Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive546

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Does this constitute a legal threat?[edit]

I'm possibly being a bit paranoid because it's on my own talk page, but the sum of the 3 messages left there by User:Legalfactsupdate lead me to believe that if the user hasn't technically made a legal threat yet, then one might be on the way. I have reverted Legalfactsupdate's repeated deletions of any mention of alleged crimes from th Bob Allen article [1] [2], and warned the user appropriately (I hope) at their talk page. On my talk page, messages have included language like

"Many of your sources are loose, inaccurate, and liable in their presentations... We wanted to make sure that your organization has the correct service record and was not involved in someone or some groups propaganda of inaccurate reporting to harm the reputation of this individual",[3]

"We are trying to have the subjective off-the-wall or hate groups agenda not be the Wikipedia Record Source and knowingly continue to use such to the torturous interference and slander of Rep. Allen's name, reputation and ability to conduct business",[4]


"Do You have a legal department contact"[5].

As of my writing this, the user has again stripped the Bob Allen article of any mention of his arrest and conviction, including the removal of all sources, and has added the following to the article 4 times:

This article must adhere to the policy on biographies of living persons. Controversial material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced should not be added and if present, must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libellous. If such material is repeatedly inserted or if there are other concerns relating to this policy, please report it on the biographies of living persons noticeboard

Note also that the user is a single purpose account, and is in violation of 3RR - though if the user's edits don't count as vandalism, I'm also in violation, so my apologies for that. Dawn Bard (talk) 20:26, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I've blocked for the threat, though it seems like crap because the user seems to make up his own words ("Vandalization"? The hell...?). -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 20:37, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
He's making up his own rules for sentence structure, too: "We are trying to have the subjective off-the-wall or hate groups agenda not be the Wikipedia Record Source and knowingly continue to use such to the torturous interference and slander of Rep. Allen's name..." Um, what? Dawn Bard (talk) 20:45, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Neglecting, for the moment, the distaste I have for Wikipedia even having an article that is 90% about some poor guy allegedly getting caught soliciting a blow job, I have to say that I don't think that was a legal threat, I think it is quite easy to read that as a good faith request for help, and I think an indef block was too harsh, too quick, and too high handed. And criticizing his grammar looks small and petty. If you think the "threat" was "crap", then why was a block even necessary? Try talking to the guy first. Or, direct him to WP:OTRS and wash your hands. Or, leave it out of the article while you discuss on WP:BLPN. Geez, I'm starting to wonder if we should even have BLP's here at all. Even if all that information is completely sourced, and true, it makes us look unprofessional to have hatchet job articles like that. And it makes us look unprofessional to block people for complaining. And I won't easily forgive you for making me defend a Republican. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:58, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The block was hasty. There is nothing wrong with asking for a legal contact and user should have been directed to WP:Contact us. –xenotalk 21:02, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I just wanted to note that I did direct the user to WP:Contact us in reply to a message on my talk page[6] and added a talkback message to the user's talk page[7]. The user continued to make the same edits to the article. Dawn Bard (talk) 21:11, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I also agree - asking for a legal contact is far from issuing a legal threat. This was not a well-considered block. Shereth 21:05, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Maybe I'm being a WP:DOLT, but it seems like that the user's intent is to threaten legal action, especially taking into account the other edits made by this user. MuZemike 22:16, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I see no legal threats being made. Jeremy should reconsider this block immediately. However, this editor's intent should be taken into account here - obvious WP:COI issues are at hand. If he is removing sourced material, then it should be re-added. If these are valid removals (i.e., WP:BLP concerns), then this editor should be lauded, not blocked. Tan | 39 22:24, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The material that he keeps removing appears to be sourced. -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 23:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
No idea if applicable to this case, because I haven't reviewed it; but being sourced is a necessary but not sufficient reason to write something in an article. It also needs to be relevent and in due balance. People can, in good faith, remove sourced statements for any number of easily justifiable reasons. 23:17, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The items being removed are indeed relevant, as they describe a major point in his political career (a conviction for soliciting prostitution), although the article was a bit skewed due to undue weight to the conviction. However, Legalfactsupdate is removing any mention of it altogether. -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 23:20, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes. However, you blocked him for making legal threats of which, again, I see no evidence. Blocking him for such and then arguing that he should remain indefinitely blocked for removing what could plausibly be considered BLP violations is disingenuous. I recommend unblocking with a note discouraging further removal of sourced material and encouraging him to take this up either at the BLP noticeboard or the article talk page, neither of which they previously used. Tan | 39 00:09, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
There were sources and the information was relevant (albeit not in such volume); how can they be plausibly called BLP vios? Unblocked. -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 01:22, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

←While the users actions are troublesome and questionable, shouldn't we be focusing on the issues with the article, rather than their behaviour? People don't normally kick up a fuss without due reason. Steve Crossin Talk/Help us mediate! 01:30, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Implicit threat (alleged report to of content to FBI) by unreg. user[edit]

The below was posted to Talk:Campantar#Extra_information. I am reporting it here as the last line appears to constitute an implicit threat of legal action (was that an assumption of good faith or what?) and may require further attention by the appropriate person(s);

Dear Mr.Redheylin, your page does give weasel statements about verifiability and citations but it is very clear that wikipedia neither has the capability, the jurisdiction , the legal rights, the motivation or any other tool and processes to establish the accuracy of information provided here with. This is very much evident from the pernicious set of lies and clearly fabricated, manufactured citations provided herewith in wikipedian pages like

Infact wikipedia is not allowed to trade detailed info because of copyrights issue. Inasmuch as i have been graceful and merciful enough to give you unadulerated facts for trade but 99% of wikipedia material is lies and fabricated citations.

Thus eventhough there are enough real truthful documents backing my writings, i would not be supplying the same as i want to prevent attempts at their being traced, destroyed or fabricated to suit some agenda. I say that i have said this. A copy of links ha been passed to FBI for analysis.

Regards, -- Muzhogg (talk) 01:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

The page he seems to be complaining about does not exist. Also, this appears to be an IP-hopper. -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 01:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Presumably they are talking about Vadama, he just put "iyer" rather than "wiki" in the URL. – Toon(talk) 01:30, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Why would one put "iyer" in place of "wiki", however? I initially thought it was a typo for "user". -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 01:32, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah, nevermind. Iyer is directly mentioned in the article; and from the looks of it, users from a similar range have been POV-pushing on Vadama for a while now, which led to an indef-semi on it. Maybe those users and these are one and the same? -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 01:34, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
This may have been the intended link: DKqwerty (talk) 01:36, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Plausible. Same IPs that were pushing at Vadama also pushed there (in fact, given the history, I'd say that's where they first pushed) and got it semi'd. -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 01:40, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Agree that if this is a threat, then it is still easily recognisable as a joke. The guy doesn't spell properly! Debresser (talk) 01:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

User:Bobak's block messages[edit]


Bobak (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) has designed some custom-made block templates that he uses after blocking vandals, and I believe they are not constructive. Here are some examples: [8][9][10][11] These sorts of templates go against our guideline of RBI and not feeding the trolls—everyone knows that a large number of vandals do it because they like to see if they can get us Wikipedia nerds riled up, and responding to them in this fashion just encourages more disruption. Furthermore, they reflect badly on Wikipedia, giving people the impression that Wikipedia is ruled by all-powerful admins who are rude and dismissive like this.

A couple weeks ago User:GnarlyLikeWhoa raised this concern with Bobak (see the discussion here), and Bobak was not very receptive. I also chimed in just today, and Bobak responded by archiving the talk page. Is there any way the community can ask him not to use these kinds of block templates and messages? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 23:58, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi there. I use the more humorous blocks in two cases: specific (not range) IP blocks and blatant vandals. I keep all my blocked pages on my watchlist, and I have not seen any uptick in post-ban problems --at least no different than when I used the sterile templates: I receive the same number of personal email insults and talk page vandals (if not a little less). GnarlyLikeWhoa was slightly different, and claimed that I was out of place to note that the IP address of a military base shouldn't be used to vandalize wikipedia (which is wasting tax payer dollars... gee I wonder how he found out the IP was blocked?), and included a veiled e-thug threat (which I tend to see in web forums, not here). It is not the responsibility of an admin to please everyone they ban --as WP:RBI notes, there are opposing views to Rjanag's. As such, there are fans of my templates (Rjanag isn't one of them, but I respect that). Honestly, an ANI like this reflects badly on how Wikipedia can be used to punish creativity and put undue pressure where it is not required. To think, this was all started because I nominated an article for DYK! :-) --Bobak (talk) 00:28, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
aside I didn't notice this before, but particularly disturbing is this block, which happened 5 days after the user had last edited and the user had never been warned. Because the user's offense was spamming, rather than vandalism, it's also possible that the user just didn't understand Wikipedia's spam and EL guidelines, and Bobak's block message may well have driven away a potentially constructive user. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 00:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Did you look at his contribution history? The ability to request an unblock is still available. I haven't seen an attempt yet. Or perhaps I could've used the also-popular method of simply not notifying him of the block or doing massive collateral damage with sloppy IP-range blocks (which I think is are much greater problems). I make a lot of blocks, so if this one is so terrible, you're an Admin, go ahead and unblock --I'm not saying I'm the ultimate authority on that. Will this negatively affect my DYK nomination? :-p --Bobak (talk) 00:28, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Regardless of the user's contribution history, there's no reason for blocking him with a message like this. Yes, he's a commercial spammer who will probably never make any constructive edits, but the sarcasm is still unnecessary. That goes for your blocking templates, too...I think they're funny, but I doubt the blocked users do, and blocking and joking don't mix very well. --Akhilleus (talk) 00:37, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Neither does lawyering and humor, but god knows we try. I can see how the block on Matthewkbaldwin was perhaps too much, so I've lifted it (hurray? Is that a victory?). I got curious so I checked myself: I've instituted somewhere in the range of 700+ blocks, and about half were with the funny templates, and half weren't. I can say, without hesitation (and a user page history to back it) that I have seen no extra uptick in anything since I started letting vandals know that we have the ability to block now and often. Honestly, I can respect that some of you, like Rjanag, can find this stuff not to your own particular style, but that doesn't mean that those of use who are a bit WP:ROUGE are causing any serious harm to the project --especially without any serious evidence. As for the blocked users not finding the templates funny... did they before? Here's an aside: Rjanag, I noticed you've blocked 29 times since you joined the project 9 months ago. Did you know that if you block 1000 people you get a free toaster? Get cracking. --Bobak (talk) 00:51, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Hey, no fair. Non-admins can't get free toasters? The Toaster Cabal must be stopped! --Floquenbeam (talk) 01:30, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Non-admin view? This is clearly inappropriate. What is the policy basis for a block on the grounds of idiocy? Look, I fight this stuff every day too, and I think a lot of it is pretty funny - but that's an inside joke, not something a professional organisation presents as its outward face. Laughing at misguided fools should only be done behind the curtain - lord knows we could all make the exact same comments in orange boxes on quite a few admin talk pages...
Blocking is srs biznes - please keep it that way and use proper templates. Adminship is not a platform for dispensation of ridicule, it's a crappy job. Save the humour for the lunch-room. And idiotic editors need even more love than the normal ones. :) Franamax (talk) 01:55, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I understand the sentiment here by Bobak, but I would caution against continuing this level of sarcastic commenting at blocks. Sarcasm is a skill that is hard to pull off well when speaking; it is impossible to do so when typing. In the course of blocking users, there is no need to be rude and insulting. 04:10, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Endorse the above comments. Think it if you must - most of us have - but Wikipedia is a highly public site closely watched by the press (amongst others). If you feel tempted in future, I'd recommend a spot of self-flagellation ;) EyeSerenetalk 08:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I would have to agree that Bobak's block messages are highly inappropriate. To me they don't come across as sarcastic, but rather as simple childishness. Wikipedia already has somewhat of a reputation as a place run by kids, and if hundreds of people are being blocked with Bobak's messages, that bad reputation is just being reinforced. We need mature admins, not apparently childish ones. Deli nk (talk) 10:46, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
One thing should be beyond dispute here, I think, is that these messages should never be used on IP talk pages, where an innocent user may be on the receiving end. Personally I feel that they're also inappropriate for registered users. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 13:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
The community have said plainly more than once that block log entries and user talk notifications of blocks should, except under special circumstances (which don't seem to apply here), be serious, and especially should not mock affected users. One may think that injunction to be unnecessarily rigid, but it is plain that it is one for which a consensus exists, and inasmuch as no encyclopedic purpose is served by the jocularity, there is no reason to act in a fashion inconsistent with it. Joe 17:10, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Looking at this just a tiny bit further:
  • Bobak is basically accusing GLW of "wasting taxpayer dollars", implying above that GLW is the vandal associated with usage from a US military IP address. I believe this is the reference ABF from an admin, that's great. I'm unable to find the SPI/CU case establishing the linkage.
  • You know what? None of my taxpayer dollars were wasted, I live in Canada. Why are administrators of an international project pursuing their own notions of waste using the bully pulpit?
  • ArbCom has previously considered this notion of "you're using an American military IP connection, I must expose you!" and arrived at a definition of good-faith concerns. I see no such good-faith in the message to the IP talk page linked above. "Stop wasting taxpayer dollars" is not a valid leadin to a block message. Discussion at the time of the cited AC case was relatively clear that US military personnel have wide latitude, despite the written regulations, to use the Internet (note the exception for "when authorised"). I don't find it acceptable for an administrator of a supposedly international project to bring their own personal view of what constitutes "waste" within their own government onto en:wiki, much less under the official guise of admin status. Besides, use of an IP connection in an idle moment, even if it's for vandalism, costs far-far-far less than a dollar. Far less, micro-pennies maybe.
  • And I've just removed Bobak's year-old "VANDAL IDENTIFICATION" message from the IP talk page in question. [12] If anyone wishes to replace it with a proper template, please do so, but hopefully avoid using the term "vandalicious".
I have the uncomfortable feeling that this admin has somehow discovered the golden sword with which to smite their enemies. This is not conduct becoming of a site administrator, it looks more like having fun blasting down the next monster who shows up in the corridor. Franamax (talk) 20:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
As an outsider looking in, these blocking templates come across to me as childish and mean-spirited. Humor may be subjective, but I don't see why anyone should be subjected to such puerility. Pastor Theo (talk) 00:10, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree with what everyone else is saying here. These "funny" blocks are completely inappropriate and should not be used any more. --ThaddeusB (talk) 00:28, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. –xenotalk 14:30, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Focusing on the wrong problem[edit]

Extended content
This entire thread reflects one of the weaknesses of wikipedia - being polite to belligerent users, and being belligerent to those who try to defend wikipedia against vandals. The admin should probably tone down the sarcasm a bit, but frankly they are no more offensive than those sternly-worded boxes with the big red X's in them. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:02, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Characterizing the above conversation as belligerent seems quite inaccurate to me. If anything, there is quite a bit of sympathy for Bobak despite disagreement with him over his block messages. Deli nk (talk) 13:18, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
"...I think they're funny, but I doubt the blocked users do..." News flash: Who cares what the blocked users think? They are blocked because they damaged wikipedia in some way. Whether they get a cute comment or the standard, sternly-worded blocking box, either way they're typically not happy about it. Many times they will blank the page to get rid of those standard messages, and fill the page with rants. So a lot of good it does to "play it straight". Maybe the right thing to do, if you're wanting to take the "coddling" approach, is to re-word those sternly-worded standard messages to express deep regret that we have to do this: "This hurts us more than it does you", or some such. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:31, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Blocked users still go around and talk to their friends. They might grow up and, a few months after their block, realize that yeah, they had it coming. Or they might go tell their friends that Wikipedia is just a bunch of dicks who don't let you have any fun and are rude to you. I wonder which they'll be doing more often after getting one of Bobak's messages/
Consensus is clear that he needs to stop using them. The only question now is, as Deli nk asked, whether the templates should be replaced. Personally, I don't think that is workable, since they are not transcluded templates—it looks like Bobak copied and pasted the code of the regular block messages, because I don't see any user subpages that he could have been subst'ing. I think it should be sufficient just for him to stop using them in the future. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 13:49, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a bogus argument. The belligerent users out there who go running to wikipedia review and the like, have nearly all been recipients of the standard, sternly-worded message. Rather than picking on this flea, you should be picking on the elephant that the standard messages are. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:53, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Too little, too late. I count 9 editors in good standing above who say they don't want Bobak using these messages anymore. It seems pretty clear to me that a decision has been reached; I don't see much more to discuss, and will just sit back and hope he has gotten the message and doesn't use them in the future (he hasn't used them since this started, so hopefully everything is already resolved). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:54, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Sure, you've won this little battle, and have accomplished nothing that will benefit wikipedia. Good for you. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:11, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Hey everyone! This crap has been going on for ages and you only notice it now! Here's a message for you, courtesy of a long-time admin:

Beer mug icon.jpg
Congratulations! You've won yourself a short break from editing the encyclopedia! Go down to your local shop, buy yourself a crate of Bud, and have a drink - you deserve it!

He delivered this message to four IP users in 2007. Ergo, it is allowed. (talk) 15:25, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I would think a lighthearted message like that would be much more likely to be received positively than the "Bang! You're dead!" standard notices. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 18:15, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Bugs, I seem to recall having briefly tangled with you before in this venue over your penchant for poking fun at those brought to administrator attention. Whether the end result is better or not, and your own opinions on what is lighthearted fun that most people will receive more positively is irrelevant. The point is that we need to deliver a professional message. When an admin makes a block, they're not entitled to deliver their opinion on the supposed idiocy of the user in question. They're "an errand boy, sent by clerks" (or whatever the fat guy said), they're not there to opine on intelligence or fitness for life in general, they are protecting the encyclopedia from damage. That's all, there's no entertainment value included, or perhaps they shouldn't be admins after all.
As far as Ryan P's block notices, they were long in the past, but you know what? How 'bout I trot on over and ask for a comment? Franamax (talk) 02:41, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
The argument made was that sarcastic messages will cause blocked users to go tell their friends how lousy wikipedia is. And I say that's a bogus argument. Nearly every indef'd vandal has gotten the standard "Bang! You're dead" message, and all indications are that they go tell their friends how lousy wikipedia is. So instead of only picking on that handful of block messages, you need to also focus on the flaws in the standard message. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 02:48, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, you may well have a point there, but this is not really the place to raise systemic issues. I appreciate your message but in reality I think you're just confusing up a behavioural issue by bringing up a longer-term problem. I personally don't use many of those boilerplate templates, since I have to actually hold down one key whilst typing another, twice, then figure it all out again at the end but the squiggly has to frown at the first one. It's like, totally confusing. I don't think I've ever dropped an actual {{uw}} or {{test}} or whatever the vandalism template thingy is. I prefer a quiet (and non-humour/sarcasm/acerbic) personal message to vandals, it works 99.5%. But that's a whole different issue - we're talking here about an admin choosing to use their granted powers to make personal commentary about other editors, in the ultimate power situation, the one where they revoke the other editor's privileges. That's just not on. There's a whole IRC channel for admins to let off steam, no need for it to happen on editor talk pages. Franamax (talk) 03:10, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I'll admit that some of them are a tad bit over the line. One that I would be tempted to use when indefing would be something like "you've made some good edits at times, so I'm subtracting a day from your indefinite block". It's a good fantasy, anyway. Maybe a good start would be some better illustrations. I like the one with the illustration of a block. That's better than the scary big red X. Maybe for spamming, an actual spam can would be the ticket. It's also important for the block notice to emphasize that they can appeal the block. It already says that, obviously, but maybe that could be illustrated too, with an open cell door or something. (Ain't I creative? A right brain is a terrible thing to waste, you know.) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 03:22, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Like Franamax and others have said, regardless of what its effect on vandals themselves is, it's childish to use your admin position of power to rub everything you can in people's faces. We're supposed to be acting like adults here. I certainly don't want people I know to come in and get the impression that this site their friend/brother/son spends so much time on is run by a bunch of children.
As for being creative with block messages...yes, Bobak made the same argument up above. If you really want to exercise your creative juices, I'm sure AFC could find a great outlet for your energy. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:08, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Aha, you're the one that made the silly comment about vandals telling their friends about what a terrible place wikipedia is. Yet I would guess that Grawp got the standard message. Lot of good it did. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 11:38, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Replace them?[edit]

There seems to be a clear consensus that these block messages are completely inappropriate. According to statements above, they have been used on hundreds of pages. Since these messages may be doing harm to the project, should they be removed or replaced with a more appropriate standard block template? Can a bot do this, perhaps (if necessary)? Deli nk (talk) 12:57, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd have to agree, both with the above that these shouldn't be used and the above suggestion to replace them. Anyone object? –xenotalk 13:46, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I said above that I imagined cleaning them up would not be workable (since they're all copy-paste versions of regular block templates, modified by hand; there's not transcluded, subst'ed, or in any way identifiable to a bot...although I suppose a bot might be able to comb through all of Bobak's user talk contribs) and that I figured it would be enough if Bobak just agrees to stop using them. But if you know a way to replace all of them, be my guest! rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 15:33, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Doing... I find the use of sarcasm in these templates disgraceful, antagonistic, and an embarrassment to the project. They do nothing to rehabilitate vandals and encourage them to return to vandalism after the block expires. I'm amending them as we speak. –xenotalk 15:53, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
That criticism is largely true of the standard templates also. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:36, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
No, it isn't. "Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make constructive contributions."xenotalk 16:39, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Some of the messages are not 100% horrible, and could perhaps be made more appropriate. The one about being blocked due to Wikipedia's policy on idiocy is atrocious, however. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 16:41, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
You're onto it. Some of them are cute and funny, some are over the line. And every one of the long-term abusers would have gotten the standard block messages, so Xeno's argument is fallacious. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:43, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
An administrators' remit is not to be "cute and funny" when blocking vandals. It certainly isn't to be snarky and condescending. We didn't give him the mop so he could moonlight as a comedian. –xenotalk 16:47, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
So you prefer the "serious" way, which spawns the likes of Grawp. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 18:10, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I partially agree with Bugs here: some of the standard templates are not great. "Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make constructive contributions." is patronizing. But I'm not in favor of Bobak's messages (even though I do find some of them funny). --Akhilleus (talk) 02:01, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Wrap-up after replacements[edit]

I've gone and amended most or all of the templates. [13] Here are some examples of the text the was removed or replaced with more appropriate language and tone.

Examples of removed text

  • "Congratulations! You have been blocked from editing with a (length) time-out :-)"
    • Congratulations to Bank of America!
    • Congratulations, a special block for "special people"!
    • Congratulations, non-UC students!
    • Congratulations, users at the online "University of Phoenix":
    • Congratulations, your spat of stupidity has landed this ramblin' wreck of an IP address into Blocksville.
    • Congratulations, you've been "pwn3d"!
    • Congratulations, you've now got the attention of the wrong person!
  • "Lucky for you I give out blocks like they're going out of style"
  • "If/when you continue your vandalism (if/when you return), we'll be more than happy to grant you another vacation, this time for a longer period --at no extra cost-- guaranteed!"
    • ...Now get back to "studying" at the "university"; maybe you can to to the student union or library?
    • ...*Next time, you'll probably get at least a month off.
  • Welcome to Blocksville, population: You.
  • Duration: ????
    • Duration: Too short? We shall see.
    • Duration: You'll figure it out (pwn3d).
  • I guess it should be called Block Haven... Population: You.
    • Block Haven RETURNS!
  • "Haha" blocked for three months.
  • "Stay in school, kids."
  • 1 whole week :-)
  • 3 whole months, kids.
  • 6 month time out for the kids "studying" at the University of Phoenix.
  • All this over an Italian chain restaurant. LOL.
  • and general stupidity
  • Back to studying, LOL.
  • Cinnamon Toast Block!
  • earned a 2 week vacation.
  • FLUSH!
  • for rampant blanking, cry me a river, etc. etc..
  • Have a nice vacation, LOL...
  • I guess they don't raise them as smart down there.
  • idiocy
      • Corndog... You have been blocked indefinitely from editing in accordance with Wikipedia's blocking policy for idiocy.
  • If you're having girl problems, I feel bad for you son/You've got 99 problems and this block is one...
    • You got 99 problems and this block is one!
    • You've got 10,000 problems and this block is one!
    • You've got 2191 problems and a block is one...
  • Is this the first of many? We shall see...
  • LOL.
    • LOL... see you next semester.
  • loooooong length
  • Maybe its you who should "get a life". LOL.
  • Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey-ey, Goodbye!
  • Oh, and stay in school kids, you need it...
  • Playtime's over, you get to go back to work! Lucky you
  • See you in 1 week, kiddies. We'll be happy make the next one longer. Until then, read a book or something.
    • See you in 2014.
    • see you in three months, kiddies, where the blocks get longer.
    • See you next semester, kiddies.
  • Shouldn't you guys be solving those two wars we're in?
  • Since we clearly haven't been paying enough attention to your vandalism habits, I promise to keep and eye on you ;-)
  • So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night/I hate to go and leave this pretty sight/So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu/Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu!
  • Sorry, we're allergic to crazy
  • Stay in school.
  • Top o'the mornin' to ya, lassie!
  • with a loooong length
  • You have a problem with listening, so why not take several months off, and we'll even grant the option to extend the break!
  • You kids were blocked for 6 months, unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to make the move --but have a great time in the far north.
The above protracted display of behaviour unbecoming of an administrator goes back to May 2008. Bobak was approached in October 2008 over the templates, but brushed aside the concerns. I've half a mind to ask Bobak to step down, but since he has actually received encouragements from several users over these which must have spurred him on ( User talk:Bobak/June 2008 - December 2008#Hello there, User talk:Bobak/June 2008 - December 2008#November 2025, User talk:Bobak/June 2008 - December 2008#teh block, User talk:Bobak/January 2009 - June 2009#LOVE your template! ), I'll just point him to the above consensus not to use this type of tone in his blocking endeavours and use standard blocking templates without additional colour commentary. –xenotalk 18:19, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that nothing needs to be done just yet. Since this discussion started he hasn't blocked anyone and hasn't done anything unsavory, and so far I'm taking that as tacit acknowledgement that he understands the consensus here. If he starts using the block messages again I'm sure we can do something more formal about it, but I'm sure he's smart enough not to do that, and as long as he doesn't do it again I don't think there's any need for special action. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 18:37, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. –xenotalk 18:41, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Fixing something that's not a problem[edit]

Congratualations on fixing something that's not a problem. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 18:23, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I am now under orders from Xeno to stop watching ANI. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 18:28, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
You're under no such orders, but it would certainly be appreciated. –xenotalk 18:35, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
(ec)To be honest, it's not a bad idea. Bugs, you're a good guy and I've even got one of your funny posts linked from my userpage, but as far as I can tell all you're accomplishing at ANI is stirring up or prolonging drama. Surely there is a more productive and fulfilling use of your time. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 18:37, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I raise questions that some people don't want to hear. They label it "drama". I've been told that the most infuriating thing about the issues I raise is that I'm usually right. That's the best kind of compliment I can imagine. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 18:43, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
You are probably right about that. However, my experience has shown that spending too much time on WP:AN & WP:AN/I warps one's sense of what Wikipedia is about, as well as proving to be, in the long run, not all that productive. Take a break from here, Bugs, & find another part of Wikipedia to contribute to. WP:AN/I will still be here when you come back, with the same troublemakers & jerk Admins; they'll just have different user names. -- llywrch (talk) 20:11, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Let me be clear that I'm not going to fight any of this ("consensus" of a half-dozen editors reigns supreme), but this ANI is obviously a group of editors with the same opinions, and I do point out that there are a lot of people who feel the way I do: that so-called "fixes" like this are ultimately pointless (storms in a teacup) that do more to harm to productive (non-bureaucratic) editors than any alleged "embarrassment" they save for those unable to have a sense of humor. But carry on... just don't forget that this is a project about compiling information, not silly little crusades. I am not going to take the time to look up the various contribution histories in this discussion, but I hope some of you have done remotely the same amount of work people like Baseball Bugs and I have done --otherwise why participate? --Bobak (talk) 19:26, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I can't comment on appropriateness of the blocks as I'm unfamiliar with the cases, but I don't think it's appropriate to condemn the funny messages. I don't know for sure if they're up to par for a Good Humour Barnstar, but they're certainly useful in countertroll situations. After all, Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy; our templates need not take the form of a triplicate form letter together with an OMB tracking number. ΔιγουρενΕμπρος! 21:24, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

There's a time and a place for humour. And not all vandals are trolls, some might even become positive contributors with a little coaxing. It's not entirely out of the question. A sarcastic block template isn't likely to bring about that end-result, and is more likely to encourage further vandalism. –xenotalk 21:29, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

The use of sarcasm is absolutely and completely inappropriate in a block message. We should all act like adults (even if we may not be) and administrators especially are expected to always act in a professional manner, acting otherwise reflects badly on our encyclopedia, this project and all of us, and can be grounds for having admin privileges withdrawn. Paul August 04:09, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Calm down --MZMcBride (talk) 04:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
MZ, I think you are reading too much into what I've written here. And perhaps I did not express myself well. I seem to have come off in your eyes as upset, but I'm not. Not that I think my internal state matters all that much, but I'd describe it as serious, placid and firm. Paul August 18:42, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Paul: Blanket bans on humorous or sarcastic ("playful") edit and log summaries really isn't effective or productive. Should administrators be professional? Yes. However, they are also allowed some degree of latitude when dealing with monotonous administrative affairs, esp. as some of these users do dozens or hundreds of actions per month. Like nearly all things, moderation is key. Bobak seems to be too far to one side, but you seem to be too far to the other. There's a healthy balance in between—with or without italics, adverbs, and threats to remove rights. ;-) --MZMcBride (talk) 19:38, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
As pointed out below, humor is one thing sarcasm is another. Perhaps our definitions of sarcasm differ. Mine: statements involving scorn, contempt, ridicule, jibes, insults, cutting jests, etc. presented in a witty manner. At any rate that's what I'm talking about. That's what I'm describing as inappropriate behavior, especially for administrators. Perhaps we should talk in specifics. Which of the quotes in my reply to Unitanode just below, do you think are appropriate.? Paul August 20:01, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Replied below. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:05, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I really think I need to leave ANI for awhile. This nonsense that treating vandals with some kind of faux politesse will help them see the light and become valued contributors seems silly to me. If anything, a spot of humor might do the trick better than some form letter-style block template. Bobak is blocking vandals, so Paul August feels the need to issue a veiled threat of removal of administrator status? Who's running this place anyway? Unitanode 04:26, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • A "spot" of humor is one thing. Taunting a blocked user is another thing entirely. Powers T 13:04, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
We hold as an ideal that Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It is one of our most noble ideals. It is why many of us are here, and why we have been so successful. But unfortunately it is only an ideal — not a reality. The fact of the matter is, we sometimes find it necessary to block some from editing. But blocking is an admission of failure — our failure in being able to fully realize one of our most cherished goals. Hence blocking is a sad thing, it is a serious thing, and it should not be done lightly. Humor has its place (a sock puppet, a meat puppet and Jimbo walk into a bar ...[1]) but not when it comes to blocking. And I find little humor in: "Congratulations! You have been blocked", "Lucky for you I give out blocks like they're going out of style", "You've been put out of your spamming misery" and "You have been blocked indefinitely ... for idiocy." What I do find is sarcasm, insults and ridicule — these things have no place at all, especially not from administrators.
When delivering the last meal to a person on death row, it is simply not on to throw the food in their face.
As for my remarks being a "veiled threat", there is nothing veiled about them, and I'm not threatening anything or anyone. What I am trying to do is raise the level of administrative conduct. To remind us all that when we take administrative action we are representing the encyclopedia and this project. That we should all act professionally and with maturity. And to remind us all that everything we do, we do in public, anyone anywhere, now and in the future can view what we are doing. Please try to imagine how this might look say in a New York Times article about Wikipedia: Wikipedia's administrators routinely block people from editing for reasons like "idiocy" and with messages like "Congratulations! You have been blocked!"
  1. ^ Prize for best completion. First entry here.
Paul August 18:53, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't particularly like any of the custom block templates ("congratulations, you've been blocked," etc.). The standard ones exist for a reason and should be used primarily unless there's a specific reason not to. (You shouldn't template longtime users, for example.) My comments above mainly concern block reasons left in the logs. Personally, I usually use the tactic of making the log summaries exceptionally vague ("inappropriate behavior," etc.), however I don't have a particular problem with, for example, blocking a "poop" vandal with the reason "THE PLUMBER HAS ARRIVED!" Obviously we shouldn't feed the trolls, but a spot of humor occasionally isn't inappropriate. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:05, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Now that's funny ;-) and I think we are in agreement. Paul August 20:27, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • To be clear, I did not find the custom block templates in question wildly hilarious or anything like that. The biggest problem I had with Paul's response was with what I considered a threat of removal of tools simply for TRYING to be funny in a block template, which I think is all Bobak was doing. It seemed an overreaction to me, that's all. Unitanode 15:33, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Admins often have to act as bouncers. Any club owner will tell you that the best bouncers aren't the muscle-bound types who beat people up like in the movies, but instead are those who usher troublemakers to the exit with so little fuss that the paying customers don't even notice. Unfortunately many of our admins try to act like the big burly types, and many of the rest argue with the paying customers that they should be more tolerant and supportive of the troublemakers. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:40, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Excellent analysis. Дигвурен ДигвуровичАллё? 15:03, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
It sounds like the ideal solution, then, is to post no notice at all. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:06, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Barring that, here's what you should do: First, lose the big red in-your-face symbol. Wrap the message in robin's-egg-blue if you want to both highlight it and soften it. Lose the patronizing comment about coming back when you're ready to contribute usefully. Make the message simple and straightforward: "You're blocked until [date-time]" or "You're blocked indefinitely", followed by a link to where the decision was made, and then "If you would like to appeal this block" followed by the normal unblock-template instructions. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:39, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
That'll never work. It's too sensible. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:59, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Too much drama - I think those messages are funny! Assuming they're not being given to a brand new user aka biting I don't see a problem. It's not overly rude (anyone remember the user User:VandalCops) or in violation of NPA.

It's an admin having a bit of fun on the job. Let 'em stay Naluboutes, Nalubotes Aeria gloris, Aeria gloris 15:56, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

They are fine except for the ones that are insulting. We should not be insulting the people we block. Chillum 00:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Per Rjanag, I'm afraid I find these "funny" templates to be completely inappropriate. Humour has its place, but not in formal templates which are only likely to convey an image of an insular, cliquish and hostile community, which is the last sort of image we should be projecting. Gatoclass (talk) 02:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

The current standard templates convey that image also. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 04:56, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Need help at RfC: Talk:David Copperfield (illusionist)[edit]

Talk:David Copperfield (illusionist)

Need some help from admins and possibly also checkusers at the Request for Comment ongoing on this page. It is possible it is being subverted by sockpuppets, there are allegations of conflict of interest, as well as problems with users refactoring posts by others, which may or may not be appropriate due to the personal attacks being thrown around by possible WP:SPAs. There are problems from users on both sides of the debate.

It would be most appreciated if multiple admins/checkusers could take a look into this - additional fresh eyes are needed here. Thank you, Cirt (talk) 04:04, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

It seems there is a relevant sock investigation case page at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Karelin7. Cirt (talk) 04:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
As I had commented in the RfC, I'll defer to other admins and/or checkusers to look into this further. Cirt (talk) 04:26, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Serial copyvio image case[edit]

Resolved: Thanks to \ /. Fut.Perf. 09:03, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Can somebody please nuke all images uploaded by Ukulelea (talk · contribs). They seem all to be taken from the web, most from a city website, I just tagged a few for CSD G9 (File:Old Strumica Law corte .jpg, File:Abba 2009.jpg, File:Strumica Global Mall, Palms and Fountains and the City Park.jpg and several variants), but there are more, all apparently from the same sources. There are also multiple images on Commons. Fut.Perf. 21:59, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

All local deletions are now deleted, you'll need a commons admin to do the rest. \ Backslash Forwardslash / {talk} 06:29, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Numerous Personal Attacks by IP User[edit]

I have been forwarded to this page via Wiki user User:Cirt who has kindly been helping me with an ongoing situation, in which an IP user has been posting liable attacks via talk pages, and also has obtained my email address and posting the same context in emails.

The IP user in question has so far used 2 different IP addresses; they are... IP: and IP: The first incident happened on the main Eurovision Song Contest page. I made reasonable changes to the article; as I had found reliable sources to back up an edit in the article. Within hours of me making this edit; I received a vicious email from a HOTMAIL account. In the email I was subdued to abusive language. I replied to the email sender telling them that if they were to do such an act again, that I would have no other alternative but to report them to the relevant authorities. Everything was quiet until last week, when I made another edit, only this time to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 article, in which again I had found reliable sourcing to allow me to include the country of Estonia into the confirmed participation list. What happened following this utterly disturbed me. One user, who obviously is the same person, left 2 messages in the Talk:Eurovision Song Contest 2010. The reason I know they are the same person, as they signed their comments using the same tag-line, but with a different IP address included in the tag. The IPs are those as shown above (IP: and IP: That same user also sent the exact same comments to me via email; again the email address was the same HOTMAIL address as that sent weeks earlier following the main incident as mentioned above.

I would sincerely appreciate it, if you could kindly investigate this situation, and keep me informed as to what action has been taken. I will fully co-operate with this investigation, if you so require me to do so.

Thank you in advance. Kindest Regards (Pr3st0n (Gareth) | Pr3st0n (talk) 04:15, 16 June 2009 (UTC))

Were the emails sent directly to you, or through Special:Emailuser? Prodego talk 04:28, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
There should be a law that terminates a discussion (as with Godwin's Law) whenever someone mentions "nationalism". All these accusations of "nationalism" is getting rather absurd. MuZemike 04:51, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
The emails were sent directly to my personal email address. And I agree with MuZemike some law should be brought in. All I was doing was helping with a wikiproject by supplying valuable information to aid readers; and I get unnecessary abuse from a random IP user whom I have never met or spoken to in my life. The way they treated me was pure evil and uncalled for. (Pr3st0n (talk) 07:37, 16 June 2009 (UTC))

Allstarecho is Requesting an Unblock[edit]

After stating he will not copyvio any other pages (which is what got him blocked in the first place) and that his previous "retirement" is a moot point, ASE is requesting to be unblocked or would like a path to be unblocked. - NeutralHomerTalk • 02:32, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Can you put in a pointer to the recently archived discussion? Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 02:52, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Sure, please see here. - NeutralHomerTalk • 02:58, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The difficulty is that Allstarecho's comments after he was blocked have tended to suggest that he does not recognize that his copyright violations are wrong; for this reason, his protestations that he will not continue to disregard copyright have not been wholly credible. He could begin to restore this credibility by starting to go through his past contributions and identifying all edits which used stolen text; this, at a bare minimum, would be an essential component of any path to eventual unblocking. CIreland (talk) 03:16, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    This seems a bit pointless - he's identifying himself as "retired", so why the heck is an unblock needed? Ironholds (talk) 03:22, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    Because a retired user can un-retire themselves at any time. CIreland (talk) 03:25, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    Is everyone stuck on retirement? ASE has stated before and I have above that retirement is a "moot point". He wishes to come back, which would mean he isn't retired. Let's focus on the unblock and not on a retirement that the user has said is "moot". - NeutralHomerTalk • 03:26, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    Concur with NeutralHomer; retirement is not and never has been relevant to Allstarecho's blocking or unblocking; really only Allstarecho seemed ever to think it made any difference. CIreland (talk) 03:29, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • support unblock At this point, I don't think it is imperative that he is kept blocked, given that he has expressed clearly that he understands why he was blocked, and has promised to change his behavior. Blocking him again would be trivial at this point, and he should know he is being closely watched. Making him jump through some arbitrary hoops to get the unblock seems pointless given the ease with which any admin could block him again if he screws up the copyright thing any further. 03:30, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    User:Akhilleus has unblocked ASE. He left a lengthy post on ASE's talk page as well. Shall we call this resolved? - NeutralHomerTalk • 03:32, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict x2) I've unblocked him. The declines seemed excessively wiki-lawyerish to me; Allstarecho wants to edit and promised not to violate copyright anymore. I trust that his contributions will be closely watched, and if anything even smells like a copyright violation, he will be indef blocked again. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:33, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Hmmm. I still think he has an ethical obligation to assist in cleaning up the mess, simply because it's far easier for him than anyone else to identify which edits amongst his very many otherwise excellent contributions were theft. I don't think that's at all an "arbitrary hoop" since someone else is going to have to jump through it if ASE is unwilling. CIreland (talk) 03:44, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree that he has an ethical obligation to assist in cleaning up the mess. I also note that ethical obligations are often unmet on Wikipedia. Since I unblocked him, I'll ask him on his talkpage to help us clean up the copyvios. Since I unblocked him, it's only fair that I help in doing so also. Please give me some pointers--is there an organized effort towards fixing the problem? --Akhilleus (talk) 03:49, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Based upon the massive disruption he made to Wikipedia (knowingly adding copyright violations for years because he disagrees with copyright laws), and especially with his completely unapologetic tone after his block, he needs to stay blocked for a good long while to realize that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. A couple of months minimum is reasonable, or at the very least until all the damage he caused is undone. Akhiklleus should have waited for more input before unblocking, because jumping ahead to do it before there was real discussion or any way to gauge consensus just puts everyone in a bad spot. People have been permanently banned for less than what ASE did. DreamGuy (talk) 03:41, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

If what you are suggesting is done, that would be punishment and that is not what blocks are meant to do. They are preventive not punishment. - NeutralHomerTalk • 03:45, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
DreamGuy: maybe you're right. If so, discussion here should establish a consensus against my unblock, and I won't stand in its way. Until then, I hope that community scrutiny will stop further copyvios by Allstarecho, or lead to his block. I don't really care if he apologizes, expresses remorse, or so forth--forced apologies don't strike me as useful. The important thing is that he stops the objectionable behavior. If he doesn't, then he gets blocked again. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:52, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree that Akhilleus should have waited for more community input and especially for the opinion of the blocking admin, Moonriddengirl. I find unilateral unblocks of this sort rather uncollegial, I am sorry to say.  Sandstein  05:33, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I have notified Moonriddengirl of this post. I apologize, I should have done that first, as she was the blocking admin...that is my mistake. - NeutralHomerTalk • 05:41, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • This unblock was a bad call - there was no need to rush and I'm not certain Akhilleus is actually familiar with the situation and how these matters are typically handled. I think that Allstarecho has been the one splitting hairs and wikilawyering since this problem was noticed - quite a few editors have tried to get a straight answer and his responses have been petulant and unhelpful. This issue was so widespread that it required not the usual one, but three pages at the copyvio project for tracking. While I agree that forced apologies are useless, if a contributor shows no remorse and has to be forced to admit they were wrong, isn't that just a useless? I have zero confidence in this unblock and I resent the fact that the unblocking admin's solution is that someone (other than themselves of course) should closely babysit Allstarecho. Shell babelfish 05:42, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I have already said, I will be happy (even as a non-admin) to mentor ASE as necessary and to make sure that his edits are within the letter of the rule and that no copyvio edits are brought in, but I think we need to give ASE a chance to edit first. It is 3:29AM EST, so he isn't online, probably asleep. Let's let him edit first before going all "bad block" "let's reblock him" on the whole thing. Remember, AGF. - NeutralHomerTalk • 07:30, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
      • I'm going to guess you're not aware that I assume good faith, usually till my eyes bleed :) Even so, there's a point where it stops being an assumption of good faith and instead becomes turning a blind eye to a problem; that's where I have to get off the bus. If you're aware of this case, surely you're aware that this wasn't just limited to article space, included difficult to detect copying of just sentences or phrases and that the only response has been "yeah, so what?" until an indef block was in place? I don't see anything in ASE's response that would make me comfortable that he won't continue the same behavior, maybe not at first, maybe not while he's being watched but I'm confident he would have no qualms repeating the behavior if he thought he could get away with it. I don't even see anything about him being interested in contributing further, only that he'd rather not be blocked. I would consider this an excellent example of a block intended to prevent further damage and disruption to the project and the unblock before allowing some semblance of discussion here was unwise. Shell babelfish 08:33, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
      • WP:AGF says, "Unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, assume that people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it." The cleanup of this offers plenty of evidence to the contrary. Just yesterday I came upon this edit from April of 2009 while evaluating contributions, pasting several paragraphs of material by Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren (material which archives to 2004). There can be no question that much of the language was the same; origin seems clear. Keep in mind that Allstarecho was notified of copyright policy several years ago and one of his responses on noting these concerns was to indicate that "Most of these g'damn articles were done in my wiki-infancy. Any newer ones which may be in question, I don't agree that statistical facts (dates, percentages, times and related words to explain such facts) is copyrightable"[14]. His primary interest during the whole of this clean-up is arguing about whether the copyright infringements removed from articles were actually placed by him. While he's very vocal when he thinks somebody has removed something in error, I've yet to see him say, "Oh, yes, that one was mine. My bad." Does he still believe that material like this and this, also from April of this year, are not copyrightable? Copyright infringement is a grave misuse of the project, one which can put it in legal jeopardy, and whoever is watching him, Neutralhomer, needs to do so not so much with an assumption of good faith, but from a position of objective scrutiny. Akhilleus, I hope you plan to keep an eye on the situation. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:29, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose unblock, bad call, particularly without bringing the initial blocking admin into it. I support a reblock - he's never made any statement to indicate what he did was wrong, and has been particularly offensive to those users like Moonriddengirl who take the time and effort to chase people like him. An offensive, disruptive serial copyright violator who now expects us to trust him? By this point good faith has been thrown out the window, and I see no reason to believe he's truly changed - rather I see his apology as not "sorry I violated copyright" but more "sorry I was blocked for violating copyright". Ironholds (talk) 11:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose unblock. Three pages of copyvio's? What's next, unblock User:Primetime? For me this block is not punitive, this block is to protect the encyclopedia. From reading his talk page I am not convinced he will not eventually continue the same behaviour as before. Garion96 (talk) 11:28, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Glow in the dark bad unblock. This user causes major harm to the project. He doesn't grasp the concept of Intellectual property, nor Copyright, thus demonstrating no respect for authors nor the law. What makes anyone think he gives a damn about this project? He wants back in for his own addictive needs, and for the ego buff he gets from publishing stuff. Unless and until such time as he provides fro us a clear, lengthy essay about his 'awakening' to the rights of authors to have their works protected, and the value of copyright laws in protecting the creative impulse for the larger betterment of society, I see no value in AGF'ing. He's made clear his commitment to actively refuting and ignoring Copyright laws and Wikipedia's policies on the same, and his desperate 'i won't do it again, I swear' is simply insufficient. ThuranX (talk) 12:10, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Spectacularly wrong unblock, per Moonriddengirl. In April this year he copied literally from one source while citing another. [15][16] And then he claimed that all copyvios were in the distant past, and that anything more recent is just numbers? Wow. I don't think we need this type of user. --Hans Adler (talk) 12:33, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • While the unblock may or may not have been ill-judged, it has been done. The result is that Allstarecho is under severe scrutiny for copyright (and likely any other) violations in his editing - his last chance has been and gone, and the next time he puts principle in these matters before WP policy he is gone permanently. I doubt that Allstarecho would have been allowed to return to editing under any more stringent conditions so, despite it being perhaps a little premature, I think we can close this matter as resolved. LessHeard vanU (talk) 12:57, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I disagree with this assessment. It's his duty to clean up the mess he created and it's not formally part of his conditions that he does so. Instead, he can edit away and keep responsible editors occupied trying to spot his new copyvios. That's a denial of service attack on Wikipedia. --Hans Adler (talk) 13:05, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm sorry but I completely disagree that the matter is resolved. One doesn't set loose the wolf in the hen house and then throw up your hands because its already been done. Shell babelfish 13:09, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - I've AGFed until my eyes not only bled but fell out of my head, and I have to agree that this isn't a good idea at this time. As a very involved admin, I either am biased or appear biased, so I won't argue the point strongly. Since I know where many of the proverbial bodies are buried, I will make a few points that should be considered (and I wish had been considered before an unblock):
So, having said all that, if we are allowing the unblock to stand, a whole bunch of editors need to keep careful watch. ASE has repeatedly and forcefully resisted comments that characterize his edits as copyvios, instead choosing to point out that the text is elsewhere also, that someone else put it there, or that it isn't copyrightable. He has not participated even one edit's worth in cleaning up copyright violations since he was blocked, despite requests to do so, and has hampered others' efforts to do so because some of us have been willing to AGF and pay attention.  Frank  |  talk  13:11, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Hmph. Well, as I said, it's entirely possible I made a mistake, and if there is consensus to reverse my unblock (as it appears there might be), I won't stand in its way. I'd just like to note, though, that the discussion on Allstarecho's talk page involved apparent technicalities such as whether he was retired or not, and also whether he was adopting the proper abject attitute of contrition. If the discussion had clearly communicated "your copyvios are so bad there's no way I'll unblock you" then of course I wouldn't have unblocked. I'm glad to see that people are taking copyvios seriously, though--when I've reported blatant plagiarism from copyrighted sources before, I've gotten no response or a shrug. --Akhilleus (talk) 13:16, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

  • It might have been appropriate, as a condition of unblocking, and in light of his promise not to violate copyright again, to explain whether he still agrees with these sentiments that he had posted on his talk page shortly after being blocked: [17][18] Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:28, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

First, I'll say it's never been said by me that copyvios were perfectly ok. What I have said is that apparently statistical facts, close paraphrasing and quoting is considered as copyvios, unbeknownst to me. I guess that is my fault for not finding out. However, I have seen many a "copyvio" removed from articles that have been attributed to me when in fact they weren't. Numerous copyvios that have been attributed to me, were nothing more than copyvio content that was already present in an article or in an article that I split to another (see Ole Miss Rebels and Ole Miss Rebels football as an excellent example). I had no idea that I had to go through each and every article I ever came across to make sure it didn't contain copyvio content. Do you do that on every article you've ever come across? I'm sure one or 2 of you do but I'd bet my house that most of you do not. Additionally, during vandalism patrol, yes, I may have reverted vandalism that also included reverting an article back to a "copyvio included" state, but how am I to know that? Seriously? Regardless, any continued block is nothing but punishment, which is whole-heartedly not in line with WP:BLOCK. As I have promised not to add copyvio content anymore, and as I know many an eye is on my edits, continued blocking can be viewed as nothing but punishment from this point. I'm not asking for your respect or your approval of me as a person as that really means nothing to me. I'm just asking that people be fair here. Thanks. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 14:43, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Ugh. more waffling. now it's 'i didn't know', when he clearly did, and 'I didn't meant to', even though he was repeating old mistakes. He's not sorry, and clearly will do it again. He simply doesn't understand the concept of copyright. ThuranX (talk) 14:50, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
How do you figure I will do it again when I've said probably 20 times: I PROMISE NOT TO ADD COPYVIO CONTENT ANYMORE. I mean, how much more plainer can one be? - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 14:51, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Speaking of keeping a close watch, may I direct your attention to a thead on the Commons AN from last year. It would be prudent to review his image contributions again to see if there's been any relapse there. I am at work now or I would. HiDrNick! 14:56, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Wow, they do come out of the woodwork. Haven't seen you since you started that mess a year ago. That was last year and on a different project which has no baring here. Thanks for your contribution though. Also, see here. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 15:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Allstarecho, with all due respect, I think your final response in that discussion (claiming that other people stole your work) is plenty relevant here. Gavia immer (talk) 15:33, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I started that mess? You were the one who uploaded those pictures in violation of our policies in the first place, and then lied over and over again about them, attempting to smear the character of those who worked to bring your transgressions to light. I offered you an explicit opportunity to clean up your own mess; when you declined to do so, I had to spend my own free time scouring the whole damn internet to find enough copyvio sources to convince the Commons admins to delete most of the non-free pictures you uploaded and lied about. I had to watch videos of Chris Crocker, for crying out loud, because of your flippant attitude toward our copyright policies. Even now, other editors are slogging though your “contributions”, trying to clean up your mess, and your attitude is not one of contrition, but arrogance. You have given no indication that you will not continue to be a net negative to the project. I am astounded that the unblocking administrator has not yet reversed himself. HiDrNick! 17:31, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

This is a Biedermann und die Brandstifter scenario[edit]

Apparently the English name for this play by Max Frisch is The Fire Raisers.

(It's also been produced as The Firebugs Ed Fitzgerald t / c 18:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC))

When someone uploads a large number of photos and many of them are found to be copyvios, then of course the rest needs to be deleted as well unless there is strong evidence that they are not copyvios. When someone is caught adding large amounts of copyrighted text to Wikipedia, then of course every substantial addition of text by that editor needs to be deleted unless there is strong evidence it's not a copyvio. After all, there are still books and magazines that are not available online.

What I have not seen, and what is absolutely necessary for this unblock to be at all reasonable is:

  • An unequivocal demonstration (as opposed to a mere affirmation) by ASE that he now understands how copyright works.
  • A binding commitment to help clean up his copyvios.
  • A prohibition of any substantial article space edits other than his clean-up work for the time being.

Before he can be allowed to add more than, say, half a sentence per month to any article:

  • The clean-up work must have been finished.
  • He must demonstrate (rather than just assert) that he can add text to articles through methods other than plagiarism. One way to demonstrate this would be a series of assignments in which he has to develop an article on a prescribed obscure topic using a prescribed set of sources, in a short amount of time.

Anything less would be in contradiction to the core principle that Wikipedia is first and foremost an encyclopedia. Seeing that it can take several man-hours to properly identify and clean up the damage done in ten minutes by some quick copy-paste operation, and that this thankless work must be done by qualified volunteers – many of whom would prefer to write content for articles of their own choosing – this kind of generous unblock on the whim of an administrator is simply not acceptable. --Hans Adler (talk) 16:55, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I've begun to help on the cleanup as can be seen by my contribs - and that's enough as far as "binding". Actions, not words - which has been asked of me and which I am doing.
A prohibition from article space edits is unacceptable. What's the point of being on Wikipedia if you can't edit articles. I'm not to be treated like some toddler confined to his playpen.
Again, as I had promised not to engage in the activity anymore, which in itself acknowledges the copyvios and that there was a problem, continued blocking only serves as punishment. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 17:04, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
AllStar, you have earned the perspective that you are a toddler to be supervised everywhere. You got caught breaking a major, bedrock policy built to match the laws of most nations on the planet. Instead of immediately apologizing, you continued for over a year doing it. When you were finally caught again and blocked, you threw a tanrum, took your ball and left. Then you came back, 'unretiring' after the heat was off, a tactic you knew would reduce the actions against you, and then, when confronted, you've done nothing but make empty promises and blame others.
You have yet to explain, in your own words, what you did wrong, why it was wrong, why you won't do it again. An Open apology letter to the community would go a long way; taking responsibility for reversing every single copyvio addition you ever made would help too. However, all we get are condescending dismissals of our concerns 'I already SAID i wouldn't do it anymore' is meaningless. It's meaningless because you've made clear that you do not accept the idea of copyright - that the very principles of it aren't valid, they don't apply to you. This can easily be seen in your attitude that 'facts cannot have copyright'. However, they can and do. It's up to you to explain to us why, as part of that open apology.
I continue to oppose any unblocking of your account until such time as you give us that, and then commit to making no edits which are not repair, until the entire repair task is completed. ThuranX (talk) 17:13, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Shouldn't someone reblock him first? Consensus that the unblock was a bad idea seems quite clear. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 18:06, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
that would be good ,we've got a clear disapproval of the unblock. However, if he gets all the reading he really ought to indulge in about copyright done and the essay up before an admin gets around to it, then it may not be needed. ThuranX (talk) 18:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Since people can't seem to accept my promise not to add copyvio content to articles anymore, and since people can't seem to understand that my promise is also acknowledgement that copyvios are unacceptable, and since people can't seem to understand that my promise is also acknowledgment that I understand copyvios will not be tolerated, I hereby once again, promise not to add copyvios to any article. I also hereby promise to help work on said articles even though I've already said once that I'm already doing that as can be seen by my contribs history. I also apologize to anyone that feels I must go to greater links than a promise: I don't know what else to do to make it right with you but you have my promise. Continued "off with his head" calls are, however, unproductive. Tell me what you want instead of degrading me. Thanks. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 19:21, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

If you'd take your fingers out of yoru ears, and stop shouting 'LalalalaIcanthearyoulalalala', you'd see I was absolutely clear about what I want; it's quite similar to what a few others have asked for. You again make clear that you won't do what's needed to satisfy the community, so I call for an immediate reinstatement of a bad unblock where community consensus supports reinstituting it. ThuranX (talk) 19:54, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
As to "actions, not words", I must say I am not too thrilled by this: [19][20][21]. I would really like to hear the opinion of an expert whether a gradual process from literal copying to excessively close rephrasing makes the copyvio go away. In any case it's still plagiarism. --Hans Adler (talk) 20:32, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
That last diff isn't mine. And also, related to that, see here where it's obvious I have sought input from an involved administrator on the issue. I mean geez, at least ask me. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 21:02, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
My point was that you made a slight rephrasing, someone else made a further slight rephrasing, and it's still blatant plagiarism. My understanding of US copyright law is that this kind of rephrasing is not enough, and basically these are merely typical steps to cover up a copyvio. The only thing I am not sure about is whether lifting two sentences literally is OK. It might be below some threshold. As to your post on Frank's talk page – that one puzzled me, and I am still puzzled that it came before your rephrasing. --Hans Adler (talk) 21:13, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
It came before my rephrasing because I wanted him to look at it before my rephrasing. Then after asking him about it, I realized even in the state it was in it could be considered as close paraphrasing so I went on and made changes to it. He apparently looked at it after my change or the 2 changes and feels its acceptable via his reply to me. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 21:41, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Let's look at a proper diff. I am not even sure that "rephrasing" is an appropriate word for this:
I have no idea how anybody can think this is acceptable. --Hans Adler (talk) 00:26, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Admittedly I'm coming to this conversation later, but in fairness to ASE I'd like to point out one thing: similarities like the ones Hans Adler has found is considered plagiarism only if there is reasonable leeway to rephrase the original language. Just how many different ways can one say, "According to an FBI report released in June 2009 for the 2008 year, Jackson's murder rate ranks 4th in the nation"? Maybe he should have tried harder to put this in different words, but the source for the statement in Wikipedia expresses the information concisely & clearly; apparently without knowledge of the wording of the source, Gavia immer made several edits which made ASE's paraphrase more closely resemble the source. I'm not certain anyone could present this information better. -- llywrch (talk) 19:56, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
It's no problem for competent users of the English language such as Moonriddengirl. [26] If this kind of plagiarism is seriously being supported by established users, then the problem is worse than I thought. --Hans Adler (talk) 12:09, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
In fairness to ASE, he specifically asked me about that rewrite and I responded that it looked OK to me. I would rather he work on the two copyvios that remain blanked (listed above), but I felt the rewrite was better than what it replaced. I might have been wrong, but let's give ASE a little room on this one since I'm one of the protagonisists here.  Frank  |  talk  21:01, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Which 2 blanked Frank? I don't see them link above. I've just been working off of Wikipedia:WikiProject Copyright Cleanup/Contributor surveys. Thanks. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 21:06, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm the admin who originally blocked Allstarecho for copyright problems. I didn't know about this thread until just now. I approve of the unblock.

On the one hand, ASE has handled this whole situation quite badly, being defensive and sarcastic and unacceptably rude in at least one case. He hasn't said anything like "I know this was wrong, and I'm sorry." But he has clearly and repeatedly said that he won't do anything else that might violate copyright, and I believe him. (And if I'm wrong, it's not hard to reblock.) Should he own up and apologize? Yeah, I think so, but it's really none of my business. Would it have been easier on everyone if he had? Absolutely. Would I get some satisfaction on seeing him forced to apologize? Perhaps, I mean I'm only human, but that's not a valid use of a block. The preventative block is no longer needed; So long as he isn't copying and pasting questionable content -- and he's not -- he's welcome to contribute constructively. – Quadell (talk) 04:31, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

  • We now have a much more clear statement from Allstarecho that he will not repeat the problem and even that he will assist in any cleanup. While I still think some level of supervision is appropriate, that clears up my concerns about leaving the block in place. Shell babelfish 09:34, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not believe him. We do not have a case here of ignorance, but of outright refusal. He's made it his position on copyright clear; it's a matter of principle to him that copyright should not exist or be respected, therefore, I find it hard to believe that he's suddenly converted to a great understanding of the value of protecting the works done by others. I think that what we're going to see, six months to a year out, is an editor who persists in copyright violations via plagiarism, but now does it more subtly, rephrasing half a sentence into the article in one edit, then the other half, then linking them up. He will become a better, more subtle thief of others efforts, not someone truly able to write independently. ThuranX (talk) 14:40, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I see what you're saying, but I suspect you're wrong, and I'd be willing to put money on it. I guess we'll find out in six months or a year. – Quadell (talk) 15:02, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and thanks for the personal attacks too Thuran, you've made your point well. A thief? Hardly. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 18:07, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually in legal terms you are a thief. Stealing intellectual property, y'see. Ironholds (talk) 00:00, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
In "legal terms," he violated the intellectual property rights of others. Calling him a "thief" is unnecessarily pejorative and doesn't help us, and, in fact, only serves to escalate the drama. Enough. user:J aka justen (talk) 00:43, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

An update on relevant policies and guidelines[edit]

Over the past few months Wikipedia's policy and guideline structure has strengthened with regard to copyright and related issues. Part of the reason was to prevent dramas like the present one. It appears that some of our administrators might not be fully aware of the changes, so highlighting relevant passages. First, Wikipedia:Plagiarism has been promoted to guideline. Also please note the following passages. DurovaCharge! 17:43, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright violations:

Dealing with copyright violations
In extreme cases administrators may impose special conditions before unblocking, such as requiring assistance with cleanup by disclosing which sources were used.
Which I'm already doing. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 18:09, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Assume good faith:

Good faith and copyright
When dealing with possible copyright violations, good faith means assuming that editors intend to comply with site policy and the law. That is different from assuming they have actually complied with either. Editors have a proactive obligation to document image uploads, etc. and material may be deleted if the documentation is incorrect or inadequate. Good faith corrective action includes informing editors of problems and helping them improve their practices.
Documentation is in the contribs history, no? - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 18:09, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Please refrain from posting within the middle of another editor's post. Allstarecho has not complied with a relevant request that I made within the previous thread, yet am not opposing the unblock. Thanks go to Allstarecho for his cooperation in correcting the problem. A year ago, similar situations used to cause large amounts of both drama and frustration--as a few editors worked hard to clean up problems without sufficient support from the community. That's changed now, but since the change is relatively recent it may be possible that not all administrators are aware that our policies have become more robust in this area. DurovaCharge! 18:27, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I believe "documentation" refers to the sourcing given when you upload the images as to who made them, where they came from, so on. And AGF pretty much flies out the window at this stage in proceedings. AGF is for a new user who's been caught uploading things. AGF is for a new user who made a mistake. AGF is not for a user who was caught, continued doing it because of his own beliefs on copyright law and was then caught again over a year later. Ironholds (talk) 23:32, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Good faith doesn't apply here; ASE made clear he doesn't believe in the principles behind the laws, that the ideas themselves aren't right. I'm with Ironholds here. The cleanup clause needs to be made explicit in it's application here, ASE's word is not enough for me. Further, I note that ASE refuses to explain the value of copyright, that he's yet to show any contrition, instead acting more like an addict, saying whatever will get his wiki-fix back. I don't have any faith that he's actually changed. ThuranX (talk) 00:06, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
All I'm hearing is the same blah, blah, blah from you. The "off with his head" is getting old from you. Take a deep breath, look at the cleanup work I've been doing, and then go find something constructive to do with an article that could use your attention. Thanks. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 02:23, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for displaying the sort of attitude we like on Wikipedia - that's really going to swing community consensus in your direction. AGF does not apply in this situation, you've provided no evidence that you've changed and no evidence that you understand why what do you did was wrong - indeed, every statement by you I've seen seems to be designed to avoid saying that violating copyright is actually wrong, instead simply saying that we have a problem with it. If you want us to assume good faith in this situation you have to give something to show you've changed and this is a novel situation, rather than (as Thuran put it) another attempt to claw back a fix. Ironholds (talk) 06:12, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Which only further says either you and Thuran haven't been paying attention or just aren't listening... I've said many a time that I promise not to do it again. I've also said many a time that my promise acknowledges the problem. I've also said many a time that my promise acknowledges that copyvios are wrong. I don't know how else to put it so I'm done addressing it. I have been active in helping cleanup the articles and I have said over and over and over and over I promise not to do it again. And I assure you that continued belittling of me won't get you whatever it is you're seeking above and beyond what I've already said and done in terms of my actions to correct this matter. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 07:11, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Your promise only acknowledges one problem - that you got in trouble. You have yet to acknowledge the importance of copyright in the world, or any understanding of why it needs to be respected. All you promises show is that you know you got in trouble for getting caught. Do you understand there's a difference between trying to get out of trouble, and trying to change an offending behavior? What Ironholds and I both want is for you to make a public statement explaining the value of copyright. Demonstrating an understanding of the value of copyright to society would be a big step towards convincing me, and I think Ironholds as well, that you really understand what you are doing wrong when you cut and paste, or mildly reword, someone else's work. You've yet to do that. IF you're confused let me be clear. I'd like to see a 'why plagiarism is wrong and why copyright improves society' essay of contrition from you. ThuranX (talk) 11:51, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

←I suppose that most people reading this thread (at least if they read the last one) know that I take copyright situations seriously. Just for the record, I have been impressed with User:Allstarecho's contributions to cleanup since his unblocking, which so far seem to be very much on the up and up (I have double-checked some, but not yet all) and which have gone a long way towards increasing my willingness to assume good faith from this point forward. Although I have seen multiple-article infringers blocked and unblocked before, I have never seen one of them actually apply himself to helping out with cleanup. Given his past, it is a good idea that a check be done in the future to be sure that infringement has not resumed (courts of law don't care about WP:AGF; Wikipedia needs to exercise some responsible due diligence with identified problem contributors), but at this point I'm willing to cast my lot with User:Quadell in believing that there may be no future problems here. I would encourage Allstarecho to seek feedback from somebody experienced with these issues if at any point he is unsure about a copyright situation. Better safe than sorry, since the likelihood that future inadvertent infringement could be misconstrued as intentional is high. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:16, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Can I have a very quick 1 hour block...[edit]

... to help this IP user find their talk page? (talk · contribs · WHOIS) Or how do we deal with this kind of situation? --Hans Adler (talk) 09:21, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

What on earth? Unomi (talk) 09:29, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I can explain the card suit edits. Not sure about the rest.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 09:31, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Otherwise, this is generally vandalism and should be dealt with through normal block lengths. IP addresses tend not to check talk pages or know what the orange bar is for. That and the ISP is Japanese, as would be the user.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 09:33, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
This is the third time this IP is doing this, always the four suit articles with about 10 minutes in between. The IP seems to behave similarly on the Japanese Wikipedia [27], but I think technically it's not vandalism per WP:VAND#NOT. --Hans Adler (talk) 09:36, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I'll be leaving the user another message in Japanese soon. This may stop him. If not, try listing at WP:AIV by linking to this thread.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 09:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. It's odd that AIV is specifically only for vandalism, ANI is too slow for such a situation, and that blocking is the only way we have to make users aware of their talk page. It would be great if one could block with an automatic unblock when the user reads (edits?) their talk page. Even better if rollbackers could do this. --Hans Adler (talk) 10:47, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
You can try reporting blatantly disruptive behavior to AIV. The worst they can do is decide not to take action on it. It's a judgment call. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:49, 16 June 2009 (UTC)



Something a bit odd on Honda could do with a fix.--Cavrdg (talk) 13:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Template vandalism. Tagged, bagged and booted. ➲ redvers throwing my arms around Paris 13:30, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


Removing an RfC for a third time [WP:Link talk]. He was aware that another user was chastised in the talk page for thisHe was the user chastised, and the decision then was to just let the RfC be killed off by the Bot. HarryAlffa (talk) 17:32, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

He would be unaware of HansAdler complaint on this page. HarryAlffa (talk) 17:36, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The only person who is continually being chastised in that discussion is you. Look, the proposal has been rejected by everyone, your arguments have been comprehensively met, it's time to let it go. If you really insist on having an RfC tag there for another week then all right, have it your way, but I believe it disrupts Wikipedia to allow this sort of self-indulgent attention-seeking. Every tag like this makes it less likely that people watching/viewing the RfC master page will find their way to any of the other RfC discussions, some of which are genuinely important.--Kotniski (talk) 17:49, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

A mistake on my part, Kotniski is guiltier than I thought. I got him and Hans Adler mixed up - Kotniski it was who removed this already and was asked politely not to do it - now he's done it again. Disruptive behaviour in anyone's book. The content of the RfC has bugger all to do with who should close it. You do not help your case by the "self-indulgent attention-seeking" personal attack - a personal attack on the WP:ANI page! That should be commented on by the admins here. HarryAlffa (talk) 18:43, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification. However, I must say that I totally agree with Kotniski's latest re-closing of the RfC. (I don't remember the first, so I can't say whether it came too early or not. I might not have closed if I had been aware of that.) A user with this type of edit statistics:
  • 29 months (since January 2007)
  • 280 article space edits
  • 1 block (1 week) for disruptive editing
should not be allowed to keep others from building an encyclopedia. Such a user should not be given a forum for soapboxing about invisible technical details of MOS, where he can demand that other editors learn about various web technologies before disagreeing with him. --Hans Adler (talk) 18:56, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I was unjustly blocked for a week by Ckatz who was involved in the discussion, so what?
The self-link feature of Wikimedia was specially formulated for first mention of an articles title. It cannot be described as an "invisible technical details". There is a footnote in WP:link about this "invisible technical details". Again, dishonest straw man, using a plural when it is a singular, and when did I demand others learn anything? I simply suggested that it would be a good foundation on which to come to a conclusion. You are dishonestly describing my contributions - please don't do this. HarryAlffa (talk) 19:32, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Goodness me. The sooner that RfC is archived, the better. Seeing it is only going to dissuade other editors from discussing anything, if they suspect that HarryAlffa may be involved. Rather than providing diffs, I'll say that most of HAHarryAlffa's comments in this section seem to be uncivil and/or non-collegial in nature. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 18:57, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
That is an untrue description - so please do point out the things I said which in their context are uncivil. HarryAlffa (talk) 19:20, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Could you please avoid the abbreviation HA in this thread? I actually had to follow the link to realise that you couldn't possibly mean me. --Hans Adler (talk) 19:09, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry Hans, I wasn't thinking. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 19:12, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
No problem. It's a useful experience to question my own judgement and try to see everything with different eyes. --Hans Adler (talk) 19:33, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I provided some diffs in the thread above. Ruslik_Zero 19:41, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, I am of the view Kotniski acted entirely appropriately in this instance. Orderinchaos 08:26, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Incivility and non-collegial discussion by User:HarryAlffa[edit]

As requested:-

  1. [ To Ruslik ] I'm sorry, but you have such a fundamental misunderstanding of the technical aspects that you need to spend a few hours studying HTML & CSS (w3schools is a good start) before you get it. HarryAlffa (talk) 14:54, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
    Ruslik's position seems quite clear and logical to me, and seems independent of any knowledge or lack thereof about technical aspects of HTML/CSS.--Kotniski (talk) 15:17, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
    You may think so, but it is not. HarryAlffa (talk) 16:04, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
    i.e. "What you say is your opinion, what I say is the objective truth." Constructive? JamesBWatson (talk) 16:52, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
    Ah, a quick negative comment without reading any of the previous discussion? Constructive? I'm only guessing, but am I right? ie. read the previous discussion and the technical aspects will become clear, about which I have demonstrated correctness. HarryAlffa (talk) 18:11, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. [ To Laser brain ] I'm trying hard to resist making a joke about 60watt bulb-brain :) HarryAlffa (talk) 19:29, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
    Sorry, was that supposed to pass for an insult? [ ... ] --Laser brain (talk) 19:44, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
    No insult, just a little pun on your name - the clue was in the word "joke", here's a link so you can look it up. [ ... ] HarryAlffa (talk) 20:52, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 19:43, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually I requested only uncivil stuff. Which is which? HarryAlffa (talk) 20:49, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

  • [ To Harry Alffa ] I am happy that your finally reached a consensus with yourself, however, I do not think this is enough to change MOS. Ruslik (talk) 18:47, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Is that collegial or uncivil, or perfectly acceptable? Note the date. You have mounted your attack on me with text from the 22nd of May. Selective? HarryAlffa (talk) 20:49, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

The first words of mine you quoted were "I'm sorry".
Despite all of my patient informative comment from the 7th May, Ruslik on the 22nd of May displayed a fundamental misunderstanding - I said so. What's wrong with that? I then made a simple statement of disagreement with Kotniski's position. What was wrong with that? HarryAlffa (talk) 20:49, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that JamesBWatson was civil and collegial? I declared my comment a guess, deliberately leaving it wide open to refutation. Do you not think his was a negative comment? Did you read the [previous discussion] as I asked James to? It started on the 7th May, and I provided much technical information, which I was not going to reiterate there, or here. Read it - get back to me. HarryAlffa (talk) 20:49, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh, more homework for editors who want to disagree with you! But in this case I totally agree. There can't be enough editors reading your output on that page and commenting here afterwards. --Hans Adler (talk) 15:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Just an impression from an outsider to the situation: Making a "joke" about someone's brain being "60-watt", and then when it (very unsurprisingly) doesn't go well, giving the editor a link to the article joke... is not respectful, professional, nor dignified behavior. It comes across as childish, contemptuous and condescending, and it's very likely to escalate a dispute. If you're in a disagreement with someone, making a joke (or whatever kind of insinuation, fore- or back-handed) that maybe they're dumb is a very, very bad idea. Until you change human nature, that's going to be a sure-fire way to increase the level of bad feelings, heat, drama, etc. I suggest some serious thought about what it means to interact respectfully and collegially.

Consider HarryAlffa, if I, in this post, were to suggest that maybe you're offending people because you're too stupid to avoid doing so... how would that come across to you? I do not, in fact, think that you're stupid, but I do think that you've been careless. Again, this is just my impression. Don't take my word for it. Ask around. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:01, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

"Oh, make the title reiteration a link back to the same article, because then, through the magic of CSS, you've also made it bold. Unless they change it, that is." You just lost 75% of the people editing here. --Laser brain (talk) 18:29, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Laser Brain's first contribution to the discussion. Rather terse? Some might say it was uncivil - but not me. I put a smiley face :) to indicate my reply to this was a Joke, I said I was trying to resist making a Joke. I even put <!--Yes, I'm sure you've heard it before. --> in the wiki-code! To take it as an insult was unreasonable - I replied sarcasticly, no biggy, NOT disrespectful, unprofessional, undignified, childish, contemptuous or condescending. There is a difference between causing offence and taking offence. It was a bad joke we agree, as I indicated by my code-comment. HarryAlffa (talk) 21:27, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Like I said, it's just my impression. I find it helpful to avoid any references to anyone else's intelligence. Your mileage may vary. The definition of "sarcasm" includes the notion of contempt, which is not consistent with respect, at least not in contexts where that level of familiarity hasn't been established. Bad jokes are best not made.

Also, I didn't say you insulted him. That was clearly not your intention. However, look where we are now. If you had simply refrained from making the bad joke, then no offense would have resulted, and at what cost? How many threads like this one are bad jokes worth? We have to live w/ human nature as it is, not as we feel it should be. Something likely to cause offense is best avoided, whether or not taking offense would be sufficiently "reasonable". The more clearly respectful and dignified your tone, the fewer misunderstandings. Seems like a good deal to me.

His preceding comment might or might not have been terse, uncivil, whatever. If so, then all the more reason to be especially careful. If someone else is borderline uncivil, then we are challenged to use civility to prevent conflict. Responding with a joke that refers to his intelligence.... didn't work this time. Two people perceived it as coming across rather badly. We may both be unreasonable, but if there are enough of us, then you either adapt, or you spend more and more time dealing with fallout from people not being as reasonably thick-skinned and joke-understanding-and-tolerant as you'd like.

Oh, when I wrote "comes across as childish, contemptuous and condescending" I was referring to the "helpful" link to the joke article that you gave him. Guess what percentage of the time that strategy successfully defuses a tense situation. My guess is that it's under 10%. Maybe I'm wrong... -GTBacchus(talk) 01:17, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Here is another one, from before the RfC. Demonstrating a complete lack of acknowledging that there might be anyone around who reasonably disagrees with HarryAlffa. It's long, but I promise it's worth reading:

[...] I think the concensus is that the MoS be changed to indicate that self-links are a good idea! HarryAlffa (talk) 16:42, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I am happy that your finally reached a consensus with yourself, however, I do not think this is enough to change MOS. Ruslik (talk) 18:47, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Do you have anything constructive to contribute? I have made reasoned, well founded, clear discourse on this subject, and have shown that all the problems raised by fellow Wikipedians, are not problems at all. Consensus is built on a system of good reasons, not on a simple vote count; for this reason and my system of good reasons I now declare concensus in favour of using self-links! :) HarryAlffa (talk) 19:24, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I've now changed the WP:Link to reflect this new consensus. HarryAlffa (talk) 13:35, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

See my Essay on self-links. HarryAlffa (talk) 13:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I reverted this change since there is no consensus. Ruslik (talk) 13:48, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed there isn't; and given how long the existing approach has existed and how widely, a small discussion here between a handful of editors isn't sufficient to overturn that either in policy or in practice. Also despite the pros and cons discussed above (not sure where the weight falls), my gut feeling is still that it's wrong. Links are for linking, not for style. Rd232 talk 14:11, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Your main argument seems to be inertia: we've done it like this for ages. This, and a bad gut, are extremely poor "reasons" for disagreeing with something "new". Your last sentence is answered clearly in the discussion above, and in the links provided there. As you feel unable to weigh the pros & cons, how strongly held can your opinion be? Please assimilate the clear advantages I have given, before hardening your will! HarryAlffa (talk) 14:36, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
There is no consensus for this change (in fact, I'm not sure anyone else agrees with you). A very substantial reason I gave was that a consensus for this change would need to be substantial, eg by listing at WP:VPP and doing an WP:RFC, that kind of thing. And you can't get away from the fact what you are proposing elides form and function in a way which is fundamentally inelegant and confusing. Rd232 talk 14:43, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I have undone Ruslik's revert. HarryAlffa (talk) 14:36, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
You haven't persuaded anyone (yet); you may or may not be an Alfred Wegener ahead of his time, but that doesn't mean you should get into an edit war. Rd232 talk 14:43, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Mr Herr Alfred Wegener was ahead of his time, and it may appear to someone behind the times that I am ahead of mine, but I'm simply in step with current thinking on markup languages. :) HarryAlffa (talk) 15:34, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Can you think of ONE strong reason why it should be banned, or even just discouraged? Only then should it be not recommended, we can't just say stuff for no reason, or we can but we'd look stupid! HarryAlffa (talk) 14:46, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Look Harry, due to the community nature of WP, policy on WP is made either (a) reflecting existing practice, to clarify it (b) to change existing practice for reasons agreed by a substantial enough part of the community that the policy change is likely to be reflected in practice. Your proposal currently meets neither. You would need to get more widespread input to make this change to the policy. (I think you'd be wasting your time to try, but I could be wrong.) Rd232 talk 15:01, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Look RD, patronise much? WP:Link is not policy. Now to your other points; wait a minute, your whole argument based itself on WP:Link being policy, so you have constructed no argument here!
Would it be sensible to say that WP:Link offers good advice? I have demonstrated that using self-links is a good idea. Do you totally discount the strength of reason in a debate? HarryAlffa (talk) 15:34, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

--Hans Adler (talk) 20:11, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

You can infer consensus from silence, sometimes, and I was pushing it a bit to see if anyone objected to me claiming they now thought this a good idea when they had raised previous objections. :) One objector from the 3, so far! HarryAlffa (talk) 12:19, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

At what point do we draw a line and simply say, "Enough, Harry." This editor has made little in the way of positive contributions, and any that he has made are far outweighed by the negative ones. He has stonewalled discussions, insulted and belittled productive editors, and (at one point) almost drove off one of the most dedicated editors in the Astronomy section. He cannot take "no" for an answer, and refuses to accept any opinion that does not mirror his own. To be perfectly honest, there is some benefit in Harry bringing his arguments here in that it has perhaps exposed his behaviour pattern to the wider community. --Ckatzchatspy 20:32, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Were have I stonewalled discussions? I thought Wikipedia was let bygones be bygones? Yet you continually bring up stuff from the past. I'm surprised you haven't brought up my honest mistake in believing sock-puppetery again, as you brought up here: Ckatz 3RR violation. Since when is not agreeing with you a crime? You continually misrepresent what I say in order to use a straw man argument - this tactic I regard as dishonest. Why are you still an Admin, you are not exemplary. HarryAlffa (talk) 21:06, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
"Why are you still an Admin, you are not exemplary." Really? Really? And you wonder why we are discussing your less than civil behavior? Shereth 21:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
So misrepresenting, quoting out of context and constructing straw men is exemplary? HarryAlffa (talk) 21:31, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
You miss the point. What you are engaging in here are thinly-veiled personal attacks and attempts to discredit another user. If you want to refute accusations against your own behavior that is perfectly fine, but doing so by attempting to discredit someone else is absolutely unacceptable and merely provides more fuel for the fire; we are discussion your apparent lack of civility, not anyone else's, and you are acting in an incivil manner in the middle of the discussion. Not helping yourself, here. Shereth 21:39, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
You didn't answer my question? Do you contend that Ckatz has never misrepresented, quoted out of context, or constructed straw men? Who do you think I attacked personally here, and what did I say? You let personal attacks on me slide in the other section above, why the inconsistency? SheffieldSteel gave a list at the top of this sub-section, most of the comments have not addressed these, would it not be more productive to answer some of those, before we get to the rest? HarryAlffa (talk) 22:00, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I did not answer your question because it is not material to this discussion; this ia discussion regarding your incivility, not that of User:Ckatz or anyone else. You are a fan of bringing up logical fallacies (straw men), have you considered ad hominem or red herring? You seem to have no compunctions about employing them. Please focus on the question at hand and address the issues being brought up regarding your apparent problems with civility rather than try to distract us by slinging mud at another user. Shereth 22:06, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Making significant changes to WP style or policy--without proposing it for prior discussion is being very BOLD, and one can normally expect to be reverted. Sometimes one may want to do it in order to start a discussion (a very appropriate use of BRD) -- I've done that myself once or twice--but then one must take the subsequent objections in a cooperative spirit, even if they are rather sharp, and move to discussing the issue, not the manner of making the or objecting to the change. (For this particular change, it seems to me that the confusion to editors who do not understand the convention would seem to obviate the use of the MediaWiki feature.)DGG (talk) 23:18, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I have walked away from the discussion referenced herein (as have several others) but here was the final straw for me, in which my attempt at furthering the stalled discussed was called "detestable" and "damn ridiculous", while Harry inferred that I was dishonest and operating in bad faith. This is his modus operandi. --Laser brain (talk) 03:56, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I've never seen any good result come from one editor concluding in writing that another editor is acting in bad faith. Never, in hundreds and hundreds of cases. Anyone who does that is pretty much asking for the opposite of dispute resolution. Generally, they're doing this unintentionally, and in the best of faith. However, there's a limit to how long we can keep someone around, if they keep doing that. (Admins can get away with it for a lot longer than other editors, in general, but I've seen it catch up w/ several.) -GTBacchus(talk) 16:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

IP editor removing useful hatnote[edit]

Resolved: Semi-protected for a week to encourage actual discussion. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

An IP editor, variously User: or User:, keeps removing from the article The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974 film) the hatnote which directs people to the The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (disambiguation) page, on the very technical grounds that it doesn't fulfill the letter of WP:HAT. Would someone please tell this person that with the release of a major remake right now, there's no particular harm, and potentially some good, that can be done by having that hatnote in place. The IP editor seems to think that the only way to get to the page for the 1974 film is by typing in the full title of the article, and that obviates the need for re-direction of the reader elsewhere, but, in fact, there are numerous ways in which one can have arrived at the page via various links, and for those who get there mistakenly, the hatnote offers a pathway to reach where they want to go, which is presumably the article on the recent film.

This is a common sense vs. strict letter of the law thing, and I'm tired of dealing with it. I would appreciate someone else conveying this to the IP so that he'll stop removing the hatnote. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 14:40, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not even sure that "letter of the law" applies here. Semi-ed for a week in an attempt to get some discussion on talk. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, it is very appreciated. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 15:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, the hatnote is a guideline not a policy (which I suspect you know, but the IP may not (tho they look to have edits since 2006 or something). Syrthiss (talk) 15:17, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Even if it were a policy, making sense trumps fulfilling the letter of anything. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:29, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


Resolved: IP blocked for 1 week by User:SarekOfVulcan. Edit rolled back by User:Horologium. Horologium (talk) 15:18, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I am too pissed off by this IP's posts directed at me to act rationally, and recognizing that (having already flown off the handle in unusual form and offered a feeding which was apparently quite nourishing) can someone take a look at the last four edits in my talk page's history and do something appropriate. I find the latest post incredibly offensive.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

If any admin thinks that a 1-week block was excessive, feel free to reduce without consulting first.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:21, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


User continues depsite several warnings to remove speedy delete templates. The page in specific is Ben Knight, possibly a short term block would be effective or even a visit by admin. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 15:48, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Looks like they have finally gotten it, and placed a {{hangon}} instead of removing the db.