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Latest comment: 2 years ago by Vermont in topic Merchandise Giveaway comments

Steward role[edit]

Sorry, I do not understand what your question is. Steward role, duties and best practices can be read on meta wiki. May be that a partial knowledge of foreign languages can be of help, since there are already many english speaking active. Any stewards activities can also be seen in part from public logs, in part are reserved for privacy and policy reasons.

--M/ 17:55, 23 January 2011 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for your response. SilkTork 08:54, 24 January 2011 (UTC)Reply


Sorry that you didn't identify with the Foundation in time to qualify for the steward elections. It was good to see you stand forward; there is a need for new involvement, even from people who have not historically done a lot of cross-wiki work. Considering your English and French connections, I hope you will consider doing other Meta-work as well, including small-wiki support and cross-language collaborations. Regards, SJ · talk | translate 00:55, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Reply

Silly me. I didn't read the instructions carefully enough. I thought that similar to ArbCom, that I had to identify to Foundation before being appointed rather than before the election. I assumed I would be asked at the appropriate time. I thought of identifying, but then I thought that might be presumptuous of me, because the election hadn't started. Quite right that I should be disqualified - somebody who doesn't read instructions carefully shouldn't be a steward! SilkTork 10:33, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Reply
It sounds to me like a dumb rule that should be changed. If the voters want to elect a person who hasn't yet identified himself, that should be their prerogative; and they do so at the risk that their chosen candidate might eventually be disqualified. You ended up getting disqualified anyway under this set of rules, which deprived the voters of as wide a variety of choices as they would otherwise have had. Leucosticte (talk) 04:10, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I don't think I mind the rule so much as that I wasn't notified I was in violation of the rule until it was too late. Anyway, I'm not sure I would have made a useful Steward. I have since become a member of ArbCom, and while I feel I am doing a good job, it is quite time-consuming and on occasion quite stressful, so I don't plan (at the moment) on doing another term. I like the idea of helping out - it's just a question of finding the right role. I might apply to be a bureaucrat when my role on ArbCom is finished. I think I may be more suited to that. SilkTork (talk) 08:41, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
It depends on your passion and talents and the economics of the situation. By the latter, I mean what services are in short supply but high demand. And by "services" I don't mean to imply that a given service provided by one person is necessarily as good as that provided by another; quality work can sometimes be hard to find. E.g., if you don't become a bureaucrat, will the alternative be that important work goes undone, or gets done much more shoddily, or in a much less timely manner?
There is a lot of stuff that is presently backlogged. E.g., there probably aren't enough sysops and article reviewers, nor are there ever enough content creators; there are plenty of areas in which Wikipedia's coverage is embarrassingly deficient. However, as a Mediawikianist, I tend to believe that the place where one can make the most impact for the amount of labor invested is as a programmer. Of course, I also favor more people getting involved in programming because it makes my job easier; programming gets easier and easier the more advanced the software becomes, even though as it gets more complex, there is more to learn. Leucosticte (talk) 15:12, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply


User_talk:Michaeldsuarez#enwiki_ban – Leucosticte said some things about you, and I would like to hear your side of things before offering a response of my own. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:23, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

What information would you like? Bear in mind that there is not much I can say about ArbCom appeals held in private. SilkTork (talk) 09:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I would like to see a response to the following please:
  • "I think in many cases, SilkTork is behind this."
  • "[H]e [SilkTork] favors getting rid of people whose off-wiki conduct could, in his eyes, harm the project's reputation."
  • "See http://libertapedia.org/wiki/User:Leucosticte/SilkTork%27s_message."
  • "So, what was the point of cooperating [with the investigation]?"
  • "Oh, and his [SilkTork's] allegations that I made legal threats are unfounded, incidentally."
--Michaeldsuarez (talk) 11:17, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

I understand that he is feeling frustrated regarding his situation on Wikipedia, and I was the one who communicated with him - albeit unofficially, purely so that he wasn't left waiting for a response that was not going to come. It is not unusual for someone who has been frustrated by sanctions on Wikipedia to feel bitter toward the people either responsible for the sanction or for delivering the message. I'm not concerned, but thanks for letting me know. SilkTork (talk) 12:33, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

I didn't ask you for a theory about what motivates Leucosticte. I want you to defend yourself and ArbCom. Do you "favor getting rid of people whose off-wiki conduct could, in [your] eyes, harm the project's reputation"? Was ArbCom really too afraid to speak to Leucosticte directly? Were "[your] allegations that [Leucosticte] made legal threats unfounded"? I want you to defend the system. "What was the point of cooperating?" --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:06, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I'm not sure what benefit there is of continuing this discussion. I had thought you were concerned that this man was saying things that I might find offensive, rather than that you thought there was some basis to his theory that I am co-ordinating some ArbCom plot to keep - what was it, child offenders or other undesirables? - off Wikipedia. I am unlikely to respond further to this as I suspect it will be a waste of my time. SilkTork (talk) 20:23, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I don't believe Leucosticte's accusations (he hasn't provided me with sufficient evidence), but his statements have made me curious. I would like to see you refute those accusations. Is it so hard to say, "Leucosticte is wrong. Here's why: …"? Doing that would settle things. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 22:01, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
I never said I was bitter. But, Michaeldsaurez, as far as "that would settle things" is concerned, I believe SilkTork would regard them as already settled. When you're dealing with a bureaucracy with respect to which you are pretty much utterly powerless (as a banned user is with regard to the ArbCom under these types of circumstances), all the bureaucracy has to do is refrain from taking any action or making any statement, and the status quo remains. It is not necessary for them to respond in order to maintain the status quo; they can just ignore inquiries, because ordinarily, no one is interested in holding them accountable. The enwiki community is not exactly well-known for launching spirited activist campaigns to reverse ArbCom injustices; one could interpret that as evidence that the ArbCom is doing such a great job that everyone is satisfied, or one could find an alternative explanation.
As for it being a waste of time to respond, it depends on what one's goal in responding would be. Normally, the point of discussion is to either raise and refute arguments in order to discover what are the most reasonable and truthful arguments; or to convince another person of what one has already found to be the most reasonable and truthful argument. It could be that no one in this discussion will change their mind or learn anything new; who knows. But if SilkTork doesn't feel like participating, then I guess we're pretty much hit. He's under no obligation to participate, and as mentioned, banned users are pretty much powerless to do anything about it. We can't raise an objection in any enwiki forum; enwiki users don't hang out here much; and even if they did, Sanger's Law has molded the community, especially its leadership, to consist of people who largely support, or at least acquiesce to, the status quo. So, we are pretty much disenfranchised.
Suppose no one in this discussion would change their minds; what about other readers? It is probably the case that hardly anyone cares about what any of the participants in this discussion (SilkTork, Michaeldsuarez, or myself) have to say about this; the community is probably not waiting with baited breath to see what SilkTork's explanation will be, since the explanation was already given. The ArbCom made a decision in private theoretically because it was a sensitive matter (legally, personally, or otherwise), but I would guess also because it's more convenient to make decisions where people can't scrutinize and criticize them; and so if the ArbCom can get away with doing that, it will. There is also the fact that most people who pay attention to such matters and care about them are either (1) in agreement with ArbCom, or (2) already banned or on their way to being banned. I don't know what the statistics are, but there seem to be an awful lot of people getting banned these days who would have gotten a slap on the wrist or less in the old days.
I disagree with a lot of aspects of Wikipedia disciplinary policy and practice; e.g. I disagree with holding these proceedings in secret, since that's contrary to the wiki way. It's hard to make bad actions easy to correct if there's a lack of transparency. I don't agree with indefinite bans; although I didn't make a legal threat, one part of en:Wikipedia:No_legal_threats#Conclusion_of_legal_threat that I agree with is, "The Wikipedia community has a long-standing general principle that (almost) anyone is capable of reform. Accordingly, statements made in anger or misjudgment should not always be held against people for the rest of their lives once genuinely and credibly withdrawn." I think that, especially in this era of the ArbCom, the community has gotten away from practices such as en:Wikipedia:Standard offer, and become less forgiving; I doubt that serves the project well.
In fact, I disagree with the ArbCom's very existence; I think its creation was a mistake, and setting it up as an elected body was an even worse mistake, because democracy blows. But I could go on and on about Wikipedia policies I disagree with; if you want the gist of where I stand, see the list of adjectives at User:Leucosticte. My disagreement with the rules doesn't mean I can't obey them. And I would hope that after being gone so long, I should be given another chance. However, if the only Wikipedia rule that's applicable to me is "Because you're banned, don't ever edit here again," then I'm in a bit of catch-22; if I break the rule, then I'm a rulebreaker who should be banned; if I obey the rule, then I'm also banned. I guess that's just the way it goes.
Oh, about "accusations" — I don't believe I levelled any accusations; I merely pointed out what appears to be a school of thought that SilkTork seems to have adopted, that people who commit certain major crimes (e.g. felonious threats and adult-child sex) off-wiki should be banned, even if those crimes had nothing to do with the wiki. That's not really an "accusation," any more than one would "accuse" Obama of supporting government-funded health care. Those are just stances that people have unapologetically taken. Leucosticte (talk) 14:37, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply


By the way — am I to understand that if you hadn't taken the initiative to give me a few paragraphs of explanation, I would have never received any response at all from the ArbCom about my appeal? If so, that doesn't seem very courteous or considerate of them. They should set a better example than that, if they want people to treat others with respect. After pouring so many thousands of hours into trying to improve Wikipedia, I would think that I deserve at least a few minutes of someone's time to write a reply, even if that's the last reply I'm to receive until the next ArbCom is constituted; so I'm glad that at least once of you responded. Leucosticte (talk) 17:31, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply


Hi SilkTork,

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Ban Appeals Subcommittee states, "Any appeal may be included in statistics about subcommittee business and activity. We would not include in these statistics any information we consider confidential." Regrettably, Category:Wikipedia_Arbitration_Committee_statistics contains no statistics since 2011. Are there some statistics that you can provide about (a) when users appealed their indef-blocks or bans to the ArbCom; (b) when their appeal was decided; and (c) what was the outcome?

If you can also say (d) who the user was and (e) when the user was banned, for the above rows of data, that would be helpful (for verifiability if nothing else), but I understand there may be privacy concerns preventing this, and I'm more concerned about the rest of the data (a, b and c, above). This would mostly fulfil the purpose I'm trying to accomplish at Wikipedians in Exile/Data on granting and denial of standard offer requests, which is to gather data that can be used to determine, as an actual percentage, how common it is for the ArbCom to implement the standard offer. Thanks. Leucosticte (talk) 07:24, 15 December 2013 (UTC)Reply

Letter petitioning WMF to reverse recent decitions[edit]

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

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

I'm notifying you because you participated in one of several relevant discussions. -Pete F (talk) 22:20, 20 August 2014 (UTC)Reply


Nice to see you on Meta. :) 14:00, 23 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks. I'm not active here, but have had a presence since 2007. I applied to be a steward in 2011, and passed the vote, but messed up the procedure on a technicality. SilkTork (talk) 14:41, 23 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Superprotect letter update[edit]

Hi SilkTork,

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your engagement on this issue, and please stay in touch. -Pete F (talk) 18:16, 26 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

2016 Community Wishlist Survey[edit]


You’re getting this message because you participated in the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey and we want to make sure you don't miss it this year – or at least can make the conscious choice to ignore if it you want to. The 2015 survey decided what the Community Tech team should work on during 2016. It was also the focus of Wikimedia hackathons and work by other developers. You can see the status of wishes from the 2015 wishlist at 2015 Community Wishlist Survey/Results.

The 2016 Community Wishlist Survey is now open for wishes. You can create proposals until November 20. You will be able to vote on which wishes you think are best or most important between November 28 and December 12. /Johan (WMF) (talk) via MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 11:17, 14 November 2016 (UTC)Reply

JSTOR account redistribution (The Wikipedia Library)[edit]

Hi - according to our records you received a free account for JSTOR through The Wikipedia Library. Because we’ve used up all of our allocated accounts, and it’s been some time since they were distributed, we want to redistribute any accounts that aren’t being used to users on our waitlist.

If you’re still using, or plan to use, your JSTOR access, no problem! Simply head over to the Library Card platform, log in, and request a renewal of your account. You should be able to do this from your user page, or the JSTOR signup page. If you can’t find the renewal button, or have any other issues or questions about this, please feel free to leave a message on my talk page. We’ll begin redistributing inactive accounts in September; if you request renewal after then we will only be able to reactivate your account if we have spots remaining. Thanks, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 13:32, 20 August 2018 (UTC)Reply


Sent you an e-mail. Please respond at your earliest convenience.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:51, 16 August 2019 (UTC)Reply

Fram case[edit]

Hi, Silk, a bit of clarification on that T&S document. Is it your impression that the document is comprehensive and covers all actions taken by the Foundation in this case as well as all complaints made to the Foundation regarding Fram? Does the document clearly distinguish between people who initiated complaints with the Foundation as opposed to those whose complaints may have been solicited by the Foundation? Lastly, are you absolutely certain that this comment you made is an accurate and complete reflection of what the T&S document says occurred with the Fram case in the timeframe from late 2018 to Fram's ban?--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 15:52, 10 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

My time is limited, so I would prefer to prioritise on the case rather than questions about the document. But what I will say, is that for me at the moment, I am looking at Fram's behaviour since the April 2018 warning, including material not in the T&S document nor in the ArbCom case evidence. I don't think I am betraying any confidence because the information is already out there, when I say that the ban rests on complaints this year regarding Fram's behaviour in ArbCom cases and toward ArbCom, so that is what I am concentrating on looking at. But when I say that, I have to be honest and say that I am very time limited at the moment, so I've not had much of a chance to re-examine closely Fram's conduct in those cases where he got involved and concerns were raised. SilkTork (talk) 16:44, 11 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
Understand the time limitations, though I believe this is pertinent to the case. Redacted documents, even lightly redacted, can be difficult to interpret in my experience. So, the possibility of misunderstanding does exist. Were the T&S document not complete or being misinterpreted due to redactions, then that could prejudice the case discussion. In that respect, is it possible that the dates in the T&S document do not show when a complaint was made, but rather when the conduct complained about occurred?--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 02:28, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
I have said this many times, but I don't mind repeating myself. I took the document as the impetus to open a case. I am not using the document itself as evidence. I am looking at what I know independent of the document, and what has been revealed during our ArbCom case. I did read the document, and found it a fair summary of Fram's conduct, and a subtle understanding of the difficulties that the community has with civility. The document shows the struggle that T&S had with reconciling the complaints with Fram's actions and reaching a clear conclusion that Fram acted strongly outside community standards, or that Fram was unfairly or inappropriately targeting people. Fram was reported in 2016. There were another five reports before T&S opened an investigation in 2018, so it wasn't a knee-jerk reaction, and it took a number of complaints before T&S started looking into the matter. I understand the actions that T&S took, but I would not have banned Fram based on what is in the document, including what I know of Fram that is not in the document. And, even if I agreed totally with the decision by T&S to ban Fram, it was highly inappropriate of them to take action themselves. The conduct they were looking at falls squally on the responsibility of the Wikipedia community. Where I am at the moment is that Fram got a warning about conduct - and such a warning was warranted, I don't think anyone, including Fram, disputes that. Fram's conduct wasn't such that it deserved an actual sanction, but there has been concern about Fram's persistence and manner for some time. So a "cool it" from any quarter was appropriate. So Fram got a warning. Has Fram continued to behave in an inappropriate manner since the warning? Possibly. There was stress around ArbCom and ArbCom cases at the start of this year, and Fram was quite heated. That's what I'm looking at. That's the case. The document doesn't really come into it. SilkTork (talk) 03:35, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
You seem to have indicated that there were exactly a dozen complaints to the Foundation. This would seem to be inconsistent with the statement on the evidence page that over a dozen complaints were sent to the Foundation. Have I missed something? Either you misplaced a complaint or two somewhere or the evidence page contains an error in describing the T&S document, presuming I am reading you correctly. The evidence page does also have a section for "evidence from three years ago" that includes some evidence from just within three years, so an error is entirely possible, unless the "three year" scope was specifically dated from when the first complaint was made. Could that have been the case?
Regarding the focus on evidence not gathered by the Foundation, I understand your reasoning, but I also think the T&S document is pertinent since the case would not exist without it. Should there be omissions or it is being misinterpreted in some way, then that is a relevant concern. Understandably, a great many people want to know what the Foundation's grounds were for action and to be assured they were not acting rashly. If ArbCom's assurances are erroneous or based off a document that does not contain all the relevant information, even under redactions, then that matters.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 06:08, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply


Sorry for bothering you, but can you please check out my latest proposal WikiDirect and leave your opinion in there? Arep Ticous 10:37, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

Merchandise Giveaway comments[edit]

Hello SilkTork. The appropriate place for you to voice your concerns about the Merchandise Giveaways program is on its talk page, not by opposing every open nomination. I would also caution against characterizing this as a WMF vs. community thing, as your comments recently and back in January imply. This is the only program through which the Foundation materially gives back to long-term contributors, nominated and supported by their peers, and was non-functional before being restored in large part by volunteers. These are, thus, not "internal gifts", nor are they wasteful; recognition of someone's contributions can seriously help editor retention, whether it be a barnstar or a t-shirt. Best, Vermont 🐿️ (talk) 21:35, 10 May 2022 (UTC)Reply