User talk:Xosa

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New anti-Semitism RfC[edit]

Greetings Xosa, I just wanted to express appreciation for your contributions in this discussion. Your name makes me think of Xhosa and of course Nelson Mandela. Thanks again. (Netscott) 14:23, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I'm not taking sides. I'm simply cognizant that the same rules apply to everyone. --Xosa 14:38, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


Xosa, this account has been blocked as a sockpuppet of Zephram Stark, a banner user. If you want to discuss it, please e-mail me using the link on my user page. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 05:18, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Seeing as how you banned me and locked my talk page because of a content dispute between the two of us, you have already proven that your intentions are neither honorable nor within Wikipedia policy. Resolution of this matter must be out in the open to prevent this type of abuse from happening. --Xosa 15:18, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Block review[edit]

In order to allow discussion, I have unprotected this Talk page. I hope that we can have a civil discussion here? Guy 15:55, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I would like a civil discussion. If I did something wrong, I would like to know what that is. I would like to see if other people agree that it was wrong. I learn from my mistakes, but only when I know what they are. I can't find anything in the policies that I broke. If there is some unwritten policy that I broke, explaining it might be beneficial to other members so that they can avoid making the same mistake.
As it sits right now, I can find no reason for my being blocked indefinitely except that SlimVirgin didn't like the content change I suggested on the discussion page of an article. Even if it were against the rules to make a suggestion that SlimVirgin dislikes, Wikipedia policy prevents an editor involved in a content dispute from blocking other editors of that same dispute. On top of that, SlimVirgin fabricated a story that I was a banned editor and did so without evidence or any reason to think that it might be true. She then locked my talk so I couldn't even complain. --Xosa 21:59, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
As an outside observer with motivation that I explained at User_talk:JzG#Avoiding_critical_mass, I would very much like to hear the reasons that SlimVirgin thinks this user is Zephram Stark. -- 22:31, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
It has been ten days and SlimVirgin has not responded. Her accusations in this matter are apparently brazenfaced complete fabrications that she hoped to shroud by locking my talk page. If anyone is willing to stand up for integrity at Wikipedia, please do so. SlimVirgin has demonstrated right here that she is willing to make up facts to fit her will in regard to members. She has also demonstrated that she is inclined to hide her fabrications in subtleties and misdirection. When confronted with the unmistakable fact that she broke policy, SlimVirgin has demonstrated right here that she will use her position to avoid repercussions so that she can keep doing the same thing to other editors. Imagine what someone with that antisocial of an attitude is doing to our articles. --Xosa 22:41, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I've denied the unblock request. Actually, SlimVirgin has responded, just not here. See User talk:JzG#Xosa. That contains all the backup I think we need to confirm this block. Mangojuicetalk 14:34, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Note: now archived to User talk:JzG/Archive-Sep#Xosa
Your link is of nothing more than SlimVirgin making additional unfounded accusations. JzG unlocked this page so that we could have a civil discussion about the evidence. Unfounded accusations by the same person who broke policy by indefinitely blocking me over a content dispute are not evidence of any wrongdoing. If I did something wrong, I want to know what that was. If I did not do something wrong, I want to be unblocked. Either way, SlimVirgin broke Wikipedia policy, and the same rules that apply to me also apply to her. Since I am blocked from editing anywhere else, my only legal method of asking for this discussion to take place is by way of requesting an unblock on my user talk page. I want to obey the rules, so I am restoring my unblock request in order to have this discussion where JzG says it is appropriate. I would like to see the evidence against me before a decision is made. I would like to know what anyone thinks I did wrong. I would like a chance to respond to allegations, if there are any. Calling someone an incarnation of a banned user in order to win a content dispute is so immoral that I can't imagine how anyone here could support it. Also, I am copying the findings of the Wikia Taskforce on Vandalism below. --Xosa 23:08, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Results of Wikia Vandalism Poll[edit]

The following are the conclusions and recommendations reached by the Wikia Project for Avoiding Critical Mass:

  • During the month of September 2006, seven project team members have interviewed over two hundred members and administrators of Wikipedia by email and occasionally on personal discussion pages. The discussion at typifies the responses.
  • Our conclusion is that a Critical Mass of Vandalism is present at Wikipedia. In a critical mass situation, enough vandalism occurs that administrators no longer have time to assume good faith. This lack of good faith turns otherwise positive contributors into disgruntled editors. Some of these disgruntled editors will vandalize, troll or otherwise attempt to destroy a system that they consider to be corrupt. Due to this increase in vandalism and misdirection, administrators will have even less time to give editors the benefit of the doubt. The cycle continues.
  • Our recommendation for avoiding a similar downward spiral at Wikia is to make administrators ultimately accountable to the editors. We believe that this would give disgruntled editors a more positive and constructive outlet for expressing their frustrations. It would also remove the unrealistic responsibility of administrators to police their own. In addition, it would provide a method for removing biased editors from the administration staff without fear of reprisal. While several methods of accomplishing this aim exist, we recommend a system of secret ballot weighted by surviving word count of the editor (number of words added by the editor that currently exist in articles).
  • Several members have asked us to also provide recommendations for Wikipedia. We do not have recommendations for Wikipedia. We find corruption and bias to be so entrenched in the Wikipedia administration staff that no such proposal could have any chance of being adopted. To support this claim, we reference four similar proposals that were squelched by blatantly corrupt Wikipedia administrators (none of which are listed in the Wikipedia version of this report for obvious reasons). --Virgina 16:42, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Could we please have a civil discussion of this issue where everyone can contribute?[edit]

I have been asked by JzG to only post on this page until the matter is resolved. Could I ask that all discussion about this issue also take place where I am legally entitled to respond to misperceptions and mischaracterizations?

The following was taken from the check user page. I don't believe that a check user request should be biased by one of the people involved in the dispute.

I'm not sure there's much point in doing a check user when it comes to Zephram. His logged out posts show he edited from a wide variety of locations. I've always assumed he travels a lot, perhaps for a living, or else uses meatpuppets to do the actual posting. That's why I'm guessing Xosa is pressing for technical evidence, because he knows that a check user won't show anything useful. The editing pattern is pretty conclusive. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:44, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I disagree with SlimVirgin's assumption of facts that are not in evidence by referring to me as Zephram. I am not Zephram, nor do I have any contact with anyone named Zephram.
  • I disagree with SlimVirgin's assertion that I post from a wide variety of locations. In fact, I believe that this is the only location and IP address that I have ever posted from at Wikipedia.
  • I disagree with SlimVirgin's assumption that I travel a lot or that I have meatpuppets. In fact, I find it hard to believe that anyone could have a wide network of real people posting things from their IPs that another person writes.
  • I disagree that I was "pressing for technical evidence." In fact, I don't think I previously said anything about a check user request. I want to assume good faith in SlimVirgin's actions. If she made an honest mistake, I would simply like to know what originally led her to believe that I was Zephram Stark. Without any other explanation, I can only look at what transpired in the discussion thread before I was indefinitely blocked: I opposed SlimVirgin's deletion of the RfC, I proposed a good faith change to the article that she implied was made in bad faith, and then SlimVirgin indefinitely blocked me, accused me of being a banned editor based apparently on nothing, and locked my user talk page.
  • I disagree with SlimVirgin's assertion that I would know beforehand the results of a check user request. I do not have access to that technology. I know that I'm not Zephram Stark, however, or any of the other people SlimVirgin accuses me of being, and I also know that none of those people have ever edited on this computer. In the absence of any physical evidence, any circumstantial evidence, or even any reason given for why SlimVirgin would make the accusation in the first place, I'm left with only the timeline of events that preceded her blocking me indefinitely. Assuming all the good faith in the world, I can't find any other explanation for what she did. SlimVirgin falsely accused and indefinitely blocked another editor because of a content dispute. --Xosa 18:17, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I copied this from the check user request page. It is a post by the other person involved in the content dispute.

Likely. If anyone with CheckUser access wishes to know the details, they can contact me. Jayjg (talk) 17:49, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

The two people who were disputing the content of an article with me indefinitely blocked me and performed the check user. Now, the second person involved in the dispute is offering to provide secret evidence that apparently only he has to anyone else who could perform a check user request. I'm starting to get a sickening feeling in my stomach about this. Is anyone else? --Xosa 19:09, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm starting to get a sickening feeling in my stomach that we've wasted more than enough time with this Zephram Stark sockpuppet. Jayjg (talk) 23:37, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Reasons that SlimVirgin thinks this user is Zephram Stark[edit]

SlimVirgin, could you please tell us anything I did before you indefinitely blocked me that made you think I was Zephram Stark? --Xosa 17:17, 26 September 2006 (UTC)


Content dispute[edit]

SlimVirgin indefinitely blocked me because of a content dispute. --Xosa 23:18, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

What content dispute? Guy 10:20, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
  • SlimVirgin asked what we could do to shorten the article
  • I responded that things which are strictly anti-Zionist (like a video where the commentators specifically claim that their contention is not with the Jewish people) should be moved to the Anti-Zionist article
  • Jlockard responded by saying that my anti-Zionist attitude was actually anti-Semitism
  • I disagreed with Jlockard and asserted that not all Jews (myself included) are Zionists
  • Jayjg took the discussion on a tangent and asked me about my views on usury
  • I responded briefly, but then tried to get the discussion back to how to reduce the size of the article
  • Jayjg stayed on his tangent
  • CJCurrie accused me of being a troll
  • SlimVirgin started a new section by implying that previous suggestions were not good faith attempts at reducing article size, "It would be good if we could discuss this seriously."
  • Before I could explain that I my suggestion was definitely made in good faith, SlimVirgin blocked me indefinitely, accused me of being a previously banned editor, and locked my talk page so that I couldn't respond. --Xosa 13:24, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I had one previous encounter with SlimVirgin in the RfC section of the same article discussion page:
In that section, I objected to SlimVirgin deleting a Request for Comment: --Xosa 14:05, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
This is pretty thin stuff. I am not persuaded. Guy 08:22, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I've added a request for checkuser at Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Zephram Stark. Hopefully that will clear things up. Mangojuicetalk 03:42, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. --Xosa 13:13, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

How can we concentrate more on the important things?[edit]

As Guy suggested above, I too would like to have a civil discussion about the issues involved in this case. My primary interest is in how to avoid things like this happening so that good editors, like myself, can continue making positive contributions instead of having to spend our time defending ourselves.

I believe that the assumption of good faith is critical. As Virginia noted in her Results of Wikia Vandalism Poll and in the Avoiding critical mass guidelines of Wikia, calling other people trolls or presuming to know their intentions leads to increasing hostility in the system. I feel confident that we could significantly reduce vandalism and general hatred toward Wikipedia if we could remember one thing: nobody knows the intentions of another person. Reacting to assumptions of bad faith, rather than policy breaks, is what put us in this rut. Assuming good faith is what can get us out. --Xosa 15:43, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

This block was reviewed by Fred Bauder, and has already been discussed. I was not in a content dispute with Xosa. His editing pattern is reminiscient of Zephram Stark, which is why he was blocked, and some of his comments above confirm the connection. :-) SlimVirgin (talk) 16:16, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
He posted the following on Guy's talk page (having first introduced himself as Joel from Wikia):

Thank you Guy, for the time you have taken to answer our questions. My name is Virginia and I have been heading up the task force to research the causes of vandalism at Wikipedia. You have been more forthcoming than most. The Wikia members involved with this project and I appreciate that very much. We are in the process of compiling our results. We will provide you with a copy of the report when we are finished in a day or so. Thank you again for your time and honest opinion. --Virginia from Herndon, Virginia 18:57, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm reminded of the Zephram sockpuppet who was an editor and publisher investigating Wikipedia, but who of course wasn't at liberty to tell us which publication he was with. ;-D SlimVirgin (talk) 16:22, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Here is the editor/publisher sock, one of my favorites, along with Professor Stevens: User:Felice L'Angleterre, who wrote:

As is the policy of our publishing corporation and subsidiaries, when contributing to the item being investigated, a disclosure of our intentions is first posted. My intention in contributing to this discussion is to interact with areas of Wikipedia that are more controversial than the tour we were given by senior members of the organization. [1]

Xosa, Joel from Wikia, and Virginia from Virginia, I suggest you ask the "senior members of the organization" for another tour. ;-) SlimVirgin (talk) 16:31, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for giving us an example of assuming bad faith in an editor. I am not Joel, Virginia, or any of the other people you accuse me of being. I am a good editor whose only intention is to make positive contributions. How many hundreds or even thousands of potential contributors have we turned away in anger because we assume bad faith? There is a story of a talebearer on your user page, SlimVirgin. The parable doesn't say that the talebearer knowingly slandered his rabbi. It is more likely that the tales he told fit his need at the time, so he didn't care too much if they were true. Good editors are like the feathers of the parable; once we scatter them to the wind, they are highly unlikely to come back. Unless our intention is to only retain bad editors and sycophants, I believe we should make assuming good faith our top priority. --Xosa 16:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Xosa, you've made 47 edits to articles with this account. Any "good editor whose only intention is to make positive contributions," who had made almost no edits and who got innocently caught up in a sockpuppet check, would just start another account and continue editing. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:50, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I was under the impression that that was against policy. --Xosa 18:20, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
If you're Zephram Stark it's against policy, because he is banned. If you're not, it's not. And you say you're not. What Zephram would do in this situation, and has done in many others, is keep on complaining, then demand a check user, then insist on an investigation of the people who had done the check user. Then researchers from other organizations (Wikia, newspapers) would turn up to investigate further. Until he got bored. What Zephram also didn't like to do was e-mail me, because he wanted to cause trouble rather than sort things out. Just as you have done. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:25, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
"Well, what chance does that give me? all right, I AM THE MESSIAH! I AM THE MESSIAH!" ElectricRay 23:12, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I honestly want to work things out, and I would appreciate it if you would stop making such unfounded allegations against me. You do not know my intentions. My intentions are honorable. I am acting in good faith. My understanding, based on what JzG told me, is that editors who are blocked are not allowed to create additional accounts. Does your interpretation of policy allow for another account to be created by a blocked editor? --Xosa 18:33, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
If you want to sort it out, please e-mail me, as I suggested right at the start when I blocked you. You can use the link on my user page. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:36, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I am not interested in promoting deception. If you think you did something wrong, I would like a public apology. Otherwise, I think proper steps should be taken. Either way, the policies of Wikipedia must apply to everyone. It is immoral to indefinitely block someone because of a content dispute. More importantly, doing things like that will drive off all of the good editors, leaving only sycophants and vandals. I have heard many people complaining that the general editing quality of Wikipedia has decreased. How can we expect anything else to occur when we drive off editors who ask questions and challenge themselves to help make articles better? If you are willing to make a change and help make Wikipedia a better place to edit, just say "I agree," and as far as I'm concerned, everything else is water under the bridge. --Xosa 18:51, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
As I said, you're invited to e-mail me. If your preference is to engage in grandstanding, there's probably no point in my continuing to discuss it. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:19, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

My point is not to grandstand. My point is to resolve this issue. This issue can be resolved by making a positive change. I am willing to make that positive change if you will tell me what I did wrong in the first place. Otherwise, I think that positive change must come from you. I believe that using administrative power to resolve your own content disputes hurts Wikipedia. I believe that out of the dozens of people you have accused of being Zephram Stark or other banned editors, only a few of them, if any, actually were sockpuppets. I believe that you are right now in the process of driving off an editor who has only made positive contributions and who would be a great asset to Wikipedia. I also believe that this is not the first time you have done it.

I want to hear that you will stop driving off editors with whom you disagree. I want to know that you will stop accusing people of things unless you have good reason to think they are true. I want to hear you say that you will cease using your administrative power against people with whom you are having a content dispute. If you can't do that publicly, I think Wikipedia would be better off with you just being an editor. --Xosa 19:40, 26 September 2006 (UTC)