Talk:Requests for comment/Global ban of INeverCry

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

Argument moved from RfC[edit]

Comment from Fae copied for context:

You have admitted to using an IP address as a sockpuppet account to obscure your other account(s). Doing so is neither a legitimate use of sockpuppet accounts, and manipulates the consensus process. There is no way of checking your statements. If you were so fearful of INeverCry, you should not be writing here, instead you could have emailed an administrator you trust to suggest making a proposal.
From this point on, I am not going to interact with you on the presumption that you may well be a banned or blocked user looking for lolz by trolling and creating drama. -- (talk) 11:54, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Fæ indicates he will not respond. The IP continues, trolling for diffs over an issue that is actually irrelevant to the RfC over INC.. This is radically inappropriate. The behavior of an SPA filer of an RfC is peripherally relevant in a request for speedy close, and if Fæ wants to provide the demanded evidence, he may. However, it would be better done here, as a comment in this section, not further cluttering up the RfC. --Abd (talk) 15:12, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

The rules do not prescribe starting a GB RfC logged-in. If I were "looking for lolz by trolling and creating drama" I knew many better ways, but I am not at all fond of doing similar things like INC, Russavia and the like. They are all purely disruptive, thus a GB will be appropriate and to the benefit of all positive and peaceful contributors. -- 12:08, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Fæ, please provide difflinks of the other IPs/forums that you are trying to link with me, so everybody can check if there are any similarities. -- 13:10, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

@Abd: As said I'm not going to encourage this anon IP user. It is fairly simple to investigate the address and edit patterns, but I see no benefit in risking outing them further by accident, especially as they may be using their home IP without understanding how to protect themselves. Thanks -- (talk) 15:55, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

As I would expect from you. And that's a compliment, by the way. --Abd (talk) 16:35, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Political context[edit]

I followed, for a time, the Russavia affair, including the global lock and ongoing WMF response (mostly "no comment," but lock enforcement). INeverCry enforced the Russavia ban on Commons, against much community sentiment, which appears to have distressed him no end. Some figures:

  • Russavia: 791,200 Commons edits, 78,741 en.Wikipedia edits. Russavia was abruptly globally banned by the WMF in January, 2015. He was, at the time, a Commons administrator; he had formerly been a bureaucrat. Notice this Russavia block log. INeverCry blocked a user who was completely unable to edit. This was a punitive or symbolic action, obviously, not necessary for the protection of the wiki -- and grossly uncivil on top. Russavia, once globally locked, socked massively and long-term.
  • INeverCry Central Auth: 1,009,400 Commons edits, 59,239 Wikipedia edits.
  • Resigned as Commons checkuser and administrator, 8 April 2015.
  • Rights restored 23 May, 2015.
  • 11 July, 2015 was that insane block of Russavia.
  • 18 July 2015 rights removed. :*28 June 2016 admin rights restored with a passionate admission of error.
  • surrendered tools again 22:19, 4 December 2016
  • INC requested tools back in January, 2017. This was actioned quickly, because the resignation had not been "under a cloud," it was clearly voluntary. However, there was an outcry and the bureaucrats conferred and agreed to remove it promptly. INeverCry realized that his stress did not decrease not having the bit. But he has not yet realized, my opinion, that his stress is not coming from outside conditions, it is coming from inside. Until he grasps that, he will cycle through what he's been going through for years. If he reads this, I hope he can find his way. It can be very difficult, but it's possible.

Users with very high contribution counts are not "normal people." When a high-count user runs into a problem and is blocked, socking is very common. The activity is highly addictive, always providing Something To Do, providing a sense of meaning to daily life. A blocked high-activity user will commonly be obsessed for a time. It can be very difficult.

I do not trust that SPAs claiming to be INC are necessarily him. I have seen checkusers overlook problems in identifications, and impersonation definitely happens at least on occasion.

So the sequence here, as I've seen it, was Russavia was banned, and INC enforced the ban, which was unpopular. INC was not prepared to deal with that level of disapproval for what he thought should be obvious: enforcing WMF decisions. So he resigned. And kept bouncing.

@INeverCry INC has commented on the RfC. This generally confirms for me the picture that developed as I wrote the above, which is not really complete. If INC wants to email me, it's welcome. I have some familiarity with the disorders he describes.

Consider the error Rosario Berganza made: she (or he) did not have email enabled, so when the password was lost, the account was lost. If INC is globally locked, he will not be able to use email, nor will anyone be able to email him through the WMF interface (that was changed when Russavia was globally banned). He will lose all contact.

I will say this: INC, you put in countless hours of volunteer work for years, and your contributions are appreciated. However, due to your actions, you cannot contribute at this time. You want to take responsibility: part of that is accepting the consequences of what you did. As part of this, I recommend that you fully disclose all socks, and when you started socking, because it looks like it was back in 2013, if not earlier. I do suspect impersonation, but what you have already admitted has done maximum damage.

To others, I know a way to identify socks when they are substantially active in the same period of time. It would be difficult to evade even if one knew about it and tried. It takes a lot of work. I don't know if it's worth it. Does anyone think so? --Abd (talk) 22:07, 5 October 2017 (UTC)


The issue of sympathy comes up. I'd like to disclose my position on that.

  • I have sympathy for people with mental illness. It is essential that people remain responsible for their actions, anything else can create chaos and great harm. However, "responsible" doesn't mean "bad" or "guilty," except perhaps in a legal sense, and "not guilty by reason of insanity," properly should lead to confinement or restraint, whatever is necessary to prevent further harm.
  • Where it all gets ugly is where we believe that "bad behavior" should be punished.
  • People who become consumed with hatred (often thought of as hating bad people) are mentally ill, my opinion. It is literally a sickness that can damage their ability to live freely. I still have a level of sympathy for such, for they are, indeed, suffering, but the sympathy is not as ready for me.
  • In the present case, we have a user who put in -- I'll call it an "insane" level of work, who loses his ability to continue because of other aspects of his insanity. It makes no sense, other than reflecting a wiki addiction, about which I know something!
  • This is not a complete explanation, and only he truly knows the details. In general, though, recovery is possible, but it will likely take time, at best, and, assuming he is actually home-bound, as he has claimed, it could be difficult. Not impossible, but he will need, to be successful, to make recovery a total priority. His mental disorder could be fatal.
  • He did harm on Commons (and a little elsewhere). That's recoverable, rather easily, with admin tools. His positive contributions probably outweigh the damage. Regardless, done is done.
  • Some of the comments are laden with a sense of unforgiveable outrage. The deepest of this appears to be based on having been lied to. It does appear that INC lied (or allowed ready and false assumptions to stand, which amounts to the same thing). Those people have the right to their opinion and feelings. It is not clear to me that the community, however, will want to be motivated by what amounts to revenge. There are layers of "lying." His presentation of Daphne was "misrepresentation by assumption." If he took someone sympathetic into confidence, and lied to that person, I would find that more deeply offensive, and even more so if it were to cause harm to another.
  • Apology, self-blaming, and self-shaming, by the way, are almost useless, often a way to attempt to avoid consequences. There is a fine line between this and expression of regret and remorse, which become powerful when what was underneath the behavior is acknowledged, and plausible commitment is made to what will prevent recurrence. Simple promises to not repeat a behavior are not enough, if the roots are deep, because without "structures for fulfillment," the causes and effects will arise again. INC probably cannot manage this alone.
  • Regardless, his own personal recovery will depend -- by everything I know about addiction, which is a lot -- on becoming completely honest. In this case, I can see no legitimate reason for him to avoid that. If it would harm someone else, that could be a cause for restraint, but, then, he can, at least, become completely honest with a trusted person.
  • Understanding how to proceed for the best welfare of all concerned (INC and the communities and users) is not about "forgiveness." It is about understanding what creates life worth living, and projects worth serving.
  • I'm concerned with what I've seen too many times: someone with very high contributions, who makes mistakes (small or large), and is more or less tossed out with the trash, while others, more politically connected, who also make mistakes, are protected, sometimes beyond all reason. But the latter is not the issue here. INC's contributions remain in the work he did, which will stand or fall on its own. One of the sad things about Russavia's ban was an obvious attack on his many excellent image uploads. Suddenly no possible flaw was too small to attack. (But I have not followed this lately.) --Abd (talk) 20:10, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

One more thought. Daphne was his "stash." He knew that having admin tools would (sometimes) calm him -- at the same time as he knew that they drove him crazy. Addicts commonly have very contradictory ways of thinking. He had created the stash just in case he lost his tools and could not get them back. Addicts do what they do out of survival imperative, this is basic to understanding addiction. It is as if they will die if they don't get their fix. (Usually not literally, in fact, but it is what they believe, and it feels true). Survival motives can overpower all higher social motivations. I have seen addicts do far worse than INC, harming those they love and who love them, and causes they care about. (In fact, one was a highly trained and successful psychologist, undiagnosed bipolar.) If they are sociopathic, they will literally kill for their fix. I see no sign that INC is even close to that level! But that he might be deceptive about Daphne, that's easy for me to understand. If Commons cares to study the affair, there are many possible lessons that could shape policy and prevent further harm. How about routine checkuser for all accepted admin nominations? I can think of a series of major and highly disruptive problems that would have been avoided with this! Want to be an admin? Don't have any undisclosed socks! --Abd (talk) 20:32, 6 October 2017 (UTC)