Sunday, 25 November 2007
The State we're inThe free encyclopedia anyone can edit
A senior administrator of Wikipedia, called Durova, who is often referred to as being part of the ‘Wikipedia cabal,’ took a user’s edits as signifying that they were an infiltrator from Wikipedia Review, a sleeper account planning to be used for disruption. A lot of the comments were along the lines of ‘this user is too charitable/hardworking etc to be real.’ She discussed her evidence in a secret cabal-only email or mailing list, then blocked the user herself.
No discussion about whether or why the user would be blocked took place on Wikipedia, only on the secret list. When the block was found to be in error and it was found that the person was not disruptive at all, they were unblocked when other Wikipedians protested.
The email with the ‘evidence’ came out, at which point the administrator sent a DMCA notice to the foundation, who blocked the person who posted the email on Wikipedia. They were unblocked because they promised not to publish it again, but now a review by the community of the administrator’s actions has to take place without the email being seen by the bulk of the community who haven’t seen it already, as anyone who posts it will be blocked. It is hidden in the annals, but not posted on the page reviewing the editor’s actions (which keeps being threatened with being taken down as an ‘attack page’ although it is a review of the editor’s conduct, as is supposed to happen.)
There are repeated attempts for the Request for Comment page, where all the editors can comment on Durova's actions, to be removed and it to go straight to the Arbitration Committee. A committee which may well include some of those who endorsed her actions in the first place.
People have tried to claim that this action of Durova's was a single mistake, but she was already known for "Wikipedia Investigations," which since she doesn't have checkuser status, means she just makes things up, and banning people on a whim.
There is no cabal