"But let's play along for now", eh?
I see your mind is already made up. That, my dear David, is why I am not
about to let you have my username.
Regardless, since there are other admins and people on this list who are
willing to take this seriously and examine it in good faith, I'll answer
your question. Please keep a civil tongue in your head, sarcastic and nasty
responses are not what I'm looking for.
- I've blocked many obvious vandals in my time. The taggers, the page
blankers, the ones who want to put "hi" or "fuck" or "penis"
on as many
pages as they can, that sort of thing.
- I've welcomed new users. I really wish our welcome message included item
links to the dispute resolution areas (broken as they are) these days. I
think it would help new users who get into a conflict when being bold, since
bold behavior often leads to conflicts with others. For that matter, why
isn't a welcome message automatically generated on the creation of any new
account's talk page, so they'd instantly see a "You have new messages"
and be able to see the welcome message? Why not do that instead of waiting
for an admin to come along and do it?
Too many new users, especially the ones that get targeted for abuse by pov
warriors, never get to see the welcome message because abusive admins and
users don't bother with it, they go straight into the "warnings" to try to
establish some excuse for blocking or other bad behavior.
- I've blocked a few people for less obvious vandalism - changing a date to
be wrong, altering a fact in a way that isn't truthful. I've unblocked a few
of these people when they left a message on their page or emailed me to
apologize and admit they just had their facts wrong. WP:AGF and civility are
very important when dealing with these sorts of things!
- I've screwed up and blocked someone in a conflict of interest. Twice. I
apologized later, but the damage was done. In one case I didn't apologize
until the 24 hours was up, because I didn't calm down quick enough and
nobody - thanks to the "contact the blocking admin first" stupidity we have
these days - was willing to unblock once I logged out. I got two "I want to
talk to you about this case" messages, but since I didn't respond, nobody
unblocked. In the second case, I unblocked after 10 hours, but only after
another admin contacted me on IRC. Their statement was that they wouldn't
unblock as it would be "incivil" to me to do so, but they thought I should
It's a stupid policy that leaves final decision on unblocking in the hands
of a hothead who just has to ignore any messages in order to make the block
Yes, it does bother me that I did this, and yes, this is partially why I'm
leaving, or at least taking a decently long wikibreak. Because I'd seen this
behavior in others, but catching myself doing it makes me unhappy with
myself, and realizing that I did it in part because I'd absorbed the "admins
are gods" culture in Wikipedia makes me worry I'd do it again on another bad
- I've edited a lot.
- I've seen plenty of edit wars and enforced 3RR. Three times in my memory
someone's unblocked someone that I blocked for 3RR/edit warring when they
were tag-teaming someone else. Yes, they technically didn't violate 3RR.
Were they trying to provoke the other guy into it? Damn skippy they were.
Policy says you block both sides in an edit war, not just the 3RR violator,
and I was following that.
Every time, the unblocking admin "happened" to be one of their friends, or
at least it would appear that way since they made similar edits, showed up
on each other's talk pages a fair amount (usually to "suggest" that this or
that editor is close to a 3RR violation), and had the same interest-group
and language userblocks.
I'm sorry, but when all it takes is getting two of your buddies together to
tag-team someone you disagree with, 3RR doesn't work. It's just another tool
for the pov warriors to use to hold on to an article.
Plus, it was hard to decide which version to lock it to. And it was even
more annoying that after I locked it down to the supposed "wrong" version,
their friend who unblocked them comes along and uses his admin rights to set
it to their "preferred" version. But I knew full well that if I were to take
this to dispute resolution, or even leave a message on the user they'd
provoked to 3RR suggesting it, they and their friend the admin would start
their own RFC/RFAr case about how I was in a "conflict of interest" because
I was the one who'd blocked them, and their admin friend would accuse me of
wheel warring if I put it back or reblocked. And no matter the facts, it's
the one who makes the first accusation that sticks 90% of the time.
- I've never been involved in an arbcom case. I've read plenty. Half of
them, I'm sad to say, read like a drumhead trial more than an attempt to
look seriously at a case. No, I'm not counting the egregious examples, the
definite trolls and abusers. I'm counting only the ones where I think wrong
was done on both sides, and yet only one side got the book thrown at them,
with the other side who were just as wrong being excused because they were
"opposing a troll."
On 10/6/06, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 06/10/06, Parker Peters <onmywayoutster(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I expected this sort of response from David
Gerard. It saddens me to see
but I knew it would come.
This sort of attitude and obsessiveness is precisely why I am leaving.
In your first email you stated you were an admin. Could you please
tell of conflicts you dealt with? Leave names out if you like.
(By the way, it's pretty much inconceivable I or anyone is going to
somehow permanently ban an admin for speaking out on wikien-l; you
should correct that one next time around. But let's play along for
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