Talk:Requests for comment/Global ban request for Messina

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Notying those who commented in Steward_requests/Global/2015-05#Global_lock_for_Messina: @Yann, Billinghurst, A.Savin, -jkb-, Geagea, Steinsplitter, Winternacht, and Denniss:. Probably, some colleagues from Commons would also like to share their thoughts, but I do not know who are the ones who dealt with Messina there. Best regards, → «« Man77 »» [de] 00:48, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

  • I've alreade commented (support for ban), and I strongly disagree wirh the comment of Morten Haan, which remembers me to troll protection. Regards, -jkb- 00:52, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Messina isn't a troll b/c he makes constructive contributions. --Morten Haan (talk) 02:08, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
+1--Markoz (talk) 22:41, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Very interesting definition, but I guess to most the meaning is more like this. --Vogone (talk) 02:38, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Indeed a interesting definition. So you @Morten Haan: mean uploading copyvios, being disruptive, trolling, socking, etc... are constructive contributions? Seriously? --Steinsplitter (talk) 07:50, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I do not know the user in question, but I strongly suspect Morten Haan means that he makes constructive edits in addition to the less constructive ones. If that is true, that is certainly compatible with my definition of "trolling." No troll can be effective without doing some good work. -Pete F (talk) 07:56, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
The problem about Messina's attempts of constructive contributions has been (and still is) that it is impossible to tell, if the sources he cites actually contain the information he claims, and, if so, if he has understood and described what is written in the sources correctly and that he has no understanding whatsoever of copyrights and correct licensing. That is why he was limited to his user namespace in the first place because everything he writes has to be strictly reviewed and checked. With his "productivity" of flooding several articles per day with various IPs and sockpuppets into the main namespace, it is virtually impossible to do those reviews diligently causing false information and copyright infringements to remain in Wikipedia. He has been active on others wiki instances with sockpuppets and I expect him to continue in Hebrew or Italian WP because he never showed any intent to stop or alter his behaviour. This is why I think a global ban is highly necessary to enable administrators in all wikis to deal with this threat effectively.--Gonzo.Lubitsch (talk) 14:33, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Pete is right. Of course not all his contribs are constructive but at least some of them are. --Morten Haan (talk) 19:43, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
No, there aren't. He is trying to contribute constructive, but without a big mass of help, it does not work. Worst off all, he only want´s to deal with just a hand of people, all the other he ignores and at leas he permanently tries to get other to do things with he is not allowed to do. For example to upload Fils on commons. --Itti (talk) 19:56, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I think he thinks he's trying to be constructive, and in some rare circumstances, probably by pure luck, he may do something really valuable, but usually it's all just a big mess, unfortunately mostly with notable subjects, so plain deletion is not that easy. Every single word he writes has to be checked, because nothing can be trusted. I can't comprehend, why he is doing such things, whether he really believes those messes are articles worthy for publication, or whether he's just playing jokes with us. If you look at his contributions just in numbers, you should expect a veteran author with lots of expertise. If you look at his articles, you think it's the first time he ever wrote something for the Wikipedia. And often enough it seems as if it's everything but something he knows anything about, it's just something. I'm not long enough active editor to really fathom why he has been pampered in such an extraordinary way, but it is as it is, without extreme help from lots of helpers nothing useful would heve been written by him.
The problem is: a ban won't stop him. He's kind of addicted, he must write, no matter how awful and counter-productive. So with a ban we will be stuck with tons of sock puppets, under different names and IPs. So perhaps the last "solution", with a special Messina-namespace (OK, just his user name space) and some helpers to get articles out of the heap of stuff he unloads there. But he's getting abusive towards helpers, that he considers too slow or too inquisitive. I don't know, whether a global ban is in any way helpful at all, especially as he will probably only mess with commons (already banned), heWP (already banned) and deWP (already banned). So I fail to see any benefit in this global ban, but I understand the frustration of those, who vote for support, as he's just extreme zeitraubing. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:37, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
He isn't interested in copyrights, he threatened with legal actions and harassed lots of users on- and offwiki. These are the problems. NNW (talk) 21:58, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Current situation @dewiki[edit]

@Peteforsyth: We had a checkuser case to investigate if Messina really sent some disturbing wikimails fellow wikipedians received but which Messina denied to have sent. While the case was open, our OTRS team received dozens (maybe hundreds) of mails (with threats, copies of charges files at police etc., according to OTRS members), which is why one of our sysops decided to block Messina infinitely. We then had discussions if according to local policy checkusering is still permissible. Finally, the checkuser ho acceped the case decided to perform the check with the result that Messina really sent those mails (from his account, at the given times, using his usual internet access).

During the block but before we had a checkuser result Messina started to act in articles, user talkpages etc. using IPs, which was a violation of the arbcom resolution, which forbade his to use other accounts or IPs and to edit outside his own userspace and certain, predefinied user talkpages and project pages. Following the arbcom decision this would have required local admins to consider an infinite block after allowing Messina to explain himself, but, well, he was blocked already.

Then there were discussions how to deal with Messina's contributions. In dewiki, there is no banning policy, and banning is not a popular option among Messina's closest colleagues, as you can see here. While some say that deleting, blocking and ignoring Messina is justified, others say no, it is not. This debate is open: As said, there is no banning policy in dewiki and there has not really been a test case.

Moreover, Messina had already been blocked from summer 2013 to spring 2014 (after another checkuser case, for sockpuppetry during a temporary block, by single-sysop decision; block was then partially lifted by arbcom for practical reasons). There were plans to hold a community-wide vote concerning blocking Messina, but the block for sockpuppetry forestalled the vote. And there were plans to hold a community-wide vote concerning blocking Messina after the checkuser decision and result were to be published.

So the sitiuation is quite confusing: Messina is blocked thanks to a single-sysop decision, even though he most likely would also be blocked because of violating the arbcom resolution if we had had the necessity to discuss this issue, and he would probably (?) be blocked by the community if there were a vote. And we as a collective by now do not know precisely what to do with the block that we have.

That's how I'd summarize our current situation. → «« Man77 »» [de] 19:55, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

I'd say, there is no real oppostion to the permanent block. If threatening multiple users, inlcuding the CU who is handling your case with legal action does not warrant a permanent block, what does? Arbcom has not opposed Seewolf's decision and Messina simply resorted to multiple sockpuppetry again violating every Arbcom ruling (as well as wiki principles). All discussion basically circles around what to do with the seemingly useful edits Messina makes with his puppets - although everyone knows you can't take them for granted and everything needs to be revieed in detail. Since Messina showed the same behaviour in other wikis, too, it is very likely that he will start editing where it is easier for him to fool people and place his contents and that is why we need an international decision/solution that includes de:WP, but is not exclusive to it.--Gonzo.Lubitsch (talk) 22:57, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you both for summarizing the situation.
It is difficult for the global community to engage with situations where a formal determination and summary has not been made. English Wikipedia has this issue as well -- sometimes people are blocked by an individual admin, and if you happen to know the situation you might understand that a good deal of deliberation among various people went on to support that decision, but it is almost impossible to evaluate the decision as a newcomer because of the lack of documentation.
In my view, the global ban is intended to be a very rare thing, only implemented where it's actually needed. Messina does not appear to be active, at least under that username, on other projects, so it seems to me this is more of a preemptive strike than a protective action. I am going to oppose this proposal, and I hope that if it fails, that might provide a small incentive for local wikis (and ArbComs) to be more diligent about deliberating and documenting issues like this, improving the possibility of cross-wiki communication and collaboration. -Pete F (talk) 21:18, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, but that is not right. Messina is using hundreds of Sockpuppets. He is blocked on dewiki, hewiki and Commons. Yes, it is not easy, to read all the sides, but the mean sides are shown. Every Admin who did something against Messina got an Adminproblem, I thing, I have had 4 or 5, I must have a look. One more big Problem is his defamation against every other. That is not funny, in Germany is what he sayed prohibited by law so he subordinated that other are breaking german law. There are hundreds of Sides where we try to solve the Problem, to help him and deal with him, same on Commons. Nothing. He comes whit knew Sockpuppets back and back and back. same on hewiki. When we will close dewiki as good as we can, he will go to another wiki, I think en or it, because he is able to contribute this languages. It is time to end this. --Itti (talk) 22:21, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Itti, you misunderstand me. I am not arguing the truth of what you say; I am arguing that we need it clearly documented by local communities before we take action at Meta. It sounds like although many individuals understand these details, the issue has not been documented in a resolved ArbCom case, or in a semi-formal decision of the German community. That is what's needed before Meta can legitimately do global bans. -Pete F (talk) 22:42, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Doesn't this kind of prove the supporter's point? The concerned individuals have been bending over backwards to ensure and support Messina's integration into the German community. ArbCom was entrusted with this task precisely because of their trying to prevent both a local ban and further disruption and, ultimately, involvement of the community. Subsidiarity does not apply here because there was a local ban already in place. (Why have admins at all if they have to ask the community for permission?) This issue really shouldn't be used to push for more transparency or democracy or whatever. It's a push for an effective solution to protect the project after multiple concerted (and documented) efforts. 00:09, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I don´t get the point, what more documentation you need? ArbCom case? semi-formal decision? Sorry, but they are both not necessary for the formal active block of Messina. Messina was blocked after CU for Socketpupping. The Arbcom set him half free, in his BNR whit lots of rules. He was "on parole". A year later, there was a following Arbcom-case and he got a little bit more freedom, because, there where not enough people who where able or willing to help, so Messina was allowed to do special actions by himself. A disaster, the end were worse Mails, and a CU and a block. The parole was denied. That´s all on the other Side listed. There are hundreds of pages: Vandalismusmeldungen, Sperrprüfungen, Vermittlungsausschüssen, Adminproblemen and so on and on and on. Even in the Moment he is trying to get Articles in dewiki. Every day. And all of these Articles are worth. --Itti (talk) 23:01, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Peteforsyth means that the barn door can only be closed once all of the horses have run away. There's still another horse at the back of the barn somewhere hiding in a corner. INeverCry 00:43, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
INeverCry Is there a pressing issue I am not seeing? If so, please explain. I am very open to the possibility I have missed important things here. I did just now reread the original post, and I see an addendum that I had missed, about the Hebrew Wikipedia accounts. I did not see that before, and it did not come up in my Global Contributions search (presumably because they were socks).
There is a lot of information to process, in multiple languages; and if there is a time-sensitive aspect, I do not see it. All of these, to me, suggest that more thorough processing of the information and the decisions before bringing it up on Meta is, in general, a good idea. Whether there is enough cause here for a global ban, I am still uncertain; but as someone who participated in the implementation of the Global bans policy, my understanding and intention was that it should apply in cases where there was already a clear decision on multiple wikis. -Pete F (talk) 04:17, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
How many more clear decisions do you need than a block on Commons for the main account and hundreds sockpuppets, at least three blocks of user accounts on he:WP and a block backed by arbcom for the main account and hundreds of sockpuppets on de:WP? Are we waiting until Messina will create the same mess with the several accounts he already has on en:WP (listed on page) and reactivates it:WP accounts? --Gonzo.Lubitsch (talk) 09:02, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Here is a central point of uncertainty for me: On this page, Man77 says that there is no banning policy on German Wikipedia. This seems to be confirmed by wikidata:Q6140266. However on the main page, Gonzo.Lubitsch states that another user (Michael K.) is banned on German Wikipedia by community decision. These points seem to be at odds, but it's hard for me (a non-German speaker relying on machine translation) to investigate further.

  • If German Wikipedia has a banning policy but has not been banned on German Wikipedia, I still don't understand why not, and I don't understand why a global ban would be sought before a local ban is in place.
  • If German Wikipedia has no banning policy (and neither does Commons), the basis for this request seems thin. It seems to me that it's important for all large projects to have a banning policy and use it, and that our global bans should be done in reference to them

To everybody arguing with me, I'd like to point out that as of this moment I have no vote on the main page. My main interest here is in trying to ensure that we're going about Global Bans in a way that is reasonable, straightforward, and establishes good precedents. I'm not trying to be difficult. I did notice today that seven (of ten) German ArbCom members have voted in support of the global ban, and I believe none have voted against, and that does strike me as significant. -Pete F (talk) 18:23, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Hi Pete. Last time, in the case of Letter to Wikimedia Foundation: Superprotect and Media Viewer, I was very in favour of you, you did a good job there. But here I cannost understand you objections. Realy. Regards -jkb- 18:42, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
-jkb- I do not understand -- what do you think I am objecting to? Again, I do not have a vote on the page, and I hope by now it is clear that I am trying to get a better understanding of what is going on, not trying to argue for a position. Like I just said, I have noticed that you and six of your ArbCom colleagues have supported the global ban, and I consider that a significant point in favor of the ban. -Pete F (talk) 18:48, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Pete F, in my view Michael Kühntopf is not actually banned in de.WP, but blocked - by community vote. What we have in de.WP is a ruling that "reincarnations" of blocked users will be blocked, if their behaviour is still the same. This (an ongoing behavioural pattern) applies pretty well to many of our most beloved colleagues, but the ban is only directed towards their behaviour, not against the persons.
But, and this is where the difference to a ban is most striking, the ban is also not directed against content: Articles and files will probably be deleted for reasons such as copyright status, original research, lack of notability, incorrect and unsourced information, but not because of who provided the text/file. So far, this system has worked well anough in most cases, even though there are cases where we have discord about standard procedures. Messina is one of rather few examples, where the community is not sure about the correct standard procedure for a blocked user's contributions, as he doesn't just provide obvious rubbish, but "only" problematic stuff which we can't really handle.
Why is there no banning policy in de.WP? I'd say it's because we haven't needed it so far, at least not urgently. The workload to establish a banning policy (discussions, preparing RfC, holding RfC [with unsure outcome], implementation, execution) is likely to exceed the workload of continuing our way: blocking the accounts and dealing with their contributions as usual. → «« Man77 »» [de] 19:43, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Man77, that helps me understand better. I'm ready to cast a vote. -Pete F (talk) 08:15, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

This proceeding does not comply to the rules of law.[edit]

Due to several problems, this vote must be considered as invalid. The vote was started without preparation, noone tried to make it comply to the rules for votes. The threeshold that mus be reached in order has not been set, it is also not known when the vote will end. Various users have also advised, that the foundation is not responsible for bans of uisers which create problems that are limited to a one or two projects. The validity of this vote will therefore be questioned and it will not result in a decission, that will end the discussions about the case of Messina. --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 19:17, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

Please note this is not a vote, even though some editor thought adding numbers to the comments would be a good idea. There is no fixed end date either: "Once a valid request for comment has developed a broad and clear consensus, an uninvolved and impartial sysop or Steward may close the discussion. There is no set time limit on requests for comment. Requests are likely to be closed without extensive discussion when frivolous. Requests are likely to be closed after an extensive discussion when no consensus is likely to be reached" (from Global bans). Kind regards, --Vogone (talk) 19:47, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
If this is the case, then i don't consider this proceeding to be a suitable solution for the situation. --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 20:35, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
Liberaler Humanist, Vogone accurately describes the decision-making process here at Meta (and across most Wikimedia projects, I believe). While it's entirely possible there's a better way to go about things, it's the legitimate process here. We have elected administrators (I am one, though I will not be closing this discussion) for the very purpose of evaluating discussions like this on their merits in how they comply with policy, rather than as a strict vote count. If you have ideas about improvement, I'd love to hear them -- perhaps at Meta:Babel. -Pete F (talk) 09:16, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
There's a huge difference between such processes in deWP and enWP (and because of the hegemony of enWP in most other projects): In deWP we use votes for big decisions, and consider lonely rulings by single admins as not as valid. In enWP votes are discouraged, and admins have far more power in defining "consensus".
In deWP a Meinungsbild or a de:WP:BSV are votes, with restriction on who may partake (only users with a right to vote), and the whole formal stuff like needed majority or time frame have to be clear before it starts. It's discouraged to discuss on the front page, as it's just for voting (and perhaps a short reason). A process like this here would not even remotely be considered as something valid in deWP, far too less structured and too arbitrary in the outcome. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:48, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Sänger, very useful overview -- very helpful in understanding how decisions are made on deWP. Much appreciated. -Pete F (talk) 16:10, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

Sockpuppets on enwiki[edit]

While Messina did make only one edit on enwiki [[1]], Messina for sure has used socketpuppets on enwiki. I don´t know how many socks were used on enwiki, most of them to hide article-versions of deleted or discussed for deletion articles on dewiki or old versions and drafts worked on during blocks on dewiki. I identified some socks on enwiki, that are not blocked today.

User:Messina111 User:30ax.93 User:Abwe User:Loew17 User:Loew14 User:Loew13 User:Loew26 User:Mikel bradley

How to identify articles by Messina socks, frequent issues:

  • drafts can contain more than one subject at a time, sometimes they are a collection of many articles stiched together
  • the subject of the page can change immediately into something very different between the versions
  • title might not match with the content of the page
  • lots of copy an paste actions
  • lots of pictures, often red links because the files have been deleted on Commons.
  • use of pictures uploaded by Messina socks on Commons
  • some unusal topics like unimportant buildings or street in Heilbronn, Dresden or elsewhere
  • Language German or Hebrew at least in part or in older versions.
  • Another complex is articles of unimportant Israeli politicians or artists you might never have heard of.
  • this kind of articles usualy have more or less hebrew words/phrases/sentences, also in the last versions.
  • extensive citations untranslated
  • other topics with jewish background like prayers or synagoges
  • very frequent unneccesary empty lines
  • layout ist generally a total mess, mix of languages, mix of topics, lots of offtopics
  • overreferenced: several footnotes linked to the same sources on one sentence. multiple footnotes, frequently footnotes after each significant word.
  • at phases many small changes within a short passage but no substancial change in the content. Unser migt use 30 edits to set up three sentences.
  • overuse of formatting tags, bold, italic, big, small tags also in combination all over the article.
  • overuse of links, same things are linked repeatedly in each an every sentence
  • mixture of different spellings of the same word
  • little content but lots of literature. Most of it uncited and with little connection to the topic
  • lots of redundancies

Now do as you like with this information. --Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 20:53, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

@Giftzwerg 88: it is probably best to file a report at w:en:WP:SPI with this information and specific diffs, so a full investigation (and possibly CU) can be done. --Rschen7754 20:56, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
This socks and edits are about two years old, so its too late for CU.--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 21:23, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
If checkuser won't work, try ANI or AIV. 22:11, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
done--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 23:25, 16 January 2016 (UTC)