[WikiEN-l] Why has everything gone to hell?

John Lee johnleemk at gawab.com
Tue Feb 7 13:11:50 UTC 2006

Alex Schenck wrote:

>It's about friggin' time that something was done about wheel warring.
>I notice that Wikipedia goes through various "stages" in which the community
>will focus on one specific issue. A few months ago it was the term
>"fuckwit". Not all that long ago it was pedophilia (looks like it's back).
>Then it was the ever-lasting accusations of cabalism. Now it's wheel
>Alright, look. I came back from a two-week break to witness the explosion of
>the wheel warring crap. From what Jimbo has said to me, he is very tired of
>the lack of cooperation that used to exist. What ever happened to that sense
>of respect for each other, when people actually understood that Jimbo's word
>was final, that the ArbCom is in fact the judicary body that knew what they
>were talking about, and people would respect time on the project? I mean,
>come on. When people start giving out USER WARNINGS to people such as David
>Gerard, you can tell that the times have definitely changed, and some
>oldy-moldy (or at least somewhat oldy-moldy editors such as myself) are not
>liking what we see.
>Mindspillage and I are on the same wavelength (I'll let her speak for
>herself beyond that): we miss the old community that was focused more on
>writing an encyclopedia instead of focusing on user pages and userboxes.
>What ever happened to writing FEATURED ARTICLES? Instead, we have people
>more focused on userboxes ("this user rebelled against the great userbox
>purge of 2006 [redirect to RFC:kelly martin] and would do it again"... wtf!)
>and arguing with others.
>At this point, I'm afraid desysopping people would be like placing a
>band-aid on an artery wound. Why has the community changed instead of
>adapted? We're not myspace, we're Wikipedia. Can we keep it that way?
>Here ends my long and horrible rant.
>--Alex, aka Linuxbeak
I strongly second (or is it third?) this. UninvitedCompany has 
referenced the [[September That Never Ended]], which I think explains 
why this has happened. When I became an admin January 2004, I got about 
20 votes of support -- today, any successful nomination with less than 
40 supports would be an oddity. (It's also quite likely I would not pass 
now, what with editcountitis -- or its cousin, 
non-article-namespace-editcountitis -- running rampant.) Our community 
has expanded, and our decision-making mechanisms have not scaled along 
with it. When was the last time we had a major policy change? It was the 
3RR, I think, and that was over a year ago. Pretty much everything since 
then has been tinkering around the edges (although things like 
[[WP:PROD]] haven't made me lose all hope yet). Consensus doesn't scale. 
With policy, this hinders change greatly, but it's unlikely to be a 
major problem in the near future. With wheel warring or serious edit 
wars, however, the fact that consensus doesn't scale is wasting a lot of 
our time here. It takes being hauled in front of the arbcom to get any 

What I think should be done is (as I outlined in a recent post to the 
list) giving the 'crats power to desysop/block anyone at will. It's next 
to impossible to become a 'crat unless you're some sort of miracle 
worker, and abuse leads to swift retribution (i.e. Ed Poor). I've 
started a discussion on [[Wikipedia talk:Bureaucrats]] about giving 
'crats the authority to step into a dispute and stop it before it gets 
worse. Jimbo used to do this a fair bit (albeit after the flame war had 
gone on for ages without showing any sign of stopping), i.e. the 
[[Gdansk]] naming problem and [[autofellatio]], but he can't put our 
fires all the time. The English Wikipedia is just one of many projects 
he has to tend to. We need someone who can tell wheel/edit warriors to 
just stop or face punitive action immediately.

John Lee

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