TMC's sysop request

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November 14, 2002

User:w:User:Throbbing Monster Cock asked to become a sysop, which has put certain issues into relief.

the issues[edit]


  1. Sysop access should be automatic for any active contributor. After all, sysop access allows you to do more things, but nothing that isn't reversible (except for deletion of uploaded files). And responsibility is good for people.
  2. TMC should not be granted sysop access with that username.

The only way to resolve the above is to not let TMC have that username as a contributor, especially without him offering a justification for it. (But see "snatching victory..." below.)

what we shouldn't say, and what we should[edit]

And I think that's the right thing to do. We shouldn't say, "It's all right to be juvenile and rude as a contributor, but sysops require more responsibility and ability to work with others than average Wikipedians."

We *should* say "Contributing to Wikipedia requires the responsibility and the ability to work with others, something that all of us has the capacity to achieve. There's not much one has to do to demonstrate that, frankly, because we expect strong opinions and mistakes and even silliness and satire. We are people. And all of us have to live up to that responsibility--the better known and more influential the most of all."

an aside on forced agreements of good behavior[edit]

(By the way, we shouldn't force people to agree to such a statement in some terms of service or something, because it doesn't change anyone's behavior for the better: the vast majority of people act in accord with that statement automatically, and those that don't (and some that do) would only be goaded by such terms of service to push its boundaries.)

That's a possible outcome. I think the reasoning behind that is it would allow the banning of users with much fewer qualms -- at the moment we're a little bit wrapped up in our "this is an open site" policy, and we're loath to exert force. -- Tarquin

why, oh TMC, why?[edit]

And unless TMC is able to justify doing something that he admits is not clever and was deliberately chosen for its vulgarity (see his response to David spector in his Talk page) and its immutability (the check on other acts of vulgarity or juvenalia on Wikipedia is to just erase it), I'm not terribly moved by a need to protect one's speech in this regard.

however, the slippery slope[edit]

Though, of course, this does raise the semi-ugly spectre of creating a fuzzy line of acceptability for usernames: would Pussy Galore be acceptable or not? Nazi Hellion? Pet Butcher? Mike Hunt?


snatching victory from the jaws of defeat[edit]

Actually, there's a simpler solution: just display the nickname in the Recent Changes/History pages, and require that the nickname be innocuous. Then TMC can knock himself out, and enjoy the little tweaking someone will get when they visit his userpage for the first time, and then his little joke or perhaps even significant stand for the forces of open speech on Wikipedia can be ignored at one's leisure.

--The Cunctator

Are we gonna have this problem when I request to be knighted sysop? *smile/tease* --Jizzbug