Friday, December 28, 2007

well I never!

Jimbo has posted at the Giovanni talk page, in a very measured and intelligent manner!

The wiki never fails to surprise, and hopefully this will now cast good light on the situation and the article will improve.... this is wonderful!

Uninvited Company - an arbitrator and general senior type wiki person, has started a discussion forum at '' which I've registered at, and am giving a go.....

No doubt mention on this giant of the blogsphere will bring the registration numbers to a critical mass and the servers to a standstill.....

seriously though - why not take a look and p'raps join in.....

ding ding

the article at Giovanni di Stefano, in many ways the catalyst for my ban, has been deleted and recreated again by Fred;
Questions asked immediately... more to come?
I really hope they can sort that mess out - the article is really weak in my view.
hey ho... have a good new year all!

Monday, December 17, 2007

calmer waters.....?

I think there may be some cause for cautious optimism in the wiki-climate over the next little while. I think the various scandals and revelations may lead to a useful period of introspection - and it was the lack of self-governance that caused most (all?) of the wikis problems in my view.
I'm pleased to see sanity returning to the Giovanni di Stefano page, and quite like the direction of the 'Linking to External Harassment' page.
I've had some surprisingly pleasant communications with folk on all sides of the various debates, and have hope that normalcy may be restored in due course. (normalcy in wiki terms of course.... heh!)
I still think that I have been treated very poorly, and will continue to try and have my sanctions overturned as soon as possible, because I think that's the right outcome......
(i'll keep myself posted at this location of course..... !)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wise words

they're not mine;
As one of the world's ten most popular websites, Wikipedia is a big target. It is also big news. Soon the press will become more sophisticated about finding stories here - and trust me: people who know how to dig learn a lot of interesting things.
but I totally agree with them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

on again off again on again 'n off......

My see saw ride on the english wiki mailing list continues..... Having been first moderated, then fairly unceremoniously booted (well, unsubscribed) by David Gerard, I sent a message to the list 'owners' (the address is public on the wiki mailing list page) asking for clarification / permission to resubscribe - having heard nothing, I just went ahead and signed up again in the usual way, and sent some short responses to the ongoing discussion.
One got through ! - and I received a couple of notes saying - ah, you're back! - but none of the others have, so I'm thinking that I might in fact be de facto banned?
I've dropped Jimbo a note because I really would like to continue useful discussion, but at the same time, if that's not possible, I would at least like to know.
What kind of posts are being restricted currently? Take a look;

>Having this kind of coordination can end up being Kafkaesque
hear hear.

I'm fully supportive of private discussions to help build informed opinions, I'm very concerned that editors seem now to wear many hats at once, as friend, confidant, admin and arbitrator, with no sense of differing propriety in each role.

Jimbo, we communicated directly with each other, and you mentioned that you would take a look at my situation - can you see how that might appear disingenuous when it becomes apparent that you were already quite well informed?


apparently the list can't allow such comment.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Secret vs. Private

Can't resist a brief comment on what I think are the very very weak attempts to say 'nothing to see here' in various ways.... perhaps best summed up by;
"The very idea that there were "secret email lists" is absurd." - Jimbo

Compare and contrast with;
The one thing I have to ask is that you all be very tight lipped about this."
"They don't know this list exists"
"Foremost, please keep mum!" - Durova
'nuff said.......

playing semantic games just so clearly says more about those playing them than it does the topic in hand. Silly really.

The Register, Slashdot dot dot dot.......

So the 'story' broke. Hopefully the ride will be enjoyable for those surfing it for the day or two before it washes up - it may serve ultimately to remove some of the useless heat from the situation, and maybe distill everything to the point where any outstanding issues can be seen clearly.

You'll see below that my personal consequence for passing comment was being booted by David Gerard from the mailing list as a troll, and told to 'go play' at Wikipedia Review.

Sorry David, but I don't think that was either warranted or a sensible reaction. Hey ho, I'm off to Coventry for christmas.........

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mailing List again

You may have read below that I have previously been put on 'moderation' on the wikipedia mailing list, which basically means that my posts have to be approved, and may or may not get through. You may further have read that I didn't really think I was posting anything inappropriate, and was a little surprised to be 'moderated'.
I was further a little surprised, when it seemed that I had been 'un-moderated' - no one told me anything about this, so unless there was some sort of technical stuff up, when my posts just started being allowed through automatically once more, I assumed that I had 'served my time' on moderation, and was a regular Joe once again.
Now it seems that I am far from a regular;
I've booted this troll from the list as counterproductive for working on the encylopedia. I'm sure he can have lots of fun on WR" - David Gerard.
.....and with that, David 'unsubscribed' me - I received a brief email telling me so, and now I no longer receive messages (although of course they're online, so I can keep track).

I wonder if anyone else finds this an ironic reaction to this post. Because I am bored of subtlety today, I shall highlight the source of my wry amusement;

The assessment of The Register as being quite a fan of controversy is pretty much accurate - but it's of course true of much of the mass media (and perhaps human nature? a digression.....) - leaving aside the fact that I believe the article is actually pretty fair and accurate, perhaps the more important thing to do is to quickly realise that this really is of interest to people. This is a function of both the nature of the behaviour, and the profile of Wikipedia nowadays. Two journalists have contacted me to date concerning these events, and personally, whilst it may blow over, I feel there is a possibility of the story 'going mainstream' - our (your?) ability to react calmly, sensibly, and openly could be important - I'd consider it to be.

To briefly comment about some of the replies concerning my interest / behaviour at the moment - JZ said he finds it odd that I would like to help still, having been banned. From my perspective, I find the fact that I have been banned a little odd - I still care just as much as last month if the 'Socrates' article says 'Socrates is a clown nigger' - it just really really pisses me off.

I've noticed what I consider to be an unsustainable trend to permanently label people 'trolls' or 'enemies' - it isn't the accuracy of the label which worries me, it's the permanence (I don't believe I deserve it, either). I see circular reasoning being employed to define me as a troll, then criticise me for being one. This can only ever work if such a thing (a troll) can empirically exist. btw. - I'm not interested in 'wedge' issues, or banging on unduly here - I am glad that the list I am now emailing quickly fixes the vandalism that pops up on my watchlist (and are very very helpful and pleasant about it too.....)


Sunday, December 2, 2007

New ethical considerations

Well, now that I'm banned, I find myself considering a few new ethical questions. I've got the 'Heather Mills' page watchlisted, and noticed this morning that it's had some vandalism. Further - the IP has vandalised two other articles - this is just run of the mill stuff that you usually just fix and move on.
Of course, I can't - so I've emailed an editor I saw was online to ask them to fix it up, which hopefully will happen before too long - and it got me to thinking about how the community would wish me to react.
It feels somehow wrong to log out, change IP, and make the edits myself, not to mention the fact that I feel it would be held against me in future discussions - but wouldn't that be the best course of action for the wiki?
Further cogitation required.........

Thank god 2008 is a leap year

I'll be permitted to return to editing on Feb 29th. (although not to BLPs) - I'll post some more stuff here anon......

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I returned to edit my userpage recently, just to accurately reflect how I'm feeling about things at the mo. Pretty good really - per the below, I'm in remarkable company, and the community seems to be hell bent on reaching rock bottom as soon as possible. Thereupon the healing begins - touch wood.......

90 days part two

Another day, another surprise! - Despite my clear feelings on the current Arb processes, I've felt thus far that my treatment is at least in part a function of how unimportant, irrelevant (and unpopular) I am - I'm really no big wiki deal.
I see now that Giano is also up for a 90 day ban (and a year's ban from Wiki space - something they're not considering me for?!) - with 'shark jumping' this furious it's becoming clearer that reform will eventually occur - the Arb.s are destroying their credibility.
You couldn't make this up.

90 days

looks like I'm heading for a 90 day ban - and it will come as no surprise to anyone that I consider this to be ridiculous. How can anyone seriously assert that blocks are not punitive?
Regardless I'm also interested to see if the time I've spent without my editing privileges to date will be taken into consideration?

Concerto No. 2, 2nd Mvt.

I'm afraid the title of this post is somewhat oblique - buy hey, I don't suppose that matters much.
I was going to write something about the 'notable by his abscence' Raul - then I realised that I actually really feel for him - the Durova bomb dropping right before the election has put him between a rock and a hard place. I've never come across Raul before, so don't really know how he'll react, but I wouldn't blame him for recusing, because voting or expressing almost any opinion would likely cost him his spot. (on the other hand - a principled stand to defend the position of a downtrodden private muse would be simply wonderful!)

Time will tell.

(also no word from Charles and Paul - I'll be interested to see where their ideas lead......)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not allowed on the list anymore

Ah well - it seems I'm not allowed to post to the wiki mailing list any more - here's a post that hasn't passed moderation for several hours - and for your delectation (and to aid the worldwide battle against insomnia) below are all of my posts to the list ever - something in them somewhere has forced someone to 'moderate' me (means I can't post openly to the list) - I can't actually recall who did that, but I wonder if it's someone who has been otherwise involved in my case? I'll get back to you....

Here's the post that can't get through;

re : jayjg

>> Try and resolve the problem, Jay.


>I am. One big problem on this thread are accusations without any specifics. I'm asking for specifics.

Personal information which I had submitted privately to Guy, with a request for that privacy to be respected, was shared by him.
Arbitrators have voted in my case without disclosing discussions of my editing prior to my case.

That is unethical.


And here are all my posts ever to the list - I am really surprised to have been moderated for anything in the below, especially given the.. er... general quality of discourse therein;

Further : some of Guy's words for reflection;

In response to the post 'You can't do anything to stop me" from a user in May 2006;

:I think you'll find we can: experience indicates that in a fight between editors and admins, the admins hold all the cards. All of them. We can block you indefinitely, and we can block your IP adress, and we can lock the articles, and we can prevent you editing your talk page, and we can moderate you off the mailing list. That's what we would od if we were taking this anythign like as personally as you make out.

That's exactly what Guy, and cohorts have done.



Here's a short few points from another in the thick of it;

* I submitted private information to Guy via email, which he shared with this list despite my asking him clearly not to
* Fellow list members 'reviewed' Guy's blocking of me, reblocked me, and then reviewed that block.
* List members have discussed my editing for almost a month, and as we speak are voting in my arbitration case without any on-wiki disclosure

I'm no User:!!, but I've fiddled away trying to help at the encyclopedia for about 3 years, and am now indefinitely blocked.

Full disclosure - I've edited using 8 accounts over 3 years, any many assert I've abused both SOCK policy, and BLP at Jonathan King, and Giovanni di Stefano articles.

Nothing I have done makes the three points above ok


Strongly agree with William;

>Off the top of my head, I'd suggest these:
> * wikien-interesting:
> * wikien-forum:
> * wikien-open:

and with regard to wikien-sewer - why not leave this list open, and
allow those who to remain to do so, whilst the new channels pick up
the perhaps more useful traffic?

Also strongly endorse Steve's comments.



a couple of small responses;

Re : William - I respect your judgment and will try and put things
more neutrally. I admit that I am losing some faith that a sensible
point can be made without many editors immediately flinging insults,
but that's no reason not to try......

On Fred B has said
"Don't link to sources which imply information we lack a good source

and has deleted the talk page containing heaps of reliable sources
(like US Court Doc.s, The Times etc.).

That concerns me.

Re : Steve...

>Looks like more clowining to me. Are you planning to contribute something
>productive to this list, or should we moderate you?

I don't wish to be moderated - please don't.




Giovanni di Stefano (
- and a sticking point in article work.

The implication of recent editing there is that we can no longer
mention or refer to sources like The Times, or The Guardian even on
talk pages, if they may lead readers who click on them to think worse
of the article subject.

This presents problems.


world 'Clown' instead of 'Troll' when responding to this post, and
'broohaha' instead of 'drama'>


A few responses and replies;

Firstly I'd like to welcome clearly the word of the
hour.....introduced by dg in this thread, but used with some frequency
throughout the wiki on this issue.......... 'querulous' - it's a very
nice word, and I have hope that we may inspire its resurgence in
popular verbiage. It's a little bit like 'whining' but makes you sound
smarter for using it.

per dg on this point;

>Indeed. It's like JB196 complaining that a few of the accounts blocked
>as sockpuppets of his weren't in fact his. I wonder what an editor ethics
>committee would say to such a charge.

I note it took exactly three posts before I was compared to a banned
user - perhaps that's insightful, or perhaps it's part of the problem.

Per sam;

>What is this ethical committee supposed to do?

This is a valid point, and I don't have the answer beyond saying that
any such body should aim to maintain ethical behaviour on the part of
trusted community members - is this not a useful aim?

Per Fredl

>Ethics is good.

I hope you may consider the possibility therefore of a remit to uphold them.

>Running one quiet responsible account and another aggressive
>confrontive, and uncivil, account is just not viable. That's something
>you might do on a MUD.

I agree that that is unacceptable, and wholly disagree that that is
the case. Please please please at least consider the possibility that
I am a rational, calm person who has been involved with wikipedia for
a long while, though not overly intensely, and is passionate enough
about issues that I consider important to try and ensure that I have
(at least) some contribution that can be heard. This is not a MUD, and
I am not aggressive, confrontive or uncivil.

Per Relato;

hear hear.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This page in a nutshell

I've tried to write up exactly how I arrived in the position I'm in, but events keep overtaking me.
Basically I have been indefinitely blocked three times, buy JzG, David Gerard, and Mercury. The blocks were reviewed and upheld by Jpgordon and Morven. (who have carefully and in a considered fashion decided to agree with themselves at arbitration. well done.)
I am currently in Arbitration, and will likely be banned indefinitely from editing BLP articles, and probably banned all together for a time period (90 days, or a year being discussed thus far, the 1 year block was a suggestion from Durova)

Here's an attempt to explain why;
  • Being very active criticising 'BADSITES' proposals - (I also started the current proposal at 'WP:PROBLEMLINKS')
  • Putting a link to his blog at the 'Robert Black' article page, and a strong consensus to retain the link emerging - many influential editors expressed a wish for it to be removed.
  • Asking questions about sources at 'Giovanni di Stefano' - and questioning a few people (Fred mainly) on strange behaviour such as deleting pages for merely collecting a few sources already submitted by others.
  • being another 'false positive' and identified as a 'WR Sleeper' by Durova et al
  • Responding 'improperly' to an authoritative 'slap' (ie. asking 'Why have you slapped me?) - not simply running along.
I am pleased that the material I was discussing at the Giovanni di Stefano page is being discussed. Guy, Fred and others have consistently expressed the opinion that the matter is far too difficult and complicated for mere wiki editors, whereas I believe the wiki process to be healthy, and have faith it will result in a better article.

I probably won't be able to help it of course - which is a shame.


I've stepped back from participating in my Arb case just at the moment, because all it was doing was making me angry, and I'm more stupid than usual in that state, and I've been busy.
But this is quite exceptional - and deserves noting;

You have apparently misrepresented me as a bigot, as "evidence" in your current ArbCom dispute. I have not yet participated in that thread's mainspace, and was not watching it closely (I came across it by chance). You failed to ask me for clarification, or provide me any notice. Several people have pointed out how painfully ridiculous your mistake was, but you have neither retracted nor commented. AGF negates NPA, as any attempt to believe that you honestly misunderstood my comment results in an insult to your intelligence.

You have accomplished the unthinkable - making John Cleese even funnier. You have also made a serious and indefensible accusation on my character. Also, I'm one-half German, but not a bit British. sNkrSnee | t.p. 03:44, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification. I will strikethrough promptly. It would have been more gracious to provided this explanation without sarcasm, and with a little regret for the unintentional offense given. DurovaCharge! 03:46, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Did you just suggest that I owe you an apology? For offending YOU? sNkrSnee | t.p. 04:06, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I extended this to Privatemusings for unintentional offense I had given, even though other editors complained that Privatemusings had been rude to me.[5] Differences of opinion aside, we're all still people. Please refactor. DurovaCharge! 04:59, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

It relates to this exchange from my talk page;

Privatemusings, removing the indefblocked template, the block notice, and the unblock request doesn't really make a good impression at this stage.[2] Suggest you restore them as a gesture of respect for process. DurovaCharge! 00:04, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

That may be a result of the page deletion, and not connected to Privatemusings. ElinorD (talk) 00:08, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Durova, my talk page has just been deleted yet again for reasons I assert are not the strongest, and you seem to be blaming me for creating the wrong impression as a result. I don't really know how to go about templating appropriately - but remain happy for someone to do so.
You implication that this is nefarious is odious if intended, and unnecessarily clumsy and aggressive if in error. Privatemusings (talk) 00:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Ah, it looked like a result of your edit. Thanks for the clarification. In that case, no worries. DurovaCharge! 00:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Well no worries indeed, have you considered that an apology is appropriate in such circumstances? You see 'no worries' tends to mean that you are no longer concerned about your mistake. That is discourteous. Privatemusings (talk) 00:45, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I apologize for any discourtesy. It has not been my intention to offend. DurovaCharge! 02:08, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

That goes a long way - hopefully it can be offered, not drawn, in future, but thanks Privatemusings (talk) 02:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Durova just finds it almost impossible to show contrition - and has no shame in drawing attention to exchanges such as the above as evidence that she is a careful, considered good egg.

It's just really really (really) weird?!

oh - and the thrilling news of the morning is that I'm writing a 'my case in a nutshell' piece, which may be interesting to some, and will appear presently.....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Does Wikipedia have any critics?

It just occurred to me that I don't think a single recognised wikipedia 'Critic' exists. I think every single person that I can think of (form Daniel Brandt, to the Wikipedia Review crowd) has been firmly labeled a 'troll' or worse. Surely wikipedia can support healthy, critical discussion? - I realise this could well be an oversight on my part - so please do let me know if there are in fact any people out there who have published criticisms of Wikipedia, and not been called a troll.

All over Red Rover

Looks like I am going to be banned permanently from editing 'BLPs' (biographies) on the back of my edits at Giovanni di Stefano. In fact - the motion already has enough votes, so I guess I actually am banned from editing BLPs.
I think that's a pathetic decision, and I certainly intend to ask calmly and politely for it to be reversed - particularly given the scandalous involvement of a separate mailing list where my blocks had been discussed from the outset. The arb case has been ludicrously and embarrassingly prejudiced.
So what kind of BLP editing results in a permanent ban?
Basically any mention of a fraud conviction, or questions surrounding GdS' qualifications.
Oh - and we're not talking about actually edit warring them into the article, or gross violations of POV - we're talking about not more than 10 edits over 2 weeks to an article, including posting quite a calm draft, followed by mere mention on the talk page.
My jaw is on the floor to consider that this has been seriously entertained (though sure, there's a great Arb Com case to quote to stifle other BLP pages.....).
The two arbs I have the most respect for (many I simply don't know anything of) have yet to pass comment. I wait for a light at the end of the tunnel.
Though I will not be surprised if it's an oncoming train.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Where we're at

I am just hoping that the emergence of the 'secret mailing list' where blocks have been discussed and prep.d (not just mine) doesn't overshadow the whole process now.
I'm feeling a bit Groucho about it all to be honest - who'd want to be involved?
Well, me. Still.
I had a productive email correspondence with UninvitedCompany concerning the checkuser aspects of my case, and I note that he has returned to 'active duty' - I'm unsure as to what the effect of this may be.
I think I may write up some of the feelings, and effects of the block / deny / Arb com cycle, because they actually upset and stress you out more than you'd think - and I don't sense that admin.s handing out these punishments appreciate that. It's certainly far from a 'wiki-love' concept.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sent a bunch of info to the Arb list

Well I've just sent a bunch of private correspondence, and other evidence to the ArbCom mailing list. Probably as a corollary of feeling a bit glum about my prospects.
I've tried to show some ways in which I've tried to help wikipedia - and evidence the fact that I'm there in good faith, and really just want to return to editing.
I also made mention of all of the 'alternate accounts' that Guy and David have dragged up, because I felt the insinuations were piling on top of me really.
I'm not going to say too much, and hope that it suffices to cross my fingers that the Arb.s agree with me that there is nothing block worthy there at all.

(trys to work out crossed fingers shortcut, fails, and leaves.)


I am resigning myself to the thoughts that I can't control the Arb Com's decision, and that I am not responsible for it.

Some proposed final decisions

are in.

and I'm a little concerned about being permanently banned from editing articles about living people, and will likely post some kind of more detailed response sometime.

I'm losing a bit of energy and enthusiasm though :-(

no-one has yet mentioned my arbitration case, and in particular the request for disclosure of the possible 'sekrit list', at the Durova debacle RfC. I think it's relevant.

Bit down to be honest at the mo. hey ho.

Mercury Falling

(which means it's getting cold)

The fact that I explain the subject of this post above is a little indicative of how I feel about the editor Mercury. I think she or he has been rather hung out to dry by some 'comrades' - she or he really does seem like a well meaning, nice editor, who is either pretending to be a little slow or.........

Either way, she or he is currently digging deeper and deeper into behaviour that's just not on - you know, appearing to be kinda less than entirely honest. I believe Mercury to still be playing a game that she or he shouldn't be, and unfortunately losing badly.

I really do think one of his friends (and I guess I mean Durova, if she's aware of Mercury's posting) should really have a quiet word and say - stop for a bit, I think it's time to come clean.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Filed my motion for dismissal

And I'm relieved to be no where near the most active zone of wiki drama - Durova. Geez it's kicked off furiously there - and I see a RfC has now opened. It will be interesting, and revealing, to see whether Durova honours her commitment to stand down as an admin (she is 'open to recall').

Obviously she could just withdraw from that category, and say 'nah, I'm not gonna quit unless Arb Com fire me.' but I think she'll do the right thing eventually. Or perhaps the better analogy is that it's all over really - the tide is coming in, and she's gonna get wet feet.

Oh - and per the title of this post - I've put a 'speedy resolution' motion to the Arb.s - I really can't guess how it may be received, but I hope they'll at least consider it. I've got my fingers crossed.

More on the Star Chamber

Ok - so when I finally got around to ploughing through the subpage talking all about Durova and her 'evidence' - I eventually found my way to Giano's talkpage, where he has posted some of it. I was genuinely shocked, and angered all over again (geez, you'd think I'd learn....) to discover Durova, in her first link, showing the assembled chosen few a diff of mine, somehow chosen to illustrate a 'playbook'.

The whole document is of course laughable (quite embarrassingly, ridiculously so) but the damage that editors like Durova do is very real - I have felt my blood boil, and been stressed out by the kind of flippant, 'oh this is all decided, and we're far too busy to explain why' attitude which, as it turns out, is based on lies and deceit.

A little while ago, I posted to the list that a wikipedia ethics committee might be in order. I didn't realise quite how badly it's needed.

The Star Chamber?

You may have noticed that I've posted a small question on the workshop talk page discussing any possible synergies between the Durova debacle currently raging, and my case. Both featured a 'small number of trusted admin.s' - and often referred to 'including members of the Arb Com' - who apparently reviewed and 'approved' the 'evidence'.
I think they're being somewhat hung out to dry here, because I suspect that all they really did was respond in good faith to an email from a friend (Guy, or Durova) without intending their response to be relied upon. That certainly explains their lack of comment 'on-wiki'.
Unfortunately - they are culpable, and it really really stinks for this information to remain veiled.
Right now, I can legitimately claim that there is a small, secret group of admin.s who work together to issue indefinite blocks. And that's wrong.

A couple of questions and answers

Well, I had a few questions, and notes arrive via email, with some people asking for a bit more information about what it is that I've done exactly.

It's a good question. Basically the answer is that I was heavily involved with the discussions about 'BADSITES' - that is whether or not Wikipedia should have 'site bans' on linking to sites that are viewed as 'attack' sites. I disagreed with almost all aspects of that, philosophically and pragmatically. The true heart of my block lies in the irritation caused by that disagreement.

Specfically however, the two separate events which led to my banning are the editing here,
and here.

The former has all revisions still intact, for the interested, and the later has had several deletions and partial recreations - following the not terribly controversial post that you'll find in the 'truthiness' post (basically just collecting 8 sources from other editors' work).

That's it I'm afraid! Wierd, huh??

happy thanksgiving

I was half minded to propose a remedy that I be unblocked and allowed to eat turkey, but I'm not sure that the process would enjoy such humor.

I may yet though...!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

it's underway

and the arb. is off...... Luckily Mercury's suggestion wasn't accepted, and after fairly concise, sensible comment, the arb case has been accepted.

Interesting posts which leaped off the page were;

I should add: I was only concerned with the use of multiple accounts for drama. I have not looked into PM's editing career itself. I have no problem with PM having only one account and sticking to it - but the edits will I expect be a matter for the AC to consider - David Gerard (talk) 23:15, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

which struck me as interesting that an indefinite blocking admin would say 'I have not looked into PM's editing...' !

I also seriously wondered if Guy had had a bit of a realisation whilst writing up the extent of the crimes and misdemeanors.. I thought this was weak;

Editing interests such as Michele Ferrari (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs), Max Mosley (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs), Jonathan King (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) suggest that the reason for moving away from an account traceable to RWI was precisely to engage in editing of controversial content.

The various accounts edit overlapping subject areas. For example, Purples edited Jonathan King (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs), Privatemusings edited Giovanni di Stefano (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs), King's lawyer. See [1] for one of Purples' edits to Jonathan King

In the first post, I can only guess that he believes those articles to be 'hot potatoes' - which of course they're not really, or at least not enough to imply that my motivations were somehow nefarious. In the 2nd post, I think he's trying to imply that this amounts to a violation of the 'sock' policy which says you mustn't have two accounts editing on the same pages, or pages which have a substantial connection (and it's interesting that he cherry picks an edit which may on first impressions look aggressively controversial - of course, in context, it's not). My reading was always that the no-no in the 'sock' policy was to give the impression of multiple voices in support of a particular viewpoint, or particular content. I don't really think that even Guy would think that was the case.

The new 'evidence' page makes heartening reading - first we have Guy's section, which is focused more on prose and insinuation than many actual diff.s or other evidence. I can't review it all, because some of it is now visible only to admin.s (I've made a note at a talk page on that) - but I feel fairly happy that the info. seems to me to be pretty weak.

Kendrick7 is an editor I haven't come across before this process, and his evidence is very clear and straight forward - it's really just a blow by blow of what actually happened - and when presented in that fashion, to me, the slightly silly nature of my block comes into focus. I also appreciate his sense of humour, and other contributions so far to the case.

It also gives me heart to see the early contributions from the active Arb.s - particularly the note that hopefully this case may not drag too long.

More anon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The case has been requested

and my first thought was (yet again) genuine surprise that Mercury would request that the case be rejected, and me re-blocked. To my mind, that really doesn't reflect well on her / him.

Secondly, re : Involved Parties, I hadn't really understood quite how that bit works - but so far we have the blocking admin. and Fred.

Fred's put his point across - that I have been distinctly unhelpful over a period of time - and it'll be interesting to see how that might be evaluated.

I really must try and figure out what all the subpages are really for, and how they work - but at this point I feel rather worried that Mercury's suggestion will be taken up.

tea is required.......

Involved Parties !

A twofold question which has been on my mind since the realisation that an Arb Com was looking inevitable, firstly - who on earth are the involved parties?

I'm not really a subscriber to the fallacy that all admin.s who have commented on a case are 'involved' - but the trouble with working out how to apply that in my context, is that I really can't see who is involved!

This of course relates to the fundamentally vague nature of allegations. Perhaps only myself and the other editors at Giovanni di Stefano should be named - but that would only make sense on the premise that my block is solely related to my editing there, which doesn't really make sense to me. Also, it would have the strange corollary of involving DAlbury (who I respect as a rigourous but fair editor, despite our mild exchange on that talk page), and whom I don't feel is more than incredibly peripherally involved. Hmmmmm

To name almost anyone other than me as an involved party to me seems to somewhat open the floodgates.

Secondly - it will be interesting to see which Arbitrators recuse themselves. To me it is self evident that Fred should, and given that Jpgordon, and Morven have already issued judgments in my case, it's clear to me that they should step aside also. I'm not sure on the protocols of if / when / how my views on this may be heard or considered, but it will be interesting none the less.


Looks Like an Arb Com

Various kind and wise souls on the side of angels continue to make small points on-wiki, and off wiki communications no doubt continue on all sides, but it looks as though this one is going to head to Arb Com.

I don't really have too much more to say other than the assertions which remain undiscussed on my talk page, and I'm genuinely concerned that this will not be a healthy process.

I would very much like to simply return to mundane editing, pending further discussion and resolution of the sourcing issues discussed below - I think that would be a better choice, but of course the decision is not mine. :-(

Oh well

I do feel this is rather sad. My indef. block has been upheld, by many of the folk who have upheld it all along. I've left a bunch of assertions on my talk page - but can't help feeling that one aspect of the complexity of the situation (with thanks to those who have pointed this out via email) is how incredibly hard it seems to be to get the variety of people who are very very sure that I should be banned to explain clearly and concisely (well actually, to explain at all!) why.

Lots of the worst aspect of community discussion - you know, the 'ol - this has all been discussed, and loads of non specific allusion to badness. My take is that some of these editors are responding (completely honestly) from their instincts, but that the perspective on which they chose to base their instincts is very flawed, and hasn't been constructed with any rigour. I'm afraid that's simply not right.

I certainly feel that the 'guilty until proven innocent' line that I took to be nonsense coming from so many quarters has rather more truth to it than is comfortable for a healthy community.

At the risk of banging on once more - I thought I'd drag out a couple of good points (made by good people), and a couple of bad ones...first, ElinorD responding to 'would you support a unblock with caveats' and someone having said 'No.';

Neither would I. He gave an assurance in the past to edit only from one account, and broke it. His gossip page, his excessively polite goading of Essjay, his constant stirring up of drama, show that he is not, and never was, here for the purpose of writing an encyclopaedia. If he wants to appeal to ArbCom, he can email them. ElinorD (talk) 01:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

On the substantive issue of 'did I make an assurance, and break it?' - Elinor is correct, and is owed an explanation. I noticed that the people at Wikipedia Review had started discussing me (just chatting about which other editors I might be really) - and I saw that someone made the connection between Privatemusings and Purples. Having read reams from sources I had no reason not to trust about the 'poison' and 'filth' that goes on at that forum, I made a fairly snap (as in not particularly thought out) decision to make, I think, 2 more posts as 'Purples' in an attempt to cast at least a little doubt on that conclusion. I accept utterly, that my decision was a poor one, for many reasons. Now Slim, responding to a proposal from NewYorkBrad to unblock (again with caveats)........

Brad, I would not support the unblocking of this user. He has caused too much controversy, used too many accounts, and continues to insist he sees nothing controversial in his edits, which suggests the same behavior will continue. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Slim continues to be an editor I respect alot - her contribution list is fearsome, and I think she does outstanding work. She also continues to make sense, because this post sums up the truth of the matter, or more specifically, the truth of her perspective, very very clearly. I have used three accounts, for reasons shared with many an admin over several weeks - these may well emerge further here. And particularly recently, I have certainly caused controversy. I absolutely don't deny these key points - and most importantly, I absolutely do see that my edits are controversial. Two broad responses; Firstly I have been genuinely suprised at how my desire to discuss sourcing has been received at 'Giovanni di Stefano' - see below for an edit that was deemed to require a page deletion - and secondly, I hope I have been very clear that my assertion is strongly that we have to have to have to at least discuss some kind of framework for how an article can be maintained and developed in that climate.

Sometimes I have felt Fred in particular to prefer to play the boss with his head in the sand....

Deciding whether a particular source is a reliable source is a matter of sound editorial judgment. Someone such as Privatemusing, who does not have reliable judgment regarding this particular matter should not be editing the article or commenting on it. Or posting about it to wiken, or to policy pages. If voluntary recognition of his limitations is not forthcoming, an indefinite ban would be appropriate. He says over and over that he doesn't understand, and I agree. Fred Bauder (talk) 00:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

The sound editorial judgment has led to every single source mentioning a qualifications issue, or a fraud conviction, being judged utterly unreliable. That Fred refuses to see this as surprising, or unusual, or worthy of discussion is odd. That he further uses that judgment as a basis for a recommendation for an indefinite ban is chilling. And a quick analysis of Durova's contribution - this is currently the most substantive analysis (in terms of diff.s and evidence) of the block rationale;

Normally I wouldn't take it upon myself to supply diffs for another administrator's block, but Privatemusings specifically asks for my input.[8] So I'll provide something brief. I full protected the Giovanni di Stefano article yesterday because it had been a locus of BLP concerns. Although I'm no expert in any legal system, common sense tells me to treat BLP issues conservatively. And if that isn't generally the way to handle things in some editors' views, a biography of a controversial legal professional is probably not the place to experiment with the outer limits of WP:BLP, WP:V, and WP:RS. This was a normal and routine protection, yet Privatemusings tried to get the protection lifted repeatedly and implied on the article talk page that I didn't know what I was doing - before asking me anything about the decision.[9][10][11] One might suppose that Privatemusings would be more circumspect, particularly in light of the caution Fred Bauder delivered at WT:RS at about the same time: Privatemusings was approaching the level of disruption that merits an indefinite block, in Fred's opinion.[12] Then, having been blocked for BLP and sourcing issues, and the block already having been declined by another member of the arbitration committee, this editor renews the problem with a post that SlimVirgin steps in to refactor. I won't post those diffs here per WP:BEANS but they're in today's user talk history. DurovaCharge! 23:27, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

This is the sole post to date with any diff.s - and does contain the clear asssertioon that I have been blocked for disruption, and here are examples of the disruption. I thought I'd respond to it clearly. I think it's fair to boil Durova's reasoning for my indefinite block to the diff.s she provided - [9][10][11] - and herein lies the problem, because even now, I really really really find it hard to figure out why Durova believes that behaviour warrants an indefinite block.

Hey ho. Sorry for the dull long post - I console myself with the fact that the only person I'm really boring is myself!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Strange Days

Well, it's been a really wierd one! - My talk page has been deleted and recreated a few times, folk commenting are getting 'be careful' messages - mind you, I'm sending 'be careful' messages to the various editors in touch via email! - It's all a bit negative, and crazy.

I was once of the opinion that all wiki business should be handled 'on-wiki' - and despite never really changing my mind, I find myself in fairly intense email correspondence with various editors. I know that I'm a little clouded through being knackered and angry and upset, but I really feel that moving away from openness is dangerous for a community - and it seems to be ironically a function of 'power users' wishing to aggressively protect themselves.

I've got a whole extra bit on this that I'll write up and post sometime.

I still remain hopeful that the dust will settle soon, and my indef block will be lifted.

...hungry now..........

Wikipedia : The limits and dangers of truthiness.

At this stage, I still have hope that my Wikipedia situation can be amicably resolved, but I am keen to have a calm workspace to air my thoughts, hence this post.

I'm an interested, occasionally motivated, but fundamentally quite mundane editor over there who has now been 'indefinitely blocked' from editing several times. In my opinion, essentially for disagreeing with some powerful editors.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs, and ins and outs of mine and others' behaviour, I've noticed more and more a scary tendency for 'truthiness' to play a role in both dispute resolution, and in the decision making processes of editors who should know better (the oft referred to 'cabal' - which more accurately is a fairly disparate, but very 'wiki-powerful' group of individuals).

Specifically today, there's a feeling being spread and nurtured that I have been 'trolling' the Wikipedia article page about Giovanni di Stefano - a colourful and controversial lawyer. The idea that I am being disruptive, and not just trying to get to the bottom of something is an idea that once planted, the seed grows, and quietly and insidiously my integrity is undermined.

I haven't been trolling at all, and my contributions there (as I would assert elsewhere, and everywhere) are sound. Please (please please) ask for a 'diff' or any other evidence at all should you wish to take a look at the truth, not the truthiness of the situation. For the record, here is the post which led to the article, and talk page being deleted and recreated;

The following are all from publications widely used as reliable sources throughout the wiki, for both straightforward, and controversial claims. To use a fairly common, but sensitive example, we are happy to use many of the following as a source for a conviction, or notable personal scandal. Could we please please please go through these one by one and work out if any are 'allowed'.

I'm still trying to understand if we are rejecting every single one currently, and why;

*The independent mentions a fraud conviction.

*Irish times April 20, 2006 mentions a fraud conviction

*new zealand herald mentions a fraud conviction

*Variety mentions a fraud conviction

*The US District Court mentions a fraud conviction

*The Guardian mentions qualifications issues and a fraud conviction

*The Scotsman mentions qualifications issues and a fraud conviction

*The Guardian again mention the qualifications issues and the fraud conviction.

This is of course a collation of previous editors' work - thanks to all. ~~~~

The posturing and misrepresentation of my contributions sickens me, and in this arena, truthiness causes significant damage to community morale, as well as being just plain wrong.

Finally (because let's face it, this isn't all that interesting really) - I'd say to all to tread carefully. I believe admin 'JzG' to have acted unethically in sharing privately submitted information online, I believe admin 'David Gerard' to have irresponsibly published this information online, and at this stage, I know nothing more of admin. Mercury than the fact that he appears to be a useful admin, acting in misguided good faith.

that's all folks.

ps. I would support the right of any editor, in any circumstance, to post in this manner, without further ugly aspersions being cast on them whilst working 'on-wiki'. An indefinite block leaves one reeling, and to desire to have a voice is a powerful human urge from which I am not exempt. I hope you feel the same way.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just some private musings


... - trying to calm down a little. This blog will just be a collection of my thoughts and observations on matters that interest me (or upset me, or anger me).

First time blogger, so this is somewhat of a test also!