User talk:Jimbo Wales

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Wikipedia as a part of the controversy[edit]

I'm not even going to try to hide what I'm talking about. There has recently been talk that, the longer the GamerGate page stays on Wikipedia, the more close Wikipedia gets to becoming a part of/source for the controversy. Has such a thing happened in the past, where Wikipedia gets dragged into a major controversy/heated issue/shitstorm? If not, do you have any idea on what might be done in future things with a heavily on-internet nature? --DSA510 Pls No H8 03:49, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

This is not a "major controversy". Most people haven't even heard of it. All I see is a lot of WP:SOAP. RGloucester 03:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Something about images of Muhammad, perhaps. Or the FBI-seal. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 06:18, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes. See List of Wikipedia controversies for a partial list. However, I don't see the existance of a GamerGate article as being a major controversy. Certainly it has only had limited coverage so far. - Bilby (talk) 06:44, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Isn't our GamerGate article longer than our WaterGate article (I believe I read that in the news)? The problem isn't covering the controversy, it's that WP has taken a side and editors have taken sides while still trying to claim their side is NPOV. The opening sentence is the first clue as it's never written that way by mainstream outlets that are covering the controversy and not a part of it. --DHeyward (talk) 20:54, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd personally be interested to hear how you'd rewrite that first sentence, along with a full explanation of how mainstream outlets do write it and how your proposed version is a better fit to reliable sources.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Here's an ABC news Opinion piece: For some, GamerGate is about the "ethics of gaming journalism," about the alleged collusion between video game developers and video game journalists, and about the response of gaming journalists and websites to such accusations. For others, GamerGate is about the misogynistic culture of video games, a culture that exists both in the sexist portrayal of women in video games and in the violent threats that have been made against women who have criticized this culture.[1]. I think that is fair opening sentence that doesn't diminish or relegate any particular view (I don't have a preference for which is listed first as long as it doesn't marginalize anyone) - and I would put it as past tense (not that my view means much). Game journalism sources are more difficult to find as they are reluctant to critically cover themselves (that's not unique, mainstream media does the same thing when they are part of the story). GamerGate is not one single thing and there are plenty of "outside of gaming" sources that place it as left vs. right, male vs. female, libertarian vs. social progressives, millenial vs. genx. Our first sentence (the last time I read it) was a definitive "GamerGate is" statement which if it were so clear cut it would have ended in about a week - gamers haven't been known to really care about portrayals of women in games and it's not like "Depression Quest" was about to put "Grand Theft Auto" out of business. Here's the "Reason" piece that mentions Wikipedia.[2]. Here's a Vox piece by Ezra Klein on the real reason I think it exploded and continues [3]. I think it stays alive because it provides a platform for various elements to keep talking about their own agendas which isn't even related much to games anymore but #GamerGate is a much more hip way to attract attention. Whether it's a feminist platform or whether it's a "journalists are leftists" platform, both are keeping the hashtag alive so they aren't drowned into irrelevancy. Gamers, historically, could care less about either and are caught in the middle. That case is made in mainstream media but is drowned in the voices that are platforming. Two other interesting pieces by Cathy Young [4][5] --DHeyward (talk) 22:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
P.S. The pinnacle interpretation of the Blizzard CEO condemning harassment as coming down hard on GamerGate was followed by Then, at that same convention, Blizzard also announced a new game called Overwatch. One of the main characters in the team shooter game is named Widowmaker. She's a well-endowed assassin in a revealing, cleavage-emphasizing catsuit with a sexy French accent (and, of course, heels). Is this a problem? Only if you accept the false consumer choice that the entire industry can appeal to either the id of a male gamer audience or the progressive demands of feminists, but somehow not both.[6] --DHeyward (talk) 22:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
That opinion article you cite above is a beautiful example of cherry-picking sentences while ignoring the context, because that opinion article goes on to completely reject GamerGate's claims to be about "ethics in journalism" and, in fact, argues that Thus, if the "ethics in gaming journalism" side of GamerGate wants objectivity in game reporting, then it is only through the efforts of the feminist side of debate that we have seen any real strides taken in that direction. In other words, Anita Sarkeesian and those who are similarly "printing what someone else does not want printed" about games, are not the enemy of "ethics in gaming journalism" - they are the best representatives of it. That is not an argument in support of the idea that GamerGate supporters care about ethics in journalism — rather, it is a direct repudiation of that idea.
Citing three pieces from the same libertarian house organ does not help demonstrate how "mainstream sources" view the issue. Rather, it's instructive to examine the front-page article in The New York Times on GamerGate, headlined thusly: Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats in ‘GamerGate’ Campaign. This is not an outlier, rather a prime example of the mainstream coverage of the movement. Others: GamerGate: facing misogyny in the video game world from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, #GamerGate: the misogynist movement blighting the video games industry from The Telegraph, #Gamergate leads to death threats against women in the gaming industry from PBS NewsHour, etc. etc. etc.
The vast, vast majority of reliable sources covering the issue focus largely, if not exclusively, on the issues of harassment and misogyny that were brought to the fore and give the "but ethics" claims only the most dismissive of mentions — usually discussing them as "purported," "ostensible" and otherwise pointing out that the movement never actually raised real ethics issues. Reliable sources, in general, adhere to the POV that "ethics" was a smokescreen for misogynistic harassment. Our article must reflect that that POV is predominant. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 09:07, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
The day Gawker Media becomes a widely used RS is the day I know Wikipedia is dead. And, the narrative is failing. The media witch hunts are being questioned. Even now, the chairman of the IGDA Puerto Rico is being thrown under the bus for calling out anti-gg. So let me ask you, how's the smokescreen going for the cronyism in journalism and the gaming industry? I'm not pro-gg, I just didn't drink the Kool-aid™. --DSA510 Pls No H8 09:20, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Literally none of those links are to Gawker, so I have no idea what you're even talking about here. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 15:12, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
20k diverse set of people harassing women for 3+ months for no benefits, or journalism becoming more and more corrupt? I've been doxxed, my life potentially in danger for trying to question the narrative, by anti-gg. I find it harder and harder to stay neutral. And, in what magical way can Gawker Media, a network of awful blog sites/e-tabloids, be defended? --DSA510 Pls No H8 09:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
And as usual, the sources provided do not do any research, because it might break the narrative. --DSA510 Pls No H8 09:29, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Being doxxed is bad, and it seems it happened to Fine Young Capitalists, along with death threats and DDOS. I'm not sure of the exact timeline, but it does somewhat give the lie to unambiguous readings of the situation as GG bad, anti-GG good. There are also facts which are widely known and not in dispute, but (possibly) not attributable to RS, that urge us to tread carefully. I would urge people to consider that the journalists who are reporting on this are basing their stories, by and large, on the type of sources we do not generally use (and with good reason), and drawing conclusions that we would not permit ourselves to draw.
I am even more concerned at the damage that this dispute is causing to the fabric of the community. Numerous instances of bitey behaviour have occurred, ramparts are thrown up and wording which would be summarily made neutral in any other circumstance is defended to the death.
The concept that "#GamerGate is not something Wikpedia covers at present" is not totally abhorrent to me, given the relatively minor nature of the dispute IRL (in real life), and the difficulty of covering an issue bearing where one side claims journalists are unethical, and for which the only RS are journalists.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:42, 22 November 2014 (UTC).
I think there is much reason to be skeptical about this controversy. It all began at a one-day filming session for "GAME JAM", a TV reality show in which people reportedly tried to deliberately stoke controversy, such as asking Zoe Quinn 'sexist' questions.[7] I have seen no core philosophical innovation here by any party on any side, rather what smells like PR and social media maneuvering with obvious careerist motivations, whether to tear others down or build oneself up. Whether this is all some new sort of reality show filmed "in the wild" of the internet, or one that has escaped and gone feral, in no case is it worth Wikipedia getting polarized by these ever-shifting and ill-defined disputes. What we are challenged to do is to see that our own policies fairly and effectively. Wnt (talk) 17:47, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
There are many stories where Wikipedia is front and center - however the gamergate controversy is not one of them. Wikipedia has only been mentioned tangentially in any coverage of gamergate - and its likely to stay that way unless the gamergaters turn their harassment campaigns against Wikipedians and wikipedians report them. the view of Wikipedia's involvement/importance in the issue is probably coming from the perspective of someone too deeply personally ensconced in the bubble in both aspects. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 17:56, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
@NBSB I was asked for an opening sentence. "GamerGate is X" is simply wrong. Take the PBS case by NBSB: opening sentenct is Members of the gaming community launched a campaign in August called Gamergate as a response to allegations of unethical journalism. But it has grown to include outright threats against women who work in or critique the industry. That's not much different than the ABC opinion piece. It is not defined by only one side which is why it lives. Certainly all aspects should be covered including misogyny and harassment. It should cover journalism. It should cover consumerism, etc, etc. It should cover comparisons to other issues involving games such as mass shootings (and why that angle to gaming culture died down relatively quickly after real people died vs. hanging on despite in GamerGate). I think it's also clear that it is now a platform from which to speak as opposed to simply a dispute that even involves gamers. Also, I cited three different sources; Reason, ABC and Vox. It was my opinion so I am not sure what you are arguing against. Are you claiming it's not my opinion or trying to marginalize it? Non-gaming pieces normally present both aspects either as a statement or a chronology. If you read the opinion piece through an objective lens, it refutes nothing about GamerGate and provides different aspects of it. Article titles are notoriously bad to use or cite as they are generally written by someone other than the author if the piece. It's the reason an AP story can have the same article but multiple headlines depending on what the local editors want to say. Headlines should never be used. The fact my statement has brought the dispute here is exactly why it's a problem at the article. I've not added any content to the article precisely because it's too toxic and too engulfed in the politics of the editors and players. --DHeyward (talk) 18:18, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, take a look at the NYT piece you cite which is an article about threats. Read the article until you get past just the threats to where they describe GamerGate The instigators of the (harassment) campaign are allied with a broader movement that has rallied around the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate, a term adopted by those who see ethical problems among game journalists and political correctness in their coverage. The more extreme threats, though, seem to be the work of a much smaller faction and aimed at women. And that's from the NYT. They never make the claim that Gamergate is defined by the harassment. We SYNTH that they do, just as you did. Just review the NYT piece for where they mention GG and what they say. --DHeyward (talk) 20:05, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


Full protection of GamerGate[edit]

If you didn't notice it Jimbo, the Gamergate controversy has been fully protected for 7 days by User:Gamaliel (which I actually don't disagree much but is kind of iffy) and then User:Nyttend then extended this for 5 months. Literally, 5 months of full protection. Because of edit warring. This is unprecedented and is in bad form and should be reverted back to the 7 days or unprotected all together. Nyttend's response to this is located here, basically saying that every time the page is protected, there's problem editing. Yeah, that justifies it. Tutelary (talk) 18:10, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Unprecedented? Please look at the protection log; I only restored what was already there. It could also be protected for rampant misuse of primary sources — secondary sources can't yet exist, since the controversy is ongoing, so sources produced after the event won't be able to exist until months or years in the future from now. Nyttend (talk) 18:17, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, this is unprecedented. I have never seen a page fully protected for this long just because it has 'editing problems'. Guess what. Editing problems are supposed to be dealt with on the talk page and via editing to hopefully have a compromise for certain things. That works. Looking at the logs, there is not a single entry there that details full protection of April 2015 of editing (there was a few for moving), but not for editing. That's simply too long of a time and the reasoning for it is just weak. Pages are supposed to be improved, not stagnated because of obvious problems. Sorry for any editing conflicts relating to this addendum, but even if there was another administrator that protected for that long, I think that they would've made a big mistake too and still be in bad form. Just because another administrator does it doesn't suddenly make it alright. Each situation has its own special circumstances> Tutelary (talk) 18:24, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I partly agree and partly disagree that editing problems should be dealt with on the talk page. In the case of this article, editing problems should be dealt with by using the community general sanctions. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:58, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
The only time the article was full-protected for longer than a few weeks was an instance when Cuchullain protected the page until September 2015, but then immediately shortened it to a week. Semi-protection has been imposed a few times with an expiration date in April 2015, but never full-protection.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 03:23, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I have a question. What are those who are complaining about the very long full protection of the article asking User:Jimbo Wales or the WMF to do? Are they just using this talk page to vent, or are they asking Jimbo or the WMF to do something? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:56, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Often, people bring issues here because it's a way to keep me informed and to seek my advice. One of the reasons I tend to say that coming here is not forum shopping is that no specific requests are usually made, and no specific actions result. But I do think this can be a valuable place to advance the conversation. And of course, it is not impossible that an intervention by me or the WMF could be appropriate - not in this situation but in some situations.
In terms of the specific question, I think it pretty obvious that 5 months is much much too long. The article is not perfect - indeed it is not very good in many respects. There are legitimate questions from legitimate Wikipedians about whether the article does a good enough job accurately reporting on the full range of reliable sources, as opposed to tending to cherry pick one side. That's a conversation that needs to happen, and that's some editing that needs doing in order to reach consensus.
At the same time, emotions have flared. We've had the editor with the most edits to the article doxxed, and we've had that same editor take money from people on a message board on one side of the issue. That's a mess no matter how you look at it. I think that a 7 day break is wise, particularly if used in good faith by the dominant players on both sides to try to hear out the opposition and reach some useful compromises.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:36, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, most discussions that are engaging are hatted. It is rather difficult to discuss anything when stating facts like "journalist Grayson had a relationship with an indie game developer Quinn" is redacted as a BLP violation on the talk page even though it's acknowledged and discussed by Grayson and his employer. The threat of topic bans (and implementation) is quite decidedly in one direction. Heck, a week ago, I added the COI issue to Gamaliel's hat note about becoming part of the controversy.[8] but Gamaliel decided that off-wiki behavior was ok [9]. This was before the money issue I believe. --DHeyward (talk) 03:59, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

What Can Be Done?[edit]

I have a suggestion for what Jimbo Wales can do. He can state that, without having studied the details of the page, extended full page protection for a period of months is undesirable, and is in general contrary to the policy that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and, in particular, that when community general sanctions or ArbCom discretionary sanctions have already been authorized, the use of sanctions is normally a less drastic and more appropriate response to disruptive editing than page protection for months. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:43, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

That's pretty much what I was hoping for. I'll probably start a WP:ANI noticeboard when I've got more time, indicated with diffs and the like and precedent and what not. I know at least one other article had this due to a justified extenuating circumstance. Tutelary (talk) 19:38, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • As someone who hasn't managed to read even a third of the page and barely has any idea of what Gamergate is actually about - this is troubling. Not because of my ignorance of the topic, but because the editorial controls and processes are absent or ineffective. It is like Fire Department is on fire and the firefighters are suddenly powerless! Gamergate is like all other disputes, but still no one realizes it. A proper plan of action, faithfully executed, would bring a resolution to the situation and without any non-sense about a "faction" system by first establishing the Wikipedia equivalent of Robert's Rules of Order. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:28, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
  1. GamerGate matters concerning both editor conduct and editing disputes be affirmed only on the community sanction page and the Arbitration Committee pages for the duration of their relevancy. Inadvertent creations outside this area be closed by any party and the creator informed of this fact. The use of faction claims being directed at or by any editor on any pages will break the decorum of the talk pages and expected conduct. Those who do shall be warned once via special notice that is itself a form of discretionary sanction. Repeat offenses will be sanctioned with a topic ban on the GamerGate pages for a period of time not to exceed 30 calendar days.
  2. Content disputes should be decided upon for a set period of time and should be focused to amend paragraphs or sentences of the article. A lack of a clear consensus kills the motion. The adding immediate pertinent information or other examples of "breaking news" shall also go through this process. Concerns of WP:BLP issues shall be proactively executed provided a coherent case be made. Furthermore, modifications made through this process that are re-argued shall be recorded to prevent the endless discussion of perennial concerns. The result and actions shall also be recorded in a special section on a designated page. Perennial issues can be sanctioned so that they require a quorum of editors or extraordinary evidence before being reopened.

Just to give a few simple ideas that work entirely within the current system without being draconian. Though it would require an amendment to the community sanctions to prevent the rest of the community from being a hostage as part of a larger appeal to authority. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 05:04, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Said at GGTF arbitration[edit]

Some people seem to think that ArbCom is so naive they don't know that the Manchester Gangbangers and their cronies/minions are engaged in institutionalized harassment using ArbCom as one of their harassment tools. They think just explaining that will open their eyes and they'll do the right thing.
No, the only thing that will clear Wikipedia of this vicious coterie is a national publicity campaign to pressure the WMF into enforcing its Terms of Service, including against culpable ArbCom members. (I see several Sitush/Corbett/ cronies/minions are running for the next Arbitration Committee.) And I'm one of dozens who see it that way, we just haven't decided where to organize our efforts. Just because their tactic worked on silencing 1.2 billion Indians with their Brit imperialist drivel doesn't mean it will work on silencing 3.3 billion women. After all 1/2 the members of the Board are women. (Said by:) Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 14:26, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Jimmy, it is worth noting that Carol has been blocked for the above comment. My own views aside, which I have briefly expressed on her talk page, I am moved to ask what yours are. Thanks. Jusdafax 19:29, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't know enough about the specific details here to be able to make a meaningful comment.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:43, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Carol is apparently acting out of aggravation with the Gender Gap Task Force arbitration case. I feel she is justifiably upset, though I don't condone these remarks. Here are the relevant details:
Basically, @Sitush: went way over the line, but it seems Carol is the one getting the horns from ArbCom for not being as quiet as a church mouse about it.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:15, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Jimbo at this point you are better to not get involved its another very emotional case which has included everything from random IPs posting, female editors commenting saying they represent women/saying other editors don't represent women to a picture of a boy holding a baby doll in tribute to Eric Corbett on a user's talk-page. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:52, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I think it would be nice to see someone who would object to the way the Arbs are handling this case with regards to Carol. Natch, they are now citing Carol's outburst to validate their original egregious push for a site-ban. Typical Wikipedia approach to attacking the victim. If the victim cracks under the pressure you can then use that as evidence against them.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:06, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I have no interest in the case, but I can't let claims that Sitush has "silenced 1.2 billion Indian editors" stand uncontested. A large number of articles you can read (as in, are actually readable coherent prose), such as Saini, St. Thomas Christians, Burki, Iron Pillar of Delhi, List of Jats, got to their readable state due to Sitush's work. I've done maybe 1/20th of the amount of work Sitush has in the area, and I'm fluent in Hindi and Urdu swear words from having them directed at me; people who work there get subjected to real-world harassment and threats, so we should go way out of our way to assist or at least thank those who choose to keep civilized life possible for the rest of us. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:54, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Be that as it may, the point here is that Sitush appears to be getting handled with kid gloves over his behavior towards Carol, while Carol is being hammered for her reactions to his behavior. It should be the other way around. Simple truth is the whole situation could have been solved without arbitration by imposing an interaction ban, but Sitush insisted there was no reason to sanction him even after his stunt with that draft article and a large number of editors actually back him up for basically the reason you are giving of "he's too valuable to even force him to stay away from someone he tried to write an inflammatory hit piece about".--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 06:17, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm unfamiliar with the matter at hand, so I can't really speak to that; the only thing I do claim to know is that accusing Sitush of crushing Indian editors in the interest carrying out some British imperialist agenda are a little too much to stomach. As far as I know Carolmooredc doesn't edit that topic area, so inserting herself into it seems like an attempt to prolong whatever dispute they already have. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:28, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Yo, TDA, there's an Arbcom election on now. If you don't like 'em, vote for somebody you do like rather than moaning and complaining about it. I happen to think Arbcom got this one more or less right, which is a nice finish to a pretty much hit-and-miss sort of year for them. Of course, your mileage may vary. If Jimmy Wales had wanted to comment in the case, there was a time and a place, which he knew about — it's a little late now. Carrite (talk) 06:45, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Jimbo has the ability to remove arbitrators at any point he wants to, as well as to overrule their decisions. This is a case where if it closes as it might, one or the other may be appropriate. Kevin Gorman (talk) 20:41, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
What exactly are you suggesting might be appropriate Kevin, and do you seriously think it likely? Giano (talk) 21:51, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, yeah, that would go over well. Dive right in there to defend civility on Wikipedia by bringing back Carol Moore from a one year Arbcom ban! Purely hilarious scenario... Carrite (talk) 21:10, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Tarc seemed to sum it up nicely on Carol's talk page, particularly with this observation, "All this is is continuation of the same old stereotypes; men who commit aggressive act after aggressive act are shown no end of leniency, but the "uppity" woman who dares get within the ballpark of same gets the ax." [10] --BoboMeowCat (talk) 20:19, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
It's pure identity politics that are being peddled. As I said back when this case was being considered: that's fine but it has no place at WP. Start an external website and do your political organizing there. Carrite (talk) 21:14, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it is a gender thing at all but rather Eric's contributions to Wikipedia that is at play. Lets not kid ourselves, Eric has a-lot of supporters and Carol has few, if Carol had more support from the community I am sure things would be different here. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 22:06, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
The so-called Gender Gap Task Force has made themselves the Wannabe Civility Police in practice. They're fighting an extremely controversial battle from a minority point of view, wrapping their case up in feminist jargon in an attempt to sell it. The entire GGTF case is not what it seems, it's not about misogyny or attacking women at all, a couple crass and ill-tempered utterances of Eric notwithstanding.... It's about so-called "civility" enforcement (a battle fronted by a very tendentious and uncivil editor, ironically). Carrite (talk) 00:40, 27 November 2014 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 00:45, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
On investigation, as triggered by the arbitration, Carolmooredc turned out to be the worst imaginable poster child for the gender gap issue on Wikipedia; turns out the "help, help, I'm an oppressed woman" was simply the latest in a series of excuses she has tried to ply to distract from a long, ugly history of WP:BATTLE, WP:CABAL, WP:WAR, WP:POV. On Austrian Economics, it was "help, help, I'm an oppressed leftist libertarian"; on Israel/Palestine it was "help, help, I'm an oppressed opponent of Israel"; turns out only the gender gap issue was capable of generating the level of drama she was seeking, and it's pretty frankly disgusting how much harder the gender gap discussion will be in the future because of it. Goodwinsands (talk) 18:01, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, the issue was with Sitush's treatment of Carol. Eric has been very supportive of Sitush along with a number of other editors, but Carol is specifically facing a site-ban over the situation with Sitush. As for Carrite's remarks, I do not give a shit about GGTF or identity politics. My concern is that an editor who was rather clearly being harassed is apparently facing a site-ban for her reaction to that harassment, while the person who harassed her is being complimented and effectively let off with a warning. Were there not a site-ban in play there would be an interaction ban, which Carol was fine with, and is honestly the only outcome that should have come of the matter.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:37, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
"Carol is specifically facing a site-ban over the situation with Sitush." No, simply no. Carolmooredc had been topic banned on another issue - completely unrelated to gender - only half a year ago, and instead of learning a lesson from that, she hopped right back into WP:BATTLE behavior. It is the pattern of behavior that is getting her banned, not simply and merely the latest recrudescence of it in its latest manifestation. It is disingenuous to pretend this is not the case, no matter how furiously Carolmooredc waves the 'oppressed uppity woman' flag to distract from her own history here. Goodwinsands (talk) 18:07, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
This finding of act relies primarily on her interactions with Sitush for evidence of misconduct. Only detail that is even relevant to the Gender Gap concerns some AfD comments that several Arbs suggest do not warrant mention in the finding of fact. It is said finding of fact that serves as the basis for the site-ban remedy. Your apparent interest in this case is interesting for someone whose only edits in the past three years are about her.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 04:52, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Requests for Adminship[edit]

There is discussion about reform to the Requests for Adminship process, which is widely considered to be "toxic" in the English Wikipedia. My question for User: Jimbo Wales is what the policies of the WMF are with regard to issuing the administrator privilege in any of the Wikipedias or other WMF wikis. What are the minimum standards that the WMF demands?

By way of background, one editor has proposed that every editor with one year of registration and some number of mainspace edits automatically be given the admin privilege, subject to some unspecified mechanism for removing it for abuse. That proposal is being opposed, but that editor is persisting that this shows an anti-democratic sentiment by the community. Wikipedia is not a democracy. Some editors have said that the WMF will never approve automatic issuance of the admin privilege, which requires a certain degree of active trust of the administrator. So my question is: What are the minimum standards that the WMF will require for issuance of the administrator privilege? What are the terms within which the English Wikipedia community can alter the RFA process? (Also, has the RFA process in the English Wikipedia become so toxic that the WMF should push for reform?) Robert McClenon (talk) 18:36, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm one of the users arguing that the WMF won't go for automatic granting of admin rights, based pretty much entirely on "stuff I think I read", but I'd like to know what the Foundation's actual stance on this is too. Thanks in advance. Ivanvector (talk) 19:10, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
The last few RfAs have been pretty productive. We have gotten better at removing disruptive people from the process and demanding a bit more decorum. I don't think this institution is dead just yet. Automatic adminship is a bit like automatic trust, a very very bad idea. Chillum 19:16, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Why is automatic trust a "very bad idea". I think it is a very good idea to trust people untill they have demonstrated themselves not to be worthy of trust. I also believe that the idea of "automatic trust" is foundational for wikipedia which is based on trusting anyone with a computer to be able to contribute knowledge. The fact that some people produce disinformation does not mean that we have instituted an onerous process of vetting peoples "competence" in order for us to be able to trust them to edit. We let them do it, and if they show that they are not interested in following the rules we show them the door. I don't see why it should be different with admins. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:38, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
For the most part I agree. My one reservation is that, basically, if I tell everyone in town in advance when the bank and bank vault doors are unlocked and the security guards are drinking their coffee, there's a really good chance that some dishonest people might try to game the system based on that knowledge and try to rob the bank at that time. While most people who would qualify as candidates under automatic granting almost certainly wouldn't be dishonest, the prior declaration makes it much easier for the dishonest people to sneak in. I have no idea how many would be willing to go through the effort of 1 year and 3000 mainspace edits to qualify, of course, but having some sort of potential control might be a good idea, particularly considering the possibility of some people who have plans contrary to BLP. John Carter (talk) 20:48, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
While I agree that automatic granting of admin rights is a poor idea, I think that to revitalize the admin corps it is wise to think about how to streamline the process, and to recognize that certain personality types who would be very very good to have as admins are also, being of a certain modest and calm disposition, unlikely to want to go through a brutal and dehumanizing process to get it. I have in the past proposed that we have a system whereby people can be admitted to the admin group on a probationary basis. If we have a choice to make between "easy to get it, easy to lose it" and "hard to get it, hard to lose it" then I think there are clear reasons to prefer the former rather than the latter.
One thing to note, since the WMF was mentioned here: traditionally the WMF has left such matters more or less entirely in our hands. I think there is a very positive development and mood at the WMF under Lila's leadership to invest more resources directly in community development, and this is likely to result in them hiring some very experienced Wikipedians to spend more time on helping us manage processes that haven't been working very well for a long time. There is a real opportunity for us to shape that in ways that will benefit the health and happiness of the community, and there are obviously big risks of drama if the Foundation acts clumsily.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:45, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Prediction: raiding a subset of volunteers and making them financially beholden to San Francisco as professional "facilitators" of previously volunteer-driven processes will not end well. Carrite (talk) 20:09, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) We've talked about RfA reform for a very long time on enwiki with very little movement. It might be that this community is not able to come to consensus on this on its own, and input/guidance/direction from WMF would be constructive and appreciated. I don't know, I've only myself been dabbling in reform proposals for a short time, but I see a lot of entrenched opinions and that's not good for any discussion. Ivanvector (talk) 23:51, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I'll volunteer to be probationary admin. Just assign a 'crat or 'crats probation officer that would be able to pull the bit without bureaucracy. I'd agree to be at their discretion, again avoiding bureaucracy. I know not to delete the main page and I've yet to screw up templates or misuse rollback. Also I don't particularly care to go through the nomination process as it most likely would not be about suitability to be admin. --DHeyward (talk) 23:29, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I think all admins should be probationary. And that a consensus in an RfC or at ANI should revoke adminship temporarily.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:38, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Having not personally reviewed DHeyward's history, which might be important because I think that there are some "red flags" which I might consider disqualifiers (no offense meant, DHeyward), if there are any crats out there willing to give the idea a trial, I would be willing to second or third or whatever seeing how it would work. Any crats out there willing to serve as the probationer? John Carter (talk) 23:46, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I'll second (or second-and-a-half) John Carter's thoughts. There should be some kind of review before we go giving the bit to any random user, even on a probationary basis. It needn't be RfA, which is horrible, but someone should take a look. But I'm supportive of the idea in general. Ivanvector (talk) 23:55, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I've had editor reviews before at various times looking for input. The reality is after 9 years and 12,000 edits I'm going to have red flags, green flags, purple flags. Some topics I was before it's time (i.e. I wrote a BLP essay around Daniel Brandt days time and also supported removing the name of someone that died while employed by a congressman as it was being used as a smear - both were controversial at the time but are now pretty much policy. Also have been behind the times too and learned. Doesn't mean that the taste of a clash went away, it just means I have the scars of controversial topics - they certainly wouldn't be tool use issues though). Editors like me are almost here too long to run for a super majority even though I only have one block, no sanctions ever, etc. And like I said, I'd rather be under parole of 'crat/'crats that doesn't need ANI or ArbCom to remove the bit if I screwed up or overreached. I wouldn't mind answering questions either as promoting crats have seen and read many Q and A's. But the current process isn't collaborative or collegial, it's adversarial and not necessarily just about suitability, temperament or help/harm Wikipedia. --DHeyward (talk) 10:58, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think what might help make RfA less dehumanizing is a sort of "probationary pass" where an editor who doesn't obviously fail the community standards because of egregious misconduct (or whatever) can be promoted to an admin mentoring program similar to what DHeyward has volunteered for, and similar to the recently started SPI clerk training program. If a new admin's bit can be stripped through some easily accessible community process (another subforum of AN?) then we're less likely to want to mine an editor's history for signs that they will misuse the tools, because if they do they lose the bit. Damage is limited. Perhaps more of the gentle gnomish types we want being admins will step up in that case. But like I said I think there does need to be some kind of preliminary review, or a high bar with absolute targets (e.g. certain length of service/recent editing frequency, no recent blocks/bans), to disqualify editors who shouldn't be admins. A malicious user gaining access to the tools can cause a lot of damage, and we know there are some around. I'm much less concerned about inexperienced users; I think admin probation handles that issue well.

Also, for the record, I have no objection at all to DHeyward being our guinea pig for such a program. Ivanvector (talk) 15:31, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

  • @Robert. I think your question is best directed to WMF Legal, which strikes me as the source of foundation demands for some sort of stringent vetting process prior to granting of access to deleted material. I don't think a simple time-linked autogranting of tools will fly with them, having read between the lines here and there. But ask them. Carrite (talk) 20:12, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

The user in question is @Maunus:. In the RfC discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#RFA reform Proposal: Automatic admintools to users with 1 year of registration and 3000 mainspace edits another editor has since proposed that perhaps some sort of automatic, or, maybe more likely, some sort of default granting of adminship might be worth considering on one of the wikipedias which might be experiencing more problems with admins. I was wondering whether there might be any sort of possibility of maybe trying to develop a workable proposal for some sort of "default" granting of adminship of the type mentioned there to experienced users which might be potentially given a trial run in some entities where there might be a pronounced shortage of admins. John Carter (talk) 20:21, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Rfa seems to be doing a bit better as of late. This may be due to more qualified candidates with less baggage behind them and/or fewer persons nitpicking petty issues. It's likely that continued successful Rfas could feed on itself and allow more candidates to volunteer to run if they see the process is less antagonistic.--MONGO 12:41, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure about full adminship, but I do think there should be some mark of tenure for active and hardworking users who haven't just set up their accounts. Tezero (talk) 19:42, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

A person's actions on Wikipedia affect the legitimacy of their published works?[edit]

In a discussion on this page there seemed to be a comment that suggested that someone's actions regarding spamming their name affected the legitimacy of an article that person wrote in a respected journal. So, my broad question is- if someone who is famous, has published books, articles, etc and then comes to Wikipedia and breaks whatever !rules we may have (pick your favorite), does that create a mark that we should take into consideration regarding their legitimacy? It seems there are some who feel that way. A fictional extreme example- Noam Chomsky comes to Wikipedia and starts an edit war at Ural-Altaic languages by insisting on inserting Beevis and Butthead episodes as references.Camelbinky (talk) 16:23, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Both your example and your statement of the issue are badly slanted and have little to do with the actual case you noticed above. In the case we were actually dealing with, the "Igor Janev spammer" aka Operahome (talk · contribs) (I'm not making a judgment of whether the spammer really is Janev himself, or merely somebody very close to him – i.e. close enough to routinely be able to make snapshots of him sitting on his balcony with his dog): (a) Janev isn't "famous". For all we know, he is probably a decent academic, moderately successful in his field, who has a job at a research institution and has published some (few) journal articles and (more) monographs published by his own institution, as academics are wont to do, but he isn't anything more than that. (b) Nobody said the specific article isn't technically a reliable source. It's a short opinion piece in a "notes and comments" section of an academic journal, has been cited a few times by other authors, and presents a standard account of the legal position of the Macedonian government. The Janev spammer tried very hard to make it appear on Wikipedia that that legal position actually originated with him and that all the Macedonian politicians who voiced similar arguments in their public dealings with the UN were implicitly acknowledging his academic authority, but we have absolutely no evidence to that effect. (c) Of course we could quote that piece, if we needed it, i.e. if there was a reason to describe Janev's opinion in one of our articles. So far, however, there hasn't been any such need. (d) As long as we are dealing merely with sourcing trivial historical facts that happen to be mentioned in that article but are equally mentioned in any number of other sources, it is our editorial discretion whether we use his article or not. (e) Given the obvious on-wiki misbehavior, I personally find it entirely justified to systematically prefer to not use this source, to deny him the reward for his spamming. Fut.Perf. 17:43, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
So far as I can tell, what is at issue is whether the edits of one person who seems to have a connection to another person is using a published work as evidence of something that it isn't necessary really unambiguous evidence for, specifically, that the published comment was the first such comment of that type, published or not published, from anyone. Is that right? John Carter (talk) 20:17, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
That was one of the many problems with the aborted Draft:Igor Janev, yes, and it seems to be part of the explanation of why some good-faith editors on this page have been misled into believing Janev more prominent than he really is, apparently. It wasn't the issue with the specific use of the source that Neotarf was suggesting somewhere above though, which would in itself have been harmless. Fut.Perf. 21:15, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Why is everyone talking about a specific case and Igor Janev?! Seriously, when I said I was talking about if an editor is someone who has written reliable sources, does his/her actions on Wikipedia affect how we view his/her papers, I really meant it as a generic question. That is why I gave an extreme example. Shut up about Igor Janev. I understand if you don't want to answer the question, but hijacking it to rehash some thing totally different is simply unneeded.Camelbinky (talk) 22:55, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course their wikipedia action do not change anything. The reason reliably sources sources are reliable is because they have been vetted and approved by experts. Regardless of what the author of a reliable source otherwise says or does at wikipedia or elsewhere that is not changed. (unless the publication is retracted)User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:11, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Or if the author in question, possibly the editor of a second-tier or lower journal, crammed one of his own really, um, interesting, pieces in his journal during his last days or something. This would be particularly true if the individual were to almost immediately retire and or perhaps die of some long-term terminal problem. In such instances, I imagine the work in question might be generally treated with benign neglect by most others thereafter. I can imagine a few, if very few, cases where that might happen, although I also think that the work in question would be given enough polite disagreement shortly thereafter by someone that the perhaps lesser reliability would be fairly easy to determine. John Carter (talk) 23:33, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
That comment clarifies the somewhat dubious nature of "legitimacy" in the first post. If Carl Sagan or Patrick Moore (who are dead and obviously not in a position to do anything here, unless we have lots of things wrong in a big way) starts drooling on the talk page of some model about her chest, would we discount their input on their topics of expertise? I guess I would think that in such cases we might prefer them to use language like "I, whoever, as a person recognized as being very knowledgeable on this topic, say, based on my knowledge, whatever it is," I think we would probably accept that. There might be some legitimate questions about his judgment if the comments are on topics of marginal expertise and/or, unfortunately, if the earlier comments indicate that the person might not be taking all their pills. That isn't intended as an insult - lots of high achievers have some sort of personal aberration of some kind, in addition to being high achievers. John Carter (talk) 23:03, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
It would be WP:OR for us to evaluate material based on behavior displayed on Wikipedia. There are other means of evaluating material, but none that involve Wikipedia itself. Bus stop (talk) 23:45, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

A Thanksgiving Turkey for you![edit]

Thanksgiving Turkey.jpg
Everymorning talk to me has given you a Turkey! Turkeys promote WikiLove and hopefully this has made your day better. Spread the WikiLove by giving someone else a turkey, whether it be someone you have had disagreements with in the past or a good friend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Spread the goodness of turkey by adding {{Thanksgiving Turkey}} to their talk page with a friendly message.

Everymorning talk to me 22:53, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]


Hi, Jimbo! Thank you for the best website! Ochilov (talk) 13:04, 28 November 2014 (UTC)