Thu 4th September 2008, 1:12pm
QUOTE(Sceptre @ Thu 4th September 2008, 1:50pm)
Established users are not exempt, but should be shown leniency.
I'm not saying he's uncivil exactly, I'm saying his attitude (on-wiki) leaves more to be desired. People can be civil and negative, and vice versa; the two descriptions aren't mutually exclusive (one of my favourite examples of this point is Churchill's famous "terminological inexactitude" quote). Whether he is civil or not, he can be a lot nicer; instead of saying "AC are incompetent", say that you "think that the AC consistently pass poor decisions". They mean the same, but in such a bureaucratic and collegiate system, it's necessary to use flowery language to make such a strong point; again, look at Churchill.
The whole thing is arse about face. Firstly, those who in some way represent the face of Wikipedia, whether it is as long time users or as administrators should be given no quarter on unacceptable misbehaviour.
But first, there needs to be a far more rational understanding of what is misbehaviour. You can game anyone into making a quote that can be used against them. You can be very politely abusive. One little game I played, when a group of editors were being harassed by someone who claimed civility was very important (more important than writing an encyclopedia it seemed), was to chase around their reverts and tell them to take it to talk to politely point out at their every move that they were doing things wrong. After 4 or 5 hours of me being excruciatingly polite and quoting policy to the letter, politely refuting his arguments without ever referring to him personally, he more or less flipped out, raged on ANI, and indeed not long after was never seen again. The point was to game the gamer and it worked that time.
Now in the wider context, the point is that civility has become a game and sometimes it will be used as a weapon, but very inconsistently: "provoked - so that is alright" or "I am not going to look at the context as that diff gives me all I need" and further the punishments vary wildly from "ban on sight" to "well done for saying that, it was the troll that wos to blamet, gov, honest."
What needs to change is attitude, not rules. Everyone should treat each other with as much courtesy as is possible, and at the same time have as thick a skin as possible. Admins can manage that change in attitude by setting the right example, and if they are not prepared to set the right example then they should not be admins. The same goes for those who want to be considered Wikipedia's finest contributors. These are not new concepts, there is nothing inherently different about Wikipedia that needs a new social code inventing.
Won't happen, because it is all a game, not an encyclopedia.