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

Martijn Hoekstra martijnhoekstra at gmail.com
Wed May 29 18:36:39 UTC 2013

On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM, Eddy Paine <blogginged at outlook.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> 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?
> Ed
>From my experience with Abigor on the various mailinglists, I would say
that Abigor probably has the best intentions with the project. Therefore
enabling him to edit should be the premise.

This is the first time I actually looked in to this issue, though it has
come up plenty on the mailinglist, and I come to the following conclusions:

* He has shown he is willing to violate the privacy of others under
* He has shown he is willing to personally attack others under circumstances
* He has shown he is willing to violate copyright
* He has shown he is willing to abuse a position of trust to further his
own opinions or positions on wiki
* He has shown he is willing to attempt to deceive the community in an
attempt to get away with the above
* He has shown a general tendency to not get the point and either
continuing disruptive behaviour or finding new was to behave disruptively
* He has shown to be vindictive and willing to damage the project(s), not
to mention his fellow editors when he is angry
* He has shown us and told us that when he is angry he will lash out, even
if he doesn't mean it, which doesn't bode well for the future
* He has exhausted most any community members willingness to discuss things
by deception and rule lawyering
* He has proven to be unfit to be a member of the editing community

I don't care if we have policy about this or how it's worded or whether or
not there is wiggle room there: Abigor the person is not welcome to edit,
should not edit, and should be blocked under any account. That's a bloody
shame, because he seems to have the best intentions.

I strongly suggest dropping the suggestion that Abigor the person should be
welcome to edit, as I suspect that the more arguments people will come
forward with the more painful to him it will be, and I can't conceive any
positive outcome for him in this discussion.

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