At 03:08 PM 12/19/2009, Ken Arromdee wrote:
Now has a Slashdot story:
Which links to two articles:
At a minimum this sounds like conflict of interest, and worse if any of these
accusations are true (although the article counts are probably misreporting,
and I bet they include all articles he deleted and all banned users regardless
of associations with climate change).
The article was likely overstated. However, the editor involved did
have a substantial history of using administrative tools with respect
to global warming and related articles, as well as extensive editing
in the area, taking a consistent position, supporting a consistent
point of view. I encountered this myself when I helped avoid the
deletion of an RfC that was written by Raul654, certified by WMC,
then it was noticed that Raul had not certified it. Then I read the
RfC and was horrified, and that was the beginning of my involvement
with WMC and others active with the global warming article.
My point of view is sympathetic to the position that global warming
is a serious problem, but what I saw was administrative bias, tools
being used to preferentially block and ban editors on one side of
dispute on the topic, tag-team reversion and avoidance of the seeking
of consensus, and other signs of a neutrality problem.
I then saw the same constellation of editors acting in similar ways
with respect to other fringe science and pseudoscience articles, and
there has been much conflict over these areas that would be resolved
with more attention from ArbComm to fringe issues and how to find
genuine consensus, the kind that resolves disputes instead of burying
half of them, whereupon they rise from the dead and walk. There is a
current sockpuppet report on Scibaby, and, from the history of
Scibaby and how this prolific creator of sock puppets came to be
such, it was tag-team reversion and abuse of administrative tools
from the beginning, that predated the creation of sock puppets, which
were a rather understandable if dysfunctional response.
WMC lost his admin tools over his block of me during RfAr/Abd-William
M. Connolley, but that was not by any means an isolated incident.
Many times WMC used his tools while involved. There would be an AN
report over it, his friends would pile in, and the result would be no
consensus, which was then presented as if it meant "no problem,"
i.e., that WMC had been confirmed. He had been admonished by ArbComm
previously, but so mildly and so narrowly, given the fact that his
alleged abuse of tools had received media attention before, that he
had nothing but contempt for the decision.
ArbComm, I'm afraid, will strain at a gnat and swallow flies. And
when there is a substantial faction of editors who circle the wagons
to protect their own, and they include a few administrators, it can
be an enduring problem, and the result is Wikipedia bias, a
fundamental mission failure.
I'd watched WMC's actions as a administrator. He was a cowboy, so to
speak, quick draw, quick decisions, not a lot of thought behind them.
He was often right, more or less, but he also would get it wrong
sometimes. Sometimes he backed down. By no means was WMC the worst
administrator I've seen. But he frequently acted while involved and
with insufficient caution, and he was utterly unwilling or incapable
of addressing that, hence it was necessary for ArbComm to remove the
bit. It took a totally blatant violation, under the noses of ArbComm,
during a case where he and I were the primary parties, to jolt the
Committee into action, though.
It had been obvious to anyone watching for a long time. And there are
other administrators who are probably worse, just not as open as he
was, perhaps a bit more careful when they think the community is watching.