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Requests for comment/Administrator abuse on the Croatian Wikipedia

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The following request for comments is closed. Closing as inactive, as a more recent and active discussion that includes specific proposals is ongoing at Requests for comment/Site-wide administrator abuse and WP:PILLARS violations on the Croatian Wikipedia. ~riley (talk) 06:38, 15 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I am addressing you because there isn't a page describing the dispute resolution process on the Croatian Wikipedia, the English article on dispute resolution just links to the list of administrators on the Croatian Wikipedia; and also because the abusive behavior seems to be characteristic to the whole administrator group of hr.wikipedia.org; with a history of past blatant abuse and silencing all inquiries on irregularities and critique by blocking users.

The article on the terrorist and convicted murderer Miro Barešić (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miro_Bare%C5%A1i%C4%87) on the Croatian Wikipedia contained in the lead section the statements that he was a patriot (domoljub) which is obviously subjective and, absurdly, that he was a revolutionary (He didn't participate in any revolution. Whoever wrote that surely referred to the break up of Yugoslavia, but that didn't happen in a revolution, since the country was decentralized enough politically to just break up into separate independent states.).

I tried to remove those inappropriate statements and add the curiously missing information on him being a murderer in the lead; with a source. (This edit: https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Miro_Bare%C5%A1i%C4%87&oldid=4753964 )

A few minutes after that a user reverted my edit without comment, so I reverted it back as it was.

Then an administrator came and also started reverting my edit, also *without giving a reason in the edit*, and soon locked it so it would only be editable by admins.

Afterwards I read that the administrator (MaGa) messaged me on my user page with two vague sentences implying that he reverted my edit because he didn't think what Barešić did was wrong (See here: https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Razgovor_sa_suradnikom:Notrium&oldid=4754009; a rough translation would be: "By that logic American Indians would also be murderers and terrorists"), although Barešić was convicted in Sweden and got sentenced for life. MaGa thus proved that he is abusing his position.

Edit: A thing I should have noted before is that Barešić used and profited from the image of the Ustaše, a fascist group that ruled the puppet state NDH, Barešić acted as part of a group that was directly descended from escaped Ustaše war criminals. Thus when they are defending Barešić's presentation in the article they are defending that fascist regime and it's descendant criminal and terroristic organizations.

I was a bit shocked by this blatant abuse of an administrator's position, but soon came worse...

On this meta RFC page (in English and Croatian) from 2013 (!) there are a LOT of examples of blatant abuse by current administrators and bureaucrats of the Croatian Wikipedia, there is even an example of their misconduct on the English Wikipedia:


Also this: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/2013_issues_on_Croatian_Wikipedia

After reading some parts of that RFC it seems that the body of administrators of hr.wikipedia.org is made up of fascists who use their administrator status to promote their ideologies instead of truthful information.

The fact that those people still rule hr.wikipedia.org is highly worrying as it undermines the reputability of the whole Wikimedia Foundation, and I suggest demotion of all administrators of the Croatian Wikipedia ASAP!

Another thing worth noting: this phenomenon of the (still same) administrators abusing their position for furthering of fascist ideologies has actually been publicized a lot on in 2013, eg. see these articles in English:



If you don't mind translating the page (it's trivial with Google Chrome) here is a good article with a lot of concrete examples of serious misdoings also perpetrated by the current administrators (they forced anti-LGBT viewpoints on the encyclopedia articles). I'll also for reference put here articles from Jutarnji List:


and Al Jazeera: http://balkans.aljazeera.net/vijesti/historija-koju-pisu-administratori

To reiterate: the fact that hr.wikipedia.org is administered by supporters of murder and fascism is a huge flaw in Wikimedia's integrity and should be corrected immediately.

An edit after three years:

Has it really been so long since Speedy and his clique got rid of the Hr Wiki Arbitration Committee and run hr.wikipedia.org as their personal fringe blog/social media? In the following years they have only grown emboldened from the lack of sanction, and see hr.wikipedia.org as their own turf. There they are "svoji na svome", as one of them quipped recently, a week before calling a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina "Central Croatia" on en.wikipedia.org. See also how they talk about En and De wikis on that talk page.

https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Razgovor_sa_suradnikom:Kubura&diff=5314964&oldid=5314829 https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Razgovor_sa_suradnikom:Kubura&diff=5315105&oldid=5315081 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Bosanska_Krajina&diff=914533369&oldid=914424509

With constant oversight, they maintain a strong grip on all edits on hr.wikipedia.org, ensuring nobody unlike them can be active on the project.

Are you, the readers, aware that most of the times when a Web Search Engine (Google or Bing) is used in Croatia, a page from hr.wikipedia.org is shown as the answer - making their fringe increasingly mainstream.

It is also relevant to mention Kubura's dealings with me on hr wiki after starting this RfC: he first posted nonsensical walls of text on my talk page, mentioning war-related stuff and politicians and pop entertainers (anybody interested in a translation?) and then about two weeks later, perhaps because of difficulties in getting a translation, more nonsense (with the "obligatory" use of the adjective "yugocommunistic", which only marginal people like them use) and an indefinite block of me on hr.wikipedia.org!

https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Razgovor_sa_suradnikom%3ANotrium&type=revision&diff=4755025&oldid=4754009 https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Razgovor_sa_suradnikom%3ANotrium&type=revision&diff=4759977&oldid=4755025 https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Posebno:Evidencije/block&page=Suradnik%3ANotrium

For context, I will list some other RfCs (except the 2013 one) from meta relating to the issues of hr.wikipedia.org:

From 2009: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Croatian_Wikipedia_-_User:Dalibor_Bosits_case

From 2010: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Croatian_Wikipedia-misuse_of_admin_tools_by_User:Kubura

From 2015: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Consistency_and_bias_across_different_language_Wikipedias_(Holocaust_example)

From 2015: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Hard_line_nationalism_on_the_Croatian_Wikipedia

I hope the 2010 case is a precedent, because in that case Kubura also blocked somebody for off-hr.wikipedia.org activity and the block was thus reversed and Kubura desysopped; except that this time the punishment for Kubura should presumably be more severe because of the repeated offense and the situation of a fringe clique, that includes him, having absolute control on hr.wikipedia.org.

Regards, Notrium (talk) 19:18, 4 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Notrium, what to say after all, and how to say it? I'll constrain myself just to main points.
Let me begin with this: Croatian Wikipedia is a Wikipedia in name only.
The administrators are in full control of everything that's going on, which results in heavy right-wing bias, arbitrariness, and attacking behavior - generally speaking, I don't think there is a Wikipedia policy that isn't cynically, wantonly trampled. I have 11 years of experience at the English Wikipedia, and I have never seen anything even remotely like that.
You had the misfortune of having to deal with Kubura, a long-standing admin. He has to be an all-around champion in ineptness, rudeness and bias - I've seen the exchange you had with him and however extreme and ludicrous it may seem, it's actually par for the course.
There is nothing one can do about it: the Croatian Wikipedia has been purged of everyone who disagreed, chiefly by bans and continuous harassment.
There was an attempt to vote down some of the admins in 2013, but it was narrowly defeated due to heavy sockpuppeting. The sockpuppeting is no longer necessary though, since most of the editors who voted against the admins have been driven out since, as already noted.
I consider the Croatian Wikipedia a disgrace for Croatia, but above all it is a disgrace for the WMF.
Demotion of all admins is the only way to go. GregorB (talk) 19:46, 8 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

See also

Adminship candidacy process

GregorB and Notrium, I looked at Croatian edition of the adminship candidacy process ([1]). I'm checking the bureaucrat candidacy, and I found that no one has considered bureaucratship or checkuser-ship after 2010. The ones after 2013 may be interesting to look at.

I don't know the language well, so I would like to hear all sides about the RfA process at Croatian Wikipedia please. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 06:18, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

George Ho, I'm somewhat familiar with the circumstances - what aspects of the RfA process in question are you interested in? GregorB (talk) 07:26, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Everything about the Croatian RfA process, GregorB, including how it's different from English Wikipedia. Does it have the discretionary range? Also, how were the arguments and votes regarding the candidacies? Also, why has very little amount of people taken chances to become an admin? How promoted admins turned out. Also, how promoted bureaucrats turned out. Also, does the Croatian version of "Pending changes" exist? Anything possible. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 07:39, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for taking interest in this issue. Please allow a couple of days before I respond in detail. GregorB (talk) 08:36, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

This is how the RfA process works:

  • No self-nomination, a candidate must be recommended by another user, both must have 6 months of experience and 1000+ mainspace edits. (This is not effectively much different from en wiki, where editors with less experience than that are unlikely to become admins.)
  • After a failed RfA, an editor can't be nominated again in the next three months. After three failed RfAs, the editor permanently loses the right to run for admin.
  • There are no Q&A sessions for candidates, just voting with comments. (Once I asked about why there are no Q&A, and an admin told me that would be unnecessary because he knew how to recognize quality candidates.)
  • Voters must have one month of experience, a total of 200+ mainspace edits, and 50+ edits in the last year.
  • Voting lasts for 7 days. A simple majority (50% + 1 vote, counting just "Support" and "Oppose") is sufficient.
  • Now a tricky bit involving autopatrolled user right: one cannot get it if there are two or more "Oppose" votes from admins or patrollers. So, two admins/patrollers who are in agreement can indefinitely deny autopatrolled status to any given editor. Admin candidates need not be autopatrolled, but if they are not, this is used heavily against them in the RfA process. In particular, this was the case in the Argo Navis/Dean72/Conquistador RfA ("But he is not even autopatrolled"). Therefore, a handful of editors are able to effectively hobble someone's RfA. (An aside: despite 100k+ edits and 10+ years of en wiki experience, I was never able to get autopatrolled status on hr wiki.)
  • Arguments in the RfA process are otherwise generally within expectations. (Which are, I must say, not particularly high when hr wiki is concerned.) My impression is that the RfA process is usually a formality, as asking questions and opening a meaningful discussion is discouraged.
  • Bloc voting is very pronounced. Admins typically form a bloc which effectively decides the outcome.
  • In the Argo Navis/Dean72/Conquistador RfA there was - in my opinion - strong evidence of sockpuppeting and/or meatpuppeting with the goal to defeat the three. Sockpuppeting and meatpuppeting are major RfA problems IMO: since a dozen or two votes are sufficient to promote or defeat the candidate, manipulating the outcome with sleeper accounts is fairly easy.
  • Croatian Wikipedia does not have an ArbCom (used to have it some 8 years ago or so), and the procedure to demote an admin is not defined. There was a popular vote to demote three admins in 2013, which was narrowly defeated.

That's pretty much it for the time being regarding the RfA - surely I have not covered everything so feel free to ask. Time permitting, I'll be back with more on bureaucrats, CUs, pending changes and other stuff. GregorB (talk) 09:08, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Part II:

  • Why more people did not run for admin? Because it's not up to them, really. The admins effectively decide that: when they feel someone should become an admin, they do, and when they feel someone shouldn't, they don't. To be fair, it's a fairly small wiki and I don't think there is a shortage of admins really.
  • A couple of words about CUs: there are two CUs now, which is the minimum allowed number per wiki if I'm not mistaken. Until 2013 I believe that there were 3, but one of them was an admin who narrowly survived the above-mentioned vote of confidence - got 55% or so, which is not considered sufficient for a CU, so he lost that function. The threshold is 70% I believe, so: 1) probably too high for anyone right now, and 2) no pressing need.
  • I must say I know very little about bureaucrats. I suppose it's more or less the same story as with CUs.
  • All articles are patrolled, and all edits coming from users other than autopatrolled are subject to revision by patrollers, who accept or reject the changes. In theory, this shields against vandalism and poor quality content. In practice, in 2013 in the article on anti-fascism an IP added a paragraph-length rant describing anti-fascism as a "genetic disorder", which survived multiple attempts of removal over several weeks, with dozens of intervening edits. How all this sneaked past patrollers has never been explained. It didn't quite sneak past admins, though - the article was duly locked with the offending content in. This and other similar stuff then led to a major media controversy.
  • The conduct (and, to a significant degree, also the competence) of some admins is absolutely dismal, not comparable with anything I've seen in 12 years of editing in en wiki. This is a big topic and I won't go into particulars here.

That's about it. Questions are welcome. I wish more editors presented their experiences and assessments here. GregorB (talk) 20:02, 13 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for your insights on this, GregorB. Here are the list of current administrators, the list of bureaucrats, the list of checkusers, the list of ophoditelji (some kind of "patrollers" or "new page patrollers"?), the list of autopatrollers, and the list of those IP-block exempt. --George Ho (talk) 20:33, 13 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, ophoditelji means "patrollers" - it differs from en wiki in that all non-autopatrolled edits are reviewed, not just new pages.
Let me also add that some of the current admins are inactive (1 year of more since the last edit). The WMF wanted hr wiki to establish an inactivity policy for admins and unlist those who meet the threshold, but they have apparently never gotten around to it and these admins are formally still listed. GregorB (talk) 21:13, 13 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

All those deficiencies mentioned above could go in the advantage or to the damage of both sides.
Some of the deficiencies mentioned above are untrue.
Some of the weak parts (that could affect any side) of the voting process are solved, so the remarks is obsolete.
We brought the rule to solve the problem of the sleeper accounts: sleepers and "gaming the system " scheme are now disabled.
Don't bite the bait of "anti-fascism". It's the floscula from the Communist times, used by ruling Communist caste to discredit and to shut-up the political opponents and oppressed ethnicities, whenever they raised their voice for equality.[2][3] Anyone who wanted to start the democratization process was denigrated as "fascist" etc. Stalin, Mao and other Communist dictators and their gendarmerie, police, secret service etc. were also anti-fascists. That method of political denigration and discrediting of opponents is, unfortunately still in use in Croatia, as well as some neighbouring countries use that denigration when they want to shut-up the Croats, the oppressed people in Yugoslavia. Serbian state leadership use those methods against Croatia and Croats a lot, attacking the country, state civil and military leadership, etc., like 27 ys. ago when they tried to white wash the greaterserbianist aggression against Croatia [4] (Dačić ponovno napada: “Predsjednica Hrvatske, tvrdeći da u Hrvatskoj nema ustaštva i fašizma, izrekla je očiglednu laž”)[5] (Ivica Dačić: Laž je da Hrvatska ne rehabilitira fašizam, oni su rehabilitirali Stepinca i oslobađaju zločince od 1990.)[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]. Kubura (talk) 08:04, 26 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

You should stick to the first four lines of your comment and expand on them. What specifically could be useful/damaging to both sides (I assume you're referring to sysop nominees v. people who participate in the RfA)? What did Gregor say that wasn't true? What "weak parts" of the "voting" system have been solved? How and when did that happen? Can you link to the rule against sleeper accounts? How has "gaming the system" been "disabled"? The rest of your comment isn't relevant to this discussion. – Srdjan m (talk) 10:39, 26 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The possibility that two votes against can block any proposal for autopatrol/patroller can be frustrating. Still, this does not happen a lot. Some users gain the confidence of the community quickly, some don't. Edit style, adjustment. Later even the opposer says "yes". Good user always gets the status, sooner or later.
On the other hand, this is small Wikipedia and it's sometimes hard to draw more than two users interested in that topic. That's why only two votes against are enough. Kubura (talk) 08:29, 26 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Other issues about Croatian Wikipedia

Any processes out there?

Reading some page move requests, I noticed that most requests were moving drafts from article namespace to talk namespace. There is not one namespace for draft articles.

Also, I could not find a process similar to articles for deletion, proposed deletion, deletion review, or requests for undeletion. Well, I found the process of speedy deletion requests, but it seems abandoned. Also, I could not find one deletion policy.

I could not find one process similar to articles for creation. --George Ho (talk) 21:08, 13 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Hr wiki practice is for admins to move new articles which are judged to be of sub-par quality to talk. After cleanup, editors issue a request to move it back to article space, which is granted or denied based on the condition of the article. I suppose this process serves a purpose, but in my opinion at least three things are problematic: 1) both decisions (to move to talk and to move - or not - back to article space) are made solely at an admin's discretion, and 2) normal discussion about the article's content and its cleanup is not possible, since the talk is occupied with the article text, 3) the criteria for "sub-par" are strange: one might post an otherwise solid prose, but omit the wikilinks, and the article will be moved to talk; the same might happen to an unsourced non-BLP article. That's stricter than en wiki, which seems out of place at best and detrimental at worst for a small wiki not known for high standards of quality.
Also a peculiarity of hr wiki: one risks a block for "saving too often", i.e. making a number of small changes to an article in a short time. This is purportedly because it places an undue burden on the patrollers. Editing drafts in user space won't help - userspace is patrolled too, and the same restriction applies.
BTW, my pet peeve on hr wiki is that all uses of the "citation needed" template must be accompanied by an explanation in the talk page: what exactly is being challenged and why. Absent the explanation, the "citation needed" template may be (and often is) summarily removed from the article. Not sure what the WMF would make of that.
hr:Wikipedija:Glasovanje is actually a historical page not directly related to speedy deletion; AFAIK, hr wiki has never had speedy deletion. I'll be back within a day or two with more on deletion process. GregorB (talk) 21:47, 13 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
In hr wiki, there is no central page that lists all current articles for deletion, with transcluded discussions. (Excepting deletion categories, which display all articles nominated for deletion on a given day.) The deletion discussion takes place in the article's talk (which is itself not deleted with the article). The absence of a central page means that many editors will be unaware of the ongoing deletion discussions - not great in a wiki that's not too big (looking at the number of active editors) to begin with.
In en wiki, votes are sometimes called !votes - not here though. All votes (in the deletion process and otherwise) are actually votes, which means: 1) simple majority wins, 2) rationales need not be based on policy or make sense. For example, one could vote "delete", adding an arbitrary explanation like "this article is uninteresting, nobody is going to read it anyway", and this will count towards deletion.
Notability criteria are very rudimentary and not well-thought-out. (Also, they haven't changed much since c. 2006.) For example, in the talk page, one can see an admin arguing that "the basic criterion is - importance [of the subject]". That's basically a tautology ("important is what is important") and not helpful at all in deletion discussions, as one might imagine. The absence of basic criteria (e.g. an equivalent of WP:GNG) and a disincentivized discussion (what's the point of providing arguments and counterarguments when the majority wins by virtue of being a majority?) makes deletion outcomes somewhat haphazard. However, not only would it make no sense to discount votes not based on policy if the policy itself is rather crude and incomplete - it would actually make things worse.
I'm unaware of a deletion review or requests for undeletion - I don't think these processes exist per se. These kinds of complaints should I believe be directed to the admin RfC. Oddly, what admins say there is not binding, and complaints put forward there have a remarkably low success rate anyway (close to zero).
Will be back with more comments. GregorB (talk) 20:08, 17 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Deletion of pages

Here is the log of deleted pages. I noticed that, on one of the pages, the articles are deleted for poor quality, even when some of them might be... notable. --George Ho (talk) 23:32, 13 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, the articles do get deleted for poor quality, and this is in itself not controversial. The problem is that, normally, this should apply only to articles which are of extremely low quality, such as that fixing them wouldn't be much easier than writing them from scratch. I remember there was an article which was easily notable, but was deleted in the end because it was not wikilinked (?!).
The threshold of notability is also a problem. Here is an interesting example:
  • The Croatian equivalent of en:2014 unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina was nominated for deletion, purportedly as a non-notable event. (Despite the fact that, looking at the English article and its coverage by reliable sources, this kind of argument would have been extremely hard to make.)
  • In the article's talk, two editors have supported the deletion, while three were against it.
  • In the end, the article was deleted anyway (by the admin who nominated it).
  • I asked him why the article was deleted, and he refused to answer.
In this particular case, the procedure, the outcome, as well as admin conduct, were severely deficient. GregorB (talk) 07:55, 24 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

"Burek revolucija" moved to user subpage

Weird, GregorB. hr:Burek revolucija (now fully protected) was moved to user subpage by an administrator. But you're right about the discussion. I'll ping the editor and ask him about this. But I don't know whether that editor can speak English. Maybe you and that user can communicate in Croatian language. --George Ho (talk) 17:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

"Burek revolucija" is a userspace draft which appears to be recently created. The original deletion discussion can be found here: hr:Razgovor:Nemiri u Federaciji Bosne i Hercegovine 2014.. GregorB (talk) 18:45, 24 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Pinging Wüstenfuchs, Man Usk, Dean72, and MaGa about this. --George Ho (talk) 19:12, 24 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

This is the talk page of the article Burek revolucija [21]. The article Burek revolucija is very good, but, no consensus on the sight, one of the sides that was for deletion is the colleague admin, both sides were dug in their positions, situation was 2:1 and deletion on the sight. Too much arguing and explaining (yes-no-yes-no) draws our time and human resources, so they lose their time on arguing, instead of creating and filling the articles or maintaining the project. I did not want to engage in the arguing and to lose my time there or to get into some wheel war "delete-undelete". To avoid all that, I redirected this very good article on a subpage. Writing the explanation takes much more time than to write a good small article. In my opinion, article should be in the mainspace. Kubura (talk) 07:24, 26 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Croatian Wikipedia extreme right wing bias in media

After this news article Sabirni kamp Jasenovac page got even worse introduction with claimes from known Holocaust denier that "there were no mass murders in Jasenovac" and that "no one was interned in the camp because of his national or religious affiliation but as a political opponent of the Independent State of Croatia". Most of the artice is not about extermination camp but promoting lies and conspiracy theories from known fascist revisionists and convicted criminals.

--DobarSkroz (talk) 20:29, 28 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The new entry extensively quotes Vukic’s new book, Labour Camp Jasenovac which has drawn negative reactions from Holocaust experts. The entry quotes Vukic’s book as saying that “no one was interned at the camp for their national or religious background, but as political opponents of the Independent State of Croatia”. The Wikipedia entry now also quotes a Slovenian researcher Roman Leljak, who claims that Yugoslav military archives in Belgrade speak only of 1,654 victims. (The Jasenovac Memorial Site's name-by-name list says 83,145 Serbs, Roma, Jews and anti-Fascists were killed by the Croatian Fascist Ustasa movement there between 1941 and 1945.) The entry gives much space to the alleged existence of a Communist camp, for which there is no scientific evidence. --DobarSkroz (talk) 10:44, 30 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The Fact checking site compared policy about using sources in English and Croatian Wikipedias. Croatian Wikipedia is based od mainly extreme right sources.--DobarSkroz (talk) 14:19, 18 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Comment Comment The Media cited above are highly biased, some written in Serbian language or by Serbian authors, and they either don't understand or ignore Croatian language (e.g. Concentration camp means Sabirni logor in Croatian, and "Collection camp" would be some "Skupljajući logor", which term does not exist). Such media are not representative, competent and relevant, but far-left or far-right. It would be better to cite NPOV media. --Silverije (talk) 23:03, 18 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

On the state of Croatian Wikipedia

I've just written an open letter to Jimbo Wales which provides evidence for major administrator abuse, far-right bias and historical revisionism that is currently taking place in Croatian Wikipedia. It is currently located here.

I'm pinging George Ho, Rschen7754 and Stryn, as they have all either expressed a degree of interest in the topic of goings-on in the Croatian Wikipedia, or have some familiarity with it (in Stryn's case, that's at least what I've been told).

Yeah, it's a big heap of text, but 15 minutes is all that's needed.

I'd really appreciate if you could:

  1. Speed-read it at least, or maybe really read it if you find it interesting.
  2. Try to interest others in reading it.
  3. Provide some feedback.

Thanks! GregorB (talk) 20:29, 10 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Huh, why I've been mentioned here? Stryn (talk) 21:37, 10 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I am personally skeptical that it will do much good, unfortunately. --Rschen7754 00:16, 11 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
...and you are not the only one - myself included, I must readily admit. Still, my persistence happens to be far stronger than my skepticism, so here we are. If Jimbo actually reads it and says nah - fair enough, as far as I'm concerned. GregorB (talk) 16:18, 12 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
New link on open letter, it is in archive now --DobarSkroz (talk) 14:05, 18 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The issues continue...

It has been months and it still seems like no action has been taken. Most of the people responsible for the issues back in 2013 are still admins (some are even bureaucrats now!) and there is still massive bias in the articles.

Reading some of the articles, everything is just as bad as before. The article hr:Srpskohrvatski jezik, for example, reads like an essay and has a clearly nationalist POV. Of particular note is the following paragraph:

"Ovaj je projekt dio jezičnog genocida (izraz je upotrijebio Joža Skok)[5] koji se je provodio nad hrvatskim jezikom otkad je srpski pjesnik Đuro Daničić pod okriljem austroslavističkih ideja došao na čelo "jugoslavenskog projekta", primivši 1866. godine imenovanje za tajnika tadašnje Jugoslavenske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti u Zagrebu. Daničićev "Rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpskog jezika" objavljen 1880. - 1882. god pri ondašnjoj JAZU (od 1990. HAZU), a slučajevi - rijetki - da se hrvatskoj djeci u RH u pojedinim lokalnim sredinama ne dopušta učiti hrvatski jezik bilježe se do najnovijeg vremena (primjerice, škola u Jagodnjaku).[6] Projekt je međutim bio suočen s nespremnošću pripadnika raznih naroda koje se htjelo prepoznati kao govornike hibridnog jezika - da prihvate zajednički identitet; kako jezični, tako i nacionalni. Ta nespremnost je bila jednako raširena među širokim masama govornika, kao i među intelektualnim i političkim elitama."  

I don't know enough Croatian to translate this accurately (if anyone can, please do) but it's essentially saying that the Serbo-Croatian language is some sort of "language genocide" (that's not even a legitimate term, and Croatian Wikipedia has a red link there!) and that there were some sort of attempts to suppress the Croatian language by instead teaching children in Serbian, or something like this. This is all nonsense, but it was once worse: this paragraph was in the lead section. In this edit the problematic content was removed from the lead section, but it was ultimately left in. A neutrality template was placed on the article at one point, but then it was removed without any substantial changes.

In addition, the article hr:Ustaše neglects to explicitly mention that the Ustaše was fascist, and the lead of that article subtly attacks Yugoslavia and Serbs, while trying to distance the Ustaše from responsibility for its war crimes. In this edit, Kubura removes the adjectives "fascist" and "chauvinist" from the lead sentence. When the user who added these adjectives asked what was wrong, Kubura gave this response. Kubura said this:

"Saveznici fašista, dosta slično, ali ne i isto. Dosta sličnosti imaju i sa SSSR-om, samo su se našli na drugoj strani. Zato je "totalitarizam" prava riječ. Šovinizam je atribut koji se može pridati odmah i Titovoj Jugoslaviji, zbog odnosa prema Hrvatima i Albancima. Nažalost šovinizam je nazočan i u zapadnim demokratskim sustavima." 

Kubura is basically not answering the question while attacking the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. It gets worse; in this edit, Kubura says,

"Već ti je o tome bilo govora na drugim stranicama za razgovor. Ustaški pokret dovoljno je kompromitiran, ali ne treba se povoditi motivima onih koji bi htjeli Hrvatskoj i Hrvatima nalijepiti stigmu kao da su Hrvati izmislili fašizam i nacizam, pa stalno time atribuiraju sve hrvatsko. Evo ti usporedni primjer: titoizam ima kao i staljinizam trag mrtvih, političke progone i svoj oblik progona, zlostavljanja i ubijanja u zemlji i inozemstvu nepoželjnih "reakcionarnih" i "nazadnih" naroda i uzdizanja nekih naroda kao državotvornih i "revolucionarnih" i "naprednih", ali je pogrješno izjednačavati ta dva sustava, ma koliko bili slični."

This is attempted whitewashing of the image of the Ustaše, by claiming they were only "compromised" by fascism but weren't fascist themselves, which flies in the face of the historical record.

This kind of nationalist POV is in flagrant violation of en:WP:NPOV, one of the five pillars of Wikipedia. In order to solve massive issues like this, drastic action is needed. My suggestion is to make a proposal similar to this one to gain a consensus for such action.

I am pinging George Ho, Rschen7754, Notrium, GregorB, and DobarSkroz because they have participated in this discussion in the past and their input in finding a solution to these massive issues would be appreciated. DraconicDark (talk) 00:13, 25 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know. The Azerbaijan issues were a bit more clear-cut. But I think where the 2013 discussions failed was that nothing was ever formally proposed. A wiki like this should not have CheckUsers, for one. --Rschen7754 16:47, 25 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Rschen7754: please have a look. First, look how DraconicDark misinterpretes the words. "Saveznici fašista, dosta slično, ali ne i isto." means: "Allies of fascists, similar a lot, but not the same". What was wrong here? No whitewashing ("similar a lot" can mean "similar, but worse"), no "not answering" - beginning of the sentence is the answer. DraconicDark is lying.
Futher, in March this year Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted with press release for Austrian media [22] "Bleiburško polje za Hrvate predstavlja simbol masakra i mučenja i simbol povrede ljudskih prava. Stoga smo zgranuti prigovorom da se na Bleiburgu slavi fašizam, što stvara krivu predodžbu o Hrvatskoj i Hrvatima. MVEP je tako izrazio duboko žaljenje zbog percepcije događaja u austrijskoj javnosti koja u okupljanju na Bleiburškom polju vidi 'fašističku zabavu', 'najveće okupljanje neonacista u EU', 'skup ekstremne desnice' ili 'skup ustaša'. U priopćenju je naglašeno kako grubo poopćavanje u izvješćima medija, kojim se današnja Hrvatska i njezino stanovništvo povezuju s oživljavanjem fašističkih misli, u MVEP-u doživljavaju kao bolnu uvredu. Istaknuto je i kako je pogrešno na temelju pojedinačnih slučajeva, koje svakako treba najoštrije osuditi, brojne pripadnike obitelji žrtava kao i predstavnike Vlade i crkvenih vlasti okupljene na Loibaškom polju nazivati fašistima. Ukazali smo kako se upravo to radilo desetljećima pod komunističkom vlašću: prešućivalo se i ublažavalo ubojstvo desetina tisuća vojnika i civila koji su bili izručeni Titovoj armiji bez prava na sudski proces, kao što su utišavani i svi oni glasovi koji su oživljavali sjećanje na taj događaj', ... Mogućnost odvijanja ovakvog skupa u Austriji smatrali su pomakom u smislu demokratskog razvoja i kao takvog ga poštivali. I can translate You this from Croatian. Kubura (talk) 22:53, 4 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]
DraconicDark said " saying that the Serbo-Croatian language is some sort of "language genocide" (that's not even a legitimate term, and Croatian Wikipedia has a red link there!) and that there were some sort of attempts to suppress the Croatian language by instead teaching children in Serbian,". "Language genocide" is a legitimate term. Here [23] in the magazine of major Croatian cultural institution is the line "Glasovi oporbe kulturnomu i jezičnomu genocidu bili su u Hrvatskoj nejasno artikulirani dijelom i stoga što onodobna jezikoslovna znanost nije pružala alate za bolji opis jezičnih pojavnosti i razina te odnosa među njima" The article is written by Croatian linguist Nataša Bašić. Articlename: Jezični identiteti nesrpskih naroda u velikosrpskom programu državnoga sjedinjenja - "The language identities of non-Serb peoples in the greaterserbianist program of the state unification"; deals with the serbocroatist and greaterserbianist topics. In the text "Preradović posebno napominje da ne prihvaća naziv srpsko-hrvatski ili hrvatsko-srpski jer je surogat i jer su ga izmislili ljudi kojima je stalo da hrvatstvo oslabi i da se njegov ponos ponizi. " Preradović (grandfather of Paula Preradović) especially notes that he does not accept name Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian because it is the surogate and it was invented py persons who care that Croathood weakens and its (of Croathood) pride gets humiliated." Kubura (talk) 23:02, 4 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

@Rschen7754: What do you mean when you say the issues with Azerbaijani Wikipedia are more clear-cut? I see this as basically the same issue, but with different players. For azwiki it's the Armenian Genocide denialists and the Pan-Turkists, for hrwiki it's the fascists and/or nationalists, but they're doing the same thing in both places. Both issues seem very clear-cut and warranting the same kind of direct action. As for CheckUsers, any issues with those should be referred to the stewards per policy. If you have any evidence of CheckUser abuse, please mention it there and/or here. The CheckUsers at hrwiki have both been admins for a while, so there's probably something there. DraconicDark (talk) 23:25, 25 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
In that case, there was blatant use of the admin tools to keep a page at a title with obvious POV. Here, there would need to be a significant investigation required to boil the evidence down into something that the community can understand so they can vote accordingly. I know there are pages upon pages of complaints about Croatian Wikipedia that need to be investigated. --Rschen7754 01:06, 26 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Well, there is already plenty of evidence, in addition to what we have on this page. What exactly would we still need in order to make a formal proposal? DraconicDark (talk) 11:56, 26 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
DraconicDark, thank you for taking the time to address this issue.
The article on Serbo-Croatian is heavily biased and confused. It so happens that I commented on its opening paragraphs fairly recently[24] - even the basic definition of the term is wildly off, and the article in general seems ridiculous compared to its English counterpart.
I must say, however, that - as far as these examples from Croatian Wikipedia go - this is actually tame.
Your proposal is a fairly radical one, but - at the same time - it's perhaps not radical enough. From what I could see, while the az wiki situation has some similarities to this, the problem is much deeper. The current state of Croatian Wikipedia is a result of more than a decade of sustained, organized activity which has completely re-shaped the community. It's not any longer a handful of right-wingers - although they still run the show - it's now an entire pyramid of hand-picked like-minded editors, or at least of those who proved completely tone-deaf to the outside observations that something's wrong. Everybody else has been driven out. As we speak, an editor who called Ante Pavelić "one of the greats of Croatian history" (in article space too!) and who is active editing Jasenovac concentration camp article on a Holocaust revisionist platform, is being elected a patroller, with full support from Kubura and Zeljko (who are aware of the Pavelić statement, because it has been pointed out to them), and not-so-subtle threats to a single editor who voted against.
Consequently, a period of 6-12 months with no local admins would be absolutely hellish, because there are tons of biased content and a 90%+ majority of editors who think it's just fine. There is also little doubt what would ensue when "new" admins are elected 12 months later, given the prevailing sentiments and the already well-oiled sockpuppet/meatpuppet machine.
"What exactly would we still need in order to make a formal proposal" - that's an excellent question, and the one that's been frustrating me for years now. There is certainly no shortage of evidence. Some of the individual incidents are so serious they would end a career of any en wiki admin in an instant, so while there are surely hundreds of examples, there would be no need to go through all of them.
I'm currently finishing an article on the state of Croatian Wikipedia for The Signpost. It is going to be based on what I've written to Jimbo Wales - nothing new, really, just shorter and more focused. Maybe that will get the ball rolling - one can try, that's all there is at the moment. GregorB (talk) 18:58, 26 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I would recommend waiting until the azwiki RFC is closed before making any proposal.
Here's the thing: you basically have to sell what you are proposing. It needs to be spelled out and clear enough so that an editor who is completely unfamiliar with what is going on can understand. But it needs to be concise. You don't need to use every diff of evidence possible, just enough to make your point and using the most blatant diffs.
You have to 1) prove that there is something bad going on there, beyond "just a dumb way to do things", that there is clear abuse of admin tools taking place to push a particular view. Then the question becomes: 2) Why do we have to intervene? Why can't hrwiki solve it on its own? Generally the answer has to be in the form of some steward action, we can't just go and rewrite the content or change hrwiki content policies. And the third question that came up in azwiki, 3) How do you restore autonomy to the community? Do all admins have to be removed, or just some? How long does hrwiki go without (temporary, and then permanent) admins? What about long-term blocked users? --Rschen7754 22:30, 26 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Rschen7754: Addressing every point you made: 1) there is already plenty of evidence that there has been something bad going on for YEARS that everyone's been turning a blind eye to, which I linked earlier. 2) We have to intervene because, as GregorB said, the entire hrwiki community is in some way complicit, so they won't do anything themselves, and if we just do nothing, it reflects poorly on Wikimedia as a whole. 3) All admins/bureaucrats have to be removed. There is no alternative. In order to restore autonomy to the community, first, everyone who is currently blocked on hrwiki should be unblocked. Many people fled (or were blocked from) hrwiki and migrated to shwiki because they disagreed with the admins' actions, and in order to ensure a functioning community, those who were forced out must be allowed to return. The next logical step would be to appoint temporary admins from shwiki, as shwiki is the least likely of all of the wikis in Serbo-Croatian varieties to have nationalistic bias. Only after the influence of the bad actors is reduced can Croatian Wikipedia function as it should.

@GregorB: Any thoughts on this? DraconicDark (talk) 15:24, 27 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

DraconicDark, Rschen7754: by now I'm acutely aware I'm selling - trouble is, it is a much harder sell than I expected.
Yes, I will be concise for The Signpost - 1500 words, more or less - and I'll constrain myself to the most egregious stuff. The way I see it, it's a slam dunk case anyway, if explained with reasonable clarity. The question is, of course: a case for what, exactly?
While I still maintain that all admins are complicit - it's only a matter of degree - removing them all would definitely not be my first choice. No layoffs; instead, I'd terminate three of them and I'd terminate them for cause. I also believe the case against them is so strong (in significant part due to reasons which might become obvious later) that they should be permanently banned from reapplying. For the future of Croatian Wikipedia, it is supremely important that what they did gets clearly, publicly, and permanently delegitimized. They should not be allowed to go quietly into the night; they should rather be sent packing.
I also believe that substantially defending their actions is incompatible with wiki values to such a degree that desysopping everyone who has seen the evidence, yet maintains these three did nothing wrong, would be absolutely fair game.
This is not personal. For the record, I was indef-banned there for quite a while, but the admin who banned me is not among those three. That's not because I think the ban was warranted (it wasn't), but because the overall case against him is weak. That's all there is to it.
While I'm sympathetic to those who remain blocked, and I'd support a some sort of block revision process, I don't think this is a major issue. I'd say the vast majority of those who left were not blocked, but rather could not see the point in continuing. It is important to try and bring them back.
Absolutely the hardest sell, however, is the idea things should go beyond steward action. I still believe it, even if I understand this may not be realistic. In the article, I will say my piece, but I will not propose anything. GregorB (talk) 18:30, 27 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Looking at the azwiki RFC, I can see why waiting until it's closed may be a good idea.
I was aiming for the June edition of The Signpost (June 30), but I might hold it off until July. GregorB (talk) 17:45, 29 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for continuing to report out about the situation, and for preparing to write it up. I agree that it needs to be addressed by the global community, and that this is an exceptional case in both current and historical ways, with no direct precedent. –SJ talk  19:11, 29 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Refactoring / cleaning up this page

@GregorB: As a prelude to a report in the signpost or elsewhere, it might be worth cleaning up this page and pointing in a more templated fashion to past and parallel discussions about these issues: both on wikis and on the Web. –SJ talk  19:12, 29 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

And you might want to explicitly get input from the various stewards who have looked into the issue over the years. –SJ talk  19:13, 29 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Sj: thanks. That was also my thinking: after The Signpost, I'd rather start the RfC/discussion anew. As for cleaning up the page, I don't have any objections (or ideas how to clean it up, to be honest :) ).
Regarding input from the stewards, apart from Rschen7754, right now I can't think of anyone who has been involved with this issue, so pointers would be more than welcome. GregorB (talk) 19:44, 29 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
For clarification, I since stepped down from the steward team, though I'm still around on Meta. --Rschen7754 00:14, 30 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Clean-up: a version of a report, but here on Meta for commentary and revision. I think if you pinged the stewards list you'd find a few others who had looked into this matter over the years. –SJ talk  13:47, 31 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Where do we go from here?

@GregorB: Any updates on the Signpost article?

@Rschen7754:@Sj: The Azerbaijani Wikipedia discussion has concluded. With its outcome and process in mind, we need to figure out where this discussion goes.

Nothing has changed at hrwiki; here is the word "fascist" being removed from the article on the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), and here is a junk POV article that was pointed out in 2013 that still exists. There are piles upon piles of evidence that there is still something wrong, and I believe it is time to make a formal proposal. What do you think such a proposal should entail? DraconicDark (talk) 21:52, 29 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I was originally aiming for the July issue of the Signpost, but it seems it's going to be August. (The article itself is more or less finished.) I'd wait with the actual RfC until then, as it will hopefully provide both evidence and visibility.
Still, evidence is indeed not the real problem here. The question of whether something should be done or not is also, in my opinion, not a difficult one. For me, the eternally vexing question is what exactly should be proposed. It seems obvious that removing the three worst offenders won't help if the rest of the admins continue in the same vein. Since dissenting editors have been thoroughly purged, future RfAs will likely end in more biased admins being elected, and there will be more of the same. Also, I can't stress this enough: hr wiki has been this way for more than a decade, virtually right from the start, so there are no editors who know better (unless they edit in other language editions, of course). This is why I think any substantial action must involve a some sort of guidance or oversight. My original suggestion was to appoint (not elect, obviously, in the sense the community would choose the members!) an ArbCom. Establishment of the ArbCom is something the three admins in question would vehemently oppose, for obvious reasons - they opposed it a decade ago, campaigned hard against it, and finally managed to dismantle it in 2010.
I'm worried about asking for too little (because it won't really help) and asking for too much (because nothing would be done then). Now is a great time to discuss it, so any ideas? GregorB (talk) 08:26, 30 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I think it's always the case that removing the worst offenders is helpful. It makes a strong statement that local practice can't overrule the core global pillars of behavior. You may come up with many better options, but that's a fine one and better than nothing when there is a local negative-feedback-loop running wild. –SJ talk  08:45, 30 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
A good point. To be honest, right now I'd settle for that. I do have my reservations about the long-term dynamics, but I suppose "better options" may come later, if necessary. GregorB (talk) 15:47, 30 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
If stewards didn't act on azwiki, they won't on hrwiki. --Rschen7754 00:16, 26 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
On their own volition, they likely won't. But, to be quite honest, the main purpose of my article is to create a crowd with torches and pitchforks which will make them act. I may not succeed, but that's the idea.
The article is now finished and submitted, but has not yet been reviewed, so it might not make the August issue. GregorB (talk) 09:28, 26 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
It did: w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-08-30/Opinion. :) George Ho (talk) 04:32, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Give us an option other than desysopping everyone. We did act on azwiki: we desysopped two admins, moved an article to an NPOV name over the protests of the local community, and had one steward personally reach out to improve governance practices. The situation seems to have markedly improved already, though only time will tell if it lasts. It may be worth starting a structured RfC on this, but any such RfC should focus on 1) developing a clear definition of the problem, 2) outlining what actions would be required to resolve the specific problems, and 3) identifying multiple options for achieving the desired benefits. – Ajraddatz (talk) 14:43, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
The desysops only came because of the wheel warring, and there are still complaints coming from that wiki. Regardless, I don't understand how hrwiki still has bureaucrats and checkusers, considering that some of the complaints (as I remember them) were limiting who can run for adminship, and abuse of multiple accounts. --Rschen7754 17:01, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, but the desysop of the problematic admin would have been done regardless, by me if not someone else. What outstanding issues are there on azwiki? – Ajraddatz (talk) 17:34, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I note this complaint from Talk:Requests for comment/Do something about azwiki for example, though I have not looked into it. I think there were other complaints (some probably sent to me via email). --Rschen7754 17:35, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
That incident is from almost two months ago, and from the looks of it the complainant was being disruptive, even if the blocking admin happened to be the one who reverted his actions. Azwiki will not become perfect overnight, but I hope that it will improve over time - particularly as more issues are brought to light and discussed. – Ajraddatz (talk) 17:42, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
One course of action that may be an option here that wasn't for azWiki is to recruit admins and editors from the Serbo-Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian Wikipedias to help bring some order to Croatian Wikipedia (this has already been proposed above). Another possibility would be to merge those Wikipedia projects into the Serbo-Croatian project (or at least to merge the Croatian one). Given Croatian nationalist attitudes toward Serbo-Croatian, it would be a somewhat poetic solution, although it may create more trouble than it's worth. Rosguill (talk) 20:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Big, difficult problems require big solutions. Croatian Wikipedia might be small, but this sort of cancer is really corrosive to the movement. I suggest than an RFC is in order, widely advertised on multiple wikis through watchlist messages. The RFC should make a definite proposal, such as a demand that stewards appoint a new ARBCOM with powers to desysop admins, ban users, and resysop admins and unban users unfairly penalised in the past. We don't usaully interfere in the running of individual projects, but we can at least give them the tools to sort out their own problems. SpinningSpark 11:10, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    • I would support your proposal, even if I'd be personally happy with desysopping just the three worst offenders. Let's see how things develop; as stated earlier, I'd be in favor of opening a new RfC grounded on the examples given in the The Signpost. GregorB (talk) 20:22, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
      • What about discussing the RfA process and building an idea to reform the RfA? Also, what about proposal to create AfD and DRV processes? Would they work? George Ho (talk) 20:43, 31 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
        • Not nearly, I'm afraid. Here is an illustration: in 2013 there was a local vote to desysop problematic admins. Back then, there were 40 votes in support of desysopping a particular admin, and 46 votes were against. As of 2019, of these 46 editors who supported him, 20 have left Croatian Wikipedia, and 26 are still active. Of those 40 in favor of desysopping, however, 38 have left CW, and only 2 are still active. So, what was a close call in 2013 is virtually unanimous support now. While processes definitely should be improved, there is no getting around the basic relations of power. GregorB (talk) 09:59, 1 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Which Step to take?

Any full blown meta-RfC (as in, one publicised aggressively) needs at least an initial clear proposal(s), or it turns into a bit of a morass - attempting to hold the discussion without any guide will lead to carnage. For now, I've attempted to just note some of the various solutions. Some contradict, others don't. Please add your own

Functionally all have significant issues, if only that of Meta action vs local control. Nosebagbear (talk)

  1. Dismiss specific sysops
  2. Dismiss all local sysops
  3. Merge the project with another (or all) closely lingually related projects
  4. Request extra participation from members from those projects, without actually merging the projects
  5. Starting (local?) discussions about amending the RfA process
  6. Starting (local?) discussions about creating AfD/DelRev processes
  7. Lock the project
  8. Create a local ARBCOM with appointed members

Favoured methods (and why)

Here's my take on the issue:

Definitely point 1, dismissing specific sysops. We want to take action and send a message that the admins' behavior at hrwiki is not tolerated, while not proposing too much. Dismissing the most prominent offenders will send a message to the other admins that abusing their position is not allowed.

Point 4 (Request extra participation from members from those projects, without actually merging the projects) definitely, as many of the users "purged" from hrwiki migrated to shwiki, and in order for the hrwiki issues to be resolved, they need to come back.

Definitely point 8 as well, since the current lack of an ArbCom on Croatian Wikipedia is part of why the admin abuse has been allowed to continue for so long. They would need to be appointed, and not elected by the local community, in order to ensure maximum impartiality.

  • I think 1, 4 & 8 are indeed the best 3 to do. The removal of the worst offenders would give some confidence to editors we are trying to attract back. Some additional thoughts would be needed as to which sysops to suggest and how this ARBCOM is going to be formed/composed. Nosebagbear (talk)
  • Points 2 (Dismiss all local sysops) and 4 (Request extra participation) and maybe 8 (appointed ARBCOM) are probably the only practical solutions. Point 1 sounds good, but it will be impossible to get consensus on which admins to dismiss. The project should just start with a clean slate and let the community promote a new group of admins. Kaldari (talk) 04:58, 10 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't get why hrwiki still has local crats/CUs, considering that the complaints involve limiting who can run for adminship, and abuse of multiple accounts with no accountability. --Rschen7754 05:03, 10 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Absolutely non-suitable methods (and why)

Point 2. A proposal to dismiss all local sysops will most likely fail based on what happened with the azwiki discussion.

@Kaldari: What happened was that despite there being consensus for dismissing all local azwiki admins, the action was not taken because the consensus "wasn't enough." It would be a good idea to avoid something like that happening with this discussion. DraconicDark (talk) 22:26, 10 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Point 3. Proposing the merging of bs, sr, and hr into sh would open up a whole new can of worms beyond the scope of the hrwiki issues and cause the discussion to lose focus. If such an action is desired, it will be discussed in another discussion separate from this one.

Point 7. Locking the project is not desirable for similar reasons to point 3: it would also cause the discussion to lose focus. Locking the project is only an absolute last resort if all other options fail.

  • Once again I agree, merging would completely reasonably cause massive blowback from the other wikipedias. A strong case could be made for (at least) any merge targets needing to provide local consensus to such an action. All sysops is both risky in terms of success and always does have the risk that someone would be caught up who shouldn't. And locking a wikipedia is functionally conceding defeat. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:52, 2 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

How should any ultimate RfC be advertised for suitable engagement, including from hr-wiki and related language wikis?

The hrwiki community already knows this discussion is taking place, so the shwiki, srwiki, and bswiki communities definitely need to be notified first. As for the other wikis, I would suggest either leaving a notice of the discussion in every wiki's community portal, or placing a banner on the Main Page of every wiki inviting people to participate. Whatever the case, it definitely needs to be advertised on the main page of Meta-Wiki.

If anyone has any other thoughts, feel free to respond to my points. DraconicDark (talk) 16:42, 2 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for taking the time to write this, it is a very good breakdown of available options.
Firstly, let me say that I'd prefer doing any (combination) of the above points over doing nothing.
It's no secret that #8 is my favorite (best chances for long-term success), although I must say #1 is the best bang for the buck (simple and quick, sends the message across). #2, #3 and #4 might create a really hot mess. #5 or #6 will not achieve anything. #7 is indeed to be contemplated upon only if all else fails. GregorB (talk) 17:20, 2 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with all that's been said above in this section (adding that #5 and #6 would be useful sections once we get a more varied admin body). One more thing I'd add is that I'd also support an inter-sh ARBCOM. Other sh Wikipedias also have some POV articles of their own on controversial topics, and I feel that establishing dialogue between hr, bs & sr editors would go a long way toward fixing those problems long-term. I've sampled some controversial political articles on shwiki and I have to say they are a lot more NPOV than I expected (considering the political stream in Croatia which attaches itself to the concept of a "Serbo-Croatian" language). Hence I believe there is a willingness to work together and create NPOV content among Croatian-speaking editors despite the hardliner stance of admins. Daß Wölf (talk) 15:16, 9 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Maybe I'm playing the dumb uninformed American here (closest I've been to Croatia is probably Italy), but I thought that a lot of countries in that particular region didn't necessarily get along that well. While editors from other similar languages might have the language expertise, I worry that we might be inviting a different set of POV onto the wiki. Thoughts? --Rschen7754 05:01, 10 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

@Rschen7754: Bringing people with different viewpoints into hrwiki is a good idea because it will make the articles less one-sided. Of all the Wikipedias in varieties of Serbo-Croatian, shwiki is the least politically biased, so it is the ideal place from which to draw new hrwiki contributors. DraconicDark (talk) 16:36, 15 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment - I (also) agree with DraconicDark, all four projects (hr, sr, bs, sh) should be, must be included into this effort to get something done. The opportunity to bring order to all four projects should by no means be missed, of course, if anything comes out of this at all. Even if it means giving up of all three national (bs, hr, sr) in favor of supranational sh.wikipedia - it's not my intention to promulgate pessimism, but this option of integrating them all into sh.wikipeda is my favorite, because I seriously doubt that hard-liners on all sides, and hardest of all hard-liners are administrators themselves anyway, willing to connect and cooperate, which would mean giving up on an ideological stance and worldview, not to mention admin positions. I really don't see how anyone can reconcile the worldviews of ethno-nationalists behind keyboards, and persuade them to respect each others and their POV and consequently cooperate.--s a n t a | t a l k | p i t 16:35, 19 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    • I would like to say two things: the various Wikipedias are actually supposed to be based on languages, not nations or countries (you call b/h/s three national Wikipedias), though in practice they are largely country-based (and if they really were language based, the minor Shtokavian variants that are the three standards definitely would not deserve their own Wikipedias). The other thing is that I think other large Wikipedias could also be included in the potential solution: interested admins from En and De, for example, could be made admins and Arbitration Committee members of the Hr (or united Sh) Wikipedia. Notrium (talk) 20:25, 19 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Another concerning development

I have further bad news: it seems the bias from hrwiki has started to spill over into enwiki.

Here's the situation: on August 21, 2019, the article en:Turkish Croatia was proposed for merging. One user from hrwiki saw this and started canvassing on hrwiki's community portal (link to diffs [25] [26]) Almost immediately, the discussion was flooded with oppose votes from hrwiki, the most recent of which is from "K" himself.

I attempted to point out what was happening, but was met with dismissive false equivalence from the person who did the canvasing. In any case, pointing it out did nothing to stop the oppose votes from hrwiki users, continuing to parrot the same disproven points, some of which even voted twice! The worst part is that they allege bias, which is the most hypocritical thing I have ever heard.

This development is concerning because it could potentially mean the issues with hrwiki are no longer a local issue, and are slowly turning into a global issue. It starts with the relatively insignificant articles, but my fear is that it could expand to more significant ones if left alone.

@GregorB: Any thoughts? DraconicDark (talk) 16:36, 15 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, this is a result of open canvassing in hrwiki's village pump. This may ultimately be a matter for WP:ANI. I don't think there's a serious danger for enwiki, it has been tried before and they know that battle is already lost. GregorB (talk) 19:28, 15 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Somehow, *edited* the merger discussion is reported as ANI case (diff).*end re-edit* Even w:Talk:Turkish Croatia looks too painful to watch. George Ho (talk) 06:06, 17 September 2019 (UTC); first sentence rewritten from prev post, 06:09, 17 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

@DraconicDark:, @GregorB:; since DraconicDark already summarized developments over merger discussion, events which mirroring issues surrounding existence and editing Turkish Croatia article, I will turn my attention, briefly, to possible effects on en.wikipedia, which also reflect on my own motives in this prolonged matters. This customary approach emanating from hr.wikipedia may or may not endanger en.wikipedia in general, but it certainly can and will endanger scope Balkan, as this behavior becoming, once again, problem. I avoided disputes while editing on Balkan topics for nearly twelve years, but then I realized how distorted reallity in scope Balkan is, certainly more then under any other scope, despite of all those w:en:Wikipedia:ARBEE's and w:en:Wikipedia:ARBMAC's, and as of recently so many relatively neutral and ideologically nonpartisan local editors left the project in past few years. So, as an editor, I turned my attention to myriad of terible articles, with blatant POV pushing so glaringly obvious, only to be met with gate-keepers of all identity groups, Croat, Bosnian, Serb, Montenegrin - it's not immaterial to note that number of local editors reflect number of population, so you will encounter Serb or Croat much, much more likely then other two, and so on. What stunned me the most is audacity of antagonistic editors and gate-keepers to engage in prolonged edit-wars, and even more lack of regard for, and/or knowledge and understanding of policies and guidelines - and if you are willing to follow these policies and guidelines, well, you need to accustom yourself on losing every single dispute and argument, because you are going to be bullied into leaving, as dispute resolution guideline requires, and calls it "to disengage", or to start writing reports while risking to acquire a reputation which you don't want, or worse start getting warnings and blocks. So, yes, there's no serious danger for en.wikipedia, at least in foreseeable future, but if community turn a blind eye, that can only embolden this kind of behavior until we strat finding whole forums and courses dedicated to open canvasing and organized editing.
Amazingly, on Croatian Wikipedia they have something called "List of irregularities at English Wikipedia", which is a subpage of "Kafić", Croatian version of "Village Pump" I suppose - as a subpage it's obscured from passing-by outside editors' view, and obviously serves as a sort of forum for collecting reports and preparing an organized approach and acting in unison toward articles, edit-wars, disputes, on English Wikipedia. Cheers.--Santasa99 (talk) 23:47, 18 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Also: "List of irregularities at German Wikipedia". Notrium (talk) 10:01, 19 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
These pages are practically a forums - apparently they don't shy away from using WMF servers as regular Internet forums. But as far as I can tell, all those instances of policies and guidelines dealing with this type of coordinated approach to editing en.wikipedia are too ambiguous, often contradictory. The aspect defined as "canvasing" and / or "meatpuppetry" is the only one that could be subject to some kind of sanction by the administrator, which does not necessarily mean it will be, as evident in my own case HERE.--Santasa99 (talk) 13:11, 19 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I came here to support Croatian wikipedia, I am interested in the history of the Serbs in Croatia and Croatian history. I have been researching this history for years. Please give me original historical data which speaking about Serbs in Croatia(area from Dubrovnik to western Slavonia) from western Slavonia began to prevail records about Serbs(Rascians). Therefore all is said and now go to the English wikipedia to read fairytale about Croatian Serbs[1]We have two articles that talk about same peoples. We have an article on Vlachs[2](who are also Croats, etc) and article about Serbs. Who are Serbs and where Vlachs disappeared? Therefore when we begin to take Serbian history(but also Croatian through the Yugoslavian era) under the truth then we have what we have. It is no wonder that according to Serbs, Croats are actually Catholic Serbs and it is logically because they are also referred as Vlachs but Vlachs are not Serbs. And then you commenting Croatian wikipedia? Mikola22 (talk) 09:22, 3 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Draft proposal

@GregorB: @Notrium: @Santasa99: @Rschen7754: @Daß Wölf: I have drafted a proposal at User:DraconicDark/sandbox. Do you think this proposal is in the right direction, or do changes need to be made? DraconicDark (talk) 15:24, 22 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you! I have a non-public draft of my own, but I've been busy lately and I still haven't finished it. Would you mind if I beat you to the punch and post this RfC, incorporating parts of your proposal into it? I particularly like your proposed points of action, I'd say they are the best I've seen thus far, better than what I've been able to come up with, and I've been studying this issue for a long time. GregorB (talk) 18:19, 24 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
BTW, I'm now indefinitely blocked from CW.[27] GregorB (talk) 18:23, 24 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@GregorB: Yes, please publish your proposal once it's finished. I am perfectly fine with you using parts of my proposal. One thing that should be mentioned in the final proposal: "K" has been desysopped before, per this RfC, so maybe "K" should receive a harsher punishment. What that should be, I have no idea. Thoughts? DraconicDark (talk) 19:56, 24 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. A good point. Let me add that "Q" too was desysopped in 2009 by the CW ArbCom. That was for off-wiki harassment; got him also a 1-year block. In 2010, he and his mates managed to dismantle the ArbCom and vote him back into position. Although there were serious warning signs before, this is when things really took a turn for the worse.
In my opinion, an indefinite ban for all three would have been fully deserved. I'd be against that, nevertheless. I'll be proposing a lifetime ban from entering RfA for all three. GregorB (talk) 20:28, 24 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

case in point of abuse, death of josip broz tito

croatian wikidrama: meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/

tulkas astaldo with kubura, speedygonsales, & fraxinus need to go, all of them should go:

this link on fine author desanka maksimovic, on the death of tito (perfect place) was posted on numerous occasions:


but tulkas astalod is reverting this; somebody who has any sense on wikimedia (good luck) should restore it!!!

hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Razgovor:Smrt_Josipa_Broza_Tita&action=history66.74.9.75 19:48, 16 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]