Talk:Ars Technica/Archive 2

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Vandalism?

The user Maramba is vandalizing this article. He continually reverts to inferior versions and never defends his changes. Now he has added the same link [1] to this article in three different places, and all three uses make no sense in context. Thus in instance number one, the criticism about “Soap Boxing” on the front page of Ars Technica, he links to a personal journal as “evidence.” The personal journal is not the Ars front page and those entries are not front page news reports. Anyone who actually reads Ars is well aware of this. For the accuracy of the rest of that claim, see above.

The second use is in the alleged “punitive measures” against some people section, but I have read the entire thread he links as evidence, and there are not punitive measures taken at all in the thread. For the accuracy of the rest of that claim, see above. The third use is in the very next criticism, about forum moderators not needing to follow the rules. Again there is no evidence in the linked thread along these lines, unless he’s picking up on the ad hominem angle, which isn’t there (and even a reader in the thread addressed that point). But his context is wrong here, too. The journals are not the forums, and they’re not the same thing.

Maramba, since you’re going to nag people about not signing their comments, how about you defend your changes or answer any of the dozen rebuttals in this Talk section? Is your only concern vandalism? How about the other handful of you doing the same? Tsetna 13:46, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

As you can see, my reversions were to correct vandalism done by Ars Technica authors and site owners. Please check the revision history. This article is not an advertisement. Maramba 17:21, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Your reversions did not correct the article, but brought back more of your own unjustified additions, plus other material that has been thoroughly discredited. So is this your admission that you will not discuss the material under debate, regardless of several people now pointing out inaccuracies in the article? “Advertising” is a red herring. My last edit left in criticisms that were accurate. The argument that this article is not advertising does not carry with it the automatic validation of any and all criticisms. You should be able to defend your additions and your edits. Tsetna 19:58, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I reverted the article to a previous stable version after vandalism by Jeremy Reimer. The same individual who is both an Ars Technica writer, and the person responsible for an entire page of obnoxious comment spam as seen here [2]. Maramba 02:06, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
The previous version was not stable. All of the criticisms are under debate (lengthy debate, above, which you continue to ignore). You also know that who Jeremy Reimer is has no relevance for whether or not the criticisms under discussion are valid or relevant criticisms, as opposed to invalid or inaccurate. And now that you have linked some thread from a totally other site, it’s starting to look like you merely have a vendetta (and that you are “APK”).Tsetna 13:58, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I suggest we take a closer look at Tsetna. He continually removes *any* criticism, valid or not. I suspect he is involved and/or is a contributor to the site. His IP address (Boston area) supports this. Dave-G 16:31, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Please stop with the dramatic. I have not removed all criticism. The only criticisms I remove are those that have been shown to be invalid, listed above, and I have re-phrased more of them to be NPOV. I can see that you, like Maramba, won’t debate facts, but toss about quite irrelevant matters. Are you going to bother with actually debating these issues? I have followed the advice on WP edit wars and have now tried to discuss this in Talk on more than one occasion, but it would appear that there is no interest in meeting a happy medium. Also, do you know that Sock Puppet accounts are forbidden at Wikipedia? WP:SOCK Tsetna 17:26, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Why would a Boston location alone suggest that he is a staff member of Ars? And it's a two way street. People should be held accountable for any criticism they have, but no one has really required that in this article. If you are going to question Tsetna's involvement at Ars, you should reveal your own history with Ars as well (and the same goes for Maramba). Wiki seeks to be neutral, and a negative bias is just as damning as a positive one. Debuskjt 20:25, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
If you look at other website articles, like, for example, Digg, they have a simgle criticism section. Going through the history here, it looks like someone (trying to minimize criticism of a for-profit website) broke it up as it applied to different sections of the website. Tsetna (who I suspect to be an ars editor) removed the most damning criticism (including the accusations of plagiarism) except for one token item. Dave-G 17:09, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
OMG, this is ridiculous. It is very obvious at this point that editors at ArsTechnica are hell-bent on removing any criticism from this article (only the "undocumented" criticism, according to them). Of course, there was documentation, in the form of links, some of which seem to have disappeared. How convenient. I think at this point, I am going to have to go back, dig up the juice, and add it back to the article. Since I last visited this page, there have been at least 20 edits, mostly by some Ars Editor or fan who has been trying to remove or re-arrange criticism, or labelling it "allegation". Most of these "allegations" previously had reference links. As soon as one of these "independent truth-seekers" leave, another appears. Before it was Last Avenue, then Clintology, now it seems to be "Tsetna". Was he assigned to this task by Ars? (UNSIGNED)
Dave-G, your facts are wrong again and not every attempt at accuracy has to be blamed on OMGARS! Why not try instead looking at the debate? The last version I edited [3], contrary to your inaccurate accusations, had three criticisms in it including the plagiarism. As well, that you refer to criticisms as “damning” shows you are not editing with Wikipedia’s three main “rules” in mind: WP:V, WP:NPOV, and WP:NOR. Everything in the article should be verifiable by a reliable source, neutral in point of view, and nothing should be original (nothing cannot be unverifiable in research terms). This article should not be a positive “advertisement” but it is also not an attack advertisement, either. The problems with some of the criticisms, in case you wanted to know:
  • “Members gather into subgroups based on political philosophies discovered through debate in the "News" and "Soap Box" fora.” This criticism suffers from verifiability problems. It’s general as to be true (what forum doesn’t have cliques?), but empty of a reliable resource as to be dubious. I left it in the article because it seems obviously true on some level. “This includes founders and moderators of the site, who have been known to take punitive action against those who express their opposing views as fervently as the moderators or majority of the population (which leans strongly to the "left" in political opinion), or question the fairness of moderation. “ This is a strong claim, and like WP:RS notes, “Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.” There is none presented. Maramba provided a reference [4], but it shows no punitive action, no majority viewpoint on Ars Tech, and no questioning of moderation.
  • “Forum moderators and site administrators are not required to adhere to forum rules with regards to personal attacks and/or posting personal information.” The reference [5] does not make sense. The post reveals no personal information, links to other threads posted by god knows who, and Man with no Head is not a moderator at Ars. It is a rule at Ars that no one may post personal information, too [6], in terms of phone numbers, addresses... where are they in this reference?
At the time of that posting, MWNH was a Moderator of the Battlefront (though not on the Lounge). In that same thread he apparently posted a picture of APK[7], but there's no way of knowing if it was a spoof, a picture APK provided on the fora, or a picture from APK's public website (and is thus not privvy to the privacy clause. I personally remember when the links were posted, but I don't recall what was in the picture. (Posted by Debuskjt)
Or to put it another way, there's no actual evidence that anything wrong was done. Posting a picture of someone on Ars has never been against the rules. The only forbidden thing is posting private information (have you seen anyone moderated for some other form?), which cannot include anything that can be found on the internet by definition, like you say. RE: Man with No Head, my point is he's not a moderator now, so why does an evidence-free "link" to something that happened more than four years ago with someone who is no longer on their staff merit including in this article? Tsetna 18:47, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
  • “Subscriptions can be difficult to cancel, especially after a political dispute with the moderators.” Provided reference [8] does not meet the reliability standards of Wikipedia, because it is clear the writer has “an agenda or conflict of interest, strong views, or other bias which may color their report” WP:RS. There is no oversight on Amazon reviews, and anyone can spoof a review. They are not reliable. Secondly, the “citation” says nothing about political disputes. Thirdly, the forum is full of people cancelling subscriptions easily:[9][10][11][12][13]. And as I have illustrated already, the criticism that “Bringing this up on the forum has been seen to result in account suspension” is demonstrably false. The reference [14] refers to a user who still posts [15] (obvious not banned).
And (UNSIGNED), the links are all in the history. Tsetna 23:09, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Updated comments: Rearranging words does not solve the problems outlined above, and putting them in language made to give them the appearance of facts does not solve the problems. See WP:V: “3. The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.” Also see WP:WEASEL, about using “words or phrases that smuggle bias into seemingly supported statements by attributing opinions to anonymous sources.” Tsetna 15:15, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Reverting to Inaccurate Revisions

This has to stop. We keep reverting back to inferior descriptions of the actual site because everyone is trying to one up one another on the stupid criticism. It's ridiculous. Leave it, keep it out, whatever, but it's turning into nothing more than a pissing contest. I've reverted back to a version that's more accurate about the website, and before everybody (216.227.123.168) loses their ever loving minds again, at least think about reworking the current article before you bring back inaccurate information (such as comparing Ars to Digg or Slashdot).

And the criticism was broken out into two sections because the vast majority of the criticism is _not_ about the Ars website (which should be the focus of this article), but about the Ars Technica forums. They are distinct. Maybe there should be two separate Wiki articles so people who get banned on the fora can vent their frustration with edit wars there. Debuskjt 02:11, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the constant reverting should stop. However, let's keep in mind that it was the removal of criticism with documentation that created the back and forth. As far as splitting the article, considering the Ars format of each article creating a discussion, I don't see how splitting it would be the answer. Obviously, you have a problem with comparing it to Slashdot or Digg. But besides the independent forum activity outside the main articles, the format is very similar. A news page is created from aggregated sources, which is selected by editors. Then people comment on it. Like Slashdot, much of the fun of the site is reading through the discussion, rather than digesting the tidbit of news. Ars has more in-depth reviews, but Slashdot technically has reviews as well. This is nothing more than normal variance in the same field of website.
I don't feel Ars is anything like Slashdot or Digg, and just because they are in the same industry does not make them apt comparisons. For one, Slashdot and Digg are largely user driven communities, and Ars is not. You could possibly compare Journal.Ars to Slashdot, but that is only one section of the website. It would be like saying Google News is similar to CNN because you can find Reuters articles via both while completely ignoring how and why the material is presented. Debuskjt 13:58, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Referring to "people who get banned on the fora", maybe you would like to document that. It seems that criticizing ArsTechnica means hating it. I most certainly don't hate Ars, and somehow I doubt Dave-G or Maramba or Kristi ski do either. It's not a conspiracy. For another reference, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slashdot. Many of the same sorts of criticisms. Are those all "banned users" as well?--205.231.31.238 06:50, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Here’s an idea: why don’t we discuss the criticisms for once, instead of playing silly revert games? I have made a good faith effort to address this, but it keeps being ignored. Others have come before me to receive the same treatment (OMFG a conspiracy!). The existence of a link next to a “criticism” does not equal a citation. No criticism has been removed that had reliable documentation that met Wikipedia’s standards. I have documented the objections above, in detail. The article is now stuffed again with material that does not meet the standard. Do you guys really expect links to irrelevant pages that have nothing to do with the criticisms they “document” to count as documentation? Is this Wikipedia or usenet? Tsetna 13:25, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Besides criticism based on Slashdot's neutrality, I don't see any criticisms of Slashdot on Wikipedia that are comparable to what has popped up in this article. Mainly, I see nothing pertaining to how Slashdot does or does not moderate its comment and how it handles its subscription policy. If anything, it strengthens my conviction that the OpenForum section of the Ars article should be broken out. As for "Referring to 'people who get banned on the fora', maybe you would like to document that."--pots and kettles. Anybody who questions the negative bias of parts of this article have been most often accused of being Ars staff, even though the Ars staff have been very open in their involvement in this article (Clint, Jeremy, PeterB haven't tried one to mislead anyone). The only thing it has led to is Last_Avenue being wrongly accused of being Ars staff. Clint even had to point out that he wasn't a moderator on the fora, but just a front page writer, because of the accusations being thrown at him. What is everyone supposed to think? Especially since my request for others to disclose their assocation with Ars (and not just those who question some of the current criticism) went completely unheeded, even though it was demanded of me as soon as I started contributing something besides criticism to the article. Debuskjt 14:10, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Referring to Tsetna's comments that "Vandals refusing to use talk", the only vandals I have seen here are ArsTechnica apologists (so far, all members of Ars or writers or contributors or moderators or what have you). We had discussion quite a bit in this section, before "Tsetna" even arrived to start removing criticism, links, etc.. His timing is somewhat suspicious, considering that as soon as we resolved the page, arriving at compromises as to content and layout, he came in and began ripping things out, I assume he is yet another "Ars representative" who was assigned this task.

Speaking of discussing things through talk, I tried to use the compare function of the history of the Talk page, and saw very little explanation accompanying Tsetna's changes.

At this point, it has been repeatedly shown that members of the Ars community have tried to remove all serious criticism of the site in this article, and think it should be another angle to advertise through. It is not. Meanwhile, the response from some Ars members has been to accuse all other contributors to this article of being a former member of Ars, known as "APK". Having searched through some Ars Forum content, I am getting the impression that "APK" was accused of spamming or something, or peddling some bogus product. I suppose that a really intent spammer might want revenge for being banned. He would, however, have to be extremely dedicated to his task to keep up with all of this whitewashing.

In closing, I would like to state for the record that I do not have a regular account at Ars, though I created one to research claims made in this article. I have for many years been a regular reader of Slashdot, ArsTechnica, Anandtech, and more tech sites than I care to admit :). I have no personal vendetta against ArsTechnica. I have to say that I am disappointed that Ars, even after KristiSki's note on Autobiography, seems determined to keep this article from saying anything that might be construed as negative. --205.231.31.6 00:41, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

BTW, Tsetna, speaking of "defensible", you keep changing the posting re: plagiarism. Whether or not someone says it was a mistake, or they apologized for it, copying someone else's work without attrib. is plagiarism. And the fact is, the original author did "post" about the event, which makes the line of criticism defensible. There is nothing inaccurate about that crit. line, and I didn't even write it.

You never “resolved the page.” The Talk between the middle of March and the middle of April shows no resolution, only people giving up in edit wars. I am not willing to give in just because it is easier to not be accurate.
If you “saw very little explanation accompanying Tsetna's changes,” you aren’t looking very hard. A simple search for my name on this page will show many paragraphs of explanation and defense. I have documented every major change. You can debate them there, although I’m sure you won’t.
It’s funny you complain about people calling you APK when your response to edits is to accuse everyone who doesn’t agree with you as an “Ars member.” You never bother to argue for the inclusion of any of this uncited or miscited material, as Wikipedia requires you to do, it’s all smoke and mirrors.
Actually, I said that it seemed that all people who contributed to or restored the criticism section we're accused of being "APK".--205.231.31.6 18:00, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
I improved the criticism to make it more accurate. When you have bothered to defend your reversions, which you are required to do, I’ll spend more time defending my edits to you.
Your edits appear to be nothing more than removing criticism, along with the links, which you have at times explained away as not being true examples of the events described. Well, for one, the subscription problems link did document the problems the subscriber had experienced. Of course, any link providing "evidence" to you is suspect because "Amazon comments are not an official source". Never mind the fact that millions of people use it to relate their product experiences. That would be like saying that resellerratings.com should be ignored when making purchases. After all, those people are all jaded. Defense of my "reversions" back to edits made by others is not required when they previously defended their additions. In fact, some of my additions were later documented by another editor, for which I am grateful (Ars search can be a bit slow to respond).--205.231.31.6 18:00, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
What “subscription problems link” documented what problems? The links and what they supposedly document do not match. I would appreciate a more exact citation so I can understand what you are talking about, but I have addressed this far below starting at “The link needs to be relevant, verifiable, and directly to the point.”
Regarding Amazon user reviews, this is a Wikipedia issue. Do you believe that we do not need to consider WP:RS? Do you believe that the Amazon link counts as a reliable source according to WP:RS? I don’t understand your point about millions of people using Amazon reviews. The usefulness of user reviews is not under debate. Whether or not one review represents a reliable source of information is under debate, and I fail to see how an anonymous and obvious mean-spirited review counts as a verifiable source, according to Wikipedia’s standards. See WP:V: “Articles should rely on credible, third-party sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.”. Does Amazon user reviews have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy? No. There is no fact checking. There’s another problem as well. WP:V urges us to ignore self-published information, which is what a user review is. If “self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources,” then self-published reviews are not acceptable, either. How can they be? Finally, WP:RS cautions against using sources that show “an agenda or conflict of interest, strong views, or other bias which may color their report.” Is there presence of bias or an agenda? Let’s look at the complaint [16]. Says that Ars stories are “always controversial and full of venom.” This is an obvious exaggeration. Ars stories are neither controversial or venomous “always.” Claim: “The forums are beyond disgusting with nothing but trolls and cliques.” Another obvious exaggeration. It goes on... the review impeaches its own authority by the broad exaggerations that are used in attack the site and its readers. The purpose of the review is to discredit the website in the strongest terms, which raises questions about its reliability as fair, impartial, or fitting for an article that is supposed to be of encyclopedic quality.Tsetna 21:30, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Upon closer examination, I see that the criticisms about “political disputes and cancellations” and “brining this up results in a ban” are contributions of Tomservo3000. That user has never defended those additions, although more than one user has questioned them in Talk or in the edit summary (On-no and Last_Avenue). Thereby your claim that your reversions contain previously defended material is false to at least this extent (possibly more, possibly not: I have not yet looked), since these things have never been defended in this Talk section. This is why I keep insisting that people use Talk. Tsetna 22:16, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
You aren’t being very accurate. Even the author says that “doesn’t technically qualify as plagiarism,” and you can read in the post that there is a dispute as to how much was linked or not. My version, which did not remove the criticism, was more accurate, and preserves the specific feel of the incident. Tsetna 13:26, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
After reviewing the link again, it becomes obvious that my reversion of that point and defense thereof was not totally accurate. Therefore, I will change that part back to something that is correct, with a better explanation.--205.231.31.6 18:00, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
To help you out, the largest section in Talk I have written begins "Dave-G, your facts are wrong again." Tsetna 13:49, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, apparently there are quite a few people whose facts are wrong, according to you. Despite the fact that many of those facts were documented. As for people giving up the "edit wars", they hadn't given up for very long before you showed up, and they had also been willing at times to actually compromise (for example, separating the criticism section from the main section) without demanding that it all be removed. You seem to be intent on removing any real criticism, while leaving in a few "minor items" to make it look balanced.--205.231.31.6 18:01, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Can I help it if the article is full of errors? My concern is accuracy. I have looked into all of these issues, and I applaud you for finally looking into one of them yourself (the plagiarism thing). I do wish you could drop the pointless attacks on me and anyone else who disagrees with you now that you can see that I was correct about the one issue you looked into. If I am so wrong, show me and everyone else. This is why I keep directing people to Talk. These are substantial issues to be discussed. We cannot reach a consensus if I’m the only person willing to discuss them. Show me I’m wrong with an argument that is made according to Wikipedia guidelines and I can accept that.
I do want to insist on a basic point: something isn’t necessarily documented just because a link is present. The link needs to be relevant, verifiable, and directly to the point. Take this criticism, for example:
  • “Subscriptions can take up to 4 weeks to be activated.[17]” Look at the link. It links to a “Subscription Support & Service” forum. That is not documentation! It should be removed. From that same section:
  • “Subscriptions can be difficult to cancel after a political dispute with the moderators.[18].” Please, look at the link. There is no mention of a political dispute at all, so the criticism as written isn’t even remotely accurate. And as I explained already, the link as a source does not meet the reliability standards of Wikipedia. It is clear the Amazon writer has “an agenda or conflict of interest, strong views, or other bias which may color their report” WP:RS, among other problems. There is no oversight on Amazon reviews, and anyone can submit a review. In my opinion, this criticism is unfounded, and should be removed. If it is not to be removed, it should be noted that the forum is full of people cancelling subscriptions easily:[19][20][21][22][23], and the highly questionable nature of the citation should be highlighted. Next criticism:
  • “Bringing this up on the forum has been seen to result in account suspension.[24]” Look at the link. There is no ban or suspension mentioned or threatened. And my research uncovered the fact that the user still posts, so he is not banned or suspended, nor is there ANY evidence he ever was [25]. Who can defend this criticism?
In closing, these criticisms are extremely dubious. They should be removed. This is how Wikipedia is supposed to work. See WP:V: '“3. The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.” ' A reliable source and a link are not the same thing for the reasons I documented extensively. Tsetna 21:30, 20 May 2006 (UTC)