of Jennifer Lawrence have been protected. All naked images from Jennifer Lawrence (at least all we are aware of) have been deleted from history and oversight. I've just reported it to the Legal and Community Advocacy team. Do not hesitate to contact one of our fonctionnary (even privately if one don't want to go on Wikimedia Commons). --PierreSelim (talk) 06:10, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Pierre. The discussion here is about how to stop this from happening again and again and again. There seems to be absolutely nothing to prevent vandals from replacing the lead image in Ol' Waylon Sings Ol' Hank (to choose a random article) with a naked image of Jennifer Lawrence (or any one of dozens of other celebrities who have had their private images stolen and leaked to the internet recently). Legit Alternate Account (talk) 15:00, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

The situation on Commons[edit]

The situation at Commons and the situation with civility in English Wikipedia are similar in the sense that a Wikimedia community has gotten out of line with WMF guidance. In the case of Commons, it is apparently simply out of control, and maybe WMF needs to intervene. In the case of civility in the English Wikipedia, reasonable editors can disagree, but the community is ignoring or disregarding the (nominally overarching) WMF policy. It appears that the WMF can't or won't enforce its own policies. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:13, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

How does this have anything to do with the Lawrence situation? --NeilN talk to me 15:16, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Robert, could you please explain quite what you're referring to regarding civility and Commons? -mattbuck (Talk) 15:51, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I am referring to two different situations that are related only in that two Wikimedia communities behave in ways that are out of line with WMF intent and the intent of Jimbo Wales. The civility issue doesn't have to do with Commons, but with the English Wikipedia. WMF and Jimbo Wales favor high standards of civility. The English Wikipedia has low standards of civility. Some editors essentially get a pass on civility. Very little can be done about it, because if one of them is blocked, the block is reversed by another admin, and the restoration of a block would be punitive rather than preventive. Jimbo Wales expresses concern about the deteriorating civility situation. There has been discussion of the use of WMF resources to address the issue. I know less about the Commons situation, but it is my understanding in the specific case that a legitimate image of the actress was replaced (vandalism) with a stolen nude image of the actress. Has the Commons editor who replaced the image been blocked or banned from Commons? The two situations are not related, except that they appear to illustrate disconnects between WMF policy or intent and the actual environment in the Wikimedia community. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:02, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
If you know less about the Commons situation, why comment it was out of control? A quick check would have shown you the editors were blocked with no fuss. [4] --NeilN talk to me 16:12, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for blocking the vandals. I will add that part of my comparison of the two situations is that in both cases Jimbo Wales complains, but either doesn't do anything or doesn't do anything obvious, although he has reserved powers in English Wikipedia that he doesn't use. (Does he have reserved powers on Commons?) Robert McClenon (talk) 16:43, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Clarification: I had nothing to do with blocking the vandals. That was the admins on Commons. Jimbo has the founder flag on all Wikimedia projects. --NeilN talk to me 16:49, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to whoever blocked the vandals. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:38, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I have to take issue with the idea that these people are somehow "Commons vandals", they're vandals that have attacked the entire Wikimedia family of sites, every single Wikimedia Foundation wiki that uses these files was affected. I'm also quite frankly shocked and very disappointed that you think the administrators on Commons wouldn't block these accounts. There's the obvious and very important moral argument about uploading these images, we know the subject asked people not to view them or further distribute them, so respecting the subject's wishes is of course paramount, but there's a boring, practical legal issue - these images are simple copyright violations that have to be deleted, we have a legal and a moral responsibility to make sure that copyright violations are not distributed further, which we do day in, day out by blocking those who upload copyright violations. Nick (talk) 00:59, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
When I made the suggestion, Commons responded in about an hour. Ideas for restricting overwriting of files or improving watchlisting are being discussed now. I think that Commons deserves to be dealt with in good faith here, without the whiff of pessimism I'm getting above. The overwrites to files have always been problematic - they can be used to retroactively make User: pages look scandalous, or to get into POV battles -- or worst of all, and most frequently, they are used to "update" figures over and over again, contrary to WP:NOTNEWS and WP:RECENTISM, so that instead of having individual snapshots in time for, say, the spread of an epidemic, we end up with a mess of old history versions, none especially accurate, where the functions of removing errors and changing the time the file represent are slurred together preventing the creation of an encyclopedic resource. Yet, of course, we do need to be able to make corrections to errors; maybe a same author mechanism, with an admin exception for rare cases, would work. But please, talk about it, don't just diss Commons.
As for protecting every celebrity in "The Fappening", there's only so much we can do. If we froze every one of their articles so that nobody could add new images, then we'd be "punishing" them by hindering coverage. If people can add new images, they'll never all be protected. While it is fair to give special protection to Lawrence since she has been singled out here, it's not obvious that the people who didn't complain will be similarly targeted. We need to balance the risk -- hindering the flow of information to the 20,000 people day after day, month after month who view Lawrence's article, versus roughly 300 people who saw the picture during each of the two photo substitutions. To me, Wikipedia's purpose is supposed to be sharing information, and it deeply troubles me when people put the goal of blocking information so high above that this purpose isn't even weighed in the balance. Wnt (talk) 01:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
The image used in the infobox of our Jennifer Lawrence biography is also used in 32 other pages on other Wikipedias. I don't know how many people saw the naked image the first time it happened or the second time it happened or the time it happened here on Jimbo's talk page, but factor that in to your calculation. Remember that we are talking about a stolen private image of someone naked which appeared on one of the most popular sites in the world (Wikipedia)! It is entirely inexcusable. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 00:49, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
The Spanish and German versions seem to get about 1/10 the traffic of ours for this article ([5] [6]) and I assume most of the others are likely much less, so while it is true I should correct for this, it's maybe 400 instead of 300. Being "one of the most popular sites in the world" doesn't matter if people aren't actually visiting that article and seeing that image. I'm not saying that we want stolen images like this, but if 400000 people view our article every three weeks, we don't want their ability to read about Lawrence (including to read her up-to-date social commentary on this incident) to be unduly damaged to reduce the risk that 1/1000 of them could see one of these images posted contrary to our policy. Wnt (talk) 18:39, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
None of what has been discussed would in any way inhibit readers from accessing any article. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 20:54, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I want to take a moment to really call out and thank two editors, Bawolff and especially , who responded to the comments at the "Better watchlisting" thread and came up with a workable, all-BLP watchlist that allows people patrolling Commons uploads to spot this sort of reupload vandalism. Their solution, implemented via Faebot on Commons, could still be improved on (there is still a 15-minute refresh rate in having the bot update the statistics) but it is already a timely extra line of defense that will genuinely improve the response time to at least some incidents of this kind. Wnt (talk) 18:39, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

This will do nothing to prevent another incident. Any unprotected image can be replaced by a stolen image of Jennifer Lawrence (or the infamous goatse image or anything else). Dheyward has pointed out that we can't even manage to get all the images featured on the main page protected, so I have lost any hope that this will get dealt with. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 20:54, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, we can't prevent such images from being shared and have an encyclopedia that people can edit. There's nothing at all to stop the vandal from taking a "Fappening" photo and uploading it as a fresh file, adding it to any article in the encyclopedia. We're never going to have 100% vandalism-proof articles. And really, we shouldn't hope to. Vandalism is merely the brutish nose of reality intruding into our antiseptic little space, and as long as it doesn't disrupt operations, it's not a big deal, or even altogether negative. Vandalism reminds us that it's not our place to completely stop people from communicating even things they ought not; it reminds us that our articles are not perfect and invulnerable, but the fallible work of fallible human beings. Every variety of beauty is rooted in what is ugly - take away the potential to be ugly, and the beauty is also gone. No luscious apple without a stem, no lovely midriff without a navel, no pretty blue sky without a blazing sun. And the beauty of crowdsourcing, likewise, is rooted in the primordial vandalistic impulse to change things up - it is a logical impossibility to remove the potential for "bad" posting completely and not destroy the ability to improve the articles. But what we can do is get a lot of eyes on the most vulnerable content in a hurry, and limit the overall impact to something negligible. Wnt (talk) 23:49, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
That was beautiful. All I would add is to quote Meatball wiki - "Soft security is not weak security.". Bawolff (talk) 12:33, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Well.... despite my liking for that page's sentiment, I should note that the front page of MeatballWiki asks participants to use real names, is read-only, and contains at least three spam links in the "Joining" paragraph; the site as a whole I think has no recent changes for the past week. :( Wnt (talk) 14:44, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Obvious suggestions[edit]

Since @NeilN: asked me, here are some of the obvious suggestions to deal with this problem:

(1) Don't allow brand new accounts to replace existing images.
(2) Images that are uploaded to Commons should be approved by someone before they can be used. I'm not the first person to suggest this, but it doesn't hurt to repeat the suggestion. Why would you let anyone upload random images and not check them for copyright status, personality rights, & etc before you let anyone with an internet connection see and use them? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Things that won't work: protecting images after vandals have already used them or protecting all of the images of Jennifer Lawrence (for example). Any image can be replaced with a naked picture of Jennifer Lawrence. My thanks to the vandal who made that point clear on this very page a few minutes ago. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 21:23, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

The first one would be good (though exceptions should be made for own files), but the second one... it would be like turning on flagged revisions across all of wikipedia. In a way it makes sense, but it goes against the idea that "anyone can edit". -mattbuck (Talk) 22:28, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't prevent anyone from uploading pictures, it just requires that the pictures are approved before they can be used. How does that go against "anyone can edit"? Legit Alternate Account (talk) 22:34, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
@Mattbuck: Any idea how many images are uploaded to Commons every day? --NeilN talk to me 22:53, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, this is going to be very unscientific, but looking at commons:Special:NewFiles, the first 200 take us back roughly 20mins. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:20, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but what percentage of uploaded images are actually used in articles? I did a similarly unscientific check of about two dozen images added 24 hours ago, and found only one used -- a rate of under 5%. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 00:47, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I think any approval process would have to be at the Wikipedia-level (when an unchecked image is added to an article), not at the Commons level, as there's too much incoming trivial stuff to wade through. If approval implies you've checked for copyright violations then that significantly adds to the time (there have been instances where it's taken me ~10 minutes to properly ascertain the copyright status for an image). For a first cut, approval might mean the image isn't obviously inappropriate. This would require software changes which prompts the question, how prevalent is this problem? I know we've had a recent spate of high profile incidents but the addition of inappropriate images (content-wise, not referring to copyright) to articles is something I rarely come across. --NeilN talk to me 01:34, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
If the answer for not checking that each uploaded image satisfies the criteria that Commons has defined is that "it takes too long" then why bother setting criteria at all? Legit Alternate Account (talk) 03:54, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
This doesn't seem to make sense. It's like asking if your speed isn't monitored at all times, why bother setting a speed limit at all? --NeilN talk to me 09:26, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is like that. Or, the situation on Commons is like saying that guns and bombs aren't allowed on planes, but we don't bother to check you or your carry-on luggage. Analogies are fun. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 14:53, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
So you're comparing paid staff checking for objects used to commit terrorism to unpaid volunteers checking for copyright violations. How absurd. Do you want to apply pending changes on every Wikipedia article as well? --NeilN talk to me 15:02, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I would rather discuss ways to fix the problem than get involved in debating details of poor analogies. You seem to be resistant to looking at any changes to the status quo. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 15:22, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I sketched out a first cut solution along with a question. You replied with the unhelpful "why have any rules at all?" --NeilN talk to me 15:30, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Checking images at each Wikipedia when they are added to an article would do nothing to mitigate the problem of replacing the existing image on Commons. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 15:36, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
mattbuck has already said your first point was good. I'm trying to address your second point. --NeilN talk to me 15:41, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Flagged revision of upload is not gonna work efficiently in any case. But I have a third suggestion: Anyone who wants to upload new image to Commons has to be at least autoconfirmed user in any Wikimedia project assuming they're using global account. So this new rule would not affect those experienced normal users who seldom upload image to Commons but actually prevent brand new accounts from making disruptive upload. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:32, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Why should an user who's only interested in donating photos be forced to make text edits? --NeilN talk to me 03:36, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
The threshold of passing autoconfirmed in English Wikipedia is sufficiently low. If a brand new user dreadfully wants to make massive uploads on Commons, they can ask another user for proxy upload, so the files are at least (theoretically) examined by a 3rd party who has at least some basic knowledge of our policies. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 04:25, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Slow down there. I see no reason to assume that this couldn't work efficiently. For one thing, it might be useful to distinguish between people who upload one, two, or ten images and people who upload hundreds of images at a time. Let's ignore the massive, semi-automated uploads from Flickr and other known sources. How many images are uploaded per day (excluding bulk uploads and bot uploads)? Legit Alternate Account (talk) 03:53, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
@NeilN:, any thoughts? Legit Alternate Account (talk) 15:37, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
@Legit Alternate Account: You're looking for stats I can't give you. Maybe the WMF should get a staffer to come up with these numbers along with answering the questions I posed above? What we're talking about requires a software change which in turn needs a justification. --NeilN talk to me 15:49, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

A really obvious solution is not to have images in those articles. Images aren't a requirement and notable celebrities have enough external links if people need pictures (maybe we need a "no image" page protection flag). We've always had vandalism and can never stop it completely. Even with lockdowns, the images will move to other areas. e.g. do we prevent uploads for images in the main page? BTW, I'd also suggest checkusering all uploaders of the material and storing that information for either law enforcement or civil suit. If any of the women have filed, it might be in WMF's interest to join them as victims in any class action as a show of support and access to logs of uploaders, page views, etc. --DHeyward (talk) 16:53, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Images which are used on the main page of Wikipedia are always protected from changes (for exactly this reason). Legit Alternate Account (talk) 00:53, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Go check the images. One was fixed after I pointed it out, the bot broke and there was an incident Monday of a pornographic replacement. How hard would it be to replace the Picture of the Day (it's wide open as are the other ones except the one I pointed out elsewhere). --DHeyward (talk) 05:34, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
In that case, I give up. We deserve whatever we get. Legit Alternate Account (talk) 13:06, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I do have an alternative solution: Currently, Commons has a different autoconfirmed requirement than Wikipedia does. On Commons, you become autoconfirmed if you create an account and wait 4 days, no edits are required. I believe that that is a giant oversight that should be fixed; 10 edits should be mandatory to become auto confirmed. That's the first bit. The second bit is that non confirmed accounts are not allowed to upload new photos of established images that are not their own. These two technical restrictions would go a long way; It will still allow users who seldom upload photos to commons to release their images under a free license, and reupload better versions of their images, since they will be allowed to upload new versions of their own images but not allow them to upload a new image to an established image without at least making 10 edits in all to Commons. I believe it balances out the 'everyone can contribute' bit of commons with the nature of caution of brand new accounts uploading vandalism images to commons. Tutelary (talk) 23:59, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

@Tutelary: What are they going to edit on Commons? --NeilN talk to me 00:19, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Well generally, people on commons don't usually edit much outside when they first upload and maybe a few edits altering small details on the file. The restriction of allowing them to only upload new versions of their images wouldn't matter much since only a small majority would actually want to upload a new version of a file that's not their own. Very few people on commons do specialized image enhancement work and would need to upload a new version. Those that do easily amass 10 edits patrolling. I've seen maybe 10 since I've been lurking, it just doesn't happen very often. But for an exact answer to your question, probably asking questions, getting into patroller work, that type of stuff would add to that count. Tutelary (talk) 00:25, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
@Tutelary: So this new auto-confirm level would only affect the ability of replacing pictures not your own? If so, good idea. BTW, a new report has been made available. [7] --NeilN talk to me 00:30, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and I see that Fae's watchlist is a good thing as well, but it'll only catch it after it happens, whereas I think what we're looking for is a solution to prevent it. Tutelary (talk) 00:38, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

One other suggestion: krinklebot was fixed and protects images on commons that are transcluded to wikipedia main page. I don't see why we couldn't extend this to all images transcluded to wikipedia. People would be able to upload new images, but images used on Wikipedia would be protected until reviewed/requested. That would fix a lot of problems. --DHeyward (talk) 05:12, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

My two cents' worth: this is a difficult problem to solve if the vandal has an autoconfirmed account. Protecting a specific image is only a partial solution, as it would prevent only misuse of that image. Some articles may need a new type of protection which prevents images from being changed without review by a trusted user.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:33, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking of a "reviewer" right at commons where the image version Wikipedia pointed to was static until accepted at commons. It allows updates and allows usage of new commons images but it stops those images from appearing on wikipedia. We have reviewer privilege at WP so it seems the code is in place. The last piece is a bot to canvass all images in WP and flag them for "reviewer" at commons. --DHeyward (talk) 07:04, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Some images are hosted locally on Wikipedia. The good news is that abusive image uploads are usually spotted and deleted very quickly, but user accounts with a very short edit history should not be allowed to add or change images without a review. At the moment, it is too easy for a person to wait for an account on Wikipedia or Commons to become autoconfirmed, then do whatever they like as long as the article or image are not fully protected. The current WP:AUTOCONFIRM time span of four days or 10 edits on the English Wikipedia is too short IMHO. It should be more like one month and 100 edits before the user can add or change images without a review.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:40, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I could accept that for changes to other people's images (reupload right), but the problem I have with limiting ordinary uploads is that many people will first get involved with Commons after they've just snapped a bunch of educational photos - back from the museum, back from a trip to India, digging out after the tornado, whatever - and if we don't let them have a quick route to upload those photos to Commons (the usual destination) what's going to happen is they'll put away their photos, get settled back in at work, and forget all about us. And we will never get the license to copy those photos even if they distributed them on some other image sharing site using (generally) a more restrictive default. Wnt (talk) 17:53, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That's exactly it. If an image is currently being used in WP, a trusted reviewer is required for an "update." Randomly uploading images is fine and commons can be a repository for whatever those uploaders choose. When they want to include their images in an article, it's either a new reference/file which is subject to WP article control or they have to overwrite an image of the same name which is "reviewer" controlled. If we don't like the control being with Commons reviewers, make it version lockable at the WP article. --DHeyward (talk) 05:27, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps the most affected articles should be put on pending changes. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:24, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The issue is image updates on commons are reflected immediately regardless of WP. No article edit is required. The main page normally bot locks Commons images but not regular articles. A "pending changes" at Commons would help but I can replace an unprotected image with an "update file" action at commons and there is no change to the WP article except the image is updated. --DHeyward (talk) 05:27, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Here's what krinklebot protects for the EN main page [8]. The main page is at the mercy of this commons bot working. Why we wouldn't extend this for every image used on WP currrently doesn't seem to be overly burdensome considering we are ceding all this power to commons anyway. --DHeyward (talk) 05:39, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

In review[edit]

(1) Drama-monger Lightbreather does the I-quit-I-quit-I-quit-Eric-made-me-do-it shimmy. (2) The I Hate Eric gang shakes. (3) Jimmy Wales pops in with a gratuitous comment about a guy he has tossed from this page rather than going to ArbCom and offering legitimate testimony against him. (4) Eric, who never once in his entire fucking life failed to take the bait, takes the bait. (5) The I Hate Eric chorus pokes him with a stick. (6) Jimmy chips some more. (7) Eric blows his top and immolates himself. Very nice work building an encyclopedia, all of you!!! —Tim Davenport /// Carrite (talk) 23:47, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

On the bright side, User:Chillum had the good sense to not make it an indefinite block, so we have a better chance of avoiding the long AN/I thread, the drama and "popcorn" comments by onlookers, the early unblock by a supporting admin, more drama over that, a couple admin retirements, etc. ~Adjwilley (talk) 00:27, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I heard popcorn? 'Tis the season, again, pictured, - again? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:34, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Let's hope. Someone find some wood.--v/r - TP 01:16, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I had to step away from that discussion myself--and take the Editor Retention page off my watchlist. —Neotarf (talk) 00:32, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm saddened, that my keep calm advice (at Retention) to fellow editors, hasn't been heeded :( GoodDay (talk) 01:23, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Now we have evidence that Lightbreather, Eric Corbett and Jimbo Wales are fallible human beings instead of bots. Does this result in megabytes of ranting and raving, or thoughtful de-escalation? I hope for the second option, but I am an eternal optimist. That means that I am destined to be disappointed quite often. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:13, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Jim, this entire thing was a provocation from start to finish. The threat to Wikipedia isn't a couple people with short tempers who habitually use rude language, the threat to Wikipedia are the crop of gameplayers who are here for theatrics and controversy rather than to build an encyclopedia. Carrite (talk) 14:37, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the threats aren't mutually exclusive... Gaijin42 (talk) 14:41, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Could someone provide a short summary of what this is all about for those who don't follow wikipolitics? -mattbuck (Talk) 15:56, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Mattbuck Do the value of contributions from high-content editors outweigh any problems caused by their incivility. The rest is a lot of counter accusations of who is actually incivil, who should be banned (Largely Eric Corbett and some others in the "incivil" side, with others (mainly those accused on the first part) saying Jimbo and "drama admins" should be banned.) and if the accusations of incivility are themselves more disruptive than the original incivility. Gaijin42 (talk) 16:16, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Editors were offended by "bad words" being used in various discussions. Some people defended the use of those "bad words", others argued that in the context they weren't actually "bad", still others claimed that part of the "problem" was in the level of offense taken by their use. Then various formal procedures ensued (ANIs, ARBCOM, etc.) and then some of the offended parties began to edit policy pages with little or no effect. There are/were IMO quite lofty and well meaning intentions to make an immensely diverse (culturally, grammatically, el. al.) community adhere to a fairly narrow and strict set of standards. There continues to be discussion as to if (not what kind of) a solution exists. My 2 cents... --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:48, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Oh, don't give the poor guy this horseshit. Nobody was offended by "bad words"—there's no rule against them. It all has to do with the persistent, aggressive way in which said editor uses such words. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 05:02, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough... So in your assessment of "the persistent, aggressive way in which said editor uses such words", is how the reader interprets these words part of this equation or is it entirely based on the perceived intent behind the use of the words? Communication is a bi-directional process, otherwise is just a speech... :) --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:48, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Don't play this game. We're not talking in the abstract about "bad words", and we're not talking about words that have been misinterpreted. We're talking about words used with clear intent to attack and intimidate—they have been cited and linked to ad nauseam all over this page. Mattbuck sums up the situation well—"do the attacks or the content contributions carry more weight?" You're "summary" is dodging and obfuscation. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 21:26, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Point taken... And I agree that there are things said, to use your phrase, "with clear intent to attack and intimidate". I'm just trying to make the point that if there is less reaction (in terms of the vitriol, hyperbole, and exhaustive rhetoric and posturing) that the Editors using them will have less of an effect on this site and its Editor community at large. How we encourage people to be "less offended" and more tolerant, but not to the point of complacency; I haven't a clue. But I feel it needs to be discussed as part of the solution to this issue. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 21:30, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
You see, this is where Eric and his followers have obfuscated the issues: we're supposed to encourage people to be "less offended" by someone who editwars with you while leaving edit comments laden with intimidating attacks? It's one thing to say "sticks and stones", another when the editor in question is ruthlessly trying to obliterate your work and intimidate you into staying away—which is the point of Eric's (very typical) "I've told you once, I won't tell you again". No swearing, even, but there you have all the aggression and attempted intimidation that people are talking about, all the while fucking up the article with his ignorance, and then draining people's time, patience, and energy with yet another marathon "discussion" in which he simply refuses to accept the presented facts, and then divas off when even his talkpage stalkers won't back him up. Even that wasn't enough for him—he continued to trash me behind my back on his talk page, and leave "you're the cunt" messages on the talk pages of other editors. So tell me, Scalhotrod, how encouraging people to be "less offended" would have made this a better situation?
I have no idea whatsoever how anyone being "less offended" would have made this situation better. But I do believe that words only have the power over us that we allow them to. I have found that quite often that a verbal bully can be shut down simply by ignoring them. That said, your dif is a perfect example of what I have come to accept is just not worth being or getting upset about, whether its done by Eric or anyone else. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 00:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
@Scalhotrod: I'm perplexed as to why you think the situation had anything to do with the "power of words"—are you misinterpreting this as me being upset over a pissy edit summary? Did you look at the "discussion"? Nobody was talking about the edit summary. It was Eric's behaviour—editwarring even after provided with RSes showing he was empirically wrong, and he wasn't about to give up. You're suggesting I should just ignore his persistent disruption to an article I was in the middle of copyediting? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 00:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I was not reading into or digging any more than the examples you have provided. If I need to review the Talk page to get a better idea, then I will review it. But if you are even partially upset by his editing while you were as well, I have no sympathy for circumstances like that when there are so many other options to choose. If fact when I review the Talk page for that article, it looks like the most egregious thing Eric has done has been to refrain from communicating. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:00, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, you'll have to explain again—I've read this over five times, and all I see is one long non sequitur. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 04:10, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Hence why this drama keeps going. Regards, --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 04:17, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Right, right, right—because it's everyone else who's the problem, and evidence to the contrary will just be ignored.. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 04:33, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Curly Turkey, shame on you, you get my point perfectly...! :) Brilliantly put! No one accepts responsibility for their actions and constantly blame others. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:21, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for the practical advice—next time we'll all just not blame anybody, and our problems will trot away on a glittering pony. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 23:16, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I was getting the impression that you were here to sake something substantive, but if you just wanted to vent, that's OK too. Take care, --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:03, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
No, of course I'm here to debunk the meme that Eric is being scapegoated for his language rather than his disruptive behaviour, as I made clear with my first reply to your "summary". The spinning obviously will not abate. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 22:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My apologies for not appreciating your eloquence, but that's not what I got from your comment. But hey, that's part of why this mess is unfolding, misunderstood communication. And for the record, I'm not defending Eric, he's perfectly capable of that. But back to my original point, in the same way that any Editor has the responsibility to be civil towards others, the receiving party has the responsibility to not make it into something its not meant or intended to be. That seems simple enough... --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 16:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

"misunderstood communication"—and so we're back on this treadmill ... Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 23:05, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


This is why I chose to speak up here—Eric's fans have latched onto the whole "cunt" thing, and have deflected the discussion to paint the situation as Eric being "scapegoated" over his dirty mouth. He's no scapegoat, and it's not his cussing per se that's getting people worked up—it's his persistent and intentionally aggressive disruption. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 12:23, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
As for Eric specifically, it is my personal opinion that he should be judged by his peers. In this particular case I would have to say that it is at minimum other Editors that have been on the site for as long (or longer) than he and those with a comparable edit count. The Feature Article accomplishments and accolades are a nice achievement, but probably should not be taken into consideration. My 2 cents... --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 00:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
(arbitrary break)
  • I think it is high time our beloved founder step away from commenting on Wikipedia and Wikipedia editors and leave opinions to the masses. Are you so naive as to think that if you, the founder of Wikipedia and a valued opinionater, made a passing remark critical of Eric Corbett, that it would go unnoticed? The Hivemind takes you word as law, Jimmy. Your opinions are worth more than anyone here, so do not be careless with words. KonveyorBelt 22:13, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
User:Konveyor Belt Don't you think that's why Jimbo did it, it's a tactic designed to poison the well. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 15:54, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't have any idea what you are talking about. It was an honest remark, surprisingly well received by the audience. "A tactic designed to poison the well" is meaningless in this context.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:42, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Well if it was on purpose, then he's a fucking asshole and really needs to leave. KonveyorBelt 19:13, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
The problem is all of the evidence is circumstantial here. Yes he mentioned "the annoying user" not an annoying user which would indicate that it is someone in particular. It is sort of like saying "Here today we examine the human species" as opposed to "Here today we examine a human..." What Jimbo is saying is broad and refers to all users that have the annoying user mentality in common. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Really? Because I think Jimbo knows exactly what he's doing and who he's referring to. KonveyorBelt 15:18, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
@Konveyor Belt: You have nothing to prove it though so what is the use going on like you do? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:01, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
For the record, I think there are a great many annoying users who, through toxic behavior, damage the encyclopedia by driving away people who create good content, and prevent newbies from ever learning to shine. In my remarks at Wikimania, I did not have any specific user in mind, but I did have several examples in mind. I think a surgical and fast removal of about 10 people from English Wikipedia would result in a renaissance.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:42, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I figured that you weren't targeting one user in particular but in fact were making a broad statement. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales, Let me preface this by saying, I personally value the opinions of founders greatly. I have had the great fortune to know several such as Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera along with working for Chuck Geschke and John Warnock of Adobe Systems. In chatting with these people found their insights into their companies and industry rather amazing.
That said, I have to ask... Just 10? That's it, nothing else but the removal of 10 User accounts from this system would result in, the use your term, a renaissance? --SChotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 22:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
It might work, but only if one of those ten is Jimbo himself. Eric Corbett 22:50, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Being nice[edit]

I am surprised at the way everyone is being hostile here. Wikipedia is a place where people are supposed to work together to improve the worlds knowledge. This cant get done if we are all fixated on tackling Jimbo or trying to prove everyone wrong.Amanda Smalls 14:56, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

If only my advice (at WP:RETENTION) had been put into practice. Loosing one's temper, rarely helps at the 'pedia. Please folks, spread the words - "Make love, not war". GoodDay (talk) 15:04, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I stand with Amanda and GoodDay in saying that it is very important to me that Wikipedians be nice to each other. We all deserve respect. This is a personal value that I bring to the project, and one that I would like to share with my fellow Wikipedians. -wʃʃʍ- 15:51, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
    The only way to improve the situation on Wikipedia is hiring mentally sound, completely independent from the community professionals to handle dispute resolutions.218.63.252.146 (talk) 16:59, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
    While that may be a way to improve the situation- I've often heard this proposed to handle the most extreme examples of bad behavior that might put vulnerable members of the community, like minors, in danger, but it might solve other issues such as running grudges and enemy vs. ally thinking, too- it's hardly the only way. I think we all should stop looking for ways to force others to be respectful and promote respect by practicing it. This starts by being respectful ourselves, of course. But I believe it also means having the courage to speak up when we see one community member being disrespectful to others. We don't have to wag our fingers; simply stating openly that we don't believe a comment doesn't reflect the better values of our community is enough for anyone who has little context- like a new editor- to see that there are those who share their belief that everyone deserves respect and want everyone to have a good time while working on Wikipedia. This may make a much bigger difference than some veteran editors who have developed thick skin over the years may realize. It also wouldn't hurt to thank other members for voicing disagreement in a particularly respectful way. These are all things we can start doing right now, and the more people who take these first steps because they believe it's the right thing to do, the easier it will become for others. -wʃʃʍ- 18:01, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
    (edit conflict)But no mentally sound person would want to handle dispute resolution on Wikipedia. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:12, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
    I really don't think that is true at all - there are many good people who want to handle dispute in all kinds of situations around the globe. In fact, that statement seems to be attacking the mental competence of people who really do try to help - see my comment below about online nastiness. Neatsfoot (talk) 19:44, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Hi Amanda, I agree with you 100%. But, I've been involved in web communities and internet interaction for many years, and my main (and saddest) conclusion is that the faceless nature of it brings out the worst in many people. The nasty side of people who are safe and hidden from physical personal contact can be very nasty indeed - exceptionally nasty in some cases. Neatsfoot (talk) 18:52, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you're right. But I believe that it goes beyond fear of bodily harm, if that's what you're implying by "safe and hidden from physical personal contact". I think it's all too easy to forget that there are people behind the usernames. People with feelings, just like our own. When grudges have developed, this is an incredibly hard problem to tackle. Do you think there's anything that we can do to encourage respect and discourage put downs? -wʃʃʍ- 19:19, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
While that may be true of the web generally, I don't see anything particularly nasty about what has been said towards Jimbo. I think some of his comments here have struck a raw nerve with a lot of people which is why a lot of respectable editors here have been outspoken, beyond being concerned with Jimmy's "constitutional crisis" and focus on civility. Your "Do you think there's anything that we can do to encourage respect and discourage put downs" remark though is rather ironic in this case. I'm not knocking Jimbo for thinking that calling people the c word is unacceptable on here, but I personally found his "allegedly good contributions" remark more offensive and disrespectful and an attack on content contributors at large who know how much hard work it takes to get an article to FA status. I agree with Casliber, I'd rather be called a cunt than have somebody publicly reject the hundreds of hours of hard work I've put into the site as if it doesn't exist. I don't think it's a coincidence that a lot of productive content contributors here including myself, Casliber and HJ have been outspoken on this. Jimmy, I strongly recommend that you look at the hard work put into articles here. Look at this originally here. Now compare it to the current article. Are you telling me that's an alleged good contribution? You may detest Eric, but you don't realise how some of your snide comments have come across to others who work hard here and have offended those who Eric has been of major assistance to and in some cases the difference between an article passing FA and not. By my count Eric has contributed 47 featured articles and 30 good articles to the project, not to mention hundreds of others he's had a hand in but not credited himself for. 47 featured articles is in no way, shape or form only "alleged good content". Bramshill House is another I worked hard on with much assistance from Eric, Yngvadottir, Drmies and others which really should be FA by now. He was instrumental in helping me get Abuwtiyuw, an article on an obscure Egyptian dog to FA status. To publicly stand and dismiss that level of project contribution because you find the behaviour of the individual ludicrously uncivil is an attack on the many of us here who are involved in the process. At least acknowledge the contributions, even if you think they pale in comparison to incivility.♦ Dr. Blofeld 06:48, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I have no intention of taking part in this witchhunt—I couldn't give two fucks about either Jimbo or the Drama Queen—but, Doc, but I gotta call horseshit on your above comment. The Corbett has absolutely no compuction totally slagging the tens of thousands of productive edits of fellow editors (that one from back when I had a mere "nowhere" fourteen FAs to my name). Jimbo's "alleged" and the innuendo the thin-skinned choose to read into it pales in comparison, and I know other good editors have gotten it worse than I have (fuck, Eric's never even called me a "cunt"). If you're gonna defend Eric, try at least to be honest about it—there are plenty of us who refuse to censor our sailortalk, but only one who's being dragged through the mud for it, so let's not pretend it's merely for his pottymouth. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 08:55, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not trying to defend what he's said Curly, but all I'm saying is in no way can you dismiss his actual contributions as "allegedly good". That's what bothers me the most. Surely you can't deny that he has contributed something of real value to the content on the site even if you find him highly uncivil.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:01, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Have I done either? Of course not. I'm just this faux outrage over Jimbo's "alleged" makes me want to barf. We're supposed to believe that (a) Jimbo actually meant to dismiss all of Eric's positive contributions with an "alleged", and (b) even if he did, it actually matters? Sounds like canned drama to me. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 09:10, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Good point, but I do think it matters that the founder and public face of wikipedia doesn't seem to place much importance on content on wikipedia and that the people running the site pursue things which as HJ says are a distraction to building actual content. The "allegedly good content" remark I see as part of the wider overall attitude of them towards the people who come up with the real goods here, even those who are perfectly civil. I find it very discouraging as a contributor here that the people running the site seem to have little time for content contributors or ever give them much support beyond fundraising, that's why the remark bothers me in the wider context. If you banned Eric there'd be many others who would have to banned. Why is Eric being used as the scapegoat for all of the problems with incivility on the website? ♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:22, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Providing a space for them to publish their work is support; making a call for others to work together with them is providing support. Who else do you want to ban? Your claim that whoever they are, excuses others is another disconnect. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:46, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, I don't think there's any evidence that Jimbo "doesn't seem to place much importance on content ". It's not very helpful for anyone to keep repeating the same slur. He might place slightly less emphasis on content than some do, or than on some other aspects of encyclopedia-building, but I doubt even that. It's true he doesn't do much personally, but I don't think that should be held against him. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:14, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
But, in the overall scheme of things, is getting "an article on an obscure Egyptian dog" to FA status really that important? I'm not meaning to denigrate anyone's contributions, but I do question whether attempting to "perfect" (as some do) articles on obscure subjects is really the best way - or only way, as some seem to see it - of advancing universal knowledge. I admit that it's fun to try to do (and it's better having a really good article on an obscure Egyptian dog than not to have such an article), but I simply question whether it's as important in the overall scheme of things as some make it out to be. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:25, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Some of us were drawn to Wikipedia in the first place because it was sometimes the one place you could find decent info on certain out-of-the-way subjects. If it weren't for this long tail, many of us would never have bother to drop by, let alone stay. I'd say that articles on obscure dogs or whatever are exactly what gives Wikipedia its value—you can read about World War Two or Leonardo da Vinci anywhere, online or off. Wikipedia, on the other hand, gives you (more often than not) the information you're looking for now, and not just those articles someone somewhere has deemed "important in the overall scheme". Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 09:03, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well said, Ghmyrtle, the contributers who do so get their plaudits, if they are into that, but it's entirely overblown, if someone wants to invoke privilege over others for that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 08:40, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Not as important as getting core articles like Enid Blyton, Frederic Chopin and Greater Manchester to FA no, but our goal it to get all articles up to FA status and make them the best we possibly can, is it not? @ Alan Who said "if someone wants to invoke privilege over others for that"? I'm not saying that that level of contribution means that you can justifiably go about calling people cunts, but I am saying that "allegedly good content" for editors who know how much work it takes to run the FA process 47 times is a big kick in teeth.♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:47, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Of course. But some goals are more important than other goals. Incidentally, I agree that the words "allegedly good content" were not well-chosen - but everyone, even the most experienced, uses poorly-chosen words on occasions (which, probably, is why we're here). Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:51, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
What Dr. Blofield poses is a disconnect - no one is criticizing anyone for working on better content. Alanscottwalker (talk) 08:55, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes they are. Jimmy publicly dismissed 47 featured articles as "allegedly good" content. That was pretty mean-spirited too, whether he hates Eric or not.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:07, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I must be awful thick, but no matter how many times I reread his comment in context I'm unable to uncover this malice you allege lies between the lines. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 11:33, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, it is "allegedly good content" - a group of users have alleged it is good, others can decide for themselves. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:10, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Exactly, but by saying it I get the impression that he thinks very little of the FA process and the others involved in it and hasn't taken the time to look at the positive side of him which others here see.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:18, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I get the impression he sees the disconnect, we discussed above. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:22, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't necessarily just mean safe from physical harm, because I don't think it's as simple as that - and I don't think it's a conscious decision. I really just mean we're out of touch with the body-language feedback that characterizes real-world interaction. Face to face, we get quick feedback when we're going too far in confrontation, and that just doesn't happen in online interactions. In fact, I've found myself getting aggressive in online interactions where I just wouldn't in normal conversation - and it's occasionally shocked me. And when it comes to people who are naturally aggressive, well, it can become horrible. Neatsfoot (talk) 19:31, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Very true. There is so little unspoken communication, that we often don't even pick up when someone is joking. Getting to know each other- even online- seems to be a big part of reminding people we're all humans. A lot of Wikipedians may not feel like revealing more about themselves in hostile environments, however. Maybe that would be one of the benefits of speaking up to say that we expect respect. -wʃʃʍ- 19:46, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I'm not necessarily suggesting it, but what if people who wish to be part of the community were obliged to register with their real names? (Practicalities of how to achieve that are considerable, but I'm just thinking theoretically). As a start, at least, I think it's way past time that unregistered editing was stopped. Neatsfoot (talk) 19:58, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia would turn into Citizendum. They are all required to use their real names. Experts on certain subjects have their opinions taken as gospel, as well. Also, feel free to start an RfC, but I would be one of the people to oppose it; there was an analysis on this I believe and while there were some vandalistic edits, there was still a threshold of good faith contributions that they still allow it. Plus, some editors don't want an account, preferring to edit with just an IP. Tutelary (talk) 20:14, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
As I said, I'm not necessarily suggesting it - these are just free ideas rather than actual proposals of any kind. We're just talking, and not anywhere near RfC. Neatsfoot (talk) 20:23, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
It also crossed my mind that we've hit on another potential benefit of removing some anonymity for editors. But, as Tutelary tells it, there are so many other considerations both pro and con that none of us want to get in to here if we want to stay focused on the issue of respect. I'll try to remember myself, but when we do have a rigorous community discussion about re-evaluating anonymity given what Wikipedia has grown up to be, would you please chalk that one up for the pro side? :) My name's Wil Sinclair, BTW. I'm not supposed to say it, but the next thing people find most interesting about me is that I'm the partner of the current WMF ED. My deepest, darkest Wikipedia secret? I wish that wasn't so damn interesting to everyone. Anyways, best! -wʃʃʍ- 02:32, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the culture of anonymity is going to change any time soon (in fact, with the way Wikipedia's crowdsourced governance has gone, I don't see anything significant being changed), but anonymity is, to a large extent, behind the nastiness that we see online. The more anonymous a person feels, the more likely they are to be abusive to others in a way they would not face to face. There are exceptions, of course, and some people are abusive under their real names - but in a way, I find that more honest. (And yep, I'd worked out who -wʃʃʍ- is ;-) Neatsfoot (talk) 05:46, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
One simple step that could help - just a little - would be to add buttons whereby editors on talk pages could "like" or "dislike" other users' comments there. Only the numbers "liking" or "disliking" would be shown, as on Facebook and other sites. That way, users could get an inkling of the support that individual comments had. Just a small step, but it could help. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:15, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales: What's your say Jimbo?Amanda Smalls 19:52, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
The most surprising thing I have seen is that my very strong defense of content contributors against an environment of toxic hostility is being interpreted by some as not caring about content contributors. My overall point is that merely alleging that someone's content contributions are great entirely misses the point which is that for some of them, their horrible abuse of others has an enormously negative impact on content contributors. Some leave completely. Some participate less. Some become resigned to a hostile atmosphere and allow themselves to descend to a similar level. Other, lesser editors, pick up the signal that being a jerk is ok, that using misogynist terminology can be hand-waved away, and themselves see very little reason to behave in a kind and thoughtful manner. There is a solution to this: defend content contributors against abusive behavior - even by other content contributors.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:37, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not questioning your desire for a civil community and where drama doesn't fester and become hostile and toxic. In practice I would too. And I also don't want editors to leave the project. You stated that banning Eric would be a very strong defense of content contributors on wikipedia but I've not seen any real evidence that Eric is responsible for dozens of great contributors leaving on a daily basis or even a regular basis. I'm aware of Khazar, an editor who I had a lot of respect for, but if somebody could compile a list of editors he directly forced out with diffs and retire notices I'd be more likely to accept it. I know a lot of editors from time to time have run into Eric and have felt exasperated with something he has said, I did myself, but I also know a lot of editors who came out of it (myself included) with greater respect for him and seeing how productive he can be in practice. Unfortunately I can't monitor what happens across the website on such a scale that I'm aware of every new editors who leaves, but I do think that your tendency to focus on his negative side and the fact that you're only approached about Eric over his behaviour has affected your view on what he actually does on here 90% of the time. That's why some people see that banning him or at least dismissing his work here as "alleged" as the opposite from defending content contributors and in all honesty why he's still here. We've witnessed what he does firsthand and value that more than the attack. An article like Trichy which User:Vensatry were struggling with which had prose problems and he gave it a full copyedit and it passed FA. I value that sort of thing a great deal on here.
The more disruptive aspect for me is the drama that is created and the hostile environment which escalates which I've said on several occasions really needs to stop and to change the way it is handled. I've not watched your talk page in a few years, but some of the things you've said recently have concerned me and I'm worried about where the project is headed which like HJ and Casliber is why I've been commenting here a lot in recent times. I've always been complimentary about the way in which the foundation keeps the website free and free of adverts, that's priceless, that's providing support for editors and hosting content granted, but I do get the impression that you and the foundation aren't focused enough on promoting content promotion on the website and attracting new editors and experts and allow issues like this to take up a lot of your time and are a distraction from what really matters. If promoting a civil environment is the key to building an encyclopedia and supporting content contributors, then as somebody suggested above, Eric doesn't lie at the centre of the problem. The problem lies in edit/revert scheme, drama boards, and the way talk pages are set up which encourage incivility and heated disputes rather than civil collaboration not to mention certain administrators having the power to police above editors who are a lot more valuable to the site in terms of production. If you're serious about promoting civility as the key to successful collaboration and encyclopedia building, then some major changes need to take place in how incivility from regulars is dealt with. If sweary personal attacks are not acceptable, then they need to be universally enforced and completely not tolerated from anybody. The civility blocks especially should be abolished and replaced with a system in which editors are given a certain amount of strikes and out scheme in a given year and blocking of established editors reserved to only occasions where they are incredibly disruptive and angry. If everybody has a certain number of chances, if editors have only one chance left before being banned for the rest of the year or something, they'll be more likely to control what they say. It's the only way to really deal with this if you find it too much of a problem to ignore. If you place a value on editing rights as a way to control civility I'm pretty sure you'd see results.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:43, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It seems to me Jimbo's mindset is focused on perceived incivilities coming from content contributors who are not admins. Whereas a far worse source of driving content editors who are not admins away (lower their participation, or drop out/quit) are incivilities coming from abusive admins. (Admins issuing bad blocks, threats to block; admins who go to reg editors's Talk pages to intimidate/harass; admins who break rules and are grossly uncivil with impunity, because they know they can get away with these things, because de-sysop is rare on the site; admins who buddy-up with their abusive admin friends in support of one another in a culture of mutual protection reminiscent of RL police society sub-culture. This is the kind of intimidating and uncivil environment you get when assigning "admin for life" and de-sysops are rare/near impossible -- a corrupted admin system. [Even Jimbo has advised in the past a solution is to make the bit easier to get & easier to lose, but that advice/direction has never been advanced.]) If I'm wrong and intimidation and abuse from bad admins causes less content contributor departure than departures due to content contributors who are not admins, someone please correct me; but I'd wager the problem is ten times the problem Jimbo is focusing on vis-a-vis content contributors re responsibility for toxic environment. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 13:37, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I, too, would wager that the problem of "intimidation and abuse from bad admins" is "ten times" the problem of uncivil content contributors. I don't know of anything that I have ever said that would suggest otherwise. I have said that a view that says that good content contributions should justify or excuse bad behavior is seriously mistaken - it fails to take note of what such behavior does to damage content by driving away good contributors and by lowering the tone of the discussion everywhere on Wikipedia. I say exactly the same thing about abuse from admins. The differences as I see it are these: admins come into contact with a lot more people and therefore a bad apple can cause a lot more harm, and so fortunately, we already hold admins to a higher standard.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:33, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
"we already hold admins to a higher standard." Do we? Do we really implement this? How? When do we ever hold admins to account, for anything? We have a substantial problem where two admins who detest each other will still band together to defend the principle of unchallengable infallibility amongst admins. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:50, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
If Wikipedia is going to start holding admins to account, what better place to start than this very page? Just last night, Black Kite made these [9][10] posts here, which remain visible for all to see. Surely those fall well below whatever the minimum standard might be. Patrol forty (talk) 16:00, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Since we're all busily posting civility diffs on drama pages, am I the only one who finds it hilarious that the same "new" editor that seems so eager to kick Eric Corbett off the island is the same editor who on October 7 posted THIS little gem of generosity, forgiveness, and love??? Carrite (talk) 17:19, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I suspect you're the only one here who didn't notice that in my first post here I expressed regret at having done that, and even surprise that I had not been warned or even blocked. The reasons for that soon became clear when I started to see where the real standards are drawn, which are somewhat lower than is seen in a civil society (which seems to be the basis for Mr Wales' attempts to rectify that). You probably also don't see the irony in the reason for that abuse being because I had been twice accused of having suspect motives, the second accusation coming after the user had completely ignored my reply the first time around, and so I felt justified in engaging in a little 'blunt speaking' in the second reply. If you think I have erred in any way by making that one comment, fine, I accept that criticism as valid. But if you think that somehow makes me unfit to comment on Eric, think again. Because if you do, then I'd be very interested to see any examples where he has ever expressed regret or remorse for any abuse he has given other users, or indeed if he has ever protested whenever anyone has attempted to justify his abusive conduct on the basis he felt provoked. The only commonality between the two is that we both express surprise at the lack of action taken in response to such abuse - myself for receiving not even a warning, and Eric expressing surprise that he was only blocked for two days for using a maximally offensive personal insult, the infamous dishonest c*nt remark. All in all, it's not very hilarious at all, just very thought provoking in all sorts of ways. Patrol forty (talk) 19:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
@Carrite: Enough already, if you suspect Patrol forty then just launch an WP:SPI already and put your money where your mouth is if not you shouldn't be going around accusing newbies here. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 19:39, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't actually take any money to open an SPI, so your comment is a figure of speech, I assume. The only thing I am accusing his "new" editor of here is of having been uncivil himself and therefore laughably inconsistent in getting all worked up about incivility... Of course, the question of why this editor has spent about 75% of his editing effort (outside of drama pages like this page and ArbCom) trying to delete a single more or less innocuous article remains unanswered. It is curious, is it not? Carrite (talk) 20:06, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
At the time of that posting this "new" editor had made a total of 42 posts. Or to put it another way, almost 2.5% of their posts were abusive. And we're being lectured on civility by this person? Eric Corbett 18:10, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not lecturing anyone. And unless you're proposing to give us a figure for how many of your posts are abusive, so we might now if it falls above or below my figure, or is otherwise where you would expect for an "old" user, I simply don't see the relevance to the topic Mr Wales raised, which is the exceedingly high tolerance of users who are regularly abusive over a long period. I'm not aware of any rule here which gives anyone a precise figure for how many of their posts can be abusive, although I do know that someone who has precisely one abusive edit in their entire history, is in a good deal better position in any discussion on civility, than someone who might have so many that the only way their total might be considered small is if it were expressed as an overall percentage. Since I've seen this very argument used in your defence, namely that the sheer number of abusive posts you make might just seem large to some because you edit here a lot, and therefore the overall percentage is small (and therefore OK), I'm surprised you even went anywhere near this idea as a discussion point. Patrol forty (talk) 19:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
You are quite free to do the maths for yourself. Eric Corbett 19:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you are "quite free". Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 23:05, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
p.s. Another element of the WP environment which I believe is way worse than perceived incivilities from content contributors who are not admins for pushing editors to quit, is the uncontrolled, anarchic and nasty/ruthless environment at AN/I responsible for "lynch mob", "witch hunt", "Lord of the Flies", "mud-throwing" to have developed to level of accurate memes. (The governance structure and environment that has developed there as a result, is pathetic: anyone can take anyone to ANI/I for any reason; any irresponsible thing can be said there as editors know that venue is not one to scrutinize what is accused or alleged. It's a nasty environment and form of governance given the absurd title "community consensus". [Drive-bys, wiki-unfriendlies with axes to grind, AN/I loiterers, and admin sychophants are typically very interested to contribute there -- a noxious slice of said "community" -- serious content editors don't frequent that noticeboard as their focus is on developing content. As a result the AN/I forum is like a hall of dungeons and I think every editor realizes this. "Dragged to ANI", another meme, is as though being dragged to public execution/humiliation. An editor is generally advised against defending against all of the irresponsible accusations when at AN/I, which is just used against said editor as fuel for more pile-on/degradation. The entire venue is ugly, primitive, and has fostered abuse. Ditto AN. Even admin Floquenbeam described these venues as near anarchy!]) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 14:19, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) People who leave out of frustration rarely do so because of what they, often correctly, perceive as a hostile environment where cussing at people, swearing, and being called "cunts" has become normalized. It is rare for someone to leave because of a single user, and rarer still for them to declare that they were chased off by a named user. Therefore "real evidence that Eric is responsible for dozens of great contributors leaving on a daily basis or even a regular basis" is largely unobtainable. That does not mean that one should dismiss the damage a disruptive and hostile user can cause. When a user has treated other people with utmost contempt with name-calling and snarky or sexually loaded personal attacks, they are a major contributor to the hostile environment that drives people away.
Even if we did have direct evidence that Eric caused someone to leave, for example a user declaring so in a parting statement, it would be easy to dismiss that too. For example: (a) That user who left is just a WP:DIVA, ignore him and good riddance. (b) The parting statement is a personal attack against Eric, look at the accusations he has to put up with! No wonder he was provoked! (c) The article contributions of the departed user don't measure up against Eric's contributions, therefore losing that user against keeping Eric is a good trade.
I have been mostly in observational mode regarding Eric since I in July 2013 unwisely closed an ANI in favor of leaving one of Eric's blocks in place. I was astonished at the fervor a number of users, including former ArbCom members, were willing to defend Eric and attack anyone who tried blocking him or leaving him blocked, some of them calling for my bit.
I do not agree with Jimbo on everything, indeed I think I was the first admin ever to speedy delete one of his articles, but I understand very well where he is coming from here. Sjakkalle (Check!) 13:45, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
@Sjakkalle: Yes, but do you not think there is general problem with civility enforcement on the site generally and would continue even if Eric was banned? Ihardlythinkso has identified much of the wider problem which exists and is the root cause of a lot of the inflammation here.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:53, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
There is a general problem indeed. Posing questions such as "What about the wider civility problem?" and "what about abusive admins?" is valid, but using that as a reason to ignore Eric's contribution to the mess is committing a fallacy of relative privation. Sjakkalle (Check!) 13:57, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone else see the irony here. This discussion is titled as "Being Nice" I expected good things to come out of this.Amanda Smalls 14:43, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Good has come out of it, I've proposed a system of dealing with "incivility" and how the excess drama can be avoided. If Jimbo and the foundation choose to ignore me and continue with the same system they and the current system are going to hiccup time and time again over issues like this. If you really want civility on the website, stop moaning about Eric and put your money where your mouth is and start making changes.♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:53, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

break 1[edit]

Nobody is perfect. Even the best contributors here do some things wrong with behaviour or (gasp) even with some of their edits. That doesn't mean their good work isn't good work, nor does it mean that bad behaviour or edits are not bad. In a professional environment, people are not expected to be perfect, but are usually expected to try to behave to some standard, and if appropriate, other professionals help them improve. But if someone can not, or will not, remedy significant defects and achieve the professional standard, that person either gets reduced to a contained role, or gets removed. Is Wikipedia a professional environment? Gimmetrow 15:02, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree, as said further up on that wikipedia really wants to be a professional environment but can never be.. If a sweary attack is directly at somebody is prohibited on the site and really that much of a problem (which I can't see but still..), then it needs to be made universally so, including admins. If everybody has a 3 strikes and out on their account, and makes 3 sweary personal attacks in a given period like 6 months or a year, then an immediate ban from the website for six months or a year. Editors can win back a strike by not attacking anybody over a given period like a month or three and working hard on articles without disruption. If editors go through three strikes three different times then an indefinite ban from the website. So basically every editor has nine lives. Editors who know that another sweary remark to somebody will get them get them banned for six months or something, if they're really worth it and care enough as editors they'll try their best to avoid saying anything and keep editing even if they think it. Yes, it might seem pretty childish, but I think it's clear that a basic system like that would at least prove more effective long term than the sweary attack, block. unblock, drama etc happening again and again. I still think the real problem lies where Ihardly says though, and the incivility policy needs to be extended to those who psychologically bully and troll/stalk others on here to win points from their fellow admins. There needs to be something to gauge unreasonable behaviour beyond simple sweary attacks in the heat of the moment.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:11, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Who is going to "call" the "strikes," I ask? What automated system is going to maintain the score? And even if these questions are solved, ultimately this will just change the nature of incivility, not eliminate it. Anyone reasonably skilled in politics — a group which includes most administrators and most regular WP volunteers — is capable of ascertaining where the new lines of acceptable behavior are and modifying the form of their aggression and nastiness. I think what's unusual about the EC case is the way that he is clearly not capable of keeping himself within such boundaries. He is, on the one hand, a great Wikipedian. On the other hand, he just can't. What do we as a community do with somebody like this? Here we are deeply divided. On the one hand we have those like Lightbreather and Jimmy Wales that think such sins are mortal and that he should be thrown in the garbage dump as toxic to the Wikipedia project. On the other hand we have those who (like myself) think that there are actually relatively damned few skilled Wikipedians and that periodic bursts of unacceptable interpersonal communication are minor distractions in the big scheme of things, to be managed by short civility blocks. There is really no middle solution here and that's why the matter is so bitter. One thing is clear: false horror and provocations such as the root of this current incident on this page are more disruptive than the original offensive edit summary by a factor of fifty. It is the provocateurs that need to be taken care of forcefully as part of the solution. A new "game" for the provocateurs to play, with umpires calling "strikes" and scoreboards keeping "scores," will be even more of the same bullshit in new guise. Carrite (talk) 15:56, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
If the certain swear words are considered offensive you could quite easily have an automatic system like with blacklisting for certain words. Every time someone says the c word or whatever a bot will mark the account. Do it three times and get banned for the remainder of the year. Of course editors would find a way around it, and there are far worse forms of incivility as witnessed on this page, but it would at least stop people calling xxx a c-word or telling people to eff off and avoid some of the words that people are most offended by here. I give up anyway, until the people with enough power here see some sense on this and make actual changes then talking about it and moaning about how bad Eric is solves nothing.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:56, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Again, you're giving off mixed signals. Do you actually want anyone to talk sense about this issue, or do you want to continue to portray it as if the only reason people want Eric banned is because he uses bad language? I've been studying this issue for all of a single afternoon, and yet even I've already picked up that this is not the real reason for the controversy at all (although it's inherently tied to it, as one inevitably goes with the other). The core issue is clearly his demeaning of other editors in a most personal fashion, which, while it may or may not be accepted in practice under certain circumstances (such as uncharacteristic heat of the moment outbursts which are quickly apologised for), is nonetheless per NPA considered eminently ban worthy if done in a calculated and repeated fashion, where remorse or regret is far from evident after the fact (and this seems to fit most, if not all, of the incidents I've learned of in here). And as it's possible to demean others with or without the use of any of the so called 'bad' words, a naughty words filter is just about the least workable solution of all. Patrol forty (talk) 20:21, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
So what if there was no "scoreboard", but rather zero tolerance for attacks, and applied to everyone,including you, me, Mr. Wales and Mr. Corbett? Then people would either get along or spend most of their time blocked. I suspect that many of the recurring cycles on WP are not going to stop without some difficult changes by everyone. Gimmetrow 18:23, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I say give that a trial for a year or so. Anybody who utters a personal attack, however minor, ban them for the remainder of the year. Over time when very few contributors are really left because they'll have been banned for the slightest heated retort, perhaps then we'll see which is more important, content or civility. It really is the only way to deal with it if you're going to make a huge issue of it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:27, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I just want to say that this isn't merely someone just saying "fuck you" to another person that is commonplace and even if its a person having a bad day okay that's fine people have bad days. When that same person continues to say it to multiple editors over a long period of time then there is a problem. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:30, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Quite true, it's not just about some nasty words. But I think most of us, if we can achieve some distance, can recognize rather unprofessional ways of addressing and referring to other editors. I've seen a few the last couple days, and nothing much happened about them. Do we really mean NPA? Not in practice, no. A couple radical approaches would be have zero tolerance and mean it, or abandon NPA entirely. Gimmetrow 18:39, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't disagree Carrite. I'm just trying to think of something to put an end to the same cycle again and again and Jimbo blaming Eric for everybody leaving. Even you must admit that the cycle is ridiculous and creates a further divide and time wasting every time.♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:28, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Okay I just want to say that the effect Eric puts on users here is toxic, from his edit summaries to his talk page rants. I don't care how good of an editor he is the fact is that Wikipedia does not need you. I have also seen the whole campaign on Eric's talkpage about how he wants to get paid for his edits, I do not see this happening either and question this silly boycott of editing just to prove a point. If Eric does stay he will just continue to bring other users down and its something that needs to be cut out and dealt with. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:14, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Okay, not helping Knowledgekid87, keep things constructive, stop attacking Eric.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:21, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Im just speaking the truth, when someone is attacking other editors non-stop it is something that needs to be looked into. You really don't see any attacks from Eric towards others here? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:26, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
You can only speak for yourself Knowledgekid87, you certainly don't speak for me. There are two sides to every dispute and while Eric has encouraged and helped more editors than I can count, I can't say the same for Jimbo. Eric doesn't suffer fools and that isn't a crime, nor does he attack others non stop but he does call out idiocy. I don't talk down editors who can't respond but I suppose you are one of those editors who can do so while "being nice". J3Mrs (talk) 15:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Again Eric can be a great guy but then again down the line someone who is just as good at editing can come along. I will stop as you do have a point that Eric cant respond. I am not surprised that you came to his defense though and do see this as a two sided conflict on Wikipedia. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:45, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I admired Eric's work from afar and had no contact with him. Then I did, and the first two times I received the full (and I think, underserved) force of Eric's bile. At Sunbeam Tiger he turned on a few subject expert new editors who had the temerity to pick holes in his shiny new FA (they were right, there were howlers that had passed FA). He called one a (I quote) "fucking idiot" and was then made "Editor of the Week" for his "work" on that article.
Eric's outrage is toxic, uncontrolled and very often mistargeted at those who don't deserve it. There is no justification for it because he could stop doing it. Even if we choose to allow his rage at those who do deserve it (I don't claim they don't exist, I claim that we work here under agreement not to react in such a way), he's not even controlling it to where it might be excusable. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:06, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that there are supporters on both sides, the edits are so good by Eric in the articles that other users turn a blind eye at how other editors are being effected by his rage. It doesn't stop there though the same supporters then chime in that other editors are at fault for being the aggressors. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:14, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I looked on the talk page and read "That looks pretty good to me and seems to summarise the uncertainty about numbers pretty well. If Dennis Brown agrees, I'd be happy to add something along those lines to the article." from Eric in response to somebody who made a suggestion. That seems perfectly reasonable to me. This section is not about Eric anyway, it's about the overall issue and how to improve relations on the site.♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:19, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
That is taken out of context from "Production numbers for Versions section", Andy refers to a comment made by Eric in another section, the FA one. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:26, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Dr. Blofeld, I think you are wasting your time and energy trying to convince everyone that Eric is not the disruptive force that he obviously is. I wonder how many articles could have been improved if the same amount of energy that is expended defending him was put into article space. His position it that his 47 FAs give him carte blanche to act as he pleases, but TMK, there is no such policy or guideline to support that position. He's your buddy, we get it, but why should anyone else care that Eric has made a few friends that he has decide to not abuse? The value of his contributions has long been overshadowed by the time-sink that is his ongoing behavior problem. He is too immature to be as intelligent as he seems to think he is, as his emotional maturity is not in any sense superior to the majority of Wikipedians. If anything, it's lower than average. Rationalobserver (talk) 16:29, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, now this has turned into another Eric onslaught this is my last point here. Disappointing. I'm sick of the same thing happening time and time again. Either you set out very strict guidelines on what can be said with little tolerance universally or you simply ignore it and get on with editing. This attacking Eric and the repeated blocking and unblocking and drama has to stop. I seem to be one of the few people here trying to at least find a solution to at least improve the silly situation. Jimbo, you need to understand that there is far more to the problem than Eric simply calling xxx a xxx and far more to him as an editor. I'd rather he didn't say what he thinks to people so much, to avoid the drama and making him an easier target if nothing else, but as Carrite said he is who he is and you can't change him. A lot of the time he's right about the individuals and idiocy, even if he is ruder than most in telling them. I've spent a lot of my time commenting on this because I very much care about content production on here and the same cycle again and again is draining the time and effort of good contributors here who should be spending the time on articles. The problem has got worse since those things were said at Wikimania, and Jimbo's words have increased the number of bounty hunters looking for quick brownie points. As Giano said, if he's that much of a problem prosecute him for his crimes to humanity and stop moaning about it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:45, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
RE: as Carrite said he is who he is and you can't change him Is this not true of almost every editor who has ever been banned by the community? If Eric cannot, or will not change so as to conform to the community's basic civility expectations then he should be banned like anybody else would. His edits do not make a case for exemption, and his behavior has obviously been a disruptive time-sink. If this is about the good of the project we should ban him to save time and energy, as he is not worth it. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:26, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Does this "seem perfectly reasonable" as a reply to a new editor? How about this? Andy Dingley (talk) 16:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
To quote a recent comment, "He drives drives new editors away. He is toxic and immature". The original author was then accused of NPA and being a sockpuppet for not providing diffs. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:41, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Totally agree with User:Andy Dingley. An episode like that is an utter disgrace to wikipedia. The comments by Eric Corbett are wholly indefensible. This is not about "driving editors away" it's about not allowing editors to ever get started. I'd be put off for good by such a disgusting attack. And how do you judge if an editor has been "driven away" if he's almost immediately blocked? Incredible. 86.171.152.172 (talk) 21:15, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Yep, there's a question of how some of those articles made it to FA in the first place, and how they've been kept there, despite frequent attempts to correct 'howlers' and update them, since. There's aspects of this that involve WP:Own and without other editors it would never be at this point. AnonNep (talk) 16:33, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, I agree with Dr.Blofelds civility plan 110%Amanda Smalls 15:28, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree as well, something needs to change here. I also speak from being on the other end of the stick. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:30, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
So instead of allowing zero personal attacks, which we can't enforce at present, the proposal is to allow 3 personal attacks per person, and to reset the insult clock every 6 months? Is this some kind of joke? —Neotarf (talk) 17:27, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Exactly! Dr. Blofeld's proposal is unworkable, but I wonder about setting a maximum number of blocks, so that when someone reaches say their 10th block for incivility it triggers a 6 month ban. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It's nothing in comparison to the massive joke in governance which already exists on wikipedia and the clown operation we have running on here which can't even find a way to deal with this and can't even find a way to stop history repeating itself every few weeks. I think a three warnings and six month/year ban approach is perfectly reasonable if personal attacks are not acceptable. Eric has called how many people xxxx exactly and still edits here. He's having the last laugh at the incompetency of the way the site is run.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:52, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well the proposals you are making don't sound any better now that I think about it. Blocking Eric wont solve incivility here on Wikipedia but it will benefit a lot of editors from his long term abuse. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:20, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Haha, you really think 3 attacks and a ban for a year doesn't sound any better than xxx number of attacks, ten 48 hr blocks, 20 drama sessions etc, and still allowed to edit? C'mon, you'd be lost without him Knowledge, you'd have nobody to troll and moan about! At present attacking Eric is the best way to earn Brownie points!♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:03, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld, you're giving out mixed signals here. Most of your posts seem to be aimed at keeping this Eric guy on Wikipedia, yet this 3 strikes proposal would seem to me to be a guaranteed way to kick him off it (eventually). From what I've seen, unless you make the work off period needed to cancel a strike ridiculously short (in comparison to the accumulative period), then people like Eric will simply career head long into a 3+3+3 ban within two years (especially if the threshold for getting a strike is simply a "sweary remark").

Evidence has been presented on this very page that shows that he is more than capable of earning strikes at sufficient rate to make this an inevitability, even if what you had to do to earn a strike was even more serious than just injudicious use of bad language (which really doesn't appear to be the issue people have with him), and was instead set to the more likely threshold, per NPA, deliberately demeaning/belittling/denigrating another user in a most personal manner (which more accurately reflects why people seem to think he doesn't belong here).

As others have suggested here, all the evidence shows that he is either incapable or unwilling to change his behaviour on any long term basis (certainly not long enough to ever get back to 0 strikes), and even you seem to admit there is a certain inevitability about him losing his cool (especially if the victim 'deserved it'), so what gives? What have I missed? More importantly, in contrast to the prize people like Eric would get under such a system (a limited license to vent at others), what amazing prize do you earn if you manage to go two years without earning a single strike, whilst in that period also managing to write X number of fantastic articles? If it's not a Porsche, I'm not interested. Patrol forty (talk) 19:47, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

I feel that WP:NPA covers it and explains why making attacks on other editors isn't helpful. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:10, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Patrol forty. Absolutely I don't want to lose Eric as a content contributor here, which is why I've fought to the tooth and nail to defend him a lot of the time. I genuinely mean it when I say I've found him one of the best editors on here and a master copyeditor when he's in the zone. I personally don't find what he says to people particularly offensive, and I think in some cases he's right to be annoyed at idiocy, but I do see why some people are offended by it and I don't think it is compulsory to go about calling people cunts on here, put it that way. Basically I see a massive problem with the drama and the hostility and time wasting which results every time he is blocked and unblocked and how many otherwise productive contributors here spend time fighting the trigger happy admins and lynchers and the content vs civility argument. I've said for a long time now it's got to stop. I don't think many people here could deny that the current system of dealing with Eric creates a staggering amount of unnecessary drama and time wasting in discussions about him. That for me is far worse than what is said in the first place. So as much as I value Eric, if he's going to continue to say what he wants in full knowledge that somebody is going to kick up a fuss and block him, then to avoid that escalating, if the people running the website think civility is more important, then he either needs to try to be silent about the obvious assholes he encounters or something in place needs to be introduced to stop it happening time and time again. Perhaps if Eric knew calling somebody xxx would result in a ban for a year or something he might make that bit more effort to avoid it, however much he feels it necessary. Given that it's a volunteer website, he's quite right that he should really be able to say and do what he wants given that we're unpaid and don't have to be here anyway, but as it's quite clear the people running the site and many in the community object to him saying what he wants then some compromise at least is needed to at least try to move on more smoothly. The last thing I want is him to be banned, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to wanting to see a better Eric who rises above all that and doesn't make himself so easy to target and dismisses the obvious assholes he encounters as not worthy of his words and leaves it at that. There's a group of toxic editors just waiting to pounce on him, so why give them what they want? That so many people like Jimbo only know him for being rude is terrible, and he's not getting the recognition he deserves because of it. Above all I want to see Eric consistently at his best and the drama fest every few weeks stopped. He's worth 50 of what some of the people here are worth to the project when he puts his mind to it, and I want everybody to see that, Jimbo included. I think some leeway for every editor should be allowed here, things can get heated, but I do see a repeat cycle every few weeks which a lot of us regulars who support Eric's work here and know how decent he can be as a person when things are going well don't want to have keep dealing with and defending all the time.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:54, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't think anyone has the wrong idea about him, least of all Mr Wales. They just see him in a different light than you seemingly do, because they evidently do put more emphasis on people on Wikipedia treating each other with respect. Presumably precisely because they know full well people are free to leave the site at any time, and no amount of awesome contributions on his part is going to make up the shortfall. As you rightly said, nobody here is being paid to be demeaned or degraded - there are certainly other websites on the internet performing that service far more effectively than Wikipedia ever could. In the absence of any realistic proposals from you that will change the system in a way that gives people leeway without causing drama, I think it's decision time for you to be honest - if you think he can be saved from himself, then you're going to have to put more effort into getting him to change his behaviour than whatever it is you think you're achieving here. Painting his victims as the assholes, or indeed painting him as the victim, is going to get you precisely nowhere, because such a stance is, based on the evidence on this very page, at best, a rose tinted view of reality. If not, then I think you already deep down know what the outcome is, should a system ever be found which actually deals with it in a timely fashion without drama. FWIW, I'd advise you to concentrate on the things within your control, and forget about those that aren't. Eric's future behaviour is either within your sphere of influence, or it isn't - realising which one of those is true will probably save you a lot of stress and time going forward. Patrol forty (talk) 22:12, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying that every person he directs something at is an "asshole", I know he's offended some editors like Khazar and Tim riley who I consider decent editors. I'm referring to those individuals who know they're here primarily to cause trouble and act intolerably over content and in addressing him. He does have to deal with a lot of crap and I agree with his outlook on some of them even if I wouldn't tell them exactly what I was thinking. Look, I've said that he could modify what he says from time to time, but at the same time others also need to change and stop targeting him waiting to trap and block him. I don't think Eric would give a chimp's left nipple about such a system no, but my hope was that he'd care enough about content to at least adapt a bit and we'd see it happening less purely out of a love of content if nothing else. I'm just sick of the circus show every time he's blocked and you add that up in a whole year per involved editor. Not good. Oh, and for the record, I'm intelligent enough to know that nothing on wikipedia in terms of the way the site is run is within my sphere of influence because of the way the site is run where you'll be lucky to see one site change in five years. That's one of the biggest problems on here as some of the top contributors here, some of which have commented in recent days, appear to have a much better idea and understanding of how to improve the encyclopedia and solve problems than those running it do but are never given the time of day. The resistance to change is one of the things holding back our development. If we're not constantly trying out and experimenting with different things we're never going to find the best way to run this thing. My last post here, I hope some actually try to see some sense in what I've said. But this isn't the place to really see a positive improvement.♦ Dr. Blofeld 23:52, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Dr. Blofeld, I can't help but wonder why nearly every comment you make here seeks to minimizes the problem. Here is Eric calling someone an idiot over a comma, so please don't imply that Eric is always driven to abusive language by especially extenuating circumstances. Rationalobserver (talk) 21:01, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, most of the time whenever I see a comment it's usually directed at somebody who is utterly clueless and acting in the fashion which he describes. In some cases in all honesty there's some truth to some of his remarks for a shocking level of ignorance and idiocy, there's some real annoying people on this website, but there's also some perhaps who have been treated rather harshly for something minor. For the sake of the peace of the website though I think it can try to be avoided, or simply get another editor to make the needed changes if he thinks he's going to say something. Look, I don't want to argue this anymore. I think the personal attacks on Eric here, especially in his absence really need to stop, and that goes for you too Jimbo, and I think somebody with half a brain who has the power to start to make changes should find a way to deal with the repeat cycle and try to make things run smoother here, whilst retaining Eric and others so that we no longer have to keep arguing about this. A good place to start would be examining the root of the problem and realise that the admin structure and system in parts is to blame for a lot of the issue and works in a way which antagonizes people like him and to recognize that gross incivility exists beyond weary attacks psychologically on here (which is a far more toxic problem). Too much time wasted on this people, discussing this isn't going to solve anything and those of us intelligent enough here to formulate a suggestion to try to reduce the drama and conflict will be ignored and this archived within a day or two anyway. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:29, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
whenever I see a comment it's usually directed at somebody who is utterly clueless: more often than his talkpage stalkers are willing to admit, it's Eric who is utterly clueless. Even in those situations, it's Eric who's whipping out the "you're the cunt"s, while everyone else is trying to be civil. Talk:Sunbeam Tiger/Archive 2's another embarrassing example, as is Talk:Blue men of the Minch. Can we stop this pretending? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 23:54, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I think personal attacks by Eric really need to stop, yeah there might be annoying people here on wikipedia but that's life you don't go ranting over people for making mistakes and if you find them annoying then you deal with it and move on not belittle them, this is not grade school. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Its more turning the blind eye, you have so far posted evidence that Eric has lashed out at new users and blows up over the smallest things and yet it went ignored. Sorry that was Andy Dingley but still. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:03, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Here is Eric calling someone a "tedious twat" and suggesting they "try writing a decent article of your own for once", which would seem to violate NPA and OWN. Rationalobserver (talk) 21:11, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Also calling the admin who blocked him a "drug-addicted hillbilly" ? [11] Looking at Chillum's userpage I found this: "Hello, I am Chillum. I like to chill out and smoke the herb. I sell coins for a living. I like to develop software" If this doesn't count as a serious personal attack I don't know what does. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:17, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Knowledgekid I suggest that you take your own advice, "you don't go ranting over people for making mistakes and if you find them annoying then you deal with it and move on not belittle them, this is not grade school" and drop the stick. J3Mrs (talk) 21:39, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Sorry I was not replying to you. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:40, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
This is ironic and amusing. Rationalobserver (talk) 21:44, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Very much so.. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:45, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Cheer up, folks[edit]

"It's nice, to be nice, to the nice" - Frank Burns (M*A*S*H TV series). GoodDay (talk) 15:53, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

I try, after all this is just a website ^-^. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:58, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

WP needs to evolve[edit]

For God's sake, the solution is obvious. (Jimbo, I plead you, for inspiration watch: Star Trek: The Motion Picture!) WP needs to evolve. Said evolution will solve all these bickering, "unsolvable" problems. (It means radical restructuring. What restructuring? I don't know, but there are 10 editors who do: The top 10 content contributors, elected by the WP community. [Put them to work. Want to "reform" Eric? {I don't believe he needs reformation, but let's assume.} Then put him with nine other top content contributors, to restructure how WP operates to maintain and grow articles. They will work it out, they can't do otherwise. They have too much devoted already, too much love of this project, to possibly do any harm. Now Jimbo, I know you like to retain "The encyclopedia anyone can edit" slogan. That's political/marketing/guidance that is good. Let's make it a condition that the panel of top 10 content writers, retain that basic premise. {Hello, they might decide that anyone can edit/create articles, save FA articles. But then the "anyone can edit" still holds essentially, doesn't it!?} The top 10 content writers know what the problems are -- all of them -- and they know what the solutions are. Let them work it out. Give them the responsibility. That is what this project is about {quality articles, maintenance & develeopment}. The consensus model is maintained by election of top 10 content contributors -- just like Arbcom is elected today.])

This is the solution. It is appropriate, and guarantees a bright future. There is no chance for failure with it. Just the courage to restructure, rather than suffer the countless problems exacerbated by the current structure. (E.g., suggestions that Eric is a great content contributor but "just cannot control himself" is bogus and absurd. The fact is, he's enormously capable and intelligent, and is simply responding to the current dysfunctional structure full of flaws and hypocrisies. Put him to work with other top writers to solve/evolve out of the current conundrums. Given time/discussion such a team will work it out. Elect 15 so there are 5 backups if RL considerations cause any of the elected 10 must drop out. Not all top content contributors will want to offer their services {they may just want to continue to devote themselves to writing}, but many probably will, since their investments to-date dictate instinctive perservation of all the good that has been wrought from the wonderful seed of idea to make a comprehensive encyclopedia free to the world. {I suggest too, to get Neil deGrasse Tyson as spokesperson-partner for the ongoing efforts of everyone. I'm sure he will agree to do, free-of-charge, happily! <Because he is a good man, with eye on the future.>}]) Sincere, Ihardlythinkso (talk) 16:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Again per above saying that Eric has done no wrongdoing is absurd as is the idea of editors being paid for their work. This is an encyclopedia we are supposed to be working together here. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:42, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Pure negative and not listening to the message I wrote. (It doesn't matter if Eric is guitly of "wrongdoing" or not. You're jumping on one person, the symptom not the cause. [You don't think Eric loves the encyclopedia and its premise & future!?] Try and think positive. [Jimbo & Eric would get along fabulously, if the 10 member restructuring team above is put in place. Think of the potential positive gain!]) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 16:55, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
"top 10 content contributors," "content"? Are we counting words in mainspace, or AfD tags?. "elected by the WP community" Oh, you mean Eric. 8-( Andy Dingley (talk) 16:44, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
So we put in place in this 'Top Ten content contributors' team and OMG! Wikipedia is farting rainbows but then one of the top ten calls someone a c*nt, tells another user they're stupid, suggests only an idiot would do that in an edit summary etc. What happens next? AnonNep (talk) 17:04, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It becomes a "We are better than everyone else" thing, the behavior continues and more editors leave as a result. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:14, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
@AnonNep, @Knowledge -- so negative! Not "farting rainbows". (Solutions will take time, and be carefully worked out.) And your supposition that members will be uncivil in such a group/team is not logical -- the top 10 are too brainy [too much raw intelligence and devotion to the project] to get into pointless/unproductive scrappiness. [That kind of thing is left for you & me! Duh.]) @Knowledge, the "we are better than everyone else" is eliminated in the fact that the top 10 are elected (and ejected) by the community (just like Arbcom). Ihardlythinkso (talk) 17:23, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
So anyone 'brainy' enough for the 'top ten' wouldn't be calling other editor's c*unt's right now? Or, are you suggesting they're lashing out because they're insecure and after being given formal recognition as part of the 'top ten' any abusive behaviour will suddenly end? AnonNep (talk) 18:07, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Anon, that's so (negative and) weird! The top 10 team will discuss in their group. (Public or private, I dunnah know. [Doesn't matter. If one of them calls another of the top 10 "cunt", they are all mature/devoted enough to handle it. {Because they all have in common significant part of their lives in the current encyclopedia. No one would want to "set that on fire", hello. When these higly intelligent/capable peers are in collaboration and entrusted w/ WP's future,the only possible result is ... a better encylopedia <and future>. Of course they will disagree along the way. But they will obviously have too much respect for one another as serious & excellent content creators, to involve in counter-productive flame wars.}]) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 18:24, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
You seem very focused on how important and special this 'Top Ten' will be but seem to show very little concern for possible victims of abuse. Straight question: What happens when a 'Top Ten' member calls someone a c*nt - keeping in mind they need to be answerable to the victim and the rest of Wikipedia not just each other - straight answer is... AnonNep (talk) 18:41, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
All editors should be treated the same regardless of their edit count, and making a hierarchy of exalted ones would only contribute to the problem. E.g., Eric thinks he is above the basic civility requirements because of his FAs and GAs, but who cares how many edits he's made? I do find it amusing that he put a "Master Editor" badge on his user page even though he is apparently 19,000 edits short of that distinction, but I digress. We are raking our brains for a solution, but it's already right in front of us, as Eric's behavior is already counter to policy. We need not reinvent the wheel here, we should ban Eric because anybody else would have been banned by now. It's not complicated; he does not deserve a green-light to abuse people at the expense of the project as a whole. We ought to put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the one. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:18, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, EC did edit under another username and many of his contributions remain attributed to that account. I am fairly certain that he is fully entitled to display the "Master Editor" badge.—John Cline (talk) 19:19, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well then that's my error and a cheap shot anyway. I assumed that he had changed names but not accounts. I sincerely apologize to Eric for being petty. Rationalobserver (talk) 23:00, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I think that public apologies and forgiveness play a huge role in keeping Wikipedian goodwill alive and well in the face of passionate disagreement. Of course, that's easy enough to say; to unilaterally express such sentiments takes a lot of courage. Rationalobserver, I want you to know that there is at least one person following along in this discussion who thinks a lot more of you for what you've offered to Eric. Thanks. -wʃʃʍ- 04:59, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Who said anything about "edit count"? (Not me. "Top ten" means the top content contributors most obvious to the community, who both contribute & value the encyclopedia by their proved contributions/writing efforts/time/sweat/tears.) And your continued harping on an individual editor of disfavor is ... toxic and has no vision for solution out of problems. (Go read again the proposals above. [Think of the future, and objectives of this encyclopedia project. Try to think bigger.]) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 17:32, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I hear you, and I applaud your effort and attitude, but I don't like hierarchy's or pseudo-supreme courts; we already have ArbCom. I don't think we need to invent a new solution, the currently policies and guidelines are already plenty enough to ban problem editors, which is the most important step in protecting and nurturing a positive environment. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:56, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Rather than discuss it here I would be very interested in how the community feels about this proposal. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:23, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Concur. (But especially would like to get Jimbo's feeling re the evolution proposal here.) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 17:32, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
You're not going to find out how the community feels about the proposal, because every time someone makes a formal proposal, one of Eric's friends closes the discussion. —Neotarf (talk) 17:30, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Well then someone can reopen it, if what people are saying here is true they should have no problem having the community weigh in on it. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:32, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
The only way to do this right is to organize. Eric's friends prevent his getting banned, but does he really have more friends than people he has abused? Rationalobserver (talk) 17:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, organize. (But huh?! You are still obsessed over one individual. You don't get it. Eric is one drop in the bucket. [A brilliant drop, just like the other 9 who would be elected.] Together they will work it out [restructuring]. It's all good.) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 17:53, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
If you think it's a good idea then take it to the Village Pump. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:57, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
To die there? Ihardlythinkso (talk) 18:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Its not going to go anywhere here. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 19:18, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Corbett is currently named as a party to an Arbcom case at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gender Gap Task Force. For anyone who wants to present diffs, one way or another, the evidence phase closes tomorrow. I doubt very much whether Corbett's enablers will be able to subvert the ArbCom process completely, if there are any users who are not too intimated to speak. —Neotarf (talk) 18:00, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

As I just said below, it puzzles me why the links presented above by Nyth83 yesterday haven't been presented as evidence. They seem quite convincing if the goal of that page is to demonstrate (rather than just allege) that he has an ongoing issue with being able (or indeed even willing) to treat other editors with a basic level of respect, that the issues with his behaviour go beyond just the use of bad language and fall squarely in the realm of demeaning/belittling/degrading others on a very personal level (NPA), and they also debunk many of the claims being made here by some about what might explain/excuse/justify such behaviour (namely that it's evidently not always 'deserved', or even justified, however loosely you might want to define those terms in a way that allows for 'colourful' characters to be able to contribute to Wikipedia alongside others who are more able/willing to 'conform'). Patrol forty (talk) 18:45, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
@Ihardlythinkso - thanks for a most valuable proposal . I think you're absolutely right that only a design led restructuring is likely to halt Wikipedia's decline. Also this is the best venue IMO. The proposal, at least in the modified form suggested below, needs buyin from Jimbo / the Foundation / Wllm and it doesn't overly matter what the community thinks at this stage.
Im not sure even our top content contributors would be best suited to the task. Reforming Wikipedia so editors can enjoy a relatively pleasant, thoughtful and collaborative editing environment is a non trivial task, close to the limits of human capability. One would need to address the underlying causes of not just the overt incivility, but the passive aggression which you, AnthonyColes and others rightly describe as far more harmful.
Eric may be a brilliant man, but he's not a first rate social engineer. I doubt any other of our top content creators are either.
In founding Wikipedia Jimbo Wales has been one of the 21st centuries greatest contributors to humanity. But reading recent posts Im not seeing an especially penetrating understanding of the negative social dynamics here - thinking Eric could be misogynist is a case in point.
There seems to be some great staff working and running the Foundation, but they're mostly techies. Wllm has some very attractive ideas, but if he thinks he can effect lasting change with lessons from smaller and relatively homogeneous online communities he'll soon be disillusioned.
Probably the only way to architect a restructuring leading to a lasting improvement in community health would be to commission a team of top line social engineers. 1) An expert in Deliberative democracy with plenty of experience in practical implementation, preferably near to the stature of someone like James Fishkin. 2) A leading expert in online communities, ideally with a specialization in power dynamics. 3) An experienced real world political fixer and consensus builder. They would need months to study, engage and consult with the community before finalising plans for the restructuring. These kind of people don't come cheap, a large six figure budget would be needed. FeydHuxtable (talk) 18:57, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
WHOOOOA, Nellie! No proposal needs- or would necessarily benefit from- my buy-in. And I blush to be sharing forward slashes with parties the like of Jimmy and the Foundation. I'm just an editor with relatively fw edits and a big mouth. One thing that you're spot-on about, tho, is the hazard of extrapolating lessons learned from smaller communities with very different goals without qualification. Just so that others can follow along at home, the communities I've participated in which might hold some clues for improving Wikipedia are the Zend Framework developer community (which provides many examples of successful initiatives and metrics moving in the right directions) and Offwiki 1.0 (which is a case study in epic wikifail). But these communities would at best hint at the outlines of potential solutions for a relatively small set of the problems faced by this community. I'm sure there are many other communities that could be used as a better analog for, but they'd all fall far short as a perfect predictive model. Wikipedia and its community simply have no precedent.
That brings us to what I consider a worthwhile observation. It seems a lot of us are waiting for a silver bullet before taking a shot at fixing some of the issues brought up here. There is no such silver bullet. We need to be ready to fail a few times before we come up with the right mix of initiatives. Not only that, we'll need to muster the patience to do this for each and every major issue we face. Of course, as many here have touched on, community-wide initiatives could become unacceptably disruptive and result in reform fatigue that gives the impression that intractable problems are unsolvable. Maybe it would make more sense to test certain reforms in sub-communities before gradually rolling them out to the rest of the community. This sort of approach would also pack the huge pro of potentially testing many reforms in parallel. Has this already been proposed somewhere? If so, I'd be much obliged for some links. -wʃʃʍ- 06:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Some reforms we need really aren't that complicated. For example:
  • Set up a random jury system for deciding "verdicts" in "judicial" matters, rather than relying on the impartiality of arbitrators/admins. That way they can stick to interpreting the rules narrowly, and the impartiality of decisions is clearer, or at least randomer.
  • Set up a work-based path to adminship, no votes and politics. You put in the effort and do (a), (b), (c), (d) without getting "convicted" of some sort of misconduct, you are qualified as a good enough editor all-around to do adminly tasks. Setting up some a la carte admin privileges ("unbundling") can be part of this.
  • Remove every invocation of "editorial discretion" from policy. Editorial discretion doesn't make sense in an environment anyone can edit - it's like a flag in a video game. As long as there are flags, people fight for them; as long as editors are encouraged to use broad latitude to exclude information based on discretion, rather than clear policy guidance, they will fight over whose POV commands the gray area. Policy should be simple and focus on the basics of verifying the facts and handling them neutrally.
  • Do not encourage templating. No one should have an expectation or duty to read and comprehend a message that a human being didn't take the time to write personally to him. Much of the incivil attitude on Wikipedia doesn't actually originate from human beings; it is people echoing and reechoing attitudes that ultimately began, one way or another, in a machine.
Wnt (talk) 19:35, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Except for removing editorial discretion I agree, and especially with what you say on templating. But even if you could identify all the needed reforms, we'd never get any where near consensus from the dominant portion of the active editors, who like and helped create the status quo. For me it would need a small team of leading experts, with a period of structured engagement with the community to gain legitimacy (partly by including some community generated ideas, perhaps some of your own.) And then for the Foundation to take the lead in implementing the reforms, by force majeur if necessary. FeydHuxtable (talk) 20:33, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
By force? No rather than discuss behind semi closed doors why aren't you proposing ideas? Just because your ideas were shot down awhile ago or because you are in the minority does not mean you have to force your ideas on the masses. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:41, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with setting up "a work-based path to adminship, no votes and politics", but as long as admins can block !vote you will never see this to fruition. The only way to accomplish this via consensus is to disallow admins from !voting on the proposal, which is an unlikely scenario. On the other hand, it's hard to imagine an Internal Affairs department seeking pre-approval from the law enforcement officers they oversee. If they want to implement a change they do so without the consent of those potentially affected. Rationalobserver (talk) 20:43, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Per above I have started a discussion over at WP:PUMP you can find it here Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Reform for Wikipedia - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:49, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • The more amusing point about the above discussions is the people that haven't really contributed much to Wikipedia, aren't frankly competent enough to do so, and yet believe that their opinions about Eric and civility are worth listening to. They should really just disappear back to Facebook where they belong, but that's one of the problems with an encyclopedia that any idiot can edit. Black Kite (talk) 00:25, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
    • A popular meme with Eric's sycophants is to paint everyone he's shit on as incompetent or non-content contributors. Many of us have made more than our fair share of quality content contributions and still have to suffer through Eric's soul-draining timesink horeshittery (complete with random "you're the cunt"s). It seems the only way you folk have of justifying your fantasy position is by dismissing tens of thousands of contributions as if they never existed. So much for "honest". Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 01:53, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
      • Agreed 100%, it is very easy to paint editors that are new or that Eric has done things to as no nothings or incompetent as his good editing makes him immune so while editors get harassed he always looks good. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:10, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • So you are saying that new users with few edits who have been rubbed the wrong way by Eric and are speaking their minds about it are in-competent? They should believe that they are being listened to as they are here by others who agree both new and old editor alike that enough is enough. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:30, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Hm. How many of the new users to whom you refer have been "rubbed the wrong way by Eric"? Can you not see that there has been a sudden revived upsurge in the "civility" campaign. I've been pondering why that should be so but have no answers yet. - Sitush (talk) 00:33, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Do you not see the diffs posted above? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Perhaps many of those editors would find it more rewarding to actually go away and write content for Wikipedia rather than engaging in arguments that they're not competent enough to either engage in, or indeed win. Having said that, looking at the quality of English on show there, perhaps it's better that they don't. Black Kite (talk) 00:39, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • They should go back to editing yes and not have to worry about editors belittling them like Eric has done. See: WP:BITE, its not good for Wikipedia to blow up on a user just because they do things like add an extra comma. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:43, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Im happy you agree that editors should not have to be subject to harassment. In order for this to be done something needs to happen. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:47, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Honestly, the day anything approaching Ihardlythinkso's ... suggestion ... were to be enacted would be the day I put a retirement banner up and leave the site behind entirely. And I would simply laugh in the face of anyone attempting to form a random (read: ignorant) "jury", then I would ignore it and keep doing what I was doing. Resolute 00:36, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Eric could be uncivil sometimes, but he isn't a jerk. Jerks are civil, but they are the ones who poison the environment on Wikipedia. Down with jerks! 124.207.175.91 (talk) 00:59, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • would be the day I put a retirement banner up and leave the site. You make such cogent arguments, Resolute! (And being opposed to a retructuring, the result of which couldn't be known, wow.) Apparently you think the status quo is just peachy. (Another wow.) I doubt whether to evolve has ever been a choice, in any environment. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 06:15, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I can't say I am terribly surprised that your only rebuttal is an either-or fallacy. FWIW, I did not say I was opposed to a restructuring. Merely to your asinine proposal. Resolute 19:07, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

A Brief Summary[edit]

I would like to try to summarize the last few threads briefly. First, there is strong disagreement about a particular editor who is generally credited with being an excellent content creator, but who has a is also said to have very long history of incivility and personal attacks. Some editors think that he is a net positive to the encyclopedia, and others think that he is a net negative and creates a toxic environment. Further discussion at Jimbo's talk page isn't about to resolve the division over this editor. Second, several editors have commented that the environment at the noticeboards is toxic. The noticeboards and the ArbCom are the mechanisms by which sanctions are imposed on disruptive editors, and the ArbCom is slow, so that the noticeboards are the only means by which speedy sanctions can be imposed. Third, at least two editors have proposed systems for reform of the English Wikipedia. One of those reform proposals has been questioned and criticized. The other one seems to have been ignored. Some sort of reform might be an alternative to the noticeboards. Can Jimbo or the WMF take the leadership concerning civility, the noticeboards, and reforms? Robert McClenon (talk) 17:49, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Do other editors think that is a reasonable summary of the last few noisy threads? Robert McClenon (talk) 17:49, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

  • That sounds about right to me. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:51, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • No objection. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 17:57, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Yup pretty much... - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:18, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • No. Subjective analysis, eg: "who has a very long history of incivility and personal attacks" should be something like "is perceived by some to have a very long history of incivility and personal attacks". Most of his blocks haven't stuck, for example. Furthermore, I wouldn't trust Jimbo to lead a group of children across the road, let alone take the lead regarding any resolution to this issue. He has nailed his flag to the mast re: civility and, frankly, the sooner he takes heed of what HJ Mitchell said regarding "constitutional monarch", the better. As things stand at the moment, Jimbo is himself at least as lacking in honour and toxic as those to whom he has applied such terms in the past. He needs to rise above it all, as befits his perceived public status. - Sitush (talk) 18:31, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Re Second, Decausa flagged up that Wikipedia is adversarial even in its basic editing processes,[12] to some applause. NebY (talk) 18:33, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Just curious but what do you attempt on accomplishing? If you propose new things for Wikipedia then take it to village pump. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Robert McClenon started all this palaver by requesting arbitration and mentioned Jimbo Wales in his reasons for doing so. He's hardly a neutral voice. This situation has been stirred by Jimbo Wales who won't/can't do anything but gets others to do his dirty work for him. I think I can speak for myself without him summarising what I mean. J3Mrs (talk) 20:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
You're speaking, but you're not listening. The claims you made about what Eric does and doesn't do have been contradicted by links posted on this very page, yet you seem content to completely ignore them, which is an odd stance to take for someone who said there are "two sides to every dispute", or is concerned about neutrality. On that score, you're clearly advocating for one side, and one side only. I have no doubt Eric has "helped more editors than you can count", but it seems to me that you're not even remotely interested in counting the editors he has categorically not helped, such as those mentioned in the links above. I am also at a loss as to what to make of the 'suffer fools' comment. Everything I've read as far as Wikipedia's rules go, makes it pretty clear that the way you should treat others here is with respect, regardless of whether or not you think they're a fool. Patrol forty (talk) 20:58, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I didn't start this "palaver". I only summarized it. This "palaver" is only indirectly related to the Gender Gap arbitration. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:44, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • You underestimate yourself, it is a direct result of your action. J3Mrs (talk) 20:47, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
No, no, no. Robert McClenon is obviously well-suited to his role. In fact, he has far more experience of dabbling round the edges than of content creation. There is a lot of that about on this particular page, including the situation of its owner. - Sitush (talk) 20:43, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Sitush, do you have any idea at all, how it makes me view the problematic edits you've made regarding me, to see you flinging ad hominem here, while allowing people on your talk page to continue lamenting the fact that you supposedly aren't editing at all any more? There is a thing called honesty and there is a thing called trolling. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:54, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't really care less how you view it, Demiurge. In particular because if anyone has a reputation for trolling it is you. I am editing under very constrained circumstances, some of which are known to people who matter. Right now, you do not matter but you may in due course be able to read of it in, say, The Times of India. - Sitush (talk) 23:13, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah. The views of people who "do not matter" are of no importance, then, presumably much like it's only important to act in a civil respectful way to the select elite designated as "deserving" of respect. I am starting to see a pattern. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 16:20, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Ha. I was just about to request a summary of why this Eric guy has become such a divisive figure on Wikipedia, but as I was drafting this, Robert has helpfully provided one, so thanks for that. In my short time here I think I've got a good idea of what Wikipedia's major problem might be - it seems to me to have nothing to do with bad language, and everything to do with people deliberately ignoring others.

@Demiurge1000:, I assume that you are familiar with the term sub judice. You certainly should be familiar with the general problems that I have been having here, given your various needling intercessions. That is why you do not matter right now, so back off. All will be revealed in due course, I am sure. - Sitush (talk) 23:06, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I myself recently used bad language (on the Aviation project talk page), but while I could say I was entirely justified, after someone twice accused me of "suspect motives" and said they found me "repulsive", despite me giving a thorough reply to them the first time they made the accusation, which they just ignored, even then, I felt guilty about having stooped to that level, and was surprised to not even be warned about it. I did notice one thing in all this text which appears to support my theory - the links presented above by Nyth83 yesterday seem to debunk many of the claims being made about this Eric guy, yet they persist regardless.

To my mind, the links showed quite clearly that he doesn't restrict his attacks merely to those who 'deserve it' (even if you were to accept the false premise that this would even be OK for a project like Wikipedia). They also show quite well that the controversy over his behaviour has very little to do with the 'badness' of any particular words he uses, but rather the intent behind them (to deliberately belittle and demean the other person, which seems to me to be indisputably against NPA).

On that note, as a Brit living in a working class northern city myself, I can confirm that while c*nt is used liberally in many situations, context matters, and it seems clear to me that none of those contexts apply on Wikipedia (basically, you can use it between friends, and even then only when it is obvious it's not meant as an insult - any other use is as offensive in the UK as it would be in the bible belt of America, and can result in violence if not retracted quickly).

But it seems to me those links might has well never been posted, for all the difference it appears to have made to the subsequent discourse. Which brings me to my issue - I had a similar experience when I tried to discuss whether or not the sources provided in the article on the HMS Richmond helicopter crash satisfy EVENT or not. I seem to have lost that argument by default because most people just chose to completely ignore me, while those who didn't, instead chose to reply to points I never made. Nobody ever really addressed any of the substantive issues I had. But reading up on some of this controversy, I do at least seem to have been lucky in avoiding being called a c*nt, idiot, moron, or whatever, so maybe I got off lightly? Patrol forty (talk) 18:22, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

You're a fast learner, I didn't find pages like this for ages. J3Mrs (talk) 21:21, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not exactly hidden away, and I don't think me finding it after a few weeks snooping around the back offices of Wikipedia makes me a fast learner by any means, but thanks for the compliment. I've been getting a few tonight, so thank you all for that. Patrol forty (talk) 22:24, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Don't sell yourself short. To find one of the drama boards this quickly, as a pretty new editor, is quite a feat. Congratulations, I guess. LHMask me a question 01:55, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
WP:Three steps NE Ent 02:51, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah, of course, that's it—three easy steps. Nevertheless impressive when the steps are (1) AfD, (2) JW talk page, (3) Arbcom. Quite an outstanding newcomer. Writegeist (talk) 20:47, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
That's a pretty good summary of much of the "argument" here. Welcome to Wikipedia. I hope you like it and decide to stay. It can be a very satisfying hobby/public service and we need help in all domains - vandal patrol, article-writing, article-polishing, administration, governance and policy development. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 23:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Evidence of disruption[edit]

Once again here is the evidence put forward by users on this talkpage for those of you who refuse to look at it:
Have you got nothing better to do? Why not try writing an article yourself? Or what about taking a long walk off a short pier?
Let's face the facts. You're an incompetent editor determined for whatever reason to add unnecessary clutter to an article that you couldn't have written even in your dreams. Do you understand now?
Well think again.
That might be a first. Have you ever significantly improved anything?
When did you start reasoning?
I appear to have overestimated you Alfie; obviously you can't read.
Who cares what the article says? Haven't you got anything better to do?
Only in your rather ill-informed opinion.
I'm annoyed that you're wasting my time.
Bloodofox is even more incompetent than you are, so his displeasure is of no consequence to me, or I dare say Sagaciousphil either.
Unlike you I do not consider myself to be a superior source to the OED
It's you that's simple.
You really are a tedious twat.
I learned years ago that arguing with a fool make you the greater fool.

With new users:

Here is Eric calling someone an idiot over a comma

"Does this "seem perfectly reasonable" as a reply to a new editor? How about this?"

- Knowledgekid87 (talk) 03:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Well, as has often been pointed out, the RfCU for him remains a redlink. It seems extremely inappropriate to use this page to conduct an ersatz RfCU. If people are that bothered about him then that's what they should be doing rather than this. DeCausa (talk) 07:46, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Editing with a random username after each log in?[edit]

Suppose that we change the way we edit here. The main account is only used when discussing editor conduct or other editing issues on noticeboards. But when we actually edit articles, we would all use another account with a random username, such that only Admins know to which main account this is linked to. This would have to be inplemented using new software, the idea is that when you log in, the new account for editing will be created automatically. The edits you make will become visible on your main account's user contribution after you log out (or after 24 hours). There is then no escape from scrutiny by other editors, you will still be summoned to appear at AN/I if you cause problems, or if your entire editing history points to problematic long term behavior.

The main advantage of such a system is that it enforces equality between editors. In day to day interactions someone like Eric would be treated exactly the same as any other editor. Simply the fact that your name is not "Eric" who everyone knows can be rude, rather user_4543653 is going to make Eric behave better. Also, Admins will have to judge Eric in the same way as they judge anyone else. If he goes too far he can be blocked just alike anyone will be blocked for the same offense. User_4543653 won't get a pass because he is Eric, instead past bad behavior is going to be held against him.

This will also help with cases where editors feel that they are being harrassed or provoked by people who are following them. It won't prevent long term harassment based on what an editor is doing here (Wikipediocracy can still monitor people here), but it will make it difficult for long term rivals to get under each other's skin during editing sessions here. Count Iblis (talk) 17:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I think this is called editing while logged out with a dynamic IP. Chillum 17:20, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

What I feel the problem is[edit]

Here on Wikipedia we have established editors that make great edits, some are content with this and contribute a great deal to Wikipedia who are willing to accept new users and their mistakes in order to better them ("Hey we were all new once!") is a great quote. Then there are other experienced editors who let it go to their heads, they cant stand mistakes made by newbies and can not accept those who complain about them even if it is constructive criticism. In both cases it is true that experienced editors seldom get blocked because over time the friends that they have made surround and support them, in some cases being admin. Trying to protect your buddy by wiki-Wikilawyering in my view is corruption. It is not new and happens in politics in the real world, people who are in a good position have their buddies help them out of any problem even if what they are accused of is the truth. Other editors that do not have the same experience are quieted with the You don't know what you are talking about routine. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 19:12, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Put away the past[edit]

Jimbo, Why don't you like Eric. I don't know a lot about this, but I'm going to assume that Eric did something that insulted you. My question is, why don't you put away the past?Amanda Smalls 17:12, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I have nothing personal specifically against Eric as relates to his behavior towards me. I don't care about things like that. That's not my concern at all. My concern is for the principle at stake: do we allow abusive editors to insult and belittle people, if their content contributions are good enough? My position is this: we should not because that's a false bargain. Such editors cause great harm to the content of the encyclopedia by driving away good contributors and newbies not just through their own insults, but through the general decline in community good will that they bring about.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:12, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Editors as Eric aren't driving away good contributors and newbies, civil bullies are. 123.150.92.91 (talk) 16:39, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but you've been posing the same question about it for years now and complaining that no amount of content contributions means that editors can go about saying what they want. Fair enough, now where's the change to deal with it? There's no use continuing to moan about how bad Eric is if you don't put your money where your mouth is. Why aren't you pursuing reform to the system of "governance" on here if this civility thing is high priority and that personal attacks are to be completely not tolerated. Honestly, I'd rather see a harsher change to NPA today which affects everybody than continue to see you complaining about it for the next few years and using Eric as the scapegoat for everything wrong about the site. If I knew that calling somebody xx would get me banned from here, I care enough about content to seriously discipline myself, and I'm sure many others would too, so you'd likely see a general improvement at least, even if it doesn't solve the psychological bullying on here beyond direct personal attacks. It makes your position look very weak.♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:05, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
No Eric is not a scapegoat for everything wrong about the site, the point is that Eric has belittled people and has insulted newbies but his edits are great so he gets away with it. I do not know of any other editors that do this towards other editors hence why I feel that Eric is being talked about so much. As I said before its okay to curse here, that's fine you can have a bad day, everyone does but when it is months and months of the same shit it brings people down over time. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:33, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • There you go again but you really do need to provide proof that he is driving "good contributors and newbies" away. You are assuming that everyone reads this page or the other drama forums, I didn't until recently and I wish I hadn't. Since reading bits of it, I can see exactly why "community good will" is in decline. It's remarks like "allegedly good content" from you that I find most toxic. J3Mrs (talk) 13:29, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • @J3Mrs: I find it absolutely astonishing that you can not see the diff's already posted on the talk-page here, either you choose to ignore them or you can not see what is before your eyes. I will WP:AGF and assume the latter. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:36, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
You can assume whatever you like. Jimmy Wales has not produced evidence of Eric chasing anybody away. J3Mrs (talk) 14:43, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
You didn't provide any evidence when you claimed Eric has encouraged and helped more editors than Mr Wales, the founder and by far and away the most visible public face of the site, ever has. Neither are you putting forward any evidence here that a hostile environment has no effect on the number of people joining, or staying, at Wikipedia. At some point, if they want to retain any shred of credibility, it's the person making the extraordinary claims who needs to provide the evidence. There is a wealth of objective evidence out there which proves most of what Mr Wales has been saying, quite a lot of it linked directly from Wikipedia pages, like the Resources page at Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender gap task force. Perhaps your inability to find the actual evidence you claim to want to see, is because of your own personal bias on the matter. [13] Patrol forty (talk) 19:01, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Jimbo does not need to provide any evidence because other users here have done so already for him. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:11, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Have they really? Who might they be? Eric Corbett 20:27, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
As well as Mr Wales himself, and all the people involved in the GGTF arbitration case, Andy Dingley, Curly Turkey, Nyth83 and Scalhotrod have all given evidence here in support of Mr Wales' arguments. Patrol forty (talk) 14:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
No they haven't. Eric Corbett 16:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, they have. I checked quite thoroughly. You not agreeing with it, is an entirely different issue. Patrol forty (talk) 16:54, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
No, they have provided absolutely no evidence whatsoever in support of the claim of disrupting the GGTF. Which isn't surprising really, because there is none. Eric Corbett 17:02, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, disruption of the GGTF has little, if indeed nothing at all, to do with the criticisms Mr Wales has been making about you here, and therefore it wasn't remotely what I was thinking about when drawing up those names. But if you are specifically asking where evidence of you disrupting the GGTF can be found, the case dealing with has a page full of it. Again, you not agreeing with it, is not the same as it not existing at all. Patrol forty (talk) 17:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
How exactly is bringing up Eric on this talk page once more and asking Jimbo to comment going to help anyone to 'put away the past'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:15, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm not trying to stir up anything, but how wouldn't it help? To put away the past, would mean to express your feelings. Do you know what I mean?Amanda Smalls 17:18, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
It seems like Jimbo has expressed his feelings about Eric's behaviour on this talk page in recent days (indeed, Jimbo having done so is precisely what a small number of people seem to object to.) And Jimbo has said fairly specifically what it is about Eric's behaviour that he finds problematic, for example in this edit.
As regards putting away the past, Eric's behavioural problems are not something that are purely in the past; they are in the present and are an ongoing problem, as evidenced by his behaviour just a couple of days ago on this very page. When Eric's behavioural problems become a thing of the past, then Jimbo should indeed put away the past. That has not yet happened. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 17:54, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, as long as Eric's behavior continues to be present then the more the project is going to be effected. Blocking him will NOT solve all of our problems and the encyclopedia will be far from perfect but it will get another disruptive editor off of Wikipedia. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 23:23, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Jimbo is clearly far more disruptive than I could ever be, with his repeated and unsubstantiated accusations of toxic personalities. Start by blocking him, and then see how quickly the atmosphere here will improve. Eric Corbett 20:55, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
There I disagree, that removes one figure head for a bunch of other ones. Sadly that figurehead power owuld be vacuumed up by more unscrupulous individuals..Has anyone ever thought of an interaction ban between you? Enforceable by blocks? Hell in a Bucket (talk) 21:00, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Do you really think that anyone would be likely to have the balls to block Jimbo? Besides, it would be sending a strong negative message to the outside world if the co-founder started being subjected to interaction bans, so obviously he couldn't agree to it anyway. And neither would I. Eric Corbett 21:04, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Believe it? Got diffs? Then take it on but be careful of WP:BOOMERANG. AnonNep (talk) 21:22, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
The atmosphere of Wikipedia would indeed improve if everybody stuck to the principle that serious accusations required strong evidence to back them up. All I am seeing here is people greeting what they claim are wild accusations backed up with zero evidence, with their own wild accusations with zero evidence. To outside observers at least, it will be abundantly clear that Mr Wales position is not all that wild, and it is indeed backed up by a lot of evidence, both directly relating to those he accuses, and on the general principles involved. As a high profile public figure, I'd wager he is extremely careful about ensuring he can defend his public statements about other people. Patrol forty (talk) 15:33, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Then why is he repeatedly unable to do so when asked directly? Eric Corbett 16:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Unable to do what exactly? The questions have been asked and answered, repeatedly, as far as I can tell. Patrol forty (talk) 16:54, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Take a look at the now-archived discussion on this talk page from earlier this month. What answers did Jimbo give to the very simple question that was repeatedly asked of him? Eric Corbett 17:02, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Which one? His archives are full of simple questions. Patrol forty (talk) 17:43, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
He's saying he wants evidence he's a misogynist—the accusations rest on his use of the word "cunt". I think there's something of a disconnect here—once upon a time, "bitch", for example, was a term applied exclusively in a misogynistic way. I remember Dave Sim, a generation ago, announcing that he had come to prefer to use the word "cunt" towards radical feminists. Back then (in North America at least) it was definitely a term reserved for "putting women in their places" (as "bitch" was rapidly ceasing to). I suspect Jimbo and others believe the word is still used that way. I think the accusations are in good faith, but wrong—Eric clearly isn't using "cunt" in its misogynistic sense (a sense which isn't quite obsolete yet). Eric's waiting on evidence that his use of the term is misogynistic. Don't expect him to respond to other claims. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 21:43, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
In other words, the two sides are arguing at cross purposes: Jimbo et al. consider Eric's use of the word "cunt" as the evidence itself. In a different time and context, that would have been sufficient. Here it's clear that Eric isn't using it to belittle Dank's "manliness", but because it had more bite than "prick" or "asshole". Eric et al. will never concede that Jimbo et al.'s interpretation could be valid in a different context and thus the accusation, even if wrong, could be in good faith—and so Palestine and Israel will never be at peace. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 23:14, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but I think you're overlooking the fact that the word is widely interpreted in the present day as a slur on women, and a women neither has to be the target or even present for this to be the case. In the same way use of the n-word will always blow up into a racism controversy these days, regardless of whether a black person is the target, or even present. The mere possibility that a black person could read it, or be told about it, is sufficient. Same here - just because the victim of Eric's gross offensiveness is a man, there's nothing to stop a women (or thousands of women) seeing it, and concluding Wikipedia is a hostile and misogynist environment. That's how I interpret Mr Wales' case, as he seems to know full well what the 'traditional' UK usage is, namely as a highly offensive swear word (perhaps the only one with any real shock value left). I can't believe this is what he's claiming not to have seen though, as this has been explained repeatedly here and in the arbitration case (as well as in numerous places before, directly to him). He can dispute it all he wants, but he can't claim he's never seen it. Patrol forty (talk) 00:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm overlooking no such thing—I acknowleged as much above. The word carries different baggage to different people in different contexts, something neither IsraelJimbo nor PalestineEric have conceded. Even if they both concede this point, I suspect they'll still be in deadlock, as Jimbo will take the position that newbies can't be expected to be aware of (or accept) the context of the word simply being a rather strong cussword, and Eric will take the position that people should accept whatever context he wants them to accept. Feel free to argue the pros and cons of each position—I won't make public my opinion on it, nor will I on the Israel–Palestine conflict or abortion. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 00:56, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I can't disagree with any of that, except perhaps to say that Eric's usage was not merely as a strong cussword, it's context here was unambiguously as a maximally offensive personal insult. It actually makes me wonder if Eric is as skilled a wordsmith as is claimed, since his usage of it alongside the accusation of dishonesty seems entirely redundant. From where I come from, which is apparently not so far from where Eric comes from, if you already believe someone is a c*nt, they are unlikely to be surprised to learn that you also believe them to be dishonest. It's practically in the job description. He might as well have accused Mr Wales of being a dishonest thief, or a dishonest adulterer, or a dishonest traitor, all of which are eminently c*ntish human qualities, around these parts anyway. Since this is clearly the context Eric wants it to be taken, and since it's evidently not out of character and he's entirely unapologetic or remorseful, I'd say he's getting off quite lightly if people aren't aware of his true intent. Patrol forty (talk) 14:50, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Amanda (are you any relation to Derek Smalls?) - I'll assume good faith that you mean well, but to be honest the odds of Eric and Jimbo sitting down and having a nice cup of tea are about as likely as the major players in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict forgetting about it all and looking at some kittens together. Some things are within your control to change and improve. This encyclopedia's articles, for instance. The behaviour of others - less so. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 21:00, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I think Amanda dear, we have heard quite enough about poor Mr Corbett and his unfortunate turn of phrase to last us all a lifetime. Furthermore, looking at your age (as given) on your user page, isn't it well time that you went to bed or gained some nice fresh air, or whatever it is the youth of your part of the world do at this time of day? The Lady Catherine de Burgh (talk) 21:15, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
@The Lady Catherine de Burgh:I'm not sure if you mean to belittle me. But over here in Florida, It's only 5:00pm. And the waves aren't really good for surfing today.Amanda Smalls 21:20, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
But if it will make you feel better, I'll get off of the Wikipedia until Monday!Amanda Smalls 21:24, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Out of the mouths of babes... Viriditas (talk) 05:04, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Putting away the past isn't easy. In this case, I think it would have to start with Eric apologizing to Jimmy for what, regardless of whether one think he should be banned for it, was extremely uncool. Apologizing without condition or qualification is extremely difficult; I personally would start to think better of Eric if he could summon the courage and moral fortitude to pull it off. The second most difficult thing for humans seems to be forgiving. It would be a very big thing for Jimmy to do. That obviously wouldn't take things all the way to the best outcome, but it might be a good place to start the conversation that could. -wʃʃʍ- 00:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

[Inserting] Oh, please. Self-righteous platitudes from someone who used his blog to mount a vile attack on a banned WP user and remained cynically unapologetic even when its offensive and erroneous assumptions were exposed? Spare us. We've already had more than enough of this kind of thing in the form of Jimmy Wales's posts preaching "love" and "kindness" etc. while in others he viciously demeans Eric Corbett 's article work—whose diligence and excellence, as any fule kno, far outshine Wales's contributions—and gratuitously attacks Corbett himself (falsely, without producing evidence despite repeated challenges) for driving other editors away. Such posts insult intelligence. Nobody needs apologize to anybody. What's needed is for Eric Corbett to get on with his valuable article work and Jimmy Wales to actually practice the love etc. he preaches—or stop the preaching. Writegeist (talk) 04:58, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Winnar! Wil Sinclair's self-important and pandering Peace-Love-and-Understanding pitch in the wake of his miserable editorial behavior on his own blog (Off-Wiki™) has been vomit-inducing. Kudos to Writegeist for calling him on it. Carrite (talk) 04:13, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Writegeist, and I don't know what he or she knows or believes they know about me, but I'll admit your relentless criticism stings, Tim. While I've never met you in person and have only know you for less than 6 months from a few dozen interactions online, I once considered you something of a mentor. You gave me my first (and only, so far) barnstar and pointed out to me how to watch my article-space edits to make sure I keep the contributions coming (glancing at them now I can see I need to catch up to my talk page edits). But it's seriously uncool to attack someone's character with white-hot rhetoric like that without providing evidence. So, show us some links. Offwiki is in read-only mode for the time being, but all of my edits are available there. Same goes here onwiki, obviously. And ditto with my blog. Like most, I don't feel all my edits live up to the best I can be, but "vomit-inducing" or showing "miserable editorial behavior"? I'm calling you on your rhetoric here and now, Tim, in plain view. After all, I agree that I should be held to what I say, so please, show us what you've been talking about so often and in so many places. And, yes, I'd be happy to provide more than enough links to your comments as evidence if anyone is interested.-wʃʃʍ- 20:00, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
More people know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows. Writegeist (talk) 22:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Eric's contributions are excellent, if he would stop harassing other users and belittling them with his edit summaries and notions on his talk page then we wouldn't be in this mess but he wont. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 05:03, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Apparently you missed my point. [14] Writegeist (talk) 05:47, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
"viciously demeaned"? "gratuitously attacked"? "without producing evidence"? Are we talking about the same posts here? Where Mr Wales explained in a quite cogent and entirely rational manner that the behaviour Eric engages in, by demeaning and degrading other users in a sustained, repeated and deliberate manner, drives editors away from Wikipedia? And that he feels justified in describing his contributions as "allegedly" good based on the fact they can never make up for the lost contributions from editors who leave, or never join, both as a direct of his behaviour, and the collateral effects, if it goes unchecked? And the posts where Mr Wales accuses Eric of being gratuitously offensive and yes, misogynistic, for repeatedly and deliberately using a term of insult toward others that is widely recognised as highly offensive and a slur on women? You might not like the evidence, or agree with his conclusions, but claims that no evidence has been provided are false. Patrol forty (talk) 14:09, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
In the adult world, except in states whose courts are intrinsic to an apparatus of tyranny, accusation is not proof and assertion is not evidence. By the apparent premise of your argument, if I were to assert in a "quite cogent and rational manner" that you are a trolling sockpuppet whose purpose here is to settle an old score by stitching up a considerably smarter, more productive, and much longer-established editor (who in his own words and those of the women editors who voice support for him is no misogynist), then those assertions would constitute "evidence" that you are a trolling sockpuppet etc. Yet obviously they wouldn't.
If I were to call someone an arsehole, it would signify nothing more than an opinion that they were acting like one. It does not follow that I'm, shall we say, a misoproctylist. And although some may dislike EC's occasional "cunt," his use of the word does not make him a misogynist. (Indeed, the actual evidence—i.e. the record of his collaboration with women, and their support for him, etc.—is to the contrary.) It merely makes him a blunt speaker.
Fact is, no real evidence has been produced to support the accusation, repeated ad nauseam by Wales and others ("if you repeat a lie often enough, other people will believe it and you'll come to believe it yourself") that EC drives all these wonderfully productive and hitherto purely hypothetical editors away, or that he prevents others from joining the project, or whatever happens to be the pernicious fiction's variation of the day. Either put up the evidence in an RfC/U or put away the canards. Writegeist (talk) 20:27, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Evidence is nothing more than the facts used to support an argument. It's out there, he just disputes the interpretation. What's not up for debate is that 'blunt speaking' (otherwise known as grossly offensive personal attacks in this case) deters new contributors and drives away existing ones. The empirical evidence for that is in the public domain, as is the sound logical argument that predicts it. Just like climate change, the facts are not even in dispute, except by the people with something to lose by conceding the point (as someone as attached to personalised abuse as a mode of communication as Eric is). The evidence to support the denialist view that hostile actors like Eric have no effect on Wikipedia is however, of the non-existent kind. It's the people spreading this particular myth who are dealing in pernicious fiction. Patrol forty (talk) 00:12, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Again, and for the last time: put up some honest evidence against EC at an RfC/U, or STFU with the dishonest canards. Writegeist (talk) 01:59, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
OK. Since it appears to be a running theme among his advocates that his behaviour is entirely out of bounds for discussion unless or until this RFC is filed, I'm going to start it. I'll compile the evidence, I'll let others decide if it's honest or not. Patrol forty (talk) 14:55, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Wow, you're a remarkable newcomer, talking like this when your first edit on Wiki came only on Sept. 4, 2014. Please do preach to us about "honesty," I for one am looking forward to it. While you're at it, you might consider linking your previous account name with your current account name on your (non-existent) user page... Carrite (talk) 04:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
What exactly are you alleging, Tim? What is the previous account name that this user should be linking to? -wʃʃʍ- 20:29, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
This entire section, from the first post to the last, is based on the false premise that this is all about a dispute between two people. It isn't. It is about what are the acceptable standards of conduct on this project, and what is the proper reaction to violations of those standards. Neutron (talk) 02:27, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you've got it exactly backwards. What you refer to as the "acceptable standards of conduct" can only be measured against the background of at least two people in a conduct dispute, encapsulating all disputes at that level and above it. You're proposing that people subscribe to an abstract standard external to themselves, when at our very core, we adhere to our own standards in relation to the fairness and reasonableness of other standards outside ourselves. So the best way to address standards of conduct at the political level are to first address them at the personal level. If we find that the larger rules don't —match our personal ones, then we change the project rules to conform to our personal vision, not the other way around. Viriditas (talk) 02:55, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Whether I agree with Eric's behaviour or not can we please stop talking about him. Constantly targeting any editor this way becomes abusive. Further, Incivility is one thing; but there is truly abusive behaviour on Wikipdia that goes unnoticed. Comments by apparently respected editors designed to subtly damage over time, truly abusive statements about other editors, lies and the acceptance of lies, the list goes on. This isn't meant to criticize just to say, enough. If a community has decided to ignore Eric and move on to bigger issues that might be a good thing. I suspect that if Eric wanted to adjust his behaviour to suit community norms, he could, and perhaps if left alone would. Hammering on him or anyone probably won't make any difference. Just my opinion born out of being fed up with the focus on one situation while much worse goes unnoticed.(Littleolive oil (talk) 16:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC))
It is not abusive in any way, shape or form, to talk about a specific individual's behaviour if it is repeatedly and deliberately falling below community norms. As Mr Wales said himself, "Such opinions are welcomed and a normal part of our discourse". Mr Wales is clearly doing everything in his power to ensure the community does not ignore Eric, and for very good reason. But I'm sure if you actually named any of the editors who are behaving far worse than Eric, Mr Wales would gladly take a similar stand against them too, if his recent comments are anything to go by. And please take note of others on this page, who are quite rightly pointing out (with evidence) that Eric's behaviour goes way beyond mere rudeness, and does indeed include "truly abusive" statements about other editors. Patrol forty (talk) 17:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
That Jimbo is apparently quite happy to host this kind of nonsense on his talk page says a very great deal about the man, none of good. Eric Corbett 17:57, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It speaks very well to his commitment to defending the core values and community cohesion of Wikipedia against the damage caused by the tolerance of serially abusive users who allegedly contribute good content, users whose own character is more than highlighted to the outside world by their total inability to conduct themselves to the same standards they demand of him. Patrol forty (talk) 18:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Incivility -- DangerousPanda RFC/U[edit]

Eric's periodic contributions, which many of us consider incivil, represent not a failure of governance but a failure of consensus. As I wrote in 2011, User:NE Ent/Notes on civility: The problem is everyone agrees that we should be civil, but no one agrees what that means. Arbcom's made it clear that they're unlikely to accept an Eric case without an RFCU. If Eric was the problem, rather than a symptom of the problem, I'd write one. Last I checked I had ~1000 WP:WQA and ~2000 WP:ANI edits, and Eric's behavior isn't extraordinary, it's banally common. What I found on WQA is if a couple 50 mainspace edit editors sling mud at each other, no one much cares. As arbcom 2012 noted:

Throughout the project, breaches of the expected level of decorum are common. These violations of the community's standards of conduct are unevenly, and often ineffectively, enforced. (1,2)
— English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee

Personally, I'm far more concerned that an admin can say "if The ed shuts the fuck up" on arbcom's doorstop [15] without too much of a reaction. If you're going to address a specific civility issue, I suggest you start with that -- the tolerated routine snarkiness of some admins. As I'm not one to complain without trying to fix the problem, I've drafted: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/DangerousPanda-EatsShootsAndLeaves. As you previously called his behavior "grounds for immediate desysoping," I'd appreciate if you'd certify the RFCU so it can proceed. NE Ent 16:15, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Not quite. WP:NPA is both regularly condemned and regularly blocked for, whatever comments about general incivility Arbcom has made. Oh sure, some will slip by (or you may get the great debates of whether 'shut the fuck up' is the same as 'you are a fuck'), but the regulating/administrative mechanism will ofttimes spring -- that's the risk the User takes when they deliberately press submit of PA, and the more they do it, the greater risk they run, and the more often or regularly they do it, or argue they do it deliberately, the more it will be seen as deliberate. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:32, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

he is allowed to keep his tools? 202.106.169.228 (talk) 22:10, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • No, Commons is not "a part of Wikipedia projects." It is a sibling project to the Wikipedias, not a child. All of the projects are owned by the Wikimedia Foundation. The English Wikipedia community have no say in what happens on Commons, otherwise things would be very different there. Neutron (talk) 02:37, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
    And vice versa. As for why Russavia is allowed to keep his tools, it is because he is a trusted and hard-working member of the Commons community. While I grant you that comment is not very nice, that someone feels frustrated by the behaviour of the other participant in a long-term dispute is understandable. -mattbuck (Talk) 12:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That the serial harasser and troll Russavia is regarded as a "trusted and hard-working member of the Commons community" tells us a great deal about the behavioral norms among the administrative clique at Commons. Carrite (talk) 15:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, Russavia is the serial harasser and troll, and Mattbuck is the serial, immature idiot, but I cannot believe there are no decent, mature administrators on Commons. Where are they? Why they keep silent? 124.72.94.149 (talk) 17:20, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Because they are busy in real works. Jee 11:38, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Nice to meet you too IP person.
As for where the "other" Commons admins are, there was a de-crat vote which Russavia lost, but he retains the general trust of admins at Commons as at Commons he has done nothing to warrant losing admin rights, and certainly not meriting the ban that enwp seems to believe appropriate. -mattbuck (Talk) 12:08, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The Panda RFC/U, Wikipedia:Requests for comment/DangerousPanda-EatsShootsAndLeaves, has now been revdeleted . —Neotarf (talk) 16:50, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

What about an Administrator's pledge?[edit]

Mr Wales, what would you think about something like an Administrator's pledge, as an initiative to raise standards? This would be a voluntary system - administrators would be invited to sign a page which commits them to uphold in all their dealings with other users, both administrative or otherwise, a simple list of the most basic principles of Wikipedia (openness, respect, equitable treatment, etc). Should any user then believe a signatory has broken their pledge (including through inaction), they could then simply file a request to you (or a delegate) outlining the details, and if it's found to have merit, the administrator in question would be obliged to agree with any resolution you (or a delegate) came up with (which could range from a simple apology or comment alteration, to resignation). They would be perfectly entitled to refuse, although if they did, they would no longer be a signatory to the pledge. Obviously, since it has no power behind it other than moral imperative, it isn't intended to replace any of the other systems of redress, but it is hoped that it will make administrators think long and hard about whether they are holding themselves to a high enough standard. Patrol forty (talk) 16:57, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

My quick reaction to this is that we need for everyone to behave well, not sign up for a new system of vague promises to do so. Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:33, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I think there is some potential in this idea, but I am interested as to why Patrol forty believes that "equitable treatment" is a basic principle of Wikipedia. It doesn't seem to be. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:31, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Such a system would inevitably become a game of "Gotcha! I got Dad to make you apologize!" If an administrator has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of behavior that is contrary to "the most basic principles of Wikipedia" then the appropriate response is to review their conduct (and, if necessary) to withdraw their adminship through a well-formed RfC and/or AN(/I) discussion and (if, necessary) ArbCom filing. If an administrator has occasional or infrequent lapses which are not part of a pattern of misconduct, those can and should be addressed through polite discussion—not through a formalized, adversarial system of dramatic wrist-slaps and forced apologies. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:30, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
TenOfAllTrades can you point us to one or two examples where the process you described above resulted in an abusive admin resigning or losing the bit? I am not aware of this ever happening, but I am certainly aware that some admins are abusive. What you've described above only works if said admin does not have several friendly admins that are willing to block the corrective action. It's kind of like asking the other police in a squad to decide if a shooting was justified; they would never side with the accuser against their co-worker and comrade. Case in point is the DangerousPanda RfC, where 3-5 of DP's enablers have already set about invalidating the process. We will never achieve admin reform as long as the admin corp can block !vote to derail these processes. Rationalobserver (talk) 16:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
You can find lists of admins desysopped by ArbCom at Wikipedia:Former administrators/reason/for cause, and the list of admins who have resigned at Wikipedia:Former administrators/reason/resigned. (The latter list appears to also be annotated to indicate instances where an admin resigned under controversial circumstances, thereby potentially triggering the provisions of WP:CLOUD.) I don't know if either list is exhaustive, but both events certainly occur more frequently than never. In the last twelve months, I count two ArbCom desysoppings and five under-a-cloud resignations. And of course the number of desysoppings isn't the only metric that matters—if the community is able to communicate its concerns effectively to an admin (preferably without gratuitous screaming, shouting, or demands for abasement), and that communication results in a positive change in conduct, that's also an acceptable outcome (in some situations).
Of course, there will always be editors who treat admins as a shadowy monolithic clique bent on retaining their power at any cost, rather than ordinary editors who have been vetted by the community and given access to some useful tools. Those editors – whom you appear to be channeling in your comment below – are unlikely to be satisfied by any solution that doesn't involve immediate punishment at the hands of any torch-bearing mob. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
As I said, this initiative is not "intended to replace any of the other systems of redress". It's simply a quick and entirely toothless system which seeks to raise the standards administrators hold themselves to, by entirely voluntary means. Nobody would be obliged to take part in it, and it's entirely possible that they might have completely sound reasons not to sign up that I have not anticipated. An expectation that it would descend into a game of 'gotcha' is not one I would say was one. Obviously, if an administrator who signs the pledge doesn't agree that their behaviour was sub-par in any given situation, then the pledge would be as useless as a method of feedback as any other method which is entirely voluntary, which includes dropping a message on their talk page asking for some personal reflection. I recently observed an admin endorsing/encouraging another user's expression of some quite malicious and unfounded accusations of misconduct on their own talk page. Since I was easily able to determine the admin and the user's relationship was something closer than just editor-admin, I don't think I'm alone in having concluded that a polite note for the admin reminding them of their responsibilities to uphold the principles of Wikipedia in such situations, would not have been received in the manner it was intended. I also don't think I'm alone in not having the time to establish if every time I see a failure in basic standards like that (which is frequently!), whether or not it's a pattern, and to document it for review if it is. My reaction was presumably no different to what seems to be happening on Wikipedia all the time - I did nothing. Yet perhaps if this admin was a signatory of the pledge, me simply dropping the diff on the page for review, might at least achieve something more beneficial to Wikipedia, than doing nothing at all. Patrol forty (talk) 17:23, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
As I said above, as long as admins are invited to support or oppose proposals there will never be a successful attempt to hold them accountable. 100 or so people can control or derail pretty much any RfC or proposal, and there are currently 1,500 active admins (give or take). We will never get the actual admins to agree to anything that increases accountability, so IMO, the only option is to discuss proposals that admins cannot !vote on, which is unlikely in the extreme. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:43, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
All administrators at the English Wikipedia – irrespective of what they have or haven't signed – are bound by the same standards of accountability. That they sometimes aren't held to these standards reflects flaws in our culture, which the "toothless system" described would do nothing to address.
Accepting the sysop bit is a pledge to conduct oneself responsibly, to which administrators either adhere or don't. Likewise, whether optional or mandatory, these individuals would honor or ignore the suggested pledge on the same basis. So it would be entirely redundant (and potentially harmful, as an administrator's failure to become a signatory to the document could be misconstrued as an implicit rejection of the principles contained therein.)
As others have noted, the solution is stricter enforcement of existing policies (with no exceptions for administrators, of whom we should demand the best behavior). Until that occurs, any pledge to uphold principles or pledge to pledge to uphold principles is useless at best. —David Levy 17:57, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I think a pledge isn't what matters, but standards. Admins need to hold to a more professional standard regarding civility, and I'm not really talking about seven words you can't say on TV. Juvenile jargon like "Obvious sock is obvious." should be replaced by more expansive, plain English, factually-based statements. The admins should realize that when they block someone they need not only to justify it to one another, but to the whole community, and on reflection, hopefully even to the person blocked. But other needed reforms are more systemic. For example, all too commonly an editor is blocked for what people eventually accept by general consensus is a bad reason, but when he appeals for unblock, instead of accepting that a mistake was made and vacating the block, the admin will cast about for any random policy that might explain continuing it. (Don't even ask me to name names here; I don't remember and don't want to start anything personal, when you can surely find more cases easily enough by looking through a few blocked editors) The overall feel of the process is little different than the typical POV editor who doesn't like an article and wants it AfD'd regardless of the reason, and it is surely embittering to the editor who feels wronged because an admin doesn't want to admit a mistake was made or has some personal agenda - and all civility goes out the window. Wnt (talk) 17:43, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Pledges, oaths, promises etc... all worth very little. We have all been around long enough to know that if someone does not want to behave in a decent manner then their promise is not likely to be very reliable. We judge people on what they do not what they say they are going to do, anything else would be naive.

We have policy: "Administrators are expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others. Administrators are expected to follow Wikipedia policies and to perform their duties to the best of their abilities."

I say instead of loyalty oaths we try to alter the culture that says you should not block an admin. I think admins should be blocked with the same or greater readiness as regular users when they step outside community expectation and such a block would be preventative. A long history of blocks should be something that arbcom give serious weight to when they are considering an issue that may involve desysoping.

While people often clamor for easier means to remove the admin bit I think what is needed is readily available smaller deterrents that can be escalating. As it stands blocking an admin is shocking to the community and will likely result in being flamed. This is a cultural problem. Chillum 17:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Admins are seldom blocked not because they are admins, but because experienced editors are seldom blocked without warning. In general, if you have any kind of constructive history on the project then you have to try really, really hard to get blocked: egregious personal attacks (and even these seem to be insufficient to make a block stick these days), jumping into a pissing match at an article covered by AE, or poking at the third rails of 3RR violations or BLP edit warring. Blocks of experienced editors only tend to happen after other dispute resolution breaks down. Depending on one's perspective, the ability of admins to recognize and (usually) not cross the lines that lead to blocking is either because they're sensible and policy-aware or because they're Machiavellian schemers—but it's not because they're admins.
As for flaming—have you seen what happens when an admin blocks an experienced non-admin? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:01, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I absolutely agree that the pledge is not the magic bullet to cure all ills, and I'm not daft enough to believe it will have any effect at all on those administrators who are so lacking in self-awareness that they might one day be blocked themselves. This is just one initiative, hopefully one of many, to put the issue of moral ambitiousness to the forefront of their minds. It will of course only help those who aspire to taking Wikipedia onward and upward to greater heights, rather than deeper into the quagmire of the lowest common denominator. By all means, if the pledge is not your particular cup of tea, continue your own efforts to improve the standards of other, less ambitious and perhaps entirely more jaded admins. It all counts in the end. Patrol forty (talk) 18:17, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

News Certified Exchange[edit]

"Founded by veteran journalists, NewsCertified provides the global news media with a searchable database of credible, interview-ready experts and story ideas that are accessible 24/7."—News Certified Exchange
Wavelength (talk) 17:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Why would Wikipedia be interested in a company that certifies 'experts' for 'interview-readiness' in exchange for a fee? [16] AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:49, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Without Wikipedia paying a fee, its editors can access reports known to have been be authored by those "experts". Please see Expert Keyword Search. If Wikipedia has articles about any of those "experts", then they could be listed in a Wikipedia list or categorized in a Wikipedia category.
Wavelength (talk) 21:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Why would Wikipedia want to compile a list of people who have paid a fee to NewsCertified? AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:49, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia depends on reliable sources.
Wavelength (talk) 22:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Indeed it does. It doesn't however judge reliability on whether someone has paid a fee to a PR company or not. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
At http://www.newscertified.com/media-room/press.cfm, the first entry has a link to http://displacedjournalists.com/2011/03/21/news-certified-exchange-a-trusted-source-database/.
Wavelength (talk) 22:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Once more you have failed to explain why Wikipedia should be interested in a PR company's list of people who have paid the company to describe them as 'interview-ready, and 'experts'. Appearance on this list has no bearing whatsoever on whether we would consider them as reliable sources on particular subject matter or not - except in as much as one might ask whether a real 'expert' would need to pay to be described as such. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It strikes me as possibly of more interest to Wikinews, if free access could be arranged. We might be a little bit skeptical of a "PR company's list of people who have paid the company to describe them" as experts (is that how it works?) but if there is a vetting process, it's really the results that matter. One problem that Wikinewsies might have is insufficient institutional memory or resources to seek out willing sources on short notice. The people on this list have put themselves forward as experts and are presumably willing to be interviewed. If they aren't actually experts, then of course, the whole thing is pointless, but if the service functions as advertised, it probably is at least worth a look.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I think we can adequately assess the company's vetting process by looking at the results of their "expert keyword search" - it appears to list as an expert anyone who has a 'keyword' anywhere in their profile. A lawyer (but only one apparently) is thus an expert on 'cases', 'ca' experts are those who live in California, and an expert on 'stanley' is someone who once gave an interview about "General Stanley McChrystal's recent comments to Rolling Stone". To be fair, their expert on the 'balkins' appears to at least have some relevant expertise on the subject however - including the ability to spell it correctly... AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:22, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Not very impressive search results, but surely judging them by their simplistic full text search technology isn't really completely fair. Prof. Acuff, found through that search for "Stanley", does appear to be well qualified on topics relating to foreign affairs and security matters. Your statement implies that his qualification is that he did an interview about General McChrystal once - that's not accurate. I did a handful of other searches and found, for example, a former VP/Deputy General Counsel at Google available to talk about ongoing issues with China and Google. I found a professor of civil engineering who has written a book about risk management in natural disasters who seems quite qualified to comment in that area.
I'm not here to promote the service, I'm just saying that we shouldn't judge it as some kind of complete scam. The interesting thing that I notice is that if Wikinewsies found it interesting, there's no need to pay for anything to use it as a journalist. I guess if you do pay you get the contact information but I think most of these people are quite easy to find. (Professors, especially, are usually easy to find.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:00, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Anyone look at their list of certification criteria? 🙈 🙉 🙊 [17] Wnt (talk) 02:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Hello one and want to start a new wiki page[edit]

I do not know what but then help thanks in advance — Preceding unsigned comment added by Levente 2 (talkcontribs) 09:24, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

@Levente 2: Please see Wikipedia:FAQ. -mattbuck (Talk) 12:35, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Look, editing the English language Wikipedia when you don't speak English is pretty much impossible - I suspect you're using an auto-translate, and they just do not work well enough. You really should stick to your own language Wikipedia, which I think is Hungarian? Neatsfoot (talk) 12:43, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • you do not seem interested in the plans from one — Preceding unsigned comment added by Levente 2 (talkcontribs) 14:51, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • My advice would also be to write it in Magyar (or whatever your native language is) and then work to get it translated into English. There are more than 800 articles a day started at English-WP and about 80 to 100 a day that end up running afoul of Articles for Deletion (not to mention other forms of deletion), so you will need to be sure to have things sourced up well enough to meet En-WP's standards if you port something over from another Wikipedia. That certainly seems the way to proceed, however. Best of luck, —Tim //// Carrite (talk) 17:00, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • OK, here's the problem - "you do not seem interested in the plans from one" does not make sense! And that's because you can not speak English! If you can not speak English, then you can not contribute to the English language Wikipedia! (Is there anybody here who can speak Hungarian and can translate it for him and perhaps explain on his talk page?) Neatsfoot (talk) 18:40, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Wikimania Speech Published as an Essay?[edit]

Hey Jimmy, I just finished reading the transcript of your notorious speech from Wikimania 2014. After seeing some of the characterizations here and elsewhere, I was pleasantly surprised to find what IMO is hands-down the most candid and insightful look at the greatest risks to the movement's success in the long-term.

Coincidentally, I started working on an essay this weekend that makes some similar points, but now I'm not sure if it's necessary. It would be far more effective to publish your speech as an essay instead. In fact, the speech already has the structure for it, and all points are well articulated; it would stand up well enough as-is after a few mentions of speeches, Wikimania, the audience, etc. are edited out. On the other hand, if there are any improvements or additions you’d like to make, this could provide a great opportunity. Your slides could even be tweaked for the new medium and added as illustrations.

If you're interested but don't have enough time, I'd be happy to help with any or all of this. Just let me know below. Thanks. -wʃʃʍ- 11:17, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

I didn't realize that it's notorious. :-) Well, I think what you are saying is a very good idea and said something similar just a couple of days ago. I haven't re-read it yet but as I was speaking from the heart with just a few slides to guide the structure, I'm sure there are things I'd like to tweak or emphasize differently or de-emphasize. I'm not sure when I will get the time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, about one paragraph of it is. ;-) But that's hardly the best part. -wʃʃʍ- 23:18, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
"Notorious", - I may not understand it right, only copied it to my user page. Your speech is still a topic on my user talk, pictured (not by me), - I don't know if that makes it notorious already. Several users participated, with different points of view, and it got rather long, - my summary: "For me, "toxic" applied to people, whether behavior or personality, is not acceptable as a model. Every editor is a human being". --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:57, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I like the pithiness of "Every editor is a human being." Perhaps we should include the wording in the fourth pillar. No disrespect to bots, of course! --Boson (talk) 09:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The wording is not by me, see the attribution is in my edit notice (February 2012, coined for PumpkinSky). The bots I know are civil. (One still says ArticleHistory instead of Article history, but let's be forgiving.) It's human to occasionally loose control ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:48, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I see no tension between Jimbo's input and the "editors are human beings" idea: "... we're human beings ..., "... the more difficult users ... We can love these people, in a general way as human beings ...". --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:31, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I see a tension between "We can love them" and calling them "incredibly toxic personalities", but that may be my lack of language, my strange concept of civility (attitude rather than certain words) and my concept of love. I wouldn't call any person a toxic personality, not even one I hate, and believe that doing so is not productive. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:50, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Re. "attitude rather than certain words"... yet you seem to fall over certain words... in fact one word ("toxic") appears enough to reject a "personality" (...Jimbo in his Wikipedia-related role). It is this disparity between the words you seem to hold high, and the contradictory attitude you derive from them which I say "no" to, as in not nearly good enough to solve an actual problem. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:24, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I try to stick to two comments per discussion (as my wonderful arbcom restriction recommends), but need to clarify that I don't reject a personality. The word was not well received by several editors, not just me. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Re. "I don't reject a personality": I was putting it mildly: you rejected Jimbo entirely, so the disparity with your embellished theory is even bigger. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I didn't reject anybody, nor do I have a theory. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I asked "...what would, in your opinion, be the practical steps that would remedy misbehaviour like this and like this one promises?" [18]
You answered "Keep it simple, take "no" for an answer (as Cullen did), talk person to person." [19]
Well,
  1. It's a theory that that would be a remedy for the issue I asked about;
  2. I reject that theory as largely insufficient to handle the issue.
Also, I like straightforward answers, not denial. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:14, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe it's been discussed in a lot of places, although I don't have time to go fishing for links so please take that with a grain of salt. And maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, because I believe the many topics Jimmy covered in that speech must be called out, discussed, and acted upon for the long-term health of the community and success of the project.
I also believe that it's important to point out that "toxic" is hardly the only word in the speech. I agree that there are active contributors who do immeasurable damage (in both senses of the word, unfortunately) on the project that far outweighs their contributions. But that seems rather obvious to me, despite any taboos that may exist around saying it out loud. The really insightful part begins with his pointing out that we can all make the biggest difference immediately by looking at our own behavior. -wʃʃʍ- 20:25, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • It's a marvelous speech and you must definitely publish it as an essay - it has such insight and perception. I know Jimbo that you are a very modest person, but would you consider leaving in the "prolonged applause" descriptions, as that further shows how appreciated and respected you are here. Giano (talk) 09:38, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Conflict of interest[edit]

Please pardon what may sound like un-intentional sarcasm. I had a thought experiment in mind. If 100 BLPs asked the question "How do I request a correction on a Wikipedia page about me?" and in each case an editor said "Please read WP:COI", I wonder in how many cases the BLP would promptly find the information they were looking for and proceed with a correction the proper way. Keeping in mind that the current guideline is 5,400 words long and uses a lot of jargon like your "paid advocacy editing" that BLPs won't understand, it seems to me that it is basically an unreadable wall of text.

In comparison, other guidelines like Wikipedia:Assume good faith and Wikipedia:Canvassing are each about 1,300 words long. I've kept a simple, plain-english version of WP:COI in my userspace for a year or two that was only 1,500 words and I just cut it down to 1,000 words by focusing exclusively on article-subjects (we should probably have a dedicated sub-guide for article-subjects). WP:COI is literally about 45 times longer than WP:BIOSELF, which is just 121 words.

This seems problematic if we expect article-subjects and their affiliates to contribute in a very specific way, but do not provide simple, straightforward instructions and processes for doing so. Additionally, since we are not doing a good job providing educational resources to article-subjects, they fall prey very easily to misinformation from Wikipedia astroturfing services. I'm not sure where I'm going specifically, but it's sometimes disappointing there's so much arguing on the subject and so little productive work doing basic things like, "if you believe there is an error on the page, this is how to request a correction." CorporateM (Talk) 17:01, 21 October 2014 (UTC) (see COI disclosure on user page)

I have run into this situation, somewhat first hand, on several occasions. Since I have contacted several article subjects in order to locate sources of information about them, in nearly every instance these people have said that information about them in their WP article was incorrect or missing what they considered significant aspects of their life or career. And when I mentioned that it was based on the available sources, nearly all said that they mistrust the media for exactly this reason, poor or just inaccurate reporting.
Recently we had a BLP subject comment publicly on her radio show and Facebook page on the inaccuracy of her article as well as the effort of one specific Editor (whom she named by Username) to remove sourced information about her career. I agree that we need a better method/process for subjects to remove or correct information about themselves. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:20, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
In my experience, in a lot of cases where an article subject says the media published inaccurate information, it would be more realistic to call it factually inconvenient. However, I'm afraid that's one of those rabbit hole discussions that ends in "no consensus" and "it depends". Such topics tend to de-rail productive efforts by focusing on areas where editors will permanently disagree. In contrast, I think most editors would agree there is a need to provide simple instructions and processes for article-subjects to request a correction that aren't buried in pages of pontification and debate. CorporateM (Talk) 21:44, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, "factually inconvenient" is also the case in many instances. But even those situations are abused and misused. There was a recent frackas concerning alleged child molestation with some celebrities on the East Coast. The content was eventually left in, but it was very carefully worded and sourced substantially. This is why I've approached subjects directly to ask which publications "got it right" in their opinion. the source still has to pass WP:RS and such to be used here, but it can eliminate the "clutter" considerably. Still, we need a better method and process. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Mentioned at AN/I[edit]

Jimbo: A suggestion you have been said to have made regarding banned users has been mentioned here at AN/I and I have taken issue with it; accordingly notifying you. Yngvadottir (talk) 17:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

I have responded at your talk page. In short, you have badly misunderstood me and insulted me for no reason.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:53, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Hijack of History, Censorship, and Conspiracy AT WIKIPEDIA64.134.44.75 (talk) 19:30, 21 October 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Wikimagic quote - where is it?[edit]

Dear Jimbo and Jimbo fans,

I'm surprised there is no essay on wikimagic, but I'm sure I've read your (Jimbo's) comments on this somewhere. I thought you coined the term.

I'm looking for your (Jimbo's) quote about wikimagic. Please provide a link.

Thank you. The Transhumanist 21:28, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

I don't know that I've ever used that term. I might have, why not, and I might have coined it (I was around here pretty early on, after all) but I don't think so. I have used the term 'wikilove' quite a lot.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:15, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
You can check these search results.
Wavelength (talk) 16:21, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Wikia[edit]

I've been banned by a wikia staff for noreason and my wikia was deleted! no warning no heads up nothing.Beyonder (talk) 13:22, 22 October 2014 (UTC)BeyonderGod

This isn't the best place to discuss it but if you want to email me, I can look into it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:14, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

So admins admit some people are unblockable no matter what they do?[edit]

This was the comment used to justify closing out a conversation at AN/I-

For fucks sake, I don't care if anyone wants to argue this matter until the sun goes supernova. But don't annoy the crap out of everyone else with the nonsense. No one is going to block Giano or Eric. That's only going to make a bigger mess. Maybe if someone else was threatened. But Jimbo is more than capable of handling a real or perceived legal threat. He's done it before. There is no practical and productive end to this. No admin is going to commit project suicide just because the beurocracy insists on enforcing WP:NLT mindlessly without regard for how it will blow up on the project. We're expected to use the tools judiciously and to be smart about how policies are applied. So, take it to Giano's talk page if it's really bothering anyone. Don't waste our time.--v/r - TP 22:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Now, I can understand if some people didn't want to follow the thread (ok, then don't follow the thread...) but I don't see that it annoyed anyone by existing on the page, and I agree that it probably was a waste of time; however it legitimized a lot of user's (including mine) complaint that there are those who can go around and be rude, disruptive, arrogant, and outright insulting and nothing will ever be done. This comment solidified all of our fears and why many of us do not come to Wikipedia as often anymore. I have been on the receiving side of Eric's insults and outright lies and defamation under his old account, and while I have called him names right back, but I don't live in the UK and so see no reason to debate his motives why he needs to warn people, including Mr. Wales, what the law on defamation on the internet is in the UK. Well, I just wanted to put out there that perhaps the closing admin may not have put out there so bluntly what we all know to be fact- some people get to be asses with no consequences. At least from a morale booster point of view. But maybe honesty is needed.Camelbinky (talk) 20:46, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Its a bit similar to this edit [20]:
"Can we please have some maturity about this? Eric and Jimbo are both "untouchables" - like it or not, that is the reality we face. Jimbo and Eric are both capable of giving their opinions and do so often. Eric is not censored by being uninvited to comment to Jimbo directly. He can use any other venue. With all respect to Black Kite whom I have nothing but good things to say about, I just see no result here other than drama and I'd appreciate it if we could stop it before it starts this time. There is already enough bad blood between fellow Wikipedians. We are a team, we have a goal, we're on the same side. There is nothing to be gained by putting an unstoppable force against an unmovable object. Jesus Christ please let this archive stick.--v/r - TP 20:11, 14 October 2014 (UTC)"
Just saying, but I would let @TParis: weigh in here. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
"...and while I have called him names right back...". Fail, as the kids say. Black Kite (talk) 20:55, 22 October 2014 (UTC)