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> Poetlister he/she/it?, What is this bugger on about?
thekohser
post Tue 5th July 2011, 3:20am
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Wed 29th June 2011, 11:23pm) *

A lot of people, including Somey and others, had been laughing at, or hating on, JohnA and Greg for being so paranoid as to make connections between ANY of these people.

Okay, flash forward a week to Sept 1, Der Tag: suddenly everybody notices Guy is gone and has taken all his messages with him. Very odd. A week after THAT, in early September, Poetgate begins and it's suddenly clear WHERE Guy went, and WHY his messages were gone. We've been royally screwed and Greg was totally correct.

Reading this thread from August, it becomes clear that Greg is the ONLY person to be making these connections on this board at the time, although Proabivouac immediately chimes in and confirms. He had started the thing a couple of weeks earlier, with suggestions that Yehudi and Poetlister were somehow connected. But at the time, he had no hard info. Greg Kohs simply realizes before anybody else, that not only is Proab right, but it's even worse than he imagines.


Milton, that's some of your best work on WR, right there. Thank you, man.
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Milton Roe
post Tue 5th July 2011, 9:11am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 4th July 2011, 8:20pm) *

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Wed 29th June 2011, 11:23pm) *

A lot of people, including Somey and others, had been laughing at, or hating on, JohnA and Greg for being so paranoid as to make connections between ANY of these people.

Okay, flash forward a week to Sept 1, Der Tag: suddenly everybody notices Guy is gone and has taken all his messages with him. Very odd. A week after THAT, in early September, Poetgate begins and it's suddenly clear WHERE Guy went, and WHY his messages were gone. We've been royally screwed and Greg was totally correct.

Reading this thread from August, it becomes clear that Greg is the ONLY person to be making these connections on this board at the time, although Proabivouac immediately chimes in and confirms. He had started the thing a couple of weeks earlier, with suggestions that Yehudi and Poetlister were somehow connected. But at the time, he had no hard info. Greg Kohs simply realizes before anybody else, that not only is Proab right, but it's even worse than he imagines.


Milton, that's some of your best work on WR, right there. Thank you, man.

You're welcome but it's a simple matter of history. However, I hadn't actually realized till going through the history, that you'd first made the full Yehudi/Taxwoman/Poetlister/Guy connection on WR, sometime after Proab suspected only on the basis of behavior that Yehudi might be a WR Poetlister sock. And that all this came a week before Guy and Poetlister disappeared together, and it became clear a week AFTER THAT that WR had been had by all of them, after a realworld investigation showed Taxwoman was a fake.

And yes, I find in the Poetlister saga that you DID say "I told you so" two weeks after you first put it together by behavior-only. And here you are saying it:

http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?s=&sh...ndpost&p=126944

But I think it made no impression then (including on me, who by that time did realize that WR's Guy must be Poetlister) because at the time Proab hadn't yet put down the entire case, and Somey hadn't yet admitted publically how screwed WR was (but all this was to happen, very shortly).

The punishment of Cassandra.
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Milton Roe
post Tue 5th July 2011, 7:53pm
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Experience is a hard teacher, for it gives the test first and the lesson only after. But a fool will have no other.

Pain is educational; education is painful.

Ta de moi pathemata eonta axarita mathemata gegone, says Heroditus (Histories 1.207.1). Our sufferings, by their bitterness, became our teachers.

In Strophe III of Aeschylus' Agamemnon it says:

'Tis Zeus alone who shows the perfect way
Of knowledge: He hath ruled,
Men shall learn wisdom, by affliction schooled.
In visions of the night, like dropping rain,
Descend the many memories of pain
Before the spirit's sight: through tears and dole
Comes wisdom o'er the unwilling soul-
A boon, I wot, of all Divinity,
That holds its sacred throne in strength, above the sky!

I think the official Roman Catholic translation of that is the one Bobby Kennedy used perhaps his most famous speach, in speaking semi-extemporaneously of the assassination of Martin Luther King (two months before his own!). And which even now is inscribed on a little concrete shrine near RFK's grave in Arlington National Cemetary:

And even in our sleep,
pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
and in our own despite,
against our will,
comes wisdom to us
by the awful grace of God.

How strange it is that we're discussing all these different people saying the same thing about pain and wisdom, and evidently-- here we still are. The reasons we don't learn lessons of history, is that we're not the ones that got bitten by it. ermm.gif Perhaps the problem is that the perspective of pain is a false one. No pain and you have a bad idea of how much attention you should pay. But if you get full pain and direct expericene with no filter, very often you got just as bad an idea about importance in the opposite direction-- now you're fixated on something that shouldn't hold that much of your attention. Post-traumatic stress disorder, now we call it, and you're paralyzed with anxiety.

Gee, Mother Nature surely fucked up their nervous systems, didn't she?
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SB_Johnny
post Wed 6th July 2011, 12:50am
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Fri 1st July 2011, 4:07pm) *

Apparently "Poetlister" is now globally locked, though I have no idea where one would find the discussion on that.

He's asking to have his account detached on WV. laugh.gif

And now unlocked, 3 hours after Ottava weighs in. It's probably a conspiracy. fear.gif
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The Joy
post Wed 6th July 2011, 4:26am
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Moderator's note: Numerous posts relating to the subject of this thread, his continuing activities on Wikimedia wikis, and the problem of convincing people as to the truth of the story when much of the evidence has been deleted in the name of victims' privacy were moved to this thread, which is accessible only to WR contributors. Some posts were kept here, in public view, out of respect for the posters and the effort they made in writing them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Once, there a sociologist who wanted to see if mental hospitals were biased in diagnosing people with mental issues requiring treatment. So, the sociologist got a sample of mentally healthy people of all walks of life to go to a certain mental hospital (I forget if it was one or more hospitals, maybe more). He discovered that individuals that were wealthy or appeared wealthy tended to be diagnosed (especially with "silly" illnesses like "intense writing behavior" and such) with mental illnesses while poor or seemly poor people were dismissed as crazy for thinking they were crazy. In other words, the doctors liked sick wealthy people because they had money and not poor people.

Now the hospital (or hospitals?) didn't take too kindly with this study. They said to the sociologist that he should send a new group around a certain date and they were positive they could identify his fake patients from those that were really crazy. So on that date, about 50 (?) people came asking for mental help at the hospital and a large number of them were turned away as the hospital figured most were the fakes sent by the sociologist. The psychiatrists called the sociologist and said they caught most of his fake patients and sent them away. They asked him how many "patients" he sent over.

The sociologist replied "Zero. I sent no one over at all." The hospital turned away a large number of people who actually needed help! This was a story my sociology told me. I thought of this when viewing this thread.

Now, how can one distinguish a sock and an honest account? Almost nigh impossible. PL says he is not socking here, but we doubt that. Hence, like the mental hospital, we will forever have trouble distinguishing the crazies and the normals. Every social media site has this problem and how to stop it is a conundrum.
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MZMcBride
post Wed 6th July 2011, 6:19am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Wed 6th July 2011, 12:26am) *
Now, how can one distinguish a sock and an honest account? Almost nigh impossible. PL says he is not socking here, but we doubt that. Hence, like the mental hospital, we will forever have trouble distinguishing the crazies and the normals. Every social media site has this problem and how to stop it is a conundrum.
The only way to win is to not play, of course.

Do you see Twitter or Facebook or other social media sites trying to play the sock-hunting game? I don't know of any such efforts, but I'd be fascinated to hear about any. Wikipedia and Wikipedia Review have cultivated a culture of trying to figure out who's who. Most other sites either rely on real-life identification or don't give a damn about who's behind an account, or both. (Both Twitter and Facebook are fantastic examples here.)

For those who simply read posts on this site as coming from Just Another Crazy On The Internet (JACOTT) and pay little mind to who is actually posting what, I think there's very little conundrum to be had.

You'll go mad trying to figure out this place or Wikipedia. Don't bother. smile.gif
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radek
post Wed 6th July 2011, 6:33am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Tue 5th July 2011, 11:26pm) *

Once, there a sociologist who wanted to see if mental hospitals were biased in diagnosing people with mental issues requiring treatment. So, the sociologist got a sample of mentally healthy people of all walks of life to go to a certain mental hospital...


This is really good.
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NuclearWarfare
post Wed 6th July 2011, 11:00am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Wed 6th July 2011, 4:26am) *

Once, there a sociologist who wanted to see if mental hospitals were biased in diagnosing people with mental issues requiring treatment. So, the sociologist got a sample of mentally healthy people of all walks of life to go to a certain mental hospital...


This would be the Rosenhan experiment (T-H-L-K-D). And I have never heard of the first paragraph of your summary, though I admit that I haven't read the original paper.
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Emperor
post Wed 6th July 2011, 12:50pm
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You guys have no idea how much Wikipedians and WRers love their witch hunts. I haven't really advertised it, but there is no (official) sleuthing done on Encyc. I don't even have checkuser. Every once in a while a sock appears. I'm sure of it. I've been roundly condemned for allowing these socks to be there.

When I ask people here what's the number one reason they don't use Encyc they usually say it's full of Poetlister socks. I wonder if they'd actually feel better about the place if I gave my admins checkuser and opened up a sooper-seekrit forum where we'd attempt to ID every new account. They'd probably contribute like mad just to get access to that forum. Freaks.

Yes there's a cost to allowing socks to run rampant but I'll take that any day of the week over a committee full of Riskers, Newyorkbrads, and FT2s.
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thekohser
post Wed 6th July 2011, 1:34pm
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QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Wed 6th July 2011, 2:19am) *

Do you see Twitter or Facebook or other social media sites trying to play the sock-hunting game? I don't know of any such efforts, but I'd be fascinated to hear about any.


Twitter's terms of service include in their entirety the "Twitter Rules", which include:
QUOTE
Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others


Facebook's Terms of Service include:
QUOTE
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
  1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
  2. You will not create more than one personal profile.
  3. If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
  4. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
  5. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
  6. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
  7. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
  8. You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
  9. You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
  10. If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user's actual name).


You may say that these don't constitute play in the sock-hunting "game", but at least the terms are clear, and they would have easily put MB in violation of both sites' policies, had he elected to play the Poetlister scheme there.
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MZMcBride
post Wed 6th July 2011, 9:01pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 6th July 2011, 9:34am) *
QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Wed 6th July 2011, 2:19am) *
Do you see Twitter or Facebook or other social media sites trying to play the sock-hunting game? I don't know of any such efforts, but I'd be fascinated to hear about any.
Twitter's terms of service include in their entirety the "Twitter Rules", which include:
QUOTE
Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others
Facebook's Terms of Service include:
QUOTE
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
  1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
  2. You will not create more than one personal profile.
  3. If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
  4. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
  5. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
  6. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
  7. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
  8. You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
  9. You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
  10. If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user's actual name).
You may say that these don't constitute play in the sock-hunting "game", but at least the terms are clear, and they would have easily put Michael Baxter in violation of both sites' policies, had he elected to play the Poetlister scheme there.
I wasn't saying any site (Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) didn't have policies against certain types of behavior. But do you see Facebook actively hunting down every fake account? (I know several dogs, pigs, and pieces of furniture with accounts.) Do you see Twitter actively hunting down every fake account? (I saw the account "Queen_UK" today. #ginoclock) These are two large companies with more than enough resources to make a concerted effort to keep their stats accurate and playing field level and both have more than enough targets to hit. But you don't see many witch-hunts.

Wikipedia makes sock-hunting a game. Other sites seem to largely ignore it, and with good reason.

Facebook isn't nearly naïve enough to believe that nearly any of these rules are followed. The point of unenforced rules is to ensure legal liability, surely?

I should also note that impersonation of a public individual is different than creating socks. I still don't understand the (legitimate) fascination that people have with the sock-hunting game on Wikipedia or Wikipedia Review. On the Internet, everybody is a dog. Seriously, just leave it at that.
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No one of consequence
post Wed 6th July 2011, 9:17pm
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QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Wed 6th July 2011, 9:01pm) *

I still don't understand the (legitimate) fascination that people have with the sock-hunting game on Wikipedia or Wikipedia Review. On the Internet, everybody is a dog. Seriously, just leave it at that.

Sensible advice, as long as you are willing to give up the consensus-based editing model. If not, then it certainly does matter if some people are more than one dog at a time.

There are many other sensible arguments (verified real-name registration, for example) but all of them are in fundamental conflict with one of Wikipedia's core principles. I express no formal opinion--other than the one I have expressed in how I chose to spend my time the last 18 months--I simply note this for further consideration.
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lilburne
post Wed 6th July 2011, 9:24pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 6th July 2011, 2:34pm) *

Facebook's Terms of Service include:


One would be unwise not use a false name there, and one shouldn't use a live email address on any social media site either. None of the family kids have FB accounts in their realname, or have their exact DoB. Oh no, no,no.
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thekohser
post Wed 6th July 2011, 11:35pm
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Food for thought, too, MZ...

Maybe Facebook and Twitter don't make a big "game" out of sockhunting or impersonator squashing because they make it pretty easy for users to "report abuse". And I know (at least from personal experience on Yahoo! Answers) that they simply "shoot first, and maybe possibly ask questions later".

Wikipedia's different in that they only "shoot first" in cases of WMF criticism, boyish vandalism, and commercial puffery. Everything else, including "avowed pedophile socialists who create excellent articles about defunct railroads", gets a 3-week discussion, followed by a tribunal, wrapped up by a bureaucrat declaring "Keep" or "48 hour block" as the solution.
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melloden
post Thu 7th July 2011, 3:41am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 6th July 2011, 11:35pm) *

Food for thought, too, MZ...

Maybe Facebook and Twitter don't make a big "game" out of sockhunting or impersonator squashing because they make it pretty easy for users to "report abuse". And I know (at least from personal experience on Yahoo! Answers) that they simply "shoot first, and maybe possibly ask questions later".

Wikipedia's different in that they only "shoot first" in cases of WMF criticism, boyish vandalism, and commercial puffery. Everything else, including "avowed pedophile socialists who create excellent articles about defunct railroads", gets a 3-week discussion, followed by a tribunal, wrapped up by a bureaucrat declaring "Keep" or "48 hour block" as the solution.


Someone has been impersonating me off-and-on for the past two years on Facebook. I have reported them at least four times, and nothing happened. Instead, my own (first) Facebook account that I used to report the guy was blocked for suspicious activity and that email address banned from creating a new account.

I definitely agree that how Wikipedia handles many problematic users is ridiculously insensible, but it's not really worse than the rest of the bureaucratic nonsense on the site. The problem is they want to maintain some sense of "openness" and "anyone can edit" while still saying "it's a private site, there's no 'freedom of speech' here".

I do like how spammers are usually dealt with quickly on Wikipedia, though. Many other sites don't have url or word blacklists (edit filter) and that's why you don't see userpages full of SEO words on them stick around very long.
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thekohser
post Thu 7th July 2011, 2:01pm
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QUOTE(melloden @ Wed 6th July 2011, 11:41pm) *

Someone has been impersonating me off-and-on for the past two years on Facebook. I have reported them at least four times, and nothing happened. Instead, my own (first) Facebook account that I used to report the guy was blocked for suspicious activity and that email address banned from creating a new account.


Maybe I could help you out? Let me know what's your real name. I have a close friend who is connected with a customer operations honcho at Facebook.


QUOTE(No one of consequence @ Wed 6th July 2011, 3:06pm) *

...Kohs raises quite a good point above...


Thanks. That's what I do. All in a day's work.
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Kelly Martin
post Thu 7th July 2011, 3:45pm
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QUOTE(No one of consequence @ Wed 6th July 2011, 4:17pm) *
Sensible advice, as long as you are willing to give up the consensus-based editing model. If not, then it certainly does matter if some people are more than one dog at a time.
There's nothing wrong with consensus-based editing. It's consensus-based governance that is the problem. The problem is that Wikipedians don't recognize the difference between editing and governance; frankly I think they deliberately conflate the two. I've seen Kim Bruning do this often enough; he's probably the most obvious example of someone who not only doesn't get it, but is constitutionally incapable of getting it.

The solution is to let anyone who wants to edit, but require fairly solid identification to participate in governance. That could have happened if it had been implemented early on (like when the WMF was created originally as a membership organization), but Jimmy was opposed to it because it would have made him accountable to someone and he can't stand for that.
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No one of consequence
post Thu 7th July 2011, 4:17pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Thu 7th July 2011, 3:45pm) *

QUOTE(No one of consequence @ Wed 6th July 2011, 4:17pm) *
Sensible advice, as long as you are willing to give up the consensus-based editing model. If not, then it certainly does matter if some people are more than one dog at a time.
There's nothing wrong with consensus-based editing. It's consensus-based governance that is the problem.

I was responding to McBride who questions the whole point of sock-hunting in the first place. Even if you changed the governance model but left the editing model alone, you need sock-hunters, because consensus based editing doesn't work if the editors don't believe they are playing on a level field.

Getting back to the issue at hand, "Cato" did have to provide identification to get access to checkuser. We don't know to this day whether "Cato" provided valid identification (as MB) because Cary never answered the question. As well, the validation method (faxing or mailing a pdf of a drivers license) does little to guard against impersonation.

And, even if MB provided true and valid identification to get checkuser access for his account "Cato", there was no procedure to verify that MB was not using or abusing other other accounts, and it is not clear that such a procedure could ever be effective even if it was initiated.

Finally, we need to acknowledge that the concept of keeping each project separate and responsible for its own affairs contributed to the tone of FT2's threatening letter and to the release of much private information. It was not possible under existing WMF policy, for the english wikipedia Arbcom to get wikiquote to pull Cato's checkuser access and deadmin his accounts. It should have been possible to quietly give the evidence to Cary or someone else at WMF and have them close his accounts with the barest of explanations.

This post has been edited by Somey: Mon 11th July 2011, 5:20am
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Abd
post Thu 7th July 2011, 4:37pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Thu 7th July 2011, 11:45am) *
QUOTE(No one of consequence @ Wed 6th July 2011, 4:17pm) *
Sensible advice, as long as you are willing to give up the consensus-based editing model. If not, then it certainly does matter if some people are more than one dog at a time.
There's nothing wrong with consensus-based editing. It's consensus-based governance that is the problem.
Kelly is right on here, though it does depend a bit on what "consensus-based governance" would mean.

Good governance fosters consensus, but it does not make decisions by consensus. There are many models that can work.The simplest is trustee-based, i.e., trustees are dedicated to governing in ways that are advised by consensus, that communicate with it, but who retain their own independent decision-making power. True consensus is powerful, but Wikipedia doesn't seek true consensus, it seeks what it calls "rough consensus," which is often very rough, in many ways!
QUOTE
The problem is that Wikipedians don't recognize the difference between editing and governance; frankly I think they deliberately conflate the two. I've seen Kim Bruning do this often enough; he's probably the most obvious example of someone who not only doesn't get it, but is constitutionally incapable of getting it.
God? Kim Bruning?
QUOTE
The solution is to let anyone who wants to edit, but require fairly solid identification to participate in governance. That could have happened if it had been implemented early on (like when the WMF was created originally as a membership organization), but Jimmy was opposed to it because it would have made him accountable to someone and he can't stand for that.
He could have retained control, if he wanted it. I think he was ambivalent.

Kelly's suggestion is one possible approach, quite a decent one.

By giving anonymous editors administrative privileges, the WMF allows anonymous editors to represent Wikipedia, and when an editor blocks you, that's a very clear form of "representation."

A hybrid system might still allow anonymous administrators, but they would be responsible to a named administrator. Perhaps require ID for crats, with a responsible crat for each anonymous admin. Anonymous admins would only make ad-hoc, temporary decisions, with ready appeal to the Real Thing being available.

The politics could get horrific, but ... it's already horrific. It would depend on overall supervision. I'm suggesting a Wikipedia Assembly, and to have a vote before the Assembly (i.e., to be on it or to be represented on it), one might have to be openly identified.

Lots of hybrids are possible; often in thinking about this, people assume it's this or that, excluding hybrids.

The Assembly would really be an advisory body, advising the general community, on the one hand, and the WMF board, on the other.
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melloden
post Thu 7th July 2011, 4:59pm
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Joined: Tue 30th Nov 2010, 4:43pm
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What would work is no consensus, just a group of staff/mods who decide what stays and what goes. Like every other major social website in the world.
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