[WikiEN-l] To: Jimmy Wales - Admin-driven death of Wikipedia

Conrad Dunkerson conrad.dunkerson at worldnet.att.net
Mon May 29 11:13:49 UTC 2006

* charles matthews wrote:

> There has never been a shortage of criticism of certain admin actions.  A 
> high proportion of this has always been mud-slinging by those rightly the 
> target of admin sanctions.

While that is certainly true I think it should be noted that those who are 
"rightly" dealt with seldom (if ever) have much impact on Wikipedia as a 
whole... the user base looks on and finds the action generally equitable 
and unworthy of further comment. That's not the problem. It's the times 
when an admin or group of admins takes action that the community finds 
unjustified or contemptuous... and nothing is done about it.

The fact is that we have high standards of civility (which IMO includes 
avoidance of personal attacks, respect for consensus, consistent 
treatment, et cetera) for users - placing blocks when a line is crossed... 
even higher standards for becoming an admin... and very very low standards 
once you HAVE become an admin. There are admins who are routinely incivil, 
make personal attacks on a regular basis, and thumb their noses at 
consensus... and that IS damaging Wikipedia. People always go on about 
'tougher standards to become an admin', but I don't see that making any 
difference... , many people will always do what they can get away with 
doing. If they have to be saintly to become an admin they will be 
saintly... right up to the point they get that sysop bit.

Look around at your fellow admins from time to time and ask yourself... is 
there ANY way this person could pass an RFA at this point? If the answer 
is 'no' then the de facto situation is that a person who does NOT have the 
support or respect of the community has powers which are only supposed to 
be held by those who DO... and that inherently breeds disruption and 
resentment and ongoing damage to Wikipedia as a whole.

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