[Foundation-l] Pissed off at en:Wikisource

Geoffrey Plourde geo.plrd at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 12 16:14:06 UTC 2009

I have refrained from commenting in the interests of letting this play out but find myself in disagreement with our worthy colleague from Wikisource. The locus of this complaint, as I see it, is that he was unfairly removed from his position. I see no merit in his claims for the following reason and believe this thread should be killed for the following reasons. 

We have traditionally allowed each community to set up its own principles. Meta level intervention in a project, barring blatant illegality, is unprecedented and would indicate a significant departure from our bottom up ideology. As administrators are appointed/elected volunteers serving according to project rules, rather than formal employees, it is impossible for there to be any illegality in dismissal. There is therefore a considerable precedent not to interfere, which would be detrimental to our ideological foundation. 

Unlike Wikipedia, adminiship is held for terms of one year. Mr. Saintonge has not disputed the validity of this process, therefore I am not going to examine it. However, I do wish to commend the authors of the policy as it is a functional and easily readable document. Upon review of the Restricted Access Policy, I see the following statement,  "However, anyone is free to discuss". Therefore, the attempt to strike the comments by John and Pathoschild seem to be attempts at stifling criticism. Each user has the right and ability to present their concerns, no matter how oddball they are. I can only see evidence from Pathoschild, which clearly proves the allegations made. The allegations are without a reasonable doubt, true for pathoschild's case. Since the comments supporting dismissal referenced pathoschild's allegations, there is no reason to consider them misled. For these reasons, there were no errors in the proceeding.  

Finally the process is based on whether or not people trust Mr. Saintonge as an admin, not whether he desires to continue. It is readily apparent that there is no trust. 

For all the above, I move to kill this thread. 

From: Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 1:03:27 AM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Pissed off at en:Wikisource

Birgitte SB wrote:
> Sorry but there is no reason to have a RFC on Meta for anything remotely like this situation.  And I would say that if were regarding any wiki (I am sure I have said that for similar situations on other wikis in the past).  The wikis are autonomous on these issues.  If someone has reason why en.WS adminship rules are incompatible with the general purposes of the project, then please share.  Otherwise discuss in the proper forum which is en.WS.
I have since the very beginning been a strong supporter of project 
autonomy, and have usually been very critical of anyone who tries to 
impose the rules of other projects in Wikisource.  Last summer, when 
another de-sysop process happened, I also spoke strongly against 
allowing ourselves to be overly influenced by that person's overly bad 
behaviour on other projects; I conservatively concurred with what 
happened based solely on events at wikisource.

In the course of the discussion about me, I considered coming here at an 
early stage, but decided that I would let things play out on wiki 
first.  I did not raise the issue here until a few days after the 
decision was closed and implemented.

If I had not commented on events here, would you have noticed it, and 
would it even have crossed your mind to comment as you did above?  Given 
the still relatively small community at en:ws, where does one turn for a 
calmer and more objective analysis from someone who is not a part of the 
apparent piling on?  If the result of raising the issue here is a fairer 
discussion on wiki, I can't complain about that.  There should always be 
a place for off-wiki safety valves.

I see that you have asked a question on my talk page, so I will address 
more specific matters there shortly.


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