User talk:Avanu/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8


I appreciate your enthusiasm at ANI with Watchubot's block, but in my opinion, it is sometimes better to take a subtle approach. I did this with my comment above when I said "Normally, when an editor is making constructive edits, we try to not block them unless they edit after they have been informed their username is inappropriate. Ask Orangemike about that." This doesn't mean that we can't block someone with the word "bot" in their name, because technically, it is a borderline call. We should try to not block them, but it is still the admin's call. I felt it was less than optimal, and in my opinion, wasn't necessary, but I didn't make the call, and it was still within policy. Sometimes being subtle is more effective at persuading others, giving them the benefit of considering your points on their own time. We can still voice an opinion, but driving the point too deeply can have the opposite effect and make people defensive and more likely to dig in. I didn't see this earlier, it has been a busy day, but I would have had to have said that the block was allowable but not optimal. And please don't take this as criticism, just as helpful advice. The policies are intentionally vague on many points, as to give admins the freedom to exercise good judgement in any circumstance. When they do things on the stronger side of the policy than some might prefer, we have to engage and take a friendly approach to persuade them to consider other options. Otherwise, people might see us as combative, and that makes them less likely to listen to our future arguments. It is a tightrope, this is for sure. This is why I take a long term approach, as these things simply will not change overnight. Dennis Brown - © (WER) 02:14, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

I completely agree, but I hate to see a person get bitten. Unless they are just very much into it, like that weird girl from Twilight. I have worked on changing policy, and for promotional accounts, I think OrangeMike was finally willing to be less bitey after some discussion and user involvement. Personally, I think it is silly for the Wikimedia software to permit a username if we're just going to block it right away anyway (talk about being bitey). But I don't know how this is going to change unless persistent (and yes, gentle) pressure is put on people to not be bitey and learn to follow the guidelines. I honestly don't know why the Admins don't revolt and ask the programmers to simply fix a lot of the manual process things that bite users anyway... but your points are very well taken, it just doesn't sit very well with me for an otherwise innocent user to have to be smacked for our failings as a community or software. -- Avanu (talk) 02:22, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Brittany Binger

Thank you for reversing that edit about my engagement being nullified. Here is the only link to us separating. If you could pass on to that person who keeps bringing it back on my page, I'd appreciate it. Thank you, BB

Jpjpstar (talk) 03:24, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia requires a better source than a gossip blog. I don't know exactly what to suggest because its a bit of a tough thing, but its all about being able to verify what is here in Wikipedia. While I would love to take you at your word, there's no way to be sure that someone isn't simply playing the system to get something changed, and so we need some outside, verifiable source that has a reputation for reliability and while Terez might be reliable to some extent, that blog probably doesn't have extensive editorial staff and fact checking. I'm not saying mainstream media is a lot better most of the time, but its the rule of Wikipedia. -- Avanu (talk) 03:28, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

So, what your telling me is I have to get it in the mainstream media and make a "story" out of it, which is exactly what I don't want to do, because it's a difficult, personal matter. What can I do? Can someone call my publicist? This needs to stay off my page. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jpjpstar (talkcontribs) 03:35, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

So, what your telling me is I have to get it in the mainstream media and make a "story" out of it, which is exactly what I don't want to do, because it's a difficult, personal matter. What can I do? Can someone call my publicist? This needs to stay off my page. Thanks. Jpjpstar (talk) 03:37, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) Like Avanu said, we have no idea who is asking to make this change. This is not a personal distrust on your part. It is part of Wikipedia's policy of using reliable sources to verify information on the encyclopedia. --Jprg1966 (talk) 03:40, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
@Jpjpstar, let's go to the Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard with this and see if we can figure out an alternative. Please be prepared to think about creative approaches to verifying this. I'll start a new thread there now. -- Avanu (talk) 03:43, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Excellent. Thank you for helping me. Jpjpstar (talk) 03:45, 23 July 2012 (UTC)


I must admit, that did put a smile on my face, thanks, I love that song and the Dobbies in general. I mean well, but I am often misread by people, perhaps my delivery isn't the best, but hey, I was raised in the ghetto. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:30, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

DB's talk page

Why would you remove [1] another editor's non-vandalism addition to a 3rd editor's talk page? JoeSperrazza (talk) 23:16, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Misclick, probably -- he quickly reverted. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 23:21, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, rollback is great, except when you're trying to look at Wikipedia on an iPhone screen. -- Avanu (talk) 23:25, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I've done the same myself. Sorry for the interruption. JoeSperrazza (talk) 23:29, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:BLATHERSKITE listed at Redirects for discussion


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Wikipedia:BLATHERSKITE. Since you had some involvement with the Wikipedia:BLATHERSKITE redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion (if you have not already done so). Dennis Brown - © (WER) 23:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

I've added a response for you. -- Avanu (talk) 00:12, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

WQA existence

There is a discussion the existence of WQA here: Wikipedia_talk:Mediation_Committee#Proposal_by_Xavexgoem. IRWolfie- (talk) 19:54, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Removal of POV tag

it is not a lack of article neutrality, but a lack of a topic within the article

That is a demonstrably false statement as indicated by Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ#Lack_of_neutrality_as_an_excuse_to_delete. Please self-revert. Viriditas (talk) 03:10, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

You are wanting to include a sub-topic about Gun Control in the article about the shooting. A lack of information about gun control responses does not seem to bias the article. There are dozens of potential content forks about a shooting of this magnitude. Unless you can clearly demonstrate how your particular sub-topic is being inaccurately represented *AND* unduly under-represented, the POV tag is the wrong tag for this. -- Avanu (talk) 03:59, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
You made a false statement that you are unable to support. Describing facts about federal and state law has nothing to do with "gun control". It has to do with citing significant sources about the topic of the shooting and the laws in the state where the shooting occurred. The POV dispute tag was added because another editor claimed that adding material about gun laws from reliable sources about the shooting was not neutral. Viriditas (talk) 19:31, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
OK, so if not "gun control", then what? -- Avanu (talk) 19:38, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
You're doing it again. Citing sources that describe federal and state gun laws related to this shooting has nothing to do with a debate or a discussion about gun control. Viriditas (talk) 19:44, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
So, I'll ask what I just asked another way. What *does* it have to do with? I think this is the problem... you just don't explain yourself very well. -- Avanu (talk) 19:47, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but you're just trying to waste my time asking the same question over and over and over again. I think it is clear that the federal and state gun laws are part of the milieu of the shooting, which is why every significant RS has covered them. Viriditas (talk) 19:52, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
OK, so "federal and state gun laws are part of the milieu of the shooting". OK, yes, everyone agrees with that statement. The shooting was in Colorado and that is a state, and it is in the United States. And the guy was using a gun. So, the question goes back to what I said before.... and what others have said. I mean, you can connect a LOT of things into the environment of this shooting, but what we include and how we include it makes a difference. -- Avanu (talk) 20:12, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
There is no good argument against inclusion other than IDONTLIKEIT. Virtually every reliable source discusses the status of federal and state gun laws during the shooting, and by describing those laws, we are not engaging in any form of gun control debate. Viriditas (talk) 20:16, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Talk page

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to request that you don't use my talk page anymore. This comment you added has got to be the worst case of WP:IDHT that I've ever seen, and I would prefer if you would stop wasting my time by asking me questions I've already provided answers to in another discussion. This is the third time you've done this, and I really don't want to deal with it anymore. From now on, keep your repetitive question asking to the article and noticeboard pages. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 19:29, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that you believe you have answered people, but you keep saying the same thing over and over. But whatever dude. Enjoy banging your head against the wall some more... I was just trying to explain why you aren't getting anywhere. -- Avanu (talk) 19:37, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually, there is no problem. You deliberately asked questions I gave you answers to and then asked them again. You're either editing in bad faith and attempting to waste my time and harass me, or you don't understand what you read. Viriditas (talk) 19:44, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I, and others, have tried to get a straight answer from you on what you want to add and why. Your reasoning has mostly consisted of the fact that you have 20 sources that show something or other, and you can even show 50 sources or more, that show something or other. The question is "what the hell do you want to show and why?" Seems like you thought that everyone was super biased and disliked you and rather than taking time to explain, you ran to other forums to get the answer you wanted. -- Avanu (talk) 19:50, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
That's never been reasoning at all, yet you keep saying it was, even though I've corrected you before. I've already answered these questions. I'm afraid you'll have to participate in those other areas and stop wasting my time. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 19:55, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Then just like my question above, rather than simply saying "nope, that isn't it", and giving no hints, why not explain in the affirmative ... what is your reasoning? -- Avanu (talk) 20:09, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I've already explained, several times now. The preponderance of reliable sources covering the topic of federal and state gun laws shows us that it's a significant issue worthy of coverage in an encyclopedia article. There's nothing biased or irrelevant about saying "federal and state laws cover this" and "federal and state laws say this". Viriditas (talk) 20:17, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Worthy of coverage in the 2012 Aurora shooting article? Or just any article? And if in the shooting article, how much coverage? You could just write up what you would like to add and put it into the Talk page and say 'how's this?' -- Avanu (talk) 20:38, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I am trying to create a solution with: Wikipedia:Gun debates in article space but it seems some don't even like the solution.--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:50, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

I do like solutions. This is not a solution for a problem, it is a problem. Arcandam (talk) 04:32, 30 July 2012 (UTC)


Why did you remove it from WP:UAA. Although it appears to have zero edit but this account has created a promotional article Cregza fraternity and has just been deleted--Morning Sunshine (talk) 08:33, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

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A follow up on Bwilkins

As you have expressed concern about his behavior, I think you might want to see User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#A_follow_up_on_Bwilkins. Ian.thomson (talk) 13:39, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

very nice

That was a very good edit on the CfA controversy page. I *hated* that "the flashpoint which was a series of," even as I wrote it, but my brain locked up and I figured someone would come up with something better. I also liked what you did with categorizing Cathy's comments. nice work! :) MsFionnuala (talk) 21:09, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I've only been following the story at a distance and a friend of mine told me that Facebook had been consumed by it. Sounds like a tempest in a teapot to me, even though it has a lot of noise to it. I spoke to a friend who seemed to be very much supportive of Chick-Fila-A and talked about how hypocritical the gay people were being, yet I pointed out to him that if the situation were reversed, you might see the exact same behaviors from each party to this in reverse. In other words, people are human, and they get riled up and behave hypocritally in equal portions, no matter what their personal beliefs are. Anyway, thank you for the thoughtful comment. -- Avanu (talk) 21:16, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

About a grump

I see over on another Talk page, that Cla68 tried to engage our editors/admins in a bit of self-analysis about this whole thing with Andy and the Muffin Man. Unfortunately, Muffin Man decided to go nuts and become a wikivandal. What's interesting to me is that he didn't seem to initially be intent on that course. And I've yet to see that he actually was proven to be a sockpuppet, although he may yet become a puppetmaster.

The question is, as Cla68 tried to ask on Andy's page, could this have worked out differently? As the Oracle from the Matrix asked, "would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?" Or if Andy and others hadn't badgered the guy, would he still have turned out badly? Maybe we'll never know, after all, on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Perhaps, like Andy, who is prone to shoot his mouth off when poked, our Muffin Man was of an ilk that responds less than civilly when poked. Perhaps we can say 'good riddance' to such people. If we are so callous as to toss out people in such a manner, then why would we stop there? I'm sure there's a fault we can find with almost any editor here; scratch just a bit and we'll see the ugly truth.

But that sort of place doesn't sound very nice, and it doesn't sound like the people we have at Wikipedia. So rather than gravedance on the latest lost soul, perhaps it would be better to remind one another that in some parallel universe, AndyTheNice and Iamthemuffinman are the best of colleages and edit the world's largest encyclopedia without incident, all because of the flip of a coin or the fact that they both have goatees in that universe.

Here's to alternate outcomes.

-- Avanu (talk) 08:20, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

In the name of civility

You are editwarring with AndytheGrump on his own talkpage repeatedly reinserting a personal attack after he removes it and tells you not to post there anymore - and you are doing so in the name of civility. You don't see a problem with that?·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 10:18, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I've left him alone. The larger problem here is an editor who completely endorses the idea that he can be as rude as he likes in the name of getting the content 'right'. And the even larger problem is that he's being encouraged to some extent by a subset of editors who agree that rudeness is not that big of a deal. While it is *possible* that Iamthemuffinman is a sockpuppet, heck anything is *posible*, he is completely correct at this point in asserting that Andy is hounding him, and continues to focus on him even during his block. At AN/I, it turned into a bad personal attack on Iamthemuffinman, which led to a utterly failed attempt to resolve this at Wikiquette because Andy simply wouldn't acknowledge that his behavior was unprofessional.
I've seen lots of people assert that User Talk pages aren't "owned" by an editor any more than any other page on Wikipedia, so in a sense, this is just one more forum where Andy is continuing the behavior that got him in trouble in the first place. I would strongly suggest that an administrator remind him that his behavior needs to be focused on improvement of the encyclopedia, not on continuing personal attacks on other editors.
As I said, I've left him alone at this point. As you and I can both see, he isn't in a mood to hear what I'm saying, and so I'm not helping by commenting on his page. But I hope someone can help. It isn't anyone else's fault how he chooses to behave. Unfortunately too many people are blaming everyone else. -- Avanu (talk) 14:50, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
A modicum of social skills might have enabled you to realize that Andy was not interested in hearing your civility sermons already when he explicitly told you so, and not after your second reversion. Any editor has the right to remove any comment from their talkpages (except for block notices) read Wikipedia:User_pages#Removal_of_comments.2C_notices.2C_and_warnings. Regarding your lager argument about "rudeness" you are falling into the all to common trap of thinking that civility is only about profanity and explicit personal attacks. Some people are very good at willingly and knowingly exploiting the weak points of temperamental editors to achieve exactly that effect, and manipulate editors with simplistic beliefs about what good behavior is and isn't. In reality sometimes "rudeness" from one user is a symptom that another user is being a jerk, and profane exclamations are very frequently a symptom not of malice but of have been being hurt by someone else's behavior. Personally I found the "civility crusade" that you have apparently embarked on to be both rude and unhelpful, and I think you should consider whether your time might be better spend writing articles, or helping others do it, which is kind of what we are here for. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:07, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
What "civility crusade?" I think you are confusing minor requests for decorum and professionalism with something else. I agree with you that a big part of civility is knowing when to overlook problems and outbursts. I've given Andy as wide a berth as many others; I've given many editors a pass at times, and encouraged others to do the same, and "drop the stick". Unfortunately, a side effect of all this is that some people don't know where to draw the line, or even think there's not much of a line at all. Your idea of a crusade, where we ask people to begin to treat each other with respect and professionalism is merely the baseline for where we are supposed to already be. Civility is a pillar, after all. Not an afterthought.
But asking people to take a concern to the right forum, asking people to focus on the edits, not the editor, asking people to not make personal attacks.....this is basic stuff, Maunus. Before you start looking at me and saying "that guy is on a crusade", look at where our Wikipedia is, and while generally we're pretty good, we also have pretty sad moments where it becomes a slugfest, and it is then where we most need people with cool heads to prevail. I doubt you are suggesting otherwise, and to the extent I can, I plan to give Andy a wide berth to let him be grumpy, but we never have a 'right to incivility', and without question every editor here deserves our professionalism.-- Avanu (talk) 16:11, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
The idea of a crusade comes from observing your behavior over the past month or so where you consistently seems to have found it to be your responsibility to step into disputes in which you are not involved and admonish the part you find to be uncivil, without indications that you appreciate any of the background. That tends to inflame disputes and makes the editor you admonish more annoyed and not less so. It is not professional to behave like that just annoying. A crusade is when you make other peoples business yours for no reason other than a (perhaps misplaced) sense of moral outrage. That's what you do when you decide that "some people don't know where to draw the line" so you have to draw it for them. I realize you think you're helping to make wikipedia more civil. I'm trying to tell you that you're not.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:34, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll do what I can to take your advice to heart, but let me just say that its not up to me to draw that line. Its up to all of us. Professionalism in the Wikipedia culture is something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. If a dispute is getting out of hand, we need to tell people to back off, shape up, and come back in good form, or don't participate until they can. Andy has said he values good content more than good manners, and while he has every right to say that, it isn't supposed to be what we endorse here. But this isn't my "cause" or crusade, it should be something everyone is helping with. Giving people a pass is civil, but giving people too many passes isn't. -- Avanu (talk) 16:50, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi Avanu, can I start by thanking you for noticing the hounding, and also standing against the level of abuse and incivility Andythegrump creates. I really think it wise you disengage from him though. I have, and this will be the last thing I do in relation to him. I won't post on his page, or about him or anything else that would be seen as causing trouble. I know you are acting in good faith, but it would be easy for anyone else to see otherwise. Just remember what they say about rope and join me in tackling the seemingly impossible list of articles that need copyediting and the new articles being created. Iamthemuffinman (talk) 17:00, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that civility is a pillar of wikipedia and highly important for the encyclopedia, but I do think your approach of late has not helped to emphasize the importance of civility and rather has had the opposite effect. IRWolfie- (talk) 20:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I guess I'll leave my legacy to the history books, but it will definitely take some time and persistence from many voices to change the overall culture here. One thing I won't stand for is someone claiming a "but I'm right!" exemption for chronic incivility. When it has gotten to that point, and when other editors chime in their agreement with that exemption, we've lost our way already. These rules weren't made up because someone needed an excuse to argue. The Internet gives us plenty of things to argue about. These pillar were made because people wanted the grand vision of a vast encyclopedia to flourish. People get competitive, people get pushy, and people lose patience, but that only means that we step back and take a breath and start fresh. For those who say my approach isn't working, I would ask for your help in making sure we all do our best to honor all the pillars of Wikipedia, and on a more personal note, what would you have done in my place? You may not have seen the fullness of what I saw, and may not have the same ideals as me, but in my place, how would you ensure that the good guys stay good and the bad things stay gone? -- Avanu (talk) 23:23, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
You could start by not dividing the world into good guys and bad guys.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:40, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
If you read my post above, you will see that I didn't. -- Avanu (talk) 23:46, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have explained before (see "00:17, 21 July 2012" on this page) that problem editors need a clear statement of procedures—that is not possible when passers-by start commenting on the civility of the good editors who have tried to defend the encyclopedia from the problem editor. If problem editor X has exhausted good editor Y, Y might use inappropriate language. The place to raise that is at Y's talk, and the time is after the underlying issue has been dealt with (raise it at ANI later if there is a persistent problem). Raising extraneous issues such as "it doesn't matter how bad X is, Y should never say X is dumb" while the issue is unresolved is pouring fuel on the fire because X will see any opposition to Y as support for X—the result is that an issue which might have been resolved in a few hours drags out into a week-long storm, and the distractions often mean that nothing happens about X, so they cause more disruption and waste more time until finally an admin-with-a-clue indef blocks X. In my July comment, I suggested that a scorecard be used to record the success rate of Avanu's interventions. My comment did not receive a response so I assume that was not done, but my feeling is that the number of positive outcomes attributed to Avanu is zero, and the number of difficult situations made worse is quite high. Johnuniq (talk) 23:56, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm not one to make a habit out of keeping all of my Barnstars on display (although I have a few on my User page); I've gotten quite a few pats on the back and I think I make quite a positive contribution at Wikipedia. You might not see my contributions in that light, but we often give short shrift when we don't see everything a person does and make up our mind based on only some of what we see. It isn't about keeping a scorecard of people's rights and people's wrongs, John. It is simply about doing our best and trying to do better. So, yes, I could better, and I'll try to, but what else is there to do? -- Avanu (talk) 00:01, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Johnuniq offers good advice by suggesting to respond after issues have been resolved, or in some discrete way. I think your actions with Nenpog for example just encouraged the editor to continue his downward spiral that resulted in him being indefinitely blocked (He made numerous references to your comment of support). IRWolfie- (talk) 00:12, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Yep, Nenpog was not on a good path. His case was an example of someone following our appeals process to the letter and assuming incorrectly that the layers of procedures actually meant he could depend on there being a bureaucracy in place here that lent implied support for his actions. All of us advised him not to follow the path he took. I believe that the community at large actually failed Nenpog, mostly because rather than just patiently leaving the guy alone and letting him file his pointless appeals, too many people chimed in with attacks on the guy. If we'd just let him do his pointless thing on his own, he would have exhausted his 'appeals' and become a more productive editor -- eventually. -- Avanu (talk) 00:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Your reply to my comment does not respond to its point—I am not talking about a scorecard of good things in general, just those in relation to your habit of diverting noticeboard reports away from the underlying issue (what a problem editor is doing), and focusing on the tone of other editors (who are often exhausted after patiently explaining how things are done to the problem editor). I invite anyone to provide a link to a discussion where that kind of intervention resulted in an outcome that was good for the encyclopedia. Johnuniq (talk) 02:00, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
I think it is very common for editors to speak up and ask editors to focus on the topic at hand. You're somehow interpreting this as failing to focus on the topic at hand. Whatever the approach, asking people to stay focused on the issues rather than each other seems like exactly the right thing to do in any situation. -- Avanu (talk) 03:46, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
I see you removed your offer (diff) to find a discussion where an intervention of the nature described above (by anyone) helped achieve a good outcome. I am not surprised that finding such a discussion would be difficult. What I would like would be for future interventions to occur only after examining the underlying issue. Yes, we should all be civil at all times, regardless of the absurdity of the situation, yet pointing that out in the middle of a discussion to resolve an underlying problem is often very unhelpful. If two editors turn up at ANI and one is only a minor problem and the other has over-reacted and used words like "vandal" and more, it is good to point that out at ANI because people need to know that "vandalism" is reserved for a specific kind of problem, and CIVIL is policy. But it is not helpful to do that when the problem editor is causing major disruption, and when frustrated editors are trying to defend the encyclopedia and haven't been been outrageously uncivil. If warranted, alert the uncivil editors later and at their talk. As explained above, civility interventions in such a discussion derail the issue and encourage the problem user to dig deeper. The community needs problems resolved, and ANI is pretty well all there is. Johnuniq (talk) 02:05, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
No, I didn't remove my offer, I misunderstood what you said as being only pointed at me and responded as such, and after re-reading your comment above my last one, I wrote a more appropriate response. Your response above is one of the problems we have a lot of in AN/I. Uncivil responses don't belong at AN/I. Period. To paraphrase you, if I may... "'Civility violations' in such a discussion derail the issue and encourage the problem user to dig deeper." Correcting civility problems *immediately* keeps the discussion on track. But letting it get out of hand, letting the mob mentality take over, letting people grouse on and on about issues that are not part of the issue, that is what derails AN/I discussions (or any discussion for that matter). I *still* haven't seen any evidence brought out that Iammuffinman actually is a sock. He wasn't blocked for it, and I looked for a SPI record and couldn't find one. (If you see one in the archives, let me know) YET, we had a little brouhaha at AN/I where several editors left the point of the debate and focused their ire on him, which completely derailed that debate for a bit and led to Iammuffinman going through all sorts of hoops to get one of those editors to drop that stick, and finally ended up with both him and his 'opponent' blocked.
Without question, there are times that we let minor civility problems just pass by without comment. Overlooking incivility is part of being civil. However, it doesn't sound like that is what you're pushing for. From what I can tell, you're simply saying that we need to almost always overlook any degree of incivility, no matter whether it is minor or major or outrageous. That simply wouldn't be right. And like it or not, its not in line with our Civility pillar. While I don't agree with people 'whining' about mistreatment all the time, we have a duty to make sure our fellow editors at the very least get fairly treated. Being respectful or talking nicely is merely icing on that cake, but fair treatment has to be the watchword. It doesn't take much for an AN/I thread to go off the rails. I'd personally prefer that if an editor brings a concern, the AN/I rules require that concern to be the only focus. The common reply is that anything (including the reporter) is fair game when you come to AN/I, which just sounds like a terrible approach. WP:BOOMERANG is tossed out a lot, and unless someone repeatedly and frivolously brings things to AN/I, it just isn't a very focused way to deal with problems. You want to fix AN/I or other things? Remind people to stay focused on the issue at hand. -- Avanu (talk) 02:39, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

This is absolutely not related to anything you've posted in this thread, Johnuniq, but I think getting people in a thread to stick to the issues at hand is a bit like herding cats. -- Avanu (talk) 04:59, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

I have just spotted this conversation and would like to speak on Avenue's behalf. I am a new editor. As a new editor I found Wikipedia to be extremely hostile. wp:civility, wp:own and wp:don't bite the newbies read like sad jokes. The thing to understand is that new editors almost always want something changed. This is what brings them in 11 years after the project started. In my case I wanted some external links placed on math pages. Never mind that my proposals were rejected without anyone actually listening to my arguments, but they spoke to me in a way that was dam right ugly, and would have the implication that I will probably avoid math pages for some time to come. Trying to fight an up-hill battle without knowing the rules, I quickly ended up on AN/I and met with Andy's manner of conversing. It was really a shock, but the fact that Avenue was there and spoke to calm things down greatly helped balance that. I think my editorial survival owes quite a bit to that intervention. Now you might not think that it is a good thing I am still around, but since dropping the stick on my initial mission I have been keeping busy, as my user page will attest. Thank you, Avenue, for being nice to me, a rarity which should not be so. →Yaniv256 talk contribs 08:01, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Resolution soluton - regarding the Zeitguist movement

H Avanu - A note to let you know as you made an edit - regards - Youreallycan 17:28, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding a content dispute in which you may have been involved. Content disputes can hold up article development, and your participation in this discussion may be critical to finding a resolution. The thread is "The Zeitgeist Movement". Thank you! EarwigBot operator / talk 17:24, 12 August 2012 (UTC)


I certainly want to understand you. To deal with promotional usernames 'appropriately' is exactly the intent of the proposal. What do you think is the appropriate way to deal with them? NTox · talk 22:15, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I think it depends on the editor. OrangeMike is a block first and ask questions later kind of guy. Most admins don't even mess around with the username stuff at all. Obviously some editors are just the PR guy at their company, and they are used to writing the press release and submitting it to the newspaper and moving on. They get here, do essentially the same thing and get blocked for it. Our policies on this don't try and really embrace the good actor/bad actor idea, they generally are about hiding the problem. Our editorial policies are clear though. Back up your editors with reliable secondary sources, approach the subject in a neutral tone and POV, and be nice to other editors. The username should generally be irrelevant as long as they are following the policies. In fact, there is a stronger case to leave the username alone and just educate the editor, because it shows us clearly that the person has a conflict of interest. As we often do it now, we hide the problem, and we don't really educate the user. How is that helpful? -- Avanu (talk) 22:24, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
It's comments like 'the username should generally be irrelevant as long as they are following the policies' and 'there is a stronger case to leave the username alone and just educate the editor' and 'banning promotional usernames seems a bit pointless' [2] that lead me to the conclusion that you want the restriction of promotional usernames taken away. And it's comments like 'the following types of usernames are not permitted because they are considered promotional ... usernames that unambiguously consist of a name of a company, group, institution or product' in the username policy that make me think your edit-only 'good/bad actor' position is against the real-world consensus. Still, you have indicated that I have misunderstood. Can you explain? NTox · talk 22:36, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Do you realize that requests for promotional usernames at WP:ACC are rejected every single day, at the same time that the user files his/her request with the comment, "I can't wait to share my knowledge". Good actors cannot create any name they want, as per existing consensus. What would you do with someone from World Monuments Fund who made 10 nice, neutral tone, secondary-sourced edits, with the name User:Daniel (WMF)? NTox · talk 22:42, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
For some usernames, we just accept that there are overriding concerns. The pattern of "Username (WMF)" is reserved for Wikimedia Foundation people. In a perfect world, our software would simply reject a username like this, and it would have to be created with a special process. For some reason, our programmers have never done this. Who can say why? But the WMF example is an extremely clear-cut case. Possibly a better example might be DanielWorldMonumentsFund, which incidentally is a perfectly acceptable name per policy. So, anyway... back to our regularly scheduled program. -- Avanu (talk) 22:48, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, (WMF) usernames are actually rejected by the title blacklist at meta. In any case, there is indeed an overriding concern, as I continue to say, even when the name is User:DanielWorldMonuments, because current consensus does not allow it. NTox · talk 23:09, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
You are saying that you see that a differentiation is needed between soft and hard blocks, depending on the actions, or potential actions of the editor. I'm saying the exact same thing, except I'm willing to look at it as not simply soft and hard blocks, but softer action and harder action. Under policy, no administrator is required to do anything. (i.e. using the 'mop' is optional.) If we truly believe in not biting the newbies, and in Civility as a pillar here, which is one of our highest policies, then we should be willing to engage a new user first, before we simply do the simple thing and block them. My view is an expansive look at all policies and how they inter-relate. You seem to be looking at a very close view of one policy and saying 'but it says block them'. That's the difference. I don't feel that we need to be asking admins to block people who have the best of intentions. But I have no problem with blocking people with bad intentions, or people who simply won't listen. Does that clear anything up? -- Avanu (talk) 22:48, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it does. I've understood you the whole time. This is what you have missed: the only reason I'm saying 'but it says block them' is because that is the existing consensus. It has absolutely nothing to do with my opinion. I could very well have the same exact viewpoint as you, that the issue should be about harder/softer action, rather than harder/softer blocks, and even though I actually do in part agree with that I have explicitly chosen not to try to push it. I have deliberately chosen to say 'but it says block them' even though I partially disagree with that whole idea, because I don't think people are going to support any efforts to change that underlying idea. I have deliberately chosen to take a 'very close view' because I believe it is the only way to effect a concrete policy change. I'm trying to be incremental. NTox · talk 23:09, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
It might help you to for the sake of things just assume that I completely agree with you. What I am doing is sacrificing my beliefs and pre-emptively staging a compromise that I know will have better support. NTox · talk 23:11, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
When we recently tackled this whole issue, and OrangeMike was primarily on the other end of all that, he seemed genuinely willing to change his approach, if we could simply work out a way for this not to become an enormous bureaucratic headache. I think most people are willing to be nice to these editors, but there is a pragmatic realization that it is easier to "set it and forget it" as Ron Popeil might say, than to sit down and explain the rules and make sure people get it. The current arrangement is not policy-based, per WP:Civility and WP:BITE, but it is something that a lot of admins embrace, I think because it is easy and clear. -- Avanu (talk) 23:16, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
And so is my proposal, which has no bright-lines, is general, principled, and allows a whole lot of discretion from administrators. No two edits this, three edits that, just: hey, if it's primarily an editing problem, hard block, if it's primarily a name problem, soft block. An incremental way to remind us to be welcoming to our newcomers. I would appreciate your support for this compromise, even though it may not be ideal. NTox · talk 23:22, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Assume good faith

I've noticed that in some of your responses are troubling:

  1. [3]. An accusation of name calling when no such thing occurred.
  2. [4] Here you misconstrue why I provided the notification, and imply I am here to debate the editor.
  3. Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive760#Accusations_of_forum_shopping Interpretation of a thread as a personal attack when it is not a personal attack
  4. Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive760#Admin_overreach here you claim "Earlier today we had an Administrator initiate a thread here ridiculing Nenpog's appeal", where is that thread? I couldn't find it.

This isn't an exhaustive list. Mislabeling things as personal attacks or interpreting them as not assuming good faith is inflammatory, see WP:AOBF. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:22, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Since this is text, and harder to interpret, I could be wrong, but I'll explain my reasons for each of these. (I numbered your posts, hope you don't mind.)
1) Newyorkbrad says he is "trolling us". In my book, that is a personal attack. I realize that "trolling" is not identical to "troll", but it is definitely close enough, and also Newyorkbrad responded with "my comment above might sound cryptic and abrupt", which shows that he recognizes that it might seem a bit rude.
2) That wasn't a response to you, it was a response to the whole thread. We see very very often, someone will file an AN/I request, "He stole my dog!", and the first thing that happens is people start saying, "Well you weren't a very good owner; after all how often did you walk your dog?", "You are here complaining about your dog!? What about your cat?!", "Well two years ago you lost your dog, maybe you're just wasting our time now, go look for your dog yourself."
Those are obviously analogies to the point, but it gets WAYYY off track with people blaming the person, laying verbal traps and generally being impolite to a person just for asking for help. Maybe the person was misguided or spiteful when they filed, but our responses to them should be generous and thoughtful, not pointing fingers and pointing at things that have nothing to do with the actual request. AN/I would be tremendously more productive if people stayed focused on the issues raised, stayed professional, and ignored everything else.
4) Ok, finally, Nenpog obviously has poor english skills, and also had trouble recognizing what is and is not forum shopping, why did Sarek need to go to all the trouble of creating and saving a PNG of the list of 4 things AND point it out to AN/I? I see that thread as simply something like gossip, because Sarek didn't bother to explain a rationale for his post, he just dropped a strange image in AN/I with the clear intention of people drawing a negative conclusion.
You'll see above on my Talk page, July 16, Jimbo came to this page and left a compliment for the tone of my comments in trying to keep us from going 'off the rails' in the railway dispute thread. My intention in these is not to have a lack of good faith, but to recognize that our WP:Civility pillar is being ignored -- A LOT. People at AN/I (and honestly all over Wikipedia) routinely restort to tactics and actions that are not civil. Some kinds of incivility are very clear.. someone directly addressing another editor and cursing, that's an easy one. But sometimes it is more subtle, and sometimes it is the group doing it without even intending to. My warnings are not intended to provoke, but to remind people AN/I *should* be about fixing the situation in a positive way. A good many AN/I disputes are clear, solved quickly and no one is beat up. But often on a daily basis, we see a thread start where editors start attacking one another, and that isn't right.
Just a day or two ago now, I asked for a policy-based block rationale on NewtonGeek's block. Someone pointed at me and questioned my percentages of edits in each Wikipedia area. This kind of thing happens a lot. I think AN/I needs some reform, and I think the Admin corps needs reform, most specifically, some kind of dispute resolution training. Dennis Brown has struck me lately as an admin that I can actually trust and respect to consider the entire situation, and he tends to stay very professional in conversations. I strive for that, but I have a streak of idealism in me that will sometimes raise my ire. Generally, I respect courtesy and patience though. And I believe the more we demonstrate it to one another, the more we will see it expressed in return. Hope this answers your questions, IRWolfie. Let me know if you have any concerns about my responses, or anything else you see me doing. Have a great day. -- Avanu (talk) 14:49, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
In the first case, 1. the editor may in fact be trolling, Newyorkbrad clarifies this by saying there is significant background to the issue. 2. your response appears to be directed at me, that is unintentional but your comment appeared at one depth below mine in the same thread. 3 + 4. Sarek didn't make the original thread with the image, another editor did, Selket.
Further: I think people were very generous with Nenpog, but then he moved through almost every noticeboard, policy page, irc (I personally spent about an hour or 2 discussing with him to try and convince him of policy etc) etc with the same arguments, ignoring every response, all the way to arbcom, where he still kept arguing but not listening to advice: there are limits to how far things should be tolerated. It's perfectly civil to call for a block of a troublesome user, particularly when dealing with the very difficult case of civil POV pushers. Civil POV pushers use tendentious editing but are incredibly difficult to spot in a diff since it's a pattern of editing. They effectively eat up time that could be spent improving the encyclopedia. IRWolfie- (talk) 16:29, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that "trolling" can be considered an ad hominem (even though in speech it is rapidly becoming a verb in its own right), while using a phrase like, "I believe Newt may have a hidden motive" would be less ad hominem. Specifically, I just have a problem with people tossing the word "troll", because I believe it is an overused attack in Internet circles.
On #2, I didn't mean for it to appear to be directed at you. I was just posting at the end of a long long series of posts... I suppose I could have started a new section for it. I'll try to be more clear in the future.
It was Sarek actually (I think Selket just added a sig for him) And I agree with you that people were trying very hard with Nenpog. The problem is that these threads don't stick strongly to the topic at hand. AN/I threads could be made a lot shorter if people simply focused on the complaint and addressed it and moved on. Nenpog seems like a very system and process oriented person, and by non-Wikipedia standards, he might have felt he was doing what was allowed. I (and many others) warned him to be cautious about doing this stuff. Anyway, the point is that he should have stopped and we all should have *strictly* stayed on track. -- Avanu (talk) 17:31, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

@Avanu: The problem that I see is that misguided editors greatly inflate the importance of any statement that could be seen as supporting their position (or at least, which appears to oppose their opponents). With someone like the editor in question, the only thing that might stop them digging themselves into an indefinite block is a clear and solid explanation that, regardless of the merits of their argument, their approach is unacceptable at Wikipedia and they must stop now. When nice people chime in with extraneous commentary, the problem editor feels vindicated and keeps digging. Looking at the situation another way, may I suggest you keep a personal scorecard and record the outcome of places where you intervene against consensus—which editors that you support turn out to be useful contributors, and which not? Also, consider the effect on good editors merely trying to get through the day when they are distracted by someone on a Mission who violates every principle of Wikipedia; often the good editor cannot get an admin to issue a simple and final warning: "stop that now or I will block you". Once that important issue is addressed, we can work on the question of whether an undue feeding frenzy occurred among the spectators. Johnuniq (talk) 00:17, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes I agree, Nenpog for example latched on to a comment of Avanu's in support and used it to indicate he has support. IRWolfie- (talk) 11:01, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Avanu, please don't take this the wrong way, because I am sure that you mean well, but every time I see your username in a dispute at WP:DRN (and you post to a fair number of different disputes at WP:DRN) I get a sinking feeling because your comments usually have the net result of encouraging bad behavior by one of the disputants and undermining the efforts of the dispute resolution volunteers to resolve the dispute. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:09, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
And what prompted your observation? -- Avanu (talk) 03:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
This. You were and still are wrong about Wikipedia's policy on reliable sources, (as evidenced by your inability to quote the exact wording in WP:V that supports your "That is only 1/3 of the test" theory) but even if you were right. you still completely undermined my efforts with comments like
"You [Guy Macon] don't have a firm grasp of the WP:RS policy"
"Guy Macon has the idea that something is a reliable source without anyone having any possibility of scrutinizing it."
"Thank goodness that you [Guy Macon] have agreed that this isn't the place for side discussions on a policy that you need to further understand."
In addition to the above, you ignored these quite reasonable requests:
"Perhaps you [Avanu] can pick a more appropriate venue to argue about interpreting Wikipedia policy."
You refused to do that.
"I invite Avanu to discuss this on the reliable sources noticeboard"
You refused to do that, as well, choosing instead to debate RS policy on DRN and thus torpedo any hope I might have had of resolving the DRN case. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:02, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, so that is super old for one thing. And secondly, if you didn't gain a better understanding since that time of what our Reliable Sourcing policy is, I'm sorry. I was and am still correct in the interpretation of WP:RS that I gave at that time. The biggest problem with that debate is that it had nothing at all to do with what you guys kept making it about. It was more about the way the information was presented than anything else. I would sum it up as 'misuse of a reliable source' or 'failing to recognize that a source can be reliable for one thing and not for another'. Your efforts at 'dispute resolution' were focused on a faulty premise, and rather than reconfiguring your debate based on new information, you kept attacking an argument that didn't need to be made at all. If you feel like having the two of us debate this at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard, using the exact same wording and phrasing as before, by all means, we can do that now. But the essence of many debates over reliable sources is that most people don't quite get what our policy says. I've seen it over and over. Sadly, it is one of the most misunderstood policies on Wikipedia, and we end up having to remind people constantly to stick to the policy. But if you feel like this needs a showdown now, I'm game, regardless of my strong belief that it won't change a thing. I might educate you further on what makes something a reliable source, and the three part test is not only in line with the WP:RS policy, it is straight from it. I gave you a very exhaustive example of how the three part test applies even when you someone can't immediately see a distinction between publisher and author, or when the author is unknown, but the publisher is known. In some cases, we won't know who wrote the item, and in other cases, the author self-published the work. Either way, the same guidelines apply as in a 'normal' situation. We need to be able to trust the publisher, the author, and the specific work itself. If any of these three can be called into question, it is unlikely that the work should be considered a "reliable secondary source". -- Avanu (talk) 06:34, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
For the moment I am going to set aside the fact that we disagree on RS policy, or the arrogance of you using phrases like "if you didn't gain a better understanding since that time of what our Reliable Sourcing policy is, I'm sorry" or "I might educate you further", because, as you correctly point out, it won't change a thing, and because there is a more important issue: You disagreed with how a dispute resolution volunteer was doing his job and because of this actively worked to undermine him. That's wrong. That's wrong even if the volunteer really is doing a bad job. I don't think I am doing a bad job, the other dispute resolution volunteers think I am doing a good job, and I have a pretty good rate of resolving disputes with a fair number of satisfied disputants, but if you feel that way you should bring it up in an appropriate place like the DRN talk page. You should not insult me in the middle of an ongoing dispute, you should not ignore my requests to take it elsewhere. I could go on but Johnuniq said it better than I could at the top of this thread. Please listen to what he is telling you with an attitude that perhaps you might be wrong. --Guy Macon (talk) 07:13, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Let me give you another scenario, Guy. You disagreed with how a dispute resolution volunteer was doing his job and because of this actively worked to undermine him. That's what you were doing to me. I was also a dispute resolution volunteer, and I assumed you were a cool-headed and respectful guy. I don't doubt your ability as a volunteer and that you've done a lot to help people. But let me say, I've been pretty unimpressed with how you handled that one (the iron sun quote). You simply took one guy's side in it without trying to bridge the conflict, and then almost immediately after that one, you went on what I can only describe as a vendetta for a guy (Still-24-45-42-125) who claimed some silly stuff about you that no one else took seriously. I've noticed a slight sense of ownership at the DRN, which sort of puzzles me considering how at many other places, people are endlessly lectured for that same attitude. But regardless, I've still got a lot of respect for you and your abilities and dedication as a volunteer there, and honestly, while we can disagree on the tactics in that specific case, I think it worked out well and they've moved on, and I have moved on from it as well. Do you expect the same set of circumstances to arise again? -- Avanu (talk) 14:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I think agreeing to move on is a good idea. You made your point well, and though I don't fully agree, you have some good points. I think we should further agree to try to be collegial and friendly to each other and that neither of us should jump in to an ongoing DRN case and attack someone who is already working on that particular case. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:12, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you on that 100%. And I'll work on *how* I disagree in the future, so we can avoid unnecessary problems. -- Avanu (talk) 16:15, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I can improve the way I disagree as well. I am going to unwatch this page now. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:52, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Funny, but I don't remember any "silly stuff". I do remember saying he did a poor job at DRN because he made no attempt to resolve the underlying dispute. Then, when he reacted badly to this and hounded me, I did say he was hounding me. These are, in fact, two things you've also said, so if they're silly, then we must both be clowns. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 16:24, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Regardless, I think everyone is back on track and doing a lot better. -- Avanu (talk) 16:52, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 17:09, 13 August 2012 (UTC)