Hi. I'm VeryVerily, aka VV. Welcome to my user page!
Thanks to all who offered various kinds of support during my recent ordeal. I know there are good people out there who understand what's really going on. Alas, you are not in charge. VeryVerily 12:41, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Statement for 2005
- "ArbComm decisions are rare and precious jewels, to be treated with respect if not awe."
- - The Epopt , a (surprise!) arbitrator
- "Michael, who was 12 at the time of his ban and is now 14...."
When I first discovered Wikipedia I was impressed to say the least, both with what it had achieved, and, moreover, what it could become. In August 2003 I dived in and began contributing, taking it slow at first, but soon picking up. Before I knew it I was a prolific Wikipediholic, ultimately making nearly 12,000 edits authoring, augmenting, and improving thousands of articles, the vast majority of which were wholly uncontroversial. (Rewarding also has been seeing other sources cite articles I crucially helped author.) Even now, as I look back I'm staggered by the breadth of this work.
Tragically, however, I never did become part of the "inner circle" here, those whose voices carry weight on (e.g.) the mailing list. Perhaps that is because socializing was never a goal I pursued; writing an encyclopedia was.
And that brings me to Wikipedia's dark side. I soon found the project was haunted with troublemakers of all stripes. At first I let this intimidate me, but soon learned how to survive in this anarchy. However, what ultimately made life intolerable here was not "trolls" but "management".
I went into arbitration late last year fairly fearless. My cases were mostly simple: I was being stalked by a vandal using anonymous IP proxies to revert me at random and deface my user page, another was mass-producing accounts to force an absurd defense of the Khmer Rouge, and an abrasive user was making wild edits and attacking anyone who challenged him. Furthermore, I was a long-term productive and reliable user who had navigated some of the most difficult and fiery topics on the 'pedia with honesty and balance. I was confident an impartial analysis from this supposedly august committee would be friendly to me, as the analysis during mediation had.
But there was not even an analysis at all. I won't rehearse the blunders, mix-ups, and oversights which defined the whole proceedings, but having been through it I can speak much of what was wrong. Partly is a simple lack of personal integrity on the part of certain arbs, which includes malfeasant laziness and inattention, but partly too is the entire heavy-handed, intrusive, and disrespectful attitude the AC displayed towards others, an attitude seemingly sanctioned by Jimmy Wales himself. I defended myself ably but was ignored; other users sprang to my defense and were barely acknowledged if at all. I complied with every directive the AC sent my way, but still endured repeated blocking on various pretexts, by admins I had had former conflicts with.
(It is worth noting the many articles I could have made simple, helpful, even crucial fixes to but "couldn't" while reading during these senseless blocks.)
It is hard to put into words how it felt to be treated like this after pouring my heart into this project for so long. There was not even a hint or disclaimer acknowledging my vast contributions. It was yet rougher when the "God-King" himself lied and insulted me while declining to give me any credit for my work. It indeed left me speechless.
Of course this encyclopedia project is now bigger than any handful of buffoons and cads. But its truly awesome potential will fail to be realized in an environment when good content, good editors, and plain good people are not adequately valued.
In closing, I want to say that I have "met" many decent and sincere people on Wikipedia. That gives hope things could be better if the present momentum is counteracted by some questioning the current climate. Alas, I see too little sign of this at present.
I have been a contributing Wikipedian since August 6, 2003 and am a certifiable Wikipediholic. I am now one of Wikipedia's most prolific editors, recently ranked in the top 100 Wikipedians by number of edits, despite having been here less than half as long as many users.
Much of my editing to Wikipedia is copyediting, standardization, and other such work. It is too easy when one starts reading about a subject to notice niggling problems and start fixing them. Of late I've had an interest in trimming unneeded verbiage, which often distracts more than it details. I also often work on cleaning up poor or biased writing, in particular on political articles which tend to be magnets for troublesome writing and even outright polemics. I have also contributed substantial new material to many articles and started new ones; at some point I intend to assemble a list of some of those here.
Of late I've been placed under enormous pressure by a handful of users repeatedly introducing bias and misinformation into political articles which I watch, and am at risk of sanction for my good-faith efforts to fight this off. Any words of support would be appreciated, although I doubt the authorities will take note.
- /Conflicting Wikipedia philosophies
- /Proposed policy changes
- /Contributions graph
- /Requests for assistance (inactive proposal)
- /Licensing - I strongly support multi-licensing (see also)
- My ArbCom candidacy statement - election ended December 18, 2004
Tools for preventing edit wars
Here are a few templates I developed to help defuse or minimize conflicts on the 'pedia:
- Template:Flux (see /Flux) - this template deleted without my knowledge.
- Wikipedia:Non-admin protection
- Wikipedia:Two versions
This is a new section and so is a little deficient at the moment.