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Latest comment: 6 years ago by Abd in topic question

Key to survival[edit]

I get the impression that the key to survival here is to avoid being argumentative. By that I mean, you have to avoid arguing back, because the person who starts a dispute is automatically considered in the right. E.g., suppose I go to your page and say, "Abd, I object to your doing x. It's very disruptive; please stop." You might say, "But I'm allowed to do x. Besides, what harm is it causing?"

In that situation, you just lost, because now you're starting a whole bunch of drama by being argumentative; plus you're wikilawyering and seemingly rationalizing. You should instead ignore my objection, or give some polite response, and continue about your business, preferably accomplishing what you originally set out to do by some means that avoids doing precisely what I objected to. That way, we both save face, since I technically got you to stop what you were doing.

This rule doesn't apply when dealing with sysops; when sysops do something you object to, you have to make sure it's another sysop who raises the objection on-wiki. Voicing the objection yourself automatically makes you the drama-starter; after all, you went against the person whose promotion was supported by the community, so that makes you an enemy of the community. So, instead you should quietly and patiently pursue other channels, e.g. emailing a sysop to ask his opinion on what was done, and inquire whether it was within the rules. He might suggest some way of defusing the conflict non-confrontationally.

If you get in arguments, even if you're right, your popularity drops and usually the person will hold a grudge (although he won't admit to it; he'll claim to only be looking out for the good of the wiki). He'll just oppose you whenever he gets the chance, and maybe even start wiki-stalking you. At best, he won't actively work against you, but will still refrain from supporting you when opportunities arise. The most popular users, who are able to become sysops, are usually the most non-confrontational people, who either believe the mainstream opinions or keep quiet about their dissident opinions or even use alternative accounts to voice those dissident opinions (not that I'm suggesting impropriety; I'm sure they disclose those accounts to the proper authorities, if required by any rules).

When it comes time to drop the dime on someone anonymously, nothing beats the tactic of a certain indef-blocked (not banned) user with whom we unfortunately had long and torturous acquaintance, who loved to use his urban location, wifi dish antenna and other means to gain access to a multitude of seemingly unrelated IP addresses with which to make reports to WP:ANI. People suspect newly-created accounts; they don't suspect IP addresses as much. I'm not suggesting using these tactics, but it's definitely good to be aware of them, because it's how the game is played.

Really, all games are that way. Who wins at chess? It's often the person who was the most patient, willing to spend lots of tedious hours studying openings and endgames; and who had enough ice water flowing through his veins to keep cool and not let any threatened setbacks fluster him. Risk would be another apt analogy; the person who wins at Risk is often the most politically astute player, who tries to get on everyone's good side and doesn't ruffle people's feathers unnecessarily. Sometimes he triumphs by persuading his opponents to attack each other, while he waits on the sidelines, building up his forces for the aftermath.

Even when he betrays alliances, he does it in such well-chosen situations, and finds such well-chosen words with which to explain it, that people don't hold it against him. I've lost games of Risk simply because I inadvertently got on people's bad sides. If players decide you acted inappropriately or in bad faith, they will often weaken their own position to weaken you, just out of principle.

By the way, why the [heck] is "Risk" italicized but "chess" isn't? Someone should create an Annoyed Picard meme about that. Leucosticte (talk) 06:11, 15 December 2013 (UTC)Reply

Perhaps you'd like to weigh in on this topic? Leucosticte (talk) 16:18, 7 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

Here is my response, I am not willing to place it there. If you wish, you may link to this from there.
Lecuosticte, you are generally correct. The specific problem with the WMF is that processes and policies were created that make representations as to how the wikis are run, that are not realized by the actual process, and there is no systematic critical review. So the public is snookered, and so are many users who believe in the policies (which are often very well written) and assume they are enforced. It can take a lot of study to realize and understand otherwise, and it can shake the confidence of such users. That's viewed as damaging, my guess. In general, if I assume that those involved at high levels know what they are doing, they are afraid of alienating the mass of volunteers. They have a tiger by the tail, a mob that is not always "collectively intelligent," when it is acting out of survival instincts.
It was fascinating to watch when ArbComm attempted to create a review committee, with broad membership, to do work that was obviously necessary. There were screams of protest, and they backed down. Why? Essentially, ArbComm was, at one time, at least, the best and most focused deliberative process on the wiki. And yet they surrendered to a flashmob, that probably did not actually represent most editors, but only the most vocal and centrally watchful. Think about what kind of editor has w:WP:AN and ANI and other active central processes on their watchlist, long-term? Some administrators, yes, but the rest? Those pages were allowed to become discussion fora, instead of simply being noticeboards. Argument on a noticeboard should never have been allowed; rather, with the wiki system, simple requests would be "accepted" by an administrator agreeing to investigate the issue, and then arguments would have been made elsewhere, as appropriate and organized by the investigator. That is, on article or user talk pages, or sometimes on user space pages (of the investigator). And then a result would have been taken back to close the report.
But the "community" as it appeared, so often, did not want effective, efficient process. It often rejected it, and acted to torpedo it. And the causes of that are obvious. --Abd (talk) 16:43, 7 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
People watch ANI for entertainment and so that they can interject a bunch of jeers that wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else on the wiki. It's not exactly the kind of place where you'd expect to run into a lot of productive editors or philosophical types who are interested in a reasoned discussion. It's fast-paced and emotional, people act on impulse and fear, and usually the results are a train wreck. Are you concerned that if you get too outspoken on meta they might kick you off again? Leucosticte (talk) 16:47, 7 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
The founder of ANI considered it a mistake. It wasn't a mistake, it was something that could have worked, but that was corrupted by "avoiding burreaucracy" and "avoiding instruction creep." I argued all that years ago on Wikipedia. There could be a completely functional AN or ANI, but it would not be a place for deliberative process. We do not call 911 and expect to get an argument. "Look, just talk to your husband with respect, maybe he won't get so angry with you." If there is a problem, they will send someone to investigate (and whack you for making false phone calls if it's a prank. If you are crazy, they will still investigate. That's how real emergency services work.)
All this has been previously discussed and explained by me. This was very much not welcome. What is not welcome is next to useless.
Yes, of course, I'm concerned about that. I'm active on Wikiversity and I have occasional need to come to meta. I have almost always been successful in getting what I ask for here, except where there was existing controversy and people were already lined up. And, of course, when I was blocked!
I was totally surprised to be blocked here, when I was. I had not been warned, specifically. I was blocked within a few minutes of a complaint, a complaint that made no sense. And so ... I'm not the only one. I've seen this happen many times, and I was one of the few who would do something about it, for others. As those who will intervene like that disappear, it's predictable, the Wiki Way is lost. I've seen again and again that functional ways of handling and *resolving* conflict are rejected.
You invited me to comment on a page that would be reviewed by people who might feel an obligation to read whatever is there. Those are the conditions where objection to my writing is more likely. I do *not* want to push what I think in front of people who are not interested. I'll make *brief* exceptions, where I see something important, an example is [1].
Now, my comment was 3 days after that global lock. By policy, as I understand it, the lock was utterly inappropriate. It might indeed be that it was totally needed, but it sure doesn't look that way. When locks are made with no clear justification, and especially if they are justified, and if this is accepted, the community goes to sleep. And then when something truly serious happens, nobody notices. Global locks are effectively global bans. So a user who was once very active is now globally banned, without notice, as far as I can tell, affecting every wiki, and without the global ban process being followed. As an emergency measure, maybe, but the lock did not prevent any ongoing problem behavior, it only affected an account that had not edited for a long time. It's obvious. But who speaks up for the obvious? Who even watches?
There is now one response: [2]. I'm not responding there. That is a request page. But I'll answer here: the user asks:
  • What gave you the idea that stewards follow policy?
I don't have an idea that stewards follow policy. Some do. Some don't. However, policy generally represents community consensus as to norms. Policy means nothing if the community doesn't enforce its own norms. But if there are fair-sounding policies, people believe and trust that they will be followed, it gives people a sense of security. A false sense, if there is no enforcement. On wikis, real enforcement is generally up to the community. When the community goes to sleep, nobody is minding the store. We should not be surprised that it all goes south.
What really happens is that stewards are volunteers, and with matters like dealing with global spammers and vandals, they become impatient and act quickly. That's not necessarily a problem, if they are willing to review their actions, or if the community of stewards is willing to review the actions of individual stewards. If, however, they take an assertion of error as if it were a personal attack, if they circle the wagons and defend against "outsiders" who "don't understand," then the safeguards are lost. The wiki breaks down. Inexorably. It is an error to blame this on any individual, it's a collective failure. We are all responsible.
What I pointed out about that global lock is obvious from the evidence presented. The user might be a total monster, but ... that's not the point. In democratic societies, we object to violations of due process, not because a given alleged criminal is innocent, necessarily, but because if those violations are tolerated, "next time, when they came for me, nobody spoke up as well."
When I was blocked here, I had intervened to support a former sysop here, who had, in my opinion, been abusive. It didn't matter. He was asking for something reasonable, and it was being denied with assertions about policy that were face-palm silly. So I asked about it, and the steward took offense, and complained, and when a steward complains about a user, what do lowly local administrators do? I was surprised, not by the block, but that the steward complained. I previously, had respect for that particular steward, I was totally shocked. I later came to the idea that maybe there was a language problem, that he literally did not understand what I'd written and believed I was threatening him. And another steward promised to investigate. And never did.
And so goes the wiki. --Abd (talk) 20:21, 8 January 2014 (UTC)Reply


Please write a glossary at User:Abd/Glossary consisting of one-sentence explanations of terms such as rule 0, iron law of oligarchy, etc. Thanks. Leucosticte (talk) 16:57, 7 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

Not yet.
and more
They tried to delete that user page, but it was one of the rescued pages. I see that a user recently no-indexed it, with a totally weird but typically parochial Wikipedian comment that assumes that user are thirsting for free hosting. However, cat's out of the bag. It's also hosted at [3]. I also have copies of all those user space pages, and could easily put any or all of them up on domain space I own. Some were evidence that had been provided to ArbComm. ArbComm didn't care that evidence was being deleted. Some were records of successful arbitrations, where I'd facilitated consensus between users who were about to battle each other into indef blocks, some were records of problem blacklistings, such as the blacklisting of (The lyrikline history actually made me cry when I researched it, a user who was working hard with what he believed would benefit the project, and he was whacked upside the head. He tried to fix it, undoing what he'd done, and it was obvious: he gave up in despair. He had done nothing actually wrong. Every edit I found was beneficial. (One of the spam adminstrators disagreed. He thought that one edit was a problem. But I did restore that one, without a problem. The spam administrators, knee-jerk, assume that all blacklistings were proper, but some will review them, and, to his credit, he did do that. He eventually lifted the lyrikline blacklisting, while he complained about me being such a jerk about it. I wasn't uncivil, but years of nice-nice complaints about lyrikline blacklisting had done nothing. The user had run afoul of a technicality, a practical decision that the spam warriors made: if you are adding many links to a web site, you *are* to be treated as a spammer until and unless it's proven otherwise. He was probably associated with the site, thus possibly falling afoul of COI policy. But all that could easily have been handled cooperatively. Nobody tried, until I found this, some years later, and fixed it.
So one of the pages that they tried to delete was the working page with links to lyrikline, showing what had been fixed, and what remained to do to continue adding what had been mass-reverted by the warriors. Really, the request for deletion of all my user pages was not at all about protecting the project, it was about revenge, pure and simple. And a lot that goes on is about revenge. That's just what's so.
As I'd seen years earlier, elsewhere, the community prefers to bury its collective head in the sand, if the one seeking revenge is a "valuable volunteer." They don't notice the trail of that user, an administrator, littered with accounts he drove away or blocked or wangled bans for. They don't notice the POV-pushing patterns behind this. Bring them up, you are the problem. Where I was unusual was that I brought up the issues through policy-prescribed dispute resolution process. I was successful. And then I was whacked, because I was obviously "disruptive."
And it was all predictable. If I expected otherwise, I was truly foolish. But I did not expect anything in particular. I "experimented," that is, I did what I did, watching what would happen. I've acknowledged that before, and it's been used to condemn me. But I only did what I believed could be beneficial, always. I didn't do wrong things to see what I could provoke. I'd studied consensus and community process for years, including on-line process on the w:W.E.L.L.. I saw the positive possibilities with Wikipedia, had anticipated them for decades. But I also knew the risks. So many old-timers know, they would often express it when they retired. The experiment failed. What was created is not sustainable, because of systemic flaws that the community became unable to address. However, there is still a large supply of people ready to try, but it's declining, that's what happens with pyramid schemes.
Gee, Leucosticte, why aren't there more people willing to work for weeks to get a snippet of text in an article fixed (if it happens to be an article where controversy is involved), when in a normal, standard publishing operation, it would be handled in minutes. Does "wiki" mean "quick"? Basically, the wiki is quick only if one really doesn't care at all about it.
I'd independently come up with the same idea as the iron law of oligarchy based on my own observations. It even applies to small organizations. E.g., judicial panels will usually be dominated by a few blowhards who write most of the decisions; the others just go along with it because they don't care as much, don't want to risk conflict or don't have take-charge personalities. Leucosticte (talk) 21:54, 8 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Well, that is not exactly the Iron Law. If the members of a judicial panel have the same power, if the "domination" by the "blowhards" is a matter of continuous consent by the other members, it's not clear that there is an oligarchy. After all, those blowhards, in your opinion are serving the others, doing the work of expressing the opinions, etc. There is a related effect that might be part of the foundation of the Iron Law, I've called it participation bias or the Dictatorship of the Active. To a certain extent, it's obvious, it is Natural Law, so natural that most of us have no clue that there is any alternative, i.e, any way to avoid the harmful consequences of oligarchical control, while preserving the benefits.
To many of us, "oligarchy" is Bad. And so if I write about an oligarchy, some will assume I'm saying that it is Wrong or Bad. They will, indeed, assume that I'm angry with the oligarchy. No, I simply see what it's doing. --Abd (talk) 00:23, 9 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

Admin activity review[edit]

Alright, so could you explain why you suddenly made this edit? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 22:52, 21 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

I explained why on the Talk page.[4]

I made the edit and was interrupted, mid-edit to the Talk page. I'd intended to explain it immediately otherwise. But perhaps you are asking a different question. If that is so, please be explicit what you are asking. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 01:19, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

I still don't understand how you don't see self-reversion is not always the correct way to go about proposing pages to wiki pages, considering you were banned on enwiki for abusing that very same process. It is only one way to propose changes to wiki pages, and to impose the view that everyone must conform to your mode of behavior (i.e. the model of self-reversion in order to submit proposed changes to help a page) is quite frankly very dictatorial. It runs contrary to the old mantra of "be bold" in making changes rather than waiting for peer review. For example, in my version I have submitted five smaller incremental copyedited changes to the article for people to selectively revert individual ones that they disagree with rather than wholesale throwing out the baby with the bathwater if I make one giant modification. Not only that, but in addition to this I have also asked an administrator to review my changes before marking them for translation, yet you still insist it gets more approval. You chose not to take that route, and instead insist people do it your way. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 01:50, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Well, BRD is an "ancient" wiki process. That said, I'm not sure reversion was necessary. Now that it has been done, let's discuss whether the proposed changes are okay. I think they're fine. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, about BRD, I've used it for years. It's "wiki," easy to do. PRS, if you are satisfied by your own review of the changes, that they improve the page, you certainly may show this by reverting me, and you will see no objection from me. I'd recommend, though, waiting a little time and seeing if anyone else sees something, or approves the changes. Ideally, it would not be just one person! This is a policy with massive implications. If there is no change in meaning, as is being claimed, there is also no rush, at all. --Abd (talk) 02:28, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
You seem to have forgotten the latter part of w:WP:BRD:

Rather than reverting, try to respond with your own BOLD edit if you can: If you disagree with an edit but can see a way to modify it that results in a net positive rather than reverting it, do so. The other disputant may respond with yet another bold edit in an ongoing edit cycle. Avoid the revert stage for as long as possible.
In the edit summary of your revert, include a link to WP:BRD to remind an inexperienced editor of the method and your intent, or just ask that they offer their edit for discussion on the talk page. People feel more cooperative if you let them know that you're willing to listen to their case for the change. Otherwise, a revert can seem brusque.

TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:48, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
That is fine. The fact is I have observed anything more than one revert of another editor (unless it's patently false vandalism) to be considered edit warring, particularly when I work on the English Wiktionary, which give quite a bit of leeway in terms of policy for admins to unilaterally block someone who reverts them more than once. Not to say that that's a bad thing, and most of the environment there seems healthier for me even though I've never been admin. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 01:57, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, PRS. Suppose TCNSV had reverted me. He'd have been revert warring. Suppose I then reverted him. I'd have been revert warring. We do not submit policy edits to a single administrator, we submit them to the community, again, that's basic wiki process. What I did, and TCNSV's restraint, leaves the matter properly submitted to the community. At this point, any editor can restore his changes, but, given that this is steward policy, I recommend that it be a steward. By reverting me, a steward is acknowledging that all the changes are legitimate, and presumably do not change meaning, but, generally, my opinion is that policy pages should not be "improved" except gradually, and the reason is the difficulty of review, of being sure that the page does not become substantially other than as approved by the community.
Was the revert "necessary"? I really can't tell, and that is part of my point. I can't tell if that edit was proper without spending a lot of time with it. Few will really spend that time. They will look at simple edits and review them. A pile of edits that they see on their watchlist, all at once (to them)? Often they will assume that someone else will revert if there is a problem, so if they don't immediately see a problem, they will do nothing, and I've seen improper changes become incorporated in policy because of that.
My own practice, even with much simpler changes than what TCNSV did, has been to self-revert, submit the change(s) to the community on the Talk page, giving notice of intention to revert myself after a substantial period has elapsed without objection, and then wait and watch. It's easy, and it's efficient. If someone simply does not trust me, they may object on that basis, but that would really only apply to complex changes, such as TCNSV made. And when that has happened, I've gone back and implemented one smaller change at a time. I did not revert out of a lack of trust for TCNSV. My understanding of this editor would lead me to expect good faith changes to that page. But he might err.
I did *not* object to the changes themselves, only to the lack of review, and so I made the review take place. I did not make the changes out to be "wrong." My action was explicitly not a vote against them. So I thank TCNSV for his patience. --Abd (talk) 02:18, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
I have reverted the revert, but I welcome criticism from stewards (of which I am not one). I posted about it on SN. Did I do this right? PiRSquared17 (talk) 03:51, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
It's fine, PRS. The minimum review is one neutral user beside the initiator of the change. That's all it took to properly bring in the change, at least as a default. (And remember, I explicitly said that I'd seen nothing actually wrong about the changes.) This review would not have been necessary for a very minor change like a spelling correction. It's arguable that it wasn't necessary here; however, w:WP:BRD is a recommended process for sound reasons. Personally, I wish the editor had simply said, in response, "Great! Thanks for opening up the discussion, so that there is no doubt about this." But he didn't. That's his choice. I did not demand that he self-revert, it was merely a suggestion, for possible future use.
On that point, the Wikipedia essay is quite clear as to when BRD may be appropriate, as to this case:
[When] local consensus is currently opposed to making any changes whatsoever (when pages are frozen, "policy", or high-profile)
Here is what would have happened if the user had chosen to revert himself and ask for approval on the Talk page: either nothing, in which case, after a decent delay, he could have brought it back in, or someone else would have approved it by reverting his self-reversion. Essentially, it would have been a highly efficient way of presenting the edit (instead of discussing it first on Talk, which is often recommended), and a highly efficient way of collaboratively resolving the matter. I have every right as an editor to say, "I don't think we are quite ready for this yet, let's see if there are any objections." I am not required to do all the work necessary to insure that there are no problems, or to find one. Nor was the user required to abstain from editing. Together, we have not only improved the language of the policy, but have also quickly insured that there was approval, as policy requires. And that could have been quite simple had the user not taken offense. --Abd (talk) 16:16, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

And then you still have the gall to make another comment after the issue was done with to remind all of us about an issue we'd wish you'd forgotten about thirty minutes ago. Why don't you do something more productive on this wiki rather than arguing tendentiously? I don't see any of your contributions of something significant such as prevention of cross-wiki disruption, translation of pages, or preparations for the 2014 Steward Elections. Instead you write pages and pages of long and tedious argumentation over something so trivial as a copyedit change, or you obstruct the SRG process by pointlessly arguing with the stewards over policy. It's the kind of confrontational behavior that got you blocked here on Meta in the first place. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:55, 23 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

TCNSV, please take your ravings elsewhere. There is a policy. I ensured that it was followed. It's that simple. It was followed. After the matter was resolved, you continued to fill the talk page with extensive attack on me, completely unwarranted, unprovoked. --Abd (talk) 05:36, 23 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
You're right, I retract my statements on the issue. You were 'just following policy'. Perhaps I have not handled this appropriately and should have waited for someone else to review, but I was impatient to get my corrections published before the page turned off more readers. Instead of waiting, I began to call you out on it and made comments which lost sight of the wiki principle in assuming good faith. And for that, I am sorry.
But please, next time you revert a change that I made, you can take more appropriate measures that would show your goodwill on the matter. For one, because it is a low traffic page it's better to do what PRS did and post on a more public noticeboard like Wikimedia Forum, and that way the issue is resolved sooner. Secondly, you asserted that to publish a change one must self-revert and then ask someone else to review and revert your change is 'the wiki way', but I asserted that consensus is best formed when someone reviews and partially reverts only individual edits that they do not like. Clearly we disagree, and perhaps none of us is right on this issue, but it is best we do not impose this view upon one another. I think it best if I refrain from future reverting or commenting on your edits, and you do the same with mine, a refrain from further interactions.
The biggest thing I wanted after all this was for the issue to be dropped after it was resolved and for us to participate in something more constructive. Re this comment "I made a comment confirming to a steward that there was no dispute over content, because he'd just been told that there was one" that is fine then; but in my opinion it was quite obvious that as a steward elected by the community capable of judging consensus, he would be able to figure it out on his own. Sometimes I have been left comments by other editors telling me at some length what was already obvious if I had just read the discussion they linked to, and still remember the annoying orange "You have new messages" banner. Whatever, I will not argue this point further, it is a waste of bytes. My point simply is, I do not want the page to be highlighted on my watchlist again, and if it does not it means we have dropped the issue. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:02, 23 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
TCNSV, if you wanted the issue to be dropped, it's strange that you have continued to post to that page, defending your action. However, yes, there is a new issue that you raise, which would be a certain ambiguity in the original language -- which has now been restored. It was precisely the difficulty of identifying such ambiguities when buried in a mass of harmless changes that was my concern. That's why I wanted review of the changes! Can you see, now, how that revert -- wherein I did show and assume good faith on your part -- has led to the exposure of a deeper issue? Until that issue is resolved, the original language should stand, because it was the language approved.
If I choose to comment on your post there, there would be no offense. Basically, TCNSV, your effective request that I refrain from further comment, which you appear to take personally, is improper. It's not personal!
And a suggestion, you may take or disregard (as with all my suggestions). When you apologize for something you have done that, on review, was improper or excessive or whatever, do not dilute it with "but you were also wrong," which continues the argument. What that shows is that you did not actually drop whatever dispute you have in your mind. Actually drop it, which means dropping the idea you maintain that someone else was wrong. If you don't, that idea will come back to haunt you, because it will continue to color your future interactions with involved people and concepts.
Good luck. By the way, I saw your edit on Wikiversity. That removed an incorrect notice of block. Nice work. --Abd (talk) 16:56, 25 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

Re: Allegations of abuse and defense against allegations[edit]

Thank you Abd, I'll let you know if there's an issue where I think we can benefit from your experience. Miranche (talk) 21:21, 23 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hello Abd, thanks [5] for your interest in the Croatian Wikipedia situation. A good place to start to get some context is the main RfC page; the discussion you've archived from Jimbo's talk page probably belongs there anyway. Miranche (talk) 19:11, 25 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Okay, I took a look and commented on the Talk page. The RfC is a train wreck, and the single focused proposal proposed something that cannot, on principle, be decided here. Yes, 7:1, but Croatian administrators could totally ignore this proposal, and then what? A proposal here can develop global consensus for global sysop or steward intervention. Okay, what intervention, specifically? I suggest a rough outline.
If this is going to be successful, those who perceive that they and their friends have been abused by the existing "cabal," will need to drop that, in favor of standing for a fully inclusive process. That process must include those who have been considered abusers, it must assume good faith, if not always sound understanding.
I saw a hint that Jimbo Wales suggested that there be a single wiki, instead of multiple language wikis, which could be a way to handle the situation. If there is to be a single wiki, consensus process is essential, there is no other way to measure neutrality. If a faction is being blocked, genuine consensus is impossible.
Multiple language wikis, though, just punt on the problem, because, then, there can be exclusion of those of the particular language or cultural group who are disposed to cooperation and collaboration with all, and they can end up being excluded. Some conflict might be reduced, but overall, conflict increases because the cooperatively minded can be excluded from the process.
The other way to handle neutrality, other than requiring single articles to be NPOV, is to do what Wikiversity does, to allow the expression of opinion, but placed in a context that is, overall, neutral. That's fairly easy on Wikiversity, for structural reasons, very difficult for an encyclopedia, where subpages are not allowed in mainspace.
In my response on the RfC talk page, I only considered the issue of the "administrative cabal," as Jimbo once called it. Particularly in a small project, an administrative cabal may develop that does not fairly represent the community, though there is a feedback mechanism, where users not aligned with the cabal views stay away.
The English Wikipedia did start with a cabal dedicated formally to NPOV. If you investigate my history, you will find that I think that the mechanisms for maintaining this were never established, so fails to be uniformly neutral. But it does try to be so. --Abd (talk) 22:44, 25 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks! I've skimmed your comments here & on the RfC talk page & I largely agree with your analysis. One detail is that 'crats can't give or revoke sysop privileges, that's done by stewards, so ultimately this dispute is (likely) a matter for Meta. I also agree that it's best to suggest specific courses of action, and some of that seems already to be happening with a request to revoke CU permissions from one of the sysops at the Stewards' noticeboard.
That's all I can say now as I have my hands full moderating the evidence/info gathering pages. After realizing how big of a mess the entire situation is, I've pretty much decided to keep my involvement at that, for now. Thank you for pitching in. Miranche (talk) 22:46, 26 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. Yes, focusing on gathering and organizing the evidence is the best thing to do at first. You may create analytical structures, by the way, that collapse and hide the primary evidence. I did this on Wikipedia, successfully. I did it while being a party to the dispute, and it worked because I worked hard to present arguments contrary to my own opinion, fairly and completely, in such a way, that the "other side" did not attempt to contradict my summaries. There were some complaints, but they went nowhere. (I've also closed RfDs on Wikiversity, while involved -- i.e., I'd commented --, because nobody else was doing it. Again, I was extremely careful to follow and serve consensus in those closes, always allowing reversion, never revert warring, etc. When I was reverted, as happened, the reverter ended up looking rather silly, as someone else closed identically.
Be *very* careful doing this, i.e., a visible summary that is created must accurately and fairly summarize the material underneath, and it must be done with full sensitivity to objections. The standard wiki train wreck, the problem is, becomes rapidly unreadable. Wikipedia never fully developed the concept of discussion clerking, and, as a result, analyzing an RfC can become so ridiculously time-consuming that most users who bother to comment just stick with knee-jerk impressions, often based on whom they like and whom they don't like.
I'd say that the user you tangled with on User talk for Jimbo damages his own cause, his comments will not make him popular here. However, most of what he wrote was irrelevant except maybe as an example of how one of the administrators there thinks. While you might like to place this prominently in front of the meta community, I suggest backing up, being careful, and not doing that, except in carefully neutral summary. If you'd like assistance, I might find time to do it. It's a lot of work, and that's a big reason why it's so infrequently done.
Yet what you are looking to accomplish is a difficult task, and it runs up against a lot of standard prejudice, i.e., that local communities should be able to handle problems.
What you wrote about this being a meta issue, because stewards grant or revoke privileges on, isn't accurate. Stewards normally grant or revoke privileges based on discussions on the local wiki. When users attempt to argue for or against an action, here, they will refer the users to the local wiki discussions. To obtain some unusual action here, you will need to establish the necessity of it. And, *still*, as I recommended, what stewards -- or global sysops -- will do, if authorized, I expect, is to ensure fair local process. Exactly how to do this hasn't been clearly established, you may be blazing a trail. But I'm confident it can be done, and, note, my support for that requires no judgment as to the justice of your cause. Just because a few administrators may be off-balance and a bit hysterical proves nothing. They might, for example, be under severe provocation and attack, as I think is being claimed. --Abd (talk) 01:22, 27 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. Yes, the stewards do enact the decisions of the local wiki; what is being argued by one side in this issue is that the community is divided enough to not be able to arrive at such decisions, all the while there are serious issues in content of key articles. I do think you're right in that someone needs to try to put together NPOV summaries of evidence; I am at the moment skeptical about whether it's possible to produce a summary all the sides will agree to, but I may be wrong. What I am trying to do is include as many opinions as possible in a context where they react to structured concrete information. From this discussion it seems there may be others working on summarizing the matters. Miranche (talk) 05:41, 27 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
What I have suggested is standard consensus process. If someone is opposing the presentation of obvious fact, it becomes obvious if clearly presented. I am writing to you as if you are truthful, that does not mean that I assume truth. Rather, if you have been misleading me, you will basically get bad advice. I am not competent or qualified, yet, to judge the actual situation, I'd have to put in a lot of work.
From your comments so far, though, I think you might have what it takes, to do what is needed. You do not need to get the agreement of all sides. If there is disagreement over what is obviously true, easily established with clear evidence, you will be able to get help. You will document any disagreements as to fact that are not resolved. You will not attempt to resolve disagreements with your own fiat as to what is true. You will simply present the disagreement neutrally, with pointers to evidence, all the evidence, so anyone who cares can find out what actually happened, for themselves. The consensus you are looking for is only ab initio the consensus of all who participate in the process. You may not attain full consensus. However, the consensus you are ultimately seeking is the agreement of those who carefully review your work product. You will, in addition, take great care to represent yourself as carefully impartial, even while you have your own opinions. To the extent that you can recruit others to assess whatever is doubtful, to so. ("Doubtful" means that dispute remains.) You can run mini-RfCs over particular narrow points and then present a "majority report," allowing the minority to present their own report(s). The key, though, is to create a tight, focused, top-level presentation of evidence, argument, and conclusions, where possible. The standard wiki train-wreck is almost useless unless refactored to eliminate redundancies and irrelevancies.
What I've found, in the past, is that those who are creating and maintaining disruption by arguing against fact, as soon as they realize that the process is going to expose this, disappear. Those who persist are those who believe that fact is on their side, no matter how preposterous this may seem. Realize this and extend assumptions of good faith wherever possible. Acknowledge any movement toward consensus, thank the "other side" -- and all sides -- for letting go of useless arguments. Letting go of an argument is not the same as admitting the opposite. False arguments are commonly used to support true positions.
I just came across w:Galileo_Galilei#Galileo.2C_Kepler_and_theories_of_tides. Galileo was right about heliocentric astronomy. Yet he used an argument that was plainly contradictory to fact, and I've seen it asserted that this contradiction was known to the Church; i.e., the Church wasn't as stupid as we have often later thought. Galileo's use of a false argument to support a true position probably seriously damaged his cause. Essentially, it made him look biased and wrong.
One of the problems with standard RfC is that when it is created, editors with already-established opinions pile in and create the train wreck. arguing tendentiously, simply replicating the dispute. Then, others, who might possibly be neutral, find themselves presented with such a mess that they stay away. Others review it superficially, and make, again, snap judgments. The initial commentors often don't participate in later consensus formation, yet their comments, made in the absence of evidence and argument, stand, sometimes being given the same weight as much more careful and better-informed comments. In theory, numbers don't matter. In actual practice, they do. So deal with wikireality. You will need to be, at the same time, sober, patient, respectful of wiki traditions, and creative. Good luck! --Abd (talk) 18:52, 28 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
What I have suggested is standard consensus process. ... You will document any disagreements as to fact that are not resolved. ... You will simply present the disagreement neutrally, with pointers to evidence, all the evidence, so anyone who cares can find out what actually happened, for themselves. The consensus you are looking for is only ab initio the consensus of all who participate in the process. -- This is how I understood your comments in the first place, and I agree that a process such as you outline would be the right way to go. There are reasons I believe it would be difficult, specifically why I think your expectation that those who argue against the fact would just disappear may be too optimistic. Ivan Štambuk has voiced a few of these reasons in his comment on the RfC talk page. Regarding which, I fully agree with you that his preferences about what should happen are not compatible with how things function on the wikis.
I'd very much support an in-depth consensus process that would address concrete pieces of evidence in a systematic fashion. My own RL obligations unfortunately do not allow me to take on a major role in initiating this or moving it forward. What I'm contributing is, as I wrote, a structured record of such evidence, with as much good faith feedback from different sides as possible. The requirement to stay focused on particular pieces of information has served as a partial check against WikiWreck.
The Jimbo's talk page thread I've linked to above as well as recent comments in this thread suggest that both stewards and WMF may already be considering this information. It's true, though, that regardless of whether & how they act on it, a consensus process such as you describe may be necessary for the community to address this dispute fully. If there are people ready & willing to provide a bottom-line commitment to get such a process off the ground and propel it forward, I'll lend as much of my effort as I can spare. Miranche (talk) 21:12, 29 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
There is no "optimistic" expectation that dug-in, dedicated POV pushers will disappear. It just happens that when consensus process is set up that is going to make it obvious just how off-the-wall they are, I've seen them disappear. They may make noises as they go, like, "I don't have time for this nonsense." That's okay. Some however, will keep up. If it becomes obvious enough, they might be blocked or banned. That is not my goal, certainly. Some will leave the process, before it completes or even after, yet not alter their behavior. If they are popular enough, they might get away with it. However, a successful consensus process will at least partially defang them, it can be referred to elsewhere. Further, don't be surprised if someone you consider a dedicated opponent changes his mind. It can happen. People who have been in conflict sometimes end up collaborating. I like Wikiversity, in particular, because it is not uncommon for it to happen there. There are structural reasons for that. --Abd (talk) 00:07, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Understood. I haven't participated in a process like that, not on the scale of a whole wiki at least, and it's good to know that at least your experience matches my expectations. There are some non-trivial aggravating circumstances specific to; however, I do hope something along these lines will take place, and my sense is that it'll happen over time in fits & starts. Miranche (talk) 00:32, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • I'll try to read all that anyway as I'm quite interested in the issue. But as I may not have time to really get through it all, a private NPOV summary agreed by multiple people (preferably of different political viewpoints) as well as anyone's personal perspective would be good too. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:12, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Notice: "private." What he is asking for is sound, as a management practice. Jimbo has an expectation that people can and will get along and cooperate. He believed that people with minority points of view would know that these are minority points of view, and would agree to the classification of these views as minority. What he didn't seem to anticipate was that people who have power will use that power to enforce their own point of view, ostensibly the majority view, or the view that is held by "all good people." I'm not sure what the "different political viewpoints" are here. What about viewpoints that are totally opposed to free speech? That consider other viewpoints to be next to or actually Satanic?
  • However, the core is that he's asking for NPOV summaries. Do it, and privately circulate them (they can be based on the meta RfC, but taken to completion in ways that might not be possible here.) Get people to sign off on them as neutral and fair. Make sure they *are* neutral and fair, because if they aren't, and that comes out, it will make everyone who signed look very, very bad.
  • Jimbo is not in charge of the projects or the WMF. However, he has substantial influence, even more behind the scenes. If you can make a case for an intervention to him, it might happen. Key would be that all the intervention would do is to ensure fair consideration of issues by the local wiki. I would focus on one issue: has there been selective blocking? When there is extended conflict, almost everyone may be uncivil at some point or other. Many users may be seen as pushing some point of view. Is only one side being blocked? What I saw on Wikipedia was that members of a dominant faction got away with behavior, and routinely, that would get other editors desysopped or blocked and banned quickly. Wikipedia is not necessarily overall dominated by that faction, the one I have in mind, and they've been dinged, they have lost battles, but they are still kicking. When they lose a battle, the editor involved may get desysopped, but isn't blocked or banned. When they win, all their enemies are blocked and banned, they make sure of that.
  • So Jimbo is looking at the situation, but it's not clear to me that he knows what he could actually do, because he's never handled these situations on Wikipedia, successfully. He made beautiful statements about consensus and policy that didn't match the reality of what was created. I've often put it this way: he's got a tiger by the tail. He has a project that depends on the continued intense volunteer service of the existing community. He dare not offend them. Hence, "the community is always right." But, "the community" is not a person, and without sane deliberative decision-making structures, it can be little more than a mob. Jimbo tried to set that up with ArbComm, but didn't realize, I'm sure, that supermajority election is known not to work to create a truly representative body. It creates hyper-representation of majority factions. There are many structural flaws built into the Wikipedia structure, and it rapidly became impossible to change them. I saw ArbComm try and get shouted down by the mob. They are not actually trusted. They gave up, backed down. The "mob" is those that are exercised enough to comment on a page. It does not represent the community, actually.
  • If you go to him without a clear idea about what can be done, you are likely to get nothing but maybe some commiseration.
  • Still, you obviously got his attention. Any clue about Trijnstel? In any case, if you do your work well, something good may come out of it. My own history: I was successful before ArbComm, twice. In the first case it was because I prepared detailed NPOV evidence. The faction attempted to impeach it, claiming it was "cherry-picked," but, then, an arbitrator compiled the same evidence using a script, I'd done it manually, that was the only difference. In the second case, the case pages themselves were a train wreck, because I was going after the faction itself, the admin I was challenging was a poster boy for the faction. He was desysopped, but, it all came out later, an ArbComm majority, from the first case, wanted me gone, but hadn't had an excuse in the first case. In the second case they found some excuses to set that up. I was basically, to make a long story short, banned for being successful. I also "write too much." That was, however, an excuse, not the primary cause.
  • You might do much better than I did. I'm still proud of what I accomplished, though. I'd been warned that I'd be at last topic-banned, before I filed my first RfC, that led to the first ArbComm case. I didn't care, I did not think of myself, personally, as that important to the project. And I don't mind being banned from Wikipedia. It saves me a lot of trouble. --Abd (talk) 01:29, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply


This wiki doesn't have the most laid-back culture in the world, does it? You may have a point that the wikisphere has some systemic governance problems. Every wiki that tried to operate based on wikilove ended up getting abandoned, and people migrated in droves to the more dysfunctional ones. Leucosticte (talk) 04:11, 27 January 2014 (UTC)Reply

Wikiversity is operating pretty smoothly, lately. Please don't drop any bombs there. You could certainly create educational resources there on some topics. Libertarian philosophy would be fine, for example. You also know some subjects that could set the brush on fire. Wikiversity *is* laid back, normally. I like it that way. We don't delete stuff unless it's illegal or clearly contrary to WMF policy, and we don't block good-faith users, and we can normally resolve content disputes collaboratively. It's really rare to see revert warring or incivility. Fingers crossed, of course. --Abd (talk) 04:36, 28 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
The way bomb-dropping works in the wikisphere is that you leave an empty box on someone's doorstep or in a public place that's lacking in any explosives, detonator, etc. so that the recipient or the community would have to provide all those items in order for an explosion to happen. Then they install those missing components, trigger it, and blame the person who left the empty box, and call him a terrorist. Leucosticte (talk) 13:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply


There's now global ban discussion on DanielTom, and I'm planning on voting in it once I possess enough information. You seem to be familiar with DanielTom. What's your opinion on DanielTom and the idea of globally banning him? As usual, I respect your opinion and hope that that opinion could led me to reaching the right conclusions. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 03:31, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Arggh. That is utterly outrageous. He's outspoken. I haven't looked at that global ban discussion, but given how the ban for Ottava Rima (far more disruptive than DanielTom) went, it's likely to be a silly waste of time. I just warned Tom that he might be blocked here for the comment on his Talk page (a straightforward complaint about a steward), but global ban? I never dreamed of it. --Abd (talk) 04:18, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Notice how the RfC makes mountains out of molehills. It appears that Daniel's brother did some editing that was considered sock or meat puppetry. Daniel wanted to establish that he has a brother. He sent a copy of his brother's passport to an admin. Sure, technical violation of privacy policy. Or not? Privacy policy wasn't designed to prevent people from revealing private information with the consent of the person involved, and we would guess that he had his brother's permission. Sending information privately to an admin also wasn't exactly the contemplated prohibited behavior. It is not clear to me that WMF privacy policy prevents users from revealing private information to sysops. Sysops routinely have access to certain private information that has not been oversighted. Does that violate privacy policy? From how this matter is being interpreted, it would seem that it does, and that all that should be oversighted. Checkusers have access to private information, and all that has happened that is special with them is that the WMF verified their identity, and then deleted the information. There is no real background check, for example. It's very difficult to understand what they are actually doing....
It's quite clear what Daniel has done that is offensive: he's criticized administrators. Those are the "volunteers" being defended by the filer of the RfC. It's not the editors who create the bulk of content. Granted, some administrators work very, very hard. But some of the same group also tends to develop feelings of project ownership and entitlement. It's a difficult problem, not necessarily easy to address. However, much of what Daniel says has some basis. I've seen plenty of critics of the projects, and of administrators, who are far more abrasive than DanielTom and who are tolerated. Why? They have friends who are administrators who protect them, and some of them are administrators themselves.
By comparison, one might look at Requests for comment/Global ban for Ottava Rima. This is a highly disruptive user, tendentious to an extreme, highly uncivil, actually banned on (not like DanielTom), and yet, no global ban. (And the Ottava RfC was incompetently filed. "Identity theft?" That was completely nuts.) Ottava has been blocked for extended periods on other wikis, and so what?
Notice, again, that the DanielTom RfC adds in information about lifted blocks, which are irrelevant for global ban discussions.
Train wreck? Looks like it. Now, do we do anything about users who file useless time-wasting process? No, they are "valuable volunteers," eh?
The discussion yesterday on Wikisource was pointed to by a supporter of the ban. Talk about "recentism." That's not a resolved issue, and doesn't rise to the level of major disruption. Ottava Rima filed a Community Review on Wikiversity for every active bureaucrat (all three of them). Now that's disruptive. Making some critical comments on a community page? With some interesting points of view being developed: I think he might be right that it's easier to become a global sysop than to become a Wikipedia admin, and the same may be true of Stewards. It has to do with the voting population. --Abd (talk) 05:26, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
mmmm.... Billinghurst said he will unblock DanielTom, which actually follows global ban policy, so that DanielTom can comment. That might be the worst thing possible for him, but we will see. --Abd (talk) 06:02, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. That was helpful. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 12:50, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
It would be slightly hard for me to send my brother's passport to anyone, because he doesn't have (and never had) a passport. Claims otherwise, and deliberate misrepresentations of this, are quite possibly slanderous. I find it odd that people would spend so much time discussing something that is simply not true. ~ DanielTom (talk) 14:54, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Well, you are getting an education in what wikis are really like. You now have half the truth. To get the other half, shut up and listen. More will be revealed. --Abd (talk) 16:19, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
I would advise purging words such as "slander" and "libel" from your vocabulary while on Wikimedia projects. It's a quick way to get labelled as a violator of this policy, even if you are indeed getting slandered/libelled. Leucosticte (talk) 13:07, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Is that a Bad Thing? Could save me a lot of time.
  • Yes, I've seen NLT abused to label an opinion as a "legal threat." If you are sawing off the branch of a tree that you are sitting on, and you are sawing on the side toward the tree, and I tell you what you are doing, and you keep on sawing, while saying, "and what will happen if I ignore you?" and I say, "You will fall down," am I threatening you with falling down?
  • Well, rhetorical question. It doesn't matter if it is actually a threat or not, what matters is that if an administrator is sufficiently irritated, they can and often will block, and details like policy and truth can make little difference.
  • People read something like the comment above and often will think that I'm complaining. That is because people routinely impute motive. No, I'm just describing what happens.
  • It happens because of basic survival instincts, undistinguished. It's normal behavior. Wikis must work with human beings who behave normally.
  • To me the interesting question is not whether or not there is "abuse," but what can be done about it. Mature democratic societies have developed safeguards requiring deliberative process. They aren't perfect, but they are far more reliable than the standard wiki adhocracy, which has few effective protections for unpopular opinion.
  • As examples, users are often blocked for expressing very unpopular opinions, and there are what amount to Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto laws. Users are sanctioned for violating policies that didn't exist at the time of violation (and sometimes not even after the violation.) A global ban RfC is, by policy, based on certain facts. Fact cannot be established by votes. Yet our only global ban was set up without a careful Finding of Fact. The result was explicitly declared on the basis that many users supported the ban. That's a conclusion, a result, not a Fact. What are often declared as facts, however, are not facts, but judgments. "Disruption,* unless objectively defined and measured in some way, is not a fact, but a judgment. So then there are judgments with factual basis and judgments without factual basis. The latter are not "wrong." Just not founded in fact.
  • (Popular opinion often makes no distinction between opinion, judgment, and fact, so there are unpopular facts which you can be blocked for stating. You've certainly tested this adequately, getting yourself blocked on RationalWiki for stating what was fact about a very hot-button subject that totally blew user fuses there. And then, weirdly enough, you took that seriously, not unblocking yourself, which you could easily do, since they did not revoke your sysop bit.... Whether or not you'd want to do that or not is another issue. It's just another of the strange but true facts that accumulate around wikis.) --Abd (talk) 21:40, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

I was talking to the other guy; my bad, I should have said so. Anyway, with reference to the sawing-off analogy, I won't touch that because there are so many differences between the two situations that it would be a mess to try to sort out. E.g., issues come into play such as "who owns the tree".

Oh no, you just mentioned "Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto laws"; that can be construed as wikilawyering. Only ArbCom members (or people who haven't gotten on the bad side of the community yet; although that's one way to start getting on its bad side) are allowed to bring up such real-world legal concepts as analogies for what goes on in the wiki-world. Leucosticte (talk) 05:59, 5 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Full message[edit]

Your IP address has been blocked on all wikis.

The block was made by Billinghurst ( The reason given is Open proxy: abused web host; real users; convert to softblock.

Start of block: 05:19، 4 February 2014

Expiry of block: 12:13، 11 May 2014

Your current IP address is [redacted]. Please include all above details in any queries you make.

If you believe you were blocked by mistake, you can find additional information and instructions in the No open proxies global policy. Otherwise, to discuss the block please post a request for review on Meta-Wiki.

I was edit the page of Lavrentiy Beria in Arabic Before the ban Yesterday — The preceding unsigned comment was added by ANDY-DANTE (talk) 09:19, 4 February 2014

Please carefully read the page that was referenced, No open proxies. You are not banned, a particular mode of access has been blocked. You may ask for permission to use that mode of access. Until you provided the IP address, in [6] (which I am requesting be revision deleted, to protect your privacy, but any administrator will still be able to read it), there was no way to know what happened. The policy page describes what you can do. If you still need help, please ask me.
I am still not completely clear what happened, because the block reason seems to imply that the block was converted to a soft block, which should have allowed you to edit logged-in. However, to move forward, follow the instructions. If you do not mind your IP address being revealed, you can make the request on Steward requests/Global, giving that IP information, otherwise make the request by email as suggested on the policy page.
When you place a message on a talk page, please sign the message using four tildes, that is, ~~~~. This will automatically sign the message with your user name and with the time and date. Best wishes, --Abd (talk) 17:42, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Are you still blocked? As I have suggested on your Talk page, make sure you are logged in. Then try to edit. If you are still blocked, the block message will show your IP, it is the series of numbers separate by periods.
The block message you posted here included your IP. I'm not repeating it, because that would reveal your private information. I arranged for the revision here, showing it, to be deleted. If you can't get the information again, it's moot, you are not blocked any more. There are other ways to find your IP information. [7] will show your user agent information and your IP. That information can be used to identify you personally, sometimes. That is why we attempt to protect it. --Abd (talk) 21:22, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Some comments regarding Croatian Wikipedia[edit]


Let me start by quoting you:

What I saw on Wikipedia was that members of a dominant faction got away with behavior, and routinely, that would get other editors desysopped or blocked and banned quickly. Wikipedia is not necessarily overall dominated by that faction, the one I have in mind, and they've been dinged, they have lost battles, but they are still kicking.

I assume that here by "Wikipedia" you mean "English Wikipedia". If that's the case, then I can say that the above words describe Croatian Wikipedia too, with one crucial difference: Croatian Wikipedia is dominated by that faction.

Croatian Wikipedia is a much smaller place too: only a hundred or so users with 5+ edits per month, so it is quite possible to control it. Most people who don't edit to the dominant faction's liking sooner or later either get banned or wikihounded until they quit. The modus operandi is well-established: harass and provoke them, and when they (over)react, ban them (if necessary, using super-stringent criteria that apply to some, but do not apply to others). That's why the idea of the community solving its problems by itself may be seen as cynical: while the community is dominated by one faction, and dissenters are driven out, that's how it is going to stay.

The dominant faction is united by its right-wing ideology. This is rather obvious in both their conduct, and the resulting content. My guess is that they've learned the lesson from the recent media controversy, so they'll try to stay away from WWII revisionism and blatantly chauvinist content, and move into anti-LGBT, pro-conservative, and generally lower-grade right wing bias. The methods are unlikely to change, though.

Perhaps it's my lack of imagination, but I fail to see how this is going to go away by itself. Only a decisive action like project restart is going to cut it - and yes, that means, among other things, desysopping everyone and voiding all bans. Only then we'll have a real community that will be able to make meaningful decisions about admins, CUs, policies, procedures, and other things. Good admins will eventually be reelected, bad ones won't. Anyway: I don't know how to restart a project - no one does - but this process has to meet some basic requirements, which I've tried to enumerate here.

I really appreciate both your interest in this subject and your level-headed approach, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on this issue and - most importantly - how to proceed. GregorB (talk) 19:10, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

First of all, I don't have an opinion either way as to the claims of factional dominance. The problem, Gregor, is that the present evidence page is not compiled in a balanced way. It is compiled largely from the point of view of showing evidence for some kind of bias, but some kind of bias is normal. That is, one could always find evidence for some thesis, in a mass of data as complex as a major wiki. Bias cannot be clearly established from single incidents or examples, but rather from patterns of behavior, which requires examining all behavior. It's not easy, to be sure.
There are two problems. One is factual. Is there a pattern of bias in the administration of the site, such that editors on one side of a major dispute are preferentially blocked? Showing that can be difficult, but it's possible. To establish fact on this will require setting up standards for study that can be seen as neutral, before the study begins. To describe how to do this is beyond the scope of my response, but I'd suggest considering this: suppose the study were intended for publication under peer review in an academic journal. Indeed, that is a real possibility, and such a study, if well done, could reveal bias on other wikis, not just Be prepared for some opposition on that very basis, but there is no way that WMF administrators could stop such an independent outside study. (Most would not even want to stop it, but it only takes a few to make a big noise.)
The other problem is political and historical. There is an entrenched belief that the wiki system works, and that communities will not allow bias. Users who are heavily dedicated to working on WMF wikis tend to be incredulous of evidence of bias, and think of it as only coming from disgruntled editors. So there is that to overcome.
The solution, I can guarantee, is not going to be "restarting" the wiki. If bias in the structure is established, I'd expect that new temporary structure will be established. I would expect that strict rules would be laid down for when a pre-existing administrator can block an editor. I would expect some kind of amnesty for banned users, something systematic that would take the necessary time to distinguish between users banned for "POV-pushing" and "incivility" -- i.e., what is sometimes called "harassment of our volunteers," with any criticism being intepreted as harassment -- and violation of the blocking guidelines would swiftly result in removal of administrative privileges.
With a fully community participation, then, new 'crats and administrators might be elected. Community review might take place, of other administrators, where there is suspicion of likely continued misbehavior. But there should not be a priori removal of administrators based simply on when they were approved, and if there is to be amnesty on one side, there should be amnesty on the other. We could call this a "fresh start," in a way. However, key is that the real community would be empowered and enabled -- through protection imposed by stewards and global sysops, based on a meta RfC. That is more than "business as usual."
I would expect strict civility rules to be imposed. Civility is necessary for communities to actually find consensus. The rules would be backed by reliable enforcement. Blocks would be measured, i.e, warning first. Violated warning, short block. Again violated, longer block. Talk page access maintained, even with incivility on the user's own talk page. Incivility on a user's talk page is not a major wiki problem. However, extended attack of named users on the talk page of a blocked editor should ultimately result in talk page block.
The rules would be, in effect, and temporarily, changed, so plenty of opportunity should be given to learn the new rules and comply.
The goal of the meta RfC should only be empowering the local community to do what it chooses to do. There is another possible issue: what if a local community wants to do what will bring the WMF into disrepute? I don't know that this is the case, and we can cross that bridge if it develops as a fact. --Abd (talk) 19:49, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
When Miranche and I set up the evidence pages, I was fully aware that, if one digs deep enough, one would be able to find an almost unlimited number of all kinds of violations in every wiki. What in my opinion sets hr wiki violations apart is: a) they almost exclusively come from or involve a small number of editors (5-6 at most), b) they are predictable in that they exhibit the same kind of bias, and c) they are rather extreme (e.g. among them are by far the worst NPOV violations I've ever seen, and I've got 130k edits on en wiki). However, I'm also fully aware that what I've just said may be meaningful only to someone who is for some reason willing to trust my judgment, and carries zero weight otherwise.
You are quite correct that the evidence pages may appear one-sided. We asked for all examples of bias. Sure, we got lots of right wing bias and virtually no examples of left wing bias, which may not impress people who know that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. We could have gone for the adversarial model: "here are the examples of right wing bias; if you believe there is the same amount of left wing bias, please cite examples". Still, I don't think this would have worked.
I had an idea to compare (number of bans)/(number of editors with 100+ edits) across wikis. I suspect hr wiki's ratio is high, which would mean that either punitive measures are excessive, or there is an unusually high proportion of miscreants there.
I have the impression WMF people fear that outside interference with hr wiki would be seen as an implicit admission that wiki model of self-regulation has failed. However, when Croatian minister of education says hr wiki is "misleading" and "falsified", and should not be used ([8] - note I don't necessarily subscribe to everything the article says), then WMF has already been brought into disrepute. I expected some action - or at least interest - on their part solely on strength of this fact, but what I've seen thus far is a bit disappointing.
If I had to pick between desysopping and voiding of all bans, I'd choose the latter without hesitation. This would, however, have to be coupled with more stringent oversight of admin actions, as you suggest. I don't think the community would accept either, though. Status quo, then?
I'm going to give this more thought. GregorB (talk) 22:12, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Good start. You don't start by compiling evidence of bias, because bias is, without clear standards, in the eye of the beholder. You start by setting up an objective standard for bias. That my not be completely possible, so you set up a process for determining it that uses independent judges. Again, I won't describe an exact process. You'd need to identify judges. You might ask stewards to choose them, as an example.
Then you would compile a complete list of blocks. You would first winnow out all completely uncontroversial blocks. Some blocks might not be controversial in themselves, but, remember, a bias can show up in users being blocked for behavior, preferentially from one side. If the same behavior is unblocked on the other side, in balance there is bias. You cannot show this with single blocks or even a couple of them. The study has to be of all blocks, or all blocks, at least, in some period.
Remember, you are not looking for "bad blocks." Every block, in itself, might be a "good block," i.e., following policy.
The next part can be difficult. It might be useful only to study easily characterizable behavior. For example, revert warring. You set up a standard for a revert, it must be crystal clear. And remember, "revert" isn't "bad" or "good." Then you look for revert warring, which must be not the 3RR rule on wikipedia, which is easily gamed by a POV pusher with patience. However, you can, with a good definition, machine collect data on reversions, and who reverted. And who blocked whom.
If there is a pattern showing what amounts to collaboration to control content, it might be possible to show it this way. Again, I'm very much not in favor of creating post-facto standards. Behavior that, on the face, satisfies policy can still very much damage the wiki, in terms of neutrality. From a study of reversion and blocking, you may be able to identify factions, and show that these factions are controlling content in a certain direction. To judge "direction" you will need those neutral judges. The "direction" would need to be defined as simply as possible. Wikipedia editors with substantial experience can often recognize this, independently of their own opinions. I may personally agree with an edit, but also see that it is not established by reliable source, etc.
Where more than one editor collaborates in reverting, and another editor reverting in the opposite direction (this is easily determined objectively), is blocked, you have a possible case of tag team reversion and administrative collaboration. But because 3RR may be considered a bright line, this doesn't mean that the blocking admin was wrong. Nevertheless, this would set up a suspicion of collaboration between multiple editors. If those suspected factions are stable over time, that's what could be shown objectively.
It may not work. There was a sock master on Wikipedia, identified with clear statistical evidence, a near certainty. The claim was rejected, though the evidence was far stronger than evidence that was routinely accepted. It offended a Very Important User, the basic reason for rejection, apparently. What you would be compiling is statistical evidence. It's routinely used in science, and in medicine where lives are at stake. But on political issues, I've seen crystal clear statistical evidence rejected because it was not "proof." Relating this to the wikis, proof should not be required, if there is no sanction being appplied, but only remedies designed to ensure fairness.
That is why it is so important that what is done not result in "sanctions," in itself. I've been an administrator, and I'm not one now, and if I want a page deleted, it's trivial, I just put a speedy tag on it, and it's deleted, almost every time. If I wanted a user blocked, which is rare, that's also easy, again because I would not request that unless the matter were crystal clear. So a Temporary Protective Order could simply do this:
1. Set up a noticeboard for specific administrative actions, to request them.
2. Temporarily prohibit the existing administrators from blocking on their own initiative.
3. That noticeboard would not be a debate page. It would simply be a request page. I would suggest that global sysops or stewards would, on that page, "Take the case," i.e, state that they are investigating, and state where comments may be made, perhaps the sysop or steward's user talk page or, if it becomes extensive, the discussion, a specific page set up by the reviewer. The sysop or steward may either block on request or wait, but will, in any case, on review, issue a determination. It should be simple. We do not want to waste the time of global sysops or stewards.
4. Global sysops or stewards may also designate local users as clerks of the request page, as they find users who can be trusted to handle the page neutrally. These users could make recommendations. They might be given administrative powers under strict rules and supervision, if they don't already have them. I.e., clerking the page can shift toward establishing a new set of administrators. Those powers, however, would be temporary, they would expire and be routinely removed unless the community confirms them at some point.
5. Existing sysops may make emergency actions, with notice to that noticeboard that they have acted. The system should be designed to not create an onerous burden. Abuse of claims of emergency would result in a warning and if repeated, desysop. Example of not an emergency. User is rude to blocking admin on his talk page. Emergencies are situations where legal risk is created, or editor behavior may waste the time of many users if not stopped.
Any block notices should specify clear appeal process. Users should know that this is not "business as usual." They should have reasonable confidence that they will be treated fairly, and that if they decide to insult those who blocked them and anyone who didn't unblock them, they will be abusing the New Start process. And will be excluded from it.
Those users who want the wiki to be reformed should police their own. Warn and act to have those on your side -- if you have a side -- warned and blocked if needed, at least temporarily. I've been a prison chaplain and one of the things that gangs do in prison is police their own, because if they don't, the other side will, and there will be a gang war, which harms everyone. Instead gang leaders try to work things out, to find working accomodations, compromises that leave everyone, if not satisfied, then at least not seriously dissatisfied.
These are just ideas, though based on pieces that have worked here and there. You are breaking new ground, be aware of that. There is no established process for what you are trying to do. There is also a large segment of the community that is opposed to trying anything new. So ... good luck. --Abd (talk) 23:31, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

User talk:[edit]

See the next to last section. PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:58, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Appeal English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee[edit]

Why don't you just do it instead of complaining and whining about it, and maybe they'll unban you? I think they've forgotten anyway. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:56, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Whining? Moi?
I describe what happened, TCNSV. If my descriptions are in error, then, as to facts, they can be corrected. As to conclusions, so what? Why should I waste their time and mine? I haven't edited Wikipedia for roughly 30 months, at all. I used, for a very short time, a single sock, it's all documented, by me, in detail, including stuff you can't see on Wikipedia because they revision-deleted it. I haven't noticed my life being the poorer for not editing. Richer, in fact.
If someone thinks that Wikipedia is poorer for it, they can ask for me to cooperate with an unban request, and I'd consider it. There would be support, but also there would be users coming out of the woodwork to scream bloody murder, I know several administrators likely to do that. Is it worth the disruption that would result. Why?
I am occasionally asked for advice by editors in trouble at Wikipedia. I've even been paid reasonably well for such. It works, I know how the system works. And how it doesn't work.
No, they have not forgotten. Just a few days ago, at AE, I was used as a poster child for 'very disruptive user.'[9] POV-pushing IP user, readily seen as such, likely suspected identification easy, though not definitive. The POV, however, is a popular one. The names of those commenting in that AE request, too many of them, are quite familiar as those who strongly supported a particular POV, long-term. New administrators have no clue what to look for as to bias, so they see all those comments, the look at the user behavior and see something inappropriate, and easily conclude that the user is a problem. What they don't see is that those making the request are also a problem. The user was naive, that's all. And the long-term pushers make sure that the few sophisticated users, who understand dispute resolution process, who can effectively oppose them, can survive.
I can be effective on Wikiversity, I can be effective on meta, though with some risk, but on Wikipedia, until that community addresses the structural issues that allow factions to dominate, under certain conditions, it is my opinion that I'd be wasting my time. I was effective finding and serving consensus before being banned, but these users don't want consensus to be found and served. They want their own way, and until either ArbComm has the cojones to confront them -- much more established users than I have asked ArbComm to do this --, or the community takes the real problem in hand, or the Foundation intervenes, perhaps because some incident has finally blown their fuses (Wikipedia has teetered on the edge of blocking a Nobel Prize winner), my opinion is that it would be a waste of time and not improve the project for me to either attempt to be unbanned, or to actually edit if unblocked.
I have much better things to do, already.
My opinion is that, long term, Wikiversity is more important than Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, could be one book in a university library. Wikiversity is the rest of the university, the full library, collection of research projects, student work, classes, lectures, the whole nine yards. Eventually. Right now, it's a largely disorganized mess. Watch. --Abd (talk) 22:56, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Closing RFCs[edit]

warning. train wreck enclosed.

I've observed you closing a couple of requests for comment pages that I had intended to close myself, in the long run. In general, spurious user-specific disagreements can be quickly closed; however, for more contentious and project-wide issues, like with respect to the sysop abuse on trwiki (a strong allegation to be sure) which affects all of trwiki, and with renaming kuwiki, you should as a courtesy give the affected communities time to think about whether the RFC still applies to them or not. This notice is not required per se, but it would not hurt to extend a little courtesy to affected wikis whether they regard the decision on meta to influence their community processes or not. For example, on sysop problems with srwiki, I gave the interested community a months notice at the bottom of that RFC page plus a note on their local village pump, which is found via the interwiki links on the sidebar, located here. I think it's important to give everyone a chance to talk, even and especially if they are talkpage-blocked on the wiki they're commenting about - regardless of whether someone is a troll or not, the free speech relaxed nature of RFC allows people, humans that is, to say what they want without censorship or criticism. (Of course, some troll requests are quickly closed with the offender blocked, but there's a chance you're blocking off and punishing an honest if misguided person, and you don't want to do that.) Anyway, for these reasons I have decided to notify the Kurdish Wikipedia community myself whether they still consider the RFC relevant or they still want to move their domain. You should also, for the purposes of the krwiki closure, document the closure on the linked bugzilla request for future requests or posterity: "To LangCom: Please update bugzilla:30376 depending on the outcome of this thread. -- とある白い猫 chi? 08:43, 16 August 2011 (UTC)" We will know then what the outcome of the previous RFC was.

With regard to your comment about RFC processes, it's easier and more transparent to reopen discussion on a closed RFC should interest spark again, rather than creating a new RFC page and cluttering up the current RFC main page and archives with "Renaming Kurdish Wikipedia 2", we have very little of those pages. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 05:03, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

We have a long-term disagreement on closing/new process vs re-opening old. In general, where the community has considered it, there is a preference for new process. I'm not going to argue this here. I may or may not bring it up on RFC talk. There is no issue of free speech. There is a Watchlist issue, which leads to a suggestion that if new process is started, the old process have a note added. --Abd (talk) 13:19, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
On the contrary, I think Meta is the right place to discuss it. For example, you did not provide the appropriate courtesy notice to inform communities on whether or not they think the RFC is relevant to them any longer, before closing the ticket, which is while not required a common decency to observe. By doing this, you are imposing your views on how RFCs should work, i.e. without the proper notice given, not only on me, but on all the affected communities involved by each RFC's closure. Should they wish to reopen the issue, and not know how to start a new RFC because of the myriad confusing practices of this website (for example, there is no easily accessible "Start new RFC subpage button" translated into their language, nor directed policy on what to do with old/new ones), your actions would highly disrupt their practices. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 17:13, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
In summary, "in general, where the community has considered it, there is a preference for new process" only applies to your views of how threads should be organized in individual wikis, but this is not the case for some number of wikis, and we must appeal to the widest international audience possible by allowing them to do with RFCs what they will, closed or not. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 17:16, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
TCNSV, those who commented in an RfC, if they so have their meta preferences set, will get an email notice. This is not the place to debate this. Your concept of RfCs is idiosyncratic. A closure of an RfC is an ordinary edit, it can be done by anyone, and it is easily reversible. It conceals no content. Users may still "do with RFCs what they will," they retain options, and closes do not eliminate their options. What you seem to not realize is thatdangling RfCs do damage. It is very much like AfD on Wikipedia. Even though an AfD closure can result in content being hidden to ordinary users, even though such closures can be quite disruptive, still AfDs only remain open a short time, far shorter than we are routinely allowing on meta. There is then process for appeal. An improper AfD closure may be reverted, users may go to Deletion Review, if they wish to continue to argue for Keep for a deleted page, they may ask for the page to be userfied (almost always granted), etc.
Meta is famous for useless RfCs, they can become massive train wrecks, wasting a great deal of user time. One could say that the users choose to spend this time, but some feel that critical interests are being threatened, their project might be closed, administrators desysopped, users globally banned, bad decisions made, etc. Even if the RfC is not constituted to actually do any of that.
In any case, if anyone disagrees with an RfC closure of mine, they are free to revert it, but I suggest not doing that if reversion would be disruptive and unlikely to produce any real change. If anyone has closed an RfC, these options remain open:
  1. revert my closure, presenting reason to continue, adding evidence or new arguments, or the like.
  2. Comment on the talk page, that always remains open.
  3. Create a new RfC, perhaps with a tighter focus and specific proposals for action. The new RfC, if is related to the old one, can link to it, and, I am suggesting, a link to the new RfC can be placed on the Talk page for the old one, so it will show up on watchlists. The name may be the same, if it's tightly related, (I.e, RfC/Blah blah 2) or it may be different, which is common, which is why we don't see many RfC 2 instances. It is not that issues are not being brought up again.
If the issue is something left undone, such as a notice you consider required, provide that notice! I.e, if something is missing, supply it! It is too much to expect of closers that they figure out and anticipate every possible aspect of a close. It may be that the difficulty of doing that is keeping some RfCs open far beyond their useful time. What we don't want, though, is to suggest to users on minor wikis, who might imagine that complaining here about how Bad the Bad Administrator really is could do something useful, that they reopen a dead RfC here. Ideally, in fact, Requests for comment/Guideline could suggest alternatives for users. We can become far more transparent and helpful than we are, there is plenty of room for that.
I am not suggesting that RfCs on local issues be prohibited on meta, but what happens, in many of the RfCs relating to minor language projects, only those related to the project comment, and there is really little or nothing for the wider community to follow. There is, then, no meta issue. There is one aspect to a meta RfC in this case that could be important to allow: if users are being blocked on local wikis so that the local community cannot function to find a genuine consensus, then these users, if they follow meta behavioral policy, may post here. However, that's a very special kind of issue that should require special standards. These RfCs usually turn into train wrecks that accomplish nothing. I will probably be proposing special guidelines for them. In one of my closures, I noted concern about reports that users were being blocked because of comments made on meta. If that is verifiable, there is a major concern, but that should be an RfC in itself, not mixed with other issues.
Basically, if users are being blocked on local wikis because of behavior on another wiki, that is a clear cross-wiki issue, totally appropriate for meta. If, however, it is mixed with claims of abusive administration aside from such cross-wiki issues, the waters are heavily muddied. And that's what was happening in that turkish project RfC. Again, if someone knows something about that issue that should militate against closing the RfC, they should say so, and either revert me, or, better, ask me to revert myself. The Talk page remains totally open. It also happens, from time to time, that people add comment to an RfC after closure. Closure merely affects, as to anything definite, where the file is linked.
I have been closing RfCs generally where no action is seen as proposed and accepted by consensus, so far. I may make a different kind of close today, if someone doesn't beat me to it.
In one case, there was an apparent consensus, but it was also stated that administrators were not commenting, i.e., ignoring the meta RfC, as if that were some sort of offense. It's not an offense. Local decisions are made locally, unless there is cross-wiki abuse. A meta RfC may attract only those who are disaffected, it cannot demonstrate local consensus. Ever. Note that this particular RfC was noticed on the wiki, and if users there want to show some level of discontent with administrators, they can point to the meta RfC, still. Being closed as I closed it doesn't prejudice that usage, at all. The "voting" there still remains as it was.
What it can demonstrate, if there is wide participation, is WMF-wide consensus. The RfC in question did not do that.
My talk page is not the place to debate this. I have partially answered your ideas, but we have better places to comment and come to consensus: Talk:Requests for comment, thought there is a problem with that, so I'm suggesting, Requests for comment/Guideline or Talk:Requests for comment/Guideline. I'll be moving my work on this issue to the latter two pages, pending some clear proposal.
That is a basic wiki principle: do not start a discussion on a widely watched page, but in a small group. Yes, a talk page discussion like this could be that, but I prefer a specific page devoted to the issue. People may then decide to watch it, and participate, or not. --Abd (talk) 18:29, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
"In any case, if anyone disagrees with an RfC closure of mine, they are free to revert it, but I suggest not doing that if reversion would be disruptive and unlikely to produce any real change." Why don't you practice your usual strategy of self-reversion and see if someone disagrees with a closure before asking another neutral third party to revert your closure and endorse it? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:42, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
"It is too much to expect of closers that they figure out and anticipate every possible aspect of a close." Why should it be too much to ask for closers to judge highly controversial topics affecting the global Wikimedia community, where the effects on every single wiki is at stake?! Please, if you are not willing to take up the task to read up all possible outcomes and judge consensus (consensus, not voting) properly, then do not assume the role of 'closer' for the purposes of RFC. Leave that to an interested volunteer, preferably someone with administrative authority, to have the moral force of a satisfying conclusive/cathartic closure of an RFC. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:46, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
I'm from Mars and apparently you are from Venus, eh? You seem to be proposing that only administrators close processes. That's widely rejected on smaller projects, and it used to be quite well understood on Wikipedia, I haven't been following Wikipedia lately on this. When an issue is raised that requires administrative action, to close this with the action then requires an administrator take the action, which then is generally considered to require that the admnistrator review the discussion and take personal responsibility for the decision. So in that case it is generally considered that an administrator should close, since the non-admin closure is redundant. However, wherever a neutral editor considers that consensus is not going to form on some proposed action, or in response to a complaint, and closes without action, that consideration does not apply. I've seen non-admin closes be reversed but I've never seen them actually change the outcome, it was all a waste of time. Non-admin closures are a solution to the problem of process backlog, which is what we had at RfC, and we still have it. I deliberately limited myself in rate, so as to provide opportunity for the community to object. So far, the only one objecting, as far as I can tell, is you, and you have not been specific. If any of my closes were improper, you would properly revert them. Otherwise you are arguing for the sake of argument, "you are wrong," without any actual example of error.
You also seem to be wishing for "conclusive" and "cathartic" closes. By analogy with AfD, then, Keep or Delete, vs. No Consensus, this, taken as a goal, would force premature conclusions. Very bad idea. Meta is not therapy, as well. I have noted a certain value in certain RfCs in allowing the expression of dissent, and, indeed, we may be looking more closely at that. However, an RfC standing open for two years, and a long time from any major comment, is not going to generate anything conclusive if it is not already obvious. Closing with a rejection of the claims could be rejecting claims that are entirely valid, and could prejudice raising them again -- it could be considered disruptive, beating a dead horse, etc. -- and closing with acceptance, well, that would require a steward in the case I have in mind. I did not close that way because it was obvious that no steward was going to act. The participants in the RfD knew that. If I wanted to close that way, I would go to Steward requests and point to the RfC and request a closure. I did that kind of thing on Wikipedia, going to AN and requesting administrative attention when admins active on the spam-whitelist page ignored consensus or policy and just sat on requests. They didn't like it, but the resulting close stood.
TCNSV, I know my way around a wiki. I've been doing this for years. I've done it in the presence of major flak. That's not happening any more, by the way. At least as far as I can tell! --Abd (talk) 20:13, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
The reasons administrators are qualified to make the proper closures are much deeper than the mere ability to delete a page or not - it's because of the inherent social force that it conveys, they are elected by a large amount of the community, thus they are qualified to speak as the voice of a large portion of the community. In addition to that, they are further held accountable to the community through implementation of proper closures; improper closures might result in threats of desysopping or ban, so they are under even more pressure to act accordingly. You, however, hold no such special status, and through closure, people would assume that you do. My comments on the RFC talkpage, on the other hand, are not representative of any authority but of a necessity to further disengage you from John F. Lewis. Why should that be considered a productive use of your time? Non-admin closures have only been accepted when there is a conclusion so obvious even a non-administrator could close it, such as a slew of 95% support or oppose with 50-1 against the original proposer; in more controversial matters, non-admin closures cannot be taken as endorsement of community consensus and are thus reverted accordingly.
I still haven't seen any proof that my comments were harmful in any way. Maybe you could provide some evidence and context specific to you? After all, I've given you my take on why I think premature closures are harmful, and why notice should be given to respective communities. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:41, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Perhaps you think that janitors ("the mop") should run the government, that custodians should determine academic policy, and, as well, you are treating administrators as representatives, but if we wanted representation, we would not elect by supermajority, it's a terrible method for representation, guaranteed to fail, and it's even worse if one is elected for life.
I closed RfCs on meta long ago. It's never been a problem, and it still isn't a problem. So, TCNSV, we are done here.
If a closure was improper, revert it, and face whatever consequences follow. If not, leave it, and the harm of your comments, now, is that they are wasting *my time.* So stop. None of these closures, so far, has been reverted. They were archived by a steward, actually, so it is not that they escaped attention. Flat out, TCNSV, you are arguing out of your own personal ideas, not from how wikis actually work. --Abd (talk) 20:57, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
(ec) That is not my "usual strategy." It does not take two users to close a discussion. It takes one. A self-reverted closure would be a useless waste of time, the purpose could be accomplished much more simply by proposing to close on the attached talk page and waiting. Or even in the RfC itself, though that could run afoul of wikilawyers who would say "You commented and then closed! Revert!" No, if I think it's time to close a discussion, it is, for me, time to close. If I'm involved, I'll request closure. If not, I'll close. That's pretty simple, and I don't see what self-reversion has to do with that. I self-revert, sometimes, proposed changes to policy, where it is simpler to actually make the edit and self-revert than to engage in a complex discussion and debate. I've noticed that it often works.
It's basic, TCNSV, your aversion to my imagined attitude causes you to fail to understand what is going on. That's a normal human response, and, my guess, it bites you all over the place. Now, do we have any business here? Asking me why I don't do something will produce a response of why I don't do it. Is that useful? --Abd (talk) 19:52, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Most often, these RFCs are about ideas or changes to practices or policies related to the global Wikimedia community. We follow the common notion that policy pages are descriptive not prescriptive of current practices, therefore, changes at a more fundamental level, i.e. to current practices, are more controversial and thus subject to your personal self-reversion policy. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
There are many problems with the issue of "policies." The wikis are often, in effect, abusive. If one follows a policy, it should be reasonable to expect that one will not be sanctinoed, even if the action is judged harmful. That is, the policy should be amended, one would think, to prevent future harm, but the person breaking the policy that did not yet exist should not be ipso facto sanctioned. Nevertheless, it often happens, and users are sanctioned without having violated any policy.
On the other hand, intending harm is a basic common-law offense. So even if one is following policy, but is intending harm, it can be sanctioned. The problem is that intent can be difficult to discern. I have seen examples where it was discerned, but we do often forget about WP:AGF, which used to be policy, but which was deprecated because it was considered impossible to enforce. It was not impossible; the probable truth was that too many in the WP core community wanted to be free to assume bad faith, and they certainly did that often. I.e, where good faith remained possible in an explanation for problematic behavior, they would reject that with arguments like "AGF is not a sucicide pact." Of course it isn't. I could block an editor even if I continue to assume good faith. Basically, there is an entire cultural trope that if one has good intentions, all should be forgiven. If the dog actually did eat your homework, no problem. So we develop, early on, a habit of making excuses for failures. My training suggests that a failure is a failure. It does harm of some kind even if there are no bad intentions at all. Blame is a huge distraction.
It's correct that policies do not control behavior, but that's lost on many users. However, having said that, policies should follow actual practice, there is then another consideration. What if actual practice is harmful? Where would this be considered, how could the problem be corrected? The wikis tended to assume that "actual practice" on a wiki would be consensus, it would always be moving toward perfection. Long-time students of Wikipedia don't agree. Actual practice can get massively stuck. If we look at the transformation of society, a major part of the transformation was through debate and implementation of new law. Policies, in spite of what has been said, can be normative. They can actually shift actual practice.
I've seen the reverse situation, that there was well-established practice, and an administrator didn't like it, it would readily expose what he wanted to do as contrary to consensus as expressed in the policy. So he changed the policy, demoting it to a guideline, though it had been accepted for years. I changed it back. Another user reverted that, eventually, and I took the matter to the community for resolution. For doing that, civilly and properly, I was blocked by that administrator. Contrary to the policy, as I recall, but it was no longer policy.
Why did those users consider it necessary to change the policy? I suggest it was because they knew that it would make it harder to sustain doing what they wanted to do. There is a difference between a policy and a guideline and mere custom. --Abd (talk) 20:35, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

I removed your response to a spam thread[edit] – Just letting you know. I'm encountered this sort of spam at the old ED. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 22:31, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks. I will probably handle that differently. Remember, I'm a Wikiversitan. Later. --Abd (talk) 22:39, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
I'm not sure what you have in mind, but I hope you aren't fooled by the spambot. They want you to believe that they're human. They want you to believe that they're here for legitimate reasons. It was easier to spot this sort of spam on ED since ED was the wrong place to publish those sorts of essays. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 23:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
If this was a spambot, it's quite a strange one. The account was not blocked or locked, but only made the one edit to meta, none cross-wiki.
  • 01:00, 2 May 2012 User account 613Don was created (enwiki) (no edits)
  • 02:11, 2 May 2012 the only edit here.
  • 5 September 2012 probably autocreated account on tpiwiki.
That's a waste of a perfectly good bot, if it was a bot.
It contains three links:
The last used bbs code.
No, Michael, I think this was exactly what it purported to be: a person asking if an article on this topic would be welcome, placing it on a Talk:Request for comment page. He wanted comment. Nobody commented. It was inappropriate, but newbie-inappropriate. It's not impossible that the user put something somewhere else, but while spam is inappropriate content, not all inappropriate content is spam.
I will take this to Wikiversity. It's a shame that nobody pointed this user there.
Okay, I looked that the basic web site: Our user was 423Don. The writer on the site is Don Edward Sprague. So there may be a way to contact him. His material on the home page is of the nature of "OMG I've figured out that Einstein was wrong! Here is my proof!" Not encouraging, but he might be able to put together some great material on the internet.... and we use fringe science in science education, along the lines of "what is wrong with this picture"? If we can find nothing wrong, by the way, maybe the picture is right.... or we have something to learn. --05:42, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Alright. Sorry. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 12:47, 8 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

WM:RFH thread[edit]

Meta:Requests_for_help_from_a_sysop_or_bureaucrat#Abd – In case you haven't seen it yet. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:36, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Also, your advice to other users should display more care and compassion. Although I dont believe that this matter could and should be handled outside a noticeboard, Tele's position isn't unreasonable. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 01:03, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Compassion for what? Michael, have you been following Miriam's contributions? I have. Miriam is likely to blow fuses here, any time now. That warning had to be forceful. It may still not work. If my comments on the talk page were inappropriate, TCNSV could have mediated and moderated them, easily. But removing warnings -- not just mine -- and removing the kind of strong conversation that Miriam has essentially been begging for (you really should read more before you jump to conclusions, Michael, you ought to know that I don't "taunt" users) could just push her right out the door or get her kicked out. I'm not going to collect diffs, because I am not trying to make any kind of case against Miriam; did you notice that, the comment that TCNSV removed, I had specifically asked in the edit summary to not block her if she was uncivil in response. It was more likely that she'd just delete it, which would have been fine. But he deleted it. We do not know if she would read history and diffs to know what was going on.
As to your comment on her talk page, perfect. That is how to handle a comment that is seen as overly harsh. It did not deflect the warning. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 01:24, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply


I think Jimbo has been already notified by his own watchlist. Anyway it didn't stop a thing since the average thread/days seems to be unchanged, you'll probably better see it as soon as I'll clean some wikinger's vandalisms. --Vituzzu (talk) 01:37, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

No, Vituzzu. He explicitly wrote he's not likely to see comments here. He has user pages on many wikis. If he does get email notification, he's very unlikely to read it, and he hasn't responded here in a long time. I have not idea what you are talking about, as to the rest. I'm considering emailing Jimbo, I've always had good response from him, precisely because I never bothered him with trivialities. It might be best if his talk page is protected, but it really should have, then, been protected in the archived state, and with an explanation other than "vandalism," which wasn't happening since at least November. --Abd (talk) 02:17, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Talk pages[edit]

Hi. Regarding your contribution here. I can't recall a page here on Meta that says it's OK to blank it's own talk page. Do we have such a policy? I know it's allowed on some wiki, for instance enwp, but it's not allowed on other, like svwp. -- Tegel (Talk) 23:09, 13 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

I doubt Meta has any guidelines either way, but I don't see why blanking should be disallowed. It's all in the history. Meta only has a few policies/guidelines. PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:16, 13 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
It is normal on almost all the wikis to respect users' rights to manage their own user space. Default policy -- everywhere on the planet -- is that if it is not prohibited, it's allowed. That is not carte blanche, but people do assume it. There are exceptions. If a user is short-blocked, for example, for the user to blank the warnings or block notice may be considered disruptive. But I would not lengthen a block for removing necessary warnings, I would only revert and warn. If repeated, disruptively, a different problem. If a user is indeffed, and has a denied appeal, blanking may be tolerated, I've seen that.
Right to manage is not absolute, user pages do belong to the owner of the wiki, or the delegate of the owner, i.e., the community. But blanking is normally allowed. I've done it -- I sometimes blank questions from a user once I've become convinced that no good will come of answering those questions -- and, my view, it should never be considered uncivil. An edit summary might be uncivil, possibly. It would not be the blanking, then, that would be a problem, but the summary.
If a wiki prohibits blanking the comments of others, that's their business. Communities have the right to set policy. In that case, then, because people may come to such a community with expectations from elsewhere, the kind response would be revert and warn.
Sometimes we think that warnings are uncivil. However, it is kind to warn when someone is headed for a fall! It is not kind to blame and condemn.
Thanks for asking, Tegel. --Abd (talk) 23:36, 13 February 2014 (UTC)Reply


You keep repeating references to the number of bytes transclusion adds to a page, yet I can find no evidence of that anywhere. If you take a look at Special:Contributions/TeleComNasSprVen, you will find that it has only been (+164); now compare that to Special:Contributions/Abd which has lots of entries with (+1000) or more within them. I don't think hyperbole is needed to inflame others into blocking me and seeing it your way. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 01:11, 19 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

"There is no purpose to the transclusion but disruption." Really now, I act in what I believe to be the best interests of the project, in this case transparency, so combative language like this is not really necessary. I thought assuming good faith was a cornerstone of this wiki. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 01:18, 19 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Yes, you are highly disruptive, TCNSV. That's become obvious. That is an effect, not an intention, necessarily. Assuming good faith is an operational assumption, maintained as long as possible. I have seen nothing so far that might not be the result of simple ignorance or poor consideration (or, of course, simple disagreement). However, you've been pushing it lately. This talk page transclusion takes the cake.
  • You have confused the size of the wikitext (what you added), with the text sent to a browser. When you add a transcluded page to another, the browser sees both pages together. Look at the size of Requests for comment/Wikimedia Commons. It is about 24 KB. The size of the Talk page attached is about 44 KB. The wikitext to add that 44 KB to the page, which the browser must load before it can do the collapse, or must simply display if it is outside of collapse, takes only a few bytes.
  • Basically, the browser sees a 68 KB page. That some of it is in collapse doesn't change that. the browser still loads it, display is a browser function.
  • Your addition of the transcluded talk page has just been reverted.[10] How far are you going to push this silliness?


You are warned not to reinstate nor refer to the material on the RFC page again, lest I take it to the attention of administrators. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 00:49, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

The meaning of this is entirely unclear. You attempting to warn me from referring to what? What edit of mine is objectionable?

What I'm doing is already in full view of administrators, surely you know that.

My only problem with your taking things to administrators is the time that it can waste. Suit yourself, though, you have the right to shoot yourself in the foot. --Abd (talk) 01:03, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Did you lack the competence to read the edit summary comments I made in this diff? Your behavior could lead to a block. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 01:07, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Collapsing an arguably off-topic discussion, mostly my own comments, could lead to a block? Suit yourself, it doesn't matter, I'm archiving this whole page anyway. I don't have to interact with you to collect evidence, and others can use it if they want to. Just know that what you are doing is visible, in spite of the tricks you use to try to hide it. --Abd (talk) 02:21, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Obsolete comment[edit]

I may also be contacted on my Wikiversity talk page, v:User:Abd. I will keep email notification of edits to this page on, but am turning off other watchlist notification, as meta traffic is mostly a distraction for me.

There are a few projects hanging here that I may work on occasionally, a long comment to summarize, a research project into RfC history, like that. I will not be working on active maintenance here, as I had begun, particularly with RfC, because this requires community support that is lacking. --Abd (talk) 02:29, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Above struck --Abd (talk) 22:56, 23 April 2015 (UTC)Reply


I'm sorry if my tone in my last few edits has discouraged you. I encourage you to reconsider your retirement; I definitely want to see you come back. You are an asset to the project, but this personal dispute has gone on for too long. Please forgive me. I did not say I would block you or encourage doing so anywhere. I overreacted. Sorry. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:48, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, PiRSquared17. It was not a personal dispute, for me. That what I saw and pointed out was not independently recognized, more than a little, and handled, and not just by me, means that I'm too far ahead of consensus here. The work I do can be difficult, and without actual support, impossible. It will just irritate, as apparently it irritated you.
The response of "you two stop it!" has led to a long term block for me before (two years!), when I simply asked for admin attention to a situation. It wasn't personal then, either, for me. It was very personal for the other user, his entire purpose had become to attack my work, it was obvious payback (he'd been desysopped. ultimately, from his reactions when I short-blocked him for incivility -- two hours! -- and he then became maximally disruptive, filing desysop procedures, not just for me, but for every bureaucrat, threatening users with being blocked by stewards -- any day now! -- and on and on, for something like a year. Mostly I ignored it until he edited a policy that had been standing for years, over a matter of weight, and then I went to the admin request page asked for review and was blocked. They were tired of seeing the XXX and Abd show. Of course, they were seeing it all the time because of what he was doing! He was also blocked, but he didn't care, he had gotten what he wanted. The blocking admin wrote "until you two work it out." But he didn't want to work anything out, he was quite happy with the situation, he'd already attempted to get all his work deleted, he was gone. He was unblocked, later, and really never came back.
There was no consensus for that block, there were attempts by others to appeal it, there was also no major consensus for unblock, and my unblock template was unanswered for two years. Probably a good thing for me, actually, I did other things that were extraordinarily valuable for me and for others. I make a real difference in people's lives, routinely.
This situation was not the same. I saw this user who was creating process that was wasting steward time, and I confronted that; you observed that interaction. His response was similar to what he'd done in the past. Fine. His behavior actually improved, as to steward request pages, he stopped filing requests that were blatantly contrary to policy.
But then he was on my case about everything, reviewing whatever I did and finding something wrong with it. Now, in itself, this can actually be useful, but, often, he was clueless as to how wikis handle things. The blanking of others' comments on RfCs or Talk pages, the filing of admin requests over minor perceived slights, revert warring over RfC closes, behavior that would get him blocked quickly on Wikipedia, with the only person warning him -- usually -- being me, is not a tenable situation. I don't own this place.
When he was warned by a steward or his actions were reversed by someone else, such as that "silliness" about transcluding the large talk page on the small RfC page, he would accept it. The exact same arguments given by me, no, he was going to argue to the end. That's a clue that it was totally personal.
The situation here wasn't new. As you might suspect, the behavior I'm describing was long-term, I saw it on Wikiversity two years ago, and at that time, on meta, I'd prevented him from getting a user globally locked from a radically misleading request. (The user was only editing Wikiversity by that time, I'd encouraged him, he was very young, and I trained him to edit nondisruptively. He responded to respect and care. He is now on track to being the youngest WMF sysop ever, it could happen. He's already a 'crat on a non-WMF wiki (The Test Wiki), a fact that proved useful when I needed sysop access there to test block behavior to confirm a bug. It took him minutes to grant the request.)
However, if I point to what I know, I'm seen as making a personal attack, and I'm taking a risk even by responding to you here. It's not just you, PiRSquared, there is a steward/meta administrator who has been making threatening noises. I get a lot of Thanking notifications, but those will not necessarily translate into support when some admin gets tired of seeing what I do. And that can easily happen if I'm active here.
I need occasional meta access for my work at Wikiversity, and, in fact, I've been neglecting work there, by getting involved here. So I've been concerned about that anyway. The work I do there can actually make a difference for the planet, meta is ... how important?
The community here has not been treating RfCs as important, and that's a result of the disorder and chaos in RfC process. And I'm not seeing enough support to be able to fix it. Maybe in another year or two.
Thank you for your kind apology, but it's not enough. If I can be of any assistance, feel free to contact me on my en.Wikiversity talk page. --Abd (talk) 05:04, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
You'll probably be back. Wikis are an addiction; and since when did addictions require that the person intellectually believe that feeding the addiction is the optimal behavior? Other tasks seem more productive, but if they aren't as stimulating to the pleasure centers of the brain, then the person will go into withdrawal and probably eventually relapse. Leucosticte (talk) 07:36, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

I'm sure that you'll have a more fulfilling time at Wikiversity. As you've said, you were too invested in "distraction" here. Good luck at Wikiversity. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 12:47, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Potayto, potahto[edit]

What you call "sticking a finger in a socket" I call "distributing pearls of wisdom". [Full comment at,_potahto permanent link].Leucosticte (talk) 04:24, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

It makes no difference what you call it. Call it "harmless discussion," call it "just examining the truth," call it "opening the eyes of the blind," the socket doesn't care. Human beings are capable of being more than reactive robots, but it takes special conditions. You are not creating them, you are simply triggering basic survival responses. And you are doing this out of your own survival responses, not from the realm of possibility. So it's an echo chamber, you are arguing with yourself. --Abd (talk) 14:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
blocked, [ talk page and email access blocked]. Utterly unsurprising, swift, clean.
Meta is a coordinating wiki, not a place to debate social philosophy. Substantial freedom exists here, normally, to create essays, but not if they are considered disruptive.
I reviewed what happened overnight. You poked the bear, but you were treated kindly. Your talk page access was shut off because you used your talk page for what you had been warned not to do. I do not know how you used email, it is possible that you could get email access restored if you need it. You have my email address, if you want to request email be restored, ask me and I will investigate the possibility.
If you continue to argue this matter, on WMF wikis, I predict you will be globally banned, with a wide agreement, becoming the second user ever to attain that distinction. You are not banned here, not yet. You are not yet eligible for a global ban, but you are one step away from it. So if that's what you want, you are almost there. --Abd (talk) 14:09, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Leucosticte @ Meta:RFH[edit]

Meta:Requests_for_help_from_a_sysop_or_bureaucrat#Leucosticte – I'm letting you know about this discussion since you understand Leucosticte better than most people here. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 12:48, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the notice, I have commented there. Leucosticte needs clear boundaries. He is usually capable of following them if they are established.
The wikis tend to assume good user/bad user, and avoid establishing clear boundaries (with some exceptions). Leucosticte, as an example, did not revert war on Wikipedia. He is blocked on a certain wiki where he has admin privileges and could unblock himself.
He's complicated, and it is very easy to misunderstand him, to make quick conclusions about him and what he is, that are actually not who and what he is. He believes that meta is a place to debate Wikipedia decisions. Years ago, he introduced me to meta as an allegedly very free place. It's not. It is, however, normally tolerant. Meta is not quick to block, except when it is. I.e, meta can be unpredictable. What is safe one day may not be safe the next. --Abd (talk) 16:22, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Declining steward requests[edit]

It is not appropriate for a non steward to make decisions on requests for the stewards, and I trust that your mistake earlier today will not be repeated. I have struck out your "decision" and restored it to its previous state. Kind regards, Snowolf How can I help? 16:15, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Let me echo the concern that matters requiring administrative or steward action should be left to administrators or stewards, respectively. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:29, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Did I tell both of you to stay away from each-other? Abd, closing the section that he opened wasn't appropriate. TCNSV, you commenting here isn't appropriate. Seriously, the best way to settle this conflict is to just ignore each-other :S Ajraddatz (Talk) 19:34, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, Ajraddatz. I have in the past closed discussions on administrative noticeboards, when it was obvious where they were going. It was only clerking, documenting what seemed obvious, for clarity and cleanup, briefly explaining policy. I wrote that anyone could reverse that close. Really, my close should have been converted to a comment, normally it has been allowed to comment there. However, I will now not do any clerking on that page, or commenting unless I have a critical interest. And from the result that ensued, I now have little confidence in global lock policy being followed. User accounts were globally locked without any significant cross-wiki disruption.
As to TCNSV, he had suggested the close. So I'm left wondering exactly what happened here. Are we now going to see more global locks that are essentially extensions of en.wikipedia decisions?
I don't know, however, that any actual harm was done in this case. The user was marginal and clueless and can simply start up new accounts, as a global lock does nothing to prevent that, and the user had little invested in the accounts.
Not really my problem. This is why I'm mostly staying away from meta. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 20:33, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply


I'm curious about whether you appealed your ban. The ban was more than 2 years ago.--GZWDer (talk) 15:02, 15 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Presumably you mean the Wikipedia community ban. No, I never appealed it. I gave a long answer, archived to history.
Do you think I should appeal? On what basis? For what purpose? --Abd (talk) 00:30, 16 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
Looking on my user talk page on Wikipedia, I found a reference to a discussion on Wikipedia Review of that ban discussion.[11] I wasn't formally notified, but I was obviously aware of it, I answered charges in detail.
I did not continue challenging Wikipedia directly. Basically, much better things to do. Looking around, I have found that apparently I have accidentally edited Wikipedia a couple of times over the last few years, by IP. I still occasionally am reading a Wikipedia page, see an obvious error, and click on edit. Old habits die hard, for old die-hards like me, I'm 70 in about a month. Usually, autologin stops me, and if I've been logged in recently, autoblock will be active, but twice or so... I could easily get around this, but ... going to so much trouble to make a small improvement to a project that doesn't want my help? Why? --Abd (talk) 00:56, 16 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Use of {{Citation needed}} template[edit]

Abd, Sj, I'd very much appreciate your opinion(s) on this issue...

In Croatian Wikipedia, the instructions for using the "Citation needed" (Nedostaje izvor) template say that an editor who adds this template to an article must also post a clarification in the talk page that explains what is being challenged and why. Edit summary may or may not be accepted for this purpose. Insertions of this template without accompanying TP clarifications are often summarily reverted; I've found a paragraph where this has been done eight times over the course of six years. I've discussed the issue with two or three admins, and they are adamant that this is necessary because: 1) just "Citation needed" is not enough, because it is not clear which part of the sentence is being challenged, and 2) absent this, some editors would just indiscriminately slap the "Citation needed" left and right; they also said this is actually a regular occurrence.

To me, it's fairly obvious that this practice is hugely wrongheaded and counterproductive, as it effectively cripples what may well be the single most important Wikipedia template. I see it as a direct assault on en:WP:V.

Now - assuming I'm at least half right there - would you say that this is an issue for a Meta RFC? (On the condition, of course, that local process fails to rectify.) While I'm fully aware that Croatian Wikipedia is entitled to its own templates and guidelines, created by consensus, I still feel this crosses the line. Of course, I'm also aware that a change to this practice can't be enforced from the outside, but a clear position from Wikimedia people (ideally, even Jimbo - boy, I'm pretty sure he would have hated this) could at least influence local opinion. GregorB (talk) 23:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

  • Last question first. No, this is not an issue for RfC on meta. And you are very unlikely to get an opinion from Jimbo on this on meta.
  • I looked at the template, and it asks that the posting of the template be reported on the Talk page. I looked at the long discussion by you on the attached Talk page. It looks like the tag request is often ignored, and the template is not removed, unless, perhaps, it was placed by an IP editor. There are practical realities involved here, my guess.
  • That discussion, like a lot of discussions, pretty much went nowhere. Reading Croation is not my strong point, I depend entirely on google translate, but it looked inconclusive to me. You changed the template, removing the bit about reporting the placement on Talk. You were reverted, then there was that long discussion. Okay, can you integrate what was expressed in the discussion, create language that is clearer and covers the various contingencies better, and make that edit again? If you just did the same thing, bad idea. Assume there are useful considerations in that commentary. Yes, I know, for some of it, that might be hard! But make that assumption anyway and see what you come up with.
  • Remember, most wikipedians are irritated by obsessive attention to detail in anything policy-related.
  • Researching the template issue could be difficult. I think you looked for what had templates placed, not places where the templates had been removed. That's difficult to research!
  • Basically, if you see removal of a citation needed template, when the intended application was clear and appropriate, revert it, and explain on the talk page. Don't let wikilawyers get away with mindless application of policies.
  • You ran into something I've often seen, people who have no concept of efficiency. It is one thing to see a piece of text needing some change, and to simply change it -- that's "wiki" -- and it is another to explain the change. I do understand where you are coming from. You were right, and so were they. But I'm not sure they explained their position well. It may be based on actual experience, the disruptive placement of tags. So how can their position be accomodated. It's obviously not policy that tags are removed if not discussed, right? It's just that someone, possibly someone pushing a POV, has done, because they can. If it was IP placing the tag, there is no watchlist notification. So they get away with it. How to reliably address this takes structure that most wikipedians don't want. You might need to create a WikiProject that would monitor all cn tags, i.e, identify all placements and the results, and flag removals without provision of sources. Watch out for doing this with any POV bias at all. I.e., don't! --Abd (talk) 15:15, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
Your summary of events is quite correct. I did change the instruction initially, being bold and reasoning in favor of challenging the content (i.e. that it shouldn't require any more work than necessary); it seemed dead obvious. After the revert, the discussion was essentially unproductive and borderline nasty, so I just left it at that.
The arguments in favor of status quo were weak. But, thinking about it now, I feel that the underlying reason for favoring status quo here is general concern over proliferation of maintenance templates which would be difficult to remove given the local issues-to-editors ratio (150K articles, 1/3 of them completely unreferenced, with just several dozen active editors); these templates would simply "litter" or "deface" the articles in the meantime. (A case in point: recently I got asked why I added the "unreferenced" template to an article that was unreferenced. "Well, duh, because it is". Yet these actions are seen as "unconstructive".) I believe this is why the discussion did not go anywhere: I addressed the arguments, not the underlying motives, so there was a mutual lack of understanding.
Indeed, this is a matter of efficiency: it's "don't make things harder in 99% of the cases in order to make them easier in 1% of the cases". Still, consider this:
  • "Citation needed" requires a talk page clarification
  • "Unreferenced" is frowned upon, as described above
  • "POV" template, according to its instructions for use, shouldn't be added unless the editor in question has already tried to fix the problem (this is a bad idea for more reasons than one; removal of this requirement was rejected too)
That's more than just inefficiency - in the long run, it's road to ruin, as it virtually creates a perverse incentive. I've joined a newly-formed local WikiProject Neutrality, and can't help but notice that all this creates an editing culture that does not bode well for neutrality and verifiability in general.
I must say I really appreciate your time and effort in addressing this issue in depth and providing a very useful perspective. True, there is no easy way to fix everything, but something can be done - I guess that is the nature of the wiki. GregorB (talk) 11:41, 24 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Steward requests/Global is not a place for policy debate[edit]

I have undone your last edit at Steward requests/Global, as that is a steward workspace, not a place for policy debate. If you wish to start a policy debate please use Requests for comment.  — billinghurst sDrewth 22:23, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Yes. Thanks. I will. Don't you think that the comment should be moved to the Talk page if it is inappropriate there? I was presenting argument for considering unlock, pointing out how the locks are harmful to the projects, not just contrary to policy. The intention was not to "debate policy," but to apply it. There was contrary argument presented that neglects policy, completely, so I did point that out. Apparently, Billinghurst, it is not sufficient for some stewards to just say "No." They seem to need to argue further. -Abd (talk) 22:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

What the hell are you up to?[edit]

Do I see a similarity to Don Quixote here? You seem to be running around picking fault and analysing action of stewards for no bigger purpose than to either pick a fight, or to prove a contentious point? Or is it to just be troublesome? I am not seeing any particular benefits. What ultimately do you think that you will achieve by such an analysis? What do you think is likely to be the result of nitpicking analysis?  — billinghurst sDrewth 15:07, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

I have deleted all that rubbish, any further attempt to provoke people and/or engaging in collecting informations about actions without consent will lead to an immediate and definitive block on this wiki. --M/ (talk) 15:50, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
(edit conflict with above) Billinghurst, my view is that we cannot design policy and assess performance without study of what is actually done. You have stated that review is welcome. That's what I'm doing. It is not "nitpicking," it is presentation and analysis of actual steward behavior. In a very few cases, I report behavior that might be questionable. In many more cases, I report behavior that may not be covered by policy, but where, easily, policy may need extension to cover the relevant situations.
Can you give me an example of the specific "fault picked"?
Review, yes. Forensic nitpicking, into areas that may identify real people is not. Your ill-informed and argued commentary is judgmental and sufficiently incorrect, and so, it is not a review, especially when viewed through something like a one-way, one-dimensional prism. Apart from peer review on each of the wikis, there is a formal review process called Ombudsman Commission, that oversight us all, and they produce a report of their activities. There a range of policies that cover these matters, some are covered by local communities, some by checkuser policy, others by overarching other operational policies primarily linked to from Stewards.  — billinghurst sDrewth 16:36, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, Billinghurst. Apparently this may need to go to the Ombudsman Commission, then. But one comment:
My study was obviously my study, and any individual's work may contain errors or be biased in some way. Before this would have been used in any actual process, there would have been very ample opportunity to review and correct it. That is why it was in user space. It was a draft study, not a complete one. Essentially, it seems, from today's action, it is forbidden for users to study actual steward behavior, unless, of course, the user *makes no mistakes as perceived by stewards,* or even by just one steward. The concept of the community being responsible for stewards is dead. Until now, there was no need for the kind of review that the Ombudsman Commission normally handles. I had found nothing that required examining checkuser data.
With the warning below, it has become excessively hazardous to even discuss this here, so, thanks for your consideration. --Abd (talk) 16:50, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
Those were pages on a public wiki with commentary and assessments. One was drilling down about a person and seemingly carelessly towards identifying a person. Who knows whether you were right or wrong, irrespective it was just inappropriate and contrary to the practice of managing personal information that we undertake. The other pages had your commentary and assessments, with little equivocation, yet there were significant gaps in your areas of knowledge. You know that around here that such commentary can be misunderstood, or abused, and it is unfair that volunteers should have that exposure. We are human, will make occasional errors and will correct them as we can. Internal review processes exist, and communication takes place. To top it off, we have open channels to allow a communication as required.  — billinghurst sDrewth 13:34, 25 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
I am only responding here, billinghurst, because of your continued comment. While there was some commentary and assessment, that was extra, not the core of the pages, which were mostly data. From the data, there is only one editor who could be identified, and that identification is very likely false. I'm in communication with the real person, however, was nothing there that is not from public logs.
There are certainly gaps in my knowledge, but this is the first time that I've seen the deletion of a study because it wasn't complete. Yes, I showed errors, and I showed the correction of errors, and in the introductory material I made it clear that anyone doing so many actions would doubtless make some mistakes. There are "internal review processes," but I can say that the community at large is not terribly confident in them. There were policy issues being examined: how do policy and actual practice match? Policy is supposed to be based on actual practice; that way people can know what to expect. When they routinely deviate, there is a problem with either the policy or the practice.
In any case, the situation is simple. It appears that I have not only been prevented from continuing this study here, I've been threatened with a block if I appeal the decision. I see this as chilling to the concept of community review of administrative behavior. Therefore my intention, if the situation continues, is to place the material elsewhere, where it cannot be deleted and suppressed by those who would hide it even from administrators.
Nobody likes to be bullied, billinghurst, it's a poor way to gain cooperation. With the material here, and given that I was frequently requesting review of what I was collecting, the correction of errors or any problems could be addressed. If there was improper "outing," revision deletion should have sufficed, and I'd have cooperated with that. When the material goes public, even I won't be able to recall it. So suit yourselves. There was, however, no privacy policy violation in my collection.
One more point: the Ombudsman Commission deals with possible checkuser improprieties. I have not encountered any in this study. I did find that checkuser is apparently being used in ways that the community may not expect, but that is not necessarily an impropriety, and it could be justified. --Abd (talk) 01:16, 26 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
M7, I am accordingly, ceasing the study here, pending an appeal of the deletion. Thank you for making the matter completely clear. --Abd (talk) 16:02, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
I will block you if you just "ask" for undeletion. Is that clear? --M/ (talk) 16:07, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
Again, thanks for being clear. It is quite useful. --Abd (talk) 16:10, 24 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

Abd: I received your email. I no longer get involved in Meta affairs in this sort of way. ++Lar: t/c 01:11, 25 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

That's unfortunate, [User:Lar|]. I was asking for advice, not involvement or other action, given your experience with both the steward community and the Ombudsman Commission. --Abd (talk) 16:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)Reply

FYI, those locks in rapid succession were most likely done from the relatively new "MultiLock" interface (screenshot). Also, has only existed since 2013 (see mw:Extension:CentralAuth#.22SUL2.22_behavior). PiRSquared17 (talk) 13:34, 27 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

Also FYI: The content of the version of User:Abd/Antispam practices I just deleted was "Medieval or allow to enter loose older sources referring to lemons each rank quo the extraordinarily creditable, but juice-free citron." It was created by an unregistered user. Nothing relevant. PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:37, 28 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, hadn't noticed that creation/deletion.
Actually that could be *really bad* Google translation, I can imagine a meaning.
Now, as to Multilock, yes, that explains the speed, the steward collects the accounts to be locked in a list and then pops them at once.
I had also inferred that checkuser was being used, possibly on loginwiki. However, there is also edit filter data. The accounts being massively locked typically often show no edits, but they may have triggered an edit filter that blocked the edit, and reviewing the edit filters is tedious and, for non-admins, provides little or no information. --Abd (talk) 16:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)Reply


How about you, Abd? Ready to answer the call? Leucosticte (talk) 23:08, 31 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

No, thanks, not yet. If, however, you have a clear description of Inclupedia somewhere, I'd look at it. --Abd (talk) 01:21, 1 August 2014 (UTC)Reply


Hi Abd. Thanks for your lengthy and thoughtful reply. The story ends with some questions. Could you take into account the answer by Sj on strategy at Wikimania Board Q&A and what that implies according to about leading the community? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 07:47, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Your note on my page[edit]

This is hardly a throw-away account. If I'd wanted that I would have not mentioned my TBAN over here. I don't deny that I struck out comments from | from the super-protection RFC. His comments were there to disparage and cause more heat (I.E Trolling) and they were struck out as such, which actually is allowable. However, I will observe 1RR , meaning, I made a bold change, you reverted and it will stay just that way unless you or someone else changes it, I will not. Free The Wiki (talk) 23:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

No, the comments were not trolling. The user may be a bit naive about meta process, but was clearly sincere, and calling the user a troll is classic incivility, and obviously an error on top of that. This superprotection affair is extremely hot and tempers are flaring on all sides, and adding in gross incivility is intolerable. If you do that again, I don't just revert, I request sysop or steward action, I don't care if it's a throwaway account, and one never can tell, this is meta and sometimes stewards use checkuser. --Abd (talk) 23:20, 17 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Letter petitioning WMF to reverse recent decitions[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation recently created a new feature, "superprotect" status. The purpose is to prevent pages from being edited by elected administrators -- but permitting WMF staff to edit them. It has been put to use in only one case: to protect the deployment of the Media Viewer software on German Wikipedia, in defiance of a clear decision of that community to disable the feature by default, unless users decide to enable it.

If you oppose these actions, please add your name to this letter. If you know non-Wikimedians who support our vision for the free sharing of knowledge, and would like to add their names to the list, please ask them to sign an identical version of the letter on

I'm notifying you because you participated in one of several relevant discussions. -Pete F (talk) 21:58, 20 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, I signed the petition because I support that move (removal of superprotection and allowing local choice re Media Viewer default status) not as a final decision, necessarily, but as returning to negotiation with respect and without demand. --Abd (talk) 22:15, 20 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Superprotect letter update[edit]

Hi Abd,

Along with more hundreds of others, you recently signed Letter to Wikimedia Foundation: Superprotect and Media Viewer, which I wrote.

Today, we have 562 signatures here on Meta, and another 61 on, for a total of 623 signatures. Volunteers have fully translated it into 16 languages, and begun other translations. This far exceeds my most optimistic hopes about how many might sign the letter -- I would have been pleased to gain 200 siguatures -- but new signatures continue to come.

I believe this is a significant moment for Wikimedia and Wikipedia. Very rarely have I seen large numbers of people from multiple language and project communities speak with a unified voice. As I understand it, we are unified in a desire for the Wikimedia Foundation to respect -- in actions, in addition to words -- the will of the community who has built the Wikimedia projects for the benefit of all humanity. I strongly believe it is possible to innovate and improve our software tools, together with the Wikimedia Foundation. But substantial changes are necessary in order for us to work together smoothly and productively. I believe this letter identifies important actions that will strongly support those changes.

Have you been discussing these issues in your local community? If so, I think we would all appreciate an update (on the letter's talk page) about how those discussions have gone, and what people are saying. If not, please be bold and start a discussoin on your Village Pump, or in any other venue your project uses -- and then leave a summary of what kind of response you get on the letter's talk page.

Finally, what do you think is the right time, and the right way, to deliver this letter? We could set a date, or establish a threshold of signatures. I have some ideas, but am open to suggestions.

Thank you for your engagement on this issue, and please stay in touch. -Pete F (talk) 18:12, 26 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Now you are debating at SRP[edit]

Please stop using the stewards' requests pages as an opportunity to debate. State your request, and move on. We do not need commentary on the future consequences of what enWV is going to do, how they are going to do it, where it is superfluous to the request. All completely irrelevant and contradictory to the purpose of the page. If you see that there is truly the need for any additional commentary, then take it to a user talk page.  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:25, 17 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

I don't understand, Billinghurst. That was not debate, that was thanks and appreciation. So please explain: you may request that I not make any comments on SRP after action has been taken, and I will honor that, assuming I remember it. (I probably will, but do remember I'm 70 years old and I occasionally forget things.) I will simply use the Thanks message, or a steward talk page. Is this advice particular to me, or is it generic? If generic, shouldn't it be in the instructions for using the page?
Ah! I had not looked at the SRP page yet I see that the user is arguing. I did not and would not respond to that, precisely because that page is not for debate, as you say. So, then, your warning is even, you warned both of us. Thanks. Very steward.
The rest of this is not at all obligatory to read. It's an explanation of what happened.
The matter has been resolved on Wikiversity. The mentor (a bureaucrat) had already asked the user to justify his record. He responded, and then the mentor terminated the probationary custodianship.[12] I deliberately requested removal "without prejudice," to make it clear that removal by a steward was not a judgment that the user was "wrong." He has again, here, raised accusations of "soapboxing pedophilia." The user he blocked earlier this year had not done that. He was taking a position, before, that has wide minority support in the WMF, for freedom of speech. Dave and I stopped that immediately, because we don't need conflict over this very hot issue, absent guidelines and consensus.
Then, the user asked me about a page he had just created on a suicide method. He is sitting on a large body of wiki material from SuicideWiki, now off-line, so he was testing acceptability. When he asked me, I immediately placed a speedy deletion tag on it, and Dave immediately deleted, both of us citing the absence of ethical guidelines. In spite of the matter being completely handled, the probationary custodian went ahead and blocked the user as "dangerous." He was not immediately unblocked, Dave followed procedure, questioning the block on the probationer's talk page, who considered that "harassment." Dave still did not unblock, because the blocked user had not requested it yet.
Wikiversity has a process for complaint against a custodian action. It's Custodian feedback. This is not a sysop removal page, it's a page where finding agreement is encouraged. Sysop removal is handled on a different page, would be site-messaged, etc. Because the block was questionable, and because whether or not the user requested unblock was irrelevant to that (the user was, in fact, disgusted to be unfairly blocked and was about to completely give up on Wikiversity, didn't want to request unblock), I filed a Feedback, and notified the probationer. He blocked me for that.
This was rapidly spinning out of control. Again, Dave did not immediately unblock. Comments from Dave on the probationer's talk page were already defined as "harassment." So he did not discuss this one as would be normal. Dave waited until I put up an unblock template, and then waited 24 hours to act, to see if the probationer would respond to the template. He did not. So he unblocked. When the alleged "dangerous user" requested unblock, giving assurances he would not create disruptive pages without consensus first, Dave unblocked him as well. The user reblocked both, now wheel-warring with no discussion. Dave unblocked again, and blocked the probationary custodian (which is contemplated procedure, but never actually tested). And then the probationer blocked him too, and reblocked me and the user.
So the probationer was now repeatedly wheel-warring with a permanent custodian. Probationary custodianship is granted to provide an opportunity for almost any Wikiversitan to take up the tools, but it was never intended to allow disruption of the work of permanent custodians, other than normal routine disagreement. Never wheel-warring, i.e., reversion of actions without discussion. It has long been assumed that a permanent custodian may immediately fix errors of probationers, that's one reason why we allow probationary custodianship. Ideally, it's the mentor who corrects errors, but in this case, we had a mentor who tends to sit back for long periods of time to see what happens, perhaps. Or he was too busy to really study what happens, or both.
So, now that there was wheel-warring, and an absence of other permanent custodians monitoring the situation, and it would take time and be highly disruptive to go through formal removal process, (and how was that supposed to happen if the person is blocking people who disagree with him?), I saw a need to bypass the usual formalities and come directly to meta. I knew and acknowledged that this was irregular. I did think that it might take more time, that a steward might say, "resolve this locally," but then, the ball being in play, a 'crat might show up. However, I've been emergency desysopped, twice! I knew that sometimes a 'crat wasn't required. In any case, the record had become obvious, that this user was "rogue." Which doesn't mean "wrong." It means not acting with community support.
Now, the steward who acted saw a problem, the self-unblock. That was definitely a problem in context, but would not be an automatic desysop, in my opinion, it would depend on context. If there is a permanent custodian who is the only effective maintainer of the wiki, self-unblock might be a necessity. I won't go into all the details, but I acted to point out that Dave had also unblocked himself, and that this, by itself, wasn't really the problem. Had the probationer unblocked himself and then refrained from wheel-warring with the permanent custodian, it would have been okay. (We may actually incorporate this in explicit policy, which may make future steward choices easier.)
Mostly, I covered this on Wikiversity and especially on the steward talk page there. My comments here on meta were quite brief:
  • [13] responded to a question from the steward.
  • [14] thanked the steward and did not attack the probationer.
Then the rest was argument ("debate") by the probationer, demonstrating cluelessness in many ways, even becoming incoherent.[15]
I do not recall ever arguing on meta against my emergency desysops, because, as we all know or should know, the remedy is local if an error is made, because resysopping can be done at any time by a 'crat.
The user repeated, here, his claim that he had only blocked email. In fact, he'd made this erroneous statement many times on Wikiversity, and I'd pointed out the error. So he'd passed up at least three opportunities to see the problem.
Blocking email without blocking the user was also clueless, even if had been possible. The user has email access everywhere, but has no history of abusing it. His email access under that account on Wikipedia is blocked, but likely because that account was a returning banned user, the earlier account (abandoned) still has unblocked email. There is actually no way to prevent email, with a sophisticated user.
Now, the allegedly dangerous user is arguing that we should host the material on suicide, and points to Wikipedia's decision to host such things. Dave started a discussion on Talk:Suicide, which is where the user is arguing. This is totally proper. Discussion whether or not to host specific materials on suicide methods is not harmful, if the discussion remains civil, as it has. At this point, my strong sense, we will not host the material. The user could appeal the deletion, and has not chosen to do so. None of that (i.e., discussion) creates danger.
Essentially, Wikiversity is for learning-by-doing, and I've been training this user to collaborate with a community instead of just barging ahead with what will offend. He is doing it, he agreed to it, and if he makes another mistake, we'll warn him and fix it.
We will have broader resources on suicide than we now have, but subject to ethical guidelines. We can actually do much better than Wikipedia, because we can frame this within a resource that is designed to discourage impulsive suicide. Wikipedia has difficulty doing these things. It's not the function of an encyclopedia.
Wikipedia does host material on suicide and suicide methods, and appears to have rejected the arguments advanced by the former probationer. That Wikipedia hosts material is one of the arguments being advanced. I've rejected that, because we can do better, from all points of view. We can create ethical guidelines that protect, while also setting up the possibility of deep learning. We will likely point to Wikipedia for anything controversial, unless the Wikiversity community decides to host more specific material. What we will create, otherwise, will still be a resource that facilitates learning, that's what we can do really well, and the fellow who was blocked tends to be highly informed on the topics he takes an interest in. So we harness that, while acting to make sure that neutrality is maintained and nobody is harmed. --Abd (talk) 16:30, 17 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

The purges have began[edit] – The WMF just banned Leucosticte, Poetlister, and Russavia. Troubling times are ahead. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:05, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Poetlister was already banned. Leucosticte might as well have carried around a big sign saying "Ban me." However, Russavia? Looks to me like someone just dumped the Recent Changes log for Commons, immediately after an IP edited that was probably Russavia, from the location. That takes developer access, and it only makes sense if they are trying to keep this from being visible. Russavia was a very active Commons user, and still an administrator. The same WMF account removed admin access for Russavia today. So they removed a Commons administrator without notifying the community.
Actually, I'm sure now, they have repeated dumped Recent Changes, and it's an attempt to suppress notice by the Commons community. This time the oldest edit in Recent Changes was a reversion of an IP sock, apparently Russavia.
Have they gone mad? Shutting down Recent Changes in order to hide some edits? What are they thinking? It won't work. They would have to use revision deletion. And all that they are hiding is a link, on Commons User talk for Russavia, to a copy of the WMF letter to Russavia, apparently he put it up elsewhere so it could be seen. The reason given for the action in that email copy was
"We are taking this action based upon because of a history of sockpuppetry and legal concerns as well as other violations of our Terms of Use.
Russavia's real name appears in the email, but I assume that it was put up by Russavia, he's the only one who would have that email. Beaudette, the sender, has refused comment.
The problem for me is that I have generally considered the WMF outside of Wikipedia to be safe, with a few exceptions, easily avoided. Now that a user appears to have been globally banned based on Wikipedia actions, nothing is secure. There is no protection in policy if policy is disregarded. Privacy in global bans makes sense when the claims are based on, say, "advocacy of inappropriate relationships with children," i.e., child protection policy, but makes no sense when the claim is disruptive editing on Wikipedia or "socking."
Such drama. It's the cover-up, stupid! --Abd (talk) 20:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Policy talk pages are not for ill-informed commentary[edit]

A policy talk page is not the place to educate about OPs, and a user's (ab|mis)use of OPs, nor should we need to do so. Your words there are ill-informed and demonstrate that you express an opinion unsupported by knowledge, with your words there simply demonstrating a cluelessness of the subject. At this point all I hear is your lips flapping as you continue to criticise, yet demonstrate that you are ill-informed about what your lips are flapping. Please learn to practice some restraint. This is not the first time that this has been asked of you.  — billinghurst sDrewth 11:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Indeed. I see from your comment here and what you have done or supported in the past, that community supervision and participation in wiki governance is not welcome, at least not by me, and possibly dangerous. Accordingly, unless the community decides to support this, I'm withdrawing from general participation here, unless you are explicit that it's welcome. I still intend to participate in RfCs (or to initiate them), votes, and requests of personal relevance. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 15:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

can I[edit]

ask you two questions? ~ DanielTom (talk) 17:28, 16 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

You can. You have one more.

Seriously, you may ask questions on or off-wiki, your choice. --Abd (talk) 23:54, 16 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Okay, thanks. ~ DanielTom (talk) 20:32, 17 April 2015 (UTC)Reply


I noticed that you created Requests_for_comment/Support_collaboration_on_Pashto_Wikipedia. I just wanted to let you know that much of the debate is now occurring at pswiki itself: ps:Project_talk:Policies. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:16, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks. The RfC is really a process page for admin requests, just in case something cannot be handled locally. If it is not needed, no harm. Thanks for the notice and your support. I don't see everything!
One of the desysopped users complained that now "nobody can edit the main page." That policy page would not be the place to request a change like that, an edit under protection. The RfC requests page here will work, I can make that happen with high reliability and minimum disruption. And it might demonstrate some possibilities, frosting on the cake.
As well, facilitated discussion can be handled there, if users want some global support, advice, comment, etc. We'll see how it's used. I'll look at that pswiki page. --Abd (talk) 20:32, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Also, can you please tell them to play nice with each other, instead of trying to ban each other? ps:Project:Vote_for_Block_of_Seendgay. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:22, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
(edit conflict with above) Probably. Maybe. It may help that I'm shaykhun kabiyr. Ah, "old man." We'll see. What I have set up will reward cooperation, and continued fighting will get them nowhere. You've seen a little of what I can do. It does work, sometimes, or at least it separates the sheep from the goats. Or wolves. --Abd (talk) 20:32, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Gad. This is a juvenile concept of how to improve the world. Get rid of the bad people. Now, why didn't we think of that? So simple. Easy, eh? Well, they have guns. Okay, so, to continue our plan, get bigger guns! Right? Maybe it will work this time! --Abd (talk) 20:34, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

These users appear to not have much wiki experience. They want to "ban" a user for violating policy, but they don't have policies yet, they are so busy trying to ban users for violating policies that don't exist. Get a policy, then warn, then short-block if needed to enforce policy, then escalate blocks if needed, and then indef block, and a "ban" is a highly disruptive process that is only to be used if truly necessary. Meanwhile, the user they want to ban is being grossly uncivil. That's what happens when you yank the lid off of a pressure cooker. I was tempted to go to a steward, but decided to keep my mediator hat on. I'm not going to originate admin action requests, unless someone is trashing that RfC space. I did warn the user, here, though. I'd rather not see him blocked or banned.

We really need to establish this as a community understanding. Warnings are a courtesy, if motivated by preserving order and keeping the user from immolating himself. We need to get rid of the idea that a short block is a major black mark. People get passionate and say stupid stuff and an experienced chairperson simply asks them to sit down and shut up, and, if they don't, arranges their removal from the room until they cool down. This is basic democratic process, it's nothing mysterious. Except to Wikimedians, apparently, who become incensed over what really should be no big deal. --Abd (talk) 21:16, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Abd Now this is very funny , when you say respect the elders , if it is the case you may not know how old Iam and what is an ethic to follow . I agree with you that ethic says we should always be moral and respect elders . then I ask you why don't you let our Afghans to follow the ethic and moral to implement the law and regulations based on neutrality and clearly Justice? This what you said respecting the elders is something in contradicts to your actions , you by yourself do not respect others who maybe elders than you who knows about who? Iam asking you the last time that block SeendGay and its friends like Usman Shah who are coming to the pashto wikipedia and spreading the vulgarity , wrong literary use, completely ganglionic speech because of stubborn intentions, pasting completely pornographic pictures, naked organs then explaining in a sexual oriented language , he also writes disrespectful sentences because of the freedom of the extreme speech given to him and alike him by the Stewards groups in the talking pages. these are lots of the reasons to know about the vandalism , traitor or what ever you will call alike person. I think he is totaly mental ill. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Afghanwrites (talk) 21:03, 22 April 2015‎.

First of all, sign your posts. You are correct that I don't know how old you are, but if you are even close to my age, shame on you. You are not demonstrating maturity. I'm 70, and you? Now, sit down and we can talk. Tea? --Abd (talk) 21:16, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
And don't ping someone on their own talk page, it's totally unnecessary, at best, and I think it can create duplicate notices.
I have warned SeendGay. I have seen the ban request on You have priorities reversed.
First establish policy. SeendGay is being uncivil in the policy discussion, and if that continues after warning, he will be blocked. You don't have to demand it.
You may request attention to a situation on in the RfC I started here, but please understand that response is not going to be quick unless a steward or global sysop happens to see it. There are ways to get their attention, but the problem is that the situation was overcontrolled in the past. When the overcontrol is released, a young hot-head may take advantage of new freedom and may go way too far. If you make reasonable requests, however, they will be granted. Banning someone is not a reasonable request. Warning and short-blocking may be.
As to vulgar speech, and, say, sexually-explicit content, there is no policy on about that, that I've seen. Banning someone for violating a policy that does not exist is universally recognized as unfair. Create the policy. Then, if it is violated, warn. Anyone may warn, not just administrators. I am not an administrator, but I know how to get their attention. What I ask for is usually granted. Not always, just usually. I don't ask for what they are not likely to grant. So if a warning is violated, *then* blocks become appropriate. People who are involved and upset do not issue good warnings. A teenager, especially, will spit in your face, if you don't respect them. It's normal human behavior, when the lid is off, i.e., when social control is gone.
I've seen a little effort on to encourage SeendGay to make positive contributions, which is useful. What he has written, though, is so offensive that I'm not terribly hopeful for his future, but he may turn around, and it is worth the effort, and it's worth a bit of patience. --Abd (talk) 21:34, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Removed offensive words[edit]

Removed offensive words with strike as you said please see: [16] — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Seendgay (talk) 09:55, 23 April 2015‎

Well, that's a start, thanks.

"Fuck Jinnah" is also offensive, that would never be allowed in a signature on the English Wikipedia. --Abd (talk) 15:24, 23 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Further help needed[edit]

He has apologised but we need serious reform to allow freedom on ps-wiki PashtoLover (talk) 11:07, 23 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

What you need on ps-wiki is really up to you. My strong suggestion is that you create a priority of finding community consensus. It almost doesn't matter what it is about, because consensus builds consensus.

If you don't have clear policies, with broad agreement on them, but you go ahead and create sysops, with block and delete tools, what guidance will they follow? Usually: their own. Don't be surprised if this is not seen as freedom by some in the community. You may be able to find people who are dedicated to serving community consensus, and who will keep their own opinions out of it, as far as the use of admin tools is concerned. If these are trusted to have good sense and to respect what the community wants (and to help the community come to agreement), then, it's okay to elect them and ask stewards for right. But don't start there. Start with policy.

Ask the advice of others with broad wiki experience. The idea of majority vote for sysops is okay if you can make it easy to remove sysops! In fact, deciding on how to remove them may be more important than deciding how to create them! You can have a wiki without sysops, at least for a while. You have global sysops and stewards who will assist you. But if you have sysops, and you can't remove them, you are quite stuck if there is a problem with them.

Notice: Khangul seems to have thought that the other sysop was a problem. He didn't know how to handle that. So he indef blocked. That is what led to the removal of rights. Lack of process for removing sysops. And, of course, it also applied to him. The problem was not Khangul. The problem was lack of a solid, functioning community consensus.

Khangul may have years of being accustomed to running the wiki. Be patient with him, it may take him some time to adjust. Afghanwriter just said he was abandoning the wiki. That kind of reaction often comes up when there are changes. Give him time, he might already have decided differently, or might decide so next year ....

The wiki concept of "consensus" is not mere majority vote. My own opinion is that majority vote is very useful, but it's not enough, if a minority is not adequately represented or considered. Hence people who want a strong society seek broader agreement than mere majority. Majority is fine for making small decisions, especially when they are not seen as truly important. Majority rule is better than minority rule, but not as powerful as consensus. "Consensus," ideally, means that *everyone agrees.* However, that is not always attainable. It should remain a goal worth working for.

In ordinary democratic process, it takes a supermajority to decide that a proposal is ready for vote. That is, if more than one-third of the assembly thinks that discussion should continue, it continues. Wikis don't use ordinary democratic process, usually. However, that is where the centuries of experience lie. We should learn from it.

A basic understanding: whatever the Pashto community agrees upon, or at least most agree, will happen. Stewards will implement it. There is an exception: if stewards think that a Pashto proposal violates basic WikiMedia Foundation principles, they may refuse. Billinghurst has said that the Pashto project is a *language project*, not an *ethnic community project.* That's his opinion, but it may also reflect broad opinion among the stewards.

Much of the discussion I've seen from Pashto users is ethnically based, Afghan-nationalist or Afghan partisan. My own opinion is that it is not the Afghan encyclopedia, as Wikipedia is not the American encyclopedia or the British encyclopedia. However, it's obvious that many Pashto readers will be highly interested in Afghanistan and Afghan issues! So the community will need to work this out.

Wikis *can* create standards for content, such as "vulgarity" or how sexually explicit topics are handled. Normally, local wikis have high freedom to make their own policies. That can include making policies that restrict local freedom! --Abd (talk) 15:24, 23 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

A complaint about a user[edit]

RE: Requests_for_comment/Support_collaboration_on_Pashto_Wikipedia/Requests[edit]

Alright, I understand now. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:28, 24 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks. This could actually be spectacular, you get that, right?
I suggested strong clerking long ago for enwiki ArbCom. They thought I was crazy. "We don't do things that way." So they get those train wrecks.
I used to do this in my user space. Case: users fighting with each other, heading for one or both being blocked. Invite them to work it out on a page in my user space, which, of course, by tradition, I can quasi-admin. It was amazing how well it worked.
Users at each other's throats started supporting each other. A professor and Randy from Boise! Consider it: the professor is an expert, and Randy is the average Joe. For whom is the encyclopedia written? For professors? No, for Randy from Boise! So the job of the professor is to provide sources and help Randy understand them, and the job of Randy is to represent the users, so that the article will effectively communicate to ordinary readers. When the professor does his job well, Randy understands. When Randy does his job well, the professor's writing becomes intelligible and effective.
Experts often want the articles to be "correct." Great. However, correct and unintelligible to ordinary readers -- as distinct from experts -- is not very useful. I could point to examples from enwiki history, but, in general, I don't want to name names.
Hah! When I was banned, the usual suspect MfD'd all those user pages as my ravings. Ah, those were the days! Some of the pages were saved, I don't think that professor/Randy mediation was.
Are we having fun yet, Michael? --Abd (talk) 15:51, 24 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

What are you doing?[edit]

There is no clerk system at meta at this point of time, especially not a self-appointed system. There exists admins for administrative decisions. When the local or global community wants one it will come from a respective consensus discussion.

RFCs exist for the purpose of discussion/comment not control or administration.

Wherever possible, community discussions belong at the community at the heart of the discussion, not meta.

Where small communities need external administrative assistance then it belongs at Steward requests/Miscellaneous until community/stewards/GS decide otherwise.

If you think that you have the skills, suitability and support to undertake the role of GS or steward, then put yourself forward.

Your approach - clumsy, self-informed, restricted view, self-held - is between not helpful and deeply problematic. I would advise you to keep out of the way. If you continue to contribute in a manner that is problematic then expect to see a discussion with your name on it.  — billinghurst sDrewth 02:39, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, Billinghurst. I have committed to clerking that RfC page, to support that community and culture -- which I know something about -- and will do so as long as permitted.
Would you mind pointing to a specific problematic contribution? I'd appreciate it.
If I am warned to stop, by an admin or steward, I will. I do not read the above as such a warning, it was not explicit. I read it as a highly judgmental criticism. I am not "in the way." If so, how? What am I preventing?
Traditionally, users were free to experiment with process. Nobody is forced to participate. If they are disruptive, there is procedure for handling it.
The page you mention (Miscellaneous) is for requests, and it is obviously not used for discussion or community comment, and my experience has been that community comment is often unwelcome on steward request pages.
If warned to stop, I would expect to be able to place a notice withdrawing my volunteer work on that RfC.
I am not looking for tools, it would be like a facilitator in a court carrying a gun. That's not what we do. You have those tools, and apparently you dislike any interference, i.e, community advice or participation. That's unfortunate. I understood the WMF structure differently than that. Good luck. --Abd (talk) 03:00, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Billinghurst: The section below indicates that progress is being made. Please don't discourage others from helping out. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:10, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Deleting Request and Info[edit]

  • PashtoLover used my internet and computer [we are members a community the Pashto society.] He now uses the official PC at are office, I do not.
  • My IP and Username are still blocked:
    File:Wikipedia - Pashto languange screenshot.png
  • I still possess the alternative username Adjutor102. I have not used it for anything other than to evade block on Pashto Wikipedia.
  • Now I am working on wikitionary to advance Pashto independently from the Pashto society due to personal differences with the head. Hence, I wish to take back my request

Adjutor101 (talk) 10:53, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks. The shared access at the office explains the "related" assessment. I would think that, given that PashtoLover was unblocked, your account could also be unblocked, and, as well, the IP. You could ask the steward for that.
You added a speedy deletion tag to the subpage. That contains comments from others, it should not be deleted. However, I have collapsed the content, and moved the request itself to a closed status.
As you can see above, I'm encountering some opposition for my work from a steward. If the community does not show support for that work, it's useless. Meanwhile, you could still volunteer as a Translator on the Translator subpage. You might then be asked to look at and translate Pashto, for the rest of us. We need multiple translators, if possible, because it's possible someone would accuse a translator of bias.
This is innovative process here. I've done this before, elsewhere, but stewards don't know that, and some seem to prefer to be in charge, having been elected to hold the tools they do. That is a bit like installing the police as a court of judgment. Sometimes, ad hoc, yes, that's a police function, but not when there is a serious dispute, they only keep order in a civil society.
I have been gratified to see the various Pashto users being relatively polite on the RfC page, and focusing mostly on the issues. It means to me that the Pashto community does have the ability to discuss and is likely to find consensus, given time and space and support. --Abd (talk) 14:46, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Iam still working in Pashto wikipedia despite unfair behaviour of Urdu teams[edit]

By the way sir Iam just an ordinary member of the pashto wikipedia and has no bad intention rather than correcting some urdu speakers like عثما شا and عثمان منصور انصاري who commit injustices just because to get approach the adminship. Iam totally against the ego and prejudice of anyone and therefore I respect the humanity as always. I just criticised عثما شاه on his submition to the Urdu works in pashto wikipedia and عثمان منصور انصاري is supporting his wrong doing as always but still I have not argued with him after I was released of blockage. I am working constantly on articles and I do not need any adminship or have no interest of bad words neither did I use anything to anyone, just mentioned that please try to correct the urdu or panjabi mistakes in the pashto context which is not suitable with the article. hope the stewards make them understand to work clean and neat in its pashto alphabets for the Afghan users and do not express their grudges collaboratively against me and pretending me as Khangul , iam not Khangul . with kind regards --Afghanwrites (talk) 17:25, 2 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

What has been brought up has nothing to do with what you write above. You appear to have voted twice in a bureaucrat election.
As to Khangul, do you understand why the question comes up that you are "related" to Khangul, such that some claim you are the same user? I don't think you are the same user, but, please, tell me why people might think so. --Abd (talk) 18:57, 2 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Dear ABD! sorry to interfere here, but its so sorry that i have found a huge contradictorily comments of respected Afghanwrites!

plz do not say that "no bad intention rather than correcting some urdu speakers like عثما شا and عثمان منصور انصار" then you says you ask for help, but we dont respond you "The people except Khangul no one trys to help me , I have asked for help but no one helped me in so long period , therefor I got angry on usman khan and usman mansour ansari that they do not help others but try to nominate themselves as Admin. " first you clain that you are a master to correct other wikipedians, then you ask the students of yours to help you, but unfortunately the did not!? though if you found any mistakes in my work either in Usman Khan's contribution, jsut point it to me, InSah Allah we will bring reform in our work. ask as if you could solve your problem, but i think it would be more enought to for our Ps wiki users to blame eachother anymore! plz return to wiki and instead blaming eachother, just start your contributions... if you pretend that im urdu speaker or i have come from Urdu wiki, fist of all, its not a sin to come from another sister wiki. we are afghans and we have the right to move in into ur or Farsi wikis, coz we most of the time we have the same culture, religion or same language. second: just go and count my contribution! you wond fine more that 10 edits in urdu wiki, same in farsi maybe abut 30 edits.

third: im not a native speaker of Baluchi language, but i do participate and help the baluchi incubator Project. so kindly i request you not to blame me anymore here in meta or there in pashto wiki. just do return and contribute as we and others do in ps wiki.

kind regards to all specially to Afghanwrites (Khangul bor) :)--عثمان منصور انصاري (talk) 20:47, 8 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for your advice[edit]

Abd thank you for your advice , Iam fully prepared to follow the rules but I have less information regarding the technical side of wikipedia. The people except Khangul no one trys to help me , I have asked for help but no one helped me in so long period , therefor I got angry on usman khan and usman mansour ansari that they do not help others but try to nominate themselves as Admin. there are other things as well but its not important now to reveal. anyway if I do sometimes mistakes hope to be mentioned before the complaint happens and block placed. I thank you for good evaluation and by this I hope you re-choose Khangul on his adminship and let him work as always , he never complaint and you can check his all directory he has never abused anyone yet , he just got angry on a new user who knew nothing but didnt listen to Khangul's friendly advice as well . then Usman Mansour took use of that opportunity. by the way you know better the situation , have good time and peace on earth is my voice.--Afghanwrites (talk) 00:18, 3 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

You are welcome, Afghanwrites. Thank you for your polite response.
It's not up to me about Khangul. I'm not a steward, and my role here is as an ordinary but experienced Wikimedian, to help users find agreement.
You will not agree on everything, but it's important that you start to agree on some things; if not, the Pashto wiki will be heavily damaged. I do think that Khangul made some mistakes, and, in fact, that's obvious. If not for a mistake, the admins on would not have been relieved of responsibility. That decision did not mean that Khangul was wrong, just that he made a mistake, his indef block of Uthman Mansur Ansari, who was another administrator. That's in the past. The future will not be found in the past. It will be found in possibilities that are developed now and on-going. Again, thanks.
So, advice: Don't edit while you are angry. Wait. Wikis grow gradually, and mistakes can be fixed, but they are best fixed by people who are calm, not upset. If you have made angry statements, blank them if nobody has responded, or strike them if there has been a response. It's even better if you apologize, if you can do so sincerely.
This is not about "truth." It is possible to be uncivil with truth. Suppose you have done something in the past that looks bad, suppose you actually did it. Bringing that up without a necessity is uncivil. al-a^maalu bi n-niyyah. Actions are (judged) by intention. If the intention is blame and humiliation, fitna, rather than creating peace and harmony and orderly society, it's uncivil.
And when we are angry, this is what we often do!
If you don't know how to use "strikeout", ask. You may ask me, or you may ask any experienced user. In fact, asking people you have disagreed with for help is one way to start cooperation. If they reject it, that's their problem, don't get upset, stay polite, and just ask someone else. fiy aymanullah. --Abd (talk) 15:13, 3 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Afghanwrites: Afghanwrites! I have told you and many other users on PsWp that If you need help you can ask me anytime. And Don't say that "No one help me". Once Again I am telling you that If you need any help you can ask me any time. Inshallah I will help you --UsmanKhan (talk) 17:58, 3 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, UsmanKhan. If someone disagrees with me, I will still help them to express themselves, because it is important that we all be able to communicate, or else we trip each other up.
It is obvious that if you have two groups of users working together, each putting in 100% effort, their work is efficient, it's 100% overall. If they are completely fighting with each other, they might be trying harder -- because they get angry -- but the result is 100% - 100%, or zero.
This is why we seek consensus, because it is efficient. Besides being nicer. You can have that zero result even from "majority rule," if the minority is sufficiently upset and not small. Even a small minority can make a big problem, so it's worth taking some time to try to find wide agreement if possible. It is often possible, it simply takes some patience.
Sometimes people won't agree no matter what. If one side says the sky is blue, the other side will say, no, wrong, it's black. So it doesn't always work. But usually it does. ma^a salaamaa--Abd (talk) 19:11, 3 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

An Urdu Wikipedian Obaid Raza blocked me without warning me and explaination[edit]

Dear Stewards .. Since the UrduWikipedians like Usman Khan (عثمان خان) , Obaid Raza , SeendGay , عثمان انصاري participated in the pashto wikipedia in order to deteriorate the progress of Pashto wikipedia , I then had to enter the Urdu page and inform them of their wrong doings . but as there are many people supporting their wrong doings and covering the issue for eachothers , they didnt listen to me and then they blocked me for ever without any information from Urdu Wikipedia . I understand urdu language better and have the degree in it and whenever I corrected any article they reverted it but i didnt complain, then they decided to through me out of urdu page so they blocked me . there are three people who are mostly involved they are Usman khan (عثمان خان) , Obaid Raza , Irfan . here is the result you can see. (blocked without warning ) I want you to unblock me so that I can also solve some of the wrongdoings and edit the urdu articles about the Afghan personalities. most of them have written the issues which relates to the personal interests especialy about the well-known personalities. please help here and follow them. kind regards --Afghanwrites (talk) 21:23, 2 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Afghanwrites, I'm not a steward or global sysop. I took a brief look at urdu Wikipedia and your record there. Yes, you were blocked without warning, but you used your user page as a campaign against certain users, it's simply not surpising that you would be blocked. Stewards are not going to interfere in the Urdu project. If you want to contribute there, you will have to find a way to work with that community.
You were accused of using more than one account. I know that there was checkuser evidence connecting you with Khangul, i.e., you could be using the same internet access. I don't think you are Khangul. However, that's a possible difficulty. Khangul is not blocked on (he was just blocked for two hours, a few days ago. Not a big issue.) Have you used more than one account on Or are you sharing a computer with someone with an account there? Was this other person warned or blocked?
So what are these about? [17] about? [18] --Abd (talk) 02:35, 3 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Latest misinformation from Englisc[edit]

Englisc is lying about how the conflict between me and him started. I wasn't motivated by my ban from RationalWiki. I defended Rome Viharo on a now defunct forum ( and Oliver attacked me in response. I then decided to delete the Encyclopedia Dramatica article Englisc had made on Rome Viharo. Englisc (under the username "Mark of Kri") then tried to trick people into believing that I accepted a bride. Afterwards, I restored and expanded an old ED article that Mikemikev and some of Englisc's EgyptSearch opponents had created on Englisc. When Englisc began attacking me, it become evident that Englisc's history as a liar and impersonator needed to be exposed, for the benefit of Englisc's victims.

Is anyone going to do something about Englisc? I'm unable to directly refute his falsehoods due to my block. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 04:37, 26 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Michael, there are several of us doing something about Englisc and that sock drawer. Right now, you are blocked until later today. Simply not a big deal. The sock family is routinely lying, but the lies actually help create a web, that makes them quite visible. Trust reality and, I know it's crazy, trust the community! Back off. You upset that admin, who didn't understand what was happening, and who simply reacted. His reactions may lead to community review of his behavior, it's certainly not the first time, but that is not an emergency. Nor is a single block of a single user an emergency, not when the user is someone with your experience. If you want power, Michael, develop gravitas, patience, and detachment. It will help you everywhere in your life, and your life is more important than these wikis.
There will be places where you can help. meatball:DefendEachOther. Ancient wisdom! It's an old lesson will worth considering and practicing.
Stick around, but also, until it is very clear what you are doing and you have support -- and, in fact, you are simply and cogently and coherently supporting someone else, STFU. --Abd (talk) 14:12, 26 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

I hope you enjoyed the bride. They can be nice! Meanwhile, it was not necessary to point out that Englisc was lying, because Lying Liars Lie, this was completely obvious. If they say the earth is turning, watch some shadows to make sure. Defending others, great. Defending yourself, this is a difficult reality for some to accept, but *it looks bad.* Read that meatball essay. I appreciate the history. I'm most interesting in reasonably conclusive evidence tying the recent disruption back to the oldest accounts. I don't know if I'll pursue this, if they continue creating socks, I may. They very much want me to stop. The way to keep me going is to continue the behavior. Otherwise I w:WP:DGAF. The world is full of injustice, "someone is wrong on the internet." I pick issues that will actually make a difference. --Abd (talk) 21:56, 26 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Lies, deception, and disruption[edit]

My talk page here and on Wikiversity has been attacked by the user I exposed, as documented at User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist. That is the name used on Wikipedia for the puppet master for a sock farm that is at least 200 accounts, and growing. This user raises claims about my activities that are false, but responding to those simply encourages more disruption, so for the most part, all I am doing when attacked is asking for admin assistance in addressing what are the edits of a blocked and globally locked user, who has impersonated and attacked many users, and this user has made me a target only because I defending the attacks, which were not just on the user but on the entire Wikiversity process, and, before that, on Wikipedia neutrality. There has been retaliation outside of the WMF. So far, I have not been real-life harassed, but this user has harassed others in real life, all the while as he accuses others of harassment. The same user, however, created an article on me on RationalWiki, and I have clear technical evidence of that socking.

I will respond to registered autoconfirmed users who are not attack SPAs, who might have questions about some of this LTA's claims.

I am not otherwise responding to these attacks, other than documenting them, and I do that because every incident provides more information. This user purports to be defending skeptics, but, in fact, in one case today, provided account information to me that, were I wanting to harass that person, would be valuable. I very much doubt that those he pretends to be defending approve of what he's doing, if they know.

There is a farrago of information about this user, much provided by him from various socks, but he lies so frequently that none of it is reliable. It has occurred that one of his socks has attacked another. This is a highly disruptive set of accounts, blocked under many names on more than one wiki. I have asked for my talk page to be semiprotected to avoid disruption, as it was before. The LTA study is semiprotected, and so is the Talk page attached. If any user (including the real person behind all or some of these socks) wants to communicate with me, my email is open here, on Wikiversity, and on Wikipedia, and the user knows how to create accounts, even beyond IP blocks. (And the user, if he has a legitimate complaint, can always ask another user to intervene.) If there are errors in those studies, and I'm sure there are a few, they are massive, I will investigate them and fix them as appropriate. In some cases, I may remove personal information, if present, on request, even if true, but there might be conditions on that. Any admin may hide inappropriate revelation of personal information, if that is accidentally done, but, of course, admins know that. This user has, by the way, copied so-called "outing" documents of mine to so that they cannot be hidden. He only uses claims of outing to attack those who defend themselves and others.

The study is in my user space for now, but an edited version, I plan, will be moved to meta mainspace under LTA studies. Recognizing the behavior of this puppet master could be of benefit to the wikis. Wikipedia has often not seen what was happening right in front of its face, and much damage has been done -- long before I became involved.

The basic pattern is SPAs created to attack, and now, IPs doing it. What is starting to happen, which is progress, is that some admins are refusing to follow up on requests from such SPAs, because it is clear that they are not there to improve the project, but only to attack enemies, making the project a battleground. See these edits, which lay it out. and The second edit shows that the first edit was a lie. The person was not stopping, simply creating more disruption by moving from one open proxy to another. The first edit was made as the user knew that the IP was going to be blocked, that's all. The .9 IP started editing the same minute as the .10 IP was blocked.

It is not necessary for those not interested to follow all this. It's enormously complex, a tissue of lies and libel and then outraged targets responding as normal human beings -- and often getting blocked for that, for many years. Disentangling it, becoming clear on what has actually happened, has taken me some months of research, many hours. I do not expect any WMF user to follow this unless they have a specific interest. Where I make admin requests, my goal is to keep them simple and clear. As an example, it is not necessary to understand the LTA to see that there is edit warring on this talk page and elsewhere, and to act to prevent it. It is not necessary to understand the LTA to block an open proxy. So far, stewards and meta administration have been excellent, if sometimes a bit slow. That's okay. A page being vandalized or trolled for a day or two is not a big problem. --Abd (talk) 16:10, 2 December 2017 (UTC)Reply


Hi, is it actually legitimate for someone to remove a much earlier earlier vote only to become one of the most recent voters? That guy did this and came up with a comment.[19] --Avoided (talk) 21:43, 18 January 2018 (UTC)Reply

Well, it's iffy. If there was no reply to the earlier comment, it is not clearly disruptive. I'll say that this is the least of your worries. Let that one go. --Abd (talk) 19:43, 19 January 2018 (UTC)Reply