Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive643

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Requesting administrator on disrupting anon editor[edit]

Resolved: IP warned; if the user continues after a final warning file a report at WP:AIV GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 22:20, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

There is an anon editor out there who is doing nothing but putting unconstructive edits on every single article he touches. I had to revert every single thing he does. Being a non-administrator though, I feel that his actions will get unnoticed and ultimately unpunished, leaving this editor to continue with his disruptive ways. The editor in question is (talk). Administrative help would be greatly appreciated. Fourviz (talk) 22:00, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

User was warned by Soap (talk · contribs), if it continues please take it to WP:AIV. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 22:18, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Talk page disruption by Born2cycle[edit]

Born2cycle (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log) has been soapboxing all day at Talk:Libertarianism. Now he is admittedly disrupting the talk page by hiding other editor's pertinent comments, with the edit comment "Fine, I can play this stupid game too. Carol's comment about UNDUE also applies to scope... hide it too" which shows it to be an intentional WP:POINT violation. Yworo (talk) 03:55, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

This is a misunderstanding (yet another I've been having with Yworo, but it's hard to work out differences when he deletes your comments from his talk page and requests that you not post there again) and refuses to continue discussion and answer questions in discussions he starts on my talk page.
  1. That hide referenced above with the poorly chosen words in the edit summary was in compliance with a decision made by some editors earlier in the day and subsequent hides were made in enforcing that decision.
    The decision: Talk:Libertarianism#General_warning_regarding_disruption
  2. As a result of that decision, you can see entire sections hidden on Talk:Libertarianism towards the bottom that say, "Discussion of Topic or Scope during the period 1 October 2010 - 1 April 2011".
  3. A bit earlier I wanted to respond to an earlier discussion about what different sources indicated, and I found it to be hidden/closed not for the agreed upon reason, so I had to unhide it before I added my comments. Then Yworo deleted my comments. Is that acceptable?
  4. As to the section I hid, is filing an ANI really necessary? When I disagreed with a hide, I just reverted it.
  5. I'm disappointed that Yworo escalated to ANI without discussing his concerns with me first,. I suggest Yworo take a break, and then return open to working out differences on our talk pages before escalating to ANI or elsewhere. I'm confident we can work this out, except he unfortunately is apparently in a "battle" frame of mind, as made evident by this wikilawyering trick to accuse me of WP:POINT because of my poor choice of words in an edit summary comment. That is, if I had just commented "hiding per decision about hiding discussions about article scope", there could be no technical complaint.
  6. Since we're here, any assistance would be appreciated. --Born2cycle (talk) 04:32, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I made that particular revert (3) because you removed the {{hab}} at the bottom of the collapsed section but not the {{hat}} at the top, hiding the entire rest of the talk page from the {{hat}} down. That's not the disruptive behavior I was talking about, which I very clearly indicated. However, the thread was collapsed for valid reasons and you shouldn't have been adding to it in any case. Still, you seem to be attempting to distract from the focus from my actual complaints. Yworo (talk) 04:45, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Really? It seems to me that you discovered and corrected that problem later (thanks for fixing that, by the way, though I still don't understand what I did wrong because you can see both hat and hab removed in the diff of my change).

Note the reason you gave for the edit summary (at 19:36) for the diff in (3) when you deleted my comments: "Undid revision 388214486 by Born2cycle (talk) discussion was closed)". Seems pretty clear to me.

Your edit to fix something by adding a hab occurred 13 minutes later at 19:49 with edit summary, "by removing the {{hab}} but not the {{hat}}, you collapsed the entire rest of the page, please pay attention to what you are doing".

What are your actual complaints? That I hid a section for discussing article scope in concert with the decision of some others (including you, apparently, because you implemented it too) to hide sections like that (see below)? If that's sufficiently disruptive to warrant an ANI, why not mention that you and Fifelfoo and everyone else who agreed with this is being disruptive too? Or is it because the comment in my edit summary indicated I was complying with the decision in order to make a point? Pardon me for disrupting you with my edit summary comments. How is that disruption? You couldn't instead put a friendly reminder about WP:POINT on my talk page? Is this really worth an ANI? Is this not WP:HARASSMENT?

Though I would not have filed an ANI for it, since we're here, I thought involved admins might want to look at your deleting of other users' comments, your ignoring or refusing to answer good faith questions (which is characteristic of WP:TEDIOUS), and refusal to work out disagreements on your talk page as actual disruption, since you're the one raising this ANI, which sure feels like disruptive harassment to me, especially considering the time and effort it takes to defend and explain my behavior. --Born2cycle (talk) 13:22, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

On 1 October 2010 I boldly instituted a general warning regarding the disruption caused by the continual revisiting of topic and coverage. The warning is in place until 1 April 2011, six months is a reasonable period after which to revisit topic and coverage. Two remedies were provided for: hiding threads to immediately shut down disruption, or taking the matter to AN/I as disruptive user conduct. The article has been through a very large number of RFCs and extensive discussions, all of which have supported the current broad topic and coverage. Attempts to change the topic or to narrow the coverage have been rejected as against the consensus of the article's editors. As "I didn't hear that" revisiting of achieved consensus were continual, and disruptive, I generally warned article editors, so as to allow editing and WEIGHTing discussions on the current article. Feel free to sanity check this, but imho, it shuts down the disruption without preventing editing or content disagreement within the current scope, and six months is a decent time to wait to revisit topic consensus after six months of disputation over what the scope should be. Thanks, Fifelfoo (talk) 04:41, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Born2cycle's point 3 is correct. I boldly hid a large body of text because it appeared to have (imho) descended into battleground mentality. Hiding this text was was not connected with any breaking the warning about topic or scope. Fifelfoo (talk) 05:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Since I was also accused (multiple times, not just in this ANI) for "soapboxing", I should also point out that I have no idea what this is about. I've read and reread WP:SOAP (including 2. Opinion pieces) and cannot for the life of me understand how that applies to anything I've ever posted anywhere in Wikipedia, much less "all day long" yesterday at Talk:Libertarianism. I mean, I don't deny having my own views and biases (who doesn't?), but I try very hard to adhere to WP:NPOV, especially with respect to how material is presented in the article, and so take some offense at these accusations. So, if someone can explain this to me, by citing my exact words (should be easy enough since I supposedly did it "all day long") and quoting whatever criteria in WP:SOAP that supposedly corresponds to my allegedly inappropriate behavior, and explaining how it applies, I would appreciate it. Otherwise, I think we have to conclude that this is just yet another form of WP:HARASSMENT. --Born2cycle (talk) 14:04, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

You added a comment to a discussion marked closed. Any editor may revert the addition of a comment to a discussion marked closed. Apparently I didn't scroll down enough and missed the second comment outside of a collapsed discussion. My apologies, that was a mistake.
As to your demands for answers, I repeatedly pointed out that I considered the whole scope argument, especially the "just libertarianism" and cat arguments, to be soapboxing. It was soapboxing, and all the threads containing those arguments have been collapsed. I don't have to answer soapboxing. Yet you kept harassing me to answer your soapbox questions after I made clear that I wasn't going to debate the "logic" of your soapboxing.
That soapboxing is major part of the disruption that I intended to report here, which is why I mentioned it first. Even after the agreement not to discuss scope, you brought up your scope argument in the middle of one of my discussions about definitions of libertarianism from sources, in an obvious attempt to disrupt my discussion thread. When you became frustrated that your soapboxing was being collapsed and wasn't achieving the effect you intended, you started to uncollapse threads and post less than civil comments. How is that not a pattern of disruption? Anybody who goes and reads the talk page will be able to identify your voluminous comments as primarily soapboxing. Yworo (talk) 14:23, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Born2cycle's edit summary, "Fine, I can play this stupid game too", shows an unwillingness to work cooperatively with other editors. He should accept the results of three recent RfCs and stop pushing his own POV about how the article should be written. TFD (talk)
Born2cycle also participated in the POV-fork of Libertarianism created at Libertarian, making these three edits to the forked article: [1], [2], [3]. Of course, primary responsibility for that POV-fork remains with Darkstar1st, who actually replaced the longstanding redirect with the POV-fork [4]. Yworo (talk) 14:38, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
yworo accuses others of hiding comments, yet he tried to hide an entire section which received 100+ edits in the span of a day, including many by yworo. he has also reported me for hiding his 2 word comment "just so" as off topic, yet now that entire section was collapsed. Darkstar1st (talk) 14:59, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
"which received 100+ edits" That's a serious exaggeration. It received between 20 and 25 comments, and it wasn't particularly productive. If you disagree, please summarize the conclusion of the discussion and precisely how it contributed to the content or structure of the article. What was the outcome? Yworo (talk) 15:18, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Your collapse of "just so" was directed at a specific editor (myself) for no reason other than I dared to question your turning Libertarian into a POV-fork of Libertarianism. It had no justification. The later collapse of the whole thread was done based on the agreement not to discuss scope. If you'd collapsed the whole thread for that reason, it might have been justified. Collapsing a single editor's two word comment had no justification and was clearly a disruptive WP:POINT violation, and you edit warred to restore it after I reverted it. Yworo (talk) 15:23, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
the whole thread was disruptive, my edit was later restored as well as the rest of the thread being collapsed. Darkstar1st (talk) 16:39, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't justify your collapsing a single comment of a single editor, replying to an established thread that was active at the time. Yworo (talk) 18:09, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
very well, i apologize for removing "just so", being from the ysa, i didn't realize it meant "agree", i assumed it was some kind of taunt of misplaced comment. may wind of a 1000 camels, fill your sails! Darkstar1st (talk) 18:26, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

TFD, that one edit summary comment (which is all you mentioned) in a moment of frustration "shows an unwillingness to work cooperatively with other editors"? I hope one has to demonstrate much more and much worse than one unfortunately worded comment to prove someone has "an unwillingness to work cooperatively with other editors". I suggest almost all, if not all, of my other edits on the talk page and article fall on the other side of that scale, clearly demonstrating I am willing and able to work cooperatively with other editors. As to my edits on the Libertarian article, I went there after someone brought it to my attention on my talk page, and made a couple of edits to try to improve it.

Yes, Yworo, I know it is your opinion that much of what I type is soapboaxing because you disagree with me, which apparently you use to rationalize your ignoring of much of what I'm say and ask you. As a contrast to how discussions with me go when someone else is equally skeptical but willing to cooperate, see this discussion with John K on his talk page. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Born2cycle, this is an encyclopedia that is supposed to present a mainstream view of subjects. Obviously your view is fringe, not that there is anything wrong with that, but what is wrong is that you try to inject fringe views into articles. TFD (talk) 03:15, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
TFD, thank you for stating this. That's quite the accusation (and is at the root of the harassment, I believe, because everything I post seems to be interpreted through this "he has a fringe view" lens by a few of you, and not taken seriously, and often ignored).

So, please identify, as clearly and specifically as you can, for the sake of others reading this if not for me, the view of mine that you believe is so fringe that it should not be represented in (or "injected into") Wikipedia articles.

Also, please identify enough instances of me doing this (to establish a problematic pattern sufficient to bring to ANI) where you believe I was doing so, and explain how that behavior exemplifies inappropriately injecting this fringe view. Also, if it's an example of me arguing that that the scope of an article should be reduced to be not about a general use of the term in question but about a more specific topic because the more specific use is primary please explain why this is an example of me trying to inject my alleged fringe view rather than applying the Cat specific/general argument (Cat is about the specific commonly used use of the term, domestic cat and not about the general use referring to the family that includes lions and tigers), and how it's not just me upholding WP:PRIMARYTOPIC as I consistently have done at WP for over five years, including recently at Talk:Stockman (Australia) (also discussed here). If you are unable or unwilling to do this, I request you withdraw this accusation for being without basis, and agree to not bring it up again. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:34, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Even I can do that, the fringe view that TFD refers to is the view that left-libertarianism is not part of the topic of libertarianism proper, which is contradicted by numerous mainstream sources, as can be seen from the many provided sources on Talk:Libertarianism. When you have abandoned using sources and are reduced to arguing about "just libertarianism" and "cats" to make your point, it becomes clear that you have no sources that explicitly state what you assert. Bringing your "pet" soapbox (pun intended) to AN/I may not have been the smartest move, either. Yworo (talk) 16:52, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by "libertarianism proper", especially in the context of deciding Wikipedia article WP:TITLE and scope, an editorial issue that is almost never determined by what sources "explicitly state". --Born2cycle (talk) 22:21, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
As to the specific accusation that the view that left-libertarianism is not part of the "libertarianism proper" (whatever that means), can you identify any prominent individuals or organizations that are associated with left-libertarianism AND are identified as being libertarian? For example, in any of the following WP libertarian categories (including their subcats), which, if any, individual or organization members are also associated with left-libertarianism? Category:Libertarians, Category:Libertarianism in the United Kingdom, Category:Libertarian organizations based in the United States, Category:Libertarian think tanks.

Note: this is typical. Someone makes a claim, I question it with specific questions, and it's ignored, sometimes for being "soapboxing". Accordingly, I don't expect them to address this point either, but would be pleased if they did. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:01, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

So, you're going to continue with scope discussions, both on the article talk page and here, even though it's been agreed by consensus that there will be no more such discussions until April? How is that not soapboxing? Yworo (talk) 18:19, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

At the contentious article, on the issue in contention (inclusion/exclusion of disparate, even opposite philosophies with the word "Libertarian" in them) I happen to agree with Yworo (think we should include) and disaqree with Born2Cycle. However I think that Born2's conduct has been exemplary, and Yworo is using notices like this as methods of warfare. After I saw Yworo go to the user page of an admin who had just blocked another of Yworo's opponents and tell them that my milk-toast middle of the road peacemaker proposal [direction / compromise?] was "soapboxing" [[5]]that view has become reinforced, and I consider reports like the above to be warfare tactics. North8000 (talk) 11:11, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, North, but I do slip once in a while and so I can't agree that my conduct has been exemplary. But I sure try, and thank you for recognizing that. I wish certain others would...

And thanks for reminding us that the the accusation of "soapboxing" was also inappropriately leveled at you, which illustrates the "shoot first ask questions later (if at all)" approach which some are employing here. They need to be made to understand that when someone attempts to explain a perspective with which they disagree, that is not soapboxing. Building WP:CONSENSUS at Wikipedia is all about WP:CIVIL discussion, and trying different arguments per WP:TENDENTIOUS ("bring better arguments"), which is what they keep trying to suppress with their soapboxing and "fringe view" accusations.

Achieving consensus with someone who refuses to give serious consideration to the arguments presented, but is instead focused on the suppression of discussion (deleting comments, hiding comments, refusing to answer questions, requesting comments not be made on their own user talk page, baseless accusations of "soapboxing", harassing filings of ANIs, etc. - evidence for all of which has been provided above with respect to the filer of this ANI), is not possible. If anything needs to be addressed here, it's that. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:37, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Yworo continues to interpret my posts through a "he has a POV" lens, making snide remarks accordingly, etc., here. All I said was, "that seems [like a] different [use of the term]", and Yworo responded, "Different from what you would like?" What does this have to do with what I would like? What's the point of even saying that? I've asked him before to please stop trying to read between the lines - there is nothing there.

    Please comment on content and not about users, Yworo. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:44, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Yworo and Fifelfoo are not the only ones trying to suppress genuine WP:CIVIL discussion at Talk:Libertarianism that seeks to improve the article (which many agree is currently a mess) through WP:CONSENSUS. Here is an example from User:Snowded. How can this kind of commentary -- "You really have to stop this you know,...", "desperate attempts" -- be discouraged? --Born2cycle (talk) 15:08, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
And I stand by it. You and a few other editors are refusing to accept a clearly establish position and keep raising the same issue again and again in different forms. it is disruptive and it smacks of desperation. The matter has been discussed to death and a conclusion reached. Your simply don't like it, so continue to attempt to impose your definition of Libertarianism on the article and obviously hope that sooner or later other editors will be worn down by your persistence and give in. Personally I think you need a topic ban from the subject. --Snowded TALK 15:21, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I second the idea of a topic ban from articles related to libertarianism for Born2cycle. Yworo (talk) 00:09, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, everyone who disagrees with User:Snowded should be topic banned. That would be a novel way to establish WP:CONSENSUS with regard to how to improve the article. Thanks for establishing that you too have the attitude that "he has a POV different from mine so I can just ignore or discount what he's saying and do everything I can to suppress him" (not that you ever said that, just that you respond to my posts consistent with that view). Note that my follow-up question was ignored and is likely to remain unanswered. It's this attitude that is ultimately responsible for over 5 years of turmoil and no consensus at Libertarianism and Talk:Libertarianism (just count the archives). You can't reach consensus when people refuse to participate in discussion and don't even want to understand what others are trying to say. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:39, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
So, first User:Snowded escalates his inappropriate and disruptive Just Drop It behavior [6] [7] [8] from engaging in it just himself to enlisting administrative assistance to do it for him with a ban.
And now, User:Yworo, the filer of this ANI who ignored the bold instructions at the top of this page: "Before posting a grievance about a user here, please discuss the issue with them on their user talk page.", ignored the sage advice also at the top of this page to see dispute resolution to "get assistance in resolving disputes", and instead filed this frivolous ANI over a trivial and insignificant "incident" (unfortunately worded edit summary comment associated with an unquestioned hiding of a comment in accordance with a previous group decision), also seeks a topic ban. I've really tried to understand what this is all about (still waiting for the actual example of my supposed "soapboaxing" I asked for days ago).

But I can see no reason or justification for any of this nonsense, except to discourage and stifle discussion out of concern that such discussion might cause consensus to move in a direction counter to their POV. I'm running out of patience. --Born2cycle (talk) 06:42, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Born2 (and all) what you think about this idea: Where there is a name for a strand of Libertarianism (anything with with the word "Libertarian(ism)" in it)which RS's establish is significant, we put it in the article, but with wording to explain any large differences? I know that the latter is vague, but it's the best I could do. North8000 (talk) 16:06, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Very good. I think the article would be tremendously improved if we were clear about what the terms mean when we use them.

This is a very challenging topic because there is no consistent use of meaning in reliable sources. Tertiary sources fall back on a very general definition, and then tend to invent terms like right and left libertarianism to distinguish among the strands (but even there different tertiary sources mean different things when they refer to, say, propertian Karl Hess as being a left-libertarian while anti-propertian Chomsky is referred to as a left-wing libertarian). But primary and secondary sources tend to just use "libertarian", so you have to read the source and infer what is meant by "libertarian" in each context to understand. There are understandable concerns that doing so is violating WP:OR. Still, WP:OR also recommends, "Passages open to multiple interpretations should be precisely cited or avoided. ". Well, that applies to almost everything referring to libertarians or libertarianism considering the disparate uses of those terms, especially considering usage before and after the 1950s, and, to a certain extent, within and outside the U.S., but there are no clean/distinct chronological or geographic lines of usage. This is why this is so difficult and controversial. But it's much worse because many editors of this article don't seem to understand and appreciate this problem.

I can say more, but discussions about the article like this should be occurring at the talk page, not here. But they're not occurring at the talk page because a small but vocal minority keeps trying to suppress discussion by those with whom they apparently perceive to have an ideological disagreement. I'm hoping some very experienced administrator can help us out. Again, this has been going on for more than five years which anyone can see by perusing the archives. To suggest that any single editor is the problem here is completely missing the point. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Here is another example of User:Snowded disruptively discouraging consensus development through discussion: "Guys its time to disengage. This issue has been resolved for some time and indulging a solitary editor who doesn't like it has gone on long enough. ". Thankfully the advice was not followed, and discussion continued, and has been quite fruitful [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] I should add. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:19, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can see the advise was followed. The discussion is no longer about the exclusion of left libertarianism from the article and the warning on the top of the talk page was followed. Given that you appear finally to have accepted this we might make some progress. --Snowded TALK 19:31, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
The discussion was not about the exclusion of left libertarianism from the article when you made that comment, unless you count the mere mention of a split as a possible outcome of the process being discussed as that. That would be really stretching. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:59, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Proliferation of Disruptive Comment Hiding/Deleting[edit]

Something that is disruptive is the recent proliferation of comment closing and hiding at Talk:Libertarianism. For example, yesterday a previously uninvolved editor, S. Rich, dropped by and left some sage advice, but today nobody can see it, because that section has been hidden. This is but one example of the kind of indiscriminate comment hiding going on. Surely there is a better and less disruptive way. I hope an admin can address this too since it's indicative of the problematic behavior on that page. And, no, I'm not defending the restarting of that RfC, just the way it was closed, and hidden. If this was an isolated case I would just address it there, but since it's only one example, I think the bigger issue needs attention. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

And yet another incident of comment deletion just occurred from the filer of this ANI, User:Yworo, alleging "not a forum". Even if it was a violation, how about warning the anon IP? But it's NOT a violation, and so was properly reverted by Siafu ("restore anon's comment: it IS about the article itself, whether you think it's a good question or not. "Not a forum" does not apply, and we've had quite enough talk page misbehavior here already").

I request that everyone involved with these indiscriminate and disruptive hiding/deleting of comments at Talk:Libertarianism be warned that this practice is intolerable. Given his filing of this ANI against my behavior, I'm probably not the right person to put a warning on Yworo's talk page. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:40, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

A clearly rhetorical question in all bold also posted to Talk:Sokal affair? You've got to be kidding. You are welcome to respond to it, but I guarantee you that was a drive-by, not a serious attempt to start a discussion related to improving the article. Deleting it was the correct action. Yworo (talk) 00:45, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
"Editing – or even removing – others' comments is sometimes allowed. But you should exercise caution in doing so, and normally stop if there is any objection." [14] For the record, I object to the deleting or hiding of any talk page comments that are not blatant violations of policy. If this was an isolated incident, that would be another matter.

It's true that WP:FORUM states that "Material unsuitable for talk pages may be subject to removal per the talk page guidelines.", but WP:TPG says nothing about deleting a comment simply because it's a bolded rhetorical question, explicitly or implicitly.

In short, I think a few of you have been trigger happy with the deleting/hiding of others' comments, which is why I started this subsection. --Born2cycle (talk) 02:48, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

And I think you're developing quite a talent for Wikilawyering. Yworo (talk) 03:11, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't file frivolous ANIs. --Born2cycle (talk) 05:05, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Several at that article have been violating talk page guidelines by deleting or moving other people's comments while claiming to be implementing the policies that they are violating. Other policies /guidelines refer to TALK PAGE GUIDELINES. And the talk page guidelines roughly say don't delete other people comments, but with a list of exceptions. And the supposed justification for the deletions were not on that list. Just because I claim that what somebody wrote on a talk page violates the wp:notAForum guideline does not mean that I get to delete what they wrote.
(I know that the specific case here involves collapsing vs. deletion)
North8000 (talk) 12:11, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, it seems that the IP was a sockpuppet and the comment was removed multiple times by admins. So I guess my action was correct and your complaint about it was not. Yworo (talk) 14:01, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I kept my comment general ("several at that article") and was really commenting on mis-reading of policies/guidelines rather than discussing any particular deletion/collapsing/moving.
This is like getting off for killing someone in the wild west because it turned out that that person was wanted dead or alive, but not knowing that at the time he was shot.

Unless you knew the IP was a sockpuppet when you first deleted the comment, your action was not correct. Trigger-happy just got lucky, this time. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:47, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Not at all. I could tell from the tone of the comment that it was a drive-by. We also have a regular sockpuppet of a banned user from the area of the world the IP was from. I don't have to explain all my reasoning to you every time I make an edit. I made a judgment call based on more data than I mentioned, and I was correct, and it wasn't chance or luck that I was. Yworo (talk) 23:55, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Once again, you're needlessly personalizing the discussion ("I don't have to explain all my reasoning to you every time I make an edit"). Why single out me? I wasn't even the one who reverted your edit.

When you're doing something as serious as deleting someone's comments from an article talk page, you better have a better reason than "not a forum" (all you indicated in the edit summary) if the violation of WP:FORUM is not blatantly obvious (it clearly wasn't in this case), and you need to explain that reason in the edit summary. Not for me, but for everyone involved. That you didn't do that only makes the main point in this section - about how lackadaisical some of you are about removing other people's comments from article talk pages.

Anyway, my goal here is that you're more careful about other user comment deletions in the future; hopefully that has been accomplished. --Born2cycle (talk) 04:47, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Uninvolved review[edit]

Unresolved: Requesting review by uninvolved admin. This section is not, and will not be a 'section break' for the dispute to just carry on as it has been above. This means you, those who are involved.

I would appreciate it, as I'm sure others would, if anyone involved in this dispute would stop carrying it on here. ANI is not a venue for you to continue it. Please just give it a rest, and be patient. You've put your arguments there. Everyone can see them, now let others review them.— dαlus Contribs 12:12, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm restoring this, since it was accidentally deleted shortly after I made it.— dαlus Contribs 23:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Rangeblock request[edit]


and user talk:JzG/nuxx.

The ISP do not seem to be willing to do anything about this. I don't think we are really up for people IP-hopping in order to make edits like (admins only).

I've also contacted Jimbo and the foundation. Guy (Help!) 22:49, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't want to minimize this, but just the 86.xx addresses there are within a BT /10 net range:
That's all of -
That's a lot larger than we're currently allowed / enabled to do rangeblocks on ( /16s at the most ). We'd have to impose 64 separate /16 rangeblocks for the whole range; the 3 subsets (86.157. ; 86.129 - 86.133 ; 86. 164.) would in no way guarantee they can't get more IPs outside those 3 sub-ranges.
I think the CUs have a tool to evaluate the side effects of rangeblock sizes. I don't know what a safe range is within those groupings to go after, from this point looking inwards.
Semiprotect all the pages they're after indefinitely would be easier. A lot easier. If we have to go after them in a permanent way this is going to be a pain in the arse, as it were...
Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 23:29, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
And the BT dynamic ISP range is at least double that - there's as well. That's 8 million IP addresses, and a BT user can access pretty much any one of them - I'm on it myself and I've noticed my address moves all over both ranges. The collateral damage would be horrific - I know someone blocked a BT range to hit a well known serial vandal a while back and the unblock list got deluged. The only option here if BT can't help is to semi the pages. The 82.71. IP, by the way, is a different ISP (Zen Internet). Black Kite (t) (c) 00:01, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Christ, what a useless waste of life. I bet his ISP would listen if the Foundation started sending out official complaints. Kindzmarauli (talk) 02:35, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
No, they probably wouldn't give a shit. I'm only with them myself because I live in an isolated rural backwater where their ADSL is the only thing better than dialup. Black Kite (t) (c) 18:33, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I bet they would if a large number of users complained to the ISP about an IP range being blacklisted and they threatened to drop internet service. And if you think dialup is slow, I've heard there are places in the north woods where the only internet access is via smoke signals.Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:06, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I can't see the rev-del'd edits. Is there a broader SPI or something related to this editor? I've identified a few long-term (as in a few years) editors making thousands of vandalism edits on a much smaller range and those rangeblocks can't go through because of the collateral effect. The collateral on a /10 block is enormous. So I'm sorry if I'm being naive here, but is this part of a broader pattern from this person? Shadowjams (talk) 04:03, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
BT ranges are virtually not blockable. Too busy, too active, and too dynamic. Semi-protection is your best bet here. Elockid (Talk) 23:16, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Not that I think they're listening, but network engineers ought to keep users within limited IP ranges at least for a few weeks at a time (some do) so that we don't have to eventually resort to /10 blocks, particularly if they're not going to respond to complaints. This isn't that case, but in some instances that may happen. There've been some SPI cases where large swaths of Alabama were blocked for a while (might have been hyperbole...). Shadowjams (talk) 04:22, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
The key difference between Alabama and Britain is that Alabama is a state of under 5 million. England alone has more than 10 times the population of Alabama. Also, BT, if I remember correctly is also Britain's largest ISP provider. Blocking even one /16 will lead to collateral. A lot of these IPs geolocate to London, so we could be blocking a major city. Even though I've only filled 2 abuse report complaints, both were unsuccessful. One was unresponsive, the other there was a response, but it seems like nothing happened because the same IP that got reported abuse their IP again. I do get the feeling sometimes that the ISPs just do not care. Elockid (Alternate) (Talk) 17:40, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
While I'm sympathetic to Wikipedia, I have to wonder, short of breaking the law, why would ISPs care how a user abuses someone's website - especially one the size of BT? Rklawton (talk) 23:11, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Such abuse is a violation of their customer's usage policy. It also could conceivably help an ISP or law enforcement to track very serious abusers who might be doing other illicit activities.    Thorncrag   23:18, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Is User:Routerone/notes an attack page?[edit]

This started when I was asked about User:Routerone/Why its true. I told the editor asking me that if he thought it was against our userpage policy he could take it to MfD. Another editor did so, and it is at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Routerone/Why its true. Routerone (talk · contribs) has now redirected it to a new page, which he apparently thinks is within our guidelines. I don't think it is. Rather than simply speedy it or nominate it for speedy deletion, I'm bringing it here for comment by others. I'll notify Routerone. Dougweller (talk) 11:07, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Creating a subpage like that and griping about general issues is one thing. Griping about specific editors in the way he's doing it is another - it's usually a step or two towards the exit door. In short, YES, it's an attack page. The right way to do things would be to start an RFC/U about whoever he's having issues with. I wouldn't bet the family jewels on its success, and probably neither would he. Using a page like this is essentially an unchallenged RFC/U and is not appropriate. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:48, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Put broadly, such a page will more often than not be taken as an attack, though Ro likely didn't mean it as such. Content like this might be more helpful in dispute resolution, where any named editors can give their own outlooks (if they want) and wider input can be gathered from others. Gwen Gale (talk) 11:59, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • The page was not redirected. It was renamed whilst the MFD discussion was on-going (which is fine as long as the link to the on-going deletion discussion is maintained) and then blanked to remove the MFD notice in order to "prevent the deletion" (which is not). The MFD notice is quite clear that this should not be done. I have restored the notice and updated the link between the page being discussed and the on-going deletion discussion. Uncle G (talk) 12:10, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Ok, but when you click on it you get " (Redirected from User:Routerone/Why its true)" which is why I said redirected, although as you say, it was renamed/moved. Sorry to have caused confusion. Dougweller (talk) 12:48, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

What about this business of including a link in his signature that says "Hear this!" or some such, and takes you that page? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:48, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Routerone is obviously an editor with some grievances--some probably legitimate, some probably not. Is there a neutral admin willing to look into his complaints beyond discussing where such complaints belong? I'm aware of ongoing conflict between Routerone and a couple of other editors involving long-term problematic behavior, but I am not personally in a position to intervene much. (It's also not clear where long-term conflicts like this should be addressed--not much community input has taken place so arbitration seems premature, but it doesn't seem to be a single-user RfC situation since Routerone is not the only editor whose behavior is of concern. Any thoughts?) alanyst /talk/ 13:35, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Note that, as a result of the MFD, the page is now deleted. So it's somewhat difficult for anyone new to contribute to this discussion, since they can no longer inspect the page. A related subpage, however, which does appear a bit more like an "attack page", is User:Routerone/A paradise of skepticism. I didn't send this one through MFD since it was more directly pertinent to Wikipedia than. I notice that various users are telling Routerone what he should do, and conflicting opinions amongst these various users ends up making Routerone look bad for trying to amend the situation in any way. I would advise all concerned to take a step back and try to communicate before passing judgement. ...comments? ~BFizz 19:12, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
That page should likewise be nominated for deletion, as its purposes are to (1) push Mormonism (which by itself does not warrant deletion); (2) badmouth Wikipedia for not kissing up to Mormonism (no encyclopedic value there); and (3) continue removing the NOINDEX parameter so that hopefully Google will pick up on it. Those factors together, along with the similar rants and personal attacks on users on the now-deleted page, were/are useful in one way: They tell us everything we need to know about the user in question, as to the probability of the user's taking a neutral point of view on Mormon-related articles. The photo of the Temple is nice, though.Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:50, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Talk:Slipknot (band)[edit]

Can anyone help sortout the archving and history at

Talk:Slipknot (band)/Archive 11/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10/Archives/ 10

and the higher up pages. It's a bit beyond me. Thanks. -- WOSlinker (talk) 17:53, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Wow. Seems that these two edits (4 counting Sinebot's) were placed above ClueBotIII's archiving info, causing the bot to swallow it's own archive, considering it a discussion topic. Now that archivenav is down in the bowels of the talk pages, replicating itself. Tarc (talk) 18:19, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I think it's done now, just need to speedy tag the malformed sub-pages. Is there something that needs to be added to the bot script to watch out for this? Tarc (talk) 18:51, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Coo. Never seen one go like that before! --Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:05, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Insulting image[edit]

Resolved: Its gone The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 00:51, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Would somebody familiar with image deletions and Commons see that the image at File:Screenshot20101007at826.png is deleted? It's basically an attack page in image format. Given the recent spate of high-profile cyber-bullying incidents, I think this needs to go away as quickly as possible. (talk) 00:42, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

English Wikipedia has no power or jurisdiction over images or other media hosted at Commons. You have to go there to have it deleted. (And yes, it's awful.) → ROUX  00:47, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
I've filed a commons ANI note on it. But yes, for future reference, commons complaints have to go straight there; en.wikipedia admins have no inherent authority there (though a few are also commons admins). Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 00:49, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Not being familiar with Commons, I decided to post it here rather than try to figure out what to do over there. Thanks for the quick action. (talk) 00:54, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
  • POVPosse (talk · contribs)'s name also suggests a vandalism/troll account, so perhaps a cork could be stuffed in him. HalfShadow 00:54, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Looking at this users contributions is sickening can some one see about blocking the underlying IP? Check user might also be appropriate as the first edit was to a template which suggests familiarity with the system. The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 01:01, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Gone Rodhullandemu 00:59, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

MFD close needed[edit]


Hi. An uninvolved admin is needed to close here, please. → ROUX  20:31, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

 Done --Jayron32 05:13, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Proposed formal site ban for Kagome 85 #2 Cont[edit]

Resolved: If either user comes back to harass the other, they will likely be blocked and forgotten.— dαlus Contribs 05:13, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Resolved: Original side of harassment dispute blocked indef for harassment of other side. Any socks of either side will be blocked on sight once reported for block evasion. Initiating side had their chance to contribute constructively, but instead chose to harass the other. Wikipedia is not a battleground, much less for off-wiki disputes. Good day. My good faith is out.— dαlus Contribs 05:32, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

What was the IP for FelipeJoaoSalaoCastenada (talk) and SubversiveUser (talk · contribs) ? It couldn't have been me (Moukity) cause I never would of been able to think up a name like that heh. My IP Address usually is always 142.163 and also I prefer simple user-name not one I would forget. Moukity, Blackmagic1234 very simple and basic (talk) 01:54, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

My good faith is just about out with you. When you came here originally with your harassment problem, I took your side. I told you to get a clean start, but instead of creating a new account, and editing in places other than the articles your original account did, you decided to harass your ex in turn, posting her real name in several diffs in the very articles I told you to stay away from. WP:CLEANSTART means, as I told you, you go somewhere else, and don't leave anything to link your new account to your old.
Just drop this, and take your dispute elsewhere. Wikipedia is not your battleground.— dαlus Contribs 05:13, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Rich Farmbrough and unnecessary capitalization changes[edit]

Formerly Please block AWB bot - thousands of unnecessary capitalization changes

Rich Farmbrough (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
SmackBot (BRFA · contribs · actions log · block log · flag log · user rights)

Recently, the AWB bot has been making totally unnecessary capitalization changes. These were being "discussed" on Rich Farmbrough's page, here and here. He said that he fixed the problem, but a day later, it was back. When brought up again, his response was to blank (archive) the page. Therefore, I request immediate halt to this use of this bot until this issue is addressed. Q Science (talk) 20:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

  • The fact that so many have complained to Rich about pointless template capitalization changes and other sundry changes such as == spacing around headers == makes it clear that these are not uncontroversial edits. As such, they represent a violation of WP:AWB#Rules of use #3. I had laid off complaining about R.F. botting from his main account, but only because the edits were by-and-large useful and uncontroversial. This is no longer the case. These types of edits that change articles from how they were intentionally set by other editors to suit one bot-op's personal preference should stop unless they are approved by BAG. –xenotalk 21:00, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Would there be any objection if a regular editor simply hit the big red button on SmackBot's user page until an admin deals with the matter? Delta Trine Συζήτηση 21:03, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't see that Rf is blockable about this, but we can stop the bot if we feel there is a problem. S.G.(GH) ping! 21:06, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Done. Delta Trine Συζήτηση 21:08, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict × >9000)  Done... about a minute after you did. Never mind. I left an informative message about this thread though. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 21:12, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I've blocked him until this can be resolved. This is clearly causing disruption. In addition to this, it has tagged the Main Page as uncategorized. According to the bot policy, automated bots cannot be run on main accounts unless approved by BAG (and AFAIK, this is not). (X! · talk)  · @926  ·  21:14, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict) Done[16]. Communication with the bot owner is going to be exceedlingly hard, it is difficult to have a meaningful conversation with a user undertaking blanking and implementing 1h[17] (one hour) auto-archiving on the talk page designated as the point-of-contact for the bot. There were multiple threads open on the User_talk page on the topic at the time of blanking. —Sladen (talk) 21:18, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • RF has a long history of controversial mass-actions and refusing to discuss them or even consider that anybody else might possibly be right. Suggest he simply be banned from running a bot or engaging in any automated edits, or edits that seem to be automated, for one year. At the end of that year, if he has demonstrated that he will actually discuss his edits and not summarily blank discussions, he may apply at BAG to have his bot reinstated. → ROUX  21:26, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Good, I warned him like 4-5 times about changing {cite foo} to {Cite foo} in the last two days, and he was still making them. In general, it would probably be a good idea to force him to do these AWB runs on a BAG-approved bot rather than on his main account. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:33, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Copied from user's talk

Neither the bot nor I are editing at the moment, nor will we be for some time. I have revised the ruleset on Cite templates, as I said. When people start destroying the structure of the talk page the choice is to revert or archive. I had 35 threads, all pretty much dead, it seems reasonable to archive them - all accessible and new messages can still be left. I have no revised the rulset further and removed the Cite templates completely, restoring the status quo ante. Rich Farmbrough, 21:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I advised him that he really shouldn't be changing the first-letter capitalization for any templates without consensus or approval; if a human editor used {{small case}} then it can and should remain small case. –xenotalk 21:35, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
What is the point of doing that anyway? Does it help the server or something? Wknight94 talk 21:43, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
No. I think Rich's belief is that it somehow helps new users identify templates and improves readability [18]. My belief is that it just bloats the diff and makes it hard to see what the actual meat of the edit was, while imposing a personal preference that does not seem to be shared by the majority of editors. –xenotalk 21:46, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
No, it is purely Rich's preference on the aesthetics of the templates. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:48, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I had noticed this being done before, and found it mildly annoying that my templates were being capitalised for no apparent reason, especially as personally I think {{cite news|...}} looks better than when it's capitalised anyway. I figured this had basis in policy somewhere so I didn't protest; the edit summary including a "build number" and being performed by a bot suggested that it had been community-approved. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 21:57, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
As far as I know, capitalization of templates hasn't been specifically approved. –xenotalk 22:11, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I don't appreciate that it is only one user's preference, plus the fact I don't really see any gain from doing this. Truthfully, I am surprised that Rich has been so unresponsive in this matter. He has been helpful in the past, performing Admin duties in a clear and objective manner. So what about this appearance of being community approved? Since it was not community approved, perhaps that was not intentional. ---- Steve Quinn (talk) 22:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
If the edits are uncontroversial there should be no difficulty in forming a Wikipedia-wide consensus, producing a policy, and then specifically authorising a bot to undertake the work. Wikipedia has processes for doing all of these. The large number of threads on just this one topic recently shows that it is controversial and therefore not something that is appropriate automated deployment (whether bot, or automated "manual" edits). —Sladen (talk) 22:25, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The ownership displayed in operating bots against consensus and removing avenues for discussion is deeply concerning conduct. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:50, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    • We're not really that short of avenues for discussion. This has been on two noticeboards and one project space talk page, so far. See above. Uncle G (talk) 01:55, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
      • It isn't that we're short of venues; it is that the user is deliberately closing off the natural venue while making (to me) extremely controversial edits without consensus. I was noting that this is clearly a conduct issue. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:17, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • My stalker of these many moons is currently turned off? I'd better sneak some writing in. ☺ In the meantime, I hope that everyone commenting on this is aware of all of the prior discussion, (now) linked to at the top of this section. Uncle G (talk) 01:55, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • A bot being misused is as bad as at least ten regular vandals. Please don't tolerate such things. In case of repeated issues, impose a total automation ban (like Betacommand had back in the day) and/or an edit speed limit of 20 edits per hour or thereabouts, and generally urge the editor away from any repetitive editing of any type. (talk) 08:20, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I have two questions:

  • What happened with the SmackBot/Citation Bot conflict. Did Citation Bot switched to the capitilised Cite web or not?
  • Does anyone know how many of the 200k Cite web templates are capitilised and how many aren't?

-- Magioladitis (talk) 11:19, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

  • In order:
    1. Rich Farmbrough told Dispenser that Dispenser should fix Reflinks to conform to SmackBot. See the discussion on Dispenser's talk page linked-to at the top of this section.
    2. Possibly. It's possible to find out, but expensive in terms of traffic for mere mortals without toolserver access.
  • Uncle G (talk) 13:33, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

My stalker is back[edit]

SmackBot is running again, it seems. I didn't manage to sneak in any writing, alas. ☺ Interestingly, as can be seen from this edit where {{silicate-mineral-stub}} was changed to {{Silicate-mineral-stub}}, it is still capitalizing the names of all templates. Uncle G (talk) 13:52, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Why is Farmbrough blocked but this bot isn't? Shouldn't it be the other way around if the bot edits are the ones people dislike? Wknight94 talk 14:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
He was blocked for running bot tasks on his main account; the bot itself hasn't been doing much wrong right now (though it does seem to be used for non-bot edits). Ucucha 14:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Angusmclellan just blocked SmackBot. Ucucha 14:45, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Uncle G's diff is from today and includes the sort of pointless case change complained of. Since RF can't now (and before the block, seemingly wouldn't) change this behaviour, there seems to be no reason to leave the bot running and add to the comedy. Angus McLellan (Talk) 14:57, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
SmackBot is not following its own documented stop process, and I have just drawn Rich's addition to this.[19]. The instructions given at User talk:SmackBot are to place the string "STOP" in that page and a new section link is provided to do this. This "STOP" string continues to be the present, but the bot is making edits[20][21] including the these capitalisation changes under discussion[22]. A bot making edits while apparently stopped is a fairly serious bug as there is then no reliable way to stop the bot without resorting to an administrative block (as has had had to be performed here). —Sladen (talk) 14:59, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Unless Rich has reprogrammed AWB, editing the bot's talk page will stop the bot until the orange bar is cleared and it is restarted by the operator. I would guess this is what happened. –xenotalk 15:01, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Same question as above but for Femto Bot (talk · contribs). Wknight94 talk 17:45, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Hm, it seems this bot does not have approval. (See also). –xenotalk 17:50, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Blocked for now. Not sure if it's worth blocking the rest, I'll have a look through to see if they are editing. - Kingpin13 (talk) 17:55, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    • None of the other bots are active. So lack of approval won't be concern. As for Rich having access to unblocked account, I don't think that should be a concern here. IF he does start editing with one of them it's not going to do him much good, so not worth blocking the others, imo - Kingpin13 (talk) 17:57, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
      • It probably wasn't worth blocking even that one, to be honest. Part of the complaint here is that 'bot-like edits are being done through the main administrator-privilege account. The irony of blocking Femto Bot is that it was making edits that had heretofore been made through the Rich Farmbrough (talk · contribs) account, apparently entirely uncontroversially, since at least May 2010 (list). It was a 'bot intended to do exactly what people have been asking for.

        I think that we're starting to lose sight of the goal here, as this snowballs into desysopping discussions and the like. The goal is not to stop Rich Farmbrough at every turn. It's to get xem to get SmackBot and other people's 'bots onto the same page when it comes to changing/retaining capitalizations. Uncle G (talk) 18:15, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

    • I don't see any reason to block any bot account that does good edits and have approval of the community. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:00, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
      • I don't see where it has approval? If Rich wants to move some approved tasks from SmackBot to Femto Bot, the appropriate course of action is to ask for a bot flag for the cloned bot at WP:BN. –xenotalk 18:02, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
        • Actually, it's moving some regular monthly gnomish and robotic tasks from the administrator-privilege account, where they've been performed for months, to an unprivileged account. This is part of what you want, surely? Uncle G (talk) 18:19, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
          • Yep, it is ideal for the bot task to moved to a proper bot account, but it needs to be flagged and approved per the WP:BOTPOL. As I said, if the task is already approved (I'm not sure if it is, there are so many SmackBot BRFAs), R.F. can skip directly to BN to just ask for a flag as was done here. –xenotalk 18:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
            • I was referring to the idea to block all Rich's accounts. For instance, Mirror Bot mustn't be blocked. Moreover, since edits that don't have consensus stopped I don't see any reason to keep the block and prevent Rich from doing other tasks. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:31, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
              • I only pointed to the page listing the other bots, I didn't suggest they all need to be blocked. –xenotalk 18:37, 29 September 2010 (UTC)


Seems a bit silly to have an administrator in an indefinite block. If he can't be trusted to edit at all, why would he be trusted to be an admin? If he isn't going to respond to the concerns or even respond to having been blocked, it seems the desysop process needs to begin before long. Wknight94 talk 15:28, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Well (1) I don't believe that desysopping is within the scope of ANI (RFC / ARBCOM) and (2) as you know, indef doesn't mean infinite. Syrthiss (talk) 15:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think anyone is concerned about his administrative actions at this point, merely his bot-like edits. –xenotalk 15:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Ditto. No doubt he is distracted by something in RL and will take care of this in due course. Or he may be adjusting the programming as we speak. Once he solves the problem and implements it, there is no particular reason to keep him blocked.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:38, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • This seems to be a bit overboard. The desired result is for Rich Farmbrough, Dispenser, and others ‎to get their tools singing from the same hymnal — no blocks, no desysoppings, no fuss, no acrimony. I made the point a week and a bit ago that this sort of thing is usually sorted out informally amongst 'bot owners. That's been my experience, as a 'bot owner. I'm rather saddened to see my argument undermined by the fact that this time, it as yet hasn't been. Uncle G (talk) 15:57, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

In my experience the user in question is unfit to be combining adminship and botting. Had an ordeal with it in Jan 2009 when it was inserting {{Ibid}} into 1000s of articles, which I was forced to revert with mere rollback. Stunningly, in one planned action the user behind it used rollback to revert these reverts and then Smackbot to reverse himself.One Example In general there are too many princessy bot operators who cannot be trusted with their tools. I'm sick and tired of dealing with the problems they cause, though of course bots in general are a net plus. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:07, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

The only reason I ask is the absurdity of having an admin indefblocked. If he's such a menace that he can't edit, surely he can't be an admin. Otherwise, if we're just waiting for him to return from RL distractions, then unblock him. Shouldn't have one without the other. Wknight94 talk 16:40, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I would guess the block was placed as a form of 'wake up call'. If R.F. were not an admin, his AWB access could simply be revoked (admins have implicit access). –xenotalk 16:42, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
If you unblock him and he continues on without resolving/discussing, then nothing happens. If he unblocks himself and continues on without resolving/discussing then you have cause to ask arbcom for an emergency desysop. (This is about any blocked admin in general, not a judgement on the specific admin involved).--Cube lurker (talk) 16:47, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
If you unblock him and he continues, then he gets re-blocked. If an editor can't reliably keep himself in an unblocked status, they often get banned. They sure as hell shouldn't be an admin! Wknight94 talk 16:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not about what should be, it's about what is. There's no desysop process outside of arbcom. If he needs desysoping you there either needs to be a case filed or he would have to cross one of those bright lines that would pass arbcoms emergency desysop test. Such as unblocking himself.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:59, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Well I guess I'm testing the waters for the viability of an ArbCom case. If no one is prepared to take that step, then he should be unblocked. I don't know Farmbrough and I don't care, but you simply can't have an indefblocked admin. Unblock or proceed to step 1 of desysopping. Wknight94 talk 17:14, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow your line of reasoning. Indefinite is typically chosen when a time-limited block would not necessarily have the desired effect. In this case, the user is indef blocked pending a certain outcome (a commitment to cease making edits of the disputed nature until consensus and BAG approval is attained for the same - see comments from blocking administrator). The commitment has not yet been made, so the user remains blocked. The fact that they hold administrative rights is entirely peripheral. –xenotalk 17:23, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
So you're okay with leaving someone blocked forever - assuming they never meet your requirements for unblocking - even though they have a sysop bit? Wknight94 talk 17:29, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
You've posited a hypothetical situation that I doubt will come to pass in the present case (I expect Rich will agree to eliminate the disputed changes from his AWB matrix until consensus and BAG approval are obtained for them), but yes - if a user is indefinitely blocked because of their doing X and they refuse to agree to stop doing X, then they will remain blocked indefinitely (+sysop notwithstanding). If this were the case, one would have a case to ask the committee to consider removing the bit, but it's premature at this point. –xenotalk 17:37, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
If you - the blocking admin - "expect Rich will agree to eliminate the disputed changes from his AWB matrix until consensus and BAG approval are obtained for them", then you need to unblock him. Wknight94 talk 17:41, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
X! (talk · contribs) was the blocking admin. –xenotalk 17:42, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Eck, y'all and your X names.... Still, if the consensus here is that Farmbrough will break out of this odd trance, then he needs to be unblocked. Like now. For all we know, he is waiting to be unblocked before he'll even discuss. I don't see any comments from him about RL distractions. (Or are they offline?) Wknight94 talk 17:49, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
If you think the user should be unblocked you could ping X! (talk · contribs) for his thoughts. I agree that it may be ideal to have the user conditionally unblocked (conditional upon them not resuming their AWB tasks until the matter is finalized) so they can participate here directly, rather than by proxy. –xenotalk 17:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
If my reading of the consensus is correct, it would be useful to unblock Rich and allow useful, administrator activity to proceed on the condition that Rich agrees to abide by BAG (that means no automated edits, no AWB, no Smackbot, no Army/*bot). For those worried that unblocking might be premature, perhaps we can agree (and document) that Rich would be blocked again immediately if any automated edits are made. That would allow discussion to continue, and for Rich to apply for suitable bot permission. If WP:BAG is being followed (in spirit and letter) then there is no longer a problem. For the avoidance of doubt, it should be reiterated in the process of unblocking that bot-like activity is not allowed from main accounts and the same for bot accounts that do not have up-to-date approval. The suggestion of <20 edits/hour may be a way to enforce this (although it is a technical solution to a social problem); without automation, the 10 edits per minute speed that I have clocked Rich at previously is unlikely to be attainable.
Above all, demanding punishment is the wrong direction: all that is being requested is simple compliance with Wikipedia policies. —Sladen (talk) 20:01, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
resp to Wknight94 17:29, 29 September 2010 (UTC) post - as far as I am aware, RF is still able to perform sysop functions (such as, but hopefully not, unblocking himself) but as blocked cannot post on any page other than his talkpage to say what he has done. RF can block, move over redirect, protect, and have access to The Chocolate Biscuit Jar, etc, as any other admin. It is his editing privileges only that are blocked. LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:29, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

As Deacon knows perfectly well "Rollback" is a blunt instrument, which he was using against policy. Specifically it reverts all consecutive changes by that user. Moreover he simply mass rollbacked a bunch of articles without differentiating by edit summary. Had Deacon used "undo" - even blanket undo it would not have been a problem. As it was he created a situation where potentially very old, very complex, fixes for which the code no longer exists (because they were one-offs - eg importing population figures, or correcting RamBot grammar problems) could have been undone. Since any edit, however trivial, would now prevent the recovery of this information without manual analysis of every single history of however many articles it was, I speedily reverted the hasty patch wherever possible, picked out those articles that could not be fixed for manual analysis, and removed the "ibid" tag, that he found so offensive, cleanly, without damaging the articles in any other way. As I recall I spent a considerable time undoing his mess, whereas if he had simply let me sort it out it would have been minutes. Nice to see that he bears a grudge about it though. Rich Farmbrough, 13:43, 1 October 2010 (UTC).

So if you mess up c. 1000 articles with your bot and you refuse to reverse your actions, anyone seeking to revert you is supposed to use undo? And you expect people to care about your time being spent? As you should remember, I informed you that I was using rollback and explained, which is enough to comply with rollback policy (not that anyone cares about that these days). If you did it now I would just block you, but I was trying to mencourage you to co-operate of your own free will. At this rate, you are unlikely to retain both your bot and admin access, but if you started being responsive and respecting bot policy and stopped arguing with everyone giving you feedback, you might have a chance. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:41, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

My response at the time:

Please note that Deacon rollbacked these edits without discussing with me. It is not an issue that he has reverted several hundred recent edits that are not those he is targeting (although they have a different edit summary) - recent stuff can by and large be redone - the problem with rollback is it undoes all the consecutive edits by that user to the article. So for example, edits the bot made in 2006, using code which will no longer run could be reverted. Adn there is no way to know which articles this applies to. Had deacon come to my talk page as clearly requested on the bot's talk page and discussed the matter there, we could have avoided a lot of work for both of us. I have rollbacked as much of Deacons rollbacks as I can, and am re-applying the removal of the template he finds so disquieting. I will be left with probably several hundred articles to go and check the history of manually. Deacon, you really needed to talk to me about this, rather than just apply rollback which is for anti-vandalism purposes only. Rich Farmbrough, 17:43 22 January 2009 (UTC).

I did not mention that you were rollbacking at 60 edits per minute. Hardly "mere rollback". Rich Farmbrough, 19:45, 3 October 2010 (UTC).

The 'mere rollback' was in reference to its power vis-a-vis bots. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:48, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
The way you were using it was more powerful than bots, and considerably more of a blunt instrument. And curiosity prompted me to check - in addition to the several hundred unaffected articles which you rolled back, you caused (unintended) damage to another 146, destroying edits going back to April 2007. It's no big deal but nor does it seem to me a shining example. Rich Farmbrough, 16:49, 4 October 2010 (UTC).
Rich, you are only further illustrating your tendency to avoid taking responsibiity for your own actions while arguing childishly with those trying to give you feedback. Believe it or not, this continued protesting only harms you. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:29, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Feedback or rollback? You had a problem with my actions, your response was to violate policy in two different ways and break hundreds of articles. And to report me to ANI. I fixed up all the articles you broke, undid the actions you had objected to responded to your comments, asked you to talk to me about any future problems, and considered the matter closed. 18 months later you bring it up again and call me childish? So who is being responsible for their actions? The editor that takes action to resolve them, and invites discussion, or the one that gets out his admin-tools, and creates havoc? Rich Farmbrough, 15:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC).
The two complaints you are playing up are 1) rollback was used to revert bot disruption and 2) when your edits were reverted, good edits were reverted at the same time.
1) See WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT; as was explained to you, this was necessary and complied with policy . 2) If you included good edits with bad edits in a bot run, then that's your mess, not the person reverting you; then as now, if you want your good edits to stick, don't package controversial ones along with it. Not everyone has a bot, and they aren't expected to spend days and days cleaning up the mess of bots when it can be done much faster.
These are poor and unpersuasive ways of deflecting blame. What's childish is not that your disruptive bot runs get remembered, but that you constantly argue with people trying to help you and constantly try to evade responsibility. Because you are very bad at doing this, all people perceive is immaturity and inconsiderate brat-ness ... the community expects people with active bots to be mature, to take responsibility and to deal with people with care. If you look like you have a princess complex, you are unsuitable. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

My view[edit]

There seems to be a history of poor botop practices on RF's part here. This is not a new problem. This is a problem that has been going on for years. Bot operators are expacted to respond to concerns about their bots, and instead, he has reverted them as "vandalism". This is not appropriate conduct for a bot operator. What more, one should know that running one on your main account is prohibited, and that is also not a new problem. Even if the problems that led to the block are resolved, I would like to see some sort of action taken as a result of this. If nothing happens, this is just bound to happen again. It should go without saying that all of his fully-automated tasks are operated from his bot account and approved by BAG, for each and every task. If he refuses to comply, I think a reblock may be needed. I am reminded of Lightmouse in this situation: good intent, poor execution. (X! · talk)  · @728  ·  16:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

This is indeed not, as I commented above, a new issue. RF should be banned from bot or bot-like edits, period. Same as Betacommand was. → ROUX  17:54, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Adding my view, and a new note too: RF does not do sandboxing. Every experiment is in main space and real time. "One more 30 trials by BAG for BRFA please" - go ahead. "Oops, I the bot something botched it". I don't get why this admin-bot-loner is cared for in our community this way. -DePiep (talk) 21:54, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Minor technical question[edit]

re bot and {{DEFAULTSORT}}

Smackbot was doing what I thought were strange things to DEFAULTSORT for cats eg [23]. ie ÖBB Class 2070 became sorted as {{DEFAULTSORT:Obb Class 2070}} Which was fairly counterintuitive. (yes I know what Wikipedia:Categorization#Sort_keys says but if the bot had made no edits the page titles caused perfect categorisation anyway, whereas incomplete bot activity made a mess.) Whilst I had no real objection to what it was doing in principle the effect was usually to totally mess up alphabeticalisation of categories requiring remedial manual editing work .

Can I assume that no more edits like this will ever be made and I can ignore what the bot was programmed to do - and consquently stop having to make edits that fix problems inherited?Sf5xeplus (talk) 16:52, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

  • This was a very good edit. Pagename has special characters and DEFAULTSORT needed to be added. Check also WP:CHECKWIKI that detects pages with special characters with no DEFAULTSORT. Let's stick to the initial subject of this discussion. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Sorry to digress. A good edit, but not in isolation , see Category:ÖBB - the rest were untouched. Can someone point a still functioning bot at the rest. Thanks.Sf5xeplus (talk) 18:24, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
      • Since we're on this digression: Why do you want all of the articles in that category under the same letter anyway? Surely it's better to sort by the number in that category, so that the 2070 is under "2", the 770 is under "7", and so forth? Uncle G (talk) 18:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
        • Ah ok. Yobot can do the rest as part of WP:CHECKWIKI error fixes and then decide how to handle the categorisation in the specific category. DEFAULTSORT is global. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:34, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
        • respond to UncleG - yes probably, I didn't create the articles, and a standard for categorisating these things doesn't seem to exist, but is needed. Otherwise I've left a note at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Check_Wikipedia#Yobot about the issue, for those who wish to discuss or solve this tangential problem.Sf5xeplus (talk) 18:52, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I've already brought this up with RF. I consider it intentional disruption. He make tiny meaningless changes throughout articles that break diffs and then changes them to something else the next day. He basically told me too bad. Changing the names of reflinks is one of his favorites. -Selket Talk 04:54, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Bah, editing too late at night. This was in the entirely wrong section and I was talking about a different editor. Please disregard. --Selket Talk 16:17, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
            • Thanks for that, anything like this can be brought up with me an quickly fixed. As for sorting under 2070 for that category probably a very good idea - the only caveat is that with large categories we should avoid sorts that diverge from the leading characters - i.e. fine to sort Henry IV as Henry 04 - because he will be where we would look for him, but not fine to sort him under "Anjou and Castille" - to give a flawed and improbable example. Rich Farmbrough, 13:28, 1 October 2010 (UTC).


Rich wrote somewhere (I can't be bothered to find right now, I am busy in real life too) that he removed the cite -> Cite from SmackBot's code. Should we move on, unblock, let SmackBot keep doing its main tasks and re-report of there are still complains? -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:06, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Check User_talk:Rich_Farmbrough#Is_it_not_possible.... Rich removed the cite -> Cite and the spacing around heading from his fixes. -- Magioladitis (talk) 09:27, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
    • There's still a problem with other templates, like the stub one. Also, Rich was also blocked for running unauthorised bots on his main account, I'm yet to see any suggestion that this is going to stop, and it's an on-going issues, which he's messed up repeatedly. I think editing the main page like that (arguably making this an unapproved admin-bot) can not be ignored. Personally, I think that an edit limit of ~20 edits/hour, along with a(nother) stern warning that all automated tasks must be approved by BAG, would be a good way to go here. - Kingpin13 (talk) 10:09, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I am opposed to unblocking him yet, per "My View" section above. (X! · talk)  · @491  ·  10:47, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
    • So what would satisfy your concerns? Let's come up with something concrete and actionable. Here's a starter that you can boldly modify: Uncle G (talk) 11:54, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
      • for context, "here" is referring to this section. (X! · talk)  · @553  ·  12:16, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
      • I would only support this is it was made explicitly clear that all automated bot-like tasks be approved by BAG. (X! · talk)  · @553  ·  12:16, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
        • Be bolder with the section! ☺ It's there to be edited. Uncle G (talk) 12:21, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think unblocking is the way to go until/unless he agrees to some kind of restriction on automated edits. StrPby (talk) 11:23, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I have to agree. This response goes some way to addressing concerns but it does not go far enough. I have suggested an alternative, simpler, set of possible conditions below. I would like to try to minimise any chance of this problem reoccuring before unblocking. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:30, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Rich should be unblocked at least to comment in this discussion. I bet nobody believes that Wikipedia is at danger if we unblock him. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:28, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Conditions that would satisfy X!, Kingpin13, MSGJ, and others[edit]

1. No more changing the cases of the initial letters of any templates. No more changing {{for}} to {{For}}, or changing {{silicate-mineral-stub}} to {{Silicate-mineral-stub}}, or changing {{coord missing}} to {{Coord missing}}, or anything else.
2. No automated editing at all from main account. Specifically:

1. All 'bot-like tasks, like this one, no matter how uncontroversial, to be farmed out to non-administrator accounts like Femto Bot (talk · contribs), and approved via Bots/Requests for approval.
2. Use of a dedicated non-administrator account, in accordance with AutoWikiBrowser rule of use #2, if editing at speeds like 10 edits per minute with AutoWikiBrowser.
3. Clear linkages be provided on the bot pages to the appropriate approvals through Bots/Requests for approval.
4. No altering a bots function outside of the linked approvals without approval of the change.
5. Scope and function(s) of the bot explicitly stated both in the application for approval and on the bot page.

3. A message to any bot's talk page stops the bot;

3.1 the task is not restarted until the issue is resolved.

4. No unblocking one's own bots.

--(end of list)--
Small-ish suggestion re point 2:
Merged with above.
Looking at the preceeding discussion, it should be crystal clear regarding he be fully transparent and accountable in his use of bots.
- J Greb (talk) 15:31, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I support the modified conditions now that the BAG approval is added. (X! · talk)  · @914  ·  20:56, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I have to say, one of the things which I personally find wanting is Rich's attitude. He seems very reluctant to ever admit that he's actually done anything wrong (even after slapping a maintenance template on the main page..), for example, his first unblock request showed a clear lack of remorse, and his comments on his talk page display that he doesn't really seem to appreciate what he was actually blocked for, let alone be prepared to admit that he shouldn't have done the various things which lead up to the block. However, I do agree with the conditions above. Although I'm not completely convinced they would be enough, they're all basically already in policy, so Rich should be doing most of these already.. - Kingpin13 (talk) 21:18, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree with the above and guess that User:Sladen would too, judging from RF's talk page. It's not really a complaint but I think RF's 'man on a mission, the only one who can possibly solve wikipedia's problems' attitude is starting to look a bit silly. I thought the unblocking was so that he could respond here, not so he could carry on with what he was doing before. Is this guy actually listening to anyone? Can someone suggest he post a short note to us mortals here on his own wp:ani section. Please :) Sf5xeplus (talk) 22:33, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

1 is redundant to 2.4

2 has nothing to do with some of its sub-conditions

2.1 goes off at a tangent

2.2 is good

2.3 is good

2.4 is good

2.5 is good

3 Is unreasonably onerous. AWB tasks will be stopped by a talk page message. Other tasks you will have to find an admin to block if I am not around - although I am likely to be for non-AWB content tasks.

3.1 Again unreasonable. This gives the other party veto - on Wikipedia you will find someone to oppose the tiniest changes. I will discuss, as I have with everyone (except with one editor who has been gentleman enough not to bring it up - for which my apologies), but we are talking about approved tasks here. Ninety nine times out of a hundred problems are sorted out on talk pages, but it is not reasonable to expect every one to be. A Bag member can be called if the other party thinks there is clearly a problem that a botop is refusing to acknowledge, and they have the power (or so the template documetnatin says - and templates documentation, I am informed, is the ultimate authority on Wikpedia (yes-joke)) to revoke BRFAs. There are 17 "Active" Baggers and 24 "Inactive". Or you can find an admin to block the bot (pretty easy - changing one letter got SmackBot blocked) or maybe even a 'crat who will do it on the basis of two duff diffs? (Yes another joke, but also true.)

4. Seems reasonable, given my arguments at 3.1. As long as I am allowed to remove CBM's blocks. Rich Farmbrough, 01:38, 4 October 2010 (UTC).

Incidentally I would expect those admins that zoomed to stop/block my bots to have taken the trouble to leave me a note to that effect, especially as this ANI is supposedly about communication? Well maybe they had collective amnesia, but five admins all failed to leave me a note, including the one who left a stinky edit summary in his block. Rich Farmbrough, 01:38, 4 October 2010 (UTC).

  • I (no admin) support. RF's reply here into 3: RF is opposing "no resuming the bot while unresolved", and that says it: "unreasonably onerous": well, RF, this is what this community is about. If you can't stand -let alone cope with- a stopped bot, then you're in the wrong place or in the wrong attitude. -DePiep (talk) 22:52, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support: as for not being able to restart the bot until it's resolved, I'm not sure I see the problem; "resolved" is a fairly flexible term: I would consider it resolved if a) the user didn't give a reason or gave an uncontroversially frivolous reason (or indeed, were "just playing it safe" and it suggests to do on User:Smackbot's page), b) the user agrees that it is resolved, or c) the community determines that the issue is resolved or the bot should be resumed. As for the redundancy between points 1 and 2.1: it's redundant, so it's a moot point: redundancy isn't always a bad thing, and in this case it serves to make it double clear what the proposed constraints will allow or disallow. GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 23:10, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


Rich Farmbrough has finally agreed[24] to both participate in discussion here, and to cease doing the disruptive and unresponsive editing that got him blocked in the first place. So I've unblocked him. Wknight94 talk 20:07, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the unblocking. - it's hard to know where to start with this one. It is more about human nature than anything else - and text communication. So lets start with Wknight94's message above.
"Rich Farmbrough has finally agreed both participate in discussion here... "
OK so this is minor, maybe, and in good faith, but the implication is that I was reluctant to join the discussion. Obviously that is the impression Wknight94 picked up, probably from something said on my talk page by my unblock request. However I was in the middle of typing a comment here when I was blocked.
  • 21:01 notification of ANI
  • 21:03 - 21:06 started reply
  • 21:09 - blocked.
As my comment (later forwarded by Xeno, for which thanks) said "Neither the bot nor I are editing at the moment, nor will we be for some time. "
-so I wasn't exactly reluctant to "cease doing" .. "that [which] got him blocked in the first place".
Further "disruptive and unresponsive editing" is rather jumping to conclusions, based on what others were saying.
More later as I am being pinged on my talk page (about responding here I think). Rich Farmbrough, 07:24, 1 October 2010 (UTC).
OK. I'm going to keep this short: I could write a book, but it would be TLDR - I hope the following is both informative and reassuring.
What happened? SB dates maintenance tags as it's most intensive task. It also does various minor cleanup as it goes - as people have said pretty unexceptional.
One of the features of templates - indeed all wikilinks - is that they are not simply literals but a minor grammar in their own right for example:

____ __ _ __ :____ __ _ __ Template____ __ _ __ :____ __ _ __ Citations____ __ _ __ needed____ __ _ __ is a perfectly good link to {{Citations needed}}. Particularly when SB's regexes were hand crafted for each template (back then merely 1000 , now well over 2000 counting redirects) dealing with this complexity meant canonicalisation of template names was the only way to go. (I thought dating a few templates was going to be trivial when I started.) Therefore standard functionality is to replace the clean up template names with a clean version, following redirects. This also has the benefit that the number of different possible clean up templates left after a run is 569 (!) rather than four or five times that number. It also means that the template is capitalised - an "arbitrary but intelligent" decision I made - yes I know algol coders, C coders, perl hackers just love lower case - and I have been all of those things - but for someone who has never coded it seems to me that the capital says "Here is a new thing starting that is somewhat like a sentence." - and it is not a great leap from {{Citation needed|reason=this seems unlikely|date=July 2009}} to "Citation needed, because this seems unlikely, request added July 2009" (Incidentally anyone looking at right now will see six articles that appear to redirect to Citation needed - these are almost certainly articles that have had the redirect placed at the top and the article text left in place - normally I would go and fix them, but I am being "chided" for not writing here as a priority.) Having canonicalised the templates - which - only takes (569 + a few) rules, dating them is simple - provided that they haven't already been dated, don't have an invalid date don't have "date" mis-spelled (SB will pick up "fate" but not "jate" - that is left for some poor human drudge to do - as being a very unlikely mispelling SB is pretty conservative to avoid errors, similarly it will pick up "date=Spetember" and correct it to September but "date= Josh is ghey" will simply get over-written with the current month and year) - so another 569 rules for the basic dating and a few hundred to deal with specials like "As of". Anyway some of the minor cleanups SB picked up were related to templates in wide use that either had oodles of redirects or were moved. Again pretty unexceptional. Foolishly on 6th Spetember (or September if you prefer) I added the Cite templates to this list - this was foolish because cites are an area where "angels fear to tread" much like dates and MoS - I have been foolish enough to contribute to MoS too. Having said that it was foolish, it wasn't mind-numbingly stupid, despite what others may think, I had been pleasantly surprised not to receive negative feedback on other changes, and there are a surprising number of redirects to , for example {{Cite web}} - 21 in fact. That's 21 templates - not 21 pages, the number of pages is 12,118 and the number of actual uses will be higher still. Moreover I knew that removing those four templates would be fairly trivial. So what was the response? Were seven different kinda of hell unleashed upon my talk page? Find out in the next thrilling episode. Rich Farmbrough, 01:51, 2 October 2010 (UTC).

I get the impression that you think the only reason you were blocked, or that people are concerned, is this recent problem with SmackBot's capitalisation, which I see this more as being the last straw. I think the underlying problems are: You ignoring bot policy, by running unapproved bots; running bots on your own account; not responding to concerns, which you are also expected to do as an administrator, but instead you blank messages, ignore concerns, claim to be too tired (even claim that you're always too tired), you even seem to play word games. These are the problems which need to be addressed, since they are what lead to problems such as the template capitalisation. It's no good just dealing with the result of these problems, as we know (from prior experience with you in regard to bots) that all that happens is problems arise again. This isn't a one-off mistake. That said... Looking at what you say above, it mostly seems to be explaining how the task works, that's nice, but really the question is can you prevent SmackBot from changing the capitalisation of all templates (not just the cite templates or whatever). You could maybe even use a regex find/replace after the other changes are made to effectively "revert" any capitalisation changes made (but before actually saving to the wiki)? - Kingpin13 (talk) 05:36, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
The point of explaining how the task works - which is pretty deadly dull - is to lay the ground work. Understand, for example, that powerful though AWB is, it is an application, not a programmers framework like Pywikipedia. SmackBot's rulebase runs to 750k+ of XML - let me find out how many regexes that is - 5067 rules plus some "advanced" rules. The suggestion you make above might be workable - while I try to keep the rules as simple as possible, there may be an elegant solution, but on the face of it I would have to pull apart the redirect consolidation rules and have a separate one for "Sentence case" and "lower case", and the same would apply to any specific rule - since there are about 2500 redirects and some hundreds of other rules this would mean a massive increase in the rulebase (possibly more than doubling it). I outlined what is easy and what is hard to change, on my talk page, along with the benefits. And I really don't hear a clamour for {{infobox... There are two reasons I find commenting here tiring: one is the fact that every word is hostage to fortune - as shown in your comment. And indeed every edit or lack of an edit: - I don't know whether its funny or sad to have people counting my edits between being unblocked and starting to comment here. The suggestion that it would have been better for the project to leave redlinked categories on a hundreds articles than to keep the ravening hordes of ANI waiting - especially when commenting on the volume of text here, let alone the 50k or so on my talk page was likely, and still is likely, to take some time, may have some merit, but I can't see it. More later. Rich Farmbrough, 13:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC).
This reads a bit like "Smackbot is too big to be maintainable". If that's the case, break Smackbot up into small pieces running on separate bots that are individually auditable. If the answer is that individual smaller tasks would mean loosing the opportunity to discreetly make whitespace/capitalisation changes otherwise deemed without merit, then that's actually a positive; the minor changes brought your activities to a head—as Kingpin mentions (and I'll reiterate for the explicit avoidance of doubt) there is a wider general problem; which is one of interaction (acting on feedback, not disputing/arguing it; and participating in discussion to a closure). —Sladen (talk) 14:58, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry but here (and on my talk page) you are plain wrong about software maintainablity.
  • (Citation[ _]+style|Cleanup-references|Cleanup-citation|Ref-cleanup|Citationstyle|Citation-style|Refstyle|Reference[ _]+style|Reference-style|Cleanup-refs|Citestyle|Cleanrefs|Refclean|Refsclean|Source[ _]+Style|Sourced[ _]+wrong|Ref-style|Refcleanup)
is longer than your proposed
  • (clean(up)?-?(ref(erences|s)|citation)||(cit(ation|e)|ref(erence)?|source?)-?([Ss]tyle|clean(up)?)|sourced[ _]+wrong)
But it is also more maintainable and more readable
Your version
  1. Has errors of coding
  2. Has errors of design
  3. Is hard to add to
  4. Is hard to remove items from
  5. Has no discernible performance benefits, and maybe performance costs (although I do agree that this is "in this case" not critical, I'm fed up with people saying "don't worry about performance" as a blanket statement when we have literally hundreds of fantastic servers worth millions of dollars which time out serving pages, yet my little desktop, encumbered as it is with the world's worst operating system, runs most of the software I write (pace infinite loops) before I can blink, or at least IO bound. I was running SmackBot - and everything else on a skip-rescue PC until about 18 months ago.)
  6. Is less readable
It is also very very clever - and I am not being sarcastic. In fact I am being a little peacocky, because it is exactly the sort of regex I was using until I simplified and automated. And it caused a number (not necessarily a lot) of problems, picking up incorrect templates.
(See now, this has taken me over half an hour to write, maybe I'm slow, maybe I'm just being careful what I write - and maybe other people spend as long and as much care on what they write, but I certainly see evidence that some of them don't read what I say, and just bash of a few hundred words at top speed to express their feelings. But I have probably already spent about 4 hours on this thread, let alone my talk page. And I am being accused of "not responding" - I know there are subjects here I haven't even broached, and I have made it clear that it will take time to get to them - anyone who can't wait - well I would offer an informal reply on my talk page - but it would only get quoted back out of context here -as has already happened.)
Rich Farmbrough, 08:37, 3 October 2010 (UTC).
At the risk of putting words into Rich Farmbrough's mouth, I'm going to respond to something Kingpin13 wrote: that RF has claimed "to be too tired (even claim that you're always too tired)" -- only because it sounds true. There seems to be a familiar pattern to the last chapter of the career long-term Wikipedians: increasing lack of patience with others, obsession with details (which may appear to be WikiLawyering), & an increasing weariness with contributing or the discussion which follows contributions. The bastards finally wear the dedicated & selfless volunteers down. Now if this is truly what is happening here, then the only advice I can offer to Rich (I say "only" because I honestly don't have a better solution & wish there was one) is to simply cut back on what you do. If running certain bots on Wikipedia is getting to be more of a pain than it is a joy, then stop doing it. Wikipedia can survive without all of the bots being operated here, believe it or not; & if I'm wrong, it's likely someone else will pick up the slack. If someone doesn't, the resulting carcass will get preserved, & another group will try to resurrect the online encyclopedia with a slightly different set of rules of operation. And I'm writing this because I, too, feel tired with Wikipedia, just like Kingpin13 says RF claims to be. And after I finish the projects on my plate here (i.e., a few groups of articles & upload a few PD images), I'm going to drop my involvement here even more. Or if one of these leads I'm chasing gets me back into the job market, maybe sooner. -- llywrch (talk) 06:45, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
llywrch is right - but I don't blame the "Aha! I have a diff... " brigade. "I too was once as you." (Yes that's (self-deprecating) humour, not being patronizing.) Rich Farmbrough, 08:37, 3 October 2010 (UTC).
Well, take time to consider my advice. Maybe if enough experienced Wikipedians say "I'm burned out, so I'm quitting" the PTB may decide that it would be better for the Wikimedia projects to allocate resources to retaining veteran editors than increasing the the pool of Crowdsourcers in places like India. The idea is to create a quality encyclopedia, not to recruit every Tom, Dick & Hari to make questionable edits to Wikipedia. -- llywrch (talk) 22:56, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Changes to cite template[edit]

I have just discovered that, without any discussion, Rich made significant changes to the Template:Cite web. Specifically, while we were complaining about his bot, he changed the template examples from lower case to upper case. Since this was his response to complaints on his page, and since his deleting the comments on his talk page without responding to our comments is what started this whole discussion, I think that these changes need special attention.

  • 22:21, 21 September 2010 Start of "Could you not capitalize citation template in the future?"
  • 15:49, 26 September 2010 Start of "cite vs Cite"
  • 12:47, 27 September 2010 Rich says that the bot is no longer changing "cite" to "Cite"
  • 18:41, 27 September 2010 I complain again because the bot is still making the changes
  • 18:42, 27 September 2010 Rich changes the case of the first character in the Template:Cite web examples
  • -- There are additional comments in both threads
  • 20:29, 28 September 2010 Rich blanks the talk page without responding to anyone since
    • 15:19, 26 September 2010 in the 1st thread, and
    • 12:47, 27 September 2010 in the 2nd.
  • 20:54, 28 September 2010 This ANI discussion was started by me.

It was very difficult to step back through his contribution log. It appears that on Sept 28, he made well over 5,000 edits. (Perhaps over 100,000. And all with AWB. It is totally unbelievable that the admins allow this. Link to contribution log so no one else will have to search for it.)

As a result of this "new" information, I am requesting others to comment before I simply undo his uh, changes, to the template. I for one do not like them. For another, I think this was an underhanded slap in the face. He didn't even have the courtesy to mention this on his talk page when two groups of people were complaining about the same subject. He also did not mention it in any of the other discussions since. Q Science (talk) 01:08, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

It's obviously been established above that he has no consensus for the capitalisation changes, so I say change them back. Strange Passerby (talkcstatus) 01:50, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Just revert Q. Rich Farmbrough, 08:02, 3 October 2010 (UTC).
ok reverted [25] Note there's one reason why none of the fields are capitalised, and that is that non-bot editors can enter them without having to press shift key. Clearly the first field could be an exception, and changed by bots later. There are many arguments, it probably didn't need changing - anyway continue that debate on relavent page.Sf5xeplus (talk) 12:31, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Just revert Q. RF, above. Why this message at ANI? It was not a question, RF. It was a example of problematic and strange behaviour of the bot operator. You did not see that - q.e.d. -DePiep (talk) 18:47, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I stalk Rich's talk page, but even now, I still fail to understand why some editors object so much to capitalisation. The typical reason seems to be they are immaterial and thus unnecessary. Whilst I am not sure why he changes the capitalisation, it makes not a jot of difference to anything, whether in the smaller or the larger scheme of things. Our servers recognise and resolve both. The important thing I see is that SmackBot is providing an invaluable service with all the detritus it picks up. This business about capitalisation should be allowed to overshadow the huge contributions (whether in terms of load or in types of small changes) by Rich and his bots. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 05:08, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
    • The question is indeed, why does he do it? Imagine a page with all cite templates in lower case. RF comes along, changes them all to uppercase. I add a new cite, using the edit box cite functionality. This by default add cites in lowercase. We now have, thanks to RF's unnecessary edit, an article where some of the cites are in uppercase, some in lowercase. Everything still works, but we get less consistency for no good reason at all... Fram (talk) 07:42, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
      • The great thing is, being only visible in the read mode makes them totally inconsequential. Not worth busting a blood vessel over it, IMHO. --