Fri 5th February 2010, 8:17pm
QUOTE(Kevin @ Fri 5th February 2010, 2:41am)
I've always though that the intersection of unsourced and unwatched was worthy of summary deletion. Once MZ mentioned the infamous list and CHL suggested that it would have been good if they were deleted I couldn't resist. In that sense this thread was the catalyst.
I was surprised that others joined in, less so about being blocked. I only wish I'd been cleverer and prepared the list ahead of time and batch deleted the lot.
This inspired me to look at Kevin's talk and at the sequence. Kevin's action was rogue. The initial action was legitimate, within his rights under WP:BOLD and WP:IAR. The applicability of WP:BLP was, of course, debatable. However, when he ignored warnings and pleas to stop and continued, he was then subject to block, and when he continued after being short-blocked and then blocked for a longer time, he was, in effect, wheel-warring, failing to submit a dispute to the community.
There was no emergency that could justify this. Further, blanking the pages (and perhaps semiprotecting them, that's a further step, but it would then create more work for administrators) could have been done just as quickly with less damage. I've suggested elsewhere how this could actually improve the situation, it's a variation on WP:PWD. It would immediately address the libel and copyvio issues, while leaving text accessible in history to anyone, with any editor being able to reverse the change, creating a responsible editor and probably a watch.
In any case, the mass-deletion caused a great deal of disruption, actual disruption, requiring administrative actions to be taken. The breaching experiment only affected a list of twenty articles, easily checked and problems fixed once the list was revealed, which was certainly the plan. The provision of that limited unwatched list was something done and finished, not to be repeated, essentially moot once the list had been revealed, and the only remaining issue being whether or not this action was so egregious as to be worthy of desysopping or at least formal ArbComm reprimand. Given the crap from admins that I routinely see, even on RfAr pages, it's bizarre that MzMcBride's action is at RfAr and yet that of Rdm2376 (T-C-L-K-R-D)
, which involved open defiance and continued use of tools in the presence of many objections, is not.
When I compare the two situations, I see that if either of these would justify an RfAr with questions about sysop bit, it would be the mass-deletion, because of the controversial use of tools. Whether or not Kevin was right to delete is an entirely separate issue, he was not right to continue when it was challenged and the challenge not resolved.
Actually, however, unless Kevin has done this repeatedly, neither of these belongs at RfAr, there has been completely inadequate prior examination. Prior examination through RfC prepares case evidence and vets it, making cases more thoroughly evidenced and examined, than what happens if there is no RfC. And before RfC, there must be attempts to define an ongoing, unresolved dispute, and then to resolve it. Much damage is done on Wikipedia through bypass of standard WP:DR process, and ArbComm should not tolerate it, period.
If I'm told by an admin, any admin, to stop a specific behavior, I stop first and ask questions later. That's what process requires, actually. If I'm going to go ahead and defy the warning, I notify the administrator first, and give some time for response, I don't just do it. In theory, the same would be true for a warning from any editor, but I get warnings so often from highly involved editors that I won't necessarily stop, but I'll certainly answer all formal warnings before going ahead.
However, having said all this, the mass deletion attempt, in itself, was of use, just as was the breaching experiment, and any possible sanctions should consider that, it's a mitigating factor. There is a dangerous trend toward what becomes quite equivalent to punishment, whereas policy clearly requires looking only to protection of the project, not punishment. I have never asked for a desysopping, per se, but only that ArbComm recognize abusive admin behavior and not only enjoin it, but require that the admin show reason to believe it will not recur, and, with AGF, at least the first time!, a simple statement showing that the admin understands the proscribed behavior and accepts the restriction and will not repeat it. If an admin cannot show understanding and acceptance, then the continued possession of admin rights is a hazard to the project, and those rights should be suspended pending the satisfaction of the committee that there is no more significant hazard.