User talk:Abd/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

User talk:Abd/Archive 6/Before flap
User talk:Abd/Archive 6/Warnings before block
User talk:Abd/Archive 6/Blocked

Unblock request.

File:Orologio rosso or File:Orologio verde DOT SVG (red clock or green clock icon, from Wikimedia Commons)
This blocked user's unblock request has been reviewed by an administrator, who declined the request. Other administrators may also review this block, but should not override the decision without good reason (see the blocking policy). Do not remove this unblock review while you are blocked.

Abd (block logactive blocksglobal blocksautoblockscontribs deleted contribscreation log change block settingsunblockfilter log)

Request reason:

Block not necessary for protection of the project and community. I had voluntarily agreed, as a result of warnings, to restrict my possibly controversial comments to Talk, and the Talk edits cited by the blocking admin as reason for the block showed this agreement, and thus that I had responded to warnings, contrary to the block allegations. Even if there had been reason to block before, my agreement removed that, though the blocking admin apparently considered discussion of issues that had arisen, in my Talk, to be improper, as shown by the diffs she provided, even though the diffs after my agreement to confine myself clearly did not show personal attack or improper sock accusation.

Decline reason:

Clearly you do not understand why you were blocked, nor are you doing anything but making rationalizations about why your behavior wasn't actually improper. I'm sorry, but its fairly clear from the ongoing discussion here that a vast cross section of editors do feel your behavior was inappropriate and that several people had offered to unblock only if you could acknowledge this and agree to avoid such behavior in the future. Since you're unable to meet those unblock conditions, I don't believe that we can unblock you at this time. — Shell babelfish 20:10, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

If you want to make any further unblock requests, please read the guide to appealing blocks first, then use the {{unblock}} template again. If you make too many unconvincing or disruptive unblock requests, you may be prevented from editing this page until your block has expired.

My discovery of the above reason given has made the issue very simple for this request: Did I continue to make alleged personal attacks (as defined in WP:NPA) and allegations of sock puppetry without evidence, after warning? I'd contend that I never did this at all, but to prove that would require review of voluminous contributions. It is now necessary to review only two, the last two cited by Iridescent when I asked for the evidence behind the block. They are

Abd: [1] Abd: [2]

Iridescent: Block notice:[3]

Iridescent's provision of evidence for block: [4]

Many other grounds for block have been asserted, but none of them involve an emergency such that immediate block would be appropriate without discussion, through WP:DR, including, possibly, a user RfC. Further, users have wider discretion for discussion in their own Talk than they do outside it, so even if prior edits outside Talk were personal attacks and improper allegation, a higher standard would be applied in Talk. Therefore I ask that the block be removed as improper, on the grounds asserted in the unblock request. --Abd (talk) 18:21, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion you made some breathtakingly bad faith allegations, it constituted harassment of another user although I'm not absolutely convinced it was wilful harassment, but that matter has now been resolved as far as it's going to be. You did in fact continue after being warned, for quite some time - a checkuser had to theoretically compromise checkuser policy to find evidence which strongly indicated you were wrong, and even after that, your retraction was somewhat conditional. That being said, they were retracted and I think we should deal with *this* matter as closed and resolve *any future* incident only when it arises. Orderinchaos 23:09, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Response to unblock decline

This was written prior to the unblock. No action need be taken, it's here for the record. Please don't read it if you aren't interested.

Thanks, Shell, for reviewing this. I am willing -- have always been willing -- to consider and satisfy, if possible, block conditions set by an administrator willing to unblock under those conditions. One of the admins offering to unblock, actually the only one who actually stated an intention, may have set conditions, and I satisfied them. Then other conditions were set, by others. I can't respond to "several people" setting conditions. I can respond to one, or one agreed-upon set of conditions. I already did it with one admin, and he backed out. So what I ask, Shell, is if you are willing to identify a specific list of conditions. Some of the conditions that have been proposed are not acceptable, others are. The original conditions were easily acceptable, which is why I accepted them, and performed on them promptly. Other conditions were general and not related to the block, striking at the heart of my participation in the community, hence I cannot satisfy them.

Keeper76:I will unblock, without AN/ANI over-dramafication. Yesterday's events came fast and furious, with more heat than light in some instances. Abd/Fritzpoll seem to be coming to terms (either of you can correct me if I'm wrong there). A statement by Abd, more or less a sincere olive branch, or at least an addressing or explanation of the above links in regards to the "motives" of the blocking admin would certainly not be out of order here. Keeper ǀ 76 22:31, 12 August 2008 (UTC)face="Papyrus">76]] 22:31, 12 August 2008 (UTC)[5]

Note that this was not stated as an unblock condition. It was stated as something that would not be "out of order," i.e., desirable. However, I did take it as if it were a condition. I was surprised to see him later claim that he'd made no promise to unblock. But it's moot. I took no action in reliance on it.

Prior to the comment above: 02:10, 12 August 2008, the weak apology to Fritzpoll, all that I could do at that time.[6] 02:49, 12 August 2008 Full apology to Frizpoll.[7]

There seems to be no reason to suspect that there is any further problem between me and Fritzpoll, so that side of it has been resolved, two days ago, even before Keeper76 suggested it.

I had also responded to Keeper76's request about my comments re Iridescent. These took place after block and should have been irrelevant, but, as it turns out, my edit immediately following his, prepared previously and hitting edit conflict with his edit, had answered his question.[8], 01:12, 13 August 2008. --Abd (talk) 02:12, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Suggest unblock

I see Abd finally put an unblock template up, and it was declined. A few hours ago, I was 5 minutes away from unblocking him even without an unblock template, when real life suddenly called me away from the computer. My partial justification at the time, which I was still in the process of writing when I had to quit, was:

This is the stupidest slow-motion unblock situation I've seen in some time. It doesn't take 3 days and 1000k of text to request an unblock; all this hemming and hawing and research and review and meta-discussion is just killing innocent electrons. I'm torn between two conflicting instincts: just unilaterally unblocking right now (mostly, if Abd will forgive the minor incivility, to get him to shut up about the block), or un-watchlisting this page and not caring if he's ever unblocked (based on the feeling that, if he can't expend the effort to throw an unblock template up on his page, I can't be expected to expend the effort to unblock).
I'm going with my first choice, and unblocking now, with apologies to those who aren't yet inclined to do so (and I honestly think there is no longer a consensus for the block to remain, or I wouldn't do this). In this particular situation, I think an unblock will eventually happen, and there's less disruption to just get it over with. The reason I, personally, supported the block at the time has been resolved (he has apologized to Fritzpoll, who among all of us seems to have moved on the best), Iridescent has said she won't support or oppose an unblock, and I get the distinct feeling that almost everyone else is sitting around waiting for Abd to quit "researching" what happened to cause the block, and simply request it. I sort of suspect if people didn't find his long screeds so annoying, he would have been unblocked already. Taking away Abd's ability to be a martyr about this is an added bonus.
I know he is still claiming the block was unfair, when I think most of us disagree. However, he has buried the hatchet with Frtizpoll, and I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the attitude that he must submit to our will and agree the block was fair. It makes me feel like I'm part of a mob, or the thought police, or something. The only thing I think he has to acknowledge is that, whether he thinks it fair or not, he needs to know that if he does the same thing again, he'll be blocked again. (I quit writing here)

Now that he posted a short unblock request and it was declined, I won’t overrule Shell without some agreement from others; I may have misread consensus. I still wonder if there might be another block in Abd's future. If there is, I think another unblock will be much slower in coming. But I think at this stage either an unblock, or a clear explanation of what is required of him before unblocking would be fair. A couple of people have now said he has to admit that what he did was wrong, and promise not to do it anymore, but I have to be honest, I’m not entirely clear myself what people still want from him. Does he have to promise not to inject himself into so many issues at one time? I'm not terribly comfortable if that is a requirement. Does he have to promise to write shorter, more readable screeds? Although I dearly wish he would, I don't think I'm comfortable with that either. This kind of "if you don’t know why I’m mad, I’m not going to tell you" approach strikes me as a bit unfair. If I missed just such a concise description of what he still needs to do, in that horrendous wall of text above, please point it out to me (and to him).

Please, one or two people who still support a block at this point, indicate here what, exactly, you require before you'll support an unblock. At that point, Abd can decide whether he can accept it or not. And, to be clear, I support an unblock at this time, with no further conditions. --barneca (talk) 21:51, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, barneca. You know, all that flap going on about the sock suspicion and you were the one who actually led me by the nose to the piece of evidence I'd missed, instead of just pointing me to a long diff -- you said "fifth paragraph" and that's what I needed. Once upon a time, I'd have seen that without someone pointing me to it, but I'm, how do I say this delicately, older now. Tunnel vision. I can miss things right in front of my face. If I'd seen that sooner, there were certainly things I would not have written. In any case, thanks again, I was wondering when someone else with some sense, an understanding of block policy, and the patience to figure out what was going on would show up. Others had, indeed, but refrained from unblocking for various reasons. For example, one admin said he'd do it but Keeper76 said he was going to do it. And then didn't. --Abd (talk) 02:22, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
It may be moot now, but above, since the block decline mentioned conditions, I replied, and the reply sat there for hours while I dealt with the kids. In order to make an unblock request, I had to understand the block, and in order to understand the block, I needed to review the diffs provided by Iridescent. And I hadn't done that. You might think this strange, but it can take me a long time, sometimes, to get to the obvious. And when I did that, I saw that, in fact, Iridescent had seen my voluntary withdrawal from any sort of controversial activity outside my Talk page before blocking, that is, if what he provided me was his evidence for block and not an afterthought. I'd previously assumed that he had missed it. You will note, above, that I defended his setting of the block as indef. And on that assumption of a very understandable oversight, I had considered his block reasonable, for he apparently believed that I'd continue "attacking" Fritzpoll. But when I saw the diffs and the implications, I now revised that opinion. It was an error, a clear one, because it did not prevent anything. It left me free to do what he was citing as evidence of wrongdoing, since I could continue to discuss my suspicion in my Talk, which he considered an offense. Just so it's clear, until just before the unblock request, I thought that Iridescent's block had been in error, but an understandable error, and one that he was not obligated to correct. He'd acted properly even if in error. Now, I see that he had the evidence before him that should have led him to refrain from blocking, but, instead, perhaps, to confirm that, if I violated my promise to abstain, he'd block. Then everything would have sorted itself out re Fritzpoll exactly as it did, without the block. In other words, I did respond to warnings before being blocked. --Abd (talk) 02:39, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
barneca, I believe the main reason that the unblock request was declined was the pretense: Abd want(s)(ed) to be unblocked and the original block be annoted or otherwise deemed "improper". If you want to unblock based on the original block no longer serving its purpose I don't think it would be wheel-warring for you to do so. I actually considered unblocking earlier today based on some of the same reasons you mentioned above. but I would object to any framing of the original block as improper, for reasons I've elucidated above. –xeno (talk) 22:37, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Xenocidic, there were two ways to proceed. Until a few hours ago, I had considered that the block was technically proper, but in error. However, reviewing the diffs provided by Iridescent, I realized that there was a serious error, much more blatant, much easier to establish. I should not have been blocked by Iridescent, period, for the block did not prevent what Iridescent asserted as the behavior which justified it. I.e., I had been writing in AN/I when the first alleged offense of personal attack cited took place. And there were other comments there that could be construed as personal attack, under similar thinking as labelled the first edit one. I had promised to stop that, because of the warnings. But the block was based on continued behavior in spite of warnings. I was warned -- albeit a lot, but also about a lot of different stuff, from writing too much, to not doing enough article work, to getting involved in matters better left to adults, to ... and, in fact, the first warning was from someone who has apparently held on to one of my first such interventions. It was pretty mixed up.
Before I discovered that, I was working on the idea that I was going to have to prove that expressing the sock suspicions wasn't personal attack. That's a far more difficult task, I think, it involves complexities, in an environment that dislikes them. That's one of the reasons for the delay in preparing an unblock. I thought it would be more difficult. I wasn't ready for that, wouldn't have been ready for that, I have limited time. Given that the block has not been lifted as improper, I may need to pursue further process. I was not eager to get an unblock for "time served." It would leave me -- and has left me -- in a precarious position, given the work that I do. It necessarily offends some, no matter how careful I am to be civil and to stay within guidelines. And, with the block record, it's now much easier to go for another indef block. However, I can pursue this now through ordinary WP:DR. So, even though I disagree with much of what you've written here, Xenocidic, I'm still grateful for your unblock. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 02:59, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

[Writen before edit conflict with above]

"Clearly you do not understand why you were blocked..." I'm still not clear on that either, though I have, finally, read this entire talk page. I completely agree with Barneca here. The way forward is to state the way forward. What does this user need to do to be unblocked? What is the benefit to the project in prolonging this? People have asked this user to be brief and clear; can we be in return?
I am leaving right now to play with people in funny clothes, and won't have Internet access until next week. When I come back I will read this page again, and I hope Abd is not still blocked. Jonathunder (talk) 22:50, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I would support an unblock based on barneca's reasoning. I think Shell's decline reason just proves Abd's point. Either that, or Shell didn't read everything Abd wrote, which is fairly understandable, actually, but then a better decline reason would have been "unable to read everything you wrote, not enough hours in a day". If Shell did read everything Abd wrote, then possibly the gist of what he was saying didn't get across (I'm not sure I've fully got it yet, either). Anyway, yes, I'd say unblock to "save the innocent electrons". If there are later problems, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. I also agree with Barneca's point that too many conditions are being required here (if indeed setting conditions is appropriate here). I've always been uncomfortable with the "just say you were wrong and we will let you go" attitude sometimes demonstrated by those declining unblock requests (it presumes guilt). more generally, a closer review of how the unblock process works is something that I've pondered before - it really does seem to be pot-luck as to which admin responds to the unblock request, and how rigorous a review is carried out and how independent it is (those are general concerns in that last sentence, nothing specific to Shell's decline of the unblock request). Carcharoth (talk) 22:55, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Carcharoth, I prepared the unblock request so that it was concise. I'd previously asked for diffs from Iridescent so that I'd know exactly what the basis for the block was. When I discovered, today, that the block was clearly in error, and that this could be shown with two diffs and little else, I went ahead with the unblock request. It wasn't necessary to read everything I'd written, because we had a clear statement from Iridescent giving the block reason, clear provision of evidence, and then all that was necessary was to note that I'd made the block unnecessary, prior to the block, and Iridescent knew it or should have known it. Sure, technical. But much simpler than trying to review everything I wrote and decide if it was "personal attack" or not. The simple question was, "Did I continue after warning?" And I stopped, responding to warnings, even though I disagreed with them.
While I wasn't surprised that the request was declined, I'll say this. It was truly depressing. There were moments where I considered blanking this page and scrambling my password. I've always had great sympathy for some blocked users, and even for blocked user who may have deserved it. It hurts, particularly if the person actually cares about the project. User:Ta bu shi da yu, an adminstrator, clearly cared, and retired over a single stupid block. It was truly stupid, by the way. Lots of blocks are, and, sometimes, it seems nobody cares.--Abd (talk) 03:22, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I think now that the matter with Fritzpoll has been resolved, he should be unblocked. Until it was, he couldn't be. That I think was the intention of the original "indefinite but not infinite" block. The block was both correct and proper, but has now served its purpose, and I would oppose annotating the block log in any other way than to indicate the indefinite has now been made finite. If he was to act that way towards other users, there is always the option of reblocking. Is there any major disagreement with that? Orderinchaos 23:05, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree with an unblock. Call it time served. Lessons were learned, or they weren't. We can't tell without an unblock. Friday (talk) 23:12, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
My main concern with his unblock was the statements of "ZOMG - unfair wrong no-good block!" That seemed to be a pretty clear indication to me that no lessons were learned here. However, if someone else wants to take responsibility for the unblock, I wouldn't object. Shell babelfish 23:14, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
By declining the unblock, you've already taken a measure of responsibility. That's why I think people should be more careful when declining unblock requests. I once considered answering some unblock requests, but then I saw the wide variation in standards that are applied and how it is essentially pot-luck (along with some blatantly biased and non-independent declines by people who had been watching a page and just jumped in to decline, followed by protection of the talk page when further unblock notices were placed), and I backed away from that system with a feeling that only the obvious cases were being dealt with fairly. The borderline cases have far too much confirmation bias. Carcharoth (talk) 23:20, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and my point is that I would still be unwilling to unblock based on my reading of the discussion over the past few days and the current state of things, however, I don't believe its clear cut so I wouldn't object if someone else feels strongly that the consensus leans another way or decides that this has been enough. When I said "take responsibility for unblocking" what I mean is that I'm not going to be the one keeping an eye out and reblocking or cleaning things up if this goes sideways. As far as the meta-discussion about the current unblock system, until we have something better in place and point blocked editors to it, I find its still worthwhile to try to assist rather than ignore the requests. Shell babelfish 23:29, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

By the typical standards of discourse here on Wikipedia, Abd didn't do much of anything to deserve a block, but I'm not surpised he got one. In fact, I predicted it a few weeks ago. Abd's problem is that he doesn't know how to play the game. He's an idealist who actually believes the Wikipedia ideal, oblivious to the fact that it's much more about who you know than what you write, and more importantly, that what is perfectly OK to say about a clueless newbie is definitely NOT OK to say about a popular regular, WP:BITE be damned. Abd is guilty of nothing more than treating everyone equally and evaluating evidence based on merits of the evidence itself rather than the status of the editor. That makes him an outcast here where status rules.

(And no, I'm not saying established editors shouldn't get a little leeway, but it's gotten to the point where any criticism of an established editor, no matter how civilly and factually it is presented, is viewed as blockable harassment.)

Clearly, Abd made a mistake here in assuming Fritzpoll was a sock, but it was based on what appeared to him at the time to be compelling evidence - evidence which would have been more than enough to indef ban a newbie without a second thought, especially if the newbie were editing against the prevailing POV. No real harm was done, and much of Abd's later comments seemed to be nothing more than him defending his original rationale, not furthering the accusations. But of course, Abd's wordiness is his own worst enemy, so people misinterpreted his defense as more argumentation. It was easier to block than to sift through pages of monologue. (And, FWIW Abd, you really need to learn to be more concise. Now how's that for WP:KETTLE, eh? :-)) ATren (talk) 00:07, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I disagree. I think it is perfectly possible to criticise an established editor - it's just much harder. There has to be a grain of truth in the criticism, first of all, and you have to get the approach right. Get the approach right and slowly you can see a swing in mood as the evidence accumulates. The result then depends greatly on the response of the editor being criticised. A petulent or inadequate response is picked up on by the "community" like a shot. It is difficult to pin down people who have shifting or unclear standards, but equally having principles and standing by them does still (I hope) count for something round here. Of the things needed to edit successfully around here, a large degree of self-awareness (introspection), of awareness of others (empathy) and being able to correctly handle words and sources (editing skills), are, I think, the major ones. Carcharoth (talk) 00:22, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Well how about this: as an editor becomes more established, accumulating edits and friends, it becomes more and more difficult to criticise them. The most established editors are practically invincible, and nothing short of a collossal blunder will sink them (e.g. Essjay). Expressed mathematically: let c = edit count, v = "vulnerability to criticism" where 0 is invincible and 1 is completely vulnerable, then v = 1/c. ;-) ATren (talk) 02:45, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Shell's decision not to unblock was right on the money. Abd essentially said that he wanted to be unblocked because Iridescent's block was completely out of line. I think the unblock request was a strategic move by Abd, to say that he only wants to contribute to the project if he has the right to speak his mind freely on his talk page. Completely freely, even if most other editors think that his free thoughts in this case constituted harassment of a highly productive editor. I think Xeno's unblock kinda soft-shoed around the hard line that Abd drew in the sand, and basically said, time is up, let's end this, which is much better than an unblock based on Abd's request.

However, the problem as I see it is that Abd has made it clear that he's here to comment on and attempt to influence our power structures, not to try to build the encyclopedia. But he doesn't really mind if his actions drive out productive editors, thinks that the harm that could have been caused has nothing to do with him. This situation is unresolved. Abd has reserved the right to harass anybody he feels like, and the community reserves the right to block him again. Apologies and groveling are 100% not necessary, but some kind of acknowledgment of the necessity of listening to the community would have been better. Darkspots (talk) 01:48, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

If an editor's presence is so fragile that the mere suggestion of possible wrongdoing drives them completely off the project, then maybe we should let them leave. Fellow editors may miss the depated editor, but the encyclopedia will not. Needless to say I don't believe in vested contributors. ATren (talk) 02:25, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any editor I have "driven from the project." Fredrick day actually did drive a very productive editor from the project, but editors are driven from the project every day by some "very productive editors," that is, those who make it their purpose in life to delete the sincere contributions of others. Experts edit Wikipedia, for example, and then come back and find that their article mysteriously disappeared. Do they come back? How many of these are driven off every day? I'm not saying we shouldn't have, and enforce standards, but how we do it is crucial. In any case, I'm fairly sure that Fredrick day is still editing using a different account. He's said many times that he is. So who else? I didn't harass Fritzpoll, period. Claiming that I did, without evidence, is a personal attack. Stop it. I questioned an administrative action. I didn't follow him around. I didn't argue on his Tak page past his permission. I didn't drag him before a noticeboard or file an RfC or contend with him anywhere except around the single issue where I questioned his action. The actions for which I was blocked took place after he had supposedly "retired." The harassment charge was, quite simply, trumped up. I'm sure I made mistakes, by the way, but I'm still trying to figure out what they were, besides the one I already apologized for. --Abd (talk) 03:10, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, Abd, if I were a wikilawyer, I would say that nowhere in my above post did I accuse you of harassment. Since I'm not, I'll say that it's pretty hard to characterize my thoughts as personal attacks when you were, in all but name, blocked for harassment, and the consensus was that it was a good block that has now run its course. Happy editing, Darkspots (talk) 11:19, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Lost a longer response in a weird keystroke thingie, unrecoverable. Instead: Darkspots, yes, that was a personal attack. I'll permit it, for now, because, for me, it's more important to establish what "personal attack" and "harassment" means than to decide if a particular incident is one or both of these. So, taking this as a theoretical case, let's assume you did not write it, and were it my responsibility to decide, yes, I was accused of harassment in that post, that is, of all the offensive elements that would lead an judge to decide that, if the implications in the post were true, I'd be guilty of harassment in the sense that I'd be a continuing danger of harassing, if I had the mental states described. We don't actually block for history, in theory, but for expectation of future behavior based on history and response to warnings. Editors can make serious mistakes, and we don't block for it unless we come to think that they are likely to repeat.
I was responsive to warning, did you read my unblock request? I did not, in it, challenge the issue of whether or not I'd personally attacked or harassed Fritzpoll. I challenged the claim that I had not responded to warnings, and that claim is extremely easy to establish, and I provided the diffs, out of the evidence provided to me by Iridescent. It wasn't necessary to read my whole history, it wasn't necessary to review all the alleged personal attacks or harassment, all that was necessary was to read, carefully, two edits made shortly before block, to realize that this evidence was apparently read by the blocking editor, and that, based on this alone, the block was improper as not necessary to protect the project. Indeed, if my Talk page posts were a serious part of the reason for blocking me, the block would be ineffective and an error for that reason as well, though in a different direction. Because I was free to continue discussion of these things in my Talk, the remedy if I were, in fact, violating policy here, would have been to prevent me from editing my Talk, constraining me to email for any appeal, which is done in such cases. However, I was never warned about this, in spite of numerous administrators and knowledgable editors watching me closely at this point. People said, "if you continue to argue, we won't unblock you," but they did not say, "If you continue to attack and harass, we will prevent you from editing this Talk page." This isn't wikilawyering, Darkspots, it's at the core of block policy, and, since apparently there are a significant fraction of administrators who seem to disagree, it may be important to address it. Or else there will continue to be improper blocks -- and not just of me -- or, alternatively, users who think something is allowed that is not. Both of these are harmful.
How would you suggest we address it? --Abd (talk) 16:14, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Abd, you were blocked for harassment [9]. The block was considered to be an appropriate response to your harassment of Fritzpoll by a consensus of the community, and indeed you were unblocked because it was felt that the block had accomplished its purpose, not because it was improper in any way. So yelling in bold type that I'm personally attacking you by bringing that up (as part of a continued discussion of your block and unblock) seems a little silly. Although in your next post you say you "permit" the "attack". The rest of that post is utterly opaque to me, what you're trying to say with it. I think that I've said what I wanted to say, above, so I'll leave you alone. Darkspots (talk) 07:00, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
That's fine. Look, I didn't ask to be unblocked! That is, I asked, and it was declined. I asked on very narrow grounds, technical grounds, such that, had I been unblocked on the basis of that request, the block would have been recognized (by one admin) as improper. It was declined, and I think I didn't edit again, I had kids to take care of. I was then unblocked, quite as you say. Thus leaving the original question unresolved. Did I harass Fritzpoll? That is a very narrow question. Part of my whole issue with Fritzpoll had to do with how the community makes decisions. Did the community determine that I harassed Fritzpoll? Did the community determine that Wilhelmina Will should be topic banned? On the face of it, yes. However, the process was flawed, there wasn't deliberation, as with an RfC, or, better, as with ArbComm. I'd say that the claim I harassed Fritzpoll is actually preposterous, and it only stands because nobody actually sits down, looks at all the evidence and all the arguments, and then decides. Darkspots, you don't understand what I write, and because of this, you project emotion on to it that is not present. I wasn't yelling. I was making a point. An important point. People yell when they are angry, or they yell to raise a message up through the noise. I wasn't angry, at all. We were discussing, and, had we been discussing in person, you'd have known from the high-bandwidth communication that takes place in person. I can see that it is going to be necessary to go through formal process on a determination of what I did.

I don't think you get it, and even many of my friends don't get it. If I was harassing Fritzpoll, and if I haven't recognized that I was and can't understand it, I'm not competent to edit Wikipedia, probably, without supervision. I'm not sure I'd want to do it at all, it would mean that my judgment is so far gone that I've got much more urgent problems to deal with. I'd appreciate comment from others.--Abd (talk) 14:36, 16 August 2008 (UTC)


  • I've unblocked. Consensus seems to be that the block has served its purpose. –xeno (talk) 23:27, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I think this is for the best; thanks Xeno, and to all who commented. I notice Abd edited this page a half hour ago, but hasn't commented on the unblock; I think I'm going to unwatchlist this page, quickly; I sense a loooong comment coming... --barneca (talk) 23:50, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I support this unblock. Though Irid's block was appropriate, it's clear that the block had run its course, and nothing further was going to be accomplished by leaving it in place. S.D.Jameson 01:00, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Xenocidic. You would almost never be obligated to read what I write, unless you take admin action against me or someone. You can unblock and walk away, you could even block and walk away like Iridescent did. Nobody should ever be obligated to read my writing that isn't directly necessary.
Jameson, you aren't welcome here. Please go away and stay gone. Sure, your comment may seem civil. But it wasn't necessary, you could have abstained or protested, it wouldn't have made any difference, and you promised numerous times you'd stay away from my Talk, and then I emphasized that you should do so before. No more warnings, except one. I'll put one on your Talk later unless you object here. That objection is allowed. It would show you read this.
For others who might be puzzled by my response to Jameson: this whole affair began when I noticed that Ottava Rima had been blocked. Having some sympathy for him, when I read just a little of his writing, I went to his Talk page with some consoling remarks, intended to encourage him and also help him to avoid problems in the future. We have some similarities. I did not research and did not express an opinion, directly anyway, on the propriety of his block. S. Dean Jameson saw my comment and dropped a note here, suggesting that I look into the matter, that the way OR had treated him was "despicable."User talk:Abd/Archive 6#The sitaution you commented about So I did investigate, enough to be horrified. See the section cited: when I told Jameson that I thought Ottava Rima had been right in the edit that started the whole thing, his defense of Wilhelmina Will from incivility by Blechnic, which Jameson had defended, Jameson made an implied threat: . I'll reiterate: you'd be well-advised not to comment further on the matter. So, naturally, I did what any red-blooded defender of the wiki would do: I researched further and commented. The most urgent matter was the topic ban on Wilhelmina Will. Which led to involvement with Fritzpoll, etc. If Jameson had not stirred the shit, quite unnecessarily, this would not have happened. Now, I'm glad it happened, harrowing as it's been, but that is entirely a different matter, it's because of other stuff that I learned through this. And because of things like this: User talk:Abd/Archive 6#Thank you. --Abd (talk) 03:45, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
No problem Abd. If I may suggest, in the future, if you do think someone is a sockpuppet, please do make a thorough assessment of the situation prior to posting anything on-wiki. The knee-jerk "Holy shit!" post is what set you down this path. What you call "raising suspicion" others consider to be personal attacks. I happen to agree with them. You like the policeman analogy. If your neighbours or colleagues saw the police pick you up off the street or from your place of employment and haul you downtown for questioning, but they later release you realizing "hey, it was just a mistake, we should've reviewed the evidence a little more thoroughly", there may still be damage to your reputation nonetheless. I hope that this helps to explain why you were blocked and how to avoid a similar situation in the future. Best regards, –xeno (talk) 04:03, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Xenocidic. Sure. What I wrote was "Holy Shit!" which was an expression of astonishment. I was truly astonished to see that edit, it was out of left field. I didn't haul Fritzpoll off for questioning at any point, and, with respect to the sockpuppet stuff, didn't do anything except note the obvious (obvious to me, most editors don't recognize Fredrick day IP on sight) and some possible implications. What happened was that Fredrick day, who follows me about and stirs up whatever shit he can manage as an IP editor -- and it's amazing what he gets away with -- made a post that, to summarize it, looked like "I'm Fritzpoll," on its face. Given that Fritzpoll had just "retired," quite mysteriously -- he wasn't under any significant pressure and it was all working out, I thought -- it made some sense that he might be announcing it, effectively. Fd has done that, retired when he thought he might be facing some serious inquiry. Some sense. Not enough for me to actually accuse Fritzpoll, since I don't trust a thing Fredrick day says, he lies like he invented it. I wrote, in that very first post, that, while this looked like Fd had thought he was logged in as Fritzpoll, but hadn't, thus revealing his IP, it was also very possible the whole thing was a Fredrick day trap. He sets traps like this. So, sure, I noted the suspicion but also at the same time, that this could just be Fd stirring the pot like he always does. And continues to do, by the way, he's got some more edits above. By the way, he essentially apologized to Fritzpoll for that edit, showing that he knew what appearance he'd created. I documented that on my Talk page, which has become quite a mess from the last few days.... needed to archive every two days. Fritzpoll wasn't really upset by the sock allegations, if you look about at his edits in the time. He was upset by what had come before, which still puzzles me. There wasn't any damage to Fritzpoll's reputation, in fact. The community very quickly recognized more than I'd seen about that edit, and I came to it fairly quickly, but there was so much going on at the time that it was difficult to keep up. Certainly I'll be more careful, but.... if I'm too careful, I'll stop saying what I see. Normally, when I make a mistake, it's not very difficult to correct. I apologize. I stated before that I was actually opening up an edit window on Fritzpoll's talk to apologize -- with the relatively limited apology that was possible at that point -- when I was blocked. It was rather painful to be accused of lying about that. Fritzpoll very kindly, later, pointed me to Thatcher's checkuser result, which probably took Thatcher no more than a matter of minutes. I expected that it would show no coincidence, all that would be necessary, really, would be a finding that Fritzpoll had not been editing from 87.112-87.115. But even if he had, it certainly would not have proven sock puppetry, and Fritzpoll was not a disruptive editor. If Fredrick day is operating non-disruptive accounts -- and I think he is -- I really WP:DGAF. It might be against policy, but so what? By definition, it doesn't harm the project. It would be mere punishment to block them. But admin bit would have been a different question, and all of this wouldn't have been for me to decide, and I had no intention, even if nothing had happened, of pursuing this. I was reasonably sure that Allemandtando was Fredrick day, but didn't do anything significant until he demanded it so intensely that I found it necessary. By the way, the Fritzpoll "evidence," that edit, was perhaps as strong as the evidence I had that Allemandtando was Fredrick day. This case was different. In the Allemandtando/Fredrick day incident, F-day was the blocked editor, so Alle was the sock. But Fritzpoll, obviously, wasn't an account created after F-day was blocked. There was another account where I filed an SSP report, I won't mention the name, it's not necessary. Checkuser found it "inconclusive" or something like that. Nobody called it a "personal attack" that I filed the report, which was based on a single IP "coincidence" and some possible edit timing connection. Far short of proof. Again, the editor wasn't disruptive, I would now not file that report at all, simply because it isn't necessary to protect the project. We need to ID socks when they are disruptive, because of ongoing damage, and it's simpler to do that, sometimes, than trying to establish that a user is blockworthy for the disruption. I.e., what might be worthy of a short block simply becomes an account blocked indef, done. --Abd (talk) 04:33, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
There's appropriate venues for that - rather than creating a public spectacle. Discretion is the key. –xeno (talk) 04:43, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Sure. But I wasn't even thinking of filing SSP, and I didn't create an incident report, either. In hindsight, of course, it was a huge distraction, wrong place. If I hadn't had a half dozen administrators screaming at me already, over different stuff, I might have made a better decision, I might have been able to better respond to specific comments on that one thing. It should be realized that I was warned, rather extensively, before the whole sock thing came up. And I was warned for other stuff that wasn't improper. It made for a difficult context, and I think that may be exactly why Fredrick day showed up. He recognized the opportunity. He's been considered a master player of this game. It may look like he's a loser, after all, he's blocked, right? Probably not. Look, I have suspicions, but he knows quite well how to conceal account connections, it's entirely possible that one of his major accounts could be checkusered and it would show no connection, merely coincidence that both are in the London area. I do know how to move beyond that, but, quite simply, haven't considered it important enough. And I certainly don't reveal those suspicions, and one reason I pretty much dropped the research for a while was that it would be extraordinarily disruptive if my suspicions turned out to be true. (If my block had stuck, I was thinking of using the free time to complete that.) He's stated that we see only what he wants us to see. I don't know that this is entirely true, but I do think that Fredrick day was a throwaway account that lasted longer than he expected. He's found that he can be quite disruptive and get away with it for a surprising amount of time. Allemandtando was extraordinarily active, very visible, totally outrageous (the original account name was Killerofcruft), he was generating outrage wherever he went. Except among certain deletionists. Who were thrilled to find someone who would finally confront all that fancruft, aggressively.--Abd (talk) 05:06, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Fight the Power

Just trolling around and stumbled upon your user page. Nice work, doc! --Endless Dan 01:41, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Just a suggestion

How about putting your obviously voluminous energy into editing some articles for a while, and help a little more directly to build an encyclopedia? More wheat, less chaff.

  • User:abd
  • run at Fri Aug 15 08:46:40 2008 GMT
  • Category: 2
  • Image: 1
  • Mainspace 914
  • MediaWiki talk: 1
  • Talk: 977
  • Template talk: 5
  • User talk: 1367
  • User: 239
  • Wikipedia talk: 398
  • Wikipedia: 1058
  • avg edits per page 7.89
  • earliest 17:31, 7 February 2005
  • number of unique pages 629
  • total 4962

Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 08:52, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I have almost a thousand mainspace edits, that's not shabby. I have a lot more influence on mainspace through Talk, I often assist in the formation of article consensus, even if I don't edit the article itself. Some of my mainspace contributions have been deleted, because I was trying to rescue an article under AfD from deletion. I don't do too much of that any more, I've found it quite frustrating. I was, in fact, surprised to see that my mainspace edits plus my mainspace Talk edits exceeded my WP space edits including WP talk. I'd have thought from what others are writing about me that this would not be the case. Further, the impact of my work on mainspace should include something not easily analyzed. I've facilitated the editing of other editors, helped to avoid sanctions against them, etc. And the net effect of that, in the long run, will well exceed my own edits. Expect to see some continued mainspace edits, both in areas of my special interests and elsewhere, but also expect to see my continued involvement with policy, absent some sanction that prevents it, which some, apparently, would like to see. --Abd (talk) 15:21, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I see. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 19:21, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
As a result of the whole wikifuss here, I've been making an effort to increase my own mainspace edits. So the wikifuss did some good!
Abd, re your analogy of being in jail: there's an important difference. People have a fundamental right to be free, and being in jail violates that, so someone making a decision to put someone in jail has an obligation to show due diligence, provide the person with an explanation, etc. But people don't have a fundamental right to edit Wikipedia. We're here at the invitation of the Wikimedia Foundation, or its representatives, or whoever happens to be the admin handling an unblock request, etc. It's not that Wikipedia's justice system is flawed or missing: it's that it doesn't have to have a justice system. This is an encyclopedia, not a justice system. If someone believes that it's better for the project to block someone, they do it; just as if they think it's better for the project to change a comma to a semicolon, they do that. There's a cost in time taken up investigating unblock requests etc., and this is traded off against time that the person investigating might have spent writing articles. It's good when there are diligent investigations, explanations etc., but we don't have a right to demand it. The less wikifuss the better. Coppertwig (talk) 15:01, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Coppertwig. You raise issues that, in fact, I've considered very carefully, so I'm grateful for the opporunity to express and expand that thinking.

re your analogy of being in jail: there's an important difference. Of course. But within the Wikipedia community a normal block is quite equivalent to putting a user in "jail," where the only on-wiki interaction they may have with other users is on their Talk page. Given what I've discovered in my block, I'd allow some extra facilities in the cell. I.e., I make a user still be allowed to have full edit access to everything in their own user space. It's a house arrest, not an actual jail, and the house can have many rooms. I think that the MediaWiki software already would permit this. In fact, "user admin over own user space" is where I'd really go, with this being a revocable privilege, revoked on stronger cause than a mere block, which protects the rest of the project. The Wikimedia Foundation has the absolute right, legally, to set whatever restrictions it wishes. However, for very good reasons, it would stongly wish that these restrictions be fair, and be perceived as fair. I have often asserted that the common opinion that ArbComm is in charge, or that Jimbo is in charge, aren't correct. Jimbo is legally a servant, at this point, of the Wikimedia Foundation, even though, shall we say, his influence there is probably quite strong. I'm sure that he, as well, would want to ensure that Wikipedia process be fair and equitable if it can be done efficiently. He knows, I'm sure, that the present process can make bad decisions, and he occasionally has stepped in to overrule them. He's also stepped in, by the way, to make some bad decisions. He's a single person, and no single person is going to get everything right. A large group, with good process, will always outperform a single person; this is why democracies have essentially trounced dictatorships, in the long run, all over the world, even with pretty bad democratic process. It's smarter.

It's not that Wikipedia's justice system is flawed or missing: it's that it doesn't have to have a justice system. That's correct, but it has a justice system. However, it's highly inefficient, and quite inequitable. We had, at one time, WP:ESPERANZA and WP:AMA. Both of these were defectively organized, but part of what they did was to equalize the situation. And they were both crushed, with a vehemence that was one of my first clues that something was drastically wrong here. They violated User:Abd/Rule 0, which was, in my considered judgment, the real reason those projects were shut down. There is an old saying, if you are going to shoot the King, don't miss. They threatened the King, so to speak, and they didn't have it together sufficiently to survive the challenge that one could predict would ultimately arise. As I mentioned, they were structurally deficient, and I have elsewhere examined what they could have done differently that would have produced a different outcome. It remains to be seen whether I have sufficient resources to survive what is coming. But, I do realize that Wikipedia is not the center of the universe, and being banned here, even if it could stop me --which it could not, only apathy can stop me --, isn't the same as a death sentence. In fact, THX1138. It could be quite a liberation. I predicted, about nine months ago, that efforts would be made to crush what I'm trying to accomplish here. However, I also predicted that these efforts could catalyze the change. You don't try to crush something that is harmless and useless and irrelevant, you simply reject it or pay no attention to it. Coppertwig, all this has been discussed here, previously, in my Talk. I'm restricting myself to Talk because were are at a critical juncture. There are reasonable grounds for a block, on the face of it, ongoing, though it is possible that with extraordinary efforts I could craft every word outside of here to make it impregnable. Too hard. Whatever I do outside my Talk is dangerous, now, so I'm restricting those activities severely. I'm claiming that I should be able to discuss anything relevant to the project and the community, here in my Talk, and that if this is disruptive, the disruption is the responsibility of the ones who make it so. Discussion of my block, for example, confined to here, cannot possibly disrupt the project, unless someone takes it, say, to AN or AN/I or creates an RfC, say, on some administrator who may or may not have made a poor decision or may or may not have harassed me. Nothing I do here is binding on anyone, nor is anyone obligated to read this. I could say until the cows come home that so-and-so is an incompetent administrator, and ArbComm has established pretty clearly that this is allowed in user space, the user's own space. Sure, it could be very impolitic. And, in fact, I'm not doing that, nor do I intend to do that. The effective user RfC that I'm creating in my own space is for my benefit, it is for advising me, and if somebody doesn't want to advise me on the issues raised in my block, that's certainly their privilege. No obligation. I don't know, at this point, whether the problem will be that there won't be enough participation, or that there will be too much. I have ready solutions for the latter, and the former is no problem, either, because, then, the RfC will simply become my own examination of the evidence, done very carefully, and my own analysis of it. And you know what that would be? It would be the substance of an ArbComm filing. So if others participate here, it may avoid the disruption of an ArbComm filing. And I have no idea if ArbComm would take the case, at least not yet. In fact, I don't even yet know what the "case" is. I need to collect and examine the evidence, or see what others come up with, to know. I have an idea, to be sure, see my unblock request, the only one I made. It might be that narrow. And that would, in fact, be so easy for ArbComm to decide that they might do it very quickly. It should not have been controversial, in fact. But we'll see. If others want to take this process further, to add in other charges against me, etc., I might open up separate pages. I want the process to be focused, not go all over the place as often happens here.

If someone believes that it's better for the project to block someone, they do it; just as if they think it's better for the project to change a comma to a semicolon, they do that. That's right. That's how it works, and it is extraordinarily efficent and effective. However, as you know, this isn't all there is to it. Each one of these decisions can be challenged, and reversed. The block decision has quite stringent rules, in fact. No administrator can be punished simply for making a mistake, as long as they had, in good faith, reason to believe that a block was necessary, and they are believed by the community about this. I have no problem with assuming good faith on the part of Iridescent, so there is only one risk to her, which I'll get to, and it doesn't exist now, it is something that could possibly arise as a result of her later behavior, and I rather doubt she'd go there -- I'm not familiar with her, but other aspects of what she did do indicate to me a sophisticated administrator who knows how to avoid problems.

If a consensus develops, through whatever process, that the block was made in error -- as I believe it was -- and Iridescent argued tenaciously against this, insisting she had made no mistake, she'd be desysopped, I'd predict, there is ample precedent, at least, that the risk of that would be high. This is because, if a mistake isn't understood, it's likely to repeat, and therefore continued admin powers would be risky to the community. But if it took a tractor to pull the apology out of her, if she resisted up to the last moment, she'd be free and clear with nothing more than a wikitrout. If she didn't fight strongly, not even that. Administrators make mistakes. If they don't, they aren't trying hard enough.

In other words, I'm pointing to what ensues. What process do we have for reviewing such an administrative decision? It's highly erratic, arcane, difficult for unsophisticated editors to navigate, unless they roll the dice. Simply putting up an unblock template will suffice for most cases, if there isn't any basis for continuing the block. Where we really get into trouble is when the original block was improper. If the user claims this, it is then used against the user, effectively, and only an admin reviewing the unblock request who actually takes the time to investigate -- this could take hours, sometimes -- will reverse it, commonly. If it's a short block, which policy would ordinarily suggest, it becomes relatively moot, quickly. But if it is indef, and the user continues to think that the block was improper or unjust, and simply continues to assert it, you know what happens. I was advised, again and again, by my friends to simply admit error, don't challenge the block, etc., etc. And they were right. I.e., if my goal was to be unblocked, simply, that would have been the fastest way to get there. It might have only taken minutes.

I apologize for the flap at AN about my block. I didn't send anyone there, nor did I want that to happen, though I appreciate the support shown. It wasn't going to be effective. Given the context, anyone who simply looked at the surface, who did not already know who I am and what I do, who didn't take the very substantial time to review evidence (which wasn't even provided until I asked for it, which is okay, but people piled in to support the block even before then) would be likely to conclude "disruptive, harassing, etc." I know that there was a "rough consensus" that I harassed Fritzpoll. But I wasn't actually blocked for that, I was blocked on narrower grounds -- but our process gets the issues all confused.

So I was blocked for one thing, and I requested unblock on very narrow grounds, which was not even that I hadn't done that thing, it was that I had heeded the warnings and stopped, prior to block, and that this was known to the blocking admin. If true, this made the block improper, and had the reviewing admin who denied by unblock request accepted this argument, the block record would have shown that and the matter would be moot. I wasn't arguing that the blocking admin was guilty of improper use of tools, but that she had made a mistake in failing to consider my response to warning.

There remained on issue complicating this. I did not stop examining the question of WTF had happened with the Fredrick day edit that created this suspicion, reasonable or unreasonable, that Fritzpoll and Fredrick day were the same, on my Talk page. Is that legitimate? Can I discuss, on my own Talk, an issue which seems of importance to the project to me, in good faith (and, by the way, numerous editors confirmed an assumption of good faith on my part, that this continued, including quite a few who supported the block), is this continued "harassment." I would claim, no, unless there were extraordinary circumstances, it would not be. And, in fact, if it were, it would be, shall we say, a bit disruptive if I simply went around and collected what other users were saying about me in the Talk pages and on the Talk pages of others (which is worse than simply on one's own Talk). There would be warned or blocked editors all over the place. No, I've seen this again and again, it's symptomatic of Rule 0 violation. There is an underlying reason for considering an editor disruptive, it isn't even necessarily conscious and probably isn't. And then the person sees something, some piece of evidence, that appears to confirm this. Aha! I knew that person was a troll.

And Wikipedia process is extraordinarily vulnerable to this phenomenon. This can be fixed, it's actually not, I believe, difficult. We can be more efficient, and still not suffer from these kinds of decisions. But it will take a more widespread understanding of the problem and a more widespread willingness to examine and try solutions than has manifested so far.

You want to know what it will take? Probably three editors who get it and participate. What are the odds of finding these? I don't know. It's been quite difficult in the past, but, I'd say, after a year, it might be fifty-fifty. I was surprised by my last RfA. I was a relatively unknown editor, though beginning to gain some reputation. I had 1400 edits at the time. That's way below what is expected, something like 3000. In the end, the vote was about 50-50, with the majority of editors saying, come back with more edits, we'll approve. I.e., it looks like, if I'd had 3000 edits, I'd have been approved. Then. Now, I don't know. I don't know how deeply embedded is the opposition to me and what I'm doing. I can say that the email to me is overwhelmingly supportive, but that, again, suffers from participation bias. And I don't want to be an administrator, it would be almost useless to me. I don't need the tools for most of what I do. (It would be nice to be able to view deleted contributions, but, you know, I support all users being able to do that. Just like now. It takes special effort.)

(How can I think that I have widespread support and I'd only get three editors. Including myself. Well, that's just what I've found. I once explained the whole Free Association/Delegable Proxy concept to a very bright friend. He got it. Great idea, he said, but it won't happen. Why not? Well, people won't lift a finger. Now, we both were parents of a child at a local private school. I proposed -- and many people said they supported -- creating a Free Association for the parents, which is a bit different from a typical Parent Council, it would run in parallel with the Parent Council and serve as an advisory body for it. The ideas were discussed at Parent Council meetings, and there was no visible opposition. The Board of the school, the members who commented, thought it was a great idea. So I set it up. Zero participation, nobody -- except me -- named a proxy, nobody commented on the wiki pages except one. My friend, who said, "It's a great idea, but it's not going to work, you know."

Why didn't it work? Nobody -- except me -- believed that it was even possible that it could work, so they didn't lift a finger, almost literally, to try it. Now, since then, some things have shifted. The last Free Association set up attracted about 25 people who subscribed to the mailing list used for it. and maybe ten (?) named proxies. But those were voting sytems experts, mostly. And the group has yet to demonstrate its potential, though I have personally seen the utility. I've been neglecting it. For Wikipedia. So I'm of rather mixed opinion about my continued participation here.... But the process here, while it might seem glacial to some, depends, might resolve the problem here, and show something important in doing it. Or not. I won't know until I try. --Abd (talk) 21:57, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Delegable proxies

I think that's a very interesting idea. I think it could work out very well (or very badly). One problem is that I think new people or unpopular people would feel disenfranchised. However, I'd like to see it tested: but not on English Wikipedia: on some other, smaller wiki, to see how it works out. If it's successful on a number of other wikis we might consider using it here.

Here are some ideas for modifications:

  • The person could specify first choice, second choice and so on of person to represent them, and only if none of those is present at a discussion would they be represented by someone further down the chain.
  • A direct delegate could carry a vote with a weight less than 1; it might be 0.5 or 0.8 or something, to represent the fact that their point of view on average will not be exactly the same as that of the person they're representing. And then indirect delegates after n links could carry a vote with weight (0.8)n. This would help alleviate the problem that likely after many steps, the point of view of the delegate won't have much relevance to the point of view of the original voter. Coppertwig (talk) 15:01, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
The first test is indicated below. It's designed to develop and estimate Wikipedia consensus regarding my behavior and the community response. The most difficult thing will be attracting participation; many times before I've seen situations (in RL) that were crying out for this particular solution. And many would even say, "What a great idea!" But getting even two or three people to name proxies, like pulling teeth. And I don't try to pull teeth, I generally drop it. Proposed delegable proxy for a school parent association at a meeting Wednesday. Got better response than I have ever seen, with consensus that we should look into it. I'd still estimate the probability that it would actually happen at about ten percent. However, it would be, if tried, I believe, spectacularly successful, building a much stronger and effective parent association. It's not about voting. It's about communication, setting up identified communication channels, so that any consensus found isn't suffering from participation bias, which is often severe in small associations; there may be a hundred parents of children at the school. And getting five at a parent association meeting usually doesn't happen. So the few volunteers who participate typically think that they represent the community when, in fact, they only represent those who have time to attend meetings. They just made a decision, the two of them who discussed it -- the officers of the association -- and they implemented it, and it was irreversible. They decide to turn the parent mailing list -- which my wife is the yahoogroups owner of -- to change the list to "closed," and to delete certain old messages that they considered might be "confusing" to new parents. When my wife discovered this, she removed the moderator privileges of the officer who had done that, and notified the list, and there was a meeting Wednesday to consider it. And there was total consensus at the meeting that this actions had been in error, at least to the extent that the whole group should have been consulted and informed (the deletions began last April), but nobody was watching the archive and, more exactly, the activity logs.) This is a classic example of small-scale consensus that is directly reversed from large-scale consensus, there was conflict of interest involved. Nobody blamed the officers, and they agreed that it had been a mistake, and we are simply looking forward, how to make association process more efficient without creating more opportunities for the same kind of mistake. And, I think, we know how to do it. Delegable proxy is a piece of that.
Proxies aren't necessary to follow the process below, they don't need to be in place to begin. However, if the discussions become tedious, naming a proxy becomes a way to virtually participate by naming another users whose opinions the naming editor thinks are most likely of the choices to represent their opinion. It does not have to be exact and, in fact, no !votes, if polls are taken, will be considered to be the !votes of others. But I, when it comes time for me to consider the implications of the !votes, may consider this. I have invited participation by IP editors and even banned users, and I will decide if it's necessary to factor for such things as possible sock puppets, etc. This kind of trial is pretty much what we had in mind in proposing WP:Delegable proxy, which involved no changes in policies or guidelines, it was purely labelled as an experiment, voluntary, and nonbinding. And still there was an outcry and attempts to absolutely crush it. It will be, I'd predict, far more difficult to crush this experiment, because of its very severely limited scope and its purely advisory and nonbinding nature. The only time wasted is mine, any other time wasted would be purely voluntarily devoted by the editor "harmed," and, in fact, it is far more likely to reduce wasted time, compared to, for example, a user RfC or an ArbComm case. If a consensus is found here, it binds nobody, but it, and the evidence and arguments developed, could very efficiently be turned into an RfC or ArbComm filing, should there be any need for that, which I doubt. That is really only if this doesn't work, if it is inconclusive. And, thus, if inconclusive, it returns us to where we were before I started up this thing, but better prepared to proceed to resolution. --Abd (talk) 18:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
If you ever set up a system where I can actually begin participating in a test of such a system without having to read more than about one or two screenfuls of text I would appreciate a message letting me know. I'm also willing to help you shorten things if asked. Coppertwig (talk) 16:56, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Sure. User:Abd/RfC is designed for that. Go to User:Abd/RfC/Proxy Table and add your signature to it as described. It should take a minute, you can read much less than a screen full. If you name a proxy, the proxy will handle communications with you, mostly. I.e., should some action by you be considered appropriate by your proxy, it would routinely be your proxy to suggest it. Otherwise you are protected from noise generated in the process. If permission is granted, I might also notify you at certain critical points. Briefly. However, I have no control over how long any conclusions from this RfC will be, they could be very brief, or they could be complex and long, because, I think, some complex and important issues were raised by my block. Depends on what the community of those participating decides. If you have put your name on that list, and you have not named a proxy, or if a chain of proxies doesn't somehow end up pulling in your participation, I'd probably notify you maybe twice: fairly early on, before much has been decided, to suggest that you might name a proxy from among those participating, or someone you trust who has named a proxy from those participating, and then at the end, when there is an expression of conclusions (which can be more than one conflicting conclusion) with votes on it, and then estimation of consensus on it using the expansions. While this is for my information primarily, others may find it of value. --Abd (talk) 17:27, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
It's really quite simple, but it takes many more words to describe, a demonstration will show it much better than many words about it.

Thank you

Thank you so much Abd for your comments at User talk:Alvestrand. I do feel the Arbcom decision is inappropriate and has been unduely influenced by the relentless attacks of Elonka, her systematic mischaracterization of my contributions, and her garnering of support on-Wiki and off-Wiki. I only work to share knowledge about interesting and little-known topics, I have a great love for Wikipedia, and, to answer your question, this is why I have continued contributing actively on numerous topics outside the Ancient History and Medieval History areas. For some of my most recent contributions you can have a look at France-Japan relations (19th century), France-Thailand relations, Japan-Thailand relations, Siamese revolution (1688), or, if you are interested in the history of mathematics or have a kid to entertain with mathematical wonders :), the Siamese method. Best regards PHG (talk) 07:38, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

You are welcome, it has been a pleasure to read your articles. To me, the problem isn't Elonka, nor is it you. The problem is the system, or lack of system or structure that will mediate disputes clearly and that facilitate consensus efficiently. I suspect that the problems with your sourcing could have been worked out if it had not become a contest of wills. As you might know, I was just blocked, partly because I intervened in a quite unjust topic ban, against a 16-year-old girl who is actually quite a decent editor. Not perfect, but far better than average, but she was judged by very, very harsh standards. Anyway, though I was unblocked, the issues that led to my block were never resolved. Did I, in fact, harass the administrator who had ended up -- after the fact, deciding that there was a ban against this girl making nominations to DYK, her favorite thing to do? (She has thirty successful DYK nominations.) (There never had been a close to the discussion.) I'd like to know if I did what I was accused of, for if I did, I really should not be editing. I asked for unblock based on narrow grounds that, contrary to what had been asserted, I had responded to warnings, even though I disagreed with them. It was denied. But other admins, who had apparently been waiting for this, came in and suggested an unblock, not because the block was improper, but because it had served its purpose. And its purpose was? None of this ever became clear. So I've put myself on a voluntary topic ban, i.e., everything outside my user space, with, then, some exceptions. And I'm starting an experimental kind of RfC, in my own user space, one designed to be more deliberative and, hopefully, efficient. Because its purpose is to advise me as to how to proceed, I have the right to control it, to regulate the process. If they don't allow me to do that, well, I'd conclude that Wikipedia is too far gone to recover, and I might give up trying to help. The RfC is at User:Abd/RfC and there is a proxy table. Please, if you are at all interested, add your name to the proxy table, see the instruction there. Naming a proxy is optional, but the idea is to name someone you think would be most likely to make a good decision about related issues, if you can't. The whole process is purely advisory, and proxies don't vote on behalf of their "clients," but may simply be considered, by someone analyzing a poll, to roughly represent those who name them. --Abd (talk) 08:25, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Helping WW moving forward.

This is in response to this, [10].and also the next edit, apparently. note added by Abd (talk)

I may be a new editor, Abd, but I am not young and I understand the politics of these situations. While I support you in general, in this circumstance I would ask you to refrain from any further recounting of past discussions within the context of any future WW threads, especially with respect to your block and the propriety thereof. Anywone following along will already know those things as they have been rehashed to death and beyond at this point. IMHO they will only serve to bias others even further against WW and/or cause those who are arrayed against her to become even further entrenched in their positions, whether that reaction is justified or not. Neither of these will serve to assist WW in terms of arriving at a fair and equitable result, IMHO.

I believe that the best course forward is to come to a firm decision one way or the other on the status and/or continuation of the DYK ban against her and then proceed accordingly, which is why I have proposed what I did to User:Carcharoth and User:Fritzpoll. Please try to focus on how to move things forward rather than continuing to recount the past in those discussions. --GoRight (talk) 19:57, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Puzzled. My block is intimately involved with what happened with Fritzpoll and Wilhelmina Will. I've now made a post to the Editing restriction Talk page. Doesn't mention Wilhelmina Will, but only the underlying WP process principles that, when I challenged a certain interpretation of them, I was widely warned. I wasn't blocked for that, but, in fact, the blocking admin considered that prior warning to be warning against the blockable behavior, even though it was quite different. And I've seen this before. Editor takes legitimate action that results in a significant number of administrators yelling at editor, because they strongly disagree or consider it a problem. Editor then is subject to massive incivility, imputations of bad motive, and every action becomes suspect. Editor then makes some mistake, or something different that is considered blockable. Editor is blocked, giving the latter reason, but the earlier warnings are considered to have been warnings against the later behavior.

GoRight, I'm challenging the block. It can be expected to cause some disruption, but this process, what happened to me, has happened to many other editors, and it is causing ongoing damage. I've figured out, I think, how to resolve this with minimal disruption, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are, nevertheless, efforts to shut it down. I'm taking your comment as a friendly warning that it could be damaging if I comment further about the Fritzpoll/Wilhelmina Will stuation, in this process; however, my comment took place on Carcharoth's Talk page, so I'm more concerned about his opinion, since he has been agreed upon, by me and by Fritzpoll, as the mediator. Your involvement is also, of course, welcome, and I appreciate all the work you have done, it has been very helpful, in spite of some of the flak aimed at you. There are some critical questions here, involving the efficiency of Wikipedia process, with a suggested possible -- and very clear and simple -- resolution that could, if accepted, as a side-effect, resolve the Wilhelmina Will question very quickly. If it doesn't, then whatever process already exists would remain in place, nothing has been lost. I am not -- at all -- trying to address the question of my block outside my Talk space, I may mention it occasionally in what will be the very few edits I make to Wikipedia space. And I'll do that with increasing caution, since, if you took offense to what I wrote, others, more hostile, probably would as well, though I really don't understand that. --Abd (talk) 20:26, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

All I am asking is that you try to decouple the threads related to your block (and any references to the events that lead up to it) from the on-going threads related directly resolving WW's situation. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't pursue whatever you want to pursue, but please do it in a separate thread from the ones being used to directly discuss the DYK topic ban on WW. I have no problem with you making cross references to the WW threads in your block related threads, but please try to not intermingle these two discussions. Obviously this is just my request, you can do as you feel is best, but I think both discussions will benefit from being conducted in separate and distinct threads at this point. Right now I am mostly focused on trying to get things out of the current limbo that they are in w.r.t. WW. Does that make sense?
And I am not saying that I took offense to what you wrote, although others might, I just don't think that any more retrospection is required get the DYK ban out of limbo one way or the other. Let us all just stick to the crisp facts at this point, and let us move forward on that topic as I believe that everyone already knows the details of the events that have brought us to where we are. --GoRight (talk) 01:15, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

This is long, but (1) the issues are important, I believe, and (2) I don't have time to boil it down, which would take me far longer than for you to skim it or read it more carefully, no obligation at all. It covers more than the WW stuff. It describes what I'm about.

Because the block is fresh, and because I gained a lot of insight from it, it's coming up fairly frequently. You are right, though, that it's not related. Even I'd done everything they claimed, even if I'd dumped a boatload of shit on the administrator involved, it wouldn't be relevant to the propriety of the topic ban for this girl. But I'll make some comments about what I've seen of the latter:
A decision to ban others from nominating her articles would be quite problematic. Essentially, it would be a ban on users who aren't involved, who have committed no offenses, and who have had no notice of the discussion, without any necessity. It would be putting DYK on a special article probation, covering all editors, and without notice to DYK. The suggestion that other editors be banned from making such nominations found no support when it was originally raised by Blechnic at AN/I, in protest over my very mention of the idea, or maybe after I made the first nomination. It found no support. In the later discussion at AN, there was no support for banning this practice, but some editors gave advice about how to do it. Given that DYK is filled with really bad nominations, that the DYK process easily handles them -- not perfectly, but, remember, the only really dangerous thing that was asserted was copyvio, the rest of it simply would be a badly written article. Like, in fact, most of our 2.5 million articles. Many of who have copyvio and need some attention.
But I haven't seen any cogent reason for the ban, and it's a shame that FP didn't simply recuse himself, there were grounds for this, or look again at the evidence and reconsider. It would have been, for example, cleaner if he had said, "I agree that the ban was improper, but I can't support changing a community decision." We would then have had a pure process problem, and we'd have sought advice on that problem, specifically, and jointly. But, in fact, he seemed, at the time, to continue to consider the ban appropriate, though he wasn't ever able, as far as I saw, to state the evidence on which it was based. At one point, though, he hinted at it. He had seen, at some point, a situation where she made what he saw as clumsy and possibly inadequate efforts to reword to avoid copyvio, and so he had this in his mind. Further, this problem became conflated with a separate problem: she had apparently misunderstood a source in rewording it to avoid copyvio. But this is an accuracy problem, and Wikipedia is fully of inaccuracy problems, and, it appears, those inaccuracies have mostly been discovered and fixed quickly. I'm concerned that one user, you are in touch with him, has said, pretty much, that he'll oppose any nominations of hers in a certain field. That's quite improper. Rather, what would be proper would be to arrange for someone who knows the field to review the article. We should never discriminate against content based on whom it comes from, beyond understanding that we may pay some special attention to content from someone with a history of error. I do not know if she's made enough errors in that field to warrant that special attention, I suspect that the problem was exaggerated, but it's possible not.
Essentially, whatever real problems there are, a topic ban isn't a solution. If she were actually doing copyvio, warning and block would be appropriate, not a DYK ban. If it is article accuracy, DYK is likely to fix the problem, not make it worse. If it is edit warring, again: warning and block. If it is making an inappropriate edit to increase the article to 1500 words, as she apparently did -- once -- the problem, actually, may be over-rigid DYK standards. Isn't it interesting that an article eligible for a DYK fact at 1500 words, wouldn't be at 1490? Particularly if the removal of 10 words made the article better? In fact, though, if I'm correct, the standard isn't rigid, there merely is a general presumption that an article shouldn't be less than 1500 words. I'd think that she could write at DYK, "This article was at 1500 words, but an editor figured out how to make it better at 1490." and, my guess is that the length wouldn't be a reason for decline. They aren't stupid!
And, of course, the errors she made weren't repeated. The incivility was minor, especially when compared to incivility toward her from the editor she supposedly was uncivil to. And it wasn't repeated. She then, when confronted about this incivility later, lied about it. It had been in leetspeak, referring to an editor as "revolting," and she, either embarrassed or trying to deflect it, claimed that it was her own code that meant something else, which was preposterous. Revolted, though, is, I'm sure, exactly how she felt, strong aversion. Seeing what ensued, and I haven't reviewed the earlier history, I'd say her reaction was, quite simply, no wonder. She had put in a year of heavy effort, you've reviewed some of it, it's voluminous, and well above the norm for articles, in my opinion. And then this editor, based on a few narrow interactions, actually speculated that her efforts were part of a plot to destroy Wikipedia, by vandalism, i.e., by planting errors and copyvio in articles. He called her entire corpus of work "crap," at the last AN/I report he filed -- over my nomination on her behalf, which, by the way, he made a complaint about her, not about me, when she had done nothing. She didn't ask me to nominate. Then, I think it was when someone pointed out that was uncivil, he used strike-out, and replaced it with "vandalism." As if that were an improvement? Yet the community listened to him about her, and assumed, literally, stating it, some of them, that they ahd no reason to suspect that what he was saying was a "lie." It wasn't a lie, not in the facts he reported, unless extrapolating from a single incident to a pattern is a "lie." It can be, but it's also a very common error. "She was uncivil" becomes "She is uncivil to editors," implying repeated incidents. "She reverted an edit in order to restore 1500 words" becomes "She reverts edits that improve the article in order to make it qualify," etc. And we don't ban or block for errors except for errors that are repeated after warning. Some of those voting did look at the evidence that was given, the single incidents. And, of course, they found them true. This is actually an old debate trick.... You make a general statement based on a specific incident, "For example, ...." even if that is the only example. It can be very effective. The person checks out what you say, and finds it true, and then they assume that what seems like a minor extension of it is likely also true. There were editors at the AN report that noted that a single incident wasn't enough, and they asked for more evidence.

What happened? Well, there was no response. And those editors, waiting for a response, didn't vote. It's an example of how such a vote can become distorted, quite easily. And that's why it is crucial to have closing admins, and to have them take responsibility for ensuring that all the arguments and relevant evidence is considered, and that a result is in accordance with policy and guidelines. We don't make decisions, in theory, based on !votes, and that is all that there was. As you have confirmed, the biggie, what Fritzpoll asserted, when I asked, was the main reason for the ban, the copyvio evidence, was nonexistent, in effect, what tiny amount there was, was very old, and should could have created a thousand articles, back then, with copy vio, only now discovered, and as long as it hadn't continued, the most she'd get would be a warning: Don't do that again, or you will be blocked.

You are concerned primarily with WW, and I've been concerned there, too, but think that we managed to avert the most serious damage, a permanent departure from the project, which was quite likely, I'd say, without my intervention, by encouraging others to nominate her articles. That leaves the really bad understanding of policy and practice that led to this difficulty, and which, I believe, leads to many such poor decisions, with great ongoing damage. We don't see most of it, most of it never rises to the attention of someone with time and motivation to correct it. I see a great deal, and I only have so much time, I have to let most of it slide. So I'm working on improving the process, so this happens less often, and so that it is more easily correctable.

And, right now, I'm focusing mostly, in an ongoing way, on aspects of my block. Not to reverse the block, but to explore the process and to test a solution. Right here. Minimally disruptive. And totally out-of-the-box, not what anyone would expect. If it works, i.e., if it helps find a genuine, deliberative consensus, which is, of course, speculative, it could fix a lot of things that are currently broken, with nobody understanding how to fix them. It's designed to be minimally disruptive, far less disruptive than my going to, say, ArbComm or even a user RfC (which are sometimes self-created). Since I'm asking for advice for myself, so that I can understand the block, so that I can avoid repeating the behavior, it is totally legitimate that I guide and control the process, here in my Talk. Nothing here binds anyone. I won't permit personal attack, etc., beyond the criticism that NPA allows.

If this works, it could point to a solution that could lead to the unblock of a fair number of editors, who have been unwilling to agree not to behave as they behaved before, so the community wouldn't agree to unblock them, because they, quite rightly, feared that the behavior were repeated. Some of these blocked editors may be irredeemable, but others might accept advice if it were created through a process that they control. I do this with my kids, who can dig in their heels if I try to control them and demand that they reform their behavior. But if I allow them and facilitate their finding answers for themselves, they can, and do, change their behavior. And it comes from them. And it is far more likely to stick, than behaviors based on some grudging acceptance or threat of some loss or humiliation.

And then, it becomes possible to make block more routine, we could start blocking for less egregious offenses, particularly if such blocks didn't become a black mark against the editor. Incivility, as you well know, is rampant, but only some incivility gets sanctioned, and often it isn't the worst in a situation. Block isn't necessary for incivility, necessarily, warning is. But if a warning isn't backed by a block if it is necessary, it can be less effective. The block is necessary for protection, when we think that incivility is likely to be repeated. This self-directed RfC in the user's own space, where the user -- I contend, it is not fully established -- can control it, can exclude some, for example -- could lead to fewer blocks, without becoming inefficient. It wouldn't be an emergency process, like AN/I.

"You have been accused of blah blah, and you appear to have repeated it after a first warning. You are now under a topic ban, you may not edit outside your user space until you have resolved this issue and either a consensus has been found that your behavior is within proper limits, or you have agreed not to repeat the behavior. You are not blocked, you may edit outside your user space if you find it essential for the project, but your edits may be examined closely and if any administrator finds that you have repeated blah blah, you may be immediately blocked without further warning. Please consider this carefully, and if you need any assistance, you may drop me a note on my Talk, this will not be considered a violation of this topic ban, and you may also .... (list of exceptions to ban, such as proper attempts to obtain assistance, etc. or ... possibly, noncontroversial edits in article space, it would depend on the nature of the offense.) Essentially, this would provide an editor with an opportunity to review the behavior and either find a determination that the behavior was, indeed, contrary to guidelines and improper, or that it was proper, assuming the editor could find at least one other editor to agree. And then, with this, they could proceed through normal channels to remedy it. Two is the minimum, and it would be difficult with only two. We'll see what happens with my own process here. My goal is to attract as much participation as possible, but the design is such that "participation" simply means, "signs up as interesting in being informed," which does not mean that the editor has to read tomes of evidence and analysis. Most participants, in the extended sense, won't do much of anything. They may do less than many participants at AN/I do, though that isn't much participation!

The discussion that is the basis for the claim of some admins that there was a consensus, for example, that I harassed Fritzpoll, was very limited, handled under emergency conditions, with no patient collection and analysis of evidence, as ultimately happened with your user RfC. I don't see any evidence that I harassed Fritzpoll, I did much, much less than you did with Connolley, for example. Setting aside the sock puppet mess, and I was seriously warned, by more than one admin, before that came up, and I think I would have been blocked anyway, without the sock puppet issues, I criticized his action, not tendentiously, as those things go, on his Talk and my Talk, and very little elsewhere. I was not uncivil about that. There was one edit that was, essentially, called "arrogant," which isn't grounds for a block. Basically, my offense was that I told him it was important. At that point I did not realize how prevalent was the misunderstanding of our procedures was among admins, it has truly shocked me, because our basic procedure is brilliant. But I don't know that it is documented anywhere! This procedure is why Wikipedia works much better than many would expect. Could it be that it hasn't been understood? And that some of the major problems are because of this? I don't know how far this goes. But, in any case, harassment it was not. Harassment implies contact continued after a request to stop. Fritzpoll could have, at any time, said, stop! enough! I don't want to read your writing on my Talk. But I can't, it's impossible, harass him on my own Talk page. And that is where that "arrogance" took place, as I recall.

So, given that I see it this way, suppose I'm wrong. How am I going to figure this out? I imagine that I see the situation better than most who have commented. I know exactly how experienced facilitators in organizations that value consensus would handle it. And we don't do that, normally. So I'm going to do it, here. We, i.e., myself and whoever chooses to participate, will, in detail, compile and review the evidence and its exact implications. As an example, there is a list of edits that I made, supposedly attacking Fritzpoll, given by the blocking admin as the reason for my block. I look at the first one. It was a supportive post I made to Fritzpoll's talk page, after he announced his retirement, encouraging him to come back, that there was no risk to his admin bit from me, etc. It is totally beyond me how this could be considered an attack.

Now, here is what happens. If I take each piece of evidence, and show this, it will be said, "Look, wikilawyer you. Sure, there is a problem with that piece of evidence, but aren't you listening to the community? There is a consensus that you harassed Fritzpoll! You are wasting your time and ours, and that you can't accept the consensus is simply more proof that you don't belong here!" The only way to move beyond this is to develop, at least, a local consensus to the contrary. (Or an alternate outcome, where I realize that, by gosh, while I may have intended those words one way, they were reasonably interpreted in another, and I'd better apologize immediately!). With that local consensus, there are then grounds and support for asking for broader review, whether it be with an RfC or even ArbComm, it depends on the issues involved. I need to know how to proceed, and I'm asking for advice and support that is more solidly based than simply telling me the obvious, which many of my friends have done. --Abd (talk) 04:01, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Abd: are there any articles that interest you, that could use some improving? That would be my sincere suggestion. Forget about the above for a while. Jonathunder (talk) 20:04, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Does what I wrote make sense to you, Jonathunder? If not, maybe I'd do no better with articles. I do have some article work to do, and my voluntary ban does allow that, but I'm quite busy, in fact, and must devote my time to where I think it most productive. Instead of creating articles, I'm working on facilitating writers and editors who create articles. It's quite as difficult as creating articles, and when this work is not done, we lose editors. I have some expertise in what I'm doing, and years of experience. I've also been a professional editor, a bit, and a writer, a bit. In any case, I see what I'm to do. Now, what I'm to do is to set up a device where good editors like yourself can advise me, very specifically, and very efficiently. Editors have been telling me what you just did for quite some time. Is it that I don't get it, or that I see something better to do? How can I find out? Engaging me here, on this page, as you did, out of the blue -- I don't know you at all -- isn't terribly useful. It's not clear to me that the advice has (1) my interests at heart, and (2) the long-term interests of Wikipedia at heart; ah, yes, I trust your intentions, you wrote what you wrote in good faith. But we need more than good intentions. We need insight, and patience, and compassion. We blame editors and writers, reject them, define them as vandals (that was done with Wilhelmina Will, it was among the last comments of Blechnic) or dangerous loose cannons with each move doing more damage than building the project (Carol Spears). Every time we reject or drive away an editor who might have become a productive member of the community, we lessen what the project can become, and we build, in the world from which we draw editors, reservoirs of poison. Instead of creating articles, I'm creating, so to speak, editors and writers who will create articles -- or retaining them.
If I'm doing something wrong, and you actually care, instead of merely dropping by to toss me some discouragement about what I want to do, which I doubt you understand, show me that I'm wrong and that what I want to do is not good. Show me that I actually was doing harm, that I nearly drove away an administrator, as claimed, that I harassed a user, something which horrifies me when I see it happening to others. Am I doing that, have I done that? If so, definitely, I need to know. And I might need a long wikibreak, maybe a permanent one.
I have only about 2000 edits in article and article talk space. If I'm damaging the project as has been claimed, then I shouldn't be editing here, at least not until I agree to stay away from policy and procedure and just cultivate articles, as intellectuals in the Cultural Revolution in China were sent to the countryside to work as peasants for their education and rehabilitation. Many of them died there, it's not what they were suited for or adapted to. I have article work to do, and I'll do some of it, noncontroversial work. I'll help maintain articles where I already have some knowledge of the subject, particularly where I'm an expert, whether professionally or amateur. But I think I know what I'm supposed to be doing here, and I'm doing it, with great caution.
So thanks for sharing. Why don't you stick around and help me figure it out? I assure you I'll listen carefully to whatever your contribute. But I'd warn you. Prolonged exposure to my ideas has been known to have a destabilizing effect on some people, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not. It's as if my insanity is contagious. People start seeing what I see, sharing my vision. It's your choice. --Abd (talk) 00:48, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, my comment wasn't quite out of the blue: I have posted here before, and was one of the admins who supported your unblocking. I did that because I think you can be an asset to the project. And I do appreciate the support you gave to WW. I was hoping, now that you are unblocked, that you will be able to help on mainspace articles of interest to you. Regards. Jonathunder (talk) 15:13, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks again, and I might have been a bit abrupt with you. My primary interest with Wikipedia is related to what excited me about the project years ago, the potential of this kind of community. When, last year, I finally became active here, and learned more about the policies and guidelines, they made complete sense to me, it is as if half of the vision I've hand and been working on for more than twenty years had been realized already. Then I started to compare the guidelines and policies with actual practice. It's not easy to do that, there is so much traffic. The only way to do it was to get involved in specific situations, to study them, to collect the evidence, make proposals, and see what happens. My study of organizational structures and my experience with them made it quite unsurprising to me that Wikipedia is dysfunctional in certain ways. If not for a resource that has remained available to us, the damage would have become so obvious and so bad that major breakdown would have already occurred: that resource is new editors. In smaller communities, an organization can run out of that resource very quickly, so if it burns out participants, it will quickly fail. Here, we just sail on; if somebody drops off the boat or is pushed off, no problem. There are always more. It's really a kind of pyramid scheme. Eventually it will hit resource limits. And, I'm predicting, at that point the problems will rapidly mushroom, as there is an increasing burden on those who are left. Admins are already, to many of them, damaged by dealing with hordes of vandals and POV-pushers, and, without even realizing it, too often, become cynical and far to ready to act as if an editor is an enemy of the project.
I appreciate your support, but I'm trying to make your job easier. Much easier. It can be done, but how it is done is another question. Very few editors, as far as I can see, are really looking at the problem. They will look at this piece or that piece, whenever the problems become sufficiently irritating. What happened to Wilhelmina Will can happen, and has happened, to many others. Now, as it happens, some very serious charges were made against me in the process leading up to my block, and after. It is ironic; the first charge, what I was first warned about, was essentially harassment. I had (1) questioned the close of the ban, (2) questioned the appropriateness of an administrators actions based on his assumption that there was a ban in place, (3) and ask him for support for the decision, since it appeared to be missing from the original process. As part of this, I suggested, in one post in my Talk space that he was free to ignore, it couldn't have been used against him, that this was important, that his decisions could affect his administrative future. I've seen harassment. To me, this seems far, far short of it, and, in fact, it wasn't harassment at all. Now, that it was called harassment wasn't a surprise to me. I've seen people react to clear and civil criticism, many times, as if it were harassment. If I had gone all over the project, confronting him with my opinions, that could have risen to the level of harassment. But I didn't. The matter came to a head at AN. Did I take him to AN? No, I was following WP:DR, by the book, and it's an excellent book. He went to AN, in a manner that could produce a prejudiced result, same as the first AN/I discussion. So I was obligated to respond. And that was considered harassment. Perhaps someone should read WP:HARASS.
And I was blocked for this. (the copyvio thing is a complication, but I was being warned that I'd be blocked even before that came up, it was simply a provocation from a banned editor, who has found, in the past, that he can evade his ban to do this and nobody really does anything about it. Why? Because he is a voice for a substantial segment of the administrative community, which has come to think like him.) This gives me a wedge, so to speak; it could be used for further divisive process. But I want to show that there is a different way to approach questions like this, a way that is not only easier, but far less disruptive. We already know how to do it without the additional tools I'll be proposing and working out: RfC and RfAr, the latter being, usually, better. But also requiring way too much effort. We do not need to go to RfC and RfAr to work out problems that can be resolved by two people having a civil discussion, with assumptions of good faith on both sides. The question is, how to have that civil discussion. Most editors don't have time for it! This is the problem that I'm going to attempt to solve, in my user space.
I'm setting up a procedure so that I can be advised as to what I did and how to respond to it. I want, first of all, advice about what I did. Did I harass the administrator in question? If so, then the block was fully legitimate, and my only legitimate response would be to apologize to everyone involved for the harassment and for wasting their time. If not, however, if a sober examination comes up with a conclusion, likely to be sustained if taken back to the community, that I did not harass, there remains the question of what I should do about it, so I'll need advice regarding "remedies." Could I clear my name and record without creating a new disruption? And I think that it can be done. Notice that after the groundwork was laid, the lifting of the topic ban for Wilhelmina Will was relatively non-disruptive, and it could have been even less so, quite simply, probably in another day or two. I'm trying to set up, using my own situation as an example, a generic solution that could work elsewhere. There is actually a lot known about dispute resolution, there are professionals who do it very well, but we haven't been taking advantage of this knowledge, and typically tend to deal with problems by identifying the bad guy and getting rid of him or her. Or making it so unpleasant for them to continue here that they leave.
And, sure, I'll be doing some articles. But that's not why I'm here, really. I'm here to help others to create and maintain articles, in a sustainable way, that won't eventually burn them out. If I'm successful in this, the long-term effect on the project will greatly exceed anything I could personally accomplish. --Abd (talk) 17:53, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Common Practice?

Is it common practice to create a page like User:GoRight/Community sanction in a user's own user space? --GoRight (talk) 03:55, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't know, but it would make sense. Where else would you put it? I knew there was a log somewhere, but hadn't ever seen one. Logs for ArbComm sanctions are appended to the ArbComm case where it was decided. You shouldn't touch that page, though, I'd suspect, you could comment in Talk for it. --Abd (talk) 04:01, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Looking at others with community sanctions this seems to be common practice. I wonder if it is common practice to change the wording from that which was !voted upon?

From my topic ban proposal:

GoRight topic-banned from William Connolley-related pages - this is not to be confused with edits regarding User:William M. Connolley.

From the editing restrictions page:

GoRight is topic-banned from William Connolley-related pages - this is not to be confused with edits regarding User:William M. Connolley.

From the community sanction page:

GoRight is topic-banned William Connolley-related pages, broadly construed. This is not to be confused with making edits concerning User: William M. Connolley.

Curious. --GoRight (talk) 04:27, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I've been arguing that the actual decision is made by the closing admin, not by the community. "Community ban" merely means that the community advised the process. This is apparently controversial, but Wikipedia process is seriously broken where it's interpreted that the community has made the decision, not the closing admin, it becomes far more difficult to intepret and modify a ban. And it is quite different with blocks and XfDs, where the closing admin may reverse the decision, even if the entire community !voted in one direction. The closing admin essentially becomes the community's representative for handling the decision, starting with implementing it, but also for all other aspects, until and unless the decision is appealed back to the community. So the quick place to go for an appeal is to the closing admin. Then one might try some simple process to convince the closing admin, I've been suggesting discussion with someone that the closing admin might trust to give good advice. In any case, this is an informal mediation stage, voluntary. Then appeal would go to more complex and disruptive process.
If you don't find the ban disruptive of your work, fine. The major problem I see is with this "broadly construed." But if you do find it a problem, I think there is a basis for an appeal to ArbComm, though a new RfC might be appropriate. I don't know if new facts were involved in the topic ban. If so, it's complicated. If not, it's pretty clear. I'd go for convincing the closing admin, first of all, that the consensus at AN/I was misleading, that those who had carefully considered the evidence had decided otherwise. Many of those who !voted at AN/I had a clear conflict of interest, not disclosed. I don't want to stir up trouble, but I also want you to know that you do have options. Going to ArbComm is difficult and hazardous, ArbComm could possibly decide on stronger sanctions, and there will be some opinion that it's disruptive. I'd take some time to think about it. You might decide if there are any substantial issues of fact, and prepare evidence regarding that. I've found that this often clarifies the matter for me. But it's time-consuming. --Abd (talk) 04:44, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
No, it wasn't the closing admin, it was User:Ncmvocalist who wrote the original language in the topic ban proposal. --GoRight (talk) 05:15, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I'd discuss it with the closing admin. That change is important, it could easily cause the ban to be wider. That log page shouldn't be any stronger than the closing statement. Admins enforcing the ban may not look at the close, they will look at the sanctions log and at that page. They may look at both. You already got advice that you should interpret it broadly, but that's for safety. The boundary should be set where it was set, and if the closer disclaims responsibility, we'll have the same situation as with WW: a ban without any intelligent maintenance. Not good. And what happens then? Most likely, further disruptive process, as you seek to overturn a too-restrictive ban or recover from an over-eager block based on this "broadly interpreted" thing. If you have any doubts about specific application, specific questions to the closing admin should protect you, if you follow the advice. And if you find that too restrictive, then your recourse will be similar to what is happening with WW's ban, plus, of course, there is more difficult recourse beyond that. --Abd (talk) 05:32, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I was under the mistaken impression that User:Ncmvocalist was an administrator, but User:Wizardman who closed the WP:ANI discussion indicates that he is not. Is there a way to tell who is an administrator and who is not?
If User:Ncmvocalist is not an administrator I definitely consider his taking it upon himself to close the RfC and place a Community sanction page in my user space to be harassment on his part, especially since he is not a neutral party here given that he participated in the RfC AND he is the one to create the topic ban proposal against me. Anyway, User:Wizardman indicates that he will look into it. Any thoughts? --GoRight (talk) 21:11, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
There are two simple ways to check whether someone is an administrator. First: When you go to his user page, then an administrator should have a small Wikipedia globe in the upper right corner. Wizardman has such a globe on his user page; but Ncmvocalist doesn't. Second: When someone is an administrator, then he should be listed in the list of administrators. Markus Schulze 13:06, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the globe is reliable. For example, see User:Sarcasticidealist. Administrator, in the admin category, I know he's an administrator. No globe.--Abd (talk) 20:43, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. --GoRight (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes. I hadn't checked. Theoretically, non-admins have the same rights as admins, but don't have the tools. Generally, though, consensus has come to limit closes that require the use of tools to administrators. If a close, for example, requires a block or enforcement of a ban though blocks, it's been considered proper for an admin to close. Anyone can revert a close, though. It should never be an involved editor unless there is no objection. Ncmvocalist definitely should not have closed the RfC, even if he had been an administrator, because he was involved. It's like voting in an AfD and then closing it, so if anyone wants to reopen it, they could, by reverting the close. Don't do it merely because it was "wrong." I'd recommend that it not be GoRight, though. That RfC doesn't hurt you, it helps you, as it is!

However, I wouldn't rush to consider it harassment. Just a mistake. Now, Wizardman closed the topic ban, and he is the one, then, to go to, in the theory of Wikipedia practice that I've been writing about, for any clarification regarding the ban. Assume that he is reasonable, and, for sure, treat him civilly and with respect. If he doesn't want to hear it, that avenue is then closed, and, if you want to challenge the ban or his interpretation of it, the next step would be the intervention, preferably of another admin, to intervene as a mediator, or as your advoctate, either one. One step at a time, unless there is an emergency, which there isn't, as far as I can see. As to the log information in your user space, any editor could change that to reflect Wizardman's close. Or anything, for that matter, such as to turn it into a barnstar, but I wouldn't recommend it!

Given that a topic ban re WMC is reasonable for you, and you were quite prepared to accept it, the only immediate question is scope, so, if you have questions about scope, ask Wizardman. It's best if it be about a specific example. You could also ask, if it turns out that the ban is a problem for you, what you could do to lift the ban, such as accept a mentor, etc. I wouldn't think, though, that it would be worth the trouble for a narrow ban, maybe if the interpretation is broad.--Abd (talk) 13:32, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

The way to verify any "rights" a user has is by looking them up in the list of users. Click "special pages" (should be to your left), and then find and click on "users". That should take you to Special:ListUsers. Then enter the name. Set the limit to 1 to show just one person. For example: Wizardman, Ncmvocalist, me, you. Special:ListGroupRights explains the various rights. The genuine list of all admins is here. Bureaucrats. Checkusers. Oversighters. Founder. And so on. Carcharoth (talk) 13:52, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. --GoRight (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Voluntary User space restriction; process to detemine the facts of my block. Blaze trail.

Because the issues that led to my block have not been resolved, because it is asserted that I committed what I consider would be egregious offenses against other users and the community, and I have not acknowledged and shown that I have understood and agree that the charges are correct,; because I therefore consider that the alleged offenses are likely to repeat; because I can therefore anticipate that my participation, whether in article space or in wikipedia space is likely to be disruptive; I am voluntarily restricting myself to my user space, as if topic-banned over all parts of Wikipedia with the following exceptions:

(1) If my comment or intervention is requested, I will consider such requests and may make an exception to this ban, in which case the requesting user would bear some share of the responsibility for any disruption that results. Please do not make frivolous requests, and do not invite me if you expect my participation will be disruptive, beyond the disruption that naturally takes place when some apparent consensus -- or even the opinion of a single user -- is questioned. I would not intervene if I see that there is already a true consensus, i.e., community agreement based on evidence and sufficiently broad participation.

(2) I may comment in ongoing discussions where I consider that comment to be necessary, or damage to the project or the community is reasonably likely to occur. This would include, but is not necessarily restricted to, my assistance in matters connected to User:Wilhelmina Will, the RfC for User:Elonka and the rather knotty issue of her requested recall, as well as Routemaster or other articles where I have previous participation. I will not seek out new areas of involvement on my own initiative.

(3) I may make noncontroversial edits in article or article talk space. I will only make possibly controversial edits in articles where I already have a significant involvement (and therefore my knowledge of the issues may be important to prevent damage to the article from, say, POV edits).

(4) Otherwise as WP:IAR requires. It better be good!

I had requested that I be unblocked with a user space restriction, before. With the exceptions listed above, I am now placing myself in the position that would have existed if my request had been accepted, if that request had not been mooted by my unconditional unblock. Various editors and, even, a troll or two, have suggested that the unblock was a problem because the issues were not resolved. I agree, hence this voluntary restriction, which guarantees, far more than the unconditional unblock, that my participation or my exploration of the issues involved in the block will not be disruptive.

I will explain in further posts how I plan to proceed, to resolve the issues, so that I can either stand advised that I had actually committed the offenses, exactly what they were and why my defenses and explanations were in error, and thus if I repeat those offenses I am either incompetent or otherwise a danger to the community, or that I did not commit the offenses, or was otherwise improperly blocked. (For example, I may have "harassed," but I stopped it before block and this was known to the blocking admin, and therefore the block was improper, and this was actually the basis of my unblock request, not a denial of harassment.)

Many -- indeed the vast majority of our six million registered editors -- will not want to participate in this process. However, it will begin as an open process, in my user space, and, if any editor wishes to be notified, specifically, as to how to participate, or support participation by someone else, such that it might be possible for me to estimate a true community consensus, without requiring all these people personally spending time reading evidence and arguments and investigation by more than a few editors, please append your signature below, and you may then unwatch my user page if you find it tedious. I will notify you, on your Talk, how you can assist and form a part of the eventual consensus here with a simple action that need take no more than a minute. Your signature here will not obligate you in any way, it merely indicates interest in the outcome here.

Canvassing is permitted, that is, it is allowed (by me) for any editor to solicit the signature of others, here; obviously, I cannot and would not waive the guidelines involving mass Talk page posts. More will be revealed. This list will be taken as a list of editors interested in the outcome of this process, plus others who later involve themselves. Involving yourself also will be taken as a consent to be notified (once) regarding any outcome. That consent may be withdrawn at any time. Nothing in this process will be binding, it will be purely advisory.--Abd (talk) 17:37, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Signatures of editors wishing to be notified


Hopefully, you will be seeing, here, the application of my organizational concepts as applied to the otherwise excellent Wikipedia process. It's an experiment, the next step in WP:Delegable proxy, and a special proxy table will be set up. Proxies do not vote on behalf of others, in this process, but they are used to estimate broad consensus from the participation of only a few. There is no proof that this will work; however, it is designed to minimize community costs, and should be harmless at worst. There are many natural objections to Delegable proxy, and my extensive work with it, over many years, has shown that not only does it take about a year after exposure to the ideas for the majority of people to even realize that it could work, and that it could solve problems otherwise considered to be hopeless, but, more than that, in the absence of functioning examples, even people who think it might work still have little hope that it could overcome all those objections. Thus it's extraordinarily difficult, even in situations crying for this kind of solution, to even motivate people to try it. Hence, this effort, where I need the results of such a process, handled in my user space, where I have substantial authority and control over it. I have an issue where I need advice that truly represents the community. I have a right to request that advice. I do not need, merely, the advice of individuals, I've been given plenty of that, but readers should realize that this advice is contradictory. And the unresolved issue is consensus. Almost all advice has stated that rough consensus is that I harassed. Note, not necessarily that I actually harassed, but that the community of all those who have expressed an opinion believes, roughly, that I harassed.

Some of the advice, including the most cogent of it, expresses the opinion that I was right, but that they won't allow me to do what I did. The they ranges from an oligarchy of editors who might feel challenged by my activities, all the way up to ArbComm itself, for I have email from at least one experienced and active administrator who seems to feel that getting a good decision out of ArbComm on these matters would be hopeless. Thus there are very important issues at stake. Is Wikipedia as far gone as some of the advice would indicate? Or is it merely that deficiencies in the structure cause bad decisions to be made with no reasonable possibility of non-disruptive review? (Setting aside the simple answer: I harassed, and that's it, and it's only about me.) The first possibility would indicate my direction: bail out, and do something more useful. The second, however, leaves open the possibility that it can be fixed, if my ideas point to a solution, or, even more possible, that my ideas would point to and discover a process which could develop solutions. Thus this could be far more important than a determination in just this incident. It could affect the future of Wikipedia, in a very positive way. All participation, initially, is welcome. Yes, this means you, Jehochman, and S. Dean Jameson, and all others, including, in fact, banned users, who may participate by email to me (and I will then filter their contributions to ensure that they are proper). I want this to be as broadly representative as possible, and anyone may participate. IP editors may participate, initially, but, if necessary to prevent disruption, the pages may be semiprotected, in which case IP editors would have to use email to participate. I'd prefer, though, that editors be registered and thus identified.

I wish to thank Xenocidic for making this possible by unblocking me. I need access to my user space, which I did not have as a blocked editor. And, in fact, I wish to thank Iridescent for blocking me in the first place even if I still believe it was technically improper. It's been a painful experience, but, in the end, probably the absolutely best thing that could have happened. --Abd (talk) 17:37, 16 August 2008 (UTC)


User:Abd/RfC is a top-level page to create a standing RfC on my behavior here. The purpose of this RfC is to advise me so that I can better understand the community in its complaints about my behavior, as well as find confirmation of my work where justified. As this is a process intended to advise me, I will properly control it and may freely revert without limit on these pages, or refactor and reformat edits from others; however, any editor who wishes to retract comments made here may do so. Participation is invited from all editors. Because of vandalism, it was necessary to semprotect these pages, so a page has been set up for the use of IP and newly-registered editors, User:Abd/RfC/IP. Content on these pages may be deleted frequently, but may be recovered from history. See the main RfC page for some descriptions of the process. The first specific RfC is at User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block, which will examine the events leading up to my being blocked on August 11, 2008. There are a few editors whom I have banned from my Talk pages; however, provided that their edits to the RfC pages remain nondisruptive, they may edit those pages; I will warn such editors if I find it necessary to retract this permission. Welcome! --Abd (talk) 03:41, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

The RfC is open for preliminary comment. See User:Abd/RfC and the specific RfC at User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block. Notices will be given of this RfC to all those who commented on my Talk page after I was warned for various offenses on August 11, until yesterday. There is a list of those to be notified and a draft notice at User talk:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block. --Abd (talk) 18:04, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi Abd, I have filed a request for appeal at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration. I'll be looking forward to your support. Cheers PHG (talk) 18:43, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I will do what I can. Be careful, be thorough, and, of course, be civil. As to my own situation, I'm working on a process that, if it works, might be able to avoid Arbitration, or, if it goes there, would be relatively likely to succeed. See User:Abd/RfC --Abd (talk) 21:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)Thanks to Fritzpoll for correcting a typo in the link. --Abd (talk) 21:47, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism of my user pages by banned User:Fredrick day, need semiprotection of user pages.

I've been creating the pages for a self-RfC, under my control, see User:Abd/RfC, plus I created some subarchive pages to try to give some organization to the total mess that descended here Aug 11. In any case, big surprise, Fredrick day IP showed up and started vandalizing. I've been inviting him to participate in this process (under appropriate restrictions), but it seems he's pretty determined to toss shit instead of being included; however, maybe he'll change his mind. Here is what he's been doing, see Special:Contributions/ Not a lot of point in wasting time blocking the IP, he'll just boot the modem. I'll go to RfP if someone doesn't see this and just do it, but:

Please semiprotect indef, if not already protected, with talk pages: User talk:Abd/Archive 1
User talk:Abd/Archive 2
User talk:Abd/Archive 3
User talk:Abd/Archive 4
User talk:Abd/Archive 5
User talk:Abd/Archive 6
User talk:Abd/Archive 6/Before flap
User talk:Abd/Archive 6/Warnings before block
User talk:Abd/Archive 6/Blocked
User:Abd/RfC/Proxy Table
User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block
User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block/Evidence

That should be all I need for a while, thanks to any admin who notices this and does it.

 Donexeno (talk) 02:21, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Appreciated. Too bad it was necessary. I'm setting up a page for IP editor input at User:Abd/RfC/IP, for my RfC process, or User talk:Abd/IP for my Talk. IP and newly-registered editors may make comments on those pages. Beware, they might be a little raunchy, I have some "friends" with potty mouths. Then again, I used to read unmoderated Usenet groups. But I'll transfer legitimate edits there to the appropriate place; generally, all posts there may be deleted quickly, those pages aren't to be used for discussion, I may review in History.
It may be necessary to protect the Talk pages connected with the RfC as well. Not an emergency, but Fredrick day has acted up there a bit as well. Maybe he'll decide to do something useful. He's been behaving like I'm the Black Death, perhaps he might be willing to explain why he thinks that. Never can tell, somebody might learn something. I can delete anything truly disruptive, and so can anyone else. In fact, wouldn't it be interesting to set up a bot to delete contributions to a defined set of pages from a specific IP range? Or, indeed, all IP contributions? This would allow IP editors to contribute, but only if "seconded" by a registered user who brings it back in. --Abd (talk) 12:40, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

In case you are curious

Since there were quite a few admins telling me various things, in warnings, during my block, and a little bit after it, from I've not been careful enough, to I harassed a certain admin, to I've been driving editors away from the project and don't care, to I'm a total troll and waste of time and should create some nice articles for a change, to I should simply be banned, and I think that the arguments they give, when they bother to give arguments, are mostly a "steaming pile," to quote Hesperian (but, note, some criticism in this whole affair has clearly been legitimate), I really need to sort it out. What did I actually do? Was it blockworthy, etc.? Because if even half of what's been tossed at me is appropriate, I've got major problems and possibly shouldn't be editing here at all.

Since much of my purpose here is to explore and suggest improvements to Wikipedia structure, which I think is already truly excellent, but which has been unable to meet the challenges of scale by what may be truly minor deficiencies, needing only some small teaks, why not use this opportunity to test the ideas? Instead of creating some real RfC elsewhere, either a self-created RfC at WP:RfC-- I think what I'm doing will be better than that for these purposes -- or, alternatively going after the ... bad words thought of but not seriously, and given what has come down, maybe I better not disclose what I think even in jest! ... nice administrators who have been so kind as to give me their unsolicited opinions, i.e, going after them with process on AN or AN/I or RfCs or RfAr, which can be extraordinarily disruptive, why not just run an RfC in my own user space, the purpose being to advise me how to proceed. Nobody has to read it or participate who doesn't want to. The Delegable proxy table that is set up will allow people who have interest in helping me to understand my problems, but who don't have the time, to simply name someone whom they consider as likely to give me good advice, similar or better to what they would themselves provide. It should take a minute to add a proxy name to User:Abd/RfC/Proxy Table. Don't worry if the proxy isn't participating yet, I'll take steps later to try to get wider participation by looking at any trusted or previously involved users who haven't shown up here or named a proxy. I'll actively solicit participation from anyone who has posted to my Talk page preceding and during my block. I want the advice that was yelled at me in the heat of the moment, with edits coming to my Talk so fast that I'd have to try two or three times to get through the edit conflicts, to come in a far more careful, sober, deliberative environment. Because the purpose is to advise me, I control that environment, presumably, I.e., I should be able to ask users to "leave." And to revert not only vandalism, but any content there that I consider disruptive. Since I really want to know, however, I'm not gong to use this to simply remove or deflect criticism, my wikifuture depends on getting the best possible advice, and the best advice sometimes come from "enemies." They will tell us things that our friends may not.

And then, of course, if this works, there could be wider implications. We try to modify editor behavior, too often, by threatening them. I have children. It doesn't work, they become increasingly rebellious, they merely resent threats and demands and, obviously, other forms of abuse. The respond to respect and to careful and supportive exploration of their behavior. My youngest daughter was born in a village four hours by donkey trail from the nearest dirt road. It was a mud road when I visited the area, going to the village was out of the question, I met her grandparents in the nearest town. My daughter had gone to a "care center" -- read orphanage -- in Addis Ababa for six months when we adopted her at three. Very sweet. And tough as nails, really, utterly and totally resistant to any sort of attempt to deprive her of the right to make her own choices, unless she permits it. If I try to force her to do something, she digs in her heels and won't budge. If I lose my temper and even touch her when I'm angry, that's it. She won't listen to me for a long time. So: how can we educate and help misbehaving editors instead of blaming them and warning them; warnings are pretty difficult to see as friendly, they often are far more like a threat, and, too often, they are accompanied by blame or incivility. And how can we do this efficiently?

This process is designed so I can trust it. Makes sense, after all, it's for my advice. That would apply to any user who has, in the opinion of some members of the community, violated guidelines or policies, but who thinks this unfair or wrong or stupid or whatever. And then, here in my own user space, I cannot predict what will happen: it could range from getting sufficient information for me to realize what an idiot I've been, to finding it confirmed that a mistake was made, and, if there is significant participation here, and thus a preliminary consensus, it could become far less disruptive to try to get any injustice corrected. Evidence already in place and agreed upon by at least a few editors. Arguments listed and examined carefully. Conclusions proposed and consensus estimated (that's where delegable proxy comes in. It's not used for voting, as such, it's used to analyze a vote and try to compensate for participation bias so that it is more likely to predict successfully what will happen if a decision is reviewed by a larger community, without having to actually do that, most of the time.) For example, many admins seem to think I'm basically a waste of time. All of them together could name, directly or indirectly, a single proxy, doesn't have to be an admin, simply an editor they would trust to represent, more or less, the way they feel about me, and to, first of all, help me understand their point of view, and, secondly, should it happen -- is it possible? -- that some mistake was made when I was blocked, to go back to those who trusted them and say, uh, I looked at the evidence and it seems he was right, or at least this was reasonable. Or not. I have no fixed idea about what will happen, I just know that this is an idea that is worth trying. Sarsaparilla/Absidy/etc., sacrificed his account trying to suggest this (and in frustration when it was misunderstood), and, here in my user space, it is clearly harmless. It's only for my advice, and nobody needs to lift a finger that doesn't want to.

The RfC is intended to be a standing resource for me, so the proxy table will be used to help me understand, from just a few comments, later, should there be problems again, what warnings truly represent the community, and what warnings are simply the opinions of a minority, perhaps threatened in some way by my ideas, or misunderstanding what I do, following superficial impressions, trusting rumors and unsubstantiated allegations, the kinds of things that, too often, cause AN/I to come up with bad decisions, as shown by later analysis, such as the topic ban that created this whole fuss, which turns out to have had totally insufficient evidence at hand -- or discoverable later -- to justify such a response. People who didn't check the evidence voted, those noting the absence of evidence asked for it, it was not provided, so they didn't vote! And the topic died and was archived, without a close, but most !votes had been for a ban, so ... it was later enforced, without anyone actually taking responsibility for it, truly. A mess. We could easily have lost a very productive, not perfect, but young and learning, editor, with hundreds of articles to her credit, mostly quite good on review, and 30 successful DYK nominations. Bullied and blamed and abused, really. I want to stop that, not just to fix this one incident, and not by blaming anybody for the mistakes made, but by fixing the structure that allows mistakes like that to be made. And this self-controlled user RfC in my Talk space is a test of some of the ideas. I think it will work if two or three editors participate, but it might work much better than that.--Abd (talk) 02:07, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Too many words... brain hurting... eyes failing... synaptic pathways shutting down

If you really want people to follow your arguments try being less verbose, for the love of Jehovah! give concision a try. RMHED (talk) 16:41, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Sigh. Recommendation: unless it is a warning on your Talk page or there is some other very good reason you must read it, don't read what I write. I'm verbose in some situations and concise in others, and I have no idea which you are referring to, really. I'm verbose when there is generally no obligation to read what I write, so I'm writing for those -- who might only be a few -- who have sufficient interest to take the time to read what I write. I assure you that it takes far less time to read it with the necessary attention than it does to write. I'm concise, generally, when I have a point that I'm pushing, rather than merely discussing. Further, if I write something that seems too long, but that also seems interesting, you could always ask me to boil it down. I usually will. Or others might, they often do.
If I write the boiled down version first, what happens is that many people simply don't understand it, too many details are missing, and it takes me about three times as long to write concisely as to write verbosely, so.... how can I anticipate if people are even interested, unless I write the concise version first. Which means wasting a lot of time. --Abd (talk) 16:50, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • On your "RFC" page, it says Abd was warned by Jehochman, regarding an edit to Abd's own Talk page.. Please link me to the edit that you were warned for. It is too hard to find it. I want a brief reply, preferably just a diff link. I refuse to read giant replies anymore. Steve Crossin Contact/24 17:56, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Never mind. TL;DR. If you can't be consise then 99% of editors are going to ignore you. Steve Crossin Contact/24 18:00, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict with below) I've been quite succinct in any important content in the RfC, so I had no idea that Mr. Crossin was referring to this, I assumed he was writing about something else. The RfC is at User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block which is the RfC for the specific incident, it is extremely concise. And that page refers to User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block/Evidence, which is intended for the whole incident, not just the specific first question. However, the edit I made that Jehochman was referring to is diffed in the block RfC itself; at the moment it is the only diff there, since it was so important. It is the diff given by Jehochman. I don't see how one could have looked at that page, with any caution at all, and missed it. Perhaps Mr. Crossin was misled by my reference to the Evidence page, which can be quickly reviewed, and the Warning is close to the top, but he saw that it was more than one page, and thus that he might have to read all that. Not. Plus there is a table of contents for that page, which should have made it easy to find. But, for convenience, the "screed" is at [11]. Yes, it's long, it was on my Talk page, though it would be enough to scan it looking for "personal attack," an attempt to "drive away [Fritzpoll], or the rest. It's really a pretty simple question the RfC is starting by asking, broken down into subquestions. It's not the last question to be asked, and anyone can suggest questions, which will be considered in due time.
Let me make something clear. I've invited everyone interested to participate. That does not mean that I want participation from editors who refuse to look at the actual evidence, but only want to express irrelevant or premature opinions or general impressions, at least not at this point. There will be a place to express such, but not before we get the facts straight. That present process tends to the latter, that it will propose and vote on remedies before there is any consensus on the evidence, is one of the big problems we have. It's straight out of Alice in Wonderland, the Queen: "Sentence first, verdict afterwards." --Abd (talk) 19:10, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Incidentally, how did you choose who to send your thing to? Was it just a list of people who'd posted on your talk page or something? Not taking part, ridiculously complicated over what seems like a small issue, can't be bothered, sorry. Tombomp (talk/contribs) 18:53, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Because it wasn't needed any more, I deleted it with [12], but the RfC notices also specified exactly who it was being sent to. I did not discriminate. I, or anyone, may solicit other participation, directly or by proxy, subject to spamming rules. This is not a general community RfC, it is primarily for the purpose of advising me, though it might suggest some possible consensus outside, it will not establish or prove that, but it will, as an example, advise me in deciding whether or not I should pursue any further process, or drop it. Before the facts are established, to my satisfaction, I'd consider it quite foolish to proceed outside this. People will simply repeat what they've written before, without evidence, as is already obvious, see Fredrick day's deleted edit to this page, if you want. (Any of that can be brought back if a registered editor wants specific questions answered.) --Abd (talk) 19:20, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Apparently, User:Steve Crossin has more serious problems than a headache from reading my writing. See [13] Steve, I don't know if you will see this, but you would still be welcome to participate in my "Request for Advice," let's call it. You are obviously a very experienced user, and your perspective could be invaluable. Regardless. --Abd (talk) 00:50, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia guideline on user pages

There is a Wikipedia guideline about what a user page may contain. It says:

Examples of unrelated content include:
9. Material that can be viewed as attacking other editors, including the recording of perceived flaws. The compilation of factual evidence (diffs) in user subpages, for purposes such as preparing for a dispute resolution process, is permitted provided the dispute resolution process is started in a timely manner. Users should not maintain in public view negative information on others without very good reason.

Yellowbeard 19:13, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Yellowbeard, who is welcome to participate in the RfC, even with his prior history, is correct. It says that. I'm not aware of any personal attacks or the recording of perceived flaws, in the RfC, but if such is in it, please let me know, and, if it is not necessary, I'll redact it. The RfC is not intended to attack anyone. If listing the diffs without comment is "negative information," then Wikipedia itself is the "guilty" party. --Abd (talk) 19:24, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Spelling of "waive"

At User:Abd/RfC#Symmetry you say "I wave my right to protection from incivility here". I think you mean "waive" with an "i", not "wave". Coppertwig (talk) 19:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

No, I'm waving that right, i.e., demanding it.

Seriously, yes, of course. I'm waiving the right, except where I specifically assert it, after I assert it. I'm glad someone is reading at least some of this. I want editors to be free to express what they think, though, please, in context, not creating a mess. This Talk page remains open for whatever, as usual, excepting users I've asked not to edit here. The RfC pages are intended to begin as totally open, and I'll ask editors to "leave" only if they are disruptive there, after warning. It's really just an organized, extended part of my Talk page. --Abd (talk) 19:49, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

LOL!! Coppertwig (talk) 21:07, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Glad you appreciated it, Coppertwig. I'm serious. Like a straight man, which I am. God is the comedian, and it is really, really funny. It's true that, as far as I know, nothing like this has been done on Wikipedia (though, really, I'd be surprised if it was never tried, at all), and that's part of the problem. What I'm doing is straight dispute resolution stuff from outside. I think that the reason there hasn't been a lot of this here is that Wikipedians were largely techies to begin with. Different worlds, almost, and somewhat of a different generation. It's pretty basic: before trying to come to a decision, come to agreement on the evidence first, have everyone commenting, working on solutions, be familiar with the evidence. In person, it would be requested that each party state the evidence that the other parties think is important, it would be nailed down. I have no idea how far this will go, but I find it important to try. Thanks for your support. --Abd (talk) 21:16, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
You're welcome. I tried reading the evidence but didn't get far enough to get definitive answers to your questions. I may try again later. Coppertwig (talk) 02:15, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it should be fairly simple for the first questions posed. It boils down to the Warning, which was about a pair of edits of mine that created a "screed," on my Talk page, which was the basis for Jehochman's warning. You don't need to review the Evidence page for for the first questions, all the rest is a distraction. (But it will be needed later.) The two edits together created a fairly long piece, on my Talk, and it will take careful reading of that, but, though I write a lot, and that wasn't one of my briefer posts, to be sure, the questions focus on whether it was a "personal attack," whether it shows assumption of bad faith (it never even occurred to me to suspect bad faith, until later, when the sock issue came up, and even then it seemed to be like Fritzpoll was acting in good faith even if he was Fredrick day. Quite simply, I had utterly no idea, and never had the idea, that FP had acted with other than good faith, even in the midst of the sock puppet speculation, nor to this day. So if I implied bad faith, I'd really like to know where! The sock stuff wasn't relevant to the Warning, since it came later. Actually, Jehochman wrote that post in a very short time, from the edit timing. It's unlikely that he read it carefully. Nevertheless, at this point, I have to assume that he did. And, the third question is whether it shows an intention to drive Fritzpoll from the project; again, I had utterly no intention of that and was astonished when he "retired," making vague charges of harassment. Criticism is harassment? When I didn't follow him around with it? I did not continue after a request to stop (there never was such a request from him.) For the third question, about harassment, it could take more reading, perhaps, though Jehochman did not cite any other evidence than the one Talk set of posts. The fourth question has been narrowed. It's impossible, I'd say, to base the charge of general disruption and drama-mongering on an examination of a few edits, but I've asked if it was appropriate to dilute his warning with that, not that it matters much if the first three charges are empty. I'd claim that impugning my general editorial work as being motivated by a desire for drama is far more of a personal attack than anything I did, but ... we aren't there yet.
Was what I wrote, in that one piece, a personal attack or assumption of bad faith or harassment intended to drive off Fritzpoll? I sure don't see it, all I see is strong criticism of one action, and concern over what seemed like refusal to take responsibility for the action and reconsider it when presented with a questioning of the evidence. Quite within what is allowed, I think, but ... that's what this is for. What do you think? --Abd (talk) 02:53, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

A WikiProject you may be interested in

WP:WPEX EVCM (talk) 00:42, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

No thanks. Thermite, maybe, my hobby in high school, fifty years ago.... saw some really misleading stuff about it recently in the local newspaper, some kid had been playing with it, so they ran photos of a car blowing up. They didn't explain that it was the gas tank exploding.... Really pretty safe stuff, unless you stick a burning magnesium ribbon in it. Has to get very hot to start the exothermic reaction. The really dangerous stuff? Gasoline, of course. And fertilizer. Wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. --Abd (talk) 02:17, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
You should join. EVCM (talk) 03:58, 25 August 2008 (UTC)


I am not watching your conversation, but I noticed an edit summary that you struck something. It is always a very positive sign when an editor is willing to consider that they may not be perfectly correct all of the time. Good going. Jehochman Talk 03:11, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Jehochman. Being perfectly correct wasn't the issue. I might have been correct, actually, though it would be totally rude to push the point. (Please understand that I've got many years of experience with people digging through their psyches for what might not have been obvious in consciousness.) (For her to be angry would be totally normal, given the history reported, and to not be angry would be, to me, somewhat scary. But she is the world's number one expert on herself, and I'm required to take her at her word. Maybe we have different definitions of angry, anyway. It was dicta, and if it offended her, and she asked me to strike it, why not? I also strike or apologize when I find out that I'm actually wrong, which happens as well. I apologized to Fritzpoll, for example, and not because I was blocked or to help with unblock. I did it because it was due. As I recall, I even apologized to Fredrick day at one point (as Allemandtando, I forget the occasion). --Abd (talk) 03:26, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
By the way, Jehochman, I don't know if you noticed it, but User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block has begun with an examination of the warning you issued me on Aug. 11. I don't think that there was any reasonable basis for this warning, and it was the warning that later was considered the necessary warning for my block that day. Would you mind looking at that and commenting? In particular, could you point to specific language I used which you considered "personal attack," and "assumption of bad faith," and attempting to drive an editor off the project? You referred to a specific edit of mine in that warning, and I just don't see that what you claimed was there (or anywhere, for that matter, but that's a broader question). If the warning was without reasonable basis, would you please apologize, so that your part in this affair is over? On the other hand, if it was correct, please help me see how. Comment for this RfC goes on the Talk page for it, where I've given my own comments. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 13:26, 25 August 2008 (UTC)


Yes, burnout. Most administrators will go through it, especially if they have been harassed off-wiki by special interest parties. I've made some sharp comments on that ANI thread, and partially it is because of the burnout and the constant harassment for this and that, and partially because it does reflect an accurate observation. Too often we are failing to discuss controversies and debates with administrators and other editors in a civil fashion. We are resorting to jumping to ANI or AN at the first bat, escalating it to RFC or RFAR, or drudging it to the Village Pump for some radical proposal, and calling for the administrator to resign or to be banned and so forth. It's demoralizing, and it's all political. seicer | talk | contribs 00:34, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes. I've been dealing with computer conferencing, as we used to call it back in the 1980s, since The WELL, pre-web. I've moderated a usenet newsgroup, soc.religion.islam, and am pretty familiar with how uncivil it can get, but Wikipedia is a project that needs a collaborative community, for applying the policies requires consensus, and incivility is fatal to consensus, it's become very difficult to determine true consensus because of it; many long-time editors have been driven away, and we don't necessarily retain the best. (And good editors and administrators become bad ones through continual exposure to incivility, while some are able to retain their balance, it's rare, and to some degree I see the ones who can do it tiring.)
So if incivility is the problem (and it's a big part of it), what's the solution? Is it to start clamping down on incivility? Block more easily for incivility? I don't think so, at least not as long as a block is considered a black mark on one's record. Punishment doesn't work to improve civility, only better process will do it. It's a vicious circle, until enough of us can step back far enough to see it and to see solutions. What has beset Wikipedia can happen to any organization, and there are professionals who are quite good at dealing with it, at changing the culture. I'm not necessarily recommending hiring them, but recognizing that the organizational disease we have isn't a new thing, it just looks a little different because we don't recognize the analogies.
We do need to identify and work with incivility at a lower level. We need to train administrators to be particularly civil, to be what they are supposed to be: examples for the rest of the community. When I see a highly experienced editor and administrator, a former member of ArbComm, revert a new arrival, with source, at an article he's maintaining with "(rv naval-gazing by ex-wikipedian POV pusher)" and nobody says "Boo!", we are in trouble. However, even to get to this point we need to learn how to make decisions not only civilly but efficiently, they go together. And that is going to take attention to structure. There are ways to do it that would keep our traditions of distributed decision-making in place, we simply need ways to make the process orderly and more reliable. Just to give a simple example, it's quite common to start collecting !votes before evidence and arguments are completely presented. What do we make of a !vote that isn't based on a common question? ("Question" must include the evidence, i.e., with this evidence and arguments, shall we decide this?) Basic principle of democratic process: no decision is voted on until the "assembly" has decided that it is ready for closure of debate, and that, under Robert's Rules of Order, requires a two-thirds vote. There are special problems with on-line "meetings," but we don't have to re-invent the wheel, there would be ways to adapt traditional procedures to our process; but, once again, the bootstrap problem. And my solution to the bootstrap problem is to start small experiments that involve testing different procedures. Voluntarily. It's quite difficult to get this going, in my experience, at present, because few recognize the problem, much less the potential for solving it. We'll need to identify those who do see it, and start working together. --Abd (talk) 01:05, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Your comment at AN

The thread has been marked resolved and I'm glad that we've had resolution on the main issue. Yet I'd like to engage you in a little bit of dialog about the subsection I started and your response. It's a matter for concern when a respected Wikipedian attributes an angry emotional reaction and predicates a rebuttal upon that assumption. Allow me to restate the concerns in a more rigorous manner. Steve's judgement been problematic for some time, but until very recently it appeared he was harming no one but himself. In good faith, I and several other people attributed the problem to his youth, to his early assumption of adult responsibilities, and to unusual stresses. He had also done very good work on the difficult Prem Rawat mediation and had earned a triple crown for editing. Promising young people sometimes enter a slump. He often came to me for advice. Yet there were at least two distinct conversations where he disclosed to me questionable behavior that related the concerns which eventually came to light, shortly before a checkuser was run, and in which he failed to disclose what any reasonable person in a candid quest for advice would have disclosed. Now that this has come out I have been comparing notes with some other people and the concerns have deepened. As long as Steve refrained from mentioning Mellie at AN I hoped in good faith that he had made the full disclosure to ArbCom I had asked him to make, but Steve's private and public actions compelled me to step forward. With increasing frequency, Steve has been placing the people close to him in ethical binds. If his actions were not actually malicious, they certainly generate an appearance of impropriety that could cloud the reputations of honest people. I have seen situations go downhill before. And as much as I sympathize with Steve's dilemma, two administrators have already lost the bit because of his influence. By making a public statement that commonsense understanding would regard as false, Steve placed both Mitch and myself in a dangerous position: we knew his wife had accessed his account. Mitch knew it later than I did, and neither of us knew about Steve's access to other accounts. Steve was also--recklessly and persistently--sharing private e-mails and logs. Well I hadn't asked him to tell me about Mellie's use of his account, but Steve was rejecting advice and creating new problems not only for himself but also for the people around him. Steve had placed me in a position where the only ethical thing to do was to step forward publicly with a full disclosure. I was thinking of myself but not only of myself: I wouldn't want the Not the Wikipedia Weekly Skype channels and all their participants to get tainted, and if it isn't obvious to you how close things came to that, please trust me. With respect, DurovaCharge! 03:05, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I understand the problem with an attribution of anger, it's mind-reading. My comment about anger, however, was a comment of "understanding," and not central to my "rebuttal." And full disclosure was not the issue, I would never criticize you for disclosure of what you believe is factual and relevant. (Unless it violated an expectation of confidentiality, with no harm from maintaining the confidentiality; was that the case here?)
However, you, yourself, termed Steve's action as lying, as I recall. Lying is not merely the making of a false statement, it is making such a statement with an intention to deceive. And what I pointed out was that there wasn't any clear conflict between what you reported (i.e, his wife had accessed his account) and his claim that she was was not involved, i.e., in his access of administrative accounts. She wasn't involved in this incident. That they may have jaywalked together at some point is not sufficiently related for him to have a requirement to disclose it. Further, I'd seriously worry about pressure on a user to reveal confidential and private information about the activities of anyone else. Particularly one's spouse! These were separate offenses, if they were offenses, with separate implications. People would not be discussing blocking him because his wife accessed his account on occasion. (He's logged in, she wants to look up something, he says "Okay." And she fixes a typo.)
I don't regard the particular statement you are referring to -- if I remember it correctly -- as "false." I must say that I'm not thrilled that you revealed that information, because it seems that it was given to you in confidence. Yes, the situation created moral dilemmas, indeed, and that's worth looking at. However, there was no rush, I don't see any necessity for the information about his wife's access to be revealed immediately. It was irrelevant to the primary issue, his access of admin accounts.
The sharing of emails and logs you mention is not, if private, contrary to Wikipedia policy. Whether it is offensive at all depends on circumstances. If the emails and logs were obtained legally, sharing their content privately isn't even objectionable unless they were obtained under a reasonable expectation of confidentiality, and, even then, to share such things with a trusted counselor may not be unethical, particularly one expected to be discrete.
You felt you had an obligation to disclose the matter about his wife; however, did you have an obligation to disclose it immediately? This is one of the problems I have with the noticeboards; they should never be used, in my opinion, to make any complex decisions requiring judgment, beyond the determination of a "preliminary injunction." The environment is conducive to snap judgment, disregard of evidence, rash statements, and disorderly process. I'm a bit troubled that ArbComm decided to reveal this at all, was it necessary? Perhaps. But I'd have been happier with ArbComm revealing it as a settled matter, and, in particular, I'm concerned about the response to your comment revealing that other matters involving Steve were under consideration. ArbComm, when it is going to consider privately, should consider privately! When it needs public comment, it can solicit it, but using a Noticeboard for it is probably disruptive.
My comment was not intended to, in any way, defuse your expression of concern about Steve and possible damage due to improper influence. It was really focused on the one matter: did he lie when he said his wife was not involved? Unless there are facts I haven't seen alleged, he did not lie, nor did he fail to disclose something clearly material and relevant. Did she take any administrative action while he was logged in as one of the admins? If so, she was involved, and it was a lie, if he was aware of it. But what he disclosed to you was that she had used his account, not theirs.
Durova, you are always welcome to share your concerns with me about anything you write. You intervened some time back with regard to a sock puppetry suspicion that I reported. Not desiring to stir things up, I'm not mentioning the identity of the alleged sock, and it's not important, but I did apologize to the editor by email and told him I'd apologize in public if he wished. He has not responded. If you were not angry with Steve for betraying your trust, I apologize to you for implying it. I'll say this, though. I'd have been angry. --Abd (talk) 03:50, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually I specifically avoided use of the word lying. Best wishes, DurovaCharge! 03:44, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll answer by email, beyond noting here that, yes, you did not use that word.--Abd (talk) 13:07, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


...for your comments here.    SIS  23:10, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

You're welcome. Please understand that it's my opinion that Majorly wasn't particularly uncivil to you in the original comments that you reported to AN, and that going to AN over such can be considered disruptive, there are prior steps in dispute resolution and, in fact, AN isn't a part of that process. Most notably, one should try to find some mediator (informally at first, simply some editor that both of you might respect). Or, as advised in [[WP:NPA], just blow it off, let it go. Later responses that went beyond the earlier ones can easily be understood as due to irritation over the fuss being made. The sock suspicion is quite reasonable, I think you should agree, given your account history. As I explained in the Checkuser request, you gave an explanation that was reasonable in some respects -- but real socks give explanations like that. I'm not sure if there will be an actual IP check, but checkuser isn't likely to turn up anything but your husband, assuming you aren't a sock; it's probably better than relationships like this be disclosed at the outset. There are ways that inquiries like this can be handled privately, if that seems necessary, so ask. (Ask with the checkuser report, that's what I'd guess would be best.) I'm assuming that you are sincere and merely were taken aback by the environment in an RfA, they are famous for becoming contentious; with little experience, you foundered on the rocks, so to speak. Good luck, and if you think I can be of assistance, ask. --Abd (talk) 00:39, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Since the relationship I'm in is rather unconventional, I would appreciate it if the check could be private. I don't oppose to it as such (although my IP is dynamic, so that doesn't help), but I wouldn't like the results to be online. Privacy concerns. How do you suggest I go about this?    SIS  01:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Checkuser won't reveal the IP, normally, unless there is current IP activity that's related and likely to be from you, then they might. I'd ask on the checkuser page, request a private inquiry, and use email to communicate as suggested. If that's not enough, I'm pretty sure you'll get advice from other experienced users on how to proceed. Maybe even from Majorly, ask nicely! (Asking someone you've had a problem with for help is a fairly fast way to start to heal it.) The problem isn't dynamic IP, though, I might point out, that would mean that if IP was revealed, no big deal, it won't be your IP as soon as you reboot your modem. The big problem is going to be that your spouse and you are going to be, normally, sharing the same IP, the exact same if the modem hasn't been rebooted, or always the same block from the ISP's pool. In other words, you will look exactly like his sock. And I think that checkuser will find this. There are ways to establish that you are separate people, and I suspect that checkusers are experienced with this. --Abd (talk) 01:51, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

By the way, good chance the checkuser won't be done, for technical reasons. I wouldn't bet on it, though, checkusers can decide on their own to look into something. Still, if you have done nothing wrong, if there is nothing more than you and your husband sharing the same Internet access, and you haven't participated in the same process (even though you could legitimately do that, it would raise further suspicion), you could simply do ... nothing. I recommend, though, offering to disclose, in advance of an actual check, your relationship with your spouse, i.e., the name of his account, to a trusted administrator, who could take it from there, dealing with the checkuser, or to a checkuser directly. That's why I suggested doing it at the RfCU page, it would be seen by a checkuser before taking the case. If you disclose it, then the only problem would be, of course, if your spouse is a blocked user! --Abd (talk) 01:59, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your advice. We'll consider going to RfCU. By the way, none of us is (or has ever been) blocked.    SIS  02:03, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I followed your suggestion, contacted checkuser Alison and explained the situation to her. As a result I have now been cleared and the RfCU has been declined. It's been a difficult 2 days for me but I'm glad with the outcome. Thank you very much for your views and help, they have been most valuable.    SIS  02:17, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


"You've got to taste the actual bottle to know." That could get you arrested in most countries ;-) ---Balloonman PoppaBalloon 14:55, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

No. Not. In some countries, it may be impossible to know (i.e., if the bottle is wine or vinegar), legally, depending on age, religion, or other factors. Not most. (Of course, one could use a pH strip.... the point is that it requires an individual test, the age of the bottle doesn't tell you more than averages.) Balloonman, your arguments on that RfA Talk page have been thoroughly specious, and sometimes offensive. Legal age requirements for drinking, driving, etc., are set because it is impractical to make a judgment for each individual. Because of loopholes, I'm not sure it's still true, a youth could fly an airplane before they could drive a car. Same requirements for a youth as for an adult: same instruction hours, same tests. Because the youth was paying for the instruction, it was practical to make the determination individually. Here, this editor has paid for our consideration by making so many constructive edits. We should give her what she paid for, due consideration, based on her individual accomplishments and visible traits. Her age is irrelevant. She did not have to disclose it to us, and we should not consider it one way or another, though, in fact, I'd give precedence to mature youth, not because of the individual, but for the future of Wikipedia. I'd also give a bit of preference to females, who are, generally, less likely to be prone to the excesses, the arrogance, and the like that are more common with teenage boys. But only a bit, sexism is a problem for the same reason. Individuals differ widely. Each individual applicant should be judged on his or her record and responses, which is a better predictor than age. --Abd (talk)

Thank you

Thank you Abd for your great comments. I truely appreciate! Best regards PHG (talk) 18:32, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

You're welcome. You know, in your case, I strongly recommend that you cease all attempts to correct or reform the process and the admins and others who participated in what led to your topic ban, and focus on your article work. You stated in your appeal to ArbComm that you wanted to heal the relationship with Elonka et al. It would start by returning to AGF with regard to them, and even better than that, that you start to assume that they may be right. Just as a manner of approach, not necessarily as to conclusion. Assume that it will all come out in the end, that as the smoke clears, "truth stands out from error." You can't make this happen, but you can let it happen. Elonka has done some very good work, in some very difficult areas, and it would help if you recognized that. Her focus on civility is crucial, and her RfC and RfAr came from her enforcement of this; your usage of this as if it were a confirmation of her bad behavior was offensive. As you know, I think that she was excessive in her pursuit of you, after the ArbComm case (I'm not sure about before), but civility was a crucial issue in your original case. Here is why:
In the current flap, the point is made by those opposed to Elonka's work, that NPOV trumps civility, and that admins should enforce NPOV. That is a very serious error, and here is why: NPOV is, by definition, not the opinion or "view" of any individual. Individuals have POVs, though they may also have varying degrees of understanding of NPOV. We judge NPOV by consensus. If we have editors with all significant POVs approving some text, we can be reasonably sure that, for the time being, it can be considered to be NPOV. Often, for various reasons, we have to be content with "rough consensus," and the principle obstacle to finding true consensus is incivility; a secondary cause would be tendentious argument short of incivility; the latter is really a form of incivility, i.e., an unwillingness to consider and recognize alternative points of view. Incivility demolishes the cooperative environment that is necessary for the community to be able to find consensus on article text.
Incivility errors take place on all sides, here. You were pursued uncivilly, allegations were made against you that exaggerated what you had done and the significance of it, I'm quite aware of this. But we can only begin with what we can control, which, in your case, is, at least potentially, your own behavior. As I've said again and again, and I mean it, you are a brilliant editor, your work is invaluable to the project. I have almost entirely moved from working on articles to working on process, in order to enable other editors to do good article work; and if I can help to improve the environment here, it will benefit the project far beyond what I could do as an article editor. I was blocked as a result of my intervention in the topic ban of Wilhelmina Will, allegedly for doing so through personal attack, which, obviously, I dispute, but it's a fact that my intervention resulted in the lifting of the ban; and that before that, the very fact that I intervened may have encouraged WW to return to her article work, it looked for a week that she might have simply left the project over the difficulties she faced.
So, in a sense, I'm responsible for the continuation of an editor who has created hundreds of articles, with 30 successful DYKs last time I looked. She is 16 years old, with the goal of creating 10,000 articles, half of them DYK. If she even realizes only a good chunk of that goal, she will have done far more than I'm likely to do here in the rest of my life. To me, this is a much more efficient use of my skills and understanding than article editing itself. But there is more. It would be easy to blame her topic ban on a single abusive editor, who vanished about the time that I discovered what he'd done and I'd started to be effective in raising consciousness about it. And then it would be easy to blame it on those who did not carefully investigate before drawing conclusions about the topic ban, or on a particular administrator. But that's not the problem, really. The problem is the process, which does this kind of thing far too often. The process developed because it worked with relative efficiency, particularly under the early conditions here. It's been breaking down for quite a while. If I can help to address this, and help create more efficient and more reliable process, the improvement in the working environment here will, again, do far, far more than I could personally accomplish with articles, and it will continue after I'm unable to further participate.
There is opposition to this work, just as there is opposition to Elonka. I now have a block record, which, as you know, makes another block more likely and easier. Once there is attention focused on an editor, errors that wouldn't raise eyebrows otherwise can result in an indef block, I've seen it many times, particularly if there are admins who'd rather see that editor gone (or sticking to business that the admin doesn't mind). So my immediate personal task is to deal with the warnings and block, for, if left unexamined -- as many have recommended -- it could hamper my further work. If the initial block warning is found to have been justified, then I have a serious misconception about what I'm doing, and I'd likely turn to other more satisfying activities. It's really a very simple issue, far less complex than your case. One single edit, was it a personal attack, harassment, and an assumption of bad faith? So far, no comment; however, that, I predict, will change. I only notified those who commented on my Talk page over a short period after the warning, heavily biased toward those who confirmed the warning (whether or not they actually looked at the evidence in sufficient detail is as yet unknown.) Normally, an editor would be satisfied to have been unblocked; or, if not, would go to AN/I to protest the block. Ironically, the editor who harassed Wilhelmina Will had been blocked for harassment, and, after the block lapsed, went to AN/I demanding block record annotation. He got it, and, though the annotation did not contradict the finding of harassment, it gave him a newbie pass, i.e., the severity of the block wasn't justified. That really isn't clear, but I get the impression that this was a shut-him-up compromise. But going to AN/I is often disruptive, and AN/I isn't part of dispute resolution, so I'm following DR by the book. I started with what I'd call Step 0; that is, I examined my own behavior, carefully, compiling evidence. I did this in a self-RfC format, intending to create a standing RfC, because I can expect that there will be further controversy, and I want to set up efficient process to deal with this, without disruption. Basically, I want to set up a method whereby the community can quickly and effectively advise me, that isn't as subject to participation bias as the standard Warning on Talk is. The particular RfC active at the moment is User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block, and comment should be made on Talk for that page. (I'm creating a more deliberative environment than what we are accustomed to, only ArbComm follows something like this.)
Then, having created this, and after my initial notifications, to editors who were, in some sense, involved already, most of them, and now, as Step One in DR, I requested the admin who warned me to comment, since it is his warning that is currently in question -- i.e., did my behavior justify this warning? He declined, but since I'd asked him to name an admin he trusted if he didn't have time to consider it himself, he named one. And so that admin has been requested to look at it. That's Step Two. If consensus can't be found -- which at this point would be an agreement between the warning admin and myself -- there is then Mediation or RfC. And, beyond that, ArbComm. However, I find it rather unlikely that this will get so far; in fact, it is likely, I think, at this point, that there will be a resolution on the warning issue within days. DR works if people follow it, and participants have some sense, some reasonable ability to cooperate. Part of what I'm doing is to try to set up structure that makes it much easier to find this kind of low-level resolution, because it is far more efficient.
What I'm trying to do for myself, I could also facilitate for others. Consider, PHG, the application of this to your own situation. You've been charged with various offenses. One of the problems is that a pile of offenses becomes much more difficult to deal with, all together. If you address all of them, your response becomes long indeed. To really deal with them, they would need to be addressed one at a time, in an environment where you would decide what you can agree with, and what not, but also which would bring out advice on this that you are likely to trust. I suspect that if someone who clearly has your best interests at heart (as well as those of the project) were to advise you that X was a mistake, you'd look very seriously at it and agree if you possibly could. I set up my RfC in my own user space because I can control it. The purpose of it is to advise me, not the community, necessarily. However, obviously, if I run it such that a consensus is obvious, it's possible that the community could, with no further process, effectively accept it; if there was dissent on this, it would be easy to set up a simple RfC or similar action to confirm this. And if I run it to generate a warped conclusion, it would be pretty stupid! It's a fool who attempts to control the advice he's given, beyond the necessities of civility and orderly process. So, if this works for me, PHG, I'd be happy to try to set up something like it for you, in your user space, where you would have provisional authority over it. And we could start to unravel the knot involved in your topic ban, in a deliberative environment, but not disruptively. (If you allowed me to "chair" it, a decision you could always revoke, I'd restrain and revert anything there that I considered disruptive, or refactor it; you can see how I've done this with some of the pages under User:Abd/RfC, in the presence of vandalism and other disruption from the banned User:Fredrick day, refactoring and placing what was arguably relevant from it in the proper place.
The point is to have all the evidence and arguments in place before there is any !voting, should such remain necessary. Sometimes all that is necessary is to have evidence and clear arguments, coherently presented, and consensus is obvious. So an RfC in your space could go through, patiently, each of the important charges against you, in detail. The goal isn't to pin blame on someone, as far as I'm concerned, the goal is to find consensus, starting with consensus on narrow points, bite-size chunks. And, then, building on the foundation created, to find an overall consensus that includes you as well as, enough participation -- could be a single editor -- from your critics, or someone they trust. Facilitators, in real life, are trained to do this, and, while I'm certainly not a professional facilitator, I've participated in their work and have studied the methods for almost forty years. Remarkably, standard deliberative process, such as reflected in Robert's Rules of Order, is quite good, in the hands of a body of "members" who understand and use their rights, and/or a chair who understands that for the health of any organization, decisions that maximize consensus are highly desirable. Thus, for example, contentious issues will be referred to committee, where small-group process is much more efficient than the mass presentation of a question. In an organization where the system is functioning well, committee decisions will often be approved with near-unanimity with almost no fuss. The fuss all took place on a small scale, in committee or one-to-one among members, consensus was worked out among all those who cared much about the issue. Highly efficient. Very much like Wikipedia, when it works. What's missing is deliberative process, with procedural safeguards that prevent a minority from being bulldozed or lost in the noise. (Wikipedia process incorporates much of this already, but some key elements are missing that allow abuses and harm.) --Abd (talk) 15:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Problem with socks

I am glad to see you editing in article space. If you have a problem with socks [14], I'd be happy to help you resolve that. I am quite good at matching them up with the main account. Jehochman Talk 23:48, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Sigh. Thanks, Jehochman, this one is a no-brainer, and he's already been blocked, though not by an admin who knew who he was, he just noticed the smell. I'm filing an SSP report just for the record, checkuser isn't necessary, but might be a good idea anyway, just to verify that he hasn't got some new trick. You know who. --Abd (talk) 23:53, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Leave me a link to the case. Keep it brief, and mention that you are concerned about other socks and that there have been multiple incidents of harassment. There will be a benefit if checkuser "empties the sock drawer" and perhaps they can block the underlying IPs for a while. If we shut them down completely they may decide to switch to another pastime. We don't want to keep playing Whack-a-mole with a banned user. Jehochman Talk 23:56, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
For the record here, Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Fredrick day (4th). That 3RR warning was issued by User:Procutus, and obviously he was ready to be identified as another Fredrick day sock, or he wouldn't have confronted me as he did. Did he really think that when he mentioned my block I'd go cower in the corner? No, I don't think he's that stupid. Anyway, Jehochman, thanks for your cooperation on this. --Abd (talk) 04:02, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
You are welcome. Jehochman Talk 04:09, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
  • You should probably email me or one of the other checkusers about your admin allegation. Someone can take a look for any technical evidence before you take further action. Thatcher 03:52, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Actually, that was my plan. I'm refining the technique and want to get it to a decent level for presentation before naming any names. However, a private checkuser look might be a good idea, certainly before recent checkuser evidence expires. Fredrick day may be taking extra precautions now.--Abd (talk) 13:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


You seem like a pretty good editor (I don't care what people say). Have you considered adminship? EVCM (talk) 05:35, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I hate to intrude and seem rude, but I don't think it would go down well. Tombomp (talk/contribs) 08:02, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
It would possibly be as welcome as a fart in the wind. I'm sure Abd has the best of intentions but just isn't suitable for adminship. [Edit]: Wonders if EVCM is a FD sock on a windup... Minkythecat (talk) 08:07, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Abd already ran in 2007 (RfA1) and 2008 (RfA2). Yellowbeard 10:22, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, EVCM. I'm sure the above editors wouldn't vote for me. I'm not running. I don't need to be an admin to do what I do, the only thing I'd like to do would be to be able to see deleted contributions, something I'd suggest for all editors. Something really shouldn't be seen, it should be oversighted.

As to farts in the wind, and prior RfAs, I was nominated twice, yes, and I accepted. The first nom, I had maybe 500-700 contributions, you can expect how that went. But, as intended by the nominator, I learned something. Second nom, I had about 1400, still quite low, and yet the !vote ran 50-50, particularly after the solicited !votes by Yellowbeard, who was blocked for that, are discounted. Quite a few administrators wouldn't pass if they were to run again, because, being an admin, and using the tools, one makes enemies, and the RfA process requires roughly 75% to pass, and, naturally, those who have tangled with you are more likely to vote, the way Wikipedia works. I would totally revamp the system, making it easier to become an admin, and, at the same time, easier to have the rights suspended or revoked. Last RfA, enough of the Oppose voters wrote that they would approve if I had more contributions, and I have more than enough now.

Problem is, of course, that when I, for example, find and report a sock of Fredrick day, as I've done several times, those who really are friends of Fredrick day add another incident to their opinion that I'm only interested in drama. Yellowbeard would have a different opinion, he'd think I'm here to push a POV contrary to his. They are all mistaken. What I'm actually interested in is an efficient structure for Wikipedia, that preserves the wiki way yet that will, at the same time, meet the challenges of scale that are wasting huge amounts of dedicated editor and administrator time, burning them out and causing the encyclopedia to be unreliable. There are easy fixes that would find consensus, if we could manage the kind of discussion necessary. And we can, it merely takes a few to show the way, and the rest will walk it.

In other words, I believe in Wikipedia, and DGAF if I'm blocked. I care very much, however, about civility and consensus. Real consensus. The kind that facilitators try to reach, the way the rest of the world uses the term.

As to adminship, if I'm nominated by a respected administrator, I'd consider it. Otherwise, no. Too much drama and disruption. --Abd (talk) 13:57, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I'd recommend you get some featured article or content credits. Then you'd have a pretty good chance of passing. You don't seem like the type to abuse privileges for personal gain. As for the potential of drama making, sysop tools would not change that either way. By the way, I blanked the AN/I thread about FD. For your own benefit, avoid talking about them as much as possible. They crave attention. By denying recognition you will de-incentivize them from trolling. I recommend blanking any content posted by FD, and not repeating or describing anything they do. Jehochman Talk 14:20, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed. I was in edit conflict with you, so I unblanked to add it, then reblanked, I trust this is acceptable to you. Your comments are correct, in general, but not for all socks. Fredrick day, I think must be kept in mind, quite likely has other active accounts, he's claimed it many times, and it is quite believable. I think he imagines that his use of multiple ISPs for access keeps the other accounts safe. He's mistaken. The more he edits with IPs or short-term socks, the more visible those accounts will become.
As to content credits, yes, if I wanted admin tools, I'd do that. Thanks for your confidence re abuse. Yellowbeard is seriously worried that if I had the tools, why, I'd take over his favorite topic and bash it into the shape I want. He apparently doesn't understand that this would be the fastest way to lose them, short of wheel-warring with Jimbo. There are some admins who use the tools to enforce their POV, and it keeps them on the edge of trouble; they can get away with it, to a degree, when the POV they are enforcing is a majority POV. As you might have noticed, I consider that administrators should not make controversial content decisions and enforce them with tools, rather, they should ensure that process proceeds civilly to find maximized consensus. Even ArbComm steers clear of making content decisions. This seems to be to be the core of the dispute over Elonka's work. And it is important enough that I continued to comment on it. On that point, she's right, and the difference is crucial. Administrators aren't super editors, they are process police, which is why the requirement for demonstration of editorial skills is an error; the requirement should be an ability to handle controversy and make peace, when possible, or enforce order when editors won't keep within boundaries voluntarily, as well as understanding how Wikipedia process works.
I've argued that the sole question for promoting admins should be if they will abuse the tools, or do what they don't know how to do, so as to cause damage. As I recall, in RfA2, I wrote that I simply wouldn't do what I didn't know how to do, unless I got help. Don't think this was just for me! I think we should much more easily promote users where we reasonably expect they won't abuse or be a bull in a china shop. And then we should have a rapid suspension process that removes tool access upon reasonable charges of abuse, pending investigation. It doesn't even take a software change, all that would happen is that the admin would be *requested*, by some reasonable process, to avoid use of the tools (except for the relatively harmless ones, like the ability to read deleted contributions). And any good admin, if requested in an orderly and fair process, to so abstain, would. It really doesn't have to be complicated and difficult. But we have to be able to set up "orderly process" at a level lower than ArbComm. RfC is somewhat like that, but doesn't go far enough. For starters, people express conclusions and judgments before the evidence has been developed and discussed, much less carefully considered. Very much of what I want to do here is really standard operating procedure out in the world, but few have thought about how to synthesize what we have with what else is known to work. --Abd (talk) 16:58, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Comment from IP

The following comment was left on User talk:Abd/IP, which is where IP and newly-registered users may comment. If not offensive, the comments will be moved here by me. --Abd (talk) 12:54, 6 September 2008 (UTC)


User talk:Allemandtando., comment by Sticky Parkin

Interesting, interesting. For the well being of Wikipedia, is it? (talk) 08:28, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what this is about. The IP is Canada, and unlikely to be the banned User:Fredrick day. (User:Allemandtando was a proven sock of Fredrick day.) (But it could be Fredrick day using a proxy of some kind.). This IP just restored material I had removed from Cooper Brown, so I thank him for the ping, I checked contributions and saw that, I'd missed it. I reverted, because the material was unsourced. Prior Fredrick day behavior would normally be to remove weakly sourced material, but with this particular article, he'd done the opposite: insisted on weak source, possibly due to some personal agenda.
As to the references, yes, interesting. The first is a reference to EEMIV talk, and contains a reference supplied by Allemandtando to a comment of mine on my Talk about those who had egged on Allemandtando. It was moot because it was not at all necessary to go to ArbComm; eventually Allemandtando made such a fuss that I finally filed an SSP report and he was history. I was pointing out that those who encourage and support behavior could, under some conditions, be held responsible for it, see WP:MEAT. No specific charges were made, to my recollection. Protonk eventually washed his hands of Allemandtando.
The second reference is a post by User:Sticky Parkin who had also supported Allemandtando, and who later, as well, abandoned that support when the deception was revealed. Allemandtando had registered as User:Killerofcruft and had raised quite a fuss, reported to AN/I twice in as many days shortly after registration. He retired, claiming harassment. Then he decided not to be bullied, he'd have put it, he'd done nothing wrong. That wasn't true, really, even before it was revealed that he was a block evader. He had, for example, edit warred with an administrator over the speedy close of an AfD he had filed, bringing an AN/I report and a huge fuss, in which the edit warring got overlooked partly because of distracting comments on the notability of the article involved. Had he taken Sticky's advice, he'd still be editing. But he didn't. His obsession with me led him to bait and taunt me, simply because, knowing the danger from his activities, I simply watched them from time to time. So he demanded I "put up or shut up," essentially. And so I studied the history, decided the evidence was strong that he was Fredrick day (I'd previously mentioned the possibility on AN/I but hadn't seen the strongest indicator), and filed SSP. As soon as it was apparent he'd be checkusered, he bailed, which is typical Fredrick day behavior in itself. Checkuser is normally harmless, I've been SSP'd and checkusered, so, note to legitimate editors: if someone files a sock report on you, remain civil, it's like the police asking for an ID because some suspicion is raised, doesn't matter by whom. There a very, very rare cases where a editor has been falsely found to be a sock, and it would merely be an inconvenience until the matter is sorted out.
Yes, all "for the well-being of Wikipedia." Not for anything else. Civility is essential, and editors who try to improve the encyclopedia by being uncivil to those they identify as its enemies actually do more harm than the true enemies among them could ever do. Problems that could be solved in a few exchanges of civil messages turn into edit wars and flame wars and AN/I reports and sometimes RfCs and ArbComm cases, wasting many, many hours of editor time. It can take some extra time to deal with a content dispute civilly, instead of just reverting rudely. But it saves time, a great deal of time, in the long run. And, also in the long run, it's far more satisfying.--Abd (talk) 13:24, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

User_talk:EEMIV/Archive8#Bwahahah [same as above.] User_talk:Abd, comment by Protonk

Through indirect correspondence, implore correspondence to help convince socketeer to drop abusive streak so that socketeer may eventually be allowed to edit and contribute to Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:26, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

I've tried, and I'm continuing to try. For the most recent effort, see [15]. User:Fredrick day is a banned account, quite apparently created as a bad hand account for the purpose of a "hobby" of vandalizing and harassing editors whose agenda, as seen by the master, is harmful to the project. Fredrick day, as such, didn't start out as a vandal, simply as an aggressive and bluntly uncivil deletionist. Vandalism was reserved (and has continued to be reserved) for IP edits. However, just as the IPs are expendable, so too are the bad hand accounts the master creates. Fredrick day was expendable, as was Allemandtando and others. I think the master was a bit surprised that Fredrick day lasted as long as he did. There may be other such bad hand accounts. But the master is quite likely to be an administrator, using completely independent IP access (though it would probably be co-located). Definitely, I'd say, if my research is confirmed. This is not simply a blocked user who could be turned into a userful editor, maybe, by being treated nicely. This is a very active, long-term Wikipedian, every familiar with Wikipedia process, who has a very cynical view of the place, and knows how to manipulate opinion, see this lastest set of posts at WP:ABUSE that my comment above was appended to, playing a political game.--Abd (talk) 17:44, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Stop stalking and harrassing me

I did not breach WP:3RR. I could only edit section by section to see the changes rather then reverting the lot and with the other editor it did violate WP:BIO which another editor also supported me removing the unsourced rubbish (If it was try it would have been on his site or in the media by now). It's clear you have been looking at my edit history which is stalking and harassment. I call on you to stop watching my edits. Bidgee (talk) 15:13, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I count five reverts, each time after the other editor had reinserted the material.[16] [17] [18] [19] [20]
I'm not filing a 3RR report and I am not seeking to have you blocked, though someone else might. I've notified Mbisanz of the situation, since you seem to have a relationship with him and you might listen to him. Your aggressive behavior is damaging the project, causing disruption. As to looking at edit history, that history is available to us for a reason, and this shows it. I do not "watch" your edits. When it's relevant, which it became earlier today or yesterday, I check them. I don't know who you are, and as far as I know, we have no history, contrary to your claim. Be careful. A claim that examination of edit history is "harassment" is often a precursor to a block, I've seen it quite a few times. Because you have reverted my warning of you with regard to the edit warring with a claim of harassment, I won't be posting to your Talk page, absent true necessity. So far, you remain welcome to post here. As to Nathan Rees, you were correct, as to the content, but not as to the manner in which you handled it. Disputes should be resolved with minimal disruption; bandying about "vandalism," and taking disputes to noticeboards is not normally how disputes are resolved. See 104.1 Territory FM history. Disputes are resolved by finding consensus, and when this is done, there will be far less IP "vandalism" or "POV-pushing." I will also be doing what I can to resolve the Nathan Rees issue, I don't think it is difficult at all, and I expect that there will be no more edit warring from that user. --Abd (talk) 15:42, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
A useful essay: WP:WOLF. Jehochman Talk 15:47, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
That essay is nothing and is unusable. Abd needs to look at WP:STALK since you're following me around. Bidgee (talk) 16:33, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Jehochman. Bidgee has apparently retired due to the alleged harassment. I had commented on Mbisanz talk], about Bidgee, hoping Mbisanz would be able to talk some sense into him, what I saw was simply that Bidgee needed to work more on finding consensus, which isn't about being "right," but about negotiation and finding ways to satisfy both guidelines and policy and editorial factions and even COI and SPA editors, when it's possible. And it simply is not possible when "vandalism" is used as a term for an apparently good-faith edit from a newbie, even when the edit is improper. In any case, Bidgee abruptly "retired," continuing to claim harassment. And I'm starting to see connections in behavior with User:Blechnic who disappeared when I started questioning what he had done (not directly, but as part of the Wilhelmina Will case that led to your warning of me and the subsequent block). Just enough for some nagging suspicions, which, of course, I'm not going to mention outside my Talk unless it's got a much better basis.
Since you seem to be, perhaps, sensitive to my "harassment," perhaps you'd care to comment? I was mild, mild, here, compared to the very strong criticism I wrote regarding Fritzpoll -- which I still do not agree was harassment, at all, merely normal, if strong, criticism of an administrative action, which is necessarily allowed. --Abd (talk) 17:01, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
and you're trying to say I'm User:Blechnic? FYI I'm not Blechnic nor do I have any sock or meat puppets! Bidgee (talk) 17:13, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
In a word, No. Stop speculating, imagining something awful, then getting pissed off about it. That what you apparently did from the beginning of this affair, I had no idea you were connected with Carol Spears/Blechnic and, in fact, I wasn't involved at that time, AFAIK. I will say this much, though. Those who angrily proclaim that they have no sock or meat puppets have often turned out to be lying. See my Talk history for some examples. Normal users who have no sock or meat puppets will usually laugh at such silly accusations. Which I didn't make. "Connections in behavior" could possibly justify suspicion but, so far, as I implied above, I haven't seen enough to come to that point. Encourage me to look harder! Go ahead, make my day! (Sorry, I really do not seek to see any editor blocked, it's just ironic, though, that a number of socks have pushed and pushed until I did finally act. And I only do the sock work where I'm simply the person with the most knowledge about the situation, which creates an obligation for me.)
No I just asked a question after seeing this (BTW not all editors like being called sock puppets or people trying to point a connection) "And I'm starting to see connections in behavior with User:Blechnic who disappeared when I started questioning what he had done (not directly, but as part of the Wilhelmina Will case that led to your warning of me and the subsequent block)." does sound that you're trying to connect me to Blechnic who I (and a few others including Admin's) infact had a disagreement with earlier in the year but never got on until the Carol thing. If you think I have sock puppets then you have some issues yourself as I only have on account. Bidgee (talk) 17:30, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
So, you had a disagreement with Blechnic? You and some others, for sure, including myself. So why did you bring up the Carol Spears/Blechnic affair? Before any serious informal discussion with me, you
  • rejected my initial comments as "rubbish,"[21],
  • without providing any evidence, started a poll,[22] as if it were a Yes/No matter, which could be a way to avoid finding consensus, we are looking for Yes/Yes or No/No, depending on how the question is formulated, and the formulation of the question requires discussion before it is put.)
  • You then went back and added to your "rubbish" rejection, adding only that "it" was from reliable source, which was true, but which does not address notability. Not all facts from reliable sources are notable.
  • And you added the "just to make a point" comment with this.[23]
  • I went to your talk page with a frank but civil exploration of the issue,[24]
  • and you removed it without comment.[25]
  • I only went to User:Mbisanz because of your refusal to discuss, and that is exactly what the dispute resolution process suggests; what I saw in this situation and in some others, possibly, was that you were quick to go to more advanced stages, skipping the critical first ones, not to mention readily going to WP:AN/I, which is for emergency intervention, and is not a part of the dispute resolution process.
  • Then, of course, you retired with a splash of accusations of harassment. Now, if I'd actually been harassing you, the place to go would indeed have been AN/I. However, I don't think you'd have enjoyed the result of that. It wasn't true. I did not begin to approach harassment. I simply disagreed with you on an edit, and attempted to discuss it. I stand with what I originally wrote, the regulatory report wasn't notable, but I'm not willing to edit war to keep a non-notable fact out of an article, as long as the fact is placed in context and not misrepresented, so I acted to make the mention harmless. Otherwise, as was probably intended by those who filed the complaints in the first place, the affair could make the station look bad. While the report found "serious" violations, any regulatory report based on complaints from those with the resources to scrutinize a station's behavior in detail would be reasonably likely to find such; that the agency responded with what would be routine, "Don't do it again," and with a comment of "confidence" that the problems wouldn't continue, and with license renewal for five years, means that the report, overall, was favorable to the station, and so harmless at worst, if the facts were completely presented, not just the most sensational "charges."
As to the other matter, with Nathan Rees, I was happy to see your helpful comment on the user's Talk page.[26] Indeed, if that offer of help is sincere, which I assume it was, there should be no further problems, and we may be able to find usable source with his help. This is all I was asking for: that you remember that this is a cooperative project, we should welcome new users and help them to become useful. If you continue with this, I expect no problems will arise between us, and we may be able to work together on occasion for the benefit of the project.
But one more thing. You have the right, as you know, to remove any comments from your Talk page. But doing so, when the comment is within reasonable bounds, and without reply or comment, is widely considered rude and is effectively an invitation to go to more involved stages in dispute resolution, involving other editors or the community. Even writing, "Thanks for your comments, I'll carefully consider them," which would promise nothing substantial, could avoid problems. Even better, though, actually consider them and respond with civil discussion. It can save a lot of hassle later. Piss enough people off, and they will, indeed, harass you. Good luck.--Abd (talk) 13:56, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict with above -- and then I responded to the first "I'm not a sock" comment of Bidgee) Meanwhile, another editor has commiserated with Bidgee,[27] urging him not to retire because of the "bullying," he'd made some unhelpful comments before; so I thought of dropping him a note about how his comment may have been misinterpreted, leading to Bidgee's retirement, but it seemed I remembered something. Sure enough, I'd warned this editor, also mildly and informally, on his Talk, and he removed it uncivilly, similarly to Bidgee.[28]. While Minky isn't correct about the bullying -- what action was I trying to force Bidgee to take? what was the threat? --, he was correct about one thing. If what I wrote wasn't apropos, why not ignore it? But there were no true "screeds" here. Just clear intervention to resolve disputes with what has been, for me, relative brevity. Looks like 104.1 Territory FM is reasonably settled for the moment, likewise Nathan Rees, I expect. In both cases, I actually supported, approximately, the editorial position of Bidgee -- so what was the issue he got so upset about? Whatever it was, he wasn't willing, apparently, to endure a neutral or independent examination of it, informally, which is where I tried to take it when he bailed. He seems to have taken the whole thing as an effort to discredit him, which, if it did discredit him, would only be because of the wild way he responded. I wasn't seeking his retirement, and he can take it back if he wishes, I won't hold him to it and neither will anyone else! But Wikipedia is a collaborative project, and it is essential that we monitor each other's behavior, and give and accept criticism regarding it, or else it falls apart. Geez, see User talk:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block and look at the warning from Jehochman. And still we manage to communicate civilly. Give it a try! Maybe you would enjoy that beer VirtualSteve offered, or the coffee. And I suggest a healthy dose of WP:DGAF. This is a community, Bidgee. If we don't get along, the project collapses.--Abd (talk) 17:43, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Nathan Rees

Thank you for your assistance. As we are an Incorporated Club, our records and club information are available to the public. Club members are listed in our Annual Reports which are sent to the Department of Fair Trading each year. Should I cite Giirraween Athletics Club 2001/2002 Annual Report as my source of information?

Regarding the warning .... please accept my ignorance as the reason I actually received the warning. I added the pertinent information to Nathan Rees Biography (Early Life) but could not understand that even though I was saving the inclusions, they kept "disappearing" when I refreshed my screen. Being persistent, I kept trying, not realising that Bidgee was "undoing" my edits and sending warnings. Thanks again. --Wilbur56 (talk) 23:01, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

You're welcome. I'll answer you on your Talk page, where this conversation should take place. I'll be watching your Talk, so I'll see your replies, and I'll copy the comment above there for convenience. But, here, for others, I'll note that the above user was warned by Bidgee for "vandalism," and could easily have been blocked; if we assume that Wilbur56 is genuine, and we should assume so, then we would have created one more unpleasant experience for someone simply trying to help. Sure, something had to be done, and perhaps a short block would have been necessary to get Wilbur's attention, but probably not. One trick would have been to hide a comment in the wikitext for the article, he'd have seen it next time he tried to edit. But this would only have been necessary if a Talk page request hadn't born fruit. Some people have, effectively, tunnel vision, and could easily overlook a Messages notice for a time; this tends to increase with age. --Abd (talk) 00:23, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Nathan Rees - Continuing Saga

Hi, Yes, this could appear as a conflict of interest but it does not take away from the truth of the matter ... it is fact. I can provide documented evidence from a scanned page of the annual report ... but I gather that a JP would have to verify the authenticity of the copy. I am attending a function with Premier Rees in a couple of weeks. Would a letter from Premier Rees, suffice as evidence enough? All I am trying to do is provide a broader picture of the early life of Premier Rees. The information is factual. I find it interesting and it shows readers that he had a broader interest and talent in sport (other than membership with the Parramatta Cycling Club as stated earlier in the early life of Nathan Rees). My first experience with editing on Wikipedia was far more pleasant. I added the following sentence after a visit to our school (I am a teacher) by Melinda Gainsford-Taylor: "Melinda now works with Athletics NSW visiting schools." on the following URL Yet even though I did not cite the information, there has been no fuss. I cannot understand why this has been such a drama. Regards --Wilbur56 (talk) 08:11, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia functions by "rough consensus." There are editors who would include just about everything and the kitchen sink, and others who will demand the highest standards. Plus there can be some who, for whatever reason, become attached to some version of the article. It can get to be quite a mess. The best thing would be if you could find some *independent* report of these facts. It's easiest if it's on-line so that it can be verified by anyone, but that isn't required. Some libraries maintain archives of newspapers, for example. Some have on-line for-payment archives. These aren't preferred, but are usable.
That first insertion violated, as well, WP:V; no source is given. If it is still there, it could disappear at any time. Usually, editors will, before removing it, put a citation-needed tag on it, that is considered courteous, but we have aggressive clean-up where it's simply removed. The more notable the person, if it's a bio, the stricter the standards, in practice. In the early days of Wikipedia, there was talk of sending scans of difficult-to-obtain documents. Your claims about the annual report could be checked, and that may be, in the end, the way we have to go if the material is to be included. It's not impossible that a letter from Rees would help, but ... how? Your annual report, which is, I presume, a legal document, in the absence of contradiction, is just as good. I don't have much experience with the edges of what can be used in biographies, I'll look around for some guidance. Whatever, be patient! Do not insert the material yourself. You have attracted a dedicated opponent, it seems, and, as to the guidelines at this point and what we have, he's technically correct. My problem with him is how he treated you, not with the content issue. We should be encouraging and trying to help new editors, not calling their sincere contributions "vandalism." --Abd (talk) 12:41, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Get your facts right. I didn't treat the edits as "vandalism" until the 4th and 5th edits. I was willing to help the editor (Who should have seen a Yellow bar for a new message) which I did with a custom message then the rest was template messages. I suggest that you look at how you're treating me before you question how I treat other editors here. Bidgee (talk) 13:30, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Repeated insertion does not make a good faith edit into vandalism. You are an experienced editor, Bidgee, how I treat you is somewhat different from how I treat new editors who might be suffering from your rough handling. I'll intervene to protect them and the project from damage. I see that you have previously retired in a huff over what was minor compared to what most serious editors face. Heat. Kitchen. The series of edits were rapid-fire, it all happened in a few minutes, read the editor's account of his experience; I know what it's like, if one is focused on getting that damn edit to stick, thinking that one must be making some mistake, one can fail to notice such things. (I don't get a yellow bar, that depends on skin, I think.) You are doing good and important work, and the only problem is that you aren't taking sufficient care not to run over newcomers and others; it seems you are extremely concerned about slights or offenses to yourself, but care little or nothing about others. That needs to change, it needs to reverse. Harassment? I don't harass editors, Bidgee, it never gets to that point. I'd either drop it or you'd be under sanctions. Look around if you like, see how rare it's been that I went to a noticeboard. Indeed, look how rare it's been that I drop a formal warning.
On the other hand, I will note this: you did attempt to engage with this editor. However, you did not persist in this, you have started calling the information "misinformation," without any apparent basis, and you have created much distraction by focusing on how you were being "harassed," when what I've done falls far, far short of that. How about trying to help? --Abd (talk) 13:51, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Bidgee, I was very glad to see that the mention by the user above of an edit to Melinda_Gainsford, likewise based on personal knowledge and not sourced, resulted in improvement by you. A vindictive editor would likely have removed it, it would have been very easy. But you took the high road, found the source, corrected the text to make it more accurate. Even though this was simply good editorial behavior, it ought to be normal, in context you should be congratulated, and I'm mentioning it not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of User:Wilbur56 so that he is more likely to recognize your efforts as sincere.--Abd (talk) 14:06, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Friendly advice

(crossposted) Per the reasons for your last block, be careful tossing around implicit accusations (yes, they're indirect, but they're there) of sockpuppetry against Minkythecat. The best tool for that is WP:SSP and/or checkuser if you have enough evidence. As to following you around, Minky has only edited three of the articles that you have. And when in a dispute with someone, it is not uncommon to look at their history. My friendly advice, anyway Fritzpoll (talk) 11:52, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, of course. There is a suspicion. As to "tossing it around," notice that the suspicion was raised, not by me, but by him. If you look at his contributions, you'll see that he raised it several times, each time more explicitly. So I finally commented on it, noting that it had not arisen to the level where I'd make it as an accusation. Had he not mentioned it, provocatively, I'd not have said anything. I only mentioned it on your Talk page, in place where he brought it up. It really looks like he's soliciting the charge, perhaps knowing that checkuser would come up negative. Fredrick day is quite capable of arranging that, even if Minky is Fredrick day. Of course, now that you have brought this here to my Talk, it's mentioned here, too....

As to my last block, I'm going through that, piecemeal, starting with the warning from Jehochman, see User talk:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block. The sock puppet thing -- which came later -- was, again, a big red herring then as well, deliberately fostered by Fredrick day. I don't believe I did anything improper in commenting on what was obvious, then or now. Impolitic, perhaps, so thanks for the warning.

As to dispute, there was no active dispute with Minky when he suddenly appeared in my tracks. --Abd (talk) 12:26, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Oh, believe me, I'm not saying that there isn't fault on both sides here. But don't allow yourself to be baited into making accusations that others might misinterpret given your recent history. I'm also well aware of your...RfC. The problem comes when you start to accuse users otherwise in good standing of being sockpuppets, especially when you are in dispute with them - it sort of muddies the waters. Best just to accumulate evidence and submit to the appropriate channels. But that's just my 2 cents. :) My "counsel" to you both appears on my talk page Fritzpoll (talk) 12:31, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time. I'll look there. --Abd (talk) 13:42, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
No, my response does not concentrate on the socking accusation. In fact, I never mentioned it in my response at all and never mentioned it until you brought it up on my page. Fritzpoll (talk) 14:29, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
You are right. Must be the morning fog here. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 14:32, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Lol, that's ok - I'm descending into mid-afternoon fog here myself in a darkened lab! Fritzpoll (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up, Abd.

However, whatever the dispute is (???) my initial inklin is simply that it's too complex for me to skim to figue out and I simply haven't been intrigued enough by my initial toe-dip into it to want to wade in and study it, unfortunately.

(Hey, by the way, Abd, on an unrelated matter, there's a volutary arbitration mechanism that uses regular contributors and not administrators. Have you checked into that? Maybe you could volunteer there!(?))
Peace out.   Justmeherenow (  ) 20:10, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

You probably looked at the top level, which can look complex indeed. Really, what's needed is just to look at the questions at User:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block. That page is brief, it's really just the questions asked at this point, plus some background (which could be skipped). Comment would be made on the Talk page, User talk:Abd/RfC/8.11.08 block where the questions are repeated and I've made my own comments, you'd add yours. The only heavy reading is the single long edit to my Talk page that was the basis for Jehochman's warning, which is cited in it. If you've already read the warning and the questions, you'd know what to look for.

The "dispute" is whether or not the following warning was accurate as to allegations made in it. It's not much of a dispute, because Jehochman has refused to review it; the only comment that has been made was an off-hand one by Carcharoth that he recalled the warning being overblown; Carcharoth may comment here, but he's complained about not having the time.

Warning before block
I have asked another administrator to review your editing. The above screed [29] is a personal attack on User:Fritzpoll and includes major assumptions of bad faith. Such things are not allowed on Wikipedia, and I strongly suggest you remove them. If you continue your campaign to drive off User:Fritzpoll I will support an indefinite block on your account by a suitably uninvolved administrator. Due to past interactions with you, I will not place such a block myself. Your past editing history shows that your account is mainly used for disruption and drama mongering. As such, your account could be blocked indefinitely, per policy. Jehochman Talk 14:45, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Nobody has actually confirmed this warning directly. Users popped in to say, effectively, "Yeah!" but its not known if they actually read the text on which the warning was based. No discussion showed that anyone actually had. So .... it should be pretty simple. Personal attack? Harassment? Assumptions of bad faith? As to disruption and drama mongering, that's pretty difficult to address, but one could determine if this specific edit, if typical and repeated (i.e., screeds on my own Talk page like this), would it have been an example of drama and disruption? Or did the rest of my edits around this issue and administrator show such? But that's more complicated, for sure. Got to start somewhere. --Abd (talk) 20:29, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I carefully read the text which was part of the basis of the warning before commenting on the RfC. Note, Abd: the warning was not based solely on that text, but also on your edits in general. Coppertwig (talk) 00:36, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
That's correct, Coppertwig. The basis was a general dislike of my interference with Jehochman's administrative style. At least that's one possible interpretation, there are quite a few others. Here is the point. It's one thing to warn me for generally not making enough mainspace edits. Is that contrary to policy, though? Can you be blocked for not making enough mainspace edits? I know of several accounts which, for a long time, only did AfDs. One of them only did AfDs on a particular kind of topic, and from the pattern it is easy to deduce his political position. An account which exists only to remove information from the project, with a political agenda behind it. I pointed it out. Nobody says a word. Nobody warns this account that they don't have enough mainspace edits. I've seen raging incivility, massive assumptions of bad faith. But if those being uncivil and accusing others of bad faith are administrators, what happens? Sometimes, something. More often, nothing. (Usually, when there is action taken, it's because the target was also an administrator.)
User:Obuibo Mbstpo was indef blocked, on the face of it, for creating a hoax article and lying about it. Because he'd been active with parliamentary procedure articles, working on them with Newyorkbrad, the arbitrator, there was quite a bit of desire to get him back editing, and some negotiation went on. They would let him back if he would only edit mainspace and not WP space. Wait a minute! The block was for editing mainspace, so the ban is on WP space? Why? Well, it's obvious, really. He had been making suggestions about process, he had come across my ideas about delegable proxy and proposed WP:Delegable proxy, and he was a radical inclusionist, arguing for Pure wiki deletion, etc. Note: he had tons of mainspace contributions. No, the real offense was in proposing changes that might threaten the power structure. Rule 0 violation. He violated some guidelines, yes, but the consequences, for him, were far stronger than for the ordinary editor. He'd been in good standing since 2005. (under other account names, but those were known; there was no abusive socking until he was blocked, and only block evasion socking, no vandalism or the other truly harmful kinds.) No previous blocks since 2005. Then, he starts working on structure, and makes some mistakes. Indef blocked. Three times, indef. Never any short blocks.
So, continuing, it's one thing to warn me for not making enough mainspace edits, but another to warn me for specific offenses that are contrary to policy and guidelines. I don't think that it has come to the point where I can be blocked for not editing enough. But I can be -- and was -- blocked for allegedly violating policy. Did I violate policy? How?
WP:DISRUPT and WP:TROLL will be trotted out, when the specific offenses are shown to be non-existent.
"You did A, and B, and C, and you are disruptive."
"I didn't do A, B, or C."
"Wikilawyering! -- It's really that you are disruptive."
"What did I do that was disruptive?"
"I'm tired of explaining stuff to drama queens, see the above."
I've got other stuff to do. --Abd (talk) 01:59, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I echo the above Jehochman firm warning...

I hope you improve your mainspace edits' percentage and stop disrupting Wikipedia. I hope you get the message very clear. fayssal / Wiki me up® 02:14, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry... Apart from the history of your edits (Jehochman and many others are getting tired to explain to you the problems with your contributions for the project), this is why I am warning you. fayssal / Wiki me up® 02:17, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

FayssalF, I was warned for personal attack, assumption of bad faith, and harassment based on a single edit. I've asked, here in my user space, for comment on whether or not that edit showed those characteristics. So far, nobody, administrator or otherwise, has confirmed the claim, and at least one administrator has termed it (politely?) overblown. Your comment above does not indicate if you examined the issue. However, I'd be astonished if you did, for you have confirmed a blatantly improper warning.
If people are "tired" of explaining to me, they are welcome to stop. Explanation is not generally a burden on any individual; however, when an administrator acts, they may incur an obligation to explain, to a degree. In the edit on which the warning above was based, which was in my Talk space, not that of the administrator, the admin was free to disregard it and had no obligation to even read it. It was, in a sense, a warning, but not a binding one, because there would be no proof that it was read. It was a "friendly" warning, albeit strong.
You are warning me because I commented that I'd prefer openness? The comment was civil, and certainly not widely separated from consensus, and there was no tendentious argument. There was no personal criticism of you; your decision to keep private the matter in question is within your purview; I was merely pointing out how generally the natural consequence for abusive socking should be exposure. That doesn't negate the existence of exceptions, and that is precisely why we have an institution such as ArbComm, and checkusers. In addition, I had assumed from what I'd read that there was abusive socking (which would include disruption), not merely harmless socking. If there was only harmless socking, why was this even made public, inviting comment? But a review of the situation may explain that.
I'd argue, in fact, that AN should not be open to edits by non-admins, that there be a "submissions page" where non-admins would make reports, discussion among admins would take place on AN. AN/I would be similar, but for emergencies.
As to bad hand accounts, there is a very clear one: User:Fredrick day and continued puppets and IP vandalism and harassment. The question is who the puppet master is. I'm working on it. Obviously, I'm not going to reveal who it is -- not even to ArbComm -- until I have the evidence nailed down sufficiently to avoid, or be able to recover from, a likely block for disruption. And I'm not going to reveal it publicly, precisely because it could be disruptive, unless it becomes clear that the welfare of the project requires that. The information would go to ArbComm or a checkuser, first. (But this master is using independent ISP access, checkuser is probably going to come up empty.) It's quite easy to see the bad hand account. Started up, immediately dove into contentious Wikipedia process, showing knowledge. What's not so easy is to find the good hand account. The incivility will be recognizable, to a degree, but, practically by definition, it will be normally suppressed. The bad hand account exists to discharge it. What was remarkable about Fredrick day was that it took so long to recognize the account as disruptive; that was partly because he reserved true vandalism for IP edits. And that took way too long to discover, it took serious detective work by a target of the vandalism (User:Kmweber) to uncover it.
I have not disrupted Wikipedia. If you think so, you are welcome to file an RfC on that point. I've been trying to resolve, with extreme caution, the issue of the warning above, and then the subsequent block, without going to that extent. I am quite concerned, however, that an arbitrator, of whom the highest standard of conduct is expected, would warn based on a comment like mine. --Abd (talk) 12:29, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Abd, it is not about openness and it is surely not about me. It is about the privacy of other people. You got all details by e-mail. Openness is one thing and privacy is another.
Obviously, I'm not going to reveal who it is -- not even to ArbComm -- until I have the evidence nailed down sufficiently to avoid, or be able to recover from, a likely block for disruption. And this is the things I am talking about as well... If you leave this to CheckUsers or ArbCom and dedicate your time to editing then there'd be no more time wasted on noticeboards, user talk pages and drama. You got RfCU and ArbCom enwiki-l. Now, this is taking you weeks and you are still jumping from board to another and from a user talk page to another. A would-be useful time being wasted while intensifying the drama. We got specific bodies which deal with this stuff. And even if I am an admin or arb, I still make sure to edit mainspace and discuss references and reliable sources. We should encourage our users to dedicate more of their time to fix, expand or create articles. What if all users dedicate their time to the stuff you are doing? There'd be no encyclopedia at all. fayssal / Wiki me up® 21:38, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Checkuser will not find the puppet master for Fredrick day. He uses multiple independent IP, he's totally defiant about it. He can't be blocked. I am not disrupting the noticeboards. Frankly, FayssalF, you don't know what you are talking about. I'm responding to you here, because you have invited it by your comments. I did not object to your protection of privacy, per se. And I've now said this three times. Human communities specialize. The idea that all editors would do what I do is preposterous. I do what I do precisely so that other editors can work on articles; as an example, Wilhelmina Will. Take a look at Special:Contributions/Wilhelmina Will. She was practically hounded off the project. If I had not intervened, she'd be gone, almost certainly, nobody else was looking at the situation. Certainly not ArbComm, which is generally a reactive body, not an investigative one. Look at it this way: all her edits since I intervened could be, in a sense, attributed to my work.
I have not read my email yet, I will when I set this down; and I was merely making a general comment, not, in any way, insisting that some particular action be taken in the case being discussed, nor was I claiming that you had erred. I'll repeat the general comment: the placing of an example before the community of a user who abusively socked, while protecting the anonymity of that user and allowing the user to continue, based simply on "confession," is likely to encourage those who maintain bad hand accounts -- and I know that at least one such exists and the claim is that he's active and respected -- to continue, since, if they are discovered, which they will think unlikely if they take the precautions that they know how to take, they will be able to confess and be forgiven, and not even have to face the shame of it.
The harm of this: bad hand accounts may seriously contribute to the extensive incivility that afflicts the project at certain levels. User:Fredrick day and especially his sock, User:Allemandtando, nee User:Killerofcruft, are examples. Editors like this drive away many, many editors, and you never even see it or hear about it; these users don't file RfCus and they don't file AN/I reports, they just go away convinced that Wikipedia is an abusive place. If you are not concerned about this, and yet you are concerned about my contributions, you are looking in the wrong place, and, quite possibly, doing more damage than good. --Abd (talk) 21:56, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
It is up to you Abd. You are free to spend weeks looking for a sock. I won't care as it would be your time and you are free. However, you can do it quitely without getting obsessed about it discussing it in different venues...
On the other hand... I hope after reading the e-mail you'd get the whole picture. I agree that you haven't objected to my privacy calls but what strikes me is that you commented without having a clue about the whole background. That, I considered as a waste of your time and an invitation for people to continue harassment off-site... commenting about something after reading just a single thread is not helpful. So that made me think about the way you spend your time on noticeboards. I hope one day soon you'd find what you are looking for as a detective. Anyway... I am sorry if I seemed a bit weird. fayssal / Wiki me up® 22:52, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
No problem. Want to know how I actually spend my time? I have two girls, one seven, from China, one five, from Ethiopia. They are each taken to their schools each day, and picked up, they have violin lessons and I'm the practice teacher. About half the week, I make them dinner and put them to bed, reading them stories, lots of stories. My other five children and five grandchildren live pretty far away, I don't get to see them much. And then I sit down and look at spreadsheets and statistical correlations. At least that's this week. You see, it's quite difficult for a person, one person, to successfully pretend to be two, if both personalities are reasonably active, even if he uses two computers with independent ISPs. If somebody looks in the right way. At least that's what I think. But what I do changes all the time, and has for years. Always something new. "Commenting after reading just a single thread is not helpful." You are right, Fayssal. And that is exactly what happens constantly, at AN/I and elsewhere. Except that it is more than "comment," it is conclusion, recommendation, and demand.--Abd (talk) 01:30, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

AN notification

As it appears no one's notified you yet, you are being discussed at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Abd misuses his user page to canvass his private RfC. GlassCobra 15:53, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps Yellowbeard can be forgiven for not notifying me, since I reverted his edit here demanding that I set a deadline for my RfC. I'd decided that his utterly off wikilawyering here didn't deserve a response, but since the community might indeed have some questions, I've responded on AN. Thanks, GlassCobra, it's appreciated. I can't use my user space to solicit advice? Weird. But it looks like the community has, so far, resoundingly rejected that preposterous concept.

Given the flack I've taken for allegedly not doing enough mainspace work, perhaps someone will look at Special:Contributions/Yellowbeard, and account that does practically no mainspace work at all. A long time ago, I detailed some evidence about the history of this account at Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Nrcprm2026 (4th); checkuser came up negative for the particular puppet master alleged, but the report has the details about why this account was suspicious. It's an SPA, originally dedicated to very selective AfDs, according to a clear political agenda, and, since that stopped working because the community of those interested in that field got wise to him, has become totally focused on what he imagines will harass me. --Abd (talk) 21:07, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Yellowbeard has now been indef blocked, and unblock seems a tad unlikely at the moment. The only surprise about it is how long it took. He, essentially, insisted. It's a bit of a sign that he has another account, but certainly not proof, and, since it's unlikely it is User:Nrcprm2026, who would have been the prime suspect -- the sophistication involved in evading checkuser I consider improbable, though not inconceivable -- that would leave no suspected master. User:Fredrick day has just now started backing Yellowbeard up, but that is merely opportunistic and does not indicate any connection. --Abd (talk) 01:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)


I have replied to your e-mail. Fritzpoll (talk) 01:16, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

policy decision already made

I saw your comments on the MFD of Efrym87. A policy decision has already been made of sorts. It is to keep the page. I brought it up on AN. It was a proposal to delete the user pages of all users who have been inactive for a year. It was closed as a snowball not do delete the page. I also added to the proposal (later removed) that the inactive user could be subject to an optional discussion and, if that discussion was to ban, the user could be banned. However, this just restates current policy. Anyone can be banned after a discussion.

I am not going to bring it up on the MFD but you can. You can say that the policy has been decided on AN. If, at some later time, the community wants to revisit the issue, it could. 903M (talk) 02:48, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I saw that. A few comments on AN don't create a policy decision, it's merely an indication. It would need to be on a policy or guideline page, showing sustained consensus. --Abd (talk) 02:52, 16 September 2008 (UTC)