User talk:SilkTork

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Edmund Blair Leighton - A flaw in the title.jpg

I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. Barack Obama

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Hi SilkTork, would you consider running for ArbCom again? We need good, neutral, knowledgeable people like yourself on the committee. Currently there are only three people running to fill six positions, and two of those running are not even admins. Please consider serving again if you are able. Thank you, Softlavender (talk) 11:07, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

I did seriously consider running when Worm put himself forward last year. He and I had been on the same Committee and experienced the same stresses. The dynamics in our Committee were not good, and there was a lot of tension, which made the job very unpleasant. I noted that the incoming Committee seemed more relaxed and friendly, and the atmosphere had lightened a bit during that transition period, which made me ponder if it was possible to do the job without the internal stress. Conversations I've had with Committee members since then have indicated that our Committee was particularly unlucky with regard to negative internal dynamics, and our experience was possibly unique. I enjoyed working with Worm, and the thought crossed my mind that I probably could go back in and do the job, and it wouldn't be unpleasant. By the time I reached that decision it was too late to nominate myself last year, but I did think back then that I might apply this year, and you're not the first to raise the issue with me. So here we are. I need to do a reality check. I don't do that much on Wikipedia these days, but I still want to help out where I can. Do I have enough time and energy to work on the Committee? My understanding is that the work load has diminished considerably, so I probably can. And I remember advice from Newyorkbrad (and I think we are kinda similar) that you put in what work you can, and take the breaks you need. SilkTork (talk) 11:44, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
All good points, and that's a good attitude. I hope you'll decide to put your hat in. One reason I'm reaching out to you is that the current batch of nominees don't seem set to fit in with a well-oiled committee. With you, and other experienced administrators who are active in problem-solving, on the committee instead, it would be a smooth, happy, well-functioning team. Cheers. Softlavender (talk) 11:51, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
Committee is far less stressful these days, and I'd certainly welcome you back. Feel free to email me if you have any questions that I can answer WormTT(talk) 14:04, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Haha, did you just answer a contestant question on the wrong contestant's page? Good thing I haven't voted yet because you have lost my vote now. LOL. Softlavender (talk) 11:30, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Ha. Yes I did. I must have had Lourdes page open on my browser, and the questions were exactly the same. No problem if you want to vote for Lourdes instead based on my answers! ;-) SilkTork (talk) 11:47, 27 November 2018 (UTC)


Thanks for responding thoughtfully to my questions regarding your candidacy for ArbCom. I am thanking you here so as to avoid clutter on that page. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:45, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Cool. SilkTork (talk) 00:24, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for graciously answering all eight of my questions--probably the most of any questioner. If you feel I have reached my limit, I understand--I don't want to overdo it. I do have another one that is complicated I asked some other candidates. --David Tornheim (talk) 08:07, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
Do you have a real situation in mind? SilkTork (talk) 10:54, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm assuming you mean of the hypothetical in the question. I avoided giving a specific example intentionally. I did not want you to take a position in any particular dispute. I am far more interested in whether Arbs can distance themselves from their own particular beliefs about the content of the dispute (especially Arbs not familiar with the WP:RS), and work to create a space where editors with conflicting opinions on content can work together, without peace being created by simply eliminating all editors from one side of the dispute. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:16, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm probably a bit tired now as I'm not sure I'm quite getting my head around your question, and what it is you want me to answer. And statements like "especially Arbs not familiar with the WP:RS" confuse me. Is it really our guideline on identifying reliable sources that you wanted to link to? I would be very concerned if we had admins who were not familiar with identifying reliable sources, let alone Committee members! If something like the situation in your hypothetical came to ArbCom, the Committee would be looking at the admins on AN who supported the accusers, to see if there was a cabal in place. That would be ArbCom's role. The Committee would not be looking at the content and taking sides, they would be looking at the behaviour of those involved. As for creating a space for editors to work together - I tried that in the Tea Party case. I suspended the case while I worked with the editors to get the editing back on track. It didn't work. SilkTork (talk) 00:47, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I meant to link to WP:RS. I agree with you. I would be equally concerned if any Arb (or admin) was unfamiliar with the WP:RS policy. I meant unfamiliar with the specific reliable sources (or perhaps some unreliable sources) that are involved in the content dispute in that topic area. I would not expect all Arbs (admins) to be proficient in the RS of every dispute they handle. However, I would hope Arbs (and admins) have a sufficiently open mind to consider the possibility that the RS in any topic might say something different than what that Arb believes to be "true" about the topic area. It is my belief that decisions are often made about editor behavior based on preconceived notions about the content by the decision-maker(s) rather than taking the time to actually look at the sources and the material in the sources to see if one party or the other is lying and misrepresenting what is in the sources.
I honestly do not see how an Arb cannot consider content of the sources at all, because IMHO disruptive behavior at contested articles is frequently over whether content and sourcing for that content are sufficient to put specific material in the article.
I wouldn't expect ArbCom to rule on what content should or should not be in an article, but I would expect ArbCom to consider whether editors are lying about content in sources, consistently misapplying sources by using contradictory standards, preferring inferior sources over superior sources, preferring outdated sources to current sources, dismissing high quality sources that articulate views they don't want in the article, and other behavior that create bias in the article. I wanted to ask Arbs about that too. --David Tornheim (talk) 01:47, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

It is expected that users question and discuss sources. That is part of everyday editing, and we have venues such as WikiProjects and Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard to raise issues over particular sources. So what ArbCom would be looking for is if the users had been using those venues instead of arguing amongst themselves in circles. Given the experience of any particular Committee in editing Wikipedia, it would be expected that there would be knowledge of which sources are reliable and which are not, and if it was felt that part of the cause of the problem was disagreement over the reliability of a source, then it is likely that a Principle would be written underlining that the community expects people to edit by paying attention to WP:RS, and to using WP:RSN if in doubt. However, as ArbCom's role is to look at conduct and not to rule on content, and the case would have been accepted only if there were serious unresolved conduct issues, then any rulings and sanctions would be for the poor conduct. It is not ArbCom's role to decide which sources are better - that is entirely down to the community, and to the venues set up to decide these matters. If a case was brought to ArbCom with the expectation that the Committee would rule on sources, it would be rejected and sent back to the community. SilkTork (talk) 09:29, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for your thoughtful answer. I do plan to endorse you as a candidate. --David Tornheim (talk) 16:25, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

File:Pink Floyd - all members.jpg listed for discussion[edit]


A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Pink Floyd - all members.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for discussion. Please see the discussion to see why it has been listed (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry). Feel free to add your opinion on the matter below the nomination. Thank you. — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 13:59, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Noted and commented. Thanks. SilkTork (talk) 15:22, 18 November 2018 (UTC)


I think you answered questions in the wrong section [1]. Ooops. --David Tornheim (talk) 01:06, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Doh! SilkTork (talk) 09:12, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Welcome back[edit]

Hi SilkTork. Congratulations on your success in the elections and welcome to the 2019 Arbitration Committee. Sorry to be a pain, but we'll need to go through the formalities.

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Thank you for volunteering to serve on the committee. We very much look forward to introducing ourselves to you on the mailing list and to working with you this term.

For the Arbitration Committee,
WormTT(talk) 10:51, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

  • Congratulations on winning your re-election. --David Tornheim (talk) 18:12, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Answering all those questions was the fun easy part - now I have to get through the induction and the hazing. SilkTork (talk) 18:23, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
You're going to have to become more active than 3/4. Congratulations! Liz Read! Talk! 02:23, 15 December 2018 (UTC)
I have adjusted the tag to show that I am waking up! SilkTork (talk) 10:12, 15 December 2018 (UTC)