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

Zoney zoney.ie at gmail.com
Thu May 4 13:11:23 UTC 2006

On 04/05/06, Ben McIlwain <cydeweys at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> 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.
> 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")

The entire concept of voting as used in Wikipedia for decisions like
deletion is very flawed. It's not particularly representative, and even if
it were, suggests that the majority view is always right *.

If anything, having users interested in the subject area informed of votes
perhaps improves the situation.

It's still a mess though - yet another one of Wikipedia's mechanisms that
performs very poorly.


*It suggests that it's up to majority to decide what is fact. Expertise and
authority are completely disregarded (and if you don't use that system,
you're only left with Wikipedia's nonsensical relativism). NPOV is well and
good, but it's really only useful for *presenting* things in a neutral
fashion. The concept of what "things" are allowed (i.e. what is true
information, even if it's a matter of "is this verifiable information about
a view we can say that some people hold").

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