User talk:Jimbo Wales

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Better to not leave messages for me here, because I don't always look at meta. Put them on en:User talk:Jimbo Wales

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Appeal of English Wikipedia ban[edit]

I sent you an e-mail regarding my ban from the English Wikipedia and am just leaving a message here to confirm if you have received the message and are examining my appeal. Since I know you are more active on there than here should any of your talk page watchers post it over there then I am fine with a response on the English Wikipedia. This situation has caused me a good deal of stress and so I would like some sort of word on whether this ban is being investigated.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:27, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

No offense, because I think the way you were banned shows why the Arbcom needs to be abolished, but Jimbo is not going to do anything. He never has and never will. Frankly, the WMF and or the communities should remove his ability to even be appealed because its nothing more than a waste of time. I hope he proves me wrong, I really do, but the fact is he just doesn't care what goes on in the projects anymore and he is afraid to go against the Arbcom and everyone, including the Arbcom, know it. Good luck though. My advice would be to just create a new account per Ignore all rules and keep editing. Reguyla (talk) 20:46, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Spot on Reguyla. If you're account is banned 7 years ago, now you're mature, you make a new account with only positive edits, is considered sockpuppetry. The definition of sockpuppetry is definently getting wider, to say the least. On an unrelated note; why has nobody in the WMF responded to the fact outing is allowed on Roman Wikipedia, and removing it from your own userpage and talk is vandalism? We need to create a force to help wikis that aren't English, including the Simple English Wikipedia. Just click this and it will all come true. 14:05, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Sure maturity is certainly one example. but more importantly the culture and system assumes that if someone was ever banned or blocked for any reason then from that point on until the end of time they cannot edit. It's also problematic that the same people who did the block are often the first people to deny the appeal. The corporate memory never forgets and that is one reason why edits are down, editors are down with more leaving every day, less people are joining the sites and stating, etc. Too many bad blocks being retained for too long for no reason other than out of spite. Outing is allowed on the English Wikipedia too. Its well known that one of the Arbitrators advocated getting me fired from my day job because I refused to stop editing when a couple people manipulated policy to get me banned by submitting ban requests every couple weeks until they got one to stick and now they continue to extraordinary lengths, even ignoring and violating the sites policies to keep me banned. That kind of manipulation and blatant violations of policy are exactly why I continue to actively advocate that Jimbo have his tools removed and why the WMF needs to start doing some oversight and checks and balances of the projects. To make sure that policy violations by the sites admins and functionaries are being dealt with. Because right now its the wild west and the admins and functionaries are just doing whatever they want with no oversight or accountability. The fact is Jimbo failed to do his job a long time ago and now he is completely helpless. So its time to find someone with a strong ethical commitment to the project, who isn't just trying to rub elbows with celebrities and meet women, who can do some oversight of the wiki's. Reguyla (talk) 16:00, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Sadly, today "best wiki admin" is defined by most famous one. Off of that, the WMF Board's job should be a pact of good, strong sysops and stewards such as Vituzzu and Tegel. 01:13, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree and its also problematic that content creators rarely become admins. It's usually the people who decide early on they want to be admins and start working in those areas and building up their career doing the stuff for deletion boards, working as Arbcom clerks, etc. That's not building an encyclopedia to me, that's building a bureaucracy and that's not something we need on the projects. We need more content editors, no politicians who are only interested in pushing their POV and feeling important. Reguyla (talk) 15:06, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
Speaking of bureaucracy, bureaucrats (the rank) seem to take over admins recently. We should also learn even regular editors with no edits such as this and this. Some accounts seem to be created with no edits and make up most of Wikipedia. I hope we can find out who made these. But otherwise, these are probably good editors without any activity. The first was created on August 26, 2014, and the second was created on September 3, 2010. Big time gap. There are some obsessive users, who tend to take thousands (sometimes a million even!) off of our time. We need to remember this is a collaborative encyclopedia, and not a fighting arena. As for below, IMHO someone needs legal action taken against. I know confidential information (an IP used by Jimbo, which nobody knows, and Grawp's IRL name, which every admin knows) that I probably shouldn't disclose, yet they are treated only as harshly as TDA is. 15:22, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
Unused accounts are made for a lot of reasons. Some by sockmasters, some by well meaning people who are considering editing or want it for a watchlist or related activities they can do without one. My guess though is that most of these, at least recently, are because of the global account process. So if someone creates an account in say Wikidata or Commons, then it also creates an account elsewhere to link to it. Especially if they click on a link and then get taken to that wiki. Reguyla (talk) 18:57, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
Back to the main, if the WMF doesn't take action I may disclose the IP address to a steward. But since the WMF would take lousy action if I disclosed Jimbo's IP, I'll just go ahead and let you (Reguyla) say your opinion about the legal topic. 19:34, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah until recently I got harassed by someone I wont name that likes to send out nasty emails who lives in the Chicago area. I found out who it was and called him at his mother's house. Problem solved, for now at least. Of course they are not the only one though. Reguyla (talk) 16:13, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't see this earlier @Reguyla:, but to explain my concern is not solely about my own ban. Presuming I was banned due to the report I sent the Committee, which is likely given the timing, then it is a matter of wider community interest. Certainly many people on Wikipedia and Wikipediocracy as well are not very fond of me, but even many of them would have a hard time supporting ArbCom's ban if it concerns what I think it concerns. Getting Jimbo to review my case is more about procedure to insure I have made every attempt to resolve this internally. Naturally, I hope Jimbo would review the situation fairly and come to the right decision, but if he doesn't then I can at least say I tried. Having some comment about whether he has reviewed it and made a decision would make it easier to proceed or not, presuming the review is favorable.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 09:27, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Back on; who's up for investigating the ban? I am. Arbcom got corrupt probably because the Audit Commitee fell. 14:05, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
For what its worth, there are those that aren't fond of me either. But on both your case and mine a lot of people recognize that the bans were not done the right way or for the right reasons but won't do anything about it. You may also be surprised to hear that most of what was said about you on Wikipediocracy with regards to the ban was in your favor. The Arbcom grossly overstepped their authority and virtually everyone, including them, recognize it. Unfortunately though it's unlikely that Jimbo or anyone else will will do anything because there is no oversight over the admins or arbitrators on ENWP and no one has the morale courage to do anything about them. Jimbo just doesn't have the projects interests at heart anymore IMO so he's probably a lost cause. I also tried to get him to review my case and instead of do the right thing he insulted me. So I for one frankly have no respect for him anymore and don't think he should even be allowed to be involved in the projects anymore. He was relieved of his duties at the WMF for a lack of morale character and I have seen nothing since to change my mind. It's time for the projects to let him go. Good luck though, I hope he does act in your favor and do the right thing for once. Reguyla (talk) 16:08, 21 February 201:::
From my findings of fact, and the fact Jimbo has failed to show any legal action against Grawp also, I will expose the IP (which he no longer uses but he used it once) and just hope the WMF doesn't let off a red siren. I think it was a good idea they made Miniapolis a clerk, but they rest aren't very good ideas. Maybe, instead of the Audit Subcommitee falling and Arbcom staying the same, it should be the other way around. 19:33, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Either way, I definitely want to know if he looked at what I sent him and whether he reached some decision about it. Should he be standing by ArbCom, then I would want to know before I consider anything else.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:27, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
Stay calm. The WMF has a high probability of banning all 3 of us. Especially because of the Jimbo IP thing. 12:38, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh, I'm just talking about using other internal procedures if this doesn't work out. As things stand I'm not allowed to appeal to ArbCom for six months and since it is clear from public comments that they are not going to back away from their decision, an appeal to Jimbo is the only method I have available within English Wikipedia's internal procedures. Seeking a community decision wouldn't be possible given the secrecy of the matter. Failing at the English Wikipedia level means I have to take this up to the general Wikimedia level in order to get some relief.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:05, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The Arbcom has never, as far as I know, ever unbanned someone at the minimum limit. Usually it's a minimum year and normally it requires multiple years. Personally I think you would be much better off doing a Meta RFC to the wider community. Arbcom can choose to hold their secret evidence ruling, but the entire community, including ENWP's will be able to comment here and there is little that the Arbcom can do about it. Meta offers a good, neutral location for all to discuss the issues and is much better than the environment of ENWP that the Arbcom controls. Especially because you cannot appeal there, Meta seems the logical place to do so. Reguyla (talk) 02:55, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Some sort of community process here is definitely something I was considering, but the problem with a straight appeal is that I only have a reasonable suspicion about what caused it and can't know if there were counter-claims or other claims used as a basis for the ban. Additionally, if it is what I think then I can't really explain all the details as it would involve outing the admin I reported and people would be less likely to support an appeal of the ban if they couldn't be sure of what I reported.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:46, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
I know 4 people abused by Arbcom: you 2, Abd, and Kevin Gorman. You 2 and Abd were hit with multiple blows that lead up to a ban caused by a community swayed by Arbcom, while Gorman was desysopped for little reason. And that's also not to mention Soap. I agree with Reaper Eternal that Gorman has been abused far beyond reason. 22:38, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
I wished I could only name 4, personally I think Arbcom has made more bad decisions than good ones and often times the decisions they make only make matters worse. Reguyla (talk) 02:59, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh, and OccultZone. Bbb23 should be an arb, not a bunch of people who want to push their POV on users and feel important. 16:12, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Also, if you want to be heard go on Meta, where there is no Arbcom over you, or deWP and frWP, where the Arbcom is less corrupt. Another issue is the rampaging POV pushing, battleground mentality, disruption, and baseless Arbcom rulings are treated well, while excessive content creating is overpunished. 17:22, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I strongly disagree. I have found Bbb23 to be an arrogant know it all who thinks they are never wrong and almost never reconsiders their decisions. He would not be a suitable arb IMO. We need more people like Worm that turned, Fluffernutter, Dennis Brown and 28bytes who review the problem and make an unbiased decision after doing their due diligence on the case. Not the current group of self servers that only want to be in a position of power to push their own POV. Reguyla (talk) 12:33, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Sorry: I've only dealt with 2 admins, Bbb23 and Ohnoitsjamie and I prefer the former. I can say these have also worked involving me and had minor contact:
  • Lor
  • Wgolf
  • Mark Arsten
  • MaxSem
  • Mudwater
  • INeverCry
  • Kelapstick
  • JamesBWatson
  • PhilKnight
  • Foxj
  • Ponyo
  • IagoQnsi
  • Vsmith
  • RHAWorth
  • Gogo Dodo
  • Discospinster
  • Huon
  • Rubbish computer
Also, who is Dennis Brown? I know nothing about him. I know almost nothing about 28bytes, and know small bits about WTT and Fluffernutter. 21:10, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

I have sent you two e-mails requesting a response to this thread or via e-mail to say whether or not you have received my appeal and are considering, or have considered, the appeal. At this point it has been over a month since I first e-mailed you my appeal and about a week-and-a-half since I last e-mailed you asking for a response. Would you please respond? Should you be still considering the appeal, have rejected it, or obviously if you have accepted it, I would want to know.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:58, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Noting for anyone on Wikipediocracy reading this, it is pretty clear that Jimbo is doing nothing about my situation or the circumstances of my ban. I e-mailed him nearly two months ago with two other e-mails sent in addition to this discussion on his Meta page and I have yet to receive so much as a response from him on the matter here or via e-mail. Whether the Village Pump discussion on Wikipedia will make any difference is something I am waiting to see before I do anything else.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 02:04, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

I also emailed him asked more generally to check his meta page once in a while but I don't expect a response either. My hope is when the global notification is implemented he will get a ping and come here and check it but probably not. Jimbo really doesn't care about these projects at all anymore and the only one he even comments on at all is the English Wikipedia. Even then he doesn't do anything useful. Frankly I think the only reason he comments there is to maintain a few edits so he doesn't get desysopped and keep enough support to keep his seat on the board. If it wasn't for that he wouldn't comment at all. He has no value on these projects anymore and hasn't for many years. Good luck.Reguyla (talk) 12:40, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
He's been on Meta since this thread started, specifically right around the same time there was back and forth in this thread. I can only assume that he has seen it, but he is just not doing anything.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 16:41, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
As I have said before. Jimbo lacks the desire, morale courage or political capital to do anything. He should have resigned his admin tools a long time ago and any mention of him being a recourse of review of any action should be removed with prejudice from any policies it's written. He has never and will never do anything that requires him to show some leadership. He was fired from his job at the WMF and should not be allowed anywhere near the projects. I hope he proves me wrong and contacts you but I think we both know he won't because he's too busy stroking his own ego and playing God king. Reguyla (talk) 19:00, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Reguyla, I think your comment above goes well beyond what is appropriate for a user talk page. I reverted, in the hopes that you would recognize this and temper your approach; but you have instead restored the comment. OK. You are factually wrong, Jimmy Wales was never fired from WMF; that is a rather preposterous assertion. But beyond that point, a user's absence from their talk page is not license to pile on escalating insults. User talk pages exist for discussion, not for ridicule. -Pete F (talk) 23:54, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

@Peteforsyth: Look again Pete. I didn't touch it. In fact if you bothered to read your talk page, which you clearly didn't do, you would see I told you exactly what you did and further explained the comment I left above. You reverted the ping I left, not the message, not my problem. But just FYI, it might be more appropriate next time to leave these types of comments on the users talk page instead of derailing other discussions with unnecessary off topic ranting. Aside from that, Jimbo's a big boy. If he can't handle a little criticism, then he should start participating more and respond to questions outside ENWP once in a while. Reguyla (talk) 00:03, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
You're correct about the edit history, sorry for getting that wrong. I still think your comment is over the top, and violates any reasonable standard for user talk pages. Being absence does not give others license to launch unmitigated insults. -Pete F (talk) 17:34, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I tell you what, when Jimbo apologizes for encouraging people to out me to my employer in an attempt to get me fired from my job for editing Wikipedia, then I will apologize for my comments. Deal? Because that sort of conduct is beyond low and shows his morale compass isn't pointing north. Reguyla (talk) 18:00, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Well, just though I'd point out that it has now been two months since I first e-mailed you and there has not been a single response. Not even so much as a courtesy reply to acknowledge receipt of any of my e-mails. Maybe you could consider weighing in with your opinions on this discussion? At the very least you should say what your position is on ArbCom's behavior. Something. Anything. Please.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:18, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Requesting comment again given past pledges[edit]

Now I am even more curious to get a comment from you on my ArbCom ban appeal. During another discussion about an unrelated case on the English Wikipedia someone linked to this old RfC. I know it was eight years ago, but your statement there in closing that RfC discussion was pretty absolute:

I think the important statement has been made: no secret trials, and no convictions without giving the opportunity to present a defense. That's just basic justice, and I will overturn any ArbCom decision to the contrary. (Although, I should point out, there is ZERO chance of the ArbCom doing this in the first place.)

That is a lot of emphatic insistence that not only are secret trials where the accused has no chance to present a defense verboten but that ArbCom would never do such a thing in the first place, and that you would overturn any ArbCom decision of that nature. It is pretty clear my case has been exactly that kind of trial. Only after my ban came down was I even aware that I was being considered for a ban and I have not yet been told what it is that supposedly led to my ban, making it essentially impossible for me to present a defense as I can only guess at the reasons.

Why then have you allowed this ArbCom decision to stand despite your previous pledge to overturn what you thought was never a possibility in the first place? Are you not getting my messages? Did you not see any of this discussion on the ArbCom mailing list when it was brought up? If you have adjusted your stance regarding this despite what ArbCom's own arbitration policy states then I think this warrants an explanation. This especially warrants a response as a community discussion related to my case has reaffirmed overwhelming opposition to this kind of proceeding.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:31, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

A Good Samaritan has copied your comment and pasted it on Jimbo's enwiki talk page. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 17:40, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
@Wbm1058: I'll let TDA make his own comments about how he feels but in regards to your comments on Jimbo's page, IMO your assessment isn't even close. What I find even more troubling is your comparing the situation to terrorism and to TDA as a terrorist. I can't speak for others but that is a pretty serious allegation and is way not appropriate. Reguyla (talk) 19:49, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
The comparison didn't strike me as being an insult, but rather expressing outrage that I am seemingly being treated worse than an alleged terrorist. No one has tried to waterboard me for information yet, though, so that is something.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:50, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough, glad to see Jimbo is at least looking into it yet. Maybe you will be that one in a million he helps out. Reguyla (talk) 00:40, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Here's hoping.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:00, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Addressing what has been stated, I did naturally suspect that my e-mail to the Committee is what precipitated my ban, but it is the context of that e-mail that makes it so unthinkable. What I sent to the Committee was not some sort of confession to serious wrongdoing nor an act of wrongdoing in itself. Rather I was reporting an admin's long-term undisclosed COI editing to the Committee, including more than instance where administrative privileges were used. I had been aware of this admin's COI editing for a while and warned the admin that if it continued I would take the matter to the Committee. Despite a period where that COI editing ceased, it eventually resumed and I asked this admin to just reverse the most recent violations. When that didn't happen and the misconduct still continued I offered the admin one last chance to disclose the COI, as required by policy, or I would report it to the Committee. The admin did nothing and so I reported it.

My only presumption, if they are truly basing their claims entirely on that situation, is that the Committee is arguing that somehow by trying to warn this admin against breaking COI policy I somehow "harassed" the admin. While I easily envisioned how someone might twist or distort the situation that way as it by necessity involves the person's real-life identity, I did presume I would at least have the chance to respond or that they would tell me. They did say they were discussing my e-mail, but I just believed that meant they were considering action against the admin I reported. It would have been easy to mention when acknowledging discussion of my e-mail that they were considering action against me, not the admin. Failing to do that in retrospect just seems like an attempt at convincing me that they took the evidence seriously when they were really planning to turn this around on me, basically offering false assurances so I would feel safe and not expect it.

So if you are wondering how I could possibly "not know" it is because despite generally being cynical and pessimistic about people in authority there are certain things I think are beyond them. Banning me as a "harasser" for trying to privately warn an admin against violating the COI policies and then reporting the admin when those warnings were disregarded while taking no action at all to prevent the admin from breaking COI policy again (and it did happen again after my ban) is one of those things. I also didn't know what discussions occurred so I had no way of knowing if other allegations of harassment were brought into this by members of the Committee on their own or by the admin I accused, or if they just cooked up some other claim of harassment. I don't think for one moment the Committee could get away with banning me in a public case over the situation I e-mailed them about and doing nothing about the person I reported.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:22, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

As someone who was banned in retaliation to criticizing admins I empathize with your situation. I knew it would happen again to someone else for similar reasons and have stated that repeatedly. I'm sorry it was you and I'm sorry Jimbo is such a wimp that he refuses to show any leadership and do the right thing yet again. People wonder why I continue to disregard myban on EnWP and edit using alternate accounts, this is precisely why. By simply taking abusive conduct by admins who are allowed to violate policy merely because they are admins, to me, is unthinkable. If the Arbcom is too corrupt to do anything and Jimbo and the WMF are too weak to do anything then all we can do as editors is to make sure that these measures are ineffective.
I know you are loath to do it, but my recommendation to you is to just edit anyway. Create another account and make positive edits. If the account gets blocked and the edits vandalized then repeat as many times as necessary. Do not let the Arbcom bully you out of Wikipedia to support another problematic admin and a corrupt culture where admins are above reproach and the sites policies. Cheers and good luck. Reguyla (talk) 22:16, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Nah, I have have never socked in all my time on the Internet and I don't intend to start now.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 08:41, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

As Jimbo has posted a more detailed explanation of what he thinks I did, I will just address this quote by quote:

The harassment was confessed to in extensive detail by the now-banned user, in an email to ArbCom. The idea that ArbCom didn't let him speak his side of the matter is simply not true - he spoke it in volumes. Printed out, it is 7 pages of wall-to-wall text detailing a campaign of harassment over an extended period of time (over a year)

Over the course of the e-mail to the Committee I mention contacting the admin three times, that is I had e-mailed the admin three whole times over the course of a year, and it is the only time I discuss my own conduct and that conduct as described by me would boil down to "I warned this person I knew about the misconduct and would report it if it continued yet the misconduct continued so I sent another warning, then another after it continued still, and then I came here because it wasn't working." That may amount to 10% of the e-mail. The vast majority of the e-mail consists of links to evidence against the admin and explanations of said evidence.

including detailed investigations into another users personal life

Seeing as this involved conflict of interest editing and proving that to the Committee required proving the editor's identity, I did match various personal details up with the admin's edits on Wikipedia. Every single personal detail can be discerned by reading the Wikipedia article under this admin's real name. Many professional details that proved this individual's identity and provided examples of COI editing were also gleaned from reading the admin's Wikipedia bio.

Half the e-mail concerns the specific subjects where the admin would eventually abuse administrative privileges despite having a conflict of interest, and it was in looking at those incidents that I first learned of the COI. Some of the professional friendships were confirmed by simply using public search functions checking the admin's real name against said individuals. Evidence I presented in the latter regard mostly concerned the edits made since my initial block in early October. Another instance prior to that came up incidentally when doing a basic search for anything said about Wikipedia under the admin's real name.

repeated threats to that user to out him

Nope. I certainly never claimed to have threatened such a thing in my e-mail to ArbCom. What I did say when talking to the admin is that disclosing a COI might result in people figuring out the admin's identity and I later said if ArbCom did take public action others might learn the admin's identity. After I reported the admin to ArbCom I did suggest, in my fourth total e-mail to the admin, that the admin prepare for the possibility that public action results in others realizing the admin's identity, but I expressly said I would not reveal anything I know. Claiming I threatened to out this admin is not supported by any e-mail I sent to the Committee or to the admin. This seems to be a misconstruing of my words.

"opposition research"

This one is funny to me, though unfortunately most of the people paying attention to this aren't in on the joke. Obviously, this is attempting to invoke the idea of opposition research as outlined in the harassment policy, however here are some key quotes from that policy:

Nothing in this policy prohibits the emailing of personal information about editors to individual administrators, functionaries, or arbitrators, or to the Wikimedia Foundation, when doing so is necessary to report violations of confidentiality-sensitive policies (such as conflict-of-interest or paid editing, harassment, or violations of the child-protection policy).
However, there is an endemic problem on Wikipedia of giving "harassment" a much broader and inaccurate meaning which encompasses, in some cases, merely editing the same page as another user. Therefore, it must be emphasized that one editor warning another for disruption or incivility is not harassment if the claims are presented civilly, made in good faith, and in an attempt to resolve a dispute instead of escalating one.

Neither is tracking a user's contributions for policy violations (see above); the contribution logs exist for editorial and behavioral oversight. Editors do not own their edits, or any other article content, and any other editor has a right to track their editing patterns, and, if necessary, to revert their edits.

Here is a relevant passage from the COI policy:

When investigating COI editing, the policy against harassment takes precedence. It requires that Wikipedians not reveal the identity of editors against their wishes. Instead, examine editors' behavior and refer if necessary to Wikipedia:Checkuser.

Any suggestion that I violated the policy on opposition research would have to square with the fact that both policies expressly say it does not apply to investigating COI editing and that warnings about policy violations are fine as well as tracking an editor's contributions for policy violations. With COI cases, determining whether a policy violation has occurred necessitates cross-checking with information about the editor's life outside Wikipedia. Nothing I did goes against these policies.

For those saying I knew, might I remind you it is my mind we are talking about here and none of you are an authority on it. A distinction exists between knowing and suspecting. What I made clear from the beginning is that I had a suspicion about what prompted it given the timing, but that I didn't know if that was the totality of their claim, if it was several things in addition to that, or if there was some completely separate thing they were claiming as harassment. I rather plainly couldn't know what they were talking about since the only comment I received from them was a notification from GorillaWarfare that my e-mail, i.e. my detailed report of serious admin misconduct, was being discussed. The evidence I submitted in that report would be enough to get any admin desysopped. Any suggestion that my first thought should be "I'm going to get banned for being a bad naughty robot" rather than "Thank goodness, they are taking it seriously as I believed they would given the evidence" is silly.

All indications are that they made a point of withholding the fact that a ban was being discussed, withholding their belief that I had engaged in harassment, and withholding what it concerned. Mind you, I directly asked in my first e-mail following the ban what it was they were claiming I did, if it was about that e-mail, but there was no response. Not only that their initial ban announcement plainly stated I was harassing editors plural, which would certainly not be the case if it were solely in relation to my e-mail, another point I noted at the time. What is worse is that one of the recused Arbs insinuated I had been allowed to say something in my defense, when the truth is I didn't know I needed to do anything in my defense as I wasn't aware I was on trial. The same Arb later blocked my e-mail access on Wikipedia despite having recused on the ban.

Just so we are clear regarding the warning remedy as you and others think this is some sort of out for the Committee, Tarc had one with identical wording from the same case and he too was banned, but he had a chance to discuss it with the Arbs beforehand. He was not caught by surprise at the turn of the New Year with claims of him harassing editors plural after submitting a report to the Committee about serious long-term misconduct by an admin.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 08:41, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for the well written explanation TDA. This should clarify to anyone who takes the time to read it (including @Jimbo:) that it is in fact possible to discuss emails and correspondence containing private information in an open forum without needing secret offline trials.
You did an excellent job of summarizing the situation without releasing any personal information. This again brings up my previous concerns that the Arbcom is not functioning in a net positive manner. They are manipulating their procedures and the way the committee operates to best serve their own interests and that Jimbo and the WMF are complacent and negligent in their interactions and dealings with this problematic committee. The statements that Jimbo has released obviously grossly mischaracterizes the situation. Jimbo and the Arbcom are merely targeting the non admin editor to distract away from the bigger problem of a problematic admin using their position abusively. Jimbo should be ashamed of himself. The community is understandably outraged by this obviously abusive tactic by the Arbcom. Reguyla (talk) 15:22, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

The Emails[edit]

ArbCom and Jimbo seem absolutely confident if everyone saw these e-mails that they would fully support my ban. I am not going to release them in totality since that would mean revealing information I have pledged to keep private. However, I can think of no reason why people can't see redacted versions of these e-mails to get a sense of what was being said so they may judge for themselves. First off is the very first e-mail I sent back in August 2014.

I just noticed your [redacted action] back in [redacted time] and, while I sympathize with your reasoning, it was inappropriate for you to be the one [redacted action]. As a personal friend and colleague of [redacted name] any edits you make regarding him are subject to the policy on conflicts of interest. Using your administrative privileges to [redacted action] that he had [redacted action] is egregious, especially given how you avoided disclosing your close personal ties to [redacted name] and your history in [redacted action] over the objections of other editors and admins.

For now there appears to be no [redacted consequence], so I am not going to ask to have the [redacted action] reviewed on the basis of your COI. However, given your demonstrated partiality on various matters where you have a conflict of interest I will ask that you refrain from taking any actions on such matters unless you publicly disclose your conflict of interest. That does not require disclosure of your identity, though it may inadvertently lead to it being revealed.

Just so you are aware, I can convincingly prove your conflict of interest due to research I did [redacted reasons for research]. To wit, I know you are [redacted name]. So, if I see you engage in inappropriate COI activity in the future, especially if it should involve the use of your administrative tools, I will promptly inform the Arbitration Committee of your COI activities and request a review of your conduct as an editor and an administrator.

You seem to generally do good work on Wikipedia, even if [redacted details], so I hope you agree to abide by policy from this point forward. Take care.

Over a year later, after COI editing resumed I sent this e-mail:

I sent you an e-mail in late August of last year regarding a conflict of interest you have on [redacted topic]. At the time I requested that you refrain from editing articles where you had a conflict of interest unless you publicly disclosed that conflict of interest. Given that you had used your administrative privileges on matters where you had a conflict of interest I also mentioned that I would raise this matter with ArbCom if you continued to edit articles where you had a conflict of interest, especially if it involved use of your admin tools. You never acknowledge receipt of e-mail to promise to comply with my request, but from monitoring your activity it does appear that you have until recently complied all the same.

Unfortunately, this [redacted action] was not appropriate:

[redacted evidence]

Your claim of unsourced information would appear to apply only to two claims that could have easily been removed without a blanket revert. One was the statement that [redacted details] and the other claim was that [redacted details]. Had you just removed those claims, I would consider that acceptable. I would even be understanding if you had [redacted details] as that is a milder BLP issue. However, you appear to have used those issues as a pretext to restore your own unsourced promotional wording and remove relevant sourced material regarding [redacted details].

Given that there were legitimate BLP concerns with some of the changes, I am going to ask that you just restore those other changes as they were not BLP violations. Obviously, if there are typos I am not going to ask that you restore those parts of the edit unaltered, but otherwise only make edits to the restored version that address a BLP issue and go no further than necessary in addressing it. Should you wish to retain any of your unsourced material that had been removed in that version, it should be backed by a reliable secondary source.

Here is the e-mail I sent a couple months later when the admin continued violating the COI policy:

Two months ago, I requested that you reverse several actions you made on [redacted details] due to you having a conflict of interest on the matter. Not only did not do that, even if someone else did, you have since made several edits to other articles where you have a conflict of interest. That includes edits to your friend [redacted name]'s article, editing the article for [redacted name] to link to the article you created on your friend, and editing the article [redacted name] in a manner that violates BLPCRIME when [redacted details] as part of some personal crusade. All of these actions go against my request that you avoid editing matters where you have a conflict of interest as [redacted name].

Since I presume you are reading my e-mails, this can only mean you do not want to abide by the conflict of interest policy and other policies. Given your prior use of admin tools on matters where you have a conflict of interest, that also means there is a risk of future admin abuse. At this point, I have no confidence that polite requests will suffice, so I will have to be more drastic and immediate. Disclose that you have a conflict of interest regarding all the articles I mention earlier in this e-mail, the [redacted name] article given your [redacted action], and the [redacted name] given your history, by the end of this week. Should you refuse and not publicly acknowledge your conflict of interest editing, I will report you to ArbCom at the beginning of next week.

I am sincerely disappointed that you could not bring yourself to respect Wikipedia's policies even after I warned you I would take it to ArbCom. Either way this turns out it will likely cause you some public embarrassment on Wikipedia at least, but I hope you choose the least contentious option and disclose your misconduct. Bringing in the Arbitration Committee will only make things even worse for you and draw more prying eyes to the situation.

Here now is the e-mail I sent to ArbCom:

For [redacted time] I have been aware that [redacted name]. I will detail the evidence below, but the key issue here is that [redacted gender] has on numerous occasions edited matters where [redacted gender] has a conflict of interest. That includes instances where [redacted name] has used [redacted gender] admin tools. Since [redacted gender] actions and the evidence involves a lot of personal information, it cannot be handled in any public case.

First of those actions regards [redacted name], which [redacted name] created and which [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

After [redacted details], [redacted name] [redacted action]:

[redacted evidence]

Not only was [redacted gender] involved as the article's creator, [redacted name] has been directly involved [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

This is most clearly reflected in [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has made other edits to [redacted name] linking to [redacted gender] and [redacted action]:

[redacted evidence]

Making matters worse, [redacted name] went to [redacted name]'s biography to [redacted details] in the article:

[redacted evidence]

This was, mind you, before [redacted details].

Another where [redacted name] has breached COI and used [redacted gender] tools while involved is with regards to [redacted name]. [redacted name] is a close personal friend of [redacted name] and created the article on him:

[redacted evidence]

One [redacted details] noted that [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] [redacted action], presumably [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] added or restored [redacted details] being made by sock-puppets, possibly of [redacted name] and edit-warred with [redacted details] over the issue:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] was actually nominated for adminship by [redacted name] who appears to [redacted details], possibly meaning [redacted name] was another of [redacted name]'s socks:

[redacted evidence]

Some time later [redacted name] [redacted action] while stating [redacted gender] is not [redacted name] or affiliated with [redacted details], avoiding mention of [redacted gender] personal connection or [redacted gender] previous edit-warring to [redacted action] again being both involved editorially and having a personal conflict of interest:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted details] subject to admin conduct policies.

Though I had been aware of [redacted name]'s identity and [redacted gender] actions regarding the [redacted name] article for [redacted time], the [redacted action] prompted me to contact [redacted gender]. I informed [redacted gender] that I knew of [redacted gender] identity and of [redacted gender] conflict of interest editing combined with abuse of admin tools, but said I would not report [redacted gender] to ArbCom so long as [redacted gender] engaged in no further COI editing or disclosed [redacted gender] conflict of interest.

[redacted gender] never responded back to me, but for over a year [redacted gender] appeared to be heeding my request by not editing articles where [redacted gender] had a conflict of interest. Unfortunately, after 5 albert square extended HJ Mitchell's one-month block by three months in early October, [redacted name] resumed [redacted gender] COI editing. Initially, it was just a single edit to the [redacted name] article:

[redacted evidence]

Some of the edits were legitimate BLP issues, but [redacted gender] also restored unsourced promotional wording from [redacted gender] preferred version. I asked [redacted gender] via e-mail to restore the changes that did not violate BLP, but [redacted gender] failed to comply with my request. [redacted gender] even went further and made a series of edits about [redacted name] that same month. [redacted name] is one of [redacted gender] friends in [redacted group]:

[redacted evidence]

For the record, the second archive link above is of [redacted details]. That archive was from [redacted details], but [redacted gender] has since changed it on the sly to downplay the description of [redacted gender] relationship with [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

Earlier this month [redacted name] edited the article on [redacted name], another of [redacted gender] friends, to link to the article [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] had also created the article on [redacted name] after [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] continued editing [redacted name]'s page after they became friends

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has also [redacted details], who has been accused of [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

On [redacted time] [redacted name] made the following series of edits to [redacted name]'s article:

[redacted evidence]

In the above edits, [redacted name] refers to [redacted details] and states [redacted details]. An edit to the body of the article, third in the diffs above, shows [redacted name] mentioning [redacted details], which means [redacted details]. [redacted name] also notes in that same edit that [redacted name] has contested [redacted details].

Another edit mentions [redacted name] being [redacted details] despite being [redacted details] for [redacted details], but removes mention of [redacted details]. The cited source, which [redacted name] also removes, notes that [redacted details]. More information removed by [redacted name] in that edit states [redacted details] and that is also noted in the source. After [redacted name]'s changes, there is no mention that [redacted details].

These edits seem to go directly against BLPCRIME and from [redacted name]'s [redacted details] on the case, it appears [redacted gender] is pushing a personal vendetta regarding it. Whatever the truth of [redacted name]'s case, this kind of malicious editing is completely inappropriate for an admin. After seeing these edits, I sent [redacted name] another e-mail mentioning the edits [redacted gender] had made to the [redacted name] article, the article of [redacted name], and the article on [redacted name]. I told [redacted gender] if [redacted gender] didn't disclose [redacted gender] conflict of interest activities, that I would report [redacted gender] to the Committee the next week.

That was a week ago today. Since then [redacted gender] editing seems to be geared towards [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted gender] changes to [redacted details] mentioning [redacted name] on [redacted gender] site seem to have happened after I e-mailed [redacted gender] about it, so I can only conclude that [redacted gender] had read my e-mails despite never responding to them directly and is now trying to conceal evidence for the extent of [redacted gender] misconduct. There is no indication that [redacted gender] is planning to disclose [redacted gender] COI and as [redacted gender] appears to have taken advantage of my long block to get away with more COI editing, reporting to ArbCom seems to be the only guarantee I have that [redacted gender] will not commit further violations of policy.

While I think the above evidence should be enough to indicate that [redacted gender] [redacted name] I will provide some additional evidence to help you confirm it.

The second article [redacted name] created was [redacted details] [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] [redacted details] and has [redacted details] about [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] went to [redacted details] and lived in [redacted details]. One of the first edits of [redacted name] was to the article on [redacted details] and [redacted gender] has made edits to [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] [redacted details] and [redacted name] was highly active on matters concerning articles about it:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] [redacted details] has been [redacted details]. [redacted name] has edited all of them, actually creating the article on [redacted details], mentioning [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] was [redacted details] and only edits [redacted name] ever made to said article were to [redacted details] and later source [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] [redacted details] and edited the article:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] [redacted details] with [redacted name] and [redacted name] significantly edited both articles:

[redacted evidence]

One of the most damning pieces of evidence is that [redacted name] created an article on [redacted name] and [redacted name] announces the article’s existence on [redacted details] the same day:

[redacted evidence]

Given [redacted name]'s propensity for using [redacted gender] admin tools on matters where [redacted gender] is not only involved, but has an outside conflict of interest, I feel there needs to be harsh action. The reactions [redacted gender] had in the past few months suggest nothing short of official action will dissuade [redacted gender] from continuing to violate policy and abusing [redacted gender] position as an admin.

The last e-mail I sent regarding the admin before my ban was to notify the admin that I submitted the above report:

Regrettably, since it seems you have no interest in heeding my request, I have done as promised and notified ArbCom of your activities. Given the evidence I have provided of your misconduct I imagine they will be taking very harsh action. Were you to publicly come clean about your conflict of interest editing and resign your admin tools under a cloud before they do anything, there may be a chance for you to avoid a more serious response from ArbCom. That said, you should prepare yourself for the possibility of greater public exposure. I have no intention of revealing anything I know and ArbCom presumably won't either, but any public action by the Committee is likely to prompt others to investigate. It will not be hard for people to realize who you are and why action was taken.

Here is the sole message I received from any Arbitrator in response to my e-mail:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your message, the contents of which have been circulated to the committee for consideration.

If we believe further information from you would be helpful, we will be in touch.

You *MUST* please ensure that is in the "to" or "cc" field of any reply you make to this message; messages sent only to me or another individual arbitrator may not be read.

– [we all know her real name and she has freely disclosed it, but I'm redacting it anyway so no one can get all pedantic about it](GorillaWarfare)

For those wondering, here is the e-mail I sent pretty much immediately after the ban came down:

I demand a serious explanation immediately for the cause of this accusation that I am harassing editors. At no point was I informed of any discussion about banning me or any accusations of harassment. The only conclusion I am forced to reach is that this concerns my e-mail regarding [redacted name]. Warning an admin against abuse of [redacted gender] position and then informing to the proper authorities on Wikipedia about this abuse when it continues unabated is not harassment in any way, shape, or form. You are committing acts of libel against me if you are basing your decision on my communications with [redacted name] and the Committee. Please clarify exactly what informs your decision and why you felt I didn't need to be informed beforehand.

Just for full disclosure, here is another e-mail I sent to the admin after my ban through another Wikimedia site's e-mail function due to the fact I was interviewed by Allum Bokhari at Breitbart about the ban:

Just thought you should know that a reporter at Breitbart has spoken to me about my ban. As I have every reason to believe the ban was motivated by my report to the Committee about you, I described the details of that report to him, but I did not mention your real name or username. None of the details I have disclosed would be specific enough to identify you either on Wikipedia or in real life. Until ArbCom decided to ban me rather than acting on my report about you, I had no intention of discussing this with anyone else, but in order to clear my name from false harassment claims I have little choice but to reveal some of the details. This message is just to inform you of the likelihood that this situation will be mentioned in the press and assure you that I have not revealed you were the editor I reported or your real name. Were I to reveal that information I would make sure it was kept off-the-record and not revealed publicly, but unless that information is requested on condition of publication I will not even do that.

Here also is a subsequent e-mail I sent to ArbCom after the admin violated the COI policy again:

I recognize that ArbCom seems to have declined any public action against [redacted name] after the report I submitted in December, but apparently opted instead to ban me with a claim of "harassment" that has not yet been explained to me. That said, I can only presume that even if the Committee thought that I did something so horrendous it merited an unprecedentedly secretive ban, they would have at least understood the evidence I presented against [redacted name] was solid and at a bare minimum given [redacted gender] some kind of warning not to engage in further misconduct.

Unfortunately, it would seem any warnings [redacted gender] may have been given were not enough as I see [redacted gender] has made this edit:

[redacted evidence]

This edit is being used to promote [redacted gender] friend [redacted name], who was mentioned in my earlier report, and also [redacted name]. In the case of the latter I only previously mentioned [redacted name]'s role in creating an article about [redacted name] and announcing it [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Later on I found that this appeared to be yet another case of [redacted gender] writing about one of [redacted gender] friends:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] also has promoted [redacted name] on [redacted details] as part of some [redacted details]:

[redacted name]

While I don't understand quite why many of you on the Committee would think I needed to be banned for reporting [redacted gender] misconduct or trying to keep [redacted gender] from continuing that misconduct by warning I would report said misconduct, as I am left to presume is what occurred as you have provided me zero reason to believe otherwise and the timing was certainly indicative enough on its own, I would think that you have at least recognized [redacted gender] should cease such activity and suggested [redacted gender] stop. As such, this seems to be [redacted gender] way of testing if you will notice and is not all too dissimilar from what [redacted gender] started doing after I was blocked for three months by 5 albert square.

There is no reason to believe any warning will suffice as I said when I first reported [redacted gender] misconduct to the Committee. Failure to act is likely to only result in further breaches as [redacted gender] seems intent on using Wikipedia as free advertising for [redacted gender] friends and colleagues or as an outlet for attacking [redacted gender] enemies. Since [redacted gender] has previously abused [redacted gender] admin privileges on issues where [redacted gender] has a COI, there is plenty of reason for ArbCom to do more than just give [redacted gender] some quiet warning and hope that will be enough because [redacted gender] is signaling that such actions will not stop [redacted gender] from repeatedly violating policy since [redacted gender] seems to just want to bide [redacted gender] time until [redacted gender] believes no one is watching.

So there you have it, as many of the sordid details that I feel can be disclosed without directly or indirectly identifying who it is I reported to the Committee. People can judge for themselves whether they think this was some sort of malicious harassment campaign or a sincere attempt at preventing someone from persistently violating site policies. At this point I think one can fairly say that claims I "threatened to out" anyone are mistakes, possibly even willful lies.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 09:32, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Response to the Emails posted[edit]

Thank you for posting that. Again, well done on your ability to redact the personal details and still provide enough context to shed light on the situation. I expect the Arbcom or someone to oversight this to protect the Arbcom's abusive conduct in this case and Jimbo's biased incompetence but I made screenshots so it will still exist. They will make every effort to hide the truth to protect their abusive conduct and incompetence in your case I am sure. Cheers! Reguyla (talk) 11:06, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
What is funny are all the arguments that the report to ArbCom was fine, but not the warnings beforehand. It is an argument that screams "know your place peasant" since no one would bat an eye if these kinds of messages were sent by an admin or Arbitrator. Basically, I'm being faulted for not acting deferential to authority by snitching at the first opportunity, but instead trying to give the admin an opportunity to avoid sanctions. How horrible I must be to allow someone a chance to get off scot-free so long as that person stops breaking the rules.
That said, the insistence that my claims were "baseless" is a sign that even they feel it is harder to argue for a ban if I were correct. Hard to believe they can describe them as baseless given past precedent in ArbCom cases would have made the evidence I provided sufficient. Any time I am this certain about something any attempt at casting doubt on my claims usually causes me to just dig deeper and find even more evidence. Perhaps my next e-mail with evidence I just found will be enough to convince them.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:58, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Well if history shows us anything it's that the Arbcom wouldn't have done anything to the admin anyway. I also hope everyone see's Drmies trolling comments and ad hominem personal attacks and that he hasn't yet made a reasonable comment about the situation nor has the Arbcom commented yet to tell you why you were banned. Personally, I don't think they want anyone to know because they know the reason is unjustifiable. Reguyla (talk) 20:13, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Sorry to interrupt y'all's tete-a-tete. TDA, I know about your complaint, I have looked into it, and there is nothing to it--nothing whatsoever. The admin did not have a COI, their edits were not INVOLVED--as a matter of fact, it seems that the subject strongly disagreed with the admin's edits that you think were so friendly to the subject. Finally, BLPCRIME is not applicable here. That's all, folks. Drmies (talk) 19:39, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Drmies, if you have comments to make please make them and stop trolling. Your provocative comments aren't helpful. I also read through the comments above and although there are details missing I can see a pretty clear argument for COI. Even still, if it was decided it wasn't that's ok too. But there was no need to ban TDA for notifying the Arbcom of the potential for COI unless you are just looking for an excuse to get another editor off the project. Is that the case here? He emailed the arbcom in private and after notifying the user via email. What this shows everyone is if there is a problem with an admins conduct do not email it to the Arbcom. Formulate a case, in public, so everyone can see it and then let the chips fall where they may. The fact that the Arbcom has not told TDA what the harassment was or clarified why they were banned only shows me and everyone that the Arbcom really doesn't have any justification. Because giving a clear and concise reason for a ban would require the arbcom to say why it was done and that is not something they are capable of or want to do in this case. Reguyla (talk) 19:45, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I sincerely doubt you should take anything Drmies says with credibility. Even if one believed there was no COI the involvement issue is not even contingent on a COI, but only magnified as an issue by it. The WP:INVOLVED aspect is textbook and would be independently valid regardless of any outside conflict of interest. However, I see no reason to believe that the COI claim is invalid. Not many explanations exist that could make sense of the evidence without the subject and the admin being the same person. Said explanations are more outlandish and, ultimately, would have little difference in effect or may even be worse.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:39, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't. I know he's just trolling. Reguyla (talk) 22:54, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
One thing I have noticed about Drmies is that he tends to be an enabler to his fellow admins. I could understand if his position on this case were simply that the evidence wasn't strong enough to indicate the admin was the person I identified, despite thinking he is wrong, but any claim that my argument involved an overly broad interpretation of COI or WP:INVOLVED is just ridiculous and he has to know it is ridiculous.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:25, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
You may diss Drmies, but at least he isn't lying on that page about completely unrelated events without any provocation whatsoever so as to DARVO one of his harassment victims. Not to say Drmies has harassment victims, merely that the other person does.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 06:57, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
I completely agree he is an enabler, he isn't the only one. Really there aren't that many problematic admins on EnWP. The problem I have is that nothing is done about them and others like Drmies make foolish attempts to justify the bad behavior of them including retaliating against the victims to protect those admins.
Sorry I'm confused on that last comment. Which page? Are you stating I am lying about some unrelated event? I'm not sure if that was directed at me or someone else. Reguyla (talk) 14:29, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
I am talking about someone on the other Jiimbo talk page.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 14:35, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Ah ok, thanks for the clarification. It's not uncommon for people on EnWP, including arbs and Jimbo himself to lie to get their way. Its part of the culture at this point because people like Jimbo and the WMF refuse to do anything about it, especially when it involves one of their special snowflake admins/functionaries/arbs. The admins of EnWP are delicate creatures and must be protected. Reguyla (talk) 16:09, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
This person isn't really defending ArbCom and was actually criticizing them, but he is also someone with a long-standing grudge against me over something completely unrelated to all of this. He has no problem with me being banned, but not because he gives a lick about harassment or has any strict ideas about what it entails. He wants me to stay banned because he just wants me to hurt.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 16:53, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

To Kyohyi on WikiInAction, the relevant part of the harassment policy you are citing was added by me. It was not intended in any way to refer to a person making allegations and then being proved wrong. So long as the person raising complaints has reasonable evidence of policy violations, especially if they are serious policy violations, then it isn't hounding. As someone who has been subjected to frivolous abuse of dispute resolution mechanisms and seen it directed towards others, I would not raise complaints about a user if I did not have strong reason to believe it was true and evidence to back it up. What I would also mention is this part of the policy concerning what qualifies as a threat: "Statements of intent to properly use normal Wikipedia processes, such as dispute resolution, are not threats." Currently, given the evidence I had presented to ArbCom and evidence I uncovered during this discussion that has also been sent to ArbCom, I have little doubt that I am correct regardless.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 17:32, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

TDA, it appears to me that you may also be banned on Wikipediocracy as well. If so, do you know why, and do you care to explain that? Thanks, Wbm1058 (talk) 23:59, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

For what it's worth several of us on WPO have asked that he be unbanned there. So I suspect if he requests it, they will let him back in. Reguyla (talk) 00:26, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
As I understand it an admin requested I be unbanned after my ban from Wikipedia, but the three out of five trustees who voted to ban me apparently remained solid in their opposition to my return since I'm still banned. Doubtful that an unban would proceed now and I don't particularly care at this point. Only reason I would even want to be back is to access the members-only section for informational purposes.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:55, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
So it's hard to assess this, I think because the crux of the issue seems to lie in the [redacted evidence]. The consensus of ArbCom seems to be that the charges you are leveling there are without merit, and because they are groundless, they constitute harassment. That's why they are thankful you are withholding that evidence, as revealing it would take what, so far has only been private harassment, and make it public harassment. I think the real-world US legal system deals with this via grand juries. "Grand juries perform both accusatory and investigatory functions. The investigatory functions of the grand jury include obtaining and reviewing documents and other evidence and hearing the sworn testimony of witnesses that appear before it. The grand jury's accusatory function is to determine whether or not there is probable cause to believe that one or more persons committed a certain offence within the venue of the district court." In our wiki-world ArbCom performs this function because we haven't created a separate body to do that. Grand juries operate in private. Only after a grand jury brings a case does a public trial begin. My guess is that this COI issue you are exposing isn't one where there is a big financial interest involved. It is more COI related to POV editing by someone who doesn't stand to make a financial gain from their editing. This seems a more grey area, where there may be less agreement over where to draw the line between what's acceptable and what's not. Your WPO-ban isn't helping the optics of your case. Wbm1058 (talk) 12:38, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
The crux of the issue is the English Wikipedia Arbcom finding any reason to fault the submitter and protect the admin. Had an editor been accused of half of this they would have been blocked. But because its an admin we are talking about, the EnWP arbcom will go far out of their way to ensure that admin is protected. Since TDA has been a critic of the Arbcom and case decisions in the past, this was a good opportunity for them to silence another critic. It also doesn't matter if there is financial gain, there is a clear COI involved and needs to be addressed. What's worse is that I have figured out who this is (through a lot of digging through edit summaries and other stuff) and I anticipate this admin will get identified in the fairly neat future and the result will be them getting desysopped at the least. That is, in turn, going to make the Arbcom look extremely stupid and petty. You put too much faith and trust in the Arbcom, some of us have more experience with their conduct. Reguyla (talk) 13:38, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
I would note one thing I have consistently offered up to exclude any suspected individuals. The admin I reported is not a current or former member of ArbCom, nor was the admin involved in the GamerGate dispute on Wikipedia. Should the admin that you suspect of being the one I reported be either of those things then it is not the admin I reported. If the admin you suspect is neither of those things, then I will not confirm or deny anything.
As to Wbm's statement about my WO ban, it was a rather petty response from an admin because he didn't like me correcting him. It is sort of connected in a way as if I hadn't been banned from there, I would have just raised my issues with an admin nomination on WO rather than on my talk page, which an admin who had made an abusive and rapidly-reversed block against me in the past used as an excuse to add another three months to my block. Had it not been for that then the admin I reported might not have seized the opportunity to get away with more COI editing.
Further in response to Wbm, there is some potential financial gain for the admin involved in some of the edits I raised, though I didn't mention that in my e-mails. However, something I just saw yesterday would suggest this admin may have started out on Wikipedia by doing a little paid editing and I sent that to ArbCom as well.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:46, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Reguyla has been blocked for two weeks and has lost his talk page privileges, so he won't be able to confirm whether the person meets the criteria of not being a current or former ArbCom member and not being connected to the GamerGate dispute. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:43, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
My e-mail is always open so long as I have a choice in the matter.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:25, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't know who he thinks is the admin I reported. He says the person was not on ArbCom, but didn't check to see if the admin was involved in the GamerGate dispute on Wikipedia.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:41, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Reguyla also claims that the person he suspects is a woman and edited sometime during the 28th:

Of course I [Reguyla] am not sure and really don't want to say the name at this point but the person was not Arbcom, is female, has edited today [April 28, 2016] and I have no idea if they are affiliated to GamerGate but it doesn't appear so.

--Michaeldsuarez (talk) 11:15, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

I won't comment on anything else he is stating, but I would make it clear that the exclusionary criteria is just being involved in the GamerGate dispute on Wikipedia, whatever side one takes.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 14:01, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Oh, I see, I just looked at en:Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GamerGate and saw that you were actually the filing party on that. So, if the rationale for your ban is the violation of sanctions imposed on you by that case, and the [redacted] person you are discussing in your emails doesn't appear anywhere in the case page or pages related to it, then either you were banned for something other than this email, or, if you were banned because of the contents of the email, as Jimbo suggests, then the rationale for your ban would be a very broad construal of a sanction or sanctions. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:29, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
To be fair, other than the topic ban, the restrictions against me had a general effect. I had been the one to suggest the sanctions in lieu of a ban, so I understood that. However, I did have a certain expectation that reporting the misconduct of others privately would not be used against me. What is truly ridiculous about the GG case is that despite all the criticism about them being too harsh on the anti-GG side, they had more than enough private evidence from me of prior misconduct just over the previous year to justify a site-ban against another of the anti-GG parties, but decided this misconduct was "irrelevant" to the case despite citing every little action taken against me since 2009 in justifying a site-ban. Had I not offered those sanctions they would have done it.
As far as their cause, I am a little sketchy on it now. I don't see how they could possibly argue sincerely that there are no COI issues presuming the admin is the person I identified, but even before the more damning evidence I found during this discussion I feel there was more than enough to say my allegations were anything but "baseless" as some have characterized them. Should they really agree with me that the admin is the person I identified then I don't think they are being even remotely honest and I would say at least one of them is outright lying about the whole thing. One thing I can state for certain is they would be showing a glaring double standard.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:39, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

On the response to my appeal[edit]

It took two and a half months of repeated queries after I first sent it, but I finally got a response to my e-mailed appeal to Jimmy Wales. A bonus is that after four months I finally got a clear statement on the basis, evidence, and reasoning for my ban. Even if these statements are deceitful, self-serving, and hypocritical, that is more than I had to work with since my New Year's Eve ninja ban. While at this point it is obvious from any reading of the arbitration policy agreed to by the community that the Committee has violated policy and procedure and it is also obvious from any reading of his past comments that Wales has gone against his word (not for the first time) in supporting my ban despite such violations, this does nothing to change my current situation.

Not too long ago I took the time to watch The Shawshank Redemption and I found some delight in how Andy Dufresne managed to badger the state legislature into a massive expansion of the prison library. The way he acclimated to his situation and through sheer persistence won people to his side consistent with the greater good despite being imprisoned for a crime he did not commit was entertaining, but I am not like Dufresne. While I may be innocent and the warden may be corrupt and prone to abuse of power, I was not a crook before this happened and I will not allow this situation to make me a crook. I pledged to this admin that I would not reveal who it was I reported directly or indirectly. Doing so without violating any policy in spirit or letter would be easy enough, but as opposed to Wales and the Committee I believe people should be honest and keep their word.

In accordance with that and contrary to what has been suggested on the Wikipedia Sucks board, I have no intention of admitting fault or apologizing for my actions. Only if my beliefs about this admin's identity were disproven with overwhelming and irrefutable evidence would I ever consider an apology and that only insomuch that the truth comports with my core allegations as it is only right to apologize for an error, but that is not something I believe is very likely. Given the evidence I initially compiled, and especially the evidence I recently sent to the Committee, the odds of me being in error are minuscule. Despite the Committee and Wales assuming bad faith in my attempts to address serious misconduct while balancing the desire to minimize harm to the individual concerned, their projection notwithstanding, I know I have acted completely in compliance with the letter and spirit of the rules as well as with basic moral standards and my own personal principles.

Concepts such as honor and integrity might feel elusive to those who have contrived this excuse to be rid of me or who have zealously defended it through dishonest means, but it is why I hold my tongue despite there being every advantage for me in revealing the whole truth however so subtly. Being wronged is not a moral justification for becoming like those who have wronged me. From what I can discern Wales, those on the Committee who voted for my ban, and those members who have otherwise supported it, all have predispositions that would preclude them from considering the evidence fairly. In spite of that, I will extend to them the fairness they refuse to extend me and allow them time to consider the most recent evidence before I consider any further actions.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 07:02, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

I had some difficulty in coming up with something to say. Do I commend you for sticking to your chosen course of action, or do I remark on the foolishness of forsaking expediency? Settling this matter could be as simple as releasing all the evidence and letting the community sort it out, yet you opt for a more drawn-out process. Nevertheless, I'm more of a romantic than a realist, so I find foolishness to be inspirational. I admire your sense of honor and integrity. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:45, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Holding back is not as foolish as you might think. Certain advantages come with waiting and that includes gathering more evidence as I have now discovered even more proof that this admin is the person I identified. It may have been evidence I rediscovered as I have a vague recollection of seeing it previously. Perhaps I neglected to include it in my evidence file, but having found it now it will also be sent to the Committee. While I don't intend to give them some sort of significant time extension, I may allow them a smidgen more time to review the evidence.
Either way, no one could seriously argue for this admin being someone other than the person I identified without being steeped in denial. Drmies may have been engaging in yet another bit of trickery in seeking to imply that I was mistaken in my identification, when he meant something else by his words or he is just a poor communicator. That said, any argument other than claiming the admin is not the person I identified would make their rejection of my report highly suspect and I don't see how they could possibly argue the admin is anyone else.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:58, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Can you post the clear statement on the basis, evidence, and reasoning for your ban, of course redacting any thing you don't feel is appropriate to reveal. It would be nice to get at least a vague sense of their rationale, and how broadly related it is to violating your GamerGate sanctions, and how it relates to this new matter of alleged misconduct by an administrator. Or just say as much as you can in your own words. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:08, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
I am just referring to the public statements made by Wales and other arbitrators regarding my ban. There has still not been a direct statement to me laying everything out in detail. Up to this point I was only guessing that it was related to my e-mail, especially since they initially claimed I was harassing editors plural, so getting them to confirm the e-mail was the cause is still progress and their comments suggest it was the sole cause. Now I know the evidence they have if it really is just about my e-mails and I have a glimpse into their reasoning based on those public statements. Direct communications, though, are still being returned with radio silence, unless you count the petulant outburst by Drmies above.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:11, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
So where is this recent public response, I assume you mean you just got a response in the last couple of days. I'm lost trying to find it. Wbm1058 (talk) 21:19, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Here are the comments from Jimbo I was thinking about. A number of the claims may be false, even defamatory, but it still confirms the basis and I understand the gist of the faulty reasoning being employed. There are also these comments by Drmies, albeit dripping with abusive and self-serving sanctimony, that offer up some form of explanation. Just as Jimbo's comments they are littered with falsehoods, but I know the falsehoods already so it is no trouble to just see ArbCom's wrongheaded defense. It may be hard for people unfamiliar with all the facts to understand, but it is easy enough for me to follow.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:31, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Follow-up e-mails[edit]

Not long after I posted my original e-mails and subsequent e-mails regarding the admin I reported, some Committee members began throwing around a lot of confusing responses as did Wales that seemed to deny the admin was the person I identified or otherwise argued there were no issues with the admin's conduct. This prompted me to dig even deeper and I sent several e-mails to them through an arbitrator via the e-mail user function on Commons.

ArbCom has had a month to respond to my first e-mail and two weeks to respond to my last e-mail, but there has been zero movement on their part despite them taking less than two weeks to supposedly do an "investigation in detail" into my first report to conclude that there was "nothing to it" and I should be banned, so I am being quite fair to them in waiting this long. What follows are those e-mails showing the admin is almost certainly the person I identified and that there is undeniable legitimacy to my report. First e-mail was sent almost immediately after comments were made seemingly suggesting the admin was not the person I identified:

Since I have finally received some sort of response, I would like to address it. Apparently, the Committee members believe that I am wrong to claim [redacted name]. That is really the only way ArbCom can dismiss the evidence I presented. I obviously cannot know why you concluded that this is false, but I cannot envision any explanation that fits the evidence other than ones that would essentially be just as bad or worse. At the time some of my evidence might not have been as hard. For instance, when I stated [redacted details] was changed after my e-mail, I only inferred this based off my recollection that it was unchanged before I raised the matter in my e-mail:

[redacted evidence]

Later on I looked again and found this document showing the page had a "date modified" entry from about a day after my e-mail was sent out:

[redacted evidence]

You have to search for the url [redacted details] and it will show a date of [redacted time]. I sent my e-mail a little before [redacted time] A Google cache of the page was taken [redacted time], so this would all seem to support that an edited version [redacted details] was [redacted action] after my e-mail, an edit that only changed the statement about [redacted name] being [redacted gender] friend:

[redacted evidence]

The only person at the time who I had mentioned the [redacted name] edits to was [redacted name] in that e-mail. Only explanation is that either [redacted name] and acted on the e-mail or [redacted name] notified [redacted name], who then acted on that. Yet I do not see how the latter explanation makes any sense. If the Committee is correct that they are different people why change the [redacted details]? There would be no need to downgrade [redacted gender] friendship status with someone over my e-mail were [redacted gender] completely innocent and had no connection to [redacted name]. What would allow it to make sense is if [redacted name] and [redacted name] were closely connected in some way. This would match up with [redacted name] being aware of the [redacted name] article six hours after it was created. Such an explanation would not absolve [redacted name] at all.

However, that is just clarifying and expanding on previous evidence I presented. What I just found is far more strongly supportive of [redacted name] being [redacted name]. This happened when I looked at the [redacted name] article and saw an account blanking the article [redacted details] after it was created:

[redacted evidence]

This account had blanked numerous articles edited or created by [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

At first I considered this might be a sock with a grudge, but upon further investigation it appears it was retaliation for several blankings performed by [redacted name] for [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

In every last case, [redacted name] self-reverted the blanking with the message [redacted details] Right before any of these changes, an IP also reverted the blanking on another article with the message [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

The [redacted details] aside, the edit summary is identical. Looking at the IP's contributions show edits to [redacted details] right around when [redacted name] began editing those pages:

[redacted evidence]

Another incident shows the IP linking to the [redacted details] article on another page right as [redacted name] is editing that page:

[redacted evidence]

The IP at one point seems to admit to being [redacted name] as a message left on several user talk pages claiming to have created a page about [redacted details], a page just created by [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

In other words, these appear to be accidental logged-out edits. While the IP was used [redacted time], a check shows it currently geolocates to [redacted details] which is roughly [redacted details] away from [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] mentions working at [redacted details] in [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

A press release from the group identifies [redacted name] as an employee going back to [redacted time], right in the middle of the time period where there were edits by the [redacted details] IP:

[redacted evidence]

While I don't know why the Committee thinks I am wrong, I struggle to understand how all these pieces of evidence could be mere coincidence. Even if the Committee is right about the identity of [redacted name], there is no reasoning I can come up with that doesn't involve [redacted gender] being closely affiliated with [redacted name] to the point that my COI complaint would remain valid.

Very soon after that I sent another e-mail noting the admin appeared to have started out doing paid editing:

Again, I don't know what the Committee thinks they know about [redacted name], but I am at a loss to see how [redacted gender] could be anyone but [redacted name]. I looked at some of [redacted gender] earliest edits. Leaving aside several edits linking to [redacted name]'s own [redacted details], including what appears to be the first ever edit [redacted name] made with [redacted gender] account:

[redacted evidence]

What struck me as odd were edits about [redacted details]. My previous e-mail mentioned that [redacted name] worked at a group called [redacted details] and I noted an IP address that by all evidence appears to belong to [redacted name] geolocates to right in the area of [redacted details], where the group is based and [redacted name] lives. I decided to check out the [redacted details] edits and it seems every single one was edited by [redacted name] to include links or references to [redacted group]:

[redacted evidence]

The links are dead now, but all links redirect to the group's current site and Internet Archive also confirms these urls went to the group's site. When I searched up the [redacted details] source I found a [redacted details] report. On page 25 of the report (page 26 of the PDF) [redacted name] is described as being the [redacted details] for the [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

I don't think I need to tell the Committee that the [redacted details] is exactly the kind of person who would make the kinds of edits that were made to these articles and I can think of no reason why anyone would specifically link to that group in such a spammy manner, unless they were making those edits on behalf of said group or otherwise worked at the group. This looks like classic paid editing.

No idea why the Committee claims my allegations are baseless or without merit, but this and all the other things I have mentioned in my e-mails all point to the exact same conclusion that [redacted name]. Anyone else this obsessed with [redacted gender] and all [redacted gender] interests that they would spend [redacted time] editing Wikipedia about anything related to [redacted gender] would have to be someone very close to [redacted gender] or some kind of extreme creepy stalker-type, yet oddly one who would [redacted details] and appears to be in close communication with [redacted gender] as [redacted name] makes edits to [redacted gender] site concealing details I raised in a private e-mail or announcing articles that were created mere hours earlier.

In not a single scenario that makes any sort of logical sense would [redacted name] be an innocent victim. However, the explanation that best fits the evidence and explains away any oddities of this case is the one I gave in my very first e-mail to the Committee and it is also the simplest explanation: [redacted name].

After about a week I dug up even more evidence and sent them the following e-mail:

I do not know if my previous evidence convinced the Committee that [redacted name] or if that was ever really in doubt, even if I don't see how the Committee could believe they are the same person yet claim there was nothing untoward taking place, however there is some additional that would seem to make this definitive. [redacted name], in [redacted details], writes about [redacted details] and states that [redacted gender] is a Wikipedia administrator:

[redacted evidence]

This may have been something I saw before, but forgot to save for some reason, as the article looks familiar to me. [redacted name] also appears to have been active in [redacted details] as [redacted gender] had [redacted details] as [redacted gender] and participated in their [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Evidence indicating [redacted name] and [redacted name] are the same person can be found by comparing the interests of [redacted name] and those of [redacted name]. Both shared the same interest in [redacted details] and [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

On Wikipedia [redacted name] even [redacted action] regarding an article being written about [redacted details] by [redacted details] over a week before it was published:

[redacted evidence]

I think the above again makes it clear [redacted name] as I have said from the beginning.

One additional point of concern I have regarding this evidence I found is that [redacted name] appears to have [redacted details] with [redacted name] on [redacted details] under [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] was at one point a member of [redacted group] on [redacted details]. [redacted name] was claimed in [redacted details] to be part of [redacted group]. It is possible they are mistaking [redacted gender] for another [redacted name] listed as part of [redacted group], but I don't know. What concerns me is that [redacted group] was [redacted details] and [redacted name] [redacted details] so if [redacted name] and [redacted name] have any shared past with [redacted group] as personnel or if they had developed some close personal connection due to participating in [redacted details] then [redacted name]'s involvement in my ban may be seen as improper.

Just one last bit of evidence proving [redacted name]. [redacted name] wrote [redacted details] on [redacted gender] experience visiting [redacted details] during [redacted gender] time in [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] in [redacted gender] first year of editing created articles related to [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

I don't think anyone could argue based off all this evidence, the prior IP evidence, the off-wiki correlations, and odd edits on Wikipedia that anyone but [redacted name] could be [redacted name]. Were I truly so obsessive into "opposition research" for unsavory reasons I would not be just digging all this up years after learning about [redacted gender] identity. Most of what I found previously was incredibly basic stuff that required little effort and I only cared to dig into these things now because the Committee has cast doubt on the integrity of the case I presented, long after taking the decision to ban me without notice, without telling me what it concerned, or giving me an opportunity at defending myself.

Should your failure to act on my report be based off doubts about the admin's identity then there is no reason to avoid acting now.

Now is the last e-mail I sent the Committee regarding this admin two weeks ago:

In my initial report to the Committee I mentioned the most recent editing [redacted name] did to the biography of [redacted name] and how [redacted name] selectively edited [redacted details] regarding criminal claims against [redacted details]. One of the Committee members has essentially dismissed the BLP issues claiming it wasn't a BLPCRIME violation, seemingly [redacted details].

At any rate, I did not look too far into the history of the article, which shows this was a long-standing issue. Back in [redacted time] [redacted name] had been [redacted action] to stop an editor from removing extensive material included about the criminal allegations that [redacted name] was edit-warring to include:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name], the same member of the Committee I mentioned in my last e-mail who has had [redacted details] with [redacted name] at [redacted details], expressly raised issues with the article's inclusion of the criminal allegations at that discussion alongside [redacted details]. Said concerns were raised by [redacted name] again in a later discussion [redacted details] over the BLP issues:

[redacted evidence]

Within 24 hours [redacted details] despite every discussion showing significant support for minimizing if not excluding the details about the criminal allegations, [redacted name] expands further on the allegations:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] at one point [redacted details] argued that Wikipedia played a crucial role in letting people find out about [redacted name]'s past, referring to the allegations:

[redacted evidence]

One change [redacted name] made to the article mentioned [redacted name] defending [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] frequently raised issues with [redacted name] [redacted details] and his support for [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has been a long-standing [redacted details] in [redacted details]. This includes [redacted details] started by someone previously criticized by [redacted name] for [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has been actively involved in [redacted details] some have criticized as [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

This may indicate [redacted gender] motive is, in part, to tarnish by association [redacted details] using [redacted name]'s BLP. Whatever the case, it is abundantly clear that [redacted name] has a serious axe to grind regarding this case and has repeatedly ignored reasonable BLP concerns about it with COI issues involved as well.

The fact the arbitrator who has [redacted details] with [redacted name] on [redacted details] and [redacted details] appears to have also been concerned about the editing of the BLP, just creates an even greater appearance of impropriety on the part of the Committee on top of the various procedural irregularities with my case.

Given various details related to this case, I strongly doubt the sincerity and objectivity of any arbitrators claiming my report was without merit as this would appear to be them showing a glaring double standard. My position has only hardened due to my digging into this case. At this point I don't think there is any reason to doubt the admin is the person I identified or that the Committee has every reason to believe my report has merit. That they insist on doing nothing in response to my report other than banning me remains an absurdity speaking more to issues with ArbCom than anything else.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:51, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for continuing to keep the community informed, although I'm not in a position to bring this new information to the attention of the wider enwiki community due to my own ban. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:15, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Probably, the only reason all this stuff about me made it to the English Wikipedia last time is because it wound up on WikiInAction. I see it has been discussed a little on WS and I presume it is or will end up on the WO members-only thread, but those are both limited in their effectiveness. Should this not spread in a similar way as the above did in a reasonable amount of time then I will just proceed to my next step.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:05, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
  • I just read through all this TDA. I wasn't aware until now that this was a COI thing. You are now the second editor I am aware of to go down in flames pursuing a COI matter in ways that Arbcom found inappropriate, the other one being of course Will beback. There is a bunch of things I would like to understand, but the first is, what is this "COI policy" that you have cited a bunch of times? Jytdog (talk) 02:54, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
Admittedly, I am only slightly familiar with that case, but from what I do know there are some significant differences. Will raised his concerns in public many times and seemed frustrated at not being able to identify the real name of the editor. Said editor had also disclosed having a conflict of interest. Having not looked too deeply into the legitimacy of the allegations about inappropriate COI activity in that case, I can only say that Will was much more zealous in his pursuit of the matter. Pursuing it in public when it involves personal information also carries the real risk of revealing such information, not that being less zealous and public about it made much difference for me.
That is one way in which his case provides perspective regarding my own case. Sending a total of three e-mails over the course of a year to try and politely get someone to stop undisclosed COI editing so as to avoid public exposure before giving up and contacting ArbCom due to continued violations is apparently so horrendous that I needed to be banned without even knowing it was being discussed let alone being allowed a chance to defend myself. Meanwhile, an admin publicly pursues a matter over two years spanning numerous discussions to stop disclosed COI editing risking exposure of personal information and initially succeeds in getting one editor banned, but even when it is overturned and he is banned instead said admin is allowed a full case to plead his side of the story. I imagine someone would point out circumstances that warrant some of the difference in treatment, but it does still raise numerous questions about ArbCom's double standards.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 07:11, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for replying. The overlap is here - apparently Will had gathered a bunch of offwiki ... stuff that he had sent to Jimbo and Arbcom via email, and apparently it was on that basis that Jimbo first banned TimidGuy. As I understand it when Arbcom reviewed everything they found a bunch of that didn't hold up (see 5.5 of the TimidGuy appeal). The review of that evidence and the reasons why that determination was made is not part of that case. But it was maybe the biggest part. That is where the overlap with what happened to you is ... perfect.
I have thought about this a lot. If you are convinced that someone has a COI and they haven't disclosed that on-wiki, you are never, ever going to get action taken based on that, especially not for a longtime user (admin or otherwise) who has some record of good contributions. (I have seen new-ish editors who were obviously paid and doing nothing but promotional editing banninated based on a strong presumption of COI but never an established editor). In my view, the only way to bring someone down like that, is a long term POV-pushing case. You have to bring a shitload of diffs and show a clear pattern of bias. That (along with the SOCKING) is what finally brought Wifione down. See that arbcom case.
I write about this on my userpage, if you care to read it. It is kind of long and tldr, but it is a nuanced thing.
That is my take on what happened with you, TDA. The privacy thing is unbelievablly important to the community and efforts to piece together off-wiki stuff that are not disclosed on-wiki and to make hay over that, especially over a long period of time like both you and Will beback did, is met with the banhammer per the harassment policy, which is what you were banned under. There is a deep, abiding, and sharp lack of tolerance for that in WP.
What do you think about that? Jytdog (talk) 05:40, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
Just to add here. I ~think~ that if when you become eligble, you made an appeal to be unbanned on the basis of an understanding of what I wrote above, and promising on your mother's grave never to do anything that again, you would be unbanned. Jytdog (talk)
Should I take this to mean you only ever came here so as to convince me that I should grovel to that gaggle of hypocrites and sniff their thrones? Not a chance. Any appeal I send their way will look something like this and not be some sniveling plea for them or this admin to accept an apology neither of them are owed. I sure as shit will not suggest that somehow it is wrong to dig into an allegation of wrongdoing to see if there is evidence for it, give the offending person multiple chances at avoiding consequences in exchange for ceasing egregiously bad behavior, and when that fails telling the people in charge of enforcing the rules that someone has been seriously breaking them.
One must have a really tortured morality to suggest three e-mails effectively saying "Seriously, stop doing bad things or I will report you!" is horrific harassment that necessitates draconian measures, manipulative trickery, and malicious smears to stop. For all that blather on Wikipedia about "assume good faith" I find people rarely ever assume good faith of me, despite acting in good faith really being the only way I know how to act. Yet many of those same people persistently act in bad faith even as they demand everyone "follow the rules" and assume the opposite no matter how self-evident the truth.
You need to look at their comments. Wales pretty much acknowledged that what they are making an issue of is not the report itself or the digging, but the e-mails to the admin beforehand. Only way to truly interpret that is as them decrying my lack of fealty as I impudently dared to go outside their authority rather than submitting a wrongdoer to be judged by our benevolent lords. I did not put the power in their hands where it rightly belongs and so I was justly preventished. For them the only acceptable options are to snitch like a good subject or do nothing. What is ironic is that I have done far more digging since they banned me then I ever did before and every time it just makes the case stronger, which causes me to seriously doubt claims of them having "investigated in detail" the report I sent.
As I said on my talk page here, this is not the first time I have alerted the Committee to a serious COI case only for them to do nothing and that time I did do what you suggested in trying to lay out a POV-pushing case with extensive diffs. I had honestly thought the most likely outcome here was that they would do nothing as happened in that case. Even if they tried to twist the facts and turn it around on me I fully expected to have a chance at responding before any decision was made. My big mistake was underestimating ArbCom's corruption and capacity for abusing their authority. I didn't think they would jettison the most basic rules of fairness simply to try and rid themselves of little ol' me.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 02:30, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
Well hm. Sorry you are offended. I am glad you posted all this here so folks could get a better sense of what happened. I will completely admit that without knowing the details what I have written may be wrong; and it could be that folks are lying when they wrote that your off-wiki research doesn't mean what you think it means and that there is actually a "protecting ones own" conspiracy going on. On the other hand I do understand two things - 1) the fervor that can set on a person when they see something they believe is corruption (people have emailed me their extensive COI sleuthing and more often than not, it is a scrap here and a scrap there and lots of leaps connecting them into a story and then making conclusions based on that story that the person is absolutely convinced are accurate. I try to warn folks to keep careful track of what are facts and what are leaps and to be very careful about stating the certainty of their conclusions); and 2) the fierceness with which the community protects privacy. These lead me to think maybe your evidence wasn't what you think it was. I am kind of disturbed that you are saying it is "stronger" now, which makes it sound like there were significant leaps the first time around, and there still may be....
A question - are you aware of any instance, where an experienced editor was sanctioned based on off-wiki evidence brought by someone else? (we have two examples of the opposite - you and Will beback; Timidguy was sanctioned per the question but that was reversed). I am not aware of any, but there is a lot I don't know, as I will be the first to admit. :) Jytdog (talk) 03:24, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
My case was always strong, let there be no mistake about that, I just mean that it became stronger still. I am not sure precisely what you are trying to say about scraps and leaps. The initial report would be enough for anyone to agree the admin was the person I identified, that the admin's editing was inappropriate, and that a conflict of interest existed. Several of the incidents were major incidents occurring over years and there were some minor punctuated incidents as well. One that I thought was minor, but serious, proved to be another major incident after I started digging further and is one of the things I am thinking about regarding my case getting stronger. While I am puzzled a bit by their denials, no conspiracy is needed to explain their behavior as people in authority often protect their own as an impulse even when they know the person has done wrong. On Wikipedia admins are given incredible leeway to behave badly by those who are meant to keep them in check, so it is not especially surprising that they would sooner ban me than address the issue I presented to them.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 08:19, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

OK, well nobody but you and arbcom are going to be able to adjudicate whether you are correct about a) the relationship, b) the pattern of behavior, and c) how the various policies and guidelines read on a) and b) so there is not much point going on further about that. But importantly, this is a red herring. It seems to be what you are absolutely focused on (the rightness of your cause) but as far as I can see that is not actually the issue that led to your ban. It was harassment.

In other words, it was not the evidence and conclusions you came to, but the way you that have gone about getting your concerns addressed.

In your view, Arbcom and Jimbo are "decrying my lack of fealty as I impudently dared to go outside their authority rather than submitting a wrongdoer to be judged by our benevolent lords. I did not put the power in their hands where it rightly belongs". If you think about that principle, TDA, it is really scary. You are proposing to replace WP with a nightmare Mad Max world where anybody can harass anybody (expressing disdain for the consensus through which the harassment policy became probably the deepest and strongest value the community shares), and expressing disdain for the consensus through which our processes for dealing with behavioral issues were built. You aren't defying our "overlords" you are defying the community and the consensus underlying the harassment policy and the dispute resolution process. I am not saying that the process is perfect; very far from it. But yes vigilante action like what you did, is well outside the pale.

You've let bad assumptions somehow corrupt your understanding of the fundamentals of how Wikipedia works, and those errors have worked their way up into this behavior and your justifications for it.

I hope at some point you can see that; you have been a valuable contributor but you have gone off the rails in a deep way. I know you are really committed to your position and your read on things, and that it will be hard to root out those bad assumptions and everything that you have built on them. I hope you are able to. Jytdog (talk) 21:07, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Every society and community, including Wikipedia's, recognizes the acceptability for action by people without official authority to restrain wrongdoing. There are limitations, but generally those limitations do not include telling someone you know he or she did something wrong and to not do it again or be reported to the proper authorities. Most Wikipedia conduct disputes are encouraged to be resolved through a path of warnings, requests for self-reverts, final warnings, and notifications when reported. In the offline world we permit the citizen arrest and citizens not reporting crimes, at least certain ones, including when accompanied by suggestions that those crimes might be reported if they continue. A citizen saying "turn yourself in or I will go to the police myself" or "I just reported you to the cops, if you confess maybe they will go easier on you" is not treated as a criminal in a sane society for obvious reasons.
Will's case bears no similarity to my own. It is self-evident from the behavior evidenced in the case that he cared nothing for exposing these people's identities and subjecting them to public attention. There was no compassion or sympathy evident in his actions. Accusing me of harassment despite acknowledging that you have no clue what you are talking about with me is a sure sign of hubris. On Wikipedia the harassment policy clearly outlines what harassment is not and what is allowed in the case of COI editing. I have not deviated from that one iota in letter or in spirit. No way I am going to legitimize their perversion of the meaning of harassment and put other editors at risk of facing the same abuses I have endured for trying to do things the moral way rather than the submissive way. Having looked at your explanation about how to manage COI I would note that I have also followed that almost to a tee, though certain aspects don't apply to my case.
On the other hand, I now see that you were one of the people who harassed Atsme and started a dubious COIN discussion about her. So it seems all that talk about leaps was regarding your own past presumptions of COI where none could be proven. I didn't even notice at the time that you publicly posted whois results for the site of the conservationist non-profit she founded because she used them as a source in some articles about freshwater fish. Knowing you were sanctioned in the GMO case and your comments about Willbeback, I initially thought you were being a sympathetic actor as editors of your inclination tend to think Will was horribly wronged, but now I get it. My situation is not your way of getting into ArbCom's good graces by defusing a problem for them so you can have a more favorable appeal of your GMO topic ban in the future. Try to show off "how good you are now" by exploiting somebody else's circumstances or, preferably, just be a better person in the future for real and not just for the sake of appearances.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 03:34, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
I'll never pretend to be perfect; that COIN filing about Atsme was not something I should have done and I apologized to her.
I'm sorry to see that you have given yourself over completely to bad faith conspiracy theorizing. My being TBANed from GMOs is better for the encyclopedia as I had become a lightening rod, and I am fine not paying attention to it. Anyway, this gone completely down the toilet now.
I care a lot about how we deal with COI in the community and at minimum you have provided us all with another example of how not to address COI concerns.
I do wish you well, TDA, and I hope that you figure out a way back into the community. Best regards. Jytdog (talk) 04:11, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
You have been approaching me in bad faith from the start, making comments implying you thought ill of my ban then turning around and suggesting I should grovel before ArbCom pleading to them how I was supposedly so wrong in order to get unbanned. At the same time you make comments about third parties making leaps and pushing shaky COI cases excluding the fact you have done so yourself, apparently as recently as a month ago when you berated some poor noob over COI for supposedly making edits about his or her neighborhood. You appear to the poster child for abusing COI yet see fit to appoint yourself my guide on appropriate behavior despite admitting yourself that you have no idea what my situation is about. Obviously, you are trying to worm your way into somebody's good graces by making this show of "helping" me into a false confession, but you certainly aren't worming your way into mine. Good night and sleep snug, smug.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 06:20, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
Nope, I was really interested in what you had to say, especially when I read about the COI aspect of it. I really mean it - I have thought long and hard about how these matters can be handled in WP. There are people are care deeply about integrity and people who care deeply about privacy, and every time I have seen a clash between those two values with regard to an editor otherwise in good standing, privacy wins every time. Decisively. With the banhammer. That is reality of dealing with COI in Wikipedia. If you want to address COI matters, you have to be really - and I am mean really - aware of the absolute value the community places on privacy. I have learned where the limits are, more or less. But that is the wall you ran straight into. It is not a conspiracy. You can call me smug and piss on me all you want. It is your funeral.
It is sad to me because it seems that you want to come back but you are so locked into the picture of WP you have built up, where the way you went about it is perfectly fine, that you, an otherwise sane person, have to resort to kooky conspiracy theories to explain why you were banned. You don't. Privacy is a deeply held value and you blew it off. It is that simple. You have to decide what is more important to you - your vigilante vision of WP and your self-righteousness within that delusional vision, or going through the humbling work of figuring out where you went wrong and acknowledging that, and being able to go back to being a productive editor. The first makes your world smaller and more brittle; the second makes your world bigger and more nimble. You get to choose. Jytdog (talk) 06:40, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
Obviously, privacy didn't decisively win in any of your cases and that's just too bad since you seem to care far less about privacy than me despite taking the time to lecture me on the matter. I don't care about your pretentious self-serving "assistance" nor do I take kindly to your presumptuous attacks when you freely admit you have no idea what you are talking about. You clearly aren't taking time to read what I say even as you insist you were really interested in getting my side. All you wanted was to come tell me "what's what" in the hopes it would make you look like the reasonable person for once. Sorry, not playing your game. The game is done.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 14:11, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
Like I said I have learned the boundaries of the community's tolerance on OUTING and believe me I have tested the limits of that in my COI work. But I have stayed within bounds in my COI workl so far. It's the community's game; not yours or mine. I just checked your contribs at ANI and you have worked to enforce community consensus plenty of times when people were defying consensus but were convinced that what they were doing was just fine. You know - you know - what that looks like when you see other people doing it. Jytdog (talk) 17:50, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
The difference here is that I know all the details in this case and you do not. Unlike you and Will, I have not posted any personal information publicly nor threatened to reveal such information to anyone but ArbCom. Community consensus does not even begin to cover this kind of situation because it is not really something that been dealt with in the past. We have had cases where admins have engaged in inappropriate COI editing and even paid editing, sometimes including negatively biased editing of BLPs, but I cannot think of a case where an admin used the tools in a non-obvious fashion on a matter where said admin had a COI. This is also a case where any public mention of this admin having a COI at all, even without identifying specific affected articles, would likely lead to this admin being outed and possibly subjected to media attention as well as significant harassment. Alerting another admin or ArbCom immediately could mean public action that could inadvertently out the admin as well. Basically, I am being faulted because I tried to address this admin's behavior without risking that the admin would be exposed and this is being labeled harassment.-The Devil's Advocate (talk) 02:04, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
You know those ANI or edit warring cases where an editor is completely focused on the content dispute but what everyone is upset about is their behavior? You keep coming back to you being correct on the content. So hm.
I just re-read your email redactions above. I was struck by two things.
The initial Arbcom response: "we all know her real name and she has freely disclosed it". I wonder if that is on-wiki and if all this care about privacy was even necessary. (I am not fishing! I am just thinking out loud) I don't know how carefully you reviewed on-wiki disclosures.
I don't know if you can hear this, but in my view the harshness of your notes and the certainty that the admin acted wrongly, and your sending three notes saying that, with escalating threats, is what makes your behavior (the way you went about this) add up to harassment. There is no uncertainty in your messages. What if instead of taking the route you did, you had simply asked them at their Talk page if they had a COI with regard to X (naming X) and provided your on-wiki only reasons for concern, and if they didn't reply or said no, taken that to COIN and asked the community to look into your question? (am emphasizing asking, and I really mean asking, not posing a rhetorical question) In other words, held you conclusions more gingerly, and used the standard DR process of addressing concerns at the user Talk page in a real effort at dialogue, and then giving it to the community? Jytdog (talk) 04:40, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
I was redacting GorillaWarfare's real name, even though it is well-known, just to avoid anyone who doesn't know that making a needless fuss. There have been no on-wiki disclosures by the admin I reported as best I can tell and only one off-wiki incidence I could find in which the person admits to being an admin on Wikipedia without providing any further details. Very much to the contrary of proper disclosure, this individual has several times lied either directly or by omission with regards to COI, and I have not seen anything to suggest the admin's real name was well-known at any point. Had it been known it would have definitely been raised as an issue in those instances.
As to the harshness of my messages, I honestly do not see my first two e-mails as any harsher than your typical warning where the facts are beyond dispute and escalating warnings when there is no change in behavior is normal. Not much I can say to assure you that there was no room for doubt about the COI activity, but I can reiterate that handling it publicly would very likely lead to exposure of this individual's identity and significant negative attention directed at this admin. Any attempt to characterize my actions as harassment is grotesquely abusive of the concept of harassment.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:33, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

OH. I thought GW was saying that the admin's name was known. I see now. As for the other, hm. I very much respect your desire to preserve their privacy. I do. I don't know where to go from here. So I will wish you well, TDA. I am sorry you ended up here and that you see no way out. I've tried to offer you some cracks you could widen and escape through. I do wish you well. Bye for now. Jytdog (talk) 06:58, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

You aren't the only person to make that mistake, though some knew what I was trying to say. This is a very complicated and messy case for reasons that have nothing to do with the evidence itself, though some of the evidence has a complicated and messy element to it as well. ArbCom's actions have only made the case that much more messy and complicated. I do firmly believe that were the community aware of all the details then a very large segment would see it as a serious issue and many more would view ArbCom's claim of there being no issue at all as lacking credibility. Even though it has been tense, this conversation has been helpful in some ways, including allowing me to offer up the defense I was never allowed to by ArbCom.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:21, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Responding to criticism of my choice to honor my pledge to the admin by not identifying said admin by name or pseudonym, I am aware that puts me at a "tactical" disadvantage. I am also quite familiar with the lengths to which ArbCom goes to protect other admins. The Gamaliel case in its concluding phase is a perfect example as their scope shenanigans are done with the explicit knowledge that none of the arguments they are making for leniency would hold up without those limitations. I know at least one arbitrator pushing the "isolated incident" or "only since GamerGate" narrative is personally aware that Gamaliel had blocked an editor during a heated dispute over Gamaliel's insertion of harsh language in a political BLP in 2012, before GamerGate was even a twinkle in Adam Baldwin's eye, because that is the arbitrator to whom all my ArbCom e-mails are sent and if he promptly sent it to the Committee then they were all aware of this past abuse days before they chose to narrow the scope. Mind you, there was no dispute in that case about the impropriety as Gamaliel reversed the block when community outcry and threats of going to ArbCom convinced him to pull back, though he showed no sign of recognizing he was in error. I also mentioned a previous case where he effectively pulled the "GamerGate made him do it" excuse back in 2014 ending with ArbCom declining a request because he "apologized", reversed his admin action, and went on a "break" that sans Signpost duties lasted until a day after the request was formally declined without action.

A similar thing to this ongoing Gamaliel case occurred with the admin whom I had long criticized and who initiated the first in the series of escalating blocks that preceded my ban. He had blocked an editor under rather questionable circumstances, with Arbs clearly recognizing it was a bad block. When this editor presented a case noting numerous past instances of misconduct and previous ArbCom action against this admin, the Arbs insisted he should only focus on the incident concerning him and after he complied ArbCom argued there was not enough evidence of misconduct to initiate a case against the admin. Arbs being well aware that someone is violating policy, restrictions, or otherwise having a history of bad behavior, but doing everything to pretend it didn't happen for wikipolitical reasons is not new to me. Even in my case the arbitrator I allude to in my follow-up e-mails is not the only one who had taken issue with the edits this admin made to articles I mentioned in my e-mail. There is, in fact, at least one other arbitrator who was involved in my ban who I can say without doubt thought there was some legitimacy to complaints about this admin's editing. Being just as dishonest and manipulative as them might be the easiest path to victory, but what is the point of stopping them if it ends with me becoming them?--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:09, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

E-mail containing additional evidence[edit]

Due to discussion about the redacted e-mails I have published, I took it upon myself to dig further and found numerous other cases of COI editing that were then sent to the Committee. As there is unsurprisingly no sign of movement on ArbCom's part, here is a redacted version of that e-mail:

As the Committee persist in not acting against [redacted name] I decided to gather up some more evidence.

[redacted name] had [redacted details] and [redacted name] made substantial contributions praising the [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

In edits to the [redacted details] page, [redacted name] primarily [redacted action] by [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] had [redacted action] to [redacted name]’s [redacted details] of his and [redacted name] had [redacted details] [redacted name]’s [redacted details] in [redacted name], with [redacted name] giving both [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] attempted to get [redacted name] [redacted details] so [redacted name]’s [redacted details] in the [redacted name] article stating only that [redacted details], but was rejected with part of the reason being [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted details] about [redacted name]’s [redacted details], [redacted name] mentions having regularly corresponded with [redacted name] in addition to [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

In addition to excluding mention of [redacted name]'s [redacted details], the [redacted details] discussion makes no mention of them apparently being personally acquainted as well.

Expanding on the edit-warring over [redacted name], the [redacted details] to [redacted name]'s friend [redacted name], here are some other incidents where [redacted name] added, restored, or edit-warred to include [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

When there was discussion about [redacted action] [redacted gender] argued over it without ever disclosing any personal connection. [redacted gender] noted [redacted details] [redacted name], but never disclosed that they were close friends:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted gender] also edit-warred to restore other [redacted details] by [redacted name] [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Another incident of a possible [redacted name] sock [redacted details] involved [redacted name]’s complaints regarding [redacted details] by [redacted group] being added to the [redacted details] article [redacted details] and [redacted name]’s [redacted details], where [redacted gender] mentions being [redacted name]’s friend:

[redacted evidence]

It was initially removed, but is restored a year later by another account. [redacted name] restored it after it was removed again then edit-warred with editor [redacted name] over the section and defending it on the talk page despite it being [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

The material on [redacted name]'s bio was also recognized as promotional by [redacted name] back in [redacted time] when [redacted gender] removed several edits and [redacted name] reverted [redacted gender]:

[redacted evidence]

Yet another incident of questionable editing involved [redacted name] creating the article on [redacted name] making mention of [redacted details] involving [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Here is the [redacted details] that [redacted name] in above edits [redacted action]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has [redacted action] about [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] announced creation of the [redacted name] bio [redacted details] an hour later noting it included mention of [redacted name] [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Providing there was any lingering doubt about [redacted name] being [redacted name] [redacted name] noted [redacted details] was [redacted details] in the article and [redacted name] removed [redacted details] within minutes of [redacted name] replying to that comment:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] also has a Wikipedia account:

[redacted evidence]

There is no indication that [redacted name] and [redacted name] knew about each other's respective Wikipedia activities or ever interacted on-wiki, but this in conjunction with [redacted gender] edits regarding [redacted name] and [redacted gender] announcement of the [redacted name] article does make me wonder if [redacted gender] is creating these pages at their behest.

[redacted name] also edited [redacted name]’s bio, which had a poorly-sourced entry about [redacted details] later removed as potentially libelous, to [redacted action]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] had [redacted details] about [redacted name]’s [redacted details] and how [redacted details] contrasted with the [redacted details] as [redacted name] who [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

This editing about [redacted name]'s [redacted details] and [redacted gender] above complaint that [redacted name]'s [redacted details], but not [redacted details] suggests there is some sort of underlying agenda. As noted in my previous e-mail regarding [redacted name]'s editing of the [redacted name] article, [redacted gender] mentioned [redacted name] there as well to remark about him defending [redacted name]. So, this is yet more evidence of [redacted name] as [redacted name] using Wikipedia to push a personal and professional agenda regarding [redacted group].

Moving on to yet another example of COI editing, [redacted name] [redacted details] with [redacted name] for [redacted details] and [redacted name] [redacted details] in a major expansion of [redacted name]’s page:

[redacted evidence]

Lastly, [redacted name] [redacted details] and was [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] expanded the article on [redacted name] to mention [redacted details], specifically citing [redacted name]’s [redacted details] when discussing [redacted details] and mentioning [redacted details] that [redacted name] [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

I struggle to see how the Committee could possibly look at the evidence I provided previously and all the evidence I have provided here yet not see any issue with this behavior. Dismissing it as not an issue is especially odd given [redacted details].

What I would suggest the Committee consider is what would happen if all this evidence were the subject of a public ArbCom case on Wikipedia with no redactions or anything. People may [redacted details], but I don't see how the Committee could possibly think the community would agree that there is no issue with this conduct if they knew about it.

[redacted name] clearly thought the editing by [redacted name] on [redacted name]'s bio was inappropriate at one point and said so several times. [redacted name] obviously thought [redacted gender] editing was inappropriate given [redacted gender] had removed [redacted details] from [redacted name]'s bio back in [redacted time]. [redacted details] after [redacted time] [redacted name] [redacted action] then [redacted time] cut down some of the material [redacted name] added to the [redacted name] article.

Any doubts editors in the community would have would become a lot harder to entertain when the very arbitrators supporting my ban [redacted details] clearly took issue with the edits made by this admin. I know quite a few editors and admins would also not be very happy with [redacted gender] over the [redacted name] dispute at least and one of the admins [redacted gender] tangled with on that apparently also believed [redacted gender] editing of the [redacted name] article showed signs of an agenda.

Should the Committee continue to maintain that there is nothing wrong with any of the behavior I presented even after all the evidence provided in the past six months, then I will take that as a sign all means of resolving this through Wikipedia's internal procedures have been exhausted.

While I would welcome discussion and attention being drawn to this, my intention now is merely to insure the public remains informed in some respect as to what is occurring with my case.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 06:15, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Media attention[edit] – The Breitbart article is pretty late in reporting the events of the last few months (at this point, the headline should've been "Jimbo Wales Failed to Ensure Justice on Wikipedia"), but Jimbo ought to know that this is something that more than a couple of people care about and that people still care despite the amount of time that has passed; this isn't something that can be swept under the rug and forgotten. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:01, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Another redacted e-mail of evidence[edit]

I have been meaning to post this for a bit and to appeal my ban to ArbCom, though I have been a bit preoccupied so I had not done either. Here, however, is another e-mail I sent after the one above detailing more past instances of COI editing by this admin:

I don't expect the Committee to be persuaded given there is still no sign of action, but I will still detail the latest instances of COI editing by [redacted name] that I have found.

[redacted name] was a [redacted details] and [redacted name] was later [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] created the article on [redacted name] mentioning that he was [redacted details]. No record indicates that [redacted name] was ever [redacted details]. Anybody who [redacted details] can be [redacted details] so [redacted details] is meaningless unless one is [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] was [redacted action] by [redacted name] and [redacted name] created the article on [redacted name] with some excessive and promotional info about his [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

That is all for now, though should I find anything else or there be new violations, then I will send everything to the Committee to insure its awareness of the evidence.

Not sure when I will submit an appeal as there are now other factors in need of consideration. Given how things play out I may postpone my appeal to later in the year.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:45, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

New redacted e-mail and ArbCom appeal[edit]

Here is the latest e-mail evidence I sent ArbCom and this time it includes a major violation that has occurred since my ban:

Earlier this year, I pointed out a mild COI edit [redacted name] had made, and suggested it was a test to see if it would be acted upon and that more significant COI edits could occur. Last month there was indeed a major COI violation by [redacted name]. In an e-mail back at the beginning of June I laid out a long history of COI editing on top of what was contained in my initial report to the Committee. One of those instances focused on [redacted name], who [redacted name] has [redacted details] and then [redacted name] cited said [redacted details] in [redacted name]'s article. Around the [redacted time], [redacted name] began a significant expansion of the article on [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

Many of these edits were clearly just promotional fluff, including an additional example of [redacted name] citing [redacted details] and specifically citing [redacted details] of [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Some edits cited an article in [redacted name] that [redacted name] [redacted details] just before [redacted gender] began editing the page:

[redacted evidence]

One point I had overlooked at the time is that [redacted name] appears to have developed some sort of close relationship with [redacted name]. [redacted gender] [redacted details] of [redacted name] in what appears to be [redacted details], suggesting most likely that [redacted gender] was visiting [redacted name] at his home:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted gender] previously [redacted details] of [redacted name]'s [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] is also listed as a [redacted details] to [redacted name]'s [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

All of this together indicates [redacted name] may have, at the very least, become friends with [redacted name] after [redacted details] if not before and there is a financial connection as well. So [redacted gender] should probably be understood to have a conflict of interest on [redacted name]’s article beyond just [redacted details].

Something else to note is that [redacted name] is listed as giving $[redacted details] to [redacted details] and they are shown giving another $[redacted details] the next [redacted time]:

[redacted evidence]

This is significant due to the editing by [redacted name] of the [redacted name] page back in [redacted time]. At this point I have to acknowledge that my claims about [redacted gender] editing of that page contained some errors. [redacted name] did not add the mention of [redacted details] in the article, as the [redacted details] had been added by [redacted name]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] only altered the mention:

[redacted evidence]

However, [redacted name] also added a COI tag to the article due to [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

The first edit [redacted name] made to the article involved removing the tag:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] also did add the [redacted details] that included [redacted name]'s [redacted details] and [redacted details] a week before that edit indicates [redacted gender] had direct knowledge of that fact as it was mentioned [redacted details], in addition to being mentioned at [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Should [redacted gender] have also been aware of or been promised [redacted details] to [redacted details] before these edits were made, then there would also be a financial conflict of interest involved on top of the fact [redacted details] and [redacted details]. This makes [redacted gender] removal of the COI tag before all these edits highly inappropriate.

I also noticed another egregious example of COI editing from prior to my ban. Back in [redacted time] [redacted name] commented on [redacted details] for [redacted name], [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted gender] [redacted details] and said [redacted gender] would add sources to prove [redacted name] [redacted details]. The discussion was closed as "no consensus" as a result of [redacted gender] [redacted details]. However, the edits made to prove [redacted details] included [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

Also cited was a self-published piece by [redacted name] and an interview with [redacted name] by [redacted name] where [redacted name] several times praises [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

I would point out that both [redacted name]'s page and the page of [redacted details] were created by [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] edited the [redacted name] page right after [redacted details] created it, so it is plausible [redacted gender] is aware both articles are self-promotional creations:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has [redacted details] at [redacted details] for some time since [redacted details] because [redacted details] are apparently [redacted details] in [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has also mentioned him specifically and seems to be personally acquainted with him as well:

[redacted evidence]

Another connection between [redacted name] and [redacted name] comes through [redacted name] who became [redacted details] and remained so at the time of [redacted name] editing [redacted name]'s page according to [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

[redacted name] has also made significant contributions to [redacted details] giving $[redacted details] in [redacted time]:

[redacted evidence]

She was also [redacted details], which was revealed not long before [redacted details], so [redacted gender] probably would have been aware of [redacted details]:

[redacted evidence]

This means [redacted gender] not only had strong ties to [redacted name] through [redacted name] and mutual promotion of each other, [redacted gender] also had a direct financial connection to the [redacted details]. None of this is disclosed in [redacted details], nor in [redacted gender] edits to the page on [redacted name] where [redacted gender] cited [redacted gender] [redacted details] and [redacted details] with [redacted name] praising [redacted details].

I think it would be hard for anyone on the Committee to deny that these are legitimate COI issues and such violations are still occurring after my ban for reporting such issues with [redacted name]. Continuing to do nothing seems irresponsible.

Another update to mention is that I have sent in my appeal to ArbCom after some delay. Since I continued to assert that my actions were completely appropriate and within policy, while rejecting any additional editing restrictions being made conditional to a successful appeal, I have my doubts that they will look favorably upon the appeal. I am always still hopeful, but I won't be shocked if it is rejected. One benefit of the process above, at least, is that I finally got to defend myself in my appeal and was able to do so in an informed manner.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 05:21, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Article on recent appeal[edit]

Noting here for those who may have watched this space that a new article has come out concerning my ban:

There are a few things that were not really elaborated on in the article. One is that the time-frame for appeal has been changed. In the initial announcement of my ban it was stated that I could appeal every six months. My second appeal, the result of which is quoted in the piece, changed it so that I can only appeal a year from now. Also of note is the statement about e-mails to and from the Committee and arbitrators potentially not receiving a response. This came into play right after that when I asked via e-mail if the change to my appeal time-frame had a formal vote and the response when I asked about the e-mail on Commons was to essentially reiterate that statement about them maybe not responding to me.

Something else to mention is that my first appeal got a response that still concerned the administrator I reported, but they insisted that the Committee disagreed with my conclusions about the administrator including saying there was no "involved editing" in their assessment. Not sure if that was meant to say they disagreed with me on the COI aspect, the involved admin action aspect, or both. I have a hard time imagining how they could really disagree with any of it, but they claim to have a different view on it, or at least the 2016 Committee claimed to have a different view on it.

Part of what makes the second appeal result so ridiculous is that after the first appeal I was told I would not be unbanned unless I "dropped the matter" and "promised not to threaten to explicitly or implicitly out" the administrator. While I tried to get some clarification on what dropping the matter would entail in their view, they would not respond. In my second appeal I, all the same, said I would commit to only talking about the COI matter with the Committee via e-mail (none of this, in other words) and pledged to follow the outing policy, albeit stipulating that I never violated it in the first place including in the way they claimed.

So, to me, this is a rather blatant moving of the goalposts. That much is clear from the careful phrasing where they mention edits before my ban and e-mails after my ban, neatly excluding e-mails before my ban i.e. the initial reason cited for my ban. I also imagine they think changing the cause for banning me will force me to make additional concessions when I was not willing to do so before. Alternatively, they figured this is as close to a permanent ban as they can get given my refusal to accept further restrictions in exchange for being unbanned.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:09, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

This is exactly what I complained about back in 2012:
Wikipedia needs to do away with "preventative" blocks of indefinite length. Blocks and bans need fixed expiration dates; otherwise, blocks become tools to force contributors to conform to the desires of the admin corps. The current system of "preventative" blocks of indefinite length is basically a Chinese-style reeducation program; they don't let you out until you give up your dignity, submit, and conform to their way of thinking.
It should also be noted that two different ArbCom's (the 2016 ArbCom and the 2017 ArbCom) have failed to do Advocate justice. Electing different people doesn't fix the problem, and frankly, most voters are clueless about the true problems with ArbCom since most voters don't have first-hand experience with being banned or having to deal with the unban progress. Most voters are more concerned about whether a candidate would help them toss their enemies off of the wiki and keep them off. Guess what? When people elect Arbitrators in order to ban enemies and throw away the key, what you get is an ArbCom that bans people and throws away the key. Stop voting for Arbitrators based on "fighting harassment" and who you want to get rid of; that sort of voting is the problem.
Democracy is not synonymous with justice. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:46, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

To the user on WikiInAction calling this a "waste of time" I can assure you that I was not under any delusion that my appeals were likely to be successful. Each one could be summed up along the lines of: "I didn't violate any rules in letter or spirit. What I did was also morally right. My position on the whole matter is correct. What you did to me violated the rules. I will not accept any additional restrictions." Had I only been concerned with getting my account reinstated then I could offer any number of concessions that would likely make it easy for them to permit my return even without a false confession. Sure, when I submitted my first and second appeal, I hoped they would see reason, but I wasn't "gambling" on it. My reasons for not dropping the info are many, and chief among them is that I said to this person I would not do it and I am not one to go back on a promise. Even absent that I always prefer playing things by the book.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:46, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

My appeals[edit]

For the sake of maximum possible disclosure I am going to post the appeals I sent to ArbCom with potentially identifying information redacted:

I had been meaning to send this for a while, but I was having problems with my e-mail that I wanted sorted out before doing so and it appears those problems have been sorted out. Given that my ban seems to be confirmed as a response to my report to the Committee back in December I also wanted to give a little time for the latest evidence to be examined, presuming [redacted name] has forwarded that e-mail to the Committee.

Since I was never given a real chance to explain the reasons for my actions to the Committee, due to the approach taken by its members with respect to banning me, I believe it is important for the Committee to understand my thought process. Back [redacted details] due mainly to the fact that [redacted details] other related articles (back in [redacted date] I sent [redacted name] evidence [redacted details] suggesting [redacted details], had been [redacted details]), [redacted details] on these changes.

As it is [redacted details].

When [redacted details].

For [redacted details] aware of the fact that [redacted name] was [redacted name]. My knowledge of that did not come from randomly trying to dig up dirt on [redacted name] for [redacted details]. I was, in fact, digging into [redacted details]. Even though [redacted details].

Part of [redacted details] by coincidence.

The allegations [redacted details] contributing to it.

When [redacted details] it seemed to arise from an allegation of [redacted name] having created an article on [redacted gender] friend and [redacted name] seemed [redacted details]. I don't recall if this was part of what contributed to me digging further, but [redacted details].

At some point, either because of [redacted details] or simply the fact that [redacted name] had made edits related to [redacted details], I began to suspect that [redacted name] had some connection to [redacted details]. Through that digging I noticed a lot of [redacted gender] early editing involved [redacted details], despite frequently [redacted details] and generally pushing views [redacted name] held on [redacted details]. Since [redacted name] has publicly stated several times [redacted details] on [redacted name] that they are friends I was convinced that this was [redacted gender]. I came to know this all right about [redacted date].

Even though [redacted gender] had [redacted details] despite having created it and having a conflict of interest regarding the man, I did recognize that however excessive [redacted gender] use of the tools was in that case it could be argued as an isolated example where there was some cause for understanding and [redacted details]. Making [redacted details], however, and an admin should definitely understand that much, especially when it concerns [redacted details]. At the very least it is [redacted details].

I would add that if [redacted details], then I can hardly see how that makes [redacted name] innocent as it would just suggest [redacted details]. Perhaps [redacted details].

All that being said, I believe I only knew at that time about [redacted name] editing some edits related to [redacted gender], [redacted details] and having created the [redacted name] article. [redacted gender] having edited [redacted name]'s page in a negative fashion despite [redacted gender] involvement in [redacted details] including some questionable sourcing, did at least indicate to me that [redacted details].

While [redacted details] it had significant consequences.

This is why I made a point of mentioning [redacted details]. It wasn't [redacted details] to put a negative spin on [redacted details]. Given [redacted details], it is something I believe would be important for people to know and I do not believe [redacted name] would be treated as [redacted details] if people really saw this whole thing in context.

However, even knowing that this could be a significant deal [redacted details] I did nothing about it for [redacted details]. Again, at the time I believe I only knew about COI editing on those few articles and that one admin action. My feeling was that no matter how much [redacted details] to reveal this in some way, even if only by saying [redacted gender] had a COI or [redacted details] it was not right or fair to put [redacted gender] in that situation without more significant, recent, or persistent wrongdoing. There was also the matter of me only having a circumstantial case for [redacted gender] identity, even if it was a very strong one.

My decision to send [redacted gender] a private warning in 2014 was prompted by me noticing [redacted details]. It was in looking into this action, as I recall, that caused me to dig up [redacted gender] edit-warring over [redacted details]. While I don't precisely recall why I looked at [redacted gender] contributions, it may have been related to [redacted details]. There could have been some other reason, but I only noticed [redacted details] after the fact and I think that was because I didn't really look at [redacted gender] contributions that year until that point.

Since [redacted gender] [redacted details] was the second admin action [redacted gender] had taken on a matter where [redacted gender] was involved due to the aforementioned edit-warring and had a conflict of interest due to [redacted gender] friendship with [redacted details], I felt I couldn't ignore it. This was especially the case because the edit-warring over [redacted details] was the second major dispute spanning multiple articles where [redacted gender] acted in a biased manner over numerous articles despite an undisclosed conflict of interest and used [redacted gender] tools while directly involved as an editor on top of [redacted gender] COI editing. [redacted gender] misleading people [redacted details] was another issue I had with what [redacted gender] did as they might have [redacted details] and I sincerely doubt [redacted details].

At the time I did consider any number of approaches to this, including publicly contesting [redacted details] on grounds of [redacted gender] having had an undisclosed COI and [redacted gender] prior involvement, without mentioning the nature of the COI. I also did think about reporting it to ArbCom privately since it concerned admin conduct and involved private information. This was similar to what I had considered when I first learned of [redacted gender] history. Unlike before, the [redacted name] edits and [redacted details] was more than enough to make a credible case that [redacted name] was [redacted name].

What stopped me the first time is also what stopped me that time, and it was me wanting to give [redacted gender] a fair shot. [redacted gender] had sympathetic reasons for [redacted details] at least on [redacted details] but it was still completely inappropriate and an abuse for [redacted gender] to do it. Had [redacted details] it would have been a more serious issue, but the fact [redacted details] meant it would also be unfair, from my perspective, to risk exposing [redacted gender] with a public accusation of COI or put [redacted gender] at risk of ArbCom sanctions. I felt I at least needed to give [redacted gender] a fair opportunity to stop [redacted gender] COI editing before I put [redacted gender] in that situation.

Hence I sent my e-mail, and I tried very hard to avoid being confrontational. I said [redacted gender] did some good work because [redacted gender] did, but also to communicate that I wasn't trying to be malicious or nasty. All I wanted was for [redacted gender] to not abuse [redacted gender] admin position any more, not use Wikipedia to push professional or personal agendas, and not betray the trust the community had put in [redacted gender]. Everything I put in that first e-mail I considered carefully and I avoided saying some things I thought about saying lest they be taken the wrong way, such as mentioning the very likely chance of [redacted gender] facing public exposure both on and off-wiki in the event ArbCom took action on a report. It is still hard not to make a warning intimidating as the point of a warning is to give someone cause for concern about what may happen if they don't heed the warning, which is inherently intimidating, but I did try to make it as soft as possible without diminishing the seriousness of the matter or in any way giving [redacted gender] reason to believe I couldn't prove exactly what [redacted gender] was doing.

Not once did I receive any sort of response from [redacted gender], so I didn't even know if [redacted gender] received the e-mail, but I resolved to act as if [redacted gender] had agreed to follow the rules from that point forward. Since it appeared to me that [redacted gender] was editing within the COI guideline and not taking involved admin actions, I once more did nothing for over a year. When I saw [redacted gender] edit to the [redacted name] page, I obviously recognized that there were BLP issues with the material [redacted gender] was reverting, but there were also similar issues with what [redacted gender] was restoring. Again, I didn't feel it would be fair to go after [redacted gender] over this, so I sent [redacted gender] my second e-mail suggesting edits that would allow [redacted gender] to undo the BLP issues, without restoring some of [redacted gender] unsourced promotional phrasing and inappropriate deletions from [redacted details].

Just as before, I tried to be as compassionate about it as I could manage without making the warning ineffective. Even when [redacted gender] did nothing I held off. Part of that was for other reasons that diverted my attention, but part of it was still a feeling that doing anything under those circumstances wouldn't be fair to [redacted gender]. At the same time I didn't want [redacted gender] to think I wasn't serious about reporting [redacted gender] because I was concerned [redacted gender] would then go right back to the stuff [redacted gender] was doing before my first warning, which included misusing [redacted gender] admins tools on matters where [redacted gender] was involved and had a COI. [redacted gender] extensive editing of the [redacted name] article and the editing related to [redacted name] were both additional cause for concern, but what put me over the edge was the editing on [redacted name]'s page.

I can understand if the Committee do not consider him a sympathetic subject and thus have a hard time treating the BLP violations seriously, but knowing [redacted gender] past actions regarding [redacted name]'s page and [redacted gender] history of using admin tools on matters where [redacted gender] was involved and had a COI, I wasn't prepared to wait for [redacted gender] to go after a more sympathetic target. Yes, [redacted details] is still a BLP violation and a BLPCIME violation. It is also a violation of BLP by the letter and BLPCRIME in spirit if not letter, to [redacted details] in a continuation of [redacted details] that changes by [redacted name] claimed had [redacted details].

Rather than waiting for [redacted gender] to knowingly make false and defamatory edits on an article about someone else or engage in some further abuses, I sent [redacted gender] my third e-mail. I admit at this point I was not trying as hard to make [redacted gender] feel comfortable. Part of that was my frustration at what I believe was [redacted gender] taking advantage of my lengthy three-month block and taking advantage of my previous reticence to report [redacted gender] as well as my frustration that [redacted gender] was knowingly making false and misleading edits concerning serious criminal allegations on a BLP. Still, I took care in crafting the e-mail to be as accommodating as I thought was warranted.

At that point I figured [redacted gender] was definitely seeing my e-mails, disregarding them, and was not going to avoid inappropriate COI editing. So, I told [redacted gender] to commit to disclose [redacted gender] COI, the only way to prevent [redacted gender] misconduct if [redacted gender] was not going to stop COI editing, on several articles within a week or I would report [redacted gender] as I felt setting a clear deadline was the best way to guarantee [redacted gender] didn't hedge on me doing nothing again. This e-mail was the first time I alluded to the possibility of [redacted gender] being publicly exposed, because I didn't think anything but that possibility would convince [redacted gender] that it was in [redacted gender] best interest to stop [redacted gender] misconduct. At no point did I make any indication that I would expose [redacted gender] actions to anyone but ArbCom.

Despite being more forceful in that e-mail, I still tried to minimize the potential fallout by only calling for disclosure on a specific selection of articles including the [redacted name] article, [redacted name] article, and [redacted name] article, rather than any article [redacted gender] edited where [redacted gender] had a COI. As I saw it, simply making [redacted gender] COI public on certain affected articles would be enough to get [redacted gender] to follow policy and though disclosing it on those articles could lead to [redacted gender] being outed by other parties, the chances would be lower than if [redacted gender] disclosed a COI on the [redacted details] articles, which I deliberately excluded in that e-mail because they are much more directly linked with [redacted gender] real name. Most importantly is that these disclosures would be less likely to be noticed than a public ArbCom action.

A similar thinking went into my fourth e-mail notifying [redacted gender] of the discussion. Believing, wrongly obviously, that the Committee would recognize the serious issues with [redacted gender] conduct and take action accordingly, I suggested a way to avoid an ArbCom action since that would be far more likely to get people digging into [redacted gender] history to figure out what happened. Since removal of admin privileges was the most likely outcome of any action by ArbCom, I suggested [redacted gender] resign and declare [redacted gender] COI editing to avoid it. While I did say people might figure out what [redacted gender] was doing and who [redacted gender] is if ArbCom did take action as I expected, I made it clear that I would not tell anyone myself. Once more, I felt keeping [redacted gender] aware of the seriousness of the situation was the only way [redacted gender] could make the right decision.

While my last two e-mails were certainly harsher, I still strived to be compassionate and I was approaching it with the same tone and mindset it would be approached with publicly on-wiki. An editor who is revert-warring may receive an initial polite comment to encourage them to stop edit-warring and discuss after two reverts, the third revert prompts a warning about potential actions that could be taken, a fourth revert may prompt a demand or request for self-reverting with a stated or implied intent to report if the person does nothing, and even after someone is reported for violating the red line of 3RR it may be suggested that the editor make some concession in lieu of harsher action. Every step is going to play out in a similar tone and mindset that I took with [redacted name], because the point is to try and get the message across to an unresponsive person that such actions are inappropriate and need to stop yet also giving them a fair opportunity to change their ways.

Never did I threaten to out [redacted gender], unless one is counting me saying I would report [redacted gender] to ArbCom, which I don't think is at all the intention of the outing policy since ArbCom is supposed to be trusted with reports involving private information. The remarks I made to [redacted gender] that disclosing a COI or [redacted gender] COI being revealed due to public action could lead to [redacted gender] being exposed publicly is no different from what is said right in the COI guideline. Making sure [redacted gender] was aware that [redacted gender] was risking [redacted gender] own reputation by not following the rules is not harassment, but simply stating a reality that I felt I had to point out to [redacted gender] to allow [redacted gender] the best shot at making a decision with [redacted gender] eyes wide open.

You all may think I should have deferred to ArbCom or just thrown [redacted gender] to the wolves publicly without giving [redacted gender] a chance in either scenario just so I can minimize any risk of being misperceived, but that is just not how I approach these things. Considering what is best for me is not my priority in those situations. I maintain my actions were not harassment and were well within the letter and spirit of every relevant policy. Harassment isn't meant to cover warnings of misconduct for a reason and I don't think for one minute it should ever be considered harassment to give someone a chance, privately, to avoid the kind of harm that could result from public actions either through ArbCom sanctions or simply a well-founded accusation of misconduct in the appropriate venue.

The fact is, [redacted details] illustrate exactly why I would have trouble trusting the Committee's judgment on this matter. [redacted details] I have taken considerable efforts to not mention anything publicly that could so much as hint at any of an assortment of possible bread crumbs that would lead right to [redacted name]. Most of the stuff I could say would not violate any policy in any way, but I don't do it even when it is undeniably in my best interest. [redacted details] why I should not be expected to trust the Committee's discretion. Keeping my warnings private and between me and [redacted name] was the only way I could be certain that [redacted gender] would only be at risk of exposure due to [redacted gender] own informed decision to follow the rules or due to [redacted gender] failing to adhere to the rules despite being given due warning.

Given that [redacted details], arbitrators who supported my ban, had previously raised issues with edits by [redacted name] and [redacted details] it is hard to imagine how the Committee can expect me to believe [redacted details] that there were nothing to what I was saying. Numerous admins and editors raised legitimate concerns about editing by [redacted name] on various topics where [redacted gender] had an undisclosed conflict of interest, apparently unbeknownst to those raising the concerns. All the evidence I have provided since my ban overwhelmingly backs up the legitimacy of my original report. There should be zero doubt at this point that [redacted name] is [redacted name], so it is not a question of whether the evidence backs up what I am saying.

As it is, I do not see how the claim of harassment has any validity. Warning someone in good faith about misconduct and reporting that person to the proper authorities when those warnings are not heeded is completely normal and encouraged on Wikipedia as well as in general society. There is no way to seriously and objectively dismiss the legitimacy of my initial report or any of the subsequent evidence, especially in light of [redacted details] by two members of the Committee itself. Due to this I request that my site-ban is lifted. I am fine with keeping all the restrictions I had on my account prior to my ban, with the exception of the "warning" remedy as I feel it is a one-time use matter and it was misused to ban me in a manner that violated arbitration policy. No additional restrictions would be acceptable to me.

Lastly, I request that [redacted name] and [redacted name] recuse themselves on my appeal due to their involvement in disputes over several articles mentioned in my report that indicate they were aware of the issues with edits to those articles by [redacted name] and previously objected to [redacted gender] editing. Obviously, GorillaWarfare should recuse same as she did previously. While [redacted details] is enough for me to request that he also recuse on reviewing my appeal due to [redacted details]. Should those recusals occur I am fine with the vote breakdown being private in the event my appeal is approved since the recusal of either [redacted name] or [redacted name] creates a risk of exposing [redacted name] by virtue of people investigating potential reasons for their recusal.

Thank you.

Here is the response I received to that first appeal:

Dear The Devil's Advocate,

The Arbitration Committee has carefully considered the merits of your unblock appeal. We apologize for the time it took us, but I am sure you understand that given the length of your message we had to take our time and get it right.

We have decided that we will not grant this request at this time, and certainly not on the basis of the email you sent us. As far as we have been able to establish, your complaint about an administrator had no foundation; we disagree with the conclusions you have drawn about that administrator and found no examples of INVOLVED editing or tool abuse. We wish to advise you that persisting in this line of appeal is of no use: you will not be unblocked until you drop this matter, and until you vow there will be no threats, implicit or explicit, of outing anyone.

For the Arbitration Committee,


This is the second appeal I sent:

I presume the six months requirement means that I have one chance at appeal in every six months period and not that I have to wait six months to the day from my last appeal. Should that not be the case then just review this whenever it would be the time for me to appeal.

As I laid out my detailed explanation for why I approached this matter the way I did in my last appeal, I will not repeat the whole thing. However, I would reiterate that at every step I tried to be as delicate as possible in warning [redacted name] against continued inappropriate COI editing and never suggested I would reveal [redacted gender] identity to anyone other than ArbCom. Only after my ban did I state I might reveal it to a reporter covering my ban provided it was kept off-the-record i.e. not made public, but that was only if it was the only way the reporter would agree to write about the ban and that was not the case.

My approach to this from the beginning was done with consideration for minimizing the chance of [redacted name] being outed, while also seeking to prevent further breaches of policy and misuse of admin tools. I understand the Committee at the time either as a majority or as a whole believed that none of my assessments are valid and I still vehemently disagree, as I imagine would a good many editors and admins if they had all the same evidence. Obviously, both the current members of the Committee and past members who reviewed my case, are free to insist I am wrong despite the evidence.

Whatever the members of the Committee believe about the validity of my conduct assessments, I feel it is pertinent to my appeal to the extent that it exhibits my good faith and sincerity considering the fact that the harassment policy specifically allows exemptions for handling COI cases so long as it is done privately. Had I felt there were another way to handle it that wouldn't out the admin and would allow the admin some chance at avoiding sanction, I would have pursued that option, but the only options before me were reporting to ArbCom immediately without allowing [redacted name] a chance to alter [redacted gender] behavior or privately warning [redacted gender] and hoping that would be enough. Nothing the Committee says will persuade me that I was wrong morally or policy-wise to choose the option that gave [redacted gender] a chance.

After my first appeal was rejected I was told that it would not be successful until I "drop this matter" and "vow there will be no threats, implicit or explicit, to out anyone." Following that I sought clarification regarding the conditions and have yet to receive any kind of response, but I will respond to those conditions anyway. I was seeking clarification on the former condition because I am concerned it is meant to prohibit me from reporting further COI activity to the Committee. While I have no problem not raising the matter publicly following a successful appeal, I would not agree to being barred from reporting policy violations to ArbCom.

On the latter condition I am only concerned that agreeing to it would be framed by the Committee as an admission to having done it previously. As it is, I have not threatened implicitly or explicitly to out anyone and therefore would reject any removal of my ban that implicitly or explicitly suggests I admitted to such. Preferably, if such a thing were mentioned in an unban announcement my position that I did not violate it would be included. Barring that, there would at the very least be nothing to suggest, no matter how subtly, that I in any way agreed to any suggestion that I threatened to out anyone in any way. For the record, I also reject any suggestion that I violated the harassment policy in any manner and similarly reject any removal of my ban suggesting in any way that I agree with the claim I violated it.

Just as in my last appeal, I do not agree to any new restrictions on my editing (I don't really consider the aforementioned conditions being agreed to in the manner I suggested to be restrictions since they are basically just me committing to continue following policies that apply to everyone). Obviously, I accept continuing to be subject to the standard GamerGate topic ban, a mutual interaction ban with Mathsci, my 1RR restriction, and my conduct noticeboard ban. Concerning the warning remedy I was subject to prior to my ban, I once more state I do not accept being subject to that remedy, seeing it as a one-use sanction that was then misused as a "loophole" to get around the requirement under arbitration policy to notify me of the discussion on banning me and allow me a chance at responding.

As in my last appeal, I request GorillaWarfare recuse given she recused in the initial decision and that [redacted details] also recuse due to their having been involved in disputes with [redacted name] on some of the same articles and raising the same kind of concerns that I raised in my initial report. The fact [redacted details] seem to contradict themselves in now supporting a ban suggesting there was nothing wrong with [redacted gender] editing leads me to doubt their sincerity in these proceedings. Unlike last time, I don't insist on [redacted name] recusing as I presume [redacted details]. Should there be [redacted details], then he should recuse, but I am not as concerned about it now. Not sure if the Committee is still publicizing the votes on private actions, but given the sensitivity of this I reiterate that I have no problem with keeping the vote secret so that [redacted names] recusing does not give any clues to the community.

Thank you again.

Of course, the recent Breitbart article shows the response I got to my second appeal.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:55, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

breitbart. really. Jytdog (talk) 22:37, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Democratic Athens: "socrates. really." --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:30, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Medium post[edit]

Here is a post I wrote on Medium on all of this business for anyone watching this space.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 07:45, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

An issue with Wikia[edit]

@Jimbo Wales: (pinging wales) I thought this was the right place to say it. Whenever I try to make an account on Wikia, it says "Sorry, we're not able to register your account at this time." Is this intentional or just a software issue? Happened to me on 3 wikias over more than 1 year. 16:45, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

There could be a block on your account on Wikia. You should go to here and ask about it. That community would be able to help you fix your problem better. Reguyla (talk) 23:40, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Crosswiki Force[edit]

We should make a crosswiki foundation, because right now I think all the care is put into the English Wikipedia. Of course, some wikis like the Deutsche Wiki only need very small amounts of help, but some such as the Kabardian Wikipedia need lots of help. And that's just Wikipedias. We have Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage, Wikisource, and Wikiquote. 02:01, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Wikimedia-l moderators[edit]

Sup, guy who never replies to anyone on meta...Over the last few months since James Heilman was 'thrown under the bus', The main place for discussion on this, the Wikimedia-l mailing list has now been taken over by weak and pathetic admins who seem to think they can moderate anyone that asks a question THEY do not like and rejections would always be followed by "not a positive comment"..seriously, what is this? North Korea? Are you Jim-Mi-Wales, our not-so benevolent leader who does not like people criticising or under-mining him? ..If people cannot ask questions or make points using the wikimedia-l, the ONLY transparent (or it used to be) part of the WMF and possibly the ONLY place where staff and board member actually reply to comments, then you may expect them to go elsewhere, maybe other news sites or blog who would happily bring WMF down a few pegs....Control your minions jimmy, right now wikimedia may very well be on Defcon-4.. lets not push it to the next level..--Stemoc 05:47, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure if you noticed, but that trend isn't limited to the mailing list. Admins all over repress any discussion that don't like or don't agree with because they can, because there is no oversight of admin behavior and admins are functionally exempt from policy. IMO most of the mailing lists are a waste of time and only good for sending one way communication from things like the WMF to people for information. IRC isn't a very useful conduit anymore either and with a growing number of people being blocked and banned from ENWP this wiki is one of the few left. With that said, when the global notification goes live maybe he will respond to some of these more often. Or maybe someone can drop a note on his ENWP page asking him to look over here. Honestly though, even if Jimbo commented here everyday he isn't going to do anything about any of the problems on wiki. He just doesn't care anymore and doesn't have the desire to help make things better. Reguyla (talk) 12:29, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Happy 50th birthday to Jimbo Wales![edit] 18:28, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

WikiConference Foundation grant concerns[edit]

At the beginning of this month, the Foundation approved a grant for the 2016 WikiConference North America. The grant covers travel and hotel expenses for members of the core organizing team and one member is a user known as Gamaliel, who also serves as the communications chair for the conference. I had expressed concern before the grant was approved due to Gamaliel having threatened the job of a journalist at the beginning of July and said journalist is also someone who has contributed on Wikipedia. Over the past few weeks since the grant was approved I have attempted to get a response from some relevant person at the Foundation or those running and sponsoring the event, to no avail. As a member of the Board of Trustees, I am wondering if you feel Gamaliel's recent conduct was acceptable as well as whether it is appropriate for him to be the beneficiary of a Foundation grant and serve as the public representative for a Wikimedia community event. Since I know Jimbo doesn't read his meta page much, I request anyone watching this page notify him of my post here.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:24, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

@Jimbo Wales: We have already completed the requirements for approval of new wikipedia in khowar language spoken in Chitral, Swat, Ghizer(Gilgit Baltistan), Afghanistan, India and Xinjiang of China, and stuck up in the incubator, please help us regarding early approval of wp/khw as soon as possible as we have completed the all tasks which are required for creation of new Wikipedia, Thanks --Zaheeruddin25 (talk) 09:42, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Block on English Wikipedia[edit]

Jimbo Wales, if i blocked as permanent. I just want to know, in this case I have the right to write an application for arbitration? If i blocked as permanent , is there any way to unblock? What can I do for that? I promise that I will follow the rules. But what do admins want? Nobody answers this question. Maybe you answer: what do they want? I understood that, en:Wikipedia:Appealing_a_block it's a lie ([1]). Thanks in advance.

Who gets to decide content - the users or the developers - the name of a language[edit]

Quite recently the developers have changed the name of Wikipedia in Norsk bokmål to Norsk. It is speculated that this is due to the Wikipedia being located on the site and an ISO-standard. Wikipedia in Norwegian comes in two languages 1) Norsk nynorsk and 2) Norsk bokmål. The Wikipedia in Norsk nynorsk is located on The difference between bokmål and nynorsk is not comparable to British English and American English with can co-exist on the same Wikipedia. Norway has one Norwegian language consisting of heaps of dialects and two different official written languages. We have authorities deciding on which is which or if words and grammar is both or one or the other. Norwegian authorities are obliged to handle both when communicating in writing with the public and always to answer in the correct language. This split in two written language goes way back into the 18-hundreds (19th century). Our two languages is deeply important to Norwegians. Nynorsk is in a minority and as it was not able to co-exist with bokmål it was split into a separate Wikipedia years and years ago. Bokmål got to stay on the language code no. and nynorsk was allocated nn. According to ISO the bokmål technically speaking should be nb. The move was never made and bokmål decided to stay on no.
-- Now the developers have done something with the names of the projects in the lefthand sidebar. The result is that the name of norsk bokmål is changed to norsk and nynorsk still is norsk nynorsk.
-- 1) The change of name is clearly wrong as the no. Wikipedia does not represent nynorsk and only represents bokmål (and riksmål). This is clearly contrary to what the Wikipedia has decided to call itself and the language actually written on the Wikipedia.
-- 2) It discriminates nynorsk.
-- 3) As nynorsk have fewer users than bokmål in Norway and outside Norway this is detrimental for the language. Posting a clame in this fashion that bokmål represents norsk will affect nynorsk deeply and negatively.
-- The question of moving to nb has been raised again by Jeblad on Talk:Requests for comment/Rename no.wikipedia to nb.wikipedia at at a time when he was blocked. It have been discussed on the project page and also on the forums of, but have not gained any significant support.
-- The question is now debated again on w:no:Wikipedia:Torget#Norsk og nynorsk (sic) due to the developers having changed the name. The discussion does not get anywhere mainly due to the fact that this cannot be changed by the users of the Wikipedia. The problem have been raised with the developers on Phabricator with no result and hardly an answer. The discussion have exceeded 30 pages if I try to print it and is more than 17000 words. It does not have a chance to get anywhere as the problem cannot be addressed on
-- It is however a fact that this change made by the developers can change how many users will support a move from no. to nb. Should the developers have the power to make this move or via their editing force such a move?
-- I fail to see that there should be very difficult for the developers to let the Wikipedia in norsk bokmål show as norsk bokmål in the sidebar of all the Wikipedias. Calling no. norsk on all other projects is not a problem as these are bilingual. Why is it not possible to override the ISO-standard which splits no. in nn. and nb.
-- There are several speculations as to what a move from no. to nb. might entail. Does anyone really know what sort of problems that need to be solved on the whole world wide internet if a Wikipedia as large as this is moved. How many redirects must be produced, what will happen to everything linking to no.. What else will happen?
-- Right now needs someone to address the problem.
-- Either 1) fix the name (to norsk bokmål)
-- or 2) move the whole confusticated thing to nb.
-- I am posting this question here because as far as I can see the employees of the Wikimedia Foundation is subordinate to the board. Either the board should decide or the question should be placed with someone who have the power to decide one way or the other. Jimmy Wales is a member of the board and a lot of people read his discussion pages. Please either raise the question on the board or find someone else who can make a decision as fast as possible. Regards in anticipation that someone is able to help and does. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 19:58, 31 August 2017 (UTC)