Requests for comment/Continuing serious conflict between users in the BAR-Wikipedia

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The following request for comments is closed. This request has been inactive for some years, and only one user and some open proxies put forward the viewpoint. Consensus clearly disagrees with the original opener of this RfC. Snowolf How can I help? 12:46, 20 June 2013 (UTC)


Continuing serious conflict between users in the BAR-Wikipedia[edit]

I'm an admin in the BAR-Wikipedia. The following report is written from my point of view in the end. I think, it's an interesting case.

The BAR-Wikipedia is very liberal, mostly we have only the basic rules that are necessary, and the admins act as technical staff, not as a government. This is exploited since several months by a group of users. From that a serious conflict has arisen. The roots of the continual conflict go back to the year 2008, where "old" and "new" users had a clash, because some "new" users was not willing to respect the spelling of the "old" users. Austro-Bavarian is not a standardized language, there are many dialects and spellings. To respect them all is therefore a principle of the BAR-Wikipedia, as it's a principle in the "real world", too.

Some of the "new" users have formed a group. They stick together always and everywhere in the BAR-Wikipedia, acting for themselves and against everybody, who contradict them. The group intensified their continuous doings over the months, depreciating and refusing the community work, then attacking users in several places in the BAR-Wikipedia. About 5 months ago I had called the other admins not to shut their eyes. Additionally I had called a mediator in, a bureaucrat from our "neighbor"-Wikipedia, the ALS-Wikipedia, and a co-founder of the BAR-Wikipedia. The group were reprimanded. After that, they acted more craftily.

They declared their verbal attacks as satire, and misused the BAR-Wikipedia continuously as a satirical revue, i.e. the BAR-Wikipedia as the Nockherberg - the active admins and other users as the politicians, the satirists as the citizens, and the mockery as a citizen's duty, as a user of this group has declared recently. The BAR-Wikipedia has already got an infamous reputation anyway.

In September 2009 they finally exaggerated it, laying a satirically chain to Fascism and Jews. That's absolutely not amusing in Germany and in Austria, you know the history of the 20th century. Thus they were accused of cyber-mobbing for all their bad activities and called to account, managed by the mediator. In response the group acted frantically, twisting all things: they as victims, we as an evildoers' tribunal. Again according to the pattern: you are attacked, you defend yourself, you are the perpetrator, the attacker is your victim. They also deleted their user pages and user discussion pages abruptly and in an obscure manner to destroy evidence. The mediator and others were verbally attacked.

Nevertheless, we tried to de-escalate the conflict. I was in the center of attention, because I had defended myself and others strongly against the group. They demanded from me to apologize because of a mistake I made in a vote in February 2009. I did this. Then they apologized to me for their doings in the course of 7 months. But the whole conflict is not merely about me and them, and not merely about my mistake. They managed to distract the users from the whole conflict by putting me into the focus. Moreover, they didn't stop hatching plots.

Consequently, we - a handful users including the mediator who support me - are elaborating sets of rules. All users are invited to collaborate, the group, too. The first draft was a Unterlassungserklärung (I don't know the English term), but it partly was rejected, partly the work on it was stopped. Other drafts followed. The current draft is about rules for voting, basic for all votes in the future. Firstly, it was boycotted and mocked at. Later a separate overall draft for rules to vote on has been brought in as opposing rules, instead of discussing and negotiating to find a compromise, to which all users can agree. Votes have turned over the time to trials of strength between the group and the community. The suggested community rules should prevent pseudo-votes, where the result is laid down from the start: pro the group, contra the community. It's a vicious circle. The group depreciate the not yet finished community draft and praise their draft. They use the same strategy as before: attacking, tactically retreating, twisting and confusing all, bringing users in disrepute, and so on, until one is fed up, loose his nerve, or one is at a loss or in a puzzle. It's more or less a psychologically effective concerted action of the group, slyly carried out.

The BAR-community outside the group now is almost checkmated. I know, that several users are fed up with the intrigues of the group, but as far as I see, the community has practically given up. I'm again the main target of the group, because I defend myself.

That's it for now. I don't know what to do but to make it more public, what's going on in the BAR-Wikipedia.


Some links to the described matters:

I'm sorry, I forgot to sign. -- Sinnierer 20:12, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Some comments of another barWP-sysop: I don't think that the liberal way of barWP was exploited – I think that this "exploitation" is just a consequence of our liberal rules and of the fact that we sysops did not have any experience with this kind of behaviour and of how to react to that.
On the other hand, I think that this step has been made much too late – or too early because I do have the hope that the current talks can seriously improve the climate. But I'm not sure that this will work. → «« Man77 »» [de]·[bar] 19:47, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
It's a further step, after other attempts to solve the conflict internally in the BAR-Wikipedia had not brought a lasting resp. actual success. Now I've taken a further decision, it's not easy for me, I thought it over a longer time. There were barWP-internal attempts to de-escalate. I've contacted the other barWP-sysops in April/May 2009, I've included a mediator as described above. Each time, I had the hope that the climate would grow better. I want to believe that now, but I cannot believe it longer, psychologically. I've been attacked too often. In the last months, the mediator has already written all what is important. -- Sinnierer 21:21, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Another comment of a barWP-sysop: You're right Man77, its not the right timing. A solution is on the way. The latest discussions changed people's minds about the issue. Most of the suggested solutions are fully accepted and already in use: e.g. the discussion rules. Everybody now accepts the Wikipedia groundrules, known from en_wiki and de_wiki. Recently, there are only discussions about some questionable postulations of one sysop, e.g. that there is an obligation for all users to explain their votes or that there must be a consensus about the polling procedure, instead of allowing more options. But I'm sure, that this is cleared up in the next short while. Naturally, the psychological recovery needs some more time.
And by the way, the users of the discussed "group" are currently the most productive users of bar_wiki. They are committed to bar_wiki. --Matthias Klostermayr 22:51, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
That needn't be said here and probably cannot be proved. --193.200.150.137 19:08, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
This can be proved easily by looking at Wikipedia statistics etc. and it makes a difference. --Prjaeger 07:56, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I don't want to start a discussion about "most productiv or not". Independent of most productive or not I don't like self-praise and don't like hints like "these users are the better or the best wikipedians". No I'm not Sinnierer. --62.158.123.7 11:24, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The IP 193.200.150.137 is an open proxy. Is it you, Sinnierer? --Joe Watzmo 18:03, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm an user of barWP (since May, 2009, now more than 1000 Edits), who doesn't belong to a "group". I'm also an active member of deWP. I don't know the roots of the discussed problems and I don't know much about the conflict in the past. But right now, from my point of view, I realize that the only one, who doesn't actually comply to the newly suggested discussion rules is a well-known admin, who supported the development of these rules with the mediator. That is one part of the actual problem, the scond is the fact, that he doesn't even accept a (slightly adapted) translation of the polling procedures of deWP as the new standard for barWP. He probably is the only one of barWP, who insists on his polling-suggestions as the "only way" (originally developed from him and two members with the mediator; as far as I see it, two of these members now prefer the deWP-way, suggested from another admin). Yesterday he tried to obstruct all necessary votings with his vain right of veto, without any useful argument (he sees himself as some sort of savior of the bavarian language matter, who therefore has all right, to do so; that attitude is continually a further generator of conflicts). Actually this guy does nothing to de-escalate the conflict, but continually works on escalation, especially with endless monologs, see http://bar.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Stammtisch -- I also realized, that in the time period he was not active in the barWP (some weeks ago, for 2-3 weeks), there was no conflict at all in the barWP. It was a very productive and friendly-minded period. That made it clear to me, that he is definitly an important part of the problem. If he continues like that and doesn't accept the recent objective change of climate of barWP and the obvious willingness of all active members of going a new way of cooperation, I will suggest a deadministration process. --Joe Watzmo 04:41, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I do not agree with you in many points but this is your personal view and I don't think that it helps us to argue here. --62.158.90.212 20:43, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Please read the title of this page. And this is my comment. You're welcome to make another comment. --Joe Watzmo 10:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
And the sentence above was my comment. One of the points I'm disagreeing is that, from my point of view, he didn't continually work on escalation. He said sorry and excuse me for his mistakes --62.158.123.7 10:02, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

These are interesting comments. I put all together hypothetically:

  • the new rules contain a de-administration process
  • according to the new rules, nobody has to give the reasons for his decision
  • you will suggest a de-administration process, if I'm not silent
  • I will be de-administrated according to the new rules, and nobody has to give the reasons for this

Do I see it right? -- Sinnierer 09:13, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

That's the central point: new rules that the group can act freely and covered by official rules to get rid of users who are against the doings as described above. -- Sinnierer 09:52, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I hope you're wrong. If the coming rules will be abused then we have to find anything better. --62.158.90.212 20:43, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
The new rules are suggested by you and two others, Sinnierer, that is the truth. There are minimal changes only, where your suggestions are not conform with Wikipedian and democratic groundrules, thats the point. Nobody has to give reasons for his voting decisions, never ever in a democracy. In Wikipedia the discussion process before a polling is the means for that purpose.
In every Wikipedia project there are rules for deadministration. As mentioned very often the polling procedure follows deWP, see there.
Joe didn't say, you have to be silent, he said, you should follow your own rules. And he is right in every point he made. Its interesting for me, that you are afraid now of the application of your own rules.
And yes, you have been the trigger of the conflict. Not only with your polling manipulation, but with the following behavior: Not to say, "sorry guys", but try to justify your wrong behavior for months. Not that you are the only guilty one, the process escalated, the discussion style of some users were wrong. But, if it is necessary, I will make a step by step explanation of the whole process.
But I prefer, that we use our energy for editing and improving the bavarian wikipedia.
Personally I am a little bit disappointed about you, because we agreed all to forget the past and make a restart. Some days later you write this "request for comment".
But anyway, I will do everything for a positive cooperation, now and in the future. --Prjaeger 08:58, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

No, you are wrong, Sinnierer. I meant: Cooperate like others do now and follow your own rules, nothing else. And as an admin you should know a little bit about the de-aministration procedure. There is no need to be afraid. --Joe Watzmo 10:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

The language used by the open proxy, the IP and Sinnierer is very similar. Do you play games with us, Sinnierer? Isn't it enough that your statement is below the belt from the beginning to the end. Everybody agreed for a new beginning and you try to destroy this positive process. -- Donejda 05:50, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
No I'm not Sinnierer and I don't want to argue on this page here. It's just coincidence that the language is similar. Personally I would not have done this step (writing to the meta wiki) now. I would have prefered to go another way.--62.158.123.7 10:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm writing only as logged-in user Sinnierer in the Wikipedias. I don't know what's going on. Can you and Donejda clarify it to me? -- Sinnierer 11:54, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I also see a discussion about this matter: http://bar.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Diskussion:Benutzersperrung -- Sinnierer 11:57, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I hadn't realized, from which user the IP-message here from today is, but he has now written an E-Mail to me. All IP-messages here are from this user, not from me. -- Sinnierer 13:29, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Fine, I asked a question, nothing else. As far as I see, this IP never wrote in barWP. If you are a bar_user, dear IP, why dont't you tell us who you are, why do you use an open proxy instead? Why do you want to suggest that you are two persons (IP and proxy sockpuppet)? -- Donejda 18:34, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
You already know that I'm not Sinnierer. Why do you want to know who I am? If I'm a bar wiki user, do you need my name to attack me? I can be a bar_user or anybody else that has looked into the bar wiki, that does not matter. If I tell rubbish here about the bar wiki then we can discuss it. --62.158.123.233 22:36, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I've answered the proxy IP question with my IP so you should see that I don't want to suggest that I'm two persons. (By the way who garants that all of the bar wiki users are real persons?) --62.158.123.233 22:36, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I see, is that what you meant with "then we have to find anything better" (see above - but you are wrong if you think this couldn't be checked). --Donejda 15:04, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

There is no ongoing conflict. All very active bar_wikipedians agreed to the new rules, except Sinnierer.

But one thing needs to be clarified. Sinnierer mentioned (see above) a "satirically chain to Facism and Jews". This is not only a lie, it's a brutal lie. Two Jews of the so called "group" (in fact, probably more than 80% of all active users) felt a little bit attacked and one Jew wrote in the first emotion something like "feelings that move with feelings of the past". As far as I can remember, he even deleted this statement a short time later, but it was reverted by an admin... --Schmei 19:20, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Attention: Further discussions take place on the central discussion site of the BAR-Wikipedia, because the conflict is obviously seen as BAR-WP-internal issue, i.e. there are no reactions from outside the BAR-community here. -- Sinnierer 13:28, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

This is the discussion of one party only. The moderated discussion, including the views of a burocrat, you can find here: Mediation. Moderator: als:Benutzer:Holder (burocrat from alsWP).
--Joe Watzmo 21:59, 23 April 2010 (UTC)