Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive956

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User Murph9000 reverted the same wiki article for too many times without providing adquete reasons![edit]

Wiki article, Comparison of instruction set architectures, has been reverted by user Murph9000 and some others for too many times, without providing adequate reasons! I feel that it is quite unfair for anonymous editors who did really contribute. I wish such thing could be mediated in proper way! And that wiki article also needs further corrections and improves. Those people bring too many troubles!— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

From a quick investigation, it looks like you did not bother to notify Murph9000 (talk · contribs) (I will do so) and it looks to me like there's a claim you are an indefinitely blocked user called Aaron (this is not WP:OUTING, this is what I see from the edit histories on that page). I'm not sure which specific user you are, though. If you do have an account indefinitely blocked, you are not permitted to edit at all, until that account is unblocked. The multiple other editors who are reverting you are acting appropriately. If you do not have an account which is blocked, you are in violation of WP:3RR and should be blocked on that basis, but then so should other editors. I'm not sure which situation we are in, though, so I am personally taking no action. --Yamla (talk) 11:37, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Also notified Jeh (talk · contribs), Guy Harris (talk · contribs), Vincent Lefèvre (talk · contribs), all of whom have also been reverting the edits. Which tends to lend credence to the reporter indeed being someone engaging in block evasion, I suppose. --Yamla (talk) 11:40, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
I have already created an SPI report regarding the numerous IPs with which I believe the reporter here has been evading his block (although it does not yet include the most recent IPs used today. (n.b.: As clear a case of WP:DUCK as I've ever reported.) The backlog at SPI is, sadly, severe at the moment and this is preventing timely action on my and many other reports, but perhaps, with these 3RR issues at stake they can be paid additional attention. Note that blocking "the IP" will have little effect because he seems to have two different /19 IP blocks (at least) at his disposal and it is apparently very easy for him to change within them; he has used at least half a dozen different IPs just in the last 24 hours. The only recourse to protect the encyclopedia is to continue reverting and trust that SPI will come to the right decision in a timely manner. Jeh (talk) 11:47, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Both users, the motivations why Jeh and Guy Harris guard their mistakes on related articles are very suspicious. They deny the things which almost all the software vendors recognise. Those software vendors differentiate x86-64 from x86, but they both treat them as one. So I guess they might earn money from Intel, so they prevent such modifications to related wiki articles! (talk) 12:00, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
"Those software vendors differentiate x86-64 from x86..." Yes, but the context on this page is different. Depending on the context, two things may be regarded as different or part of the same group. This is no different from the other architectures on the same page. Vincent Lefèvre (talk) 12:08, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
At least some of those software vendors also differentiate 32-bit XXX from 64-bit XXX for values of XXX other than x86, because, for example, you need different compiler options to generate code for 64-bit XXX, and you need a 64-bit processor running an OS that supports 64-bit code to run software for 64-bit XXX. Nothing special about x86 here. Guy Harris (talk) 16:30, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
  •  It sounds like a duck quacking into a megaphone to me, as stated by multiple users, and extremely obvious from even a brief glance at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Janagewen. Reverts are per WP:EVASION, which has been made quite clear to this IP hopping LTA case before my first revert, and which I made quite clear in one of my subsequent reverts. This ANI case is just another example of extreme bad faith from this globally-locked user who is indeffed from EN-WP and 5 other WMF wikis. Murph9000 (talk) 11:55, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh. Wow. Block evasion and sockpuppetry dating back to September of 2015 and edit warring, personal attacks, and disruptive editing dating back a year further. It's clearly the same user, and you are being much too nice. I'd suggest removing any comments they post on article talk pages, either. I endorse the actions taken by Murph9000 and by the other named editors in this thread and will block the IP address and protect the page. To the person who opened this thread, you are not permitted to edit any Wikipedia article until your original account is unblocked. You, the person who opened this thread, are the one being abusive. Massively abusive. --Yamla (talk) 12:02, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Yamla. I've replied to a couple of WP:FORUMSHOPPING type messages this particular IP left on some user talk pages, because I was named in them. I pretty much WP:DGAF about the messages that were left there, but I give my explicit permission to remove my replies if an admin feels the need or desire to EVASION-revert the messages. Murph9000 (talk) 12:13, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, Yamla. It is gratifying that the SP reports (of which I contributed not a small fraction, especially recently) provided enough info to allow you to hear the quacking, as it were. It is also good to be told that blanket reverting, even of the LTA's talk page "contributions" (I use the term loosely), is the right thing.
Of course, when we revert, the LTA will simply re-revert. As you have already seen. (I was hoping that this particular EW would lead to the currently-attacked page being semi-protected rather before this.) SPI reports have been ineffective due to the LTA's IP-hopping and also due to the many-days backlog at SPI.
The only way I can see to get the point across is protecting the pages, but RFP is not being acted upon particularly quickly either. I'd had a request up to SP that page - it was finally acted upon after almost 12 hours.
I feel that if this LTA's abuses are consistently, swiftly reverted and then blocked via protection, we'll get a better result, per WP:DFTT and WP:DENY. And even if we don't it's more effective at protecting the encyclopedia than edit wars. Is there a reporting venue or some such that would get faster action on RFPs? Would an entry at LTA help? Jeh (talk) 13:07, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
A LTA report would probably help. I'm also monitoring Comparison of instruction set architectures for any further violations. And yeap, swiftly reverting, blocking, and semi-protecting the pages this vandal is targeting will help, though that requires an admin actually notice what's going on. Others may have better ideas, too. --Yamla (talk) 20:31, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Legal threat on Chloe Khan...again![edit]

Blocked by Yamla per WP:NLT. --QEDK () 18:34, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
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There has been another legal threat made on the above article, this time someone purporting to be the subject. It can be found here. CassiantoTalk 23:37, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Blocked for legal threats. The problem here is that the claims are well-sourced with reliable sources, as far as I can see, and the user, under a different guise, has previously been warned about legal threats. The claim can (and should) be removed if there's a reliable source indicating the claim was actually false, but as far as I know, none has been presented. That said, I had never heard of Chloe Khan until these issues cropped up. --Yamla (talk) 00:05, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Yamla. Have also left them a message about their options, including if they really do wish to pursue legal action. -- Euryalus (talk) 01:08, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Not every little incident with the authorities is necessarily notable. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:51, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

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User:Hullaballoo Wolfowitz and Mary Bell[edit]

The image in question has been deleted as a BLP violation, which seems to have settled it. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:07, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
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User:Hullaballoo Wolfowitz in his one man vigilante campaign against non-free photos in BLP articles removed the photo from Mary Bell even though it is explained that Mary Bell lives under anonymity and will not pose for a free photo. Please reprimand him. Paul Benjamin Austin (talk) 00:10, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

It might not be that the removal is based on non-free, WP:MUG - Mlpearc (open channel) 00:23, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a mugshot of a child, so I've deleted it as a BLP violation. SarahSV (talk) 00:54, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: Thank you. - Mlpearc (open channel) 00:57, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Even if there was no BLP issue, we simply do not use non-free photos of living people, even of those who refuse to pose for photos. Including photos in articles is by no means mandatory. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:26, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't give a whit about this particular article, but can you point me to where it says we don't use non-free photos of living people? Just for my education. EEng 07:36, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
WP:NFCC#1 is generally applied in that way. JoJo Eumerus mobile (talk) 08:49, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
To add to the above: It does not explicitly state that, but it is generally applied in that way because with a living person there is always the chance they will change their mind and make a photo available. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:54, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

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Ban evasion by RXX-7979Ⅲ[edit]

Ban evading editor blocked, content removed. Nothing further to act on. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:40, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
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RXX-7979Ⅲ was banned a couple of weeks ago from making any edit relating to Japan history and Japanese war crimes. His first edit following the ban notification was a non-neutral change to the comfort women article, misrepresenting a source from IWG and using an unreliable Facebook reference to greatly diminish the Japanese comfort women issue. Binksternet (talk) 05:49, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

I've blocked for a week for the obvious topic ban. And yes, I too can find nothing remotely similar to the alleged quote in the cited document. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:17, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

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another fuck off from MjolnirPants[edit]

I honestly don't see any chance of any admin action coming from this, and I'd urge everyone to instead take a step back and think of a better way to help improve the encyclopedia - and then go and do that. So I'm making a bold close here, to try to help diffuse an unproductive minor dispute between otherwise productive contributors. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:37, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
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Well with this edit that make two fuck offs over the same matter (though this one was asking him to strike the first) [1] [2]

Allow me to analyse the first fuck off.

"*Template:Poing Two things: I'm getting pretty sick of seeing you pop up to tell me what you think I'm doing wrong. "

A mild PA, in which he comments on me not the subject. Also had to see how I was hounding him, not only did I post first in this thread but I never directly replied to him in that threads, or even mention him. At worst I reply to another user underneath his reply to that user.Slatersteven (talk) 09:17, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

"It got old a long time ago, so why don't you just fuck off and bother someone else, kay?"

Do I need to say more?

"Second, Linking other editors to a photo and essentially telling them to draw their own conclusions is pretty much the most OR type of OR that ever ORed and the fact that you would argue with this does not speak highly of you."W

Well not only do I not say this, but in fact agree with MjolnirPants that OR is not acceptable.[3], this by the way ds the post I mention above, as can be seen it is not indented as a reply to MjolnirPants. In addition he continues with the snide snipping.

All of this in response to me (as far as I can tell) asking "users" to treat new users with respect and not not mock them.

I asked him to strike the post [4]. which provoked the second fuck off. Slatersteven (talk) 09:17, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

If we started blocking people because they told their colleagues to fuck off- particularly in their own userspace, where much more latitude applies- we'd have a much smaller workplace with much fewer articles! — O Fortuna semper crescis, aut decrescis 09:28, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
He did not just do it in his user space. The second (I linked to, the first he said) was in the Fringe theory notice board.Slatersteven (talk) 09:36, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
If anyone wants the backstory click here. The fringe theory issue ran like this:
  • Editor A advocates Original research over pineapples in Rome (sadly not a joke)
  • MPants says 'Have you read or heard of OR?' linking to it.
  • Slatersteven replies to MPants with (as is usual for SS) a half-baked understanding of policy/guidelines. This is an ongoing issue.
  • MPants loses his rag as this is not the first time they have had to deal with this.
Frankly SlaterSteven, you would be told to fuck off less if you would stop hectoring vastly more experienced editors than yourself, repeatedly showing a limited understanding of the various policies. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:57, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
How did I deserve this latest attack, how the hell was I hectoring him? Also as far as I know there is no justification under policy for telling another user to fuck off, not matter what (there was not this time) the provocation. I did not respond to him at all in that thread. Post the link where I did? What I did was to agree with him about OR, and then ask all users to refrain from being disrespectful (he had not been disrespectful up to that point) So I fail to see how or why he launched his attack on me. Nor can I see how you (or otehrs) seem to think I was hectoring him, when he had not done what I was asking people not to do.Slatersteven (talk) 10:18, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Nor have I asked for a block, but I am not sure that even agreeing to not interact with each other (as I did not interact with him here) would help.Slatersteven (talk) 10:25, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
(ec) (Non-administrator comment) Here you go. If that wasn't in response to MP's comment just above, it's a pretty good imitation and it fooled me. Kleuske (talk) 10:28, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
It is indented as a reply to N591real (at least according to how I understand indentation in Wikipedia) Wikipedia:Indentation. Also (as I said) as this in no way comments on anything he (Pants) did how can I be responding to him?Slatersteven (talk) 10:35, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I think Mr. Pants has adopted the correct behavioural response to Mr. Steven. -Roxy the dog. bark 10:38, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Indents aren't that reliable as an indicator, off-by-one errors are quite common. Moreover, N591real did not reference OR, MP did. Berating N591 to be kind to noobs does not make sense from any perspective. As I said, if it wasn't in response to MP, you fooled me (and MP, by the looks of it). In short: I don't believe you. Kleuske (talk) 11:07, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Likewise. The comment actually makes no sense in context if it was in reply to N591real. Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:19, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

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<slow clap> ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:12, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Fig-showing on Steve_Munro[edit]

IPs displaying cringe-worthy saccharine schwärmerei. Dunno if it needs a sock investigation, a partial protect, or what, but it needs something. Anmccaff (talk)

@Anmccaff: Let's try a one month pending changes protect. --NeilN talk to me 05:39, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Username oddity[edit]

Account blocked for username violation (non-admin closure) TheGracefulSlick (talk) 19:34, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
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User:Steve Bannon looks like a username violation (impersonation of Steve Bannon). I would normally post this to WP:UAA but there's a Huffington Post article that already oddly published about some of the user's actions. Seems very odd. 2601:282:B01:A696:2D4D:D2DE:123A:2A27 (talk) 09:39, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Blocked as a username violation. --kelapstick(bainuu) 09:49, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
And a few socks as well. --kelapstick(bainuu) 09:58, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

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Botched History merge (by me)[edit]

Fixed. ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 23:28, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
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Pamela Clemit needs to be created with its complete history, please see [5] and [6]. Help! I shouldn't try to do these things. Bishonen | talk 21:07, 27 May 2017 (UTC).

Done. —Cryptic 21:19, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Thank you very much, Cryptic. Bishonen | talk 21:20, 27 May 2017 (UTC).

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Contacting president Putin?[edit]

user blocked, deletion discussions ahoy, not the venue for content discussions/political discussions, etc. etc. y'all know the drill Writ Keeper  19:57, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
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Should not the user be indefinitely blocked [7]? I am not really happy with KGB or FBI being alerted on my Wikipedia activities.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:12, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Well, the KGB has not existed for quite some years so no worries there. The FBI is still in business, at least for the moment.
With that out of the way: A comment like that from some users would simply be a lame attempt at humor. I'm not familiar enough with @User:Cminard to know if that's the case here. And you should have contacted her as required. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 13:22, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
KGB became FSB, and this is where she complained to. I was indeed required to contact her, but believe me attention of FSB is a pretty serious threat for me, and asking for more attention increases the chances of some events I would not like to see. Now she has been dealt with, anyway.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:27, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Blocked indefinitely, WP:NLT. I expect these organisations, along with the NSA, were probably already monitoring your, and everyone else's, Wikipedia activities. :) --Yamla (talk) 13:17, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:20, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm sure Putin is a very busy man, I highly doubt some report about a content dispute on Wikipedia is going to get to his desk or concern him in the slightest. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 13:33, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
  • If you have a look at the deleted old version of her user page, you'll get some idea of how seriously she's likely to be taken by the relevant authorities. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 14:22, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
    • um...I know this is pretty old by now, but some of that deleted stuff should have been oversighted--and still should be. Writ Keeper  14:33, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
    • I do not think Putin would be interested at all, but right now there are a lot of cases in Russia when people are jailed for twits etc. The signals typically come from, um, unstable whistleblowers. I am not currently in Russia, but still...--Ymblanter (talk) 16:02, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Good thing for Trump we don't jail people for twits here in the US. EEng 17:41, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
BLP violation removed. Legacypac (talk) 16:39, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Content note: Article contains the passage: Three dolphins applauded the president for feeding them fish, while the walruses even shook his hand. EEng 17:41, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
I prefer Adorned in white overalls to resemble a bird, Putin did manage to get some cranes to fly. ‑ Iridescent 17:51, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a shame the title of this thread isn't something like BITEy behavior at Pets of Vladimir Putin. EEng 18:05, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Someone put a proposed deletion tag on the copy and pasted article, so she copied it, and removed the prod. I nominated the article for deletion now. — JJBers 17:56, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
(It was this article)

I voted to keep the article since it is as good as the other similar pages, some of which I was already aware of. Who knew Putin's dog is tracked by Russian GPS? Legacypac (talk) 18:20, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

BLP violation removed EEng 19:40, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
That's a violation of WP:WAX... And possibly WP:TRIVIA. — JJBers 18:23, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

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Problematic behavior by User:Medeis at the reference desk[edit]

No consensus for any administrative action against Medeis or any other editor at this time. As several editors have noted, this discussion has strayed quite far from its original purpose. Many proposals regarding WP:RD have been advanced - from abolition to reform to minor tweaks - but it is apparent that these ideas are very preliminary, and exist only in very broad outlines. As Robert McClenon and Berean Hunter wisely pointed out, if the community believes that RD reform is necessary or desirable, then that is a discussion that should take place somewhere centralized and in orderly fashion. A well-written, clear, and specific, community-wide RfC, enumerating particular proposals (i.e., Option A, Option B, Option C), advertised at Template:Centralized discussion, is an good option. If an editor wants to pursue arbitration, they are free to so request, and it will be up to Arbcom to make the call. I note, however, that it would be needlessly confusing to have both a Request for Arbitration/Arb case and a community-wide RfC pending at the same time; I therefore advise against doing both simultaneously. Neutralitytalk 00:22, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
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First of all, apologies if this is in the wrong place, and feel free to move it.

Several days ago, an anonymous user asked this question on the Reference Desk. After some brief discussion, User:Medeis suggested it be closed due to the questioner asking for opinions, something discouraged on the Reference Desk. Myself and User:JackofOz did not agree that he had done so or that it should be closed, and stated our reasons why. One user, User:Baseball_Bugs, did agree that it should be closed, but for a reason quite separate from Medeis's, and one that is not a valid reason to close a RD question at all (the questioner not having responded for 18 hours). At this point, with two in favor and two opposed, otherwise-uninvolved User:Ian.thomson closed the thread for a third reason - an anonymous IP was vandalizing it. I opened this discussion, Ian Thomson explained his reasoning, an administrator banned the problem IP, and some other users expressed support for keeping the question open and concern at Medeis's general excessive tendency toward closing people's questions and ignoring consensus on the reference desks. No one posted in support of the closing, and Medeis didn't offer any new reasoning beyond what (s)he'd already said. I unhatted the question since the vandal issue was now dealt with and there was clearly no consensus to close, and figured that would be the end of it.

However, Medeis promptly hatted it again. I reverted this second hatting, and asked Medeis to explain him/herself in the talk page discussion. Without doing so or in fact saying anything further at all, (s)he simply hatted it yet again, with no explanation beyond "not this again." At this point I'm bringing it here out of 3RR concerns and because Medeis is clearly uninterested in the consensus on the talk page.

I find this situation quite troubling and am not sure what should be done about it. This is far from the first time issues of this nature has arisen around Medeis. (S)he is extremely active on the Reference Desk, possibly the most active user there, and the majority of his/her contributions are helpful. However, a quite substantial minority are not. Medeis received a six-month topic ban from the Reference Desk in 2014, although it was later rescinded when another admin decided there wasn't consensus. This had no effect on his/her behavior. A perusal through the Reference Desk talk page archives, or Medeis's own talk page, will find many other instances where Medeis's application of his/her own ideas about what the Reference Desk's rules should be has caused friction with other editors. (S)he seems to view the Reference Desk as his/her personal fief, and if the general rules and guidelines of Wikipedia/the RD or the community consensus disagree with his/her personal views, (s)he simply ignores them.

I am really not sure what to do about a user like this. Personally, I think a topic ban would be warranted - I don't think Medeis's positive contributions to the Reference Desk outweigh the combative and haughty attitude with which (s)he interacts with others there. But (s)he is far from a pure vandal, so I'm not sure that would be appropriate under Wikipedia's procedures. Warnings and discussions in which consensus sharply disagree with him/her seem to have no effect whatsoever though, and if an admin simply unhats this question again and takes no other action, we're just going to be running into these issues again, and again, and again. Any thoughts would be appreciated. -Elmer Clark (talk) 20:26, 18 May 2017 (UTC)


Ten more examples of (IMO) inappropriate closures by Medeis, all within the last month. Especially troubling is that she simply removed a couple of them, making it impossible for anyone else to even realize it was ever there.

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The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Medeis hats a question on the grounds of it being "far too broad to be worth the cognitive effort," even though it had already received a well-referenced answer that the user said he appreciated (if it's not worth the cognitive effort to YOU, you don't have to answer...) [8]

Medeis closes someone's questions related to a sci-fi story they were writing on the grounds that "the RD doesn't do homework for you" (no indication was given that this was homework, the question implies otherwise if anything), after a half dozen others had already given relevant responses [9]

Medeis closes a question that had already received several relevant responses because "we cannot comment on unspecified material," weird to begin with and an extremely narrow and unreasonable interpretation of what the person was asking [10]

Medeis hats a question because "WP:BLP does not allow speculation about the motives of living figures--provide relevant sources" when the user specifically asked for references, not speculation - apparently Medeis sees simply having asked this question as a BLP violation, which is ridiculous [11]

Medeis removes a two perfectly neutral and reasonable questions from the same user because she assumes he's a known troll from the past simply because, I guess, his questions relate to racist regimes of the past, and this known troll was a racist (none of the contributions from the actual questioner's IP were problematic). A definite WP:AGF violation if nothing else. [12] and [13]

Medeis removes a question as "a request for personal judgments" when an equally reasonable interpretation would be that the questioner was asking about standard procedure [14]

Medeis removes an innocuous questioner because the questioner had been banned for causing unrelated problems elsewhere [15]

Medeis hats a question, where, admittedly, another user had expressed concern that the question was too vague as stated, but he was actively talking with that user to clarify that he was specifically looking for references, not debate, and asking for help on how to reword his question better [16]

Medeis removes a question saying "we don't make judgments here," even though it was blatantly obvious the questioner was asking about prevailing Victorian attitudes and not RD users' personal views [17]

I have also thought of a specific sanction I think would be appropriate - can we simply ban Medeis from closing reference desk threads? If they genuinely need to be closed for legitimate reasons, someone else will. But these constant closures of people's perfectly reasonable questions do serious harm to the Reference Desk - I cannot think of a better way to scare people off. -Elmer Clark (talk) 23:35, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Moved this thread from AN to AN/I as AN/I is the more appropriate forum for discussion of editor behaviour. Mr rnddude (talk) 20:39, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't see it noted that it was not I, but user @Ian.thomson: who hatted that discussion after I and @Baseball Bugs: suggested that it should be. I see no mention of the fact that @WaltCip: enforced the hatting and semiprotected the page, given an IP user he identified as a sockpuppet had been editting disruptively and refactoring my edits. I do see Elmer Clarks revival of the thread, when even the original OP had lost interest in it, after two days as a deliberate provocation, hence my reversion of the pointy reopening and my "not this again" comment. To summarize, there's no need for me to discuss reverting refactorings of my own comments, I am not the one who hatted the thread, an admin protected the page and closed the thread, and a reversion of a pointy re-opening two days later does not count as edit warring. μηδείς (talk) 20:53, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
      • I just wanted to point out for the record I am not an admin and I do not have the authority to semi-protect pages. I'm not sure where Medeis is getting this idea.--WaltCip (talk) 12:15, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I did in fact note that it was Ian Thomson and not you the first time (but not the second or third). And I think it's a little ridiculous to say I "revived this as deliberate provocation" after the "OP had lost interest" when that OP expressly asked for it to be re-opened and wondered what was going on in the talk page section. Your description of the admin's actions are also very misleading - the only admin action taken was specifically in response to the vandalism issue, it was certainly no endorsement of the thread being closed on your supposed grounds, which, in fact, everyone else roundly disagreed with on the talk page. -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:42, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I was pinged by Elmer Clark and because I only have time right now for Wikipedia in at least the the next 24 hours but probably longer, let me give my opinion. I have made it clear many times that the fundamental problem with the Ref Desk is that it is not so prominent, there is an unhealthy low ratio of people asking questions to people answering questions, this then invites disputes about administering the site. Basically, it's the "too many captains on a small ship problem", which then probably leads to negative feedback on any would be question askers; they are not going to bother to come to our ref desks. Medeis is our de-facto alpha woman who has taken it upon herself to hat questions that she thinks are not appropriate. Most of the time her actions are appropriate, the problem really is about the way she goes about this which is going to lead to friction when her actions are judged to be wrong by others. Even if that happens just in one out of 50 cases, that's then still going to be a problem.
The way forward is for everyone but especially Medeis to get a sense of perspective here. The Ref Desks has been surpassed a long time ago by StackExchange, this is why I spend a lot more time there than here, see my questions and answers there, clearly the set-up there invites a lot more high quality contributions. As I've also said w.r.t. to the other hot button issues regarding legal and medical advice: It's besides the point as no one ever comes here to get any sort of meaningful advice anyway. We're pretending to be a university when in reality we're just bunch of toddlers making a lot of noise in Kindergarten. Imposing your rule here is then like fighting to get your way as the mayor of PhinDeli Town Buford, Wyoming, a total waste of time. What may be more worthwhile is to try to make the Ref Desk to become more prominent. Count Iblis (talk) 21:04, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
First the OP has noted one specific situation (for which they have some of the particulars wrong) and then expanded that to make broad statements about behavior by Medies for which not a shred of evidence to back up is provided. Next, what admin action does the OP want - they make a vague reference to a topic ban and then act like it is up to somebody else to enact it. Lastly, I have to wonder how someone with who averages less than 100 edits a year since 2010 has any idea of what goes on at the ref desks on a daily basis. The free-for-all that the RD's have become could use "centralized discussion" but until that happens this thread is not going to accomplish anything. BTW M is nowhere close to the most active editor on the RD's. MarnetteD|Talk 21:23, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I do not believe I have any of the particulars wrong - see my response to Medeis. And while I rarely edit these days (largely because of how toxic my favorite part of Wikipedia, the Reference Desk, has become) I still read it almost daily, so I don't think it's inappropriate for me to comment on general trends there. Your other point is fair and well taken though - give me a couple of hours and I'll post some more specific examples of recent problem behavior. -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:42, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
And as to not suggesting any specific course of action, I simply don't know what would be appropriate in a case like this (I've never encountered anything similar here) and was hoping more experienced editors might offer up a reasonable solution. If you're only supposed to post here to petition for a specific course of action then I apologize. -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:44, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I have started threads before asking the community what action they think is appropriate but those threads showed a long-term trend with minimal commentary (maybe a paragraph of context and a list of WP:DIFFs with short summaries). Show, don't tell. Also, in those instances, the most obvious course of action was a block (topic bans generally being a last chance). Ian.thomson (talk) 23:11, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
If the OP has read the ref desks "daily" for nearly seven years (and they have changed quite a bit in that time) they would know that there have been numerous editors (including myself) who have closed threads. Some have agreed with those closes and others haven't, yet you have only brought one editor to ANI. That is troubling to say the least. MarnetteD|Talk 23:22, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I certainly don't have any blanket objection to closing questions ever, I simply believe Medeis in particular frequently does it when not warranted, to the detriment of the desk. -Elmer Clark (talk) 23:37, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
There are three classes of editors who close questions on the refdesks (with a fair amount of overlap). First, there are those who make uncontroversial closes, and the only reaction they get from other refdesk editors is an occasional thank you. Second, there are those who make some dodgy closes, but as soon as several other editors star pushing back they back off, usually with an apology. Third, there are those who do a lot of dodgy closes, and dig in their heels when they encounter pushback from the other regulars. Medeis/μηδείς is in the third group. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:08, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't think Medeis hats discussions all that frequently nowadays. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:46, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Did you see my list of examples? Do you not think ten hattings in a month is a lot? Or do you think all/most of those examples were in fact justified? -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:56, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Close this thread[edit]

  • Support There is no admin action requested. So the only reason for the thread it to smear Medeis. As far as I am concerned this needs to be closed before it delves any further into WP:HOUND territory. MarnetteD|Talk 23:22, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Please hold off, I am adding further references and requesting a specific course of action as we speak -Elmer Clark (talk) 23:30, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I've now added ten more examples in the collapsible box and suggested a specific sanction I believe would solve the problem without sacrificing Medeis's positive RD contributions. Please let me know if I need to take any further action to allay your concerns. -Elmer Clark (talk) 23:36, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks MarnetteD. If admins are interested, here's yet another pointless provocation by OP 2600 on my talk page, the same IP who was reverting other's actions and refactoring my comment on the thread that is the "basis" for this "complaint". (I'll be asking for a permanent semi-protect there as soon as I post this). μηδείς (talk) 00:45, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Just to be clear, this IP has nothing to do with this complaint at all. It's totally irrelevant, a confounding factor actually that muddies the waters of the real issue. The issue is you closing questions, or advocating closing them, when there is no reason to do so, and persisting even when consensus is clearly against you. You originally wanted to close the question because it was asking for opinions, before this IP even showed up. Later, you DID close it twice, even though this IP had been banned by then. -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:01, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Also, this IP was NOT the OP! -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:02, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Just to be clear, if you are going to add new evidence, you should give actual edit summaries or edit qutes with diffs on the open forum, not hidden under a hat inside your original complaint. You make numerous errors which I would call factual errors. My deletion of User:Neptunekh's edits requires no sanction. She's a banned user, one who has threatened self-harm, and who is subject to summary deletion as such. The 2600 IP6 range has not been banned, IP ranges are not banned, but User:WaltCip has indeed identified them as disruptive sockpuppets, and again, no further sanction is necessary to revert their edits. You will find that all the so-called hattings you have attributed in this case are mere reversions to the prior state established by Ian.thomson. I agree with him that his hatting does not mean he agrees with me.
Nevertheless, I agree with him that unnecessary edit warring over moot non-requests for references is not a good idea.
Finally, you repeat this nonsense that I am responsible here for an unjustified hatting. Again, after Bugs and I suggested it, Ian did it, and Walt enforced it. Yet you attack me. Who are you, I wonder? You go from accusing me of hatting a thread of dubious value in most people's eyes to "advocating" the hatting of such a thread. Looking at your "contributions", they are almost entirely against me. Is rhat why you registered an account? Is advocating the closure of a thread, without closing it, now to be forbidden?
The rest of the "evidence" you hide above shows that when opposed, I don't edit war regarding closings, such as the case where I thought the Boer War OP might be the user called the Nazi troll. Another user reverted me, and said he didn't think it was actually the same troll, and that was it.
Yes, I have restored edits of mine that were refactored. But no edit warring on my part. No childish stalking or pointy attacks. (For example, Count Iblis and I frequently disagree, but also contribute civilly without seeking to ban each other.) In the meantime I have provided plenty of actual contributions to the project. Hours worth of work on the African nation question, and the Eastern Slavic question.
What have you done? I think I have said enough. μηδείς (talk) 03:12, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
This post is a good example of the same kind of problematic behavior you display at the reference desk. Excessive focus on procedural issues and minutiae while largely not addressing the larger issue at all, paranoid and unfounded accusations regarding people's motives (I have thousands of edits and have been registered since no, I did not create this account to harass you, and I made my added evidence here as clear as possible, with a boldface header and located right at the top), and a complete disinterest in the fact that many people see fundamental issues with the way you approach things. Even among your supporters here, no one has argued that these closings, and a general mindset toward closings that is as broad is yours, is a good thing. And I acknowledged many times that you also make many unambiguously good contributions, and specifically tried to find a solution that wouldn't jeopardize that - and I think I did. Unfortunately no one here has even responded to it. I don't suppose you'd be open to voluntarily leaving hatting questions to others who follow less controversial criteria... -Elmer Clark (talk) 20:55, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Who wrote the unsigned comment above, I was wandering... Only to find out it was Medeis. What's up with that bit of indent confusion, Medeis? El_C 09:15, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it was simply one post with a formatting error, not an unsigned post which I immediately responded to. And my apologies to WaltCip, my confusion was to look at the last in a series of edits and to assume they all belonged to the same editor. μηδείς (talk) 14:43, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Also I'm still struggling to see where I apparently identified a sockpuppet and enforced an unjustified hatting... Did I pass an RFA in my sleep last night?--WaltCip (talk) 12:30, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Fairly sure Medeis is referring to User:Berean Hunter who did hard block the trolling IP range (not the IP who started the question) and protect the page. Special:Log/Berean Hunter. As for the indent, it's unfortunate and confusing but seems sa simple mistake so although I may be the master at making a big deal out of things at times, I don't see it's likely to be productive here. Nil Einne (talk) 12:47, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Affirmative...except the "...enforced an unjustified hatting" interpretation further up. I removed the trolling IP's last edit per DENY but this should not be taken as an endorsement either for or against the hatting. I left that as a matter for the editors there to decide.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:21, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I think This link provides some necessary additional evidence people need to decide what to do about this situation. --Jayron32 10:48, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Concur with that. Even if you think some sort of action against Medeis is warranted, it's unlikely it'll be achieved here. A simple read of this thread, and the connection with the disputed post on RD/L is enough to tell you that. BTW this also means I'd support closing of this thread. Nil Einne (talk) 12:49, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Yesterday, I read some of the discourse between editors on that ref desk talk page and I would say that it would put off both established editors as well as newcomers. Clearly, it is an unhealthy environment. I believe this ANI post may have been an attempt to remedy that based on the filer's interpretation of Guy's advice. ANI was one of the options listed. Probably time to try one of the other options...
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:56, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Honestly the ref desks would be a nicer place if more people *would* close down discussions promptly. Its the Mos Eisley of wikipedia. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:20, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support closing this much-ado-about-not-much discussion, as the question's poster (as noted below) has provided clarification that could take the inherent guesswork out of it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:08, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Return of the OP[edit]

The OP has returned and clarified his question, so I have reopened the thread, leaving the side-discussion closed as moot. μηδείς (talk) 20:58, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

This discussion isn't about one incident. It is about a long-term pattern of behavior. As I have said elsewhere, I have serious reservations about singling you out for your inappropriate hatting and deletion when [A] others are doing the same thing, and [B] a literal reading of the special rules ("reference desk guidelines") that only apply to the refdesks allows the disruptive behavior. Given those two mitigating facts, I do not think that administrative sanctions against you are justified. That being said, your behavior (and the behavior of several others) on the refdesks has been disruptive, you have shown yourself to be unwilling to stop despite severe pushback from the other refdesk regulars, and undoing the closing after someone reported you at ANI for it in no way makes your ongoing disruptive behavior moot. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:49, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Guy Macon's Advice[edit]

I choose not to express an opinion about whether the behavior of Medeis/μηδείς requires any sort of administrative action at this time. Others have weighed in on this, and I support whatever the consensus is.

That being said, in my opinion the following is glaringly obvious:

  1. The reference desks -- all of them -- are toxic and have been toxic for a while.
  2. The help desk and the village pumps are not toxic.
  3. Something some of the refdesk regulars are doing at the reference desks that few people are doing at the village pump or help desk is the cause of this. I believe that this something involves non-administrators attempting to control the behavior of other editors without going to dispute resolution or asking for an uninvolved administrator to intervene.
  4. This is not a "one editor is causing all of the trouble" sort of problem. There are multiple editors who attempt to control the behavior of other editors, a much larger group that keeps asking them to stop doing that, and a few who egg them on and call for even more self-appointed refdesk policemen.
  5. We also have troll problems on the refdesks, yet the help desk and the village pumps have far fewer problems in this area. Something some of the refdesk regulars are doing at the ref desks that few people are doing at the village pump or help desk is the cause of this. I believe that this something is troll feeding, which includes attempting to control the behavior of other editors as well as the traditional refusing to ignore the trolls.

I have, what I believe to be a solution.

I have asked, repeatedly, that we at the refdesks try my solution as a limited time (30 days or so) experiment.

The experiment never gets done because those who attempt to control the behavior of other editors on the refdesks refuse to stop, even temporarily.

Here is my proposed solution to this problem:

  • Get rid of the special rules ("reference desk guidelines") that only apply to the refdesks and which the admins (rightly) refuse to enforce. Turn it into an essay that makes it clear that it is advice, not a policy or guideline.
  • Apply the standard rules that apply to all pages on Wikipedia. In particular, apply WP:DDE and especially WP:TPOC.
  • Stop complaining about other editors on the refdesk or the refdesk talk pages. Instead, complain on the user's talk page, and if that doesn't work, file a report at WP:ANI or try some other form of dispute resolution, starting with WP:DRR.
  • Let Wikipedia's existing mechanisms for dealing with disruptive behavior do their job. This includes full use of WP:DRR and WP:ANI and includes administrators blocking anyone who violates WP:TPOC or persists in complaining about other editors on the refdesk or the refdesk talk pages after being warned not to do that again.

What we are doing is not working. And before anyone asks, no I will not post an RfC with the above solution. I refuse to post RfCs where I am 100% convinced that the proposal will not pass. Feel free to post it yourself and get shot down if you think I am wrong on this. I suggest Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) as an appropriate place to post the RfC.

Finally, I really don't see anything that ANI can do to fix this. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:15, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Can we just send the refdesk to MfD and have a straight up or down on the whole thing? Seems easier. TimothyJosephWood 15:21, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
<shows up here straight from the refdesk> Delete and salt, then nuke the site from orbit. (I'm not serious, but I really believe Guy is on to something with his proposal.) ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:27, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I find it interesting that [A] there is strong resistance to trying it for 30 days. [B] those who loudly object are, for the most part, the same few editors who insist on controlling the behavior of others. [C] who loudly object are, for the most part, the same few editors who keep being criticized for inappropriate hatting and deleting, yet vow to continue doing it anyway. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:57, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I refuse to post RfCs where I am 100% convinced that the proposal will not pass. That is a truly remarkable statement. You are pushing strongly for changes that, according to you, stand no chance of community consensus. One thing is certain, such changes will not be passed on this page. ―Mandruss  15:26, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I fail to see why you would find this to be remarkable. I have proposed what is, in my opinion and the opinion of several other refdesk regulars, a good solution. I acknowledge that the consensus so far is against even trying my proposed solution as a limited-time experiment. I agree to abide by the consensus even though I disagree with it. I presented my solution in the hope that I may some day persuade enough people to change the consensus. What would you have me do? Pretend that the consensus is right when I think it is wrong? Refuse to abide by the consensus just because I think it is wrong? Post an RfC that I believe will be a waste of effort? --Guy Macon (talk) 15:51, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
To be fair, Guy, the sentence he quoted does carry an implication that you're engaged in WP:ADVOCACY because it says you want to accomplish something without going through the normal channels. I don't see it as a problem, however, because it's advocacy for a change in WP policy, it's a change that is obviously intended to improve the project and it comes from an editor who is obviously here to contribute to the project. It's just an "it sounds bad" kind of thing, IMHO. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:56, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • This has been proposed before, but the problem is that there aren't any special refdesk rules, just a brief summary of general policy at the top of the page. So WP:DISCLAIMER, WP:BLP, WP:CRYSTAL, WP:NOTAFORUM, WP:NOTHOWTO, etc., would still apply. And frankly, we are a lot more lenient in regards to those policies than anywhere else in the rest of the project. I am not sure how anarchy will help any supposed toxicity. μηδείς (talk) 20:37, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • What part of "This page documents an English Wikipedia editing guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow"[18] are you having trouble understanding? If, as you claim, standard Wikipedia policies apply, then it seems to me that you should be held accountable for multiple violations of WP:WP:DDE and especially WP:TPOC. The reason that I wrote the words at the very top of this section were because I assumed that you had a good-faith belief that what you have been doing is allowed under the "reference desk guidelines" (specifically, the part that says "It should be noted that the Wikipedia talk page guidelines apply to the reference desk, both for posting questions and for responding to questions, unless these guidelines clarify that they do not apply"). If this isn't the case, please explain your ongoing disruptive behavior. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:37, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I drafted a response to Medeis saying "Guy Macon drew attention to special refdesk rules in his post of 05:02 Thursday", but before I had a chance to save it he himself drew attention to them in a rather aggressive manner. (talk) 10:45, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
WP:DISRUPT isn't going to apply because it refers to "improving an article or building the encyclopedia". WP:TPOC doesn't mention hatting. (talk) 10:56, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
What part of
" If a discussion goes off-topic (per the above subsection § How to use article talk pages), editors may hide it using the templates {{collapse top}} and {{collapse bottom}} or similar templates—these templates should not be used by involved parties to end a discussion over the objections of other editors"
are you having trouble understanding?
BTW, Further guidance about hatting is specifically covered in Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Closing discussions.
Wikipedia:Disruptive editing applies to any page anywhere on Wikipedia. The correct quote is "disrupts progress toward improving an article or building the encyclopedia". The purpose of the reference desks is to help build the encyclopedia, plus refdesk discussions often lead directly to improvements in specific articles. Disrupting the refdesks is definitely against the rules. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:26, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree 100% with what Guy said directly above me, and was about to say the same exact thing until I saw he beat me to it. The refdesk is part of the encyclopedia. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:00, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

One Editor’s View of the Problem[edit]

I will comment briefly, mostly to agree with User:Guy Macon. It isn’t entirely clear whether the original poster actually wants to impose a restriction on User:Medeis or simply wants to discuss. (A major problem here, at WP:ANI, is editors who want to discuss, typically in a hostile fashion, rather than requesting actual administrative action. In this respect, WP:ANI is like the Reference Desks, in being toxic, but is unlike the Reference Desks in having sanctions.) I have sometimes been active at the Reference Desks, and sometimes have ignored them for periods of weeks.

In my opinion, the real problem at the Reference Desks is editors who take the Reference Desks far too seriously, and who therefore think that things need to be done about them. Taking the Reference Desks too seriously is a self-fulfilling prophecy; insisting that there is a problem, either one particular post, or in general, is the problem. Also, as User:Guy Macon says, the Reference Desks have their own trolls. The trolls are fed by the tendency of some Reference Desk posters to get into a blather about the trolls. The trolls, of course, mostly come in from IP addresses, and occasionally from throw-away accounts. The usual response, which is the usual and appropriate response on Wikipedia talk pages, is to semi-protect the page or pages. However, a few regular editors, whom I refer to as RD “idealists”, think that this is the wrong answer, and that the Reference Desks are special, a special outreach of Wikipedia to unregistered editors, and that locking out the unregistered editors is the wrong answer. This results in heated discussion, which probably feeds the trolls. All of this is just one more example of how RD regular editors cause a problem by insisting that there is a problem that must be solved.

In any case, insisting that there is a problem that needs to be solved, whether it is threads that need hatting, or User:Medeis, is what causes the problem, and is why the Reference Desks are toxic.

I agree with User:Guy Macon that a real answer would be for the RD regulars to stop trying to control the behavior of other editors, and would add that they should also stop worrying so much about how to fix the Reference Desk problem. The discussion of how to fix the Reference Desks is the Reference Desk problem. As to the original topic, User:Medeis, she should stop hatting and deleting threads, where her actions do more harm than good, but the original poster should just leave her alone. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:21, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for your input. I think most of it is quite correct. However, I disagree about how significant what Medeis is doing is. Do you not agree that closing a new questioner's question is likely to chase him off from using the Reference Desk (and potentially Wikipedia in general) again? And that that is fundamentally antithetical to the RD's purpose, and diminishes its value as a resource? At ten (again, IMO) unjustified closings a months, we're potentially talking about hundreds of people affected here. I find it hard to believe that taking administrative actions while simply brazenly ignoring established procedure and consensus in a way that affected this many people would be tolerated in any other area of Wikipedia.
And I'm not sure this is relevant to your point in the first paragraph, but I originally posted this at WP:AN, not AN/I, and it was moved here. And this is the first time I've ever personally brought an issue to either place. There may be a more appropriate place for this discussion, but I don't think it's the Reference Desk talk pages for exactly the reason you pointed out - the reference desk isn't special, and whether a type of behavior is acceptable there should be decided by the community at large based on general Wikipedia guidelines and principles, not just by the reference desk regulars among themselves based on their own self-imposed rules of RD conduct. Also I did originally bring this up there, and consensus was unanimously against Medeis, but (s)he still re-hatted it twice anyway. I don't know where to turn at that point besides to admins. -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
pinging User:Robert McClenon so you know I replied to this since it's been 24 hours plus and I'm not sure you're still following this -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:27, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
User:Elmer Clark - It appears that I was just pinged because I failed to comment on a response. Apparently the OP thinks that it is important to discussions here that back-and-forth continue at length. I will respond shortly, but pinging me because I failed to get into an argument seems like an effort to continue an argument. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:49, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Maybe I missed something, but I didn't see a specific administrative action asked by the OP (nor a general administrative request such as for administrative attention). What does the OP want, other than for me to say something (and this thread isn't my thread, but the OP's and Medeis's and the community's). Robert McClenon (talk) 21:49, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Very sorry if my pinging was inappropriate, I thought it was standard procedure to do so when you were replying to someone and there was a good chance they might not see your reply (in this case, because I replied to you so long after your comment). You're certainly free not to involve yourself any more. To be clear, the specific administrative action I am requesting comes at the end of my addendum to the original post - Medeis being banned from closing reference desk discussions. -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:59, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
(Ah, I realize now my wording was ambiguous and could be taken to mean I pinged you because you were taking too long to reply. It wasn't that, it was because my own reply came so late you might not have seen it.) -Elmer Clark (talk) 02:20, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

I understand that this is not the best place for this discussion, but I just wanted to pipe up to say that as a long time Refdesk user (Mostly under my old username:APL) I agree strongly with Guy Macon's analysis above.
There's a huge set of written and unwritten rules that dictate proper behavior and God help any question-asker that violates them. Deletion and hatting is the most visible aspect of it, but you can also more subtly browbeat newbies too. (Did the question-asker ask an obviously US-centric question without actually specifying the USA? Let's all lecture them about it!) Add to all that a pervasive suspicion of IP editors, and it feels like there's a real hostility towards new users.
Of course, the existence of this hostile attitude makes it a rich and entertaining target for actual trolls, so the problem is self-reinforcing.
Whether Guy Macon's proposed fixes would fix it, I'm uncertain.
ApLundell (talk) 19:08, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
We could, you know, try it for 30 days and see whether it works. I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:20, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Everyone needs to stick to 0RR 1RR w.r.t. non-vandalism edits on the Ref Desk[edit]

Editing the Ref Desk is not similar to editing a Wiki article, there is far less need to revert outside of vandalism. There is a need to hat questions that are not appropriate, and it's these sorts of actions that can get reverted. So, I propose that we all stick to 0RR 1RR when it comes to editing the Ref Desk as far as non-vandalism edits are concerned. We stick to 1RR 2RR w.r.t. dealing with the edits of the OP of a question. So, if you hat a question but the OP reverts you then you can revert to your hatting (even if the OP is a regular, the idea is that an OP will typically be less objective than others). Note that the OP would already be in the wrong when reverting the hatting, as he/she would need to stick to 0RR 1RR, but most questions are asked by non-regular IPs who won't know about these rules. If most regular sticks to these rules, then all inappropriate questions will end up being hatted without creating much drama. Count Iblis (talk) 19:59, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Note: as pointed out in the comments below the original proposal invoking 0RR was wrong, so I corrected the text by changing X RR to (X+1) RR. Count Iblis (talk) 20:11, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I question your statement: There is a need to hat questions that are not appropriate.
Why do we need to hat anything? I know I've done a little bit of it myself, but on reflection I think hatting is not only unnecessary but counterproductive. Firstly, it actually highlights that which is purported to be hidden, so that's a complete wank. Secondly, nothing is gained by hatting. Thirdly, it's an open invitation for reversion and edit warring.
So someone asks an "inappropriate" question. So what? Best to just leave it alone, or explain to the OP why it's not appropriate, and then just move on. Consider a RL ref desk: Someone rocks up and asks a question that is beyond the remit of the desk. What does the librarian do? Turn back time and pretend the client had never existed? Throw a shroud over the client to hide them from view? No. They just say that they can't answer that question, and maybe suggest where would be a better place to ask. Then on to the next client. Simples.
Now, sometimes answers can get somewhat off-track, and there may be a case for hatting a section of a thread that is really not useful to the OP or anyone else. But as for hatting questions - no way. I'd rather delete a seriously offensively inappropriate question outright, than hat it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:31, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmmm, I think you make a good point here. But apart from the hatting issue, whatever we do on the Ref Desk, unless it's reverting vandalism, one should be able to stick to 0RR. Count Iblis (talk) 22:44, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
The ref desk rules say that certain types of questions, though not inherently vandalism, are inappropriate for the ref desk and are subject to deletion. Would you prefer that approach to hatting? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:39, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Deletion means removal, not just pretending to hide it behind a hat. There should be a high threshold for removal, but some questions would undoubtedly surpass it. Merely hatting a question actually highlights the question rather than downplaying it, human nature being what it is. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:02, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
My main point is to stick to 0RR, not whether hatting or deletion is better. Suppose the issue of what to do with a problem post would arise then under 0RR it would tend to be sorted out in the best way possible with the least amount of friction anyway. Count Iblis (talk) 02:44, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Are you saying that once someone hats something, it should stay hatted? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:09, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
No, because you can then remove the hat and decide to do something else (if anything) with that post. But when you do that the editor who hatted the question cannot revert back to the previous version, as that would violate 0RR. So, for an edit war to go on and on would requite more and more different editors to step in and undo each other's edit, but there are only a handful of regulars at the Ref Desk, so that's not going to happen. Count Iblis (talk) 08:07, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
That's not 0RR then, it's 1RR. And consider this: user A hats or deletes. User B unhats or undeletes. Why does user B get to "win"? What's special about user B that his opinion overrides user A's opinion? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:50, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
What's special is the fact that user B just demonstrated that the close was not an uncontroversial or uncontentious close. It is the exact same principle used at WP:BRD. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:57, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
So it should then be taken to the talk page. However, if you want to literally use 0RR, then no one can be allowed to unhat or undelete until it's been decided on the talk page. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:26, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Count Iblis, could you please edit your comments and the section title to reflect the fact that you are proposing 1RR and not 0RR? --Guy Macon (talk) 09:57, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Where was this decided?[edit]

Re: "The ref desk rules say that certain types of questions, though not inherently vandalism, are inappropriate for the ref desk and are subject to deletion",[19] Where was this decided? Could someone please post a link to the RfC or other discussion where the Wikipedia community (not just the refdesk regulars) decided that this was OK?

WP:CONLIMITED is quite clear on this:

"Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. For instance, unless they can convince the broader community that such action is right, participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope. WikiProject advice pages, information pages and template documentation pages written by a single individual or several participants who have not formally been approved by the community through the policy and guideline proposal process have no more status than an essay."

Whenever I bring this up, someone replies accusing me of saying that no removals are allowed. I have always been clear that removals on the refdesks are allowed in cases specified by existing policies and guidelines, particularly WP:DISRUPT and WP:TPOC. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:38, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm talking about the long-standing rules against giving professional advice and about not asking questions whose purpose is to invite debate. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:24, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this thread has strayed from its origins. The OP was trying to WP:HOUND a specific editor. Everything after that is misplaced. ANI is not the place to decide what is going to happen to the ref desks. As a couple of us have suggested a Wikipedia:Centralized discussion should be started. Then notices can be placed in various places to generate as full of a discussion as possible. An alternative is a RFC but, IMO, this has gone on so long that a CD is preferable. We can continue to spin our wheels here but, eventually, these threads will archived with nothing having been finalized. As with my request about the original thread I suggest this be closed. Then the discussion can be resumed at the appropriate spot. MarnetteD|Talk 16:25, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Close it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:48, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I really don't appreciate your repeated accusations about my motives. I think I've given you a very good explanation for why I've brought this up here, and accusing me of "trying to hound someone" nonetheless is a clear violation of WP:AGF. It's also absurd on its face given that, as you've pointed out, I'm much too inactive here to be involved in any ongoing personal disputes with other editors. I believe I've only interacted with Medeis once before ever, and it was about (essentially) this same issue. -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:11, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
And if this is the wrong place for this - perfectly possible, as I pointed out in the very first sentence of my post - wouldn't the correct solution be to move it rather than to close it? I think consensus from the comments here is that there definitely is an issue with Medeis's behavior, but I didn't go about addressing it properly. I would hope more experienced editors would work with me on that instead of just closing it - it's not a good thing if the avenues for addressing problems on Wikipedia are de facto only available to experienced users because anyone making procedural mistakes simply gets their issue tossed out regardless of the merits. -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:15, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I would suggest that if you're after a topic ban (say), you should just check the Banning policy where it says that you should make you proposal at WP:AN (preferably), or WP:ANI. So, in summary, this is a legitimate place for this discussion, but perhaps you need to start afresh with a direct proposal rather than just a general discussion. Providing diffs of disruptive (or perceived disruptive) behaviour would be essential, I can help with that, so please, if you feel dissuaded by the bureaucracy here, don't let that stop you. There are many here willing to help you. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:24, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Elmer, the suggestion to ban Medeis from hatting/closing or deleting any Ref Desk Q's is a good one, as she has shown a complete lack of judgement in when to do so. You should make that into a formal request, and I will support it. As for the accusation of you acting improperly in bringing the issue up here, I completely disagree. StuRat (talk) 01:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you. I'm concerned about bringing this up again in a new post though because at least one user (User:MarnetteD) already seems convinced that I'm hounding Medeis, and I'm afraid starting a whole new discussion somewhere else would just reinforce that. Also I did provide diffs in the collapsible box in my "addendum" above, you may have missed that Rambling Man (is there a better/more prominent way I can format that? Medeis seems to think it wasn't prominent enough as well). -Elmer Clark (talk) 02:04, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
The outcome I really don't want is for this discussion to be closed because of my procedural errors/confusing and bad formatting/the perception that I'm hounding Medeis/etc without any ruling being made based on the merits, and then Medeis forever being able to cite this discussion as "proof" that this issue has already been looked at and addressed if anyone ever brings this up again. Advice on how to avoid that would be greatly appreciated... -Elmer Clark (talk) 02:25, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
I believe diffs are included right at the start of the discussion, in most cases. But there is a certain irony if this thread is closed because it wasn't worded properly, when Medeis closes threads for that reason, too. StuRat (talk) 04:17, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Support a topic ban banning Medeis/μηδείς from closing or deleting any Ref Desk Q, with the option of later doing the same to other editors if it is determined that their closing/deleting is becoming disruptive. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:22, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
You're inviting the Nazi ref desk troll and/or the Vote(X) troll to raise holy hell anytime their garbage gets deleted - and to punish Medeis if that's the user doing the deleting. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:22, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
How do you figure? There's still literally every other Reference Desk user available to close obviously disruptive threads. And Medeis can easily avoid being "punished" by simply...obeying the sanction. -Elmer Clark (talk) 06:33, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Obviously disruptive threads need to be closed fast, and it doesn't really matter who does it. Why, oh why is this discussion even happening when the community - agreed procedure for dealing with this problem has not been tried first? See this comment:

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the reason why what we are doing isn't working is that we are not following the existing community - agreed guidelines, which are:

  • Whenever you remove a post report on the talk page that you have done this or (if you are removing a troll post from Soft Skin which includes mention of any or all of gas chambers, Hitler, the Holocaust, Jews and National Socialism) identify it in your edit summary. (talk) 10:53, 18 May 2017 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
    • "Not working" - compared to what? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:14, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
      • It works great for you because of your phobia against giving "professional advice"; a site that looks extremely unprofessional is the ideal site for you because you then know that no one is going to construe anything from such a site as being "professional advice" (not that you are in the habit of giving professional advice but the mere thought that you may have inadvertently given professional advice may keep you awake at night) :) Count Iblis (talk) 03:27, 24 May 2017 (UTC) .
        • It's not a phobia, it's a rule, and I had nothing to do with its establishment. If you don't like that rule, take it up with the Foundation. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:15, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
          • One thing doesn't exclude the other. As a doctor you know that you need to adhere to very rigorous hygiene rules when engaging in certain medical procedures. But if you then get obsessed by sticking to such rules even when it's not necessary and tend to argue on nebulous grounds why such rules still apply, you may be suffering from OCD. Count Iblis (talk) 08:29, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
            • What has that got to do with not allowing professional advice on Wikipedia? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:36, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
              • There are in principle valid reasons why you would not want professional advice to be given on some website. However, these reasons come with certain assumptions that have to do with there being a real problem. The way the Ref Desks operate in practice makes them quite unlikely places for anyone to ever get any serious advice like legal advice or medical advice from. It's like pretending that a Kindergarten in an academic institution and then fighting about how to stick to proper academic standards when there is little more to it than brawling Kindergartners. Count Iblis (talk) 20:37, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
                • I do not buy that argument. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:12, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
                  • Nor do I, and it does not accord with the intent of the WMF policy. In fact, it subverts it entirely. No professional advice, period. Anything that violates that rule should be closed down, by any editor, whether or not some critics see them as "self-appointed moderators", and re-opening such a closed thread is behavior suitable to be brought to ANI for sanctioning. There is no possible way to enforce the WMF policy without actually enforcing the policy, and that is not a task that can only be done by admins -- like enforcing BLP or copyvios, any editor can enforce it. Some in this discussion appear to want the WMF "no professional advice" policy to be magically enforced by fairy dust and good will, in the face of a documented history of trolling, but that hasn't worked, and won't work. If the community is not going to allow the RefDesk to be self-policed by those who spend their time there, then it should be shut down entirely. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:20, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
                    • A fundamentalist interpretation devoid of the real issues is always going to cause problems. We've seen in the past how giving editors carte blanche to enforce BLP led to disaster. The reason was that you could now invoke BLP in an entirely unreasonable way to get your way in an editing dispute that had nothing to do with BLP. That problem was only sorted out later when the BLP noticeboard was created. But in the meantime what happened was that a few editors appeared on the scene who were more interested in playing the cop, they did rack up a huge block list but they who also tended to be unblocked quite fast by Admins siding with them. We've had very polarized discussions here on AN/I about these editors the blocks and the unblockings. Count Iblis (talk) 18:41, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
                      • It sounds like you're describing Betacommand. The core problem with a guy like Betacommand is a lack of clear direction from the WMF about what the rules really are, and more importantly, why they are. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:54, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Arbitration proposal[edit]

Proposal. The behaviours at the ref desks have been out of control for a long time now. It was a mistake that Arbcom did not look into it as a result of previous cases, including TRM's. They should do so now. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 12:34, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

  • You don't need to propose. If you want to go to ARBCOM, go to ARBCOM and make a case. They'll either accept or reject it.--WaltCip (talk) 13:24, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
  • It is perfectly legitimate to first discuss a proposal before filing an arbcom case. If a bunch of people say that you have no chance, you might not want to file. If a bunch of people say that it looks like a good idea, you might decide to file based upon that. Also, the exact wording of your filing is important, and should be happerd out before filing. For that, I suggest writing up a a draft in userspace and inviting comments. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:05, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - I will Support the filing and opening of an ArbCom case concerning behavior at the Reference Desks. This should have been taken up previously, but still should be taken up. The scope of the case does need to be stated properly. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:30, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Two kinds of disruption occur at the refdesks—pushback from the liberty crowd when discussions are sensibly closed, and pushback from the liberty crowd when trolls are reverted. Arbcom cannot provide a solution that is not based on a community decision about what is acceptable, so nothing productive will occur until a massive RfC establishes the purpose of the refdesks and whether any limits apply. Johnuniq (talk) 04:02, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
    • This could also be stated that "disruptions occur on the ref-desk when a small group of users aggressively misinterpret the rules to remove or shut down legitimate questions." depending on who you think is in the right. Getting clarification on such issues, or determining a way to make them them no longer an issue, might just be a service arb-com could provide.
However, I think we'd need to all be prepared for the possibility that they'd decide that the RefDesk has outlived its usefulness. ApLundell (talk) 16:40, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
This sounds fine to me (and I think it's clear that someone other than me should be making the proposal). However, I would hope that it would not turn into a vague discussion of the "general culture" of the reference desk during which Medeis's specific behavior isn't addressed, which IMO goes above and beyond the broader problems plaguing the reference desk as a whole, and is a problem that can be tackled with much simpler measures than fixing everything wrong with the entire RD. -Elmer Clark (talk) 01:26, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Question particularly for User:Dweller: Would standard discretionary sanctions applied to the ref desks help? Is been a long time since I've looked at them and I was never very involved (and one doesn't like to second-guess the committee too much) but if the problems described above are described accurately then DS seems a fairly likely part of the outcome of a full case. Would that help? Or would it just create an environment where new editors' Wikipedia experience starts at AE? GoldenRing (talk) 02:13, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
    Possibly/probably. Arbcom could also usefully help determine whether the RefDesks really are exempt from usual policies or guidelines. And, strongly, the problem editing isn't coming from newbies. It's RefDesk regulars sniping at each other and at questioners and disagreeing about 'the rules'. Longstanding editors and administrators who ought to know better behaving like mastodons. It's like a bloody playground, has been for ages and ages and ages, has spilled into ArbCom's turf on several occasions and each time it's not been addressed. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 08:40, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I hope this doesn't happen. The refdesks are usually a saner place than the rest of Wikipedia. Medeis is a knowledgeable refdesk contributor whose presence makes the place smarter, so I want for her to keep participating. And I'd rather that the broader Wikipedia dispute resolution bureaucracy simply stay away from a part of the project whose dysfunction is less severe than the part that's being proposed to fix it. I remember another one of these discussions where Medeis made some points about WP policy interpretation which I thought were philosophically at odds with how the project works at its best, and that her recurring conflicts with other contributors might follow from that. So I've thought that informal discussion or mediation might bring out better understanding and maybe compromise about those issues. I'd like to help with that if possible, though my editing opportunities are very limited these days. (talk) 06:57, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

What questions would you specifically request the arb-com look into? I'd like to suggest the following : - Does the reference desk still serve a purpose proportional to the effort put into it? - Do the Ref Desk guidelines hold any weight, and should they be enforced? - What should be done about questions that do not strictly contravene the rules, but about which there is disagreement on whether they are legitimate questions or trolls? ApLundell (talk) 18:40, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration#Scope of arbitration explains that Arbcom will not decide what should happen at the refdesks. The policies and guidelines I am aware of focus on the encyclopedia and Arbcom will rule on whether editor behavior aligns with those procedures. I am not aware of any rules regarding the refdesks so Arbcom cannot help. However, I can answer your last question. Participants should understand that pursuing freedom or personal enjoyment is not the purpose of this website, and should already know that there have been many cases of trolling or otherwise inappropriate commentary. Therefore, the correct procedure is to accept any close or removal that could be construed as good faith. Only revert when it is believed the close was itself trolling or a blatantly misguided me-too action from a new participant. Even then, a close should be reversed only when pursuing the discussion would be beneficial—do not revert a close merely becauses like or freedom. Johnuniq (talk) 23:36, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
So individuals can make up arbitrary rules ("Questions about sexuality are self-evident trolling.") and then enforce them as long as they might be doing it in "good faith"? That can't possibly be right. ApLundell (talk) 13:52, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
I doubt very much whether any editor has carte blanche to misbehave just because it's on the Reference desk rather than the encyclopedia. ArbCom can and does deal with misbehaviour on talk pages as well. The correct procedure is to follow the community - approved "Reference desk guidelines" (see section above). I don't think good faith should be the criterion because it raises the potential for argument ("Sorry, guv, I didn't know it was against the rules, I did it in good faith.") (talk) 15:24, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
The above claim is factually incorrect. The special rules ("reference desk guidelines") that only apply to the refdesks and which the admins (rightly) refuse to enforce were never approved by the community. They were written and are being enforced by a small group of editors who never asked the community to approve what they are doing or to appont them as the refdsk police. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:32, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
These guidelines were adopted when the Reference desk was reconstituted in 2006. Prior to adoption there was discussion on the talk page, as can be seen from the discussion at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Reference desk/rules. Any proposal which is adopted after being discussed on a talk page is regarded as having community consensus. (talk) 19:15, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a bit similar to how "not truth" was for a long time the de-facto "consensus" on verifiability here on Wikipedia. There was actually never a consensus about it, just the claim that it was so and then you got many editors who would support the status quo due to a lack of a good alternative. Or take the issue of gay marriage in the real world. The opponents have cited the many thousands of year's old consensus that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. But did that consensus ever get established based on a detailed analysis of gay relationships? Of course not, such relationships were taboo until just a few decades ago. Count Iblis (talk) 19:44, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Once again,'s claims are factually incorrect. Wikipedia:Reference desk/guideline (later renamed to Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines leaving a redirect) was created on 8 December 2006‎. Shortly after that, Wikipedia:Reference desk/rules was created as a content fork of Wikipedia:Reference desk/guideline, then nominated for deletion in the MfD that linked to above. The "discussion on the talk page" (the MfD) was a discussion about the seperate, content fork page, not about Wikipedia:Reference desk/guideline(s). Futhermore,'s claim that "Any proposal which is adopted after being discussed on a talk page is regarded as having community consensus" is also factually wrong. See WP:LOCALCON.
Given the apparent familiarity with Wikipedia policy, the ability to search for ancient MfDs,. the apparently deliberate multiple factually wrong claims, and the edit history (2 edits total), WP:DUCK tells me that is a sockpuppet. The question is, is he a sockpuppet of one of the refdesk regulars who have taken on the role of self-appointed moderators, or is he a sockpuppet of one of our IP-hopping refdesk trolls? My money is on the latter. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:18, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Guy isn't telling the whole story. The result of the Mfd was to merge Wikipedia:Reference desk/rules and Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guideline. I do know the difference between a talkpage and an Mfd. There followed a comprehensive discussion of the proposals on both pages. The policy Guy links to actually says

Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale.

You can see the scale of the discussion here: Special:Permalink/94890911. (talk) 11:36, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

I hear quacking... The 11-year-old discussion linked to above was among a handful of refdesk regulars who unanimously !voted to allow everything and did not discuss removing or collapsing comments at all. Again, zero evidence that the wider community ever approved the creation of self-appointed refdesk cops. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:14, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Whatever the original problem at the Reference Desks is or was, it is compounded by a few editors who are so determined to solve the problem that they create a problem in the source of solving it. This noticeboard certainly isn't the place to solve the problem. (However, this noticeboard does not effectively solve any problem that polarizes and divides the community.) An argument can be made and has been made that Medeis should be topic-banned from closing threads at the Reference Desk, but that doesn't appear to have consensus, and besides that would only address one part of whatever the problem is. If there is no consensus to take action here, either file an arbitration request and close this thread, or close this thread. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:43, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

SteveBaker's opinions[edit]

SteveBaker was a Ref Desk regular who made a large number of contribution. He has just left a note on the talk page to explain why he left a year ago, see here. On his talk page we can find a few comments from a year ago, like this one that make it clear that the problem is with self-appointed moderators. Now, I don't agree with SteveBaker on everything here, I don't think banning Medeis would be a good idea, but his the broader perspective on the problems is spot on; self appointed moderators imposing their rules is asking for problems. Count Iblis (talk) 23:38, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

If an editor is supporting and applying consensus policy, then they are not a "self-appointed moderator", they are an editor supporting and applying consensus policy. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:06, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
That would be fine and good if you could provide a link to the discussion where the Wikipedia community agreed to the special rules ("reference desk guidelines") that only apply to the refdesks and which the admins (rightly) refuse to enforce and a link to where the Wikipedia community further agreed that ordinary editors can perform deletions and hatting that would otherwise no be allowed under WP:TPOC or WP:DDE. Do you have such links? Because unless someone provides links RfCs or other discussions that I am not aware of, the special rules and especially the whole idea self appointed moderators imposing those rules looks like a classic case of WP:LOCALCON to me. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:56, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
There doesn't need to be an RfC, and it's not an instance of LOCALCON, since there is a specific WMF policy against giving out professional advice which can be enforced by any editor, not just admins, just as the BLP and copyvio policies can be. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:24, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
The fundamental problem is that the Ref-Desk are doing something totally different than the rest of Wikipedia, but policy is shaped by what goes on in the rest of Wikipedia. The ban on professional advice and how to act against violations cannot be interpreted precisely like we do when editing articles, so one ends up with some ad hoc agreements on how to go about these things. You'll then get people who'll act more aggressively against problems and sometimes they'll see a problem when others don't see a problem. Discussions can then escalate when questions and answers are hatted by one editor while other editors don't see a problem with the question and now see that their answers have been hatted. A very strict zero tolerance approach is good for editing articles, but it's not good for the Ref-Desk with the exception of removing obvious problem questions (which then wouldn't be controversial to do). Count Iblis (talk) 05:46, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I strongly disagree. If anything -- because it's completely ancillary to the primary mission of Wikipedia -- the RefDesk needs to be even more strictly patrolled then articlespace does. In fact, with all due respect to the fine editors who labor there, Wikipedia would not be harmed in any way if the RefDesk was closed down entirely. Given that, extremely strict zero tolerance for violations of the "no professional advice" policy seems to me to be an obvious necessity, and I have absolutely no problem with editors enforcing the policy in that manner. Obviously, some disagree, but ArbCom is that way, and no one's filed a case request yet. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:15, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
...not to mention pro­fes­sion­als doing things you never would have imagined. EEng
You have to consider here that no real professional advice is typically given there (in the rare cases where there is such an issue it's going to be removed) the problem is usually purely formal. So, someone asks a question that is not meant as professional advice but it can be construed that way; the closing of such questions leads to tensions. I do agree that it's better to have clear cut guidelines that can be strictly enforced to the letter, but the way things are done now will always lead to ambiguities it's a recipe to get the sort of conflicts we see there. Professional advice has to be invoked in a well defined but reasonable way, otherwise virtually anything can in principle be construed as professional advice as today you have professionals doing virtually anything you can imagine. Count Iblis (talk) 22:33, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Please don't allow this to be archived without an administrator making a decision[edit]

This issue has come to ANI at least a dozen times already, and if allowed to time out and archive will come back a dozen more times, with the more problematic editors emboldened by the lack of action. The Wikipedia community is pleading with you for help. Either help us or tell us that further requests for help will be ignored so we can go elsewhere. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:43, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

User:Guy Macon - What are you requesting be done, anyway? There isn't a consensus for any action that has been mentioned, such as restrictions on Medeis. The alternatives that I can see are an ArbCom case, a centralized discussion at Village pump (Miscellaneous), or an RFC. We can see that nothing is being accomplished as it is. An ArbCom case could, first, impose discretionary sanctions, and, second, instruct the community to draw up standards. Alternatively, propose something. Robert McClenon (talk) 06:11, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
I am expecting an admin to close this, saying that there is no consensus for any administrative action, and advising those who post essentially the same complaint at ANI in the future that this answer is unlikely to change. Then we can point to that closing the next dozen times someone brings up essentially the same complaint, which different editors do on a regular basis. Either that or I am expecting an administrator to close this with some sort of administrative action (a restriction on a user, 1RR on hatting/unhatting, or maybe something else) designed to solve the problem. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:21, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
No single admin is going to make the kind of decision that is being requested. It will likely take a well-written RfC because this matter must be put to the community for consensus. Even if it ends up at ArbCom eventually, it will still likely need to go the path of allowing the community to make the attempted decision(s) first. Admins and ArbCom do not make policies...the community does.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 00:52, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Pages are constantly hijacked by edits from IP Addresses and Users[edit]



and User

  • Torrentz4

are constantly spamming on ExtraTorrent, Torrentz and KickassTorrents. Kindly look into the matter asap.— Preceding unsigned comment added by BeLucky (talkcontribs) 16:36, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

{{Uw-spam3}} applied to each of the editors' talk pages. Let me know if it continues. I'll either block the editors or semi-protect the articles. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 06:06, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
User:NinjaRobotPirate It is still happening. Kindly block the IPs/Users or semi-protect the articles for best.— Preceding unsigned comment added by BeLucky (talkcontribs) 13:47, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I semi-protected all three articles for a week. It looks like there are various disputes over successor websites, and the spammy external links aren't helping matters. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 16:20, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Problematic edits[edit] (talk · contribs) There is this IP who is making inaccurate changes in hip-hop related articles. I been keeping an eye on this IP edits for awhile now, and the edits don't generally helping the articles at all, they don't seem to have any concept of proper grammar or the Manual of Style. The IP make very awkward grammatically incorrect edits in album pages and have been warned by several other editors about these edits, but continue to making questionable edits without explaining why. I left a comment try to explain why I have a problem with the edits, but didn't get a response. I have try again, but still didn't a reply, this editor has ignored warnings and continue making these unnecessary changes to articles. After the edits has been reverted, they returned to the article and restore the same changes.

Here are the edits in the past few months:

These are the best evidence I can find from these diffs. TheAmazingPeanuts (talk) 03:31, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Noting PaleoNeonate's message that they must communicate, I'll wait to see if they do. If they resume editing without responding, ping me. I actually think this is someone that has been blocked for disruptive editing before as an IP and evading but if they finally decide to communicate then I'm willing to be patient. If not, I'll block them for failing to engage and disruptive editing.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:09, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
@Berean Hunter: The editor is still not responding, they are still editing and doing the same thing, here's the recent edits [43] [44], it's clearly they are ignoring the warnings. TheAmazingPeanuts (talk) 11:05, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Blocked three months.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 16:52, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response. Sometimes this is what's needed for editors to realize and finally react... — PaleoNeonate — 17:06, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
@Berean Hunter: Thanks. The editor has been problematic since March, I try to be civil with this editor by explain why the edits are disruptive, but they keep ignoring my warnings. If I see this editor using another IP address and editing as before, I let you know. TheAmazingPeanuts (talk) 12:26, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

User:Majanikolic1 violating WP:NPOV[edit]

@Majanikolic1: is a WP:SPA that only edits Maja Nikolić and is clearly unable to edit neutrally. User been deleting sourced content because it could reflect negatively on Maja Nikolić from the article. (1 2 3 4