[WikiEN-l] Quitting Wikipedia and wanted you to know why.

Tony Jacobs gtjacobs at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 6 10:34:25 UTC 2006

Charles Matthews wrote:

>From: <charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com>
>Reply-To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l at Wikipedia.org>
>To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l at Wikipedia.org>
>Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Quitting Wikipedia and wanted you to know why.
>Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 11:00:02 +0100
>"Tony Jacobs" wrote
> > We're actually developing a
> > reputation as a place of arrogance and nastiness, a place of 
> > thugishness, a place where people treat each other quite badly.
>That rep has always been there, actually. There have always been admins who 
>have treated vandal-chasing as central. The vandals have complained, the 
>trolls are definitive loudmouths when it comes to their own grievances. I 
>don't know how you would judge whether matters are getting worse or better, 
>just from the hubbub.

I can only speak about my own impressions.  It's possible that I've just 
been sticking my nose into different places lately, and picking up different 
smells.  I'd still rather address how we can be more respectful and civil 
than argue over whether those who see us as disrespectful are worth 
listening to.  Some of them are; that's enough for me.  Why couldn't we have 
a reputation, even among trolls, as a place that won't tolerate nonsense, 
but will at least treat you with dignity while they show you the door?  
Wouldn't that be better?  I know that some admins manage to deal with 
vandals and trolls without enraging them, and I'll agree it's tricky, but 
it's worthwhile.  I know some trolls, too, and I know that being treated 
abusively makes them feel vindicated, and want to troll again.  When they're 
treated with dignity, it sort of brings them up short, and takes the 
satisfaction out of it.

> >  Why
> > doesn't ArbCom come down on admins who fail to respect contributors?  
> > isn't that a high priority?
>Why don't we get the cases brought that mean we could do that? We have a 
>clear policy on civility. Some people do reckon that long service gives 
>them some rights in how they talk to others. They are certainly wrong about 
>that, and should note well that ArbCom doesn't have binding precedents, and 
>may well up the tariff of punishment for shooting off your mouth. As far as 
>I can see, this causes a large outcry when it is proposed, but it may well 

Not being much of an ArbCom lurker, I can't speak as to which cases you're 
brought, and in fairness, I /have/ seen ArbCom admonish admins regarding 
civility more than once.  Still, it seems to me that the admin community in 
general does not have the impression that there's much sanction against 
incivility.  I see admins shitting on users repeatedly, with very little 
visible discouragement.  I try to speak out when I see it, and will continue 
to do so.  I hope others will do the same; eventually the community's voice 
is even louder than ArbCom's.  Nonetheless, I hope arbitrators will take 
seriously the idea that the way our admins treat users is a very important 
part of Wikipedia's public face, and that administrative arrogance is a 
liability to the project.

Tony Jacobs/GTBacchus

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list