[Foundation-l] [Wikipedia-l] One week later and I am still blocked, nobody is doing a fucking thing

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Mon Feb 19 10:41:44 UTC 2007

Andre Engels schreef:
> 2007/2/19, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com>:
>>> I've been on the inside, and I indeed found I had to be very careful.
>> Very
>>> careful to not do something to upset other sysops, that is. If I had not
>>> interfered with the actions of other sysops, I would not have been in
>>> problems.
>> Interfering with other sysops did not get you in problems to the extend
>> that you had to give up being a sysop. It was your choice to give up
>> your sysopship. Were you to stand again for sysop, chances are that you
>> would be voted in again. I would vote in favour. Being careful not to
>> upset other people IS the name of the game.
> That's true; however, if I had upset a non-sysop it would have been much
> easier  to just ignore it if it were not a sysop but another user that I had
> upset.  Worst you can get then is a vote to de-sysop, which in all
> probability you pass after which you have been vindicated.
> And yes, I am quite convinced that if I put myself up to the nomination, I
> would be re-elected hands down. But I am too afraid to get into similar
> conflict again. And things that I protested against then are being official
> policy now, I don't want to be responsible for them. And finally, there is
> also a good thing about not being a sysop: I don't have to worry about
> things like blocking policy. When I was a sysop and saw incorrect blocks, I
> felt the need to revert them, or at least talk about them. Now I just blame
> it on those all-mighty sysops being fools, and forget about it. If you can't
> change it, you don't have to worry about changing it either.
Given that there are so many sysops, you can easily ignore many of them. 
Most are not special and only some can be considered "thought leaders", 
you know who you respect and who are respected, these people you can not 
safely ignore.
>> By adding more people to sysophood, the only effect is that you draw more
>>> and more of the fighting behind the closed doors of sysophood, which
>>> actually makes it easier, not more difficult, to ignore the voices of
>>> non-sysops on the matter. Also, you increase the likelihood of having
>> rogue
>>> admins, and lessen the chances of them losing their sysophood.
>> Rogue admins can be de-sysoped. They can even be banned. This is what
>> happened to Waerth.
> They can.  But in practice they are not. Even in Waerth's case the
> de-sysopping  was based on just a minority. Since then, all procedures have
> failed. And there is nothing between de-sysopping and approving of whatever
> the sysop does. With the effect that anything that a sysop does which is not
> bad enough to set up large part of the community against him or her, is
> automatically condoned and turned into non-official policy.
There is something between de-sysopping and approving. Voicing argued 
dissent, argued in a reasonable tone does make a difference. By not 
arguing you achieve exactly what you do not want, turning things in a 
non-official policy. It is however your choice to speak or be forever 
>>> Unlikely if one of the things that the community is getting wild about
>> is
>>> the blind blocking of proxies. "Just let me do what I want, and
>> everything
>>> will be fine" is not the way to alleviate the worries of people who
>> think
>>> you have too much power.
>> How come that you assume that proxies are blocked blindly; have you
>> spoken about this with Ronald ? Read what he wrote on the mailing list,
>> it is reasoned and it sounds that he is willing to arguments to refine
>> his ways. He presented on this subject on multiple occasions, last
>> Saturday in Nijmegen at the "Moderator workshop". He is approachable.
> Interesting, at the moderator workshop. Doesn't that actually prove my
> point? One moderator decides that open proxies should be blocked. So they
> are blocked. This happens silently for quite a while, long enough to make it
> be considered policy, but then some negative consequences appear. What
> happens? The other moderators get explanation and the chance to ask
> questions. And still you seem to be of the opinion that being a moderator is
> NOT a position of power?
What is called a "Moderator workshop" has an open door policy; anyone 
can come. You do not even have to be active on a Wikimedia project, you 
do not need to be a moderator to benefit from this workshop. 
Consequently it is NOT a correct argument that strengthens the notion 
that moderators are a cabal.
>> How? RonaldB does his blocks, and even if I do convince people, he'll just
>>> go on with the support of that part of the population I did not
>> convince.
>>> It's either convincing him, or having no effect at all.
>> Like me, you do convince people. However, like me you do not convince
>> people all the time. When a particular policy that you do not like is
>> supported by a substantial group of the community, you really have to
>> convince and you may fail at that. That is how the cookie crumbles.
> However, if I were a sysop, I could just implement my policy, and that's it.
> As a non-sysop, I have to start a discussion, get support, then start a
> vote, and there get a majority support who not only agree with me, but find
> it important enough to make official policy.
When you are a sysop, you can not just do things because you feel like 
it. You are part of a group of people that fulfil certain functions. 
These functions have not that much to do with having the "buttons". The 
only thing in which the Dutch moderator community is different from 
other sysop communities is in them having a separate "moderator 

So being a sysop or no, the best way of changing things is by starting a 
discussion, getting support and maybe start a vote. You do that when you 
feel it is sufficiently important to do so.
> When Waerth feels wronged, when anyone feels wronged, it does not mean
>> that he/she has a right to become obnoxious, abusive. It does not give
>> him/her a right to threaten people or threaten the system. When there
>> are people who vote against sysops on principle, they may but they are
>> in my opinion stupid. People have a right to be stupid, they have a
>> right to be wrong. They should not be surprised when they are then
>> ignored because this behaviour is explicit "assume bad faith".
> So feeling that sysops have too much power is now explicitly assuming bad
> faith?
Having the opinion that moderators have too much power is one thing, 
being opposed to what these people do, or want to do, because they /are 
/sysop is imho explicitly bad faith.
> Yes, it is your choice to do whatever. I value you as a person, I hope
>> you will do the right thing. That is why I take ample time to reply.
> And what is the right thing? Can I do it? I think there is a problem with
> the way things work between moderators and the rest of us on nl:. As you
> said before, making more people moderator won't help - there will always be
> people left who are not moderators, and they will feel even more powerless.
> Problem is, I don't know what will help either. And even if I would see a
> way, I still don't think I'll be able to convince enough people to make it
> happen.
If I always knew what the "right thing" is, I would be sporting a halo. 
(I just went to look in the mirror I still do not :). However when you 
are convinced that something is the right thing to do. There is no need 
to consider if people take it kindly. I am quite happy to take a 
minority view when it is what I believe to be the "right thing". When 
people do not thank me for it, it is too bad. It only means that I have 
to try to convince them with different arguments. When I cannot convince 
them, I have tried. Having done what I can, what is within my ability, 
is what has to satisfy me.  When I have an occasional success, FINE.. it 
is however not a given that I will succeed.

To me this is a truism. Worst than failing is not to have tried.


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