Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive231

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Baseball Bugs - Block review and topic ban discussion[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.
Resolved: Bugs has voluntarily agreed to avoid the drama boards for one month unless he is called here for issues that directly involve is own behavior. If this works, there will be no need to impose any ban; the discussion also had not establised an overwhelming consensus to ban him anyways. It seems the best thing to do is to table this issue until such time as it becomes necessary to take more drastic measures. Yes this kicks it down the road, but if we give this less drastic measure a try, it and it works, it becomes better for all parties.--Jayron32 17:36, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Note to closing admin Several issues have come up recently with discussions being closed after only a few hours or less than a day because a "consensus" was apparent after only a few opinions given. Please do not close this until significant time has been allowed for this discussion to fully develop.--v/r - TP 17:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I am a neutral party who is reorganising this at Risker's suggestion.

NOTE - I have done my best to present the following timeline in as neutral a manner as possible. Please note - reference to other disputes is not an invitation to re-open those disputes. Manning (talk) 06:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

The story so far:

  1. - (It all starts with all sorts of conflicts involving multiple parties on a myriad of topics. I'm not even going to attempt to summarize).
  2. - Bugs allegedly edit-warred on Mistress Selina Kyle's talk page: start here and see the next 13 diffs that follow.
  3. - Bugs allegedly misbehaved on AN/I Permalink, a lot of reading here.
  4. - Risker warned Bugs (See above permalink)
  5. - Bugs allegedly misbehaved on AN/Iagain (See above permalink)
  6. - Risker blocked Bugs Permalink of Bugs talk page discussion
  7. - Block review took place - Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Baseball_bugs_block_review
  8. - Toddst1 declared consensus and unblocked Bugs (see previous link)
  9. - Several editors questioned the consensus (see links and discussion below)
  10. - Other editors requested a Topic ban discussion commence about Bugs and the AN/ANI pages. (see links and discussion below).

Bugs: Block/Unblock review[edit]

Also see earlier discussion.

  • Request review: At the time of the close, 41% were in favour of an immediate unblock (the option Toddst1 chose as his closure) and 59% supported blocks ranging from 24 hours to 7 days. This was also closed shortly after Toddst1 voted himself in the thread, and after only a few hours rather than letting it run for its normal length. Toddst1's assessment of consensus has been questioned by editors on both sides of the debate and needs to be reviewed by an uninvolved administrator. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 06:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Block was stupid, unblock unwarranted. Although I believe (and argue below in the context of a topic ban proposal) that Bugs should not have been punishedd for this, there was clearly no consensus for an unblock. Bugs is used to the rough and tumble and invited it on himself. If necessary some other editing friends and I can visit him and keep his spirit up in Wikmo. Hasty unblocks have been a huge problem around here, and a general erosion of the quality and respect for administrative actions. Blocks shouldn't be issued lightly, but once issued they should not be undone lightly either. Per common sense and a possible ruling in a pending Arbcom case, admin actions or decisions to not act should be accorded some respect, and all should be patient. - Wikidemon (talk) 07:05, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • As I have mentioned to Toddst1 and on the AN/I page, I continued to monitor the discussion of the block that I placed in order to determine if the community consensus was that the block should be modified in some manner; whilst the discussion was starting to trend toward a shortening of the block, there was not yet consensus for that, and there certainly was not consensus for a complete unblock. I will note that Toddst1 did not inform me that he was undoing the block I had placed. Neither of these are appropriate actions. Risker (talk) 07:55, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Right, you have a strange way of determining a consensus, I guess a good reason why we need a uninvolved Sysop to make the decision. Bidgee (talk) 08:00, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • In actuality, the consensus to reduce was already there at the time the thread was closed. As I look at the comments, I see only 4 straight-forward endorsements which do not mention favoring the possibility of a reduction. Considering that !voting to overturn the block is equivalent to reducing it to time served, the vast majority of the commenters were OK with a reduction. If would therefore probably have been best if Toddst1 had reduced the block rather than rescinded it, but it cannot be said that there was anything like a consensus to keep the block at a week -- in act, quite the contrary. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Where was the consensus, Bidgee? About a quarter supported the block as is, about 40% wanted him unblocked, and the rest were in between. There was no consensus. People who thought a 2-3 day block was appropriate were lumped into those who wanted him unblocked. In fact, the unblock was against consensus. People who wanted him unblocked because they missed his entertainment value should probably be discounted from the equation anyway; this isn't a comedy club. I know it's not popular, but administrators are still supposed to weigh the reasoning behind the opinions voiced. Risker (talk) 08:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Risker, I'm am not seeing where "about a quarter supported the block as is". There were 33 serious !votes: 14 of them opposed the block, 4 of them supported the block as is, 15 !votes were in favor of reduction -- that's 6 "reduce" !votes, 6 "endorse but reduce" votes and 3 "oppose and reduce" votes. There was clearly no consensus for the 1 week block, and a healty consensus for a reduction, since 88% of the commenters wanted either a reduction or to have the block overturned, which is equivalent to a reduction to time served. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
        • (e/c)Risker, You know were the consenus was but you don't want to admit that your block was wrong. There were calls for the block to be reduced but most editors didn't state for how long it should be reduced by, in total he was block for just over four hours. Branding those whom supported the unblock for entertainment is wrong, totally false and unfounded. Bidgee (talk) 08:25, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • What I'm seeing is 5 endorsements, one extend to indefinite, five straight overturns, three "overturn because excessive" without any indication of what wouldn't be excessive, and about a dozen "reduce length" with various lengths suggested from time served to 5 days, with an average of about 3 days. I also see five comments that basically boil down to "MSK is awful, therefore Bugs shouldn't be blocked." Those last ones don't count because they're about someone else's behaviour, not Baseball Bugs's; bad behaviour on someone else's part does not excuse bad behaviour on Baseball Bugs' part. I was giving serious consideration to reduction; however, we were only 5 hours into this discussion, and people were all over the map. There's a pretty big gap between 5 hours and 3 days. If Toddst1 had said to me "Hey Risker, what say we knock this down to 3 days" I probably would have gone for it. It's not like I wasn't responding to messages. Risker (talk) 08:43, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Your the one stating three days, no one in the "discussion" stated on how long it should be reduced by. I'm not sure why you have a fixation on Bugs but to me it seems like you have a vendetta against him since it is only you who thinks it should be three days. Bidgee (talk) 08:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I've striked my poor choice of wording. TechnoSymbiosis and Franamax were the only ones to state three days while AniMate stated two to three days, Purplebackpack89 and Silverseren both stated one to two days. There are far more Reduce (without amount of time stated) and Oppose then there is Endorse. Bidgee (talk) 10:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I suggest you revisit that comment, Bidgee. Franamax, TechnoSymbiosis and AniMate all stated that they supported a block for 3 days. Insinuating that Risker acted maliciously in her block is not at all helpful to this discussion. —Dark 09:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Bidgee - I'll also *strongly* advise you to refactor that comment. Accusing an admin of having a vendetta against anyone is a serious charge, and not brought casually. Manning (talk) 09:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I concur. Unless Bidgee's post was a poor attempt at providing a humorous illustration of the general issue discussed in the thread above, which doesn't seem a very plausible interpretation, the only other reading of Bigdee's post is that it's a blatant misrepresentation of facts and a personal attack. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 09:33, 7 February 2012 (UTC) Struck as moot after redaction of the initial post. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 10:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I never intended for it to sound like that I was accusing Risker of a vendetta, I was just making a view point how some people could see the situation. Bidgee (talk) 10:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Bidgee - Thanks for your clarification. I'm sure there is no harm done. Manning (talk) 10:33, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I generally respect Toddst1, but I think he was wrong both in acting upon a discussion in which he had !Voted and in what seems like a precipate unblock for which there was no consensus. Dougweller (talk) 10:13, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • By now, who cares: Even though the consensus was against immediate unblock, there were enough people who said 24 or 48 hour block to make the consensus for unblocking him after 24-48 hours. Baseball Bugs was blocked yesterday afternoon/evening (22-2300 UTC), so by the time we've sorted this mess out, at least 24 hours will have passed, and maybe closer to 48. This thread is a waste of time. Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 14:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Except he'd be unblocked during this entire time period, so your timeline isn't actually accurate. He really only served a 5 hour block. SilverserenC 17:18, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Discussion - Should Bugs be topic-banned from AN and AN/I?[edit]

  • Support Toddst1 (talk) 06:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support about time --Guerillero | My Talk 06:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Yes. (talk) 06:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support He needs some time away from these two drama-filled areas. Maybe flesh out his editing capabilities in content-building or something like that. SilverserenC 06:33, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The administrator noticeboards do not need an agent provocateur to stir up drama. Bugs' contributions have shifted over time from useful to disruptive. Some time away from AN/* would be beneficial. With due respect to Bugs, this doesn't seem all that healthy. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 06:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • What is wrong with his pattern of edits? Where is a statement of your "ideal" distribution of edits? Edison (talk) 17:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • I think more than 35% odd combined article and article talk contributions would be less worrisome. The bureaucracy in Wikipedia is here to support the goal of encyclopedia-building, not to support itself. When time spent on bureaucratic matters outweighs time spent on productive matters, I think that's cause for serious reflection. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 00:35, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Obviously. Malleus Fatuorum 06:45, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Over 9500 posts at AN/I and almost none of them are productive. If he isn't inflaming situations he's saying something silly to derail them. AniMate 06:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Heavens no, short-sighted shenanigans pending further evidence. Bugs is one of the most enthusiastic, good faith, doesn't-condone-nonsense contributors to the project discussions, and a staunch supporter of our encyclopedic purpose. If the problem is unwanted nonadminstrative catcalls from the peanut gallery better just ban nonadmins from ANI or take it all to the private listservs. Bugs' exuberance in support of the encyclopedia can be impolitic but he is usually spot-on and never cynical or malicious. His boisterous and universally good-natured even when biting comments always side with those endeavoring to create knowledge rather than those whom he suspects (often but not always correctly) of alternate agendas. He rushes to trouble like a rescue dog to an avalanche, but thanks to his lack of administrative rights he is not allowed to carry a bourbon cask there. What offense has he committed this time against our trolls, sockpuppets, and hot-heads? This appears to be a matter of contempt-of-cop, as administrators were trying to establish order by telling both parties in a lopsided dispute to shut up. As far as I can tell his offense was to express vindication regarding an editor who accused him of something or other and was bocked in course. Do we really need to silence inconvenient voices, particularly at a time when our system is not working very well? I hope not. - Wikidemon (talk) 06:57, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Question. Besides this most recent incident, have there been other threads about BB's behavior on AN or AN/I? I'm aware that he was blocked on Commons for disrupting COM:AN/U [1] because he takes pride in that [2]. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 07:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Here's some things I found from a very quick search without any real digging:
Of course, only one of those discussions resulted in a block, so there must be more out there in regards to his block log. SilverserenC 07:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • At the very least. A condition of removal of the topic ban is that he actually, you know, contribute some encyclopedic content in some way or another. This ain't facebook, with AN/I as Wikipedia's collective "wall". It IS still supposed to be an encyclopedia writing project.VolunteerMarek 07:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Definitely not! Bugs is the only one that actually makes AN/I entertaining to read! -- œ 07:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • That's not the purpose of ANI. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:56, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as it is written, assuming this is an indefinite topic ban proposal. There's really no conditions or anything. Now, sure, plenty of people don't like Bugs, and think of him as a "meddler". Plenty of others don't mind him at all. I happen to support Bugs' right to exist, and if commenting excessively at AN/I makes him happy (and no reversions of his posts, page protections, etc. are needed)... so what? This proposal is half-baked as it is, too "Supermax". Take some time off form the boards? That's a lot different to reasonably ask than what's here right now. Doc talk 07:25, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Bugs is apparently unblockable, but should stay away from the drama boards. Kilopi (talk) 07:29, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Why? It's not his fault ANI is the way it is, regardless of how often he posts here. Certainly this would be no time for such a decision, in the wake of a controversial block/unblock, without discussion of alternatives, time limits, or conditions. I supported the block, and I supported a reduction, following procedure, but this is too much. Begoontalk 07:35, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Though as someone previously involved in this custard-pie fight, my opinion may not be seen as particularly helpful. Bugs is a pain in the nether regions at times, and frequently more concerned with making his presence felt than in offering any deep and insightful analysis at AN/I. But that is exactly what is needed on occasion. Far too often, people seem to think that Wikipedia in general, and the various noticeboards in particular, are some sort of Court of Law, set up to determine objective facts, rather than what it actually is - a website for those who think it matters to attempt to create an online encyclopaedia, which for all its flaws gets things right occasionally, if only by luck. If you are here to attempt this, carry on - otherwise "go elsewhere" (redacted in advance ;-) ) AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - largely per Wikidemon, though with some reservations, and partly because this issue threw into rather stark relief the lie that is "blocks are not punitive." This was punitive, pure and simple, but we should be careful to separate the blocking admin's rather brainfarty lapse in judgement from the ongoing concern that Bugs may generate more heat than light in the more troublesome bits of projectspace. I am largely in agreement with Wikidemon Bugs simply isn't interested in speaking a bunch of touchy-feely passive-aggressive bullshit and would much rather cut through the nonsense and call a digging implement a digging implement. This is a good thing for Wikipedia, as near as I can tell the overwhelming majority of Bugs' constructive commentary in projectspace is directed solely by an honest belief in the value of the project and its utility to its readership. Anything that gets in the way of that goal, particularly anything cloaked in dishonest bullshit, needs to be called out bluntly for what it is so that it may be dealt with as swiftly and effectively as possible and people can get back to writing the whatsit, you know, thing full of articles. That aside, the link provided above is slightly troubling, though one notes nearly 16K edits to articles, which I think many of us cannot claim. That being said, Bugs should be greatly encouraged to interact at the drama boards less, perhaps mostly by way of tilting the heat:light ratio further to the right, and (presuming this topic ban proposal doesn't pass) understanding very clearly that this is kind of a 'here's the rope, hang yourself if you like' situation aka Last Chance For Bugs. I for one would support a future proposal for such a topic ban if Bugs doesn't choose to moderate himself in terms of sticking to more constructive commentary only.→ ROUX  07:41, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose too broad and banning someone from AN and ANI isn't going to solve anything. Bidgee (talk) 07:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per big purple Œ Bulwersator (talk) 07:51, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Baseball Bugs is a redlink, so the suggestion for a topic ban is premature. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:52, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • There have been several threads on AN or AN/I serving the same purpose as a RfC/U. It's clear that BB isn't going to change his behavior because of the lack of community consensus. I guess this should go straight to Arbitration. I for one would rather wait to see first how the very similar Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Civility enforcement ends. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 08:00, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Its because of the over reaction from Sysops or poorly worded proposals by the community, which is why we are at this point. Bidgee (talk) 08:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
        • ArbCom has consistently held that, except in the very most extreme circumstances, threads on ANI or AN can not take the place of an RFC/U. In fact, threads on the noticeboards are expected to lead to an RFC/U. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:15, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
          • Where has the ArbCom asserted authority over community dispute resolution policies and procedures? So far as I am aware, the community has a traditional right to impose topic and site bans directly at AN/ANI. Has the ArbCom ever overturned any community bans just because it was not preceded by an RFCU?   Will Beback  talk  10:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
            • @Will: Sorry, I was not clear in my meaning. I using ArbCom's own standard for accepting or rejecting cases, which is where they've consistently held that an AN or AN/I thread does not take the place of an RFC/U. I don't dispute that the community has the power to impose bans through AN discussions (indeed, I said as much below), I was simply using ArbCom's reasoning, which I agree with, that, generally, discussion threads on noticeboards shouldn't take the place of an RFC/U, which is a much more structured and less emotionally-charged venue. Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support six month ban - Six months away from AN/ANI should give enough time to determine if Baseball Bugs is here for the project, or for posting on these pages. Other editors have suggested he has been a positive contributor at the Help Desk, and he has done some perfectly acceptable content work in the past; he should be encouraged to continue in these areas. I am concerned that some of those opposing a ban are doing so because of Bugs' "entertainment" value on these boards. Sarcasm and wit at the expense of other users is not the way to build the project, regardless of how amusing some find it, and becomes disruptive when it detracts from the focus of the thread. The purpose of these boards is to give users a place to request administrator support or other assistance, not to provide entertainment. I'd suggest that the closers consider the thread above, where others point out the toxic environment on these noticeboards, in weighing the opinions expressed here. Risker (talk) 08:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose BB reflects the ethos. If admins and others behaved in a focused, professional and respectful manner here, he would probably follow. To single him out, for behaviour that so many others engage in, behaviour that has been tolerated for years, smells of scapegoating. First, agree to improve your game here and clearly signal it. Then pick off those that can't conform. I suspect BB is quite capable of conforming, given a clear signal, and a good example from those he respects. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Where do you start? "Others should do it first" is an excuse that can be used across the board to stifle change. Bugs isn't necessarily being singled out, he's just the first in line at the moment. Cracking down on inappropriate behaviour has to start somewhere. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 08:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I hear you. But the "change of approach" to enforcement should precede the punishment/preventative action. Bugs hasn't done anything many others haven't also done on the drama boards, he's just probably done more of it. As Anthonycole says, take some action signalling a change in what is acceptable (or truly, what will be enforced) first, otherwise it can look like "making an example" of someone, which I don't personally think is the correct response in these circumstances. Begoontalk 08:49, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, personally I'd announce a change of long-standing standards before enforcing the change. Maybe it's time for WP:RfC/ANI conduct.. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 10:56, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support indefinite topic ban for anything that has a WP: or WT: prefix. How a non-administrator would manage to get over 9,000 (no meme intended) edits to an administrator noticeboard is beyond me. Baseball Bugs is by far the largest contributor to AN/I, and his presence has become toxic. Time for a break. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 08:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose "because ... IMO". My76Strat (talk) 08:24, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, I have personally warned him repeatedly for incivility, and I'm not really very active on this page at all. His behaviour seems to regularly fall significantly below the standard required for such a heated environment. A topic ban seems sensible. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:19, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Bugs is witty, amusing, intelligent and I frequently share his point of view when it comes down to a !vote. However ultimately we are not here for our own or others' amusement but to write and maintain an encyclopaedia. Until the Mistress Kyle episode I would have !voted oppose but he very naively allowed his chain to be yanked and fed her exactly the opportunity that I assume she had hoped to manufacture. When the entertainment starts getting in the way of the real task in hand, it's time to call a halt to the sideshow. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 09:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Based on the discussion two sections below, which you have so graciously closed, it seems the facts were exactly the other way around with respect to who did what on purpose and who fell for the ploy. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • That is the way it read to me, coming to this cold today. pablo 11:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Probably; although some (not least of all Bugs himself) clearly find Bugs amusing, his comments are rarely constructive or heplful. (Admittedly I have not reviewed all 9,000 of them). A RFC/U might be a better way forward though. pablo 09:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose >.> -FASTILY (TALK) 09:57, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. No matter how wise or good-hearted Baseball Bugs may be, he seems to have developed a habit of lengthening noticeboard threads without necessarily improving them. I encourage BB to devote a greater percentage of his time to improving articles and less of it to commenting on the actions of others.   Will Beback  talk  10:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    There's a reason the horse pulls the cart. And there's good reason to develop the language of a ban before the yes/no !vote. My76Strat (talk) 10:11, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
That's why I put the word "DISCUSSION" in the header. People seem to have dived straight into a vote however, which was not my intent. Manning (talk) 11:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Don't have a strong opinion as to whether this happens, but if you all decide that BB should be banned from AN/ANI, I'd suggest to time limit it, and to have some simple process to respond if he turns up on other noticeboards. If his behaviour on AN/ANI is at issue (again, I'm agnostic on that matter), topic banning him just means he'll pop up at BLPN or RSN or DRN or FTN or to start poking away at content RfCs or RfC/U's. For instance, if the ban goes through, include a provision to allow admins in good standing to modify the topic ban to cover other noticeboards if and when necessary. Again, this isn't an endorsement of a topic ban, just a suggestion for implementation. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict)*Conditional support'I would unconditionally support a ban to be reviewed at the end of six months. I agree with Will Beback that he needs to cut down his comments about other editors. I've had to warn him about taunting blocked editors on their talk pages - that's simply unacceptable. Although I sympathise with what Anthonyhcole wrote, I don't think that's a good reason to allow Bugs to continue unchecked. Let's do this and make it a step on the way to improving discussions here and at ANI. I've had an edit conflict and now see Tom's comments, which would be covered in part by a review (which should give Bugs an incentive to change his behavior). Dougweller (talk) 10:24, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

  • support this is a long time coming. I've repeatedly seen Bugs jump in to various AN/I or AN discussions with absolutely nothing to add other than insults, or some sarcastic remark designed only to stir the pot. Of course, if any threads were started directly about him as an identified participant in an event he should be allowed to participate in those threads.--Crossmr (talk) 11:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • The underlying motivation of nearly everything I do here has to do with keeping wikipedia credible for its readers. Maybe you think it's wrong to defend wikipedia. I think it's right to do so. You may not think wikipedia is worth defending, but I think it is. It's the first place I go to, to find out anything about anything - knowing full well that the content may have been compromised, but also knowing that in some small way I can do something about that. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • The end justifies the means? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:42, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
        • Do you think wikipedia is worth defending? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
          • Do you endorse goading depressed people to suicide to reinforce the notion that depression can lead to death? Or perhaps you endorse exposing some PTSD-afflicted veteran to war-like sights and sounds in order to trigger a panic attack (or worse) in order to reveal their true character, as in mental vulnerabilities under stress? What exactly is this clear and present danger that you are defending Wikipedia from? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:57, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
            • I don't think either you or anyone else here should be offering a medical diagnosis of the editor Kyle. That's really over the line. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:01, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
              • My questions were purely hypothetical, but again you jumped to conclusions. You still have not replied what was this extraordinary threat to Wikipedia that justifies your extreme behavior. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 12:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                • Your question is bogus. It's of the "have you stopped beating your wife" variety. But feel free to answer my question of whether you think wikipedia is worth defending. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                  • Your extremist, absolutist, crusading attitude in this matter is worrisome. The defense mechanisms are commensurate with the level of threat in most civil societies. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 12:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                    • Try that again, in Simple English this time, as I haven't a clue what you're trying to say, although it does have the tone of a severe overreaction. Also, you still won't say whether you think wikipedia is worth defending. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:23, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                      • Ok. It's almost like saying "pry Wikipedia from my cold, dead hands". Is that simple enough? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 12:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                        • That makes even less sense. I'll let you quit while you're behind. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                          • Ok, I'm willing to admit that in a game of feigning incomprehension, you'd win easily. Happy editing and keep Wikipedia safe for us all. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 12:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                            • I'm not very good at feigning incomprehension, but I'm pretty good at actual incomprehension. In any case, as noted below, I will soon have very little time for wikipedia for the short term. That might be because I'm a severely depressed shell-shocked veteran who's about to run off to join a Weekly Reader survivalist commune. OR, it might be that some new work-related projects are likely to consume most of my copious free time.←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Wow.. it's almost as if you buy the crap you're serving. Any time I've seen you being disruptive it's got nothing to "defending" wikipedia. It's simply got to do with you trolling AN/I. I've repeatedly seen you just waltz into the middle of threads simply to pick at someone without actually discussing any of the issues at hand. There is no defense there. It's just Bugs being Bugs and everyone has a giggle at what an outlandish character you are and we wait for the next round. It seems a large portion of the user base has had enough of that behaviour.--Crossmr (talk) 10:52, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Crossmr—you say "it's almost as if you buy the crap you're serving." You are the problem. You are framing sentences in ways that reach ineluctable conclusions. That is head to head conflict. You say "It's just Bugs being Bugs". Again—simple statement; ineluctable conclusion. I can't tell you how to behave, but expressing oneself in ways that pound away at someone else is counterproductive in a highly social environment such as Wikipedia. Bus stop (talk) 13:05, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support ban. Needs a break from ANI. --Surturz (talk) 11:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Reading developments just above doesn't hurt your rationale here, I confess. Begoontalk 12:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Are you suggesting blocking ASCII for "baiting"? That would be going a little far. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
        • I'm not suggesting anything, BB, honestly. I think you're a lovely, well meaning chap, and I believe that you do everything with the best intent. My comment was an observation, nothing more. Begoontalk 12:13, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
          • Jolly good. You are a gentleman and a scaler. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
            • I try to be a gentleman. I have no head for heights though. I opposed your topic ban above for the reasons I stated, and I stand by that. Begoontalk 12:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
              • You say you're a "precisionist", and that was the best play on words I could come up with. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, but they're always worth at least as much as my salary here. :) And I thank you for your support. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
                • Ah, yes, scales of grey, not height at all, I'm sorry. Stay Cool. Begoontalk 12:51, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I don't spend time much at ANI, because it is generally an unhelpful venue soaked through with drama. When I do read it though, I often notice Bugs making comments which are not productive. They're not necessarily unproductive, but they do waste time. Bugs has more contributions on ANI than any other editor (including Miszabot) and has nearly 3 times more edits than the next human editor ([3]) - I'm willing to be persuaded that the topic ban is a bad idea, but I don't see it at the moment. WormTT · (talk) 12:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree with Dougweller's assessment. There are regrettably too many negative features to his comments to outweigh the useful observations he often makes. Mathsci (talk) 12:35, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Do what you have to. The amount of time I'll have for wikipedia is soon going to be significantly curtailed anyway. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Absolutely. He should be barred from these pages for a while and encouraged to do some article editing. Everyking (talk) 12:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Who will defend Wikipedia if not him? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 12:48, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Be assured that shall he fall I will pick up the bloody mantle from the dusty ground, enshroud myself in it, take a weary look over this landscape full of foes, orcs, gnolls and githyaniki, take a heavy step forward, pick up the broken blade from wounded earth of Wikipedia and carry on the struggle. Seriously, I'm having trouble with this - how many of the above votes are serious and how many have their tongue so firmly in their cheek that there's some blood vessels bursting?VolunteerMarek 01:18, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I guess you didn't notice my epiphany moment above, so let me explain (although I'm nowhere as good as BB is in that department). ANI and BB are made for each other. BB could take on an army of GNAA blokes and win without breaking a sweat. He is thus the perfect hunter in a wiki-hunter-killer team. And "killing" is easy on Wikipedia: just press the block button. Making the target expose itself is the hard part in this environment. And I've not seen anyone on this board come close to BB's ability to give everyone a chance to demonstrate their good faith and true character. He's even willing to take a rubber bullet for the team (while wearing a type III vest). You have to be pragmatic about these things if you really want to defend Wikipedia. Honestly, who doesn't want BB in their team? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 01:37, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
GNAA??? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:46, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose A draconian solution to cure something which does not need curing. Collect (talk) 12:58, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Bugs finds the boards entertaining, and many of the boards' regulars find him entertaining. The fact remains, however, that AN and ANI aren't here to provide entertainment for anyone, and when someone's use of them for entertainment purposes begins to interfere with the actual function of the boards, it's time for that person to be escorted away from them. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 14:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I'm not too familiar with Bugs myself, so I just skimmed through his recent contributions to AN and ANI and failed to find a single constructive edit. Besides, anyone with over 9000(!) edits to ANI in the first place is arguably here for the wrong reasons. Robofish (talk) 14:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, especially oppose for an extended period of time: Bugs makes jokes. So what? I'm not seeing how he harms the AN/ANI process Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 14:34, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Whenever I read AN/I, BB always seem to pop up with sarcastic and generally unhelpful comments. Skinny87 (talk) 14:58, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Long past time this wannabe comedy king got stuffed back inside his box. Jtrainor (talk) 15:25, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose (edit conflict) I'm not convinced his participating at AN and AN/I are disruptive, let alone disruptive enough to ban him from participating in discussions, a core element of Wikipedia. - Burpelson AFB 15:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Honestly, pick any ANI archive # and you will probably find at least one thread where someone has had to tell BB to stop flicking grease onto the fire. If there's other parts of the project where he is seen as a positive force such as the Helpdesk then enacting this can only help. Tarc (talk) 16:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    [citation needed] The Mark of the Beast (talk) 23:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think an RFC/U would be a better idea to start with. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose and I appreciate Roux's commentary. Sure, Bugs has a tendency to lengthen threads. Sure, not all of it is helpful. But, some of it is. Also, I am entertained. Sure, this thing got out of hand. But, it wasn't all his fault. Etc. Bugs, I'm sure you'll take these comments to heart. Like carrots, they'll improve your vision. Drmies (talk) 17:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose we need more not fewer such editors. Rklawton (talk) 17:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - long overdue. (See also: Wikipedia:Don't be a rubbernecker) –xenotalk 17:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Wikidemon and Drmies among many others. Bugs ability to ferret out sock puppets and trolls and time wasters on various AN/I and AN threads has been an asset to the project time and again. The assertion that he does not contribute to other articles is ridiculous as anyone who has worked with him on stadium, team or film articles can tell you. Start an RFC/U if you need to but banning editors from AN and AN/I is not the way to go. MarnetteD | Talk 17:58, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - My view after examination of the user's Drama-to-Useful-Edits ratio. Carrite (talk) 18:29, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Marnette. - Youreallycan 18:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I like Bugs, and I think his heart's in the right place, but this seems to be the only way to convince him that he doesn't need to comment on every single thread at ANI, and that his participation in some actually aggravates the situation. He should find something more productive to do for a little while. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • comment First, I have to plead guilty to often enjoying Bug's wit and humor - but also admit there's times I get this "ohhhh my ... this isn't gonna go well" feeling to. Rather than support or oppose this ban option - I'd rather see Risker and Bugs try to work out an acceptable solution first (with perhaps some input from Todd). I noticed that BB is going to be less active anyway .. just a thought. — Ched :  ?  19:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose As Marnette observed above, Bugs has long done yeoman's work against socks and trolls. He has over15000 edits in article space, far more than many of his critics in this thread, as well as his larger number of edits at Ref Desk, ANI and other parts of the project. In many AN/ANI discussions he has pointed out pretensions and logical failings, and the fact that he does it in a humorous fashion in not a basis for excluding him. Edison (talk) 19:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • He isn't being banned from the whole project, only this page and ANI. It should enable him to be more helpful elsewhere on the project. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:48, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - HJ Mitchell pretty well sums up my views. I think Bugs would benefit from contributing elsewhere for a while. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 19:34, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I think HJ Mitchell phrases it diplomatically. AN/I is place to resolve issues but one must be sure not to instigate more--a habit Bugs indulges in. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • A topic ban is effectively swatting a fly with a bazooka. I'm not convinced that it would be useful. That said: Bugs, please go work on the main namespace for a week or so and forget AN/I exists for the sake of everyone involved... Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 19:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Some sort of probation - If forced to pick one way, I would probably support...but this shouldn't be step one. BB should be advised not to contribute to a thread in ways that aren't productive all around. Being rude to IPs just because they are IPs isn't acceptable. Being rude to new users just because they are new users isn't acceptable. Poking isn't acceptable. A strictly enforced AGF on noticeboards of all types. --OnoremDil 19:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Don't see it as disruptive Edinburgh Wanderer 20:13, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Lawful Neutral Baseball Bugs is usually Chaotic Good. WMF should create a BB-button that allows only him to post comments in the margins, like the students' comments in Concrete Mathematics.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I stand by my original comment: Topic ban from noticeboards until he writes 1 FA, 5 GAs or brings 10 stubs to B class. Personally, I think this should be a standard ban length... take people away from the drama for a while and put them back where the focus should be. Resolute 20:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. More gleefully sadistic editors like Bugsy are needed to drive home the point that this is not an encyclopedia but the world's biggest online role playing game, with a peanut gallery to match. And change Wikipedia's motto to read "Your pain = my gain". (talk) 21:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per SilverSeren and Xeno. Lara 21:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Frankly, if people are so thin-skinned that Bugs' (and Malleus', and, and, and...) comments get under their skin to the point where they say "let's topic-ban them from the noticeboards", they need to be contribuing somewhere other than Wikipedia. We may be the encyclopedia anyone can edit, but we're not the encyclopedia everybody should edit - dealing with prickly characters comes with the job description, and while I agree that everybody, Bugs included, could do with a little more good faith at times, topic-banning here quite frankly comes across as punitive. - The Bushranger One ping only 21:58, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Why on earth shouldn't you be able to be thin skinned? In a professional environment people usually manage to behave with enough decorum that everyone is able to sensibly interact. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Vehemently oppose. If certain other people (who it doesn't matter that I name) get to repeatedly comment on ANI without blocking, banning or topic banning for things that are considerably worse than Bugs's mostly flippant comments, then there is no reason whatsoever that Bugs should be blocked, banned or topic banned for any time whatsoever. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 23:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    • "But officer, everyone else speeds worse than I do" has never been a valid excuse. If others are as persistent as Bugs is, feel free to nominate them for topic bans as well. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 23:33, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
        • Repeated attempts at doing so are inevitably rejected. Over and over again. You learn there's no point in banging your head against the wall. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 00:03, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
      • This entire complaint was driven by lies from a Weekly Reader user. Be proud, y'all. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Gratuitous gossip-monger. Ironholds (talk) 23:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, per this. I like Bugs and I was going to stay out of this one until I saw that bit of not-getting-it-ness. When a topic ban gets this many supporters, it should be a clue that "it's not them, it's you." (Although it's too bad we can't implement Kiefer.Wolfowitz's proposal for a BB-button, which I think is brilliant. Sort of like a DVD commentary track you could turn off.) 28bytes (talk) 23:45, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Bugs provides a great deal of noise to a place that badly needs a strong signal. --Narson ~ Talk 23:52, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - I'm going to post a bit of advice to Baseball bugs (on his talk page) and ask if he will consider a voluntary topic ban or reduction in posting volume along with dialling back on the off-topic and distracting commentary. Given the support being expressed here, I'm hoping he might agree to that. Carcharoth (talk) 01:13, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Moderation is not a throttle setting for BB. Ref Desk Talk Archives show the same inability to cut back when asked. Complaints there are defended as above with deflections and attempts to derail the issue rather than agreeing to curtail. I predict, that before a decision is reached here, he will announce a vacation. A temporary flight from the WP (It will start with an "archiving" to remove any negatives from his talk page, replaced by a Banner of his disdain), After a few days he will be back, and return to the same old behavior. Bred Ivy (talk) 02:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • comment. I think that starting to cleanup the dramagenerator that too long has ben ANI is a very good process. It is possible that topicbanning Bugs is a good way to begin this - but certainly the task cannot be considered complete with that gesture alone.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:20, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Demiurge1000's reasoning which basically reflects my own. I think that overall a pause from ANI would be beneficial for the purpose of the board - and an important signal to send about what kind of behavior is expected here. I also think that this should be followed up with other steps to improve the functionality of the board. Also I think it is fully reasonable to expect users here to be willing and able to show that they are interested in building the encyclopedia part of the encyclopedia - and not just in playing social network.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:41, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Their may have been merit to the block, that's another story, but a topic ban is not warranted. Wikipedia:Request for comment:Baseball Bugs is a redlink. Turn it blue if you want to have along discussion about all this. I might add that I am disgusted by the comments here suggesting we force Bugs to contribute elsewhere if he is to be allowed to keep commenting there. Nobody else has assignments they must complete, when the rest of you are willing to be told how and where you may contribute we can have that conversation. Until then, fuck no on that point. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:48, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
    Not so sure about that - I do recall seeing a fair few people told that their further participation will be in question if their "contributions pie" doesn't reflect some arbitrary requirement for %age of contribution to particular areas of the project. (Yes those people had other problems too, but then so does Bugs.) Or is that sort of approach deprecated now? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:01, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
It would have been easy to miss considering the volume of posts here, but there are people who have advocated for a position way beyond "you need to contribute in other areas" making absurd propositions demanding FA quality articles be created before he be allowed to comment there again. I don't believe anything like that has ever been done and I would certainly not support starting now. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:32, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support (though I would also support a compromise approach of a six month ban). Bugs may not be the only problem that afflicts ANI, but he contributes a huge quantity of noise in a place that is supposed to have a purpose. ANI is not intended for entertainment. Bugs uses it mainly for entertainment, at such a volume that it affects the entire tone of the noticeboard and has a huge impact on how others behave as well. That is disruptive to the purpose of the noticeboard, and a topic ban is a reasonable and proportionate solution for dealing with that disruption. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:01, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose He is straightforward. That is not a fault. I don't see the "entertainment" factor referenced above, nor do I see the "volume" factor expressed above. Clear expression is of sufficient volume to be heard. Bus stop (talk) 03:28, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Bugs's rancid antics degrade the purpose of the various noticeboards he crawls. For the defense of what's left of Wikipedia's governance mechanisms, indefinitely ban Bugs from all Wikipedia noticeboards. Confine him to article editing and his own talk page. He's had 9,000+ edits in these spaces to speak his mind. I'm not impressed with the effect overall. StaniStani  03:38, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Per Maunus (and others; save this diff, though). 9000 opinions on that wp:dramaboard has severed to make it one. The idea that that place needs reining in needs to happen. Alarbus (talk) 05:21, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I think it is time that ANI begins to function again as it was intended - as a place to help rather than exacerbate difficulty...Modernist (talk) 13:53, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Discussion: Who controls AN and AN/I?[edit]

Is the very idea of an AN or AN/I topic ban a discussion to be had by the admins, or is it a discussion for the wider community?
Do admins have final authority over these pages?
Who controls AN and AN/I?

raised as a result of comments above, by Manning (talk) 08:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Topic ban discussions are routinely held here and are considered legitimate, I don't see where a ban from AN or AN/I is any different. It's not admins deciding per se, I see a large number of non-admins participating above, including me. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I should point out that his technique ("admins don't own ANI!") was used to derail the discussion last time when the issue of restricting Baseball Bug's participation was brought up. I suggest immediate closure of this misguided sub-thread. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 08:56, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
It's far from misguided. I've yet to hear the argument as to why admins *don't* own AN/I. The page was certainly created with that viewpoint (And yes, I was actually here back then). Manning (talk) 09:01, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
If it's a genuine proposal for general reform, move it to the thread above: #An overall concern about AN and ANI. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 09:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
No, it's fine where it is. Thank you for your concern about the proper maintenance of the admin pages however. Manning (talk) 09:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok, since you're serious, I'll just say that AN is not the proper venue to rewrite WP:policy, particularly WP:CBAN. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 10:11, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Your objection is duly noted. Manning (talk) 10:25, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Manning you have clue. I've seen it. You must know the prevailing wind controls things around here. The problem is that a bag of hot air is well received in a cold room; and this is a cold room. My76Strat (talk) 09:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Strat, but I have my reasons for both raising this discussion, and for locating it precisely where it is located. Manning (talk) 09:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia runs on consensus, which is based on strength of argument, not on formal authority or what positions the person presenting the argument is holding. By policy, topic ban decisions are a community process, not one specifically restricted to administrators. Jafeluv (talk) 10:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Jafeluv - in general I agree. However there are areas of Wikipedia where this does not apply, such as the Arbcom pages. There are pages there that can only be edited by Arbitrators, and others that are open to the community but where conduct and commentary is rigidly controlled. Furthermore, this is not a topic ban in the conventional sense, but a ban from pages that were set up by administrators, for the purpose of allowing effective discussion between the admin body and the community. I think there is enough difference here from the general concept of a topic ban to warrant the discussion. Manning (talk) 10:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I see your angle now. You are asserting that admins are allowed to exert the same level of control over "their" noticeboards as a user has over their talk page. But while we have WP:OWNTALK and WP:ARBPOL#Procedures and roles, I'm not aware of a similar guideline or policy for the admin noticeboards. And as you don't have prior consensus for this, you should propose it at WP:VPP or WP:VPR. If the community decides to grant admins ownership of these noticeboards, that's fine, but you can't just take it on your own initiative. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 10:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
This is a discussion, not a proposal. I've thus far been polite, but your constant allegations and badgering have become tiresome, so I'll not respond to any more of your comments. Manning (talk) 11:05, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Very well. Because I pointed out that your views are incompatible with policy, you declared my points badgering and allegations. I rest my case. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Manning. There is nothing wrong with mooting this here. It's certainly not ripe for WP:VPR. If it develops momentum, it can move to WP:VPP, but let's see if it's worth that move. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 11:12, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
My view is that we don't make decisions as the admin body. The community makes decisions, and admins are responsible for carrying them out (and, in some cases, closing discussions and determining community consensus). There are some exceptions, like WP:AE which you pointed out, but that's a case where admins have been specifically empowered to take enforcement actions per the committee's decisions. The banning policy covers how a ban can be enacted on Wikipedia -- #1 is the relevant point to this discussion. Jafeluv (talk) 10:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Jafeluv - Your points are at the very heart of my reason for starting this discussion. But it raises the question - when did the admins decide to stop working together as a body? When we created the concept of an admin back in 2002 that was our objective - to work together, to keep each other in check, and to make decisions as a collective where we felt it was appropriate. For some reason the concept of "admins making a collective decision" is now regarded as fundamentally incompatible with "admins exist to act on community decisions". So my next question is - is this really how things should be? Is the community well-served by a non-coherent, largely disconnected set of admins? Manning (talk) 11:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I have no knowledge of things so far back -- my first edit was in 2008 :) I see your point about having a more unified admin body, but it's better to make decisions together as a community and not just as a collective of admins. Someone not being an admin does not make their opinion invalid, so they should be not be excluded from the discussion on that basis. Jafeluv (talk) 11:35, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • They sort of do, in the same way admins "own" AfD. Given that any potential discussion on AN or ANI will eventually have to be cashed out with some form of admin action (otherwise, why is it on AN or ANI?), admins can veto the community consensus by simply not implementing it. Phrasing this as 'ownership' isn't really the most helpful way to think about this. Think of articles for deletion: non-admins can close deletion debates, but given that they can't actually delete, and are told to only close stuff that is housekeeping and non-contentious keep or speedy keep, the admins do effectively control AfD even if non-admins can still close stuff. It's really the same at AN and ANI: the admins don't own it, but given that you need an admin to push the buttons on a block or unblock, the admins do have some measure of control over AN and ANI. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • non-admin comment In my mind, AN and ANI are owned (in trust) by the Admin Corps with the understanding that this is the place for any editor (admin or not) to solicit a random admin for the purposes of looking at a issue (immediately in the case of AN/I). Have the boards strayed from their purpose of Administrator Intervention and actions that will necessitate administrator action? Absolutely Yes. How can we fix it? We need to start knuckling down on the policies of the board, referring topics that aren't explicitly AN to where they need to be, referring disputants into the dispute resolution system, and having a very low tollerance for threads that fall below the Light/Heat ratio of 1. Drama causing threads and editors should be tolerated with a minimum of civility and encouraged to find something else to do. Yes my own posting severely flouts this own policy, but needs to be said. Hasteur (talk) 13:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    One solution could potentially be to require all threads to have some rough idea what exactly it is the poster wants admins to do. If people were required to be a little bit more explicit about what exactly it is they want out of an admin intervention, we can reduce the frequency where someone comes on, spews a bunch of diffs and then watches as all hell breaks loose. If there is the expectation that someone has to at least make a hint at what they want, admins can resolve it, put a block in or not as appropriate, and move on. A good way to prevent never-ending drama threads is to work out what needs doing quicker, and a good way to do that is to strongly encourage people to put all the cards on the table right away rather than play games, bluff and psych people out. Justice delayed means drama replayed. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
    I kinda agree. I think that a good first step would be to require everyone wishing to post a complaint on ANI to follow a layout similar to that used on WP:DRN; a section where the reporter explains what's wrong, another where he's supposed to indicate what admin action he wants, another for diffs/evidence and then one for the discussion. Additionally, I'd also like to encourage uninvolved admins/experienced editor to be more decisive when it comes to closing/hatting threads that have become mere dramafests or that belong elsewhere... Salvio Let's talk about it! 15:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • ’’(another non-admin comment)’’ and on any other talk page, I would have hoped that the poster before last or thereabouts had given us a new header – RE the discussion as to who “owns” this talk page, as far as outcomes go, it ain’t over till someone uses the blocking tool or whatever.

    But as to questions of behaviour on this page goes, here’s a hypothetical: If an admin “misbehaves” ON this page, then it would be incumbent upon the Admin group, as peer group to control that miscreant. And this would surely happen, with fairness and discretion and an absence of rancour.

    Now, in the case of non-admin contributions to the page, it seems only fair that the Admin group, as peer group, be given the same duties, and the community accept that right, in the interest of equal treatment of all contributors to the notice board. And, the community accepts the long-established duty to “weigh in” as and where the great and capricious behemoth is wont to ramble, but not before the locals tidy up.

    As to currently debated questions concerning any particular non-admin, or action by an admin, I make no comment, other than may fairness prevail, and let’s not take too much time. NewbyG ( talk) 15:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: To answer the question: the Community. But to be specific in this situation, as I understand it this is primarily a conduct board not a content board. Where it makes sense to separate content and conduct discussions (eg. article talk pages) then it makes sense to require a separate forum. Thus, the conduct discussion (about conduct here) should proceed here, there is no reason to change the forum. We should limit the drama to here, where it is happening. However, I would suggest you develop future procedures of notification to invite the whole community to come and participate (in a narrow set of situations, perhaps like the one above), if there is not such a procedure already. Also, endorse NewbyG on last paragraph of the immediate proceeding comment. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Per Asw's first 5 sentences, the community controls AN and AN/I. Any member of the community is welcome to participate in discussions here (providing they do so constructively) and all opinions are, or should be, assessed when determining a consensus. If that is not clear enough to non-admins, it should be made so. I probably made more AN/I edits before I became an admin than after, so I guess I figured it out for myself. As far as advertising more widely, why this particular topic-ban discussion? All community topic ban proposals are important, and that is why they are held at AN, where they have visibility. Anyone is free to watchlist this page and many many editors do. This is not a secret admin-only confab to ban an inconvenient critiv, it's an open discussion. Franamax (talk) 17:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
All topic bans may be important but not all topic bans involve limiting a member of the community in contributing their "well considered opinion" to topic bans or other conduct remedies. It would also actualize the normal notification requirements to the part(ies) affected (here, the whole community). You know, that whole "openess" thang. And undercut the "we didn't know" and the "no ones watching the watchers, because they don't want us to and are obstructing us" RFC's. But really, in the end, what would it hurt?
Well, as I say, if the current ban under consideration was to limit someone's well-considered opinions, that would be a very serious issue. But the case at hand is considering whether Bugs' signal-to-noise ratio is just too low to tolerate. I'm neither supporting nor opposing the ban, Bugs is a pretty good sock-spotter and does make very perceptive comments at times. I would prefer he just self-limit on the jokes, puns, feuds and insisting on the last word when he no longer has anything to say. I just don't really buy the zOMG Censorship! aspect of this, and it's enough of a one-off that I see no need for a whole 'nother infrastructure to handle it. If we get one of these a week, or even a month, or where the basis is not so clear as in this case, that would be different. Franamax (talk) 19:35, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Most excellent post - that's 2 or 3 in a row lately. Are we headed for an upswing? (one can hope) .. OK .. just IMHO thoughts.
  1. Discussions that have an affect on the community, should be open to all in the community. Everybody needs to be treated equally, especially here.
  2. My understand is yes. In the sense that we are charged with providing not only advice, but with implementing the will of consensus. Be it protecting a page, providing a sandbox copy of a deleted article (provided there are no issues with it), or blocking a disruptive editor.
  3. I'm not sure I'd use the word "control", but I consider it an "admin area". In the end, the "control" rests with the will of the community. thx and cheers to all. — Ched :  ?  18:55, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Who should control AN and AN/I? The community as a whole, IMNSHO. Who does control AN and (especially) AN/I at the moment? No-one much. The rubric at the top of AN/I is routinely ignored, incidents that are not incidents are posted, complaints requiring no admin action, failing first to talk with involved editors or even inform them..... One possibility is that the community just collectively starts to exert control and rein AN/I in. Another possibility that's been raised is to have a clerking/moderation system there. Not to act as controllers, but because maybe it's hard for "the community" to act when that actually means some lonely editor sticking his/her head over the parapet. I have started a discussion here on the topic if anyone wants to express an opinion. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 20:43, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree whole-heartily that improvements could be made - and I'm willing to try again too. The couple things that stick in my mind are: 1.) there is often a disconnect between admin and non-admin. 2.) there's often a disconnect between individual admins - we're not all on the same page. People shout "admin abuse", and at times they are right to do so. Much of this boils down to consistency - if it's the same every time .. for every person - then we regain their respect and trust. Asking honestly here, and not trying to be smart... you have a couple years on me in experience - and even in my early days I could see that you had a clue, and were always fair and consistent. What were these boards like when you started? .. How has it changed? .. can we get back there? (and I ask that of any and all you have many years experience). admin burnout, and "what's the use" is so very prevalent here - but you big guns need to help us out. There's a lot of good admins here .. but we need your support, input, and advice too. If you come in, start us down a good path - that's fine, but you need to stick by us too, and not head back to AC, Crat, FA, or whatever. I read through a LOT of "admin reading lists" when I started, but I still messed up. When I said a block was unfair, and I was going to unblock - rather than someone come to me (either privately so as not to embarrass me, or in public gently) .. I got "you do that and we'll take your tools away" period! .. it tends to put one off a bit. — Ched :  ?  23:08, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • OK - I'm also going to add a thought that may seem like the most absurd things posted on one of these boards. (but I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't more who felt this way) ... There are actually times that I feel like I have LESS power than those who shun the tools. Not sure how to explain that - but I can try if asked I suppose. — Ched :  ?  23:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Because admins are (theoretically at least) held to a higher standard of behavior. Some of us take that seriously and try not to act in haste without having thoroughly examined and understood the issues. Some of us, unfortunately, do not and they are the ones that feel free to act like cowboys on ANI, making things worse instead of better. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:54, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • The zoo reigns, over there. It's absolute chaos. Note the possessive form of the board's name: time the admins who are for-real took the place back. Alarbus (talk) 05:25, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Interim assessment of topic-ban discussion above[edit]

I've just done a non-rigorous, non-binding tally of the above votes. The general picture at present is approximately 34:26 sup/opp. However, there is a significant discrepancy between the voting pattern of admins (15:6 sup/opp) and non-admins (19:20 sup/opp). It was in anticipation of this outcome that I opened the above discussion about "Who owns AN and ANI". Clearly there is a major difference in how admins and non-admins are viewing this particular situation. Why this is so remains a topic for discussion. Manning (talk) 00:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

If the intention in raising the section was to acknowledge that there are grey area where admins perhaps wonder what is to be done about for instance, such as non-admin behaviour on this page, that’s been successfull. Also, it has brought to light, possibly, that admins may feel under pressure, that their solidarity as wikiprdians, and also as an admin body is somehow a little vulnerable at this particular time. Well, admins are under pressure, I think, through a drop-off maybe in editors contributing to the encyclopedia, and if there are other reasons also. We are asking them to do more, but with less, perhaps. Anyway, I regret the pressure, and do marvel at how well we still, as wikipedians, manage to get things done. NewbyG ( talk) 01:45, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Precisely. Admins now need more help than ever. I actually think that instead of banning him, a new position of AN[I] clerk should be instituted and BB be appointed as director of AN[I] clerks for life. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 02:43, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
*Smacks ASCIIn2Bme with a clue stick* --Guerillero | My Talk 03:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, there is no policy-based rationale behind giving administrators' comments here, or in any other general community discussion, greater weight than those of rank-and-file editors. This is, after all, a community discussion about whether there should be a community-imposed ban, not an administrators discussion as on Arbitration Enforcement. The role of administrators in this process is to impose the ban, if it should pass, and enforce it afterwards. The mop does not make admins "super-editors", like super-delegates at a political convention, and the implication that it does is, in fact, a bit insulting to those of us who have not sought out or do not want the admin bit.

Obviously, cogent arguments, wherever they come from, should be given greater weight than casual ones, but that should be true whether they come from admins or regular editors. I strongly urge Manning to drop this path he seems to be on, since one of the strong contributing factors to the supposed breakdown of AN/I is the failure on the part of the admin corps in general (with many exceptions, of course) to enforce civility rules which are already available to be used. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:27, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

"Yes, but this is not just a ban discussion here. The other issue is to do with admin solidarity, and that is a private matter that non-admins don't contribute to, so the community is not being excluded, they just have no palce in improving admin morale, or discussing same. Keep the topics separate, cheers NewbyG ( talk) 03:58, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
OK, please show me a little courtesy here. There is no agenda here, so please stop with the "I strongly urge" comments. My only objective is to point out there is a disconnect between how admins are viewing things and how the rest of the community is viewing things. This strongly suggests that some form of realignment of community and admin corp expectations is required. In future, if you ever are curious about my motives for anything, I would prefer it if you ask a question before you embark on these somewhat insulting accusations about my intent. Manning (talk) 03:50, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Manning, judging entirely' by your comments and actions here, it is very difficult for me to believe that you have no agenda, considering your insistence on placing certain sections in certain places, and the way you have guided the discussion so that certain opinions have been labelled as unhelpful -- but, if you are telling me that there's no agenda, I will happily extend you AGF and take it as read that you have no agenda.

Nevertheless, I still suggest that your framing of the discussion is, without your being aware of it, pushing it in a particular direction, and I think it might be best for you to allow the discussion to continue without further guidance from you, so it can follow whatever direction it naturally wants to take. You can, for instance, stop creating new sections -- there are enough already for this conversation to develop. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:38, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Probably worth considering that some of the opposes are being made ironically. 28bytes (talk) 00:36, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


Following up on suggestions made on my talk page, how's about if I try and stay totally away from ANI for maybe a month initially, EXCEPT for issues that involve me directly? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:45, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

  • That sounds completely acceptable to me. That approach should basically be the applied by everybody.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:48, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Bugs and I will discuss Rklawton's idea via his talk page. If anything worth discussing results, I'll bring it to the community.Manning (talk) 06:44, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I have a counter-proposal. Let's merge this issue with the proposal to create a clerk position for AN/I. I for one am unanimous in nominating you for the position. You have the experience, the sense humor, and the interest in doing an outstanding job filtering out the BS, keeping us on target, and lightening things up a bit. And no, I'm not kidding. I value your contributions. I seem to recall that we don't always agree, but that may well be one more indication of intelligence on your part. Rklawton (talk) 03:51, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • That is a very interesting idea, I like it. It turns Bugs' strange attraction to ANI into an asset instead of a liability by channeling the energy in a constructive direction. And hopefully the position of trust and responsibility would make him trim some of the behavioral edges. I like the counterproposal as much as bugs own compromise suggestion. (note that this is not support - which would be dependent on many contingencies being clarified first)·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:55, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It is without doubt the most truly bizarre proposal I have ever seen in ten years, yet it has a perverse logic to it. I'm not voting support (I'd need to see the terms and conditions first), but I'm not at this point opposed either. Manning (talk) 03:58, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict - Manning has said it) Just no. Again, I am totally lost as to where the seriousness ends and the jokin' begins. There seems to be some very very very wide gulf in how people perceive this whole thing. To me, the idea just seems to ridiculous that I cannot see how it could be proposed in good faith. So I assume that people are trying to be funny when they make or support these proposals. But then I realize that ... they are maybe being serious. And then the world and especially Wikipedia, seems like a dark stupid place.VolunteerMarek 04:03, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think Rklawton is being flippant. His idea is crazy on the surface, but after a bit of thought it does have merit. IMO Bugs is like nuclear energy. Used for good, it can cure cancer. Used for bad, it can destroy cities. Rklawton is being bold, but not stupid. I've offered to work with Bugs to develop a set of T&C to bring to the community for evaluation. Manning (talk) 04:14, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse is not an unknown tactic. One of the most prominent instances in recent US history was when FDR appointed Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., a notorious financial manipulator, as the first head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Set a thief to catch a thief", as the saying goes.

That being said, I don't think this suggestion is all that good an idea, given the BB is, clearly, a polarizing figure, and any clerk/gatekeeper (if we need such a thing, which I do not believe) needs to be trusted by many segements of the community, which I believe would be difficult to achieve. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:47, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't think ANI really needs a short list of officially designated "clerks". Please see my "counterproposal" a few lines below. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:51, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • non-admin comment. (ec) It looks like a serious proposal. On Wikipedia, yes. SO, does anyone think user:Baseball Bugs has the technical equipment and know-how to handle such a responsible position as, what was it? ANI clerk/ vetter / doorman, I guess cheers NewbyG ( talk) 04:12, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Technical equipment - none needed beyond what any editor has. Experience - absolutely. The required discipline and self-control? Well... that's the whole question, isn't it. Manning (talk) 04:17, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict × 2) I have deep concerns about the logic of a proposal to effectively put the arsonist in charge of the fire department solely because he has 'experience with fire'. BB would need to show forethought, moderation and responsibility before he should be considered for that kind of role. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 04:15, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Erm, technical point. Regardless of who we give the job too (and Bugs actually isn't the worst option - there is actually some logic to it), we'll need more than one clark. Bugs can't monitor AN/I 24 hours a day... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Right. And as a practical matter, as I said earlier, (somewhere?), my daily time slice for wikipedia in general is liable to become rather smaller for the short term, due to intensified project activity at the office. But we'll see. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:22, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Something worth considering about this "clerk" idea is to look at the ref desks as somewhat of a model. There is a lot of flexibility there, but there are certain things that aren't allowed. One is requests for legal or medical advice. Another thing is that there's a moderately low tolerance for trolling-type questions and answers. There are already rules at ANI. Maybe the rules could be expanded or crystalized a bit. And as far as enforcement goes, the ref desk "regulars" pretty much act as de facto "clerks". It occurs to me that the same principle could be applied to ANI: The "regulars" could act to enforce the rules. One thing that happens on the ref desk sometimes is disagreement over boxing or deleting a question. Then, there can be furious debate on the talk page - but generally, not in the direct sight of the OP, unless he goes looking for it. ANI has a talk page too, right? Much of the brouhaha on ANI could maybe be redirected to its talk page, leaving the project page relatively "clean" and focused on specific issues and specific actions. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:41, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
non-admin comment) My last comment, I am taking good advice to stay away from here for a month. Suggest to user:Baseball Bugs, remember to do the same, and reply to posts for now only in sections on your talk page, i'ts open isn't it cheers NewbyG ( talk) 06:04, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

WP:TALKNO in this discussion[edit]

Since a main participant in this discussion has decided to implement his own system of moderation [4], I'd like to point out that completely removing posts which have been replied is discouraged by the WP:TALKNO guideline (more specifically WP:REDACT). Perhaps replacing them with [comment removed by admin] or something like that would be less confusing. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 06:41, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Good advice. Shall do. For the record, I was actually acting under the directive at the top which says "Please do not post slurs of any kind on this page and note that messages which egregiously violate Wikipedia's civility or personal attacks policies will be removed." Manning (talk) 06:56, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
that's pretty fucking funny actually, especially how he swooped in and "solved" the problem after the main participants left the discussion and Bugs agreed to a self-ban. Beeblebrox (talk) 06:49, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

If he's agreed to a self-ban then there is no problem at all with also making it official. Jtrainor (talk) 14:18, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting development[edit]

Enough already. This is not an AN topic. Raise it at WP:RFC if necessary Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 11:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
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.

[5] BB is pretty much admitting to baiting on purpose for the "greater good". ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 10:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Standard. The noble 'taking one for the team' attitude however is ... worrying. pablo 11:01, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Among mature adults, there is no such thing as "baiting". Only tbe immature and children use the "look what you made me do" argument, to try to blame someone else for what they freely choose to do. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:03, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I guess some will see that as a violation of WP:BATTLE and/or WP:HARASSMENT. Others might give you the "defender of the wiki" barnstar for your fight against the WP:BADSITES. Business as usual on Wikipedia, I suppose. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
The WR editors freely chose to reveal their true character. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
What if someone serves you that line after harassing the crap out of you, hypothetically speaking, of course? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
They would be correct. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:12, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
So, you're basically endorsing harassment as a test of character on Wikipedia? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:15, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I did not (intend to) harass the editor. I naively assumed good faith that they were sincere and would understand an explanation. When they continued to falsely claim that I had personally attacked them, my dim bulb finally came on and I realized what they were really up to. And it seems that the admins concurred with my conclusion. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:18, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
You wrote 'Their bogus "look-what-you-made-me-do" argument reinforces that they are at the grade school level of maturity.' Which can be interpreted that you had already made up your mind about their character, thus you were not assuming good faith. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 11:28, 7 February 2012 (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.

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

Mingana locked[edit]

Resolved: Done. No idea why you couldn't create it as there was no history or log and you are autoconfirmed. Fences&Windows 00:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I tried to link Mingana to Alphonse Mingana since he is the only notable person with this name, but I was surprised to find out that I'm not authorised to do so. Could anyone un-protect it or explain to me why it is locked? Thanks.--Rafy talk 00:14, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

You probably couldn't create it because of the title blacklist. And if being autoconfirmed had anything to do with your ability to create the page, this kerfuffle would never have happened. Graham87 03:12, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't appear to be blocked by the blacklist. Were you trying to redirect to a full URL rather than just a page name? --Carnildo (talk) 00:58, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
The link in the Mount Judi article contained a byte order mark. Peter E. James (talk) 01:31, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

An overall concern about AN and ANI[edit]

(relocated from AN/I - Manning (talk) 04:08, 7 February 2012 (UTC))

I have just returned to editing after a few days of being mostly offline due to real-world commitments. In the course of catching up on my arbitration e-mails, my attention has been drawn to several current and recent AN and ANI threads. As I usually do when I'm on one of those pages, I have skimmed through the various other open threads as well.

I do not want to focus on any one particular thread and certainly not on any one particular user, but my overall impression of what has been going on on these pages is a negative one. To an even greater extent than one would expect on the pages primarily devoted to Wikipedia's backroom arguments and disagreements, I believe there has been a completely excessive amount of name-calling, repetitious rhetoric, trolling, accusations of trolling, harassment, unproductive piling-on, arguments about unimportant things, and generally unpleasant and damaging behavior. All of this is quite unhelpful and even counterproductive to our shared goal of building a high-quality, free-content online encyclopedia in an atmosphere of cameraderie and mutual respect among contributors.

Of course, I am not calling out everyone who participates on AN and ANI frequently or who has participated recently. The comments by many editors to the various threads have been useful and in good faith. But there also seems to be far more than the usual amount of nonsense. I was an "ANI regular" for a couple of years before I became an arbitrator, and I remember lots of unpleasant threads. But I certainly do not remember the atmosphere's being quite as toxic as this.

I would welcome other people's thoughts on this situation. Please note that discussion of this thread may belong on the talkpage, but I'd appreciate this post's remaining here so people will see it. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:43, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

It rather belongs at WP:AN, because it is not an incident - though perhaps with a link from here. Geometry guy 01:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm a tad surprised you're just now realizing this, NYB; it's been a very long time since you frequented these pages, and the childish environment on this page has everything to do with the civility arbcase. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, I was well aware before tonight that the tone on AN and ANI is often bad; my point is that in my experience it has rarely been this bad, and that it seems to be getting worse. As for its having been awhile since I frequented these pages, suffice it to say that I've probably spent wayyy too much of my wiki-life on a set of pages that may be equally God-forsaken as this one.... Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
It varies, from simple swiftly dealt with incidents, to boomerangs, to vicious long term feuds and harassment. It cleaned up a few months back, but it varies... Of note some users only come here to put the boot in. We generally ignore them, we should probably block them too. Rich Farmbrough, 01:55, 7 February 2012 (UTC).
The fact that we're arguing debating NYB's point being brought up here goes to his argument. As a non admin and avid follower (mostly reader of AN/I, BLPN, Jimbo's page, and other high-profile boards} I will at least say that NYB has a good point, and that more should be done to make this the "encyclodpedia that anyone can edit." That is unfortunately not the case so much these days, and deserves some thoughtful discussion. Though, by the same logic above, I'm not sure this is the board in which to have that discussion. (talk) 02:01, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Um, that was me above. His point was so close to my own feelings that I jumped the gun a posted without looking at my login status. Quinn RAIN 02:05, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I wrote this yesterday to a thread above (now hidden, thank goodness), and it seems to fit, however late: Comment: I don't understand a word, not the words, not the spirit. The top of this page says "Are you in the right place?" - I doubt it. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:25, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
"our shared goal of building a high-quality, free-content online encyclopedia"
Our what? Isn't that a blocking offence by now? I would support NYB's observation here. Caring about an encyclopedia seems to be the last thing anyone gives a damn about. It's so much more fun to slate a bunch of well-written articles for deletion, because there's a way to construct a policy-based reason to do so, regardless of the relative values of the end results. Even the WMF has given up on the encyclopedia - the farce of WP:IEP instead favours "more new editors, at any cost (including the cost of losing established editors)".
Just what is the point, when the encyclopedia goal has been thrown so far away? Andy Dingley (talk) 02:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
That is why a lot of admins and most editors never, or rarely come to these pages. I was so busy on the 'pedia I almost forgot they existed until I was forcefully reminded. One reason I come here is to try and prevent people being maltreated, but with only modest success I fear. Rich Farmbrough, 02:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC).
My comment here probably pertains to this: [6]. Begoontalk 02:11, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I try to help out at ANI sometimes. You'll see me above in a couple of places. But many discussions I stay out of because I just don't want to get involved. It's the same reason why I stay out of a lot of nationalist disputes (DIGWUREN sorts of things, etc.). I get a headache reading them, let alone actually trying to get involved in them. -- Atama 02:16, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I loathe ANI and avoid it all costs, only coming here if I find it necessary, and even then I feel like my time is wasted. I cannot ever remember leaving a thread in which something productive came of it. Most often, if I have a problem and I come here, it's likely I'll be blamed for whatever problem I have by editors who have no idea what they're talking about. Very serious problems get sidetracked by pointless banter, engaged by chronic posters whose time is spent primarily here. It frustrates people who come here looking for help. There is no central focus on what to get done, just a jostling of personalities. There are ways to change this, but I am unsure people actually want that to happen. --Moni3 (talk) 02:18, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Your last point is likely to be a significant factor, yes. A drama board will attract people who like drama, and they will be unhappy if that is taken away. Good things can, and do, happen at ANI, and many frequent posters contribute enormously positively. But the atmosphere is atrocious, and there often seems little sense of purpose, focus, or control. About the only thing I can think of that would "save" the current format is clerks with authority - but honestly, a drama board is just that, so a complete rethink should not be off the table, either. Begoontalk 02:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I have full empathy with NYBrad's sentiments though I am at a bit of a loss to what exactly is the proper remedy. I think it's pretty obvious that AN/I has been taken over by some professional drama mongers. The ratio of legitimate complaints to pointless drama has quickly converged to zero. Anyway, the following suggestion is only one-fourth tongue in cheek: put Sandstein in charge of it and give him the powers to police it. It will be cold, impersonal, and detached but it will also be fair, judicious and impartial, with no nonsense tolerated. Like I said, I'm almost serious.VolunteerMarek 02:23, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

This is going to be wildly unpopular, but, you know, if we didn't have articles about living people, or existing companies, at all on this site it would quickly solve a lot of problems. But god forbid we don't have a Barak Obama or Microsoft article, even though they can "write" their own history in the course of things. Quinn RAIN 02:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
We're talking about an encyclopedia project that has had to have Arbitration cases filed about the usage of dashes vs. hyphens. Tarc (talk) 02:46, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
And one about date [de]linking, and now one about capitalization of birds' names (there's parallel ANI thread about that right now). I guess most people outside Wikipedia wouldn't give a flying fuck about these issues. So, I don't know why some are so surprised that the drama boards get owned by petty disputants. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 04:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
@Marek:That's not the first time I heard that idea. Without discussing individuals, what you are suggesting is clerking. I can support that and be totally serious. Begoontalk 02:34, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok, then let's consider it seriously. How would you suggest clerks get chosen?VolunteerMarek 02:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I haven't thought it through very much yet. I think they would either need to be admins, or there would need to be a formal mechanism to enforce their clerking decisions, to avoid them being toothless. Other than that, some community selection process would probably need to be created. I haven't thought much further than that. There'd need to be some sort of RFC, so details would get hashed out there, I imagine. Begoontalk 02:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok. Makes sense. Other problem is: how many people would actually *want* to be AN/I clerks. Would you want to police this sorry mess? I sure as hell wouldn't. The idea that is good in theory might fall on its face in practice.VolunteerMarek 03:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
You have a point. I think there might be enough volunteers, but I could easily be wrong. Unlike you, I would be prepared to try it, though I'm sure I might come to regret it. I also don't think I'd be particularly suitable, my calm can be dislodged. But since I also prefer it to be admins really, I would also prefer to be ineligible. :-) (that's my excuse) Begoontalk 03:33, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Solution, in 6 easy steps:

  1. Do not try to change AN/ANI. Inertia will prevent it.
  2. Create WP:Administrators' noticeboard/Grownups (WP:AN/G).
  3. WP/G is moderated by admins who have demonstrated maturity. That's not me, obviously, but I know it when I see it so I can help pick them.
  4. Anyone who wants to actually try to solve a problem requiring admin tools can post there.
  5. Moderators strictly enforce decorum and productive comments, more strict than CIVIL/NPA/etc. 1 warning, then you're page banned. If you're page banned, you have to go to ANI if you have a problem.
  6. Since this operates in parallel with other noticeboards, we aren't forcing the solution on others. If you don't think it's a good idea, don't go there.

Done. --Floquenbeam (talk) 02:49, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Almost perfect, but how do we advertise the distinction to newbies?
  • Click here for all the fun of the traditional "ANI" experience, or...
  • Click here to talk to mature people who want to get things done.
And here, it's me who's "almost serious", because I recognise the seriousness of the inertia issue. Begoontalk 03:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Or we could always just delete ANI...95% of the time it's more Wikipedia:Place to bitch and moan anyways. Save AN for the real important admin stuff (block reviews, ban proposals), and let the rest of the noticeboards deal with the other issues. Goodness knows we have enough to deal with it, but ANI has become a free-for-all. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 02:51, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
ANI is quite entertaining, so don't change a thing. GoodDay (talk) 02:57, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we could just, as a policy, refuse to comment on any threads (and disallow anyone else from doing the same), unless and until the poster makes a serious attempt to talk about the problem with those involved. That would get rid of, I don't know, half the threads? Someguy1221 (talk) 03:00, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Speaking as a former Arbcom clerk, I think the rules and procedures that have been developed there would easily migrate to this proposed new AN/G. Clerking is very effective when it is (a) completely impartial and (b) ruthlessly intolerant of incivility (employing a system of warnings, page bans and at last resort blocks to enforce page bans). Once people know the ground rules, it is surprising how quickly/easily people adapt. Manning (talk) 03:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Manning, in your opinion, would it migrate as easily to ANI, assuming the inevitable, considerable inertia could be overcome? I know it's a huge assumption, but we're theorising here anyway. Begoontalk 03:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Begoon - in theory it certainly could. We simply post a banner saying "Here are the new rules, and here are the clerks who will enforce them". After that we'll all get in our faster-than-light cars and go visit the unicorns. Manning (talk) 03:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that's what I thought. Nice dream for a minute or two, though. Begoontalk 04:03, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Or how about just all admins avoid the Alphabetsoup? That's one thing that kills feedback from "non-regular" users. Simply provide clear links to what you're taling about. Quinn RAIN 03:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Mmmm....soup. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 03:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
You've just killed your chances of becoming a Sysop, Steven Zhang. Bidgee (talk) 03:56, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Because I like soup or because I dislike drama? People get too wound up at AN and ANI. I don't think a light hearted, jokey comment is bad. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 04:16, 7 February 2012 (UTC)Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 04:03, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

This whole thread should be closed or moved to AN (which has since happened) or ANI talkpage. It's sorta becoming bloggish anyways. GoodDay (talk) 04:05, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Part of the problem with these noticeboards is precisely that sort of comment—people raise a perfectly legitimate issue, and we end up debating whether or not the concern was raised in the appropriate venue. If somebody raises a good point, we should discuss it regardless of which particular noticeboard they posted it on. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 04:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
HJ - I couldn't agree more. I moved it only because I could see the inevitable argument coming on. That kind of pettiness is part of the entire problem IMO. And Steven, I also like soup. Manning (talk) 04:29, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

As I've been saying for several years now, ANI should be nominated for deletion. It was created at a time when we didnt have specific noticeboards to deal with specific issues, and now that we do, ANI has outlived its purpose and its usefulness. More importantly, ANI encourages an anti-wiki, anti-community, unfriendly atmosphere, where we are made to believe that we are powerless as individuals to solve our own problems no matter what the status of our user rights may be, and that has always been dangerous. We need to seriously recognize that elevating people based on user rights has always been divisive and goes against the precepts of what this place is supposed to be and how it should function. Anything that separates us from each other, that creates and maintains artificial boundaries, and that suggests that we can't handle our business without a divine authority with admin rights is something that we don't need. We need to encourage personal responsibility and growth, and stop treating people as if they are on trial or need to have a babysitter. The priorities and values espoused by ANI have been FUBAR for some time now. Viriditas (talk) 05:00, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

After a long, hard day at the office I read ANI and AN in order to get a good laugh. The amount of nickpicking, petty arguing, and otherwise general incivility that exists in astonishing. It's also pretty funny to observe. (talk) 05:08, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

From my quote wall:

--Guerillero | My Talk 05:51, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

The problem I see, is that we seem to have too much trouble blocking or restricting people who are jackasses. I don't care how good someone's "contributions" are, it doesn't give you license to be a jerk. Those who do so are sophisticated trolls, and should be given no more sympathy than any troll. If you really want to make a difference in it, find in the civility case that those who are repeatedly and grossly uncivil can be booted, regardless of what else they've done. The problem isn't restricted here, I've also noticed a general degradation of the tone in talk page discussions, because people seem to know that civility is no longer a basic requirement of participation to this project. People who are generally decent and civil and lose their temper should be warned first, but those who are generally nasty and uncivil should be shown the door, and all of us should help to push them out. Period. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:24, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I guess the fact that you're still here proves your point. Malleus Fatuorum 06:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I endorse NYB's sentiment. A lower tolerance for snark and off-topic asides, that is, a sharper focus on the matters at hand, would help to cool down hot heads and speed up resolutions. Perhaps a simple general agreement here that the standard of interaction is declining, and a resolution to do better, will prompt improved behaviour. The chan/troll behaviour that too frequently bubbles up here just reflects the poorly conducted debate on talk pages all over the project. If AN and ANI become models of decency and decorum without the imposition of structural change such as clerking, they can act as examples to emulate across those other pages that lack clerks. It just needs you to lower your tolerance and raise your standards.
For instance, I'm inclined to just delete Malleus' above comment as an unhelpful tangent, likely to lower the standard of the discussion, but in the present environment that would be seen as highly controversial. I do wonder, though, how many people would support its removal. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:12, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
People below support BB because they find him entertaining. I admit a chuckle at what Malleus wrote above. So, what standard shall we apply here? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 07:29, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't stalk either editor but I'd be inclined to delete about 1% of Malleus' talk page and noticeboard comments I've seen, and ninety five percent of BB's. I'm just mooting a culture change, not some new set of rules. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Malleus was not making a joke. At ANI, User:Seraphimblade called persons "jackasses and "trolls". WP:NPA mandates rephrasing as comments on behavior rather than on persons, that is, "behaving like jackasses or trolls". Look at insults against Malleus at RfA or at the abuse on BadgerDrink at his RfC, for other examples.
This is late in the ArbCom case on "Civility Enforcement" for these distinctions to escape normally sophisticated editors like Anthonycole.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps we're overdue for another WP:DRAMAOUT. -- œ 07:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

amen to that .. if you start one, they will come. :) — Ched :  ?  17:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Driveby comment: AN is entertaining and horrifying at the same time. As an uninvolved editor who focuses more on content creation and the reader/new user-aimed noticeboards (RD, HD), the impression I get of AN in general is "a place two people go in, where in the best of circumstances, only one leaves unscathed." It seems that even the most minor spats when taken here escalate into something where someone HAS TO get blocked, or else nobody leaves satisfied.

A place where competent editors who made numerous good faith edits on article space get indeffed forever (or bullied into leaving) because of a single high-emotion incident that somehow made its way to AN and got blown out of proportion, with predictable results.

Even as a new editor, I never got the impression of what this place was supposed to be - a place to go when administrator help was needed. It always had the ominous aura of being an execution block, where even the pettiest of mistakes have the harshest punishments. Added to that atmosphere is the Damocles' sword of the user-rights "privilege", where people are never sure when they themselves might be the next to be promoted or the next to be guillotined. All it needs is the sign "Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate" at the top.

And no, I believe overall contributions and good faith intent expressed elsewhere is a greater measurement of an editor's worth. I do not understand the almost maniacal obsession AN has with WP:NPA and sockpuppetry, to the point that almost every incident in AN/I always has this as a subtopic as users catch on that these are surefire ways of silencing an opposing party. They have become trump cards in discussions with WP:AGF taking the backseat or ignored altogether.

AN has ceased to be about resolving problems. Rather it has become a place where one goes to find more problems. Where the discussions are more about finding ways to justify who to block, rather than about the problems themselves. Indeed, some of the incidents here are specifically petitions to get someone else blocked, with the ensuing discussions being a gladiatorial arena of which user has more expertise with the art of nitpicking and baiting. Even when everyone gets off scot-free, the parties involved are only more likely to hold long-lasting grudges. -- OBSIDIANSOUL 08:59, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

But apart from that, you're happy with it? </evil> I said above that if anyone seriously wants to fix it then nothing should be off the table, including scrapping it and replacing what needs replacing with something else. You could "band aid" it with moderators/clerks, and that might even be enough, but given the enormous amount of inertia you'd need to overcome, why not go the whole way and RFC ANI properly, if we're serious? Yes, I know why not - we're serious. Catch 22. Begoontalk 09:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't really have a position. And as a bystander, I don't have the inside knowledge that regulars have of the mechanics anyway. Much of what's going on here is probably the result of cynicism given that the same issues probably crop up again and again. That said, the only thing I wish could be fixed is the loss of editors in artificially protracted spats and the (imo) too gung-ho application of indefs. A bit of perspective perhaps?-- OBSIDIANSOUL 00:29, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
After yesterday's performance I'm attracted to the idea of simply deleting AN/I. As someone suggested, what's the worst that could happen? Most genuine requests for help already have their own boards (requests for page protection, vandalism help etc). However I don't think that's likely to be agreed to. Making it subject to more formal clerking might work, but at the expense of a new layer of bureaucracy and some (possibly legitimate) complaints about concentrating power further in the hands of the cabal. A third possibility is simply for the rubric at the top of the page to be enforced. It says stuff like: "This page is for reporting and discussing incidents ...that require the intervention of administrators and experienced editors. .... Please include diffs to help us find the problem you are reporting.... You must notify any user who is the subject of a discussion.....Please do not clutter this page with accusations or side-discussions within a discussion. Before posting a grievance about a user here, please discuss the issue with them on their user talk page."
Numerous AN/I reports are not about incidents, or neglect diffs, or fail to discuss first with (or notify) the person complained of. What if the convention became that those suggestions became rules, rigorously enforced? That diffs should be posted of genuine attempts to resolve before a case were accepted? What if complaints that failed the above test were summarily deleted from AN/I? I'd be willing to be held accountable for anything I did along those lines, provided there was the support of the community for a stricter line. Would other editors be willing to join me? Would this be an interim approach we could try more or less immediately? Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 11:19, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
You're onto something there. For example, all too often lately I've seen where posters at ANI have to be reminded to notify the party they're complaining about. I have often taken issues directly to a trusted admin. The main purpose of ANI is presumably to generate broader discussion about an issue. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:25, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but you need to be careful it doesn't get too loaded towards the reporter of an incident, who might be a newbie. You'd remove a lot of malformed complaints, and a few would just give up. If it's a well intentioned report, I see no problem advising and helping to fix it up. Enforcing in general that non-productive comments/trolling/other undesirable stuff will be reverted on sight across the board with warnings/enforcement as appropriate is my take on a meaningful interim (or forever, who knows) fix. Begoontalk 11:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
That's a good point Begoon, and I'm not proposing simply defending the page by erecting impossible bureaucratic hurdles for people to leap. But I see VERY few AN/I reports from genuine newcomers and would agree that in that case a helping hand to produce a well-formed complaint would be the way to go. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 11:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm another admin who generally avoids AN/I. I would support any of deleting AN/I, putting it under moderation, or creating a moderated forum for serious issues. -- Donald Albury 12:51, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I am another admin who is in exactly the same position. WormTT · (talk) 12:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
+1. Happy to start an MfD for this. It often seems like a kindergarden. --JN466 13:24, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
+me Not an admin, but anyway, I support, in order: moderation, deletion (with alternative venues clearly marked), separate moderated forum. I think an RFC might be an alternative route, if it could be handled in a constructive way. Begoontalk 13:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Tempted to agree with either option, though I'd enjoy that MFD - if it was kept civil. I mean, there's a reason that WP:DRAMA used to redirect to WP:ANI. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 13:48, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Revised - I meant to support Moderation or Deletion, and God be with the poor bastard who tried to moderate this circus. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 15:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Okayyyy... I'll leave it to others to start the MfD but tonight (about 5 hours away) if there is still support for moderation, I'll draft a proposal for discussion at the AN talk page. I hesitate to do this as I've never been involved in developing policy before (which I think this amounts to) - hence another reason for waiting a while to see how this flies. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 14:03, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I've even less experience, but I'd be happy to help, in that event, where I could. I agree that waiting a while to let people who haven't seen any of this yet comment first is wise, though. Begoontalk 14:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Much as I agree with Obsidian Soul's comments on ANI, and tempting though outright deletion would be, it does still have some uses. Inevitably, the problem is with the users. As an alternative, how about applying an equivalent of 3RR to ANI: anyone who makes more than three edits to it in one day is automatically blocked for a week? That might do something to calm down the insanity. Robofish (talk) 14:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

In any case, I have started an MfD. Nothing brought up at ANI can't be handled at other venues. Alpha_Quadrant (talk) 16:29, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Facepalm Facepalm This will end well. Tarc (talk) 16:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
That being the case, I'll delay drafting any proposal for moderation until we see what happens at MfD. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 16:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
What if there was just simply were hard and fast with closing any thread that was not an "incident" that demanded immediate attention? There are cases where the action of an admin is needed quickly to prevent disruption, or handle other issues that don't require long debate and simply the admin bit to resolve. If the "incident" clearly becomes personal or the like, any non-involved admin should be able to slam close the thread and direct to the appropriate venue. Yes, that means WP:AN will be where many of these will thrive, and that still creates another issue, but at least we won't have admin action requests get buried under discussion at ANI.
As to what happens at AN, we need to do the same thing when the request is clearly better handled by RFC/U or some other dispute area. If it clearly is not something that needs discussion among administrators, there's no point in bringing it there. Yes, RFC/U and these other processes take time to set up properly if you're filing a complaint, but really, that should be the case: the problem is that AN/ANI has a low barrier of entry to make a complaint known. If you have to actually work out through a form what the problem is, maybe you'll recognize its not really a problem WP worries about, or there's a different approach to take, or the like.
The idea of clerks to keep both AN and ANI clear of discussions that should not be happening there makes sense; the body of clerks just needs to be large and broad enough to avoid having any single closure smack of COI problems.
By quickly stemming any inappropriate, premature attempt of dispute resolution at AN, we create a clearer picture of what AN's purpose is for, and likely will prevent editors from running here first. --MASEM (t) 16:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

arbitrary break[edit]

My post is in reply basically to the OP. First, I am very encouraged to see both members of AC, and some very seasoned veterans around these parts again - I hope you folks can pull things back from the brink. Now, this is only my own personal view, and not directed at anyone, or group. Back in the old days, 02-06ish .. before the site was as popular as it is now, it was a smaller group of people working together - hence, you all knew each other, and developed a camaraderie and spirit of working together. As it grew, more people were introduced, very easy for folks to get lost in the shuffle. The "originals" also grew, moved on to other things, either here or in real life. I think some of the unwritten common-sense rules of fair play, decency, mutual respect, and accepted ways of doing things, and the value of "lessons learned" fell by the way side and were forgotten. New admins. moved in, took their place - we did the best we could, but lacked experience. AN and ANI (or drama boards in general) was and is a natural starting place for admins. In a sense, I see Wikipedia as that unruly, know-it-all teenager. We're growing up, but we still need guidance - and have to be willing to accept it. If we don't, then we're going to sneak out of the house for being grounded - jump in a car with our "I haz friends" buddies - and drive off a cliff. It should be made very clear (and I know that AC has tried in the past to address this), that calm rational discussion is needed when problems arise. Sometimes love must take a firm hand. If an admin. "blocks" .. they should be addressed politely. If they don't respond in some period of time - a discussion should be opened for at least 24 hours (given all timezones and schedules a chance to respond). That's how consensus works. Already tl;dr I suppose - so I'll take a break here. — Ched :  ?  18:08, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

addendum Oh, in proof reading that .. the "address admins with respect" .. I most certainly did not mean to imply that the same isn't required of the non-admins. Non-admins deserve every bit as much, if not more respect, fair treatment, and allowed their fair discourse in due process. — Ched :  ?  18:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I've hung around ANI for years. It's always been a cesspool but (as far as I've noticed) doesn't seem any worse than usual recently. It has ups and downs like anything else. AN has more drama than I'm used to, because of what seems like an increased tendency to move longer-duration discussions from ANI to AN, that in the past might have been handled with ANI sub-pages. (talk) 19:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

A few things to consider. A reason people come to ANI, aside from its high-visibility and as opposed to other noticeboards such as the dispute resolution board, sockpuppet investigations, requests for comment, or any other dispute resolution venue is because of its relative lack of structure and rules. It's very accessible to a lot of people, which adds to its appeal.

Another reason people come to ANI is because of its authoritative undertones the noticeboard has. I have been argued for some time now that since users bring any and all issues to ANI that it should be renamed to Wikipedia:Community forum or similar. However, I'm afraid that if we did something like that, the "drama crowd" will migrate to another board that has an authoritative undertone such as this noticeboard, the Administrators' noticeboard. As some other boards or Jimbo's or other admins' talk pages have been similarly labeled, ANI serves as a "run to mommy" place when problems arise. --MuZemike 07:25, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Personally I rather see the "drama crowd" migrate to Facebook - but I guess that's a different subject. But yes, good points all. There's always going to be a need for a place for concerns to be addressed. The thing is that that needs to be done consistently, firmly, but with the kindness that encourages people to stay and keep trying. We can say, I'm sorry, but this isn't something that's actionable here, but you can xyz. By the way, the person that deleted your post, changed your article, or blocked your friend was doing so in order to improve the project. What we simply can not have is one administrator acting in good faith simply being dismissed because "I haz buttons too". We need to be respectful of each other and follow mature protocols. It's fine to disagree, but it has to be done in an adult fashion, not some cowboy "revert your block" style. Personally I think we could well do with less "blocking and banning", and a little more guidance, but there are times that blocks are needed. Part of the problem is that some folks are simply not doing enough research into the big picture, which takes time. I noticed one the other day, and by the time I clicked links, read, decided that the person had legitimate complaints but was in need of a warning and got there to warn them ... they had been blocked for over half an hour. Absolutely no way the blocking admin had time to read anything other than the visible "leave me the fuck alone" comment. sigh .... — Ched :  ?  04:52, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for clerking/moderation[edit]

I have started a new section of the WP:AN talk page with a proposal, as it looks likely that the current MfD will not result in any deletion. I think that (rather than this page) is the right venue for discussing the nuts and bolts so may I suggest people who are interested head there to have a look and comment? Any help in publicising that discussion would be welcome. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 19:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

It's closed as withdrawn now, but there was considerable support for the implementation of some sort of moderation system. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
It was the MfD which was withdrawn. My proposal is still under discussion at the talk page linked above. I have moved 2 contributions from below here over to that page, I hope nobody objects to my boldness! Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 16:59, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit Request at Template talk:Infobox scientist#Website parameter[edit]

 Done There appears to be consensus for an edit request at Template talk:Infobox scientist#Website parameter.--GrapedApe (talk) 03:44, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

User:La goutte de pluie and User:Pluie lite[edit]

Resolved: Indef block is not the same as a ban. Indefinite is not a time-frame. It is a lack of a time-frame. At some point, User:La goutte de pluie may convince the community to allow her to return to editing. She has not shown abuse of the permissions that are being requested to be removed and so if she were to return, she would be allowed to continue using those permissions. There are no security concerns as would be in the case of a sysop or checkuser. No evident block evasion on alternate account. No admin action is needed here.--v/r - TP 19:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

{{resolved|This is not a crisis, and will be handled (by someone who finds your request less distasteful than I do) on one of the other 10 pages you've posted this. having a thread open here too is forum shopping, and that should be discouraged. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)}}

I note that all other fora have been closed, so this is the only active one, so I'm unresolving this even though I don't think anything needs to be done. Not sure what the {{hat}} is about, either, but that wasn't me. --Floquenbeam (talk) 16:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, I'll pretend that WP:AN is moderated and de-snarkify my initial response. That probably didn't help anything. Sorry. --Floquenbeam (talk) 16:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Hello Administrators, need to inform you that the user account User:La goutte de pluie is currently blocked indefinitely and as a general and security precaution, user account's that have been blocked indefinitely should be stripped/removed of all their user permissions to none. Thank You. (Administrators please take action as soon as possible). TheGeneralUser (talk) 15:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

User:La goutte de pluie currently has autopatroll and rollback rights which need to be stripped/removed. TheGeneralUser (talk) 15:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
User:Pluie lite has declared on their user page that they are the same user as User: La goutte de pluie. It was User:La goutte de pluie which had given 5 user rights, namely