User talk:Protonk/Archive 17

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What the actual fuck

Ok, HJ Mitchell, this better be good. Protonk (talk) 22:37, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


That you, an admin for crying out loud, didn't just think that you actually said it NB: RevDel'd astounds me. You not only advocated ignoring policy, but repeated an egregious BLP violation while you did it. I've blocked you for 24 hours under the gamergate discretionary sanctions (of which you are aware because you commented on the case, on the Arbitration Committee noticeboard, and because you must have seen the very prominent editnotice alerting you to the sanctions on the talk page. This is an arbitration enforcement action and may not be reversed without my explicit consent, that of the Arbitration Committee, or a community consensus. Further, you are topic-banned for a period of three months from all articles and discussions related to gamergate, broadly construed. You can appeal that to WP:AE/WP:AN and/or ArbCom. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:42, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

  • That you feel such a statement is actionable astounds me. Protonk (talk) 22:44, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  • @HJ Mitchell: Do you mind explaining why you blocked and topic banned Protonk but didn't block or topic ban me for making what was essentially the same comment that he did (twice)? Kaciemonster (talk) 00:46, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, here we go.

This blocked user's unblock request has been reviewed by an administrator, who declined the request. Other administrators may also review this block, but should not override the decision without good reason (see the blocking policy). Do not remove this unblock review while you are blocked.

Protonk (block logactive blocksglobal blocksautoblockscontribsdeleted contribsfilter logcreation logchange block settingsunblockcheckuser (log))

Request reason:

Well. Never thought I'd have to use one of these, hopefully I don't mess up the syntax. I was apparently blocked for BLP violations. I defy any administrator to explain how stating THE SINGLE MOST WELL SOURCED AND CENTRAL FACT in the gamergate controversy represents a BLP violation so foul that the edit needs to be deleted and the editor blocked. Further, I'd like an explanation how we're supposed to talk about harassment and sexist accusations against women if we can't refer to those in text. Protonk (talk) 22:43, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Decline reason:

This unblock request can't be granted. Not because I think this is a good block, but because this is explicitly marked as an AE block. (These require consensus to undo, to the point that even an Arbitrator can't reverse it in an unblock request.) If you fill out Template:Arbitration enforcement appeal below, someone will copy it over to WP:AE for an appeal of both this block and the topic ban (I assume you would like to appeal both). For anyone who reads this, this decline is procedural, and is not an endorsement or affirmation of the block. Courcelles 23:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

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

To be fair, the statement you're blocked for making is the same kind of comment a number of other people on whatever (ahem) "side" have been given BLP warnings or sanctions for making. Startling to see both aspects of this go down, but I think you're best off making your take-away from this that if we expect others to not toss around that particular accusation, even as a reference to someone else thinking it, administrators probably ought to model the same. YMMV may vary as far as thinking it's necessary to restrict it or not, but if we're restricting it for some... A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:50, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I think you know this is weak tea. I'm not sure what principle we're defending. Once I find it I'll defend it with you, but I can't get behind the notion that we can't refer to the allegations which kicked off the GG controversy and...well...are in the article text right now. I know admins are held to a higher standard but I'm not going to present a unified front of stupidity. There is literally nothing, nothing that violates BLP in that statement. It is a sourced (look in the article), sourceable statement of fact that would not constitute anything close to defamation or disparagement anywhere except (evidently) on the GG talk page. Protonk (talk) 23:13, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Protonk surely you can see where you went wrong? What you have said is a clear BLP violation. I honestly think you're best just taking 24 hours out in this case--5 albert square (talk) 23:36, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Point to the BLP violation in that sentence. Protonk (talk) 23:37, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Unless you're scared that pointing to the actual violation would, in itself be a violation. If that's the case, you've got some sense of the ridiculous nature of things. Also I'm not joking about this. That statement is sourceable to a half dozen reliable sources and even if it were unsourced, it's not defamatory. Protonk (talk) 23:39, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Saying that Seigenthaler shot Keneddy would be a BLP violation. Saying that an anonymous editor added such an accusation to an article on wikipedia would not be. We have an entire article devoted to that completely false and spurious accusation. Should we redact that whole article? Protonk (talk) 23:41, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
You forgot to cite a reliable source. Really, that's the fig-leaf of BLP sometimes. Guettarda (talk) 00:59, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not commenting on the block, but I think the problem is that the ex-boyfriend claimed that Quinn slept with (named journalist) in return for good reviews, until it was pointed out that (named journalist) concerned had actually never reviewed her game. Black Kite (talk) 01:05, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify - the ex didn't ascribe any motives to Quinn. Those were claimed by other people. He only accused her of having affairs, and made no claims as to why. - Bilby (talk) 01:41, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, I've read the whole thing now and personally I'm not convinced this is a good block. Nothing I can do about it though as it's an AE issue. Black Kite (talk) 01:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey Black Kite, I'd like to elaborate but I don't know if doing so will shake the encyclopedia to its very foundations, so it'll have to wait. :( Protonk (talk) 01:27, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, I'm not impressed with the block. If the simple presence of a link connected to the statement in that particular place is the entire reason for the block (and topic ban), that's excessive. Guettarda (talk) 01:49, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Technically, I think Black Kite made the exact same BLP "violation" in ignorance up there at 1:05 as Protonk, so why hasn't anyone blocked/topic-banned them yet? --PresN 06:27, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, Courcelles. Protonk (talk) 23:57, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

  • It may not be the stupidest block I've ever seen in my time here, but it's certainly in the running. --Orange Mike | Talk 02:01, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The extremist interpretation of BLP rules has become downright crazy at Wikipedia. Carrite (talk) 04:55, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I was recently told what AE stands for, it's unprintable, - arbitrary enforcement is. I have been cited to AE and threatened with a block of a month because a restored an article after an edit war, - I just was so angry that I forgot my restriction. I promised not to do it again, but what if I am made so angry again? - On the side of all victims (actually the reason for my restrictions) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:03, 30 January 2015 (UTC)


What'd you say? Email me. Also, 5 deep breaths. Hipocrite (talk) 22:53, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Off-wiki funny business

Just curious what sorts of proposals, discussions, etc. you've come across that present a viable (or not) remedy or strategy to the problem of off-wiki coordination. As I read your Signpost piece which mentions ArbCom's attention to but eventual inaction on the matter, I realized that I couldn't remember any proposed solution (at ArbCom, at a village pump, at some article RfC...) that got any real attention and/or that presents something that might be workable. Plenty of policies regarding SPAs, but off-wiki coordination shares that symptom with plenty of other activities/causes. Somehow I imagine you've talked about this or looked into this a fair bit lately, so maybe I'm just asking for a link to the most relevant recent thread. :) — Rhododendrites talk \\ 00:06, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Many of the older cases--especially and importantly those which cemented the norm in the first place--were defined by one important fact: the community shitting on wikipedians was much, much smaller than wikipedia. Nobody, to a first approximation, ever read Wikipedia Review. It was an entirely practical solution to tell an editor to ignore Daniel Brandt's spittle flecked ramblings about them because it neither impacted wikipedia nor materially impacted the editor. It's not just that wikipedia is a big website, the community was actually fairly large in comparison to many other communities from 2004-2007. Moreover, most of the "wikipedia editor so and so sucks" posts were on communities that had built themselves around criticizing wikipedia (and will necessarily be much smaller than us). That's not true anymore. There are plenty of active online communities whose concurrent users dwarf Wikipedia's. Our site may be in the top five, but we're not the only people with a few thousand highly active participants. I think we first need to realize that the norms we've created make sense if the "off-wiki" community is tiny. Those communities are no longer tiny and so a core unspoken assumption melts away.
  • I don't have threads off hand and I don't have past writings on the topic (actually, that's probably not true, I just forget where they are). If you want to talk in a bit more specifics you can feel free to send me an email. I've got a bit more to say, but it's probably not best said now. Protonk (talk) 00:26, 30 January 2015 (UTC)


I copied the below appeal to WP:AN where I believe it belongs.

jps (talk) 03:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Per the text at AE, I think it belongs there, not at AN. Guettarda (talk) 03:24, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but per the text at the rules for how to run AE appeals, apparently AN is the place to do it. In any case, someone might move it and that's fine with me. It obviously doesn't belong here. jps (talk) 03:25, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I gave a cursory reading to the AE appeals page and I still can't make heads or tails of what I'm supposed to do. Thanks for making an attempt (seriously) Protonk (talk) 03:49, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Protonk

Procedural notes: The rules governing arbitration enforcement appeals are found here. According to the procedures, a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors" is required to overturn an arbitration enforcement action.

To help determine any such consensus, involved editors may make brief statements in separate sections but should not edit the section for discussion among uninvolved editors. Editors are normally considered involved if they are in a current dispute with the sanctioning or sanctioned editor, or have taken part in disputes (if any) related to the contested enforcement action. Administrators having taken administrative actions are not normally considered involved for this reason alone (see WP:UNINVOLVED).

Appealing user 
Protonk (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)Protonk (talk) 02:34, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Sanction being appealed 
24 hour block and 3 month topic ban pursuant to GG sanctions, logged here
Administrator imposing the sanction 
HJ Mitchell (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator 
The appealing editor is asked to notify the administrator who made the enforcement action of this appeal, and then to replace this text with a diff of that notification. The appeal may not be processed otherwise. If a block is appealed, the editor moving the appeal to this board should make the notification.

Statement by Protonk

Please bear with me through a somewhat indirect appeal, as the justification for my block is so Kafkaesque I cannot diagram the single sentence which provoked it to defend my actions without inviting further sanction.

I was blocked under the GG discretionary sanctions for this edit (admins can review the diff). The justification was (near as I can tell) "advocat[ing] ignoring policy" and "repeat[ing] an egregious BLP violation" (diff) while doing so.

The statement that I made is unambiguously true, sourced to multiple reliable sources in the gamergate article, and central to the dispute at hand. Further, the only way to read defamation or denigration from that sentence is to rip words out from the incredibly limited context I provided. I'm not even making the half-assed claim that you have to read that sentence in light of my entire oeuvre or even a whole paragraph in order to gain context--you just have to read the entire sentence. Like I said above, I can't diagram said sentence here, so forgive me an analogy.

We have on Wikipedia an entire article devoted to a scurrilous accusation, one which is obviously provably false. An accusation which not only violates BLP it caused the BLP policy to come into being. In it we state "The article falsely stated that Seigenthaler had been a suspect in the assassinations of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy." We recognize that the embedded statement "...Seigenthaler had been a suspect in the assassinations..." is a BLP violation. It's a false, unsourced claim about a living person. The encompassing sentence is not a BLP violation because it is a true, sourced claim. It cannot be one regardless of the awfulness of the original claim. There is no transitive property of BLP.

Further, the same basic idea is already present in our current article: "Shortly after the release of Depression Quest on Steam in August 2014, Quinn's former boyfriend Eron Gjoni wrote a blog post, described by The New York Times as a "rambling online essay", containing a series of allegations, among which was that Quinn had an affair with Kotaku journalist Nathan Grayson." Snipping out the meandering clauses we get "...Quinn's former boyfriend Eron Gjoni wrote a blog post...[alleging]...Quinn had an affair with Kotaku journalist Nathan Grayson." I'm really struggling here to see the substantive difference between that and what I wrote. If the distinction was that I didn't cite my source, a 3 month topic ban seems a bit harsh.

As for the charge of advocating ignoring policy: fuck that. The interpretation of BLP which I decried in that edit is perverse and nonsensical (see this redaction for a good example, paying close attention to what was and wasn't retracted). If our policy is arbitrary enough that an admin (admittedly one who is pretty intemperate and not very smart) can get topic banned for three months over a single edit for content that is already in a wikipedia article then I have absolutely no regrets in advocating we ignore it. Protonk (talk) 02:34, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Statement by HJ Mitchell

Statement by (involved editor 1)

Statement by (involved editor 2)

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by Protonk

Result of the appeal by Protonk

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.

Hey Courcelles I think I did it correctly this time. Can you copy this over? Thanks. Protonk (talk) 02:36, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Yep, done right. Someone already copied to AN while I was on the road. Courcelles 03:18, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The appeal can't be happening in two places at once, because it could come up with a paradoxical result. Either AN or AE, which do you prefer, Protonk? I will close whichever you'd prefer to have closed strictly for procedural reasons. Risker (talk) 04:22, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Never mind. Courcelles has centralized it to WP:AN. Risker (talk) 04:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Bemused by arguments that the sin in my statement was defaming Gjoni. Protonk (talk) 05:15, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Unblocked per the consensus at WP:AN. Protonk, please read the comments carefully and take heed to the fairly consistent evaluation that you incorrectly paraphrased, and crossed the line into BLP violation territory. It might be worthwhile to consider taking a bit of a break from the topic area on your own volition just to gain a slightly different perspective, but that's my own opinion and thus not included in the decision. Risker (talk) 06:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Thank you, Risker, for unblocking me and for your advice, which I will certainly heed. I'm not interested in re-litigating the block (which, as ammended I think is fair for an edit which was brief, brash and provocative), but I have one major concern. I still don't know what HJ Mitchell felt was such an "egregious violation". He reverted and revdel'd it on sight, before imposing a 3 month topic ban. It "astound[ed]" him, so I assume he thought the nature of the violation would be self-evident. I suspect (though I do not know) that he felt it was the repetition of the accusation itself. I've already laid out my opinions why I feel that is not a BLP violation above. Some editors felt my assignment of motive Gjonji--though I must say if the most dispassionate depiction of those events is "Gjoni does not directly accuse Quinn of using sex to advance her career, he implies that her relationships with the man for whom she later worked and a gaming journalist may have been ethically murky," then I don't think it is even a remote leap to ascribe motive (two sources cited in the GG article do so directly). You determined the consensus to be I "likely did cross the line into BLP territory", but didn't say why. I'm not trying to convince you of why they are or aren't violations but trying to establish very precisely what you felt was problematic with that edit and what HJ Mitchell felt was problematic. You'll forgive me for being dramatic but this is not the sort of uncertainty I'm comfortable operating under. I understand the obvious problem with basically repeating a BLP violation after someone was blocked for it so I'm happy to carry along such a conversation via email should you feel it's not appropriate for a user talk page. Thanks. Protonk (talk) 13:14, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Hello Protonk. I understand your frustration but my advice is that if you don't understand how your post violated BLP then you should avoid the whole area until you do understand. I find the subject matter to be a twisted maze of inexplicable controversy myself and also do not understand. However it is clear there are several admins and other at AE who do understand how it is a violation. Chillum 16:07, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's a difficult question. Look, I was blocked for a flagrant BLP vio, which given the statement I made seems to me to only be possible if the vio was repeating the allegations leveled at Quinn. Which is absurd. Patently and completely. However if that's what the violation was then that's what it was and I'll know that going into the topic area. However after the block it seemed as though people were picking up on something else (more marginal but in the end equally farcical), namely that the violation was my assignment of a motive to the accusations themselves. Is it either, both? There's only three options and they should be pretty easy to enumerate and explain. Protonk (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It seems that your edit attributed actions to her ex-boyfriend that were not true. Again, not every BLP violation is easy to understand and if you don't get it then you should avoid the area. Keep in mind that even though your block was reversed it was generally agreed that you did violate BLP. Please don't get the wrong message from the unblock. Chillum 16:29, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It seems to whom? The washington post? The daily beast? Both of whom make nearly the same exact statement. Further, if it's a flagrant BLP violation to speak plainly about that exact issue (given the ample and clear sourcing available) then my original statement is more right. That interpretation is perverse and should be rejected. Period. Protonk (talk) 16:35, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
And if this really is about the difference between using the word "implied" vs "alleged" (which I agree was poorly chosen), then honestly how is that a BLP violation and not a copyedit. Protonk (talk) 16:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I am not here to solve a content dispute I am here because I don't want to see you get blocked again. If you cannot reconcile your opinion with those enforcing arbitration then it is in your best interests and the best interests of the encyclopedia that you just avoid those area. Even if you are right you know better than most that being right is not enough on Wikipedia. Chillum 16:40, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. Protonk (talk) 16:42, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Apropos of nothing...

I have a newfound appreciation for how byzantine our processes are for getting unblocked and how helpless a blocked editor can feel. That is all. Protonk (talk) 03:26, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

In the early days when the wiki was new some admins used to intentionally edit as IPs and get themselves blocked to feel what it is like. Like police officers being tased before being given their taser, I definitely feel like admins should be blocked and have to go through the appeal just to see what it is like. There's nothing quite like that little notice about how you aren't allowed to edit Wikipedia to make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. jps (talk) 03:30, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I got a bit of a taste of that on my alternate account (for work) where I ventured into a discussion assuming my username and status would allow my to slide past certain niceties and I got smacked down pretty hard. It was a sobering experience, though this is a bit more direct and unpleasant. I've edited as an IP one or two times (though never trying to incite controversy) since getting the bit and it is interesting to see how much leeway an established account gets vs a new one. Protonk (talk) 03:36, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
If you're feeling saucy this evening, one fun thing to try is logging out and editing, for example, your userpage. You'll trigger the IP block which a whole different kind of wonderful. Also, you run the risk of being tarnished as a block-evader. If you do manage to squeak in some edit and a curious bystander takes issue, you'll be labeled as a sockpuppeteer. As it stands, someone could come by right now with a big ol' template that says "THIS USER HAS BEEN BLOCKED" and slap it on your userpage right now and you'd just have to live with that badge of shame. Welcome to the other side! jps (talk) 03:45, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I remember editing as an IP once, many years ago, and having my (perfectly fine) edits reverted by someone who. If memories serves, i had to their talk page and convince them I was me before they'd let the edit stand. That experience made me more sympathetic to IP editors. As for blocks - yep, the system is byzantine. The only people who know how to navigate it are the people who have been blocked repeatedly. Guettarda (talk) 13:14, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
thank you for saying so, Protonk. :) Sickmachine (talk) 05:31, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It was the disdain of the more power-hungry admins for ordinary contributors and the unwillingness of Arbcom (made up, of course, largely of power-hungry admins) to reign them in that made me stop writing stuff for WP. I haven't posted anything under my user name for well over a year now. I have, however, made a few posts to discussions where admin abuse was visible. A certain HJ Mitchell (now where have I seen that user name recently?) blocked me for posting whilst logged out. This, of course, is not a legitimate reason. And someone from the block-first-think-second-but-only-if-you-can-be-bothered school blocked me for being User:Vigilant despite my editing from a static IP in a different country from where Vigilant lives.
This site lets people like Mitchell climb the greasy pole through picking on others. (Just look at his activity log and how few of the people he has blocked have blue user talk page links and they aren't all vandals. WP:BITE or what?) Hopefully his plans to get on Arbcom have been pushed back somewhat by this latest escapade. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Is that the right question?

If it's just one thing, I'm pretty sure the arbs already said they won't do the conditional vote thing which was particularly unusual in this case. (Conditional votes themselves aren't an issue, but the extent of the conditions did make it weird when figuring out if remedies were passing or not). Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:08, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

  • If the arbs think the one thing they'd like to mention is conditional voting and feel the community is owed no more introspective look, that's their business. Protonk (talk) 16:19, 30 January 2015 (UTC)