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> The TimidGuy case, aye, there's the rub
Herschelkrustofsky
post Mon 9th January 2012, 9:42pm
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Will Beback is campaigning for a finding a fact that "Timidguy is a single-purpose, POV-pushing editor." I think it were appropriate that a finding be made that "Will Beback is a multi-purpose POV-pushing editor."
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Thu 12th January 2012, 3:34am
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I am fascinated by this guy Fladrif. He is so eager to hang TimidGuy that makes a proposed finding of fact that "Arbcom may not second-guess Jimbo's decisions." Then there is a big dogpile where even Jimbo condemns his proposal.
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HRIP7
post Thu 12th January 2012, 3:55am
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QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Thu 12th January 2012, 3:34am) *

I am fascinated by this guy Fladrif. He is so eager to hang TimidGuy that makes a proposed finding of fact that "Arbcom may not second-guess Jimbo's decisions." Then there is a big dogpile where even Jimbo condemns his proposal.

The interesting thing about that case is how Fladrif and Jmh649/Doc James (shouldn't he be added to the tag team nomination?) have somehow managed to come across as less neutral and relaxed about TM than the presumably conflicted TM guy they want to see pilloried and banned; a fact that does not seem to have been lost on a few arbs.
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Cla68
post Thu 12th January 2012, 4:50am
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QUOTE(HRIP7 @ Thu 12th January 2012, 3:55am) *

QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Thu 12th January 2012, 3:34am) *

I am fascinated by this guy Fladrif. He is so eager to hang TimidGuy that makes a proposed finding of fact that "Arbcom may not second-guess Jimbo's decisions." Then there is a big dogpile where even Jimbo condemns his proposal.

The interesting thing about that case is how Fladrif and Jmh649/Doc James (shouldn't he be added to the tag team nomination?) have somehow managed to come across as less neutral and relaxed about TM than the presumably conflicted TM guy they want to see pilloried and banned; a fact that does not seem to have been lost on a few arbs.


I think it's called hubris.
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that one guy
post Fri 13th January 2012, 11:26am
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Actually Fladrif was sanctioned in the TM arbcom case for ABF and being uncivil. How do you figure?
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SB_Johnny
post Sat 4th February 2012, 2:07pm
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Looks like this case is wrapping up. It doesn't look good for our hero Mr. Beback.
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Random832
post Sat 4th February 2012, 5:10pm
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QUOTE
In what way is the practice of COI editing actually discouraged? It's beginning to look like this COI guideline is an empty and unenforceable suggestion rather than a useful guideline. Will Beback talk 05:00, 4 February 2012 (UTC)


Isn't this something that we on WR have known for years? Identifying a COI with someone who doesn't identify themselves inherently requires "outing". All a person has to do to get away with a COI is not identify themselves and know how to play the game.
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Sat 4th February 2012, 6:45pm
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And the bigger is, why is POV-pushing from someone with identifiable COI any worse than POV-pushing by a free-lancer?
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Abd
post Sat 4th February 2012, 7:47pm
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QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Sat 4th February 2012, 1:45pm) *
And the bigger is, why is POV-pushing from someone with identifiable COI any worse than POV-pushing by a free-lancer?
Indeed. Reviewing the case, I found this telling:
QUOTE
Reviewing editors not content

The unresolved status of paid editing, existence of anonymous editing, outing and harassment policies, and difficulties in verifying real life circumstances mean that investigating, sanctioning and/or exonerating editors on the basis of who they are or what they do in real life is highly vexed and controversial. Furthermore, there is no consensus for the degree to which editors may edit subjects they may have personal involvement in (apart from extreme cases). Hence review must by necessity focus on editing patterns of editors in whom problems are claimed.
Let me see if I get this straight. I read it like this: "We are unable to resolve the issues of paid editing, etc., and there is no consensus about what is best, what is permitted, and what is discouraged or prohibited. Therefore we will not establish or state principles in this area.

Instead, we will examine the behavior of editors and judge it independently of established standards, we will decide what is Good and what is Bad, and we will sanction accordingly.

It does make sense, given an impossibility of setting standards. But it's not impossible, merely difficult or controversial. Until standards are set and actually enjoy consensus, behavior will always violate this or that faction's idea of what's not allowed. If the sanctions were limited to future behavior, if they clearly specified the behaviors to be avoided (and what is allowed), then this would, indeed, be a sane approach, at least at the beginning. However, in practice, ArbComm does punish. It doesn't recognize that editors have not been properly warned, against specific behaviors, which they may well believe are allowed (either by specific guidelijnes, prior ArbComm restrictions, or, even failing that, under IAR.) It issues topic bans and site bans, which become arbitrary restrictions, since the guiding behavioral principles are not established.

Sad to see Cla68 going a bit overboard in this case. Cla68, have you ever attempted to communicate and establish rapport with Jmh643, i.e., Doc James? He's a real doctor and generally knows what he's talking about. Contrary to one submission to this case, he's not an administrator, and has not, in my experience, been aligned with a cabal. But, to be sure, I haven't reviewed much of his behavior with respect to this case.

Wikipedia's reaction to paid editing is similar to its real reaction to experts. Topic experts are frequently SPAs, and tend to have and "push" strong points of view. Paid editors, if they are worth their salt, will seek consensus. There are potential problems with paid editing, almost all of them dissolved if actual practice encouraged and protected paid editors who dislosed the COI and followed COI guidelines. Most of the discussion of this assumes that paid editors conceal their status unless outed, and assumes that problem editing is editing of articles, not the making of suggestions on Talk, with actual article editing limited to what is reasonably expected not to be controversial (having disclosed the COI).

That an editor is paid is probably a sign of competence, other things being equal. The idea that paid editors want to bias the article is based, perhaps, on experience with naive COI editors, not with true professional editors. Professional editors, serving their clients, would want to create a stable article, which requires a reasonable approach to neutrality.

Given the dysfunctional community, however, paid editors are motivated to conceal their COI, and are restrained only by the possibility of blow-back, where an article which has been biased, outrageously, by stupid COI editing is then flipped to an opposite condition. It's a bit like some AfDs, where the existence of excessive non-reliable source citations can result in deletion, where a less-sourced stub might survive for improvement. Wikipedia punishes. Dysfunctional communities punish, it's quite human, but ordinary human communities don't create neutral encyclopedias, it would take innovative process to do that with any reliability.

Neutrality cannot be measured if factions are excluded from the process.

(Most Wikipedians, I think, assume that neutrality is an attribute of text, whereas it is much better understood as a relationship between text and the whole human community. When text is maximally neutral, a maximal number of informed people will agree that it's neutral, and those people may well be from opposing factions. Wikipedia, so accustomed to being a battleground while it denies being a battleground, tends to assume that "POV warriors" will never agree with anything short of blatant and biased statement of their own POV. It has a generic, overall, ABF position with respect to "POV-pushers."

The result is that experts, or "amateur experts," who tend to have points of view different from the general public, it would be an "expert point of view," are effectively excluded. I'd argue that topic experts shouldn't be making the decisions on articles, period. However, they should be actively consulted, asked for advice and criticism, and, with that, the stupendous blunders that are sometimes found in articles on difficult subjects could be avoided. Experts tend to know the literature far better than the ordinary editor. Wikipedia harnessed crowd-sourcing, but discarded the best of it, because the project came to be dominated by "general purpose editors," those fired up by the idea of the project, but without expertise in the topics they often ended up controlling, and often unwilling to listen to experts who held different opinions from them.

Since those editors disagreed with them, they assumed those editors were "POV-pushers," out to pull the wool over their eyes, pretending to know more.

Sometimes an expert knows stuff that isn't easy to find in reliable source. Wikipedia must be based on what is verifiable, that's in the design, and it's not a bad idea at all. However, there is lots of room in how the verifiable material is presented, to accommodate what experts will tell the community. Part of the trick would be to seek and solicit comment from experts with differing opinions, and seek to facilitate consensus among experts. The role of actual article editors as consensus facilitators has not been sufficiently appreciated.

Instead, a "neutral editor," in practice, is someone who knows little about the topic. With scientific topics, where one may need background to be able to understand the sources, this can lead to major misunderstandings.
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iii
post Sat 4th February 2012, 9:08pm
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QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Sat 4th February 2012, 1:45pm) *

And the bigger is, why is POV-pushing from someone with identifiable COI any worse than POV-pushing by a free-lancer?


2 policy abrogations > 1 policy abrogation.

In the past, Wikipedia bureaucracy was generally willing, all else being equal, to come down harder on a user who was shown to be associated with a special interest group as opposed to a user who was just in it for the anonymous good times. If Will Beback goes down it won't be because of a violation of neutrality. Even though neutrality is considered a "pillar" of Wikipedia, the definition of neutrality provided by that website is insipid and provides no guidance, so the policy is impossible to enforce in any direction.
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tarantino
post Sat 4th February 2012, 9:36pm
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QUOTE(Abd @ Sat 4th February 2012, 7:47pm) *

… have you ever attempted to communicate and establish rapport with Jmh643, i.e., Doc James?


It's Jmh649 (T-C-L-K-R-D)

QUOTE(Abd @ Sat 4th February 2012, 7:47pm) *

Contrary to one submission to this case, he's not an administrator …


Yes he is.

I surprised myself by reading so far in to one of your posts. I petered out though after finding those errors.
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SB_Johnny
post Sat 4th February 2012, 10:16pm
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Here's a shadow of a clue:

QUOTE
Agree with Will Beback. My suggestion (which is outside of ArbCom's remit) is for the COI guidelines to grow teeth. A respectable, neutral encyclopedia doesn't let random people write themselves into it. ThemFromSpace 06:43, 4 February 2012 (UTC)


A "respectable encyclopedia", what a concept! laugh.gif
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Cla68
post Sun 5th February 2012, 12:23am
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sat 4th February 2012, 10:16pm) *

Here's a shadow of a clue:

QUOTE
Agree with Will Beback. My suggestion (which is outside of ArbCom's remit) is for the COI guidelines to grow teeth. A respectable, neutral encyclopedia doesn't let random people write themselves into it. ThemFromSpace 06:43, 4 February 2012 (UTC)


A "respectable encyclopedia", what a concept! laugh.gif


I thought about responding to that with, "Who said that Wikipedia is a respectable, neutral encyclopedia?"
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Abd
post Sun 5th February 2012, 5:29am
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QUOTE(tarantino @ Sat 4th February 2012, 4:36pm) *
QUOTE(Abd @ Sat 4th February 2012, 7:47pm) *
… have you ever attempted to communicate and establish rapport with Jmh643, i.e., Doc James?
It's Jmh649 (T-C-L-K-R-D)
QUOTE(Abd @ Sat 4th February 2012, 7:47pm) *

Contrary to one submission to this case, he's not an administrator …
Yes he is.

I surprised myself by reading so far in to one of your posts. I petered out though after finding those errors.
Yes, errors. I'm surprised to find Doc James is an administrator, and has been one for a long time. I worked with him for quite some time, and he simply didn't behave like one.... I knew him as Doc James. Sorry about the error. 643/649, well, I was over 94% correct. That's better than usual!
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Wed 8th February 2012, 2:39am
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QUOTE(Random832 @ Sat 4th February 2012, 5:10pm) *

QUOTE
In what way is the practice of COI editing actually discouraged? It's beginning to look like this COI guideline is an empty and unenforceable suggestion rather than a useful guideline. Will Beback talk 05:00, 4 February 2012 (UTC)


Isn't this something that we on WR have known for years? Identifying a COI with someone who doesn't identify themselves inherently requires "outing". All a person has to do to get away with a COI is not identify themselves and know how to play the game.


I remember back when Chip Berlet was editing Wikipedia, Will Beback was against the COI policy, saying that inhibited "experts" from making a grand contribution to the project.


And I see that Jimbo just came to Will Beback's defense.
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EricBarbour
post Thu 9th February 2012, 12:51am
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QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Tue 7th February 2012, 6:39pm) *

And I see that Jimbo just came to Will Beback's defense.

QUOTE
He did not 'out' anyone. No evidence of 'outing' has been offered. This is a critical point.--[[User:Jimbo Wales|Jimbo Wales]] ([[User talk:Jimbo Wales|talk]]) 12:18, 7 February 2012 (UTC)


Well, Jimbo, you incredible bastard, he outed Rlevse's wife the other day......
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Cla68
post Mon 20th February 2012, 10:38pm
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The proposed decision has been posted. Eight arbitrators are a majority, so none of the remedies have passed yet.
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EricBarbour
post Mon 20th February 2012, 10:44pm
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QUOTE
[edit] Will Beback: desysopped

2.1) For conduct unbecoming an administrator, Will Beback is desysopped and may only regain the tools via a new Request for Adminship.

Support:

Roger Davies talk 15:23, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Kirill [talk] [prof] 16:54, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Courcelles 19:07, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Jclemens (talk) 19:12, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
For specifically losing sight of Wikipedia's norms and policies in his attempt to fight what he considered an attempt to slant articles. SirFozzie (talk) 20:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Okay, boys'n'girls, place your bets......
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Herschelkrustofsky
post Mon 20th February 2012, 10:47pm
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Mr. Beback, who normally edits around the clock, ceased editing 11 minutes after leaving this comment. He may be seeing the handwriting on the wall.
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SB_Johnny
post Mon 20th February 2012, 11:21pm
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Mon 20th February 2012, 5:47pm) *

Mr. Beback, who normally edits around the clock, ceased editing 11 minutes after leaving this comment. He may be seeing the handwriting on the wall.

Good gravy, they're even considering whether to ban him. If arbcom keeps this up, we'll run out of things to talk about around here! laugh.gif
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