Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive220

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Noticeboard archives


User Snowded[edit]

Hi, i made my report against user due to what i consider he regulary singles myself out using impolite or uncivil communications/long-term abuse.[1][2],deletion review[3],

I have attempted on many occasions (which you will see from the above links) to resolve this issue by talking to User Snowded to attempt to resolve issue in a civil manner but my attempts at this have failed. i have also asked snowded not to post messages on my user talk page on a number of occasions whilst trying to resolve this issue and he would not follow my request. My main concern is the general method in which he talks to people on WP in what i would say is a derogative manner when it comes to an issue of non agreement and use of edit summary's to make guised uncivil remarks [4] there have also been cases of Edit warring on the UAF article page although this is not my main concern and the conduct of the user is more important if this can be resolved

Johnsy88 (talk) 12:30, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Ouch, no. LTA is not for that purpose, I'd recommend sticking a {{db-author}} on the page immediately before you fall afoul of WP:BOOMERANG. If you have an issue with a specific user then please consider reporting to WP:AN/I or WP:WQA --Errant (chat!) 12:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
ah , i wasnt quite sure, i will move this then. thanks very much for your advice Johnsy88 (talk) 12:35, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

If Johnsy88 cares to list examples of this so called abuse I'll happily respond. For the moment s/he has (yet again) been edit warring and I suspect the 3rr report I just lodged triggered this reaction, as s/he already has a block history relating to right wing political issues. If a more experienced editor would give him/her some help we would probably all benefit. S/he seems to think that any disagreement with his/her edits is impolite or uncivil. --Snowded TALK 12:40, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I see that the OP has also posted a similar message on WP:WQA, as well as at WP:LTA. Such forum-shopping is discouraged. - David Biddulph (talk) 12:50, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

(OTRS) File:Sibiu_pictures_main.jpg[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Images in question have been deleted from EN and Commons. Tabercil (talk) 23:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

OTRS: Please remove the file [[File:Sibiu_pictures_main.jpg]] as it is a verified copyright violation. Notice was sent OTRS (ticket# 2010121310018273) by the original author, who is a professional photographer and retains copyright. User:7castle already has a number of coipyright warnings, and I warned him/her that a ban may be appropriate if this activity doesn't cease. Asav (talk) 20:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Another complaint regarding the image File:Sibiu center 2007.jpg posted by the same user just arrived. Please remove it as well. Its been merged with the previous ticket no. Asav (talk) 21:44, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Both are deleted, but there are five similair images, also uploaded by 7castle, shown on Sibiu#Gallery. EdokterTalk 21:53, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
We'll probably have to nuke all his uploads then, I guess. Unfortunately some are already at Commons. Could you ask your OTRS person to have a look through [5]? Fut.Perf. 21:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Will do. Cheers. Asav (talk) 18:10, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
And I just pulled them from Commons. Tabercil (talk) 23:41, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Requested edit[edit]

 Done - Please amend Add {{WikiProject Oklahoma}} to Talk:Oklahoma_Secretary_of_Human_Resources_and_Administration. Thanks. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 23:04, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Done. (Now that I finally understood what the problem is...) Fut.Perf. 23:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

On linking to classified documents[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Further discussion here now redundant. Please go to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Use of classified documents. Rd232 talk 08:58, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Because of the recent disputes at articles such as Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative and United States diplomatic cables leak, and several related noticeboard threads, I have been spending some time reviewing policies and guidelines on whether classified documents (especially from the Wikileaks site) should be used as sources. This is not a new debate, and there have been discussions about this topic for years, in many different locations. Part of this is because some debates did not produce a clear consensus, part of it is because there has been some really impressive wikilawyering and forum-shopping going on, and part is because many people are unclear on policies and guidelines, so vehemently state things that just aren't true, which causes discussions to become muddled.

Examples of false statements
  • "If a source is being linked to by reliable sources, then that must mean that it is reliable too."
    • Incorrect, and not at all in line with WP:RS.
  • "Primary sources can be reliable sources"
  • If a source has an editor, that means it has "editorial control", so it's a reliable source
    • No. Just because something has an editor, does not give it "reliable and peer-reviewed" status. Having an editor does not state anything about whether a site has a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy."
  • "Any documents produced by the United States Government are in the public domain"
    • Not true at all. Many government documents are still covered by copyright. See Copyright status of work by the U.S. government. Government documents that have been created by government workers in intent for release and publication are usually public domain, but classified documents are obviously not intended for publication
  • "Once a classified document has been released, it's in the public domain."
    • Wrong. Classified documents are still classified documents, until/unless they have been de-classified.[6]
  • "The information is already out there, it won't hurt anything or anyone for us to use it if everyone else is using it too."
    • Wrong. In fact, notices are going out to government workers and university students that viewing classified information could endanger their security clearances, and cause them to lose their jobs, or prevent them from acquiring certain other jobs in the future.[7][8][9][10] Further, if the U.S. government chooses to act, then by law, any computer which has inappropriately acquired classified information can be confiscated and destroyed.[11][12] Whether or not the government is actually going to do this in any cases is still unclear, but if they wanted to make a high profile bust, Wikipedia is an accessible and high profile target.
  • "We're not providing the information, we are just linking to it. There's no harm in that."
    • Wrong. Per WP:ELNO, we are not to link to content that would be considered illegal in the state of Florida (since that's where most of the Wikipedia servers are). Leaked classified information is illegal.[13] Also per WP:ELNEVER, "Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors." Wikileaks has not received owner approval for distribution of the documents.
  • "Everyone else is linking to the information, we can too."
    • Wrong. Not everyone is linking to it. Some sites such as The New York Times choose not to do so. Regarding an incident in July 2010: the New York Times stated, "The Times and the other news organizations agreed at the outset that we would not disclose — either in our articles or any of our online supplementary material — anything that was likely to put lives at risk or jeopardize military or antiterrorist operations. We have, for example, withheld any names of operatives in the field and informants cited in the reports. We have avoided anything that might compromise American or allied intelligence-gathering methods such as communications intercepts. We have not linked to the archives of raw material."[14]

To try and make sense of the debates, help dispel the inaccuracies, and come up with an accurate consensus, I am here pulling together several links to where things have been discussed:


After having reviewed all of the discussions, especially this one which seems to have the largest number of uninvolved voices, the consensus seems to be:

  • Leaked classified documents are primary sources, not secondary sources
  • Wikipedia articles can be written based on reliable secondary sources about any leaked documents, but should not be based on the leaked documents themselves
  • If it's illegal to link to something, we should not link to it.
  • There is some "case by case" that can be used. Not all documents on Wikileaks are classified. If a source at Wikileaks is not controversial, it can be used, with care, as a primary source per WP:PRIMARY
  • Links to documents which appear to be classified information, should be removed.

I believe that having a clear consensus determination on this will help to resolve many of the disputes that are popping up. Do other administrators agree with my summary? --Elonka 23:37, 12 December 2010 (UTC)


To be clear, the consensus determination above is listed not because it is my (Elonka's) personal opinion, but instead in a good faith attempt to try and summarize the consensus of existing discussions. In fact, I don't even personally agree with all of the conclusions. In any case, I am interested now in the opinions of other uninvolved administrators, as to whether they agree with my determination of consensus, or whether they would suggest something different.

  • Yes, your summary appears accurate. I would reiterate that we should not link to any stolen documents, because of the strong possibility that copyright (or some other law) could have been violated. The burden is on the editors adding links to show that the target is not a copyright violation, and not otherwise illegal. Jehochman Talk 00:22, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • This reads like a biased screed, not an unbiased summary. The worst of it is the examples of false statements bit, most of which are contestable. e.g.
    • "Primary sources can be reliable sources"
    To which I would reply with a quote taken directly from WP:PRIMARY: "Primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia."[15]
    • "We're not providing the information, we are just linking to it. There's no harm in that."
      • Wrong. Per WP:ELNO, we are not to link to content that would be considered illegal in the state of Florida
    Actually, WP:ELNO simple says that "one should generally avoid" linking to such pages. The existence of a content guideline that says "one should generally avoid" linking to such pages does not go to the question of whether any harm is done by doing so in this particular case.
    More generally, all of these putatively false statements are statements made in support of making use of these leaked cables. In all these debates, hasn't a single person put forward a "false" statement in opposition to using the leaked cables? It's only one side whose false statements need to be debunked in the course of presenting a neutral summary of consensus? Seriously, this summary is so obviously, clumsily biased.
    Hesperian 00:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
    • Hesperian, thank you for your comments. If you disagree with my determination, would you like to take a stab at defining a consensus instead? --Elonka 17:12, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Looking at just WP:ANI#Creation of articles from leaked classified documents, the summary appears lacking. First, as Hesperian points out, the primary sourcing issue is not represented accurately; this is basic policy anyway. There is also a problem with the final two conclusions; there is no consensus on whether to blanket ban or handle things case by case. There is a consensus that the documents don't violate copyright, which you haven't mentioned, though it is also argued that in this case copyright isn't the primary legal concern. On the legality of that, the fact that leading newspapers are hosting many of the documents really ought to suggest it's OK to link to them! Perhaps the best compromise in the short term is to link only to cables hosted by those newspapers, and not to any documents hosted by Wikileaks. Rd232 talk 00:47, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. To try and provide some structure to this discussion, I have moved comments by administrators into this section. Or rather, copied, since the discussion has become a bit convoluted, so I didn't want to just snip comments out of other discussions. This may mean that a couple comments are now duplicated, between this section and the one below. I apologize for this confusion, and if anyone can think of a better way to handle things, please feel free. --Elonka 16:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I object to a section for "administrators to comment". Permission flags are not normally relevant when it comes to determining consensus. - brenneman 16:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
    • There is precedent for this in other sections of the project, such as at WP:AE, where sections are made just for administrators to comment. My desire here is to get the opinions of uninvolved administrators on the determination of consensus. Any admin who wishes to do so, is welcome to review the other discussions on this page while they make up their mind. --Elonka 16:49, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Any non-admin is also welcome to review the other discussions and to comment on them here. DuncanHill (talk) 16:53, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
This is a very poor precedent that you've proposed.
  1. The only areas where administrators are normally given any additional editing privileges is where there is a requirement of use of administrator's additional tools. Like closing deletion debates as "delete" for instance.
  2. If I understand how you're claiming Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement relevant is the "Administrator imposing the sanction" section. But like deletion, it is that it has the requirement that enforcement actually take place.
If there are other precedents where administrators have defined editing privileges with respect to general debate, I am not aware of them.
brenneman 17:02, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Administrator tools might well be required based on this. For example, if an editor insists on adding a link to classified information, claiming that it is a valid primary source, do administrators have the authority to warn and block that editor for violating consensus? --Elonka 17:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Admin tools may be necessary once consensus has been determined - they are not necessary to actually determine consensus. You are attempting to make the determination of consensus an admin-only activity, which requires a major change in policy and practice. DuncanHill (talk) 17:21, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I too object, it is anti-collaborative and makes a big deal out of adminship, something which admins claim it should not be. DuncanHill (talk) 16:45, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Administrator discussion sections should only be used for discussions on administrative actions. The interpretation of policies and guidelines is not an administrative action (although administrative actions may well be used to enforce the result).  Cs32en Talk to me  18:21, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. I see people disagreeing with my summary of consensus, but I don't see anyone offering a better summary? If someone else would like to attempt to summarize the existing discussions, please feel free. --Elonka 14:55, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
An RfC has been suggested, it is clear from this thread that there isn't a consensus yet on all the points you want covered. DuncanHill (talk) 14:58, 14 December 2010 (UTC)


"If it's illegal to link to something, we should not ink to it" is all very well, but you need to get the Foundation Counsel's opinion about whether or not linking to Wikileaks is illegal, not just throwing that statement into the mix. DuncanHill (talk) 23:48, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
There are two major problems here. If it's illegal to link to something, we should not link to it.; how do we determine what is illegal. I've chatted to some of our experts here at the office (usual internet disclaimer; take it with a grain of salt) and they claim there is no current issue of legality here. Basically, as with most things internet (i.e. copyright as the classic example) current law is astronomically unequipped to deal with this. I'd say we need definite "ruling" from some serious legal professional before making a judgement - but, for the moment, assume linking too is fair game (and won't get us into trouble, even if the documents prove to be illegally hosted by WL's). Second problem: Wikipedia articles can be written based on reliable secondary sources about any leaked documents, but should not be based on the leaked documents themselves; this is the main area we need to hammer out. Clearly notability is going to carry on secondary sources in a RS, but as already demonstrated in a few places it is under debate whether leaked cables count as a reliable primary source. i.e. can they be used to source the factual content of a cable (for example, a list of places within the list) or do we treat them as unreliable source material. The problem with the latter decision is that *any* mention, even in a RS, is ultimately flawed by our judgement over a lack of reliable publishing. And, so, any mention of cable content should really be expunged. Somewhere between these two extremes there is a compromise, I think. --Errant (chat!) 00:08, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
There's nothing in US law that makes providing these links "illegal." Not that that is any wikipedia editor's call. But the first amendment is pretty clear on this stuff. They're out there. There is a wikipedia editorial issue here having to do with primary sources, but that's rather a different thing (if the wikipedia editor core was more competent, i'd be personally all for judicious linking. The problem is, by and large, it's not). But there is no legality issue for us to bother our pretty little heads with.Bali ultimate (talk) 00:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
To be clear, I did not start this thread to re-open the discussion. I started this thread because I have reviewed the existing discussions, and made a determination of what I believe is the resulting consensus of those discussions. I am now asking other administrators if they agree with my determination of consensus. --Elonka 00:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I think Elonka has done an excellent job of explaining the issues. As a college professor I was struck by the point that students may get into career trouble if they link to these documents. Wiki policy should not facilitate linking that can do serious damage to our users. Rjensen (talk) 00:20, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Throwing in the "illegality" clause is poisoning the well by prejudging Wikileaks links as illegal, even though we do not have any court judgement saying that. Also, why only want admin opinions? DuncanHill (talk) 00:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Given recent news, it's possible that a Wikipedia editor could get into career trouble by uploading a picture of himself at a gay pride parade. For that matter, if he comes from a Muslim country, he might get himself into a torture cell that way if he's ever deported back there. But we still allow such uploads. Wnt (talk) 02:55, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, your summary appears accurate. I would reiterate that we should not link to any stolen documents, because of the strong possibility that copyright (or some other law) could have been violated. The burden is on the editors adding links to show that the target is not a copyright violation, and not otherwise illegal. Jehochman Talk 00:22, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

This reads like a biased screed, not an unbiased summary. The worst of it is the examples of false statements bit, most of which are contestable. e.g.

  • "Primary sources can be reliable sources"

To which I would reply with a quote taken directly from WP:PRIMARY: "Primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia."[16]


  • "We're not providing the information, we are just linking to it. There's no harm in that."
    • Wrong. Per WP:ELNO, we are not to link to content that would be considered illegal in the state of Florida

Actually, WP:ELNO simple says that "one should generally avoid" linking to such pages. The existence of a content guideline that says "one should generally avoid" linking to such pages does not go to the question of whether any harm is done by doing so in this particular case.

More generally, all of these putatively false statements are statements made in support of making use of these leaked cables. In all these debates, hasn't a single person put forward a "false" statement in opposition to using the leaked cables? It's only one side whose false statements need to be debunked in the course of presenting a neutral summary of consensus? Seriously, this summary is so obviously, clumsily biased.

Hesperian 00:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I'll second Herperian's point - I got as far as the primary source mistake, and decided it was difficult to trust much more... sorry Elonka. Privatemusings (talk) 00:40, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, sort of. Hesperian is only slightly right. See, when you leave all of the qualifying statements out of WP:PRIMARY, which itemize when and where primarys sources may be used, you make it look like they can be used anywhere at anytime to justify anything at Wikipedia. WP:PRIMARY makes it clear that primary sources are not to be used as the main source around which a Wikipedia article is built. --Jayron32 04:13, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
"Primary sources can be reliable sources" = True, according to WP:PRIMARY, notwithstanding Elonka blatantly false claim to the contrary.
"Primary sources can be used anywhere at anytime to justify anything." = False, but apparently a useful straw man to some.
Try to keep them separate, okay? Just because I refute Elonka's denial of the first, doesn't mean I endorse the second. Hesperian 04:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I completely agree with that. However, in terms of the Critical Initiative list, which is really where this primary source issue is coming from, the primary source is no longer being used as the main source in the article. The article is completely held up by the secondary sources and the primary source is there as a representative source for the factual information. In this case, we are in agreement that the primary source should be in the article somewhere, whether it is used as a reference somewhere or as a general EL, correct? Since we do that for all Wikipedia articles, we link to the primary source. It's just that we build the article itself around secondary sources. SilverserenC 04:18, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I never mentioned a specific article, if (as you claim) your article is based on secondary sources, then you may be OK. Or you may not. I have no idea. I am not here to review a single article. However, I don't think its wise to misrepresent or eviscerate long-standing Wikipedia policy. --Jayron32 04:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
It's just that Elonka specifically references the two articles at the beginning of this discussion. What is your opinion on the discussion about the primary source containing classified information, so we shouldn't link to it whatsoever? I personally disagree, but what's your opinion? SilverserenC 04:46, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it's irrelevent and a red herring. Publicly availible seems to me to be all that's required; I can't imagine any proper, in-line-with-policy use of one of these classified documents where it would matter their source, as long as said source was publicly availible, and as long as the Wikipedia article's claims about what the primary sources says are backed up scrupulously by very reliable sources. If the New York Times says "Cable XYZ says blah blah blah" it would be appropriate for the Wikipedia article to cite the New York Times article, and link to the publicly availible version of XYZ. What is NOT appropriate is to link to Cable XYZ and say "Cable XYZ says blah blah blah" without a reliable secondary source also saying the exact same thing. If there were legal ramifications to this, we'd have a foundation statement on it. The foundation is well aware of this discussion we are having right now; it seems unlikely that they would allow Wikipedia to get the Foundation into spectularly deep shit if it was heading that way. Since I, and you, and no one else here is a lawyer or is legal counsel for the Foundation, any "illegality" issues are moot. The only issue is to appropriately use source information, and to not make any claims without scrupulous verification by secondary sources, and to not use primary sources where inappropriate. --Jayron32 04:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I agree with you completely. SilverserenC 04:56, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Looking at just WP:ANI#Creation of articles from leaked classified documents, the summary appears lacking. First, as Hesperian points out, the primary sourcing issue is not represented accurately; this is basic policy anyway. There is also a problem with the final two conclusions; there is no consensus on whether to blanket ban or handle things case by case. There is a consensus that the documents don't violate copyright, which you haven't mentioned, though it is also argued that in this case copyright isn't the primary legal concern. On the legality of that, the fact that leading newspapers are hosting many of the documents really ought to suggest it's OK to link to them! Perhaps the best compromise in the short term is to link only to cables hosted by those newspapers, and not to any documents hosted by Wikileaks. Rd232 talk 00:47, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

The text on top of this section does not seem to follow an impartial approach to reviewing discussions. One basic approach would be to highlight the most persuasive arguments of both sides, not the least persuasive ones. Furthermore, the text rather focuses on the arguments of one side, which the author of the text obviously deems unpersuasive or misleading. The text may therefore be a valid contribution to a debate, but not a valid attempt to summarize or review such a debate. Therefore, this discussion should be moved to the appropriate notice board.  Cs32en Talk to me  01:17, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

  • This summary is missing several key ideas. One is whether linking to leaked sources is illegal (which it implies but doesn't give any reason as to why). Another is whether these sources would be appropriate in external links sections, not just as references. It also fails to mention that there are appropriate times and ways we can cite primary references. This being said, the above hardly sounds like an unbiased summary of the discussions of the matter.. more like a personal response to the issue. ThemFromSpace 01:23, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes it's a poor summary, reflecting more (it seems) the author's take on the matter than any kind of neutral appraisal.Bali ultimate (talk) 01:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • One thing that Elonka has failed to mention above, at least in terms of the Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative article, is that an article from Business Insider is being used in the article now. You can find that source here. It lists all of the places in the cable and this Business Insider source is being discussed at RSN. Note: The comment made by Fifelfoo just a moment ago at RSN should be disregarded, as he is highly involved in the issue (and against the inclusion). But the uninvolved other users, thus far, at RSN have approved the use of the source. And, since "classified" information is being used in secondary sources in their entiriety now, does this discussion really matter? SilverserenC 02:38, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Comments on specific statements[edit]

"Once a classified document has been released, it's in the public domain."
Wrong. Classified documents are still classified documents, until/unless they have been de-classified.[17]

  • They are still classified, but anyone who has not agreed not to leak secrets can use the information in the documents. The documents themselves, however, as well as specific content that has, for example, commercial value, may not be used due to copyright or patent laws.  Cs32en Talk to me  01:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

"The information is already out there, it won't hurt anything or anyone for us to use it if everyone else is using it too."
Wrong. In fact, notices are going out to government workers and university students that viewing classified information could endanger their security clearances, and cause them to lose their jobs, or prevent them from acquiring certain other jobs in the future.[18][19][20][21] Further, if the U.S. government chooses to act, then by law, any computer which has inappropriately acquired classified information can be confiscated and destroyed.[22][23] Whether or not the government is actually going to do this in any cases is still unclear, but if they wanted to make a high profile bust, Wikipedia is an accessible and high profile target.

  • I don't think that this applies to any computer, but only to information systems operated by people who have signed secrecy agreements.  Cs32en Talk to me  01:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Not true at all. Many government documents are still covered by copyright. See Copyright status of work by the U.S. government. Government documents that have been created by government workers in intent for release and publication are usually public domain, but classified documents are obviously not intended for publication

You italicized that, but where's it coming from? Title 17, Chapter 1, §101 says "A “work of the United States Government” is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties." §105 says "Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise." Given that Title 17 is the only copyright protection in the US, common law copyright for unpublished work being dead, there's no reason to think publication matters.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:47, 13 December 2010 (UTC)


I created a rebuttal for Elonka's draft above at User:Wnt/Work1. I hope I've sufficiently addressed all of her points, but if not, please let me know and I'll try to plug up the gaps. :) Wnt (talk) 03:30, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't want to speak for Elonka, but my only concern is the concerns about WP:PRIMARY which are being misinterpreted from both sides here. Let me make myself clear. We need to be certain that the existance of the Wikileaks cables is not a license for Wikipedia editors to comb through those cables themselves, and construct the case for the existance of a subject of an article, such as some aspect of U.S. foreign policy, a shady organization, or even to add material to existing articles about the motivation, reasoning, or characterization of anything based solely on information availible in the cables. There seems to be a huge rush among Wikipedia editors to find something interesting in the cables and then get Wikipedia articles up about them. This is putting the cart before the horse. We are not journalists and it is not our job to provide interpretation or analysis of what the cables say in any way. Leave that up to the newspapers and magazines and scholars. After stuff is published, the cables themselves may be used to supplement the secondary sources in a very limited fashion, as I explained above, and indeed elsewhere, several times. What is not to be done is to use the cables in inappropriate manners. --Jayron32 05:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think Wnt and I have any sort of confusion about that. The main issue was that we were using the primary source as a reference for a factual list from the source. We didn't use it for any sort of interpreation, just as a factual listing. Other users believe that that violates WP:PRIMARY regardless, which is how this whole mess started (and with the whole classified information thing filtering in there). SilverserenC 05:08, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
My question for you is this: Does a secondary source confirm that the list is what you say it is? I suppose (maybe, I am not committing to this), if the New York Times says "Cable XYZ contains a list of people who fart on the job" and then you find Cable XYZ for such a list, it may be OK. However, if there is a lack of secondary source support for anything about the list AT ALL, I could see a reasonable objection to using it. In other words, do secondary sources also discuss, analyze, cite, or quote the list, or even note its existance, or is its presence here at Wikipedia the sole reference to the list outside of itself? --Jayron32 05:17, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You should really look at the article rather than trust my word on it. :) But, in short, yes. The list has been extensively discussed in secondary sources across the entire world. I've learned about major newspapers that i've never even heard of before, like CNA and La Stampa, through the course of referencing that article. It's essentially being discussed by the entire (media) world. SilverserenC 05:22, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Being just one person, I do not represent a consensus, I think that I do not object to that one specific use of that primary source then. However, this discussion raises an important point that the general Wikipedia policies on this need to either be tightened up or clarified, or more carefully followed in some way. That this specific article, in this specific case, does not appear to meet the definition of the problems outlined in this discussion doesn't mean the problems don't exist at all or don't have the potential to exist. I think that is more of my perspective on this, rather than dealing with your one article, we need to deal with this as a site-wide issue, if for no other reason than this discussion exists at all. --Jayron32 05:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I think the use of WP:PRIMARY is fairly well understood by the community at large. It's just that, in this case, users are trying to change it so that it doesn't allow the use of primary sources that have classified information. That's really what all of this comes down to. It's not about it being a primary source, per se, so much as that the primary source is hosting classified information. The issues with Wikileaks on Wikipedia, per the other discussions that Elonka linked to at the very beginning of all of this, is about the classified nature of the material. It was never really about WP:PRIMARY being misunderstood so much as reunderstanding it so that it would be against the use of classified material in primary sources. And then you get the two factions on Wikipedia for each side of that. And there we go. SilverserenC 05:34, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You know that policy does change by consensus, it also changes because of tests to it. In other words, before the whole Wikileaks bruhaha, the idea that classified documents should be handled differently was not addressed by the community perhaps because it was never an issue. That it shows a hole in the existing policy (the policy does not adequately address the issue directly) is why a discussion like this is needed; to establish a new norm with regards to the issue. Again, noting that I do not represent a consensus, my personal opinion is that the only criteria should be on the availibility of the document, not on the label slapped on the document by some random government. However, others think differently, and that the existing policy does not give any guidance either way means that we need to hash this out. --Jayron32 05:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, but if we're going to go that route, shouldn't we be doing it at Village Pump:Policy? SilverserenC 05:41, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Probably. --Jayron32 05:43, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
It's amusing that everything is being done with this policy subject (ANI, AN, article talk pages, user talk pages) except for the thing that might actually clarify and clear it up, which would be Village Pump: Policy. It reminds me of what happened with the article I mentioned before. Originally, there were questions of notability for it and a number of things were done (Redirection which was then reverted by others, taking those users to ANI, discussions on article talk pages and user talk pages), except for the thing that would settle it once and for all, which would have been taking it to AfD. SilverserenC 05:49, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it has been discussed at the Village Pump, in July 2010, but I see that I failed to link to it at the beginning of the thread. I have added the link now, and apologize for the omission. The issue remains though, that this matter has been discussed in multiple fora around the project: Dispute resolution noticeboards, administrator noticeboards, village pump, talkpages, etc. What hasn't been done though is for any administrator to take on the task of reviewing all the discussions and saying, "Okay, here's the consensus". That is what I was attempting to do by starting this thread. And I realize that there are thoughtful, reasonable administrators who might come down on either side of the question. But the goal here is to define the consensus, not to offer individual opinions on whether the use of the source is appropriate. So, looking just at the consensus determination, does it look reasonable? Or if not, would some other administrator like to offer a differing opinion of what the consensus is? --Elonka 16:21, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
It's probably somewhat out of process to have admins make a decision on this. Dicussion has been wide ranging; and clearly it is not over. --Errant (chat!) 16:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
(ec)The numerous objections to certain points in you summary suggest strongly that it does not reflect consensus. Also, why are you only asking for admin opinions? admins do not have a stranglehold on consensus. DuncanHill (talk) 16:27, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Administrators have experience in reviewing complex discussions, such as at AfD, and making a determination of consensus. It is also not uncommon to have "administrator-only" discussion sections, such as at WP:AE. --Elonka 16:46, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Er, it's a summary. Objections to that summary do not necessarily mean that the summary does not reflect consensus, just that individuals disagree. And there's no admin stranglehold, so I don't know why you're going on about this still. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 00:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I had hoped that referencing User:Wnt/Work1 would be enough, but it looks like I'd better briefly summarize a few points from it here to avoid more calls for policy changes that are not necessary and not desirable.
  • The CFID cable in dispute was an official government document created by the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies and Wikileaks has a good reputation for not making things up from scratch. It is not a questionable or self-published source, and probably isn't a primary source.
  • I haven't seen any news sources claiming that classified documents are copyrighted. They are prepared by the government and each one has carries a date for declassification, indicating that they are created with the intent for general publication (if that matters)
  • Workers can be threatened with losing security clearances or being discriminated against in gaining them for crazy reasons, e.g. if Wikipedia editors make comments describing homosexual experiences, or offer too much praise for Fidel Castro.
  • State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the e-mail threatening university students the work of "an overly-zealous employee" and said that "we cannot control what is done through private Internet accounts."[24]
  • The ACLU says "The courts have made clear that the First Amendment protects independent third parties who publish classified information."[25]
For these reasons I suggest that the proposal to limit these documents should die here. Elonka has complained about forum shopping, before expanding the present ANI thread to AN ... do we need to start another forum on this? We have a policy, WP:NOTCENSORED, and it seems to be working out just fine. Wnt (talk) 14:05, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Elonka. The consensus on this page is that your summary inadequately reflected the contents of the discussion on that page. Hope this helps. That's the question you asked, after all.Bali ultimate (talk) 16:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Propose this thread be moved elsewhere[edit]

The initial question "is there consensus on this summary?" appears to me to have been answered in the negative.* I believe that this is now well beyond what is appropriate for this board. Unless there are objections, I would like to find a better home for it. brenneman 08:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC) *For completeness: I do not see the summary as accurate.

Considering that the thread has been open for less than 24 hours, I think it's a bit premature to say that it's been answered. --Elonka 16:07, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
There is no consensus that you've summarised accurately. If I may:
  • States they agree with your summary: Rjensen, Jehochman
  • Does not indicate clearly: DuncanHill (concerns about legality), Silverseren (does this discussion really matter?)
  • Does not agree: Hesperian , Privatemusings, Jayron32, Rd232, Cs32e, ThemFromSpace, Bali ultimate, Wnt
It does not appear to me that this is not the appropriate place for this discussion to develop further. Perhaps if I understood what you wanted to accomplish by opening a thread here? I'm unclear which of the suggested reason under "Are you in the right place?" might apply?
brenneman 16:31, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The desire here is to get the opinions of uninvolved administrators on the determination of consensus. If there is disagreement on whether or not I have properly summarized consensus, then it would be helpful for other uninvolved administrators to review the discussions and state what they feel that the consensus is. Again, not to offer their personal opinion on "what should be done", but to summarize the consensus of the existing discussions. Sort of like if this was an AfD discussion that had ranged across multiple pages of the project, at some point someone has to read it all and say, "Okay, here's the consensus." --Elonka 16:41, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • What you are asking for is not the intended purpose of this board, as per the template at the top.
  • What you're asking for is not relevant, as administrators have no special auspice on this issue to determine consensus.
  • There are other venues that are appropriate for this discussion. Village Pump:Policy has been suggested.
By further decentralising what is already a widely spread question, you're contributing to the problem.
brenneman 16:49, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I am trying to centralize, not de-centralize. To my knowledge no one else has taken the time to provide links to all of the different locations where this discussion has taken place. By moving this discussion from AN to the Village Pump, it is just going to cause even more confusion, especially because my desire here is to get opinions from administrators, not from the general community. If this discussion moves to the Village Pump, it is likely just going to turn into another wide-ranging discussion with a lot of involved editors jumping in, and we'll be right back where we started, with lots of discussion and no determination of consensus. --Elonka 16:52, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Why do you not want opinions from the general community? Are we not worthy of passing comment on your suggestions? Do we smell offensively? Are our thoughts and opinions beneath your contempt? DuncanHill (talk) 17:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The community has already been commenting, in multiple venues. The issue now is to review the comments by the community, judge the strength of the arguments, and make a determination of consensus. --Elonka 17:22, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is determined by the community, not imposed by admins. DuncanHill (talk) 17:26, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is indeed determined by the community, and the administrators judge that consensus, write up consensus determinations, and enforce. The purpose of this thread was to collect all of the links to discussions in one place, and attempt to summarize the consensus. If you disagree with the summary, you are welcome to suggest a different one. But what we need here is not individual opinions of what should be done, but a summary of the community consensus. If you would like to suggest something different than what I have offered, I am very interested in hearing it. --Elonka 17:33, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Your summary does not reflect consensus and contains several errors of fact as mentioned by others here. DuncanHill (talk) 17:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Object to Elonka reformatting this thread[edit]

Elonka has reformatted this live debate, and is also apparently trying to exclude non-admins from the discussion. I find both of these disruptive. Particularly, her creation of an "admin comments" section and moving comments into it makes it much harder for editors to follow the flow of the discussion. DuncanHill (talk) 16:50, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I did not move comments, I only copied a few. --Elonka 16:53, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
It is still disruptive, confusing the flow of the debate. DuncanHill (talk) 16:55, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
And diffs like this are not acceptable. Do not remove objections to your behaviour in that way. DuncanHill (talk) 16:59, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Totally agree, Elonka's edit there is very poor indeed. Off2riorob (talk) 17:30, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Whatever else has been determined, Elonka has demonstrated she isn't in any kind of objective position in this arena, and should withdraw from all attempts at using tools or determining "consensus" from on high. Not to rehash that conversation here, but the whole notion of coming up with a consensus that the leaked diplomatic cables must never/may always be used is just daft.Bali ultimate (talk) 17:35, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
To my knowledge, I have never used tools in this topic area, have not edited in this topic area, nor have I officially closed any discussions with determinations of consensus. My start of the thread here was an attempt to summarize consensus in some very complex discussions, and ask if other administrators agreed that it was reasonable. This does not affect my status as an objective, uninvolved administrator. --Elonka 18:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Your presentation of that conversation was so skewed and inaccurate that it demonstrated a high level of bias (or, alternatively, a distinct lack of competence). Either way, Don't go trying to impose your views in this area by playing some admin "superuser" trump card. That won't work at this point.Bali ultimate (talk) 18:57, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
See WP:UNINVOLVED: "Warnings, calm and reasonable discussion and explanation of those warnings, advice about communal norms, and suggestions on possible wordings and approaches, do not make an administrator 'involved'." --Elonka 19:00, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I should point out that Elonka's very first edit on this topic was to tell people at the article that any primary sources should be removed and that people who try to re-add them can be blocked, which set off an edit war when OhConfucius took her at her word. She followed this shortly afterward with an "admin note" that got her trouted. And here we are again. She seriously needs to get the point that administrators aren't supposed to be making policy on their own. Wnt (talk) 19:06, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I should add that I just actually read Elonka Dunin, which mentions that "Dunin visited Langley to give a presentation to analysts about steganography and al-Qaida"[26] (during which she had the opportunity to take rubbings of Kryptos) (I doubt you need a degree in cryptography to figure out what this has to do with her being "one of the founders of the International Game Developers Association's Online Games group") I'm not very familiar with applying WP:COI, but I have to question whether she has the freedom to change her mind about this issue based on my arguments. Wnt (talk) 20:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Now we have duplicates of people's comments in this "admin" section, which are then repeated in the general comments section. What the heck is going on here? And I notice that responses that non-admins made to the admin responses were removed when the admin responses were copied over to their own section, but then exist in the general comments section. SilverserenC 05:17, 14 December 2010 (UTC)


It was good of Elonka to identify the problem (disjointed discussion scattered across various pages), but the attempt to determine a consensus hasn't really worked out, not least because on some key issues there isn't really a current consensus. In this context, we should simply start an WP:RFC somewhere (Wikipedia/Requests for Comment/use of classified documents?), and list it on WP:CENT. Many of the substantive points made here can then be collected from here and other locations and all discussed together. Rd232 talk 18:19, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

That might indeed be a good way to proceed. It's definitely worth a try! Would you like to go ahead and start it? --Elonka 18:46, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I suggested an RfC, you rejected it - now an admin suggests it you leap at the idea! DuncanHill (talk) 20:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd rather someone else did it; I'm a bit tired and the sooner it's kicked off the better. That said (i) probably better if it's not you who starts it (ii) probably would help to establish some terms of reference first. Perhaps simply "Under what, if any, circumstances can leaked classified documents be used as (a) source and (b) external links?". Rd232 talk 19:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I believe a comprehensive RFC on this would be useful but we should be very careful to be explicit as to what consitutes a classified document. I am confident that a layman's understanding of classified is significantly different, and probably inaccurate when actual law and regulation are applied. Indeed, even within the U.S. government, there are varying interpretations between agencies of different classification and dissemination restriction schemes. Move out of the realm of U.S. secrecy laws into other nation's laws and international agreements on secrecy, and I suspect the problem gets even more complicated. --Mike Cline (talk) 19:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
We have a current consensus on the issue, called WP:NOTCENSORED. As I cited above the ACLU assures that existing case law protects third parties who republish classified information.[27] I should note that on close examination of the anti-Wikileaks case, much of it hinges on whether Wikileaks actively solicited the original disclosure of classified documents - in other words, arguing his complicity with the leaker rather than the illegality of publication.[28] Clearly this is not the case for Wikipedia or anyone else who had all these secrets dumped in our laps as a present whether we wanted them or not. Wnt (talk) 21:05, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, we do not have current consensus on the issue, as the current guidance, whether at WP:NOTCENSORED or WP:PRIMARY or anywhere else does not adequately deal with the issue of classified documents as a specific matter to be considered. Even if the guidelines were changed to say "Wikipedia places no special prohibition on linking to leaked classified documents" OR it were changed to say "Please do not link to leaked classified documents", the fact remains that without community guidance, we are in a black hole WRT determining consensus here. --Jayron32 22:10, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
That depends, Jayron, on if Wikipedia operates on the assumption that whatever is not clearly forbidden is allowed. If that assumption is correct, then unless there is a consensus to exclude classified documents/government secrets -- or, more importantly, the Foundation states the source cannot be used -- they can be used. However, there is the issue whether that content is appropriate to be included in an encyclopedia -- which is a concern I hope everyone who wants to use this material from WikiLeaks considers & has a persuasive argument before incorporating it into Wikipedia. -- llywrch (talk) 03:50, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
If a truly new kind of content comes into existence - say, someone devised a standard panel of olfactory stimulants to match human olfactory receptors, so that a 200-byte code could cause a computer accessory to emit any known smell - then by NOTCENSORED we could use it freely. It would be up to the user to buy an accessory or run software that allows him to lock out the scatole if that's what he wants. But in this case the situation is more clear-cut: classified material has existed for years. We have articles on the Pentagon Papers, on nuclear weapon design, most recently on the Afghan War Diaries ... this specific decision has already been made. Wnt (talk) 05:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Wnt brings up an importance point. In the previous articles made on Wikileaks releases, such as the Afghan War Diaries and the Iraq War Documents, the primary source to Wikileaks is included in both of them. And i'm sure this debate was had at some point prior in terms of those two articles, and yet the continuance of those links in the articles seems to imply that the ultimate decision was to keep them. SilverserenC 05:42, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, I've drafted an RFC at Wikipedia/Requests for Comment/use of classified documents. We may want to tweak the intro before adding {{rfctag|policy}} and listing on WP:CENT. Or if we don't really want to bother with an RFC, we don't have to. Rd232 talk 15:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your work, Rd232. I went ahead and added a list of locations where discussions have been ongoing. If anyone else knows of any that I missed, please feel free to add them. I'd recommend taking a day or so to work on the RfC intro, and then if it looks stable, open it up? --Elonka 15:09, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

There is More Classified than Unclassified[edit]

Maybe this Harvard Univ. source could be used to provide some context for making any decisions related to classified documents. "as many as a trillion pages are classified (200 Libraries of Congress)."

Peter Galison, a historian and Director[29] in the Science Dept. at Harvard University, research shows that the U.S. Government produces more classified information than unclassified information.[30].

"..about five times as many pages are being added to the classified universe than are being brought to the storehouses of human learning, including all the books and journals on any subject in any language collected in the largest repositories on the planet."

  • Peter Galison is the Mallinckrodt Professor of the History of Science and

Physics at Harvard University. His main work explores the interaction among the principal subcultures of physics: How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic (1997), and Einstein’s Clocks, Poincare´’s Maps (2003). Several projects explore crosscurrents between science and other fields, including his coedited volumes The Architecture of Science (1999), Picturing Science, Producing Art (1998), and Scientific Authorship (2003). In 1997, he was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and in 1999 he received the Max Planck Prize. Mr.Grantevans2 (talk) 03:30, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Further discussion here now redundant. Please go to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Use of classified documents. Rd232 talk 08:58, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Please rename[edit]

 Done - Please rename File:Jaffa Oranges.jpg as per the request on the file page. It's been there for a while and we need to use the blocked image in an article. Thanks in advance! -- Orionisttalk 10:45, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Done - it's now at File:Jaffa Orange brand from Sarona.jpg as requested Nick-D (talk) 11:07, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Wow, That was fast! Thank you very much! -- Orionisttalk 11:17, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

User JS pages to delete[edit]

Resolved: All the requested pages have been deleted.עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 15:24, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Please delete these pages, I can't edit them.

User:Chantessy/monobook.css (user-placed MfD tag)

Broken redirects:

Thanks! — Train2104 (talk • contribs • count) 20:03, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Community ban for User:QuackGuru[edit]

Closed by OP; no consensus at this time.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Much as I hate to raise this kind of discussion, I think it's time we considered a community site ban for QuackGuru (talk · contribs · logs · block log). A ban would be based on the following reasons:

  • QuackGuru has an aggressive, tendentious editing style that numerous editors have complained about, with complaints including (but not restricted to):
    • Page ownership issues
    • Multiple reverts, up to (and sometimes exceeding) 3rr limits
    • Making contentious edits without discussion
    • Frequent broad accusations of policy violation against other editors
  • QuackGuru demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to communicate with other editors, with behaviors including (but not limited to):
    • Consistent blanking of his talk page without response to items posted there
    • An overwhelming towards towards edit-summary-only responses
    • A refusal to participate in or even acknowledge dispute resolution processes which might ameliorate his behavior
  • QuackGuru demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to engage in consensus discussions, with behaviors including (but not limited to):
    • Frequent, consistent, and intractable wp:IDHT behavior, such as endless repetition of the same point in discussions
    • An overwhelming tendency towards simple declarative 'truth-statements' (sometimes posed as challenges in question form, à la Perry Mason)
    • A broad failure to acknowledge other points made in discussion, even when made by multiple editors
    • A seeming inability to compromise on any issue, no matter how trivial

QuackGuru has a reasonable sized block log (11 blocks, mostly for disruptive editing, since 2007). He has been the subject of three wikiquettes [31], [32], [33] and one RFC/U [34], but did not acknowledge or participate at any of them. he has been the subject of 20 Administrative threads (discounting a handful of 3rr violation reports and without evaluating the merits of the threads): the current ANI thread, [35], [36], [37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42], 2007 proposed community ban, [43], 2007 proposed article ban, [44], [45], proposed short topic ban, [46], [47], [48], proposed article probabtion, [49]. He does slightly better at responding to these, having added at least one comment in three or four of the threads.

The general problem can easily be exemplified by his recent behavior concerning edits to wp:NPOV. From June through October there was a discussion between a number of editors (Users Blueboar, Ocassi, Tryptofish, Kotniski, RexxS and myself, for the main list) on wt:NPOV that culminated in some revisions to the wording of the policy. The revisions were largely cosmetic (clarifications, tightening of language, etc), but involved to items - the removal of a video explaining NPOV and a reworking of the problematic 'A Simple Formulation' section - which QuackGuru objected to. QuackGuru engaged in a number of reverts to try to preserve sections, but the real problem of concern here was the style of discussion he used on the talk page. For instance, QuackGuru's contributions to the thread discussing the video were as follows:

*You removed the video without any good reason. You never had consensus to delete it in the first place. What is the specific problem with the wording of the video. The video also helps blind people get interested in policy. QuackGuru (talk) 17:07, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • You have confirmed there is currently no consensus to delete when you have not given a specific reason about what is specifically the problem with the video. Again, what is the specific problem with the wording of the video. Are you going to remain silent and not answer my question again. Your silence equals consensus. QuackGuru (talk) 17:25, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • The "main points" of the video works for me when you click on the video. I see you can't explain what is the problem with the wording of the video. It seems you just don't like having a video regardless of what it says. QuackGuru (talk) 18:06, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Open question that has been ignored. Again, what is the specific problem with the wording of the video. QuackGuru (talk) 18:06, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I suggested a compromise using a stronger disclaimer or your suggestion to move the video towards the bottome of the page could also work. The problem is that editors claim the video is a problem when no editor has explained what is actually problem over the 'specific wording' with the writing of the video. If there is no real problem then nothing needs to be fixed. QuackGuru (talk) 19:05, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • You have refused to explain what is the specific problem with the wording of the video. QuackGuru (talk) 19:17, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • There was a previous discussion about using the video here. I noticed have not answered my question again about what is actually the specific problem with the wording of the video. Should I take that as consensus to include the video. QuackGuru (talk) 19:30, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

The responses he got to these various points made no difference whatsoever - he consistently returns to the same claim that 'no specific problem with the wording' has been offered. Likewise his comments in an earlier dispute about the use of a 'differing points of view' subheader ran as follows:

*This edit was not the way to go about things. A subsection title should be kept or renamed. WP:YESPOV is about "Different points of views". QuackGuru (talk) 18:56, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I made this change to add a section heading. QuackGuru (talk) 18:47, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The section header was removed without explanation. So, I restored it. QuackGuru (talk) 19:31, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The section heading was removed again without explanation. QuackGuru (talk) 20:31, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I restored the "Different points of views" header again. I think it may have been accidentely removed. QuackGuru (talk) 03:32, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Numerous times the "Different points of views" header was removed. There never was any explanation. QuackGuru (talk) 17:14, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Editors are not explaining the reason for deleting the renamed section title. QuackGuru (talk) 18:57, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I have given other editors plenty of time to reply. The title "Different points of view" summarises the general framework of the section. QuackGuru (talk) 02:23, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I restored the section title "Different points of view". QuackGuru (talk) 00:19, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I restored the section title "Different points of view" but it was removed again without any reason. QuackGuru (talk) 19:07, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  • There seems to be consensus for renaming the section. I propose "Different points of view" again. QuackGuru (talk) 17:40, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I do see support for renaming the section and you have not suggested any other section name that would be better. You repeatedly removed it without discussion. What is your objection to it. Do you have a better name. QuackGuru (talk) 18:00, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Again, it's the repetitive, badgering style that is as (if not more) disruptive than the reverts. It is impossible to have anything like a normal consensus discussion with him since he simply doesn't respond to the arguments or comments people make - he simply steamrolls ahead with his original thought.

Normally these kinds of problems would be handled on talk page discussions or in dispute resolution procedures, but QuackGuru has not participated in any of the dispute resolution efforts (Wikiquette and RFC/U) that have named him. He rarely even responds when his name gets called up at ANI. As far as his talk page goes, QuackGuru rarely posts to his own talk page and deletes almost all comments posted there on sight, often without a meaningful edit summary response. Many of the more recent deleted comments were requests from editors working on NPOV, asking him to explain some point he made, participate in a discussion, refrain from reverting material without discussion, or (most currently) that he has been mentioned at ANI.

Now I would normally grant QuackGuru a certain amount of leeway, but I've come around to suggesting a site ban on the following considerations:

  • He has evidenced the same general kind of disruptive behavior since he began at the project 3 years ago.
  • He refuses to acknowledge that he has any problematic behavior, despite being called into numerous administrative threads.
  • He explicitly avoids every arena or mode of communication that might lead to him changing his behavior.

Wikipedia is ostensibly a consensus system: we cannot afford to indefinitely indulge an editor who simply does not (for whatever reason) engage the particular kinds of communication and interaction that a consensus system needs to function. I don't see any recourse other than a ban at this point, if only to preserve the sanity of the editors who un across him.

I've talked a bit to long, my apologies (though I'm sure others will have more to say on the matter). --Ludwigs2 02:14, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Support Incredibly disruptive editor; huge net negative to the project. access_denied (talk) 02:18, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose As ever, draconian solutions do not work. In the case at hand, the friction between two editors is quite insufficient to warrant such actions in any case. And in some cases the diffs provided reflect well on QG to be sure. As for broad statements, WP works better with diffs than with broad assertions about editors. Collect (talk) 02:26, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I am someone who has been in quite a few conflicts with QG, found their manner exasperatingly difficult, their talkpage practices undesirable and the robustness of their tendency to edit-war dispiriting. However, major issues with this editor have only been raised on these boards in the past few days, and like any good faith contributor they deserve a chance to respond to concerns. IF that response is inadequate, then sanctions may be appropriate, but to jump straight from ANI to ban in the case of an editor who has contributed much to the project is unacceptable. Oppose as premature. Skomorokh 02:40, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • So your objection is primarily, if not purely, procedural? That is, in your opinion, QG has probably earned a community ban, but you oppose imposing it here and now, on the grounds that the usual 24-hour discussion here won't be enough time for QG to respond (although it was apparently enough for other long-time contributors, like Gavin.collins, who had a very similar length of tenure and very similar number of total edits)?
    Do you think that spending a month bickering about it at an RFC/U would actually help the community somehow? Or that a serious sit-down and talking-to would dramatically change QG's goals, social skills, and overall behavior? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:58, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • No, that has very little resemblance at all to what I wrote. Skomorokh
  • Well, tell me where the difference is. I see you calling QG's behavior "difficult", "undesirable", and "dispiriting". You acknowledge a serious and sustained level of edit warring. You don't say a single positive word about QG's behavior: no claims of mitigating circumstances and no assertions of good work done elsewhere. The closest you come to a positive statement is saying that he's a high-volume editor. Your sole stated reason for opposition is procedural—"jump straight from ANI to ban"—and you appear to believe that some sort of sanctions are "appropriate" (although you would naturally prefer reform).
    I realize that you wrapped it up in much more pleasant language, but what's the substantive difference between your pretty version and my plain version? Do you secretly think QG is a really good editor and a clearly positive contributor to the community, but you just forgot to mention it here? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:03, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Skomorokh - I've pretty much outlined why I brought this to community ban, above. QuackGuru has had several opportunities to justify his actions, and has ostentatiously refused to do so. My current opinion is this: If QG comes to this discussion and participates properly and fully (either justifying his behavior or admitting that it is flawed) then I would be happy to see him get a short topic ban and some mentoring. If QG refuses to participate in this discussion (as he's refused to participate in RFC/U and Wikiquette) then to my mind a full site ban is the only possible remedy. If his respect for the community is that low, then he loses whatever benefit of the doubt we might be inclined to give him. would that be an acceptable criteria for you? --Ludwigs2 03:44, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Neutral leaning to support There have been a lot of problems with QuackGuru and his editing of Jimmy Wales/Larry Sanger. Honestly, if the subjects weren't closely associated with Wikipedia he probably would have been blocked indefinitely for some of his actions there, but no one wants to be seen as silencing criticism of Wikipedia. If he's unable or unwilling to communicate with editors who have legitimate problems with him by deleting messages and not responding on boards in Wikipedia space, perhaps this isn't the project for him. Some sort of sanctions are necessary here, but I'm not sure a community ban is appropriate right now, but honestly... it will likely happen one day. He's fairly awful about working well with others. AniMate 02:47, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I've been involved in numerous conversations with QG related to Chiropractic, Pseudoscience, NPOV, and MEDRS. I haven't found them pleasant, and sometimes he leans towards being badgering [50] [51], taunting [52] [53] [54], or even deceptive [55]. He's also sometimes right, but he makes it very difficult to see through everything else. I think that despite the frequent displeasure he causes, a community ban would be a step too far. He is already under scrutiny of past arbitration cases, but one solution could be a three to six month topic ban on anything related to Pseudoscience, Chiropractic, Stephen Barret, and perhaps Policy pages. Other solutions could include a 1rr condition, a 'no claiming consensus condition', a 'no accusing editors of violating policy' condition, a 'no clearing your talk page condition' or anything that might encourage more civil discussion. I regret that my interactions with him biased me considerably towards other scientific/skeptical editors, but I have found that even many of them don't appreciate his style. With that, it seems like QGs contributions to the important area of improving reliability at alt-med articles may be overstated. If even editors who generally share his concerns are avoiding discussions where he participates, I don't see how his efforts are being helpful. It's not the lack of civility that is a problem, though, it's the lack of discussion. By asserting his stance as correct and barreling ahead with it, battle lines are drawn where instead there could be discourse. If I've taken the bait on that, it's been mainly to stop him from just running roughshod over articles. I do think QG has sincere intentions to advance the status of science and deprecate the status of pseudoscience--yet he brings that conviction to a head as if other editors are enemies if they don't automatically agree; and this makes enemies. Those are my thoughts so far. I won't pile on, but I will suggest that something be done, because if it's not I can't see how a) things will stop or b) it won't lead to a community ban later. Ocaasi (talk) 02:51, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: I will abstain from supporting the ban because I have been involved with so many disputes with QG. However, I do support some sort of action if it can lead to the cessation of the tactics that QG uses. I have no problem with not seeing eye-to-eye with other editors, but QG's editing style is clearly tendentious, and makes for a hostile editing environment. There IS an issue here that needs to be resolved. DigitalC (talk) 03:17, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. From the list of sample responses and the threadstarter's case, I think QG's done his time as an editor. He is incapable of decently working with anybody and his ignorance of consensus plus those feigning-ignorance-cum-dumbness answers indicate defiance. I would probably be as incensed as the other editors here if he messed around in the article I work in. --Eaglestorm (talk) 04:03, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I am concerned that Ludwigs2 may have been in repeated editorial conflicts with Quackguru. I would prefer that somebody with a more objective point of view consider decide whether such a proposal makes sense. I am worried that diffs have been cherry picked and do not provide a fair sampling of Quackguru's work. Also, the volume of evidence posted here is WP:TLDR, unlikely to get serious and thoughtful consideration in this venue, which tends to be better at dealing with clearcut issues. Quackguru seems to have taken my advice not to blank their talkpage. That is a sign that the editor might be willing to listen to reason. Jehochman Talk 05:08, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. No, it's not a sign of improvement. On the contrary. It just means he's being careful because he's under observation. That's typical of him and doesn't indicate any improvement, but rather sneakiness. Not long after the ruckus is over he'll be back at the same behaviors. That's his typical MO and there is nothing to indicate he's changed his MO. He isn't communicating, and that too is his typical MO. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:20, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. He runs in circles on article talk pages with endless repetition and IDHT behavior. He's an expert at stonewalling. Discussion on article talk pages doesn't help because he just makes edits in spite of objections and then claims consensus where there is none and uses reverting all the time. Appeals and warnings on his talk page (since nothing works on article talk pages) are deleted with no visible change in his behavior. His block log is huge, but his methods of disruption are so complicated that it's often hard to pin him down to a particularly grossly blockable offense, but his behavior is still very disruptive and his lack of communication removes an important possibility for helping him and dealing with him. It's time to cut our losses. He's not worth it. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:14, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, very premature. I seem to be in perfect agreement with Jehochman and Mathsci, who have put it perfectly well. NW (Talk) 05:20, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose (but a topic ban from "Jimbo Wales / Larry Sanger" could be good, to stop all those bitter recurrent fights about founder/co-founder). When I saw the section title, I inmediately knew that it had been done by Ludwigs, who has had many conflicts with QuackGuru. A user RfC on either QG or Ludwigs could clarify the situation. --Enric Naval (talk) 08:12, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I value QG editing in several lemmata I have on my watchlist. He keeps them in line with science and academia, removing promotional and bias additions. Chartinael (talk) 09:43, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. I guess it's time for a user RfC on QG. I am not optimistic at all: In my opinion such an RfC can only end in a clarification of the situation and possibly some restrictions for QG, but is extremely unlikely to lead to any helpful change in his behaviour. That's why I don't oppose this ban proposal. But I am not sufficiently sure that my assessment is correct to support the proposal. Hans Adler 10:11, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. I am in opposition to this ban since the conditions for behavioral improvement are not being discussed by the individuals clamoring for the ban. QG, in my opinion, has been battle-worn by a string of extremely contentious battles including some that have resulted in sanctions against myself. I have a lot of sympathy for his stand-offish-ness and his edits are all, in my opinion, sound. Contrary to the stated opinions of some, QG does engage in discussion, but he has a very low tolerance for the kind of TL;DR litanies that pass for discourse here at Wikipedia. It is also simply not true that he cannot be swayed by consensus or by discussion. It doesn't lend itself to diffs because QG indicates his agreement through WP:SILENCE more often than not. His style is markedly different from a lot of the other editors who are opposing him here, and I think that there is more of a cultural opposition being made here as a case for banning. We need to tease out what the problematic behaviors are precisely and indicate how many of them are behaviors that need modifying. To pick a relatively recent example, it's pretty clear there is no consensus for forcing QG to not blank his talkpage. I'd continue to analyze the evidence presented by Ludwigs, but I don't think this is the correct venue. A more structured place where community discussion can occur about these matters would be better. I think Wikipedia can tolerate and should tolerate editors with QG's style when their edits are of the caliber of QG's. This may place me in the minority, but we really need to present all sides of this ongoing issue fairly and completely before rushing for banhammers. jps (talk) 15:05, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
    • That's an interesting comment. It made me understand better what it is I don't like about the talk page blanking: When an editor simply removes my message without comment, I consider this rude in general and have to force myself to assume that it's just a very different communication style rather than intentional rudeness. (To make this explicit: Some people tend not to respond with words even in personal interactions. But there is always a non-verbal response that allows others to discern their mood. In a wiki this information is filtered out, and the lack of a verbal response tends to create aggression.) If the same user also has the obviously rude habit of keeping to untenable positions against a consensus for ages and never conceding a point explicitly, then I find it even harder to assume good faith when the user removes a message without a response. Such a user just looks like one of those losers who attack others but are incapable of thinking of themselves as anything but perfect. This type of user behaviour is poison to an environment that is built on consensus-seeking. Hans Adler 22:05, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
      • Your disapproval of a particular style is understandable, but is it really something we should be basing a sanction on? Describing an editor as "poisonous" for letting matters drop and blanking their talkpage just seems a bit over-the-top to me. jps (talk) 23:36, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
        • I didn't !vote for a sanction. This was an open-ended contribution to an analysis of the problem. I have changed a word to make it clear that my comment was targeted at the behaviour. Obviously I would have no issues with QG if he managed to change that. Hans Adler 08:17, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment, leaning toward support. I feel reluctant to support completely because I've had very little to do with QuackGuru. It's true that my every encounter with him has seen him serial reverting, insulting editors, engaging in IDHT, violating BLP, and trying to change the core content policies to aid him in his edit wars. Based on that behavior alone I do think he should be community banned. But I'm wondering if there's better behavior elsewhere that I'm not familiar with. If he's not banned, we should enforce the suggestion of the 2007 Wikipedia:Requests for comment/QuackGuru that he be topic banned from articles about Wikipedia, including its policies. His editing of Jimmy Wales has been problematic, and he has made more edits to it (385) than anyone else, which we shouldn't have allowed to happen. In addition, he should be topic banned from chiropractic, pseudoscience, medical articles, and anything related; required to leave posts on his talk page for a minimum period; placed on 1RR in general; and it should be made clear to him that this is his last chance. That is, if we can find admins willing to enforce these restrictions. If not, a community ban might be the only practical alternative. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. I understand SlimVirgin here and tend to support this as an option if this ban proposal doesn't work. It would be a shame if this proposal were a total waste of time and we turned to a huge time waster, an RfC/U. We could solve this right now if we adopted SV's proposals, and one more thing - forced adoption by an experienced admin. -- Brangifer (talk) 16:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. Agree with SlimVirgin. But it should be time-limited and a note defining the restrictions should be added to his user and talk page. Kittybrewster 17:23, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It would be more convincing if evidence and views were supplied in dispute resolution (WP:Requests for comment/QuackGuru 2) in lieu of allegations and proposals being supplied here. Should the evidence support the allegations, and issues persist after comments to that effect, that's when it's time to come here looking for action - not now. Conduct dispute resolution is not normally absolutely necessary if there is tendentious editing involved, but (a) the user has been editing here since late 2006 and (b) if it has been an ongoing problem and it is continuing (as is being alleged), then we need to understand why the user was allowed to edit for this long. For that, we need evidence, responses and views. Accordingly, I think a better opportunity needs to be presented for the user to respond to the concerns and better attempts need to be made to resolve the current dispute. Ncmvocalist (talk) 15:54, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I have been involved with the project since 2007 and registered a username in early 2008. Since 2008 I first became aware of Quackguru, and have continued to come into editorial conflict with him since. I can tell you that while it has been an ongoing problem, it is also a problem that has gotten worse with time. If you look at his lengthy block log, you will see he has been blocked several times for disruptive editing. In my opinion, the behaviours that I have observed most recently that are problematic are IDHT violations (repeating himself over & over without taking any consideration to other editors input), problems with consensus, and attempting to edit policy to suit his editing style (see WP:NPOV/WP:ASF). On the other hand, I have not been very active in the project recently, so I'm sure others can better supply diffs of recent problematic behaviour. DigitalC (talk) 19:00, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - as per SlimVirgin's comments. Off2riorob (talk) 16:45, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support with some caveats. I would have strongly preferred that this had gone from AN/I to RfC/U, rather than to here, as consensus at AN/I (and previously at WQA) had indicated. In some ways, this ban discussion is the "right" conclusion but jumping the gun. Perhaps we should institute topic bans and 1RR, as discussed above, pending an RfC/U. I've read Ludwigs' evidence at the top, and I believe it to be accurate, based on my own experiences at some of the policy pages involved. I think there has been some incorrect reading of bad faith into the opening post, when in fact it may have just been tl;dr. Yes, these are areas where editing has been contentious, but there are some real issues with QG's manner of editing. I think that it comes down to a matter of WP:COMPETENCE. It's not the talk page blanking. It's the apparent inability to engage usefully with other editors. There's a net minus to the project when an editor literally does not "hear that". --Tryptofish (talk) 19:42, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support There's been an RFC/U, a proposed article ban, a proposed topic ban from 2008, and a community ban proposal from 2007. 2007! He's been at this for more than four years with little to no interest in participation with other editors. This is way, way overdue. - KrakatoaKatie 22:21, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't believe we've reached the point where we can't tolerate editors expressing an opposing point of view. I have found myself at times disagreeing with QG (for example at WT:Neutral point of view/Archive 43#Definition of fact) and at other times agreeing with him. Looking at the archive I cited, you can see that he displayed the ability to accept points made to him, and to accept consensus on changes while still seeking to improve the text. I can understand (though I don't endorse) his frustration when faced with changes to text, effectively closing the debate, while discussions were still going on to establish consensus. In the same way, I found it frustrating to try to find consensus with Ludwigs in this (lengthy) debate where the WP:ASF was removed from NPOV against objections WT:Neutral point of view/Archive 43#'equal validity' section. It's not easy trying to make a case when Ludwigs is calling me "Dude" and pointing out what he calls his "pit bull attitude", while ignoring the points made. I'm not surprised therefore that QG and Ludwigs would have issues with each other. Sadly, an uninvolved observer would have to read through WT:Neutral point of view/Archive 43 and WT:Neutral point of view/Archive 44 to get a full picture of the problematical interactions that Ludwigs adduces as part of his initial statement. Nevertheless, I view all of this as robust debate and simply don't see the need for sanctioning either editor. I'm sure both of them would benefit from someone they respected "looking over their shoulder" to kerb any excesses, but I guess we'd all benefit from that. Finally, I'd like to express my disappointment (but nothing more) that Ludwigs failed to notify me of this thread, even though he named my in his initial statement. --RexxS (talk) 00:30, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Prone to wikilawyering and semi-deliberate misunderstanding of others' position on vertebral artery dissection. Also given to the occasional WP:POINT edit. JFW | T@lk 15:02, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per RexxS, Ncmvocalist, Jehochman & Mathsci and the fact that Ludwigs is just being a WP:DICK. Shot info (talk) 06:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
    • Son, I'll play kettle to your pot any day. Face-wink.svg --Ludwigs2 06:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
      • Ah yes, but your kettle is enormous compared with my so very small pot - keep up the good work and of course - feel free to ignore the fact that you may have started something that even you will find it difficult to extract yourself from. Good luck! Shot info (talk) 07:13, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
        • I don't know what you think you mean by that, and I suspect if I did know it would fill me with existential sadness about the innate poverties of the human mind, so I'll let it slide. Have a nice day! --Ludwigs2 14:25, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Ludwigs2 prior involvement with Quackguru[edit]

I am concerned that Ludwigs2 might have "a history" in their dealings with Quackguru.[59] Ludwigs2, would you please summarize when you first became aware of Quackguru, and list any specific instances where you've been in editorial conflict with them? Jehochman Talk 05:24, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I would certainly hope that Ludwigs2 had prior involvement, otherwise he wouldn't know what's this is really about. It is the involved editors that are most qualified to speak on this matter. Those uninvolved don't really understand what's going on. The very existence of this subsection seems to be an improper poisoning of the well. I suggest you take it to Ludwigs2's talk page. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:15, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately this is the second recent campaign of this kind by Ludwigs2 against another user. The last one concerned Ronz (talk · contribs) across multiple noticeboards, notably Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents/Problem on BLP noticeboard. At that stage, the request also concerned QuackGuru at the start, but those commenting over quite a prolonged period concentrated all their attention on Ronz. Now QuackGuru is back on Ludwigs2's agenda for a whole set of different reasons. Note that I am not disagreeing that QuackGuru's editing is quirky and many times quite unhelpful, but it would be preferable to see nuanced critiques by a set of editors in a calmly conducted RfC/U. Mathsci (talk) 07:01, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Unless I am forgetting something, the only other time I had any significant interaction with QuackGuru (outside of the issue with NPOV) was the last time I edited on QuackWatch back in late 2007, perhaps. I have occasionally passed him on this page or that (never a particularly joyful experience, but without any overt hostility that I remember). The last such time was a couple of brief comments he made on Weston Price, but that was mostly an outgrowth of the NPOV issue, not a separate incident.
I'll also point out that as the person who opened this request, I don't need to be uninvolved or neutral (any more than QG needed to be uninvolved or neutral when he made his far more specious ANI report about me here). I simply need to express the problem that I see as clearly as possible and leave it up for discussion by the community. If you'd like to try to make a case that I have some kind of 'history' with QuackGuru that makes this an inordinate request, please feel free. I'll be interested to see what you come up with.
That being said, I'll make the same observation I made to you over on QuackGuru's talk page. If you were to offer to mentor him and he were to publicly accept, that would satisfy me and I would withdraw this discussion. I think that would be a far more productive use of your time and effort than trying to dig up dirty diffs on me, and I think everyone recognizes that QG needs a good mentor if he's going to continue editing on project. Your choice, of course... --Ludwigs2 07:03, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
P.s. lol - Mathsci... You I have a prior involvement with, so we can hardly credit your perspective as neutral. --Ludwigs2 07:05, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
You two keep editing in the same disputes: 3RR report from September 2008, March 2010 discussion, October 2010 discussion, and you reported him for etiquette in October 2010. Specially the November 2010 disagreement on WP:MEDRS where you bring up past disagreements at QuackWatch[60].
And everybody knows that you two are like water and fire like oxygen and fire. --Enric Naval (talk) 08:51, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
As I said, I've crossed paths with him here or there. what's your point? I don't know what 'everybody knows', and I don't really much care what the rumor mill has to say about me. is this your idea of a smoking gun? --Ludwigs2 14:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Politically, it wasn't a particularly good idea of Ludwigs2 to start this discussion: for some reason almost every discussion he starts on AN or ANI is quickly turned into a discussion about himself. But this does not change the fact that QuackGuru's activities do present a problem, and that it appears extremely unlikely that the problem can be solved by an RfC/U. (My impression is that QG is simply no capable of rational thought, but this may be just an impression, caused by language difficulties or similar issues.) By the way, this is not just a fringe issue. See Talk:Citizendium#editorializing? for a strange discussion completely unrelated to fringe. As far as I remember that one also made a big splash on noticeboards and led to conflicts between QG and others on some policy talk page. (Perhaps someone remembers the details?) Hans Adler 08:15, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

  • This section is stupid. Of course Ludwigs2 has had past interactions with QuackGuru, otherwise he wouldn't be initiating this conversation. If someone wants to discuss Ludwigs2, by all means do so. AniMate 10:53, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • That would be fine with me. However, if someone chooses to go that route, please close this thread and open a separate one. As of now this sub-thread could be interpreted as an effort to distract attention away from QG's well-known problematic behavior. it would be best to keep discussions of the two issues (his behavior and mine) distinct. --Ludwigs2 14:14, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

2007? Try March 2009 on Quackwatch talk page. Each appears more than ready to make uncivil comments about the other. Trout them both mercilessly. Collect (talk) 11:34, 9 December 2010 (UTC)


  • I see. so, instead of taking me up on my suggestion that you mentor QuackGuru (which you would be admirably suited for, and which would resolve the entire issue), you've decided it would be better to make this more contentious and more focused on me. That makes me believe that you're acting out on some 'history' that you have with respect to me rather than assessing the situation with the objectivity one expects of a sysop. Can you clarify why you're zeroing in on me with quite such a degree of prejudice? Again, if you'd like to start a separate thread on my behavior, please feel free - I am always open to valid critiques. But if you don't actually have a clear, specific complaint against me that we can discuss, I request that you stop polluting this thread with vapid insinuations. It will play out as it plays out, and the community can discuss the matter more easily without you trying to get in your licks for some perceived wrong that I don't even remember. Thanks. --Ludwigs2 16:08, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think there is a real issue here. If it were just a matter of QuackGuru coming into conflict with people who inappropriately promote fringe ideas or nonsense, then I'd be inclined to latitude, or at least sympathy. But I've seen QuackGuru wear out too many good editors, people who are solid, constructive, thoughtful editors who work to make this site a serious, respectable reference work. Basically, if you disagree with him on a content issue, however small, you will be in for a very frustrating ride.

The talk-page blanking is annoying but within the bounds of policy. To me, the most problematic behavior is edit-warring, and so I personally would advocate a 1RR restriction rather than topic- or site-bans at this point. But that's just me. I recognize that at present there does not seem to be consensus to impose any sort of restriction on QuackGuru, but I also think that the problem is bigger than just a fight between QuackGuru and Ludwigs2. MastCell Talk 17:37, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

If possible, can you point to the good editors QG wore out? jps (talk) 17:52, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I had in mind Jfdwolff (talk · contribs) and Eubulides (talk · contribs) - arguably the two best medical writers we have, and both invaluable in the effort to produce high-quality, nonsense-free, useful medical content. I've seen both of them beat their heads against the wall dealing with QuackGuru (though I should stress that is my perspective as an observer, and not based on comments from them, as I don't want to put words or views in their mouths). I don't their cases are isolated, but they're the two examples that came to mind immediately. MastCell Talk 21:19, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I was not aware of these issues. If you could get them to articulate their concerns, I'd appreciate it. jps (talk) 22:46, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Also, at Talk:Citizendium#Won't someone please think of the article? you can see how David Gerard and SlimVirgin were about to fix an article between them, and then gave up after QuackGuru made it clear that he is the owner. Hans Adler 21:47, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Wow. A good, recent example of the type of stone-walling techniques employed by QG. I don't know how editors can read that talk page and not see problematic behaviour. DigitalC (talk) 22:06, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Count me as one of those editors who don't see problematic behavior there. It reads to me like QG is asking for SV and DG to make substantive suggestions for how to change things and criticized a questionable source. That's a pretty vanilla interaction and doesn't, to me, look sanctionable. Am I missing something? jps (talk) 22:49, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
@jps - I'll point out the things I see wrong with this interaction (which I hadn't seen until now). both are typical forms of i nteraction with QG, which can be seen on many, many pages
First: QG makes generic policy claims without substantiating them. for example, in the first section of the linked thread (first indent-block), QG starts out with a claim that some of the sources don't satisfy wp:SPS and that secondary sources should be used. his language is a little confused, but in general that's a valid concern to be raised. however, over the next few posts, where SV tries to tries to find out in what way specifically SPS is violated, QG consistently responds tangentially and reasserts the generic policy claim:
  • Slim points out that self-published sources can be used in some cases, QG responds that 'Random comments on a board is (sic) not reliable' and reasserts the secondary source point
  • SV brings up a specific source (pointing out that it is a CZ council member making an official CZ announcement, and QG responds 'Did a CZ editor make a comment or was it self-published by CZ'
  • SV states again that it was a council member making an official announcement, and QG responds 'This is not an article on a CZ council member or a particular CZ person. So it's not reliable for this article".
Now clearly QG is trying to dismiss the source by casting it as an unreliable blog entry, but the frustrating elements of this are (1) that he never actually says that's what he's wanting to do (he simply waves his finger at policy in an authoritative way without much in the way of explanation), and (2) he refuses to engage the very reasonable point that this was an official statement by a CZ official. That's a bit like claiming the State of the Union address is not a reliable source for the current administration's policies because it's just television thing, and one would expect QG to put some effort into discussing the claim.
Second: Despite this vagueness of his own policy claims, QG's standard response to actions that he opposes is to claim that it is not specific enough, but then instead of asking for more specific clarification, he demands that it be undone or stopped. note his three comments in the second indent-block: "Vague comments about structure is really sensible?", "You have not given specific enough comments.", "It would be more productive if you tried to explain what you are proposing rather than continuing to make vague comments.". I've never myself seen him accept any explanation as sufficient, and I know he can go on like that for days on end.
The problem with this - aside from the double standard of demanding specific explanations while offering vague finger-waving - is that it is (intentionally or not) a tactic that frustrates other editors, rather than a productive form of discussion. I don't know if you have kids, but if you do you'll live (or will have lived) with this frustration for years: children often speaks in vague circularities, stubbornly refuse to discuss things that likely won't go their way, make excessively angry repetitive demands when they feel frustrated, break rules they don't like by using exasperatingly literal nitpicking. We put up with that kind of thing from children because we know that children don't know any better; when we have to put up with it from adults it's crazy-making. I assume that QG is older than 14 (though I could be wrong, you never know...); if so there's no real excuse for this impoverished form of communication, and it's just a hassle and a half.
In the long run we need to decide as a project whether we are going to aim for high-level interactions or allow discussions to fall to the lowest common denominator on any given article. It only takes one editor arguing at the level of an 8 year old to reduce an entire discussion to 8 year old standards, and that makes for crappy discussions and crappy articles. If we're going to aim high, it's important that we do something to encourage editors like QG to adopt a higher level of discourse. --Ludwigs2 01:43, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that the aim of Wikipedia should be "high-level interactions". The aim of Wikikpedia should be the creation of good content. I don't think that the cultural criticisms you raise against QG have prevented him from providing very good and well-researched content for Wikipedia. jps (talk) 19:58, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
And I don't think you can create good content without higher-level interactions. maybe sometimes - even a broken clock is right twice a day - but any context that draws out those childish qualities will just deteriorate into a spitball fight. If there's one lesson from the internet that is not lost on anyone it's that quality of discussion matters. --Ludwigs2 15:09, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Off-topic. Knock it off. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 23:53, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

─────────────────────────"I don't think you can create good content without higher-level interactions." You and I together tend to collaborate better and produce better content when we avoid higher-level interactions, I've noticed. jps (talk) 21:31, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

No, you and I work together much better when we lay our concerns out clearly, listen to each other carefully, and reason through the differences to reach an effective compromise - that's what I mean by higher-level interactions. You and I get into conflicts when we stop communicating at that higher level and start acting more like bulldozers (and that's because neither one of us is inclined to allow ourselves to be bulldozed). I do sometimes see QG lay out his concerns, listen, and discuss, so I know he's capable of it and could be encouraged in that direction. Most of the time, though, he's plow-to-the-ground, treads spinning away, dead set on moving things in the direction he wants them to go. Higher means more communicative, not more philosophical; it means a better appreciation of the person you're having a discussion with, not a greater knowledge of the material. I've seen some very smart people who are utterly incapable of having higher-level interactions - they talk 'at' people rather than 'to' them. --Ludwigs2 14:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I tend to think of our productivity in content and policy generation as being on a pretty low-level in the Bloom's Taxonomy. We rarely talk about why we prefer a particular wording in great detail, for example. That our work occurs on the talkpage instead of the article or Wikipedia space is just a matter of preference. For QG, he tends to avoid talkpage back-and-forths. I don't begrudge him this style and would actually like to see more people act that way. WP:BOLD is normally how the encyclopedic improves. jps (talk) 17:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Bloom's Taxonomy is a pedagogical (K-12) typology for use by teachers in evaluating students; if you see me as a student, jps, that would be... interesting. At any rate, I'm using the ideas set out by Jurgen Habermas in terms of communicative rationality, which was explicitly intended as a theory about the interactions between adults in liberal society. Unfortunately, our article on the topic isn't very good (I'll have to put that on my to-do list), but the upshot (very roughly) is that H lists out four discursive 'action-worlds', in the following order: teleological discourse (language designed to achieve an end without any real regard for sense or meaning - the lowest form), normative-rational discourse (language designed to reaffirm and maintain existing norms), performative discourse (rhetorical language designed convince others through claims on emotive/affective bonds), and communicative rationality (language designed to establish common understandings through through the application of reason - this is the highest form). I see all of these on wikipedia: from the true teleological POV-pushers who will say or do anything to get what they want into the project; to policy mavens who insist on literal applications of policy norms; to drama-ridden editors trying very hard to out-perform others and appear more virtuous/maligned/sincere/pick-your-favorite-affect; to a solid core who really do try to work things out through discussion. I'd like to increase that last group, because I happen to think they are the most sensible of the lot. Do you object to that effort? --Ludwigs2 19:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You aren't the student, Ludwigs2. Our audience members are the students, and they are not particularly academically endowed. As such, critical theory is not relevant, and, in the Wikipedia chronicles, we have more in common with Bloom's ideation of education than we do with the sophistry of Habermas's petty continentalism. My opinion? Habermas is an idiot who cloaks his idiocy in obtruse language. He excuses his inability to balance a checkbook with a strawman attack on an invented Platonic idol of scientistic rationality. He entertains notions that are prima facie incorrect as object lessons for an antiquated hierarchical theory of mind that has more in common with the blathering of the Roman Catholic curia than the discourse of the modern world. He suffers from the same delusions which allowed for the Sokal Affair to happen. No matter, his bourgeois post-modernism will be dead soon. Meanwhile, I'd rather be an educational reductionist/realist than rest my laurels on Habermas's teleological fallacy. jps (talk) 22:01, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Lol! Well, it's good to see that you're not shy about expressing yourself. However, if you're going to express your opinions this forcefully you'd best do your homework first. Habermas is not PoMo, he's just German (with the traditional long-winded circularity that all German philosophers inherited from Hegel). Habermas has pretty much the same critique of post-modernism that you do, though he's a good bit more generous with his language. If I were to critique Habermas myself it would be that he spins out an incredible amount of text over something that is at heart fairly simple and uncontroversial.
And calling one of the foremost philosophers of our time an idiot, no matter how much you disagree with his approach, simply speaks to your own prejudice. Whatever you might think about his theories, Habermas is no idiot.
I have absolutely no doubt that I could convince any open-minded listener of the merits of applying Habermas' theories to wikipedia and its processes. From what you said above, though, it seems unlikely that you will have an open mind on this issue for the foreseeable future. that's fine, but that doesn't remotely suggest that your opinion is correct; quite the contrary, actually. With respect to your 'educational reductionist/realist' approach - I'm not even sure what you mean by that. With respect to readers, wikipedia is not 'educative' but rather 'informative', the difference being that we're not trying to convince readers that any given perspective is correct, but simply informing them of the various perspectives that are present in sources so that they are as fully informed as we can reasonably manage. With respect to other editors, Wikipedia is (by principle and policy) egalitarian, consensus-based, and neutral, which obviates every sense of 'educative' and 'reductionist' that I can think of off hand (and most senses of the word 'realist', with its implications of facticity). Trying to 'educate' people is, in fact, somewhat suspicious on the face of it: what are you trying to teach them, and on what authority are you teaching them 'this' instead of 'that'?
In short, I'm not trying to convince you of one darned thing, I'm simply telling you how I view the project. You believe wikipedia is an educative project with yourself (and like-minded editors) as the head teachers; I believe wikipedia is an informative project built collaboratively through communicative means. Unfortunately, our respective beliefs carry very different assumptions about what is required to be a good editor on project, which is where we get into conflict. One of these days we're going to have to rationalize that, but (given the vehemence of your opinions above) I sincerely doubt that today is that day. --Ludwigs2 23:40, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You sincerely missed my point about post-modernism. "Habermas has more in common with them than he does with me," is the point I was making. Finally, education need not be hierarchical. Just ask Paulo Freire. Enough. jps (talk) 02:26, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Having watched a significant amount of the conflicts here, I really don't think it's accurate to describe what is happening as "an editorial battle is now being fought via noticeboard complaints". I would have preferred an RfC/U over a ban discussion at this step, however. I'll elaborate on these points above, but wanted to note my concern about this "summary" here. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:27, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • After looking at the discussion linked by Hans, Talk:Citizendium#editorializing.3F I agree with Tryptofish's assessment of this so called "summary". How about changing the heading from "Summary" to "Comment" or something else that is more subjective in nature? Mentoring doesn't seem like a bad idea to me given the pedantic nature of QG edits in the above linked discussion.Griswaldo (talk) 20:15, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree with MastCell's analysis and proposed remedy. Is it known why Eubulides, one of the most skilled medical editors, stopped editing wikipedia in March 2010? Mathsci (talk) 22:49, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • My impression is that he invested far too much time and personal attachment into WP:ALT and pretty much burned out. Conflict and the effort to try to get/keep ALT adopted in the form he envisioned as a requirement for our best articles probably sealed it. --RexxS (talk) 23:49, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I know that Quackguru definitely wore me out during a discussion that happened on the Chiropractic talk page back in August. It starts here, but the main section where I got involved is here. And it didn't help when he followed me onto my talk page. SilverserenC 03:36, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

No consensus?[edit]

It seems there is no consensus for this proposal at this time. Would someone close the thread so that the participants can finally begin a