One thing I can say about most Wikipedians, and this is also (purely by coincidence I assure you) true of most narcissists who are caught doing something bad, is that they're very good at framing the debate about their activities, beliefs, etc., themselves. In as self-serving a way as possible, of course...
Mr. Davidwr (T-C-L-K-R-D)
would like to be an administrator, and doesn't believe that his "past" should get in the way, and who can blame him? Here's how he puts it
, though (and I've removed the boldfacing, underlining, etc., a time-honored technique for making already-unreadable prose seem even more unreadable):
QUOTE(User:Davidwr @ 04:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC))
The question is, how long is long enough before 70-80% of active Wikipedians would not object to an administrator candidate who had a checkered long-ago past under another account or accounts and who refused to give details of what that past including the specific edits or the specific account, but did openly admit there serious problem in the past and was willing to discuss the issue in broad terms and it was clear that the offensive editing behavior was long-ago abandoned, or if not completely abandoned [see Virgin Killer discussion elsewhere in this thread], what steps the editor was doing to edit with discipline, and would 70-80% of active Wikipedians be okay with arbcom members and checkusers remaining silent about it? Are we talking 1-2 years or 10-20?
Having read that over a few times I'm tempted to say that the answer is obviously "17 years, 4 months, 9 days, 6 hours, and 48 minutes." But by donig so, I'd be doing exactly what he wants,
In fact, "the question" being posed isn't the question
at all. If we were to assume (falsely, of course) that the WP community was made up of reasonably ordinary, responsible people, there simply should be no "question" here whatsoever. People who live within the bounds of modern social acceptability, discretion, and propriety - and those bounds are extremely
wide these days - would, instead, want to know whether or not Mr. Davidwr has abandoned, or better yet reversed, his ideological positions
on the things that "got him into trouble in the past," assuming those things are in fact what some people are speculating they are. Whether or not he merely abandons the "editing behavior" isn't something people should care about. And by no means should they want to have to come up with some arbitrary number to represent a length of time that has to pass before three-quarters of the WP user base is willing to simply look the other way.
One might well go further by saying that this is not only a self-serving question, but also a stupid question,
because no single answer can possibly be correct. But of course, Wikipedia is all about the "consensus," and since consensus can be gamed, that's why you get the question.
You'd hope that nobody would answer this question at all, but of course, lots of WP'ers are eager to do so. And so, he wins,
at least in his effort to frame the debate.