User talk:FuelWagon/050714

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The following is a delisted RFC that I filed on 2005, July 14. Myself and one other editor certified it. Three others endorsed it. I eventually withdrew certification to allow the RFC to be deleted. This was the last version of the RFC that I captured before it was deleted.



In order to remain listed at Wikipedia:Requests for comment, at least two people need to show that they tried to resolve a dispute with this user and have failed. This must involve the same dispute, not different disputes. The persons complaining must provide evidence of their efforts, and each of them must certify it by signing this page with ~~~~. If this does not happen within 48 hours of the creation of this dispute page (which was: 22:04, July 14, 2005), the page will be deleted. The current date and time is: 00:11, 25 February 2018 (UTC).



Statement of the dispute[edit]

This is a summary written by users who dispute this user's conduct. Users signing other sections should not edit here.

  1. SlimVirgin is insisting on inserting a massive edit to the Terri Schiavo page, even though several editors have listed a number of problems with her edit. The page is marked as a "Controversial Topic" and as being in "Mediation". A revert war ensued until SlimVirgin could not revert to her edit without violating 3RR.
  2. Despite several editors pointing out many, many problems with her edit, SlimVirgin has conceeded nothing and insists that her edit should be reinstated. SlimVirgin often called criticism of her edit as violating wikipedia's "No personal attacks", rather than conceeding any problem with her changes.
  3. One user, User:FuelWagon, was blocked for 40 hours for swearing at SlimVirgin. FuelWagon served his time without protest, admitting he broke the "no personal attack" rules. But it is impossible that each and every single error listed by each and every editor is (1) a Personal Attack on SlimVirgin or (2) not an error.
  4. SlimVirgin also made several accusations against a number of editors, including attempting to "own" the page, violating "NPOV", violating "No original research", and at one point, SlimVirgin accused FuelWagon and Duckecho of saying that "no dissenting voice be heard in the intro". When editors protested these accusations and asked her for any evidence to support it, SlimVirgin remained silent.

Ed Poor obligingly fulfills your request[edit]

Point #1 is well taken, but is by no means a violation of policy. Rather, SlimVirgin is to be commended for withdrawing after consensus could not be reached. And experienced editors ought to offer their advice on resolving the problem.

Point #2 consists of three sub-points:

  1. that she won't concede your point - well, no policy here requires others to agree with you
  2. that she defends her edit - well, that is what talk pages are for.
  3. if indeed she called all criticism of her edit, a personal attack, then either:
    • she is right, and your user account should be suspended; or,
    • she is mistaken, in which case she might cool it a bit

Point #3 is not about SlimVirgin, but about FuelWagon's own behavior. He is to be commended for his honesty and integrity here. (There is some repetition of point #2.)

I've changed that sentence. diff. It was not intended to mean SlimVirgin called all errors personal attacks. My apologies if it read that way. I have attempted to fix it. FuelWagon 01:00, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Point #4 complains about several opinions by SlimVirgin that various Wikipedians were violating policy. There is nothing wrong with any user expressing such opinions. Indeed, Administrators are required to give warnings before enforcing policy.

Summary: SlimVirgin is to be commended for abandoning her attempts to edit the article against consensus.

Recommendation: Editors should work together. Uncle Ed 20:59, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

Users who endorse this summary (sign with ~~~~):

  1. -Willmcw 22:38, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

addendum/clarification[edit]

The above "statement of dispute" isn't very clear in what the goal is, and some editors have commented on the RFC on points that were not actually goals of the RFC. That was my fault for not clarifying the goal of the RFC more clearly. According to When to use Rfc

RFC is appropriate when you want other wikipedians to visit the page, to allow a consensus or a better quality of decision, to help resolve a dispute or break a deadlock

There are two main goals of this RFC.

First to get a public concensus of SlimVirgin's edit that "yes, SlimVirgin's edit qualified as reckless (by wikipedia's definition) and that her edit contains too many errors to be put into the article". SlimVirgin continues to insist that her edit be reinserted and a public concensus against it might prevent another revert war.

Second, to get an public concensus that SlimVirgin has held herself above any criticism of the content of her edits. She has not conceded that there are any problems with her edits, despite several thousand words of content-related feedback. She has responded to criticism many times by calling it a personal attack. She asked a dozen times that editors list the errors in her edit, was given several thousand words worth of replies, but hasn't acknowledged a single problem with her edit. SlimVirgin continues to insist that her edit be reinserted into the article. SlimVirgin responds to efforts to keep her bad edit out the article as editors "owning" the page, POV pushing, arguing for the sake of arguing, not allowing dissent, bullying, and blind reverting. SlimVirgin's response to criticism has created a deadlock and a public concensus that she has acted in bad faith towards valid criticism of her edit might prevent another revert war.

Evidence of disputed behavior[edit]

(provide diffs and links)

SlimVirgin edit[edit]

According to Be bold, but don't be reckless, "be bold in updating pages does not mean that you should make large changes or deletions to long articles on complex, controversial subjects with long histories..." "If you encounter an article on a controversial subject that you would like to edit, it's a good idea to first read the article in its entirety, read the comments on the talk page, and view the Page history to get a sense of how the article came into being and what its current status is."

The same section further says: "Also, show respect for the status quo. Avoid making major changes to an article if a vote (or poll) about whether those changes should be made is currently in progress, especially if there is no clear consensus."

And: "With that said, as long as your thinking is rational, as long as your changes are rational, and as long as you write thorough edit summaries (and even more thorough explanations in Talk pages), be bold."

At the time of her edit, the Terri Schiavo was flagged with the "Controversial Topic" marker as well as the "Under mediation" marker. There was also significant discussion taking place (read polling) on the revision of the introduction to the article. Whether or not SlimVirgin read the article or the talk page is not known. However, she did not post anything to the Terri Shiavo talk page beforehand, she simply did a massive edit. SlimVirgin began editing at 15:11, inserted the "in use" tag at 16:42, removed the tag about 2 hours later, and then did her last edit at 18:38. Each individual diff is given here (note the paucity of edit summaries):

15:11 [1]

16:14 [2]

16:42 [3] "in use" tag

17:16 [4]

17:55 [5]

17:58 [6]

18:13 [7] "in use" tag removed

18:28 [8]

18:38 [9]

Duckecho and FuelWagon both protest this massive edit on the talk page.

in this one diff, SlimVirgin simultaneously says There has been no massive edit while chastising FuelWagon you just reverted a couple of hours of copy editing.

FuelWagon reverts her edits.

After SlimVirgin's edit was reverted, SlimVirgin posted this If you feel I've introduced errors, please list them on talk, and I will go through them with you. But do list them. Don't make unsubstantiated claims.

The list of issues with SlimVirgin's edits include the following:


regarding this diff: The embedded note that USED to be there said:

<-- This paragraph is a direct quote from Dr. Bernat's testimony before the U.S. Senate in April 2005. Dr. Bernat's testimony was approved by the AAN Executive Committee. The two links provided document the testimony and the AAN approval.-->

SlimVirgin deleted this embedded note, and then inserts into the same paragraph, an embedded note questioning the accuracy of the quote.

<--Is this true? I seem to recall a case in England where a man woke up after a long time in PVS.--><--What levels of "prognostic certainty"?:

SlimVirgin often criticizes the Terri Schiavo article for "unsourced edits", but deleting an embedded note containing source information and replacing it with unsourced urban legend only makes the article worse.


SlimVirgin added the word "allegely" to this sentence.

"During this time, the Schindlers allegedly encouraged Mr. Schiavo to get on with his life, and he introduced them to women he was dating."

There is an embedded note saying <-- quoting from page 11 of 38 of Wolfson report -->. The word "allegedly" was not in his quote.


The noise awoke Michael Schiavo, and he called 911 emergency services. <--I'm deleting "immediately" wherever I find it, because it's journalese and usually unverifiable, not because I think it wasn't immediate.-->"

Govorner Bush launched an investigation specifically into whether or not Michael called 911 "immediately" or whether there was foul play on his part. The DA recently dropped the investigation saying Michael's story was consistent and that the cause of Terri's collapse was probably cardiac arrest.


"(PVS), according to seven neurologists who examined her, or a minimally conscious state (MCS), according to one other."

The dissenting neurologist suggested "therapies" that the court dismissed as quackery. If this neurologist is included in the intro, then his diasnosis as MCS needs to include the fact that his therapies are questionable.


Before: In March 1994, guardian ad litem John H. Pecarek was appointed by the court to determine if there had been any abuse by Michael Schiavo. Pecarek's report found no evidence for any inappropriate actions, and indicated that Michael had been very attentive to his wife. <--Do not remove Pecarek's statement. It is quoted in several court orders and GAL reports, however Pecarek's report is unavailable on the internet. -->

SlimVirgin's Edit: In March 1994, guardian ad litem John H. Pecarek was appointed by the court to determine whether there had been any abuse by Mr. Schiavo. Pecarek's report found no evidence of any inappropriate acts, and indicated that Mr. Schiavo had been attentive to his wife. <--attentive? did he actually use this word?-->Mr. Schiavo remained his wife's guardian.<--Might it be worth explaining the sense in which he remained her guardian when there were court-appointed guardians?-->

An informative embedded note is deleted (the one saying the statement from Pecarek is QUOTED in several court orders but NOT available directly on the internet). And it is replaced by a question of accuracy "Did he really use that word?"


Before: Other neurologists — Drs. Jeffery M. Karp, James H. Barnhill, and Thomas H. Harrison — also examined Mrs. Schiavo over the years and made the same diagnosis; they also shared a very poor opinion about her chances for recovery.

SlimVirgin Version: Other neurologists — Dr. Jeffery M. Karp, Dr. James H. Barnhill, and Dr. Thomas H. Harrison — also examined Schiavo over the years and made the same diagnosis, which entailed a poor prognosis.

changed the emphasis on the second half of the sentence from "all shared the opinion of poor chance for recovery" to "Terri's chances for recovery were poor", but it's no longer clear that this is something that all the doctor's believed.


User:Neuroscientist who is a, well, neuroscientist, and who has been working on the Terri Schiavo article for some time, posted a good, detailed response to some problems he had with SlimVirgin's edit here. It's around 5,000 words of pretty detailed information about neuro-related facts.


Despite this laundry list of problems, SlimVirgin has not once conceded that there is any problem with any part of her entire edit and she insists her edit should be reinserted.

SlimVirgin accusations[edit]

SlimVirgin made a number of accusations against various editors on the talk page. When confronted to provide any hard evidence such as diffs, she remained silent, neither providing a diff nor retracting the accusation.


SlimVirgin wrote "But I feel that FuelWagon and Duckecho are POV pushing too by insisting, for example, that no dissenting voice be heard in the intro."

FuelWagon pointed out that he never said any such thing, and asked that SlimVirgin show a diff to support it or apologize. SlimVirgin never responded.

This is not an accusation. Merely an observation. Uncle Ed 20:44, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
The "dissenting voice" was an eighth neurologist who examined Terri and diagnosed her as MCS.
SlimVirgin said "Seven neurologists said PVS, but one (who examined her) said minimally conscious state. That needs to be in the intro."
SlimVirgin said here "A neurologist counts as a reputable source for WP in matters of neurology, particularly as he examined her. The way I introduced the information made it clear that his was the minority, dissenting view."
Duckecho wrote "Judge Greer's order from the 2002 evidentiary hearing he excoriated that doctor and lent him no credibility whatsoever. In Ronald Cranford's "Facts, Lies, &amp Videotapes" he's even less kind."
FuelWagon wrote "The guy is a quack. The JUDGE said nearly as much when he said the neuro's "therapies" were, what was the word, "spurious", I believe."
Neuroscientist wrote "He is a board-certified neurologist He is not a member in good standing of the American Academy of Neurology, and is the only one of the eight neurologists who examined Schiavo who isn't. Many in the neurological community have, for years — and well before his involvement in the Schiavo case — considered Hammesfahr to be, er, highly unorthodox. In private conversation the term charlatan is often bandied about (although some have no qualms even on national broadcasts). " "his vasodilatation therapy is not recognized in the medical community" "The Judge decided he wasn't credible (which) impeached the credibility of Hammersfahr's findings."
SlimVirgin wrote "But I feel that FuelWagon and Duckecho are POV pushing too by insisting, for example, that no dissenting voice be heard in the intro."
I never insisted that the 8th doctor (the dissenting voice) could not be in the intro. What I said was [10] "If you want to include him, you need to include his background," There was no such "insisting that no dissenting voice be heard" on my part for her to have observed. It is a fiction. Which is fine as an honest mistake that is retracted, but when I told her I never said such a thing and asked for a diff, she remained silent, allowing the comment to stand uncorrected. FuelWagon 21:37, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
That part of it that was her opinion was the part she said she felt (she felt we were POV pushing). But she gives an actual example that we had insisted no dissenting voice be in the intro. FuelWagon 01:23, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

SlimVirgin wrote It appears that a small group of editors, currently consisting of User:FuelWagon and User:Duckecho have taken ownership of this page and won't allow others to edit without their consent. This isn't allowed.

Despite a laundry list of issues with her edit, SlimVirgin refuses to concede any problem with her edit, and instead calls any attempt to refuse to allow her edit into the article as the editors attempting to "own" the page.

This is not an accusation. It is (1) an opinion and (2) a statement of policy. Both are permissible. Uncle Ed 20:46, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
Come on, Ed, if I prefixed all my personal attacks with "It appears that you're an xxx", would that excuse it? Or "It is my personal opinion that you are an xxx"? Hedging it under "personal opinion" doesn't change anything. FuelWagon 21:44, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Actually, no. Citing official Wikipedia policy is not a personal attack, I challenge. El_C 22:04, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
She didn't CITE it. She accused me of violating it, which I didn't do. Citing it would be something like "taking ownership of a page violates wikipedia policy". She just came out and said I've violated it. And if saying "it appears" in front of something gives you a blank check to say anything, sign me up. As for whether or not I did or did not violate "ownership", I answered that on the talk page due to length. FuelWagon 22:46, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
To me, that appears to be an exercize in sophistry. El_C 23:12, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for Assuming Good Faith on my part. FuelWagon 23:18, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Likewise. I never claimed it was intentional, but I feel it is the reality nonetheless, and I am entitled to hold that opinion. El_C 23:31, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Look, the reason I filed an RFC was in part because an attempt to work it out on talk simply exploded. I thought that perhaps an RFC could bring in an outside, unbiased voice. SlimVirgin made a reckless edit and she still holds that it should be reinserted. If you want to ignore all the issues on an RFC because one point sounds sophist to you, fine. But I don't need people like you challenging me here. I'm trying to avoid another explosion. FuelWagon 23:49, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I'll comment on and direct challenges toward whatever I see fit, I'm not bound by the conditions you set. El_C 00:03, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I set no conditions. I said I don't need people like you challenging me. If you want to "direct challenges toward whatever (you) see fit", fine. It's good to have a some purpose in life. If you'd like to help keep this RFC non-combative though, I would appreciate the help. If not, whatever. I just made a request. You get to choose. FuelWagon 00:09, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I am not interested in responding to that at this time. El_C 00:16, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Here, SlimVirgin accuses FuelWagon of violating NPOV and "No Original Research".

FuelWagon denied ever violating NPOV or NOR on the article and asked for diffs from SlimVirgin to support her accusation. SlimVirgin never responded.


SlimVirgin accused FuelWagon of "arguing for the sake of arguing" about the prognosis for PVS. Thank you Fuelwagon, I know what PVS is. The prognosis is always poor, but at the beginning it's more hopeful than after months and years. You're arguing now for the sake of it.

However, the article contains a quote from the American Neurological Association which describes PVS: The prognosis for recovery of awareness in PVS has been quantified, and, in general, the prognosis depends on the cause and duration of PVS. It is worse after cardiac arrest and after a long duration of PVS. Patients remaining in PVS for greater than three months after cardiac arrest have only a slight chance of recovery of awareness. Recovery of awareness is unprecedented after two years. With head injury causing PVS, the times necessary to show these levels of prognostic certainty are one year and five years, respectively.

Therefore, depending on the patients condition, the chance of recovery could be slight or unprecedented, which means SlimVirgin's assertion that "the prognosis is always poor" is outright wrong.

FuelWagon wasn't "arguing for the sake of arguing", SlimVirgin made a claim that was factually wrong.


After Neuroscientist posted his list of issues with SlimVirgin's edit, SlimVirgin replied to Neuroscientist with this.

SlimVirgin mentions that prior to coming to the article, SlimVirgin got the impression of bullying or system-gaming on Duckecho's part. So SlimVirgin came to the article with prejudice against Duckecho.

SlimVirgin accused Duckecho and FuelWagon of being "two editors taking control of edits".

SlimVirgin defended her edits explaining "I decided to try to improve the page, at least by getting the sources sorted out," however, she never explains why she deleted the embedded notes with source information, rather than rolling them into the article.

SlimVirgin once again accused that "FuelWagon and Duckecho began blind reverting," even though by this time Duckecho, FuelWagon, and Neurosurgeon have all listed specific serious problems with her edit, with a total word count exceeding several thousand words.

SlimVirgin then accuses Neuroscientist: "I don't appreciate the personal comments you've lobbed at me." SlimVirgin consistently responds to any criticism of her edit by accusing the critic of violating "no personal attacks".


Neuroscientist provides one of the calmest critiques of SlimVirgin's edit. SlimVirgin responds with "stop writing in such a patronizing tone. If I made a factual error, point to it. If you can't or won't, please stop the derogatory remarks." [11]. SlimVirgin conveniently ignores all the errors that Neuroscientist pointed out, and calls his tone "patronizing" and "derogatory".

SlimVirgin asks for errors[edit]

Throughout the entire thread, SlimVirgin continuously asked that editors point out errors with her edit. several thousand words worth of errors were listed to her as a reply. Yet, she managed to ignore any individual error given, and then she would re-state her request that editors point out the errors in her edit. She managed to avoid conceeding a single error in her edit.

At some point, this ceases to be a genuine request to work with other editors and simply becomes a stonewall approach to appear to be open to criticism while actually accepting none.


Please say what your specific objections are, rather than reverting. [12]

please discuss your objections on talk. [13]

I'm assuming the above can't be your only objection, so please lay them out [14]

If you feel I've introduced errors, please list them on talk [15]

You haven't yet explained why you want to exclude that information.[16]

neither of you has said what your objection is. [17]

If these are your only objections, I don't know why you reverted all my edits. [18]

Show me one error I made in the article, either factual or grammatical. [19]

If this is the only issue you can find with my copy edit, why did you revert it? [20]

I'm waiting for an answer from FuelWagon or Duckecho that might explain the blind reverts. Show me one factual or grammatical error that I edited into the article. [21]

I've asked several times for someone to point to one error of fact I edited into the article and so far no one has come up with one. You also mention errors of fact, but again, don't cite any. [22]

If I made a factual error, point to it. [23]


SlimVirgin invokes "No Personal Attacks"[edit]

While FuelWagon admits to violating No Personal Attacks against SlimVirgin, that does not account to all the times that SlimVirgin accused an editor of violating No Personal Attacks towards her. Some of these accusations were in response to completely detached, just-the-facts, here's the technical problems with your edit, posts. In those cases, SlimVirgin appears to view legitimate criticism of her edit as a personal attack on her character, making it nearly impossible to resolve any issues with her edit.


change your tone and stop the personal attacks [24]

Stop being so abusive [25]

And stop being so insulting. [26]

I'm asking FuelWagon and Duckecho to read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:No original research, Wikipedia:Cite sources, and Wikipedia:No personal attack [27]

I don't appreciate the personal comments you've lobbed at me [28]

Accusing someone of very, very, very poor judgment is a comment about a person, not about their edits [29]

The side-tracking involved FuelWagon preventing someone from trying to improve the article. [30]

I must ask you again to change your tone. [31]

I have to ask you to stop writing in such a patronizing tone. [32]


evidence regarding "dont be reckless"[edit]

don't be reckless

be bold in updating pages does not mean that you should make large changes or deletions 

SlimVirgin's edit is here. It consisted of 9 individual edits over the course of three and a half hours, during which, she even put up the "in use tag", which says

This article is actively undergoing a major edit. As a courtesy, please do not edit this article while this message is displayed.
to long articles on complex, controversial subjects with long histories

At the time of her edit, the article was marked with the "controversial subject" tag

This is a controversial topic, which may be disputed.

as well as a tag to indicate the article is in Mediation.


but always move large deletions to the Talk page and list your objections to the text so that other people will understand your changes and will be able to follow the history of the page. Also make sure to leave a descriptive edit summary detailing your change and reasoning.

While SlimVirgin said a major problem with the article was poor sourcing, she deleted two embedded notes containing source information. She did not move those embedded notes to talk, she simply deleted them.

Also, show respect for the status quo. Avoid making major changes to an article if a vote (or poll) about whether those changes should be made is currently in progress, especially if there is no clear consensus.

Some of the sections edited by SlimVirgin were listed in the mediation page.

Applicable policies[edit]

{list the policies that apply to the disputed conduct}

No personal attacks
Be bold, but don't be reckless

Evidence of trying and failing to resolve the dispute[edit]

(provide diffs and links)

  1. [33] User:Duckecho "I'll tell you what my objections to your changes in the intro are:"
  2. [34] User:Neurosurgeon "The SlimVirgin edits (on the Introduction)"
  3. [35] User:Neurosurgeon "A Response to SlimVirgin: Errors of Fact"

Users certifying the basis for this dispute[edit]

(sign with ~~~~)

  1. FuelWagon 22:04, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Duckecho (Talk) 23:35, 14 July 2005 (UTC)



I am withdrawing my "certification" for this RFC. Not because I don't think her edit was reckless, or that her accusations against the editors on the page were all true, but because the entire wikipedia system appears to be punitive.


According to When to use Rfc RFC is appropriate when you want other wikipedians to visit the page, to allow a consensus or a better quality of decision, to help resolve a dispute or break a deadlock

Well, that's what I wanted to do: get some outside people to visit a page and COMMENT on whether SlimVirgin's edit was reckless/problematic/whatever and to COMMENT on whether every single accusation she made against the various editors were true or not. That was it.

But when everyone ignores SlimVirgin's EDIT and her ACCUSATIONS and instead makes comments that I may be "building a case", "Gaming the system", "bullying" [36] or that I am trying to "take SlimVirgin to the official Wiki woodshed" [37], it clicked for me that whether or not her edit was reckless, whether or not it was filled with errors, whether or not her accusations were true, if the RFC is "approved" or whatever word you people call it, then it could be used to punish SlimVirgin.

Honestly, I don't know how the heck wikipedia can survive with this sort of system. A "Request for comment" should be nothing more than a request for comment. The talk page had exploded and a lot of people had gotten drawn into the debate, and not a single thing had actually been resolved in terms of any sort of agreement between the people involved. The only thing that stopped the dispute was enforcement. I was blocked for 40 hours. The 3RR rule prevented SlimVirgin from reverting her edit any more. And eventually, Ed even locked the page for a while. It is all enforcement, not agreement.

There is a difference between coercion and persuasion, and a Request for comment should be persuasion. I assume that SlimVirgin came to the page in good faith. That she made her edit in good faith. But I consider it a reckless, error filled edit. There was never any concensus to that effect, instead, editors were block, 3RR enforced a cease and desist, and the page was eventually locked down. The point of "Comments" was exactly what the RFC page says:

RFC is appropriate when you want other wikipedians to visit the page, to allow a consensus or a better quality of decision, to help resolve a dispute or break a deadlock

Everyone involved at the time had taken sides, and the point was to bring in some outside views to COMMENT. Why you would allow something called a "Request for COMMENTS" to be step one in some PUNITIVE measure is beyond me. But since an RFC can be a stepping stone for PUNITIVE measures, many are more concerned about whether this is going to be step one in a bullying process rather than whether or not SlimVirgin acted in good faith but still managed to be reckless in this particular edit.

I am not looking to punish SlimVirgin. And since that concern seems to be the driving force in how people comment on this RFC, the actual thing I requested a comment on is overridden by the fact that if a friend of SlimVirgin says "yeah, that was reckless", then she might get banned or lose her adminship, or whatever, so they instead vote against the RFC.

And since that is the overriding factor, this RFC is pointless, and so I am withdrawing my certification of it, or whatever you call it.

May I suggest that folks consider redesigning their system for dealing with problems so that two editors who are both acting in good faith but adamantly disagree on something can use an RFC as a non-punitive way to get some outside comments/opinions, without concern about whether or not the RFC will be a stepping stone to being punished in some way. Rather than use an "RFC" for punitive steps, there should be some sort of "incident report" or something to handle whether or not an editor violated some wikipedia policy and whether or not they should be punished in some way. It would probably help separate the two if it was official wikipedia policy that an editor cannot even mention an RFC in an incident report. That way, people could actually comment on content, rather than worry about whether or not someone is trying to take someone else to the woodshed. FuelWagon 19:29, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Note. Thank you for withdrawing your certification. I think perhaps you may have used the wrong form of RfC. You wrote above that you were relying on this passage: "RFC is appropriate when you want other Wikipedians to visit the page, to allow a consensus or a better quality of decision, to help resolve a dispute or break a deadlock." That refers to an article RfC, which should be listed at WP:RFC#Article_content_disputes, not an RfC on an individual contributor. The latter is really only appropriate when there have been repeated policy violations, or repeated disruption of the editing process. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:05, July 16, 2005 (UTC)

Other users who endorse this summary[edit]

(sign with ~~~~)

  1. Calton | Talk 02:12, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
  2. I also tried to resolve this by proposing a compromise; sadly it doesn't seem to have worked. Whilst FuelWagon's reaction to SlimVirgin was wholly over the top, this RfC is not about FW's conduct; it's about SlimVirgin's. SlimVirgin has been civil on the most part, although a few insuinuations about "FW and Duckecho 'owning' the article" were out of place. However, her (his?) approach to this has been, to say the least, abrasive, and unhelpful. Continually referring to her changes as 'tweaks' and 'copyedits', when they were more accurately viewed as wholesale restructuring of an article on a (ery heated) subject that has taken months to reach a halfway-passable state, was not helpful, nor was it sensible. SV made these edits before discussing them (contrary to the tag at the top of the article), and was aware mediation was underway, yet still proceeded to make these major changes, and then attempted to justify them retroactively. I don't think that was productive, and not particularly conduct becoming an administrator. I do think the whole thing could have been solved without wasting people's time going to RfC if both parties had simply been prepared to cool down. However, I don't think SV was particularly sensible, and was reckless, and so do endorse this for the most part. Basically, what Uncle Ed said but with more words. Proto t c 11:51, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. I was not a party to the 'revert war' that occured July 11 involving SlimVirgin and several Terri Schiavo article editors, and have had no role in preparing this RfC. However, I certainly agree with many of the points raised by FuelWagon above, and the general sentiments expressed by Uncle Ed and Proto. I disagree with the section SlimVirgin Personal Attacks; I do not consider those comments by SlimVirgin to be personal attacks against me. I have made two comments below which may be helpful, and hope to post a more detailed comment later. Summary of my role. Comment on Section 1.2 of RfC. Thanks.~ Neuroscientist | T | C ? 12:05, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

Response by SlimVirgin[edit]

FuelWagon says below that he wrote up this RfC because he wants editors to visit the page to discuss my edits, so I'm wondering whether he meant to put up an article RfC and got confused.

Anyway, now that we're here, my response: I went to the page after receiving complaints from two of the editors, who were complaining about each other's behavior. There was talk of certain editors not allowing others to edit, lots of reverting, system-gaming etc. When I read the article, it clearly needed a copy edit, so I started to do one. I didn't rewrite anything or do any restructuring, though it would benefit from both. I stuck to minor edits, tweaks of sentences, deletion of some POV words. It was a long edit, because it's a long page, but it wasn't a substantive one. I didn't say in advance on talk that I was doing it, because it didn't seem to me like a big deal. I don't think I've ever checked on a talk page before doing a basic copy edit, or if I have, then not often. There was no disrespect intended. I genuinely didn't, and still don't, see it as a major edit, just a long one.

I did say on talk that I'd added some material to the introduction, because the changes I made there went beyond copy editing, but again I didn't rewrite or delete anything, and I'd have been quite happy to discuss the changes, or have others improve or even delete them. Instead, the whole copy edit was reverted by FuelWagon and Duckecho.

The ensuing discussion on talk quickly became abusive, so I withdrew from editing the article. FuelWagon called me a f**%!ng *$$s0le, a f**%!ng jerk, [38] "you arrogant cuss," a jerkoff, and an arrogant arse. [39] He created the header "horse manure," under which to discuss my edits. He peppered his posts with capital letters, exclamation marks, sections in bold, and was heavily sarcastic. I still haven't properly understood his objections to the edit: most of them seemed to be that I'd deleted some of his invisible comments. There were other objections he had where he perceived some of the edits to have made a slight POV change.

My response to this is simply that the other editors on the page could have edited my edits. All the objections were minor and could have been easily dealt with. I don't expect anything I write for Wikipedia to be cast in stone. Also, as they started reverting before I'd finished, I might very well have changed some of the things they didn't like myself. So I'm somewhat bewildered by the fuss, the personal attacks, and particularly by this RfC, as I haven't violated any policy. Although I'd like to see the copy edit restored, I haven't tried to reinsert it, or made any other edits to the article, so I'm not holding up the editing process. I'm not sure what the purpose of this is, except perhaps to embarrass me. I blocked FuelWagon for 3RR at Nuclear option (filibuster) on June 20, so that may be why he's angry with me (but I also unblocked him 14 hours early as a gesture of goodwill, so perhaps he should take that into account).

Users who endorse this summary (sign with ~~~~):

  1. SlimVirgin (talk) 07:22, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
  2. Viriditas | Talk 08:57, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. If our resident neorologist cannot find the time "to methodically go through each of [SV's] edits in the way [s/he] did with [her] introduction," then I am of the opinion that s/he should refrain from reverting hours of work en mass commenting on the series of edits in their totality. I am also hopeful s/he can refrain from a condescending, patronizing overtone. El_C 09:34, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. I think that SlimVirgin is being rather restrained. This is another in something of a rash of improper RfCs, brought far too quickly by people who are in fact largely quarrelling over content or over the fact that they're not getting their own way. The diffs for #Evidence of trying and failing to resolve the dispute are no such thing; they're merely examples of arguing with SlimVirgin by the editors who brought this RfC. I also concur with Sjakkalle's analysis below. Ed Poor has shown poor judgement in endorsing this, in my opinion. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:04, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
    • I have withdrawn my endorsement - which was only partial and tentative. Uncle Ed 20:40, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
    That's good to know. Now if the bringers of this absurd RfC could be persuaded to withdraw it, we could get on with editing Wikipedia. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:45, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
  5. Yet another fraudulent, politically motivated RfC against a solid editor. 172 12:21, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  6. Another bogus RfC brought by abusive editors against an exemplary editor. Jayjg (talk) 16:14, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  7. Ridiculous, see further comments below. --Noitall 16:29, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
  8. A pointless RfC. Ruy Lopez 17:04, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  9. Proteus (Talk) 18:16, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  10. All of the above. FeloniousMonk 19:09, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  11. Hope to write a full summary next week. For the moment, just want to endorse this response officially. Agree with Mel Etitis that the diffs are not proper examples of trying and failing to resolve the dispute. Ann Heneghan 19:25, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
    The diffs showing attempts to resolve dispute have been changed. The two current ones should satisify the RFC requirements. FuelWagon 19:49, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  12. I appreciate User:FuelWagon's invitation to comment here. With respect to "First to get a public concensus of SlimVirgin's edit that "yes, SlimVirgin's edit qualified as reckless (by wikipedia's definition) and that her edit contains too many errors to be put into the article"." I disagree. The edit is 95% appropriate copyediting and statements of objective fact. The most "controversial" aspects are reference to the dissenting neurologist (easily fixed by adding information on his other controversial views), and changing the intro by inclusion of the autopsy findings, a change that I think is supportable, and in any case could have been mediated through the talk page. "Second, to get an public concensus that SlimVirgin has held herself above any criticism of the content of her edits...." I do not think this is supported by the evidence. Finally w/r/t SlimVirgin's statement that "My response to this is simply that the other editors on the page could have edited my edits. All the objections were minor and could have been easily dealt with. I agree with this statement. Respectfully, Kaisershatner 20:02, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  13. Per Ruy and 172. Mackensen (talk) 22:09, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  14. This is just another way to waste time. SlimVirgin's record here is impeccable for good reason; she is consistently polite and constructive (except for that dog fetish). I looked at the list of edits that are being presented as if they were "evidence" of some sort of violation of policy or even pattern of naughty or uncivil behavior. The edits are minor, do not change content, and improve style. Now folks, with all the time people have put into this rfc, we could have written an entire article on some minor character from The Lord of the Rings which, yes, really, would have been time better spent. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:22, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  15. Wow, the diffs that are offered as evidence of efforts to resolve the dispute have been changed, and these are supposed to be better examples? That really makes me wonder what the old ones were like. (Not quite urgently enough to look them up, though.) You're supposed to document two attempts, by two different people, to resolve the issue by discussing it with the subject of the RFC. Those diffs don't lead to any discussions or attempts to resolve the issue, they lead to two negative comments on SlimVirgin's edits from Talk:Terri Schiavo. How is that two discussions with her..? Those comments don't even speak to SlimVirgin, they refer to her in the third person! Incidentally, they're not even by two different people. If there have genuinely been two attempts at resolution and discussion, please document them before the 48 hours are up. If there haven't been, this RFC needs to be removed. It doesn't make any difference that it's been "endorsed" (and apparently the endorsement's been withdrawn in any case--the whole thing is turning into a farce). The instructions on the project page state that an RFC is considered uncertified and will be de-listed if the requirements have not been met: these two people must document their individual efforts, provide evidence that those efforts have failed to produce change, and sign the comment page. Requests for comment which do not meet these minimum requirements after 48 hours from creation are considered "uncertified" and will be de-listed. Bishonen | talk 00:20, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
    I have added another diff from a different user to meet the two-person requirement. FuelWagon 00:40, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
    But my complaint about the edits being by only one person was pretty incidental. My main problem with those diffs, and that includes the one you just added, is that they aren't examples of dispute resolution at all. That may not matter much any longer, I suppose, since you seem to be in process of gradually withdrawing all your accusations. Perhaps you'd like to remove the RFC yourself? Bishonen | talk 01:13, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
    I made the same point above. Editors might be intersted in contributing to the Talk page discussion prompted by RfCs like this one. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:45, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
  16. SlimVirgin has acted with restraint and wisdom in this matter, despite provocation. -Willmcw 04:12, July 16, 2005 (UTC)
  17. All of the above. --Eliezer 09:29, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
  18. From what I have read, SlimVirgin seems to have operated as best as one can when confronted with FuelWagon's tactics. He has treated me in a simlar manner on the Intelligent Design article. (See Talk:Intelligent_design/Archive_10#Pyramid Analogy doesn't fit) In my opinion, articles would be greatly improved if FuelWagon was permanently blocked... not just the articles, but especially the talk page experience. I don't mind honest disagreements (which to his credit FW did briefly step up to this level at one point on my talk page), but when one makes a habit of rude, arrogant, and bigoted behavior it is unpleasant to the other editors involved... and has the effect of keeping people opposite his POV away from the site and thereby unbalancing the articles. David Bergan 16:03, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Outside view[edit]

This is a summary written by users not directly involved with the dispute but who would like to add an outside view of the dispute.

Sjakkalle's view of the "personal attacks"[edit]

I am not involved with the disputed articles, I have not investigated them and thus I won't mention that in this view. However, when I saw the list of "SlimVirgin personal attacks", I think that the certifiers are reading more into those edits than what can be justified.

  • "You've pointed to very few errors (in your opinion)" Strong innuendo that your opinion is wrong/ignorant/stupid…insert whatever inference you would be inclined to make when someone uses that phrase in an arguement.
    • My comment: Not a personal attack since it is a criticism of what a person has done, not what a person is.
  • "I find your posts to be quite rude…" Fairly clear personal attack. "I find your posts to be quite rude" = "you are rude."
    • My comment: Telling a person that their posts are rude is not a personal attack since it refers to what a person did, not what a person is. The equals sign ("=") seems out of line.
  • "You've misunderstood what a logical error is." When addressing a highly educated editor, this is nothing but a personal attack.
    • My comment: Perhaps sarcastic. Perhaps less civil than I would prefer. But I can't work out how telling a person's, even an expert's logic, constitutes a personal attack.
  • "…and if you read my posts more carefully…" Innuendo that you are too stupid or careless (pick one) to understand my posts. Also to the same highly educated editor. (Ironically, SlimVirgin admonished the same editor for his "patronizing tone.")
    • My comment: Reads to me like an admonishment to read posts more carefully. The innuendo is wild speculation.
  • "I wonder whether you know what PVS is" Clear innuendo that the other party is ignorant. Personal attack.
    • My comment: Again an innuendo which is not clear to me. Cannot work out how this is a personal attack.
  • "It's very obvious by your attitude" Reads you have a bad attitude—personal attack.
    • My comment: Again, perhaps a rather rude tone, which I would urge people not to use if they want any goodwill, but criticizing a person's attitude, as opposed to the person him or herself does not constitute a personal attack.

WP:NPA gives some examples of what a personal attack is. I see nothing which comes close to any of those examples, although some of SlimVirgin's postings might be infringements of the Wikipedia:Civility policy. With that said, the examples of the attacks presented by SlimVirgin in her response, are clearly personal attacks, and far more serious breaches.

Users who endorse this summary (sign with ~~~~):

  1. Sjakkalle (Check!) 09:52, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. (And see above) --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:08, 15 July 2005 (UTC)


I have removed this section. some comments may indicate a condescending tone, but none are strong enough to qualify as a clear and outright attack. FuelWagon 17:12, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Other Comments from those besides complainant and subject[edit]

  • Even if we take your arguments at face value, what has SlimVirgin done? You have only accused her of making a minor edit, although many of them, that you disagree with. You have not alleged POV pushing, reactionary reverting (she did discuss them), any violation of Wiki policy, intentionally POV edits, Admin abuse, etc. In short, this looks like the most minor disagreement that I see on some of these pages. The problem is what you did after the disagreement. Cuss words have no place here. And while many disagree with what constitutes a personal attack, certainly making statements unrelated to the edit issue or the actions of an editor, and placing offensive statements on your talk page, are beyond the bounds. And Slim does not seem like the retaliatory type. Why not just appoligize and move on? --Noitall 23:41, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
Cuss words have no place here. And I accepted the 40-hour block even after I had cleaned up my comments. placing offensive statements on your talk page There are no offensive statements on my talk page.
what has SlimVirgin done? According to When to use Rfc
RFC is appropriate when you want other wikipedians to visit the page, to allow a consensus or a better quality of decision, to help resolve a dispute or break a deadlock
SlimVirgin made a reckless edit, according to wikipedia's definition: a massive edit on a highly controversial page, containing numerous errors, problems, and other issues. Yet she refuses to concede that her edit qualifies as reckless in any way. Her usual response to criticism is to call it a personal attack. She continues to refer to our reverts of her edits as "blind reverts" even though she has gotten a detailed list of errors from three separate editors. And she still insists that her edit should be inserted into the article. Since a number of editors have been unable to convince SlimVirgin of conceeding there is even a single error in her entire edit, it seems that we have reached a deadlock. The point of the RFC was to get an outside, objective look of her edit before yet another revert war broke out, to get a concensus that "yes, your edit contains too many errors to be put into the article".
SlimVirgin also made a number of false accusations against some of the editors on the talk page. "But I feel that FuelWagon and Duckecho are POV pushing too by insisting, for example, that no dissenting voice be heard in the intro." (No one EVER said "no dissenting voice in the intro" or any other such nonsense) "It appears that a small group of editors, currently consisting of User:FuelWagon and User:Duckecho have taken ownership of this page and won't allow others to edit without their consent." (That's an interesting interpretation of several editors agreeing that one user's edit is massively incorrect) "arguing for the sake of arguing" (She made inaccurate claims about the prognosis of PVS), "blind reverting" (even after presented with several thousand words explaining the problems with her edit) and violating "No personal attacks" (a common response to any criticism). She has thus far been unwilling to concede that ANY accusation she has made was misguided. Accusing editors of violating "No personal attacks" simply because they criticize your edit qualifies as a kind of personal attack itself. The point of the RFC around this was, at the very least, to get SlimVirgin to stop responding to criticisms of her editing as a violation of "No personal attacks". This behaviour has created a deadlock.
  • Some of your complaint is absolutely wrong since she gave a rationale, in fact, you provided her extensive rationale. Other parts are sort of absurd. You complain that she did not follow the standard she put for editing on her talk page. The standard she put on her talk page is extremely high, in fact, impractically high (I sure don't meet it) for dealing with other aggressive editors. The fact that she did not meet her own super high standard becomes a complaint? --Noitall 07:03, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
I just deleted the text under "policies" that referred to her talk page. It should only contain wikipedia policies, not personal standards. FuelWagon 07:21, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I haven't time to write a proper response (at the moment), but I endorse what Noitall has said. I have also got the impression that some editors were trying to prevent "unapproved" editors from editing. I can't speak officially for others, but I believe that Patsw feels the same way (see [40]). I have not found this attitude or this hostility on other Wikipedia articles. I have also been very shocked at some of the personal attacks, snide remarks, and swearing that I have seen on the Terri Schiavo talk pages and on the user pages and talk pages of some of the Terri Schiavo editors. Something is badly wrong. If an RfC is needed, it is because of the abuse, and not because of SlimVirgin trying to push for her edits while FuelWagon and Duckecho were pushing against them. Will respond properly next week. Ann Heneghan 00:35, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

SlimVirgin, in a very disruptive unproductive way, is behaving towards others as she insists they not behave towards her. She attacks other contributors MOTIVES (a personal attack), she makes large disruptive edits, she refuses to discuss the substance of the edits (instead insisting any and all attempts to point out errors are "personal attacks"), she arrogantly tells the other editors in detail how they are to behave even as she acts above behaving properly herself, she insists all edits by others are fair game for her to edit yet her edits must not be edited ("blind revert" SHE calls it). I have never ever ever ever seen this much blind narcissistic arrogance in an admin. 4.250.33.21 06:52, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Make sure you do not edit on the pages I have been on. Such pages are not for the faint hearted. When you have 3 or 4 ganging up on you or get blocked with no justification, then make your complaint. --Noitall 07:03, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

Gordon Watts' view in plain and easy-to-understand terms[edit]

  • I was one of two users who disagreed over an edit, which resulted in a revert war, and indirectly drew SlimVirgin into look at the page, but I was not a party to the SlimV vs FuelWagon dispute, so I offer an outside analysis:
  • When the dispute occurred, I felt guilty as an indirect cause and studied the conflict from all sides, expecting to overwhelmingly support SlimVirgin, because I saw little wrong with her edits on the surface, but I found "more than I bargained for."
  • In SlimVirgin's favor, she asked for sources to be given where they were missing, had her edits called massive, when they were not that large (but looked large due to "red" font from paragraph misalignment), had her edits reverted in total (instead of merely tweaked), made relevant observation on some "invisible comments" being placed in edits, which may intimidate or scare users away, commented on the hostilities and inappropriate language used on the talk page, found factual errors on the page, and, while perceived as anti-Michael-Schiavo herself, she challenged an anti-Michael edit (the Intravenous fluid alternative to explain "low potassium" instead of "dieting," (the latter of which would make Mike Schiavo's dieting explanation more plausible, as well as make very few errors and ask that the minority opinions be given proper weight so the article would not be POV. (Surprisingly, Wagon, who has been perceived as 'pro-Michael' supported this alternative IV-fluid explanation; Both of them support items that are opposite to their perceived views, showing that they are somewhat NPOV; But SlimVirgin asked Wagon is he could tell if she was Pro-Michael or Anti-Michael, or words to that effect, claiming that since he probably couldn't, then this proves that she is not biased, but, instead, NPOV.)
  • In Fuel Wagon's favor, the source listed did in fact make the a claim that supported his assertion that PVS recovery was UNPRECEDENTED after two (2) years (even though SlimV rightly pointed out that this was merely one doctor's opinion and alluded to examples of cases where "PVS" cases had in fact recovered long afterwards), Wagon rightly points out that some hidden edit comments need to stay in there to help future editors find needed info, documents, etc., Wagon did not apologize for the inappropriate language (claiming he was justified), but he did try to remove all the comments off the pages, until he was blocked for about 40 hours, and he accepted his punishment with honor and endured vain attempts to contact the admin who blocked him when this admin had no functional email on his talk page; Also, Wagon rightly points out that SlimVirgin used "allegedly" to describe a known fact (namely that Terri's parents had told Mike Schiavo to get on with his life and get a girlfriend) -this use of alleged was rightly described as POV or such by Wagon; Also, Wagon rightly pointed out that SlimV misrepresented his views, claiming that he didn't want the opposing doctors mentioned in the INTRO, when he in fact only said that the opposing doctor should be omitted unless he is described as a quack doctor;
  • Both editors are very diligent and quite intelligent, and in my own "Scoring" of the complaints, I scored them almost equally. However, Wagon's chief complains was that SlimVirgin's edits were too many, too much, and/or not discussed in talk to reach consensus, thus THIS item must be accord the most weight, NOT whether or not they each made minor errors when arguing.

However correct many of Wagon's points here (and he also rightly pointed out that she didn't admit to some of her mistakes), he never raises substantive arguments against the bulk of her edits, many of which WERE copy edits (I read the whole edit history, one-by-one), and on the "substantive' edits, she did in fact discuss it, even if somewhat tardily. She made only several substantive edits, and most of her edits were correct, or, even if not the best, but certainly of excellent quality, and she said she wasn't finished either, so her minor mistakes would likely have been ironed out had reverts en masses not been don on her.

She may have moved a tad too fast, made minor mistakes (like we all do), and been reluctant to admit to minor slip ups, but her edits over many hours was mostly free of stupid errors. The best "substantive' complaint came from NeuroScientist, who said that mentioning brain mass was minor compared to things like amounts of certain brain cells, and then giving examples of people with half a brain who still functioned well. While SlimV may have missed a few technical points, which would have tweaked her edits, and while she was a little hasty, the opposing editors overreacted: My painfully detailed look at ALL her edits in that time period found little problems, especially those of the magnitude described by Wagon and DuckEcho.

It looked like personalities and emotions were the over-riding elements of this debate (which is what I think Sjakkalle's was trying to say in the excellent piece above -people misunderstanding others on occasion) -I am sorry that I accidentally caused this by introducing two opposites who clashed, but I hope that things keep improving and people don't make mountains out of molehills -but, instead, accept articles that simply lay out the facts in a way that doesn't favor one side or the other, but "just the facts" for the readers!--GordonWattsDotCom 11:05, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Gordon, that's some of your best work in a long time. Good job.--ghost 04:26, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Ghost's view[edit]

I regret I must abstain from this vote. I cannot endorse either side, because they are all guilty. SlimVirgin went to the page with an agenda. Her argument that she was unaware of the controversy is...deeply flawed. Slim's edit gave the appearence of a major edit, contained factual errors, and worsened POV. FuelWagon and Duckecho overreacted. FW's language got out of line, but his behavior since has greatly improved. Slim's later treatment of Neuroscientist was, at best, sub-optimal. But my greatest concern isn't for the details of the incidents. It's for Slim's response.

Slim has made no public concessions to the effected editors, whatsoever. While she has every right to be defensive here, her response and other postings show little effort to assume good faith or apply Hanlon's Razor. Where Slim just anyone, I doubt it'd matter. But SlimVirgin is a top-notch editor and admin who has penalized one of the parties before. So this appearent lack of empathy and contrition, especially when the other parties have tried to reach out, is.....shamefull. (Sorry, Slim. That hurts to say, but that's what my heart says.)

We need to use this unfortunate set of incidents to examine that face reflected back at us from our monitors. We're not treating other editors as we would have them treat us. And I'm as guilty as the next. The silver lining is that Gordon and FW have used this oppurtunity to examine themselves. I pray SlimVirgin will do the same. Now, let's forgive one another and move on. We have important work to do.--ghost 05:51, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Other Comments by non-parties to dispute[edit]

We all get caught up in disputes from time to time (unless we are on Thorazine or unusually placid) and after reviewing this controversy, my opinion is that taking SlimVirgin to the official Wiki woodshed was premature and not needed. If EVERYONE in this dispute had stepped back for 24 hours and returned to editing with a fresh perspective, none of the time spent writing up long comments on this page would have wasted, and it could have been spent on constructive editing. Move on.--Cberlet 16:23, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

All signed comments and talk not related to a vote or endorsement, should be directed to this page's discussion page.


Note to El C[edit]

In endorsing the Response by User:SlimVirgin, User:El C writes:

"If our resident neorologist cannot find the time "to methodically go through each of [SV's] edits in the way [s/he] did with [her] introduction," then I am of the opinion that s/he should refrain from reverting hours of work en mass." [41]

I am the "resident neurologist" being referred to. The incident under discussion is a 'revert war' that occured on July 11, involving to varying degrees User:SlimVirgin, User:FuelWagon, User:Duckecho, and User:Ann Heneghan(who commendably reverted only once). Although I was online at the time, I did not at any stage ever perform any reverts or edits whatsoever to the article. I entered the discussion on the Talk page, two days after the incident. I tried to help by writing posts that focused principally on the purely medical questions, trying to clearly show what statements and assumptions of User:SlimVirgin were erroneous. I also suggested a way out of one part of the dilemna by suggesting a version of the introduction that had been widely agreed upon by "both sides" prior to July 11. I made one comment indicating that I felt there was a better way to go about editing a highly controversial article already in Mediation, for the very first time, than the method employed on that day.

The first response by User:SlimVirgin to this extended, 7 section post on the pathologic lesions of PVS, on cortical blindness, brain mass, consciousness, and other TS neurologic/medical issues was to say that I had not made any remarks about the facts. I was a bit saddened, but I tried again, with another series of posts. I am happy to report that after 7,751 words in 12 sections on the neurological and other TS issues, User:SlimVirgin has finally acknowledged that some issues to do with the neurologic aspects of the case have actually been raised. This is progress.

My personal policy on editing Wikipedia is that of the Wikipedia Harmonius editing club; adhere strictly to the "Bold but not reckless" policy, and immediately enter discussions in Talk if my work has been reverted, instead of engaging in a revert war. I have never reverted any user who was not vandalizing a page. I would appreciate it if User:El C

1. Amends his erroneous note under his endorsement,
2. Re-visit the facts of the dispute if his decision was based substantially on this erroneous assumptions of my role.

Regards,~ Neuroscientist | T | C ? 11:11, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

I stand corrected on misreading the edit history, and I have ammended my comment about reversions accordingly. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. El_C 12:16, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Note to Sjakkalle[edit]

Hello. I just wanted to say that I agree with you regarding User:SlimVirgin's comments posted under the section SlimVirgin Personal Attacks. This RfC and the details therein were brought by one of the editors involved in a revert war with User:SlimVirgin in the Schiavo article. I had no role in the revert war, and have had no role in preparing this RfC, although I agree with many of the points raised.

I do disagree with items 1-4 under SlimVirgin Personal Attacks. I believe 'highly educated editor' refers to me. However, I do not consider in the least that User:SlimVirgin's comments to me were a personal attack. I have a simple understanding of what constitutes a personal attack, and I was not hurt nor did I feel attacked by these remarks. I agree with you that they plausibly may violate the policy on Wikipedia:Civility, but I am not inclined to push this point either.

I believe User:SlimVirgin wrote some factually mistaken edits into the Schiavo article on July 11, and there are aspects of her conduct since then that I think were disagreeable, but the above were not personal attacks.

Regards,~ Neuroscientist | T | C ? 11:11, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

  • Thanks. I don't think that there are many editors who haven't infringed at least slightly upon the WP:CIVIL policy at least once. Sjakkalle (Check!) 11:30, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

In case anyone thinks I'm trying to hide this fact, I was blocked by Ed Poor on 21:02, July 12, 2005 here. According to Ed, he stated the reason was "unrepentant personal attacks" and paraphrased one of my posts to SlimVirgin "I mounted a personal attack by calling you an explitive, but I won't apologize . . ." which I posted here. What Ed ignored was the fact that I had made an attempt to remove any personal attacks made by me in several edits to the talk page [42] [43] [44] [45].

By the time I wrote "I mounted a personal attack by calling you an explitive, but I won't apologize . . .", SlimVirgin had accused me of "owning" the page, violating NPOV, violating no original research, and of "arguing for the sake of arguing". None of which were true. It was also after many, many attempts to point out the factual errors of her edit, without her conceeding a single problem with her edit, and often after having her respond to attempts to point out errors as a violation of "No Personal Attacks".

So, I violated "no personal attacks", and Ed blocked me for 40 hours. That's fine. I am clear I lost my cool and attacked SlimVirgin, and I didn't protest the block. I admit I broke the rules and I was willing to do the time. (I do, however, object to the idea of "unapologetic", simply because I was in the process of cleaning up the talk page before Ed blocked me. I know I crossed the line and I was attempting to fix it, but oh well.)

Can I cut in, just to apologize? I could see that you were in the process of cleaning up the talk page, and I really had mixed feelings about the block. If I was wrong, I hope we can find a way that I can make it up to you. :-( Uncle Ed 00:50, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

While I was blocked, I worked on my talk page, attempting to describe the problems with SlimVirgin's edits, without any hint of personal attack.

Then Ed Poor locked my talk page, explaining "*#I made sure his user talk page was available to him during the block, but he persisted with hurtful personal remarks, so I also blocked that page and moved offending text to a subpage."

I have no clue what the "hurtful remarks" are. The entire block of text that I had written is here. I tried to keep it as factual as possible. I don't see any hurtful remarks.

But, either way, I broke the "no personal attack" rule on the talk page, so I didn't mind doing the time for the block.

However, having served my time, SlimVirgin is still insisting on inserting her edit, is still accusing editors of "owning the page", is still responding to criticism as violating "No Personal Attack" and is still unwilling to concede there are any problems with the facts in her edit. FuelWagon 22:04, 14 July 2005 (UTC)


  • Even if we take your arguments at face value, what has SlimVirgin done? You have only accused her of making a minor edit, although many of them, that you disagree with. You have not alleged POV pushing, reactionary reverting (she did discuss them), any violation of Wiki policy, intentionally POV edits, Admin abuse, etc. In short, this looks like the most minor disagreement that I see on some of these pages. The problem is what you did after the disagreement. Cuss words have no place here. And while many disagree with what constitutes a personal attack, certainly making statements unrelated to the edit issue or the actions of an editor, and placing offensive statements on your talk page, are beyond the bounds. And Slim does not seem like the retaliatory type. Why not just appoligize and move on? --Noitall 23:41, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
Cuss words have no place here. And I accepted the 40-hour block even after I had cleaned up my comments. placing offensive statements on your talk page There are no offensive statements on my talk page.
what has SlimVirgin done? According to When to use Rfc
RFC is appropriate when you want other wikipedians to visit the page, to allow a consensus or a better quality of decision, to help resolve a dispute or break a deadlock
SlimVirgin made a reckless edit, according to wikipedia's definition: a massive edit on a highly controversial page, containing numerous errors, problems, and other issues. Yet she refuses to concede that her edit qualifies as reckless in any way. Her usual response to criticism is to call it a personal attack. She continues to refer to our reverts of her edits as "blind reverts" even though she has gotten a detailed list of errors from three separate editors. And she still insists that her edit should be inserted into the article. Since a number of editors have been unable to convince SlimVirgin of conceeding there is even a single error in her entire edit, it seems that we have reached a deadlock. The point of the RFC was to get an outside, objective look of her edit before yet another revert war broke out, to get a concensus that "yes, your edit contains too many errors to be put into the article".
SlimVirgin also made a number of false accusations against some of the editors on the talk page. "But I feel that FuelWagon and Duckecho are POV pushing too by insisting, for example, that no dissenting voice be heard in the intro." (No one EVER said "no dissenting voice in the intro" or any other such nonsense) "It appears that a small group of editors, currently consisting of User:FuelWagon and User:Duckecho have taken ownership of this page and won't allow others to edit without their consent." (That's an interesting interpretation of several editors agreeing that one user's edit is massively incorrect) "arguing for the sake of arguing" (She made inaccurate claims about the prognosis of PVS), "blind reverting" (even after presented with several thousand words explaining the problems with her edit) and violating "No personal attacks" (a common response to any criticism). She has thus far been unwilling to concede that ANY accusation she has made was misguided. Accusing editors of violating "No personal attacks" simply because they criticize your edit qualifies as a kind of personal attack itself. The point of the RFC around this was, at the very least, to get SlimVirgin to stop responding to criticisms of her editing as a violation of "No personal attacks". This behaviour has created a deadlock.
  • Some of your complaint is absolutely wrong since she gave a rationale, in fact, you provided her extensive rationale. Other parts are sort of absurd. You complain that she did not follow the standard she put for editing on her talk page. The standard she put on her talk page is extremely high, in fact, impractically high (I sure don't meet it) for dealing with other aggressive editors. The fact that she did not meet her own super high standard becomes a complaint? --Noitall 07:03, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
I just deleted the text under "policies" that referred to her talk page. It should only contain wikipedia policies, not personal standards. FuelWagon 07:21, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I haven't time to write a proper response (at the moment), but I endorse what Noitall has said. I have also got the impression that some editors were trying to prevent "unapproved" editors from editing. I can't speak officially for others, but I believe that Patsw feels the same way (see [46]). I have not found this attitude or this hostility on other Wikipedia articles. I have also been very shocked at some of the personal attacks, snide remarks, and swearing that I have seen on the Terri Schiavo talk pages and on the user pages and talk pages of some of the Terri Schiavo editors. Something is badly wrong. If an RfC is needed, it is because of the abuse, and not because of SlimVirgin trying to push for her edits while FuelWagon and Duckecho were pushing against them. Will respond properly next week. Ann Heneghan 00:35, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

SlimVirgin, in a very disruptive unproductive way, is behaving towards others as she insists they not behave towards her. She attacks other contributors MOTIVES (a personal attack), she makes large disruptive edits, she refuses to discuss the substance of the edits (instead insisting any and all attempts to point out errors are "personal attacks"), she arrogantly tells the other editors in detail how they are to behave even as she acts above behaving properly herself, she insists all edits by others are fair game for her to edit yet her edits must not be edited ("blind revert" SHE calls it). I have never ever ever ever seen this much blind narcissistic arrogance in an admin. 4.250.33.21 06:52, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Make sure you do not edit on the pages I have been on. Such pages are not for the faint hearted. When you have 3 or 4 ganging up on you or get blocked with no justification, then make your complaint. --Noitall 07:03, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
Considering this User:4.250.33.21 is hardly qualified to be accusing anyone, much less a reputable editor, of engaging in disruptive and unproductive behavior. User:4.250.33.21's abusive behavior, support of SS, and interest in and knowledge of the group dynamics here taken with their fanning the flames of obscure personal conflicts belies any notion that they're a genuine anon without any connection to a registered account. FeloniousMonk 22:27, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

The Diffs to resolve dispute[edit]

"the diffs are not proper examples of trying and failing to resolve the dispute."

I've changed the diffs to the two posts from Neuroscientist, since his edits were the best from a technical errors view and also from a "no personal attacks" point of view. The "diffs to resolve dispute" should be considered in compliance with the RFC requirement. FuelWagon 19:45, 15 July 2005 (UTC)


=appears to be owning[edit]

withdrawing this from RFC. keeping on page to satisfy SlimVirgin. FuelWagon 04:02, 16 July 2005 (UTC)


SlimVirgin wrote It appears that a small group of editors, currently consisting of User:FuelWagon and User:Duckecho have taken ownership of this page and won't allow others to edit without their consent. This isn't allowed.

Despite a laundry list of issues with her edit, SlimVirgin refuses to concede any problem with her edit, and instead calls any attempt to refuse to allow her edit into the article as the editors attempting to "own" the page.

This is not an accusation. It is (1) an opinion and (2) a statement of policy. Both are permissible. Uncle Ed 20:46, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
Come on, Ed, if I prefixed all my personal attacks with "It appears that you're an xxx", would that excuse it? Or "It is my personal opinion that you are an xxx"? Hedging it under "personal opinion" doesn't change anything. FuelWagon 21:44, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Actually, no. Citing official Wikipedia policy is not a personal attack, I challenge. El_C 22:04, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
She didn't CITE it. She accused me of violating it, which I didn't do. Citing it would be something like "taking ownership of a page violates wikipedia policy". She just came out and said I've violated it. And if saying "it appears" in front of something gives you a blank check to say anything, sign me up. As for whether or not I did or did not violate "ownership", I answered that on the talk page due to length. FuelWagon 22:46, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
To me, that appears to be an exercize in sophistry. El_C 23:12, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for Assuming Good Faith on my part. FuelWagon 23:18, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Likewise. I never claimed it was intentional, but I feel it is the reality nonetheless, and I am entitled to hold that opinion. El_C 23:31, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Look, the reason I filed an RFC was in part because an attempt to work it out on talk simply exploded. I thought that perhaps an RFC could bring in an outside, unbiased voice. SlimVirgin made a reckless edit and she still holds that it should be reinserted. If you want to ignore all the issues on an RFC because one point sounds sophist to you, fine. But I don't need people like you challenging me here. I'm trying to avoid another explosion. FuelWagon 23:49, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I'll comment on and direct challenges toward whatever I see fit, I'm not bound by the conditions you set. El_C 00:03, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I set no conditions. I said I don't need people like you challenging me. If you want to "direct challenges toward whatever (you) see fit", fine. It's good to have a some purpose in life. If you'd like to help keep this RFC non-combative though, I would appreciate the help. If not, whatever. I just made a request. You get to choose. FuelWagon 00:09, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I am not interested in responding to that at this time. El_C 00:16, 16 July 2005 (UTC)