Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive290

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Geraldine Newman[edit]

Would one of you Wikipedia Admins please go and see Geraldine Newman. I have received approval from Wikiedia, comment no. 44, from Admin User:Sarah for the Filmography and Television credits on Geraldine Newman, see above. However there is a very disruptive person called User:UpDown who keeps deleting it. Please restore the Filmography and Television credits and issue UpDown with a warning about his behaviour. As Admin Sarah, pointed out, if Filmographies were considered copyright violations then thousands of Filmographies would have to be deleted from Wikipedia. Wikipedia would be in chaos. -- Tovojolo 13:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

As ANI does not seem to be done with this on-going conflict, see also
- Jreferee (Talk) 17:47, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment Tovojolo, you did not recieve permission, thats highly misleading. You have copied word for word from IMDb, down to things like "1 episode", clearly from IMDb. You have references at all for this page (hence the tag). It is not the filmography that is a violation, its the direct copy from IMDb (an unreliable source) with no attempt at a reference. --UpDown 13:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
UpDown is not a Wikipedia Admin. I would like the opinion of a Wikipedia Admin who I am sure will support the view of Admin Sarah. --Tovojolo 13:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Admins might also like to note this hostile message left on my Talk Page "Do not leave messages on my Talk Page. I want nothing to do with you" [1]. I was explaining my actions, and I get this back. This is a hostile editor, who has previously banned due to sockpuppeting. Comments like this are unnecessary and very unhelpful. --UpDown 13:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Admins might also take notice of his bullying attitude towards me and the way he follows me around Wikipedia. But the important thing is that the Filmography and Television credits were approved and I would like that approval re-confirmed. -- Tovojolo 13:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Bullying attitude, interesting. You removed a public domain photo, I re-added it. Thats not bullying. You made this following you round accusation before, and its not true. And editor can monitor the work of an another, especially if they are concerned that that editor is doing things wrong, and you are. And you did not get them "approved". One editor said "lists are[n't] copyright". S/he made no comment on copy from IMDb.--UpDown 13:46, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I am not going to get involved with comments from UpDown.
Such a shame that as usual if someone disagree with him/her, s/he refuses to talk to them. S/he has previously been asked not to delete TalkPage messages, which s/he freuently does. Tovojolo clearly has problems working with other people. --UpDown 13:56, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Would one of you Wikipedia Admins please just go look at Geraldine Newman and re-confirm Admin Sarah's opinion that it is not a copyright violation. The Filmography and Television credits are here : [2] and you will see the IMDB filmography here [3]. You will see that I have used Wikipedia formats. Thank you, Tovojolo 13:58, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It is not a copyright violation - it is verifiable by a number of different sources that said person worked in or starred in certain shows. It was a historical fact, it happened. What may be a greater concern is whether such appearances were *notable*. The films clearly were, any TV series in which she had a continuing role in would be, but the 1-2 episode ones I have my doubts about. As an admin, I should note too that none of us admins have an authoritative say in what goes on here - we're just users who've been trusted with a few extra tools by the community and who've been around a while. Orderinchaos 14:19, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It is a copyright violation when things like "1 episode" are copied and pasted. Who says they are historical facts, they need to be sourced, not just copy and pasted from IMDb. --UpDown 14:21, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
An IMDB post reads "25. All the Way Up (1970) .... Makepiece's Secretary". The deleted Wikipedia post reads "1970 | All the Way Up | Makepiece's Secretary | Comedy Film. Co-Stars : Warren Mitchell, Richard Briers." I'm not seeing the copyright violation in that. It may be unreferenced, but that does not make it a copyright violation or justify its deletion since it can be referenced. The phrase "1 episode" is too short to copyright. Tovojolo, do you have any diffs to support the statement "the way he follows me around Wikipedia." -- Jreferee (Talk) 14:21, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe not word for word, but the "1 episode" things clearly is copied, and repeatly so. The fact that all the roles are copied. And I would guess the Warren Mitchell & Richard Briers reference (which is irrelevant anyway) is straight from IMDb). --UpDown 14:25, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Tovojolo has just created Geraldine Newman, Complete Filmography and Television Credits. A complelty unnecessary article. Newman is not noteworthy enough for such an article (and no sources). Whether I'm right or wrong on previous issue, someone should inform Tovojolo that Wikipedia is not a fansite and facts must be notable.--UpDown 14:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

<after several edit conflicts>You two need to stop fighting here and calm down in general. If you just want to bicker with each other then please take it to your talk pages. As to the question of copyright, it is my opinion that a list of acting credits is not copyright but I am not a lawyer, so that is simply my opinion. However, you can look at some of our feature articles which have passed Feature Article Review with such lists intact: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Michael Hall, Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes and Aaron Sorkin, just to name a few. If you guys take a look at those articles, you might be able to get an idea of what is acceptable and then calmly discuss this issue and reach a compromise. But please understand that it is not acceptable to simply copy and paste things from IMDb and I'm not suggesting you do that. Sarah 14:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Tovojolo, please don't put the credits into a separate article. I just deleted the redirect for that. The list of credits can and should go in the article as a normal filmography list, just like in any other biography. Sarah 14:44, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Bonaparte? Open proxy?[edit]


Er... I'm useless with the open proxy thing. Is (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) one of those? And is it Bonaparte? [4]? I've only blocked for 24 hours for now. Bishonen | talk 14:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC).

Looks like an open proxy to me;
Starting Nmap 4.21ALPHA4 ( ) at 2007-08-25 07:34 PDT
Interesting ports on
Not shown: 1690 closed ports
21/tcp   open     ftp
22/tcp   open     ssh
111/tcp  open     rpcbind
135/tcp  filtered msrpc
136/tcp  filtered profile
137/tcp  filtered netbios-ns
138/tcp  filtered netbios-dgm
139/tcp  filtered netbios-ssn
199/tcp  open     smux
445/tcp  filtered microsoft-ds
554/tcp  open     rtsp
999/tcp  open     garcon
3128/tcp open     squid-http
7070/tcp open     realserver

- Alison 14:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Indefblocked. Bishonen | talk 14:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC).
Which one of those ports is the one that it is an open proxy? SWATJester Denny Crane. 14:56, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It's got a squid cache running publicly on 3128. That's a no-no - Alison 16:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Official that is an attack website? Because it is being removed again by the Anti-Moore patrol[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
16:25, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Resolved: user blocked

I notice that User:Noroton is, once again, removing the links to Is this official, we've declared his website an attack site? If not, I'd like to raise this as an issue of disruptive editing, since it is my understanding the issue was that was linking directly to THF's edit page...? This really needs to be sorted out since the war on Moore continues at Wikipedia and has little to do with building an encyclopedia. --David Shankbone 15:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

It's harassing THF. Fine under WP:NPA#External links. Will (talk) 15:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't directly now, but it did. Will (talk) 15:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to know what your statement means: that is now banned because he pointed out that an ideological rival edits his pages, one whose identity was never concealed? If so, I think I'll open up RfC not only about the THF name issue, but also about what is an "attack site", what are the degrees, and whether this qualifies. --David Shankbone 15:56, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I think everyone is aware of why it's being done (notwithstanding Noroton's personal stance on Moore), but the general consensus appears to be that this is a borderline incident and there's a strong consensus that is a) not an attack site and b) not being linked in order to attack THF. There's strong consensus that Wikipedia doesn't randomly blacklist external sites, and that's what's being done here. Noroton is fresh off a block for doing this already. Chris Cunningham 16:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The not-there talk page was attacking/harassing THF. Will 16:05, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
What? More importantly, did you read the rationale I provided? This isn't a clear-cut case of WP:NPA#External links. If it were, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Chris Cunningham 16:12, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Wrong Sceptre/Will: The Moore site was seen as "harassing" THF with the inclusion of links to edit his page. There was no "attack" and there is no definition of the word attack to support the matter-of-fact post on Moore's website. Once the "harassment" via the edit links were taken down, the issue was resolved. --David Shankbone 16:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Isn't revealing the identity and posting a picture of an anonymous editor considered an attack? Because that's all still on the Michael Moore site even now (though not plastered across the top as before). Clearly, the point of posting THF's identity and photo is intimidation, even if the specific link to edit his talk page was taken down. ATren 16:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Can we close this? I think Noroton is correct substantively for the reasons ATren states, and I am personally disappointed about the uneven application of Wikipedia policy, but this block against Noroton (unlike the last one) is correct procedurally. He was told by the unblocking admin not to remove the links, and he removed the links, and he got blocked. Nothing more here for administrators to intervene. THF 16:21, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Michael can have his links back when he stops attacking wikipedians, all he needs to do is take the attack of his web page. Also DavidShankBone needs to re-read WP:AGF when it concerns why people want these attacks stopped. (Hypnosadist) 16:37, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

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

User:Ziggy88 /Blu Aardvark[edit]


Ryulong beat me to the block. Spartaz Humbug! 18:12, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

1st edit is an MfD of a users sub page that documents Blu Aardvark vandal. Ziggy88 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log) is probably a meat/sock of Blu Aardvark. See contribs. --Tbeatty 17:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I have a valid concern. Stop trying to subvert it with irrelevancy. --Ziggy88 17:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Abusive sockmaster on Meta, spillover to here.[edit]

As part of a checkuser investigation on Meta (see ) I discovered this same user running socks here. Activities here have not been as disruptive as on meta but I have chosen to block the socks indefinitely, they are not up to any good, editing the same areas and articles, as well as doing a bit of self promotion.

This is not a real user, but rather a page created by someone without actually creating an account. The page has been deleted. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The "someone" was me, as the history would have shown. Fatfingered the username, the correct user is Yui shop. User has already been investigated and blocked. Sorry for any confusion. ++Lar: t/c 05:04, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

as well as blocking the underlying IP from anon edits for a month. I have left the sockmaster Noda,Kentaro (talk+ · tag · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log · CA · checkuser (log)) unblocked here, for now, but I advise an eye be kept, and certainly would not oppose a block. As always I invite review of my actions. ++Lar: t/c 02:06, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Is the user to be investigated Yui shop (talk+ · tag · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log · CA · checkuser (log)) instead? --Aphaia 21:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Blocked. Should be sorted now. ++Lar: t/c 05:04, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Multiple User Problem[edit]

Editors with sufficient experience are taking undue advantage of their positions in life. I understand I've been making terrible mistakes. But, I've tried my best not to come here and do use this but, things are becoming impossible. Kindly check all the comments from the start. I at first request a content addition, but I am replied back with unwanted replies, warnings, and some times abuses, I am asked silly questions. I then have to reply and since I am mid way learning things, I reply things those violate the policies.

I do not like to complain against anyone in specfic. But, I've seen few users at wikipedia, who are almost editing 2-3 edits per 5 mins with multiple topics all through out the day, which is impossible. I understand this is none of my problem. But I am sure there are people with paid jobs here. I am not sure about any policy as such but this is bringing us part time editors real life problems. I hope things work well here.

Kindly check talk:vedas BalanceΩrestored Talk 11:03, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I entirely understand the nature of your note. What is the administrative action that you wish to see undertaken, specifically? El_C 11:25, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I only wish things controlled and that's it. Not to ban any one and only make editing peaceful. I do agree it was my initial mistake. But not everyone is innocent. BalanceΩrestored Talk 11:27, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
When I said specifically I meant with some level of precision. I doubt any admin can act on the basis of what provided thus far. El_C 11:33, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I presume you want to remove the warnings from your talk page? --DarkFalls talk 11:34, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
See, that I could understand. I suppose I just wasn't able to extrapolate it from the above. El_C 11:42, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
How is this editor able to edit so many topic all through the day? Contributions/Dbachmann: Has this editor no other work in life. How does he make his living? again he is very abusive. So, it is pretty obvious, there is something really fishy going on. BalanceΩrestored Talk 11:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
That's not specific and such a comment, itself, is abusive; why would you reduce your argument to ad hominem? El_C 11:50, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Well he could be retired... And many people are able to edit for 4 hours. I myself have edited for 14 hours nonstop on a Saturday... --DarkFalls talk 11:56, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
It is around 8 hours persistantly. With multiple topics, with all the accuracy in the world. With 2 edit in a difference of 5 min. BalanceΩrestored Talk 12:11, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Please do not peruse this line of conversation. I still don't understand what you're asking us to do? Stick to that. El_C 12:12, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Incidentally, I blocked ~100 users today in three minutes. And I stand behind the accuracy of each block. El_C 12:17, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Can someone ask Dbachmann to be WP:CIVIL. This has happen multiple times [5]..BalanceΩrestored Talk 13:07, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
In spite of all that, I've done this multiple times .. [6]BalanceΩrestored Talk 13:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I see anything that would be worth warning Dbachmann about in the diff you linked. --OnoremDil 13:28, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't see the relevant of Dbachmann's editing habits? It's like you're trying to slam him by ad hominem by painting him as a geek who never gets out, but it's backfiring terribly, because many of the rest of us also spend disproportionate amounts of time on Wikipedia, and we generally respect those who are dedicated. --Cyde Weys 13:15, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

The only thing i see wrong here is BalanceRestores trying to slam a dedicated editor to discredit him and get the upperhand in an disagreement. I highly reccomend you carefully choose what you say next, make it about content it self, or at least relevant to the conversation. as Cyde says above me, many of us spend hours a day on here editing wide variety of topics. Chrislk02 (Chris Kreider) 13:38, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Background: Incidentally Dbachmann is not the only user BalanceRestored (talk · contribs) is having a "problem" with, hence the name of this section. In fact I had even proposed a topic ban on the user (i.e. BalanceRstored) for continually spamming the Talk:Vedas page, and Dab was the only one who thought it wasn't warranted yet !

  • You can see BR's activities on Talk:Vedas and this userified archive of that page.
  • Here is a recent description of the problem with BR on Vassyana's page which led to the warning.
  • Here is my polite attempt just a few hours back to answer BR's questions and explain the problem with his recent edits, which he blanked after filing this ANI complaint.
  • Here are some previous ANI's the user has been a subject of or has started [7], [8], etc. The first of these led to an indef block of the user for disruption, edit warring and sockpuppetry. The block was lifted by User:Vassyana assuming good faith, and under these unblock condition.
  • BR has been editing through this account for >4 months, and through (legitimate) alternate accounts for ~3 years. So WP:Bite does not apply in any case, though IMO numerous editors and two mentors (currently User:Hirohisat) have walked an extra mile to explain wikipedia's core function as an encyclopedia and content policies to this user ... alas with little to show for it.

Abecedare 14:05, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

The first diff provided by RB was this. It was described as being an uncivil comment. Well, it is not. At the opposite it shows that Dab uses talkpages consistently to respond to questions re his edits. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 14:58, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

True, i agree with user:balanceRestored these(experienced) editors think its their area and they allow no "outsiders". Similar thing happened Talk:Kama Sutra, and many other places i edited, though no admin action is demanded here. They simply revert, they use all kind WP:XYZ, but dont ever reply straight to subject in matter. Lara_bran 04:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe but this is not the right venue. We have WP:RfC. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 20:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

El_C (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No one got blocked (one party was unblocked) - see rationale below -- FayssalF

I'll probably get blocked for blocked for this, but...

I believe that User:El_C is inappropriately editing on my talk page, threatening to block me if I continue disputing with Anonimu (talk · contribs). I doubt that El C is non-partisan in this matter, as his user page expresses sentiments to that normally seen of Anonimu.

The reason why I keep an eye on Anonimu and not his opponents is because it's better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don't, and Anonimu had come to my attention via a friend of a friend, and I posted on ANI giving my opinion upon the 100 edits previous to that posting, and I recommended that he be blocked. Since then, he hasn't changed.

The point is that El_C is thinking too highly of the sysop bit, thinking it conveys authority, by telling me unilaterally to stop disputing or I'll be blocked, without citing a single policy or guideline as to why - in any of my disputes with Anonimu, I have stood by either multiple policies, guidelines, or a mixture of both - WP:HARASS excepts checking an editor's contributions to fix policy violation (in my most recent one with him, yesterday, NPOV, and in the most recent one regarding him, on his talk this afternoon, NPA (Nazi is a personal attack regardless of veracity)), and also prohibits intimidation and threatening of users, which I feel El_C is doing, and would prefer that if someone warned or discouraged him not to do so. Will (talk) 21:57, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

As a note: saying "I'll probably get blocked for this" is being rather uncivil. So is calling Anonimu the devil. Remember to Assume Good Faith--danielfolsom 22:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
(ec) It was probably a poor choice of words, but "the devil you know than the devil you don't" is a common expression. android79 22:05, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
"Better the devil you know than the devil you don't" is a common idiom and is in no way an attack on Anonimu's character. I'll concede slightly on the "I'll probably get blocked for this...", though.

Will (talk) 22:03, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Ahh, you're correct - sorry I'm not sure why i mentioned that as I'm aware of the idiom - I guess I was reading your comment a bit too fast - my mistake.--danielfolsom 22:13, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Err, what is the dispute about, exactly? android79 22:05, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Which dispute? With El C, succintly, I think that El C is threatening and intimidating me without basis. Will (talk) 22:08, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
To me it appears that sceptre is following Anonimu and involving himself in disputes Anonimu is involved in - and El_C believes that he is doing this to an extreme, saying it's "to the point where, one time, you even supported one of the tens of sockpuppets Bonaparte has unleashed against him" - however the bigger issue is whether El_C has the authority to tell Screptre (s)he is "out of his dispute, effective immediately." As to whether or not he is allowed to do that is not for me to decide--danielfolsom 22:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
About Bonaparte, yes, I did support Bonaparte's sock to get Anonimu banned, but no, I didn't know it at the time, and I provided about a dozen links showing why he should be, so it's hardly blind support of a banned user. (And by the way, I'm a he). Will (talk) 22:13, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Anonimu is currently blocked for edit-warring, so there should be no active dispute at the moment. His block log makes a convincing case that there's a serious problem, and he's prefaced his talk page with a note telling people not to bother, which isn't the most collaborative approach. That said, things have clearly reached the point where a more community-based form of dispute resolution (e.g. RfC or WP:CSN) should be considered rather than perpetuating a one-on-one dispute. MastCell Talk 22:23, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Probably what got El_C annoyed was me removing a thread on Anonimu's talk which called Anonimu's opponents a "hate group" and "nazi sympathisers" - both personal attacks regardless of veracity. Besides, wasn't that what Anonimu wanted, for a clean talk page? Will (talk) 22:26, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I've dealt with Anonimu in the past (also blocked him before). The user is a habitual trouble user, anyone who sees his extensive block log can see this. I agree that it is unfair to threaten Will because of this, considering his clean block log the threat of a unilateral block is out of line I believe. Though I think it would be wise for you to take a breather from dealing with Anonimu for the moment.--Jersey Devil 22:28, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Anonimu is the target of the long term-harassment lead by Bonaparte (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log). Secondly, he did not violate the letter of 3RR. Whether he edit-warred in general to deserve a block is a separate matter on which I have no opinion at this time. I simply request more eyes keeping an eye on various open proxies, IPs, socks and trolls who attack Anonimu all the time to present him a much more of a trouble user than he is. This week only I personally removed half a dozen of false reports on Anonimu placed on this board as well as AN by Bonaparte (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) with concocted discussions and falsified signatures. Will Sceptre revert-warred at Anonimu's page as late as today.
I leave it up to others whether to unblock Anonimu this time. It is a matter of judgment whether his still under 3RR reverts of trolls, socks and open proxies constitutes disruption. But I ask for some sympathy towards the guy who is, no angel true enough, the subject of the harassment campaign unheard since the times of Bonny and his socks ejected user:Node_ue, also a non-angel, from Wikipedia. Just my comment on this. --Irpen 22:30, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that Scpetre is trying to get a rise out of the user; that is not acceptable and he may be blocked for harassment if it continues. Jersey Devil has already showed himself to be one-sided in this dispute (which is why Sceptre has consistently canvassed him for his involvement), so I am opting to take his obvious sympathy with a grain of salt. Either you review all users involved in the dispute fairly (that is, review the other side, to begin with), or matters are gonna become worse and further away from resolution. Thx. El_C 22:35, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I've had no contact whatsoever from Sceptre about this. I just happened to view it while reviewing AN/I. Please remember AGF. Needless to say, I am surprised by your conduct on this matter El C. I've usually found you to be a fair admin, but your attempts to minimize my thoughts on this matter by saying that I am "one-sided" and was "canvassed" is completely out of line. I guess that is what passes as admin-to-admin discussion these days.--Jersey Devil 22:39, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Likewise. I did not say you have initiated contact, and these are concerned that I have, in fact, disclosed to you in the past. El_C 22:41, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
The only reason why I've talked to Jersey about Anonimu is because he dealt with him recently. Will (talk) 22:45, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I want you to stay away from Anonimu, and most definitely refrain from reporting him on AIV, as you did yesterday. El_C 22:48, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree in that AIV should only be used for pure vandalism and not on POV pushing.--Jersey Devil 22:51, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Persistent POV pushing is vandalism (WP:VANDAL: "Though inappropriate, [POV pushing] is not vandalism in itself unless persisted in after being warned.") Will (talk) 22:52, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
You are not allowed to report him for vandalism over a content dispute (in this case, whether the two-hour trial - and - followup - execution of Nicolae Ceauşescu for genocide can be termed a "kangaroo court"). But you definitely should not be following him around just to revert war; from now on, you won't. El_C 09:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

If El_C has time, he would be the best person to mentor Anonimu. He is familiar with the context and has the right attitude. Mentoring Anonimu may include having to block him from time to time, proding him here and there and keep Bonny sock/meatpuppets away from him. And JD is too block-happy to deal with complex matters. Just a suggestion. --Irpen 22:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I disagree with both the suggestion and the "block-happy" claim (which is needlessly incivil). If Anonimu were to get a mentor it should be a completely indifferent third party admin.--Jersey Devil 22:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

JD, please cut on the unwarranted civility talk. This bogus civility stuff is brought about every time someone is criticized. Criticism may be "unfair" but there was no incivility in my entry whatsoever. As for the fairness I never ever heard of you before this sad incident which was self-explanatory enough. And I challenge you to find a single sign of misconduct by El_C that would make him improper for dealing with this matter. I say, the best mentor should better be aware of the history of the problem and have an immaculate reputation. That's all. --Irpen 23:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Civility isn't bogus, it's policy. Will (talk) 23:14, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
WP:CIVIL is a policy. Falsely invoking it in unrelated disputes is a bogus. And gaming WP:CIVIL is responsible for more WP trouble than Willy on the Wheels with all his socks. But this is a side issue. There is no civility issues whatsoever in my entries above. Please stay on topic and refrain from "uncivil citing of WP:CIVIL" to deflect the discussion away from the topic. The issue at hand that Anonimu needs to be contained but harassment of him (including by Will Sceptre) has got to stop NOW. --Irpen 23:20, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

To get back to the reporting user's opening statement, I don't know the players here or the history well enough to be able to say whether or not there is a real conflict of interest on El_C's part, but there is apparently at least a perceived COI. I think it is fine for admins to have strong political views, and to participate in discussions and articles that they are interested in. But they need to be careful to avoid using their admin tools (or threatening to) in situations that leave them open to the allegation of a COI. If a violation is beyond the pale, and the action would be unquestionably correct, that is one thing. But if there is any kind of "call" to make, and it involves a topic or users who the admin could be perceived to have a COI with, the admin should seek another uninvolved admin to take the action. I can think of a half dozen admins who generally disagree with me on political and social issues, but that I would trust to make the right call on a behavioral issue with a user. They might not do what I wanted them to do, but their involvement would certainly nudge the conflict in a more positive direction. It's a good policy to follow. It not only protects the users from possibly biased action against them, it protects the admin from COI charges, and protects the image of the project as viewed from outside. I think the suggestion of El_C mentoring is a good one. - Crockspot 23:23, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I find it very hard to take Sceptre's complaint in good faith. "Probably what got El_C annoyed was me removing a thread on Anonimu's talk ... wasn't that what Anonimu wanted, for a clean talk page?" You were helping Anonimu clean his page, Sceptre..? Please don't flaunt absurdity. I've a good mind to remove these frivolities from ANI, especially after reviewing your ruleslawyering responses to El C on your page (here it is before you removed the section in question). I too urge you to cease doing anything else that is Anonimu-related, and will consider blocking you if you persist. Since you would like to see a basis in codified policy, please review Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and Wikipedia is not a battleground. Bishonen | talk 23:24, 24 August 2007 (UTC).
    Your response isn't in good faith either. What I said came off in a bad tone, and that's because I'm a bit annoyed. I was seriously removing them to save Anonimu an edit - he wasn't going to read them anyway. Besides, for the fourth time I've said this "nazi sympathiser" and "hate group" are personal attacks regardless of veracity. WP:ENC and WP:BATTLE applies, frankly, more to him than me - in every single conflict with him, I've at given policies and guidelines as my reasoning. I'll admit I don't like Anonimu, yes, but I'm not reverting every edit of his, I'm only reverting inappropriate edits by him. Will (talk) 23:47, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and the thing I said about a unilateral demand sticks - Only those delegated authority (ArbCom, Foundation) should exercise it - the sysop flag allows you to block, delete, protect, and automatically rollback, not give you authority. An admin can use the tools to follow process, policies, guidelines, and a few essays - for example, a persistent POV pusher on an article will be blocked to prevent the POV, a heavily vandalised page will be semi-protected to prevent the vandalism, etc, etc. An admin can't say to a user acting in good faith that they'll punish them if they do something the admin doesn't like without good reason. Such a decision is very controversial, and should be left to the community to decide whether it's appropriate. Will (talk) 00:09, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It's clear you have an axe to grind against this user and that your efforts have been wholly one-sided (so much so that you have not even remotely touched on this point). If you continue following him around you will be blocked for disruption. You may appeal to the Arbitration Committee or to any "paid foundation employee" once such a block expires. I have nothing further to add to that. El_C 02:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

El_C would you mind providing some examples of Will harassing or following Anonimu? The WP:AIV diff by itself doesn't really seem as bad as you are making out to be. (Which is why I'm asking what you know that those of us unfamiliar with this issue don't which makes you sure Will is out to get Anonimu?) Anynobody 05:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

probably this one. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 07:21, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't know much of the details about Will =/= Anonimu but a comment by Will strikes me. "Will" do you know that threatening to edit war is considered disruption? Please explain. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 07:14, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's much of an edit-war if you're upholding the three very basic Wikipedia policies. (NPOV, NOR, V) Will (talk) 12:11, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I did a bit of research and noted these edits on three User talk pages;

User talk:Anonimu
Sceptre/Will reverts an edit to Anonimu's talk page, three times for reasons discussed below on El Cs talk page. I personally think El C was right to restore the removed thread because I don't support editors deleting stuff from another editors talk page, but Will didn't seem to be acting in bad faith, just repeating a mistake. El C began insisting on no uncertain terms he wanted Will gone for some reason by around 12:30.
10:40 24 August
11:52 24 August
12:21 24 August

User talk:El C
Will:explains the 10:40 edit, 11:51 24 August
Will:12:18 24 August
El C:Either way, I just don't want *you* to be involved 12:32 24 August
Will:12:37 24 August.

User talk:Will
El C:Hi. what are you trying to do? 10:47 24 August
El C:User talk:Anonimu - do not revert me 12:00 24 August
El C:12:35 24 August
El C:it is *your* presence, specifically, that is not sought 12:39 24 August

I just don't want *you* to be involved and it is *your* presence, specifically, that is not sought seems needlessly rude and almost bullyish when one factors in El Cs warning to make himself scare from Anonimu's pages or face blocking. Am I missing something, or is El C bent out of shape that someone dared to revert him? Anynobody 08:27, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Sceptre will not be allowed to follow Anonimu around from article to article anymore. That's over with. El_C 08:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

That's the thing, the only example I saw where Anonimu had edited first was on Nicolae Ceauşescu, which other articles did he follow Anonimu to? Anynobody 08:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Anonimu was unblocked by El C earlier today ([9]) - while I concede that Anonimu didn't break 3RR, El C shouldn't have unblocked him himself, as he's hardly neutral in the dispute. Also, El C is still waving around the "mop gives me authority" flag - which it doesn't (WP:ADMIN). If El C wants authority, he should run for ArbCom next election. And I did say why I kept/keep an eye on Anonimu very early on in this thread - "better the devil you know...". Will (talk) 12:41, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm neutral enough to get things done; stop rulelawyering. But if you want to test my resolve, by all means follow him to the next article. El_C 12:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Stop using threats against other users to get your way. With regards to Sceptre, let it go for a while and cool down. Just take a wikibreak. It should also be noted that El C has involved himself in this content dispute at Talk:Nicolae Ceauşescu. [10] How could this possibly be considered a neutral party.--Jersey Devil 13:08, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Stop mischaracterizing my warnings as threats and stop empowering disruption to settle a score. Your hostility is regrettable. El_C 13:20, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh? I don't see how arguing on the talk page that the article should reflect scholarly consensus is in any way controversial. El_C 13:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Wow. This thread doesn't read well for El C. El C, it certainly looks like you've hit a point where you're way to involved in this at a personal, grudge-holding emotional level to continue to be the admin monitoring this situation. Your ultimatums are ridiculous. Do what I say, or I'll block you, when dealing with a ridiculously bad editor and a good editor trying to prevent damage to the project, looks like you've got other reasons to hate Sceptre. As JD says above, take a wikibreak, and let other admins handle this. I woke up and logged on, read this, and you're not at all neutral in this matter anymore in my eyes. Can't help but note that your response to the complaint, as he predicted, is to try to block the complainant(complaintant?whatever). Finally, saying 'I just don't want YOU involved' certainly sounds unduly hostile and singling ONE editor out. Please follow JD's advice, and pass this off to another capable editor, and go cool off. ThuranX 15:08, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Well about the wikibreak advice I was referring to Sceptre but you're probably right in that it should also apply to El C. This has gotten out of hand and the best thing now would be for both El C and Sceptre to try to cool down a bit and take a short wikibreak.--Jersey Devil 15:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going anywhere; certainly not on account of the superficial reading of someone as notoriously abusive as ThuranX (his ANI attacks are to known both for their lengths as for their venom). Take it to arbitration, if you like. El_C 17:59, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

El C's approach to the problem should be commended. Will should be advised to stop following Anonimu and endlessly complaining about his activities on this page and elsewhere. I suggest archiving this meaningless thread that distracts folks from more urgent issues. --Ghirla-трёп- 18:11, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Of course, me leaving the project for any length of time would make many people happy, but in light of the scope of the work I do, it probably would not be in the interest of the project. But if JD, whose administrative conduct I'm calling into question in this case, wishes to perpetuate this thread, well, that's his prerogative. Granted, it does slow me down elsewhere, somewhat. El_C 18:25, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, now that this went far way from our DR procedures i must say that since Anonimu is unblocked even if he was edit warring, Will was not blocked even if he was following Anonimu and edit warring and El C would not take any wikibreak even if he threatens sometimes more than necessary, nor anyone else would take a break, i recommend that this issue would or SHOULD follow the DR policy. Just a friendly note. The 3 of you are well aware of the policies so there's no admin advice to offer you here, except the DR process, or any admin intervention would be needed unless some admin would make of this incident a big headline at the ANI. Archiving... -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 20:19, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Another controversy caused by El C[edit]

I made a neutral comment on WP:AN and EL-C reverted it. Why is he so threatened by such a benign comment. It concerned TJSpyke where it was proposed to unban him and force multiple confessions from him. I said that the user should make promises to behave but that forced confessions shouldn't be required.

What is the fuss about this.

Like the original poster of this thread, who said that they expect to be blocked, I think I will be blocked unfairly just for making an innocent statement which no man with logical beliefs should feel challenged. This is why I came to Canada, so that I could speak my mind unlike in some countries. SanjayPatelofCanada 05:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Note: if El_C and other admin read this, say ok, and move on without the desire to retaliate and inflict pain, this will show that they are men of good character. El_C, you can redeem yourself by doing just that. SanjayPatelofCanada 05:33, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Your edit seemed like vandalism/provocation, was reverted once by myself, twice by another admin; he's the one who blocked you, not me. El_C 08:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

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

Biggspowd (talk · contribs) is back as an IP sockpuppet[edit]

You may remember this incident from the other day. [11], [12]. Well, this person is now back, editing under an IP address as a sock, even though he is currently blocked [13]. Have a look at his general list of contributions [14], and then take a look at these edits where he's back on that weird tangent of removing any mention of smoking related deaths from people's biographies [15], [16]. Then, compare the way the IP adds prod tags to things [17] compared with the User who is currently still blocked for a week. [18]. As I suspected would happen, this person has NOT retired, they have simply begun evading their weeklong block by editing as an IP. WP:DUCK. Please indef block the User and softblock the IP? The Parsnip! 23:22, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

The IP SOCK is still editing. Why don't we recognize block evasion and deal with the issue? The Parsnip! 15:10, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Comment: the edits from that account in the last 24 hours seem wholly non-controversial, mostly copyediting. The one-week block on the orig. ed. expires Monday. 21:52, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
This shouldn't make any difference... a person who is currently blocked for vandalism is evading their block. What are the rules on this? When someone is under block, evading their block is supposed to get them blocked for a longer period of time. I've been around long enough to know this... I don't get why we're just saying "he's fine" just because he isn't making any overt vandalism currently. The Parsnip! 23:53, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

SlimVirgin's sockpuppet(s)[edit]

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

Per the section "proposal" below. Discussion has become counter-productive of what was to be discussed here. The issue was SlimVirgin using an alternate account, the solution is undetermined and can never be by this thread, and the fact nothing needs immediate administrator attention. Regards, — Moe ε 16:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Since Thatcher has acted on my "inclination" [19] and re-opened the discussion, let me give the following preamble. As Thatcher notes below the Arbitration Committee is discussing the issues involved here, and as El_C points out below out the ArbCom mailing list is available to any editor who wants to make their views known to the Committee more privately. We welcome and encourage any thoughts any editor might have on these issue. But we should all understand that the issues involved here are not solely for the ArbCom to decide. In most respects, it is ultimately the community which has the responsibility of deciding how things work around here. And that deciding is generally best done on-Wiki. To that end discussions like this can be helpful, however we need to conduct any discussions with great care. SlimVirgin and Jayjg are long-time well respected editors who have made many valuable contributions to our encyclopedia. They deserve to be treated with generous assumptions of good faith and respect.

For completeness sake I've restored the following two comments which were dleted by Thatcher when he re-opened the discussion:

Folks, the Arbitration Committee's mailing list is that-a-way. Those who wish for drama and public spectacle, there are plenty of off-wiki venues. El_C 03:37, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Let's chill out for a bit. ArbCom knows about both allegations (sockpuppets and misuse of oversight). This is not going to be solved immediately, and failure to solve it immediately and publicly does not automatically mean there will be a coverup. Assuming that we don't actually want to run SlimVirgin or Jayjg off the project, let's take a break on this and let the people we elected to be responsible for this sort of thing talk about it for a while. Hopefully they will make a public statement; in the meantime, archive pretty please? Thatcher131 04:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Paul August 06:18, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


I'll present this news briefly, without much editorializing. I'll leave it up to others to figure out what this all means, and what our response should be to this abuse of our trust. Well-known administrator SlimVirgin has been caught red-handed. She used a sockpuppet by the name of Sweet Blue Water to sway discussion on a 9/11 article (no conspiracy theories please). I have blocked the sock indefinitely, per standard practice for abusive sockpuppets. I have not blocked SlimVirgin because this incident took place awhile ago. There are some things we do not know, such as: is SlimVirgin still using sockpuppets? If so, what should we do about it? More generally, as a community, how we should we respond to these actions taken by one of our own administrators? --Cyde Weys 00:25, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

This user hasnt made any edits[20]. Do we know Slim is using/has used socks? cos its news to me and these are serious accusations without even a diff to back them up re a highly respected admin. I suggest you give us some solid evidence or withdraw your complaint, SqueakBox 00:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
That's because Mr. Weys made a typo. He meant just "Sweet Blue Water" -- [21]. MessedRocker (talk) 00:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
SqueakBox, read the attached page. It's obviously written by a person with an axe to grind.. but the evidence is compelling.--Gmaxwell 00:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, that is Sweet Blue Water (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). I await (a) the check user and (b) the evidence. To be honest if this were true its a case for arbcom at the least, we cant dse Slim blocked on the basis of an AM/I report, SqueakBox 00:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Cyde, It's a good think that you didn't block Sarah: the edits were two years ago. If it's all true but there isn't any evidence of more recent misdeeds, then so what? We've all made bad judgment calls.
What is a little more disappointing is the overuse/misuse of oversight. I pointed out that the early uses of oversight by Jay were questionable which resulted in Brion temporally removing his permission until it was investigated. I think arbcom eventually decided the oversights were okay, and in any case he was given the permission back... Seeing the edits there I can see how they could be argued to be personally identifiable, which is something I couldn't figure out when I first complained about the possible overuse of oversight because I was unaware of the IP and the other account. But still it seems that the ultimate decision to allow Jay to aggressively oversight Sarah's edits was an error. Ultimately it did nothing to improve her privacy, it may have hidden some abusive actions, and it has called our honesty into question. --Gmaxwell 00:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
To be honest, I was going to remove this thread thinking it was just a random editor with a grudge. Seeing as it's Cyde, I relented. I think good faith should be applied and it should be remembered that Shaw is a big ISP. That, and that was two years ago, so I think we should assume that she's not doing it now (but she may and probably has in the past) Will (talk) 00:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but I didn't make any bad judgment calls that were nearly as egregious as abusing sockpuppets. I don't think there is a "statute of limitations" on abusive sockpuppetry. I think it speaks directly to one's character. Now maybe if I see an apology to the community my stance might be softened a little bit. --Cyde Weys 00:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
That's kind of fucked up to say, Cyde. Wikipedia is neutral, and shouldn't really care if someone is sorry or not, only that they are not doing it anymore. -- Ned Scott 06:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
No, that they haven't done it anymore. How do we know that she wasn't socking the last three years? -Nodekeeper 14:14, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

(looking through the edits) The claim that there was 3RR on the Tsunami edits is incorrect; there were two very different edits, and only two of them; even if it's same account or sockpuppetry it wasn't abusive. (Still looking at the rest). Georgewilliamherbert 00:40, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Disclaimer: I'm not working off the old oversight-free dataset, but Judd Bagley didn't provide specifics on what got oversighted in there. Georgewilliamherbert 00:45, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
There were two votes, one from each account (plus misc comments from SV) on the Featured Article Candidates discussion. That would be a violation of WP:SOCK if the two accounts are in fact the same person. (still reviewing the other 3) Georgewilliamherbert 01:05, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The (non-oversighted) edits by both accounts to September 11, 2001 attacks were essentially just copyedit cleanups; the one edit by Sweet Blue Water was a vandal revert of a claim that a US fighter jet shot down TWA Flight 93. That claim was added by an IP and then taken out by SBW immediately. None of the edits appear to be content/controversial for several days on either side, and the combination of them is still just maintenance work. Nothing wrong here. Georgewilliamherbert 01:14, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Talk page edit is commenting to that IP about it. Nothing wrong there. Georgewilliamherbert 01:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
...and the SBW edit to British English is related to but not identical to any edits SV was making prior to SBW editing. Definitely no 3RR; time spread out over roughly a week. No sign of abuse with this, either.
  • Comment - Only 1 of these Sweet Blue Water edits appears to actually meet our WP:SOCK abusive sockpuppetry definition, or any other reasonable definition of abuse. The vote is, if SBW == SV, a violation. The others don't meet any of the SOCK criteria for abuse. Georgewilliamherbert 01:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
As to the accuracy of the allegation, I'm not going to determine whether I believe this based on the evidence from some website I've never heard of. I'm going to do it based on things right here on the wiki, like a familiar quotation. I think I've seen it before. Picaroon (t) 00:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
That sort of activity is only "abuse" if the peons do it... if a powerful clique member like Slim does it, it's perfectly fine, and the use of oversight by her friends to cover it up is also perfectly fine... but anybody who exposes it and tries to tell anybody is engaging in personal attacks and running an Attack Site. That's the way things work around here. *Dan T.* 00:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
(MEC)I'm concerned by the sockpuppetry, but that was years ago, and in the absence of new problems we generally forgive such mistakes after such a long time. (Not that we shouldn't look closely for new evidence.) I am a bit concerned now by an odd pattern I noticed in discussion at WT:NOP, where SlimVirgin vehemently asserted as fact that there were indeed people who were operating more than one admin account, but declined to elaborate or provide evidence even upon being asked repeatedly how she possibly could be so sure. However, I was also very concerned to notice that she had not been notified of this discussion, and have corrected that. I certainly believe she has every right to tell her side of the story here. However, aside from that, I am very concerned to see that type of use of oversight. Almost all of us have accidentally edited while logged out at some point or another in a way which makes clear who it was. I would bet you that if the vast majority of editors in that situation requested oversight of that mistake they would be declined. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:44, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Could we CheckUser SlimVirgin, or would that be fishing? (Come up with an answer independent of the fact that this is SlimVirgin.) MessedRocker (talk) 00:45, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

If the alleged sockpuppetry was two years ago, what would be the point? Is there any legitimate reason to punish someone for something from so long ago? --B 00:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The point of the CheckUser would be to see if she is still doing it. MessedRocker (talk) 00:51, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
There are legitimate uses of socks, and if I took as much sustained abuse as she did, I would use them too for certain classes of edits. - Crockspot 00:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Including double voting? Please, lets not make the mistake of treating this as no big deal. This is a very serious charge and it is meticulously documented. It needs to be addressed, not swept under the rug. ATren 01:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Considering that this is coming from an off-wiki blog, and as GWH has already found one untruthful spin, and this is going on three years ago, I am not all agog. - Crockspot 00:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

an objective look at the details given above paints a pretty clear picture - but the age of the edits, and a dollop of common sense might just mean that this doesn't matter that much. I think the damage of the drama of this discussion is greater than any benefit to wikipedia - i think we're in danger of being indulgent to hand wave. If Slim used a sock a couple of years ago, it doesn't matter much to me.... Purples 00:50, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

It's more evidence, as if any were needed, of the perniciousness of the idiotic pseudo-policy about linking to so-called "attack sites" that a Clique Member is trying frantically to get rid of the above link with significant evidence in this case. *Dan T.* 00:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Lay off it Dan. There is no need for the histrionics here. No one supports a genuine abuse of oversight... even for a card carrying cabalist like Sarah. She does deserve our defense against trolls who are out to harm her, but defense doesn't extend to misleading the public or lying. We'll get it all sorted out. There is no need for a witch hunt on any side of this. The evidence presented clearly shows a privacy interest in using oversight against the evidence connecting the accounts, because her IP was disclosed. It appears that the end result, however, wasn't good.--Gmaxwell 01:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Great, an edit war. The link should not be posted on this page. It attacks at least two individuals. If you really want to read it, get it out of the history. - Crockspot 01:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Don't be ridiculous, that link is necessary for the discussion: Remember that WP:BADSITES IS NOT POLICY. ViridaeTalk 01:07, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
WP:NPA#External links is a core policy. - Crockspot 01:33, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Thios isnt a personal attack, as is QUITE clear, so that policy doesn't apply. ViridaeTalk 01:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The blog was an attack on two individuals. I see there is a different link, which may not be an attack. - Crockspot 01:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It was not however being used to attack someone, it was being used as evidence in a discussion, how are you missing the distinction? How about I put it a bit more clearly for you: This thread =/= personal attack. Questionable link == needed for the non personal attack thread. Use of link =/= personal attack. NPA =/= applicable. Comprende? ViridaeTalk 01:44, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The evidence was presented in the form of a personal attack, with commentary that has been proven to be less than accurate. You'll notice that the blog is not linked above any more. I have no problem with raw evidence. - Crockspot 01:57, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It was presented in the same way the current link is presenting it, + commentary. And who cares? It was the evidence that it was beind used for? Cyde did not start this thread to try and attack anyone, he was using the link as evidence. Any way it is pointless arguing about this any further, the original link is removed, but the evidence stays the same. I am glad you are "allowing" allowing this one, because the consensus was quite clearly not in your favour (that it was a personal attack) and you had way blown 3rr. ViridaeTalk 02:04, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
How is evidence of sockpuppetry a "personal attack"? *Dan T.* 01:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The new link is probably fine. The first blog link was a personal attack on SV and JJG. - Crockspot 01:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It had a few paragraphs of criticism along with the evidence... so is criticism a "personal attack" now? *Dan T.* 01:56, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
As the editor who initially forked the contested POV "attack sites" content from BADSITES over to WP:NPA: [22], I must say I do regret being the one responsible for extending that controversy beyond its reasonable life. Seems if we had left it at BADSITES, it may have been killed entirely. One of my lasting "gifts" to WP, I suppose. It seemed like a good idea at the time. When I did it I thought it would be seen as clearly inconsistent with the other, more rationally worded material already on NPA, and an attempt would be made to either kill it or move it into compliance with the rest of the policy. No such luck. Oh well. My apologies to all who've fussed over or suffered over this, and to others I hope they enjoy their sense of empowerment.—AL FOCUS! 02:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The contributions of Sweet Blue Water (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) shows that the user has very few edits and does not engage in edit-warring (which is the main purpose of creating sockpuppets). In fact, most of the edits are to the user's own page. So, I think this is an overally very minor case letting aside that it is from two years ago. This was all said assuming that Sweet Blue Water is SlimVirgin. --Aminz 01:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but from what I see, the evidence is shaky at best. It says on there that the edit was made by a dynamic IP. Even though it was on the same ranges SlimVirgin used, we have no proof it was her on there. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 01:07, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
My comment was based on the assumption that they are the same person and mentioned that even then, it seems minor. --Aminz 01:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Nwwaew - he says he knows only the first four numbers of Slim's IP - and yet he would obviously assume any ip with those first four numbers would be Slim - and that IP is the only tool used to draw Slim to Sweet Blue ... I think the case isn't certain enough to do anything - and is too far in the past to do a checkuser.--danielfolsom 01:15, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Not just the ip - common editing - editing the same articles, and use of the same poem in their respective userpages. (look up a bit).ViridaeTalk 01:18, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
But again, have we got proof it was the same person editing? For all we know, it could be an impersonator setting up SlimVirgin. Nwwaew (Talk Page) (Contribs) (E-mail me) 01:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Most proof in sockpuppet cases is circumstantial - as is this. A checkuser probobly would have come back as Plausible - or whatever language they use, given we know they edit from the same IP range. ViridaeTalk 01:25, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
In this case the evidence isn't the author of the document 'knowing' the IP.. the evidence is the content of the now oversighted edits. --Gmaxwell 01:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
But the biggest question is: who cares? SlimVirgin has been a great editor for a while - and I don't think anyone in their right mind is about to propose doing a checkuser and blocking him/her for something (s)he did in his/her (i hate how there's not a non-gender specific third person singular pronoun) first year.--danielfolsom 01:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but the involvement of oversight is a major concern it appears that oversight was unintentionally used in a manner which covered up some less than perfect activities. --Gmaxwell 01:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
If that off-site post is correct, how did the history of those deleted edits make their way off Wikipedia and onto that Web site? I thought only an admin had the tools to do that. -- Jreferee (Talk) 01:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
They found an old database dump from prior to the edits being oversighted, (and actually much prior to that, since they were deleted months before being oversighted). --Gmaxwell —The preceding signed but undated comment was added at 01:47, August 25, 2007 (UTC).
(ec)Not deleted, oversighted. Its from a database dump from before the oversighting and compared to a dump post oversighting. ViridaeTalk 01:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Please re-read my comment. Many (all?) of the oversighted edits in question were deleted months before we had oversight. Once we got oversight they were deleted. As a result they were not in the last dump right before oversight. If you'd like a copy to look for yourself I can give you that. They used an even older dump from before the edits were deleted. I don't have a copy of that. --Gmaxwell 01:52, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, but who did the deleting? Wer know who he oversighting was done by, who did the deleting? ViridaeTalk 01:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Based on this bit of precedent, I would have assumed Musical Linguist did the deleting, but in the case of the IP edits in question, it doesn't appear to have been her. --Jim Larry 02:14, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Hm. I didn't look for the IPs. I looked for the Slimv edits ages ago right when they were oversighted because I was trying to figure out if the oversight tool was being overused. I'll see if I have the IP edits. --Gmaxwell 02:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Slim wasn't even an admin in 2004. All this is insignificant ancient history. I really don't think we should desysop someone for something done before they were a sysop.Rlevse 02:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
As with many scandals, the attempts to cover it up are of greater concern than the original act itself. *Dan T.* 02:12, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
If there have been attempts to cover this up, especially with oversight privileges, then this should probably go to the ArbCom for further review. --Coredesat 02:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Rlevse, This happened the year before Slim became an admin. I think if there is anything to look at here, the focus should be on issues relating to use of oversight, not whether or not someone used a sock two years ago. Sarah 02:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

A lot of what I've read in this section is highly hypocritical. Chacor 02:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

2. Response[edit]

I'm disappointed that Cyde didn't e-mail me to ask me about this before posting publicly. I won't give a detailed response here, partly for reasons of privacy and partly because I'm not willing to make WordBomb's day for him. I'm happy to give a full explanation to every Wikipedian I know and trust who e-mails me asking for one. And please do e-mail if you want to know more; I definitely won't take it as an accusation. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Response to the Response[edit]

Apologies if this sounds harsh, SV.. but private explanations to people you know and trust aren't really conducive to fixing this issue, which is what we all want. Anything that smacks of secrecy and hiding just fuels the people attacking you. All of us probably aren't looking for long explanations or anything similar, just the answer to. "Did you use the account mentioned above", and "Have you used any account other then your main one to edit Wikipedia in any way". Thank you for considering my request. SirFozzie 02:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

In SV's defense, she in a situation that very few other Wikipedian's are in (or can even fully appreciate) and thus I think we should permit her the courtesy of offering her account in privacy, at least in the first instance. She knows, and I'm sure trusts, a great number of Wikipedians, not all of whom are in the oft alleged cabal. Rockpocket 02:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I can understand that, Rockpocket, but I really think it doesn't help the situation that we're in for it to be hidden from the public eye. A quote from Louis Brandeis comes to mind. The best way to prevent the situation is to stop it from the get-go, in my eye. *shrugs* figured I'd at least make the request. SirFozzie 02:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
SirFozzie, all I can do is e-mail you the explanation. You may or may not find it sufficient, but I think you will. I'm still looking at the diffs myself, but I'll send something to you this evening. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 03:05, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Given this happened years ago and the passing of more recent events such as the recent DB attempt at outing I endorse that she has no case to answer here and remains one of our best admins (being controversial adds to that IMHO), SqueakBox 02:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
As it stands it looks like the accusations that oversight has been used to hide abusive behavior may have some degree of merit. Although Sarah's actions are old enough to be uninteresting, as Dan pointed out above, the possible appearance of coverup is very interesting and important and should be fully resolved. We can do the most to hurt the trolls by making sure we're so far above board that there is nothing sane to criticize us for. --Gmaxwell 02:37, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Welcome to the Wikipedia Review, on WP:ANI. It's difficult to envision this place sinking any lower, but expect the unexpected. El_C 02:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Is there anything that anyone would like to accomplish here? If not, I suggest marking it resolved/closed. Even if the "allegations" are true, I don't think anyone would seriously suggest taking any kind of punitive preventative action against SV based on something so old. So if there's nothing here other than drama ... --B 02:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

We need to resolve if oversight was actually used to hide embarrassing edits. If so we need to resolve if this was an intentional abuse, or accidental careless. We need to determine the Arbitration committee has violated our trust by endorsing these actions, tacitly or explicitly. ... and in order to get there I think we need to know the truth about the suspected sock. If it's true, we can forgive, and move on to the important issues... before they manage to end up in the press. --Gmaxwell 02:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that if oversight was used incorrectly, that's a serious abuse ... but since very few people have access to those records, there is nothing that can be decided here. 99% of us have no ability to investigate it. --B 02:45, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
If the allegations are true, then it will be, at least to me, a severe breach of trust that Wikipedia places in its admins, and I would be in the forefront of any folks calling for action to be taken. Not to mention that the hurried closure/archiving would do more to convince folks that there IS fire to this smoke then anything. SirFozzie 02:41, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
What action would you recommend? And why does everyone keep saying admins - do all admins have oversight abilities?--danielfolsom 02:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
No, it's like checkuser, only a few can do it. Georgewilliamherbert 02:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Ok - so it's not some admin conspiracy - everyone turn down your cabal sirens. Even if the edits were not honestly erased (which is a possibility) - it looks like an isolated event from two years ago. I just don't see this going anywhere.--danielfolsom 02:51, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

There are two separate issues. The only thing that anyone outside of a very small number of users with oversight privileges can make any kind of speculation/determination about is whether SlimVirgin engaged in abusive sockpuppetry. That's a separate issue from whether or not someone improperly oversighted her edits. In the case of the former, nobody is seriously contemplating punishing her so there's nothing to discuss. In the case of the latter - unquestionably a very serious issue that should be dealt with decisively, we have no ability to make a determination and need to rely on those who have access to the logs to tell us what the determination is ... so again, there is nothing to discuss here. --B 02:58, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Except it's already been before Arbcom and it appears that they failed us. When oversight was first introduced the logs were public. I noticed Jayjg's mass over-sighting of seemingly harmless edits like spelling corrections with an summary of "pi". I brought the issue up with Brion, who thought it looked odd so he temporally removed oversight from Jayjg. [23]. Arbcom looked at the issue, and apparently decided that it was all okay. Jay's access was restored, the revisions stayed oversighted, and he continued mass over-sighting old edits like these. I trusted then. Having seen the evidence I think it would be unwise to extend the same trust again. --Gmaxwell 03:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Best not to assume malice, I suspect; nobody but the obsessive had the time or inclination to pore through things and find these apparent connections. I can't speak for other arbitrators, but I did examine (some of) these oversights and saw nothing that indicated sockpuppetry. I found the concern for secrecy possibly excessive but justified in terms of the abuse SlimVirgin was on the receiving end of. Matthew Brown (Morven) (T:C) 03:50, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

3. Comments[edit]

I make no comments about the reliability of the allegations, but want to state strongly that Cyde's handling of this has been extremely inappropriate and irresponsible. Although I have forgotten the names of the two accounts, I saw a few months ago that some administrator was caught sockpuppeting through some user check, and that the ArbCom several times asked him to email them. When he refused to provide any explanation in private, he was desysopped, and I think the ArbCom gave an explanation to the community. But he was first afforded the chance to explain himself privately to the Committee. Similarly, I believe there was some case last year where some administrator unprotected a page and then edited it with a sockpuppet, and as far as I know (though I'm not aware of the full details), he was given ample opportunity to discuss the matter privately with the committee before the community was made aware of the matter. I am sure there have been other, similar cases; I am not aware of any case where an administrator has been discovered to be using sockpuppets, and has been immediately blocked, and the offence publicised, with no effort to deal with the matter privately first.

If Cyde had credible evidence of serious wrongdoing from SlimVirgin from two years back, he should have brought the matter privately to the attention of Jimbo and the Arbitration Committee. (It will not be surprising if they were already aware of it, and if they were already discussing the matter privately with SlimVirgin.) Or he should at least have emailed her to ask for an explanation, taking it privately to the ArbCom if she failed to provide an explanation that he found reasonable.

The fact that the evidence comes from one whose credibility is dubious, that it was a dynamic IP, that people can share IPs, and that the account had stopped editing over around two years ago, were all indications that there was no urgency in blocking. And since other administrators who have been found guilty of wrongdoing were afforded the dignity of a chance to explain themselves privately to ArbCom before being publicly humiliated, on what grounds did Cyde decide that SlimVirgin was deserving of less sensitivity and discretion?

Even if we didn't have a precedent of allowing established and respected editors suspected of some wrongdoing a chance to explain themselves privately before taking action, a little bit of humility would have told Cyde that he should wait and discuss it privately with someone more senior. Blocking immediately, without checking to see if this dynamic IP could possibly have been used by someone else, and then dramatically announcing here that she had been "caught red handed", as well as linking to a site that specialises in violating the privacy of our editors (and harvesting their IPs in an effort to trace their locations), and edit warring to keep that link, showed an appalling irresponsibility, immaturity, and insensitivity. And that applies regardless of whether SlimVirgin is innocent or guilty. This thread should never have been started. Similar cases have always been dealt with discreetly, with the ArbCom making an announcement only at the end of their investigations, if they found it appropriate to make one at all. ElinorD (talk) 02:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Where did you get the idea the Sarah was blocked? She wasn't. It would be foolish to block her now, and that seems to be the consensus here.
At this point it appears that my error in trusting the judgment of Arbcom to review the initial mass over-sighting of Jay was an error. Virtually every time I've worked with arbcom to quietly resolve an issue their response has been ultimately disappointing. --Gmaxwell 02:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Translation: Let the clique "resolve" the issue by secret back-room discussions ending in shoving the whole thing under the rug. It's only non-clique-connected peons that get publicly humiliated for their real or imagined offenses. *Dan T.* 02:59, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
While I STRONGLY disagree with the words above, I do agree with the spirit of what dtobias's is aaying. This is something that needs to be out in the open, for the good of Wikipedia (and before you ask, "How would you feel if YOU were under the same microscope".. I am already listed on HiveMind, with all my personal info posted, which I'm not exactly happy about, but figure there's not much I can do about it.. (I do find it funny they have a wrong picture for me, however). SirFozzie 03:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I was on Brandt's (old) Hivemind page too, and on one of Jeff Merkey's attack pages at one point. I responded by laughing at those guys, not by trying to suppress all mention of them. *Dan T.* 03:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Archive I think it would be best if perceived oversight misuse was is brought before Arb. The sockpuppet issue, however, is stale. Any action on that now, would be punitive. I would suggest appropriately placing the archive templates here. Regards, Navou banter 02:57, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I oppose. In my mind the only real risk here is that this material somewhat validates the star-chamber accusations about the use of oversight. We can't solve justified accusations of secrecy and coverups by resolving matters in secret. --Gmaxwell 03:06, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I should have been clearer. I was referring to this block. An account that hasn't edited for about two years does not need to be blocked so urgently that there's no time for private discussion with the suspect or the ArbCom. The evidence for the sockpuppetry seems to be that a dynamic IP which Slim is believed (okay, I'll say "known") to have used on a small number of occasions made an answer to a question which had been asked of Sweet Blue Water. It's certainly not conclusive. And the indelible block log mentions Slim, and accuses her of abuse. ElinorD (talk) 03:07, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Elinor here. The blocking of an account that was inactive for 2 years under relatively shady evidence was done a bit haphazardly. — Moe ε 03:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand why El insists on closing a live discussion and points editors off Wikipedia (the ArbCom mailing list) to talk about an on-Wiki problem. RxS 03:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

What is there that can be accomplished? Even if we presuppose that Jayjg's oversights were abusive and that Arbcom is engaging in a conspiracy to ignore them, what would we be able to do here, other than sound off our righteous indignation? I have nothing but respect for Gmaxwell, but I don't see what there is that we have the power to do here. --B 03:59, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
If the issue involves Oversight, there is nothing us regular admins can practically do about it. If there is to be any investigation into misuse of oversight, it needs to be done on a higher level, either ArbCom or the Foundation directly. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 04:04, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
(EC) Well, any change starts with sounding off righteous indignation. Right now, I don't even know if there's cause for that. I'll ask SV for what she has to say, as I do like to hear both sides of the story, and her case is an exceptional one. If it's obvious from what she says that things aren't what they seem, and no wrong has been done, I'll shut my mouth. But really, what does anyone do on ANI but express indignation, righteous or otherwise? That's how things get brought to light and hashed out. But let's say at some point an Arbitrator, or even several of them, were involved in deliberate wrongdoing. Well, there are higher authorities than the ArbCom, and getting them involved would start with widespread expression of righteous indignation. We don't need any back-room crap going on. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:11, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe nothing, but I'm not crazy about a single editor closing a section when it's live and there's an objection. If more editors feel the same way then close away. Closing such a high profile section should be a little more consensual, that's all. RxS 04:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the section should have been closed but the closing note was needlessly hostile [24] as was the response on SirFozzie's talk page following the short revert war on here over the close. [25]--Jersey Devil 04:24, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

ElinorD was guilty of the understatement of the year when she said that the credibility of the source of this allegation is "in doubt." For the record, SlimVirgin was targeted by the Director of Communications of an Internet company that doesn't like the way its article is being handled, and blames Slim.

This person has gotten a lot of publicity, and recently had the charming distinction of harassing a teenager that he didn't like. He did that right here on Wikipedia. The teenager operates an AOL blog that criticized his company.

Earlier he targeted a mortgage banker who said tewwible blue-meaan things about his boss man! That was publicized in the NY Post. He has also bestowed all kinds of marvelous publicity on his company in the New York Times and Bloomberg. The latter devoted an entire article to his "slimy strategy."

Just so you know. I mean, I don't want to spoil the fun, but if you are going to spread excrement you might as well know where it came from. Anyone who cares can email me for links to some of the publicity this professional p.r. man has bestowed upon his company. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that he was hired by his company to run a wiki in competition with Wikipedia.--Mantanmoreland 04:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

(response to ElinorD's initial observations)Have you discussed with Cyde whether he has attempted to bring this matter to the attention any other person/body prior to posting here? If it is mentioned somewhere earlier/later I may well have missed it. I realise that he did not contact Slim Virgin, by her response, but with the implications that oversight has been previously applied in this or related matters it might be considered an excuse (if slightly paranoid). Otherwise, it is just an oversight (sic) which shouldn't detract from the content. Finally, I find the comment

"...little bit of humility would have told Cyde that he should wait and discuss it privately with someone more senior..."

a little perplexing. Cyde has been editing since 2003; who is more senior that isn't part of ArbCom, the Foundation, or Jimbo himself? This leads me back to my original point - where is there any evidence that Cyde has not already used more "private" channels regarding this matter? LessHeard vanU 08:54, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

4. Comments Mark 2[edit]

By request of Paul August, who believes that civil discussion is beneficial, I have reverted my previous close of this topic. In the spirit of civil discourse, I offer the following comments:

  1. A two year old instance of sock puppetry on one topic over a span of a day or two is no big deal.
  2. SlimVirgin truly is the target of viscious stalkers, one of whom may have been responsible for this little piece of detective work. It is right and good to take reasonable steps to protect editors and admins' privacy.
  3. Oversighting Slim's accidental use of her IP address had the additional effect of oversighting evidence of minor sockpuppetry, making it look like a coverup when there probably wasn't one. Sadly, this case proves that even oversight is not perfect privacy protection, and when an editor accidentally gives away their IP, recalling that error is like trying to stuff the smoke back into a lit match.
  4. Overly aggressive use of oversight by Jayjg was brought up privately as an issue when oversight was first instituted, but the concerns were apparently dismissed. This should be looked into again.
  5. Oversight is a powerful tool with no documented oversight of its use. Checkuser has a log so that other checkusers can see if someone is running abusive checks, and checkuser has an ombudsman directly answerable to the Foundation. Oversight has neither, because who would object to hiding information? But some people do object to hiding information, so it is important to have some mechanism for Oversighters to check each other's work (either a log or the ability to see oversighted edits), and a mechanism to deal with possible abuse, and to document these mechanisms (although by it's nature it can't be transparent).

I hope for some public and reasonably (given the concerns above) transparent resolution to this situation. Not immediately, surely, but soonish. Thatcher131 05:17, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Please see the preamble I've added to the beginning of this discussion. Paul August 06:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Is there a way to ensure oversight isn't abused (not that it has been)? If so, then it needs to be implemented, now.--MONGO 05:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Further, I concur...we are discussing edits made long before Slim became an admin even and they were very few, so this seems to be little more than a smear campaign overall.--MONGO 05:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
For anyone unaware of this, there is a log—visible only to those with the oversight permission, obviously—that contains a record of all oversight actions and provides access to the content of all oversighted revisions. Kirill 05:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, then if there are ways for those granted oversight ability to check each other, then that seems to be adequate. I did only think that developers had this ability, so thanks for the clarification.--MONGO 05:33, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: to MONGO, the oversight policy says stewards can remove the flag for abuse, but the stewards don't have oversight, so how would they know? Or Arbcom can remove the flag.
Re: to Kirill, unless we non-oversighters spot something at just the right time, we have no idea oversight was ever used. Do you routinely check each other? Is oversight ever used in situations where the oversighter should not delete due to some kind of involvement? Thatcher131 05:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
As a practical matter, stewards can give themselves any flag they need. Kirill 06:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Thatcher, one point needs to be made crystal clear. Re your point two ("may have been responsible") this piece of so-called detective work was the product of one of the most vicious stalkers ever to hit Wikipedia. There is no doubt about it, as it is admitted proudly, and his work is (lately) signed with his name. This is not some Internet hijinks but a real-world smear campaign. Wikipedia is just one of many venues for his professional p.r. work. --Mantanmoreland 05:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Important but not grounds to wish the whole thing away. If the village bully tells you your fly is open and you feel a draft in your boxers, better check your zipper anyway. The basic facts are confirmed by User:Gmaxwell who was concerned months ago about possible overly aggressive use of oversight. Frankly, this shit was going to hit the fan sooner or later. If, for example, SlimVirgin had admitted what the trolls have alleged all along, all but the trolls would have seen how minor and pointless it really was. Or, SlimVirgin could have abandoned the account in 2004 when she realized she had exposed her IP. Instead there has been a 3 year campaign to hide something which, due to google caches and data dumps, could never really be hidden, giving the appearance of a coverup that was much bigger than the underlying alleged conflict of interest ever should have been. I don't begrudge Slim's decision to try and keep her good name and protect her privacy, but like I said above, it was like trying to stuff the smoke back into a match. Thatcher131 05:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I think I understand that your concern is that, about the only people who use oversight and watch it are basically the arbitrators and a few former ones...but that is more than 20 people. So is this a concern that these folks also need to be watched and if the stewarts and developers can't or won't, then who will?--MONGO 05:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry but this is totally ridiculous. The word "witchhunt" comes to mind. For whatever reason, SlimVirgin is a major target on Wikipedia. She always has been. This was 2 years ago. If she was still using socks, I'd see the arguments here, but there is no evidence that she is. The thing is. People make mistakes. As long as she isn't using them now, I just don't see the issue here. --WoohookittyWoohoo! 05:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Let me say that I have made more than one sockpuppeteer furious at me, and I have left enough clues that a determined person could figure out who I am. The first phone call or email I get, I'm retired, poof, adios. My respect in the community (if I have any), my admin status, my clean block log--none of that is worth one minute of grief in real life. SlimVirgin felt differently, which is not wrong, but was the more challenging route, and despite the best efforts of many people, seems to have failed. Thatcher131 05:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
(Sorry, edit conflict.) Re your original reply to me, your information and analysis is based on what? Is it based on the operator of a professional smear campaign that has a record and history of providing selective evidence aimed at "proving" that the target of his boss's rage is guilty? Or is it based upon your own independent evaluation of the evidence, after obtaining an explanation from SlimVirgin?
This goes back to ElinorD's comment, which I amplified, the credibility and motives of the professional p.r. man who is behind these allegations. I'll give you an example of the crap this guy produces. He has been attacking me right and left too. His latest thing is that I "work for company X," based upon an IP edit in the middle of some church article I was editing. What he doesn't say is that all the other edits by this same IP involve articles on Polish princes and whatnot that I have never edited. See the edit history here[26], and check out the contribs of this IP [27]. The links I have just provided are the sole basis of an entire "expose'" on his company-financed website.
That is typical of his methods, and knowing this I am struck by the air of unreality of this discussion. If you want to take any action, do it on the basis of everything but what this sleazeball puts on his company-financed website. That is why it was unfortunate that this AN/I was commenced. AN/Is should not be commenced upon such a foundation. --Mantanmoreland 05:53, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The messenger may be foul but the message is apparently accurate. I can not speak for User:Gmaxwell but I can summarize what he told me and what he wrote above. He also has a dump of Wikipedia from before oversight and it too shows the same deleted and oversighted edits as the blogger reported. Gmaxwell's dump is different in that he can not see the content of the edits, but he confirmed that the times and users/IPs are as claimed. Gmaxwell also complained to the lead developer Brion Vibber about Jayjg's use of oversight; Brion removed Jayjg's access for two days [28] during which it was apparently discussed by ArbCom and then restored. Thatcher131 06:07, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
In any case, the Committee is aware of the concerns raised here, and is looking into them. Anyone not satisfied with letting us do that can complain up the ladder; otherwise, please don't rip each others' heads off debating the issue. Kirill 06:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I heartily agree that this AN/I should never have been commenced. But here it is, commenced, and underway for several thousand words. Thatcher, how can you know if what you say is "accurate" without input from the affected editors? In the example that I cited concerning myself, a superficial examination of the edits would say, oh golly Mantanmoreland forgot to sign in and came in as an IP, case closed. But then you look at this IP and you realize that is absurd. Can't you fathom the possibility that something similar is happening here, given the "foul" as you put it nature of the source? This is separate and apart from the moral issue of Wikipedia publicly rending its garments in service of a corporate smear campaign underway in various media.--Mantanmoreland 06:21, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Oversight has logs that are viewable by other oversighters, and that i guess is supposed to be a check/balance against abusive use. However it took a non-oversighter (GWH) comparing pre and post database dumps to uncover the very agressive use of the tool. Perhaps, the logs need to be made availible to a wider range of people: (ie admins). I'm not sure what they show now, but I am suggesting something like: Aaction performed by, date and time, on what page and that is all. This would make large scale use of a tool which is supposed to have very limited uses far easier to discover. I am not suggesting that *anyone* be able to see the contents of the oversighted edits, I am simply suggesting that more eyes on the bare bones logs would give people the ability to raise questions/check for abuse more easily should it be necessary. ViridaeTalk 06:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

This would also have the negative effect of drawing additional attention to the edits. Oversight was instituted because one or more admins were apparently distributing deleted content to outside groups, so a log viewable to all admins would almost certainly compromise the usefulness of oversight as a tool. Kirill 06:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Drawing what attention? No one is suggesting admins should be able to see the actual oversighted edits (after all, if they could, oversight would have no more effect than selective revision deletion), but only that something was oversighted. Just like when a page is deleted, a regular editor can't see what was there, but by checking the deletion log, they know something was there, that it was deleted, who deleted it, and a general summary as to why. In this case, the regular editor sees nothing, and the admin sees only "1 revision oversighted by Someonewithoversight: Contained personal info (phone number)." Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:22, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand how a more public log would aid in the leaking of information. Since the edits are already hidden from all non-oversights and developers, the knowledge that information was removed from a certain page can't be that compromising, can it? I can't think of anything I'm missing in how data on when who removed revision(s) from where - and why they did it - could have negative effects in the hands of admins. Picaroon (t) 06:22, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The location of the edit may itself be information that needs to be restricted, for various reasons (some more obvious than others); and if that's removed, we'd just be left with "Oversighter X removed a revision at Time", which doesn't seem particularly useful.
(AFAIK, there was some talk about reimplementing MediaWiki's deletion scheme to allow more fine-grained control over what was visible, and to whom, which could make this all a moot point; but I'm not sure whether that's still in the works.) Kirill 06:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I would like to say that I agree with the substance of what is being said by DanT and SirFozzie. From what I have seen, SlimVirgin has frequently permablocked editors on evidence less compelling than that which is being presented against her -- often, I might add, editors with whom she has been involved in content disputes. I would like to submit the following modest proposal: that SlimVirgin, as a consequence of this episode, be asked not to ban others, in the future, for offenses that she herself has committed. There should be no double standards here. --MaplePorter 06:46, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
No way, that's just lame. It makes no difference what she did in the past if she's not doing it anymore, and it should not prevent her from being a good admin now. -- Ned Scott 06:50, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
And don't use this as an opportunity to get back at someone with which you've had a content dispute. nadav (talk) 07:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

(response to comment by Viridae) Perhaps oversight review could be requested much in the same way that Checkuser is; operated by a few, but results available against specific valid requests? Perhaps this could be discussed at a more appropriate venue? LessHeard vanU 09:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I learned of this by email. Others have said the same, but for what it's worth I will echo their comments: an alternate account used for a couple of dozen edits over two years ago, why on earth are we even discussing this? "Swaying" a discussion? Bullshit. There were so many other people involved that it made no difference. Slim says it was an honest mistake, I accept that at face value because (a) we have no reason not to and (b) it doesn't matter anyway because it made no difference at the time. At this point we can go one of two ways: give Slim our unqualified support, or allow yet another long-standing and highly valued member of the community be hounded off by grudge-bearers on a mission. Ask yourself this: what is the present impact of this supposed problem? What is the likelihood of SV abusing this account today? We are allowed to use alternate accounts, as long as we don't use them abusively. One tiny and mistake (which is no different in character to my accidentally voting twice with one account on a AfD years ago) is so trivial that I am astonished anybody has bothered to give it the slightest consideration. Has Mr. Sense entirely left the building, people? Don't you recognise this for what it is, part of a vicious campaign by a frustrated abuser of the project? Haven't you all noticed that SV is being attacked viciously and without scruple by a few individuals who have been prevented from using Wikipedia to pursue their personal agenda? How often does this have to happen before we either stop giving aid and succour to the trolls, or run out of admins willing to take on the hard cases? Guy (Help!) 09:06, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Thank you, Guy (and please stay), for once again being the voice of reason in a sea of unrelenting hyperbole and discreditable malice. El_C 09:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The more I look at it the more pathetic it looks, frankly. The source of the problem, a posting on a blog run by a well-known and self-admitted troll, shows that there was an early use of Oversight back in the days when it was fairly new, and the past history of attacks against SV is such that any steps taken to help her improve her privacy are probably OK. But there is evidence here of evil intent and an ongoing problem - and in both cases the problem is not SV, it's Judd Bagley, Patrick Byrne and their use of an existing campaign against SV to further their Holy Crusade against naked short selling as an excuse for the execrable performance of their company. I am profoundly disappointed (though not surprised) that anybody has greeted this malicious piece of shit-stirring by Bagley with anything other than the "so what?" which is all it deserves. Guy (Help!) 11:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
There's clearly a huge, complex backstory to all of this, extending across many Web sites and into the "real world"... but it's ridiculous how this extended big mess (where everybody from corporate CEOs to journalists to who knows what other occupations the people involved have, are acting like junior-high-school kids) is driving policy decisions here on Wikipedia. The whole "attack site link" thing, which I've been fighting so hard against, seems to be one of the things that has come out of this mess; overuse of oversight is another. Promoting an air of secrecy and hierarchy on a site that's supposed to be free and open is another. It seems that perhaps Kelly Martin, and some commentators on the wiki-en-l list, were right that Wikipedia would be better off without certain people and the shitstorms that surround them, regardless of whose fault the whole mess is (and I think there's plenty of fault to spread all around). *Dan T.* 11:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Dan, your crusade to allow links to Wikipedia Review has no real relevance here, links to antisocialmedia are clearly inappropriate for blindingly obvious reasons. You would do yourself a favour, I think, if you did not use this as an excuse to push your own campaign. Frankly I think it's rather tasteless. Guy (Help!) 13:51, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • There seems to be an awful lot that's "blindingly obvious" to those within the clique that is far from obvious to everybody else. *Dan T.* 15:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Why is it being discussed now, instead of 2 years ago when the account was active? I suggest it was because it was not known that an alternative account existed (er, is it now recognised it was an alternative account of SV or is this hypothetical?) at the time. Certainly SV has not AFAIK commented she has edited from it, hence the current situation. The other reason is that accusations of sockpuppetry (with as much controversial editing patterns as this one) often forms part of the debates that editors often associated with SV take part in. If a valuable contributor such as SV is claimed as having an undisclosed alternative account in the past, then it may be considered as undermining some of the suggestions of tainted bias leveled against those who have been claimed as sockpuppets/masters when engaging in debates with her and her supporters. Further, any administrative action taken by or on behalf of SV as regards operating alternative accounts may be claimed to be hypocritical in the light of these accusations, unless the matter is resolved openly. Whatever the motives of some people in bringing up these claims it has now got to the stage where the community needs to appraise the issue and declare a result. The worst thing for SV, in my opinion, is to let the matter remain ambiguous and a source of potential harassment. LessHeard vanU 12:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I would suggest that if it had been discussed back then, the result would have been "huh? so what?" or maybe a (very mild) rebuke. It was not that big a deal back then, and it's now utterly irrelevant, because this was not a sockpuppet. This was an alternate account. If you want to see sockpuppets look at the history of users like User:Jason Gastrich or User:JB196. A sockpuppet is an alternate account used abusively - there is no suggestion that this account was used abusively. The sole evidence of any problem is voting twice on the 9/11 FAC, which made precisely no difference to the outcome and was, we are told, an honest mistake. Wikipedia then was different to Wikipedia now; the very high profile of Wikipedia today means that obsessives absolutely must get their point across on Wikipedia, and it is these people that the sockpuppetry policy is designed to control. Is SlimVirgin using an alternate account to pretend to greater support for her position than actually exists? No. Did she do so then? Seems unlikely. Are you now going to say that my work against Gastrich and Barber is undermined because I have used other accounts in the past? Or are we going to look at the facts here and recognise that the problem is a frustrated abuser of the project, aiming to stir up shit, and succeeding rather well? Guy (Help!) 13:51, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • You will note that I have been using the term alternate account - but I recognise that it has lead to accusations of sockpuppetry . That is the first area of concern, is there a legitimate complaint? Whether there was sustained sockpuppetry is not relevant, just if there was any. It subsequently appears that it was a mistake. It is then a pity that it wasn't admitted to all that time ago - on an afd where it didn't make any difference - when it was first realised. A lot of drama could have been avoided. Regarding area of concern that does this invalidate your own actions against serial sockpuppets/masters? Nope, serial sockpuppets/masters is a different thing entirely - checkuser and WP:DUCK are very reliable tools. However, the comment "you seem to be echoing the sentiments/comments/edits of User:PossibleUndeclaredAlternativeAccount" has been seen in various discussions between opposing parties in myriad disputes - the inference that there is only one opinion voicing opposition and is thus trying to influence the outcome by stacking the argument. So when there is a mistake in using a previously (and, ahem, subsequently for some time) undeclared alternative account it beholds the main account holder, and their supporters, to realise that this may have been the situation in other circumstances. Lastly, the concern over the source. This is patent misdirection - are Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin really nice men simply because one blood thirsty dictator declared the other to be embarking on a campaign to silence internal critics by state sanctioned murder and incarcaration to be one? The truth is that both men evilly suppressed opposition - therefore the personal standing of the source is irrelevant. What is important is the truth, and the open examination of claims to see if there is any to them. As I said earlier, SV is better served by having this clarified and commented upon than by WP:DENYing based on specious argument - and leaving the allegations to continue to fester.
  • I should note that I am open minded toward SV and any supposed improper conduct that there may be. I am concerned with Wikipedia, and its reputation. That is why I prefer to have these things openly debated. LessHeard vanU 14:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Any "open debate" as you put it should include a full recitation of the pedigree of the person who is making that allegation, including his motives, his tactics and his intent. The last element has not been sufficiently discussed in this AN/I, so let's have a full an open debate about it. His intent is not to improve Wikipedia, but to undermine it. How? By getting people like you, especially you because you are an administrator, to do what he wants.
The reputation of Wikipedia is definitely at stake here. The person who originated this allegation against Wikipedia represents the interests of a corporation that is seeking to compete against Wikipedia through its own Wiki, and which also has personal animus against SlimVirgin. Wikipedia has come under a lot of criticism for allowing corporations to influence content, and here we have a corporation seeking to influence actions concerning administrators. That definitely puts Wikipedia's reputation in jeopardy. So let's continue this open debate and discuss this aspect.--Mantanmoreland 15:41, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Alright. Start a new subject and I will see if there is anything useful I can contribute, and if I can learn anything of the particular individuals who appear to be the source of this matter. This section, which seems to have run its course for the time being, is about SV. Let us try to keep these discussions, and the matter developing below, separate. LessHeard vanU 15:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Mantanmoreland's comments sound very much like personal attacks against the critic in question, which is highly hypocritical coming from somebody who is so insistent on rigid enforcement of the "no personal attacks" policy. *Dan T.* 15:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The "critic" in question being permabanned User:WordBomb, the p.r. man/cyberstalker I just mentioned? I just want to be sure I understand your point.--Mantanmoreland 16:05, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Somebody being permabanned makes no exception regarding personal attacks against them; see WP:NPA: "It is as unacceptable to attack a user with a history of foolish or boorish behavior, or even one who has been subject to disciplinary action by the Arbitration Committee, as it is to attack any other user." *Dan T.* 16:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

5. Appropriateness of external linking to and public discussion of deleted oversighted material[edit]

The material externally link to reveals material purportedly removed by oversight. It also contains personal identifying information (the IP address and posts). No one is going to copy that stuff and post it on Wikipedia because it would be wholly wrong to do so. In the same way, linking to that website from Wikipedia is wholly wrong and openly discussing oversighted material also is the wrong way to go about this matter. -- Jreferee (Talk) 13:11, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Openly quoting from those parts of the disputed material which disclose personal information would be inappropriate, but the larger context can surely be discussed (that material that was subsequently removed which indicates a different position than that which has been maintained after removal). My concerns are that without the ability to comment on material held off-site there is a possibility that discussion will be stymied for "lack of verifiable information" owing to the inability to refer to the information held off-site. My other concern is that the material is obviously available to anyone with a bit of nous, link or no link. Perhaps if we were both to redact this discussion then the potential for learning what the material contains is lessened by some little degree? LessHeard vanU 13:21, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
If your clique is powerful enough, you can suppress all discussion of your abuses by this sort of means... just get all the embarrassing stuff oversighted, then invoke rules against even linking to or discussing the oversighted material... heck, why not get every website that posts it declared an Attack Site to further stymie discussion... then ban any user that brings it up, so that in the future you can declare any reference to any related information as originating with a banned user so that it can be dismissed and deleted out of hand. *Dan T.* 13:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Dan, Follow your own advice and consider this case in isolation. Does a two-year-old incident of accidental misuse of an alternate account by someone who is now a prolific contributor to the project, justify giving publicity to an external attack on that user? Does it merit investigation by ArbCom, or the community? Or is it just a long-dead "oops" that is of absolutely no present relevance whatsoever?
Consider: If I presented to the community compelling evidence that two years ago you had briefly experimented with an alternate account, or that you had accidentally forgotten to log in and had asked someone to oversight the edits to protect your privacy, would you support dragging in an external site run by people who want revenge for something you did to prevent them abusing Wikipedia for their own ends? Would you? Because that is exactly the case here. Speaking as one with some experience of Wikipedia community discussions, I would say that the vast majority of the community - the pragmatists - would simply shrug their shoulders and ignore it. One or two people, who have bees in their bonnets about matters of principle, might bitch and moan a bit, but we can afford to ignore that because - in the end - there is no present problem to solve. Other than the ongoing campaign by frustrated POV-pushers to undermine one of our admins, of course. But maybe you don't think that's a problem?
SlimVirgin has been ruthlessly and viciously attacked over a long period, and you appear to be suggesting that the problem is SV's friends rather than her attackers. How often does it have to be said? There Is No Cabal. To follow the principle which you yourself have advocated many times, namely taking each case on its individual merits, this case has no merit and the discussion is doing absolutely nothing to serve the project, because there is no present problem to solve, the past problem is not a problem anyway, and the motivation for posting the material is very obviously to attack someone who has dared to stop someone from abusing Wikipedia to push an agenda. Do everyone a favour and wait for a case which is not so very obviously caused by malicious abusers of the project. Guy (Help!) 14:04, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Guy, I would just add one addendum: I agree that there is a "cabal," and it is a cabal of users who march in lockstep with Wikipedia Review and whatever troll or crackpot has gained influence there. Lately WR is under the Svengali-like spell of a corporate p.r. man who materialized here and there as User:WordBomb. Tomorrow it will be somebody else, because WordBomb is paid to do this, and when he is fired or the SEC nails him, he moves on to another job. But Wikipedia Review has a perma-hate for Wikipedia, so there will always be another troll pushing his or her or its agenda with the help of the cabal.--Mantanmoreland 14:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, there is a clique / cabal / whatever of anti-Wikipedia people, and I'm hardly one who marches in lockstep with them... in fact, as you may know from past history, the way I first got into the thick of the "anti-attack-site-link" policy debate was from the fact that I liked to criticize WR (calling them "Wiki Whiners"), and, in the course of doing so, sometimes link to particularly interesting things over there that I was ridiculing. I've become a lot more sympathetic with their side lately due to my conflicts over here, but that is still far from being in lockstep with them... there's still an awful lot I disagree with on the part of the critics. There is, however, also a clique of Wikipedia insiders, and it's, in my opinion, more harmful than the "outsiders" clique by virtue of it holding power over here. Your insistence on treating a complex situation as a black-and-white issue of "good guys" here versus "evil guys" there is a big part of the problem. *Dan T.* 14:57, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you are a darling man I'm sure but you're very effectively pushing the agenda of a banned user. I mean... that's what you're doing. You can spin it any way you want, and heaven knows the person who started this is paid handsomely to get people like you to do his bidding, but that is what is happening here. And by the way, you'll be interested to know that he just said you're his favorite Wikipedian. When he was working in Florida for the director of licensing in the Jeb Bush administration, he engaged in a smear campaign that ruined the career of a reporter for the Tampa Tribune. Would you have cheerfully followed his dictates then, if he was working Wikipedia at the time? I know you like to equate trolls and victims, but don't you have any moral standards whatsover?--Mantanmoreland 15:10, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Dtobias keeps telling us not to paint broad strokes about the contributors to WR and then turns around and does exactly that by labelling everyone who disagrees with his desires to be able to link to these "badsites" as part of a "clique" a "cabal", etc. No one believes that every contributor to WR has malicious intentions, but the fact remains, at least from what I have seen there, that the site has a strong element of banned editors from this site, all them moaning and wheezing about how badly they were treated here, and how they didn't deserve to be booted from here.--MONGO 15:25, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Um... I thought this was section was discussing the linking/discussion of material related purported sockpuppetry of a previously undeclared alternative account of SlimVirgin, and not an attack on Dan's standing on linking to Badsites generally? I also note the terms troll, victims and moral standards are being used in a context that is pretty close to a personal attack. Other than Dan's stance on linking/Badsites, are there any examples of supposed moral rectitude by Dan? Perhaps if correspondents are unable to stay on topic they should refrain from commenting, as they seem to inflaming the discussion rather than resolving it. LessHeard vanU 15:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Less, this discussion cannot be resolved, because SlimVirgin is not the issue, but rather the perma-hate directed against her and other users by Wikipedia Review. The "issue" is that this entire AN/I is based upon a banned user representing a corporation seeking to compete with Wikipedia. This user has threatened Wiki users, stalked them offline, and planted spyware on Wikipedia and elsewhere to obtain IPs. The constant efforts to equate this professional p.r. man with his victims, which DanT has been doing constantly by attacking them as members of a "powerful clique," is highly offensive to the victims of this troll and stalker. --Mantanmoreland 15:54, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the prime discussion is resolved; SV briefly used an alternative account, and mistakingly used it one time in a manner which subsequentley was complained of as sockpuppeting. Explanation given, lessons learned (the one I'm taking is admission now of mistakes - and, boy, do I make them! - is better than keeping quiet), matter closed, move on. Revisiting the reasons how this was bought to the communities attention is not, I agree, going to be resolved. There are three schools of thought on how criticism of Wikipedia - when personalised by targeting individuals - should be dealt with; two are at odds with each other and the third isn't aware that there is such a thing. However, bringing the two opposing groups into every instance of an occurence does tend to obscure the kernel of fact which may be present. Separating the criticism and its source, I believe, helps us concentrate on improving Wikipedia. Debating the motive of source, and whatever influence it may be garnering (and in emotive language), likely does not improve Wikipedia. This may be considered such an example. LessHeard vanU 16:14, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Less, you cannot "separate the criticism from its source" when the source is a professional p.r. man who is using Wikipedia as a tool in a smear campaign. We can't just shrug and do a Sergeant Schultz and say "I see nothing" when it is admitted that the source of an allegation is a corporate p.r. man on a corporate mission. There are two reasons for this.
The first is that the information is suspect, because it is selective and omits data that does not support his foreordained conclusion. I gave you an example from my own experiences above, and I provided the two links that he used for an "expose'" on his company paid attack site. The second reason is the damage that you do to the project by validating and empowering the smear campaign. There are other reasons too obviously.--Mantanmoreland 16:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
There's some "permahate" going on in both directions here. Anyway, around here the purported "victims" are in fact the ones who hold power in Wikipedia and the purported "attackers" are the ones who don't, as seen from the very fact that the former hold many positions such as admin, checkuser, oversight privileges, etc., while the latter are permabanned. Denying that the former group is the one that's a powerful clique is denying reality. *Dan T.* 16:17, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


This discussion is not productive and not likely ever to be so. I suggest that we either (a) archive it or (b) lift it wholesale to WP:RFAR and see if the arbs think there is anything worth looking at, which frankly I doubt. Guy (Help!) 14:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Guy. It's counterproductive to the project to further encourage the harassment. THF 14:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
On the original subject, there is nothing worth looking at. On the subject of oversight/attack sites there is. But that can be doen elsewhere. ViridaeTalk 14:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Archive it and direct the arbs to it if need be, but I have a feeling it won't be necessary. Sarah 16:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
This is a total waste of time, made distasteful by the hysterical self-righteousness of some of the comments above. Credibility is built on actions, and the adduced evidence provided above is as a single grain of sand upon a beach in the context of SlimVirgin's overall contribution. This discussion should be closed forthwith. Eusebeus 16:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The discussion on this board is not going to lead to administrator invention and should be closed. Feel free to take the matter to arbcom, however. -- Jreferee (Talk) 16:51, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but I think that Cyde's delightful "conclusion before evidence" is yet again here displayed. Way to go, Cyde! I hope you enjoy your new bedfellows. Geogre 20:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

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

Sockpuppets of User:Phral[edit]

User:Phral von Phralstadt, an obvious sock of User:Phral, who has been blocked today for creating the account User:Phrallus Secondus. See Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Hayden5650. This is quite blatant. He even admits it on User talk:Phral von Phralstadt. Alun 10:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

His contributions are evident of sockpuppet. User has been blocked indefinitely. @pple 10:27, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Also User:Commander Phralson. This must be fun for you. sigh. Alun 11:10, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not a sockpuppet, just a new user. Please, don't bite the newbies --Commander Phralson 11:20, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Evidence. [29] Seems very interested in the puppetmaster of these related puppets for a newbie. Alun 11:27, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I couldn't help but post something on that Hayden guy's page, he is getting nailed into the ground!! He's blocked though so it's quite funny --Commander Phralson 11:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Can somebody just block the IP range and be done with it? His case of multiple (user) personalities is getting really annoying. :)--Ramdrake 11:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It would be a darned big range! Spanning the Atlantic, or is it the Pacific? I can never remember --Commander Phralson 11:51, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
This seems quite clear cut. Commander Phralson's edit pattern is pretty much the same as Phral's, and his first edit was to the puppet master's list of socks...-Localzuk(talk) 18:25, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The wiki-crusade "spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific". I believe there is some oceanic evidence. This is the "Atlantic version" of it. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 20:40, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Commander Phralson, anti-Semite[edit]

Could someone help me with this ... person. See this edit. Thanks (PS he is stalking me too, evidence here) Slrubenstein | Talk 11:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Surely this is in breach of WP:NPA??? --Commander Phralson 11:50, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Why are you playing games here? Theresa Knott | The otter sank 12:10, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not, please remember to assume good faith. I want to contribute, that's why I joined the ranks of Wikipedia --Commander Phralson 12:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
No you are trolling. If you want to contribute why are you deliberately going round trying to upset people? Theresa Knott | The otter sank 12:15, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I asked to be unblocked for a Request for Comment, that wasn't even granted. Where's the democracy in that? There is no neutrality on here, it's a constant battle between Conservatives and liberals. --Commander Phralson 12:22, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a democracy. Who were you blocked as, where is the rfc? I'll look into it. As for battle bewtween conservatives and liberals. I've not found ot to be so. Theresa Knott | The otter sank 12:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
How can we expect Wikipedia to be taken seriously when intellect and fact take second place to Politcal Correctness and news-speak? --Commander Phralson 12:24, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I've no idea what you are talking about. I'm going to block you as a block evading sock. You will be able to edit your talk page so post there if you feel you have been treated unfairly w.r.t. this rfc you mentioned. Theresa Knott | The otter sank 12:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
He's nothing if not persistent: User:Sir_Phrallington. ornis (t) 13:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yep. I suggest revert, block, ignore all new socks. Theresa Knott | The otter sank 13:50, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The comment linked by Slrubenstein is offensive, and this ... person should have been indefinitely blocked for that, alone. Corvus cornix 19:45, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Admin operating a bot on his main account[edit]

Is User:Cyde authorized to use a bot on his main account to do administrator actions? I might look at this, which has been going on for weeks, at least. I'm serious, is this allowed? The Evil Spartan 13:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

This is evidence of 'bot activity? How so? I've done enough work on CSD backlog clearing to know I can easily surpass these delete rates - Alison 13:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Second that. I see no evidence of bot activity at all. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The edit summary "deleted "Category:Fear (band)" (Robot - Removing category" would seem to be evidence of 'bot activity... but I'm no expert... --W.marsh 13:50, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting ... Let's see what Cyde has to say. It could be inadvertently pasted boilerplate text or something - Alison 13:57, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It is very likely he manually deleted those Wikipedia:Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense items using this list. You might want to take a little time and review Assume good faith. -- Jreferee (Talk) 13:52, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
So if he was doing it manually why did the edit summary say it was being done robotically? Just kinda weird... --W.marsh 13:54, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I think he's referring to the "Robot - deleting Category X". I think it's fine - his bot's approved to do the task, and iff the bot is using the admin account to do the task it can't with normal permissions, I have no problem. By the way, the deletion summary is the standard pywikipedia one. Will (talk) 13:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it's not. The standard pyWikipedia one is "Category was disbanded", which is very nondescript. So I coded up and committed a change to pyWikipedia that allows the bot operator to specify, by way of a command line parameter, a custom deletion summary message for the bot. That's what I use. It allows me to link to the per-day CFD page in the deletion, which is generally annoying to do manually (and most admins don't bother with). But the bot doesn't care, so all of the CFD work has appropriate edit summaries that link back to the correct place. You probably only think it's standard because nobody else really uses pyWikipediaBot for open deletions. --Cyde Weys 15:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

There's nothing to see here ... he has been handling category deletions with his bot for a long time - at least a year. The deletes are marked as bot deletes and if we would have the good sense to sysop bot accounts, he would do them on his bot account. --B 14:04, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree would should allow bot accounts. But these have been specifically disallowed by community consensus. I see literally hundreds of deletes marked "Robot - deleting account". I'm not quire sure how it is that so many people

are claiming "there's no evidence". It comes right out and says it - let alone the multitude of the same edit summary, or the fact he was deleting 75 pages (again, with the same edit summary) within the space of 15 minutes. The Evil Spartan 14:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

So there are two possible explanations: standard edit summary, which has been mentioned, or his bot, which is approved and has been approved for over a year, performing tasks which require admin level permissions. What exactly is your gripe, ES? There is no issue here, whichever it is. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
My gripe is that he has been specifically told before to not operate his bot on his main account, on many occasions. And it's been abundantly clear that he's not supposed to use it for administrator activities. FFS, are you actually going to claim it's not a bot, with edit summaries like robot - removing category? I might point out that BetaCommand was desysopped for doing this kind of thing. The Evil Spartan 14:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
(ec)I'd personally be much more concerned about the many adminbots we have around that we *dont* see making noticeable edit summaries like that. There's many more around than people like to admit. ^demon[omg plz] 14:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, no, nobody's ever said that. Awhile ago this matter came up before the Bot approvals group and there was unanimous consensus that what I was doing was fine. Go find other fish to fry. I'm not even making automated deletions. Even category deletion is a result of a CFD that has been closed by humans and whose result has basically been telegraphed to the bots by way of the WP:CFDW page. --Cyde Weys 14:53, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. Just for reference, though, could you point me to this discussion? The Evil Spartan 14:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Sure, here it is. --Cyde Weys 15:05, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

WP:CFD and WP:UCFD are unique problems for deletion, as deleting a category requires one edit per use to empty it followed by the actual deletion. I fully support the use of automation to ease this process, given that the deletion discussion gives ample time for human review and I would rather see admins use their time editing articles, discussing things, and making decisions that require thought rather than imitating a script. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Was Betacommandbot using it for CFDs too? If so, we shouldn't have a double standard here.Rlevse 15:07, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

BetaCommand was executing username blocks and deleting images using a bot. Both are bad for obvious reasons - there is too much of a potential for false positives. On the other hand, Cyde is clearing and deleting categories that have been specifically designated by an admin and I think he is manually feeding the list to the bot, as opposed to the bot scraping a list from somewhere. --B 15:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the list is scraped from WP:CFDW, which is a fully protected page that can only be edited by admins. Basically, the way it goes is that admins will close WP:CFD discussions, they list the outcomes of those debates in bot-readable format on WP:CFDW, and then the bots read the list and have a field day making all of the necessary edits (and in Cydebot's case, deletions). This is unique to the CFD process because moving categories around requires as many edits as there are pages in a category, which can be quite a lot of edits. This is far unlike, say, closing an AFD. --Cyde Weys 15:40, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Just as a little exposition ...

Wikipedia editors have been repeating the maxim to each other for a long time that "admin bots aren't allowed", despite it not actually being true. I've made no secret about running an admin bot for over a year now. I do it in the open rather than in secret because I want the bot to be accountable and I want others to know what's going on. Admin bots running secretly are much less accountable, and end up causing far more trouble. Curps, for instance, ran a really useful admin bot way before I started mine, but he had to do so in secret, and was eventually hounded off the project for it after many, many blocks. Even at this very moment I could name (but I won't!) half a dozen people who are running hidden admin bots under their admin accounts. I won't tell you who they are, of course, but I think the admin bot issue would be much better handled if they were able to run their bots out in the open on sysop-flagged bot accounts. That way quality control could be handled much better.

We need to stop repeating the phrase "admin bots aren't allowed" to each other because it simply isn't true. Every time another person has discovered my admin bot, we go back through the same cycle again, with people pointing out that it's been running for a year with no flaws, it saves unnecessary work, and why should we be wasting admin hours on a task that is better handled by a program? I've made mistakes when manually handling CFDs (for instance, losing track of tabs and accidentally deleting the renamed name of a category). Cydebot doesn't do that. When people think admin bot they naively think "OMG it's going to block everyone", but in the case of Cydebot, it's not even programmed to be able to block anyone. All it is programmed to do is to delete the old category name following the human-determined consensus of a Categories for discussion debate, and it does it damn well.

Additionally, I would like to be able to run Cydebot's admin actions on his own account, so there would be no confusion whatsoever over which admin actions are being made by Cyde, the person, and which are being made by Cydebot, the machine. As it is, my admin logs are completely clogged up with bot stuff and it's very hard to audit my human actions. And, should my bot ever malfunction (knock on wood), you wouldn't have to block my personal sysop account. --Cyde Weys 15:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Then by all means, your bot accounts needs to be given +sysop. You're running a fully authorized on admin bot on your normal account, which is ludicrous. I fully support your work Cyde, and I think the community needs to lose this stigma of "zomg adminbots are bad." ^demon[omg plz] 15:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
In fact, adminbot work could, and should, be extended. Many image deletions could easily be handed automatically (or so I imagine, I have no competence in programming these things). Cyde ain't doing a thing wrong. Moreschi Talk 15:53, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, why adminbots (when they are proposed, I remember ProtectionBot) are run through RfA instead of/and BRFA, I don't know. Moreschi Talk 15:56, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I strongly agree with demon. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:56, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Cyde has my unreserved support in this matter, there's too much general fear and paranoia about administrator actions on this project, despite most folks realizing most admin actions can quickly and easily be undone. So what if an admin bot goes a little awry and deletes your newly uploaded image or blocks you, we can undelete the image and an accidental block in your log isn't going to cause any problems should you request adminship. As it is, there's no evidence any of the adminbots that have been running for months or years are actually doing anything other than their programmed tasks.
What's more, it seems that editors at RfA want administrators to be editors with a history of high quality contributions to the encyclopedia side of the project, but won't permit us to use adminbots which would remove the need for menial and time consuming administrative tasks and permit us to contribute a substantially increased amount of time and effort on the encyclopedia. It's rapidly approaching crunch time for the community and it needs to decide whether or not it wants to place administrative chores before encyclopedic contributions from it's administrators. Nick 16:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Looking at CSD, I see *several* that could be handled by adminbots. G6 easily (provided we give it a list of regularly deleted pages, like the maintenance categories when empty), G7 with a simple history check, G8 very easily. A3 if trained properly. A5 very easily. R1 of course, possibly R2. Now for the images. I1 is simple, yes. I2 yes. I5 and I8 as well (others require *some* human intervention, even I3). C1 would be a *very* nice one, as it could keep Special:Unusedcategories much cleaner (and could be told to ignore {{Categoryredirect}}). U1 and U2 I suppose, but they aren't common. Essentially, half of CSD could be managed by a bot... ^demon[omg plz] 16:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I think auto-deleting orphaned fair use images would be useful. A bot could easily make sure that the image is not in use and that the tag has been there for more than a week. Anything else, I don't know about. For example, sometimes an image is autotagged as having no source/license, but the correct information can easily be found (ie, it comes from another site or is a modification of another image). Also, sometimes an inexperienced user puts "I release this image under the GFDL" in text, but doesn't use a tag. I don't know that I like a bot making judgments there. --B 16:24, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
And concerns like these are exactly why we need an open process for granting permission to admin bots. What's currently going on is that people are doing this in secret, necessarily without wide discussion on whether their approach towards handling the problem is a good one, or even if it is the kind of thing that should be handled by a bot at all. --Cyde Weys 16:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
On that note, I can think of *several* admin bots who do damn good work, but don't dare say they're using a bot for fear of the community being overzealous on a non-issue, once again. ^demon[omg plz] 16:41, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

There are two issues here. The specific complaint was about Cydebot using Cyde's account, which I believe has been resolved to show there is no impropriety. The broader questions, such as whether other sysop tasks should be done by bots and how those bots should be approved, are worth discussion but perhaps not on this page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely, the broader discussion of admin bot usage should be discussed. I think that should be done under the bot approval process rather than the request for adminship process, however. Trying to shoehorn a bot request into an RFA just doesn't make any sense. All of the standard RFA questions are moot. Besides, I'm already entrusted with adminship. The only thing to discuss would be whether the bot task is good or bad, again, something that doesn't make sense at RFA. --