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This user no longer works as an administrator or copyright violation investigator. I still edit occasionally.

I've been very quiet on wikipedia of late as I consider my future editing this project. There are two main reasons for this and both are related to how wikipedia is run, largely out of control. Specifically these are arbcom and software development. One or the other I could probably cope with but taken together they have created an environment is which I no no longer feel able to regularly contribute, or indeed one is which I'm valued. I'll write more on these two below. I suspect it's unlikely that I'll stop editing entirely - I'll likely still fix mistakes I find while browsing - but I also can't see my activity level returning to what it was unless things change, and change drastically. My old user page is below the explanation for this decision. I resigned my admin rights on 27 November 2014 after further interactions with ArbCom made me realise how broken ArbCom (and most other top level processes, such as oversight) is.


In my opinion Arbcom has long been broken but recently it seems to have got out of control and seems to have lost sight of the fact that it should be there to serve the community. I first started to notice this when arbcom decided to deal with incidents by motion. This and other fundamental decisions were made with little, if any, discussion with the wider community. It is my opinion that the community should decide the on the broad policy decisions on how arbcom should be run and arbcom should do the actual "judging" of cases in a manner similar to that in which may countries have separate legislatures and judiciary. Now I know wikipedia is far different from a country but the reason that separation occurs is to stop any one group becoming too powerful. On wikipedia there is effectively nothing to stop arbcom becoming too powerful (except perhaps Jimbo). A sign of this power is them recently decline cases, or to intervene in situations, where a clear majority of editors felt it was necessary. A recent comment on AN/I was that, in one case, there was no point in going to Arbcom yet as there hadn't been an RfC/U. This despite there also being widespread consensus that a RfC/U would be a waste of time. This to me stinks of Arbcom trying to avoid cases - any one else notice how ArbCom's case load has dropped drastically - and it seems to me that Arbcom think it's OK for editors to waste their time but Arbcom want as little work as possible. I admit I may well be wrong on this but the secret way Arbcom operates means we have no way of knowing. All in all that adds up to a top-level decision body I don't trust one bit - especially when arbitrators I do trust are resigning at how it's run.

Software Development[edit]

Visual Editor was the straw that nearly broke the camel's back. This was the decision that did. Recently there have been a large number of incredibly buggy software deployments. Add to this forcing Visual Editor on all editors without a proper opt-out and now this latest decision on Flow and this adds up to another important bit of wikipedia which is out of control. Yes I don't like Visual Editor, but I'm not necessarily against change. What I am against in change being forced upon us with so little discussion. Yes, I accept that software development and are separate but is their biggest customer and yet they still seem to take no notice, or indeed even try to find out, what we went. I accept there will sometime be decisions I don't like in the name of progress but I'd like to think those decisions be explained before they're implemented and at the moment that's very definitely not the case. It seems to me that the software development folks are obsessed with getting new editors on board. Now while this is a noble goal it should not be at the expense of existing editors - after all it the latter that keep the site running. At the moment I have the feeling existing editors are being ignored. Again this all adds up to an extremely important aspect of wikipedia that I don't trust one bit and so helps create an environment I now find it too difficult to regularly work in.

I had removed this section as I saw signs of things improving. Then "superprotect" happened. I actually think that, done properly, this could be a good thing. However forcing it down editors vote without any discussion and with barely any notice just shows disrespect for one of the two big groups that keep this site running - the volunteers.