We received this interesting email from someone who was evidently blocked by Will Beback himself. I'll post it, after first asking this question for the cognoscenti: is it normal procedure, when someone is requesting that a block be overturned, to ask them for a passport or driving license? Incidentally, I have formatted this so that the email exchange appears in chronological order.
Dear Wikipedia Review staff,
I am sending this forwarded message in response to this thread: http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showt...=0entry177010
I was accused by Will Beback of being a Herschelkrustofsky sockpuppet. I was also indefinately blocked by him. I contacted the ArbCom in an attempt to overturn the block, and after some back-and-forth, I received this email from their representative Roger Davies. I told him I found their conditions unacceptable. I encourage you to publish their email to me.
HW to Arbcom:
Bishzilla has informed me that my request to be unblocked is being discussed (Account :Macwhirr,) and that there is no way to determine the outcome other than by sending an email to you. Would you be so kind as to keep me apprised of the progress of my request?
Reply from Roger Davies (Feb 15, 2009): I certainly will.
HW to Arbcom: May I ask a question on this? I naively thought that all that was required to prove my innocence would be to check my IP number, and compare it to that of the person who supposedly controls me. Evidently this is much more complicated than that. Could you give me some sense of what this is about?
Thanks for yor trouble.
Reply from Roger Davies (Feb 21, 2009):Dear Mr MacWhirr
Thanks for the message. The basis for your block is that you have the same editing patterns as [[User:Herschelkrustofsky]], who is indefinitely blocked. The technical evidence has been reviewed by several of us and it does not, I regret to say, exonerate you.
It is possible that the committee might consider replacing your indefinite block with a one-year topic-ban on editing any article related to [[Lyndon LaRouche]], broadly defined, but I would need your approval in principle before seeing whether the requisite support exists. I look forward to hearing from you,
My apologies for the slow reply but I've been tied up for the past week with a large real life job.
HW to Arbcom:
Bishzilla told me that the deliberations of the arbcom are secret, so I would appreciate it if you would post this response:
1. It is clear from what you have written that I am not in
fact being accused of being a sockpuppet, but rather of having
an opinion similar to that of a banned editor.
2. It is rather silly to speak of my "editing patterns" when I
have only edited a grand total of 8 articles. I looked up
Herschelkrustofsky and it looks like he has edited hundreds of
articles. Instead, it is clear from your response that the
only articles that matter are those related to Lyndon
LaRouche, and I have edited two of those. The thing that made
me go from being a person who only uses Wikipedia as a
reference to being an editor was the big neutrality problems
at those two articles. Not coincidentally, those two articles,
along with all the other LaRouche-related articles, are
totally dominated by the opionions of Will Beback. So, if
truth be told, the actual reason that I am blocked is for a
clash of opinions with Mr. Beback, and a rather low-key clash
Reply from Roger Davies (Mar 2, 2009):
Dear Mr Macwhirr:
The committee was not persuaded by your comments but our earlier offer to replace the indefinite block with a twelve-month topic ban on Lyndon LaRouche related articles, broadly construed, still stands. Prior to implementing this, we would expect you to identify yourself to the Wikimedia Foundation. (This involves sending a scan of your passport or driving licence, to confirm that you are Henry Macwhirr, to the Foundation, who then keep it on file. It is not disclosed to anyone outside the Foundation.) If this is acceptable, please let me know.