Talk:Requests for comment/Danny B.’s abuse of admin rights

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Questions[edit]

We really need more information. This new RfC is based on a specific incident. There are no diffs or links to discussions. When I look on pl.wikiversity, I see a lot of material that is difficult for me to access without knowing Polish, and Google translation iseems mostly useless. Wrong language, see correction below --Abd (talk) 22:14, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

It is not necessarily true that meta intervention will be needed. What is possibly true is that the other administrator on pl.wikiversity cs.wikiversity will need some assistance.

Juandev, on the face, does not appear to be blocked, but there may be an IP hardblock that is not allowing him to access the site; he may have revealed his IP in that rush of rash activity when blocked. Basic rule when blocked: first, sit on hands. If it is treated as an emergency, mistakes will be made, it's practically guaranteed.

If the other administrator needs some action to be taken, it can be done by request to a global sysop or a steward. That might be more efficient than getting someone to explain how to do it, though that should ultimately be learned.

Mmh, you are seeing what can happen when you depend on a technocrat who isn't responsive and who may simply follow his own opinion.

This is not any judgment of right or wrong here. It's often the case that everyone has made mistakes. That is why attempting to figure out who was bad is often a fool's errand.

Most important here will be community discussions. Not "non discussions," i.e, "I asked and he did not respond." People often don't respond on wikis, it means very little. Communities and individuals simply go ahead without those who don't participate. Non-participation is not an offense.

Mmh, I have a preliminary recommendation that you make sure that the matter at hand is discussed by the community. Your next steps should properly depend on the outcome of that discussion, if there is any apparent consensus. If not, you are still a trusted sysop of pl.wikiversity cs.wikiversity, with the right to act. As part of that right, you may ask for assistance from global sysops, stewards, and even ordinary users, especially those who are familiar with the administrative interface, such as administrators on other wikiversity sites. Do consider interacting with your sister wikiversities. We want you to be successful. --Abd (talk) 22:28, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Just a small outsider's clarification: the matter is over Czech Wikiversity, not Polish. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 22:38, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Ah. no wonder Google did such a bad job translating! thanks. --Abd (talk) 05:03, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Abd, this isn't just about the Czech Wikiversity, and it isn't just about the online Wikimedia projects either. The conflict apparently had a presence off-line as well. The conflict involved the Czech Wikimedia Chapter and apparently law enforcement at one point. This is too big for a small wiki to handle. Please familiarize yourself with the previous RfC: Requests_for_comment/Feel_persecuted_by_Danny_B.. Think of the block as the latest incident of a larger conflict. With that said, I agree to that the current RfC's introduction does a poor job of describing the history of the dispute. The main flaw with Juandev's statement is that it focuses on one incident. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:53, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
My habit is to look at the small first. Trying to see the big picture without seeing the small ones is a formula for developing complex fantasies.
Wikis can be terrible at addressing the big picture. We don't know how to do it. And I probably don't have time. Maybe nobody has time. But we'll see. --Abd (talk) 05:03, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I guess that you're right. It appears as if one user formed such a fantasy based on a flawed, one-sided understanding of the characteristics and personalities of the persons involved. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:27, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
My claim is not that anyone's understanding is flawed, and accusing Juandev of that, or imagining that I'm accusing him of that, is not helpful. It might be quite good. The problem is that early judgments easily become fixed opinions that then generate evidence, cherry-picked out of the vast flow of possibilities. They also generate emotional responses that then amplify the significance to the person, and tend to fix a problem in place. This is normal, but is also destructive of consensus formation, which is essential to functional wiki process. --Abd (talk) 15:13, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

@Abd: regarding your proposal to disuss this more by community. There was not much disussion, thats true. Czech Wikiversity doesnt have policies to solve conflicts. There was just the interest of two users (me and Kusurija) to re-examinate the block. Due to the lack of backround information i.e. which of my contributions led to the blocking summary, admin Mmh was questioning Danny B. So I think this was very kind.

But 2 month have passed and no response from Danny B. - that is pretty long time (especially if he is recently very active on wv). But this is known for him, that he doesnt respond. Look at the last RFC. Two users proposed to wait Danny's response, but that never came. (User Egg: We should definitely hear the other side too., user -jkb: Just as you pointed out: firtst hear the other side and then judge, not earlier.). Its not just me, who has problems to get answers from Danny:

  1. User Krvesaj ask for the point of view to the proposed procedures to clean up cs.wv
  2. User Adam Hauner in arbitration
  3. User Limojoe asks arbitration comitee for arrangement
  4. and several answers on e-mail or on internal wiki

According my opinion, I was blocked because of this edit, where I was insisting, that Danny B. deleted template, which is in use. The case is described here. In general, Danny B. have replaced the usage of the template "Rámeček" (formely Info) by its code and than deleted this template with summary: "template not needed". User Mmh argued with Danny, that there was no consensus to delete it (Na smazání šablony "Rámeček" nebyl konsensus,). Danny oposed that unused things are always deleted (Nepoužívané věci se odjakživa mažou včetně příslušných diskusí.), and I was resisting that he deleted the used template (Já jsem tu šablonu používal.). Later at the same disussion I insisted that Danny B. deleted used template and repeated, there is a need to have consensus for such action (Samozřejmě, že mažeš používanou šablonu. Uvědom si, že na tomhle projektu se provádí změny na základě konsenzu, ne na základě toho, že někdo něco chce.) - in a while I was blocked by Danny B. for lieing.--Juandev (talk) 22:07, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Juandev. From what happens to me when I do the same, going over what happened is likely to make you upset all over again. Instead, let's back up. Correct me if I'm wrong as to fact:
  • You were blocked by Danny B. for one day. It does not matter why -- to us, here.
  • You socked, using open proxies. Open proxies are routinely blocked, they might be blocked locally or at meta. It is possible that your IP was also blocked by Danny B.
  • Danny B. was questioned as to the original block, by admin Mmh.
  • Danny B. did not respond. The length of time he has not responded is irrelevant. He is never obligated to respond.
  • You are still blocked. Because your block log shows no block, this is a hard IP block.
  • The admin Mmh would unblock you if you were blocked directly. You may need to be made IP block exempt, if for some reason you are stuck using a blocked or globally blocked IP.
  • To return to editing, then, you -- and maybe the administrator -- may need simple assistance, not an RfC on meta.
But there is another goal here, and it gets confused with the simple one. There is a goal to "examine" the block of Juandev by Danny B, to determine if it was abusive. This is highly unlikely to take place conclusively here. From the long-term conflict, that block sounds improper. I am not, however, going to second guess a local sysop, and every sysop makes mistakes. It's a wiki. One admin blocks, another unblocks, it happens all the time.
It is also beyond the scope of what we can do in this particular RfC, which is, by name, about Danny B., to establish dispute resolution process on cs.wikiversity, if it is missing. Any wiki can run such process (with a few exceptions, that I suspect don't apply on cs.wikiversity). If assistance is needed, ask for it! If there are two sysops and they are at odds, there are ways to handle it; those ways apparently being unknown to the users is the problem, not Danny B. or Juandev.
I am noting Michaeldsuarez's comment that the dispute here is "too big for a small wiki to handle." That may be true. I am not taking the position that meta cannot do anything, but meta is a wiki; wikis can bring in collective wisdom, or they can crash about like a bull in a china shop. Both are possible. However, meta is a place where advice can be sought, as well as some decisive action.
I doubt that it is impossible for the cs community, as advised, to resolve local problems. From what little I now know about the situation at cs, there are many avenues of approach open.
There are facts stated in this filing that have not been supported with evidence, i.e., links. For example, are there only two administrators, or is it that there are only two active administrators? How many active members are there of the community?
A question less simple to answer: how bold is Mmh willing to be in order to resolve the problems? If it is true that Danny B. is recalcitrant and unresponsive, is Mmh willing to reverse Danny's administrative actions? In the case of a block, and lack of communication about it, and especially if there has been community discussion, reversing the block, consistently with the discussion, or at least not in opposition to it, would be routine. There is no need to make a big deal out of it, and making a big deal out of a one day block is not going to help the situation.
There should be community discussion of these issues. If there is no discussion, when the issue is raised with a site message, if needed, which any admin can do, I'd suggest there may be no community, little worth fighting over.
Far better than fighting would be for the two administrators to come to an agreement about how to proceed. Part of this could be increasing, if possible, the number of administrators. En.Wikiversity has probationary custodians. It works; indeed, right now, if not for probationary custodians, en.wv would be without active administrators, we would only have the global sysops doing their much-appreciated work, and one 'crat who is often busy with other work. --Abd (talk) 23:01, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Ah, thank you for your evaluation!

To your points:

  • Who sais, it does not matter why?
  • indeed
  • yup
  • OK
  • yes
  • Well, I dont understand, why this option was not used at first.
  • umm

That would be nice to have such procesess on cs.wv. The problem is that some of the processess we were willing to create were blocked by "certain" users including Danny B. (but not coming with other polices).

  • Are only two active administrators? --> yes. My offer was not recieved.
  • How many active members are there of the community? --> it depends, how we count it. If we are talking about people, who create content and follow Wikiversity goals the number is around 5. If youd like to add also people who came this summer to mock and attack active comunity and opose the atempts to clean up the project and set some policies we are talking about 10 + potential sockpuppets.
  • is Mmh willing to reverse Danny's administrative actions? --> I think, this is not technically possible for wv admin

Well, I think it would be nice to have here more cs.wv voices. Unfortunately, I cant leave a message at local Colloquium.--Juandev (talk) 00:22, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Juandev. I think you are going almost in the opposite direction of where you would need to go, if you want to be a force for cs.wv's future. You are full of ideas that you apparently believe which stop you. Let me go through your responses.
  • Who sais, it does not matter why?
My signature was on it, Juandev, I said it, and I said it because why you were blocked is basically irrelevant to the fundamental problem you are facing. Why you were blocked may matter to Mmh, it may matter to the local community, but it does not matter with us. It does not matter particularly, because one does not start a meta RfC over a one day block. Stewards are not going to intervene in a problem that manifests because an admin makes a somehow improper one day block. That problem was actually over December 4.
I wrote: The admin Mmh would unblock you if you were blocked directly. You may need to be made IP block exempt, if for some reason you are stuck using a blocked or globally blocked IP.
And you responded: *Well, I dont understand, why this option was not used at first.
It was not used because you didn't ask for it. You assumed that you were blocked by Danny B. That assumption is part of the damage caused by your attachment to his being wrong or bad. Mmh wrote that I am not versed in the technical side of WM software (my primary interest to become an admin was to systematize the contents of Czech Wikiversity better and more useful for educational purposes, and Danny B. assured he could take care of the technical problems). For me, I cannot see any blocking on Juandev's account, so that I am not able to end his blocking.
Mmh is either insincere -- unlikely -- or likewise did not ask for help. Billinghurst, who actually did the IP block, has now responded. You should read his response carefully. I've been getting to know him. If you drop the cudgel, and ask for help, he will very likely help you. If you keep complaining about Danny B., see what I wrote about history, precedent for what is happening to you. None of this is about any idea of mine that Danny B. is not abusive. I really don't know; I note that Billinghurst wasn't thrilled by that side of things either. I know what kinds of conflicts can arise between what I called the "Wikpedian" point of view and the "Wikiversitan" point of view, so that there could be problems there makes complete sense to me.
I'm going to cut this short. Trust me, Juandev. Withdraw this RfC, ASAP. Discuss with me and others how to move forward with cs.wv. And listen, carefully, and don't personally file another RfC. If one is truly needed, someone else will file it. Ah, yes, and I need to make this point:
You wrote: The problem is that some of the processess we were willing to create were blocked by "certain" users including Danny B.
Again, that is not surprising. Those who are in power rarely will support restraints on their power. That's why one needs to set up protective structures *before* there is a power elite. However, that's commonly been skipped in the wikis. So then what? Well, basic wiki process allows certain things by default. A discussion can be started on any wiki. If you can create a local discussion that, say, shows consensus removing privileges from So-and-So, stewards will act. That is not necessarily the route to follow, but the point is that if the community is with you, it is very difficult to stop a determined community, and a sysop who does is likely to be toast.
The big problem may be that the community is not with you. (That's really a question, not an assertion, but from the comments I've seen, your support is, at least, not overwhelming.) You say that you cannot post to the Colloquium. But you have email. Email is not blocked by IP blocks. You can request that anyone pass on your contribution; you are not blocked, and that is totally permissible.
Further, I believe you might readily get IP block exemption, I never had occasion to grant it when I was a sysop, so I'm not sure if local sysops can do that, but Billinghurst definitely could. As well, global IP blocks are reversible by any local sysop, using a whitelist. If Mmh really wants to help you, and doesn't know how to do it, he can and should ask, instead of just saying "I can't."
You are protesting that you can't do this or can't do that, and if you are isolated, that could well be true. Really, you can't do it alone. So ... don't be isolated, don't act in isolation, and, if you can, stop what is isolating you from others.
You are not going to get the help you need here at meta, aside from what individual users are telling you and ordinary process will provide. Bringing more cs.wv users here will just deepen conflict, very likely.
My talk page on Wikiversity is open, my email is open, and I'd be happy to advise, or even, if two users agree, to mediate conflicts between them, seeking consensus. Danny B. is not participating here, so I'm only writing to you, Juandev (and to others interested in how this plays out).
Withdraw this RfC, save yourself a lot of grief.
Work on improving cs.wv, which requires understanding that it not only is not Danny B.'s project, it is not your project either, it is a community, and communities function through cooperation and collaboration and sometimes that requires setting aside the past and our hurt feelings. Frankly, being blocked hurts only as long as you maintain the pain. It can be good for the soul, as we can realize how attached we were to this "only a web site" wiki.
I had written:*is Mmh willing to reverse Danny's administrative actions?
You responded, "I think, this is not technically possible for wv admin
Of course it is technically possible. Danny B. is also a 'crat, but nothing relating you your problems, so far, has to do with 'crat powers. Whatever one sysop can do, another can undo. However, if technically ignorant, the other may need some help, that's all. I have seen even sophisticated users not know how to do something, they ask the community, and somebody knows how to do it. Or questions can be asked here or on other wikis.
And one more suggestion: apologize to Billinghurst for having wasted the time it took for him to address the disruption you caused, and thank him for being so kind as to explain what happened here. --Abd (talk) 02:49, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
I also looked at the RfA Juandev pointed to. That discussion showed 5:4 for Juandev as admin. That shows that he has some substantial support. It's not enough that a 'crat would look at that and say "Yes," unless the opposition comments could be identified as improper. Does cs.wv have probationary adminship, like en.wv? It is a great way to quickly get more admin labor going, if that's needed, with little risk. (If it were up to me, it would be much easier to remove administrators, at the same time as it would be easier to become one. It really should be no big deal.)
What I note there is the opinion that cleaning up the project needs admin tools. That is a formula for disaster, it invites administrators to make deletion decisions on their own. It's quite possible that this is being done. This can and will lead to conflict. A probationary custodian on Wikiversity was just (mildly) dinged for deleting some files on his own initiative. The problem is that it's not transparent. It's better to have a general practice that ordinary users -- or other administrators -- tag pages for speedy deletion, and an administrator then looks, if speedy deletion is appropriate, it need only be a quick look, and deletes the file. It's fast and it's efficient. Pure administrative deletion should only be done for truly disruptive files, obvious spam, and the like. --Abd (talk) 03:06, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Some precedent to be aware of[edit]

One of the major founders of en.wikiversity was v:User:JWSchmidt. He was extremely popular for some years. He was strongly in favor of academic freedom, and initiated and very strongly supported the general inclusive style of, at least, the English Wikiversity. He was an administrator, and he could easily have become a bureaucrat, there was an RfB that was open for a long time; he declined it. A short time later, he was desysopped and blocked, and the blocks continued off and on for some years; he is now indef blocked, has been for years.

What happened? There was an influx of what I'd call "technocrat" administrators. These are typically Wikipedians who want to help "clean up" Wikiversity. While they generally get, fairly quickly, that Wikiversity allows original research, as an example, they often still carry forward concepts of notability and have the idea that a collection of educational resources should only cover "accepted science," or the like. There were also conflicts due to the use of Wikiversity to create "wiki studies" resources, often focused on Wikipedia and Wikipedia issues. Absent ethical standards, these generated massive train wrecks, Jimbo came to Wikiversity and acted to desysop, block, etc., and the filer of Requests for comment/Remove Founder flag for Jimbo Wales was ... Juan de Vojnikov (Juandev).

That RfC seemed doomed, running (my recollection, I'm not recounting) about 2:1 opposed, though with some very notable Wikimedians supporting flag removal, until Jimbo also intervened on Commons, and the supports poured in, until Jimbo stopped the mess by relinguishing the "intrusive" tools, i.e., block, rights removals. He retained tools that allow him to, so to speak, "see his creation." (He also retained oversight, but only because it was technically not possible to separate that right from being able to see oversighted edits.)

JWSchmidt was a casualty of a prior but similar battle. He came into conflict with SB_Johnny, who took some actions that were questionable as to possible recusal failure, and he clearly insulted JWSchmidt, an academic, not a rough-and-tumble Wikipedian -- though he and SBJ were also a Wikipedia administrators; JWS remained so until that flag was removed for inactivity. JWS never forgave SBJ, and when JWS was unblocked for periods, his contributions were heavily weighted with bitter denunciation of SB_Johnny and much of the community, which, to him, had been ruined.

I supported JWSchmidts concepts of radical inclusiveness, but modified them to allow sorting of resources. We do very little deletion any more. Problematic resources, as long as they are not illegal or personal attacks, are simply moved to user space, where a user can work on them and, sometimes, develop them to the point where they can go back in user space. When there is a conflict over content -- which doesn't happen much on Wikiversity -- we have the option of forking resources, maintaining WMF neutrality by how we frame attributed subpages, which effectively become like student essays or homework or projects. It works. Some here know Cirt. I was able to fully cooperate with Cirt on a resource on Wikiversity where, had this been Wikipedia, one or both of us might be raising requests on AN/I.

Wikiversity continued moving in the direction that JWS actually wanted, and the technocrats mostly left, bored. Really, JWS won, but is still blocked. I was a custodian, I could have unblocked, I attempted to negotiate with JWS many times. He was relentless. He was right, SB_Johnny was wrong, and until SB_Johnny was rejected by the community, JWS was going to continue to exercise his right of free speech. SB_Johnny was never rejected by the community. He's almost totally inactive, but he could still return at any time.

I was also blocked by SB_Johnny, and I could tell my own stories about that, and it would all be a waste of time. I won't do it unless it's necessary.

Juandev, for the benefit of cs.wikiversity, let go of the past. If you don't want to work on cs.wikiversity with Danny B. there, that's your choice. I've read the former RfC on this issue, more carefully than before, and then comments coming in here, and some of the issues are standard WV/WP interpretive conflict. There are compromises that can be made. We are working intensively on cleaning up en.WV mainspace, and there is no opposition. We are deleting almost nothing as part of that. I can't think of the last time that a good-faith contribution of a user was deleted. We would even keep pages that appear to be nonsense, we just move them to user space. We sometimes tuck away nonsense created by IP for a time, in case the IP user returns.

The really good news: this cleanup work can be done by ordinary users. The deletion of useless redirects is the only part of it that requires sysop tools, and it is so easy to pop a speedy deletion template on a redirect with no incoming links, and so easy for a csysop to delete the page, that I would never dream of requesting the tools just to do cleanup.

It took some doing, an effort over a few years, to reach the point where this was S.O.P. We now reserve w:WV:Requests for deletion for truly controversial issues or larger tasks. RfD is not used for ordinary cleanup. (It's highly inefficient for that.) A speedy deletion tag on a page with any possible educational content -- like some of those attributed to Juandev in this RfC as being preposterous -- will be immediately removed, but often the page is moved to user space immediately. There are other remedies for resources inappropriate to stand on their own as well. We use proposed deletion with a long expiration (like three months) to place files, considered unlikely to ever be useful, into a queue for deletion. What another wiki might consider vandalism we may treat as a child's playing with editing, and we then steer the user toward their own user space and encourage them to edit there. Long term, it's paying off. The English Wikiversity has become a very safe place. I hope it can stay that way. --Abd (talk) 01:22, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your deep insights. But does it have any sence to dig into the dept and look back to the past. Iam trying to do to do it. I was also trying not to mix up this issue, with Billinghurst's IP block. I dont think you can resolve the problem by making it too complex. I think you have to structure it and cut it to smaller problems and work on them.
If talking about English Wikiversity, I think its major problem was not just lack of Ethical codex, but also the fact they were trying to heal everbody. In every projects trolls are ignored or blocked. In Wikiversity it looked like they would like to heal them, and that led on the end to its problems.--Juandev (talk) 21:29, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Juandev, that's been claimed, i.e., that we are "bleeding hearts," trying to "heal everybody." Not really. Rather, we do not build projects by blocking "trolls." The problem is that to judge a person as a "troll" can be quite biased. We tend to think of those who criticize us as "trolls." A troll is someone who deliberately angers, the angry response is not a product simply of criticism, it's intentional on the part of the troll. Yes, we have had some trolls, I could name names. However, the problem is that the troll I most think of was himself angry, and had cause for that, in the past. Yes, he was provocative. The question was whether or not he could participate anyway.
In his case, the answer to that question was ultimately no, and it was because he was unable to move on and just deal with the present, he kept pushing on the past behavior of others, retaliating for it. Meanwhile some useful content was actually developed, on matters irrelevant to his Ancient Cause. Some real science was done, etc.
en.Wikiversity is, for the moment, quiet and collaborative. Now, in fact, is the time to build policy that would enable the community to survive disruption. But wikis don't like to do that. Instruction creep. So we wait until there is a problem to try to resolve it, but the disruption caused by the problem then prevents sober deliberation. This problem doesn't just affect wikis!
Juandev, you could have made a difference on Wikiversity. You didn't. You did act with respect to Jimbo, but Jimbo was not the problem. He just stepped in it.
And you could still make a difference, as an en.wikiversity sysop. --Abd (talk) 22:35, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

The current block of Juandev[edit]

Conclusion[edit]

This RfC was filed over a specific block, long ago expired. The block reason was gratuitously uncivil. I short-blocked an en.wv admin for calling another user a "liar." That block's propriety was ultimately confirmed by a bureaucrat. I did not call him a liar, or make any personal accusations against him. I merely blocked for unnecessary incivility. All hell broke loose, but that's another story. He did ultimately lose his sysop bit, and that was only the first sign of what was coming. If he'd stopped, nothing more would have happened to him.

There was a local cs.wv IP block of an open proxy, allegedly abused, done by a steward, not Danny B. If that block was improper, the remedy is local, since it was a local block. Stewards do take local action against local problems, trusting that, if in error or causing a problem, these actions may easily be locally reversed. Juandev has been unable to obtain a reversal or a bypass; and thus he filed this RfC, as if the problem were Danny B. There is a problem with Danny B., but it is not the cause of Juandev's difficulty with editing. The cause of the difficulty editing is an IP block, the remedies are obvious and have been explained, and attention was originally drawn to the IP by block evasion, as acknowledged by Juandev. While there is a problem with cs.wv administration, the filing here is based on an irrelevancy.

This RfC should be rapidly closed as unlikely to be of any benefit beyond what has already accrued. Juandev was able to "air his grievance," get some attention, and to get some advice. Multiple users have proposed that he work to resolve disputes. He imagines that to do so, the "other side" must respond. No, that is not necessary, and attempting to force users to respond to accusation is, itself, disruptive. Taking action to remedy alleged abuse does not require response, neither here nor on cs.wv.

One more point: rather than get-tough, zero-tolerance blocking of incivility, how about firmly warning the editor, clearly, that the next similar offense will result in a block? I did warn the en.wv administrator I mentioned above. He dismissed the warning because he was my mentor. He believed that I could not block him. He seemed to not realize that I had a block button, and that I certainly could use it. When I blocked him, he unblocked himself, hid the block log and revision-deleted my block notice, and went to meta and, violating en.wv policy, requested my sysop bit be lifted. It was done, according to routine steward procedure (they don't seriously investigate; make a prima facie case, they desysop first and ask questions later, trusting that local 'crats can easily fix any problem.) That sysop's response to being blocked -- he had a clean block log on that wiki until then, though banned on Wikipedia -- was so outrageous that it began the process of his losing his privileges. All over a two hour block. Surely he could have waited two hours! But it was the perceived insult that drove him to rash action, that was intolerable. Take a lesson, Juandev. Your response to being blocked caused you much more difficulty than the block itself. --Abd (talk) 18:06, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

That last paragraph is an unnecessary personalization of your dispute with User:Ottava Rima. Why you choose to drag him into these discussions, and claim "I'm right, he's wrong, that's why I win and incivility leads to desysop" is beyond me. And beyond the scope of this RFC. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 05:56, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Actually let me correct that, those particular incidents also led to your second desysopping and an interaction ban between both you and Ottava Rima on the English Wikiversity, if I recall correctly, implemented by Darklama and bureaucrats et al. So this is heavily biased towards your point of view. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 06:00, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
This is a radically confused portrayal of events there, and it is off-topic here. If there is an error in what I wrote, TCNSV is invited to correct it, because the general history is relevant (however, it is not incivility that led to desysop for that user, it was a way-overboard reaction to being blocked). However, I did not mention names, and it is offensive that TCNSV brings them up. If anyone has questions about what happened then, my Talk page here or on enwikiversity are open, and there is email. --Abd (talk) 14:59, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
By not naming names while specifically referencing them, as can be so obviously noted down when anyone who visits your enwikiversity page and finds out who your mentor is, you make it less transparent and more heavily skewed towards your point of view. I've noticed this continual theme in your posts, where you make an off-tangent remark about admin A or arbitrator B blocking you and then later getting desysopped or reprimanded for it, showing of course that you were "right all along" in the dispute. I will continue to point it out when I see this problematic behavior. In any case, this is highly beyond the scope of the RFC, and why you chose to bring up your dispute with an enwikiversity admin to cite 'admin abuse' instances is beyond my understanding. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:58, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
This RfC is about a dispute on cs.wikiversity. There are analogies between the current dispute and long term dispute on en.wv, and I made them. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana). Whether I was right or wrong, back then, is irrelevant. None of this is about "right" and "wrong," it is about "what happened," and reasonable inference from that. This is not RfC/Abd. I saw no correction of any errors above. Since I now know, thoroughly, what actually happened in December, and what to do about it, my work is moving to user talk pages and email, though I may answer comments above.
Additional comment, not relevant to the purpose of this RfC, archived to history. --Abd (talk) 23:55, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Of course none of this is about 'right' and 'wrong', yet you waste no time in your responses to tell everyone that a bureaucrat found your block of your mentor 'proper'. Switching the word 'right' with 'proper' does not change the meaning nor essence of the word. Of course this is not "RfC/Abd", yet when I repeat 'this is highly beyond the scope of the RFC', you seem keen on ignoring this and writing yet more responses to me, veering the discussion totally off topic. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 01:20, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

I do not explain all my reasons for using particular language; if I did, my already-lengthy comments would become completely ridiculous. I explained why I brought up that history, and it is relevant to the conditions that are leading to this RfC and may suggest paths to resolution. Discussion here has already led to the renewed ability to edit of Juandev, which is progress. --Abd (talk) 22:22, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Eyebrows raised[edit]

Action by Danny B. to remove 'crat privilege at cs.wikibooks. There was an attempt to set up a similar policy on en.wikiversity, it caused a huge disruption, the proposal was rejected and the sysop proposing it was desysopped, coming out of behavior during the proposal. The proposal was considered important enough to go into the site message, as I recall, and all those who would be affected by it were notified.

This "policy" on Wikibooks was established in a very different way.

The "discussion" cited was created on a new Talk page attached to the description of Wikibooks administrators. The main page is not labelled as a policy page, and there is no sign of the kind of discussion that would establish policy. The sequence:

  • 17. 4. 2012, 22:26 User Tchoř welcomed by Danny B.
  • 17. 4. 2012, 22:34‎ Danny B. proposes to limit terms.
  • 17. 4. 2012, 23:43 Tchoř supports term limit proposal.
  • 22. 4. 2012, 16:54‎ Jedudědek supports proposal.
  • There is no close of the discussion. (I'd expect to see a neutral close.)
  • 8. 6. 2012, 13:40‎The information page is edited by Danny B. to reflect his proposal. (Google translate:) Administrators who for half a year, takes no recorded event management may be automatically removed administrator rights.
  • 20. 7 . 2013 13:47 Danny B. requests removal of 'crat and sysop privileges for Zirland@cswikibooks. Danny B. statement said "several years of inactivity." in fact, there had been administrative activity, but it had been almost a year.
  • 20. 7. 2012, 19:56 Danny B. notifies Zirland of "automatic removal."

It is not simple for me to research wiki activity in other than English. It is possible that the proposal was announced. However, signs are that it was not. A close would have created more traffic on watchlists, and someone might have notified Zirland. Zirland was notified *after* the meta request was made for removal, and was apparently not notified of the policy discussion that would affect his future rights. If it was only a matter of watchlists, who would routinely have seen the proposal? Of those few who had edited the policy page, only Danny B. was still active in 2012.[16].

That page is not where a community would decide on administrative policy. A number of places would be reasonably used, principally the main community noticeboard, and the page used for requesting privileges. The latter would typically be on the watchlist of every sysop. The site message would commonly be used for drawing attention to a policy discussion. The site notice has not been activated since 2008.

Further, one would never see a close of a policy discussion, with implementation, by the same user who proposed it. And then a claim at meta that this is "policy."

Trinjnstel did notice the problem, but stewards do not generally have time to investigate in detail. When Danny B. pointed to the discussion, that was enough. Stewards will assume that if there is a problem with removal of privilege, the user will object, and any 'crat could fix it, and so could a steward.

There is no claim here that Danny B.'s action was more than questionable. However, it's obvious that nobody has been acting on Wikibooks to establish true community policy, the lack of use of the site message is a clear sign of that. This is not a criticism -- at all -- of the steward who acted on the request. That response was routine, Trijnstel actually did more than I've commonly seen.

This was on cs.Wikibooks, not cs.Wikiversity. However, I'm suspecting that the lack of community involvement in developing policy is also characteristic of cs.Wikiversity. Wikibooks does have another 'crat, who is active. It has one additional administrator. The Tchoi welcomed by Danny B. in the above discussion, was made an administrator by Danny B, July 18, 2012, without any other community support.[17] The request was on 17. 4. 2012, the same day as Tchoi approved the policy proposal. (This simple grant procedure seems totally normal there, if I read the page correctly.) Active. (The other active 'crat is long-term, Jedudědek, since 2008, approved by Zirland.)

And then I notice on Wikibooks that Juandev has a request for sysop, 28. 5. 2010. Withdrawn for inaction 30. 7. 2010.

What is the history of administration on cs.Wikiversity? --Abd (talk) 22:05, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

The history of Czech Wikiversity administration is as follows. I write what I remember, if needed more time should be spent on looking for difs.
  1. I always loved the concept of Wikiversity, but I didnt feel confortable with English. So I founded Czech Wikiversty and got admin rights on Wikiversity Beta.
  2. After some time Danny B. came with the offer to help us. He wanted to become admin for technical issues. He was also comenting the project needs two crats. He offered us that he will move project from Beta to cs (note: normally this is done by stewards as far as I know). At the creation of cs.wv there were 2 admins and 2 crats (Juan and Danny), Danny got also importer rights.
  3. I was not happy with the velocity of the import (it took almost 2 month), so I asked stewards for the importer rights and I got them.
  4. I thought that we are kind of temporary admins/crats and after some periond we will need to be confirmed by community or we would establish same custodian training as at en.wv.
  5. After some time I have seen there is a very active user Mercy, who was also kind to users. I talked to comunity, that I would give him admin rights. Community agreed so I did that. Here we have admins: Danny, Juan, Mercy; crats: Danny, Juan and importers: Danny and Juan
  6. Conflicts came. I asked Danny B. to ask community for the confirmation twice during two years. Never succeeded. So I think in 2009 I have resigned for my rights in protest to the Danny's behaviour and community luck of interest in the issue. After a while also user Mercy resigned in protest. Danny B. become only one admin/crat of the project.
  7. In 2012 somone wanted and import. I have realised I lost my important rights. I asked steward Metanaya, why I was not informed. He replyed I havent got the rights for ever, but if the community will support it I may got them again. So I did. The ratio was 4:1 so I got them. But the day after I lost them. The originator was steward PeterSymonds. At first Peter didnt said much about it, but after preasure from other users he confessed that he was contacted by Danny B. privatelly, who have explained him that there are big concerns and dangers, that I got such rights. After weeks stewards recomended new elections. The second voting havent attracted the interest of the wv community and the result was 1:1. Result: one admin/crat/importer Danny B.
  8. In spring 2013 Mmh attracted me to come back to cs.wv. We have started to dissuss a big deal of evaluating and tidying the project. In summer we both requsted admin rights to help Danny B. with expected workload. Closed by Danny B.: Juan not appointed, Mmh so. Actual state: 2 admins, 1 crat, 1 importer.
I know, it would be nice to have some polices na proceduress related to that, but I am personally a person, who would love to create them and discuss them with community. For me it is extremly boring issue.--Juandev (talk) 00:49, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Juandev, you are not necessarily precise in what you write. For example, you refer to "the second voting," without mentioning that this was for importer. Importer right is a relatively minor right. Admins normally have that right. The rights that are centrally important are administrator (can block, delete, revision delete, etc.) and bureaucrat (may create administrators and bureaucrats.) In the review I noticed that admins were being added by 'crats with no discussion, as far as I could see. That is a formula for a 'crat packing the administrative corps with friends.
Normally, if you voluntarily resign a privilege, it may be routinely recovered on request. It is unusual for it to be denied based on objections. Essentially, the user may recover status quo ante, and if there are problems, then process exists for removing privileges. It is only "resignation under a cloud" that is subject to refusal. Now, you were apparently in conflict at the time. You have not stated if there was any process started to remove your privileges. If there was, then a resignation at that time could, yes, forfeit your right to return.
Can you see that resigning "in protest at Danny's behavior" then essentially turned the wiki over to him? You had, at that point, power to balance his. If you did, in fact, represent the community, you abandoned your responsibility to the community by walking out. You left Mercy with no support, so of course Mercy left.
You kept expecting Danny B to ask the community for approval, you kept expecting him to answer questions, etc. Yet he has no need to do that. If his appointment was temporary, you could, indeed, go to stewards and ask for removal. But was it temporary? That's where I'd need to see the original requests themselves and the results.
Now, the RfA you pointed to. It had no neutral close. The closer voted against you in it. The tradition on wikis is that votes aren't the issue, arguments are. However, I'm not seeing much understanding of wiki traditions anywhere there. To assess arguments can take familiarity with the language, but I have arranged for a steward close of an RfB on Wikiversity when existing 'crats were inactive, it can be done.
I had been under the impression that you had been admin at cs.wv, and that you had resigned, as you described. I finally found the resignation request: [18]. It was not 2009, it was 2010.
Policies have changed relatively recently. You may not be able to ask for those rights back, because of the long delay. Leaving the wiki in the hands of users you could not get along with very possibly shifted the community toward the kinds of thinking represented by those you left in charge. I can definitely say that the close of your RfA raised my eyebrows again. If he is the only 'crat, he should not close unless it is simply respecting a strong consensus. He has no obligation to promote you. A steward would handle it. He closed with a minority position. Yes, 5:4 may not be enough to convince a steward, but 6:4 might. You gave up very easily, Juandev.
Yes, the intervention with your importer rights request was a violation of meta policy, actually, but I've seen this happen commonly. In spite of what the policies say about steward actions being handled based on open discussions, stewards sometimes make decisions based on private information. Sometimes that's actually a necessity, I'm not saying it's wrong. It's just not what we expect from policies. Bottom line, though, so what? The big banana is not importer rights, it's admin and 'crat rights. And you gave them up.
However, you don't need admin rights to powerfully develop a wiki. Indeed, they can get in the way. Mmh was promoted to sysop. The big work in cleaning up is not deletion, especially with a Wikiversity. It is in categorization, pushing minor pages, that might be a single lecture in a class or a paper presented by a student, into subpages, in moving individual essays, of unclear placement in mainspace, into user space, and deletion is very little of it. And what you need deleted can usually be speedy deleted, most of the work is in identifying what should obviously be deleted. The enemy is not Danny B., Juan. It's lethargy and disinterest. It is the failure of a community to develop coherent standards that can efficiently be followed, and the result is quite predictable: a mess. Wikipedia is horribly inefficient, as anyone who has worked there a long time undertands. Wikiversities, because they don't have strict inclusion standards, can be more efficient, in fact. That is, put work into a Wikipedia article, it can essentially disappear in short order. On a Wikiversity, it can stand for a long time. Much less effort is normally wasted in dispute.
However, there are exceptions, and they are often created by users coming in to a 'versity with Wikipedia-like ideas. We are getting better at handling that. Basically, the Wikipedians got bored.... --Abd (talk) 19:40, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, lets do it in points:
  1. Importer right is a relatively minor right. Admins normally have that right. --> this is not exact. See Importer. In WMF projects admins has just transwiki import and they can import just from projects pre set by developer for such wiki. While importer can import from everywhere on the internet and can change importing files, which are delivered in XML format and upload them to current wiki. || Well I dont give a value to rights, to need to talk about important rights and not so important right. But if I have a look on your perspective, I would say that regarding the information in no. 1, Importers on cs.wv are so important as admins.
  2. It is unusual for it to be denied based on objections. --> here we dont understand each other. There were no complications with resigning from admin/crat rights and there were no complications to resign from importer rights. You leave a request on Meta and its done. First time my importer rights were removed, but if there were a personal request to a steward, it is not known. Metanaya's action was 100% valid as I got rights for a purpose and limited time. Suprisingly Danny, who recieved importer rights for the same purpose and time. The purpose and time was same for both of us. The second removal was done after private request of Danny B. to PeterSymonds. PeterSymonds removed the importer rights after hearing objections presented by Danny B. For Danny and PeterSymonds this information was crucial for right removal. On the other side, for cs community, these were no objections, but Danny's POV. Lets have a look on them in detail:
    1. XLS files are not allowded for WMFP upload, because they are security risk
    2. files cant be transfered by import
    3. cs.wv is not set to transfer from other Wikiversities
    4. import with upload is allowded rarely and there are no conditions for it at cs.wv
    5. if there is a need to import something, I (i.e. Danny B.) would do it as I has importer rights
    So, this is a tranlsation of Danny reasons at his voting against my request. The same points were probably given to Peter Symodns as objection with Danny's correction of the election result. But we are not sure, PeterSymonds commented that he was linked by Danny to the page, but because of his zero knowledge of Czech he havent red the discussion below. I personally wonder, how Danny B. translated that piece of text to Peter or if Peter used Google Translate to have a look on it. My POV on these reasons is, that most of them doesnt have relation with the request (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), some of them were found as untruth (2, 4, 5). In detail it would be:
    1. That was my typo of XML. I didnt want to write XLS, but XML. When Danny B. rose that point I gave him a thank and corrected it in my statement.
    2. I havent undertstood this point. Maybe was not exact in my explanation in the request. But that is not a big deal. I know how it works in general. If XML file is uploaded, or somehow processed to MW, doesnt matter for clear importer operations.
    3. Not related to this right. You can change XML file for compatability.
    4. I dont see the argument in rare usage of this right. More over the information about missing conditions for it at cs.wv is untruth. You dont need special conditions for that.
    5. Another untruth. Danny B. was asked years before by user Kychot to help him with import. Never done!
    Danny also interpreted to Peter different results of the voting: 2:1 elimitating users JKoci and Chomsky. Why? Its not known. I have opposed that user:JKoci was a valid voter, because at the time of his vote he've been on the project 2.5 month having more than 30 edits, while on cs.wp for such voting 1 month and 30 edits is enough. So the ration implying what is common at Wikipedia would be 3:1.
    So to me its seems, that Danny B. abuse his positions to hoodwang (inf. from hoodwing) steward PeterSymonds already that time to push through his will. As he was already in conflict with me.
    Somehow simillar was done his evaluation by my last year request for admin rights on cs.wv. Here the clear ration was 5:4, so at first sight not strong support. But If I would apply here the same rule as above 1 month activity and more than 30 edits in main ns, I would come to the ratio 4:1, because:
    So from my POV, I have a strong support of Czech Wikiversity community (90 %), but due to the luck of policies and also interest in "politics" by community I am loosing. At this situation, were strangers like JAn Dudík, Lenka64, Milda or others (e.g Zdenekk2 (his contributions to main ns are just proposals for deletion)) covered by admin and crat Danny B. is very difficult to agree on some policies or the future of cs.wv as this group is everything opposing. E.g. as Danny B. started with mass deletion of pages without community consensus and some users started to flag tens of pages for speedy deletion, we tried to come up with a Rule or Recommendation for deletion (as common on Wikipedia). Unfortunatelly, even people were invated to comment the preparation of such policy, it was 3 times rejected (1st, 2nd, 3rd). 3 times we worked on peoples points. Now it is givent to the community for the 4th time.
    To conclude this. Small wikies may become a wild environment, where individuals dictate how the project will work and interest groups may impose their thoughts surppressing the community decission. Only cure is here to increase the amount of active contributors (in big wikies, you can see such problems), but its not an easy task, the result of the project might be completly poisoned soil, like cs.wn.
  3. Can you see that resigning... --> I agree, that was definitely a wrong step. But we are doing wiki projects, because we like it. The environment, which is poisoned by uncivility is no longer nice to you. I always thougt Danny B. is a nice person, who would have no problem to be confirmed. I was seemingly wrong.
  4. But was it temporary? --> it wasnt. The original requests, should be here somewhere on Meta, under the proposla for new project. The closer voted against you in it. --> Huh, now I see. So in the ratio I previously presented, if I were also voting for myself, I would it would be 5:1 than 4:1 (or 4:0 without Danny) - another conflict of interest.
  5. It was not 2009, it was 2010. --> Ah thx.
  6. A steward would handle it. --> Yep, that was a fault. Yes, 5:4 may not be enough to convince a steward, but 6:4 might. --> Well it would be probably 4:1 for me as I evaluated above. You gave up very easily, Juandev. --> I am not interested in power, in political fight. So that might be the reason whz.
  7. .
  8. The big work in cleaning up is not deletion, especially with a Wikiversity. --> I know it from en.wv as you. Unfortunatelly Danny B. doesnt respect it. He deletes pages and dont repair page conections, how it would be done by normal patrol. So excercises lost lessons, and lessons lost their mainpages. There is now even more chaos then before. || The enemy is not Danny B., Juan. --> Maybe hi is not an enemy of the Wikiversity. He is mine enemy. While he is slandering and itimidate he become enemy. I dont want to make him mine enemy. He does it by himself. || and the result is quite predictable: a mess. ----> or death. Czech Wikinews was hit buy very simillar problem. It had a lot of contributions and it was in bloom, but than active users were chaised out. Now there are almost no active users and those who were chaising left in a very short time. || On a Wikiversity, it can stand for a long time. --> I am affraid thats not a case of cs.wv.
The different Wikiversity remedy would be welcomed. Now I can just look into the history and say. Similar problems as are at cs.wv and cs.wn were before at cs.wp. One supreme user, who become a crat started to dictate how Czech Wikipedia will look like. He had a group of supporters so the project worked like that for several month. But then more and more people came. Some of them agreed with him, some of them didnt mind and some of them oppose arguing that Wikipedia should work under community consensus, not one mans will. The conflict rose up and stayed for about 3 years. Several editors left because of this conflict, but finally Czech Wikipedia was "cleaned" and started to work efficiently under community consensus. Of course, there are problems on Wikiedia. But you dont see such problems, that one user dictate, how the project will work. You dont see an interest group surppressing the will of the community. Do you have other remedy than this? This is quite "costy" remedy. Wikipedia had it for free, other projects staying in double shade (en.wp-cs.wp-cs.wv) will not work like that.
But definitely I was not willing to fight in this RFC for cs.wv, I was willing to recive a help, which cs.wv community didnt provided in the case of one day blocking and information written to block log.--Juandev (talk) 23:14, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I've just done a little checking, but you seem to be correct about your RfA, Juandev. it don't want to make a definitive statement because of the language problems, I'd need to know what policies had been established, precedents set, etc. I've seen obvious SPA votes get counted, obvious canvassed votes the same. It somewhat depends on what the 'crat wants. Stewards are not able to to much heavy lifting. I can take me a whole day to investigate a fairly minor situation in a wiki where I don't know the language. It's hard enough knowing the language.
Wikipedia had and had its problems.
It may be a bit late, but that RfA, with a careful and neutral analysis, clearly pointing to any necessary problems with Danny B.'s analysis, and with good translation into English, could have gotten you promoted to sysop by steward action. It's very possible. If there is similar sentiment for the removal of Danny B.'s privileges, again, it could be done. I am not proposing that, but I do consider that reversing Danny B.'s close might have been accomplished at the time. I have never seen, though, a steward presented with what they would need to see. There are stewards who might read it. And some who wouldn't.
What I'd recommend, in fact, is that you go for bureaucrat, or support Mmh in doing it. Once there is another bureaucrat, it's not all in Danny B.'s lap. Wikis take patience. You lost patience in 2010....
Don't necessarily do it immediately. I'm telling you that for the work that really needs to be done, you don't need administrative tools; rather, you need to build a community. I was blocked on en.wv in 2011, the unblock template sat on my Talk page for two years. No sysops willing to look at it, hardly any at all for anything, for a while. The 'crat who blocked me liked it nice and quiet. He's gone, apparently. Still has the bit, but ... wikis are too much work for him, bottom line.
I knew what to do to get unblocked, but decided that there simply wasn't enough community there to bother doing the work. So I just left it, until conditions changed. I'm back, and the community I worked to create is thriving.
If you do your work well, Danny B. will help or he won't. Again, if you are actually standing for consensus, Danny cannot stop you. Consensus is powerful. Just be patient. If you are upset, you are not the voice of the community, you are caught in personal survival. We don't think well from that position.
Take it easy, Juan, life is too short to worry about a wiki. It is just a wiki, you know that, right? --Abd (talk) 23:49, 18 February 2014

Well, but the problem for me is not the fact, I havent recieved those rights. I am not participating for rights, but for pleasure. Nor the problem is, they are deleting hundreds of pages as you can undelete them. The problem is they hurl curses at you. If someone removes it, they revert it and continue. Partial problem is than, they maling you (like what DB told to Peter Symonds, it may be slander). But you can read it everywhere on the wikis - libels. And lastly, they block you edditing. Danny B. call himself the technical admin. But he never helped to the community. Surprisingly wikies were he is an admin, doesnt work user edit buttons. When ask to repair global settings nothing is done. Than he "negotiate" to block my IP adress without exception.

So there are troubles you can overstep and they are those you cant. As you were doing wiki for a pleasure. So I am going to the environment, which will be nice, not poisoned.--Juandev (talk) 09:42, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

I wrote: The big work in cleaning up is not deletion, especially with a Wikiversity.
And you responded: "I know it from en.wv as you. Unfortunatelly Danny B. doesnt respect it. He deletes pages and dont repair page conections, how it would be done by normal patrol.
Okay, this has happened on en.wv. First response is a request to the deleting admin to have a copy of the page restored, either in place, or in your user space. If the admin ignores this, you go to the second step. You ask another admin to do it. If that fails, you go to the equivalent of v:WV:RFD and formally request undeletion. If the community is not paying attention to pages like that, shame on the community! Our RFD page has become very quiet, because we hardly ever need it any more. It wasn't always that way!
If the community provides guidance, technocrats will usually follow, because if they don't, they are toast, fairly quickly.
This is the problem, Juan, you think of page deletion as some awful, horrible thing. It isn't. It's easily remediable. Just fix it! Yes, that takes some work, and initially it can be a lot of work, dealing with discussions and arguments on RFD. However, you need to know what the community really wants. En.wv did not want "garbage" littering mainspace, but, of course, people could disagree on what was garbage and what was a possible educational resource. But when we realized that an ordinary user, seeing something possibly "garbage," could just move the page to user space, the whole conflict could be immediately defused, that started to become normal. There are still deletions. Most are now the result of speedy deletion tags being placed (I do this all the time), and utterly uncontroversial, or Prod tags, that allow three months for development, and anyone may remove that tag in the meantime, if they want to keep the thing. RFD, then, is reserved for rare conflicts over this.
It's not uncommon for a Wikipedia to arrive and RFD a piece of "garbage." What I started to do was move the page to user space, move for speedy close as moot, and, increasingly, to suggest to users that they just do this themselves. Thanking them, of course, for helping clean up Wikiversity. Do we really care if users have "nonsense essays" in their user space? (Just realize, our deletionist friends would certainly delete a new w:Jabberwocky, but a student in a university might well write such a thing. We'd allow such a new work in mainspace, say as an essay under a creative writing resource.)
So the cleanup has become a project to organize Wikiversity, and that turns out to be much more attractive than "cleaning up the mess."
And so we can engage the technocrats and wikignomes, giving them work to do that is not destructive.
I've told the story of one of en.wv's founders, above. He was totally incensed by the deletionists. However, I'm also encountering, routinely, the mess he left. You mention, above, pages left without connection with the resource they were used in, because that was deleted.
That is very likely the product of disorganized resource creation. Users, without guidance, created many pages ad hoc. So if they might have a resource on Blah Blah. Then they create a page for participants, and they name it Participants. Instead of Blah Blah/Participants, using subspace. And if Blah Blah is really just a small topic, not something that might appear in a course catalog, Blah Blah might get deleted. And Participants is then orphaned -- and meaningless. Sure, the deletion was sloppy. But admins make mistakes.
We are working toward organizing mainspace so that all resources are linked from Schools or Topics, mainspace top level is usually what would be a course in some school (perhaps an alternative school, but some kind of school), and pages that are very specific topics are being moved to subpages of more general resources. In some cases, we create the general resource specifically to accomodate what might be a single lecture or project or excercise in such a class.
I.e, just recently, a resource was created on a method for factoring integers, it's the original research of the author. Instead of moving it to the author's user space, I created resources above it, linked appropriately, gave his page a sensible name (it was ridiculously long), and began, as well, to comment on it on the attached talk page. I still don't know if it is real or impractical or nonsense, he is using nonstandard notation, nearly impementrable without more work than I can put into it, but the resource is now harmless at worst. No conflict. He was a bit unhappy at first, until he realized that his work wasn't going to get deleted! Others have, again, been somewhat disconcerted by having their valuable writing moved into user space, but it is presented as an opportunity to work on it, to later gain agreement to move it back into mainspace, when a place for it is identified.
The reality: no big conflicts appear from sensitive organizational efforts. Compare that to what happens when a user finds that the page they spent days on has disappeared!
Now, imagine you are a student in a university, and you find that the janitor -- the "custodian" -- has thrown your research paper in the trash! You ask him about it and he says that it was no good, nonsense, and, besides, you had mispelled some words, and your ideas were wrong and unsourced. Of course you had the sources, you just hadn't put them in your draft yet. They were on another piece of paper he also trashed.
I think I have the agreement of the present active en.wv custodians to, for deletions on their own initiative, and aside from speedy deletion issues like copyvio and spam, place a speedy deletion tag or a proposed deletion tag. There are only two custodians active right now, and handling speedies from someone else is very fast. Just check incoming links, the deletion reason, etc. Takes less than a minute. And makes the process far more transparent. Prod tags are the same as speedy, simply delayed, easy to handle.
The big trick is to set up the system so that the bulk of the work is easy and is done by ordinary users. That requires building a community that understands this. --Abd (talk) 23:53, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I have in short confirm some Juandevs statements and put some more from mine:
  • I must confirm, that users Aktron, JAn Dudík, Milda, finaly (and espcially) Lenka64 just came from cs.wikipedia to harass the cs.wikiversity commune (maybe invited from s.o.) and this is why I thing their votes are not valid. They apart harassment and/or proposing for deletion as well articles as well as the whole 'versity project has no useful edits at that time (as well as till now). They do a pressure to us (not only to Juandev) not only on 'versity, but also in smaller degree in other projects. It means, that support for Juandev really was not 90 % as he states (mathematical mistake), but some negligibly less than 80 % (including, that not valid votes did exist)
  • I must confirm, that Danny B.'s actions, especially deleting did not meet a support of (creating) community, and was without any consensus and/or warning elsewhere. That arose bad atmosfere.
  • I can add a point, that Danny B. did not react to our asks for explaining his actions.
  • Because I felt bad atmosfere on 'versity, I gently asked him wether he could ask community to confirm him as a sysop. No response.
  • The points, I could add could be much more, but I'll restraint here for this moment
  • as offtopic for here should be behavior of Lenka64 and some other "arrivals".
I can't confirm, that behavior of Juandev was pretty clear, but I can understand it after such pressure. But behavior of much of other participiants also was far not nice. --Kusurija (talk) 21:20, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Kusurija, and thanks for your efforts, writing in English. I'm sure your English is much, much better than my Czech.
Juandev wrote some comments and questions on User talk:Billinghurst, and I just responded to them in detail on User talk:Juandev#IP case (permanent link.
Quick summary: the underlying issues cannot be resolved on meta. There has been what might be considered, by en.wiki standards, administrative abuse (i.e., use of admin tools to support the administrator's own point of view.)
However, the cz.wv user community is not skilled at community expression, and those users who have a problem with the way things are have not used the tools available to them. The past cannot be changed, and the future will not be built by going into the past and finding fault. though noticing what was missing can be useful. There is no end to what can be found as to fault, and every active administrator makes mistakes.
I consider the community responsible for the situation that exists there. Singling out users as if they were the problem never works. Should, with great effort, you manage to get rid of them, and if the structural problems are not addressed, others will simply arrive to fill the same roles. The structure creates the roles.
Danny B. is a technocrat, as far as I can tell. These people can be highly useful, but also need guidance from the community. They may not ask for this guidance; what is happening at cz.wv has happened on many wikis. Don't expect a technocrat to understand the necessary limitations on his own power.
The community is the only force that can overcome the natural forces at work here. To build the community without turning cs.wv into a battleground, it will be necessary to focus on what is truly important, to acknowledge the technocrats for the valuable work they do, and to build structure to guide administrators, which includes policies and a habit of community members of taking an interest in administrative issues, of becoming informed about what is actually happening.
To give an example from what I just reviewed, Juandev gave three examples of Danny B. full-protecting a page into a state that Danny B. had created. In every case, there was revert warring over Danny B.'s change, and then Danny B. terminated it by protection. Is it a coincidence that he protected it into his preferred version? We may never know, but a fuller study of his patterns could reveal what's likely.
To suppose the worst, suppose he did do this. Regardless, on the face, this was "recusal failure." However, does cs.wv have any policy on this? If not, why not?
It is possible, and I've seen this happen, that an entrenched faction can muster enough "votes" to prevent creating restraining policies. That's why something else needs to happen first, which is the creation of a collaborative culture that includes these "outsiders."
(Academics may easily consider the technocrats to be outsiders.)
Danny B. wanted to make some formatting changes. They were not changes in substance, as far as I could tell. What was so horrible about these changes that Juandev and others revert warred to prevent them?
I think I know. They were made by Danny B., and supported by "his friends," who are seen as outsiders, the "enemy."
Quid pro quo. Give some, take some. I'm not suggesting explicit trades. I'm suggesting an attitude of thanking Danny B. for his hard work, and of asking him for help, not demanding -- that's worse than not asking at all -- of appreciating what he does, which is more likely to heal the disorder at cs.wv, than all the RfCs that could be filed on meta.
Don't get me wrong. this approach could fail, in itself. I.e., there is another side to this, that is little expressed here. (We have seen some comments from Danny B. supporters in this and the prior RfC, and they confirm my view of the situation as a common one, common where a Wikiversity attracts Wikipedian participation, with the Wikipedians not understanding the unique possibilities of a Wikiversity.) From Wikipedia, those users are accustomed to entrenched conflicts, very difficult to resolve. They do not expect attempts to collaborate, they may not know at all how to manage it.
Consider this: the big revert wars, so important to Juandev, were over formatting a page. On Wikipedia, users can find much tougher problems to fight about. That formatting issue should be resolvable on the Talk page with a few weeks of patience, and if no consensus can be found for one way or the other, is it really that important?
What is much more important is policy around administrative actions. When is there a recusal requirement? Don't forget the other side: when is one allowed to act anyway? What should an admin do if faced with a damaging situation and a perceived need to protect the wiki and users, but no other administrator is available? When should an administrator, instead, back away and act like a normal user, requesting assistance?
(I once faced a very disruptive situation on en.wv, and no admin was available to act. So I went to meta and requested steward assistance. As it happened, that stirred an otherwise-a-bit-absent-admin to act, but it did result in steward action on Beta, where related conflict was occurring.)
If you don't, as a community, guide the technocrats, they will never figure this out for themselves. Social structure, which is what this is about, is not their expertise!
If you handle this with blame, you are really just the flip side of the same coin. It's natural, and very human, but academia and the possibilities of Wikiversities are not natural. They are an outcome of the enlightenment, of a capacity to be actually neutral, to see beyond raw survival and us versus them.
If you agree, go live it out. I will assist in any way I can. I have talked with Juan about setting up resources on en.wv as guidance for sysops. En.wv is open and free, certainly at this point. We have learned how to handle conflict over resources, it seems.
For an example I'm proud of, see en:wikiversity:Landmark Education. I created this resource some years ago because I was new with Landmark and thought it might be useful to have an on-line glossary. I've still not done much with that! However, a user who is known as "anti-cult" and as highly contentious in disputes, arrived and started putting critical material in the resource. This was material that would not be allowed, at least not the way he was putting it in, on Wikipedia. I had thought for years about what to do if such a contingency arose on Wikiversity, it actually doesn't happen much. I forked the resource.
A university may offer a course, and that course may be taught by more than one instructor. Instructors may have different points of view, and may present their points of view, especially where these are presented as attributed opinion. So I created "sections," one word to use. A section may be open (in which case it is just like a mainspace resource, required to be neutral by WMF policy), or it may be "managed." Managed resources have someone responsible for them. They are like essays in that changes to an attributed personal essay may be reverted by the author, and that will normally be respected by the community.
All this is consistent with academic practice.
On en.wv, we do not delete pages on what has been called "incomprehensible physics." Rather, we allow fringe or unverified physics to be studied. Is there something wrong with this theory? What, exactly? How would we know, could this be tested? Has it actually been tested? What is known, and what is unknown? Etc. These questions are asked and researched in mature science education.
There are other ways to handle dispute, but this one took absolutely no administrative action, and it immediately resolved the dispute. The user realized that he could create whatever he wanted, no problem. He didn't have to fight with me and, in fact, we were able to cooperate. Even though he apparently thinks I'm involved in a destructive cult. He suggested some books to read. I even bought one. Fascinating. See, I know what the book was describing, intimately. I know why things are the way they are. I know the problems of the organization -- which is, after all, a human organization. I've even met one of the people described in the book. A fantastic woman. Her story in the book makes her into a victim. She was no victim, she sued the founder of the work that Landmark does, and won. And she is still an active leader in the training, a powerhouse in her 70s, and I had the privilege of assisting in a course she led for a weekend. Tough as nails, clear -- and compassionate.
Certainly I learned from the process, and the most important thing I learned was how to handle content conflict on Wikiversity, with freedom, with neutral framing, and that is a lot easier than attempting to make every sentence in an article or resource neutral. (What a nightmare! It's actually impossible to do this reliably, with standard wiki structure).
We will not, however, allow en.wv to be used as a platform from which to attack users on other wikis. That happens on meta, to a degree. It was tried on Wikiversity before, and seriously damaged the community. No, on en.wv, we may, however, address the roots of the issues, and sometimes we can look at actual history in a cautious way (basically, if we are going to use edit history, we need ethical standards). Feel free to join us! There is also Beta, where cs.wv was born. One of the declared functions of Beta, not used, was the development of guidelines for Wikiversities. How about we use that? --Abd (talk) 23:07, 19 February 2014 (UTC)