Sean Barrett wrote:
Both the Board and the Arbitration Committee have
fact that Jimbo has the powers of a GodKing and occasionally will use
them. And the consensus of the community seems to me to be a vehement
Note that this is conditional---Jimbo has powers that he is trusted to
use rarely and wisely. If, for example, he blanked Wikipedia and
replaced it with furry porn, probably people would not agree that was a
legitimate use of his powers, whether legal or not. In between is a
very large gray area, from "of course that's ok", to "that might to be
ok", to "ehh...".
My main objection is to equating Jimbo's legal authority over the
Wikimedia Foundation with his role as benevolent dictator. The latter
derives essentially from the fact that he acts, well, benevolently.
People support that so long as it remains benevolent.
I don't claim to speak on behalf of the commuity; I'm just pointing out
that his powers derive in essence from the consent of the community, and
are not somehow separate from that. He'll continue to be able to herd
Wikipedia so long as the vast majority of its users agree that he's
doing a good job; that's quite separate from his titular position as
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wikimedia Foundation.
So, if I'm wrong in criticizing his use of powers in this matter, it's
because the community agrees that his intervention was a good idea, not
because he somehow has freedom to do whatever he wants without discussion.