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| Wikimedia UK's Fæ
, A new name for an old face
Fri 25th November 2011, 6:15pm
Joined: Sun 30th Mar 2008, 4:48pm
Member No.: 5,544
I has the misfortune to look at the list of trustees for Wikimedia UK that was posted in the WR thread about Wikimedia UK's charity status
. One name is particular jumped out at me - Ashley Van Haeften.
Ashley Van Haeften is currently known on WP as User:Fæ
. They make no secret of this in the context of Wikimedia UK. As Fæ states on their userpage dealing with privacy:
It seems odd that someone who is elsewhere openly identifying themselves and their WP username would make such comments about their off-site identity. Perhaps it would be instructive to look at Fæ's RfA
. Recall Fæ's userpage declaration that they had no other accounts. There was some reference made in the RfA to having a previous username, which prompted some discussion, but did not prevent the RfA from succeeding:
I accept. For reasons of disclosure it should be noted that after an RFC/U which caused me to refocus and improve my Wikipedia editing I took the option of a clean start, though I have never been blocked. Prior to this nomination I spoke privately with one of the critical contributors to the discussion, who knows both account names and we have resolved our concerns. I will recuse myself of admin requests related to editors who gave an opinion in that discussion. This is the first time I have had an RFA nomination. Fæ (talk) 22:00, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
I can confirm that Fæ took the time to talk with one of his prior critics (not me,fwiw), letting them know both old and new account names. Fæ has also informed Arbcom of the prior account name.
I have looked over the contributions of old and new account names, and can also confirm that Fæ has refocused, in many ways. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:54, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
<snip intervening discussion>
I am not Newman Luke and had never heard of this account until my RFA was running. I have never been banned from any topic or article or had any sort of ban imposed on me, ever. I interpret my "refocus" as a more positive style of interaction including active avoidance of drama, as part of clean start avoiding unnecessary interaction with editors that were part of past drama and moving my spheres of interest to new topics to become a more generalist Wikipedian and avoiding the articles which were the sites of previous disputes without it being a complete self-ban. I would intend to continue in the same positive style after this RFA regardless of outcome. Fæ (talk) 08:02, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Although it does appear that their editing has moved to new areas, perhaps if editors outside of ArbCom had been aware of Fæ's old username and the specifics of their previous actions, they may have felt differently about granting admin rights to Van Haeften.
Fæ was previously known as User:Ash
. Prior to that, they were Ashleyvh and Teahot. I'm sure there were others as well. Ash is probably best known for tag-teaming with Benjiboi in his efforts to fill WP with BLPs of unremarkable gay porn stars. The end of that particular episode is loosely discussed in this WR thread
. The now banned Benjiboi has since been exposed as a prolific sockpuppeteer and POV-pusher, so I doubt Van Haeften would welcome his association with that particular user.
Ash "left" WP with claims that someone had threatened him with some form of violence (that person was never named, but he claimed in email that it was not me). It remains unclear to me if this threat was real or imagined (or fabricated), but Ash claimed to be leaving WP because of it. In reality, even as they were posting statements
like "As I am no longer actively contributing to articles you may wish to drop me an email in notification", they were already "actively contributing" as Fæ. The RfC
that Van Haeften was allowed to duck out of via this deception was largely about the fraudulent use of references in BLPs. Although the evidence was not particularly strong, it seemed to be part of a long-standing pattern of misuse of sources to push particular POVs. I have no doubt that the RfC would have ended poorly for Ash (and Van Haeften clearly saw the writing on the wall).
Wed 7th December 2011, 4:47pm
I have as much free time as a Wikipedia admin!
Joined: Tue 18th Dec 2007, 9:25pm
Member No.: 4,212
WP user page -
The transcript of Van Haeften's evidence is now available. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/joint-c...PI281111ev7.pdf
I have copied it below. I have written to some members of the committee explaining in detail, and with examples, of why I think his evidence is grossly misleading.
This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Wed 7th December 2011, 6:39pm
Ashley Van Haeften: Can I pick up on Wikipedia as an example of trust? People trust the brand that Wikipedia has, and that comes from good editorial policies rather than regulation. They are highly credible, public and well enforced by our community. I am speaking as a Wikipedian myself. Those policies are developed by community consensus. You can go in and you can contribute to that consensus. In particular with biographies, they fairly represent the enforcement of polices to ensure facts are presented with appropriate weight and are verifiable. In my opinion, Wikipedia already has more credibility than the majority of mainstream tabloid press, and high levels of external regulation are highly unlikely to influence our collaborative way of working.
Q555 Lord Black of Brentwood: But the editorial policies you are talking about are a form of internal regulation.
Ashley Van Haeften: They are the editorial policies that our community have created for themselves.
Q571 Ms Stuart: Ashley Van Haeften, wearing your Wikipedia hat, could you respond to George Eustice’s idea of kitemarking? While we were sitting here I googled your name and tried to work out whether you had your own Wikipedia entry, and you don’t. I was wondering whether you want to say a bit about that too.
Ashley Van Haeften: Well, Wikipedia only contains information that is notable, not transient. We are not a holder of indiscriminate information, and I am transient and not notable. Lord Gold: That might change.
Ashley Van Haeften: The kitemark is quite relevant, I think, for Wikipedia. The brand is clear. I am speaking for myself as a Wikipedian, not the Wikimedia Foundation or anything. There were references previously to the amount of money to be made. Wikipedia and its community believe they are completely neutral, because it is not sponsored and it does not have advertising. It runs as a charity for open knowledge. There is this distinction to be made, I think, between gossip and knowledge. Knowledge will always transcend geographical borders. That is probably something everybody supports, even when that contains privacy issues. Wikipedia works because of strong editorial policies that the community believes in, and that encompasses policies for the biographies of living people and biographies of the recently deceased. When you google a recently deceased famous person today you will find that the bare facts are there and the things that, for example, are transiently tweeted are not. Those tweets will all evaporate within a week, but the Wikipedia encyclopaedic article will last for the long term, and that is true knowledge. That is why Wikimedia is considered Wikipedia. It runs on a charitable basis and people believe in it as a global programme. It is a magnitude larger than any of the sites you have talked about. It is the sixth largest website on the planet, and that is why it appears so high when you search for these topics.
Q572 Ms Stuart: Just before you get away with this notion that you are so pure and don’t take any money, currently if I go on Wikipedia somebody’s face flashes up—I am so ignorant I can’t remember who the guy is—and his charity, so he is taking money from somebody.
Ashley Van Haeften: There are several faces. There is the famous Jimmy Wales; certainly he has a Wikipedia article. We are currently fundraising.
Q573 Ms Stuart: But you have to live off something, don’t you?
Ashley Van Haeften: Yes, we are currently in a fundraiser cycle that lasts for something like 50 days. We do not have any banners for the rest of the year, and that is how we raise all the money we need to run.
Q574 Ms Stuart: So because you just do it for 50 days of the year rather than longer, you are purer than the others.
Ashley Van Haeften: We are, yes. Ms Stuart: That is fine by me; it is an interesting notion.
Ashley Van Haeften: This is purely for open knowledge; it is not advertising anybody else. It is saying: if you are interested in a free and open resource like this, you can chip in your dollar to keep it going.
Q575 Yasmin Qureshi: Can I just ask something? You say Wikipedia is sort of purer than pure. But if somebody does not want to be on Wikipedia, they do not want information about them on it, can they stop it from being published?
Ashley Van Haeften: I think it is worth explaining that there are a range of things that you can do, and I think that is a very good model that can be thought of in a different context. In the first instance you can edit it yourself—it is open. You can go in and you can edit it anonymously. If it is wrong—if your birth date is wrong on there—you can go and edit it. You can discuss it on a talk page that discusses improvements to articles. We have helpdesks and notice boards specific to that. We also have administrators. I am an administrator; I can help you out in fixing an article if there is a dispute going on. You can also email. We have a system for confidential emails. So there is quite a chain of things that you can do before you might seek legal recourse, and that is part of why it works so well and why it is so well trusted. For those people that have a problem and say, “The article about me is wrong—my birthday is wrong”, it is fairly obvious how to go about it. You can always send us an email and ask for help, and that works very well. It is all run by volunteers, so I do that as a volunteer rather than a paid person.
Q576 Yasmin Qureshi: That simple, factual stuff like the birthday is alright. But there is other stuff that is written on Wikipedia about people that can be a bit suspect because of the way it is slanted, or the way it is put, or it omits a very relevant piece of information that could explain why something happened. From what I have heard from people who have tried to deal with it, they have been very disappointed because they have not found the offending information removed. They have made an amendment, then somebody comes in and blanks them out and then puts something else on. It seems the sort of action that an individual can take regarding their Wikipedia entry is not so straightforward.
Ashley Van Haeften: The problem is reaching consensus on the changes. So you may believe that you can write about yourself with a fairly independent view; other members of the public may disagree with you and think it is an unfair representation. So it is a question of how you then reach that community consensus, and the information you want to add, for instance, correcting your birth date, still needs a source for it. Of course if the sources are conflicting, that is another discussion to have.
Q577 Yasmin Qureshi: The source? Do you have to show your birth certificate?
Ashley Van Haeften: Maybe, if you can produce it. If someone can be bothered to go and look it up.
Q578 Yasmin Qureshi: How do you do that?
Ashley Van Haeften: It depends whether it is notable or not. Normally there are enough sources to find that sort of thing fairly easily. It comes up a lot with birth dates of actors. Yasmin Qureshi: I am not really concerned about my birth certificate.
Q580 […] Professor Murray: I would like to see people who address the largest audiences be held responsible for the audiences they reach, which means I think that bloggers of a certain scale should be brought within the same regulatory regime as press, television and radio publishers. I think responsibility for any kind of incitement or nudge-and-wink-style reporting should be laid squarely at the door of newspaper editors and newspaper publishers. They should be held responsible for inciting others to breach injunctions via social media and other means.
Ashley Van Haeften: I would encourage thinking more about the reputation of where people would go to on the internet to find their information. Wikipedia—what was the phrase, “Purer than pure”—has that reputation because of a strong editorial policy. So your reputation should be tied into neutrality, and respect and civility is part of why people use our website and why it is number six in the world for people to visit.
Posts in this topic
carbuncle Wikimedia UK's Fæ Fri 25th November 2011, 6:15pm thekohser Ashley's LinkedIn profile says he's a ... Fri 25th November 2011, 9:26pm EricBarbour
Fæ was previously known as [wp]User:Ash. Prior t... Fri 25th November 2011, 9:45pm tarantino
I has the misfortune to look at the list of trust... Fri 25th November 2011, 10:20pm mbz1 [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons... Sun 27th November 2011, 12:00am Alison
[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/common... Sun 27th November 2011, 12:08am TungstenCarbide
[quote name='mbz1' post='289521' date='Sat 26th N... Sun 27th November 2011, 12:28am Cla68 Damn, Wikipedia Loves censorship when it suits the... Sun 27th November 2011, 9:15am mbz1
[quote name='mbz1' post='289521' date='Sat 26th N... Sun 27th November 2011, 12:35am tarantino
[quote name='Alison' post='289522' date='Sun 27th... Sun 27th November 2011, 1:50am EricBarbour :lol:
And what was Teahot doing on en-wiki? Well.... Sat 26th November 2011, 1:35am Peter Damian I believe this is him here (with clothes on). http... Sat 26th November 2011, 7:41am carbuncle
This is excellent. The CC shouldn't be swaye... Sat 26th November 2011, 10:40am Peter Damian
[quote name='Peter Damian' post='289441' date='Sa... Sat 26th November 2011, 11:15am thekohser
Note the Fae is not a paid director. Nor are any... Sat 26th November 2011, 3:44pm Peter Damian
Note the Fae is not a paid director. Nor are an... Sat 26th November 2011, 4:01pm thekohser
Sorry, yes, there are many other paid people. Ho... Sat 26th November 2011, 4:37pm Peter Damian
Sorry, yes, there are many other paid people. H... Sat 26th November 2011, 4:52pm Alison And who created the article, "List of Gay bat... Sat 26th November 2011, 9:51am mbz1
And who created the article, "List of Gay ba... Sat 26th November 2011, 3:11pm carbuncle
While I am on this SPI it is interesting to notic... Sat 26th November 2011, 5:06pm thekohser
And who created the article, "List of Gay ba... Sat 26th November 2011, 3:53pm Alison
And who created the article, "List of Gay b... Sun 27th November 2011, 12:23am mbz1
And who created the article, "List of Gay ba... Sun 27th November 2011, 9:19pm Kelly Martin I've always thought that about 3 years of posi... Sun 27th November 2011, 9:25pm the fieryangel With Benjiboi, we had a smoking gun in that he had... Sun 27th November 2011, 11:10pm carbuncle
With Benjiboi, we had a smoking gun in that he ha... Sun 27th November 2011, 11:55pm carbuncle
[quote name='mbz1' post='289587' date='Sun 27th N... Mon 28th November 2011, 3:15am EricBarbour
See this ANI thread entitled "[url=http://en... Mon 28th November 2011, 7:10am mbz1 I just looked at Meta, and there is a user suggest... Sat 26th November 2011, 6:16pm Peter Damian
(Disclosure:I was going to post it to Meta Forum,... Sat 26th November 2011, 7:22pm Peter Damian Is this within the general rules observed in Commo... Sun 27th November 2011, 9:21am mbz1
Is this within the general rules observed in Comm... Sun 27th November 2011, 1:52pm carbuncle Looks like the cat is out of the bag on WP: Sun 27th November 2011, 5:20pm mbz1
Looks like the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/w/ind... Sun 27th November 2011, 6:26pm mbz1
Looks like the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/w/ind... Mon 28th November 2011, 3:43pm thekohser Barbara Streisand Effect about to take effect on M... Sun 27th November 2011, 6:34pm TungstenCarbide
Barbara Streisand Effect about to take effect on ... Mon 28th November 2011, 1:43am thekohser
Fæ was previously known as [wp]User:Ash. Prior t... Mon 28th November 2011, 7:55pm Eppur si muove
Fæ was previously known as [wp]User:Ash. Prior ... Mon 28th November 2011, 8:44pm Peter Damian
[quote name='thekohser' post='289688' date='Mon 2... Mon 28th November 2011, 8:56pm Eppur si muove
[quote name='thekohser' post='289688' date='Mon ... Mon 28th November 2011, 10:00pm Peter Damian Now on ANI
Mon 28th November 2011, 10:28pm mbz1
Now on ANI
It sure is,
except it looks like i... Tue 29th November 2011, 4:39am EricBarbour
Are there, Fetchcomms? :D
Oh, momma. He's got... Tue 29th November 2011, 5:25am carbuncle
Don't forget the looks-suspiciously-like-paid... Tue 29th November 2011, 10:52am mbz1
Now on ANI
and now is closed
28bytes is right. ... Wed 30th November 2011, 2:24am thekohser I wonder how this will go for the Wikimedia UK, no... Tue 29th November 2011, 5:50pm Peter Damian
I wonder how this will go for the Wikimedia UK, n... Tue 29th November 2011, 5:57pm thekohser I wonder how the Wikimedia UK feels, now that Exam... Tue 29th November 2011, 6:50pm TungstenCarbide
I wonder how the Wikimedia UK feels, now that Exa... Tue 29th November 2011, 10:17pm the fieryangel
[quote name='thekohser' post='289784' date='Tue 2... Tue 29th November 2011, 10:21pm melloden
What is this, the Daily Mail? That's a rubbi... Tue 29th November 2011, 10:57pm carbuncle
Your article doesn't answer the question of, ... Tue 29th November 2011, 11:55pm Ego Trippin' (Part Two)
I wonder how the Wikimedia UK feels, now that Exa... Wed 30th November 2011, 4:00am thekohser
But you only briefly touched upon (and, more impo... Wed 30th November 2011, 4:36am thekohser
No evidence has been produced that actually impli... Wed 30th November 2011, 1:44am TungstenCarbide [quote name='the fieryangel' post='289810' date='T... Wed 30th November 2011, 2:10am Alison
It disappears everytime I log out of Facebook and... Wed 30th November 2011, 2:14am thekohser
I think the reason it's disappearing is becau... Wed 30th November 2011, 2:29am mbz1
...and what then? Desysoping 70+% of English wi... Wed 30th November 2011, 2:58am TungstenCarbide
Ah, I think I've figured it out -- Tungsten ... Wed 30th November 2011, 3:03am Alison
[quote name='Alison' post='289823' date='Wed 30th... Thu 1st December 2011, 8:23am thekohser
Yes! Why on earth would you interested in my ... Thu 1st December 2011, 11:57am TungstenCarbide
[quote name='TungstenCarbide' post='289829' date=... Thu 1st December 2011, 5:14pm melloden
I wonder why you'd be so disdainful of Cade M... Thu 1st December 2011, 3:24pm melloden
No evidence has been produced that actually impl... Thu 1st December 2011, 3:20pm thekohser
Because I'm totally jealous of someone who de... Thu 1st December 2011, 4:08pm mbz1
[quote name='melloden' post='289928' date='Thu 1s... Thu 1st December 2011, 4:37pm Eppur si muove
Because I'm totally jealous of someone who d... Thu 1st December 2011, 4:38pm mbz1
[quote name='thekohser' post='289935' date='Thu 1... Thu 1st December 2011, 4:54pm Eppur si muove
[Hm that looks suspiciously like the person who ... Thu 1st December 2011, 5:10pm thekohser
So maybe he did not have the right to release the... Thu 1st December 2011, 6:41pm lilburne
I don't believe he took it himself. My point... Thu 1st December 2011, 7:13pm carbuncle
Why do you believe he took the photo of himself?
... Thu 1st December 2011, 7:13pm Michaeldsuarez
Your punishment? [url=http://webcitation.org/que... Thu 1st December 2011, 4:52pm Cla68 To be clear, we are, of course, not giving Fæ a h... Tue 29th November 2011, 11:00pm EricBarbour
To be clear, we are, of course, not giving Fæ a ... Tue 29th November 2011, 11:17pm EricBarbour Shitstorm! Tue 29th November 2011, 8:47pm Peter Damian
Sadly it's not a shitstorm.... Tue 29th November 2011, 8:54pm the fieryangel
There is only one person on Wikipedia who has an ... Tue 29th November 2011, 9:03pm carbuncle Here's an edit that may provoke some speculati... Tue 29th November 2011, 8:51pm EricBarbour Judging from Speedo's early history, they were... Tue 29th November 2011, 9:18pm the fieryangel
Judging from Speedo's [url=http://en.wikipedi... Tue 29th November 2011, 9:23pm thekohser Fae now says,
Tue 29th November 2011, 9:35pm the fieryangel
Fae now [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?... Tue 29th November 2011, 9:53pm carbuncle Can we impose a limit of one locker room and/or ba... Tue 29th November 2011, 10:05pm the fieryangel Redacting, since he's had a bad enough day as ... Tue 29th November 2011, 10:12pm Ottava I do find it odd how that "Clean Start" ... Wed 30th November 2011, 4:02am Kelly Martin I think the most important point to be made here i... Wed 30th November 2011, 4:15am Eppur si muove Ash goes to parliament. It takes 21 minutes before... Wed 30th November 2011, 2:13pm thekohser
[url=http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.asp... Wed 30th November 2011, 4:23pm Eppur si muove
[quote name='Eppur si muove' post='289851' date='... Wed 30th November 2011, 4:53pm thekohser Can someone with super-powerful Admin toolz reveal... Wed 30th November 2011, 4:12pm mbz1
Can someone with super-powerful Admin toolz revea... Wed 30th November 2011, 5:07pm thekohser
Can someone with super-powerful Admin toolz revea... Wed 30th November 2011, 6:29pm Vigilant
[quote name='thekohser' post='289857' date='Wed 3... Wed 30th November 2011, 7:23pm Michaeldsuarez
Can someone with super-powerful Admin toolz revea... Wed 30th November 2011, 5:18pm thekohser Also, it's interesting to note who appears to ... Wed 30th November 2011, 9:17pm Eppur si muove
Also, it's interesting to note who appears to... Wed 30th November 2011, 10:34pm
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