Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive10

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Contents: March 4, 2005 - March 10, 2005

Range block on Vandal?[edit]

The last few minutes I've been blocking and cleaning up after a vandal from New Zealand who ignored my initial request to stop vandalism. Since then he's shown up under similar IPs (two of them vandalizing Jimbo's user page. I'm still checking to make sure they are all the same person, but could someone please check if a range block would be appropriate?

-- Mgm|(talk) 10:58, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)

All anons are from Dunedin, New Zealand, except User: (Manilla, Phillipines). Mgm|(talk) 12:49, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)
If this person is still up to their tricks, I suppose we could block 210.54.196.* and 210.54.197.*, but it would have to be a short block as we're supposed to not block ranges for a long time. Noel (talk) 14:00, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Page move vandalism by User:Wikipedia is Fun[edit]

This was done in such a way as to make some moves straight back impossible. Could someone confident in restoring the history (which I'm not) please look into this? Charles Matthews 11:31, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That's pretty terrible. Any progress on getting a page move rollback implemented? Rad Racer 00:37, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Did anyone save a list of this creep's moves, and if so, where is it? I found a few tombstone redirects on the 'User contributions' page of one of the people who cleaned up, and deleted them, but since the moves had all been undone, the vandal's 'User contributions' page is blank. Noel (talk) 14:33, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Maybe the easiest way to get a list is to look through the deletion log, as those I fixed I deleted directly. They all had a "WARNING!" somewhere in the title. Amoung those moved where the Current Events and the Community portal. andy 14:35, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ah, no, I was wanting a list which also (or only, no problem which) showed the ones that hadn't been deleted yet! (So that they could all be nuked.) Clearly, the deletion log wouldn't help there! :-) Noel (talk) 14:44, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Three revert rule violation on Template:Sisterproject. hist

Four full reverts by Itai. Edit summaries all include personal attacks calling for another user's banning.

Reported by: Netoholic @ 18:11, 2005 Mar 4 (UTC)


  • Before anyone looks at the history and think I violated, I did not. I revert to the redirect version two times, but then made two edits taking the template in a new direction. Itai's fourth revert stands, since I didn't want to take any chances until this was posted. If anyone likes the new usage, feel free to revert to it. About the personal attacks in the edit summaries, I would think that alone also calls for a block of some additional time. -- Netoholic @ 18:11, 2005 Mar 4 (UTC)
blocked for 2 hours.Geni 18:20, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I hope that is either a joke or a typo. -- Netoholic @ 18:30, 2005 Mar 4 (UTC)
12 hours. Personal attacks are slightly irrelivant to the 3RR since admins do not have the power to block for them. You were edit waring Netoholic your tactics were straight out of how to push someone to break the 3RR 101. I am requesting that you do not continue this behaviour.Geni 18:56, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That's bold. The pages are fine for days, and then Itai comes in and pushed through his versions. I revert, and you say I am edit warring. What am I to do? Each time he returns, I leave notes on his user talk: and the other talk: pages. I also offer new suggestions and fully document the reasons for my edits. What more can I do? I cannot file an RfC because I am not aware of anyone that wants to co-sign. -- Netoholic @ 19:05, 2005 Mar 4 (UTC)
We do need a method by which a single user can bring a complaint to the wider community don't we.Geni 19:49, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

And another one - User:Socksucker and User:A freaking sick vandal![edit]

And another page move vandal, and to add to the fun he replaced his userpage with a direct redirect to the Main page of the kr: wikipedia, which he defaced (abusing RickK's name) with a goatse-style collage. Still cleaning up his mess, keep out a look. And I start to get tired to manually revert this kind of vandalism, it's much time to limit the page maoving!!! andy 00:01, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Back in those heady days of June 2004 when we fought the vandalbots as valiantly as we could, didn't the developers impose a temporary threshold for page moves -- accounts had to be at least 1 months old and have x number of edits, or something along those lines? If so, perhaps we can propose to reinstate that threshold on a permanent basis? Certainly the page movers (good old Willy on Wheels comes to mind) are our most disruptive vandals. Jwrosenzweig 00:36, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Requested moves/Min edit count. —Korath (Talk) 09:43, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

Sandbox moved by User:The Thief[edit]

The Thief (talk · contribs) moved Wikipedia:Sandbox to Creep (Radiohead):

N 07:07 Wikipedia talk:Sandbox (diff; hist) . . The Thief (Talk) (Wikipedia talk:Sandbox moved to Talk:Creep (Radiohead))
07:06 Creep (Radiohead) (diff; hist) . . Boothy443 (Talk) (rake)
N 07:06 Wikipedia:Sandbox (diff; hist) . . The Thief (Talk) (Wikipedia:Sandbox moved to Creep (Radiohead))

I can't move it back because Creep (Radiohead) has history. Needs an admin please. —AlanBarrett 07:34, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

For some reason I kept getting an error message when I tried to delete the Sandbox so I copied and pasted Creep back and then deleted Creep. RickK 07:46, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

Whatever you did seems to have lost the sandbox history. I see only 5 lines of history at [1]. Wikipedia talk:Sandbox seems fine, however. —AlanBarrett 08:23, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It's been fixed by a developer. Move along people, there's nothing to see here. -- AllyUnion (talk) 08:28, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Page moves[edit]

The page move/goatse/pelican shit vandal just struck again. Could SOMEBODY with some clout with the developers PLEASE get them to acknowlege that we need some sort of check on page moves from newly created accounts? RickK 08:53, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

There is some feature in the software already, i.e. no page moves for the newest 1% of users (see discussion on Wikipedia talk:Requested moves/Min edit count). We just need to turn this on ... better sooner than later! -- Chris 73 Talk 10:48, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
According to Brion in #mediawiki, this feature is now enabled on en. — Dan | Talk 12:50, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I just had my first case of a user who did a cut-n-paste move because they couldn't do a normal move. A definite downside for this solution; everyone might want to keep an eye out for similar "moves". Noel (talk) 19:51, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

User:NSM 88[edit]

Aparently I will leave his version of the David Duke article if I know what is good for me.Geni 15:58, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Apparently I will block him indefinitely. Snowspinner 16:08, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)
sheesh, at least they're easy to spot, what with their 88s... dab () 13:46, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Help needed fixing cut-and-paste move[edit]

I screwed up. Slrubenstein had done a cut-and-paste move of Alisha Ben Abuyah to Elisha ben Abuyah (previously a redirect, but which had been a substub before being a redirect, so it had some history). I tried to fix this, per the instructions at Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves. I deleted Elisha ben Abuyah. I moved Alisha Ben Abuyah to Elisha ben Abuyah. Next, I planned to undelete Elisha ben Abuyah, but when I go into its history, I've got the history as it would have looked before I started this process and no option to undelete. That is, the history I see pertains to the version of Elisha ben Abuyah that I deleted, not to the moved article. If anyone has a clue, Help!. (I've let Slrubenstein know that cut-and-paste moves are a no-no, and that if he finds in the future that he needs to move an article and cannot, please just leave a note rather than creating a tangled web.) -- Jmabel | Talk 20:04, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

I think I fixed it, but would appreciate it if someone would check and make sure. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:15, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I brought back the rest of the history of the article, and also brought the history of the Talk: page (which also suffered a cut-n-paste) over too. Noel (talk) 02:17, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
PS: I think the problems you are seeing were probably due to the bug discussed below at #More page move bugs. Noel (talk) 02:34, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Maybe this bug should be mentioned on Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves, so people like me aren't mystified. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:07, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

It is now. Lupo 07:40, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Dnagod back as User:[edit]

I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Dnagod is blocked at present. One of his last projects was Conscious evolution, concerning which a VfD went against him, and it was deleted. An anon user has now appeared, with similar interests, and a similarly low level of contribution and abrasive style of edit summary ([2]), and the ninth action in his edit history is to recreate 'Conscious evolution' as a redirect to Transhumanism. Could someone check to see if Dnagod is getting round the block (or am I being paranoid)? Thanks. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:07, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Spammed 30 to 40 user pages in an attempt to force an outcome on VFD. See: GRider (talk · contribs) -- AllyUnion (talk) 02:24, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)


This user insists on moving Manchester Cathedral to The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester, even though it is Wikipedia policy to use common names (Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)), and even though its official site is at and its copyright notice is "© Manchester Cathedral". He is doing the same at Bristol Cathedral. On his talk page he used a personal attack. -- Curps 21:39, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

On his talk page he has now announced his intention to move United Kingdom to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and regards any reversion of his moves as vandalism. -- Curps 21:45, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Looks like your main problem is that you cannot read. I say I regard your reverts as vandalism. and the first line of the web site is spacer welcome To the website of The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester. --Jirate 21:53, 2005 Mar 6 (UTC)
...and to this end he moved United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is a redirect to United Kingdom) to Jiunkrn Ireland, then tagged it as a speedy delete. --rbrwr± 21:51, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
So if you remebr rightly it say be bold editing somwhere in the how to do wiki.--Jirate 21:53, 2005 Mar 6 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Be bold in updating pages specifically advises you to read the naming conventions before moving pages. The naming conventions are clearly against the moves you are making. --rbrwr± 22:02, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree.--Jirate 22:06, 2005 Mar 6 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) says, "use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things" From that I conclude that, for instance, Bristol Cathedral is a better title for an article than The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity (even most Bristolians wouldn't know what you were talking about) or The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Bristol. There are exceptions, of course, but this isn't one of them. There are some good reasons for the common-names policy, which are given on that page. --rbrwr± 22:15, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That last "Jiunkrn Ireland" stunt is clearcut pagemove vandalism. -- Curps 21:58, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

For the benefit of anyone else following this, User:Irate has filed an RfC at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Curps. -- Curps 22:31, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC) User:Irate later requested the RfC to be deleted, and Silsor did so.

"Be bold" is fine, "be utterly pedantic" is another story. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:38, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

This user is continuing to move pages, the latest being Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. --Carnildo 00:03, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

And I have explained my reason. If it to be the common english usage then it's Anglican Cathdral, Liverpool and Catholic Cathedral, Liverpool. As the people who use it most live in Liverpool and that's what they say.--Jirate 00:12, 2005 Mar 7 (UTC)
I do not recommend blocking User:Irate. If you're concerned about these page moves, please bring it up on Wikipedia:Requested moves. Please don't get into a page move war, unless Irate resorts to vandalism again. Rhobite 00:09, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)

This user's contributions are bad, but at the same time your warning made it sound like you were "flexing your muscles", so to speak, instead of fixing the situation. silsor 00:41, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)

He just moved Liverpool Cathedral to Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool again. -- Chris 73 Talk 00:55, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)
And why do you think that is wrong, what rule does it break. Or is it just a covienient band wagon for you to jump on.--Jirate 01:16, 2005 Mar 7 (UTC)
And I moved it back again, entirely unaware of the preceding discussion. However, the cathedral's official website uses "Liverpool Cathedral", and, as I wrote on Irate's talk page, it seems to me that the cathedral's proprietors ought to have the final word on what it's called. Also, a Google search for "Liverpool Cathedral" returns 15,300 hits, whereas "Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool" returns 59. — Dan | Talk 01:11, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And as I have pointed out they are not the owners. You have not eliminated the Catholic cathedral from your search. If you use Liverpool Anglican Cathedral you get 5000+. If you go down the pub here, you'll get a whole set of answers. --Jirate 01:16, 2005 Mar 7 (UTC)
And yet another move of Liverpool Cathedral to Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool. I personally prefer Liverpool Cathedral. Irate, could you try to be less ... ah ... irate? -- Chris 73 Talk 01:28, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)
I started a poll to clear up the issue. See Talk:Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool and Wikipedia:Requested moves. Rhobite 01:36, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)

Rhobite, Silsor, I was under the mistaken impression that User:Irate had renamed the actual United Kingdom article to Jiunkrn Ireland; instead what he had done was to rename the little-used redirect United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to that nonsensical name, apparently for the purpose of stealthily nominating it for a speedy-deletion. [3]

So that was why I "flexed my muscles" with a very strongly-worded warning and threat to block, because although any page-move vandalism is still page-move vandalism, it would have been much more serious to do it on a highly-visited article page than on a little-used redirect page.

I originally took this to the /Incidents page because User:Irate was extraordinarily combative — it's not often that a neutrally-worded message on someone's talk page get an immediate "cretins like you" response.

The talk page record is preserved here: User_talk:Irate ("Cathedral names" section) and User_talk:Curps ("Stop vandalising" section).

Anyways, this has now moved to Wikipedia:Requested moves. -- Curps 03:33, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Three revert rule violation on David Duke. hist

Reported by: 12:46, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)


  • Seems to be a sockpuppet, as he knows the drill quite well.
    • Blocked for 24 hours for a 3RR, although a infinite ban for inappropriate username may also be OK. -- Chris 73 Talk 12:49, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)
      • I tend to disagree about it being an inappropriate username. It happens to be a common first name in German speaking countries, so unless users show clear Nazi beliefs (I haven't checked), I think the username isn't a real problem. Mgm|(talk) 12:52, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)
            • It happens to have been a long time ago a common first name in German speaking countries. I have met only one person ever under 40 years who had Adolf in his name - as a middle name and only because the name ran in the family for centuries. Refdoc 22:56, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • Hmm swiching between versions to try and hide activities definte sock.Geni 12:53, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Adolf may be a common name in germany, that's OK, but in combination with nazi-related edits it's troublesome. Especially when he seems to be the sockpuppet of another nazi user. -- Chris 73 Talk 12:59, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)
  • Someone pointed me to this choice edit by our friend. I'm guessing this user name will not have a long and productive life. 13:26, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Revisionist Zionism[edit]

A poster by the name of AndyL has consistently inserted misleading and disparaging information into this article and has petitioned Jaing to lock it until the issue is resolved. I do not believe it can be resolved because he has shown that his agenda is to provide slanderous, POV information into the article.

For example: He has stated as a matter of factly that the Lehi faction was inspired by Italian fascism and Spanish nationalism. This is hardly the truth as Lehi has different streams, some corporatist some socialist. It was a movement very hard to pinpoint.

Secondly, he has deleted crucial information about the split of the Revisionist movement within Israel and the Diaspora and the fact that Jabotinksy did not have any control over the Irgun faction. He doesnt seem to be interested in historical accuracy and most of his information comes from left wing websites, but he cites outragous and hotly disputed statements as facts.

Please help. Guy Montag 02:17, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Did you read the header of this page, where is says "this page isn't the place to bring disputes over content"? Noel (talk) 04:39, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

My RFC[edit]

I notice I'm still listed there. Can someone remove this? It's kinda getting a little old now. - Ta bu shi da yu 08:43, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Link spamming[edit]

I just came across an anon IP who spammed random external links by changing internal links in Current events, Community portal, and Help contents. I've blocked him and reverted their latest changes to Current events. I've blocked them, but please stay on the lookout for similar edits. Mgm|(talk) 11:37, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)[edit]

A vandal, obviously annoyed by our anti-spam list (see the deleted version of his user page), created many articles containing nothing but a redirect to the infamous Image:Autofellatio.jpg. As he obviously found hole in mediawiki (see Bugzilla 1656) these redirects don't show up in the "what links here", and one is directly directed to the image without any "redirect from" message. Due to the second I accidently deleted the image, thinking I delete the redirect. IMHO this porn image does not need to be resurrected (I cannot do that anyway) and the drawing from commons is better, but as I remember quite a discussion about it I think I should note my mistake here. andy 11:40, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There was indeed quite a discussion about it. I deleted it once before (causing much outrage) and eventually re-uploaded it: though it can't be undeleted, it can be found at several of Wikipedia's mirrors if re-uploading becomes necessary. — Dan | Talk 23:52, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Random entity vandalism[edit]

We may be getting some automated vandalism going on. Today I've reverted two incidents of random entities being inserted before section headings by first time anon editors. For example [4] -- Solipsist 17:51, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

User:The Recycling Troll[edit]

See also: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Snowspinner

This troll is at it again, stalking me and voting the opposite from my votes on VfD. Has been blocked once before for the same behavior. RickK 00:49, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

If I go around and vote opposite you, will you block me too? -- Netoholic @ 00:52, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)
Dunno. Will you be a new user who follows his every edit and makes it clear from his username that he's a troll? (Snowspinner) 01:11, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
One's username doesn't automatically mean that they are, in fact, a troll. May I point out that my original name, before adminship, was User:ClockworkTroll. It's one's behavior that makes one a troll, not one's name. – ClockworkSoul 14:21, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
At any given time there are hundreds of open votes on VfD, any one person can only pick a handful of them to vote on. The odds that two people would randomly pick the same handful and consistently vote in the opposite way each time are nearly impossible. If you did this, you would effectively disenfranchise RickK and deny him any right to vote. Yes, I think that would be grounds for blocking someone. If you think it's OK to take away someone's right to vote, you could hardly turn around and complain about someone else taking away your right to edit. -- Curps 08:10, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Curps, this is so wrong! There are many ways to navigate Wikipedia and using another user's contributions is as valid a way as any other particularly if you share interests. Refdoc 21:07, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Honestly, Rick, that's no good if that's what he's doing, but how in the world could we verify his motives? And even if we could, is a blockable offense? I would say just rely on the judgment of those who determine the outcome of the votes to give proper weight to his vote and to yours. Everyking 01:02, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Let's go ahead and call a spade a spade. Snowspinner 01:11, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
Blocked for a week. Snowspinner 01:11, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
01:13, 2005 Mar 9 Snowspinner blocked "User:The Recycling Troll" with an expiry time of 7 days (Repeating behavior that got him blocked last time.)
Snowspinner, the one-man ArbCom. This "Troll" makes some very helpful edits, and just happens to vote opposite of RickK. You have no grounds, and I hope some more even-tempered admins will take care to unblock him ASAP. Geez man, you didn't even contact him on his talk page to explain things. -- Netoholic @ 01:39, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)
Having discussed this with him previously, I didn't see much need. And let's be clear - this is not an issue of him voting opposite RickK. It is an issue of him systematically editing every article RickK does, down the line. That is stalking and harassment. Snowspinner 02:05, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
Only if RickK let's himself feel harassed. RickK tends to handle a lot of Recentchanges. He marks them for deletion, pov, cleanup, etc. It seems reasonable that following RickK's edits in order to find work that needs to be done is a good technique. The only harrassment I see is on your part, and would happily co-sign an RfC to that effect, if anyone else is inclined. -- Netoholic @ 02:15, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)
Well, you have a valid point, but I hesitate to go to bat for someone called "The Recycling Troll." Why not file an RfC on behalf of someone who wasn't trying to provoke a block? Rad Racer 02:34, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Snowspinner, when dealing with what you consider troll behaviour, it is important to maintain your equanimity and the moral high ground; otherwise your actions as an administrator are apt to become the issue, and distract attention from the behaviour that you were attempting to deal with. As a result of your action, other administrators now have a more complex situation to deal with. For one thing, there is nothing in Blocking policy, so far as I can see, that sanctions a block in this case, and if there is, there is nothing that sanctions a 7 day block. The nearest section that could apply is "Disruptive behaviour", and the policy calls for a 24 Hour block in that case. It is somewhat a matter of interpretation whether following RickK around even qualifies as disruptive behaviour. I sypathize with your motivation, but it would have been much better to go through the RfC/RFAr process. You might wish for a less tedious process, but that is the process we have. If you consider Mr Recycling to be a troll, the prime advice is "Do not feed the trolls", and I'm afraid you have rather transgressed against that advice. --BM 02:55, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The previous 24 hour block clearly did not penetrate through The Recycling Troll's skull and into his consciousness in any form that affects his behavior. It seems that more force is necessary. If this is against the letter of the blocking policy, I can only say that common sense suggests that when a user shows up, has "troll" in their name (Which, while not in and of itself a reason to block, is still not insignificant), goes straight to the mailing list with his complaint, and follows RickK around, we are not dealing with a good editor. The question is whether to dither around debating the obvious, or to just shoot.
Bang. Snowspinner 03:46, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
I think a week is too long. His behaviour is disruptive and he knows it, (there has been discussion on the mailing list, so snowspinner's block hasn't come out of the blue) Also he is not new. So let's not start escalating blocks beyond what policy allows. If one 24 hour block doesn't get the message through, then we try anonther (and another, and another). Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 06:38, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

How about waiting till s/he does something that is against current policy? Blocking is not supposed to be something that is used against users who simply annoy us, it is supposed to be used to prevent damage to the wiki in cases where mediation or arbitration is not an option. This isn't a new user, and they're not damaging the wiki, in fact, they seem to be making positive edits. Let's let this one go and get on with real issues. Mark Richards 11:24, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This seems to be most of the problem with Snowspinner. He's using up his energy in "fighting trolls" when he could just be building an encyclopaedia. Surely, we're more in need of positive editors than vigilantes? Dr Zen 01:39, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
A look at Snowspinner's most recent article-space edits suggests that he finds time to fight trolls and produce good article edits. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 14:46, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
When I look at that record, that is not what I see. Sure, he did some work on the steak articles, but before that we have long strings of rollbacking of User:John Gohde, removing stub tags and deleted templates, and some RC patrol. In fact, if you look at his 500 articles, you have to go all the way back to Sep 14th (at present). This "500 article point" is quite far out there compared to most. Tony's goes back just two months to Jan 6 and even Dr Zen beats him out at Oct 21. Granted, it's probably unfair to judge value to the project using raw comparisons like this, but I find that he generates more heat than light, and doesn't have call to judge the merits of other ed-i-tors. -- Netoholic @ 15:57, 2005 Mar 11 (UTC)
What you're seeing is a very different kind of editor than you and me. He does far more basic janitorial work than I do. It's clear from looking at his history that he is not the Don Quixote that Dr Zen wishes to paint him as, but a working editor performing under-appreciated but nevertheless very useful tasks. He has also in this time done a lot of useful work in the Wikipedia namespace, not the least of which is his VfD participation. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:31, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Policy question[edit]

I'm very confused by all of this. I know that an admin can, on his or her own, block an obvious vandal, permanently block an account with an inappropriate name, etc. However, I thought that pretty much anything else was supposed to go through the process of RfC, mediation, and arbitration, and that admins were simply supposed to enforce decisions once they have been reached. In practice, it seems to me that a lot of admins are behaving as judge and jury, and—what really worries me—doing so in cases in which they are personally involved. I don't know if we have a specific rule about that, but I would expect the same principle to apply to blocks over behevior as the one that says you don't protect an article on which you are an active editor. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:45, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

I very strongly agree with Jmabel that you should not block users in cases where you are personally involved. Rick did the right thing, he could have blocked the RT himself, but that would have been wrong. Instead he brought up the issue here, so it is in the open, and we can form a consensus on the case as a group. We do have the authority to block disruptive users for up to a week month. Let us use this power, where it seems to improve the operation of WP. I do believe that admins dealing out this maximum "court martial" penalty should have some experience of precedent cases, so they can make an estimation whether their block is in line with the practice approved of by other admins. I propose that it should be made binding policy that admins should not use their power in disputes to which they are a party. But as long as the matter is brought up here, in the open, and people decide to act, I see nothing wrong in that. Of course, if there is disagreement and unblocking, the blocking admin should stand down and wait for other opinions. In the present case, I have no problem with the block. If the RT is a bona-fide user, he can discuss and try to explain how his behaviour is motivated. As long as he just stubbornly annoys Rick without arguing that he just happens to have opposite views, and that it's not really to do with Rick at all (go figure), I think we are justified in dealing with him as a troll. dab () 07:55, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
ah, blocking policy on disruption has, "such blocks should initially last 24 hours, but repeat violators may be blocked for a maximum of one month.", so one week is not even the maximum. Arguably, Snowspinner could have gone from one to two days first, but a week does not seem excessive after the user had been blocked for a day already, and did not seem to have reconsidered his behaviour. dab () 08:04, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If it were a new user, which it's not. Mark Richards 11:21, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This guy is obviously getting on Rick's nerves, which is bad, but he's also going around making (what I understand to be) valid edits after Rick, so I guess he is improving the encyclopedia in his own way. I'm reluctant to condemn that. I don't want Rick to be deliberately irritated by anybody, but this guy's behavior seems so utterly harmless and maybe even beneficial that I really don't see how it warrants a week's block. Surely the two can work out whatever differences they might have. There is no need for punitive measures when honest discussion could produce a better result. Everyking 08:29, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

A random check of article edits shows that almost all of his "valid edits" are adding a few wiki links -- most of which, admittedly, lead to actual articles. The only actual editing I came across in my (admittedly incomplete) survey was changing Rickk's "...which had a claimed membership of 15,000" to "...which claimed a membership of 15,000 people". I'm not seeing any real editing here. --Calton | Talk 08:45, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Well, Calton, I think that's a bit of a harsh claim - there are many users whose primary contribution is to fix links and grammar. They do seem like good changes, and I don't think we can block people for the types of edits they make. Looking at it, I really think that we should probably be able to put up with someone systematically going through our edits and 'checking' them. If the edits s/hes making are constructive, then I really don't think theres any reason to block a user for doing that. Yes, it's annoying, but really, if it were Rick 'checking' this users edits, I don't think there'd be this outcry. As for voting on vfd, I don't think there can be any rule about how people do this. If some wierdo wants to go through my votes and vote against them, they pretty much can (many do in fact!). Let's try to separate being annoyed by it, and what will actually improve the encyclopedia. As far as I can see this user has done nothing but improve it. Mark Richards 11:21, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think the vfd issue should be delt with by admins simply ignoring his votes. Bad faith voting does not improve wikipedia. Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 11:33, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Let's get this one straight. He can be banned because RickK doesn't like him and his votes should be ignored because he doesn't agree with RickK? I nearly always vote opposite to RickK, because he is a deletionist and I want the encyclopaedia to be inclusive. I don't resent him for it; I just think he's misguided. I know he doesn't like me too. Should I be banned for that? There's definitely something in the air here -- I note you have expressed it on your talk page although you withdrew it -- that admins are something other than just editors with mops, but have become an ungovernable moral force, untouchable and inviolable. RickK is very popular with a certain sort of user here and very unpopular with others. He reacts to the latter with anger and disdain. I don't think you should be encouraging that. Perhaps his votes should be disregarded for opposing them. Dr Zen 01:39, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hi Theresa - how do you know they are bad faith? I really am not sure I see the issue here. Many people frequently vote against me on vfd, and, to be honest, I wouldn't have a particular problem if an editor appeared to vote against me on principle. That's why it is 'votes' for deletion. If someone wants to use their vote to express an opinion that others find strange, then that's how it is. The user seems to be making good edits, and I don't think there is any good reason to discount their votes. Mark Richards 12:30, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

has he even commented on his behaviour in a reasonable way? Valid editors can be expected to communicate and to justify their edits if challenged. People who refuse to negotiate (within reason) should not be considered valid contributors. dab () 11:41, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Erm? That's a novel idea - I don't think any of the people blocking has asked him. I have to tell you, a lot of my irritation around this issue relates to admins simply not following the policies we have in place on blocking. To be honest I think that (this case aside) we create a lot of disgruntled and angry new users through that. Mark Richards 12:24, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

um, look, I'm not an expert on this case, but it looks like there was some exchange. RickK asked RT on his talk page and apparently got some reply along the lines of "I have to check your edits". There is the disruption policy. Yes, blocks based on that will be controversial, but we need it. We need to be able to use common sense as to who is just trying to take the piss out of people (a.k.a. trolling). Policy allows block ranging up to one month. At the moment we are looking at a week's block. I do not think any admin has violated policy here. It is very important that new users are approached assuming good faith. But it usually becomes clear very soon whether this assumption was justified. New users whose first edits consists of blanking articles or inserting BUSH IS A PRICK should maybe (no, probably!) not even initially be approached with this assumption. dab () 12:31, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Mark Richards that this sends a very bad message, undermining most of what people keep saying about the status and role of administrators. On Wikipedia there are people being "annoyed" by, and annoying each others, left and right. Wikipedia is not a venue where people are especially civil to each other (does this news come as a surprise to anyone?), and there are disputes all over the place, including a lot of troll, and troll-like behaviour. It is an annoying place, and you better have a high threshold for being annoyed. Almost nothing is done about it. If one wants to try to do something about it, the process is long and torturous, and many of the people who use the process are the guilty parties gaming the system or semi-trolls (sometimes not so semi-) who like conflict and who are using the dispute resolution process to be even more annoying. Most people don't bother, and just develop a thick skin. Now we have a case where someone is doing something which is tame in comparison to a lot of what goes on, and because the "target" is an administrator and has friends who are administrators, the guilty party is blocked for a week, the week being justified apparently because the person in question is a "serial annoyer". There is no clear rule which even defines what is illegitimate about this behaviour. Is it policy that you cannot edit the same articles as another member in case you annoy him? We have many administrators and other volunteers monitoring the edits of newbies, and other suspect individuals, etc, and if the they find this annoying, it is too bad. Are administrators immune to being monitored? Can any Wikipedia member who finds another member "annoying" have that person banned for being disruptive? If you are a regular member, here is the message: develop a thick skin because not much will be done to keep people from annoying you. But make sure you don't do anything to annoy any administrators who don't have thick skins, because if you do you will be whacked. How does that square with: administrators are just servants of the community; they are janitors, the mop and bucket brigade? Etc. Etc. --BM 12:42, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think a more productive forum for this discussion would be RfC. That way, we can crystallize the policy issues that are being disputed, and set some type of precedent so admins know how to respond in the future. Rad Racer 14:11, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Look. He's been on the mailing list, howling at the abusive admins, claiming that they think checking other users' edits is harassment, and generally making straw men out of anything that moves. He's adopted an editing style designed to piss people off. And you want to wait for a policy violation? This is clearly not a stupid troll. If we tell him he's allowed to stalk and harass RickK but nothing else, he will be perfectly content to stalk and harass RickK. This is not a reasonable outcome. And just because the arbcom is now capable of closing cases does not mean every piece of disruption and idiocy that we are able to find something to debate about needs to go to them. They are a way of dealing with problem users. They are not the way, and this problem absolutely does not need to escelate to them when we have perfectly reasionable tools like big sticks that we can whack the problem with until it fixes itself.

I mean, really. How much clearer do you really want this user to be about his bad faith? Did you want to wait until the harassment and stalking actually drives RickK off Wikipedia? Snowspinner 13:09, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

But you could in many ways just have described RickK. He's allowed to annoy other users. He's permitted to be aggressive. He is a problem for some here. And so are you, Snowspinner. The rules just don't apply to you. Dr Zen 01:39, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I am currently undecided as to which of you is the bigger drama queen, but making positive edits cannot be seen as harassing. All of the edits he has made, I would too, and so would many people. The only harassment is the constant blocking by you. If RickK marks tags articles for cleanup, VfD, whatever without even trying to improve them himself (and I know he does), then he should expect that someone will come along and fix them sooner or later. In this case, sooner seems to be the only reason RickK is whining. -- Netoholic @ 14:20, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)
I have no problem with somebody cleaning up things I put the cleanup headers on. That's what they're for, ffs. But TRT followed along behind me and made an edit to EVERY SINGLE PAGE I TOUCHED, even so much as a little linking here or there, and if there was nothing for him to link, he would make tiny little wording changes, just so that he could let me know that he was there. I have no problem with people cleaning up after me, I expect it, and I do it as well. But every single thing I've edited goes beyond good faith editing and, as I have siad, is stalking. RickK 00:33, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
RickK, for anyone that has ever really been stalked, or even cyberstalked, your accusation is probably seen as insulting. I'd like to illustrate the double-standard being put forth here. If you take a look at what Snowspinner has been doing regarding User:John Gohde, you may get a hint of what true Wiki-stalking is. That poor guy, who may be misguided, is trying to edit in his area of speciality. Snowspinner is systematically using reversion, deletion, and good old fashion editing to remove tones of that guys work. The only way Snowspinner is doing that is by pulling that user's contribs and going over every single one, reverting most of them and removing anything that guy does. I would suspect if you count up, Snowspinner is a much bigger stalker than TRT, and more blatant. So please stop using the term "stalked", since it is nothing of the sort. -- Netoholic @ 00:53, 2005 Mar 10 (UTC)
Yeah! Except for, you know, the part where I haven't reverted him in two days, haven't listed anything for deletion, and in fact haven't really crossed paths with him since making the suggestion that he split Health and Wellness (alternative medicine) into two distinct articles... and where even before that I didn't revert all of his contributions, so much as fix problems he left... oh, and the part where he's not so much a "poor guy" as "someone who's been banned twice and who prudence suggests glancing at the contributions of every once in a while might not be a bad idea." But other than those bits where you're totally wrong, yes, you've described the situation perfectly. Snowspinner 00:56, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

unlike the typical cases you mention, BM, the point is that (a) this isn't part of a content dispute, and (b) the provocation doesn't go both ways. Show me another case where a user's single purpose seems to be to annoy another user, without a background of disputed content, and I'll also support a day's block as a warning, or, show me how RickK has seriously provoked or abused this user, and I'll change my opinion. dab () 14:04, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Dab, my point is that even if RT is a troll, which seems very likely to me, the way to deal with trolls is not to let them provoke you into violating your own procedures and policies. In this case Snowspinner has taken a step which makes his own behaviour an issue. His response to provocation is more questionable than the provocation. No matter how sensible a policy is, trolls will find a boundary along which they can tread to be provocative without violating rules or policies. In this case, members monitoring others they find questionable is standard operating procedure on the Wikipedia. RT is doing nothing different from what administrators and others routinely do. The only difference is that he has picked on RickK, who is an administrator and a tad excitable, hoping to provoke an overreaction. In this case, RickK actually has kept his temper pretty well, to his credit. But Snowspinner has stepped in and blown it, giving RT what he wants (presuming that he is a troll). Trolls always go after the administrators, the moderators, etc, and the hot-heads. If they can find a moderator who is a hothead, all the better. The key with trolls, the advice in Wikipedia's article on the subject Wikipedia:Trolls is: do not feed the trolls. That is, do not let them provoke you into a reaction that gives them attention and by making you look bad, sets them up for getting more attention. Certainly don't let them provoke you into an action that widens cracks in the community: such as suspicions that the administrators of the site are a "cabal", etc. --BM 14:26, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Exactly. The biggest disruption here is the continual over-reaction from some quarters to something that is annoying, but not damaging or against policy. Please stop feeding the trolls and let's get over it! Mark Richards 15:31, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
how is blocking a troll feeding him? Given that we agree that RT is a troll, why not slap a laconic block on him and forget the matter? That would hardly be 'giving him what he wanted'. Making the admin who happened to issue the block the subject of a drawn-out inquiry, otoh, may be nearer to that. dab () 15:43, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's feeding them as it's giving them attention and taking up your time, which is what trolls thrive on. Dan100 15:56, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
If you look at this diff, it seems questionable whether this user is really a troll, especially considering the length of time they have been around. 7 days is a wikieternity. It should have been 24 hours. Rad Racer 16:16, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There is no question in my mind. Compare his behaviour to that of User:clockwork troll (now User: clockwork soul) harrassing rickK is no way to redeem the word "troll". Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 16:25, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That's ClockworkSoul. I feel so special now. :) – ClockworkSoul 14:33, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Also, it is only a 7 day block. He'll be back in 7 days, unless someone unblocks him sooner. He has already been protesting his blocking on the mailing list, and David Gerard has been provoked into blocking from the list. When he comes back, he will no doubt continue to protest his blocking and find other ways to be provocative. Since there is no policy against doing anything that he is doing, it basically looks like administrators are picking on someone who (1) has the audacity to have "troll" in his username; (2) is "annoying" to some administrators; and (3) protests when administrators single him out for discipline without good justification. This makes administrators look heavy-handed and more concerned about people who annoy administrators than about other behaviour problems. Other people who feel victimized have to go through a tedious process to have misbehaviour sanctioned, a process that also exposes their own behaviour to scrutiny. But administrators don't have to bother with that -- they can just impose a sanction directly, and apparently unilaterally. It looks like administrators are first-class citizens, and that everybody else is a second-class citizen. At this point, it would be better to just ban the RT account entirely because administrator mistakes have set this person up to be a real troublemaker when he comes back. I would suggest that this be done by the Arbitration Committee, however. It would have been much better to have ignored him and to have maintained the moral high ground until he did something truly objectionable. --BM 16:11, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I would hardly say Snowspinner's behaviour is not subjected to scrutiny here. Nobody "set up" RT to be a troublemaker. You are responsible for your actions, and if you were treated unfairly, there are decent ways to address the issue. Anyway, I suppose this should either go to an RfC now, or to VP for policy building. dab () 16:30, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Snowspinner. Rad Racer 16:59, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

BM is completely right. This user has not actually done anything wrong, and the responses to his (albiet annoying) behavior has ranged from blocks that breach policy through abuse and attacks. No one has given a coherent reason for why s/he should be blocked. This is making a mockery of the admins involved since they do look like they are more interested in protecting a cabal from being annoyed than anything else. Had people simply had the common sense to leave well enough alone untill / unless s/he did something actually disruptive, s/he would have got quickly bored with this and moved on. As it is, it has socked up a lot of time and energy, and resulted in the administration looking heavy handed and stupid. Mark Richards 17:08, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

My interest is straightforward. RickK was bothered. RickK was, quite frankly, reasonably bothered. I say this as someone who has been cyberstalked - it is scary, it is unpleasant, and it is upsetting. A reasonable person would be bothered by being stalked. That he was actively disturbing and upsetting another user is sufficient to conclude disruption has taken place. Snowspinner 17:20, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

Most of which is well and good, but what about this was so urgent as to circumvent the RfC/mediation/arbitration process? Nothing above explains why RT harrassing Rick was in a different class than the many issues that routinely go through the RfC process. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:54, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

Something needs to be done about Snowspinner. It won't be while he has the support of his fellows, but surely vigilanteism isn't actually encouraged? Dr Zen 01:25, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, no one has answered my question. Maybe I'm missing it in the broad discussion above, but what about this was so urgent as to circumvent the RfC/mediation/arbitration process? And if that is not the appropriate question, could someone please explain to me what I'm missing? (Dr Zen, with all due respect, using this as an opportunity to attack some individual is not going to shed any light on the policy question I am asking.) -- Jmabel | Talk 06:29, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

I'd say it was the appropriate question originally, and I suggested to Snowspinner before this started that the normal dispute resolution process would be a better approach. Unfortunately, I think it's a little late to get that genie back into the normal bottle, so I'm not sure what the question is we should be asking now. But I agree that some people here are definitely generating a lot of heat and very little light. --Michael Snow 06:56, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Michael, thanks for agreeing with me, but what I'm asking for is an explanation (from someone who disagrees) as to either where I misunderstand policy, or why this required exceptional handling. It's not a rhetorical question. There seems to be a genuine disagreement here, and I still don't grasp the argument from the other side. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:05, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

I have to laugh. Netoholic is all upset that I'm disrupting Wikipedia because I'm making minor changes to the articles he's editing. But, isn't he saying in this very page that such actions are not only not disruptive, but are to be encouraged? I would have done the same thing with Dr. Zen's pages, except he never edits any articles. RickK 07:16, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

  • Rick, if that's a response to my question, I don't see the relevance. And given that you are a key player on this, and I believe you've seen enough of my work to know that I am in no way trolling, I believe I deserve a response. I am still truly at a loss here as to what about this case makes it an exception to normal process. Or, if I have misunderstood normal process, then I believe I deserve an explanation about that, too. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:28, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
You win RickK. You play the part of the Troll very well. I won't say your silly revert war generates any sympathy from me. By your own assertion, TRT was editing poorly. By emulating him, then picking my recent edits to try and prove your point, you've only shown that you're more willing to ascribe to the notion that two wrongs make a right. I would expect that a block at least for a short time might be in order for something so deliberately disrupting (again, that is using your own definition). -- Netoholic @ 07:48, 2005 Mar 10 (UTC)

Hey, that's really cruel, man. Our talk inspired me to write wolfbag.Dr Zen 07:21, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)


User:The Recycling Troll is either a reincarnation of User:142, who was hard-banned by Jimbo, or is doing his best to imitate 142. As such, I've blocked him indefinitely as a clear reincarnation of a hard-banned user who should not be unblocked at all. The block includes a reference to the relevant part of the blocking policy. I blocked him from wikien-l as well as a querulous waste of electrons.

Let me add: "Assume good faith" doesn't mean "pretend we're bloody stupid." What conceivable part of anything The Recycling Troll has done has been in good faith, or helped build an encyclopedia? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? - David Gerard 18:24, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

All right, can we see some diffs that suggest they are the same user? Rad Racer 18:27, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Agree. We need to see a connection more than just "I think it's him". You have only the most tenious guilt by association to go off of. This person has made good edits, added wikilinks and other cleanup. What -MORE- does he need to do to show he has "helped build an encyclopedia"? -- Netoholic @ 18:38, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)
I reviewed this user's contributions, and I'm not that impressed with the several dozen I looked at. Other than votes on VfD, their contribution of actual content appeared to be limited to adding links, and minor punctuation changes. Not exactly what I'd call a solid contribution. I take no position on anything else, just this specific point. Noel (talk) 18:50, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I have not seen any disruptive edits. The claim being made is not that his edits are of exceptional quality, simply that they are nearly all solid, productive and positive. Which of his edits link him to a previously banned user? Mark Richards 18:52, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It was his posts on wikien-l using almost trademark 142 phrases that nailed it for me. The stalking editing style. The "good" edits being wikilinking words in articles is a 142 favourite. THE USERNAME WITH "TROLL" IN IT.
Stalking someone - following up most of their edits with adding a space or whatever to say "I'm watching you" - is none of solid, productive or positive. (It was noted as stalking behaviour, by the way, when Irismeister was doing it to Theresa Knott last year.) What on EARTH do you find solid, productive or positive about such behaviour? - David Gerard 18:59, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
What evidence is there that RT is 142? What so-called "trademark" phrases? It's annoying to ask for evidence, I know, but no original research and all that. --Mrfixter 20:03, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Go read up, some of us have experience of this fuckhead and why he was hard-banned - David Gerard 20:41, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Again, I don't wish to gain a reputation for being obstreperous, but this "hard ban" concerns me greatly. My questions are:

  1. Can any administrator simply draw the conclusion without consultation or review by anyone that a particular account is a banned user?
    1. Yes. The very reason that they are admins is becasue they are trustred to make judgement calls.
  2. Why is David Gerard dodging the legitimate request for the evidence supporting his conclusion? --BM 20:48, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    1. He's not dodging it. The evidence is in the edit history of 142.
  3. In what capacity is David Gerard operating here? Presumably, he is operating as a regular administrator, since Arbitrators have no special powers except en banc. If so, by what authority can a regular administrator permanently hard ban an established member of Wikipedia? Can any of the 400+ administrators do this, or does David Gerard have some special status?
    1. A regular administrator. No only jimbo can hard ban people. He has hard banned 142. Administrators are expected to enforce this ban though. They are expected to block any account who in thier judgement is 142.
  4. If any regular administrator can do this, then why do we have an Arbitration Committee?
    1. To sort out difficut cases (this being an easy case) Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 21:09, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I must say, if RT is a troll, he has succeeded in provoking a lot of people to act in a very high-handed that suggests that Wikipedia might have more God-Kings than I thought. --BM 20:48, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

In this case the userid was an obvious (in fact admitted) troll, set up for the purpose of harassing one user. The edits it made were of minor value, the annoyance it brought was far more significant. I think an "indefinite" ban was not long enough; do we have something that lasts longer, say until the end of the Universe? Jayjg (talk) 20:51, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Go read the blocking policy. I cited it in the block itself - David Gerard 20:54, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The blocking policy says that "when it becomes clear" that an account is a reincarnation of a blocked user, that reincarnating account can likewise be blocked. Are you asserting that this sentence licenses any administrator to permanently ban any account merely by asserting that the account is a reincarnation without being under any obligation to present the evidence and subject it to any kind of review? If I were an administrator and did that, would you accept it? You are being outrageous. --BM 21:06, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I am not questioning the decision (although I think it is questionable). What I am questioning is the process. I know Jimbo can ban anybody or do anything else he wants. But David Gerard is not Jimbo, is he? Why do we have an Arbitration Committee, if David Gerard can permanently ban people? Can any administrator do that, or does it just come down to raw power and who can get away with what? Are there any other God-Kings besides Jimbo and Mr Gerard that I should know about? Does Wikipedia have no process at all, or should proceed on the assumption that it is all based on power? --BM 20:57, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You can assume it is based on a consensus of administrators. And rest assured, there are plenty of other administrators willing to ban that Troll as well. Jayjg (talk) 21:03, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That is nonsense. There are over 400 administrators. Where was this consensus formed? Do administrators now have a private forum where they form consensus amongst themselves, excluding non-administrators? How come some of the other people asking questions about this are administrators. What happened to the transparent Arbitration Committee process? Is that out the window? --BM 21:11, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I can assure you that there is no consensus of administrators, nor is the issue whether or not there are other administrators willing to ban that Troll. Administrators carry out community made policy. Whether an administrator, or all the administrators, want to ban that troll is not the point, the point is, has the community given them the authority to do that. They have clearly not in this case. Please, follow policy. Mark Richards 21:14, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with following another person's lead. The edits I found by teh "Troll" were basically fine and consisted out of cleaning up behind RickK's "clean-up" tags. I do think this ban is grossly wrong. Refdoc 21:01, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This is the problem with vigilante blocking that puts an admin way outside of the blocking policy (David did not follow the policy in this case). It opens the whole project administration to accusations of gross unfairness, favouritism and cabalism. Let's get back to the land of the sane, and ignore this annoying user who has not breached any policies or made any disruptive edits. The cure is infinately worse than the disease, and yes, I am perfectly happy for anyone who wants to follow me around making small edits to articles I edit. Mark Richards 21:08, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
David identified a banned user and blocked him because of it. Jimbo relies on admins to enforce his banning of people. I$" was permanently banned from editing this site. Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 21:13, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, but there is a procedure for this, and David did not follow it. If I think you are a reincarnated banned user, and I block you, is that ok? If not, why not? David has not produced any meaningful evidence. Mark Richards 21:19, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I repeat my questions, can any administrator ban any account on the basis that it is a reincarnation of a banned user? Or is this a privilege reserved only to David Gerard? Is not an administrator who does that responsible at least to produce, when asked for it, the evidence he relied on to conclude that an account was an reincarnation? Or is the decision not subject to review by anyone else? Could Gerard declare my account to be a banned user and "disappear" me anytime he thought I was asking too many questions? What stops him? --BM 21:21, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Quoting from Wikipedia:Blocking policy: "Sockpuppets that were created to violate Wikipedia policy should be blocked permanently." Jayjg (talk) 21:48, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That doesn't answer a single one of my questions. My questions are answered partly by Wikipedia:Controversial blocks, one of the provisions of which is that Mr Gerard should be "willing to discuss the block with other Wikipedians". All he will say is that on the mailing list RT used the same "trademark phrases" that 142 used. He has been asked what trademark phrases, the obvious question. No answer, although if he had one, I am sure he would be eager to put his brilliant deductive reasoning on display. Mr Gerard is acting like he has some kind of special status on Wikipedia. I just want to know: does he or does he not? --BM 22:06, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
One needn't be a reincarnation of a blocked user to be a policy violating sockpuppet; David doesn't have to prove the former to block for the latter. Jayjg (talk) 22:17, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Theresa answered your questions, individually (above). David added some info as to what trademarks he saw in this users' edits (also above). Did you see their responses? Noel (talk) 22:27, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm not finding David's info about the "trademark phrases" he saw. He just said that it is "in the edit history" somewhere, unless I'm just missing it. That isn't very helpful. --BM 22:43, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
He added more info in this edit. But this is overtaken by events, since it now seems David accepts Michael's analysis that he isn't in fact 142. Noel (talk) 02:05, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There have been several blocks and unblocks of RT recently, to wit:

  • 01:13, 9 Mar 2005 Snowspinner blocked "User:The Recycling Troll" with an expiry time of 7 days (Repeating behavior that got him blocked last time.)
  • 03:02, 9 Mar 2005 Mark Richards unblocked User:The Recycling Troll (No valid reason for block given)
  • 12:58, 9 Mar 2005 Snowspinner blocked "User:The Recycling Troll" with an expiry time of 24 hours (Harrassment)
  • 18:09, 9 Mar 2005 David Gerard blocked "User:The Recycling Troll" with an expiry time of infinite (Reincarnation of hard-banned user 142. This user is hard-banned by Jimbo and should not be unblocked. See Wikipedia:Blocking_policy#Bans)
  • 21:01, 9 Mar 2005 Mark Richards unblocked User:The Recycling Troll (No evidence provided and procedure not followed)
  • 21:07, 9 Mar 2005 Neutrality blocked "User:The Recycling Troll" with an expiry time of infinite (Sockpuppet/banned user.)

Per Wikipedia:Controversial blocks: If no consensus has emerged after several respected Wikipedians have reviewed the matter, the user should be left unblocked. Since no consensus has been reached, RT must remain unblocked. Rad Racer 22:19, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Or not, since it appears that only one person is unblocking, and several people are blocking. Jayjg (talk) 23:06, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree with anyone contending that The Recycling Troll is a reincarnation of the user who edited as 24/ I think I can fairly claim to be quite familiar with much of this banned user's history and unique style of interaction, and I have blocked a number of his accounts in the past.

It seems that The Recycling Troll's posts to the mailing list are cited as being similar in style to 24/142/EoT. I have reviewed every one of those posts, and find very little to suggest that they are the same. Moreover, the mere fact of posting to the mailing list is strong evidence in my mind that they are not the same, because to my knowledge 24/142/EoT strictly avoided the mailing lists apparently as a matter of principle. What similarity exists is simply a generic similarity found in the postings of many users who have been blocked for disruptive behavior (i.e., professing complete ignorance of how anyone could possibly be disturbed by their actions, immediate escalation of rhetoric about abuse, etc.). The additional similarity of choosing a user name containing the word "troll" has also been tried by others besides 24/142/EoT, so it is hardly definitive.

If The Recycling Troll is attempting to imitate 24/142/EoT beyond the homage involved in the choice of name, and I doubt this, then he is a pathetically poor imitation. I do not think he should be blocked on the grounds of being a reincarnation. I decline to comment any further on whether blocks on the general grounds of disruption are justified at this point, and will defer to whatever outcome is decided on that question. I have reviewed his edits only enough to satisfy myself that this is not 24/142/EoT, but not enough to judge the extent of disruptiveness. --Michael Snow 23:17, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As I've pointed out, he can (and should) be blocked indefinitely for being a sockpuppet created for the purpose of violating Wikipedia policies; no reincarnation proof required. Jayjg (talk) 23:21, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Fine, as I mentioned I'm not debating that point, I just thought it necessary to refute the reincarnation argument. Our previously banned user has some very distinctive habits and interests, which I won't enumerate here so as not to give imitators any ideas. But if anyone's ever wondering if they've got the real thing on their hands, drop me a note and I'll take a look. --Michael Snow 23:30, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm not following you. What is the "sockpuppet" charge separate from the "reincarnation" charge? --BM 00:21, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
A sockpuppet is a new userid created by any experienced Wikipedia user; it doesn't have to be the reincarnation of a banned user. Jayjg (talk) 00:11, 4 Jan 2003 (UTC)

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and is found in a pond then it might be a platypus but I wouldn't wuckin' bet on it. If it turns out to be someone with a duck decoy and a duck call, the blocking policy points out they have fully earnt being shot at. I will, however, fully accept Michael Snow's expert opinion that I am wrong on that one - David Gerard 00:24, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm not saying it's not a duck, I'm just saying it's not a duck named Donald. It might very well be Huey, Dewey, or Louie. --Michael Snow 00:40, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Of course, I'm speaking in general - David Gerard 20:44, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It is clear that there is no consensus on this, and every block has been for different reasons. The complete lack of willingness to have any kind of accountability here is very disturbing. Snowspinner blocked him, people protested that the block was in breach of policy and unfair, so a friend of snow blocked him again, listing a different reason, etc. Please follow the procedures, and unblock this user. You are making a mockery of the policy we have, and making admins look like a bunch of cabalistic buddies covering for each other. Mark Richards 00:56, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The reason of the moment seems now to be that the user is a sockpuppet, and thus can be blocked on sight. Above, User:Jayjg quoted Wikipedia:Blocking policy, where it indicates that sockpuppets that are created to violate policy can be blocked on sight. Unfortunately, Jayjg did not include the rest of the paragraph. I quote the entire section, since I believe it is relevant and I don't want anyone to take things out of context:

Sysops may, at their judgement, block IP addresses that disrupt the normal functioning of Wikipedia. Such disruption is to be objectively defined by specific policies, and may include changing other users' signed comments or making deliberately misleading edits. Users should be warned that they are violating policy before they are blocked. For dynamic IPs, such blocks should last 24 hours. For static IPs and user names, such blocks should initially last 24 hours, but repeat violators may be blocked for a maximum of one month.
Sysops may also block new user accounts that make lots of disruptive edits, for any length of time or permanently, at their discretion. Sockpuppets that were created to violate Wikipedia policy should be blocked permanently. However, blocks should not be used against isolated incidents of disruption from IP addresses nor against user accounts that make a mixture of disruptive and useful edits.
Reincarnations of blocked disruptive users will be reblocked if they continue being disruptive, or if they edit in a way which suggests they are likely to continue being disruptive—such as "YOU CANT BLOCK ME!!11!!" or "JOIN ME IN MY FIGHT TO DESTRY WIKIPEDIA!1!!1!!"
Blocks under this provision are almost always controversial.

If one considers that the user was disrupting the normal functioning of wikipedia, then according to policy, a maximum block (for repeat violators) is one month.

It is clear that this user made at least some useful edits. Therefore, according to policy, he should not have been blocked as a new disruptive user or as a sockpuppet.

The policy already warns us that this king of block will almost always be controversial -- and the blocking of this user has certainly proved to be that.

I have once again removed the block on this user, since there is at least lack of consensus on this controversial block. This user should not be blocked until a consensus is reached on that block. -Rholton 01:57, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

It could be argued that the userid made no useful edits, in that any potential useful edits were mitigated by the fact that they were of minor utility, and thus outweighed by the fact that they were specifically intended to harass user RickK. Jayjg (talk) 15:14, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. Some sense at last. I am pretty disgusted with how this has been dealt with - the admin circus around this has been far more disruptive than simply letting this user check whatever edits s/he wants and make small changes was. I cannot concieve of a policy that forbids this without becoming 'any admin can ban anyone they like, and noone can do anything about it'. Mark Richards 02:15, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I am disappointed by your lack of imagination. I think "Don't harass other users" covers it very well. Snowspinner 02:19, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
I would be in favor of a policy that could be summarized by "don't harass other users". The hard part is to give a useful definition of "harass" -- one that would not be a magnet for abuse, and would not encourage troublemakers to walk up to the line and stick out their tongues. It seems to me that such a policy would have to require some sort of consensus building before action could be taken against the harasser. -Rholton 02:38, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
If you're looking for policies that can be interpreted and executed without ambiguity, I'm afraid you're due for a fruitless search. The trolls, idiots, and fuckheads in all their various flavors will always come up with new things to do that require new interpretations of policy. Ultimately, the best we can do is whack people when they're obviously editing in bad faith.
I have trouble thinking of a case more obvious than this one, though. Snowspinner 02:43, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
Such a system might work. Many internet sites have a small number of moderators who can delete posts or, if necessary, ban people for misbehaviour, and most of them do not require that the moderators explain or justify themselves to non-moderators. Such a system has advantages and disadvantages. Actually, Wikipedia used to have this system: Jimbo was the God-King, and nobody could ban established members except for him; and while people could complain about his decisions, nobody could compel him to justify himself if he didn't wish to do so. If Wikipedia wants to return to that system, it can, of course. However, you shouldn't suppose that there would be 400 people roving around as cops/judges, and that every current administrator would have those kind of powers. There would be a few. Consensus that someone could be trusted with janitor/custodian powers would not necessary translate to consensus that someone could be trusted as an enforcer. Most of the current administrators would find themselves demoted back to regular user, or some intermediate janitor-level. --BM 03:06, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, other sites have those guys. But we don't. Or do we? Can Snowspinner or Dave Gerard just hard-ban anyone they think is a "fuckhead"? Is that the policy? Why don't Snowspinner and Dave Gerard just not involve themselves with "fuckheads"? We are, after all, asked to walk away from conflict, not arm ourselves and get into it. Dr Zen 03:14, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Just for the record: I am totally opposed to this block, think it is wrong +++. I have not unblocked, simply to not inflame this all more, since we had already a "revert-war" going. But it is disingenious to say it there is consensus between the admins, but for one who keeps unblocking. Refdoc 08:22, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I suppose I should also add my voice to those opposed to the block, to further demonstrate that there is no "admin consensus". I also will not unblock the user (I don't know if he or she is presently blocked, anyway), but I don't believe anybody should be blocked unless they have violated policy. Making good edits that happen to make Rick uncomfortable is not a reason to block. Rick himself makes me uncomfortable with the general harshness of his demeanor. But making other people uncomfortable is not in itself cause for a block, whoever it is. Everyking 08:55, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There's a world of difference between someone's edits making you uncomfortable because of their demeanor, and someone who is intenionally making you uncomfortable with their edits. Jayjg (talk) 15:17, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Let's try to keep "he's disruptive" separate from "he's 142". I admit that I would like to see some IP-related plausibility that he is indeed 142. Snowspinner didn't "hard ban" RT, he blocked him for 7 days. David hardbanned him, for different reasons. I defended the week's block as business as usual (unrelated to 142), I take no stance on the indefinite block, pending further evidence. dab () 10:00, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

IP-related plausibility that he is 142 was not found. Indeed, the IP evidence leans towards the assertion that he is not 142. See [5]. No, this is not conclusive evidence, but it certainly does not support the assertion that the user is 142. -Rholton 15:12, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
This is why I did not include Snowspinner in the Arbitration request. One can argue about what "stalking" is, whether it is "disrupting Wikipedia" as defined in Wikipedia:Blocking policy, whether Snowspinner should have imposed a 7-day ban for it, and whether he followed the process called for by the policies. But, unlike the "142 reincarnation" allegation by David Gerard, we all at least know why Snowspinner did what he did. With David's permanent block for "142 reincarnation", we do not know the facts that support it. We are called upon simply to trust his comparison of the 142 edit history with the TRT mails to the mailing list. He won't give details about how he arrived at his conclusion. Neutrality and Cyrius in some ways are even more outrageous: they blocked a user permanently without even having evidence, simply because they trusted the say-so of another user. I don't think administrators should be blocking people unless they have seen the evidence themselves and have formed their own opinions. Groups of administrators acting in concert in a blocking war because they "trust" each other is cabalism. Administrators should be trying to serve the consensus not trying to force through the decisions of other administrators that they "trust". That two of these three were Arbitrators just adds to this concern. At this point, my suspicion is that the evidence was so weak that David is embarassed to produce it. He has already conceded earlier on this page that Michael Snow is correct in denying any connection between 142 and TRT, meaning that whatever the evidence was, David now concedes that he drew the wrong conclusion from it. This must be embarassing for Neutrality and Cyrius. It looks like they shouldn't be so quick to block people based on "trusting" David in the future. But I doubt that will occur to them. I note also that TRT is still blocked. At least, the expiry date should be changed to 7 days, on the basis of the "stalking" charge, which is the only one still standing. --BM 14:23, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Jimbo's decision[edit]

Jimbo investigated the arbitration case against me, posted his decision [6] and has blocked User:The Recycling Troll indefinitely - David Gerard 20:44, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Let me be the first to congratulate you on your promotion to God-Prince, David. --BM 21:00, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Taking this to email might be a thought. I'm dgerard at gmail dot com - David Gerard 21:40, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • May I prostrate myself before Your Supreme Highness, GodPrince of Wikimedia, Duke of WikiEN-l, Lord of the Outer Projects Rim, Earl Protector.
James F. (talk) 21:25, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Some might think your words had a sarcastic overtone. But I shall assume good faith and say: Thank you! - David Gerard 21:40, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, Jimbo did say "this is not a democracy ... it's a project to make ... a free encyclopedia". Noel (talk) 22:25, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
One might say "this is not a democracy ... its feudalism" Or one might say "this is not a project to make wiki software; its a project to make a free encyclopedia". Of course, a free encyclopedia project can have a variety of forms of governance, and there is no obvious contradiction involved in being *both* a free encyclopedia project and a democracy. So "this is not a democracy .. its a free encylopedia" is a non-sequitur. Interesting that a non-sequitur is one of Jimbo's favorite expressions: one that rather begs the question as to what the governance system of Wikipedia actually is. After his pronouncement on the Arbitration case, I am not sure I could say what is the governance system of Wikipedia, except it obviously isn't democracy. Not that I was very clear on it before. The cabalism theory is looking more likely right at present, if you want to know. --BM 22:55, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I would describe the Wikipedia form of government as an ad hoc-racy. We make it up as we go along. -- Carnildo 23:27, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, the governance is pretty clear. There's Wikipedia the content, which is psuedo-PD - if anyone wants to leave, and take a fork of the database with them, they can. Then there is Wikipedia the physical plant, name, etc which all belong to the Wikimedia Trust, and that is run by the Board of Trustees. And my sense is that they probably generally agree with Jimbo - priority number one is creation of content, and fairness/democracy is not our principal goal. Noel (talk) 01:08, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ignoring the particulars of this case (which I admit are a bit troubling, though I'm not yet convinced this is the crisis some are suggesting it is), I think, BM, you're too hasty in calling Jimmy's comments a non sequitur. I think it's relatively clear from the general tone of his overall remarks that he's not implying there is a logical inconsistency in being a democracy and a free encyclopedia (how could such a remark be confidently made?). Rather, I take from his remarks that he is saying that our desire to be democratic and even-handed should not interfere with this project's true goals, and that, where there is a real conflict between democratic principle and protecting this site's goal to be an accurate and reliable source of encyclopedic information, democracy loses. I'm fine with that. I'm just not convinced that this is one of the occasions where there is, in fact, a real conflict -- I believe there was likely a more patient and democratic solution to the problem that did not significantly impact the ability of Wikipedia to continue its progress towards being the encyclopedia I (and most if not all of us) want it to be. If people here really are convinced that Wikipedia cannot be a truly free encyclopedia unless it is also perfectly democratic in nature....I'd say the line in the sand has been drawn, and like it or not, I doubt Jimmy will budge on that general principle. But if you simply feel that it is arguable whether or not this was a time to abandon democratic policy in order to preserve the project's aims, then I feel confident Jimmy will be open to dialogue on the topic. Jwrosenzweig 23:33, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What... horrible... precedent... - Would it make it easier if all of us who have been accused of trolling line up for banning? What ratio of good edits to trolling is below the threshold? -- Netoholic @ 23:12, 2005 Mar 10 (UTC)

There are many occasions on which I'd disagree with Jimbo, but in this csae IMO, he is spot on. Commonsense should prevail, jguk 23:30, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It is not about common sense, it is about speed. Why couldn't a simple RfC been filed before this person was blocked? It may be common sense, but going by one pseron's interpretation of common sense? Summary judgement is the bad precedent, not the banning of a troll. -- Netoholic @ 23:39, 2005 Mar 10 (UTC)
It's not an unheralded precedent at all, in any way. Jimbo may already take any ArbCom decision he feels he should. Furthermore, this one was a case against an arbitrator - and both the original complainant (BM) and several others agreed it would be difficult for this case to be heard by the ArbCom and that escalating it may be appropriate. So no miraculous manifestation that defies science has occurred; Jimbo sorting problems out and determining who's being a dick is entirely according to existing policy and guidelines. Remember that Jimbo used to have to do this every time before the ArbCom was instituted - things are more democratic now, not less. - David Gerard 01:07, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I disagree with this. Rules and process need to be respected. Let's concern ourselves with content first and foremost, and not take these petty user issues too seriously. Everyking 23:41, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As per above, Jimbo can take any dispute reaching the ArbCom he feels he needs to - David Gerard 01:07, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Uh. I pretty clearly was talking about what he should do, not what he can do. Everyking 07:44, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I am very relieved that Jimbo decided to take this upon himself. It probably was the only way to achieve a satisfactory conclusion. I am also satisfied that TRT was banned by Jimbo. I am convinced that, if there had been some mechanism employed to gain consensus on the block on the user, TRT would have been banned with little controversy.

There are some questions that came up during or as a result of the conversation that remain unanswered. Now that the urgency of the situation is diminished, let's take the time to discuss some of these questions:

  1. If a request for arbitration is brought against a member of the arbitration committee, should there be special handling?
  2. Is there some way we can avoid a recurrence of this rather ugly dispute? Obviously, we cannot universally ignore any action by an admin that appears to be contrary to policy. At the same time, admins need to be able to use common sense in some circumstances. We don't want a repeat of this controversy every time that happens.
  3. Do we need to consider some policy that directly addresses wiki-stalking?

Others? -Rholton 01:21, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)

Arbitrators have been parties to cases several times before (I know I have been, at least twice if I recall correctly). It's never been that controversial -- Arbitrators aren't a close-knit community. Or at least, I think if you posed any Wikipedia policy question to mav, Fred Bauder, sannse, and Raul 654, you'd get 4 very different answers. So I don't see that the AC is particularly biased towards its own. I agree that your 2nd and 3rd questions are important to address, though. Jwrosenzweig 01:47, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It seems that there are a few senior admins who think that dealing with probable trolls like TRT is so time-critical that the policies that have been established by consensus must be swept aside in the interests of time. I think they are quite reasonable policies, and that if they impose any inconvenience on an administrator intent on disciplining another member, it is only a slight one, of no long-run consequence, and that there are more situations where that inconvenience is desirable than otherwise. In the case of TRT, whose trolling was relatively tame, there was no need for a big rush to banish him. It was just impatience and hot tempers. The policies could have been easily followed and consensus developed to block him in the usual way; the administrators in question simply thought the policies too much bother. If he had been a more dangerous troll, and it had been time-critical to eject him, and our policies interfered with dealing with him expeditiously, then Jimbo could have been called in to deal with him. (In the actual event, he was called in anyway.) People will accept that there is one God-King who can circumvent policies at need; 400+ administrators with their fingers on the blocking trigger thinking that they can circumvent policies is chaos. Misbehaving users, including trolls, need to be handled in a way that preserves the structures and norms that we all work under. If those are weakened, content-creation will slow to a crawl as unresolvable disputes proliferate and people leave in frustration. There will always be trolls, and we can't let trolls provoke us into weakening the social system that holds the project together and allows it to progress. If policies can be swept aside to deal with a troll, they can be swept aside in any dispute between an administrator and a good-faith editor. I hoped the Arbitration Committee would at least rebuke the administrators who were holding themselves above the community's policies (although I must admit I had my doubts whether they would.) What happened is that the Arbitrators could not bring themselves to reproach their co-Arbitrators, or apply the policies to them, and found one lame excuse after another to reject the case. These are people who must now sit in judgement of other users' behaviour under the policies that they proved incapable of applying to themselves. Still, the situation obviously was embarassing for them. Jimbo stepped in to end their embarassment. In my opinion, he did it in a way that needlessly weakened the consensus and social sinews of the project, and in the end hurt the project. A slightly annoying troll ended up doing a lot of damage. --BM 01:50, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

BM, I appreciate your concerns are genuine, but I do think you are mistaken. We do not have "400+ admins on the blocking trigger". We have 400+ admins most of which do not even know each other, and who are likely to disagree on many issues. If an admin acts in bad faith, it is very likely that many other admins will yell at him immediately (or that Ed Poor will decapitate them with the zweihänder (sorry :p). Your concerns actually show how far we have advanced on the way of building an "ad-hocracy" (great word!) -- it seems normal now that every case, no matter how obvious or trollish, is dragged through rfc-arbcom, wasting everybody's time. Yes, RT has also managed to waste everybody's time, but that's mainly because you, and others, insisted that it should, thereby proving that if good-faith editors object to something an admin did, it will be an issue. The "slippery slope" argument is just as fallacious here than anywhere else. If we're curt with trolls, this does not in the least imply we'll be curt with anybody of good faith. If you can find us a case where a hot-headed, incivil, but sincere editor has been treated "outside policy", I will pay close attention and take the case seriously. But the fact is that we all have common sense to distinguish between users. I am sorry if you feel that good editors risk being bullied by admins, and I was going to suggest I nominate you for admin yourself, to add a less heavy-handed specimen to the crew, but you seem not to appear in the top 1000 editors-by-number-of-edits yet, so I suggest I'll nominate you as soon as you have >1500 edits to article-namespace. dab () 07:41, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm somewhat surprised that, after reading WP:AN and its subpages, you can think any two admins would agree on the colour of the sky, let alone 400+ - David Gerard 09:02, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Dave Gerard points the finger, Jimbo pulls the trigger. No more illusions about consensus. The RT may have been a dick but he wasn't harming the encyclopaedia, just pricking a couple of balloons. Could we at least be told which admins are appointed to the role of Trollfinder General alongside Mr Gerard? Dr Zen 02:46, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think you should read up on Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#What_the_community_is_not. We're supposed to operate on good faith and on common sense (admittedly, that occasionally fails to prevail due to group inertia, Autofellatio is a good example). If you feel that WP has no basis in common sense left, up to and especially in, the arbcom and Jimbo Wales, it may be time for you to create a fork. dab () 11:36, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)


WP:3RR violation by User:Martin2000 on Bahá'í Faith

He has reverted 4 times within 24 hours and has not listened to a warning. He also uses the edit summaries to attck other editors despite multiple warnings (which incidentally he deletes from his talk page)

  1. [7]
  2. [8]
  3. [9]
  4. [10].

I have warned all sides in the conflict and would under normal circumstances block the user and potentially protect the page, but I have extensively edited this page before and do not wish to be seen as taking sides. Refdoc 08:28, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Blocked for 24 hours. -- Chris 73 Talk 09:41, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

User:Larsie, User:Chrispy[edit]

These users appear to have engaged in some kind of stealth hoax vandalism (see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Lars Olsen):

In cryptic messages on User talk:Chrispy, Larsie talks about some kind of game (possibly related to Nomic) that involves making edits to Wikipedia, that shouldn't be made public, or something that could result in getting kicked off Wikipedia. The time frame of these edits (late October 2004) is the same as the Lars Olsen edits:

It seems that User:Larsie and User:Chrispy share some interest in unusual articles, like Infinite monkey theorem and Extreme ironing (the latter, believe it or not, isn't a hoax). Only a few days after the Lars Olsen edits and the cryptic messages above, User:Larsie started making major and apparently legitimate contributions to Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, which became a featured article. The thought of a featured article possibly containing sneaky hoax vandalism made me react a bit strongly.

Anyway, I left messages on their talk pages and it would be nice if they owned up to what they were up to with Lars Olsen, and were upfront about any other possible hoaxes, so I won't need to trawl through the entire contribution history. -- Curps 08:35, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

User:Larsie has stated that one of his colleagues at work must have made some edits on his PC as an immature prank, and when I requested that he check the integrity of the other contributions made under his username he has stated that they are all fine. He has also stated that the seemingly cryptic messages were related to the idea of starting a nomic game on Wikipedia. It seems this incident wasn't as serious as I once feared, so I consider it closed. -- Curps 20:23, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Three revert rule violation on Capitalism. hist

Reported by: User:RJII 19:09, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Apparently he did some kind of maneuver so the link from the last revert couldn't be copied over correctly as a shady attempt to avoid being flagged on the 3 revert rule. RJII 19:09, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What on earth are you talking about? Their 18:38 edit is right here. The reason you couldn't get a link to it is probably simply that when you tried, it was the most recent edit. Also, we ask people to provide links to diffs, not versions; like this. Anyway, the two of you have been in an edit war on this article, so I'll let someone else block them, because if I do it, I'll block both of you. Noel (talk) 19:57, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
With all due respect, I think you would be remiss in blocking me. As far as I know there is no rule against being involved in an "edit war." RJII 20:19, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
<via edit conflict with RJII> blocked for 24 hours. I will check if RJII can also be blocked for 3RR. BrokenSegue 20:23, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I believe [13] (labeled as revert) , [14], [15], [16] are all reverts within 24 hours and so RJII should also be blocked. BrokenSegue 20:34, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
yup blocked for 24 hoursGeni 20:47, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)


A bot with this name created dozens of articles, each with the name of a random floating point number and redirecting to an image of pierced genitalia. He was blocked on sight, but I can think of no reason why he shouldn't try again. We obviously need a way of countering this. In the meantime help with cleanup would be appreciated. DJ Clayworth 19:12, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Looks like this has all already been cleaned up, or am I missing something? Thanks, Mark Richards 21:24, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Three revert rule violation on Macau. hist

Reported by: SchmuckyTheCat 22:41, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)


  • User:Instantnood has been RfC'd for revert warring. This is a blatant, and today, example. He makes a controversial edit, then tells others THEY are the ones making a revert war.
    • he has only racked up 2/3 reverts (depending on exactly how you count it)Geni 22:48, 10 Mar 2005
      • how so? the category "Cities in China" (CiC) was removed at 17:17, 21:22, 21:37, and 21:53. in the middle of this CiC rv war he also added back an improper cat of "dependent territories" at 21:44. (UTC)
        • the complex revert question again. I prefer not to block in these cases unless I am fairly sure that the user in question is doing to game the 3RR. Other admins think differentlyGeni 23:31, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think you are right these were 4 reverts, slight complex, but nevertheless. I have put a warning onto his talk page and will keep a watch of Macau a further revert will lead to a block - unless osmeone else has already blocked him. Trouble is there are two editors playing this game User:Huaiwei has done the same (from the opposite side). I have warned him too. The next revert from either side should lead to a block. Refdoc 23:24, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Please note that one of the reversion was not entirely a reversion. — Instantnood 23:37, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

It was a reversion right enough. And by your comment you only clarify that you are gaming the rules. You (and User:Huaiwei are both warned. Refdoc 23:44, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I did not intend to game the rule. When I tried to upload the changes regarding the disambiguation notice, there was an edit conflict. In other words Huaiwei reverted my immediately previous edit. I saved my version of the text and the result was like a revert. I didn't want to hide anything and that's why I added the word revert in the edit summary. I didn't mean to game the rule and I am sorry about that. — Instantnood 07:39, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)


Three revert rule violation on Macau. hist

Optional: Insertion of material [diff_link_here date_time_stamp_here].

Reported by: — Instantnood 23:37, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

Same as above. User:Instantnood and User:Huaiwei are editwarrring on Macau. Both have done four reverts, both are warned. I will block either or any or both should a further revert happen.Refdoc 23:42, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • if it matters, I'll note that Isntantnood, not Huaiwei, is purposefully making changes that force others to start reverting him. It's the focus of an RfC. Huaiwei, among others, just push back the POV edits. I know POV etc, aren't the focus of the 3RR board, but context matters when deciding who to block.

You are wrong here it does not matter. Context is irrelevant unless there is vandalism. As far as I can determine no one vandalised anything. It is simply that three people can not agree what should be in teh article and what not. Hence I repeat, context is irrelevant. Refdoc 00:04, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Could an admin help out at Talk:Government of Australia? User:Skyring is once again (for the third time, I believe) threatening to cause trouble over whether the Queen is the Australian head of state. He's already caused a 3RR block against him and Adam Carr, and a brief block against Adam for a personal attack over the same issue. Skyring's position is that Australia is a republic and he won't let it go. No editor on the talk page agrees with him, and the issue has been discussed on the mailing list too, where there is also a clear consensus against him; nevertheless, he is now threatening to remove the entire head-of-state section (diff). Here's the talk-page discussion. [26] If an admin could have a word with him now, it might stop it from escalating again. Many thanks, SlimVirgin 23:27, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

We already had several words with him - see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive9#User:Adam Carr. Frankly, if he doesn't violate the 3RR, there's nothing much administrators can do (unless people want us to start acting "arbitrarily" and "undemocratically" and "outside policy"). So file an RFA, I guess. Noel (talk) 01:14, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The user is pushing a POV, but is reasonable. I suggest we sort it out on the talk page. Please note I'm involved in this "dispute". He does have some cogent arguments. It's just a pity most took place on the mailing list. - Ta bu shi da yu 01:16, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think recent comments are beginning to fall outside any good definition of "reasonable", though I agree it's not clear exactly what policy they're violating. I've had stern words with the user which I hope will have the necessary impact, but if they don't, all we can really do is be good members of the community -- that is, go to the page, take part in discussions, promote consensus, progress towards the goals of accuracy, reliability, and verifiability. As admins, presumably we're good at that. Jwrosenzweig 01:50, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)