Hear hear! A great message, there must be at least a dozen quotable
lines to immortalize on policy pages somewhere.
Mr. Mouse's claim that he has to be anonymous in order not to be
hounded off the list is just not borne out by the archives - we've
had many spirited debates among reasonable people, even said things
we regretted later and apologized for them, and nobody got banned
from anywhere for it.
Phil Sandifer wrote:
Oh for god's sake.
The technical evidence against Cranston is a slam dunk. He's a troll.
He's a vicious, sockpuppeting troll who uses sockpuppets to try to
generate fake consensus. He's the sort of user we routinely shoot on
sight, and it's a good thing we do, because we have too damn many of
them, and every time one manages to generate the headache that this
has become, good users get driven off. Kudos to every admin who
blocked him, everyone who called for his removal from this list, and
everybody who tried to shut this mess down.
As for those who want to plead for more leniency and say that people
were dismissive of him, wake up. This project is huge. Huge projects
attract idiocy. They attract idiocy of the page vandal sort, and
idiocy of the far more insidious sort. People who come to the project
for their own ego, people who come to the project to advance their
own agendas, and people who want to cause the project harm and who
are actually good at doing it.
Expansion kills online communities. Fundamentally, eternal growth is
a perpetual strain. We understand this from a technical perspective,
but we don't understand it socially. We are continually wasting our
breath and energy debating things that need to be slam dunks. If
every Cranston Snerd gets this much debate - hell, if one Cranston
Snerd out of 10 gets this much debate, it's a disaster. We're only
going to get more Cranston Snerds. Just like we'll get more Lirs,
more CheeseDreams, more Alberunis, and more of every other sort of
bad user. We cannot keep them from coming in. All we can do is get
very, very good at shooting them as soon as we see them. This means
being unrelenting. This means being swift and figuring out the story
later. And this means that people who immediately assume there's some
conspiracy against them instead of just sending a polite note to the
effect of, "I'm sorry, I seem to have done something wrong and gotten
blocked, do you mind telling me what it is so I can avoid it" get run
off. You know what? Fine. We've got lots of people. We can afford to
accidentally run some off.
This doesn't mean we don't welcome new users. It doesn't mean we
treat everybody with suspicion. But it means that we learn to call a
spade a spade, and we stop feeling bad about coming down like a ton
of bricks on people who are disrupting the project. We do not need to
care why. We need to be willing to make social decisions with the
same dispassionate "What will make this situation better" eye that we
handle our articles with. If a user is breaking articles and making
it so people can't edit, we shoot them.
That's it. That's all that's going to work. If we do not learn to
come down on Cranstons with fury and speed, over time, this community
will implode. One need only look at nearly every other Internet
community to figure that one out.
Good job David. Good job SlimVirgin.
On May 30, 2005, at 10:51 PM, A Nony Mouse wrote:
I have been watching the last week's events
with dismay. I have been
trying to compose this email for two hours, but every time I get
close, something else comes up.
I have decided to make this anonymous. I do not know how some of you
would react and I do not wish to take any chance that I would be
harassed for this.
There are two cases that bother me. Jack Lynch aka Sam Spade and
Cranston Snord aka Enviroknot. Both of these cases scare me because
of the precedent that they have set.
In the case of Jack, there was a question of a block war.
Administrators were fighting over what to do with him. This is not a
good thing for Wikipedia editors no matter who they are. It
indicates that the user is less of a concern than something between
the two Administrators.
It is the case of Cranston Snord aka Enviroknot that worries me
more. This is the case that has made me take the drastic step of
sending an email to the list anonymously. I had originally been
trying to type up a response to Cranston's concerns about being
blocked. I believe that SlimVirgin violated policy by doing so.
Unfortunately for me, such an email would likely now be a day late
and a dollar short.
Cranston was a disruption to the list, but much of that disruption
was caused by other people on this list treating him with incredible
disrespect. I was taken aback by his accusations against
administrators but having looked at the cases in hand I believe that
he has a point.
There were emails on this list asking whether anyone was taking him
seriously. This is the height of arrogance, and it is something that
frightens me. Administrators should never be acting as if ordinary
editors do not matter.
As for his complaints about being blocked, the dismissiveness on
this board hurt me. No matter who it is making a complaint, we have
a duty to investigate it. We are listed as the last resort for users
who have been wronged. I took the time to investigate SlimVirgin's
blocking of Enviroknot, and I believe that it is not valid.
By the time I got to the discussion, it was a good series of emails
long, and despite the number of list members who had posted, none
save SlimVirgin had bothered to address Enviroknot's concerns on the
block in any way. SlimVirgin herself made a bad judgement call. An
edit made in good faith should never be considered a reversion, even
if it contains some content that is included in a later reversion.
Instead of acknowledging this fact, the list members were
universally dismissive of Enviroknot from the first email. One went
so far as to demand that the term "rogue admin" not be used, without
addressing the reasons that it had been brought up in multiple cases
We have a problem with administrators exceeding their authority on
Wikipedia. We have a problem with administrators not applying policy
correctly. And we have a problem with arrogance on these lists, with
administrators believing that they are somehow better than others.
With the increased power of administrator access comes a
responsibility to use it fairly and adhere to the established
procedures and policies. The actions of an Administrator should
themselves be NPOV. We have stated policy that when a user is found
to be violating policy, if they return and do not break policy,
their previous transgressions should not be held against them.
There are a number of administrators who are failing in that
responsibility, and they are present on this list. One of them,
rather than addressing Enviroknot's concerns in a calm tone and
actually going over policy, chose to kickban Enviroknot entirely.
I have never until today been ashamed to be a part of Wikipedia, but
there it is. Take it as you will.
A.Nony.Mouse, for the purpose of this conversation.
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