User talk:28bytes/Archive 44

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I will resign.

I have decided to resign my position on the arbitration committee. It will take a few hours to un-flag myself, unsubscribe from mailing lists, etc., so please bear with me for a bit as I work through that process.

This was not an easy decision. People I respect have publicly and privately encouraged me to serve out the term, and I feel very bad to let them down.

I won my seat on the committee fair and square; my edits to Wikipedia have always been public, and the voters judged me on those edits. There was no canvassing from Wikipediocracy in my favor, obviously, since Wikipediocracy did not know who I was. During the voting the only person outside my family who knew I was active on both sites was a Wikipedia administrator I trust, who has never been active on Wikipediocracy (and who does not particularly like them.)

But the point is that other editors I respect feel it wasn't fair for me to win a seat without disclosing my WO account, since they would not have voted for me if they had known I'd been critical of Wikipedia on another site. I don't agree with that analysis of "fair", but I understand where they are coming from, so I can't dismiss their concerns.

I would rather step aside than let there to be any lingering questions at all about the legitimacy of the election.

This has not been an enjoyable month for me. That's my own fault, of course; no one forced me to run for ArbCom. But aside from the brief interlude between finding out I was the top vote-getter and seeing my name and hometown on various websites a few minutes later, there's been very little enjoyment of what should essentially be a fun hobby.

So in addition to resigning from the arbitration committee, I will be turning in my bureaucrat and administrator tools, and taking an indefinite break from Wikipedia. I won't be "vanishing" or deleting my user pages or anything like that; it's only fair that I stick around and deal with any fallout from this. If you have a question or comment for me, feel free to post it here and I'll respond. I'll make sure that anything you have to say to me is listened to, and if necessary responded to. But once this episode fades into the history bin like so many Wiki-dramas before it, I will be moving on to other pastures.

Some thoughts on COI

Before I go, a few words about "conflict of interest" and the video game I wrote in 2009. Before the Wikipediocracy staff found out that I was "one of them", they were preparing a blog piece that critiqued my COI edits. (That's since been revealed publicly, so I'm not breaking any confidences here.) The idea that an incoming arbitrator would cross the "bright line" preventing people from editing articles they were personally affilated with is indeed a fair topic for a blog post. (As a "secret" member there I was actually in the strange position to see it get written in real time. Let me assure you that watching people prepare a negative blog post about you while they don't know you're watching is a very surreal and unnerving experience.)

But I want to say here, for the record, that I am unreservedly proud of every edit I made to articles I had or have a COI with. It's a few dozen out of my 30,000 edits here total, but I remember those edits well, because I was extremely careful about getting them right. Wikipedia:Autobiography says that such COI editing "is discouraged because it is difficult to write a neutral, verifiable autobiography, and there are many pitfalls."

That's absolutely right; it is difficult. But it's not impossible. I remember when the first not-so-good review of Duck Attack! came out. I was a bit bummed out by it, but the question "should I add this to the article?" had an obvious answer for me: "Yes. You are a Wikipedian. You write neutral, accurate and well-sourced content, regardless if the review is good or bad." So I added it.

But I went further than that. I worked with another editor to bring the article about the critic who wrote that review to DYK. And I defended that article, repeatedly, against vandalism and BLP violations against the critic.

And I wanted to make sure that Duck Attack! was not given undue prominence among homebrew games, so I contacted other homebrewers and asked them to donate screenshots of their games, which I updloaded and added to relevant articles. My uploads and article additions of other homebrews are why the list of Atari 2600 homebrew games has an image of another homebrew (not my game) and why Atari 2600#Homebrews has another homebrew game (not mine) adorning the section.

I have treated my "competitors" well, by giving them accurate, neutral, well-sourced encyclopedia articles. I wrote Medieval Mayhem and brought it to the front page. And Oystron. And A-VCS-tec Challenge. Halo 2600 is largely my work. Take a look at any of the homebrew video game articles that were not written by me; most are poorly sourced and filled with original research, and have often been tagged as such for years. I am extremely proud of the work I've done writing about these interesting and notable games, including my own game.

Should I have waited for someone else to write the Duck Attack! article? Well, maybe. I suppose I could have waited for them to write The Vietnamization of New Jersey or Move Like This or R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. or The Most Unwanted Song or 911 Is a Joke or any of the other 100 or so articles I wrote because nobody had bothered to write them yet, but I didn't see much point.

So take a look at the Duck Attack! article. Do you see any original research, or POV-pushing, or unsourced or inaccurate statements? Or do you see a good-faith effort to comply with every guideline and policy we have on article building, with the acknowledged exception of the COI guideline?

When people bring up that article as one of my failings, is that because there's actually anything wrong with the article, or might there be another reason? My edits have been first and foremost in the service of building neutral, accurate, well-sourced content, whether I have anything to do with the article subject or not. That's true of my edits to Duck Attack!, and it's true of every other COI edit I have made. Take a look at the edits, and decide for yourself.

Once again, I am truly sorry to anyone who feels misled. I hope my resignation will suffice to make things right. 28bytes (talk) 22:37, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Meh...most COI issues are overblown. I read thru the article and it looks fine. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:20, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
This is disappointing-- I'd rather you'd left it at "I made some inappropriate edits as an inexperienced editor in 2010, but I know better now", like in your WP:AN post from last week. The above just digs it in deeper. Wikipedia is not an SEO app in the cloud. Well it is in practice, but it's not supposed to be. (talk) 09:23, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I have treated my "competitors" well, by giving them accurate, neutral, well-sourced encyclopedia articles. Apparently is intended as an argument shedding COI. But COI is essentially self-interest, and any increase in interest/sales of Homebrew games, increases interest/sales for others, including your own. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 09:29, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Sorry to see you go

  • I'm disappointed, but I fully understand your decision (and not everyone has a backs-against-the-wall mentality that may have been required in some situations resulting from the "revelation"). I've written COI articles myself; Zoe Wenham, and Richard Keen (racing driver). It isn't that hard to write a COI article, except you need to be double-careful wrt your writing style, and to ensure it is as neutral as possible. Lukeno52 (tell Luke off here) (legitimate alternate account of Lukeno94) 22:43, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry to see you go, and I hope that you will come back in due time.

But as a courtesy to the rest of us, could you please make the revision history of your user talk page accessible to non-admins? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:44, 29 December 2013 (UTC) OK, it's archive 43. You can revert this if you don't want it visible. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:49, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

(ec) It's here; I just archived it, I didn't delete it. 28bytes (talk) 22:49, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • "watching people prepare a negative blog post about you while they don't know you're watching is a very surreal and unnerving experience." Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    I don't feel deceived. If you run again, you'll have my support again. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:04, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Mine too. Without question. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:06, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • no words, less hope, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:08, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I know how you feel but its another massive loss to the project. Good luck. Kumioko (talk) 23:10, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Far from "making things right", this is the worst outcome for everyone. — Scott talk 23:12, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Definitly the worst outcome, but is that's what you want I respect your wishes. If you do ever stand again you will have my full support however. Blethering Scot 23:18, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • So we've lost an excellent editor, admin and (probably) arbitrator, and Wikipediocracy has lost one of its sanest and most ethical contributors. Sad day. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 23:21, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Best wishes and regrets. You made a difficult decision. Take your break and return refreshed. As far as the planned blog post, I suspect that if you had disclosed yourself before the election, we would have had you write it. StaniStani  23:25, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm disappointed in this decision. A tiny group of vocal people should not be able to shout louder than 900 wikipedians that just took a vote where external affiliations wasn't an eligibility criteria. It's of course the same pool of people complaining that Wikipediocracy should not have such an impact on Wikipedia's affairs - except when it suits them. And sitting arbitrators should know better than to try and influence who sits with them. Overall, a net loss for Wikipedia. MLauba (Talk) 23:36, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Sorry, you're gonna serve your full arb term and not resign. You're not allowed, my orders. Wizardman 23:47, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • You've got mail. I'm genuinely sorry to see you go, but I do respect your decision and I won't add my thoughts to any on-Wiki drama. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:54, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The bad guys win this round, but I think you've won too. Don't be gone too long! --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 00:10, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • bitterly disappointed with this outcome. 28bytes: the greatest arbitrator the community never had. WormTT(talk) 00:24, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Saddened to see this, but see integrity at work the same time. Ceoil (talk) 00:30, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Terrible. This is pretty terrible :( — ΛΧΣ21 Call me Hahc21 00:45, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry to see this as well. The idiotic harassment of respected editors by people at Wikipediocracy claims another victim.... Nick-D (talk) 01:17, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I am sorry about your personal experience, in particular the outing. You are very right that Wikipedia ought to be a fun hobby (although seriously done) and it’s always sad if it ends up causing people personal trouble. Hopefully 2014 will be much nicer for you than the last weeks of 2013. Best wishes, Iselilja (talk) 01:18, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Bad decision to quit. Another illustration that there is a symbiosis between the extremist wing of Wikipediocracy and the extremist wing of Wikipedia. They need each other. Carrite (talk) 01:21, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm in complete agreement with the sentiments expressed above, including by those who I often have radical differences in opinion with. 28 brought us all together. Mark Arsten (talk) 01:35, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Dammit, your parting statement actually made me really like you as a candidate.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:52, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Declining 2014 Arbcom appointment (without prejudice to running again next year): probably a wise decision given the drama level. You didn't technically resign since you weren't on arbcom yet, as I understand it.

    Resigning as bureaucrat: not necessary unless there was significant feedback calling for this (I didn't see any so far).

    Resigning as admin: not at all necessary, unless there was really substantial pressure for it (say in a self-initiated RFC/U or someone opening a recall petition) and I don't think that pressure would materialize. If you stand for RFA again I think you will pass without problems. I would like to have you back in the admin corps, so I hope you will do this. Just be more forthcoming about WO and whatever else.

    Going on wikibreak: if you feel you need it, then sure, it's always a good idea. It leads to a changed perspective and makes you a better editor.

    Quitting Wikipedia completely: oh heavens no, we need your (most of the time) level-headedness despite your having made what I see as some clear boneheaded moves in some specific areas (we are all sometimes boneheads, each in our own ways). Chill out for a while, let the tension dissipate, and come back when you're ready.

    Hang in there, — (talk) 02:24, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Please don't go, we all need you. Epicgenius (talk) 03:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • What I see is an attack of idiocy and bastard people; this is a level of harassment and bullshit that will make anyone think twice about being involved with wikipedia on a leadership level. Hugs to you, 28, and Illegitimi non carborundum Montanabw(talk) 03:26, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Most graciously, you stated your hope that your resignation would suffice to make things right. I am sorry, but it doesn't make things right for me. I thought and still think you were among the very best ArbCom candidates this year. I spent a lot of time studying the candidates, and in my estimation, you were the second best, just a hair behind the best. Reading your posts on Wikipediocracy (I don't post there), I see nothing disqualifying. Your close on the homeless guy article was correct in my view, and by no means a supervote. I would vote for you again in a minute, and encourage you to return and reclaim your tools as soon as your understandable need for a Wikibreak allows. Please relax and recharge. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • This is certainly ANI worthy. You departure is a clear disruption to the project. A valuable contributor has again been lost.—cyberpower ChatOffline 04:49, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • 28bytes had my support and trust and still does. He is one of the best.(Littleolive oil (talk) 04:56, 30 December 2013 (UTC))
  • What disappointing news to wake up to this morning, that we've lost probably our best potential Arb ever (and one of our very best admins and crats). I do hope you'll take up the tools again some time in the not-too-distant future, and you'll get my vote again any time you want to run. Boing is sad today :-( -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:19, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Everything Boing! said in their comment right above mine is how I feel. :( You've always been excellent and it's a shame that this has happened. Acalamari 09:57, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Sorry it has come to this. I don't think you had much choice about ArbCom, but I do hope you will at least change your mind about resigning as an admin/bureaucrat - your request for removal of your bureaucrat flag on meta is on hold to give 24 hours for you to reconsider. WJBscribe (talk) 14:46, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I just noticed this entire brouhaha and thought I'd drop in and express my regrets. I don't recall if I voted for you in the elections. I may have. I find it odd that you left under these circumstances, which are murky and I don't fully understand them. What I will say is that in the process of condemning you for membership in an off-Wiki forum, your critics have elevated the stature of that forum and given it all kinds of power and influence that it may or may not deserve. Coretheapple (talk) 17:47, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Agree with resignation

Sorry, coming late to the party, still trying to sort through just what happened here. I wavered back and forth between, "Sorry, what's happening?" to "Oh, poor 28bytes, he's being bullied by known bullies. Well, that comes with the territory," to "Wait, he resigned? Well, he shouldn't have done that," to, "Wait, is there really a smoking gun?" to, "Oh dear, I think there is." The slamdunk for me was this: The recent flap that made it to ArbCom, that resulted in the resignation of (past) Arbitrator Jclemens.[1] The incident that precipitated that event was 28bytes making a controversial close of the Henry Earl AfD.[2] The close was debated at DRV, consensus was not reached, and so 28bytes' decision stood. Only now I learn that 28bytes, under another identity, had already been participating in a discussion about that article at WO?[3] Sorry, that went over the line for me. My expectation was that 28bytes came to the AfD discussion as an uninvolved administrator. Not as someone who had already stated an opinion elsewhere that the article should be deleted, and then (evidently) came to Wikipedia to abuse authority with a supervote. 28bytes, as I already said elsewhere,[4] if the AfD dispute would have occurred just a few weeks earlier, it might have cost you the election. If this association with WO would have been disclosed, I think it would have had an even greater effect. If I would have known about this, my "Support" would have changed to an "Oppose". Whether it would have cost you the entire election is moot at this point, but I do think that resigning was the right thing to do.--Elonka 00:26, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Knowing your opinion is very important to all of us, Elonka. Thank you so much for sharing it. --Floquenbeam (talk) 00:39, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
So much for me above not wishing to add to drama, but the drama happened on the now archived section of this talk page and I see no purpose in rubbing salt. It's over now, time to give it a rest rather than continue to pile on. Yes, it's moot now, let it be so. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Elonka. I don't at all agree that the close was a "supervote"; it would have arguably been one if I had closed as "keep" given the breakdown of the discussion. I do take the point that I shouldn't have critiqued the "keep" arguments externally if I intended to close the discussion. That's a fair criticism. 28bytes (talk) 00:47, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

So what your saying is that if someone makes a statement like "six good faith editors making a complaint about my use of admin tools," or "I read that site" but actually neglected to include an important qualifier like "those making the request would be doing so in good faith (as determined soley by me)" or "I'm also a blogger there," should resign from their position of authority? Just checking! Hipocrite (talk) 02:46, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

That issue was dropped long ago. Please let it remain dropped. Thank you. Jehochman Talk 02:55, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Hipocrite. That's a really impressive display of a double standard, Jehochman. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 09:40, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

I am impressed

As I've watched this unfold, I was composing a letter in my head to ask you to ask me to call for a community vote to re-confirm your ArbCom membership. Although I think that Wikipediocracy is a net problem for Wikipedia (because it encourages perverse attacks on community members and a conspiratorial way of thinking which is at odds with the facts), it is not for me to substitute my judgment for that of the community. However, I think that the failure to disclose your active participation there was at a minimum problematic as it could very well have impacted some people's votes for some perfectly valid reasons. Or not. Mere participation in that forum is something about which reasonable people may disagree.

In any event, this is the sort of thing that I think is very awkward for our community processes as we do not have clear processes to deal with such things. I think that most people would agree that there should be a method for removal of ArbCom members who have lost the trust of the community, but that is something we don't have, other than (controversially) my ability to remove someone - and that's a drama route that is not healthy either.

So, I'm impressed. You did the right thing by standing down from ArbCom, but I also think that given your overwhelming trust in the community as exhibited by the vote (although of course that came before the disclosure) you would also do the right thing by asking for community confirmation. If you did that, and if the community expressed support at a level that would have given you a seat on the ArbCom anyway, then I would reappoint you. I hope that you'll try. If nothing else, it would open a useful discussion about such things as participation there and about honesty with the community.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:01, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

You have my vote! Kumioko (talk) 01:18, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Mine, too. Epicgenius (talk) 03:04, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
+1 — ΛΧΣ21 Call me Hahc21 06:09, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support return of 28 This would not have changed my vote. Any system needs people in charge who are clear-eyed about the strengths and weaknesses of the system; to be less than that is to become nothing more than a choir of bleating sheep. Wikipediocracy is a necessary foil to WP, I only wish they'd have more discussion of positive ways to improve wikipedia (which 28 attempted to do) without the "burn it all down" macho nonsense that makes Wikipediocracy such a hostile forum. Montanabw(talk) 03:36, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Someone needs to start a movement, Keep28!. We could start tagging buildings and hack it into lights in Skyscrapers at night. It would be like that 80's movie Turk 182. :-) Kumioko (talk) 03:59, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Shall we start with this? Montanabw(talk) 07:05, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

28bytes This user votes to Keep 28.
  • Jimmy, the Wikipedia:Arbitration policy actually does contain a provision for removal of ArbCom members where warranted (by two-thirds vote of the Committee), though I saw no cause for such an action here and would have strongly opposed any such proposal. It is good that you have offered 28bytes a way back onto the Committee if he should want it, although I suspect, sadly, that a few of the shriller voices here—and elsewhere—may have taken the joy out of Wikipedia for him for ever, and very few people do a good job with any aspect of what we do here if we do not feel good about doing it. 28bytes would have been a fine arbitrator, and I am sorry that I will not have the opportunity to work with him. Newyorkbrad (talk) 10:19, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I didn't think of that section because I'm primarily concerned here with a process from outside ArbCom. It is good for ArbCom to have that power with a 2/3 majority. But I think there needs to be an easier way for the community to have input between elections. As usual, of course, I would not like to see a system that would result in too frequent and too easy results, but I do think there are rare cases where it would be healthy to have recall processes.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:57, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • For what little it is worth, I also !vote yes. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:57, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Jimbo, think! You really want to hand impeachment or recall power to the trolls that do nothing but live on the drama boards? We'd have every arb spending all their time defending themselves instead of working cases. (Worse than is already the case, at least) You are out of touch with life on the ground here, man. Montanabw(talk) 19:59, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Who else is voting for 28's return?

Let's start with a list of votes. Epicgenius (talk) 15:24, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Yes -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:08, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes -- Montanabw(talk) 19:57, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, but I also respect 28bytes' wishes for some time away (just hoping that the time will not be permanent). --Tryptofish (talk) 20:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes --Guerillero | My Talk 20:27, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes; although it looks like a moot point. 28bytes, I'm glad to hear you won't be writing about your next game here, but I have no problem at all with anything remotely recent that I'm aware of that you've done. I think we'll miss having you on the committee and in general; I wish you much success on whatever you do in 2014. Happy New Year. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 21:38, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes. Although, I would be more than happy if you, 28bytes, decide not to leave Wikipedia. I don't really care about having you or not on ArbCom when the true risk is in losing you as an amazing user and administrator. What happened, happened, and the community will take care of evaluating the situation and come up with a proper solution. But what we cannot solve is the fact that this has become unpleasant to you, and such thing should have never happened. So, my only prayer is that you reconsider this (taking a wikibreak is okay, though) and stay among us. Wikipedia needs users like you. — ΛΧΣ21 Call me Hahc21 22:11, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes. I liked working together on de:Move Like This, and now await with mixed feelings the last DYK hook of the year which ends with praise. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:26, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

My reply to Jimbo

Hi Jimbo. Thank you very much for your kind offer. I think a confirmation of the sort you are suggesting would be an excellent way to move forward in cases like this. But I must respectfully decline. Having slept on it, I am at peace with my decision to leave Wikipedia. In 2008, I grew frustrated with Wikipedia and decided to leave for a couple of years; in the interim I learned assembly language programming and wrote and released my first video game (which has been much discussed here recently.) It was a very enjoyable and fulfilling thing to do, and seeing it get mentioned in places like and The A.V. Club has been a huge thrill for me. I think it's time for me to take a break from writing about notable things and get back to work doing more notable things myself.

Regarding Wikipediocracy: believe me, I understand why people are bothered by the goings-on there. Let's face it, they act like dicks there sometimes. I've been a bit of a dick over there occasionally myself. But sometimes you need to be a dick to get things done. I credit Wikipediocracy with giving me a fuller understanding of our BLP problems, among other things. The scathing commentary they've posted about the hurt our processes can inflict on BLP subjects has hit home to me in a way than none of the dozens of earnest policy, guideline or essay pages we have on Wikipedia could.

I mentioned above that, being privy to the WO blog-preparing area, it was a very unsettling experience to see people figuring out what they were going to put out on the internet about me. I imagine that must be what it feels like for low-profile subjects of our BLPs who request deletion; we hold AfDs where participants say things like "well, if you didn't want a Wikipedia article, you shouldn't have gotten a job as a radio presenter/football coach/whatever." We need to be more humane. We already have some humanity enshrined in our policies; for example Wikipedia:BLPREQUESTDELETE allows us to respect the article subjects' wishes for privacy in cases of no consensus and poor sourcing. We should go further.

We need to distinguish between "Lady Gaga notable" and "Arthur Rubin notable". With no disrespect at all towards User:Arthur Rubin, readers would not be shocked and puzzled to encounter a modern encyclopedia that did not have a biography about him, the way they would be if Lady Gaga did not have one. Mr. Rubin's BLP appears to be well-sourced and neutral, consensus has been that he meets our general notability guidelines, and judging from the comments in the most recent AfD, he does not mind there being an article, so great! Let's keep the article. But if he instead found the article to be distressing and believed his privacy was being harmed, I would be the first to support its deletion. But current policy says that wouldn't be enough. That's something that needs to be rethought.

With Wikipedia's prominence and reach, it's inevitable that there will be at least one site dedicated to criticizing it, and that's a healthy thing. As Wikipedians, we can't decide how we will be criticized; we can only control how to react to that criticism. Do we ignore it? Do we lash out defensively? Or do we engage it with an open mind, even if the tone, presentation, and methods of that criticism are unpalatable? The most recent discussion on your talk page, where you have engaged respectfully with allegations that a respected administrator was whitewashing articles about a business school, encourages me that we are, at least some of the time, willing to listen to a critical message even if we don't like the messenger.

I have a few writing and video game design projects I have let languish since I returned to Wikipedia; I'm going to spend 2014 tackling those. I have a pretty good feeling about one of them in particular. If all goes well, I will return to editing Wikipedia once I have another notable accomplishment to write about. But this time, I promise I will let someone else do the writing. :)

Jimbo, I offer you, and everyone here, and everyone on "the other site", my best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year. Until we meet again, peace. 28bytes (talk) 17:45, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

We love you anyway

Kitten in a helmet.jpg

What happened happened, but we love you anyway. Don't let it eat you up. 28bytes in 2015!

v/r - TP 01:07, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

  • ArbCom is a poisonous cancer... it's not as though the mountain of evidence demonstrating this needed any further proof. If you're really interested in content creation, as you say above, you don't need adminship, bureaucratship, or any involvement with ArbCom. That's part of the insane, crazy, lovely beauty of Wikipedia. Come back when you're ready. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 01:58, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I obviously wouldn't go so far as to call the Arbitration Committee "a poisonous cancer," but its importance in the overall project is often vastly overrated by its supporters (are there any?) and its critics alike, and I agree with everything else MZM said. Newyorkbrad (talk) 10:24, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Around the recent election, there were a lot of very good Wikipedians who chose not to run, specifically because of the distaste for being outed. What ArbCom does is necessary for Wikipedia. It's in Wikipedia's best interests that the best candidates step forward to run for ArbCom. If the atmosphere of gotcha is causing people to decide that running isn't worth it, and it does, and now it caused one of our very best to decide that serving isn't worth it, then that is genuinely a poisonous cancer, and we all need to be concerned about it. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

  • I am genuinely sorry, and deeply saddened, to see this. I voted for you, and if you were up for election again tomorrow, I'd have no qualms about voting for you again. If you're guilty of anything, it's probably naivety—you should probably have anticipated that, if you had any secrets (no matter how benign most people might think they are), they wouldn't stay secret for long after you were elected. I always thought of you as one of the good guys, and I've watched your editing career (so to speak) with interest for a few years. Participation on Wikipediocracy makes no odds to me really—there is a gap to be filled in legitimate criticism of Wikipedia, much as I loathe the sorts of things that some less scrupulous members of that site do—and the "conflict of interest" issue seems to have been blown out of all proportion.

    Most of all, I'm genuinely upset to hear that all this business has ruined your hobby. You're one of the most respected editors on the project, and you have put many, many hours of your time into it, so I hope you won't let the last month or so completely overshadow your whole experience. I hope you'll come back when you've had a rest, and get back to doing some the things you enjoy. Ping me if you want me for anything (on-wiki or off). Best, HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:34, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

To the arbitration committee

To AGK, Beeblebrox, Carcharoth, David Fuchs, Floquenbeam, GorillaWarfare, LFaraone, NativeForeigner, Newyorkbrad, Roger Davies, Salvio giuliano, Seraphimblade, Timotheus Canens, and Worm That Turned: I am sorry we will not be working together this year. You have my best wishes that the 2014 session will be harmonious and productive.

To everyone else: these folks are human (really); if they screw up (as we all do), cut them some slack. And when they don't screw up, thank them. I'm grateful they're choosing to volunteer their time and efforts in such a stressful environment; I hope you are too. Cheers, 28bytes (talk) 17:57, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. I will miss your work on the Committee, which is an accomplishment given that you hadn't started yet. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, thank you for the wishes. NativeForeigner Talk 05:10, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

As a former insider at a "badsite"

Hi 28bytes, apologies if this aspect had already come up, but now that we know you had a chance to see the internal discussions of a certain badsite, could you comment on a few things?

  1. They have a reputation for outing Wikipedians. Some outing is detective work, looking at nonredacted edits and combining information that people have in some way disclosed even if they have subsequently tried to redact it or may not have realised what can be combined. This may involve things that we don't allow on this site but which are allowed on other sites, and even legal in countries whose laws lack protection for personal privacy. But can you tell us whether or not they also use doxing methods such as betrayal of confidences, misuse of admin or checkuser data from Wikipedia, or checkuser data on their own site?
  2. They are a known mix of foes of and critics of this site. Do the seekrit forums have a similar proportion of those who simply seek to damage us and those who wish to change this site in ways they honestly believe would improve it, or are they skewed differently? Are there any Wikipediocracy members who publicly are calling for changes on WP but privately in the secret forums are taking a different line?
  3. When they moved from WR and rebranded themselves they also cleaned up their act somewhat, for example at the new site I've heard they don't use the homophobic F word when talking about gays. Do those same rules apply in their secret forums?
  4. One of their regulars once managed to get control of a Wikipedia admin account that wasn't his. Did you see anything that would imply that any of our current admin accounts have been similarly compromised?

Needless to say I'm not asking for names to be listed here, but I do hope you would inform arbcom if you saw anything there that would merit a desysop. Regards ϢereSpielChequers 18:12, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

WSC, why don't you ask these questions of the owner of the domain URL of the site in question? Do you worry that you wouldn't get an honest answer? - 2001:558:1400:10:F1E7:56E5:7C45:E72C (talk) 18:34, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi WSC. (1) I have never seen any WP admin behave unethically behind the scenes on that site. The only user on WO who has checkuser or oversight permissions (as far as I'm aware) is Alison, and I have never seen her use those privileges here to aid in work on that site. (2) Without getting too specific, I will say that the only seekrit forum that I was privy to had both "hasten the day" folks, and folks like me who want to see Wikipedia improved, not damaged or destroyed. (3) I've not seen any homophobic commentary in the private forum. I've seen some appear (briefly) on the public pages, but the mods are usually very good about squashing that. (4) No, I'm not aware of any compromised admin accounts. Occasionally people joke in the public forums about having one, but, you know, so did Malleus from time to time. 28bytes (talk) 19:39, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Can someone succinctly explain the practical difference between WR and WO? I know this isn't a forum but it's at least slightly relevant to (my) understanding this situation. For example, I notice Dan Murphy's WP userpage mentions he was banned from WR. Thanks. (talk) 19:30, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Very briefly so we don't get too off-topic, the site-owner of Wikipedia Review returned from several years away from the site and somehow came to the conclusion that a majority of WR's moderators and many of the leading contributors were somehow undesirable. She banned several of them and drove many of the rest off, to the point that Wikipedia Review became moribund and the new site Wikipediocracy was started with some of the same people at its core to take WR's place. I'm sure I've elided a lot of details, but let's leave it at that, at least for purposes of this page. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:40, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Brad I'm hearing that you and the rest of ArbCom, have for several years now been taking taking instructions from Tim Usher (Proabivouac), acting and investigating on information received an all, care to tell us about that? John lilburne (talk) 21:18, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi John. I'm going to answer this on your talk page, as I don't think this page is the right place to discuss this. Carcharoth (talk) 23:03, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
sure why not. John lilburne (talk) 23:11, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi 28bytes, thanks for your answers, that's more reassuring than I expected. Whether you take a break or not, and whether you return or not, I wish you a Happy New Year. ϢereSpielChequers 21:58, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you WSC. A happy new year to you as well. 28bytes (talk) 22:09, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

My analysis of the Duck Attack edits.

I am purposely not commenting on the larger issue, but out of curiosity I did look at 28Bytes edits concerning Duck Attack and related articles, and in my opinion he was very careful to avoid any bias. Many editors with a COI couldn't have pulled that off -- and the most biased are the most likely to falsely conclude that they have no bias -- but I see nothing in 29Bytes actual edits that I wouldn't have done myself. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:17, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Guy, what if 28bytes himself approached the Toledo Free Press and the Fort Wayne newspaper to urge them to write about Duck Attack, and then the very day that the Toledo coverage was published (4 August 2010), 28bytes created the Duck Attack article on Wikipedia, using those two newspapers as sources, plus his personal website as a reliable source? I'm not saying that happened, but would you still conclude that there was no bias involved? - 2001:558:1400:10:F1E7:56E5:7C45:E72C (talk) 18:38, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
That is indeed what happened; after my game was released, I emailed some newspapers and told them that I'd written a new game for the Atari 2600, and asked if they would be interested in writing an article about it. I was friends with the editor of one of the newspapers; I didn't know anyone at any of the others. A few of the newspapers did think it was worth a story; they interviewed me about the game and ran stories on it, and I included those in the WP articles as references. Let me state for the record that yes, there was absolutely bias involved: I wrote the game, how could there not be? The question is, does the article reflect that bias? I will leave it to others to be the judge of that. 28bytes (talk) 19:15, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
2001:558:1400:10:F1E7:56E5:7C45:E72C, 28bytes is only required to be unbiased in his Wikipedia edits, not off-wiki. The list of things you are not allowed to do off-wiki is rather small (outing people, for example). I expect 28bytes to promote his own work off-wiki. I certainly do. As for asking a newspaper to write about something and then using t as a source, this is something that I have encouraged many editors to do. Want to preserve a page from deletion but the subject isn't notable? Attempt to get coverage in independent reliable sources, then cite those sources. They have to be independent, though; 28bytes can't cite a newspaper that he owns or a letter to the editor that he wrote. Being friends with a journalist is OK, as long as the journalist makes an independent decision as to what to write. As I said, I can find no examples of Wikipedia edits that are a problem. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:02, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
It sounds like you do not subscribe to Jimmy Wales' "Bright Line Rule". - 2001:558:1400:10:F8EC:295:110E:1DB4 (talk) 20:35, 30 December 2013 (UTC
A lot of people don't. — ΛΧΣ21 Call me Hahc21 21:53, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo's bright line rule has nothing to do with this situation.
"The Bright Line Rule is about paid advocacy editing - i.e. someone who is being paid to write on behalf of a client or employer. Nothing even remotely similar to that is involved here [referring to COI Editing]. While the edit might be legitimately be debated on other grounds, the Bright Line Rule as a best practice has nothing whatsoever to do with this kind of case [COI Editing]."[5] -- Jimbo Wales
The consensus of the Wikipedia community on this is crystal clear:
Wikipedia:No paid advocacy
Wikipedia:Paid editing policy proposal
Wikipedia:Conflict of interest limit
For the record, I subscribe to the principle found in Wikipedia:Plain and simple conflict of interest guide, but I also was very clear in specifying that I am purposely not commenting on the larger issue, but only on the narrow question of whether 28Bytes edits concerning Duck Attack and related articles show bias. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:45, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Being friends with a journalist is OK, as long as the journalist makes an independent decision as to what to write. I don't see utility or logic behind the "as long as" condition, since there's no way to vet that. (The same if 28bytes created another WP article on a game he created and wants to promote -- he could do as an IP or new username, so what utility in "I promise I won't"!?) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 22:47, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
You think that there is no way to vet whether a source is reliable and independent as opposed to being self-published? Clearly I am failing to understand what you are saying. Could you elaborate and clarify, please? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:45, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Tacky. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 07:34, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I would say, regardless of whether the article itself is neutral, its creation increased Wikipedia's systemic bias towards the topic area, so there's still an issue of COI creating bias. Plugging it further by adding a search term and wikilink[6][7] plus a picture[8] (undue weight) about the game to the fictional duck list didn't seem necessary either. And I don't think it dispositive to focus entirely on the outcome since motive also matters. Finally the original concept of NPOV was that summarizing the aggregate of published viewpoints on an encyclopedic topic results in an unbiased article. In cases where the sources are substantially influenced by public-relations efforts connected with the subject, we can no longer really say that summarizing those sources results in a trustably neutral article, so the deletionist in me would call such topics unencyclopedic unless they meet much higher standards of notability than we use for other topics. (BLP1E is one specific place we recognize something like that in policy, but we should do it for any topic likely to be the subject of promotion or attention-seeking, e.g. anything that has has been the subject of an advertisement. Was Duck Attack ever advertised?). In any case, we all should be careful when using sources potentially influenced by promotion, and COI intensifies this so much that it's best to just stay away.

When I first saw your AN post about the Duck Attack article, I viewed it as a long-ago misstep by an otherwise-good editor, that was pretty minor on the scale of things as long as it was isolated. So I didn't get worked up about it. At this point though, you're almost coming across as pushing an agenda aligned with that of your WO co-participant MyWikiBiz, the poster boy for COI editing. I can't speak for others but I find myself reacting unfavorably. (talk) 20:48, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Is there value to continuing this discussion here now? Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:50, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

That's for 28bytes to decide. Anyone else who finds no value in it can unsubscribe.
If, by some chance, someone reading this is strapped to a chair with his eyelids taped open in front of a monitor with this user talk page open and the Duck Attack Theme Song blasting in the background, then let me address this message to that user's captors: First of all, keep up the good work. Secondly, please take away his keyboard. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:06, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
@28bytes: FWIW, I think it's totally awesome that you wrote an Atari 2600 game. I grew up on the Atari, and Adventure (IMHO) ranks as one of the greatest video games of all time. Hats off to you. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:01, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
BTW, pay no attention to these people. They probably don't even know what the secret dot was for. ;) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Moral support, part deux

Wikibreaks aren't a bad idea. Sometimes it's nice to let the outside world distract one from the goings-on here inside Wikipedia.

People outside the process (such as those "readers" we oft speak about) have no idea what it's like here, and even if we tried to explain it to them, they just wouldn't understand, and likely wouldn't believe us (I know, I've tried.)

Not only does each and every one of us have feelings, which can come under attack in some of the most puerile ways, this is a place that can have genuine effect outside of the confines of this "little" website as well. NYB encountered that awhile back, and so have others.

But I'd like to share something with you that I've tried to share with others. The pain and hurt does sloooowly go away. hurts you didn't realise you were feeling at the time because the walls and defenses were up so high. But over time, they fade somewhat, at least to a manageable state.

And at some point you may be tempted to come back and check out this "little" website. And when you do it'll hopefully be with a deep, cleansing breath and a sense of renewal.

And regardless of whether you decide to use your current username, or take this opportunity to have a "fresh start" with a new username, I sincerely hope that whenever you decide you would like to try for an RfA again, you would please drop me a friendly notice.

I know I've said it already, but I'd like to reiterate: I do sincerely wish you well. And thank you for the gift of your time which you have shared with the rest of us : ) - jc37 19:31, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

This is about the other guy, not you, but someone needs to stand up and start this

You are involved in a recently filed request for arbitration. Please review the request at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests#Dan Murphy and, if you wish to do so, enter your statement and any other material you wish to submit to the Arbitration Committee. Additionally, the following resources may be of use—

Thanks, --Tryptofish (talk) 20:43, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Ugh, I wish you hadn't done that. :/ I would prefer we all just put this episode behind us. Would you consider withdrawing it? 28bytes (talk) 20:52, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
No. I think it's fine if you distance yourself from it, but you owe it to some other Wikipedian who is thinking about running for ArbCom next time, but dissuaded by your bad experience, to let this take place. You resigned; that's your decision; now let the rest of us do what we think is best. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:56, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Tryptofish - I agree with 28bytes, your request should be withdrawn. There's nothing inherently worthy of Arbitration, unless we're going to drag ourselves down the well worn path of trying to refine, yet again, just how much of what Wikipediocracy does is under the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Committee and whether behaviour there should result in sanctions here. What will need to be looked at, as you sort of point out, is whether the community will want Arb candidates to declare third party website memberships for the 2014 election. That's an RfC issue and that's where we should now be looking, moving forward instead of reversing. Nick (talk) 21:48, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Nick, I completely disagree with you. That issue that concerns you is not the issue that concerns me. And there need not be any dragging, by the way. This can be resolved quickly with a motion. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:51, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Tryptofish, I don't see an arb case either. Off-wiki harassment is already a documented thing. As I said at WT:ACN, I think 28bytes' case is a little bit exceptional, but if the outed person was an ordinary editor then I'd say just open a WP:AN thread making the case for a community ban. (talk) 22:50, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

best wishes

Thank you for the many hours of contributions and maturity with which you've contributed to the encyclopedia.

I'm truly baffled by the tendency of the WP culture to suck the best of the admin core (I'm thinking especially Elen of the Roads and yourself) into these surreal kerfuffles.

I am disappointed, as you would have been an asset on the committee, but your real life health and happiness are more important than this website, so I fully support any Wikipedian who finds it isn't fun anymore to go real life. NE Ent 22:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

For a moment I thought I had see the signature of Elen of the Roads. That would have been special in its own way; for sure! 28bytes, pardon my naivety, but; what exactly do you believe you have done that would warrant your resignation? I can not see where an amends was indicative; even if slightly! What I see are the hopes of many squashed; lamenting the speed with which my voice became null over that which at best is an event of no consequence; at worst, a consequence for others to bear. Notwithstanding a funeral I attended today for a good friend, I am aggrieved; further—and as inexplicably!—John Cline (talk) 00:32, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Resilient Barnstar Hires.png The Resilient Barnstar
The community appreciates your honesty with everyone and it's a pity that this resulted in you stepping down over being at WO. I personally don't care, as long as you're not a regular there. Take care. Sportsguy17 (TC) 03:24, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

One more step:

I am away for the holidays without my laptop, but I heard there was a drama issue with 28, so I had to borrow a friend's computer to speak-up. I won't go into my own feelings on the state of wiki, but I do have to say this is certainly a step in the wrong direction for Wikipedia. Of course I encourage 28 to do what's best for himself in real life, and other than selfish motivations, I wouldn't encourage him to "fight the good fight", "stick it out", or do ANYthing that detracted for REAL-life enjoyment. Personally I don't understand what the issue is here; other than the behavior of people who can only experience life by tormenting and harassing people other people they don't even know on the Internet.

I won't go into detail because I'd hate to see my friend's IP address blocked because of something I said - suffice to say that the departure or lack of interest for working at the highest levels for the Wikipedia project by 28bytes is a true detriment to the project on the whole. The hypocrisy of what goes on regarding "outing", "anonymity", NPA, between both Wikipedia and WO simply amaze me. There are some really great folks at both sites, but the childish, inept, corrosive and toxic elements which are allowed to flourish at BOTH sites amaze me. I doubt ANYone would tolerate such things in their real life, and it is a true shame that such dishonest mean-spirited behavior exists in so many places on the Internet. (No - it's not limited to Wikipedia, WO, or any other individual website.)

Anyway - 28 .. I wish you all the very best in life. I say that to the point that if you are ever in the south-west PA. area, you would truly be welcome in my home, and I would be honored to break bread with you. All my best. User:Ched aka User:Chedzilla (not at home) (talk) 14:07, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Fare thee well

28, my internet connection is in the dumps for a couple of days and this is the result? You're gone? I've spent the last hour reading up and I'm still not done. In the meantime, I trust you're doing what you think is right. I haven't read enough to know if I should agree with some of the comments about minorities with shrill voices driving longtime editors off, and maybe it doesn't matter--either way, we've lost a fine editor and admin, and I for one will miss you. (Of course all my accounts voted for you as well in the ArCom election, and the check came through via the mailbox service at the Toledo Free Press--thanks for your generosity.) Take care, Drmies (talk) 16:15, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Dear 28bytes, I will so miss you

Fylbecatulous talk 17:06, 31 December 2013 (UTC)