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> Was "Watching Whales" an ARBCOM-approved ShankSock?, Benjiboi sez so!
the fieryangel
post Thu 29th October 2009, 9:54pm
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MZMcBride (T-C-L-K-R-D) adds an "alternative account" tag to WatchingWhales (T-C-L-K-R-D) , citing this well known diff as his source. He then explains his edit on the talkpage :

QUOTE
Hi David. It's incredibly important for transparency and accountability that alternate accounts like this be marked clearly. I've added a (rather ugly) template to your user page [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:WatchingWhales&diff=prev&oldid=322482753 here]. Feel free to improve the current template, add [[:Category:Alternate Wikipedia account templates|another template]], or even redirect these two pages to your main account, but it is ''imperative'' that this account be marked. Please let me know if you have any questions. Cheers. --[[User:MZMcBride|MZMcBride]] ([[User talk:MZMcBride|talk]]) 05:17, 28 October 2009 (UTC)


Benjiboi (T-C-L-K-R-D) then removes the tag from the user page and then replies on the talkpage :

QUOTE
:I've removed that as this account has already been shared with Arbcom as an alt and unless there is a policy that a userbox be added it would seem to only embolden those who have nothing better to do than harass when no actual problem has been shown. If there has been a change in policy on these issues please show me the discussion so I understand where the multitudes of users with alt accounts should be shown as to how to brand themselves. [[User_talk:Benjiboi| -- <u style="font-size:14px; font-family: cursive;color:#8000FF">Banj<font color="#FF4400">e</font></u><u style="font-size:14px;font-family: Zapfino, sans-serif;color:deeppink">b<font color="#AA0022">oi</font></u>]] 23:24, 28 October 2009 (UTC)


So, this is an Arbcom approved sock? I have asked several members of the Arbcom to comment on this issue and of yet, I have had no response from any of them.

Shankbone himself then comments :

QUOTE
*MZM, please leave the template off. Instead of undertaking contentious actions during a sensitive time, why don't you go block the obvious sock of this account whose words were right above your eyes as you spent time to compose this unnecessary thread. But I'll leave it, if that will satisfy you. That should give fair warning to all who encounter this rather sleepy account that's been around for years and everyone knows about. Take care, --<font color="navy" size="2" face="comic sans ms">>David</font> '''[[User:David Shankbone|<font color="navy" size="2" face="comic sans ms">Shankbone</font>]]''' 01:07, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


Jennavecia asks a very pertinent question :

QUOTE
::In what way have you been made aware of ArbCom having been disclosed the connection between these two accounts? Is this something David told you privately, did a member of the committee tell you, or is this information available somewhere on the project? [[User talk:Jennavecia|<span style="font-family:Lucida Handwriting Italic;color:deeppink">Lara</span>]] 18:15, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


Well, does anybody have the answer to this?
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Krimpet
post Thu 29th October 2009, 10:05pm
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I think the "notification to ArbCom" is the admission at that old arbitration page that MZMcBride linked to.
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MBisanz
post Thu 29th October 2009, 10:10pm
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QUOTE(Krimpet @ Thu 29th October 2009, 11:05pm) *

I think the "notification to ArbCom" is the admission at that old arbitration page that MZMcBride linked to.

This is one of the major issues of disclosure of socks being made to arbcom over a mailing list (or even filed on the arbwiki). Arbs age out of office and no one remembers that three years ago an unknown editor made a random disclosure on a forgotten page.
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the fieryangel
post Thu 29th October 2009, 10:11pm
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QUOTE(Krimpet @ Thu 29th October 2009, 11:05pm) *

I think the "notification to ArbCom" is the admission at that old arbitration page that MZMcBride linked to.


Yes, but if it's such an "open secret", then why the problem with the template?

It seems to me that MZMcBride presented it quite politely...and he did indeed have a point.

If, however, this account has some sort of special protection from ARBCOM, which allows it to operate in another manner from any other "alternative account", doesn't that put such things as the creation of the David Saranga article, and the creation of the Men of Israel article in another light (just to mention two out of many similar situations)?

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LaraLove
post Thu 29th October 2009, 10:30pm
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QUOTE(Krimpet @ Thu 29th October 2009, 6:05pm) *

I think the "notification to ArbCom" is the admission at that old arbitration page that MZMcBride linked to.

That, in my opinion, is meaningless at this point. That was over two years ago, and his explanation was that he was using it to upload images. Looking at the contribs of the account, that's clearly not the intended use.
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jayvdb
post Fri 30th October 2009, 2:39am
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QUOTE(the fieryangel @ Thu 29th October 2009, 9:54pm) *

..
Jennavecia asks a very pertinent question :

QUOTE
::In what way have you been made aware of ArbCom having been disclosed the connection between these two accounts? Is this something David told you privately, did a member of the committee tell you, or is this information available somewhere on the project? [[User talk:Jennavecia|<span style="font-family:Lucida Handwriting Italic;color:deeppink">Lara</span>]] 18:15, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


Well, does anybody have the answer to this?
The account WatchingWhales has not been mentioned in the private archives of the Arbitration Committee.
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Obesity
post Fri 30th October 2009, 2:57am
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Respected editor User:WatchingWales has been blocked by the same admin.

This post has been edited by Obesity: Fri 30th October 2009, 2:58am
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everyking
post Fri 30th October 2009, 3:20am
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 3:39am) *

The account WatchingWhales has not been mentioned in the private archives of the Arbitration Committee.


I can't such a claim on faith--you're an arbitrator. I'd sooner trust a used car salesman.
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LaraLove
post Fri 30th October 2009, 5:00am
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QUOTE(everyking @ Thu 29th October 2009, 11:20pm) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 3:39am) *

The account WatchingWhales has not been mentioned in the private archives of the Arbitration Committee.


I can't such a claim on faith--you're an arbitrator. I'd sooner trust a used car salesman.

Yes, I agree. We can't trust Jayvdb or any other arbitrator for this type of information. WE DEMAND A NON-ARB CONFIRM WHETHER OR NOT ARBCOM KNEW!!!




Haha. Sorry. Too easy.
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jayvdb
post Fri 30th October 2009, 6:20am
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QUOTE(everyking @ Thu 29th October 2009, 11:20pm) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 3:39am) *

The account WatchingWhales has not been mentioned in the private archives of the Arbitration Committee.


I can't such a claim on faith--you're an arbitrator. I'd sooner trust a used car salesman.


I dont give a shit whether you believe me or not. If it makes you happy, you can believe that a fictitious emails exists in the arbcom archive. However, I am intrigued; why you think I would lie about this?

I'm merely reporting what grep told me because some people here are interested in knowing any facts which can help them narrow down the list of likely theories. WR often whittles the list down to a single theory, which means the community can take action to put a stop to ongoing hidden games. Simply put, it is in my best interest to tell the truth; doing so often means that problems are identified and corrected sooner without me loosing any sleep.

In this case, Benjiboi is clearly stretching the truth, which is fun and games, but he is going to get "hurt" if he starts telling porkies. Like Lara, I want evidence.
If there really was an email sent to Arbcom, he should be able to forward it to you, everyking, defender of the project against the mean and evil arbcom, and you, everyking, can then call me a liar. It'll be fun; you'll see.
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Somey
post Fri 30th October 2009, 6:53am
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 1:20am) *
I dont give a shit whether you believe me or not. If it makes you happy, you can believe that a fictitious emails exists in the arbcom archive. However, I am intrigued; why you think I would lie about this?

Perhaps it's best to ignore Mr. Everyking regarding these kinds of issues... Unfortunately, we've allowed ourselves to be swept into the vortex of pointless self-serving drama that surrounds Shankers pretty much 24/7 on Wikipedia, and the ArbCom is probably as much a victim of this as anyone else. The idea that anyone would "officially approve" of this particular sock-account is really a bit silly, if you ask me.

Yet another thing that's often overlooked about NPD people is that they arrange and position themselves within their peer groups so as to maximize the amount of attention they receive from others. The sad fact of it is, when it comes to doing that, Shankers is simply too clever for us, too clever for the ArbCom, too clever for all of Wikipedia. The only way to get rid of him is to completely ignore him, and Wikipedia isn't set up to allow for that. Frankly, neither are we - in fact, the entire internet isn't set up to allow for that.

He'll be around for a long time, I'm sorry to say.
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everyking
post Fri 30th October 2009, 7:29am
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 7:20am) *

QUOTE(everyking @ Thu 29th October 2009, 11:20pm) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 3:39am) *

The account WatchingWhales has not been mentioned in the private archives of the Arbitration Committee.


I can't such a claim on faith--you're an arbitrator. I'd sooner trust a used car salesman.


I dont give a shit whether you believe me or not. If it makes you happy, you can believe that a fictitious emails exists in the arbcom archive. However, I am intrigued; why you think I would lie about this?

I'm merely reporting what grep told me because some people here are interested in knowing any facts which can help them narrow down the list of likely theories. WR often whittles the list down to a single theory, which means the community can take action to put a stop to ongoing hidden games. Simply put, it is in my best interest to tell the truth; doing so often means that problems are identified and corrected sooner without me loosing any sleep.

In this case, Benjiboi is clearly stretching the truth, which is fun and games, but he is going to get "hurt" if he starts telling porkies. Like Lara, I want evidence.
If there really was an email sent to Arbcom, he should be able to forward it to you, everyking, defender of the project against the mean and evil arbcom, and you, everyking, can then call me a liar. It'll be fun; you'll see.


If the ArbCom started conducting its business in an honest and transparent fashion, then I suppose I'd have no trouble believing you. Until then, everything you and any other arbitrator says will be treated with extreme skepticism, regardless of the context. Sorry! Deep distrust is one of the consequences of having a history of dishonesty.
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Cla68
post Fri 30th October 2009, 7:38am
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 6:20am) *

QUOTE(everyking @ Thu 29th October 2009, 11:20pm) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 3:39am) *

The account WatchingWhales has not been mentioned in the private archives of the Arbitration Committee.


I can't such a claim on faith--you're an arbitrator. I'd sooner trust a used car salesman.


I dont give a shit whether you believe me or not. If it makes you happy, you can believe that a fictitious emails exists in the arbcom archive. However, I am intrigued; why you think I would lie about this?

I'm merely reporting what grep told me because some people here are interested in knowing any facts which can help them narrow down the list of likely theories. WR often whittles the list down to a single theory, which means the community can take action to put a stop to ongoing hidden games. Simply put, it is in my best interest to tell the truth; doing so often means that problems are identified and corrected sooner without me loosing any sleep.

In this case, Benjiboi is clearly stretching the truth, which is fun and games, but he is going to get "hurt" if he starts telling porkies. Like Lara, I want evidence.
If there really was an email sent to Arbcom, he should be able to forward it to you, everyking, defender of the project against the mean and evil arbcom, and you, everyking, can then call me a liar. It'll be fun; you'll see.


In contrast to Everyking, I'm still hoping that someday soon the ArbCom will conduct a palace coup and completely take over Wikipedia, set-up some more committees to govern admin and editor conduct, and complete the job of marginalizing all of the old guard admins who have done so much to keep Wikipedia from being anything more than an entertainment website and MMPORG. I suspect that one of the reasons you all haven't done it is that you're too busy to get such a thing organized. I hope you are considering it, though. All the nonsense that guys like Mr. Miller do which helps make Wikipedia such a joke must be as tiring for you all as it is for us.

This post has been edited by Cla68: Fri 30th October 2009, 7:39am
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jayvdb
post Fri 30th October 2009, 8:39am
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QUOTE(Cla68 @ Fri 30th October 2009, 7:38am) *

In contrast to Everyking, I'm still hoping that someday soon the ArbCom will conduct a palace coup and completely take over Wikipedia, set-up some more committees to govern admin and editor conduct, and complete the job of marginalizing all of the old guard admins who have done so much to keep Wikipedia from being anything more than an entertainment website and MMPORG. I suspect that one of the reasons you all haven't done it is that you're too busy to get such a thing organized. I hope you are considering it, though. All the nonsense that guys like Mr. Miller do which helps make Wikipedia such a joke must be as tiring for you all as it is for us.

This arbitration committee has undertaken a lot of "change" this year, however I think there is still a lot more to be done. Some proposals failed (ACPD), and arbitrators will be unhappy with how some of them have turned out (I think BASC has a long way to go). We need to keep trying new ideas, and improving on processes. I hope that the next batch of candidates are as enthusiastic for change as the 2008 arbcom candidates were, and have the energy to implement the changes that they propose during their election bid, while also performing their normal duties of arbitration.

There is an RFC on at the moment to help define how the committee is structured and functions in 2010. It is because of this constant stream of non-arbitration problems that I would to see a larger committee, with non-voting seats so that arbs can rotate off the bench to focus on auxiliary tasks which keep landing in our lap.
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the fieryangel
post Fri 30th October 2009, 8:47am
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It looks as if Mr. Miller has decided to run away with his tail between his legs, letting the chips fall where they may....and they will...

The main problem with Mr. Miller's entire Wikipedia Career is the existence of these "COI rings", which have lead to the generate of almost enough material for him to merit an article...but not quite enough.

It's clear that the Brooklyn Rail sources are fudged, because of the John Reed connection. The entire Israel operation, from Michael Lucas to David Saranga, via the Israeli solar energy industry,was a complete PR operation from start to finish. The press generated should be seen as an ad for the Israeli tourism industry. The CJR article, which focused on the Peres interview which Saranga set up, is also probably tainted by the possibility of a prior relationship between the author (Adam Rose) and Miller, given the connections to Columbia University.

If you take those three sources out of the picture (and there are very good reasons to do so) you're left with...nothing at all. No original content, no reviews, just a bunch of blog posts and some amateur snapshots which would be fine on somebody's screensaver, but which hardly constitute an oeuvre, as Mr. Miller likes to put it.

The idea that the Shankbone COI clique (Benjiboi performed as a DJ for several Michael Lucas benefits) is now trying to cover up the evidence of the interconnections should give everyone reason to ask the simple question "why"? The answer is clear, straightforward and not complicated at all, if one simply looks at the evidence.

This diff, which is a very thoughtful question by ChildofMidnight (T-C-L-K-R-D) is probably a good read for anyone seriously considering these issues...
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A Horse With No Name
post Fri 30th October 2009, 1:07pm
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 4:39am) *

This arbitration committee has undertaken a lot of "change" this year, however I think there is still a lot more to be done. Some proposals failed (ACPD), and arbitrators will be unhappy with how some of them have turned out (I think BASC has a long way to go). We need to keep trying new ideas, and improving on processes. I hope that the next batch of candidates are as enthusiastic for change as the 2008 arbcom candidates were, and have the energy to implement the changes that they propose during their election bid, while also performing their normal duties of arbitration.


Seriously, you're just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The problem isn't so much the policies as it is the inability or refusal by Arbcom (and, extension, the admin corps) to consistently enforce policies.

Case in point: socking policy. It makes no sense for an arbitrator like Risker to go bananas when it was discovered that Law and The Undertow shared a toothbrush while Risker openly admits that she allows identified sock accounts to flourish.

In concept, the WP policies are sensible. In reality, either they can easily be knocked down (such as the banning policy, as proven by the adminships of Law and a certain faux pastor) or they are erratically enforced to the point that they become irrelevant (such as the aforementioned socking policy or yesterday's refusal by the admin corps to consider blocking Mr. Miller for brazen violations of NPA and Outing).

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 4:39am) *

There is an RFC on at the moment to help define how the committee is structured and functions in 2010. It is because of this constant stream of non-arbitration problems that I would to see a larger committee, with non-voting seats so that arbs can rotate off the bench to focus on auxiliary tasks which keep landing in our lap.


It doesn't matter how long someone is in charge -- if the wrong person is in charge, one year can seem like a lifetime. One of our visiting arbitrators has already admitted here that Arbcom routinely ignores messages that are posted by the "community" during discussions of RfArb cases -- I don't see how anyone can be comfortable having people in charge who won't listen to the voice of the "community" that elected them.
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anthony
post Fri 30th October 2009, 2:22pm
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 6:20am) *

QUOTE(everyking @ Thu 29th October 2009, 11:20pm) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 30th October 2009, 3:39am) *

The account WatchingWhales has not been mentioned in the private archives of the Arbitration Committee.


I can't such a claim on faith--you're an arbitrator. I'd sooner trust a used car salesman.


I dont give a shit whether you believe me or not. If it makes you happy, you can believe that a fictitious emails exists in the arbcom archive. However, I am intrigued; why you think I would lie about this?


If the list is private you shouldn't be talking about what is or isn't discussed on it. Either you're violating that trust publicly and openly, or you're lying (or being misleading). Personally I don't have any intuition if it's one or the other.

This post has been edited by anthony: Fri 30th October 2009, 2:23pm
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Sarcasticidealist
post Fri 30th October 2009, 3:17pm
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QUOTE(anthony @ Fri 30th October 2009, 11:22am) *
If the list is private you shouldn't be talking about what is or isn't discussed on it. Either you're violating that trust publicly and openly, or you're lying (or being misleading). Personally I don't have any intuition if it's one or the other.
Whose trust would he be violating by disclosing that this account hasn't been mentioned? The trust of all the people who didn't mention it?
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anthony
post Fri 30th October 2009, 3:37pm
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QUOTE(Sarcasticidealist @ Fri 30th October 2009, 3:17pm) *

QUOTE(anthony @ Fri 30th October 2009, 11:22am) *
If the list is private you shouldn't be talking about what is or isn't discussed on it. Either you're violating that trust publicly and openly, or you're lying (or being misleading). Personally I don't have any intuition if it's one or the other.
Whose trust would he be violating by disclosing that this account hasn't been mentioned? The trust of all the people who didn't mention it?


Everyone who wants the contents of the list to remain private. Discussing what's not on the list disrupts the ability to keep private what is on the list. You can only keep what's on a list private by two methods: refuse to confirm or deny any speculation, or deny every speculation whether it's true or false.

This post has been edited by anthony: Fri 30th October 2009, 3:45pm
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A Horse With No Name
post Fri 30th October 2009, 4:00pm
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The irony, of course, is that the truly beautiful photo of the whale on the Watching Whales user page was taken by someone other than Mr. Whales: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DSC_7334.JPG
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