[Wikimedia-l] Protecting the Encylopedia vs Destroying a human

Eddy Paine blogginged at outlook.com
Wed May 29 12:22:14 UTC 2013

First of all I was asked to take a look at the following case. I found it very strange how people behave against other people and I would like to write about it and ask opinions. I'm sure this is not only for this user but there are more users like this. 
I understand that its needed for people to block users when the encyclopedia or the project is in danger, but where do will place the border? I think destroying people or behaving against people like I will describe below is also endangering the project. We should all remember that we are humans and not robots and everybody makes mistakes. Therefor I am sure that there was behavior that was totally wrong, but the way the whole international community decided to handle it was wrong also.
First of all we have a policy against socks. In that policy we describe that its not right to edit with two accounts at the same time or working together with 2 accounts to get something done. Secondly its not right to use new accounts to evade blocks. Lastly bot accounts are not seen as socks neither are old and unused accounts. Besides that we have a policy in place that says that people are free to leave the project or abandon a username and continue with a new name. This I guess is for protecting the project and protecting the people that work on it. 
Now to get to my case. On 3 July on Meta a attack started against a former Dutch Wikipedia user. This attack was mainly started by people of the Dutch Wikipedia. The same people that are willing to destroy this user. (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Abigor) now before you all click away this message hear me out and give me opinions. This is now almost two years ago and a good moment to look back. If I am wrong please point me to that and lets keep a good talk instead of going all "don't waste our time". 
In this case there was a big list of names that where socks and this "sockmaster" needed to be blocked. But when we look at our policies and on that list we see the following: 
Abigor (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) - thats meAbiBot (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) No sock its a bot, only did bot editsAbiBot.nl.wiki (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) No sock its a bot, only did bot editsAbibot (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) (renamed to AbiBot[2], self acknowledged)Huib (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) Created on request by meta communety en en.wiki communety, because I sign with Huib while I'm abigor... Its points to my abigor account and its created to protect my own account. Execpt for the rename edits, it didn't edit at all.Huib (old) (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) Did a rename request to get Huib free..Sterkebak (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) old account... on my userpage is a note that I used to use that oneSterkeBak (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) old account... on my userpage is a note that I used to use that oneSterkebot (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) No sock its a bot, only did bot editsSterkeBot (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) (renamed from Sterkebot[3][4] and later renamed to AbiBot[5][6])P.J.L Laurens (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) - Its a account created for my uploads, it has a different userpage on Commons with information about me as photographer. Didn't do any edits just created for the userpage and information. All my uploads are pointed to this one with a link.WikiLinkBot (talk • contribs • block • SULinfo • x-wiki • CA) No sock its a bot. Only editted on nl.wiki to let its userpage be removed, the dutch admins didn't want to remove the page.This list is ctrl C Ctrl V from Meta. 
Now go to the policy: 
Abigor is the account of the user. Than we have AbiBot, AbiBot.nl.Wiki and Abibot sterkebot SterkeBot as bot accounts. According to the policy accounts used by a bot without human edits are not socks. Huib and Huib (old) Sterkbak SterkeBak P.J.L Laurens. All those names are old accounts without overlapping edits so according to the policy its not socking. Some accounts doesn't have edits at all but where only there to redirect. WikiLinkBot is intresting cause its now in use by a other user. This user is also the source for the blocking on the Dutch Wikipedia. Abigor would have placed personal attacks against this user and now the user is having that accounts. Very intresting don't you think. 
Then we get a bunch of accounts: 
Accounts with only a few edits and no CU results where linked to this users. I strongly believe that we should have proof before pointing something out and say "hey it was you". But the account where I want to speak about is Delay. We have the policy that says that you can start right over with a new account. But still a Foundation employee confirms a link between the Delay Account and the Abigor account something CU didn't do at start. So we have a policy, but the policy doesn't work for some people? 
The coolest thing here is that we block him for disrupting a project. Or disrupting multiple projects, but every account used on the Wikipedia did get a barnstar for good work. Since when do we give vandals barnstars? Or since when do we block people doing good work? 
So in this case one of the accounts that pointed to him is now in use by the user requesting Abigor to get blocked. There are a bunch of account creations that are never clearly linked to the user. Its linked by Abigor was on Wikimania so he have done the actions. And after that we decided to TELL all communities where he was active that he is a danger. 
So tell me, why doesn't get this user the change to start over like many others did. Many people have more accounts, or old accounts and why don't do they get blocked and most off all why do we keep hunting him down when there is clear proof that he is doing good work (a.k.a barnstars). Where do we draw the line between protecting a community or scaring people off? 


More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list