The Wrong Version
This contains material intended to be humorous. It should not be taken seriously or literally.
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The Wrong Version is the version of a page that is protected during an edit war. The Wrong Version is biased, nationalistic, libellous, inaccurate and a disgrace to Wikimedia projects in general. There are no reports of an administrator ever having protected the "right" version.
Where to complain
If a page you are working on is protected on The Wrong Version, remember that it is essential that you inform the administrator who protected it that they protected The Wrong Version. You should point out the dreadful consequences of the page remaining on The Wrong Version, and insist they immediately revert to The Right Version. If they blatantly refuse, it is recommended that you ask for them to be de-sysopped. In addition, complaints should be made about the state of the page on en:Wikipedia:Protection policy, the article's talk page, the talk page of the admin who protected it and en:Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. You could also try emailing the admin concerned, or unconcerned admins who you think might like to know about this dreadful occurrence. Another excellent idea is to contact Jimbo on his talk page and ask him to fix it. And of course, don't forget the mailing lists; by cross-posting to any list that looks remotely useful you will leave a favorable impression with as many people as possible. Some legal threats or lawyer letters are sometimes advisable; the FBI, Amnesty International, the European Court of Justice or the Roman Rota might also find your complaint really interesting.
How to complain
Remember that it is likely the admin who protected The Wrong Version did this out of personal malice against you. At the very least, always remember that no admin ever protects a page unless they are involved in the dispute and prefer the content in one version over another. The last person to revert to The Wrong Version is almost always the person who requests protection. If not, they are a member of the same tag team.
All discussion that might resolve the dispute and make moot the discussion of whether the page has been protected at The Wrong Version must immediately be stopped in order to argue that The Right Version be restored. If you can find obscure policies that show how wrong the protected version is, these should be brought to the community's attention. If Jimbo remarked on the issue at hand, or made a post 15 years ago to Usenet that seems vaguely relevant, be sure to cite it. Equally, you should try to prove that the version protected is actually the work of a vandal.
In the rare case that a page is protected on The Right Version, it is recommended you keep quiet. After all, you are probably wrong, as pages are always protected on The Wrong Version.
You can save time in your complaints by using the following boilerplate messages. All are based on actual examples.
- If you really wanted to be fair as you say, then you should have brought the page to its original state before the dispute and then lock it. The way you did it, it just looks like you took one side and that is not even the article author's side (the guy whose effort was recognized by featuring the related article on WP main page). So I think this lock should be lifted.
- You are not only acting in a gratuitously non-neutral manner over [article]; you are also protecting a version which is not in line with en:Wikipedia:naming conventions (places).
- [User] is a vandal. Please revert to the last edit by [other user].
- By freezing [article] in the form [user] is trying to impose on it, you are effectively taking his side in this dispute. I request that you put the article back the way it was before [user] started messing with it and then protect it.
- I think however it would have been better to have protected it on the version before [user] [list the terrible things the other user did here]. [User]'s highly POV version is now left as the official Wikipedia version, unable to be corrected by anyone.
- The POV template should have been removed before protecting the article, as we didn't have consensus to add it. The article was protected when we repeatedly tried to remove the tag, which clearly proves that there was no disagreement about its neutrality.
- I request you to check out both versions and consider releasing the page as not doing so would be tantamount to rewarding [user] and his friends' aggressive editing.
- We both know that it is no coincidence that you protected [user]'s version.
- Obviously, you protected [user]'s version because you are both [Nazis|Communists|Freemasons|Right-wing extremists|Liberal wackjobs|radical Feminists|Zionists|Scientologists|Professional Anti-Scientologist|anti-Zionists|anti-American|American]—deny it all you want.
- Why did you protect [article] on a version vandalized by [User]? This constitutes blatant vandalism. It should be treated as such, not as an edit war.
- You've agreed with that user before on [different article]. You're biased. Your protection is a violation of Wikipedia policy.
- This page is protected in an effort to maintain the bad reporting and to extend bias and propaganda. I doubt anything discussed here will result in any major improvements to this rag of an article because the administrator(s) are hopelessly POV. They impose martial law because they are unwilling to admit that their position is weak. We can argue about the situation forever, but there is no doubt in my mind that unless you agree with the major contributors of this rag you will never get appeasement.
- I accuse you of being biased and having deliberately protected THE WRONG PAGE.
- The fact that the article has been frozen in its current unencyclopedic and POV state is emblematic of the [anti-black|anti-white|anti-blue-with-purple-stripes|etc.] bias of this website when it comes to such matters. I have not used this term on this page before, but I will use it now. Wikipedia is racist to the core. This is a perfect object lesson in how its systemic bias works. When obstructionist elements cannot refute objective information, they work to label it, mischaracterize it, smear it. This is unmitigated bull -- and emblematic of the racist dysfunctionality of this website.
- It is impossible to attempt to reach consensus on the right version while the wrong version is protected. The very credibility of Wikipedia is at stake, if the newspapers learn that Wikipedia has published the wrong version, and the page must therefore be corrected immediately, if not sooner.
- Consensus version: The version of a page that is not presently protected
- Last stable version: Any version of the page favored by the speaker that can be demonstrated to have been visible for at least two consecutive seconds sometime in the last five years.
- POV without reference: Any addition made to a page recently unprotected, or about to be protected
- Nazi: Anyone who protects any page vaguely related to religion, or European geography, or edits any such page. Also, any Wikipedian with administrative rights. Especially German Wikipedians with administrative rights (there it may culminate to Hitler, the ultimate Nazi).
- NPOV edit: Any change to a page made by you. Useful in edit summaries.
See also: Protected pages considered harmful, Edit wars, Automatic edit war squashing.
I'd like to add some additional recommendations for people who'd like to appeal such cases directly to me (Jimbo).
First, it's very important that you write me a minimum of 6 pages of text explaining and defending the version that you prefer. The more tedious the details, the better. I'm specifically keenly interested in the names of obscure rivers in Germany, er, I mean Poland, er, I mean Prussia. Also, be sure to write to me about the shape of bigfoot's head, I really am the person to make a decision about that.
Second, everyone knows that I make it a routine practice to force articles to read exactly the way that you like. I also ban longtime users and sysops whenever I feel like, just based on the say-so of people just like you. So be sure to ask for that.
Third, better yet, don't ask for it, demand it. Threaten to leave if I don't comply within 24 hours. That always works.
Fourth, if you happen to know that I'm personally politically sympathetic to your point of view, feel free to call your opponents names. For example, since I'm generally sympathetic to Israel, feel free to call anyone who has written anything critical of Israel a "Nazi". I'll get so excited that I'll probably ban them. Heck, I might even write new code in the software to only let you and people you approve edit the pages!
And finally, if for some insane reason I don't act on your wise proposals, tell everyone that you know that Wikipedia is all a scam to make money. It's a tool of capitalist oppression. It's a liberal playground with no standards. It's based on the principles of communism. It's collectivist. It's individualist. It's useless. It's the most important thing in the world, except for me screwing it up. That'll show old Jimbo who he's messing with!
Jimbo Wales 13:32, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Invoking the Cabal
The single most effective way to override this sort of atrocious abuse of admin power is to go straight to the head of the serpent. The Cabal is the well known source of power and influence throughout all wikidom, and it is regularly acknowledged that their favor can be bought to help resolve these issues. There are a number of ways to win over the assistance of the Dark Lords of Wiki:
- The most popular is to threaten to expose them and make outrageous claims about who their members include. Jimbo is the most obvious and most common choice. By declaring on as many talk pages as possible (in CAPS) that Jimbo Wales is a member of the Cabal and is only interested in perpetuating its power over the entire web (and eventually the Real World, too), you're sure to scare up some support from the Cabal, just to shut you up and avoid further scandal. Think of it as hush money.
- A more obscure but highly underrated method is to pretend to be a part of the Cabal. By threatening to use your power and authority to de-sysop the offending admins, or to ban other users, you may very well confuse the simple minded Cabalites into believing that you really are one of them, and therefore deserve their support.
- Remember, the Cabal is a Satanic group of pinko-commie Nazis, so various forms of black magic incantations and mystic symbols can help summon the necessary power to control them.
- Also remember that the power of the Cabal lies in its minions. That's you. The fewer minions they have, the less power they have, so always threaten to leave Wikipedia if your demands are not met. Rest assured, you will be sorely missed.
- In more extreme cases, you can represent an even bigger threat to their power by threatening not just to leave, but to take others with you and form a counter-power! You can download the MediaWiki software, and even the Wikipedia database of articles, so you can set up your own way better site and leech away all the editors that formerly supported the Cabal, and together form a new community dedicated to fighting the good fight; where no all-powerful Cabal can use martial law to make their will felt; where you and you alone have final say in everything that happens.
- Do be sure to make as many complaints as you can about rouge admin abuse. Rouge admins are a curse on Wikipedia and must all be stripped of admin privileges immediately.
The bottom line
In case you still don't get it: page protection isn't a means of locking the "right version" of a page in place; rather, its sole purpose is to make you stop edit warring (and look: you're here, so it worked!) and start discussing the issue on the talk page. Take a deep breath, then another, then do just that, and everything will be all right.