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Yamandu Ploskonka

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, 1964
Currently lives in Austin, TX, formerly in Minas, Uruguay, Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
Educator, photographer, computer programmer.

project: profile of Wikipedia Bullies[edit]

It is widely known that Wikipedia is losing editors at a very high rate. It is also known that such loss is essentially connected with editors feeling bullied by other editors or bots. There are several initiatives directed to helping new, fragile editors, but I know of none yet that attempt to address the real problem. For the real problem is not editors that give up: the real problem is those other editors that make things so ugly that conciliatory, consensus, building-type editors give up.

So, I suggest we think the matter over and figure out patterns of behavior that mark the bullies. If we can detect those, we can either educate them, keep an eye on them, or somehow prevent their hurting others, hurting the project. If necessary, ban them.

First step is, thus, to build tools that can help. I envision a bot that can look at talk history, at page history. Ideally such bot would notice what was the last interaction that editors that quit had. That might point to actual sharp edges.

More difficult is to understand the more insidious, grinding problem editors, those that bully with some elegance. Like school playground bullies, or physical abusers, these know how to move along without leaving too much of a mark, quietly and silently making life hell for those weaker than themselves.

This is where I am trying to figure out how to become aware, observant, as the first step in finding those that are the real problem, on the way to fixing that problem.

What follow is very aprioristic. At best, hypotheses. I dislike "profiling" as a concept, but, alas, it works, and it can maybe point to high-risk points that can then be addressed.

the WP bully[edit]

primarily reverts or deletes

will add generously to Talk pages, but seldom, if ever, to articles

is convinced that his own experience/knowledge of rules makes his opinion be more valuable than other's
covers his/her track

Own Talk page is almost empty, making it hard to notice how many people s/he has hurt

likely uses multiple identities (sock puppet)
will gang up with others

but seldom participate in constructive debate, adding ideas

will chase his/her victims in other articles
Turns out it has a name, "trailing"...

this is a wiki, please contribute ideas!

La Belle 1684[edit]


a treenail from La Belle (1684)