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Welcome to Meta![edit]

Hello, Robertinventor. Welcome to the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki! This website is for coordinating and discussing all Wikimedia projects. You may find it useful to read our policy page. If you are interested in doing translations, visit Meta:Babylon. You can also leave a note on Meta:Babel or Wikimedia Forum if you need help with something (please read the instructions at the top of the page before posting there). Happy editing!

-- Meta-Wiki Welcome (talk) 06:17, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

Loaded terms[edit]

Forgive me if you already know this, but I thought I'd name a few loaded terms that have negative connotations on Wikipedia. "Free speech" is one. We've already talked about it. It actually has a page that's one step up from an essay. Per this same essay, we shouldn't use the word "rights" to describe editors' options (I think we're good on that one, though).

"Being silenced" is another thing that editors say when they're blocked, even if the block was deserved and necessary. "You're trying to silence me!" is associated with people who are thinking in terms of truth rather than in terms of verifiability.

I'll let you know if I think of any more. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:55, 19 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, it's good to know about these things. What is the alternative then to "being silenced"? How do you describe a situation where one set of editors prevents another set of editors from editing articles and reverts their edits, tag each other to stop this view from being used to motivate article edits, and basically just push them out of their topic area, often out of wikipedia altogether? It's something that happens, not just me, must be some way of talking about it? Robert Walker (talk) 07:04, 19 June 2016 (UTC)Reply
@Darkfrog24: It's not to do with talking about truth rather than verifiability in this case, it's due to a difference in opinion about how to use the sources in the topic area. Plus I'd also say that the currently established editors misunderstand the sources they do use, which are complex, academic, technical and easy to misunderstand. If you have the background of reading the other sources by famous Buddhist scholars, that explain the ideas in plain English to ordinary Buddhists like myself, you can see what they mean in those academic articles. Also if you read other academic sources, same thing, they point out mistakes in each other or they say things more clearly in a longer article elsewhere. But if you focus down on a single sentence, out of context, in one article in a long complex debate, search for sentences to support what you think is the truth, they are very easy to misconstrue. Basically it is a problem of cherry picking, but not deliberately cherry picking, unacknowledged, they don't know they are doing it.
They have strange ideas about Buddhism, things that no Buddhist teacher would say, that they got I think in some cases from Hinduism, though they probably misunderstand Hinduism also, applying its ideas to Buddhism, and then by searching the academic literature they find quotes that seem to support their views if you don't understand the topic very well. The ideas they express in the articles on Buddhism make a kind of a sense, but they aren't Buddhist as ordinary Buddhists understand it, or even as the academics understand it either.
It's based on the idea that they think Buddhists are seeking a kind of eternal afterlife - as the main editor put it in our recent talk page discussion, he thinks the motivation of Buddhists is to "get out of here". That's totally wrong, the aim is to relate directly to your experience, to wake up right now, right here, and not to go away anywhere else at all. This is explained many times in books by celebrated Buddhist scholars with a very thorough understanding of the vast Pali Canon such as Walpola Rahula. Robert Walker (talk) 07:12, 19 June 2016 (UTC)Reply
I know you're concerned about publicizing the proposal on Wikipedia. When you find out whether you have to remove the references to your topic ban from the talk page, let me know so I can do mine too. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:40, 19 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Okay good point, I'd better ask about that before we start the RfC properly :). Robert Walker (talk) 19:17, 19 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Just put the question here: Question related to my topic ban Robert Walker (talk) 19:33, 19 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

RfC MO OK[edit]

I'm writing this because you've mentioned wanting to work on your talk page MO and I figured you'd welcome concrit. If that's not the case, let me know and I'll MMOB.

So far so good on the talk page, but remember WP:BLUDGEON. I think it was a good move not to respond to Stein or to RD. If Stein had wanted any back-and-forth, he/she would have given a longer answer, and I've seen on another thread that RD's views on this matter are very set. We should only respond to his ivote if there is something clear and solid to give him.

But still, almost twenty-four hours in and the support outnumbers the opposition two to one. Most RfCs have their ups and down, but so far so good. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:56, 25 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Thanks yes I welcome the concrit :). Now that you've drawn my attention to it - I think that perfectly describes what went wrong on my RfC that lead to my topic ban. I wasn't aware of en:WP:BLUDGEON and if someone had mentioned it to me back then it might have helped a lot. It's basically what I was topic banned for though nobody mentioned that guideline to me until now. That plus too much copy editing of my comments, comments that were too long, and editing comments to reduce their length after they were answered (which I hadn't realized was a big "no no"). I didn't say anything that was disruptive, and even when the other editors said aggressive things to me and about me, I never said anything ad hominem about them back. It is just that I answered every point made by the opposing editors in the RfC discussion area in some detail, and that's the main reason they topic banned me I think.
If I'd responded to RD I'd have said something like that I'm a productive editor on wikipedia in good standing apart from this minor six months topic ban mainly relevant to a single page, but just saying that would probably confirm his view that I'm disruptive because of en:WP:BLUDGEON :). Perhaps it might be an idea if I discuss responses with you here before doing them? Maybe I should have suggested that before.
I think we are a bit handicapped because we can't publicize it in wikipedia and nobody else has yet stepped up to do it. But on the other hand that might just attract admins like Ed Johnston who seem to have little time for topic banned editors, for whatever reason. This is what he said when I asked if I could mention my other inspire proposal anywhere on wikipedia, the one about ways to reform ANI and AE by requiring a warning notice first to encourage voluntary changes of behavioru and mutual help before an editor is taken to ANI / AE: About topic bans generally - see first reply to my question:

The best long term solution is not for you to succeed in your reform of ANI, but to modify your own behavior on talk pages. That is something over which you have direct control, and in my opinion it would be a better use of your time.

So, although this is a different proposal, I'm pretty sure that he also would definitely be firmly opposed to it. I'm sure there will be others who feel the same way there. We've done our best to get it publicized on wikipedia and it is not at all our fault that we can't do anything about it ourselves, but it might actually be a factor in our favour, who knows, depending on who would have come here from wikipedia. Of course I am still saying we should get it publicized there if we can as it is the right thing to do :).
I agree, it's actually looking pretty good, gone up a little since your post, 5 for meta, 7 for wikipedia, 3 for none just now, and counting contributors instead of options, it's 7 to 3 in favour of doing it in some form.. Robert Walker (talk) 08:51, 25 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
I've just been rereading en:WP:TBANEX to try to find out where it says I can only ask questions of Ed Johnston, and I think it is this bit:

"Bans apply to all editing, good or bad":

If there is any doubt whether a limited ban prohibits any specific edit, the banned editor should assume that it does, unless whoever imposed the ban expressly clarifies that it does not.

It might be en:WP:BLUDGEON to comment saying that on the RfC, what do you think, since he didn't reply to my comment a second time? But I think I'll add it to the proposal, to make it clearer how restricted we are in what we can do about asking questions about gray area edits under the current system. Robert Walker (talk) 14:29, 25 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
EdJ has fallen into a common fallacy. He has forgotten that you can do both. I mean, look at you right now. You are working on your own talk page MO and trying to address the dearth of information and support for topic-banned editors at the same time. In fact, doing the second is helping you work on the first because it allowed you to interact with people whom you do not need to suspect of the ulterior motive of promoting their own view of Buddhism without opposition.
If you want to field replies here with me, go ahead. I don't mind and I'm happy to help. However, if N has not replied, then one of two things are most likely to have happened 1) he/she just hasn't replied yet or 2) he/she does not want to continue discussing this at this time and place. I'd say if you've got the last word don't keep talking unless you have a new realization (Oh! I think I misunderstood you in my first reply, N. Did you really mean this? Well than my answer is this.) or if there is some factual misunderstanding that you think you can clear up (I wasn't posting sources to prove that I'm right but to prove that I didn't commit OR./Actually, we address the issue of WP:PROXYING in the mockup, front and center.) Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:08, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I'm also working on the microtonal project in wikipedia. I'm having long conversations on this talk page with another editor who like me is quite academic and is used to writing long posts, and we've both made it clear that we like long posts and that it is no problem at all, and we are working hard on improving this article. Talk:Regular Diatonic Tunings. And it's only on wiki that I have this issue at all AFAIK. Every day involved in long similar text conversations off wiki and nobody cares a whit about my long replies, indeed they appreciate them and thank me for my detailed responses. I think part of it is the format here. When I do long posts here, it means that others have to scroll down pages to get to the next post. Most other places, then they just see the first few lines of my post and can choose whether to read it or to skip to the next comment in the thread. And copy editing my posts after I post them doesn't matter anywhere else because they don't have edit page histories, or if they do, hardly anyone ever looks at them. Imagine if everything you said in the day was written down, then it would probably run for pages and pages and pages, for many people. So it's just that I type quickly not far off the speed that I talk, and it is quite hard when used to that to try to trim it down, a bit like trying to speak with half the words you usually use, it's a useful discipline, you'd learn a lot from it, but not easy. And I think it's especially in the situation of an RfC or where there are several editors involved. If I'm just talking to one other editor, I can kind of gauge the situation and find out if they are bothered by my longer posts first. But if there are several involved, as in an RfC particularly, then it is easy to end up with you and someone else between you filling pages, as with me and Hucbald in that tuning conversation, and others think that they have to read the whole thing. I think that's the main issue with RfCs of my rather verbose talk page habits.
I think our comments are out of sequence somehow. He has just replied to me in the RfC earlier today, and it was my next post on this talk page that I posted here first, for a moment of reflection so I don't overwhelm the RfC. See below, I've worked on it to trim it a fair bit before I posted it here, about appeals. With the Buddhism topic area I do think there was a case of cyberbullying of some sort. Especially with the previous main editor of the article who worked it with no problems at all, getting on well with the other editors, for over a year, then one of the editors decides to completely rewrite the article, won't roll back or discuss his changes, and the first editor, who in my view was much better, - well he and I worked together to try to do something about it but faced a lot of hostility, two inconclusive ANI actions, and then he just stopped editing wikipedia. Didn't do a single edit of the articles after the new editor took over. I think that may well count as wikibullying, along with what they did with me plus another editor, a newbie who was studying a topic in the Buddhism topic area at postgraduate level and they reverted every single one of his edits, and he then gave up never having had a single one of his edits either accepted by these editors or praised in any way although he was far more expert than them on the topic. That I can't say this on wikipedia doesn't stop me from thinking it of course, and saying it off wiki - and many other editors must be in similar situations in other topic areas - as whether there is wiki bullying in my case, it does occur on wikipedia. So we may encounter victims of it from time to time. Robert Walker (talk) 15:57, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Your reference to "suggest ideas by proxy" will make people think that this board is going to be abused. Yes, that's not literally what you're talking about but you basically said, "Oh, and we'd be breaking the rules if we did THIS." You pointed out something that could go wrong with this board, and since I have no intention of doing any proxying if this board is started on WP, it's a problem that we definitely know is not going to be an issue.
If someone said to you "I'd be breaking the rules if I punched you in the nose," what would you think? "That person wants to punch me in the nose!!"
In general, the fact that I personally wouldn't have access to it if it were hosted on Wikipedia is not a good reason not to create it (and people will read it as a reason not to create it at all, not as a reason not to create it on Meta-Wiki), and it might not be so good for you to act like it is. Wikipedia's not supposed to be about any one person. It will make people think that I only want this board to help myself and not to render Wikipedia's disciplinary processes less disruptive. I wouldn't be supporting this proposal if I didn't think it addressed a systemic problem. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:08, 29 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Okay, I didn't see it that way, thanks for the perspective. I've just removed the statement of proxy. But I think it is a good reason for doing it on meta - have stated it more positively in final para:

In short on meta we have two volunteers already who are keen to work on it, while wikipedia needs new volunteers, blocked editors can't volunteer at all, and there are technical issues with wikipedia we wouldn't face on meta. I suggest the first priority is an opportunity for a small scale pilot to show that it can work, which is easier to do on meta. If the pilot is a success, we can resume this discussion to decide where it goes next.

So in other words it's because it prevents us from doing volunteer work on the project, I think that helps make it clearer, what do you think? Reason for editing my section was I realized today, it's just about the first thing they see after the RfC and it had some errors in it, especially not mentioning en:WP:BMB and then when I did that I realized there were other ways it could be improved, mainly by way of copy editing. I didn't realize mentioning proxying would be a substantive change and understand why now, and why it would be an issue. Just for matters of emphasis as you say. It's mentioned in the proposal. Robert Walker (talk) 11:28, 29 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

The problem with your statement is not that it's unclear; it isn't. The problem is that it puts the focus on you and me and not on the board itself. People will think we only want it so we can do whatever we want. RSN and NPOVN have a lot more than two volunteers, and they all act as they see fit. The boards channel that a little, but they are not dependent on their original proposers to function. Basically, if this board doesn't work without the two of us, then it doesn't work. I don't think it needs us to work. Even if the two of us are heavily involved, it is still going to take shape based on what the majority of the questioners and volunteers do. Once it's up, we're not going matter any more than they do. We're not going to have any special privileges or authority just because we helped build it, and your statement might make people think you think otherwise.
Besides, remember what I said about things taking on a life of their own? You've got to be willing to give your idea to the community and let them do whatever they want with it, even if that means running it in a way you don't like. You're going to make people think you haven't already accepted that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:40, 29 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Okay, I didn't mean it like that and I can see what you are saying now. I think I've fixed it, what do you think? Robert Walker (talk) 11:57, 29 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Also note I don't mention you by name there any more. Hadn't thought of that possibility that it might give the impression it is "all about us" and our ideas, and from that perspective seems best not to mention you, as they can find out easily enough who I mean by the other keen volunteer Robert Walker (talk) 12:02, 29 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
BTW hadn't thought of this before, but I'd have thought your active participation in this initiative would if anything count in your favour for your eventual unblock?? As after all it is showing you are a valued member of the community on another wikipedia project. So long as we make sure everything is within guidelines for wikipedia I can't imagine it could count against you in any way. Robert Walker (talk) 12:14, 29 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
I can't deny that that's been on my mind. In fact, I'd read that good participation in other parts of the project is considered during unblocks. I don't remember if I found that page before or after the anti-harassment Inspire campaign, but it did seem like a good fit for that. But remember that this proposal is critical of AE and ArbCom; it says "the system isn't working that well right now." The ArbCom guys aren't supposed to take that into account, but they're human beings. Also remember that doing exactly what the written rules say to to do has backfired on me before. The instructions I read could have been out of date. Or the ArbCom guys might want me to disregard them for reasons not disclosed to me. Who knows?
But where that leaves me is "because this proposal could either help or hurt my next appeal and because there's no way to tell, I might as well judge it on its own merits." And it's got those in spades. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:22, 30 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Right, yes I suppose it is a bit critical, maybe that's part of the reason for the oppose votes. Because hard to see how it could harm anyone, especially to do a pilot on meta, as we could always just stop it if it did cause problems / got out of hand but I don't see that as likely. I also see from the editor that I'm helping via email at present who found us via the proposal - it's obvious that just giving people an opportunity to talk to someone else who is not involved in the case helps. Like a lot of it I think will be mainly letting people talk and figure out their own solutions as much as anything. How could anyone be opposed to that? If their pessimistic forecasts turn out to be correct, they can say to shut it down at that point. I think you are right that some of it may be because it's suggesting the current system is not perfect already. Some of it may have been though because of the clumsy phrasing of some of what I said - my first response, which may have given the impression that it is all about us. Rewriting that may help a bit.
Anyway - I can vouch for you that you are doing great work here, and without you the proposal could not be where it is at present. If that is any help at any point.
In my case, the closing admin on my case has already made it clear he sees it as a complete waste of my time. So it's not gong to help for sure. But as it is on meta he can't complain about it either, and my topic ban expires automatically so I don't have to prove anything to them, just keep out of trouble for six months. So I don't need to prove that I'm being constructive and useful, just not do anything that goes against the ban, and meanwhile anyone can confirm that I'm continuing to do constructive work elsewhere on wikipedia.
If we get a chance to actually do it, and it works out and actually helps people, that should be a plus point. Of course if it is approved but goes badly wrong, and has to be closed down, that's a minus point, but we've put a lot of work into that and I have confidence myself, I think if it gets underway it's got a good chance of working well and showing that it works. I think they don't realize how much topic banned editors actually want to be productive and to get along and try to make progress within the rules of wikipedia at least the ones I've talked to. Also they don't have the direct experience we have of how much it is needed, we are going to get people come with many questions like the ones we had. Once they see that, how many questions people have that haven't been answered within the existing system I think that would turn them around. I think myself that just about everyone who comes to the board will come to it genuinely wanting help rather than to cause trouble and that this is our best reason for supposing it is going to succeed because just about everyone there will want it to succeed. That's also partly why I think a pilot is needed so they can get really clear evidence that it is needed and that it helps people.
One thing I have wondered about, if it is an inconclusive RfC as seems quite likely at present, where does that leave us? Currently roughly equally balanced between three of the options. Can you start something like this based on an inconclusive RfC?? Or what do you do next? Perhaps we just have to meet that when we come to it and see what happens, as it might tip towards one of the options as we get more participation. Do you have any thoughts about that? Robert Walker (talk) 10:25, 30 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Well the rule for article text is that if there's no consensus for a change, then the status quo stays. I don't know if that extrapolates perfectly to creating a new page that is not an article. But yes, a 50/50 split would be no clear consensus for or against. However, it's early days yet, far too soon to worry. If you think the RfC is stagnating, though, the publicize it somewhere else. Who else do you think would have an interest in this board (and wouldn't constitute canvassing). And there's always the feedback request service. We could ping two, maybe four people from that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:13, 30 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Okay - well it's on the village pump proposals in wikipedia at present, thanks to ca2j. So we might get a few more come from there. Proposal 10 and it should be there for a week by the archive bot config. I can't think of anything else that would not constitute canvassing. Anyway neither of us can post to the main wiki.
Apart from that, can't see how one can find a sub population to contact. Easy to find lists of people who would be especially interested, but not so easy to find an unbiased list.
The people most interested in it of course, would be topic banned and blocked editors, wikipedia has lists - I'm on this one [1] - but to try to notify them, I think would definitely be canvassing as they are a population of people likely to be in favour of the board. I wonder if, at a later stage once we have the board in place, if it happens, it could be a way to contact people who might be interested in the new board? Is that an appropriate thing to do I wonder?
Notifying admins who enforce bans on editors has the same problem - might well be biasing in the other direction because as you say they might see it as criticism. And in any case it's not something we could do, and anything like that is risk of spam too.
The only other thought was to try to canvas all or a selection of participants in the inspire initiative. But not sure that would be unbiased, and again, they haven't asked to be contacted. I'm just throwing out ideas in case maybe something else comes of it. None of those seem likely.
I agree, the feedback request service seems best. But again, neither of us can do that AFAIK. And anyway with a split 7:9:8, it's nowhere near consensus for any of the options. If we have another four or five, and they also split roughly three way, it's not going to swing it in any direction conclusively. If the decision was made to do it on wikipedia, which is the current majority view, I think that depends on someone new to come along who has a vision of how to achieve it on wikipedia. The other thing is that they don't decide RfCs by just counting votes. As it is so far then the closing admin might well decide against it as some of the "not do it at all" votes are quite forceful. I've done a bit more editing of my section plus first section of the proposal, as I think from the most recent "don't do it" vote that the proposal is unclear. Made it clearer that we aren't at all trying to find a way to change wikipedia topic banning policies or to influence admin decisions in any way. Purely informational. BTW the RfC link took you to the talk page of the proposal, a bit of a major oops. Don't know how it happened - would have been me as I did that bit of the editing, adding links to your text and it's a mistake I've made before. I don't know how much of a difference that made in the voting. Robert Walker (talk) 16:34, 30 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Sorry I've rather messed things up with a couple of recent comments. One of the other editors on the talk page for the RfC has said I've been arguing against all contrary opinion [2]. That's not at all what I had in mind as I know you know. Apologized and left the last word for a couple of other editors in the most recent discussion.

Just had only one other thought. It's not looking too good at present. As you say it is early days yet, who knows, may get a whole lot of votes that change the situation a lot, wouldn't take much. But doing it on meta has the lowest number of votes, and nobody has yet stepped forward with their own vision for wikipedia, and we can't do it there ourselves. But I was wondering if there is any chance of doing anything unofficially off wiki if the answer is that we just can't do it here at all?

Some kind of a support group for topic banned editors, somewhere? It wouldn't be the same thing at all, but it might help a few people who have just been topic banned, bewildered and don't know what to do next? It would have a major plus point that we can just go ahead and do it, don't need anyone's approval to get it started and can make our own rules there and there's going to be no problem at all with them mentioning the ban or the discussion or events leading up to the ban. The negative point of course, how would anyone find us? Is there any chance of wikipedia topic ban notices mentioning an off wiki support group if it turned out to work really well, if we could show how much we help wikipedia topic banned editors, and that it is not in any way harming wikipedia? Just sharing a few thoughts. I suppose it is Option D in the proposal, but I'm just discussing it informally, not going to put it in as a vote there just now, especially with this thing about me writing too much there. Robert Walker (talk) 23:47, 30 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

1) There is no rule against being the person with the most edits.
2) Remember, he's someone who doesn't want the measure to pass.
3) That being said, I do think you're posting too much. One thing that might help is this: remember that this RfC is in slow motion. When you see something you want to reply to, write out what you want, but don't hit enter. Wait twelve hours. Then see if you still want to say it or still want to say all of it.
It's not enough for this board to exist. It has to have a good reputation. I don't see the point of doing this off-wiki. It needs the community's endorsement in some way, even if only in permission to exist. There's always the possibility that some admin will deliberately punish someone for doing what the noticeboard volunteers advise just because they don't like the idea of a noticeboard. If it's on-project in some way, that would be harder to get away with. Also, it's highly likely that an off-wiki noticeboard would be lumped in with Wikipediocracy and other sour-grapes oooh-you-got-blocked-for-being-an-asshole-because-no-one-who's-not-an-asshole-gets-blocked-so-hang-out-there-and-complain-while-we-get-the-real-work-done-without-you sites. Darkfrog24 (talk) 10:59, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Thanks those are all good points. Yes you are right, he is hardly an unbiased observer here, he's asking someone with opposing views to him to slow down. Yes that's a good idea. I am fine with waiting a fair while actually, especially with such a slow moving RfC, like a day or two days.
The few RfCs I got involved in on wikipedia were very fast moving, in the discussion area - if you came back a few hours later you'd see loads of new posts, not just me, there were other editors there also doing many posts - I was probably the most verbose, I agreed, but in the one I got topic banned for, the opposing editor did 12 posts in less than 24 hours in its discussion area, long multi paragraph posts many of them. It seems to be a topic area that attracts verbose posts. I don't know how many I did as I didn't mark my minor edits as minor at that point, am much more careful now. So part of it may be habits also from those RfCs. On reflection I thought we should have limited our posts per day so that anyone else should have plenty of time to catch up on what happened, and when the opposing editor suggested I limit my posts per day, I suggested a voluntary limitation of both of us for future RfCs. That was during the debate in ANI before they topic banned me. The opposing editor said he didn't have a problem with too many posts and was outraged that I suggested he limit his voluntarily :). So that didn't go down well and was probably additional grist to the mill for the view that I needed to be topic banned. Anyway - so I came to it with that background of a couple of very fast moving RfC discussions.
As you say this one is slow motion, which is a very nice change :). Chances are that someone else might say the same thing and if so that's better than me saying it :). And they will probably say it with fewer words naturally without having to work away at trimming down their response as I do :). Also I found it very helpful what he said about not trying to argue for other editors to change their views, just to put informational points mainly. I think that's a good approach. And I was doing that mainly, but sometimes I stepped a bit over the line, without meaning too. Like it's one thing to explain how the board would work, it's stepping over the line a bit if I argue with them strongly that it would not have the various issues they say it would have, because that's their valid opinion for the RfC and it is mainly a matter of opinion there until we try it out. And leaving them the last word at times is a good idea too.
I can see what you mean about an off wiki noticeboard. Yes and they have no control over it either so probably unlikely to want to recommend it to banned / blocked / topic banned editors, I can see that even if it was working very well off wiki, still it would not be easy for it to establish such a good reputation that they'd recommend editors to go there, because they'd be concerned that it could change at any moment into something that doesn't work so well or that it becomes an "anti wikipedia" site. Good points.
One other idea, if it really does prove very difficult to get it going anywhere on wiki, the email approach would at least be something and so long as editors can also pass on enquiries to more knowledgeable others, it could run by itself even without a board. Sort of like a backup plan with the board far better, it might be a possibility. That would just require a page on wikipedia listing the editors that are willing to be emailed for general conversations about topic bans and blocks, and they then could mark themselves as available / unavailable on the list as time goes on. I just posted about this to the proposal talk page as an addition to the board, but it could be a stand alone thing also potentially. And then an online board where the editors themselves can talk to each other and ask questions of each other - so they can mention particulars as they are not banned in those topic areas themselves + the topic banned editors can take part there so long as they don't mention their own topic bans online, they could ask some questions in general terms even so, and then continue to private conversations if they need to get into specifics. Robert Walker (talk) 11:28, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
If you think that my comment on the rate at which you post in the RFC you started are part of some deep machination to promote a particular outcome then you are mistaken and indeed you overestimate the importance I attach to it. What I want is for the RFC to be readable by and useful to the community. Whether the community's consensus is for or against your proposal, I am prepared to abide by it and I hope that you are willing to say the same. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:42, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, we weren't saying that, it's just that you are obviously a non neutral observer of the RfC yourself. That doesn't need any intent at all on your part. So, it's good to hear the perspective of @Darkfrog24: as well. Yes of course, that's why we did the RfC, it's a community decision. Robert Walker (talk) 18:54, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Really? Either say exactly why you think my commenting on the conduct of this RFC is not capable of being neutral -- if it's so obvious you will have no difficulty articulating your reasons -- or withdraw your remarks about me altogether. Better still, think less about why I might have said what I said, and think more about whether or not it is valid and useful. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:25, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Oh, I didn't mean it like that either. I found your comments helpful and as far as I know they are neutral :). I said that I found them helpful on the talk page for the RfC. I'm just stating the obvious here that you are not an uninvolved commentator as you have taken part in the Rfc. That's all I meant. An involved commentator can of course make neutral remarks and I think yours was neutral. Still it helps to hear the same comments from another commentator who is supporting the proposal. And it would be best of all to have comments from someone who hasn't taken part and has no particular opinions either way. Is that clear now? Robert Walker (talk) 21:02, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

To put it another way - the initial remark from you was very helpful as it showed that my discussion there was perceived to be biased by one of the other editors. As to what to do next based on that observation, well I said on the RfC talk page " If you have any suggestions of anything I can do at this point to rectify the situation please say. The last thing I want is a biased RfC!". You didn't respond to that. So the discussion here is to do with that, deciding what is an appropriate way to proceed in the future. And @Darkfrog24: gave me some very useful suggestions which I am using. I'm not for a moment questioning that I wrote too much there and that there was an element of arguing for my case and @Darkfrog24: also said that I have written a little too much and suggested to slow the pace down as it is a slow paced RfC. And one thing i'm doing is to continue discussions here and on the proposal talk page instead of on the RfC, without links from it either, just as separate discussions of interesting topics that have arisen as a result, but that would be an imposition of they were discussions on the page itself. But can't be anything wrong with discussing ideas elsewhere on meta, at least I don't see how it can be. Seems care on the RfC discussion is the main point here. Robert Walker (talk) 21:16, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Pretty much what Robert's said. You're non-neutral the way everyone who's expressed any opinion in the RfC is non-neutral. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:27, 1 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
I have said enough on this topic, which is not to my mind the most important thing I could be doing. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:31, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

You're going to be tempted to say something to Neotarf. Not saying you shouldn't. I'm saying decide what you want to say, think about it, wait at least until tomorrow, and then decide if you still want to say all or any of it. Neotarf has raised a new issue, whether ARCA already serves the need, and it would make sense if you had a comment, but remember that you don't have to answer every time. Darkfrog24 (talk) 00:02, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Oh, I don't think there is much to be said there, was a weak support all along, and Neotarf obviously has a different vision of what it is all about, suggesting it is better off wiki - I think it was more of a whistleblowing / reform the system idea and that's not what we want to do with the board. I'm not saying at all that there isn't a place for that - I actually supported the proposal to have a trained lawyer give oversight / training for arbcome - but it would be confusing to fold that into the functions of the board as that's not our aim, nor remotely, nothing to do with it.
I had a look at en:WP:ARCA and it's to do with changing and clarifying policy not helping editors understand existing policy and their own behaviour and finding a way forward. I think the proposal already is pretty clear on that point where it says

There would be no need for closing admins to get involved, unless they were interested, as editors would go back to them for any substantial questions about ban scope etc.

And we've also had a fair bit of clarifying discussion too .
Don't know what is meant by substantive change as the only change is moving that email and wiki bullying from the talk page for the proposal to my user space? It is a possible result though of not saying much about blocked editors or bullying or human dignity of the blocked. I think the removed sections are very important myself but agree that it may be too early to make a big deal about them as they are not already in the proposal. But if it seems we don't think that blocked editors or wikibullying or human dignity is important that would be unfortunate. I think all that is very important and only removed the sections because I didn't want any suggestion that we are changing the RfC as it progresses. I'll add a note to the talk page saying that.
- done. Also edited the intro of the proposal, after it says all substantive decisions still made by the closing admin, say "The proposal is nothing at all to do with enacting or changing or clarifying policy - it is not an attempt to set up an alternative en:WP:ARCA. " Hopefully will make it clearer. I don't know whether to say anything on the RfC itself, no hurry, will leave that for now :). Robert Walker (talk) 00:59, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
A "substantive" change is something that concerns the substance of the proposal, as opposed to say formatting or fixing typos. I think you should stop changing the proposal, even if you think the changes are improvements. One of the reasons Neotarf withdrew his/her support was because the proposal was changed after he/she supported it. Neotarf clearly thinks that adding/removing that kind of information from the talk page counts. Yes it's less official than if it were on the proposal page, but it's clearly hurting the proposal's chances. Darkfrog24 (talk) 10:51, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Agreed. Well actually, they said it was the changes to the proposal itself, or do they mention the proposal talk page somewhere? I don't see them withdrawing as a big deal as they had a different idea for the proposal and I think it's good that it is clearer that it is not a proposal to criticize the admins. Because that could lead to people supporting it who then have a vision for how it should develop in the future that would go against what we are attempting. It would also mean we get opposition from people who interpret it the same way Neotarf does and who don't want to establish a board to criticize admins and change the way wikipedia is run. Some of those who support the RfC might end up taking part in the project too, so I think it's important for that reason also that we have a clearly stated vision and that if it is unclear, that gets fixed.
I think some level of meta overview of arbcom and community policing of wikipedia would be a good idea myself as they are volunteers with little experience of such things and tend to do a lot of judgements based on emotion without realizing it in my limited experience and could do with some overview / oversight of some sort. But it would be hugely confusing to fold that functionality into this board! So I think myself that it was very important to clarify that point. I think a bit of the opposition we got could have been due to that clumsy first sentence which gave the impression the board was intended as a way to criticize admins and other editors.
So - I think we may need to modify the text of the RfC if it turns out that it is being read in a way that we didn't intend. But we should probably do that using strikeout rather than just edit the text in the future, to make it clear what is being changed and explain why. I think that is where I went wrong. It is too late to do that, but I've added a new section Motivation for rewrites of the proposal since the RfC began which should help. Have also responded on the RfC. I think I should also link to the new talk page section from the start of the proposal. Will do that. Robert Walker (talk) 12:26, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
I know you don't mean it like that, but all these clarification sections that you're adding are just making things worse. You're drawing attention to the problem without solving it. Letting it lie is probably best.
I don't think we should change the text of the RfC. Frankly, I don't think people are misreading it. I think they're interpreting it just fine and it's only that about a third of them so far don't agree that the proposal should be enacted.
It looks like one of the things that's going on here is that you and I both have very specific ideas of how this board would work and exactly what kinds of questions and answers and attitudes people would bring to it. We have to accept that we're not going to have that level of control over it. On that level, it doesn't matter if people don't understand that your specific goal is to have a place where people can feel welcome vs. receive raw information vs. criticize admins, etc. That's a very fine target, hitting a bullseye right in the middle. But with an RfC for a bow, hitting the straw target anywhere at all is a victory. Even if the community decides to enact a noticeboard that is merely like what you and I discussed, it's still a win. The specifics have to be phrased as suggestions. That's all we'll be able to do to tell people how to act on a real board anyway. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:21, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Oh dear I didn't mean it as a clarification section for the proposal! It was a response to Neotarf saying that I'd made many minor edits and he didn't know what I'd done. So it was just an after the event explanation of the diffs. Perhaps I just need to trim it? It's not meant to be expanding on the proposal or clarifying it! Robert Walker (talk) 18:35, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Is this better? [3] Robert Walker (talk) 18:51, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

It's okay by itself but within the wider context of what is now a very long proposal and talk page, I don't think you should expect Neotarf or anyone to read it. They might, but don't expect it. In general, just stop making changes to the proposal and talk page unless they're specifically necessary. People will read "Here is why I fixed the problem" is "There is a problem" even if that's not what you mean. If you want to talk just to Neotarf, use Neotarf's talk page. Imagine that there are a dozen other people looking at the proposal. But it's changing constantly! They don't know that that section isn't for them.
If any part of this is that you're feeling nervous and need a place to put your industry, how about those neo-proposals that you're sandboxing in your userspace? Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:01, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Okay - but this isn't a change to the proposal or not meant to be. It's just documentation for the diffs. I'll try it as radios, that might be clearer , and call it documentation for the diffs. Robert Walker (talk) 19:09, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Is this clearer now? Documentation of diffs in the proposal since the RfC opened Robert Walker (talk) 19:15, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
BTW I've got loads of things to do off wiki, and find it difficult to find time for everything. So I'm certainly not looking for a new way to occupy my time here :). Robert Walker (talk) 19:17, 2 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Draft reply[edit]

For anyone reading this - one of the main reasons I was topic banned was because I wrote too much in an RfC, answering all the opposing points of view in detail, answering every point. I was not aware of en:WP:BLUDGEON. There were other factors as well. So I am taking especial care to not write too much on this RfC. I'm putting draft replies here before posting them to it.

This is my draft reply to Natuur12 - I'll see if I can trim it any more before posting. And won't ping as that might be seen as a nuuisance. Luckily these RfCs here are slow paced so there is no hurry. @Darkfrog24:, how does it look?

Oh, okay, I guessed that that was probably what he meant, but when I asked for confirmation he didn't state his judgement on the matter as clearly as that. He did say that I can post to the village pump in November, but he didn't say that I can't do anything right now. I asked for confirmation that that was what he meant as I was unsure, and he didn't answer that. There were also several other questions I asked which he didn't answer, others I could have asked if the conversation continued, and of course I can't ask him why he ended the conversation, or what I was doing wrong by asking those additional questions. I'm just using myself as an example here. There are many questions topic banned editors will want answers to that are next to impossible to ask with the present system - for a list of some of them, see: What is your solution where I also expand on this example in the collapsed section.
They must have reasons for this restrictive interpretation of en:WP:TBANEX, and any attempt to change this wikiwide would need to address those reasons, whatever they are, and may have extensive ramifications for the admins and management of wikipedia that we can't see. I see one of the advantages of a separate board, that if meta talk about topic bans is restricted to a single board, that would be much easier to administer. The only material change elsewhere is a possible link to the new board on sanction notices. I think it would also make things easier for the admins as many of the questions they get asked will be asked on the new board instead. The board is informational and of course won't change what topic banned editors can do on wikipedia, and the "on the spot" judgements would still remain with the closing admin - nothing changes there. Hopefully the result is that topic banned editors only ask the admins questions that they alone can answer, while more general informational questions are handled on the board, and the closing admins don't have to participate in those threads (unless they wish to of course).
Yes wikipedia does have a right to appeal for topic banned editors, as with any judicial system because no such system is perfect. In normal judicial systems however, you also have right to access for experts to help you decide whether you can appeal, and to prepare your appeal, and that's where I see a gap in wikipedia at present. The customary restrictive interpretations of en:WP:BANEX mean that though in theory you can ask such advice, in practice you can't. So that might be a function of the new board as well. First, advice on whether you have grounds for appeal. Many editors would probably decide they have no grounds after discussion there, but some may feel they do. If so, it could help them to prepare their appeal as well. I've added a new section for discussion on the talk page for the proposal here, which also uses my own case as an example as I briefly considered appealing my own topic ban (though I no longer intend to do so): Help for editors who want to appeal. Robert Walker (talk) 12:03, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Glad I didn't post it right away, I think it was verging on en:WP:BLUDGEON on reflection. And someone else has posted a comment too. I'm going to try again later today see if I can say it more succintly with a fresh look. I know this is a bit artificial but when you are learning, you need to put some work in, the idea is later on it becomes automatic, but right now I feel I do need to learn something about how to respond in RfCs. Robert Walker (talk) 16:28, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

@Darkfrog24: - first thanks for taking part, and sorry about the reply I just did, it seemed okay at the time, but on reflection it now seems a mistake. Anyway is done now. I have trimmed it / copy edited it a bit shorter, hopefully a bit better though sorry about adding to the RfC history, should have done it here. Anyway is done now. I also just removed all mention of my own appeal attempt from the section on appeal in the talk page for the proposal. First, was too long, but also, one of the editors who was involved in the case that lead to my topic ban has just voted against the RfC, and that brought it home to me - that I may be skating a bit of a fine line mentioning it here. I think the mention of the question about publicizing the RfC was okay, but not so much the mention of my question about whether I can appeal, especially as it included comments about the behaviour of other editors in the topic area even though none of them are mentioned by name. Robert Walker (talk) 21:14, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

You do not need to apologize to me. Your comments have your name on them, not mine. If you regret them and no one's replied, change them. If not, stand by them. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:27, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Okay - on reflection, I just removed them,which I think I can do for as long as nobody replies. The regret is not so much for what I said as the amount of text I wrote as per en:WP:BLUDGEON. I've said that as my edit summary so hopefully other editors will understand. I'll see if I can compose something really brief, in its place. Robert Walker (talk) 21:45, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Okay with my new reply now. It's only a bit shorter but it's not got that en:WP:BLUDGEON vibe to it any more. Robert Walker (talk) 22:37, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply


To be honest, I will be glad to be the first client of your pilot, and I need desperate help because I am topic-banned editor and want to return to constructive editing. And I should love to discuss the whole matter with people from outside in a friendly space with no blocks, shouting and other thinks like that. And yes, I am very emotional because I had nowhere the chance to defend myself. When you blocked you need help. Realy. Everybody has an opinion about you, most of them has not a clou what happend, it is like a train nobody can stop. Everybody start to judging, and you have to shut up. And, small Wikipedia's have small communities, so there must be a place outside there the community where you can appeal. And I mean were you can appeal in a quote place a friendly atmosphere were are now blocks and with people from other committees. Anyway, thank you very much for this initiative. Best regards, Justice for all, always (talk) 22:02, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Oh great, glad to hear it. So we've got a client for when it starts (hopefully) :). We were wondering how anyone would find it on meta. If it is approved then I'm sure @Darkfrog24: and I will be delighted to help you as best we can. And sometimes just being able to talk without others judging everything you say makes all the difference. It is not just about answering questions and finding solutions, I'm sure sometimes it will be about helping the editor to find their own solutions. And I think those who have been topic banned themselves, or blocked, have the best understanding of what it is like to be in this situation. With all the will in the world, admins who have never been topic banned don't quite understand what it is like I think. Best regards Robert Walker (talk) 22:15, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
I think Meta will be shocked and astonished afterwards. Ore better, I am sure about that. Because I am not only a blocked user, now, I am also a Global lock user. Is that possible within the rules? No. Did it happen? Yes. Is a infinite block passing every rule possible? Yes, it is. And do you know the name for this? Corruption. So, I am looking forwards for your help. Best regards, Justice for all, always (talk) 22:32, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Wow, I didn't know that a global lock was possible. Just found it with a search here Global_locks. How are you able to post here, or does it not apply to meta? Best regards, Robert Walker (talk) 22:40, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
In fact, a global lock is complete nonsens nowadays. There are so many ways to get back. But it was a deal between some corrupt NL sysops (Natuur12 and friends) and some corrupt stewards. Because it should be a enormous scandal if somebody should find it out. What just has happend. So, you first cause is very, very interesting. I am a constructive editor you know. Best regards. By te way, did you receive my mail with the details? Justice for all, always (talk) 22:47, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
Yes, got it, and replied, perhaps can help in a small way before the board, just listening, although I know nothing about the subject, I can help as a sympathetic ear perhaps, and I hope somehow you can find a way back to constructive editing, Best Regards, Robert Walker (talk) 00:10, 27 July 2016 (UTC)Reply


Please see Talk:Requests for comment/Designated space for editors to give and seek advice about topic bans and other sanctions#Contributions. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:16, 30 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

RfC: Protect user pages by default[edit]

A request for comment is available on protecting user pages by default from edits by anonymous and new users. I am notifying you because you commented on this proposal when it was either in idea or draft form. Funcrunch (talk) 18:01, 31 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Survey on Inspire Campaign for addressing harassment[edit]

Thanks for your participation during the Inspire Campaign focused on addressing harassment from June 2016. I'm interested in hearing your experience during the campaign, so if you're able, I invite you to complete this brief survey to describe how you contributed to the campaign and how you felt about participating.

Please feel free to let me know on my talk page if you have any questions about the campaign or the survey. Thanks! I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 03:23, 10 September 2016 (UTC)Reply

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