Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive214

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Cleaning up & revamping WP:LTA[edit]

Hello all, I've previously posted a comment on the LTA talk page seeking comment from the community on cleaning up and reorganizing the Long term abuse project. If you're not already familiar with the project, it basically provides a central place for recording information regarding long term vandals. I don't exactly agree with the existence of the project, since it is somewhat a violation of WP:DENY and doesn't help recent changes patrollers identify long term vandalism immediately, but since it exists, we might as well make it useful by reorganizing it. Currently it is extremely difficult to find the relevant entry fast, and this wastes valuable time when responding to abuse. Greater efficiency could be attained by reorganizing it using a chart in alphabetical order, with a subpage for each long term vandal. This would make it much easier to navigate and find relevant entries. As part of this proposed cleanup, I'd also like to integrate LTA with WP:ABUSE for contacting. These 2 would stay independent, but WP:ABUSE would contact the ISPs of long term vandals that already have IP information associated. Netalarmtalk 07:13, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Any comments on this revamp, or should I just continue? Netalarmtalk 09:50, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Link to discussion. Two hours is not a long time, especially at this hour, to get comments on a proposal. If you're waiting for feedback you should probably give it a day or two. -- zzuuzz (talk) 10:04, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Hehe, I added that second line because I was concerned that other people might think it was just a "notice", since this is a "noticeboard." Just a note, the discussion on the revamping would be more beneficial if held at the link above (LTA talk). Netalarmtalk 12:25, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

List of Duplicate Files[edit]

I just did a query and found that there are quite a few duplicate files which may qualify for F1 Speedy Deletion (~600). That query is ~12 hours old. After tagging about 30 of them I thought it would be a good idea to ask for help. I've noticed that many of them are bot created and some of them are similar but not identical (such as File:127 northbound.jpg and File:127northbound2.jpg). Thanks, --nn123645 (talk) 21:08, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the notice. I've converted the format from simple text into links, so that we can more easily select the images for deletion. Nyttend (talk) 14:36, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

North Korea caused the spill and other assorted nonsense[edit]

Resolved: semi-protection applied. Horologium (talk) 12:07, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

There is a group of IP's from Spain that keeps modifying Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion with the allegation that the Gulf of Mexico spill was caused by a North Korean torpedo attack. While this has been thoroughly debunked (and as noted in talk page and elsewhere, the allegation is sourced to a far-right extremist website), more eyes in keeping the article clear from that nonsense would appreciated. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 11:18, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Is it bad enough for WP:RFPP ?? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 11:36, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Just a quick note, Truthout (the source for the crazy allegations) is leftist, not far-right. In any case, I semi-protected it for a week to stop the edit-warring. Horologium (talk) 12:07, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
The link given was from EUTimes, which is considered far right... I guess that once you're that far into the fringe, you can't really tell what is left and what is right. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 18:49, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh, so you have seen me play golf then ;-) (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 20:28, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

AWB requests[edit]

Resolved: Backlog cleared Camw (talk) 11:43, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I was wondering if someone could check AWB check page. There is a couple over 48hrs old and a few others awaiting approval (me included). Thanks --NavyBlue84 11:19, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I'll take a look. Camw (talk) 11:23, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Don't know what happened there, I normally deal with these on a daily basis, but the page seems to have somehow dropped off my watchlist. Normal service has been resumed. Rodhullandemu 20:53, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Harassment & outing by User:ScienceApologist[edit]

NOTE: ScienceApologist and I have reached an amicable resolution on this issue, and as the filing party, I do not believe it requires admin action. Thanks to those who commented; your insights and constructive criticism were helpful. --Middle 8 (talk) 20:43, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Hi, apologies in advance if this is not the proper venue; and if it's not, I'd be grateful if someone could correct me. (Added Note: It might be better at AE?

I am filing a formal complaint about User:ScienceApologist. He was topic-banned sometime in 2009 for about six months. Sorry that I don't have the wikilink at hand, but the case is well-known, and User_talk:ScienceApologist/Approved_articles includes discussion of what he could and could not edit (typically, he pushed the boundaries as far as possible even when banned).

What he is doing now is harassing me by making completely baseless claims that I have a conflict of interest, and outing me for good measure. WP:COI clearly states: "Editing in an area in which you have professional or academic expertise is not, in itself, a conflict of interest." I have such expertise in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and have contributed a lot (under retired usernames as well) to acupuncture. I understand the boundaries around here, and heed them, so I don't get banned or blocked. For example, I understand that WP:COI says that as long as I'm not pushing my own practice, writings, gizmos, etc., then it's fine for me to edit acupuncture. But not in ScienceApologist's world:

  • and in so doing attempted to out me by linking to what he believed was my professional webpage. (Note: diffs oversighted by User:Vsmith; here's a multiple diff with the information excised).

About a year ago I retired one account and started a new one precisely because I wanted to stop all use of my name on WP and be completely pseudonymous. I was quite clear about this.[1] It even came up in the context of ScienceApologist's ArbCom case that led to his topic ban (and please note that I'd have to provide that diff offline for privacy reasons).

This is harassment, pure and simple, and if I recall correctly it was behavior like this that led, in part, to his topic ban. I generally just ignore him, but occasionally, Darwin forbid, someone gets in the way of his latest jihad and his full wrath rains down. Today I get to be that special someone. Tomorrow or next week, who knows? And how long does WP tolerate this?

I request and challenge the good people at WP:AE WP:AN to deal with this as harshly as possible, and then some. If I read WP:OUTING correctly, outing is a serious offense that usually results in an immediate block. But there are aggravating factors here. ScienceApologist is a recidivist, disruptive editor who drives away some editors and sets a bad example for others. I suggest a preventative siteban of significant duration. Thanks for considering this issue. Middle 8 (talk) 08:49, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, you claim professional expertise. Like Essjay did. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 08:55, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and other than the fact that he lied about it and I didn't, it's an awesome comparison! (Seriously, I've always said that any admin wanting to know my identity in good faith can email me.) --Middle 8 (talk) 10:58, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
This information is all linked from this editors various accounts, and was posted appropriately as part of a COI report. If the editor wants to start afresh, perhaps they should start a new account and avoid acupuncture articles. Verbal chat 09:52, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Verbal, I believe you are familiar with the history: I retired my old account (which was connected to my real name), and started this one stating that I desired pseudonymity. On-wiki, I never connected this with my old account. Off-wiki, I told a few editors, you among them, my identity, and was clear that on-wiki I wanted to retain pseudonymity. In fact, I'm pretty sure I remember warning SA about respecting my pseudonymity, though I'd have to dig up the diff (he was whining about the supposed COI thing). Read WP:PRIVACY; my requests for privacy are all well within accepted guidelines on WP. How could I have been clearer that I didn't want my personal information revealed? Put it in my fucking signature? --Middle 8 (talk) 10:58, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
It was and is clear that the two accounts are linked. You are free to start a new account that cannot be connected with the old. Verbal chat 11:24, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, Verbal, that's just not true -- and I wish you wouldn't play fast and loose with the facts. If what you say is true, please document the supposed link between the two accounts. Just for the record. Thanks. --Middle 8 (talk) 11:32, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Middle 8, you should consider this discussion from the recent Russavia-Biophs ArbCom case. In it, Biophys (who had WP:OUTING issues and was sanctioned in the case) discusses establishing a new account for privacy reasons. Arbitrator Shell_Kinney makes some comments that are particularly relevant to your situation:

  • [2] "While editors are able to start new accounts for privacy or decide to vanish entirely, there are some limits to what you may do if you decide to start another account. See WP:CLEANSTART for details ... one of the things the community feels strongly about is that you do not enter the same discussions or disputes without disclosing that you are the same editor that was in these disputes before. This precludes the ability to start over for privacy and re-enter the disputed topic area."
  • [3] "... the community feels strongly that editors should not start new accounts, unlinked to the old, and start editing in the same areas/disputes. This has to do with transparency, accountability, not giving the appearance of additional support for a position and not being able to hide behind a new account and bother the same editors."
  • [4] "... unless you intend to never edit in the disputed area again, it's likely that creating a new account would do more harm than good. We've seen it happen time and time again - if you edit the same areas you were before, especially when those areas are heated, editors will go to extreme lengths to figure out what your old account was, possibly link them together and may handle things more poorly as a result of feeling that you are trying to hide something."

I make no comment on ScienceApologist's actions - I haven't looked at them - but if you previously edited in alternate medicine areas, which can be controversial, and have returned to them, and in addition have a potential WP:COI, I'd say the chances were high that your old and new accounts would be connected by someone... no matter what your wishes might be. I'm not arguing that this is the way it should be, more that it is the way things are. EdChem (talk) 11:26, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, EdChem -- I took all of these issues into account, and contacted editors off-wiki to let them know who I was and that I just wanted to be pseudonymous with my new username. I was careful not to give the impression of additional support for a position. I was all about full-disclosure, just some of it off-wiki. All I want(ed) is for my requests at pseudonymity to be honored: an analogous case is User:Shoemaker's Holiday, whose name-change and privacy-boundaries seem to have been well-accepted. Thanks again for that background. --Middle 8 (talk) 11:41, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Middle 8 - happy to provide the links. The problem with full-disclosure, just some of it off-wiki is that it only takes one editor to whom no disclosure has been made to get suspicious (say because of something you said reminding them of something you said with your previous account) and to start digging. The only real way to ensure pseudonymity is to stay away from your previous areas. Without knowing your history I have no idea how closely it is analogous to Shoemaker's Holiday's case, but I would say that his experiences were pretty nasty over an extended period. His privacy may be relatively well accepted now, but that took a long time and his former editing identity is known to a considerable number of users. If you have been through anything like the amount of shit that SH was forced through then you have my sincere sympathies. EdChem (talk) 12:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't know exactly how much crap Shoemaker's went through. I gather I went through less, but still more than enough. I understand what you say about someone inevitably starting to dig around, but since I notified the rest of the world with a great big "Please let me be pseudonymous on-wiki" on my user page, I don't think I could have made my preferences clearer. On my user page, I also state my profession and explain why I don't violate COI, and ScienceApologist cites this in his complaint at Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest/Noticeboard#Middle_8 (multiple diff excluding oversighted material). His whole point is that as an acupuncturist I inherently have a COI because of some magic double standard that doesn't apply to other professions. He's not basing his complaint on anything specific to me other than my profession. Since I made that known on-wiki, there was no need to link to my (putative) web page -- other than harassment. --Middle 8 (talk) 16:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Part of the issue here is that Middle 8 isn't just an acupuncturist, he is a rank pseudoscientist whose website proves he promotes acupuncture far beyond the evidence-basis for it. The issue is that this user is heavy-handedly removing material that contradicts the documented POV on his webpage. I'm all for privacy, but there's this thing called WP:SCRUTINY that can be argued this user is engaging in. If this user wasn't active at acupuncture at all, there would be no problem. That he is and that his account can easily and verifiably be linked to three other accounts who have, in the past, been used to advocate the same POV-pushing tactics is extremely relevant to the WP:COI case. I do not take this charge lightly, but when people use Wikipedia rules to flout our WP:NPOV, WP:FRINGE, and WP:MEDRS policies, I think it stinks of gaming the system to cry wolf about privacy concerns. There is a right to vanish, but one must actually exercise the right in order for it to apply. This particular user did not exercise that right by entering into the same venue and acting the same way and, by the way, linking to his previous accounts (note that WP:OUTING explicitly states that if the user links to the information, which this user did, then this is an obvious exception to the rule against posting personal information — and I only posted a website he had linked to from one of the previous accounts that he is verifiably connected to, and I manifestly did not post "legal name, date of birth, identification numbers, home or workplace address, job title and work organisation, telephone number, email address, or other contact information"). If an investigation is supposed to happen, we need to be able to present evidence. There is nothing in WP:OUTING which states how this is supposed to be done. People refer obliquely to my identity all the time and I actually had the police called on me once due to Wikipedia. This doesn't bother me because the areas in which I work are high-profile and likely to attract attention. If a clarification could be given of how one is supposed to go about taking another editor's problematic behavior to task in such a situation, I'd greatly appreciate it. I definitely promise never to do such a thing again, as I was not really aware that posting a website as evidence was such an issue (and perhaps would suggest adding it to WP:OUTING if it is an issue). If we can explain how such a situation should be handled, I'd greatly appreciate it, and it might help future incidents such as this which are bound to arise. ScienceApologist (talk) 21:42, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Where did he link to his personal page himself? Email me if it will reconstitute outing.RlevseTalk 00:44, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
@Rlevse: I never linked to my website with my current account; that's the whole point. Please email me if you wish. I specifically said "let me be pseudonymous"[5] with this account. Consider User:Shoemaker's Holiday as an example of another user who exercised something on the order of WP:VANISH and returned pseudonymously: the key thing being, like me, they didn't want their name or personal info on WP. I stated this preference at every turn. SA was at best negligent and at worst malicious (he's WP:GAME'd enough that I don't readily assume AGF, and he could easily be just making up an excuse when the intention all along was to humiliate and harass). As for SA's ad hominem argumentation ("rank pseudoscientist"), that speaks for itself. --Middle 8 (talk) 04:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
The edits have been deleted or oversighted (not sure which). I don't have them saved and have no idea when they went down. ScienceApologist (talk) 01:22, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Middle 8, if you want to maintain, or restore, your privacy why don't you do as suggested here: get a new username and stop editing topics related to alternative medicine?   Will Beback  talk  04:49, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Will, I don't think it's quite fair to suggest that he stop editing topics that he prefers to edit, short of any evidence of malfeasance. That almost sounds like a threat (stop editing these topics otherwise you will get outed). I would like to think that ScienceApologist (or any editor on wikipedia) would have the courtesy not to out someone when they prefer not to be outed, even if it's possible to do it without too much trouble. Lord knows SA has filed his own (very angry) ANI thread when other people have outed him in the past. Can we all recognize that Middle 8 doesn't want to be outed, and agree not to do it? If SA had COI concerns, he can ask an administrator to discuss it with M8 off-wiki. --Ludwigs2 05:10, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
The user here is accused of having more than just an interest in the topic, but an actual conflict of interest. Further, there's an assertion that this potential COI has been a disputed topic in the past. If that's true, then we have a situation of someone who may have a COI trying to avoid the accusations by changing his identity, but still editing in the topic. That's the wrong approach. If there's a COI, and it causes this kind of tension, then he should stop editing the topic directly rather than hiding his COI. As a hypothetical example, imagine I was the president and owner of Beback Enterprises. If I was editing the article on our latest product other editors might raise the issue of my COI. Would it be legitimate for me to change my username, go back to editing that article on my new product, and complain about anyone who connects me to my previous account? No. COIs belong to users, not to usernames.   Will Beback  talk  08:13, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Very well put. No, creating a new username doesn't solve the problem. On the contrary. The solution is to admit upfront that one has a COI and will attempt to edit carefully. Doing otherwise would be an attempt to evade the scrutiny of other editors, a practice that is forbidden here. Middle8, just write it on your userpage. Admit it and then just edit responsibly. We need experts here. -- Brangifer (talk) 14:33, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Brangifer - Thanks, yes, it's been on my userpage forever. Will, just because there's an assertion of COI doesn't mean there is COI, especially when the assertion originates from an extremely disruptive, angry mastodon type editor. ScienceApologist uses these things to attack, not to resolve. Which reminds me -- the whole reason I went pseudonymous wasn't to avoid COI at all -- no one except Science Apologist took the issue seriously, and his one complaint was dismissed out of hand -- but rather to avoid my real name being used in forums like this where editors like ScienceApologist go into battleground, say-anything, end-justifies the means mode (the end being: drive away editors with whom he's tired of discussing content). Gosh, what a bad editor I am for acting in this manner. Definitely let's blame me, rather than hold to account the handful of intensely disruptive, recidivist editors who think WP is a battleground. Let's blame editors like me, rather than call out the admins who enable toxic, battleground editors by failing to impose escalating blocks. --Middle 8 (talk) 05:02, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Yeah, I'd agree, Ludwigs2, but the WP:COIN is supposed to be transparent to the wiki and there is no course of action outlined on that page which would apply for (what I did not fully realize) was "sensitive" information. How does one do a private or off-wiki COI notice that can abide by consensus rules? I have concerns about a COI and I want people to know what the concerns are. The issue was that Middle 8 was essentially refusing to admit that there could possibly be any concerns at all. A single administrator that I ask to act on my behalf isn't going to loosen this kind of intractable situation.

The other problem is that "outing" is not a well-defined idealization. Linking to a personal webpage that a person had previously linked to on Wikipedia and wasn't on the blacklist seemed to me to be no real thing. "Let me be pseudonymous" can obviously be used to game the system so as to avoid scrutiny. If Middle 8 doesn't want this page linked, why doesn't he ask for it to be blacklisted on WP:BLACKLIST? That would solve a lot of issues and unintentional outings that may occur in the future. I'd also love to see that ANI thread and compare to this incident. I'm pretty sure it didn't have to do with a personal webpage that I maintained, but maybe my memory is faulty. Let me know.

ScienceApologist (talk) 05:18, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

You knew he wanted anonymity. You outed him anyway. Is there anything else to say about this? Anthony (talk) 12:53, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Plenty, Anthony... if there was a previously discussed COI issue, CLEANSTART may not be used to hide it. See the comments I quoted above from Arbitrator Shell_Kinney. EdChem (talk) 13:03, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ed -- ScienceApologist filed one, and it was quickly dismissed by an admin who cited Wikipedia:Coi#Citing_oneself. SA is trying to invent a new kind of COI, and has provided virtually no diffs showing my alleged extreme bias (because it doesn't exist). --Middle 8 (talk) 17:34, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
EdChem mentioned he'd quoted me here, and it looks like he's got it about right. Middle8, you simply can't do what you did. Yes, we want to be sensitive to editors who didn't realize how revealing personal information might affect them, however the editor trying to regain privacy has some responsibilities of their own which obviously weren't followed.

The reason the policy states that you may not reenter the same disputes is demonstrated here. If you, as a new account, enter into a dispute you participated in as your old account, you will be recognized almost immediately by editors who had discussed the issue with you before. This is obviously bad for your privacy; an editor who wishes to regain a measure of anonymity needs to be very careful to avoid any behavior that would connect them to their original account.

Reentering an old dispute without making it clear that you are the same person appears deceptive for a variety of reasons. It gives the appearance that a particular viewpoint in the dispute has more support rather than just the continued support of the same person. If the old account had been warned or sanctioned for behavior, or there were concerns of a conflict of interest, creating a new account unlinked to the old avoids scrutiny.

Basically, if there were concerns over your conflict of interest before and they're obvious enough that someone was able to figure out that you were a returning user then what needed to happen was for you to be considerably more circumspect in your editing, not try to hide behind a new account. While experts are in fact appreciated, if your feelings about a topic are so strong that other editors have concerns, you need to consider that editing that topic may not be the best thing for you or Wikipedia. Shell babelfish 15:51, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Hi, Shell, thanks for commenting. To clarify several things: I changed usernames for the simple reason that I was tired of seeing statements like "John Q. Doe is a pseudoscientist" all over WP and then popping up in search engines. (These kinds of statements were being made by ScienceApologist and by User:Mccready who has left the project after being indef-topic-banned.) Talk to User:Shoemaker's Holiday; they went through the same thing, and seem to have been granted the courtesy of pseudonymity that I seek. No editor should have to put up with flagrant disparagement on WP under their real name, and there should be an expectation of pseudonymity for editors who are targeted in this way and want to change handles.
I've been upfront about being the same person as my old account, but off-wiki. On-wiki I wanted pseudonymity, so I adressed the COI issue and handled my real-life identity on a need-to-know-basis. I emailed everyone with whom I'd routinely collaborated: Verbal, Brangifer, 2/0 and numerous others.... I don't remember whether I emailed ScienceApologist or not, but he figured out my identity anyway, so as I recall I reminded him about pseudonymyity as well (and had a big notice on my talk page; see link just below), and moved on. And I did address COI on-wiki (cf. old user page, and more explicitly here). What seems to get lost in the mix is that WP:COI explicitly allows editing in one's professional area. Just because ScienceApologist and his "posse" say I'm biased doesn't make it so; I demonstrably "write for the enemy" and so on. To tie up one more loose end, there was no appearance of my new handle giving added support for a topic because it appeared was after I closed the old one, and again, I notified my editing collaborators off-wiki.
Maybe I could have handled this better, somehow, but I acted in good faith, and was diligent in notifying colleagues. I was never warned or sanctioned with this or any previous account. Indeed, I'm surprised that uninvolved parties here have taken ScienceApologist's spurious allegations at face value, since he's provided precious few diffs (just a few, showing me disagreeing with him on content! horrors!) and is mostly just hand-waving. He's simply trying to give me a hard time, and it's classic false equivalence to assume our misbehavior was remotely comparable; compare our block logs. Everyone was cool with my pseudonymous-partial-reboot for 18 months, with the exception of two angry, mastodon-type editors who would rather discredit those with whom they have content disagreements then pursue normal WP:DR. By contrast, I'm collegial, consider issues on the merits, and know my subject areas; do you want good editors or do you want to enable like ScienceApologist whose M.O. is to push good editors away with bogus accusations and wikilawyering? As always, any admin can email me if I've missed anything. I'm busy IRL and can't rebut every allegation. --Middle 8 (talk) 17:24, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I guess I'm a little confused then - if you told everyone you interacted with what your old account was, how was this outing? I will have to say I'm terribly unimpressed by your comments on ScienceApologist's talk page as well. If you do not have a problem writing for the enemy and your conflict doesn't show up in your editing, surely the COI noticeboard thread will bear that out? All in all, I'm failing to see what here merited urgent admin attention. Shell babelfish 17:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
@Shell: when I retired my old account I explicitly asked for pseudonymity with my new one. I clearly requested that my real name and other identifying info never be used on-wiki. There is precedent for that, as I mentioned. Why would I want pseudonymity on WP when many editors know my identity? Because I don't want silly wikidrama and attacks on my name to end up in Google. Now do you see why I didn't want my (alleged) page posted? It's a matter of reputation: ask Shoemaker's Holiday about that. If you don't believe that such courtesies are worth extending on WP, then sure, I understand that you'd be unlikely to see a problem with SA's actions. I disagree; I think WP should be a respectful community where things like requests for pseudonymity are honored, rather than a "Wild West" kind of place.
As for the COI case SA brought against me, yes, believe it's meritless and that it will be dismissed. The reason I filed a complaint, besides the privacy issue, is that SA files these cases just to harass editors with whom he has content disagreements (and as an extra bonus, he tried to post my webpage against my explicit wishes). That sort of vengeful abuse of process is part of what got him topic-banned last time, and why I brought it up again: I believe that it's a corrosive, disruptive behavior pattern that is the opposite of WP:DR, and apparently he hasn't yet learned much, in that respect, from his last Arbitration action. (BTW, I did intend to post this at WP:AE; Vsmith had suggested I post at either AE or AN and I mistakenly put it here. Sorry for any confusion caused by the venue). regards, Middle 8 (talk) 00:23, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
SA-how is the different for the similar instance with you and Martinphi?RlevseTalk 23:58, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I remember all the details between myself and Martinphi, and if I remember correctly Martinphi got banned for outing someone other than myself not in the context of a WP:COIN. Do I remember correctly? ScienceApologist (talk) 01:09, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I am not at all clear what the conflict of interest here might be. The topic is acupuncture: even if Middle 8 is a practicing acupuncturist, or an individual who has published material about acupuncture, COI seems like a bit of a stretch (unless M8 is involved in blatant self-promotion of his business or his writing). and even that (if true) seems more like market-spam than COI. COI really only applies when some editor begins working on articles that are directly about him - e.g. an employee of a business writing on an article about that particular business; a scientist editing an article about his own published theories, or published theories that oppose his. The COI rule is there to prevent real-world disputes from entering into wikipedia editing (because wikipedia should not be a venue for arguing real-world disputes). without any more outing, is that what is happening here? --Ludwigs2 01:01, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that acupuncture can be portrayed as being like standard health procedures, as if it were based on evidence. If a person is known to advocate that position in order to bolster their profession, that person definitely has a COI if they edit acupuncture articles by removing suggestions of pseudoscience, or by adding dubious references to support unwarranted efficacy claims. A neurosurgeon will not have those kinds of problems when editing an article in their area of expertise because there will not be any suggestions of pseudoscience, and there will be plenty of good sources available to back up any material the neurosurgeon wants to add. Johnuniq (talk) 07:23, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and I don't do that. I understand your point; what you describe is not really part of WP:COI as written, but it is a self-interested kind of POV-pushing. The thing is, (a) there is some evidence for acupuncture according to a lot of good sources, and (b) I don't overstate (a) here on WP; the position that I take is within the spectra of scientifically mainstream views on acupuncture, and I respect WP's policies and guidelines. Science Apologist just doesn't like debating the issue, so he substitutes these complaints for regular talk page discussion in hopes that he can get his way. It's part of his M.O. --Middle 8 (talk) 09:01, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Isn't the question whether Middle 8 has a COI best left to COIN? ScienceApologist (talk) 01:09, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
well, SA, no: The question of whether you have done something wrong by outing Middle 8 (which it's pretty clear you did) depends on whether there's a conflict of interest that justified the outing.
─────────────────────────I'm not sure I see the logic behind that. Outing is never okay. The question is if someone is avoiding scrutiny, whether mentioning actions of their previous account in evidence is appropriate. WP:OUTING is somewhat vague and at least partially open to interpretation in such cases, obviously. But are we really equipped to parse the entire thing? There's a lot of commentary here about how WP:CLEANSTART works and whether that was properly engaged. That could be another tack. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:58, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Point taken. from my perspective, I guess, it looks like this. Middle 8 clearly did not want to have his personal information exposed (even though that information was nominally available to you and others). You chose to expose it because - as you say - you thought he was trying to avoid scrutiny for some bad behavior (in this case something akin to COI). However, the assertion of bad behavior is highly questionable (you seem to be implying that any professional acupuncturist would automatically have a conflict of interest - i.e., none of the people who know about the topic are allowed to write about it on wikipedia), and even if true it's doubtful that the severity of the problem would call for an extreme action like exposing someone's personal information to the entire internet. Any way you cut it, what you did was highly rude (which is not something I'm in a position to criticize people on, so no problem). the question, though, is whether it was a justifiable rudeness or a petty rudeness; petty rudeness is bad. --Ludwigs2 18:10, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. I'd like to clarify one thing here: I absolutely do not think that "any professional acupuncturist" automatically has a conflict of interest. Rather I think that professional acupuncturists who adhere to a certain perspective (arguing in favor of certain theorizing and proposing that the acupuncture they practice can alleiviate diseases and conditions for which there is poor or scant evidence) and who also act to mitigate or eliminate critiques of their perspective are demonstrating a conflict-of-interest vis-a-vis the subject. Below, Middle 8 accuses me of "slander" (he likely means libel, but you get the picture). He wants to eliminate references to him on Wikipedia probably to protect his good name. Fair enough. Except this seems to me to be a tacit admission of a conflict-of-interest with regards to the subject itself and, specifically, the characterizations of the aspects of the subject that are criticized by sources he continually impugns, excises, or ignores. This looks to me like a combination of the Simon Singh chiropractic controversy and the issues we had with Dana Ullman. It is by no means meant to be a universalist prohibition. It's a matter of MMO. All three should be presented for a potential COI to become a concern. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:30, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
conflict-of-interest vis-a-vis the subject? You seem to be saying that anyone who makes a claim that is not supported by scientific evidence in the real world is automatically guilty of a conflict of interest on wikipedia, and that doesn't make any sense. It would tend to imply, for instance, that every physicist who has ever advocated for string theory in the Academy has a conflict of interest and should be prohibited from editing physics-related articles. If M8 has made claims unsupported by scientific evidence (or worse, claims refuted by scientific evidence) in the real world, then that may be a reason not go to him for therapeutic services. If he is trying to edit such claims into wikipedia articles, then he may run afoul of FRINGE. but neither of those is a conflict of interest on wikipedia itself. You actually seem to be trying to assert that there is a conflict of interest between acupuncture and medicine, but that's not a conflict of interest, that's a matter of NPOV. --Ludwigs2 20:13, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

@ Johnuniq: I have to disagree with the reasoning you've used here. Clearly a neurosurgeon who edited an article in order to (say) promote neurosurgery as a superior alternative to pharmacology for treatment of some disorder would be engaged in a conflict of interest; a neurosurgeon writing more generally about neurosurgery would not have a COI. likewise, a practitioner of acupuncture writing generally about acupuncture has no conflict of interest unless he is specifically promoting acupuncture as a superior alternative to other forms of medicine (which would also, in this case, run him afoul of NPOV and FRINGE). Wikipedia is not here to determine or assert that acupuncture is 'wrong' or 'bad', and you can not begin from the perspective that it is 'wrong' or 'bad' in order to claim that it conflicts with 'good'/'right' medicine. "Can be portrayed as..." is irrelevant. what matters is whether whether this is what's actually being done. --Ludwigs2 17:52, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Let's say neurosurgery was a discipline that wasn't as tied to evidence-based medicine as it was. If a neurosurgeon maintained a webpage advertising his services as a neurosurgeon that trumped up the dubious benefits of neurosurgery beyond that which was supported by evidence basis (for example, as a cure for lung cancer) and kept a wider range of text that was sourced to criticism of this fringe position off the page because there were conflicting anecdotal and less-than-rigorous sources which supported his position, then that would absolutely represent a conflict-of-interest. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:02, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
No need to say anything about evidence-based here. let's say a neurosurgeon (one with a degree from Harvard, say) was using his webpage to promote the idea that neurosurgery could treat lung cancer - based on, say, removing brain material to change the body-brain mapping, or some other rubbish. Clearly fringe, and this theory is not something that should appear on Wikipedia unless it (somehow) gains scholarly consensus (or at least some measure of notoriety). but there would be no COI with having this neurosurgeon edit any article, so long as he is not trying to push his lung cancer cure into wikipedia or disparage other types of lung cancer cures. The fact that he has an unproven theory on his business webpage does not make him an unfit editor for wikipedia; it just means that he has to be careful not to advance his theory in wikipedia space. --Ludwigs2 18:23, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
My wording above was concerned with a medical specialist writing in their area of expertise without any suggestion of pseudoscience (for example, a neurosurgeon writing only about evidence-based and reliably-sourced information strictly within the field of neurosurgery). Obviously that kind of non-promotional editing is good. By contrast, an alternate health practioner may have a COI if they promote acupuncture to suggest it is based on the same kind of medical evidence as applies to neurosurgery. Johnuniq (talk) 04:45, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I understand what you were saying; I disagree with the reasoning. Conflict of Interest implies that someone has a personal stake in some matter that conflicts with his professional obligations. Even an expert, non-pseudoscientific doctor can be subject to a conflict of interest if he is promoting his services in a way that may not be in the best interests of his patients. This is actually a fairly common situation: doctors are frequently asked to decide between treatment recommendations where the differential benefits to patients may be marginal or ambiguous and the differential costs (which increases the doctor's bottom-line) may be large. Consider the difference between recommending short term therapy with a psychologist for the treatment of depression (at a cost of a couple of thousand dollars over a few months, all of which goes to the psychologist) to recommending chemical antidepressants, which are much more expensive, which are not clearly more effective, and where the doctor himself retains income from the patient).
On Wikipedia, more to the point, conflict of interest can only mean that someone is editing the encyclopedia in such a way that it will (ultimately) improve his personal or professional standing in the real-world community. Wikipedia is not really a good place to advertise specific professional services, even if one somehow manages to slip by the anti-spam rules, and so the only way to establish a conflict of interest on project is to begin promoting one's own professional theories or insights in the hopes that it will translate to some sort of personal recognition or advantage in the greater world.
The professional obligation of an acupuncturist (like that of a doctor) is to the health of his patients. An acupuncturist may have a real-world conflict of interest if he is promoting some practice that has dubious health benefits, but it would be just as unusual for an acupuncturist to have a COI on the project as it would be for a neurosurgeon. I see no indication that M8 is doing anything that will increase his real-world standing (personal or professional). There may be other issues involving NPOV or FRINGE that need to be considered, but there is no implicit COI just because he is an acupuncturist (with some questionable real-world ideas) editing acupuncture-related articles. --Ludwigs2 15:18, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

convenience break (1)[edit]

I haven't been very active over the last few days and just saw this thread by accident on my watchlist. Here are some comments based on what I know about the past:

  • I can confirm that Middle 8's previous user name (and hence real name) is well known among editors for whom it is relevant. He sent me an email in March 2009 warning me about possible backlash from SA and his enablers after I filed an ANI section ScienceApologist asking for a block for an incident that resulted in a 48-hour block by Ryan Postlethwaite. In that email he confidentially mentioned his previous identity, but even though I don't edit in the acupuncture area I was well aware of it at that point.
  • We are very fortunate to have an expert on acupuncture who has the intelligence and integrity to edit the area neutrally as well as competently. This is something which the extreme science-as-a-creed "skeptic" faction can't deal with, because it prevents them from skewing articles in such a way that instead of providing reliable information they focus exclusively on debunking and read like a piece from the Skeptical Inquirer. (It's much easier for them at the homeopathy article, for example, which has a steady supply of unreasonable homeopaths that makes it easy to scare away the more reasonable ones.)
  • I was under the impression that SA was much more moderate recently than he used to be. I am not sure whether this has changed or whether personal animosities with Middle 8 were simply not covered by this change.
  • When SA claimed a COI against Middle 8 under his previous name, the discussion ended with the following comment by Jehochman, which was the only third-party comment in the thread: "An editor's vocation does not create a COI. COI is when an editor writes about themselves or their own organization, not their own field of work. Whether this matter may involve Wikipedia:Advocacy, a violation of WP:NPOV, is another matter." (There is nothing surprising about this comment. It has always been like that and it cannot be different; remember that we want to write an encyclopedia as well as play this huge game.) If that is the kind of scrutiny that one may not hide from by changing one's user name, then it would be impossible for me to change my user name to an anonymous one and continue editing mathematics topics, and practically all experts who start editing under their real names and at some point become subject to a vicious character assassination attack would be in the same situation. In other words: Any determined editor of the ScienceApologist type would have a legal method for forcing our most valuable editors to choose between being libelled and ending their expert contributions to Wikipedia. This is simply not reasonable. It would be reasonable if accusations of the type "John Doe is a pseudoscientist" were generally regarded as insta-blockable oversightable stuff. But they aren't. Incorrect accusations of this type happen all the time and don't even raise an eyebrow. (I am not worried about the correct ones, which incidentally don't happen much because our methods for treating actual fringers are efficient enough.)
  • ScienceApologist knows that his COI claim against Middle 8 is baseless. He has repeated a COI filing from 1½ years earlier when the only thing that has changed is that Middle 8 is now more vulnerable because he is trying to keep his name out. (Quotation from Middle 8's email to me in March 2008: "SA's nonsense was a major reason for my deciding to be pseudonymous".) Unless there is something surprising in the current situation at the acupuncture article, this seems to be a clear case of gaming and harassment by SA.
  • Some time ago there was a lot of drama when SA tried to get an association between his account and his real name removed. At the time it looked very hypocritical given his disregard for the justified privacy interests of his opponents. It's interesting to see that nothing has changed. I would like to know whether (a) it is now allowed to link to the WP page where SA has outed himself, (b) SA is simply totally wrong in this case, or (c) there is an official policy to the effect that self-styled "skeptics" have a substantially stronger claim to privacy than their targets.

It seems to me that WP:COI/N#Middle 8 is the kind of thing for which SA was banned. Is there some kind of probation? Surely he is on a shorter lash than he was before his ban. Hans Adler 11:11, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Aside from the continuing character assassinations perpetuated by this one-time homeopathy sympathist, the bizarre praise for Middle 8 (this user has provided no evidence for Middle 8's neutrality or lack of COI, I'll point out), and his straw-man false trilemma, I would like to thank this user for his contribution. In particular, this user has now revealed a smoking gun personal communication with Middle 8 which sheds light on exactly why Middle 8 is using the "pseudonym" excuse. Although I'm amazed that I'm the reason that Middle 8 wants to go "pseudonymous", the only thing I can understand is that Middle 8 is concerned that by pointing out his conflict-of-interest, he will eventually lose free-range edit privileges that he now exercises to censor critiques from the acupuncture page. What it looks like from my end is the following happened: Middle 8 saw a possible means to exploit the Wikipedia rules which came out of the IRL harassment issues associated with a third-party account referenced in this thread. Middle 8 saw people banned and blocked for referring to a particular accounts former user name, and decided that if he did a shoddy attempt at scrubbing his identity from Wikipedia and set-up a parallel set of accounts so as to avoid scrutiny, he would have the perfect boobytrap for someone who would complain about his COI. He could claim coverage by a narrow understanding of WP:OUTING in order to change the discussion from one of WP:COI to one of harassment. Far from the above user's claim that I know that the COI claim is baseless, I am more convinced now than ever that Middle 8 is viewing Wikipedia as a battleground in an attempt to keep his proprietary understanding of acupuncture protected at Wikipedia. This kind of advocacy is despicable and exactly mirrors the behavior of Dana Ullman. The only difference is that Middle 8 has been around Wikipedia long enough to figure out clever ways to exploit the system. ScienceApologist (talk) 20:52, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
"one-time homeopathy sympathist, Hans Adler" – Thanks for demonstrating that Middle 8 was justified because apparently you have the freedom to engage in such character assassination unpunished and don't even refrain from it while you are under attack for it. Hans Adler 12:49, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Would you like me to dig up diffs that show your sympathetic approach to homeopathy? ScienceApologist (talk) 17:52, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Do you think that's an acceptable response? How about you stop bringing science into disrepute with your totally over-the-top pseudo-skeptic approach? I happen to have relatively high tolerance for bullshit in general but a very low tolerance for missionaries of bullshit who falsely pretend to speak with the authority of science. As a result I have to continually restrain myself not to tell you and some of your friends of the irrational pseudo-rational persuasion what I think of you. If you don't bother to show the same kind of restraint and keep your absurd fantasies about my opinions to yourself I really don't see why I need to remain quiet about your character. Hans Adler 22:48, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
@ScienceApologist: um, no, the "smoking gun" is that I didn't want you or another chronically disruptive editor slandering my real name on WP. That's what it's about, not my running from COI, as Han explained. Your comments are about as good an example of bad faith as any I've ever seen. --Middle 8 (talk) 03:42, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, slander, really? I remind you of WP:NLT. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:52, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd agree with that and I think that there is no compelling reason to return to the regularly scheduled threads about him. Perhaps the ban should be reinstated and for a longer time since the message was not received.--Crossmr (talk) 12:32, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
WP:PUNITIVE much? ScienceApologist (talk) 21:04, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
No, it's to prevent further disruption.--Crossmr (talk) 23:37, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Where's your evidence that I'm causing "further disruption"? There are disagreements as to whether my actions were disruptive or not, weren't there? ScienceApologist (talk) 01:09, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
"Who? Me? Disruptive?" Your block log is a pretty good starting point, and your most recent topic ban was in part because of disruptive complaints in venues like this one. All of that is a matter of record. --Middle 8 (talk) 03:45, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Be careful, that kettle is hot! Of course, scrutinizing your record across multiple accounts isn't all that easy to do. The last time I was blocked was more than a year ago. WP:REHAB has done me good. Care to come to group? ScienceApologist (talk) 03:55, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

This all seems pretty basic to me: Middle 8 didn't do a proper clean start. He returned to the areas that he edited before. If he really wants a clean start, he is free to start up a third account, abandon Middle 8, and not edit acupuncture-related articles again. Any editor is free to connect two accounts if he thinks the connection is relevant. Those of us that have usernames connected to our real-life identities bear the risk if connecting the two accounts also reveals our real-life identity.—Kww(talk) 23:56, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Or, alternatively, Middle 8 can keep his account, ask for the website in question to be blacklisted, and continue discussing how to edit acupuncture while acknowledging his potential conflict-of-interest. ScienceApologist (talk) 01:11, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
In actuality, Middle 8 is this editor's fourth account used to edit altmed articles and engage in identical disputes. There was a flurry of renaming and reneged right to vanish requests in between the "account-that-must-not-be-named" and Middle 8. Interested admins can email me. Skinwalker (talk) 02:01, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this is my fourth account, although it's wrong to imply that I kept having COI complaints: as Hans Adler correctly noted above, there was only one complaint from ScienceApologist, and that was quickly dismissed by Jehochman, who was the only third party commenting. Any editor implying that I've been skittering around running from COI issues, repeatedly raised, is either misinformed or untruthful.
As to my accounts, I'm happy to explain them (again) here, and invite admins to email me for the account names or anything else that's not clear. My first account was my real name. Because of the "John Doe is a pseudoscientist" concerns I mentioned above, I changed account names while keeping that account; however, it became clear that I wouldn't be able to be pseudonymous. So I did a modified sort of vanishing (having seen another user, Shoemaker's, do the same thing and noting that the community accepted it), and came back with two separate accounts -- not socks -- which I intended to use on separate accounts in order to avoid bad-faith wikistalking of my edits. One account is the present one, and the other was User:Bodhi Agonist. The latter account I retired after using it briefly and accidentally self-outing as being the same as this one. I wasn't aware of WP:CLEANSTART at that time, and was not trying to avoid any sort of WP:COI because, as Hans Adler indicated above, I had no reason to believe I had one: there was only one complaint by one editor that was quickly dismissed.
So there you have it. Getting to the main reason behind my username changes, I think Hans Adler's points above about pseudonymity say it well, and I endorse his account of our email exchange as being correct. --Middle 8 (talk) 03:42, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Assuming good faith, I think that this discussion has made clear that Middle 8 has had some difficulty finding a clean start and seems to want to remain anonymous so that people such as myself don't use his words and identity against him in discussions. There is a fundamental tug-of-war between conflict-of-interest matters and Wikipedia. User:Jehochman, far from being a "third party" was acting as a police officer in this case hot off WP:RfArb#Cold fusion, where a similar situation (though not involving any "outing" claims) played out. Jehochman thinks, idiosyncratically, that COI only applies to companies and personal information, not to topics. This is not accepted by the consensus of the community, and while topic-based COIs are harder to parse, they have been the basis of at least three different COIs that I've successfully prosecuted.

For any part I had to play in unduly harassing Middle 8, I apologize and I offer my help to aid him in his endeavor to keep personal information off the wiki including his website. I will not link to his personal website on-wiki again, and I think that Middle 8 should ask for his personal site to be blacklisted so that future incidents such as these don't happen again. As it is, there are literally dozens of users who know Middle 8's personal website is connected to him, most through no actions of my own, and not all of them would have had the privilege of seeing this extensive discussion and know not to link the two. If Middle 8 prefers, I'll even do the dirty work of asking that his website be added so that additional connections to his current account are not made by casual history diggers.

I'm also going to make it clear at WP:OUTING that personal websites can be considered "outing" and attempt to outline in the COI and COI/N rules how one should go about presenting potentially sensitive evidence. My current feeling is that one should present their case as follows:

There is potentially personal information that can serve as evidence related to this case. If you would like to review this evidence, please e-mail the filing user and request it.

I intend to add this quote to the top of my COI.

ScienceApologist (talk) 04:13, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, SA. I too apologize for any undue escalation, and would be very happy to go the good-faith route you describe. Also, I won't be on wiki for a few days but can be reached via email if anyone needs to ask me a question. --Middle 8 (talk) 21:18, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm reluctant to comment because I don't want to stir a pot which has already settled, but I do agree with Hans Adler completely, and I just wanted to say that particularly because several people expressed the opinion that Middle 8 is the problem. Middle 8 is polite, reasonable, well-educated, and was originally forthright enough to edit under his name. His greatest fault is that his posts are not as concise as they could be. Is there any evidence of him adding unreliable sources to promote acupuncture? The current content dispute is over whether acupuncture can be added to the pseudoscience category, despite current reviews which find it to be efficacious for certain conditions. As far as WP:COI and outing, the guideline says:

    Dealing with suspected conflicted editors: The first approach should be direct discussion of the issue with the editor, referring to this guideline. If persuasion fails, consider whether you are involved in a content dispute. If so, an early recourse to dispute resolution may help. Another option is to initiate discussion at WP:COIN, where experienced editors may be able to help you resolve the matter without recourse to publishing assertions and accusations on Wikipedia. Using COI allegations to harass an editor or to gain the upper hand in a content dispute is prohibited, and can result in a block or ban. Wikipedia places importance on both the neutrality of articles and the ability of editors to edit pseudonymously. Do not out an editor's real life identity in order to prove a conflict of interest. Wikipedia's policy against harassment prohibits this...

    Clearly, the guideline says the right thing. I think the best practice is to pretend there's no conflict of interest. So rather than jumping to the personal attack of WP:COI/N, try WP:NPOV/N or WP:RS/N. Conflict of interests and ad hominen attacks are a dirty way to engage in a content dispute. It's also helpful that Middle 8's COI is relatively narrow; we have an editor who suspiciously deletes scholarly material from Western academics if it is critical to China (Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/PCPP), which spans hundreds or even thousands of articles, yet he got a pass on the RfC/U. II | (t - c) 06:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Again, II, WP:COI must exist for a reason. Taking your rationalizations to their logical conclusions would have us mark COI and COI/N as "historical". ScienceApologist (talk) 16:36, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
@SA: To clarify, it's merely about one policy taking priority over another. The lead section of WP:COI says:
"When investigating possible cases of COI editing, Wikipedians must be careful not to reveal the identity of other editors. Wikipedia's policy against harassment takes precedence over this guideline on conflict of interest."
So what II is pointing out is a simple matter of priority, as with WP:BLP's taking precedence over certain other policies. That said, I now doubt that SA meant to harass or "out" me by posting the aforesaid personal information, and indeed he has made a good-faith offer which I've accepted to help keep the material off WP. Bottom line, as far as I am concerned, this case needs no admin action and I look forward to SA and I "turning a new page" in our editing. --Middle 8 (talk) 20:35, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
On the question of whether COI is historical, I don't think so. COI is a legitimate thing to keep in mind, but I would parallel it to an aggravating circumstance. You can't build a case around it but its existence in a case could be relevant. SA can perhaps understand - if SA was a tendentious, uncivil pseudoscience promoter rather than a pseudoscience critic, he would likely have been treated more harshly. Since he's critical of pseudoscience, he is probably treated more gently - it's an mitigating circumstance. Basically, if you want to pursue something against Middle 8, build the case around something substantive and then cite the conflict of interest as evidence that there's no hope for the future. Incidentally, I tend to hold rational people to a higher standard of understanding policy, using high-quality sources, and writing neutrally since I expect more of smart people. Meaning that I have a habit of treating intelligence as an aggravating circumstance. II | (t - c) 03:00, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I need an admin[edit]

Telus has just changed their internet service and TV name to Optik. Telus TV already has an article and I want to move it to Optik (which is a redirect page) and ad info about Telus Internet there.--Everyone Dies In the End (talk) 09:12, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Er, but Telus TV appears to still be the general product, with Telus Satellite TV and Optik TV as sub-products ... if anything, perhaps create the article Optik TV and redirect it to the Telus TV article? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 11:33, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Optik ia now officially trademarked under Telus. It's their name. Optik is also the name for their internet now too.--Everyone Dies In the End (talk) 21:31, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Looks like you need WP:RM. Stifle (talk) 12:39, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Yea, I put it there. Thk --Everyone Dies In the End (talk) 04:04, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

RomanRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston[edit]

Resolved: Admin MBK004 took care of this already Gavia immer (talk) 04:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

While reverting an undiscussed page move, somehow the title got messed up.. ie: "RomanRoman" instead of "Roman Catholic". I tried to move it to the correct name, but it says its not possible. I left a message on the Admin's page, who was previously involved in an attempt to move without discussion[6]. Could someone help straighten out the naming error. I have also opened a name disucssion on the talk page. --nsaum75¡שיחת! 03:28, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Vandalism by Theirrulez[edit]

Theirrulez has delted twice the comment on talk page indicating his inappropriate behaviour:1st time without any explanation and 2nd time under some excuse of "disorder". Please resolve this! 13:12, 9 June 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I'm not sure that meets the definition of "vandalism" yet (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:37, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Hi mr. unsigned IP, hi Bwilkins, thanks for kindly letting me now on my talk page about this attempt against me. My revert is widely explained in the talk page, I also asked a counseil to the admin, GTBacchus, who put down the rules for that subpages, and after he answered me I'd never more edited there. Regards, - Theirrulez (talk) 14:05, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I would note the IP is still misunderstanding that subpage use and rules, reverting my old edits and another IP. Maybe this is "vandalism" too in his opinion? Cheers. - Theirrulez (talk) 14:11, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, your vandalism is deleteing comment that indicate your forgery here which you try to erase!-- (talk) 11:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Remove rollback[edit]


Hi, I don't need rollback anymore - please remove, thanks! Aiken 17:48, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Err.. this does not make any sense that I can see. If you don't want to use it, don't use it. But why try to get people to do work turning buttons on and off for you? The day may come when you once again find it useful. Friday (talk) 17:52, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps he didn't want to accidentally click the rollback links. –xenotalk 17:55, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Xeno is right. Otherwise I'd keep it. Twinkle does the same thing, and more so I'm happy with that :) Aiken 18:08, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
As you wish... *poof* and gone. Five seconds at UserRightsManagement is not much of a burden to impose, at least on me :P Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:53, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Transcendental Meditation - request for uninvolved admins[edit]

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Transcendental Meditation movement closed a few days ago. The main remedy was to allow the use of discretionary sanctions by uninvolved admins. The ArbCom specifically requested uninvolved admins to keep an eye on the topic:

  • Uninvolved administrators are invited to monitor the articles in the area of conflict to enforce compliance by editors with, in particular, the principles outlined in this case.

At least a couple of ArbCom members have expressed concerns that the disputes will continue and that the matter will return to the ArbCom. SirFozzie wrote, in voting to close the case: "With the Cassandra-ish prediction we'll be doing this again soon. Let's not folks." Though there are 72 articles more or less connected to the topic, the ones that have been the venues for disputes the most are:

Please consider adding these articles to your watchlists, and helping to prevent another ArbCom case.   Will Beback  talk  23:08, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

72 Articles? To be realistic, that's asking an awful lot from volunteer editors, Admin or not. Realistically, most of us have better things to do than monitor such a huge tranche of articles. And the dichotomy is that we wouldn't watch those articles unless we had an interest in doing so, and if we did have such an interest, we would probably have been already involved in the ArbCom case. Expecting uninvolved, and disinterested, editors to step into the lion's den is a triumph of hope over experience, as far as I can see, since I've seen many well-intentioned editors destroyed by their efforts in similar situations. This should go back to ArbCom with a recommendation to get some balls. Rodhullandemu 03:37, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I realize that it's a big topic, which is why I listed the five most important articles. Even watching a few and making an occasional comment could help.
That said, I agree with you. I asked an ArbCom member for advice on preventing future problems and the only advice I received was to place this request. I expressed my doubt (mixed with hope) that it would have any meaningful effect, since the violations aren't the obvious ones like edit warring, but was told to proceed. Frankly, the decision seems to have made the editing atmosphere worse. If this is the only way to prevent another trip to the ArbCom then it's worth a try.   Will Beback  talk  21:47, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Transcendental Meditation - request for uninvolved admins[edit]

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Transcendental Meditation movement closed a few days ago. The main remedy was to allow the use of discretionary sanctions by uninvolved admins. The ArbCom specifically requested uninvolved admins to keep an eye on the topic:

  • Uninvolved administrators are invited to monitor the articles in the area of conflict to enforce compliance by editors with, in particular, the principles outlined in this case.

At least a couple of ArbCom members have expressed concerns that the disputes will continue and that the matter will return to the ArbCom. SirFozzie wrote, in voting to close the case: "With the Cassandra-ish prediction we'll be doing this again soon. Let's not folks." Though there are 72 articles more or less connected to the topic, the ones that have been the venues for disputes the most are:

Please consider adding these articles to your watchlists, and helping to prevent another ArbCom case.   Will Beback  talk  23:08, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

72 Articles? To be realistic, that's asking an awful lot from volunteer editors, Admin or not. Realistically, most of us have better things to do than monitor such a huge tranche of articles. And the dichotomy is that we wouldn't watch those articles unless we had an interest in doing so, and if we did have such an interest, we would probably have been already involved in the ArbCom case. Expecting uninvolved, and disinterested, editors to step into the lion's den is a triumph of hope over experience, as far as I can see, since I've seen many well-intentioned editors destroyed by their efforts in similar situations. This should go back to ArbCom with a recommendation to get some balls. Rodhullandemu 03:37, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I realize that it's a big topic, which is why I listed the five most important articles. Even watching a few and making an occasional comment could help.
That said, I agree with you. I asked an ArbCom member for advice on preventing future problems and the only advice I received was to place this request. I expressed my doubt (mixed with hope) that it would have any meaningful effect, since the violations aren't the obvious ones like edit warring, but was told to proceed. Frankly, the decision seems to have made the editing atmosphere worse. If this is the only way to prevent another trip to the ArbCom then it's worth a try.   Will Beback  talk  21:47, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Discrepancy between Arbitration principles and CSD:G4[edit]

I have found a discrepancy between the arbitration principles and speedy deletion. The discussion about it may be found here: Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#Discrepancy between Arbitration principles and CSD:G4 Stephen! Coming... 10:43, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Unreliable source alert: "Encyclopedia Mythica" ([edit]

An advertising-supported site called Encyclopedia Mythica ([]) is being used as a reference throughout Wikipedia. The problem with this is that the site is by no means a reliable source, and has a tendency to make things up out of the blue without any basis whatsoever. The result is that while Encyclopedia Mythica fills its coffers with these links, we're spreading their disinformation all over the internet.

I've encountered Encyclopedia Mythica links in the past in my work with our Germanic mythology-related articles, and all references to it that once existed on these topics have been removed. We once even had articles on figures that Encyclopedia Mythica seems to have just outright made up, and much of the information included on the site quite frequently seems to be exactly that—just made up out of nowhere or half-assedly and/or frequently entirely inaccurately transcribed.

Anyway, after doing a search for articles on the site that link to ([7]), it seems that many mythology-related articles are infected by this terrible site.

Outside of just rooting them out one by one, is there some bot we can use to get rid of these references or something? :bloodofox: (talk) 11:54, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Surely someone would have a bot to weed this out. I'll have a look to see if I could get my bot to work with AWB to bin them, and get a BRfA through. -- sk8er5000 yeah? 11:57, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Great, that would be far more efficient than digging them out. Is there maybe some way to blacklist it in the future? That way we don't end up with total nonsense like [ this] getting furthered. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:00, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Special:LinkSearch is the better search tool. [8] You can request it be added to the blacklist at Wikipedia:Spam blacklist. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:10, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Nope. Bot won't count. -- sk8er5000 yeah? 12:53, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Tracking. MER-C 12:54, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm running through this list with AWB making sure that all links are correctly removed. FinalRapture - 16:44, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Great. Thanks for putting in the effort, everyone. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:01, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I did a handful as well (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 21:27, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Review requested...[edit]

Resolved: I'm going to be controversial by suggesting that my actions in this regard were entirely proper. TFOWR 14:27, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I've just blocked The Wiki Undead as an obvious sock. This being my first block, could I follow tradition by asking that smarter folk than what I am review my actions?

Thanks! TFOWR 22:25, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

In the usual WP tradition you shall be disappointed; I shall take a look... LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:28, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Yup. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:32, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like a quack to me. Gwen Gale (talk) 22:28, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
The block looks good to me. Icestorm815Talk 22:31, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
About as ducky as it gets. Case closed and archived. Hint: there's this fancy "spi block" link in the checkuser links template... Tim Song (talk) 23:13, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Thanks all, appreciated. Ah, new templates to learn! ;-) TFOWR 23:26, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Obvious sock is obvious indeed. Courcelles (talk) 01:20, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to unblock Peter Damian[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
It appears that there was considerable support for lifting or rethinking the ban and a lot of editors in good standing who are familiar with the history expressed strong opinions. The result, as is fairly obvious, is "no consensus" for an unblock at this time. However, many of those opposing seemed to be opposing on a basis of "not yet". To me, this says that, rather like an RfA that is closed per WP:NOTNOW, while the community is not ready to have Peter Damian back (like not being ready to have an editor as an administrator at present) just now, that does not mean he will never be accepted back. The primary concerns seem to have focused on the recentness of Damian's socking. Therefore, I would suggest to him (and perhaps Slim will be kind enough to relay this via email) that he should come back in at the very least 3 months, having disengaged from the English Wikipedia entirely- that means 3 months minimum of absolutely no socking. If he wants to make himself useful on another WMF project, that may well work in his favour. It would also look favourable on him if he declared any "sleeper" socks he has. Obviously, should there be any further incidences of socking, then the timer will at least be reset and the community's willingness to assume good faith with future unblock requests . HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:16, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to ask whether we can agree to lift the community ban of the philosopher Peter Damian (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log).

Without going into the whole background, Peter got into a dispute regarding FT2 during the December 2007 ArbCom election, in which FT2 was standing. There was some back-and-forth about whether Peter's objections to FT2 were fair, and Peter responded too aggressively in the view of many, which led to an indefblock. So far as I know, he had been a peaceful editor since 2003, with the bulk of his editing starting in 2005. Since the 2007 block, he has engaged in a fair bit of sockpuppetry—see Category:Wikipedia sockpuppets of Peter Damian—and there have been blocks and unblocks, and various discussions about how to proceed. The latest discussion was in March here.

I'd like to see Peter return because he's a good writer and researcher, and there's a shortage of philosophers on WP. He continues to edit, but with difficulty; for example, his History of logic was nominated in March for featured-article status, but I believe he was blocked in the middle of the process.

I've asked him by e-mail whether he's willing to make concessions in exchange for an unblock. He agrees to the following: (1) no more sockpuppetry or alternate accounts; he says he was socking to show that admins were willing to revert good edits rather than see a blocked editor make them; (2) no more breaching experiments; (3) any complaints he might have in future about editors will go through the proper channels; and (4) he'll avoid interacting with FT2.

For my own part I undertake not to support Peter further if he reneges on the above. With that said, can we try to put this behind us? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Peter has asked me to post this on his behalf:

All of the edits made through alternate accounts were there to improve the quality of the project. The most recent of these was the edit to the History of logic article a day ago. This was motivated by my concern about a long-term user (see Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Jagged_85) who had seriously vandalized many of the articles on logic and philosophy. The edit is already being upheld by User:Athenean. I would respectfully ask the community to recognise that this was made good faith, with no harm to the project intended. If allowed back, I will help those who are already involved in the cleanup of these vandalised articles.

SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:09, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Strong support. Before I registered an account here, I often read the talk pages of some of the philosophy articles, and his participation always struck me as constructive, educated, and full of good sense. As the proposer said, there is a shortage of expertise in philosophy on Wikipedia and I would very much welcome his return in that corner of content. The conditions sound reasonable. ---Sluzzelin talk 09:20, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. The guy can make a great contribution to Wikipedia (can Non-Admin vote). Sir Floyd (talk) 09:40, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Those are appropriate concessions, comparable with the Arbcom restrictions which were in place. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:43, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I acknowledge his editing abilities. However, it is how he goes against the community that is my reason for opposing this unban. Even when we extend WP:OFFER to others, the editor has to keep their nose clean for usually 6 months or more. Peter has been socking as recently as March yesterday - at least to our knowledge. He has strong support on Wikipedia, and I'm sorry to suggest that even if he made a minor violation in the near future, he would somehow escape correction by the community. The fact that he was so willing to violate so many restrictions, his concessions mean nothing. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 09:49, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Comment by FT2: - I have committed to not discuss Peter Damian, however this may be a case for a brief IAR. There are a couple of other conditions that might be needed, both reasonable:
  1. Past conduct included personal attacks, on and off-wiki harassment, and (when those became too difficult to get away with), the attacks switched to snarky or offensive comments, targeting articles he believed (incorrectly) to be important to me and were selected mainly for that reason [9], indirect attacks, and other attempts to get in "under the radar". Due to past wikilawyering, I would like to know if Peter will agree to avoid the following behaviors, which cover the past attempts:
    • Not engage in indirect interaction either, such as by reference or implication;
    • Not target (including AFD-nomming) articles and pages;
    • Avoid negative canvassing of other editors (on wiki or email);
    • Act in a civil collegial manner;
    • Not engage in actions and comments that appear to relate to myself or be provocative, even if not an "interaction".
  2. Because this was a campaign of years' duration, not weeks or months, I would like to ask that if Peter Damian does resume clear attacks, snarkiness, or targetted activity to myself (direct or implied), his unblock is conditional on not doing so and will resume if he does.

Given the safeguards in these conditions, it might work, though only time can tell. Anyone can change and some do. FT2 (Talk | email) 10:02, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Strong support Peter has the capability and willingness to do outstanding work on Philosophy articles and we have few people able to do that. Several of us are prepared to work on the other interactions --Snowded TALK 10:21, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Peter Damian turns out high-quality articles in a field where we urgently need expertise. More than that—he is a keen WPian. I can vouch for the user's expertise and enthusiasm on the basis of my role as a reviewer at WP:FAC. I believe the agreement he has given to the community via SlimVirgin is measured and reasonable, and I'll put my head on the chopping block to vouch for his bona fides, and to express my belief that he has learned from this unfortunate saga. FT2's points above seem reasonable too, if mostly either expected of all of us or covered in the agreement PD has already endorsed. I do hope to see an end to this matter. The project will benefit significantly by his return. Tony (talk) 10:25, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I have to agree with Bwilkins on this one. I do not oppose an unblock of this editor per se but I believe that everyone should be treated equally and if he violated his restrictions this often and this recently, he should demonstrate that he can follow restrictions placed on him before we can move to remove them. Otherwise we would effectively reward him for violating these sanctions since we usually expect people to go at least 6 months without socking. Regards SoWhy 10:33, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Competent editors of this calibre are now becoming increasingly rare on Wikipedia as the atmosphere certain administrators generate towards such editors becomes increasingly dysfunctional. We need more administrators who nurture and champion able content editors. The current ill-considered and heartbreaking administrator wars against able content editors needs to stop. If Wikipedia is to have some trajectory moving into the future, we need to find a way of encouraging real content editors to contribute again to Wikipedia. --Epipelagic (talk) 10:50, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I was leaning towards coming here to !vote, in a non-adminy way, for letting Peter Damien return. But then I noticed a bit of an issue over at History of Logic, and that Fram had just (yesterday) blocked Here for a bit as a new sock of Peter Damien's. Which makes for a quandary - on the one hand, clearly he wants to edit, and clearly he is more than capable of doing so and of producing high quality content, all of which are good things. On the other hand, this request today comes just after what looks like another sockpuppet. While I don't want to oppose outright, as I honestly believe that Peter operating openly within Wikipedia could be a net benefit, I remain concerned that he seems to be unwilling to abide by his ban, which doesn't invite confidence that he will abide by conditions for his return. Perhaps it is worth the risk, but disappointingly there's no evidence that it isn't a risk. - Bilby (talk) 13:30, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    Note Fram new that sock was PD because the sock said it was PD. It was sockpuppetry, and it was a mistake and wrong to do, but the sock was not used to mislead. Just an ameliorating factor. Hipocrite (talk) 13:36, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    So he did. With so few edits I should have followed them up to see that. It makes me feel better, but still generally concerned. - Bilby (talk) 13:42, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    Doesn't that just reset the stopwatch for another 6 months? How bloody frustrating. It's like he's saying to himself "eventually they'll see that my ban is useless, and they'll just unban me" ... and yes, that's what this proposal is. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:48, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    Could we be careful in using the word "sock". It appears to me that this was an "alternate account", since its owner was announced. A sock is an alternate account that is used for deceptive purposes. Please see WP:SOCK. Tony (talk) 14:23, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    No, a sock is a "second account used in violation of this policy", i.e., WP:SOCK, and using a second account to "circumvent sanctions" is a violation of WP:SOCK. Therefore, this account is a sock. Tim Song (talk) 14:37, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Compromise proposal Would he also accept being limited to only articles and talk pages approved by either SlimVirgin, myself or (insert anyone else willing to be on PD patrol here)? Hipocrite (talk) 13:33, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose per Bwilkins and SoWhy. He may be a good contributor, and may really want to edit, but that he is still apparently actively flaunting his ability to sock and continues doing so knowing he is banned does not speak towards his actually wanting to be a good member of the Wikipedia community. As SoWhy notes, if he is unbanned at this point, he basically is reworded for his inappropriate actions and given the green light to continue ignoring those policies and guidelines he dislikes. As for his claim that he socks to "show that admins were willing to revert good edits rather than see a blocked editor make them", it seems dubious at best as the community generally agrees that banned means banned and that a banned editors edits WILL be reverted and/or deleted regardless of value because otherwise the ban is completely meaningless. If PD actually wants to return and be a productive editors, then follow the rules: no socking or editing for six months period to show that he actually will "play nice" with the community. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:45, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Where are you getting "a banned editors edits WILL be reverted and/or deleted regardless of value" from? That is not, and has never been, any Wikipedia policy or practice. May be reverted is not the same as will be reverted. – iridescent 14:01, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
      • Wikipedia:Banning policy: "A ban is not merely a request to avoid editing "unless they behave". The measure of a site ban is that even if the user were to make good edits, permitting them to re-join the community poses enough risk of disruption, issues, or harm, that they may not edit at all, even if the edits seem good."[10] "Anyone is free to revert any edits made in defiance of a ban. By banning a user, the community has decided that the broader problems due to their participation outweigh the benefits of their editing, and their edits may be reverted without any further reason."[11], further {{db-g5}} exists for a reason. In practice, as with almost anything else, it is not applied equally of course. Those violating bans who have friends and fans are often allowed, as this editor has been, to just continue editing in blatant violation of the ban because its "good", while those with few fans are properly reverted wholescale.-- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 14:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
        • Anma, I am not a friend or a fan of the user in question: I simply judge the evidence impartially. And you may not know how much I disapprove of sockpuppetry, having lobbied last year at WT:SOCK (unsuccessfully) to ban even alt accounts except under specific circumstances. I ponder the likelihood that the user will, indeed, turn over a new leaf when given the chance. Wikis are unforgiving; but I do believe they should be a little flexible. Would the prospect of a restricted trial not even sway you? SlimVirgin has stuck her neck out, and so have quite a few people here. We do this for the benefit of the project, not as part of some back-scratching exercise. I suspect someone might even agree to act as a mentor for a trial period. Tony (talk) 14:39, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
          • If he'd only had one or two socks, and wasn't still act it so recently, then a trial might be something to contemplate. However, he doesn't seem to care that any one has "stuck their necks out" for him, so to speak, in that he continues to flaunt the rules and blatantly admits he does it not just because he "wants to edit" but in a WP:POINTed exercise to wave away the entire banning policy. Yes, he certainly is a better editor than, say our infamous BambiFan, but in the end, is he really any "better" just because he does "good" edits versus vandalism? He knew he was banned, and looking at the names of some of his socks, he seems to have even found it amusing. Several even seem to be "looks, its me again" type taunts. He just hasn't shown, IMHO, any real desire to be unbanned with such actions.-- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:04, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I see no evidence that this editor is willing to follow any rules. The quality of his contributions should not come into play if he purposely disrupts the encyclopedia and skirts its policies. J04n(talk page) 13:55, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The amount of socking and the reason for socking is worrisome to say the least. Par our policy a banned user may not edit, and any of their edits may (but are not required to) be reverted without a reason. This policy is in place to discourage banned users from creating sock puppets to evade their ban, as their edits may end up being completely futile. Creating sockpuppets just to demonstrate this rule in action is, in my eyes, disruption to prove a point.
Even so the oldest sockpuppet in hus category is three months old, which may have convinced me to allow for another chance as long as some safety valves would be applied. However, User:Here for a bit rings a sockpuppet alarm for me. The user name is similar to the other sock puppets username's, the user is involved in a discussion a new account wouldn't know of, and the edits strongly suggest that it is the same user as we are discussing here. Promising "no more socks" a day after one is caught does not convince me in the least. In this case i would say WP:OFFER - No more sockpuppets or edits for the next 6 months. If Damian manages this i would support unblocking. But as of current i will oppose. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 14:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Quality contributions do not make up for disrupting the site and ignoring it's policies. The Thing // Talk // Contribs 14:20, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose He needs to go a year without sockpuppeting, then come back. We cannot go 'Oh he is avoiding the ban, so we should lift it', it would make more of a farce of our policies than already exists. Bringing up his quality contributions as a mitigating factor acctually convinces me more to oppose, we cannot be seen to give someone a 'pass' for civility/PA/sockpuppeting/whatever because they made some good edits. --Narson ~ Talk 14:29, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I Support the proposal to unblock, and would like to put it on record that I think it's a bit of a pity that FT2 has felt called on to list his Peter Damian grievances above, despite having undertaken not to discuss PD, who has no way of responding and who will, I hope, not be provoked into listing his grievances on any forum. (You hear me, Peter? Please be the bigger man here.) Bishonen | talk 14:33, 11 June 2010 (UTC).
  • Strong oppose. We don't unblock sockpuppeteers who just socked one day ago. Period. Tim Song (talk) 14:34, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, but not yet -- if he's willing to demonstrate his good faith by staying away until January 2011, then I'd welcome him back without any restrictions at all (other than those we all live by here.) --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:06, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    Postscript: PD says, All of the edits made through alternate accounts were there to improve the quality of the project. What PD still doesn't understand is that "the project" is more than just the encyclopedia; it is also the community of people creating the encyclopedia. Good editors who are harmful to the community do not constitute a net benefit, in my opinion. --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:18, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • If he was socking again yesterday, I'd be curious to know exactly when the email exchange which led to this request took place... Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 15:19, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • It started a few weeks ago, Chris, and continued last night. I don't know anything about the vandalism that was concerning him, but he blogged about it here. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:34, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
We seem to be getting a bit of a puritan streak here, with more concern about form than substance. Having lived the grief of sock farms on Irish issues and the Heidegger article I almost wish we had more socks like PD. All the ones he has created have made contributions to content, and he had not been deceptive about who he is in the process. If there is a need for a proof of good faith OK, but a lot less than six months with some restrictions makes a lot more sense. --Snowded TALK 15:54, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
If the Here for a bit (talk · contribs) account is actually PD, and not someone simply pretending to be him, then that’s a significant problem. Creating a new sock just yesterday, after he had contacted SlimVirgin “a few weeks ago” to request an unban proposal, is not at all acceptable. If only he had waited to see the outcome of this proposal, I would have some confidence in his willingness to abide by community policies and consensus. — Satori Son 16:51, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support A three-year-long block is an eternity in Wikipedia-years. His socking, in and of itself, isn’t a problem. He wasn’t using socks to game RfCs and votes; he was trying to constructively contribute to Wikipedia. Greg L (talk) 15:35, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We are talking about someone who has explicitly stated that he uses socks to precisely in order to set up conundrums where we either have ignore our own policies against socking or block his "constructively contributing" sockpuppets. He is actually a better contributor as a sockpuppet than he is under his own name, because when he is socking he follows his "breaching experiment" protocols, which require his socks to be positive contributors by Wikipedia norms. Under his own name, he is repeatedly disruptive, because his real persona has no respect for other editors or the policies that they have developed. The odds that unbanning him would lead to positive long-term results are very low. And that's without even going into his off-site discussions about how to "destroy" Wikipedia. --RL0919 (talk) 16:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Not that I doubt RL0919’s word, but can I ask if others have made similar observations? I am not familiar with PD or his history, but if only some of the above is true, I would have serious reservations about lifting the site ban. — Satori Son 17:00, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Question How long has it been since Peter Damian violated any restriction other than socking, e.g. making personal attacks? In the absence of any other serious misconduct, I am inclined towards forgiving the use of sockpuppets to improve Wikipedia. IAR is tricky that way... SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 16:21, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support Good editors are needed, especially ones who want to write here. Socking has prodiuced good quality edits - a refusal to allow a final chance shows a vengeful desire to punish rather than a desire to try to improve Wiki. Minkythecat (talk) 16:42, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support because 1) he is here for the right reason, to help us build an encyclopedia, and build it he does, exceptionally well; and 2) because his form of "disruption" does not create a toxic work environment for other editors -- if anything, it's just a workaround so he can continue to contribute positively. IAR, as SheffieldSteel above observes. Antandrus (talk) 16:44, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • support and FT2 needs to leave him alone, and vice-versa. Verbal chat 17:13, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose the socking is evidence that Damian can't let it lie and serve a sentence; that fixation isn't helpful. We don't give passes for good contributions; there's a tacit agreement that he has continually broken. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:18, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, but not yet, per Jpgordon. The opposes and the strong opposes are based on very real concerns: I'd like to see some effort to address those concerns, as I'm mindful of the disruption likely to ensure if we're hasty here. TFOWR 17:25, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now Socking as of yesterday, no, he needs to show that he understands and socking is not a good thing to do when someone is blocked or banned. If he shows he will follow the rules, like no socking for 3 months to 6 months, then maybe he deserves reconsideration. But now is not the time. We can't allow socking or what sense does it make to block someone? --CrohnieGalTalk 17:33, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Looks like the same situation as the last time. If he can show that he can abide by the rules (that is: no socking) for no less than 3 months, perhaps then he can be trusted enough to unblock. Jarkeld (talk) 17:42, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose until it can be shown that he has gone 6 months without socking. If he can do that, then I would be more inclined to support this, but not at the moment. Socking is either bad, or it is not. If we allowed PD to be unblocked despite knowing that he has been socking, then we need to do the same to other editors who have been blocked (despite them having some constructive edits) and who have socked during the block - and I'm sure that I speak for many people when I say that this would not be acceptable. -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 18:05, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • As a postscript - having re-read comments above, and read comments below - if the consensus was that 3 months without socking would be adequate, I'd have no serious objection to that - I said 6 months as that's the standard offer time. -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 21:09, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - the original ban was a bit hurried for my liking, occuring with a limited number of participants and while I was in bed. But Peter needs to realise the moment he so much as mentions FT2 he's back on the outside.--Joopercoopers (talk) 19:02, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose' - Socking during a ban is just the tip of the iceberg. The bulk of the iceberg is Damian's bad faith towards the community. --Karbinski (talk) 19:22, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, but with a question If the only socking Peter did was to add quality content to articles, then I support, given the conditions listed at the top of the thread. If this is the only thing he did, I don't really care if he did it yesterday, or if he did because he thinks it exposes how silly our banning policy is. If someone can point me to an occasion where he socked in order to attack another editor, I'm more than willing to change my mind. --Floquenbeam (talk) 19:35, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose any unblock of a user who is still sockpuppetting. Everard Proudfoot (talk) 19:43, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The socking clearly shows that the ban had no effect on his bad faith towards the majority of editors on the project. --Saddhiyama (talk) 19:45, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now Yes, we need more quality editors. No, we don't need more editors who think their contributions justify their actions. If he can knock off the sock-puppetting for 3-6 months, we can revisit the matter. -- llywrch (talk) 19:47, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support for a valuable contributor, provided Peter drops any vengeful agenda he may have against various administrators including those attacks he made across the board at RfA last time around...Modernist (talk) 20:06, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per CrohnieGal and PhantomSteve above. We have rules for a reason. IAR is nice and all, but when we apply it too liberally because someone is a "valuable contributor" we erode the rules until eventually they're pointless. Tony Fox (arf!) 20:43, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose He may be a valuable contributor, but he needs to follow the rules and I'm not seeing sufficient evidence that he's willing to do so. Reach Out to the Truth 20:50, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now until he stops using sockpuppets in violation of his ban and some reasonable amount of time has elapsed in which he has demonstrated a respect for the ban by not socking (say, 3 months). After that, conditionally support pending conditions similar to those outlined by FT2 above. I see no problem, though, with going ahead and commuting indefinite to some finite period of time. --B (talk) 20:52, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm ignorant of all the history, but, as per Tim Song, we don't unban users who have socked as early as one day ago. Come back after a year or two without socking.  Sandstein  21:14, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Conditional support Per WP:Standard offer, no socking for 6 months. If PD cannot make and keep to that commitment, then discussing any other terms for return is pointless. If he can prove that he wants to be a valued contributor rather than just a great editor who does not care to be restricted by adherence to policy and practice, then I would like him to avoid FT2 both directly and indirectly broadly construed also. If he is agreeable to this, then I would welcome him back in 2011. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:02, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support No matter what, he will continue to try to evade us but his loss is something which really hurt the project. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:08, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. The project badly needs philosophy editors. Everyone will be watching him. Anthony (talk) 22:13, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, condition support for WP:Standard offer I truly believe Peter wants to improve this project and his efforts will be very welcome. As long as he completes his parole then I feel he can be welcomed back. Basket of Puppies 22:15, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. The socking seems to have been meant as helpful and if needed, a reblock will be easy. Gwen Gale (talk) 22:15, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose: an unreconstructed serial puppeteer who continues to flout the rules even as this is written, thereby deserving "assume bad faith". Past vile disruption was also reprehensible and removal of the indef block is therefore ill-advised.  JGHowes  talk 22:20, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Standard offer- If the user can show his commitment to following site policies by avoiding any socking for six months, and if he also commits to avoiding the areas and editors where he has had previous disputes, then it is reasonable to give him another try.   Will Beback  talk  22:25, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose:There is no doubt that Damian is a very educated person, whose mainspace edits would be an asset to the project. However, some things are unacceptable at any price and cannot be endured. Threats he made to another editor show a flaw that is more than concerning - it was not the general stupid, drunken and thuggish: "My mates are coming round to your house to give you a good bashing/torch you house!" but a threat that was deeply unpleasant, disconcerting and personal. I forget if was on-site or emailed (whatever I expect it is rightly oversighted by now). I found that threat very sinister (and it was not made to me) and repulsive. Damian is not the sort of person to be accepted here.  Giacomo  22:39, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I never buy the argument that x is such a good editor that their bad behaviour doesn't matter: no-one is that good, and no-one is indispensable. "Helpful socking"? don't think so. HeartofaDog (talk) 22:50, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Comment: This website is awash in socks. Gwen Gale (talk) 22:58, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, so what? if a banned user runs socks, it's scarcely a good reason to unban them. HeartofaDog (talk) 23:37, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't read any comments in this thread which said the socking by PD (or anyone else) was a good reason to unblock. Gwen Gale (talk) 23:40, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
He's a banned user who's used socks extensively to evade his ban, which as far as I'm concerned is enough to indicate that the ban should stay in place.HeartofaDog (talk) 23:51, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok, that's also the practice and policy. Some editors have noted that some WP:IAR for PD might be fitting. My own thinking is that a reblock would be easy and swift. Gwen Gale (talk) 00:07, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Your opinion is one I respect, but I just don't agree here.HeartofaDog (talk) 00:12, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support as per Will Beback, if he accepts WP:Standard offer; Wikipedia needs good contributors; all in all, it only takes a few minutes to block again, should he start editing disruptively. Salvio ( Let's talk 'bout it!) 23:06, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Undecided, can be swayed, either way - What this comes down to is a basic benefit/cost ratio. On the benefit side is that he wants to edit here, he's been variously a good editor, he's made featured quality articles, etc. On the cost side is that he used a sock to promote an article to featured quality. He didn't just get blocked in the middle of an FAC, he had a sock to promote the FAC. He had a sock account do it. I had an article up for WP:GA when I was blocked and fortunately I had an ally here who was willing to step forward and take up that work, on his own, not as a proxy. I didn't try to continue to promote it surreptiously. Then there is the block history since, which makes it look as if he actually has had previous unblock chances. Please correct me if that is wrong, but it at least looks like he kept slipping his leash even when he wasn't blocked. That's a lot of blocks for the main account, during a period when he was supposedly blocked. I'd like to see the user names prior to the ones listed through late 2008. There is WP:AGF and then there's the other side. Then there is the fact that he socked yesterday. At present the scales are tipped toward oppose. I'd like to look further back in his contributions and at whatever preceeded this.
This is sort of bizarre given that over at WP:AN/I there is a discussion of an entirely different calibre, that of whether to extend a community ban from 1 year to indefinite based on prolific socking. Then again, that editor was particularly disruptive before the ban. But I'm very curious as to what name he was using prior to the dates of the contribution history of December 4, 2008. Was it Peter Damien II? Then again some of the socks were registered within weeks of the 2008 ban. I'd also be more comfortable with a series of conditions that were sanctioned when another editor's ban was lifted, including full disclosure of all previous accounts, keep and maintain a list of such accounts, accepting a mentor for a specified period of time with no intermittent blocks, and an agreement regarding a firm stance on future blocks if warranted, including time frames and conditions. If all this is part of the conditions, I'd be more prone to support this lift. Without it, I don't think I trust the lifting. Wildhartlivie (talk) 23:38, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - repeated, prolific, and recent sockpuppetry, combined with misbehaviour over a really extended period with multiple recurrences of his ridiculous experimentation and drama-mongering. Regardless of any good contributions to certain areas, he's just not worth the trouble at this point - maybe after a good period of time without any socking. ~ mazca talk 00:00, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. It's about time this hounding of allegedly difficult editors stopped. Malleus Fatuorum 00:22, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, until and unless the conditions of WP:OFFER are met, including 6 months without sockpuppeting. Nsk92 (talk) 10:29, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, sockpuppeting is dishonest. The editor-in-question, has lost my trust. GoodDay (talk) 13:34, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support based on either a mentors