Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive66

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Anyone feel like updating all AOL related pages and templates to reflect the fact that the "proxy pool" doesn't exist anymore due to the fact that AOL now sends XFF headers? -- 16:30, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

AOL proxy server IP Ranges – – – – – – – –
See AOL Webmaster Info page for source data
  • Another point, there are thousands of talk pages sitting around for the now non-existent proxy ranges, so someone might want to clean those up-- 16:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Does wikipedia "trust" the XFF headers? It's not simply a case of sending them, we don't blindly take them to be true. Last I heard the software couldn't deal with ranges (i.e. the had to be listed one by one), so they weren't being used. --pgk 18:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
      • That did change recently, but I don't have specifics about that. You may want to ask Tim Starling about that on IRC. Titoxd(?!?) 20:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
        • XFF from AOL has been promised for months, and while it may well be working now, I would still wait for confirmation from the technical people before we start changing things all over the place. --bainer (talk) 03:22, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
          • They did, in fact, give us confirmation: [1] Titoxd(?!?) 21:16, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
            • That's only confirmation that MediaWiki is capable of respecting XFF headers sent by AOL, but is there confirmation that AOL is sending XFF headers properly? --bainer (talk) 04:09, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Discussion about User:Timecop[edit]

Hello, I am a bit new at the mop, and need some advice on this one. I found some userboxes that I felt to be out of line with the project on a users page, here they are:

hateThis user is a Template For Hate
wtcThis user thinks Osama bin Laden is the greatest man on Earth.
^_^This user eats dog

The user insists they are appropriate, saying(paraphrasing):

Am I wrong in thinking these excuses are a little weak, and that this is disruptive use of a userpage? My instinct is to remove them, warn the user not to add them again and explain why, blocking if the user re-added them repeatedly. Opinions requested. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:54, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, personally I see the first one as being rather disruptive, the second one as being, well, almost an invitation for the FBI to come knocking on someone's door and the third, well, it's a valid cultural belief. I don't get the "smiley" face on it though -- Tawker 01:23, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Well...I think the Osama one is disruptive, especially since the little mini-box tag is "wtc". That's pretty offensive to some. The "template for hate" one isn't so bad, and the dog one...if it didn't link straight to Korea maybe. (Tawker - the smiley face is "typical" of Asian online culture.) PMC 01:24, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
  • That particular kind of smiley face is associated with koreans, as is "kekeke" or "kk" for giggling. Actually, the first time I ever saw anyone say "kk" or "^_^", was when this cute Korean girl was chatting with me on MSN messenger...
I believe the user in question is a blatant troll (though certainly one with good edits). I blocked the account for such and my block was reverted by another admin. Part of the reason I placed the block earlier in the week was these user boxes which I think are a blatant example of trolling. So, in summary, I agree these are a form of trolling but I think it important to note that I was overruled by another admin earlier in the week and so you need to strongly consider that my opinion is incorrect in this instance. --Yamla 01:28, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for that info, I will notify the unblocking admin that this discussion is occurring. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:34, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I was under the impression that dog is a derogatory term for Korean people? I have heard it being used that way in real life. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:26, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I have never heard "dog" used as such. Could be local slang or I may just never have heard it before. --Yamla 01:28, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
It links to Korea. See the link HighInBC provided. I personally think "Dog" and wtc is offensive. First one isn't so bad, but it is disruptive. Nishkid64 01:33, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
That is the thing about slang, it varies from region to region. I will consider that one in limbo. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:32, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe he's from Vietnam, I used to share a flat with a guy from there and he was very keen on dog . Failing that, I suspect it's someone looking to get a rise out of the community. --Charlesknight 01:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Ok, the user in questions is User:Timecop, looking at his blocklog he has been indef blocked 6 times, by 6 different admins, and unblocked 6 times. The most recent time he was unblocked the reason given was An indef block without community consensus? I'm ashamed by Humblefool.

Good point Humblefool. Lets get a community consensus on this user, take a good hard look at this users edits, his warnings, and his userpage history and give an opinion if this user should retain editing privileges. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:40, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Information I have gathered from this users contribution history:

  • Profanity that brings zero encyclopedic value, and general incivility: [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]Just today [10]
  • Says By blocking User:Supers you support terrorism. [11]
  • Use of an ethnic slur: [12]
  • An image that apparently had to be removed from the database so even admins cannot view it: [13][14]
  • Userbox accusing the jews of 911: [15]
  • My personal favorite, a request for surrender from the GNAA: [16]
  • Reaction to me removing his Osoma userbox: [17][18][19]

Beyond this there are the general issues of dancing the line of what is allowed and what is not, testing the limits as it were. This is not behavior we would allow from a new user, why should we allow it from this user. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:20, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

*points upwards to the 'Trolls try to get entries on bloggers deleted' section for further discussion of Timecop* Tony Fox (arf!) 01:48, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
The point about not accepting this behavior in a new user is well taken. I think he should go now. --Chris Griswold () 03:58, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I read that and looked into the user. The most recent unblock says the reason is lack of community consensus, I am trying to find that community consensus. I am not addressing the War on blogs which I think is 82% great. I am addressing this users general conduct, rules lawyering, lack of civility, and playing innocent every time he gets blocked. I am going to prepare some diffs to illustrate my point. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

  • At the time, I unblocked mostly as a procedural item; I strongly believe in gaining the support of a group before unilateral action. That said, I support an indefinite ban on User:Timecop. His behavior, while at times seeming to work towards Wikipedia's goals, is more often than not divisive, uncivil, and designed to get a rise out of people. The "eating dog" comment in the userbox is a slight at the stereotypical "korean's" love of eating dog, and designed to be offensive. The troll has overstayed his welcome on Wikipedia for long enough. Ban him, and let's leave it all for the archives. --humblefool® 02:09, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
    • You should not revert good decisions on entirely procedural grounds. That's disrupting Wikipedia to make a point about procedure. -- SCZenz 02:18, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

While in theory I support the "war on blogs", the way he's going about it, including even the very name, is entirely disruptive, and has lead to various problems, including bloggers noticing it and recruiting their readers to come and fight on behalf of blog articles in AfD debates. Add to this the userboxes, the admission of being in GNAA, all of the other disruption ... and I think it's time for him to go. --Cyde Weys 02:20, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

First, as a preface, the userboxes are clearly created to provoke. "I love Osama bin Laden" might vaguely be OK, were he a militant Muslim, but not with wtc next to it. "I love to eat dog" might be OK, were he Korean, and extremely rude in his approach. Next to these, "template for hate" is just a nail in the coffin. Anyway, being an admitted member of GNAA, while benign if it were alone, is pretty damning in light of his other stuff: the GNAA flashing banner about removing bloggers, userboxes with an obvious intention to provoke, previous blocks for trolling, etc. seem pretty damning. I encourage anyone with doubts on the issue to look at the user histories of everyone under the "what links here" section of Image:Gnaa.png. If someone can give a good reason why this isn't true, please do. Patstuarttalk|edits 03:57, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Whoa whoa whoa. I had an indirect encounter with Timecop and he is in no way a troll, in my opinion. The only few problems I had with him was that his comments were unbearably long to me for an essentially very small matter.
On a side note, ideal paragraphs are about 3 to 5 sentences long, IMHO. Anything longer that and the eyes just glaze over. Some article are so dense that they're virtually unreadable to me.
As a matter of fact, I trolled him. I deliberately misinterpreted his comments (which, if anything, were very long and sort of off-topic) because I was pissed off at someone else.
I said some horrible stuff and left the talk page for good, but I tend to doubt he rose to the bait.
On another side note, I hope the Gay Nigger Association of America article can be resurrected some day. I honestly don't know what was wrong with it, but it probably wasn't notable (yet). Sincerely, NinaEliza 06:35, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't support an indefinite block. Whilst he makes some inexcusably rude comments, and enjoys baiting people, at the same time, clearing out the crap blog articles is something that does need to be done, so it's not a case of everything being counter-productive, just about half. Suggest keeping an eye on his conduct, ban for a month the first time he goes off the rails again, and permanently if that doesn't solve things. Proto:: 12:16, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I think most of us agree that getting rid of non-notable blogs is a good idea, but there is such a thing as "one step forward, ten steps back", which is essentially what Timecop's proclaimed "war on blogs" is. It's the most inflammatory way possible of going about the issue, and ends up causing a lot more fighting, and ultimately, makes it take a lot longer to get anything done. If you would like you compare it to something, look at how userbox deletions were initially handled and ask yourself if that was productive. --Cyde Weys 19:32, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I support an indefinite block. User:HighInBC provided enough reasons why User:Timecop has overstayed his welcome in Wikipedia. Dionyseus 12:36, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Having seen this discussion, I hopped over to the userpage to see whether the material under discussion was still there. When I got to the page, there was a "you have new messages" banner. Given the nature of the user, I figured that this was probably one of those "practical joke" new messages banners found on userpages, but then again, I might have had a new message, so I clicked on the banner. It took me to Judaism. I have no idea what the message or purpose of such a link is, but it can't be good. The "this user died in a car accident" userbox, accompanied by an explanation that the user was killed on December 10, 2006 (i.e., three days from now), is also unimpressive. Newyorkbrad 15:36, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
The guy admits on his userpage he's a troll. An indef ban may or may not be too much, but he needs to know that purposefully trolling WP is totally unacceptable. WP is to write an encyclopedia, not test the limits of free speech. In other words, if you want to contribute, you need to do so in good faith. -Patstuarttalk|edits 15:40, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Beg pardon all, but Timecop runs the GNAA and knows full well what we're about, and what he's about. Ban and be merry, I say. Mackensen (talk) 15:42, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

At the risk of pileon: well said. He even admits he has an agenda, and then carries it out. Patstuarttalk|edits 16:08, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I want to make it clear, this user has been warned, is aware of policy, knows he is trolling, and is does not wish to stop. His talk page makes that clear. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

That didn't take long (although, given how many socks I've blocked, that really could be anybody). Mackensen (talk) 16:23, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

  • The template for hate is infact a joke, someone defaced my userpage ages ago and Linuxbeak blocked it for "template for hate" This is where the saying came from. Supers 21:36, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
  • All of the arguments for blocking this user essentially boil down to, "I don't like him and decided to make an enemy of him". You chose to view his userpage. You are chosing to put on the pseudo-PC act of claiming the userboxes are offensive, as if that has any meaning. If you are so sensitive as to piss and moan for a block over the above examples, you do not belong on the internet, or in human society for that matter. Grow up. You point to his "agenda" thinking there is some dark overtone or negative value judgment in the word. Do you even know what it means? You have an agenda. I have an agenda. No man exists without an agenda, for otherwise he would allow himself to starve. Agendas, goals, opinions are an essential part of man, and are the psychological foundation for information-aggregating projects like wikipedia. But you, not in control of your own emotions and psyche, and lacking any sort of moral-intellectual development, can only fixate upon your self-created enemy(I doubt timecop cares enough to make an enemy of any of you) and look for the slightest bit of mud to sling, the pitiful examples above. Slightly offensive userboxes, behaviour that is in your poorly-developed opinion "disruptive". Pretending that your actions are in any way for the benefit of wikipedia or that they are anything other than a childish internet bitch-fight is blatantly dishonest, cynical, and immature. I say again to all of you, especially HighinBC, grow up. 03:41, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Got Consensus? I mean seriously folks, it seems to me like some guy just up and banned him, pretty much just because he didn't like him, before any consensus could be reached. That is not how Wikipedia works. -- 12:32, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Timecop out of time[edit]

Buh-bye. EVula // talk // // 16:39, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Good call. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Ooooh, and I've already been accused of racial profiling for the ban. I feel all warm and squishy inside. :-) EVula // talk // // 18:40, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I think many of the involved admins will receive some less than kind messages(not backed up by facts), that means you are doing your job correctly. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:43, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Racism claims for banning the founder of the Gay Nigger Association. That's precious. -Patstuarttalk|edits 19:35, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Ahem, at User talk:Timecop a couple of our good users have raised concerns over how I acted with Timecop, I have tried to alleviate their concerns but am not communicating well with them. Timecop's talk page is quickly turning into a circus. I will gladly discuss their concerns, but I also do not want to feed the trolls. I am going to bed soon, perhaps someone can communicate with them better than I. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 05:24, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I won't wheel war, but I still don't think a permanent block is the best way to resolve this. Proto:: 09:44, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
It just that your suggestion Suggest keeping an eye on his conduct, ban for a month the first time he goes off the rails again, and permanently if that doesn't solve things. has been done in the past. This user has been warned, has demonstrated a knowledge of policy, has been banned a month, and has been watched, and has gone off the rails again. Not sure time and discussion will help someone who is not willing. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:12, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I have just began to receive harassing phone calls at my work number relating to this ban. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:54, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
This is an extremely unfortunate situation. Per discussion a couple of weeks ago when a similar incident arose, the suggestion was made that the harassed administrator file a report with the WP:OFFICE to keep them advised of the situation. You might want to do that if you have not already done so.
I also suggest that no further on-wiki responses be made to the trolling or attacks taking place on your talkpage or on the talkpage of the individual who was blocked (not by you) as responding sometimes only exacerbates the situation. You have done more than enough to address any good-faith issues that might have been raised.
I have filed a checkuser request with respect to the most vicious of the personal attacks on your talkpage. Newyorkbrad 21:05, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Ahem, Can you provide proof of such harassment? I happen to know the person who called you, and as far as he has told me, he simply called you twice. Once he said "Hello HighInBC", and the other time he played a possibly offensive song. Neither of these incidents are hardly harassing, nor do they warrant police action (not that any law enforcement actually cares if people call you twice without making threats, regardless if you know them or not) --Jmax- 03:13, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
"Ahem" yourself. Are you seriously contending that it's acceptable user behavior, or human behavior, to make "simply" two unsolicited and "possibly offensive" telephone calls to an administrator in retaliation for his participation in a Wikipedia decision? Did you do anything to try to dissuade the "person you know" from continuing that sort of thing? If not, why not? How long do you think Wikipedia could last if this became common practice? Newyorkbrad 14:00, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Good advice on all points. I will notify office of this, and give them what evidence I have gathered, and now the police are involved as the phone call was threatening to my wife. I will refrain from explaining myself more, as I have already addressed the issues. Thank you for the checkuser.. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 21:23, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I say it's time to ban everyone from GNAA from Wikipedia forever. This type of idiocy only shows why. -Patstuarttalk|edits 07:23, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I am disturbed that Jmax- (talk · contribs) thinks that getting two phone calls in real life is no big deal. Jmax- has been around for more than a year, is an avowed GNAA member, his mainspace edits are mostly simple spelling corrections, and his project space edits are nearly all in some way related to the GNAA. I'll have a chat with him, but he may need to be watched as well. Thatcher131 00:05, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Getting two phone calls in real life isn't a big deal. Do you get phone calls in real life? Are they ever from people you don't know in person? Do you feel threatened by telemarketers who meant you no harm? Then why would you feel threatened by a call from somebody else who meant no harm? Thusfar nobody has made any explicit threats towards anybody else to my knowledge. Nobody has threatened any harm to anybody, so I don't see why anybody should feel threatened. cacophony 02:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I would support an indefinite ban of all self-identified members of GNAA. To the best of my understanding, the whole point of GNAA is to troll online communities. That members are now calling up Wikipedia administrators at work and possibly threatening them shows that we should block these on sight. It is certainly possible that GNAA itself does not advocate such harassment but the whole thing just makes me sick, absolutely sick. --Yamla 00:42, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
GNAA membership doesn't mean that someone is incapable of making good choices while editing here, so I don't GNAA members should be automatically banned. It does mean they're unlikely to make good choices though, so if it's clear they're not wearing their Wikipedia hat here, I'd support banning them. --Interiot 08:35, 12 December 2006 (UTC)


Helloooo, did anyone consider removing the userboxes and asking him to move his "war on blogs" to a less violent title and restructure it so it's not disruptive? If those are the only problems, there are more ways to get rid of them then with a permanent ban. Also note that admission to being in the GNAA means nothing on its own. 02:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

yes, it did not work. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 05:25, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
yes, and he put them back up. And the userboxes aren't the only issue. Patstuarttalk|edits 14:14, 8 December 2006 (UTC)


I personally don't think there is anything wrong with saying that you eat dog. However linking to Korea is likely to cause offense because not all Koreans eat dog, and more importantly, Koreans aren't the only one who eat dog meat. Linking to dog meat makes more sense. I also don't personally think there is anything wrong with saying you like Osama bin Laden per se. As long as we allow people to express a like (or dislike) for George W. Bush and other people, there is no reason people shouldn't be allowed to express a like for Osama bin Laden (indeed I think I've seen userboxes expressing a dislike for ObL before). However the wtc part is likely to cause offense. Nil Einne 15:35, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

As has been mentioned, the userbox issue isn't the only component of the argument for his banning. EVula // talk // // 16:11, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

blocked as a sockpuppet???[edit]

I am User:Biscuit-in-the-Basket and I was blocked for no apparent reason by User:JamesTeterenko as he claimed I am a sock puppet in addition all my edits have been reverted by this same admin. Could someone please explain to me why? I looked over all my edits to see if any of them could have been misinterpreted as vandalism or similar to another user, I also looked at the history of User:JamesTeterenko and he seems to have a long history of labeling many users, sock puppets that appear to have made positive edits. I would suggest taking the admin. privileges away from this user, most of his edits and blocking of innocent users I would consider vandalism. Can I be unblocked and my edits reposted?-- 10:43, 9 December 2006 (UTC)User:Biscuit-in-the-Basket

I looked over your edits and the VaughanWatch abuse page and could not find a definite connection after a very quick check. Some of the pages edited are the same, but that does not prove anything. However, I found that you blanked Talk:International Hockey Hall of Fame twice, replacing it with your own post. This is inappropriate. Since it was done twice, it was apparently intentional. None of the other edits I checked were clearly inappropriate. However, I am unfamiliar with hockey and do not know if the information is accurate. Also, if a claim is controversial, a reference should be provided. I suggest that you take the matter up with JamesTeterenko first. If you cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, there are other things you can try. -- Kjkolb 11:08, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
IMO before unblocking, do a CheckUser. – Chacor 11:11, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I am pretty new here, I did make a few edits prior to me registering to so I am getting familier with the system. The blanking of the talk page that you make reference to I thought was the proper procedure as I posted my comment and question, every thing else on there seemed so out dated. All my edits are accurate and could be backed by facts already posted on other wikipedia articles or references provided.-- 11:49, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I can't see any reason to believe this user is a sockpuppet. He edited a talk page of an article that a known vandal used to frequent, that's it! I've asked the blocking admin to unblock, if he doesn't do so, and doesn't come up with a good explanation, I'll unblock you. For future reference, if there are lots of out of date things on a talk page, we archive them, rather than delete them. Just move the take page to a page with the same name but "/Archive" on the end, and then replace the redirect that will appear in place of the talk page with a link to the archive and put your question underneath it. --Tango 16:48, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Details at Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page; general info at Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. John Broughton | Talk 19:15, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
As I mentioned on my talk page, I am willing to defend my actions if necessary (or go to a checkuser if required). However, I do not want to do so in a public forum because I do not want to give this user any tips on making better sockpuppets. If you want just a little evidence, see PeanutChiselTip (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) that appeared shortly after (and was blocked by a different admin). This is stereotypical VaughanWatch behaviour. -- JamesTeterenko 05:08, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
PeanutChiselTip reverting back to Biscuit-in-the-Basket's versions of articles is extremely suspicious, although Peanut/Vaughan may have been stalking you or just checking his favorite articles. However, if you have additional evidence that makes you reasonably sure, then I am okay with leaving it as that and not wasting time on a Checkuser request. -- Kjkolb 07:05, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
This edit is very telling. The concept that the IHHOF has made inductions and that is how they gained access to the HHOF is a view that only seems to be held by VaughanWatch/JohnnyCanuck and his sockpuppets. For example, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Inducted members of the International Hockey Hall of Fame. The only lasting support to keep the article is from sockpuppets. -- JamesTeterenko 15:18, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I have expanded Wikipedia:Long term abuse/VaughanWatch to include more of the characteristic behaviour of VW to make it easier for those not familiar with him. Please let me know if anyone has any doubt about this. -- JamesTeterenko 19:17, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Your theory sounds likely but there's a perfectly innocent alternative explanation: a user finds a factoid on the web, inserts it, it gets rolled back, they reinsert it, it gets reverted without an edit summary, etc. Now, if you had left a message on the user's talk page or at least an edit summary saying that this factoid has been proven wrong and pointed to the appropriate information, even the people who are not familiar with VaugalWatch could now know for a fact whether the user was acting in good faith or not. Zocky | picture popups 11:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I personally didn't rollback anything until after I blocked him as a sockpuppet. The previous reverts were by other users. I agree that a message should have been left for him while there wasn't sufficient evidence. By the time I saw any edits, it was very clear that it was indeed a sockpuppet. To determine that it was a sockpuppet, I looked at all of the users edits, not just the ones stated as examples. Almost every edit provided additional evidence that it was indeed VaughanWatch. In addition to being interested in the same topics as VW, having the same perspective on these topics (that are so unusual that I have not been able find a reference on the web or another individual that agrees), the same writing style, this user also has the characteristics of sock puppets -- JamesTeterenko 23:41, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Wheelwarring by administrators[edit]

What is the opinion of the community regarding how the Arbcom should deal with administrators wheelwarring. Should we step in when we, or Jimbo, sees it, or should we patiently wait for a case to be possibly filed? To deal with what we see, or have notice of, would break a basic rule of procedure we have more or less followed, not to initiate cases ourselves. Fred Bauder 15:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Given time people will often sort things out for themselves. In a case where the behavior adversely impacts Wikipedia, you or others can always give an admin your opinion in order to right things, but initiating a case when the people involved haven't felt it necessary doesn't seem appropriate. Your current method of operation is sound, and even if a change would fix some things, it might break other things. Atom 15:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I think it's fine for any given member of the arbcom to use the bully pulpit of that position to say, 'Please stop this behavior.' But I don't think the arbcom can issue binding decisions as a body unless a case has been filed. Chick Bowen 18:07, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Yah, the more interesting and important question here isn't about wheelwarring- it's about the Arbcom injecting themselves into a situation without needing a case that's been filed and accepted. This may or may not be a bad idea, but it's definitely a significant expansion of the powers of Arbcom. These two questions should be treated seperately. Friday (talk) 18:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not the role of the arbitration comittee to involve themselves in preventing wheelwarring. It may be the role of Wikipedians who happen to be in the AC to try and calm things down, as respected members of the community, but I would expect that of anyone with some common sense and in good standing, not just AC members. There's certainly no special executive mandate the AC has to intervene, nor should there be. Arbcom insists on every case being prepared, the rule works both ways, and the arbitration committee (as an entity, as opposed to individual members acting on their own steam and not with any kind of mandate) must not override their own standards. Proto:: 18:16, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
To clear that up - it may be the role of the arbcom to subsequently take action about wheelwarring, but only after a RFAr case is meandered through as per usual. Proto:: 18:17, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Meandered? I'd hope not. Wheel warring should be subject to a temporary injunction right at the beginning of an ArbCom case, and failure to abide by such an injunction should in my view result in immediate desysopping. Guy (Help!) 18:21, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Context, Fred? What issue is so urgent that two (or more) of us think it requires a wheel war rather than a mature discussion or peer-review by other admins? I'm guessing this goes beyond boldly reverting and then discussing, which may validly be extended to admin actions even if I would normally discuss before reverting? Since past cases have ended up in sanctions, the mere threat of ArbCom should be sufficient. My view on genuine wheel warring is that it should be stamped on hard and immediately. And yes if that means a pre-emptive ArbCom with temporary injunction, or even immediate temporary desysopping, then by all means, as long as the option remains to restore privileges if those involved apologise and promise never to do it again. There are few things more calculated to destroy the peace than wheel wars, and they also seriously undermine the community's trust in admins. Guy (Help!) 18:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
    Completely agree with JzG. Provided that it's well understood that a single revert of an admin action is not a wheel war, and is no big deal. I see no reason to treat admin reverts so different than edit reverts- they should not be done lightly, but we can't call them automatically wrong. Friday (talk) 18:22, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Admin Wheelwarring should be reported at WP:ANI, and dealt with by other admins and the wider community. ArbCom should not inject themselves into these disputes, unless there is a formal RfArb filed by a party. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 18:25, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Process for process' sake. Is the problem sufficiently urgent as to require immediate action? If so, take immediate action. If not, I'm guessing Fred would not be suggesting taking immediate action or possible scope creep. Guy (Help!) 18:37, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I think ArbCom should get involved as necessary, without having to wait for someone to file a case (if that even does happen). Wheelwarring can be very disruptive. It's best, for the sake of the encyclopedia, that problems are dealt with quickly. --Cyde Weys 18:44, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Surely our already-existing standard practice of all editors acting as a check on each other is quicker than arbcom involved? Friday (talk) 18:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Non sequitur? Clearly if there's wheelwarring going on then we aren't acting as checks on each other and ArbCom should get involved. --Cyde Weys 18:51, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Any Arbitrator, just like any other member of the community, can file an RfArb and request an immediate injunction seeking a temporary desysopping. I would assume that the ArbCom would respond very rapidly to such a request, as another Arb will have access to the ArbCom mailing list. I would expect the Arb filing the request to recuse from the subsequent arbitration case, of course.
I would expect that Jimbo, or any member of the Board, wouldn't have to go through the ArbCom if the situation were sufficiently serious and volatile as to require a suspension of an admin's bit. Jimbo and the OFFICE can just have a steward pull someone's admin privileges. Arbitration would presumably follow.
If we were going to expand the ArbCom's responsibilities from it's current judicial roles into active policing and enforcement, might I suggest that it would have been wiser to bring this up before the election? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:30, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

How about automatic desyopping of any administrator who reverses an action of another administrator without attempting to discuss the matter? Fred Bauder 19:48, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

How about bureaucratic paralysis? Sometimes bold/revert/discuss happens, and if we're acting like reasonable adults, this isn't automatically harmful. Friday (talk) 19:51, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
No, that's just instruction creep. If there is a wheel war that requires immediate action, Jimbo or OFFICE can get a steward to temporary deadmin the involved admins, pending arbitration. This already has precedent, so it would not cause an uproar if it happened again in similar circumstances. And of course, Jimbo can deadmin or ban whomever he wants at any time. Zocky | picture popups 19:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I just overturned an action by Friday (I unblocked an editor) a few days ago. I didn't discuss in advance, I just went and did it—then I explained politely on his talk page my reasoning. It calmed down a situation that was getting needlessly heated. I've done this a few times in my time on Wikipedia. Perhaps on three or four occasions all told.
Afterwards, Friday was both polite and reasonable, and we were able to discuss the matter constructively. (In fact, in all the matters that I've handled this way, there's never been a subsequent wheel war, and the admins involved have responded positively to my actions and reasoning.) As it turns out, the editor in question decided that my unblock was carte blanche to carry on with playing about with WP:POINT, making veiled attacks on the original blocking admin, and just generally being a WP:DICK despite warnings. I reblocked, as I had assumed some responsibility for the editor's behaviour by unblocking him in the first place. As far as I know, there hasn't been any sort of firestorm swirling around my actions, and everything is working out as it should.
I would have been desysopped ages ago under such an automatic process as you've described, Fred. I really think such a short route to desysopping isn't going to be a net benefit for the community. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Echo what TOAT said. Why should we own our admin actions any more than we own our edits? This is a collaborative project. We should all be a check on each other, and if there are many admins who object to being overturned, this is worrisome. Friday (talk) 20:22, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I followed the case that ToAT and Friday were involved in above, and that was indeed a case where productive discussion between the admins involved was possible. However, not all cases where an admin undoes another admin's actions will be so good-natured. It all depends on how reasonable and open to discussion the admins involved are. Admins should, theoretically by their very nature (if they were correctly chosen as admins), always be open to discussion, or at least be able to find a temporary middle ground where discussion can take place. In most cases of wheel-warring, I suspect, the admins involved are so convinced that (a) they are right and (b) there is no other way and no possibility of discussion; that the wheel-war continues. This type of attitude, not the actions, is what should lead to immediate referral for de-sysopping, in my opinion. Immediate de-sysopping should only be for a 'clear and present danger'. Carcharoth 23:35, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
This is about as reasonable as automatic blocking of any editor who reverts another editor without attempting to discuss. One has to wonder whether Fred so much as read any of the responses to his first query. —Cryptic 20:25, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
The ad hominem is unnecessary and unhelpful. --Cyde Weys 20:49, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
There was no ad hominem. Fred's idea does not seem to follow from the discussion in any way, and it is not an attack for Cryptic to point that out. Chick Bowen 20:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't see an ad hominem attack anywhere. Regardless, the examples of wheel warring under the proposed wheel war policy seem to be better examples of wheel warring. I don't think an automatic desysopping – albeit temporarily – is necessary for a single wheel war (which could be an honest mistake), but a desysopping for repetitive wheel warring, as defined by those examples, seems reasonable. -- tariqabjotu 20:57, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
(after 3 edit conflicts!) I was going to say that Fred nowhere says that he supports this, but calling Cryptic's comment an ad hominem is ridiculous and indeed unhelpful. Zocky | picture popups 21:00, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Of course it is an ad hominem (might want to read that article). Rather than arguing any of the merits of the idea, Cryptic accused Fred of not having read responses to another query. Note that this response is directed against the merits of Fred himself, and not the merits of the idea. --Cyde Weys 22:35, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
It's directed at the merit of Fred's actions. Cryptic was IMO mistaken to presume that Fred supports this, but assuming good faith, his concern is procedural, not personal. Zocky | picture popups 22:46, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

"Automatic desysopping" for any single action would be a terrible idea. My suggestion would be that an arbitrator who observes a wheel-warring situation, which isn't being resolved between the administrators involved, should post about it to this noticeboard and advise both/all of the involved admins to step back from their buttons until a consensus emerges. Newyorkbrad 20:28, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. First of all, not all wheel wars need to lead to desysopping--many are peacefully resolved and not in the grand scheme of things that big a deal. Second, "any administrator who reverses an action of another administrator without attempting to discuss the matter" is a ridiculously broad definition of wheel-warring to begin with, as TenOfAllTrades says. Chick Bowen 20:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Zocky and Newyorkbrad above. I do not think an automatic process would be helpful. If it needs to be done, get a steward to do it. A quick and temporary no-fault suspension of sysops could de-escalate things better than a difficult arbitration, or some kind of admin auto-desysop policy. As admins we should all extend a presumption of competence and good will to each other. If a page protection looks like stubborn stupidity, assume the other guy knows something you don't. Find out what that is before flying off the handle. If someone undoes your block, assume he had a good reason to. Don't take it as a slap in the face, because it almost certainly is not meant to be. If possible we should prevent things from getting to the point where one or another of us has to be publicly rebuked. Lately I've begun to wonder if we have built a system that somehow forces us to stone an admin every two weeks. Tom Harrison Talk 20:57, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it, the Stewards won't act on an involuntary desysopping request without a request from the ArbCom of the project involved. We know from prior incidents that ArbCom is capable of acting informally and expeditiously (i.e., without a case pending) when the members consider there is a true emergency in which the project is perceived to be endangered by an individual retaining his or her buttons. True emergencies are rare. Newyorkbrad 21:10, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Just adding that when somebody undoes your admin action, the first thought on your mind should be "Have I explained it well enough in the log entry?". If you can't be bothered to enter a valid description of your reason to block, delete or protect, you shouldn't expect other people to bother looking for your explanation in other places, or even to have a chat with you about it before undoing it. Zocky | picture popups 21:05, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
To give Fred the benefit of the doubt, I would ask him to give us some context. What prompted you to ask this question, Fred? It seems unlikely this question just popped out in your head. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:01, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
To join the chorus, no we should not desysop for reversing an administrator action. That would cause vastly more problems than wheel-warring ever has. It is not at all uncommon for Admin A to protect a page, Admin B to unprotect it after the problem seems to have been resolved, and then Admin A (or Admin C) to re-protect if the dispute flares up again. That isn't 'wheel warring'/grounds for auto-desysoping... that's admins doing their jobs properly. The majority of admin action reversals likely aren't even disputed, a sizable portion of those which are disputed would be/have been endorsed by consensus/policy, and even most of those which are widely contested stop and discuss rather than warring back and forth. True protracted 'wheel wars' are few and far between. As to ArbCom taking cases without anything being filed... I generally don't see the need. The whole idea is that ArbCom is supposed to be the court of last resort after all other dispute resolution methods have failed. This seems to suggest that ArbCom would take action before dispute resolution was even begun. Granted that wheel warring is a special case there might be some benefit in ArbCom imposing an immediate injunction to order it stopped (which is more or less a standing reality anyway), but beyond that I don't know that it would provide any benefit. --CBD 21:06, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I also think this is quite a bad idea. To pick another example, let's say CBDunkerson blocks Jossi just because he feels like it, and makes it clear on an offensive block summary that it was a decision made by whim. (The reason I picked them out: their comments are directly above this post.) I then go and unblock Jossi, because it would be a clearly improper block. Under such an "automatic" desysopping scheme, I would be summarily removed of my admin status.
While this situation is so implausible it almost seems absurd, there are other situations that are not as clear-cut (such as the ones brought up by TenOfAllTrades and CBD) that would be short-circuited by such a rule. Besides, do we really want to give wikilawyers another reason to bug us with? Titoxd(?!?) 21:15, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
IMO, Arbcom's purpose is to adjudicate disputes brought before it via RfAR's, not to proactively become a "wiki police". It is judicial in scope, not executive, to borrow terms from US government. -- Avi 21:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Er, guys? The phrase "wheel war" really does not apply to undoing a single admin action once, it means two or more admins repeatedly doing or undoing the same admin action. There's no possible doubt that this is a Really Bad Thing. It does not happen often. A bit of calm, perhaps? Guy (Help!) 23:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Editors who make disruptive edits can be temporily blocked from editing. Admins who make disruptive admin actions can not be blocked from adminning; a block from another admin only stops them from editing, which was not part of the problem. (When an editor abuses the position we take away his pen. When an admin abuses his position we take away...his pen?) Thatcher131 13:28, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Must something be DONE?[edit]

Is wheelwarring a problem which is so serious that something must be DONE about it? For your information, I'm just asking questions. I have taken no position. Fred Bauder 21:25, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • No. There is no substancial issue now. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Definately no. No more procedure creep please, at least not on this. - CHAIRBOY () 21:33, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Nothing more than the procedures we have now, in my opinion. -- Avi 21:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • No problem that I can see, most wheel wars are resolved without arb anyways, and they are not too common. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 21:44, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • We should always continue having conversations about the causes and potential ameliorations of admin disputes, as these are harmful to the project. But no, no new procedure needs to be created--desysopping should always be rare and reserved for genuine abuse. Chick Bowen 21:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • If anything, the problem that we should solve is the feeling among some admins that they deserve not to have their actions reverted. Mutual respect and collaboration does allow the occasional revert. Friday (talk) 21:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Something is done. Wheel warring inevitably leads to discussion at ANI. In most cases the discussion leads to a consensus that all parties are willing to abide by. Sometimes issues move on to Arbcom, which through injuctions should be able to promptly defuse the situation. It is rare that a wheel war is such an urgent and destructive concern that it cannot be adequately dealt with through this process. Given that both sides of a wheel war are generally well-intentioned administrators, I believe it is often healthier for our community to have this process of discussion and formal argument (even as messy as it sometimes is) than it would be for people to simply try and quell all wheel wars as quickly as possible. Dragons flight 21:59, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • (afer edit conflict - concur with Dragons flight also) No. This is a solution looking for a problem. There is AN/I; there is Rfar, with injunctions; there is OFFICE. I feel quite strongly that "immediate desysopping" by any member of Arbcom for any single action would be precipitous and unwarranted, if not downright abusive. Per Friday, we don't OWN our Admin actions any more than our Editor actions; another administrator may have found evidence we missed, or have a clearer perspective. They may, of course, be in error - and that too will sort itself out with the transparancy we have here on Wikipedia. Were "any Arbcom member" be given the power to be detective, judge, jury and executionor, there is no such community oversight, no consensus, no "second opinion" and certainly not the kind of group examination which we currently have with AN/I and Arbcom - and what if it is the Arbcom member who is unaware of the entirity of the situation? Bold, revert, discuss works fine. Wheel warring is a repetitive or continuous thing, not a "one off" instance. It has happened enough to cause a serious issue on Wikipedia precisely once, and that, too, has been sorted out - albeit with some bumps and bobbles. I see no reason to expand Arbcom's scope to this degree; and I see numerous reasons not to do so. One puppy's opinion. KillerChihuahua?!? 22:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not - the current way of managing the occasional (and it is occasional) wheel war is discussion, and a temporary injunction if this does not resolve the issue (and it rarely comes to that). The current system works - change for the sake of change is foolish. Proto:: 23:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Again, the only 'change' which I could see having some validity would be some sort of notification that, 'ok, this admin dispute has reached the point that it is disrupting Wikipedia - stop taking admin actions on this issue'. People almost always stop on their own before it gets to that point, but in the few cases where multiple disputed admin actions have been taken (most recently the whole 'disputed conditional re-adminning' conflict) it could be worthwhile to tell everyone to stop without having to go through a formal procedure. Just a notification with the implication that failure to heed a 'stopping now would be good' warning doesn't look good if/when an arbitration does take place (which they inevitably do on issues which have reached the point where such a notification would be warranted). --CBD 08:51, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Let me flesh this out a bit, since the proposal was mine on the mailing list and I think its grounded in good sense. First, let me say that, as an arbitrator, wheel warring is, by any definition, one of the most serious items of administrative misconduct one can do. Any case of what is clearly wheel warring will be inevitably accepted by the Arbitration Committee. Also important is that no one else but the Arbitration Committee can sanction an administrator in any way; this is different from editorial misconduct, in which any administrator may apply blocks and arbcom is not needed in the vast majority of cases. Now, I suggest that not only should we accept all such cases that come before us, but that we should take all such cases. Any wheel warring should earn an offender an automatic arbitration case, and arbcom will look into it, accepting a case, with or without community impetus. This is not a very extreme statement: the pedophilia wheel war case was referred to us by Jimbo. This is the model I sugggest. This is current arbitration policy, a case may either originate with a request that gains arbcom acceptance, or with a referral from Jimbo. Jimbo agrees that any cases that the Arbitration Committee deems wheel warring should be viewed as referred to us by him, and he will make this explicit if there is any question. One of the frustrations of being an arbitrator is seeing the valid cases that are causing harm to the community bypass arbitration because no one brngs it to us (the particularly hapens when both parties are at fault, and any potential initiator knows they will not fare well in arbitration; this describes almost all wheel wars). Also, third party initiators have little motivation for starting such cases, especially if they face stigma from people who are either uncivil, or popular (as admins tend to be). This is all that would happen: any case that the Arbitration Committee deems wheel warring may be accepted as a case (without prejudice to final outcome, as with all cases). This isn't a proposal about desysopping, and it is also about warring, not single acts or reversals. Jimbo has supported it, but Fred was afraid of community dissent: I hope the way I have described it clears up any concerns that this is a controversial new practice. Dmcdevit·t 22:44, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm afraid it does not. First of all, you say, "no one else but the Arbitration Committee can sanction an administrator in any way." This is simply not the case. Admins can block other admins and do; we have the right to say to another admin that they are not behaving properly and must stop their actions, and that can and frequently has resulted in solutions to wheel wars. Chick Bowen 22:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • If ArbCom initiates a proceeding, it has a case to prove (that there was really a harmful wheel war going on), i.e. ArbCom becomes a party to the proceeding. ArbCom arbitrating on its own case is not a good idea. Zocky | picture popups 22:57, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Ummm, what does it actually mean for Arbcom to accept a case if neither side is interested in presenting evidence? Dragons flight 23:01, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Arbcom would have to dig up evidence, but not that hard for wheelwarring. Fred Bauder 23:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
    • That doesn't happen, really. To answer your question and Zocky's, the idea is that the Committee will accept a case, in which parties will offer evidence, as with any other case. Parties that don't want to be in a case (if they're at fault, usually) still usually offer evidence. Findings are then based on evidence. Arbcom has closed cases without result for lack of evidence, but this is unlikely. Dmcdevit·t 23:07, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
      • I'm a bit confused by Fred's and Dmcdevit's answers. Does this mean that ArbCom would be proving its own case or not? Zocky | picture popups 23:38, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
        • You seem to misunderstand arbitration. There is no case to be "proven". A dispute is arbitrated in a case, meaning anyone can offer evidence, and the arbitrators make findings of facts based on the evidence, which then supports certain remedies. A case has scope, not direction. Dmcdevit·t 23:43, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
          • According to most dictionaries, arbitration is the process where a third side decides between two opposing positions held by two sides. These positions are the cases that are proved/disproved and or decided to different extents in arbitration. My problem is not with the sides to the original dispute, it's with the sides to the meta-issue of whether ArbCom intervention in a certain case is desired or not. Zocky | picture popups 00:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
There's some truth to both Zocky and Dmcdevit's positions here. If there were community sentiment that there is a problem needing to be resolved through greater ArbCom attention to wheel-warring disputes, which from this discussion there isn't at all, it would be easy enough to design a procedure to address situations where a case is opened on the ArbCom's own motion (most likely, the committee would designate an uninvolved Clerk or independent user as the equivalent of amicus curiae to assemble the evidence). But as I indicate below, discussion of changes to ArbCom procedure should abide the appointment of the six or more new arbitrators. In the interim, my suggestion that arbitrators (or anyone else) bring alleged wheel-warring problems to the attention of this noticeboard while admonishing the involved admins to await consensus here should hopefully be sufficient. Newyorkbrad 00:01, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
  • If nobody has asked for a case, it may be that it can be handled without arbcom, this is not a bad thing. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:02, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Wait, so if two admins countermand each other's administrative actions, even if it's subsequently resolved amicably (as it often is), and neither admin presses for Arbcom to get involved, a full Arbcom proceeding will take place, anyway? Yeesh. Maybe I should be glad I'm getting murfdered in the Arbcom elections ... pointless effort is exactly that. Proto:: 23:26, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • IMHO it is an instruction creep. In the most cases admins as a board can handle the case by themselves (by just blocking the disruptors). In the urgent and obvious cases (e.g. an admin repeatedly unblocking himself) any steward can fix it. In between there should obviously be enough people to file the case (even as a third party). Alex Bakharev 23:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • No, it's not. It's an important question for technical reasons - an admin can unblock their own account, so ArbCom, Office and Foundation have the only enforceable mechanisms for dealing with an outbreak of admin idiocy. They can cause the admins to lose the sysop bit, temporarily or permanently, so that the problem is actually and enforceably stopped. It's an extreme situation, and very rare in my recollection, but I am relatively new around here. Guy (Help!) 23:23, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • ArbCom still needs to refer the matter to a steward to desysop (being an arbitrator does no automatically gives one the steward bit). If the behavior of an admin is as egregious as repeatedly unblocking himself any user (including arbitrators) can refer the case to a steward. The arbcom is redundant here. Alex Bakharev 23:42, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

In addition to my suggestion above about a constructive but more limited role that arbitrators could play in such situations, at least as a first step that might resolve most problems, may I suggest that discussion of any significant revision of the Arbitration Committee's role or its policy for accepting cases should wait until January. I presume that the six or more new arbitrators soon to be appointed should participate in discussion with respect to any changes. Newyorkbrad 23:23, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Thank you Dmcdevit for the clarification. I would argue that in some extreme cases on sustained wheelwarring, ArbCom intervention should be welcome. But it will require very specific guidelines as for the criteria, method, and process of such intervention. An alternative would be that an ArbCom member steps in, brings a wheelwarring case to RfArb and recuse himself. After all ArbCom members are also editors, and in most cases admins themselves. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:31, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
    • ArbCom members serving as de facto prosecutors would be problematic appearance-wise, even with recusal. In contentious cases, which these are certain to be, we'd get the accusations that ArbCom is protecting its own members and/or power. I still think that we should rely on third parties to bring the normal cases to the ArbCom, and Jimbo and/or office should intervene in emergencies. It's not as if admins repeatedly unblocking themselves are a common occurrence. Zocky | picture popups 23:48, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
  • In addition to the above, a quick reading of WP:BAN shows that it is not only the ArbCom that can sanction an administrator (though I suspect Dmcdevit meant only the ArbCom has the authority to ask for the removal of an admin's administrative rights, not that only the ArbCom can sanction an admin in any way). I was thinking that community bans are possible, but I see that there are other possible routes for banning as well: (1) Community ban; (2) Ban ordered by the Arbitration Committee; (3) Ban authority passed by the Committee to a probation officer or mentor; (4) Jimbo bans someone; (5) Wikimedia Foundation bans someone (presumably under WP:OFFICE). Carcharoth 23:49, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Suppose there was such a thing as a 24 hour desyop meant to be used an average of once a day on the worst offender that day to set boundaries for incivility, contemptuous attitude, unblocking self, and disruptive reverting. It could be a good thing if a way could be found to prevent its abuse. An elected position held for only a month and ineligible to run again for a year? WAS 4.250 00:37, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Desysopping has always been reserved for and should always be reserved for severe abuse. As for the general point in contention here, I found this clarfication in response to my question to Jimbo about this useful. Chick Bowen 00:50, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Dmcdevit, here is the problem I (and possibly others) am having with this... I don't see the problem. You say that it is 'frustrating to see cases which are harming the community not brought to ArbCom'. Such as? In every case of 'wheel warring' (as I understand the term) which I can think of there HAS been an arbitration. Which would seem to mean only one of three things: this is a solution to a problem which does not exist, there are 'stealth' wheel wars out there with admins reverting each other back and forth half a dozen times but no one noticing... OR some lower threshhold for 'wheel warring' is being contemplated. The last would seem to be the only one which makes any kind of sense (given that both you and Jimbo have indicated that this is an actual rather than hypothetical 'problem'), but I can't agree with it. Admins should revert actions taken by other admins when the situation has changed or if the action was clearly wrong. Granted, that latter especially can lead to wheel warring if both 'sides' are convinced the other is wrong, but a single revert with explanation is not doing any damage to the encyclopedia. In most cases it is fixing an existing problem. Admins disagreeing on how long a page should stay protected (and reversing back and forth) is an inevitable but insignificant difference of opinion which always seems to sort itself out. Admins blocking users with whom they are in content disputes on outright false 'charges' (which I have seen less than half a dozen times) is the kind of thing which 'does damage to Wikipedia' and ought to be reverted immediately. Et cetera. Some examples of the sorts of cases you have been frustrated over not being able to arbitrate would be helpful in evaluating where you are going with this, but it does sound like you are seeing a problem in places where some of us do not. --CBD 09:24, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
To Fred and Dmcdevit, at the very least, why couldn't an arbitrator file a request for a case and then recuse? Surely this would follow accepted procedure. To the others, what is the difference between arbcom filing a case sui generis and one arbitrator filing and then recusing, except that one follows "process" and the other does not? Thatcher131 13:25, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I would rather not be involved in initiating cases that I am not involved with. On the other hand, if I am not involved, there is no reason to recuse. Perhaps clerks could initiate such cases in a pro forma manner. I think after this discussion I have come to a position. If there is conflict between administrators, it should be discussed at AN/I. Only if there is not a satisfactory resolution should it become an arbitration case. Perhaps that decision should be made on AN/I, whether a case would accomplish something. Obviously discussion between the administrators should precede even the AN/I discussion and apologies all around may help some after incidents occur. Fred Bauder 16:59, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

The elephant in the room[edit]

Since no one else wants to mention the specific case (or perhaps only one of them) at issue, I will. Was this a wheel war? Was it resolved amicably? Is it an isolated incident, or part of a larger problem? Thatcher131 13:22, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Without commenting on whether it was a "wheel war" or not, I think it self-evident that the actions by both parties were completely unacceptable. Removing a question from a candidate's question page, regardless of how loaded it was? Protection wars? Revert wars? No series of actions could have been more calculated to make all involved parties appear more ridiculous. It should never have happened, especially not between administrators of long tenure. Mackensen (talk) 13:36, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • So if Arbcom wants to act; to send a message that has been forgotten since January, should they have to wait for someone else to complain? Thatcher131 13:44, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • By "both parties" who do you mean? If you are referring to the two admins in the protection log, SlimVirgin protected an election page in order to prevent another person from asking a question of a candidate, and Geni, the election clerk, unprotected an election page that belongs open for questions. I don't see how the latter user's actions could be considered unacceptable, or the former user's could be considered appropriate. —Centrxtalk • 20:45, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • THANK YOU. Much easier to address than, 'guess what the heck they are talking about'. Definitely a 'wheel war'. Worthy of de-sysoping? Well, consider the total length of 'disruption'... twenty minutes and twenty-five seconds from first admin action to last. The end of the wiki it aint. Of course, there was an edit war (also involving admins) leading up to that and the whole thing was incredibly silly... but I'd think a good trout smacking would cover it. The best course would probably have been to let the candidate handle it... either by leaving the question in place or (once it was removed) alerting them on their user talk page that it had been there so they could restore it and respond if they chose. I think some of the actions in that dispute were 'worse' than others, but overall it was a minor flare up (clearly related to earlier conflicts... going all the way back to the pedophile userbox brouhaha) which was quickly ended when people realized how ridiculous such a fight was. --CBD 13:51, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
That episode was sui generis, but there have been a series of disputes about what is or is not an appropriate question (for a particular candidate or for the entire field of candidates) during the whole election process. Not to digress, but I think what's needed here for next time is a designated election official or two with authority to police the question pages. Newyorkbrad 14:05, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Hm? Worthy of desysopping? I'd say maybe; it doesn't realy matter how disruptive this one event was, but whther, based on the evidence, it was part of a pattern of poor judgment, or simply a forgivable mistake. You question misses the point, though. Here it is: Worthy of an arbitration case? Absolutely: that's the only way we can answer that pattern vs. mistake question. Dmcdevit·t 20:41, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Here's another one. [20] Thatcher131 13:44, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

  • And another [21] Thatcher131 13:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • One, two, three, four. Rare and resolved amicably? Thatcher131 13:56, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Neither the Skulltag or the Nixer-block matter rises to the level of a wheel war. In the case of Skulltag Humblefool is either actioning an AfD or a DRV outcome. That leaves one undelete by Sarge Baldy and one redelete by Awyong Jeffrey Mordecai Salleh. We wouldn't call two reverts by two different people an edit war, so we can't reasonably describe this as a wheel war. Similarly Nixer's block log has several instances (further down) of unblocks, but these all seem quite amicable and uncontented. Only Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington's reversal of Zoe's block, and Zoe's replacement of it, is a contended reversal of another admin's action, and again two reverals by two users is not remotely a war. These aren't elephants in tents, these are storms in teacups. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 14:04, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • All of the examples you cite seem like they 'just barely' meet the definition of 'wheel warring' I generally use and then stop... which is as I described things above; true protracted wheel-wars are exceedingly rare (none of these qualifies), most admin reversals generate little or no conflict (even some of these were amicably resolved), and even those which are hotly disputed generally stop at the point where it would become wheel-warring. So what's the problem? People disagree with each other? Not going to change. And the only way to prevent anyone from ever stepping up to or poking a toe just over the 'wheel warring' line would be to outlaw reversals entirely... which is a cure vastly worse than the disease. --CBD 14:21, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

ArbCom-initiated RfCs?[edit]

Would it help if the ArbCom, while not specifically handing down remedies, was able to comment on such cases, and present them as examples of what not to do? If the involved parties, or any third party, felt things were being misrepresented, or evidence was being missed, they could open a case. Kind of like an ArbCom-initiated RfC? That might also give the RfC process more bite, as at present many RfCs that fail to resolve end up at Arbitration sooner or later. This would also specifically address the ArbCom concern that cases where both sides act badly are not acted upon (as neither side would want to initiate an Arbitration), but would allow the admins involved to say sorry, while still having them hauled over the coals in public view so others know what is and is not acceptable. Carcharoth 14:27, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't have time for that, although I often read them once the case is to arbitration. In the case of users who are editing in good faith, but are mistaken regarding policy, my preference is to set forth the policy correctly, then let the matter go with an admonition to follow the policy. A couple of problems with that though: having gotten away with a "warning" a user may think nothing will happen if they keep on; such remedies sometimes don't have the support of other arbitrators who feel there ought to be serious remedies for serious infractions. Clearly though, after cutting some slack, and then cutting some more slack, at some point disruptive behavior must be grappled with whether it is because of can't or won't. Fred Bauder 16:46, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Possible solutions to unreported wheel warring[edit]

  • If unreported wheel warring is a serious problem, maybe someone could set up a group of non-arb comm members (admins and editors) who agree to watch the boards and present arb comm cases where appropriate. I'm sure a few words from Jimbo would motivate some group of editors to watch the watchmen.
  • On the other hand, in light of the current MONGO kerfuffle, I'm worried that Arb Comm is something of a blunt instrument to deal with wheel warring. If an otherwise productive admin engages in a minor wheel war, it seems to me that the best outcome is to encourage the admin not to do it again, whether by RFC, community feedback, or something else. Maybe this hypothetical panel of watchmen-watchers could have a set of escalating remedies at their disposal, ending with Arb Comm.

Thanks, TheronJ 14:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

User clearing talk page[edit]

It is my understanding that a user clearing their own talk page of warnings and other messages is considered to be against policy. In the case of User talk:Revrant I warned him once about uploading a copyrighted image from a porn site, and marking is as free use. I had the image speedy deleted, and returned to his site and all traces of my warning were gone. In reviewing the history, he had been warned once previously by another user. I returned the previous warning, and my own to his page, and left a polite note indicating that this (removing warnings) was against policy. If anyone else would care to discuss this with him, I'd appreciate it, as he has reverted me twice already. Maybe another opinion, or two might clarify the situation. Atom 23:25, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

No. Users may remove warnings from their talk page. At least it is a sign they were read. Archiving is preferred, but removing is allowed. If you are concerned that the user might be hiding misconduct, make sure to use an informative edit summary--that can not be removed from the page history. Thatcher131 23:59, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I knew you would do this, this is incredibly rude, I'm offended by these actions towards me and my Talk page, I already reverted your vandalism and quoted the etiquette, you removed that image before the stated date and did not give me a chance to provide a source, that's bad etiquette. I provided a source and legal information after you wrongfully removed the image before I could even react, you have stained my talk history and if you continue this I may consider your actions extremely hostile and get an Administrator involved. The issues were resolved, and thus I removed them from my talk page, which I am allowed to do, and you had no right to continually revert the Talk page, if you take one more hostile action I will involve an Administrator.--Revrant 01:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

My apologies but I am only quoting policy. I've been quite friendly and informative on your talk page, rather than hostile. The reason that we are here is because it made no sense to argue with you. After you reverted me twice, I thought it best to involve others. The image you uploaded was from a porn site, and had a clear copyright on the page it was posted on. You marked it as fair use when it was not. You didn't give credit to the movie it was from, nor the people in it, not mention the copyright. Apparently whomever did delete the image also agreed that it was a copyvio. Atom 02:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Atom, you are mistaken. There is no policy against removing warnings from talk pages. --Cyde Weys 02:44, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

My apologies, again. I got the idea from this: "Please do not remove warnings from your talk page or replace them with offensive content. Removing warnings from your talk page will not remove them from the page history. If you continue to remove warnings from your talk page, you will lose your privilege of editing your talk page. Thanks. smurrayinchester(User), (Talk) 14:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)"(See here[22])
Which references "Furthermore WP:VAND states: Removing warnings, whether for vandalism or other forms of prohibited/discouraged behavior, from one's talk page is also considered vandalism. It is generally acceptable to remove misplaced vandalism tags, as long as the reasoning is solid."
Which references Wikipedia:Vandalism. The current reading of which (among other things) says "Deleting the comments of other users from Talk pages other than your own, aside from removing internal spam, vandalism, etc. is generally considered vandalism. Removing personal attacks is often considered legitimate, and it is considered acceptable to archive an overly long Talk page to a separate file and then remove the text from the main Talk page. The above does not apply to the user's own Talk page, where this policy does not itself prohibit the removal and archival of comments at the user's discretion." Which is somewhat ambiguous, and could be read to mean "removal by archiving of comments is at the users discretion" OR "policy does not prohibit removal, nor does it prohibit archiving at the users discretion." As the phrase starts with the clause "...and it is considered acceptable to archive an overly long Talk page..." the former interpretation (removal by archiving is acceptable.") makes the most sense.
Apparently the latest word is now at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Removing warnings, which says "When users behave in a manner which is outside Wikipedia norms, they are often warned on their talk page. It is generally agreed that users who receive such warnings should not remove them from their talk page if they are valid." But, this is not policy, or even guideline, but more of a discussion, as there are arguments for, and against enforcement. (And likely the user in this case would continue his claim that his upload of a copyrighted screenshot of a porn movie was valid, and so the warning not valid.)
I also found (doing a search) dozens of recent cases of people being warned for removing warnings from their talk pages.
If it was policy in the past, and now a discussion is active as to whether it should be enforced or not, is it no longer policy, or what? What stands behind the statement "It is generally agreed that users who receive such warnings should not remove them from their talk page if they are valid."? Why are at least two admins here convinced that it is not policy, when clearly it has beenin the past?
Thanks, Atom 03:58, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
That user you cite was blocked. Blocked users get far less space than clean users. – Chacor 06:18, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I just dug my way through the various discussions, and I'd have to support removing "warnings" after they have been resolved, though I don't agree a notice to try and include copyright information for a picture is a "warning", nor after reading about "warnings" does it seem to fall in to that category. The discussions lean strongly in the direction of viewing it as unfavorable to delete "warnings" and disruptive, but not against policy, this issue should be cemented instead of unclear and somewhat up to the Administrator as how to deal with it. Also, does any reply to user's Talk page qualify as a "warning" if it is from an Administrator? I am unclear if the request made on my Talk page was a "warning" or not, and if I should have removed it after the issue was resolved if it was indeed a "warning".--Revrant 06:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I think this is pretty important to resolve in terms of what is precedent and what is desirable and defensible. I've seen several cases in the past where removal of warnings from user talk pages has resulted in severe tongue lashings and statements that removal of warnings will be taken as an indication that the user is a troublemaker or is trying to hide their wrongdoing. The negative consequences of confusion on this are pretty significant. Therefore, there should at least be a guideline on the matter, if not a policy statement of some kind. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 09:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Here is the situation. Some people thought it would be a good idea to prevent users from removing warnings. They said so, people disagreed, they went ahead and put it on the Wikipedia:Vandalism page anyway. It was removed as a major change without consensus. They re-added it. It was removed. They re-added it. Et cetera. Along the way templates were made up and used to 'enforce' this philosophy. However, this was never approved by the sort of broad consensus needed for something to become policy... and eventually a broad consensus was formed that it should not be policy and that the templates should be deleted. Atom quoted the right section of Wikipedia:Vandalism above, but apparently missed the relevant portion... "Deleting the comments of other users from Talk pages other than your own...". In short, the policy specifically excludes a user's own talk page from the list of those where they are prohibited from removing other people's comments. Edit warring to enforce keep something on a person's talk page which they don't want there is a good way to get a block for 3RR violation and/or harassment. Don't do it. --CBD 10:27, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the historical perspective. For clarity's sake, here is the text of the entire (short) subsection from Wikipedia:Vandalism. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 10:42, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
      quote from WP:VAND Policy "Talk page vandalism: Deleting the comments of other users from Talk pages other than your own, aside from removing internal spam, vandalism, etc. is generally considered vandalism. Removing personal attacks is often considered legitimate, and it is considered acceptable to archive an overly long Talk page to a separate file and then remove the text from the main Talk page. The above does not apply to the user's own Talk page, where this policy does not itself prohibit the removal and archival of comments at the user's discretion"
Thank you, I would have assumed it wrong to edit someone else's user talk page without having seen the rule, but hopefully Atom now understands this to prevent further incidents with others which might be seen as hostile or even reported as vandalism.Revrant 18:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm still not certain what the policy is or isn't. Others continue to warn people for removing stuff from their own talk page. The quote above, I quoted in my message, is ambiguous, and not clear. Apparently many people read the quote that is given two ways. Looking at the quote above, and particularly the last sentence, it says: " The above does not apply to the user's own Talk page, where this policy does not itself prohibit the removal and archival of comments at the user's discretion". As I said before, it could be read (and obviously is by many people)

a) The prohibition "above does not appply to the user's own talk page, where this policy does not not itself prohibit the removal and archival of comments" This is being read by some as "removal by archiving is acceptable and not prohibited." b) Others read it as "removal is not prohibited, nor is archiving". We need to rewrite the paragraph so that the policy is clear. We need a clear guideline or policy regarding the specific issue, not as some small portion of the vandalism policy. Atom 22:00, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Administrator ethics[edit]

Are administrators actually required to have ethics to continue being administrators? Are there any rules for administrators? KP Botany 01:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • That's a leading question if there ever was one. What's on your mind? Mackensen (talk) 01:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • edit conflict Administrators are expected to abide by all of the conduct guidelines and policies that other Wikipedians are subject to, including Assuming Good Faith and Civility, and they are subject to disciplinary action just like any other segment of the Wikipedian population. Are you thinking of something in particular? --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Admins are subject to all the regular policies, just like other users, plus specific policies in relation to the use of administrative tools, for example the protection policy in relation to the use of the ability to protect pages. --bainer (talk) 06:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I have something particular in mind. I think it would do administrators a lot of good to actually remind themselves of rules, you know, like administrator continuing education. And I think administrators should police themselves better and take more serious accusations of administrator misconduct at an early level--it might stop it from escalating, in fact, it probably would, since an editor simply scolding an administrator seems to have at least a little impact. Thanks for the links, Bainer, just what I was looking for. KP Botany 15:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
In all seriousness (and don't take this the wrong way), usually the only times administrators get scolded are by the editors that they've pissed off, and it almost never has any grounding in Wikipedia policy or guidelines. For an admin to shrug off a complaint is to be expected. I'd be happy to take an unbiased look at a particular situation, if you want. EVula // talk // // 16:00, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
The problem with along-term abuse on Wikipedia is that doing anything about it takes too much effort--I was considering it yesterday, when I got misdirected by a user account that appears to be a blatant sock puppet of another editor's account. The effort required to post the evidence to ask someone to investigate anything is prohibitive. I would still rather write and edit articles.
I would simply like administrators to consider what the impact of ignoring abuse by other administrators is, what the impact on Wikipedia as a whole is, when you let another administrator slide on some minor lack of ethics. What I think happens is the less conscientious editors are the ones most likely to cross ethics guidelines, and giving them a little leeway, by not calling them to task for minor unethical behaviour, can be mistaken for carte blanche to ignore administrators' ethical guidelines. But reigning them in immediately could give Wikipedia an administrator who takes ethics guidelines seriously and knows they are enforced.
Maybe I'll take you up on it in the future, but I doubt it, as I'd still rather write articles, and I get too steamed up about it. KP Botany 16:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Long-term abuse on Wikipedia becomes all the longer if you don't report it. Seriously, how can anyone do something about a problem if they don't know about it? I understand that sometimes it takes quite a while to build up a case proper against someone, but it is time well spent if you honestly believe that they are harming the project. Try gathering evidence in bits and pieces (saving diff links to your hard drive so the offensive admin can't track it); fifteen minutes every week or so shouldn't impact your encyclopedia writing too much. Hell, even just saying "so and so is doing such and such" without providing diffs could be helpful; perhaps someone else has been having problems with them as well, and will chime in with their own diffs. EVula // talk // // 17:35, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I'll consider it. I think it's a good idea to just gather evidence in bits and pieces, but I really think that the problem exists because administrators in general won't get involved when other administrators don't act in an ethical fashion. It is a valid point that administrators do take hits because of being administrators. I, for example, know for a fact that any time an administrator has taken me to task they've been wrong and I've been right, and, although other users wrongly feel this way, when only I rightly do, I realize that administrators get hit with this all of the time. One of the problems against me is that Wikipedia administrators are a self-selected group, and in spite of spending a lot of time editing over the past two months, I'm not really a hard-core web person, and if I go up against an administrator, saying they are and have been acting in an unethical manner for a long time, thereby making a big problem on Wikipedia an even worse problem, I will be faced with battling experienced Wikipedia administrators and users defending essentially their right to be a closed community. I've watched this happen a number of times on Wikipedia, where less Newbies have had legitimate complaints that have been bowled over in defence of more experienced editors who can play the system well. I think that, unless I become a more serious user than I am, and I won't and can't, because I have an outside job, that the cards are really stacked against me. I might give it a try, just saying "so and so is doing such" without the expectation of getting anything out of it, though. KP Botany 18:23, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Clarification please. You say "Yes, I have something particular in mind" and that administrators need to remind themselves of rules and such. But do you have a specific example incident or incidents, or repeated behavior (with a couple of examples) to discuss more concretely your feelings? Is there a specific circumstabnce where you feel that administrator conduct/ethics breaks down or might break down, which we can actually focus on? It's a bit hard to discuss if there is nothing actually the problem, and if there is something the problem then let's take a look at it closer to judge the ethics and conduct of those concerned. FT2 (Talk | email) 16:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I just really don't think that I can do this--see my comment above. Although I will consider some of the baby steps offered above. KP Botany 18:23, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Nope, administrators aren't expected to have any ethics at all. Why, every morning on my way to work, I specifically try to run over at least three puppies and/or children. This is, of course, after indefinitely banning several new members over breakfast. EVula // talk // // 16:00, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Don't forget the sweet, sweet graft. Seriously, though, admins are subject to the same policies as everyone else, plus the admin related policies. If you have an issue with an admin, there are a bunch of dispute resolution procedures that might help resolve the issue. Admin continuing education is an interesting idea, but challenging to implement. TheronJ 17:38, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, challenging to implement, but there are other ideas, like admitting there may be a problem and looking for other solutions that me be easier to implement. For example, review new administrators after a couple of months with the thought of making administrators better, or do self-nominated administrator review, and encourage it of all administrators. Maybe creating other types of administrators, specialists with limited powers (although I think the powers are already fairly limited), seeking ways of getting different types of administrators, figuring out if the process really does select only for like. The best thing about the editors at Wikipedia is the diversity, imo, that allows for creation of something with much broader appeal than a typical encyclopedia created entirely by editors educated at First World institutes of higher learning. Shouldn't the administrators be nearly as diverse? Or strive for some level of diversity?
I tried WP:DR with another user who then attacked me for disengaging from articles--one of the recommended steps in dispute resolution, I complained about being attacked for this, and was pretty much enitrely dismissed. I think WP:DR is the most dangerous and useless and ill-thought out policy on all of Wikipedia if it backfires on newbies in such a way, and experienced editors don't bother, and administrators ignore it. I really believe in what Wikipedia is trying to do. And I think that most of the most frustrating parts of Wikipedia can't be changed without changing some of the really great things about Wikipedia. I really believe that a committee of anonymous volunteers can create something great, not just great, but better than everything else, because it dismisses the dominant paradigm that the only way to learn is through First World institutes of higher learning, and that anybody being able to edit is one of the best ideas not just in all of Wikipedia, but in all of the Web. But WP:DR bites it big time, and even admins don't take its procedures seriously enough that they would bother to support some lame newbie trying them.
Graft is probably what I was missing out on. There ought to be unwritten rules for Wikipedia, like bribe early and bribe often. But I'm a starving artist, and my work tends to be political, obscene, and requires frieght to ship, so maybe I could just be provided with a useful list of administrators within driving distance who would accept artwork in lieu of money?
I do appreciate the thoughtful feedback. KP Botany 18:23, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Gibraltarian. Request for removal of ban[edit]

The Gibraltar pages were being targeted by a racist troll "Ecemaml", and my only "crime" was to take exception to his peddling his poison on WP. My POV was ALWAYS neutral, and my posts were made to ensure accuracy and NPOV. WP is NOT the place for users like Ecemaml and others to spout fascist inspired racist propaganda. The "arbitration" did NOT follow any procedure, my posts in my defence were vandalised repeatedly by Ecemaml, and there was no justification for my initial block. Merely disagreeing with "The bible according to Ecemaml" is NOT vandalism. This block MUST be removed if WP is to have any claim to neutrality. It is unjust, it is plain WRONG! I hope some Admin out there takes up this issue and acts accordingly. My block MUST be lifted. Justice demands no less. Gibraltarian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:14, 12 December 2006

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Gibraltarian, for ease of reference. Tony Fox (arf!) 19:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't know anything about the case or your editing beyond what you write above, but based on your word choice I can be nearly 100% assured the situation was/is not all that close to how you claim it is. Anyone that does have an interest in looking into this will likely find the same. Why not just try to actually follow the spirit of the NPOV policy and actually improve articles instead of your current efforts? - Taxman Talk 20:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Your block MUST be lifted? Bullshit. If you want it lifted, I suggest that you email an arbitrator or find yourself an advocate at WP:AMA and go to arbcom to ask nicely. Demands like yours above are very close to 100% guaranteed to earn a resounding "fuck off", so do take the time to write your request in somewhat less strident terms. Guy (Help!) 23:12, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Watch your language, gentlemen. Zocky | picture popups 23:43, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with JzG... minus the bad language, though I'd certainly be thinking it. --Deskana talk 23:48, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Well hush ma mouth. True, though. Guy (Help!) 23:51, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm guessing this is a classic case of a persecution complex. Alot of respected members of the community took a look at this situation and it's clearly not a case of a singe admin acting out of control. ---J.S (T/C) 23:58, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Merely based on this edit of yours, I think it is sufficiently clear that your editing was not, as you claim, "ALWAYS neutral." See also this relevant section, which passed 7-0, in your arbitration case. Picaroon9288 00:08, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
My $0,02: I disagree and think Gibraltarian should be unblocked. Not only because he can help counterbalance the (alleged?) raging Spanish POV, but it also can help the wiki-community maintain some control over his antics. Give him a probation, a revert parole or whoever else you believe it necessary, but when a use is banned, you don't have any menaces. You can tell a regular user "don't make personal attacks or I'll block you"; you can't say that to a banned user evading his block. You can't threaten or control such a user in any way. I agree though in that I don't much like the wording of Gibraltarian's request here. I also believe he won't repeat it now that he knows for sure that Wikipedians don't consider it acceptable. //Dirak 00:21, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
User:Gibraltarian has a long record of making such statements, and has had every opportunity to stop acting like a bigot and start editing constructively. He has chosen not to do so, this is his choice. Thus he remains blocked. Morwen - Talk 00:41, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Can't he change that choice, can't he be given another chance? //Dirak 00:42, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
He can indeed. However, look at his request here - the same tone of message that got him banned. If he wants unbanned, then he has to start being civil first. Morwen - Talk 00:46, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

This user is infamous: WP:LTA#Blocked User:Gibraltarian, {{Gibraltarian}} and WP:LOBU#A-L. 00:38, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Apart from his infamous ranting, i don't see any reason why this banned user who call other established users fascists and racists would change his own behaviour in wikipedia. Just a couple of days ago, he was here vandalizing and removing sourced content! He was the reason why many people in Gibraltar couldn't access wikipedia when they wanted hijacking their connections by using IP ranges 212.120.225.XXX which connect Gibraltar to the world. -- Szvest Wikiquote-logo.svg Wiki me up ® 09:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

immediate permanent deletion[edit]

I'm not sure of the appropriateness of posting this here, but this page seems to get appropriate attention. Perusing the WP:EL located at, this page and any others similar to it in history should be permanently deleted for a bit of CYA. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 23:56, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Eek. Those links should go! I'm not going to even look at them, but they give me chills. User:Zoe|(talk) 00:01, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Deleted. Ral315 (talk) 03:42, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Removing the birthdate from a minor's User page[edit]

I have removed the birthdate from User:Degenlash because he's a minor and it includes his full name and place of birth, as well. It might bear some more pruning. User:Zoe|(talk) 23:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Template/penis image vandals connection[edit]

call me a crank, but is there any possibility that the recent severe surge of vandalism aimed at the featured articles be in any way linked to the deletion of the GNAA article? See also [23]. Circeus 01:17, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't know, I don't care, but somehow I'm fairly certain that the GNAA people are happy to receive the attention and happy to be linked to. PDFTT. -- Hoary 02:31, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Who the hell cares. A vandal is a vandal; their "organization" doesn't mean anything. Ral315 (talk) 03:36, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The penis template vandals is from Singapore. See WP:RFCU and WP:RFCU/IP. Thatcher131 04:18, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The whois' I tried for the non-template penis images on the current main page FA showed allover the place (Australia, Bulgaria, US...) But then maybe I'm not good at using WHOIS... Circeus 05:14, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
These are just proxies, there's no way to be certain where the person actually lives. —Centrxtalk • 05:26, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Block as proxies? Titoxd(?!?) 05:36, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
If you're sure they're proxies, go ahead. Otherwise list it at WP:OPP for verification. Thatcher131 12:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

small request[edit]

This page, Universalism in Christianity is db-userreq tagged, and we'll probably be moving something else there soon so we want to get it out of the way. Can someone speedy it, please? — coelacan talk — 03:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Done (though it probably should have been marked as G7 rather than U1, as U1 technically only applies to articles subpages in userspace). —bbatsell ¿? 04:02, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. What is the template we should have used? — coelacan talk — 04:04, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
{{db-author}} —bbatsell ¿? 04:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Single purpose Spam[edit]

Brack1969 (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) which also seems to be this ip (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log) same articles/links.--Crossmr 05:07, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, you warned them about it. That's about all that can be done now until they recommence spamming, at which time they should be final-warned and after that, reported to WP:AIV. Sandstein 15:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Bad username[edit]

I came accross a vandal with the username Hippyhater3. I just thought that this was against the username policy.

(Short and sweet)


Tyson Moore es 13:07, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Please send these to WP:AIV in the future. Thanks. MER-C 13:08, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Unblock tennislover[edit]

An additional checkuser was performed on Tennislover (talk · contribs) at Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Cute 1 4 u. Based on this, I would like to assume good faith and unblock Tennislover (though obviously not Cute 1 4 u). However, I would like some reasonable amount of consensus before doing so. This is a particularly difficult case and I want to avoid even the possibility of a wheel war. Given that Twister Twist appears to have been a sockpuppet of Tennislover, I may be a bit hasty. But given the situation and given Tennislover's extreme patience and civility during this process, I believe an unblock and a general-Wikipedia-apology to be appropriate. I am not asking or demanding that the blocking admin apologise, however, as policy seems to have been followed appropriately; instead, whoever unblocks this user (myself, if I do) should extend an apology to the user. --Yamla 22:01, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

It is fairly obvious that User:Sweet Pinkette and User:Tennislover are in contact outside of Wikipedia. Both have also been "cleared" from suspicion as sockpuppets of User:Cute 1 4 u, however, this connection is still suspicious overall. Since User:Sweet Pinkette is not blocked, I think User:Tennislover should be unblocked as well (pending explanations for actual sockpuppet accounts of Tennislover), but I do still hold some reservations about the character behind this account. -- Renesis (talk) 22:27, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Support the unblock on the grounds that he is not Cute 1 4 u. Not taking into account any other actions. ViridaeTalk 06:05, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
User:Sarah Ewart did the unblock already. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 08:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, sorry guys. I wasn't aware of this thread until just now. I unblocked on the basis of the inconclusive checkuser. Sarah Ewart 16:28, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


Thelaststallion (talk · contribs) continues to add increasingly nonsensical variations on the theme "Richard Wright is cool" to Richard Wright (politician). My request for Thelaststallion to desist ([24]) was met with quite a dismissive attitude ([25]) and further insertion of nonsense, this time referencing the "Intergalactic Council on Coolness" ([26]). Could someone with a bit more patience and tact than myself help convince Thelaststallion that his additions are not, in fact, improving Wikipedia? Thanks! -- Jonel | Speak 23:59, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I just gave him a {{test2}}. User:Zoe|(talk) 00:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

And now he has just been given a {{test4}} User:Zoe|(talk) 19:19, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

He seems to have brought all his friends, both to Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and Richard Wright. -- Jonel | Speak 06:20, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

User:Berkeley City College[edit]

User:Berkeley City College - is this userpage appropriate? It's pretty much an ad for BCC. S/he's converted the Berkeley City College page to the same ad for BCC, which I've reverted. Argyriou (talk) 00:18, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Appears to be copyvio of official website[27], plus copyrighted photograph cannot be used on user page, only in article if necessary and fair use, blah blah blah. Can I blank it? Can I? Please, someone tell me I can blank it, and don't anyone do it before me. KP Botany 00:32, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Go for it. I'd personally comment it out and ask the user if I thought they'd take it the wrong way, or if the opposites were true, {{db-spam}}. 00:41, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
User:Berkeley City College has replaced the article at Berkeley City College several times, also. See their talk page, and mine. Argyriou (talk) 00:43, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I've removed two "fair use" images from the userpage and left a note on their talk page explaining my edit and the rationale behind it. Someome else may want to suggest a username change as the current one may not be legit. 00:46, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
User has reverted your edits. In comment to my userpage, s/he claims to be part of promo dept of BCC. Argyriou (talk) 00:50, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, don't hold this against me, but I blanked the user page, and put a note on the user talk page, and really enjoyed it. I have always wanted to blank a Wikipedia page, and, it's not that I'm scared to, it's just that it's pointless and pretty much in the top 3 of most boring acts of vandalism on Wikipedia. The user is asking for help, someone outside can explain the situation. My note did explain the copy vios, the non-fair-use of a copyrighted picture on a user page, and plagiarism issues. KP Botany 00:59, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Tey reverted it. I get to do something even more fun- the blank-and-protect. RyanGerbil10(Упражнение В!) 01:17, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

The user tried a workaround by duplicating their page at New Berkeley City College (which I redirected). I hope this isn't a trend. --Calton | Talk 05:42, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I should have also asked if the username is appropriate, or should be disallowed. There is no evidence that User:Berkeley City College has the right to represent BCC to Wikipedia. Argyriou (talk) 01:14, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
It should be disallowed. According to the criteria on WP:USERNAME, a trademarked name with no sign of permission is not allowed. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 01:18, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I've issued a {{Username-Warn}}, in addition to a test3 for image removal. Argyriou (talk) 01:26, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Death Threat Accusation[edit]

Should admins be held accountable for false info and copyvios in user sandboxes they help move to articlespace?[edit]

As the topic states. Should admins be held accountable for false info and copyvios in user sandboxes they help move to article space? WP:RM says no discussion of moves. I added a general comment to one proposed move (not discussing the move itself!) that since the person requesting the move has a proven history of copyvios, the moving admin should check the article before performing the move. Is this legit? And should they get in trouble should there indeed be copyvios? – Chacor 16:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Please consider WP:AGF, both on the part of the author of this article and on the part of the admin. Nobody on Wikipedia has mindreading software ... if a page isn't an obvious copyvio, an admin can't be expected to magically know that it is. BigDT 16:19, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm confused by all this talk of "held accountable", but a simple note saying "hey, would someone please check this for copyvio, they user has a record" seems appropriate, although I wouldn't be too annoyed if anyone missed this. Morwen - Talk 16:21, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I meant that if admins missed it, should they be warned about copyvio just as a normal editor would be? Should they [not?] be held as accountable as an editor if that happens? And to BigDT: It's not difficult to copy and paste two random sentences from the article into google. – Chacor 16:2