[WikiEN-l] We need a policy against vote-stacking

Ben McIlwain cydeweys at gmail.com
Thu May 4 00:32:12 UTC 2006

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I recently came across a very contentious Afd having to deal with the
movement to impeach George W. Bush.  The discussion was overwhelmed with
vote-stacking.  I caught two users doing it and temporarily blocked
them, but was reverted by an admin who says it's "not in policy" that we
can block for that.  I've also since discovered a third person who was

Vote-stacking is wrong, it is harmful to Wikipedia, and it needs to be
discouraged and stopped.  The simple way to do this is to block users
who are doing this.  If it's not in the policy now, it should be.

I heard the argument, "Well, if you're just informing other users,
that's not vote-stacking."  That's wrong on two counts.  First of all,
all of this vote-stacking going on here was specifically encouraging
people to come to the Afd and vote a specific way.  And, even if the
message is "neutrally worded", it's still vote-stacking unless I'm
sending it out to a random sample of Wikipedians.  Do you think these
vote-stackers were using a random sample?  No.  They were sending the
messages to people they know already vote their way.  In this case, it
appears to be a combination of a What links here on the {{User
republican}} userbox and an examination of which ways people voted on
the previous Afd, and then selectively sending the message to just the
people who previously voted in agreement with the vote-stackers views.

We cannot put up with these attempts at gaming our consensus-based
system.  Consensus doesn't work when it just becomes a numbers game of
who can recruit the most votes.  And trying to make a rational decision
about the merits of an article when a bunch of sheeple are coming in
mindlessly on both sides and voting without even considering the issues
is absurd.  We need to deal with this problem.  We need to modify our
policy so that it IS a blockable offense to vote-stack and game the system.

- --
Ben McIlwain ("Cyde Weys")

~ Sub veste quisque nudus est ~
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