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Closure of Wikiversity / Behaviour of Jimmy Wales[edit]


Partly based on [1]:

  1. January 2010: Privatemusings created a page on ethical breaching experiments conducted at Wikipedia
  2. February 28: PM added a sub-page to the project authored by MZMcBride written as an irreverent guide to socking. Ottava Rima deleted it.
  3. February 28: Ottava Rima warned Privatemusings about the 'how to sock' material
  4. March 12: Privatemusings requests the community to discuss the sub-page of the project, and whether or not it must remain deleted.
  5. RTG, participant of the community discussion, posts at Jimbo Wales user talk page claiming that the project was still in operations even though it was not restored by the community
  6. March 13: Jimbo Wales deleted the page and whole project it belonged to and blocked Privatemusings
  7. March 13: Jimbo Wales says that Wikiversity may be closed: (Quote from [2])
  8. March 13: SB Johnny then unblocked the user and reverted the pages
  9. March 15: Jimbo Wales demoted SB Johnny and blocked Privatemusings
  10. March 16: Thekohser makes comment at Wikiversity:Community Review
  11. March 16: Jimbo Wales then blocks Thekohser and removes Thekohser's comment
  12. March 18: Sue Gardner gives backing from the Foundation [3]
  13. March 21: ongoing discussions and matter mostly solved per this statement
  14. March 23: Jimbo Wales declares that thekohser is globally banned(checked today, he's not.)
  15. March 23: SB Johnny resigns his tools on Wikiversity, citing Jimmy Wales as the catalyst.
  16. April 4 Raul654 submits a petition to shut down Wikiversity.
  17. March/April/Ongoing: open letter to the wikimedia foundation trustees
  1. Petition to Jimbo

Discussion till now[edit]

What was done[edit]

  • Inform all person belongs to
    • Jimmy Wales
    • The board
    • SBJohnny
    • Privatemusings
    • The Wikiversity community of all language

-> was done --Jan Luca 08:51, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Maybe get a neutral mediator
  • Send an open letter to the WMF board


  • The socking guide was deleted March 1st by Ottava Rima 42 minutes after the creation of the page. He was warned immediately after to discontinue any promotion of socking on Wikipedia or other projects. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:12, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Private Musings then requested the community to restore the content on March 12. RTG, a participant in the discussion, notified Jimbo Wales via his en.wikipedia user talk page. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:12, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It strikes me that the storm has blown over for the most part and constructive discussions are taking place at en.Wikiversity. I don't think discussing it here on meta is necessary or useful.--Jimbo Wales 15:53, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    With recent statements about progress with SB Johnny and Privatemusing related issues, I agree that the issue is practically over. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:10, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This page was created for the part of Jimmy's message about the Closure of Wikiversity. If the idea is given up can this page closed. I have lost the overview. --Jan Luca 16:25, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    A lesson we can draw is that there are certain words not to be said lightly, especially by certain people. 多聞闕疑,慎言其餘[4]. Hillgentleman 16:45, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Thanks for letting me know about this page, Jan Luca - here are some of my thoughts;
  • I think Jimbo was kind of talking out of his hat a little when he mentioned closure of wikiversity being discussed with the board - it transpires that it wasn't really (except by jimbo on wikiversity), and all he really meant was 'this is really serious' with a little bit of muscle flexing thrown in (which is basically my interpretation of what hillgentleman said above). fwiw - you can read the text of one of the deleted pages here (or if the link gets removed, do a google for 'ethical breaching experiments' and 'mywikibiz' - which is the website where someone has copied it) - I haven't heard from jimbo in several days, so I'm not sure where discussions are ongoing, but I'll be sure to keep a look out. cheers, Privatemusings 00:08, 22 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Well I dont think it belongs here. It is about the en.wv, so it belongs to en.wv. But it has been for the second time Jimmy Wales is distrupting en.wv. So lets propose him for founders rights removal. Because what happened two times, might happened once more or in another project.--Juan de Vojníkov 06:46, 22 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • That's a totally different issue, Juan, and not what this is about. The Jade Knight 16:54, 23 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Huh? Seems that it's exactly what it's about. -- Thekohser 20:22, 23 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Juan, The founder flag is just a copy of the steward flag. So, in the same way as we question a steward, 1. Did he abuse his tools? 2. if so, why did he do it? 3. Did he cause or prevent any damages? 4. Did he follow the steward guidelines? 5. Did he get authorisation from the community or the foundation before he acted? 5. Did he behave like a steward should? Hillgentleman 09:18, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Wikiversity has local administrators and should not need steward intervention. This was not a case of an administrator gone wild. The local community had not gained consensus to delete the pages. Jimbo gave himself the sysop flag and deleted it. Sue Gardner did come by later to say she supports Jimbo's actions. Whether that support was requested before or after the actions were performed, I cannot say. -- Adrignola 13:43, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Yes I know. So I can reply: yes; dont know; yes; probably not; no; probably yes.--Juan de Vojníkov 23:32, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Regarding the latest event regarding thekohser, while Jimbo states that thekohser is globally banned, he actually is not (witness his posting here). Hence my original wording. Maybe a better version would be "in his opinion thekohser is". -- Adrignola 13:43, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • With apologies - I was going for what JW "said" rather than the reality of the situation - just in case he pops in... --Herby talk thyme 14:02, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is all moot. If JW erred, it was in acting in haste, not in evil intent. I trust that any lesson to be learned has now been learned. He has definitely reversed his actions, although not making SBJ feel welcomed as a result (hence SBJ's resignation). Collect 16:50, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Collect, with what evidence have you come to form that theory of mind or of the intent of Jimmy Wales? If a "lesson has been learned", shouldn't it have been learned last year, when Wales made essentially the very same mistake by intruding on Wikiversity? Threatening to close down Wikiversity via a Board-level conversation is not "acting in haste". It is either wrongful or stupid. Haste has nothing to do with it. If you would like me to submit evidence for my theory of mind, regarding Wales' malevolence, I will be happy to do that, although I would likely need to find another forum that would support such documentation of public evidence. "Moot", indeed. Tut, tut. -- Thekohser 17:03, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you think so? People who had left the project, becuse they were shocked what can happen, will not come back.--Juan de Vojníkov 23:35, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Further reflection led me to look at a 20 year old essay of mine - and place it at w:Wikipedia:Tiptibism. Collect 12:56, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If Jimbo's threat to close Wikiversity was out of line, then it should be admitted as such, and the Board should make a statement to Wikiversity that goes over and above a guarantee of security for the project. The threat has disrupted work I do with Jtneill at the University of Canberra to encourage staff to engage with Wikiversity and invest their time in it. Threats like this, not to mention to notions of academic freedom, are hurting our work in strengthening the Wikiversity community. Also, Jimbo's action caused a valued leader at Wikiversity (JB_Johnny) to resign his position. This same thing happened last time Jimbo intervened in the way he did, causing a demoralising disruption to the community from which it has barely recovered! So, in short I think there is an issue that needs addressing here, not just about Jimbo's action, but the power of such a role) given the considerable disruption this time round, last time, and quite likely in the future. Regards --Leighblackall 23:52, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jimmy's stated objective has always been pretty clear: to support the development of a healthy, non-toxic environment for learning and research by helping to establish firm policies against trolling and abuse by users who have already worn out their welcome in other Wikimedia projects. Jimmy has done more for the establishment of healthy and productive learning communities than any of us can ever hope to do, and I think a healthy dose of "assume good faith" and humility is in order, both of which you have not demonstrated so far. The important conversation to have would be how to support the growth and maturation of Wikiversity. The answer doesn't involve creating spaces for known disruptive users, but creating a clear sense of identity and scope, and defining a mission that excites and motivates people to contribute. Wikiversity, so far, is a drop in the ocean; to become a force for good in the world, it needs to start to look towards models of success -- and listen to those who, like Jimmy, have stewarded them.--Eloquence 06:56, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Eric Moller, Let's not get into the business of whether Larry Sanger or Wales should be credited for establishing the community of wikipedia. What stands, at the moment, is the deep irony that we have someone who claimed his goal is to establish law, order and healthy environment on one hand and then blatantly disregard the community policy and discussion, presented the(however vaguely) the community with the threat of closure, and engaged in wheel-warring on the other hand. Hillgentleman 10:38, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course that is referred to as stewarding by Eloquence... --Herby talk thyme 12:46, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Misleading timeline[edit]

NOTE: the project page wv:Wikimedia Ethics/Ethical Breaching Experiments this page was clearly not deleted before I made this post so is it fair to say that it was "not restored by the community"? Restored from what if not deletion or suspension of which neither were applied? I have already altered the timeline to correct this and now I am being accused of lying and cross-wiki trolling, campaigns etc.[5] so I am just going to ask about it ~ R.T.G 23:54, 27 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It has been revealed to the stewards and known by the Wikiversity admin that RTG posted at the same time as he posted to Jimbo a proposal for a breaching experiment where he would convince an admin or a steward to shut down a project. By misstating the facts to Jimbo, he was doing just that. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:56, 27 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah well you should request comment about me then. This not the place to do so and that is not the way to do it either. ~ R.T.G 01:40, 28 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More bureaucraty ? That rarely does any good. DarkoNeko 10:57, 5 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]