User:Ipatrol/Cabals are evil

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On Wikipedia, there are these groups of editors who form these things called cabals. Typically they include a very tight knit bunch of editors and are generally slow and reluctant to let in new editors. They also don't like cooperating with editors outside their cabal when the cabal is working on a certain page or task. This is not healthy for Wikipedia and its community as a whole. I have had encounters on talk pages when I revert the actions of a cabal member and they threaten to "get their cabal involved."[1] When this happens cabals become tagteams, using their numbers to haplessly ignore the three revert rule and civility policies. Another issue is cabal ownership, a cabal relentlessy editing a page and reverting the actions of editors outside the cabal. There is also the issue of cabal voting where members of a cabal vote together, skewing the results. Sometime ago there was a discussion at Miscellany for deletion about "secret pages" that cabals leave for people to find a sign. There was a vote and it was decided these pages should be "judged on their own" instead of being deleted en masse. I'd bet you a 3.00 dollar donation to Wikimedia that a noticeable contingent of the "Keep" voters were cabal members themselves. Lastly Wikipedia is not a social networking site like Myspace or Facebook and I think cabals violate that policy by creating informal groupings of users that look more like collective friend lists than groups of dedicated editors united to improve Wikipedia.


I agree with the idea of groups of editors to discuss and improve pages, Wikiprojects are generally specialized and too large to be effective in some cases. Also not all pages belong to a wikiproject. However, currently cabals do not fit the description of a group that should do this. They are too informal and ritualistic to be truly useful. One idea could be something like "page improvement teams." I think you shold agree that we don't need the smoke filled rooms of cabals to make Wikipedia a better place. On the contrary they make it harder to actually change Wikipedia for the better.

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  1. ^ It seems unlikely that this is an actual quote, although it is presented as such.