if this were a
Nazi denying the Holocaust I had fought, I'd be
being feted as a hero on the mailing list right now, and everyone
would look the other way if any "rules" were broken.
Hmm. Does Godwin's Law apply now? :-)
Well not in the current form, as I'm not comparing anyone to Nazis.
There have, however, been several high-profile cases of admitted Nazis
editing here, and the rules were generally suspended in favor of
simply getting rid of them and reverting all their edits. Stalinists
don't get that treatment, though.
unable to participate in the project. Their
impossible because they are simply incapable of working within
the structure which Wikipedia has set up, where partisans on
opposite sides of a contentious issue (partisans who, in real
life, might well want to be killing each other), work together
cooperatively to craft an NPOV article. You need more than just
When dealing with others in a contentious issue who are cooperative,
I've never had a problem. There are those such as Ruy Lopez who are
not interested in cooperating or NPOV and just wreck articles. I
spent many hours trying to talk to him until realizing that doesn't
In point of fact, this ideal is not very common. Most partisans in a
contentious issue have trouble cooperating. But as long as they're
somewhat reasonable, we can usually slog through anyway. (There may
even a flurry of edit warring in the middle.)
It takes two to make an edit war. If you are engaged
in an edit
war, no matter how Right your cause is, no matter how True your
facts are, no matter how Wrong your opponents are, you are
partially at fault.
My point is that the denial of murder of millions is emotional enough
in the case of Nazism that people will overlook this and regard what
they think as Right and True (that the Holocaust happened) as Right
and True enough to not require observation of norms of cooperation and
compromise, but when it comes to communist regimes deniers are treated
like just another editor.
I never said that I did break any community rules in dealing with
these deniers of history. Rather, I noted that, even if I skirted
them, there is a double standard.
Wikipedia *can* *not* afford too many edit wars. They
ridiculously expensive and destructive and timeconsuming.
They take up everybody's time (especially the beleaguered
arbitrators), they discourage other editors from participating,
they leave the contested articles unreadable for long periods of
I'm not sure it's that dire. I've seen edit wars go on, and then
things get sorted out and the article is better than it was before.
You can still argue that edit wars are bad, but dragging on for months
is pretty uncommon.
The bottom line, however, is that *it is possible to
Wikipedia article on even a highly contentious subject without
having all these horrible problems*. If you are having these
problems, *you are doing something wrong*.
I don't think so. Anyone's who's gotten involved in the [[Khmer
Rouge]] article can see what's up. He's been a problem for ALL of us.
Some people have a note on their user page such as, "This page has
been vandalized 56 times." Are both parties equally to blame? Is
this a confession of what a bad user he or she must be? I think
almost everyone would say no, some are here up to no good.
In general, I believe the ArbComm needs to come down a lot harder on
those who are not here with good intentions, not putting valid content
into articles, and not contributing to the encyclopedia than they do,
and much softer on those who are dealing with such people and tick
over some revert count now and then out of sheer frustration.
The Palestinian Exodus case sounds like a bad and sad one. I expect
your prognosis is a bit too optimistic and utopian, but I can't say
It's too bad when a passionate and knowledgeable
editor can't be perfectly accommodated. But the process of trying
to accommodate disputative editors does not scale -- Arbcon is
under increasing amounts of pressure as more and more aggrieved
editors demand their right to be heard, and it's only going to
get worse as the numbers of editors increase.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. But I don't think it's quite the
way you've spun it. Ruy Lopez was allowed to function here for two
years with no administrative sanction to speak of. If anyone is
disputative, he was. The ArbComm should have distinguished better
between attackers and defenders, and have no excuse not to have. I
think you need to too.
(One more comment: I may well have stayed if my only restriction was,
say, a 1RR with a timeout in a few months. Then I would at least be
able to guess when I might be blocked and could still do
counter-vandalism and the like. This approach makes some sense if
they really think a user reverts too much. But they took the road
they did, despite all my explanations, which, in the end, were for
nothing. Maybe it's my fault for having misplaced faith in the users
on the committee and wasting my time appealing to them.)