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QUOTE(Durova @ Jul 24 2007, 02:53 AM) * If you'd like, pretend you're my editor at SEL: what issues would you assign me in my next two or three articles? What would you want to learn from a Wikipedia administrator who has 15,000+ site edits? I promise my next pieces will be shorter than the last one.

I agree that it is nice to have this forum discussion going well, without the introduction of spiteful animosity. In the spirit of that, I would like to have Durova consider this topic for one of her upcoming articles -- in all seriousness.

Explain to us why it is acceptable or even preferred for Wikipedia administrators to delete contributions that they alone determine to be "spam".

In other words, the current situation has administrators who are in many (if not most) cases anonymous actors who have editorial control over other editors who are in some cases (my case, in particular, as [removed]) fully disclosed as real, identifiable people. As [removed], I offered to write encyclopedic content for Wikipedia on behalf of paying corporate customers. For example, clients of mine might have included Norman Technologies, Arch Coal, or the Family & Workplace Connection -- all of which have been cited multiple times in mainstream media, and therefore passed WP:CORP notability requirements. Yet, in all three cases, the articles were removed by administrators, often led by a select corps of admins who reign under an anonymous cloak, as you yourself do. Arch Coal was rightfully restored by the community (overruling Jimmy Wales himself), but the other articles remain extinct. I can see the need for Wikipedia to remove true "spam" -- self-promotional content or links to entities that do not pass WP:CORP. However, who are anonymous administrators to say that paid content is equally unacceptable -- even about notable entities -- when the world has no way of verifying that administrators are themselves not operating under a biased agenda?

Tell me this -- why is there no article whatsoever for [2 sites removed] in Wikipedia (despite many, many media mentions), but there is at least a redirect for Openserving and Wikasari (two non-starting, unimportant side-projects of Jimmy Wales') to the Wikia article? Why are there thousands of money-making outbound links from Wikipedia to Jimmy Wales' Wikia.com site? And why are there tens of thousands of money-making outbound links from Wikipedia to Amazon.com (a financial investor in Jimmy Wales' Wikia enterprise), when neutral ISBN-formatted links could do the job just as well?

If Wikipedia is really serious about shutting out corporate spam from its website encyclopedia, why was so much effort expended fighting MyWikiBiz (gross revenues under $2,000) and its publicly-disclosed effort to write neutral, sourced, encyclopedic content; while at the same time Jimmy Wales continues to use Wikipedia as an enormous traffic-engine for his private commercial ventures? An old saying about a mote and a beam comes to my mind, but I'll let you write an article to clear things up for us.

(Sorry, a little sarcasm slipped in there at the end.)

I sincerely want to understand how fully-disclosed, paid editing -- editing that would further be subject to revision by the community -- is harmful to Wikipedia.


This post has been edited by Jill: Today, 01:32 PM Reason for edit: edited links and removed self promotional site names as per forum rules Go to the top of the page

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post Yesterday, 11:00 PM Post #2

Jonathan Hochman Group Icon

Group: Moderator Posts: 1,486 Joined: 28-November 05 User's local time: Aug 8 2007, 09:53 PM From: Connecticut - Land of Steady Habits Member No.: 9,569

Welcome, Greg. bye1.gif

I think the objection at Wikipedia to paid editing is that it often results in articles which fall short of site standards. Volunteers then need to clean up those articles to make them acceptable. The volunteers are concerned that the flow of paid articles would create a lot of extra burdens. Additionally, there is an inherent unfairness in a for profit entity selling the services of volunteers. Wikipedia prefers that people without direct financial motivation write the articles.

If you check the edit history you'll see that Jason Calacanis' business Mahalo.com created a page the day they launched. I'm not sure if it was an employee, a fan or a friend, but the article was pretty bad. On a lark I decided to work on it and got the article up to standards and had it run on the front page of Wikipedia in the Did You Know? section. A notable business usually will attract volunteers who are interested in the topic.

In my own consulting practice I won't do any sort of editing for clients, because that's against the rules, but also because there's other work that's much more profitable. If you want to compile some good news references and a first draft article, I'll be happy to post it for you, assuming it qualifies, just to prove that there is no grudge against your company.

Another possibility to consider is whether you could license content on Centiare in such a way that people, unconnected with the company, could copy it into Wikipedia once the article was in good shape.

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post Today, 12:30 AM Post #3

HR 1

Group: Members Posts: 4 Joined: Yesterday, 11:38 AM User's local time: Aug 8 2007, 09:53 PM Member No.: 18,179

Look out, it's dissection time!

QUOTE(jehochman @ Aug 7 2007, 11:00 PM) * Welcome, Greg. bye1.gif

Thank you for the welcome.

QUOTE I think the objection at Wikipedia to paid editing is that it often results in articles which fall short of site standards. Volunteers then need to clean up those articles to make them acceptable. The volunteers are concerned that the flow of paid articles would create a lot of extra burdens.

Do you really think that a company with letterhead, a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania entity registration, ability to accept credit card transactions, a founder with a Masters and C.Phil in History, and a couple of years of Wikipedia experience would really be expected to write articles about corporations that would "fall short of site standards"? If anything, these articles should exceed site standards and give the volunteers a nice head start on adding further to the articles. Hardly a "burden" to be helped along in finishing the encyclopedia. By the way, did you know that the list of Fortune 1000 companies is only about 85% complete on Wikipedia, even now? Pokemon characters seem about complete, though. Please, don't tell me about site standards. What kind of self-respecting encyclopedia with nearly 2 million articles still has jack squat about 150 of the thousand largest companies in the United States?

QUOTE Additionally, there is an inherent unfairness in a for profit entity selling the services of volunteers. Wikipedia prefers that people without direct financial motivation write the articles.

Please, don't wear the handicap of vounteerism as a badge of honor. The Hoover Dam and the Notre Dame de Paris weren't built by volunteers. Besides, you're writing a revisionist history when you say that "Wikipedia prefers" volunteer editing. Nothing of the sort is laid out in the Wikimedia Foundation's charter. It's the encyclopedia anyone can edit, not that "any volunteer can edit". I'll remind you that WP:COI was cooked up after I had launched my business. And, if what you say is true, why does the Wikipedia community continue to endorse paid editing at the Reward Board?

QUOTE If you check the edit history you'll see that Jason Calacanis' business Mahalo.com created a page the day they launched. I'm not sure if it was an employee, a fan or a friend, but the article was pretty bad. On a lark I decided to work on it and got the article up to standards and had it run on the front page of Wikipedia in the Did You Know? section. A notable business usually will attract volunteers who are interested in the topic.

See, that's half the problem. You don't know who created the Mahalo article. With MyWikiBiz, it was clear and disclosed who authored the content. So, it could be judged in the disinfecting sunlight of full disclosure. Which would you rather have? "Underground moles" editing for their companies, or paid encyclopedists whose sustained business depends on conforming to WP:CORP and WP:RS and WP:NPOV? Furthermore, your assurance that notable businesses attract volunteers just doesn't hold water. Until I got busy in September 2006, there was no article about Arch Coal -- America's second-largest supplier of coal, holding about 12% of the country's entire coal reserves. Pretty important, wouldn't you say? No article. And, as I said, about 150 of the Fortune 1000 are still waiting for their eager volunteers in shining armor to make them famous in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is coming up on its seventh anniversary. How much longer might it take for the Fortune 1000 to be complete? Or, are editors too busy documenting every Simpsons episode since Season One?

QUOTE In my own consulting practice I won't do any sort of editing for clients, because that's against the rules, but also because there's other work that's much more profitable. If you want to compile some good news references and a first draft article, I'll be happy to post it for you, assuming it qualifies, just to prove that there is no grudge against your company.

Another possibility to consider is whether you could license content on Centiare in such a way that people, unconnected with the company, could copy it into Wikipedia once the article was in good shape.

Jonathan, are you kidding me? You're kidding me, right? When MyWikiBiz was defamed and libeled by Jimmy Wales in early October 2006, he was breaking his own agreement with MyWikiBiz that we could edit all the GFDL content that we wanted, just as long as we posted it on our own website, then non-paid, unaffiliated Wikipedians could copy it into Wikipedia if it passed their own judgment as a good article. That is EXACTLY what happened with our article about Arch Coal (en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Arch_Coal&limit=500&action=history see for yourself, posted to Wikipedia by User:J.smith), but Jimbo and his admin sycophants went bonkers and not only deleted it, but called it "a travesty of NPOV", which was highly insulting to J.smith (a known long-time contributor of merit). Fortunately, the community quickly overruled Jimbo and had to question what exactly he saw wrong with the original stub, and Jimbo in his usual way, hemmed and hawed and just repeated that it was a "PR puff piece", which was again confusing to several respected independent editors. Not surprisingly, in the conflagration, Jimbo also blocked my User account and then libeled my business on my User page, which I was no longer allowed to edit, as it was protected by the sycophants from my sockpuppet attempts to remove the libelous diatribe -- really a "class act", don't you think? It became next to impossible to do business any more, what with Jimbo's curse on my enterprise. Only after the business was dried up did Jimbo finally "courtesy blank" my User page -- the one that HE himself made so offensive. And they call that "courtesy". "As a courtesy, I will put away this hammer with which I've been beating you over the head for the past 5 months." Thanks, Jimbo.

So, Jonathan can you begin to see why I sound like a frothing maniac when I hear respectful critics such as yourself, kindly telling me that they'll be happy to review my content and post it on my behalf, if it meets your exacting standards? I feel like saying, "That is what I was doing, you nimrod -- look where it got me!" But, since I like you, I won't say that.

If I may make a prediction, it will not be long before either User:Durova, User:Calton, or User:JzG arrives here (maybe all three), to discredit the description I have painstakingly laid out for you above. As a courtesy, I won't even bother to do battle with them on this forum.

Gregory Kohs [Edited out numerous live links per Forum Rules.

Also please create a signature if you would like to link to your own site(s).]

This post has been edited by Randy: Today, 09:29 AM Go to the top of the page

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post Today, 09:38 AM Post #4

They call me Mr. Root Group Icon

Group: Moderator Posts: 11,535 Joined: 17-August 03 User's local time: Aug 8 2007, 08:53 PM Member No.: 551


Pardon me for being blunt, but considering Jonathan is offering you help and is in the unique position of being able to Deliver I believe it would gain you more by not to railing against him and start any name calling.

The Wiki has their rules, just as we do here. Some of which I just had to enforce because of your above post. If you don't like their rules nothing forces you to do anything with their service. You're always free to create your own similar resource that functions under rules You control.

When you're making use of a service someone else makes available, for free even, you necessarily subject yourself to someone elses authority. This is especially true when you try to build a business with an integral part being that you have to use such 3rd party services.

Frustrating? Yes, sometimes it is. But that's the way the world works.

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity. ~Albert Einstein Go to the top of the page

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post Today, 02:26 PM Post #5

HR 1

Group: Members Posts: 4 Joined: Yesterday, 11:38 AM User's local time: Aug 8 2007, 09:53 PM Member No.: 18,179

QUOTE(Randy @ Aug 8 2007, 09:38 AM) * Gregory,

Pardon me for being blunt, but considering Jonathan is offering you help and is in the unique position of being able to Deliver I believe it would gain you more by not to railing against him and start any name calling.

The Wiki has their rules, just as we do here. Some of which I just had to enforce because of your above post. If you don't like their rules nothing forces you to do anything with their service. You're always free to create your own similar resource that functions under rules You control.

When you're making use of a service someone else makes available, for free even, you necessarily subject yourself to someone elses authority. This is especially true when you try to build a business with an integral part being that you have to use such 3rd party services.

Frustrating? Yes, sometimes it is. But that's the way the world works.

Pardon me for being skeptical, but how is Jonathan in a unique position to deliver help to me?

Above, I've carefully demonstrated how the MyWikiBiz business didn't violate any of the Wikimedia Foundation's "rules" when I established it. After new rules were created to counteract what was perceived to be a new threat to Wikipedia, I went to considerable lengths to work within a new rule structure that permitted me to publish GFDL content on my own site, which could then be scraped into Wikipedia by impartial editors. This is what Jimmy Wales advised me to do! Then, they changed the rules again, to say that even that was not acceptable. Continually changing the rules of a non-profit Foundation in order to drive out outside business agencies, all while maintaining internal architectures that serve to financially benefit members of the Foundation's board (hint: 4,000+ external links from Wikipedia to ad-supported, for-profit Wikia.com), is not "the way the world works". It's closer to racketeering.

I'm getting the feeling that you don't fully understand the situation, Randy. So, let me make an analogy that might help you (and other readers) to see what happened to me.

Suppose a local public library had a general director (let's call him Whimbo Jales) who also owned a taxi service. The library has a motto of, "The free library anybody can visit." People love that motto, so they donate lots of tax-deductible money and books to the library. Now, suppose about 3 or 4 taxis came to the library each day, dropping off little old ladies who like to read the books in the library, chat with others about their garden club, and even sell some Avon to people they know there. The taxis are operated by different for-profit corporations, including Phlimbo's Taxi Company.

Well, one day, one of Phlimbo's competitors, White Hat Transportation, offers a special deal to old ladies who want to go to the library. They get cab service to the library for half-price! Yay, White Hat!

But Phlimbo immediately realizes that this is going to hurt his own taxi company's revenue stream, and meanwhile, younger library users might start noticing an influx of more old ladies at the library, and they'll be potentially annoyed with their elderly chit-chat and Avon transactions -- even though these had been going on for years at the library. After all, this is "the free library anybody can visit". Yet, Phlimbo decides that he's going to make a new rule for the library property. All taxi services that are not managed by library board members must pick up and drop off their passengers at the far end of a 300-foot parking lot, making it very inconvenient for the old ladies who ride in any taxi other than Phlimbo's Taxi. Then, after a couple of weeks, Phlimbo decides that the rival taxis are actually unfairly exploiting his library's name and reputation by offering library-specific fares. So, he sends White Hat a letter (on Phlimbo's Taxi Company letterhead!) saying that White Hat must stop any mention of the library in its fare promotions. Then, not satisfied even with that, Phlimbo hangs a big sign on the front window of the library, saying "Riders of White Hat Transportation are strongly advised that they are taking a serious risk, since walking the entire distance of the parking lot is dangerous to pedestrians! Additionally, drivers of White Hat Transportation are no longer allowed in this library, since they are putting our elderly visitors at risk!" Lastly, Phlimbo supports some of his library volunteers who have gotten into the habit of being rude to any of the old ladies who come in from White Hat cabs, carrying Avon bags. They call them "PR puff pieces", for some reason -- maybe because of their puffy white hairdos.

That, my friend, is not how the world should work, but that's how Wikipedia's world works.

The proper rebuttal to this analogy is, "Libraries are not intended to be Avon counters!" True enough, but as I mentioned, the old ladies also read books (read Wikipedia articles), chat about their garden club (talk on each other's User_Talk pages), and only a small component of their population and their time is actually spent selling Avon -- and they only transact with people in the library who come up to them asking, "Do you know anything about cosmetics?" (adding an external link to their corporate website from a Wikipedia article about a relevant subject matter).

People... a paid-to-create article in Wikipedia about Arch Coal doesn't distract, harm, or annoy any of the millions of users who are not searching for Arch Coal or "coal companies" or coal within Wikipedia. Similarly, a paid-to-create article in Wikipedia about Arch Coal probably serves, aids, and educates any of the dozens of users who are searching for Arch Coal or "coal companies" or coal within Wikipedia. Instead, Jimmy Wales and the wiki-sycophants decided that it would be better to have an empty page in the "Arch Coal" space, than to have a well-written article seed that had been paid for by Arch Coal.

To me, that doesn't make much sense. It may to you, but not to me. Go to the top of the page

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post Today, 04:56 PM Post #6

Jonathan Hochman Group Icon

Group: Moderator Posts: 1,486 Joined: 28-November 05 User's local time: Aug 8 2007, 09:53 PM From: Connecticut - Land of Steady Habits Member No.: 9,569

Arch Coal's representative is free to go to the appropriate WikiProject and provide a draft of an article along with references to independent sources of information about the company. If it's a puff piece, the project will may ignore it, but if the piece is well written they would probably review, edit and copy it into the encyclopedia. Naturally, if their representative was active in the project and doing things to help out, they would probably receive a warm welcome.

Durova and I have been discussing what we can do to make people more aware of the white hat methods available for adding information and correcting inaccuracies. Our initial thoughts are that there should be a central place to list the articles that people have submitted to make sure that somebody reviews them. We have even discussed a system where SEO types could use a "take a penny, leave a penny" model to help each other, while maintaining arms length neutrality.

You see, Greg, the problem is conflict of interest. When somebody is very close to a subject, or is paid by somebody close to a subject, that person probably isn't objective when they write about that subject. In order to protect the encyclopedia from spam and vanity cruft, we have rules that discourage people from writing about themselves.

In fact, I believe that all social media works this way. Who likes to come to HighRankings and see a post where the poster goes on about how smart they are? That would be so boring. If you go to a cocktail party and meet somebody who only talks about themselves, you probably run away from them at the first opportunity, yes?

The whole idea of social media is to get other people to talk about a company, product or service and become evangelists for their great ideas. Trying to plant stories, also called astroturfing, isn't especially productive and can backfire, badly, if discovered.

This post has been edited by jehochman: Today, 05:12 PM Reason for edit: copy edit

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post Today, 07:21 PM Post #7

High Rankings Advisor Group Icon

Group: Admin Posts: 24,077 Joined: 21-July 03 User's local time: Aug 8 2007, 09:53 PM From: Ashland, MA Member No.: 2

Sorry, this forum isn't a complaint dept.

Closing this thread.

From User:Thekohser, circa September 2008

Request for unblock

   Template:Unblock reviewed

Template:Unblock reviewed Over the past 20 months or so, I have garnered a number of critics within the Wikipedia community. Within the "heat" of these discussions, I think a certain amount of "light" has been obscured, one element of which is this apparent notion that I am not even capable of contributing accurate, excellent, and ethical material to the encyclopedia project. I would like to be unblocked for 7 days and nights, to allow me the opportunity to produce 100 edits that may serve as a record of the sorts of things that I could do for Wikipedia, were the baiting and the revenge to cease. Of course, I would promise not to participate in any sort of on-wiki or off-wiki baiting and revenge during those 168 hours. I'm having trouble seeing what the Wikipedia community has to lose in this demonstration, other than an unproven preference to view me as nothing more than a spiteful, talentless self-promoter. Also, the co-founder of this entire project has suggested that I "should be allowed a fresh start in Wikipedia". -- Thekohser 16:53, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I won't unblock without consensus but for the record, I support this idea. – iridescent 16:58, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Just a quick question, you said "Of course, I would promise not to participate in any sort of on-wiki or off-wiki baiting and revenge during those 168 hours" - what happens after those 7 days Greg? Are you going to stop making attacks regardless for an indefinite period of time? Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 17:14, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps that would depend on the behavior of several of my key adversaries during those 7 days. You know, I've been on the receiving end of defamation bordering on libel, plagiarism, and speculative musings that have no basis in truth or even logic. I'm sorry if I don't subscribe to the theory that I must silently acquiesce to these barbs, simply because I'm a blocked editor of this website. Somebody has to "be nice" first, and it might as well be me. If the one-week conditional aspect of this term of niceness prevents you from accepting it, that seems to be your problem, not mine. -- Thekohser 17:22, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Many thanks to John Reaves ("undoubtedly have to waste more on more drama") for proving my very point about speculative musings. I guess personal opinion, rather than examinations of facts, rules the day on Wikipedia once again! -- Thekohser 18:42, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

A fresh start means just that Mr. Kohs, a fresh start. Bringing along old baggage, wanting to settle old scores, is not part of a fresh start. If you need to close old feuds first, then do so. But until you're prepared to make a fresh start, you're likely to remain block'd. When you're ready to forgive and forget, then you'll get unblocked. If other people can't do the same, then they'll be dealt with then. Sorry that it works out this way, eh, but this is how cookies crumble. WilyD 19:48, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

In other words, you are encouraging me to continue a campaign of relentless sockpuppetry and antagonism. Great! -- Thekohser 19:58, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Greg, why does that attitude not constitute blackmailing the community? --David Shankbone 19:59, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Because it doesn't? -- Thekohser 20:11, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Which appears to be the reason people do not want you unblocked. You are saying that for 20 months you have engaged in a campaign of relentless sockpuppetry and antagonism, and it will only stop if we let you edit again and give you a fresh start. I don't see how that is a persuasive strategy; people do not usually respond well to ultimatums. --David Shankbone 20:14, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Shanky, I've asked to be unblocked for 168 hours to help improve the encyclopedia, with a bonus promise not to antagonize anyone. If you want to call that an "ultimatum", that's your twisted decision. I thought the point of this project is to build an encyclopedia. I think I'm stumbling on some pretty clear evidence that this is not the actual case. -- Thekohser 20:26, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
The problem with that argument is that it assumes your presence will help to build an encyclopedia, and there are quite a few people who feel your past behavior has hindered the building of it, wasted their time, or will be a distraction to them and others on here if you are back. Just because it's the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, doesn't mean it is the encyclopedia that everyone should edit. That idea seems to be lost on some critics, that there is no "right to edit Wikipedia". --David Shankbone 20:44, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm fully aware that there are "quite a few people" who feel that I've hindered the project by telling the truth about some of its worst agents. The surprise, to me, is that you (an intelligent person) would conclude that their presence and activity in the project is more worthwhile than my own. It's so inconvenient being "distracted" by factual narratives of lies, cover-ups, denials, and scandalous leadership, no? -- Thekohser 20:48, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, you and I have the exact same problem, that even when we may be right we trip over our own feet in how we communicate. It isn't a lot to have asked you to stop antagonizing and sockpuppeting for a few months - three, I believe. You are allowing your pride to affect your judgment. --David Shankbone 21:08, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't encourage it, but I've naught but a tiny carrot, and no stick that hasn't already been applied to you. Obviously what I can say is unlikely to influence your opinion. But the best I can do is consul you about what's likely to happen for different actions. Antagonising people, for any purpose other than antagonising them, probably won't get you what you want, and will only serve to make you look like a jerk. If your purpose is just to antagonise, what can I say that'll matter?
But, basically, when you're prepared to make a genuine fresh start, forgiving or forgetting (or both!), then, I believe, you can be unblocked and allowed to participate on Wikipedia again. If that's not your goal, or the price is too high, then there's nothing to be done, and it seems things will remain the same, yeah. WilyD 20:09, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I've observed something very interesting, WilyD. On Wikipedia, it's considered "antagonism" to tell the truth about something that someone else would rather tell a lie about. The so-called antagonism is then described as a blockable and/or bannable offense, and thus the whistleblower is successfully portrayed as a disgruntled curmudgeon who owes everyone an apology for getting himself banned. It's really too funny, if you think about it. I'll bet they never have arguments like these over at World Book or Britannica. Can you trace step-by-step those whom I have "antagonized" on Wikipedia? I believe you'll find that every one of those whom I've "antagonized" has lied about something that I wished to tell the truth about, and they successfully played the victim in order to see me blocked and/or banned. But I need to be the one who shows up for a "genuine fresh start"? You're right. Since I'm self-respecting person, the "price is too high". -- Thekohser 20:16, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I am not intending to suggest that you don't have legitimate complaints (nor I am suggesting that all your complaints are necessarily legitimate - either way, I'd need an itemised list to comment), but that your behaviour has been needlessly antagonistic (and in fact, I do believe you've mixed legitimate complaints with needless needling). Your unsuccesful clothing line comes to mind ...
But the rest of what you say isn't quite right either. The ethic is that if you show up for a "genuine fresh start" you should be given one too. If you arrive in good faith, and act in good faith and others don't, then they're the ones who need to be dealt with.
In any event, that's the sum total of what I'm empowered to do, or just about anyone else is empowered to do either. From a realistic perspective, why would the community want to invite you back so you can settle your old grudges? WilyD 20:31, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
A good number of people thought that my ArbCom-candidate line of merchandise was very humorous, good-natured, and instructive of larger issues at play. Do you recall that the candidate was using secret mailing lists to antagonize quite innocent and productive contributors to the project of building an encyclopedia, or have you selectively forgotten that? Much as we might lampoon a devious political leader, I executed a similar jest. When I discovered that the subject of that lampoon did not appreciate the work, she offered to take down a retaliatory blog post (that accused me of being an inadequate father) if I took down the storefront. I immediately complied, but then she back-pedaled out of her own tit-for-tat offer. Please, when you show me a realistic perspective, we can talk about realistic perspectives. Do you HONESTLY think if I trotted in here last week and said, "I'm not going to be bad any more, I want to edit Wikipedia, sorry for all the stuff in the past," that I would be quickly unblocked and allowed to edit? We TRIED that path back in February 2007, and it wasn't a couple of days before a certain ex-ArbCom candidate fabricated a story about how I've given "misleading information to journalists", then refused to substantiate it. This is surreal! -- Thekohser 20:40, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, you are the one asking to return; we are not the ones asking you back. Do you no longer wish to return, or is it only on your terms? --David Shankbone 20:46, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Just so that I am clear, do you David Shankbone now speak for all Wikipedians? You're sounding as if you do. Strange how this whole discussion was spawned by User:WAS 4.250 without my even asking him or anybody to be unblocked. I've merely riffed off of his initial catalytic decision to act. Why isn't WAS 4.250 being called out as a disruptive troll for setting off this entire conflagration? -- Thekohser 20:52, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
WAS wasn't trolling, but acting in good faith off Jimbo's comment. If you're not interested in being unblocked, a clear statement to that effect can probably end the whole affair swiftly. And, of course, nobody speaks for Wikipedia as a whole, but it is a correct assessment that the collective mood is not desperation to have you return, I wouldn't take that personally. WilyD 21:05, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I cannot truly speak to the future, of course. I'm not a psychic. But a number of hopeless looking cases have been turnt about. Truthfully, if you ask me for something I don't have, I won't give it to you. What I can say is that if you act on the level, and you get screwed over, it's far easier to rectify than if you assume you'll get screwed over and act according to that. There is some nontrivial amount of support for you if you "behave", for want of a better term. Maybe the community isn't a right fit for you, I don't know. But what there is is some rumbling this way, and if you're interested in unblock/unban it's what can be talked about at this point. WilyD 21:02, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

More about a former ArbCom candidate

Meanwhile, just so you visitors to my Talk page don't think I'm making up stories about the types of people who are the real problem at Wikipedia, here's one admin's opinion that you may have missed. -- Thekohser 21:00, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Removal of ban

Greg, just my thoughts at this stage, having read through some (but definitely not all) of the history. It appears that you have two goals: (1) to point out problems in the way that Wikipedia is run, and (2) to have the ban against your editing lifted. I will say that (1) is generally not so interesting to me (though certainly a valid pursuit), and doesn't seem worthy of an extensive, community-wide discussion like that going on at WP:AN. As for (2), if you are serious about pursuing it, I would suggest that your approach, above, is not helping. I don't contest the truth of what you say, but rather the choice of topics to pursue. It really doesn't matter what one person might or might not be encouraging you to do. It really doesn't matter who might act as though they speak for the entire community. This discussion is not about these individuals, and your attempts to discredit them do not help anyone get closer to a decision about whether it's a good idea to lift the ban.

The ban, as far as I can tell, is in place due to behavior that is deemed disruptive. In order to have the ban lifted, I think you have to either convince the community that it was not disruptive in the first place (an extremely tall order), or concede that you might have handled it better and provide some insight into how you might handle similar situations in the future. Thus far, you have not done either. While I concur with Jimbo Wales that it is, in general, worth considering a fresh start, I don't see good conditions for granting a fresh start at the moment. And endless consideration is not in anyone's interests. I'd suggest you either should give a fresh overview of where you think we are, where you think we should go, and why; or simply let the matter drop for a while, before making a fresh appeal. -Pete (talk) 21:50, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Pete, I don't think Greg needs to make concessions. The behavior everyone has focused on is not the 2006 MyWikiBiz stuff, but his antagonism, insults to valued people in the community and sockpuppeting. Maybe I'm wrong, but having read through it all that is what I see. So when Greg appears to make statements that unless we unblock him so he can do his "100 edits" and then people apologize to him, it does not make a lot of sense. It has always been Greg who wants to be here. Much of the way he is taking this issue on is as if we extended an invitation; true, WAS initiated this, but Greg confirmed he wants to return. That has also always been my understanding in my own interactions with Greg. So...it's a strange place from which to argue for conditions and apologies, and to continue to cast aspersions as he did yesterday. --David Shankbone 21:58, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
David, you speak as if no aspersions had been cast at me yesterday. "Thank you, Sir, may I have another?" -- Thekohser 00:57, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

A message for Admin:Duk

This editor wants to follow the rules and edit productively. -- Thekohser 00:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

This directly contradicts your "100 edits for an apology" thing, doesn't it? --Conti| 12:02, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you re-read the "100 edits" thing once again. I have offered 100 edits if I am unblocked for 7 days and left unmolested by antagonists. I don't need or ask for any apologies from anyone. The next 100 edits would be conditional on one apology from any of four people, one of whom has already sent me a rather apologetic-sounding e-mail. But, I don't see how "wants to follow the rules and edit productively" contradicts a wish to "follow the rules and edit productively for 7 days and 100 edits". Are you saying that terms of a user unblock must contain the condition that the editor promises to make MORE THAN 100 EDITS? What is the threshold? 106 edits? 500 edits? 16,049 edits? A lifetime of edits? I didn't know that membership in the Wikipedia editor community carries a requisite number of edits without apologies. I thought 100 was suitably generous, actually. -- Thekohser 12:34, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the terms of a user unblock must contain the condition to make a number of edits. Quite the contrary, the number of edits to be made after the unblock are pretty irrelevant. It's not us that demand 100 edits, it's you who says you won't make more than 100 edits until certain conditions are met. I suppose that's fine by me, 100 good edits are still 100 good edits. But, quite frankly, that condition gives me the impression that you do not want to be unblocked because you want to help the encyclopedia, you want to be unblocked so you can get people to apologize to you. --Conti| 13:36, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Wow, imagine that. Holding a desire to hear an apology from someone who has either lied about you, defamed you without evidence, or plagiarized your work and removed attribution to the original -- that sounds downright criminal! I should be double-plus-re-banned for even harboring such a thought, don't you think? -- Thekohser 14:06, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Er, no, I don't think so. And I don't know how you could come to the conclusion that I might think so from reading my comment above. It just would be nice if you would be here for the encyclopedia, and not for the apologies. There's nothing criminal about the latter, tho. --Conti| 14:20, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
"Here for the encyclopedia" was what my WMF Board election run was all about, but I only received 125 "first place" votes. Another example of my service to the encyclopedia is found on this account's contribution history, from March 2005 through at least June 2006. I'm a much better, more informed editor now than I was then, too. (I think you know that I had "come to the conclusion" more as a tongue-in-cheek way of extending the discussion, than as a serious evaluation of your sentiments.) Come on, Conti, ease up. I think we're on the same side here. Let's keep our focus on the real trouble-makers at Wikipedia, those four from whom I seek apologies (after giving away 100 free, tender loving edits, of course). What's taking ArbCom so long to rule on one of them, too? -- Thekohser 14:27, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
What someone claims and what he's doing can be two different things sometimes, and the result of the WMF board elections might have been a very subtle hint that not everyone agrees with the things that you do (or how you do them, who knows?). Anyhow, I'm not really sure what else to say here. I can't comment on ArbCom, since I've got nothing to do with them and haven't kept up with the Big Case, and I'm not sure I agree with you on who the real trouble-makers are, either. And even if I would, I'd doubt that a few apologies would solve anything. Letting go of the past (on both sides) and working together productively would be what I'd try to do. --Conti| 14:43, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi Greg, I'll unblock you in a day or so, unless consensus magically appears for a ban. See here. --Duk 17:53, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Appreciated, Duk, but don't get yourself blocked, banned, and excommunicated on my measley behalf. As User:MPerel said, the world isn't going to end if I edit Wikipedia for 7 days, so the converse (or is it inverse) is likely true -- the world isn't going to end if I don't edit Wikipedia for 7 days. -- Thekohser 21:18, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Look's like there isn't going to be an unblock this time, sorry Greg.

To everyone else reading this here's some things to meditate on;

  1. It's an unpleasant situation, maybe we should try something new to resolve it other than bans.
  2. I've found Greg's words to be trustworthy, even more so than some of his critics here at Wikipedia (Joshua and his photoshopping charge, and two other examples I can't go into)
  3. Some of the things Greg is accused of, like maligning wikipedians in a form they don't go to is also true in reverse; the WP:AN discussion for example was a giant bitch session about Greg, on of the worlds biggest websites, where Greg wasn't allowed to defend himself. This makes us look like awful hypocrites. Greg didn't even opened the door this time around.
  4. There was a time when Wikipedia administrators all sat around snickering and calling Daniel Brandt nasty names. News flash: that behavior did not do Wikipedia a single bit of good. Perhaps we could learn something from it and not go around creating our own worst enemies. We should not respond to critics by trying to grinding them into the mud.

--Duk 16:40, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Duk, that's odd. I actually saw far more in the way of personal attacks from you directed at other users. And we already established that my memory what Greg did was incorrect. Of course, we what he actually did wasn't much better. So why don't you go away and contribue something useful to the encyclopedia instead of muddying the waters here? You haven't done anything but comment on this issue for three days. JoshuaZ (talk) 16:48, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
It's true, Joshua, I'm not the most active Wikipeian. But I'm unimpaired by group think and immune to Wikpedias' social pressures that are overly active when it comes to 'enemies of the state'. --Duk 17:07, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Correction of multiple falsehoods

Sorry to drag you all more into this, but I just want to give an example of how User:JzG habitually lies about me, and nobody calls him on it.

JzG: And what about the ongoing and current issues of sockpuppetry and abusive emails?

Kohs: I don't recall sending anyone an "abusive" e-mail. Here is the probable content of what I sent to JoshuaZ, which he called "abusive":

I really feel sorry for you, Joshua, what with that YouTube video floating around (link to video). You're your own worst enemy, and it's delightful to watch for as long as you don't yet realize it.

Like I said, I feel sorry for you. Your social adjustment and self-awareness issues far exceed my own. I wish you the best of luck in the endeavor of fixing them.

This sounds a bit blunt, but do keep in mind this was written while JoshuaZ opined that I have a "moral failing and a general inability to function with a larger community". But only my reply is "abusive", not his, let's assume.

JzG: he was agitating on WikBack for a change to policy to allow his paid editing to resume

Kohs: I had opened discussion (is that "agitating"?) on WikBack.com about the nature of paid editing. I had, and still have, NO desire to resume paid editing for my own gain. I've told JzG this several times, but he just ignores it, since it's more inflammatory to portray that I am trying to enhance my six-figure-per-year occupation at a Fortune 100 company with a side-business that might net me $2,000 over the course of a year of hard work. Meanwhile, the admin who ran WikBack decided to take down all of the fruitful discussions that had been generated there. That is informative of motives, as well, I think.

JzG: If he wants to contribute content then a mechanism already exists: he can post it on his site in a GFDL compliant area.

Kohs: And JzG showed us in January 2008 how that GFDL attribution can be trashed and content plagiarized at his personal, vengeful whim! (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&page=Arch_Coal)

JzG: active retaliation against the foundation including attempts to have charitable status withdrawn.

Kohs: I have never sought to have the WMF's charitable status withdrawn, and I have counseled about this multiple times, too. I sought to have authorities investigate why earlier filings of Form 990 indicated "no business relationships" between the Directors, even though 60% of them were employed by the same company. I wished for this misinformation to be exposed and corrected. I never expected the WMF to lose its non-profit, tax-exempt status. Anyone with any intelligence on the matter would realize that when United Way ran into a similar trouble of self-dealing, the culpable parties were punished criminally, not the entire organization.

JzG: These are not unsubstantiated claims. Kohs was not banned, as he claims, for having a spat with Jimbo, he was banned for sockpuppetry () and block evasion

Kohs: I was not banned for sockpuppetry and block evasion. A block in early 2007 was purportedly for using "legal intimidation" -- for suggesting that it was defamatory for another user to say I had "given misleading information to journalists" and then refuse to substantiate with one smidgen of evidence. The block before that was thanks to Jimbo unilaterally deciding (without community discussion) that there was "inappropriate use of Wikipedia name in commerce; implying that people can pay him to get listed in Wikipedia". The block log (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&type=block&page=User%3AMyWikiBiz) is very clear, so it's odd that JzG would make up his own new reasons for bans and blocks. According to SirFozzie, I'm not even banned any more, just blocked.

JzG: he had Viridae restore a WP:CSD#G5 - an article on one of his clients which he created while banned, evading his ban.

Kohs: JzG is talking here about the article Liz Cohen. Cohen was never a "client" of mine, I was simply an admirer of her work. You can ask Cohen... she's never paid me one cent for any activity whatsoever. The creation of the article in question, at 05:19 UTC on March 27, 2007, was by User:Zibiki Wym, who was unblocked by Jimmy Wales at the time, and certainly not "banned" or "evading a ban" on March 27, 2007. Viridae was not acting on my orders at any time, either. I publicly questioned why JzG would delete a perfectly acceptable article about performance artist Liz Cohen, and Viridae agreed with my concerns and acted to restore the article. That's all. Why would JzG make up lies about "clients" and "ban evasion" like this, were it not simply a personal vendetta for him?

JzG: If in that time we have a number of GFDL compliant articles provided out of MyWikiBiz and copied by editors with no known involvement with Kohs elsewhere (specifically WR) then we will have proof of the decent, unbiased content Kohs asserts he wishes to provide.

Kohs: This is a highly ironic suggestion, being that the article about Arch Coal was provided in this exact way, without payment, copied into Wikipedia by an unaffiliated unpaid editor, then attacked by Jimmy Wales, then 15 MONTHS LATER, the attribution was removed by... wait for it... JzG himself, so that JzG would appear to the world to be the ORIGINAL AUTHOR of the article, not MyWikiBiz! JzG then claimed multiple times on WikBack.com to be the ab initio author of the revised article, even though the diff evidence clearly shows that he plagiarized without accreditation (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Arch_Coal&diff=79689733&oldid=76592206). So, now I am requested to repeat this process multiple times, for what? So that JzG can steal my work and claim it as his own, additional times in the future, presumably again without any Wikipedia-based reprimand? No thanks!

JzG: I will never lose my innate suspicion of someone whose first reaction to Wikipedia is not "how can I help" but "how can I make a buck out of this"

Kohs: "First reaction"? Isn't it peculiar that User:Thekohser began editing Wikipedia without payment on March 25, 2005? I then made nearly 600 unpaid, encyclopedia-serving edits to Wikipedia over the course of about 15 months BEFORE even conceiving of the idea of MyWikiBiz, a paid-to-edit content firm. The truth is all there (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?limit=600&title=Special%3AContributions&contribs=user&target=Thekohser&namespace=&year=2006&month=6) but JzG can't be bothered with the truth when it gets in the way of his personal vendetta.

JzG: but I try very hard not to bear grudges and I don't stalk the edits of people I don't like.

Kohs: I think someone needs to try harder.

Joshua's reply

Greg. I'm not going to comment about the material about JzG but if it shares the level of accuracy that your claims about me are you are no doubt being deliberately deceptive. So let's add a few notes. For example, the quote above is only part of what you emailed me. And moreover, you sent your email before I made the comment you quote. At minimum, you are lying about the timing. Moreover, you deliberately take out the statement I made out of context. (I'll refrain from discussing also how you attempted in those emails to justify your sale of such underwear by saying that you had called Durova out. Most sane people would agree that seeing such behavior as remotely socially acceptable does demonstrate serious problems with the individual in question) As you know, since you got the email, the statement made was that if you were seriously comparing my discussing on ANI your likely behavior to selling underwear with someones face on it then there's a serious moral failing. Frankly, I doubt anyone would disagree with that. And you don't at all mention your follow-up email in which you did engage in which making among other statements you made you said that "siding" with Durova occured "at my own risk". If that isn't a thinly veiled threat I don't know what is. JoshuaZ (talk) 18:01, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
www.dictionary.com - look up "abusive". As in "This schoolhouse clique's continued misuse of perfectly simply words to garner undeserved sympathy for their side in their self-created wikiwar is an abusive misuse of the English language." Seriously. Greg's email, as he admits, was "blunt", but even if we take you at your word, the only other descriptions that can be applied are "misleading," "inaccurate" and "mean." Heck, you could even go so far as to say "delusional," if you desperately want to indulge in some more random public name calling. But what it was not, what it did not amount to, was abuse. Abuse is what you lot have directed at Kohs... in a forum where, until recently, he didn't have the right of reply. Now -that's- abusive.
And while I'm on the subject, could you perhaps get over the whole "face on the underwear thing"? It's a ridiculous over-reaction because you don't like Greg. Unless and until you start your crusade against Disney for putting Mickey's face on underwear and therefore "abusing" the beloved mouse, I think people can see it for what it is. (talk) 18:20, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Hello little anon. The same applies to you, if you see putting face of someone you are feuding with on underwear in the same category as Disney putting a fictional cartoon character's picture on underwear and see it as remotely acceptable behavior then you need to grow up. This claim that the nebulous "we" don't like Greg is simply ridiculous. I initially argued that he should be allowed to edit by putting his Miwikibiz material in any alternate GFDL pool for us to move over. If you think people dislike Greg now you should try ask if maybe it is because he's pulled juvenile, harassing stunts exactly like the one we are discussing. JoshuaZ (talk) 18:27, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
No taunting anon IPs on my Talk page, please, Joshua. Okay, I'll give you credit -- I selectively pieced together excerpts from e-mail and was ambiguous about the timing (only half of what I quoted of mine did come after you leveled the "moral failing" charge at me). You really are hung up on this underwear thing. Her mug was plastered on t-shirts, golf shirts, doggie shirts, hats, political buttons, mouse pads, and (fittingly) mugs, too. That's because those are the items that CafePress.com can imprint for the storefront operator. I'll remind you (again) that only one item was ever sold through that store -- a button, to myself -- so clearly, it was intended as and resulted in being nothing more than a joke. If you fail to understand that many, many people found it quite humorous and complimented me on my jovial prank, then maybe you just have an odd taste in humor. As for being disliked by many -- I assure you, the four key players aligned against me since October 2006 have disliked me for reasons that you haven't even scratched, which predated the CafePress store by many, many, many months. -- Thekohser 20:56, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. I was just discussing this claim with Seth Finkelstein earlier. It certainly makes the behavior less problematic although doesn't stop it from being harassment. It merely takes it out of the incredibly unacceptable category. This leads to three obvious questions: first, concerning the Cafe Press material: most people make choices when they sell stuff through Cafe Press. What choices did you make about what items you were selling? Second, do you see selling items with someone elses face on them as appropriate or as a measured, mature response to disagreement? Third, if as you claim there are yet further reasons that teh-evil-cabal-of-four doesn't like you, why don't you state in detail what those reasons are (you can leave out JzG, we already know your issue with him). JoshuaZ (talk) 23:19, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
You might also consider why it took 5 or 6 months for the target of my so-called "harassment" to complain to me that she didn't appreciate it. I think even Durova can recognize a good lampoon. She's pretty talented with her own visual lampoons, if you paid any attention to her output. Joshua, I'm going to give you some "Josh Zelinsky Guidance", or "JZG", if you will. It seems to me that you have a lot of catching up to do on the back-stories and the facts before you continue breathlessly spouting off here on my Talk page. Others have been pointing this out to you, too, if you'll slow down and take notice. -- Thekohser 02:55, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Entire text

I've got an idea but I'll kindly ask for Greg's permission first. Does he object if I put the entire email exchange here? JoshuaZ (talk) 18:31, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Let's not go there, Joshua. I don't need you derailing my Talk page here. If you want to post the contents of the exchange on a blog or another site that would allow it, go ahead, knock yourself out. -- Thekohser 21:00, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
So it is derailing your talk page to put relevant material on the transparent site here and you'd rather put it on your personal site, which you get income from, and you control. Uhuh. How about no. I'm fine sticking it here though, or a subpage either in your userspace or mine here. JoshuaZ (talk) 23:19, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I've given you two different avenues for permissable re-publication of my e-mails to you. ANY blog, or MyWikiBiz.com. If you use Wikimedia Foundation resources to re-publish private e-mails without permission, you're going to get in a heap of trouble faster than you can say "Gothnic and Miles Naismith". -- Thekohser 02:49, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
And yet again, why not the most logical avenue? As to your last remark Greg, you seem to be missing a serious point here; your goal on this page shouldn't be try to get in little rhetorical zingers. You should be trying to convince editors on the fence and right now you aren't doing that. Frankly, the most logical way of trying to do that would be to convince me rather than insult me and bring up accusations of misconduct. Right now, all you've done with this strategy is to get editors like Alison who previously supported you to favor keeping you blocked. As you are aware, I'm short, annoying and have a speech impediment. That didn't stop me from doing well at debate way back when I formally competed. So I might, just maybe know what I'm talking about. Calm reasoning and discussion will always better convince an audience. If you really want to get unblocked I suggest you try it rather than insults, attacks, misdirections, distractions and lies. JoshuaZ (talk) 16:14, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

What is the status of your attempt to help us improve the BLP policy?

What is the status of your attempt to help us improve the BLP policy? I am aware that you coordinated the efforts of several people to document problems with our articles on US Senators over a period of a few months. Can you make its contents available? What conclusions have you reached about what changes to our BLP policy would be most fitting and appropriate given the values and objectives of the Wikimedia Foundation? WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:18, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I was somewhat dissatisfied with the consistency of the original database of edits, so I took it upon myself to go through them, one by one, for a final vetting. I got sidetracked, literally by the WMF Board elections, which I hadn't dreamed that I would be eligible for, and now the Senate is on August recess. I'm about 60% through the database now and will probably wrap it up this weekend. The database will be publicized simultaneously with the arrival of 100 customized letters on Capitol Hill. Shooting for mid-September. There's a certain irony in that, too, since the data was culled from just about one whole year before that date, and in that time hardly any improvements have been made to Wikipedia's policies on BLP defamation or responsibility for being such an attractive nuisance. As for the conclusions I reached? I'm horrified by some of the things we found in those articles, and I wonder if they will be shocking enough to move the United States Senate to reconsider the specifics of Section 230. -- Thekohser 21:06, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, this is interesting, but pretty opaque to me. Can you point to the law or bill that you're referring to? Thanks, -Pete (talk) 21:27, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, so instead of threatening to remove our 501c3 status you are threatening to remove our Section 230 status? Greg. Do you see why people might not see you as having the projects best interest at heart? Meanwhile, being aware of serious problems in biographies and not doing much doesn't make us happy. I think most would find it to be a tremendous demonstration of good faith if you told people what issues in their biographies you had found. JoshuaZ (talk) 23:25, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not "threatening" to do anything. I fully intend to do what I've been planning to do, regardless of what you or the Wikipedia community or the Wikimedia Foundation might do in the meantime. I'm confident the same problems with BLPs and the problems with unaccountability and Section 230 will exist in mid-September the way they exist now. Wait until you have kids and some anonymous person on Digg says that you're a lousy parent, and when you e-mail Digg's support team, they refuse to remove the anonymous defamation because they're firm believers in "free speech" and Section 230. -- Thekohser 02:43, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Joshua, my understanding is that Section 230 protections are generally available to internet content providers. It would be a great surprise to me if Greg is seeking legislation that would be specific to Wikipedia (and if he does, it would b equally surprising if it gets any traction in Congress.)
I understand and share Greg's concerns about defamatory content, and generally agree with Joshua's concern that keeping the information private, and doing nothing about it, is a questionable way to proceed.
I don't think that changing Section 230 is the best way to address defamation issues -- for one thing, it would be fairly trivial for Wikipedia (or any other web site) to simply move to servers overseas somewhere, and dodge the law that way. Better tools and policies for community enforcement are the way to go. I applaud any efforts Greg is making to get this kind of problem addressed, though from what I see here I'm a bit skeptical of the efficacy of this approach. I certainly don't see it as "threatening" behavior -- working to protect the interests of living persons who are covered by Wikipedia is entirely compatible with Wikipedia's mission, and something we should all support. -Pete (talk) 23:54, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Except that's not whats going on here at all. It should be pretty apparent at this point from the lack of actual help Greg has given to BLPs that he really doesn't care about them. It is a convenient issue that he can make noise about. Since many Wikipedians are (understandably) very concerned about BLPs if he claims that's what he really cares about he can sound far more concerned. It should be very telling that Greg didn't pick up claiming about BLPs until very late. It was never an issue for him until well after he was blocked. He's simply found a convenient thing that he can use to make his behavior seem more acceptable. If he really cared he'd point out to us the various problems. JoshuaZ (talk) 00:02, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Clearly baiting. Joshua, I've spent many months on Wikipedia Review and using sockpuppets here and e-mailing OTRS and WMF Board members with various problems that I have encountered. Typically, your brethren's reaction to my "pointing out" these problems has been to declare WP:POINT and show me to the door. You really are failing to make much sense at all here on my Talk page, so I advise you (once again, for the good of your own reputation) to just GIVE IT A REST. Remember the GFDL photo of Boy Scouts that was juxtaposed with butt-plugs and paddles over on Spanking Art Wikia? Tell me that I haven't picked up "claiming about BLPs" (whatever that means) "until very late", and I will show you an e-mail from Jimmy Wales on January 26th that asked me, "Have you made a complaint through the proper channels or did you just jump to threats right away?" Apparently, I was handling poorly the problem of real, living children being showcased as the objects of spanking fetishes on one of Jimbo's servers. You'd think the man would thank me for pointing it out, but all I got was WP:POINT lessons. Do your homework, Joshua. -- Thekohser 04:37, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Baiting? It means that you've picked up issues which you can cause disruption about nothing more. You are, like any banned user, welcome to mail OTRS about any BLP problems in articles. Of course you don't do that. And that is POINT in a nutshell. JoshuaZ (talk) 16:14, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, in regards to the BLP issue, some might say those problems have been pointed out to us time and again, and that it does little in the way of structural reform. I assume Doc Glasgow's discussions need no wiki-linking? --David Shankbone 00:38, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Greg, thank you very much for your attempts to help Wikipedia's policies and articles, Wikimedia's accountability, and the laws of the United States. However, I don't think your showing Senators the problems with Wikipedia's articles on them is going to cause them to pass legislation. I think they will be amused and wish that what their opponents in elections claimed about them was only so little damaging. "Filthy Story-Teller, Despot, Liar, Thief, Braggart, Buffoon, Usurper, Monster, Ignoramus Abe, Old Scoundrel, Perjurer, Robher, Swindler, Tyrant, Field-Butcher, Land-Pirate. - Harper's Weekly on Abraham Lincoln" from Historical Political Insults - - WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:27, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

The Senate may not react at all, WAS, so you're correct as usual. But, the Senate's reaction wasn't even the primary hope of the mini-project. Rather, we are hoping that bloggers and the mainstream media will swoop in on it for a 48-hour news cycle frenzy. I speculate that at least 85% of Internet users are mostly unaware of the twin malady that Wikipedia contains a substantial amount of libel, yet is immune from making the necessary remedies thanks to Section 230. Anybody who thinks that 230 is a picture-perfect law, as is, really ought to check out the page about MyWikiBiz on Encyclopedia Dramatica. Were I to want ED to take down that page, this is the guidance given in their General Disclaimer: "If you feel as though someone has committed harassment or defamation against you - please pursue your remedies against that poster as encyclopediadramatica.com is not responsible for their words." Wikipedia's disclaimer isn't much better: "We will not delete or replace an entire article on demand. Instead, please tell us what exactly is wrong with the article. We can then attempt to resolve the problem in the most appropriate manner." -- Thekohser 20:53, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
If companies were responsible for comments by people on the internet, then they would simply remove the ability of others to comment. The blog-o-sphere wants the ability to use the internet to comment on other people's internet sites. The internet community generally regards Wikipedia as a wonderful asset. I don't think the public, the blog-o-spere or the newspapers are going to get behind an anti-section 230 drive. On the other hand, the newspapers will probably create filler articles going "Look at this and that - my what a scandal - read all about it here!" And you of course, will have made yourself a dash more notable and created pressure for Wikipedia to do something (which it should do - such as automatically make all BLPs semi-protected). So you will have done well by doing good. Just as Jimbo is doing. There is nothing wrong with doing well by doing good, whether it is you or Jimbo that is doing it. WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:27, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your understanding and your implied support. We'll see what happens, but I certainly think no harm can come of our effort, only good. The thing that I find really curious is that Section 230 was clearly set up with Prodigy, Yahoo!, and AOL in mind, not encyclopedias and blogs. But, the courts have much more frequently and liberally interpreted the law to extend these original "interactive computer service" protections to just about anybody who wants them. By the way, this notion that the WMF would just move to Bolivia if Section 230 no longer protected them? I laugh, because do you really think Americans and Europeans will continue their cash donations to some non-profit HQ'd in some far-off land, with no further tax-benefit aspect for the U.S. donors? Highly doubtful. Anywho, I have no expectation or ambition that Section 230 would be dismantled. I rather have a dream that it might be re-examined and ever so slightly modified to apply a bit more pressure on "publications" to act as responsible "publishers". Meanwhile, the blogger who I said (for about 45 minutes) was born with 5 testes... he hasn't ever contacted me about a defamation lawsuit, even though I'm not protected by Section 230. -- Thekohser 21:43, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Prior to Section 230, companies were inhibited from trying to clean up comments made by others because they did not wish to risk becoming responsible for it. Section 230 was specifically created to take that inhibition away so as to encourage clean ups of content provided by others. Additional legislation to further encourage such cleanups without promoting censorship would be helpful and if such legislation could be devised, it would probably get much support. Congress will not wish to be seen as encouraging a white-washing of reader comments, but providing tax incentives for hiring someone to remove clearly abusive language might be supported. Wikimedia Foundation already has one such person on its payroll - Cary Bass. Legislation that might fly could be to insist that tax incentives for for-profits are limited to X dollars, while for non-profits, some minimum expenditure on such people is required. It would be nice if the Wikimedia Foundation could point to a law that actually requires it to hire people (two, three?) to full time do what they could to remove the worst abuses. They could do full time what some of our OTRS volunteers are doing. Also, Wikimedia Foundation already has on-salary software engineers who craft copy-left software to help automate such removal of abuse; so depending on how the legislation was worded, they might be covered too. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:29, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Shall we close the AN discussion?

The discussion of whether to unblock Thekohser has generated a lot of discussion at AN and now here. I think the discussion has certainly failed to demonstrate a consensus to unblock Thekohser at this time. It has also shown a large number of Wikipedia community members have a very emotional reaction about this, and generated a fair amount of heat and, in my opinion, uncivil language.

The question is where do we go from here? I don't think Greg is getting unblocked anytime soon. Perhaps some of the points made by others in the discussion will in time resonate with Greg, his suppporters, and/or his opposers, and make any number of them step back and reevaluate their behaviour and principles that behavior is based on. However, at the present time the discussion seems to be going in circles with attitudes rather entrenched. My gut tells me it is time to close the discussion there (the way people close a section and mark it as resolved, except in this case I guess it is unresolved instead). But before doing that unilaterally, I want to see what other people think first. That includes you, Greg. Martinp (talk) 00:31, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Being that my brief participation in that page's discussion was cited as further reason why I should be excommunicated, I'm confident my opinion here on the matter will be acted upon with the opposite of my wishes. So, I'll just say that I agree that I don't think I'm getting unblocked anytime soon, and I think marking it as "unresolved" and "closed" would be rather touching and unique. -- Thekohser 02:32, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Just look at this page

If anyone wonders just what is "going on" with this Gregory Kohs / MyWikiBiz person, I think this very Talk page over the past few days demonstrates what I'm all about, at least regarding Wikipedia. What do you see here on this page?

You see documented diffs about User:JzG being presented by me, which another critic has apparently chosen not to follow because he's fixated on underwear. This same critic has asked me to educate him on my specific complaints about a set of four individuals about whom I have ennumerated my complaints countless times here (only to be blocked) and on WikipediaReview.com (only to be labeled "irrational", "stalker", and "troll".

You see intelligent editors asking "what is Section 230?", then cogent discussions following up about this very important yet controversial legal statute.

We see someone complaining about me recommending my privately-owned wiki, agitated that I might make money off of some of its content, while not even recognizing that I encourage editors of the site to make their own money off their content on my server -- something Wikia.com wouldn't even dare consider, yet there's over 13,600 links to Wikia from Wikipedia.

And then we have a thoughtful consideration from Martinp about whether we're getting anywhere with the thousands of words that have been generated on the WP:AN discussion that I didn't even ask for, but was inspired by a conciliatory gesture by the co-founder of this website.

What am I about? I'm about trying to help Wikipedia become an ethical, accurate, and excellent place. Since you've joined me in reading this far, may I ask you please to take a few more minutes to read a page that I created back in August 2006? I think you'll see that I genuinely wanted to work with the Wikipedia community to better understand and craft a consensus policy about paid editing of GFDL content. You may note that User:JzG never once entered a single comment or observation on that thread; yet, from about that time forward, JzG has positioned himself as the authority on the "consensus" of the Wikipedia community's opposition to paid editing. Please, read that Archive discussion that I fostered. Afterwards, tell me if I embody the type of person who builds community discussion and consensus; or does JzG, or does Durova, or does Raul654, or does JoshuaZ, or does Calton, or does Ryulong, or does Essjay, or does Jimbo Wales more embody the traits of that kind of person? -- Thekohser 02:05, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Greg, it should be obvious to you that posting these long screeds aren't going to help matters. Moreover, you've managed to once again contain serious distortions. For example, there's no good reason to prefer Mywikibiz over Wikipedia as a location for our emails. Your desire to put them at Mywikibiz and refusal to put them here is part of the continuing pattern about you carring about your wallet over this project. I don't really care if you get more money or not. But the fact that you are trying to get it even out of this rather than foster transparency speaks volumes. JoshuaZ (talk) 02:13, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
What speaks volumes is that it only took you 8 minutes to not read the page that I asked visitors to read that shows how consensus is congenially built; plus you are apparently so fixated on pestering me, you fail to even re-read that I also suggested you put our e-mail discourse on a blog of yours, not exclusively MyWikiBiz (which was something of a joke, since I had a feeling that might set you ablaze). If you're not experienced in setting up a blog, I think you can find some options at this page. By the way, Joshua, would you mind sharing with us your means of income? You seem hellbent on assuming you know everything about mine, so it only seems fair to tell us a bit about your own. -- Thekohser 02:25, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually you mentioned a blog you didn't mention "your blog" so you'll forgive me if I didn't follow why. I'll ignore your attempt at humor/condescension about blogs. I have one, and it isn't intended for this sort of thing. Moreover, I'm curious in the extreme about why you would refuse to put up the exchange here where it actually matters but would be fine putting it up elsewhere. I have no reason to tell you about my income stream. It's utterly irrelevant. As your income stream is irrelevant. You could have a 100 million dollar trust fund and it wouldn't matter. That's because your behavior here shows that you care massively about your personal income to the point that you engage in self-promotion at every turn. So let's no kid around here. Stop trying to cloud issues. JoshuaZ (talk) 16:14, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Joshua, are you maybe inclined to make the worst possible interpretation of what Greg says? I can't speak for Greg, but the reasons for not wanting the email chain posted here seem pretty obvious: if it's posted on this page (his talk page), they drastically change the direction of this discussion. Remember, users generally have a fair amount of discretion about what goes on their talk pages, and are not usually questioned about such choices. If it's put anywhere else on Wikipedia, it's out of his reach; anyone in the world can edit it, comment on it, etc. except for him. Your assumption that his desire to keep it off Wikipedia is somehow contrarian or politically motivated is pretty silly. -Pete (talk) 16:42, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

:::: Valid point Pete. JoshuaZ (talk) 16:45, 23 August 2008 (UTC) Actually, thinking about this more the point doesn't work at all. Since then he should object even more to a blog or other site which I controlled. At least here there would be transparency. JoshuaZ (talk) 17:02, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Like I said, I don't know what Greg is thinking. But you don't either. The difference is, you assume that you do know, and speak as though your assumptions are totally self-evident. And maybe they are, to people who have already made up their minds that everything Greg does is designed to hurt Wikipedia. Please. His reasons for declining your offer are really not that important. At this point I'm wondering when you'll get bored and go away, I can't imagine what you think you're accomplishing here. -Pete (talk) 17:20, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Greg, doesn't all this wrangling seem like a waste of time and energy to you? I'm trying to understand what your mission is, how you see your role here, because given your age and background it seems unlikely you're just killing time or having fun stirring the pot. If it were me, the message I would have received by now would be that this community of people generally disagrees with me - and that they have decided that their goals and other problems outweigh the attention costs of my presence here. I'm sure you've received that message, because I can't believe that you would've disregarded the enormous weight of criticism you've received in favor of the few expressions of mild support. So what compels you to ignore this? Is it your great commitment to the goals and philosophy of Wikipedia? Something else? Avruch T 02:58, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

You make good points. What you might not realize, though, is that over the past 20 months or so, I've made a good number of new friends (whom I'd have never met otherwise) who absolutely support me or at least strongly sympathize with my experience. I've had lunch at an Indian restaurant with one "banned troll", and he seemed awfully genuine and nice. I've talked on the phone for at least a half-hour with at least a dozen other admins, editors, and observers of Wikipedia. I've even gotten comfortable chatting once in a while with BLP people like Brian Bergstein, Jonathan Zittrain, Jason Calacanis, and Rachel Marsden. And, please recall that 125 Wikipedians in good standing thought I was the very best candidate among 15 for the WMF Board, and another 350 or so put me at #2 or #3. You know, I could turn the tables on your question -- Wikipedians seem to disregard an enormous weight of criticism they're receiving of late. What compels them to ignore it? -- Thekohser 04:22, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
You didn't answer Avruch's question. JoshuaZ (talk) 16:14, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
So what you're saying, then, Greg, is that by hanging out with other people who have decided to hate Wikipeida, by trying to undermine the Foundation's financial footing, and by refusing to help correct something you acknowledge to be a problem - accuracy in BLPs - you are somehow demonstrating that you have this project's best interests at heart? I'm missing something somewhere in your chain of logic, I think. I know article subjects have strong views about biographies, I can say from personal experience that article subjects can be profoundly grateful for assistance in fixing issues with Wikipedia content, OTRS volunteers deal with that kind of thing all the time. What's less clear here is how clubbing together with a few of them to undermine the project is actually the best way of fixing that, when my experience has been that listening to them and helping them fix the problem usually (with a few notable exceptions who are beyond anyone's capacity to help) leaves them very satisfied. So, why not either email OTRS or encourage them to? Gestures of good faith are being actively invited here, and all you're giving in return is positive promises to try and damage the project. There are two kinds of people on Wikipedia: those who are here to help and those who are here to further their own agenda. The latter are a problem and drive away the former. You have a few enemies here, many people do, but you are making life exceptionally hard for your friends by giving a strong impression of being the latter kind of person: an agenda account here to further your own essentially political ends, and that based on your being frustrated in trying to pursue your own financial ends. Again, demonstrations of good faith and alignment with the fundamental goals of the project will do you vastly more favours than grandstanding. You can take this at face value or not, remove it or leave it, I don't care and I'm not watching this page. Guy (Help!) 16:29, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
No, that's not at all what I'm saying, JzG. By the way, you really shouldn't haunt my Talk page with your commentary until you've apologized to me for plagiarizing Arch Coal, removing the original attributed edits, then claiming publicly that you wrote the article "ab initio". And it's not just me. A couple of other editors in good standing have questioned why you weren't de-sysopped for that. -- Thekohser 20:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Let's watch Wikipedians make fun of Gregory Kohs!

Wikipedians over the months and years have taken great sport in using Wikimedia Foundation servers to make fun of me, with no hesitation to publish the real name of the user. Let us count the ways!

  • I suggest you find better criticism than Gregory Kohs; if you are unaware, this guy has a serious vendetta against WP and pops up on any blog posting anywhere to slam the site. Including criticism is one thing; including the deluded rantings of an idiot is something else.
In a way we’re making fun of him, lightening up our readers and showing criticism, IMO it’s the perfect choice.

  • non-notable outside of Wikipedia internal culture, and nearly everything about this whole incident has already been endorsed for deletion by the community (Kohs is deleted and banned, the first AfD for this was delete followed by a no consensus). Burn it already.

  • Greg Kohs is a notorious banned user who loves to disrupt like a 12-year-old, though he's really hit new lows this time

Above data supplied by Thekohser

Greg, I am sorry that you have been hurt by people at Wikipedia. We have both wonderful people and 13 year olds, aspies, trouble-makers, socks, abusive adults, alcoholics, and other assorted people that a successful adult such as yourself should not have to jump though hoops for. Hey, but that's the real wold. The same as you find on any street anywhere. Just a minute - "You there - get off my lawn" - god, these kids these days ... WAS 4.250 (talk) 06:25, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I understand all that, but why so many out-and-out liars, do you think? -- Thekohser 17:39, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Because they are not smart enough to use any of the many more effective means of misleading. :) WAS 4.250 (talk) 02:46, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Things that Wikipedians should fix

I would fix these, but I'm blocked, so someone else has to do it, although that could lead to charges of WP:MEAT. Anyway, here you go:

Problematic edit existed for 137 minutes. Fixed 2 minutes after I publicized it. Clearly, I am not here to help Wikipedia.
Oh good, we now have an example of an edit war!
All kinds of amazing things happening at my alma mater high. They've hired a female canine to teach children to sing! (You'd a thunk a word like that would get trapped in some bot's warning filter, no?)
So Huang was a bitch only for a little over three hours. No, Wikipedia's not an attractive nuisance. Thanks, again, The Poor Kid in Africa! Could I send you a bowl of rice or something?
Problematic statement existed for 110 days. Fixed by The Poor Kid in Africa the same day I publicized it. I don't know why I'm going through this exercise.
  • Nemours Foundation, a stub that I voluntarily created for Wikipedia in April 2006 is now riddled with plagiarized content that violates the copyright of Nemours. Simply compare the text "Jacksonville had been a second home and business base" in the article, versus the text found on Nemours.org's website. I've been accused of writing "short, stubby" content, but if copyright violation by an "established user" like Mgreason is the inevitable alternative, I'll stand by my "short, stubby" stubs, thank you very much.
Lo and behold! A plagiarized copyright violation that existed for over 10 months is reverted with a day or two of me calling attention to it. I can see why the "community" has determined I have no place on Wikipedia! (I also note that no public warning or counsel was given to the original plagiarizer, while I remain blocked. Maybe some good admin just privately sent Mgreason an e-mail. Yeah, that's what probably happened.)
  • I disagree with the deletion of KidsHealth, considering the site's notability amongst the media and its traffic statistics.
  • Lede paragraph of Comcast Center (office building) speaks as if July 2008 is in the future, "...its primary tenant, Comcast, will complete relocating employees to the new tower by July 2008". It's nearly September 2008 now as I write this. Since I work in this building, even if I were unblocked, I might be brought up on WP:COI charges for "improving" the article.
Wow, The Poor Kid in Africa is certainly a loyal young meatpuppet. The time-space continuum has been restored at Comcast Center.
  • No article about Patty Costello, multi-year professional women's bowler of the year and a fascinating human-interest story. Plenty of source material. Oh, but I knew her personally when I was a young boy, so that's WP:COI?
er, COI? for that? who would call that COI?? -Pete (talk)
I can name one editor and one admin who I bet would not hesitate to call that COI if my name were attached to the authorship. Do you really want me to name names? -- Thekohser 01:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Nah, I'm not that interested. But such disagreements can be resolved, if you go about them the right way. I speak from a lot of experience. What you describe would constitute a pretty weird interpretation of the COI guideline. -Pete (talk) 02:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Less than 4 hours after I suggest it, lo and behold, an article about Patty is made! This Talk page seems to be more powerful than the Reward Board!
  • Comcast is now the fourth-largest home telephone company in the United States, but you wouldn't know it from Wikipedia's article about the company. There's an ample section about how bad Comcast's customer satisfaction is, but it seems there's an effort to deny that Comcast even offers voice services. The neglect of this one is starting to bug me. Seriously, is "nation's fourth-largest residential telephone service provider" really not worth emphasizing somewhere toward the top of the article, not buried somewhere toward the end and tucked within an infobox?
The begins: "Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is the largest cable television company and the second largest Internet service provider in the United States." I'm sure they are fifth, sixth, seventh, etc at other things, too. One has to use editorial judgement about this sort of thing. On the other hand the lead should cartainly have another few paragraphs. As for it bugging you; why of course it does - it is your job to be bugged at things like that :) WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:27, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Don't bother with editorial judgment. Just look at any Business section of any newspaper over the past six months that mentions Comcast. The attention has been predominantly focused on how Comcast, while losing some small fractional percentage of video subscribers, is stealing literally millions of telephone customers from Verizon and AT&T. I've shown you a link where another editor simply obliterated a comment to this fact, but you describe it as "editorial judgment". Thank you for reminding me I've left the real world (TM) and entered the Wikipedia way of thinking. -- Thekohser 02:08, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, different people care about different things. The only news I've seen about Comcast lately is Comcast To Cap Data Transfers At 250 GB In October and Comcast to Cap Data Transfers at 250 GB in Oct.. WAS 4.250 (talk) 08:05, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Could you hypothesize about why the "different person" cared about this different thing, that is, to obscure that Comcast even offers voice services, despite at least some media evidence to the contrary? I thought Wikipedians are supposed to sniff out and stamp out POV? You don't think that the above edit is fringe POV pushing? The way you've talked to me above was a bit snippy, if you consider that I know a lot more about the topic than you do. -- Thekohser 15:20, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

(<---)This is the deletion of inappropriate commenting on a source within a reference. Claims need to be verifiable in reliable sources, relevant to the subject, placed in an appropriate place in the article, and not be undue weight. All this requires careful, thoughtful, caring effort. We are volunteers and are not obligated to lift a finger to do anything. You are wrong in characterizing us as Jimbo slaves, and Seth is wrong in characterizing us as cult members. This leads to comments like "I thought Wikipedians are supposed to sniff out and stamp out POV?". No, we are supposed to do whatever is both fun and allowed by the rules. Me, snippy? I don't hold a candle to your behavior at WR. But I don't try to be snippy. I guess I'm not perfect. Oh, well. I'll just have to live with that. Sigh. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:20, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

You're only telling half the story. Yes, placing cited claims in the appropriate place in an article, without undue weight, is indeed requiring careful, thoughtful, caring effort. Thing is, when you ban the users who are willing to do that, it calls everything into question. It's like your house is on fire, but you turn away the first fire engine to arrive on the scene, because you took one look at the second ladderman, and you "didn't like the cut of his jib". Try not to miss the bigger point. I could fix up that Comcast article something to be proud of, but you see, I'm banned. I'm also (alternatively?) indefinitely blocked -- even with a "100 edits only" option on the table. This is stupid, but a majority of Wikipedians don't even realize how stupid they are. -- Thekohser 15:05, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Another wonderful edit from an IP address. Wish I could help you fix these problems, but I'm blocked; and my suggestion that IPs are not really helping the encyclopedia any more earned me 15th place out of 15 Board candidates.
  • Here is a true and helpful edit made by another IP editor, which I am sure some registered User/Slave/Cultist will be all-too-happy to revert, without even questioning why Jimbo and the WMF Board keep IP editing very much a part of the Wikipedia Game Encyclopedia "Encyclopedia". Addicts usually don't realize that they've become addicted.
    • Cultist slave addict Conti, worshipper of Jimbo Wales, at your service. --Conti| 15:44, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Greg, there isn't anybody with the responsibility to make an article about every notable company..I doubt there's ever been a decision "hey, let's NOT write an article about General Cable."
I know this kind of approach is far from what you'd consider ideal, but if you want to email me text for any of the articles above, I'd be happy to post it, and credit you on the talk page.
Glad to see you're still seeking, and finding, ways to help the project. -Pete (talk) 22:16, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
No, nobody's made a decision "hey, let's NOT write an article about General Cable", but decisions have been made to say, "hey, let's NOT let the guy who wrote the Zale Corporation article ever write another article as long as he lives". It's a nuanced difference, but I feel it. -- Thekohser 01:54, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Thank you for your fine efforts. Finding the problems that need fixing but that are not clear vandalisms can be difficult. WAS 4.250 (talk) 23:12, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Not really. It's usually pretty easy to spot. It takes a variety of people with knowledge in a variety of subjects to see these things. The list is long of what's not here that is more important than #502 Fortune company, especially in of law, science, arts, history etc. But, to each their own and with their own focus. Which is why I don't see the "to do" list as anything more than a waste of precious time. We all have laundry lists; I don't know why Greg went through this exercise. --David Shankbone 23:20, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
"It takes a variety of people with knowledge in a variety of subjects to see these things." That's my point. How many business people with a marketing/advertising background do we have pointing out problems in areas outside their commercial interests? Greg has moved beyond merely desiring to further his ambitions with payment to add content to ambitions to be like Jimbo and make money by gaining fame by being associated with Wikipedia. He wants to help Wikipedia like Jimbo is helping Wikipedia. Win-Win!!! WAS 4.250 (talk) 06:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think anybody would question Greg's potential to make a positive contribution -- or that there are areas where he is uniquely qualified to do so. What some people seem to question is his commitment to doing so, and whether potential disruptive behavior might outweigh his positive contributions. I think Greg's documenting it, keeping a list, is worthwhile, because it makes it clear to those who doubt his intentions that he's putting some energy into building the encyclopedia. It's not a surefire anything, but it can't hurt. -Pete (talk) 16:33, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Just worth reiterating here, that I promised a commitment of at least 100 "disruption-free" edits (where I promised cessation of disruption both here and on any other venue), but the "community" rejected the offer. Earlier, some adversaries even questioned whether I had any talent for editing Wikipedia usefully, but I'm not going to fixate on that criticism. -- Thekohser 16:52, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Peteforsyth, we have people who come here and make one useful edit and go away. "Anyone can edit" - remember? "Commitment to doing so" is a nonsense - I can walk away anytime I want - no one a right to require a "commitment" from me. On the other hand, "whether potential disruptive behavior might outweigh his positive contributions" is decidedly a factor in dealing with someone who has been blocked or banned. While I share Guy's concerns in this regard, I do not share his "us versus them" evaluation. WAS 4.250 (talk) 00:20, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
WAS, I pretty well agree with everything you just said -- not sure why you called my name out on it. -Pete (talk) 02:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Article content created for money

Apologies if it's already been mentioned somewhere – with all due respect to all involved, I have better things to do with my life than read every discussion here and on WR – but is there a good reason not to go back to the model Jimbo originally proposed for Greg to deal with Wikipedia, in which he'd post any articles he wanted to write someplace else, and we'd then check them over before importing them? I don't see how that would be any more problematic than the {{1911}} or indeed {{wipipedia}} tagged articles. – iridescent 02:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, there are multiple very good reasons not to blithely go back to the model Jimbo originally proposed. See below. By dividing paid and unpaid GFDL content in such a way, I'm reminded of the problems inspired by Plessy v. Ferguson. -- Thekohser 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
At the time and currently I argue that people should be able to place potential article content that they were paid to write on a subpage of their user page and then the community can do whatever it wishes with that content - delete, move, ignore, whatever. Win-win!! For example now that Greg can write on this page, if he were to create a subsection that contained content that I thought was appropriate for some article, then I would copy it to that article and say in the edit summary that it was copied from this page. We are here to build an encyclopedia; not to engage in retribution, game-playing, and online battles. WAS 4.250 (talk) 03:01, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
But, Greg, note that I have to care enough about the subject to be motivated to verify that the claims are backed up by the sources; so if you add content to this page that is similar to most such content I have seen you involved with, then I won't be adding it because I won't care enough to even read it closely, much less read the sources. WAS 4.250 (talk) 03:08, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Totally agree. If Greg's stuff as good as he says there won't be any problems; if there's any bias issue, we can either explain the problem or correct it ourselves. It's a far better solution for all concerned then for admins to play Kohs/Awbrey whack-a-mole whilst Greg contributes by posting "suggestions" on WR and waiting for others to action them. – iridescent 03:09, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
The two of you are frustrating me, because you are missing a pair of major, MAJOR, MAJOR points. Number One, explain to me how Jimbo will react to this "new" plan, when it is essentially the one he later went ape-shit over, back on October 4th and 5th, 2006? Number Two, explain to me how you will clear this with the powerful and unrestrainable User:JzG, who has proclaimed here, on blogs, and on WikBack.com, that paid editing has been determined by a vast majority of the community to be antithetical to Wikipedia's volunteer mission. I strongly suggest that you communicate with these two important players who have the power to scuttle anything they disapprove of on Wikipedia, before you continue plastering pie-in-the-sky ambitions here on my Talk page. (And, while you're at it, keep in mind that I'm out of the paid-editing business. Anything you accomplish for me is simply going to be a pedastal upon which I'll gladly help elevate my would-be successors in paid editing. I.e., don't lobby for me to be allowed to edit for payment. Lobby for the principle of paid editing as part of the spectrum of freely-licensed content. If anything, I think Wikipedia has proven beyond reasonable doubt that unpaid, volunteer editing generates just as much -- if not more -- POV and contentious material than openly-disclosed, paid editing ever has or ever will.) -- Thekohser 03:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, I get along with both those fine gentlemen just fine. If you insist on pissing either of them off, then they will retaliate against you. Just as you retaliated against Durova when she pissed you off. Retaliation between people who believe in retaliation results in these kinds of vicious circles. The Dalai lama said on TV just the other days that the solution to such vicious circles is compassion. If you wish to add to this page content suitable to be added by someone to an article, don't worry about Jimbo or Guy, just try it and see what happens. And just to be clear; I am not doing any of my editing at WikiMedia sites for Jimbo, you, or some kid in /Africa. I do what I do here because it is fun for me. The fact that it helps to grow something useful and every year more useful is just icing on the cake. WAS 4.250 (talk) 03:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, I'm a bit confused. Can you clarify what it is you would like to have happen, at this point? In general, not in regards, specifically, to you. Would you like to have WP:COI explicitly allow paid editing? Or, have it make no comment on whether editing is made for payment? Or, have no COI guideline at all, and leave it up to individual editors' judgment?
Specific, negotiated arrangements with you don't interest me a whole lot -- and I think that probably goes for most Wikipedians. You seem to have a great deal to offer to Wikipedia, but to be blunt, that doesn't, in itself set you apart from other editors; negotiating highly specific arrangements with you strikes me as a futile exercise. Making sure that Wikipedia's general policies, guidelines, and procedures permit you to make the best contribution you're capable of, though, seems worthwhile.
Furthermore, I don't see that the suggestion above is in any way incompatible with points like Jimbo's opinion, as expressed in comments like this one. If you (or anyone) is upfront about the business arrangements surrounding a given piece of proposed text, and if another Wikipedian evaluates it and finds it worthwhile before posting in main article space, that seems to satisfy all related concerns. It's not a guarantee of anything -- but as Jimbo has said, the safest restaurant possible would be one that surrounds all fork-and-knife-wielding patrongs with little cages so they can't hurt each other, but that doesn't mean that's the best way to run a restaurant. At some point, the assumption of good faith must play a role, or the project will fail.
I don't know what to say about these supposedly hugely-influential fellows. I have respect for Jimbo's perspective, because I feel he's generally expressed an intelligent and inspiring vision for what Wikipedia can be; but that goes for a lot of other folks, too. JzG, as I've said before, has made some errors that for me, pretty thoroughly undermine his credibility on this issue...so I definitely wouldn't say he's very influential as far as I'm concerned. He might be a great editor -- I don't really know him outside the context of this issue. But as WAS, more or less, said above, there's no good to be had down the road of you personalizing the issue to those you perceive as your greatest adversaries.
I don't think there's anything in place now that prevents you from submitting proposed article text on your talk page, via email, or elsewhere on the web, and applying whatever licensing terms you like. I don't think there's anything in place that would prevent others from moving it to Wikipedia article space. If I'm wrong, please let me know. -Pete (talk) 04:18, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Sigh. I'm not sure how much more clear I can be. You really, really, need to understand the history of the article Arch Coal. I will try to dumb this down for everyone.
  1. In September 2006, I created a new GFDL article about Arch Coal and published it on a GFDL section of my own website, per the terms that Jimmy Wales advised to me the previous month. Arch Coal was not a client and they weren't aware of what I was doing. The reason for creating this article was two-fold: (a) I wished to see how long it would take for a random Wikipedian to find, unassisted, the article and transfer it to Wikipedia (it was a couple of weeks); and (b) I wished to develop an "example" template for marketing my article writing services to other energy firms.
  2. On October 4, 2006, I noticed that the COI policy seemed to suggest that paid GFDL content could be introduced to Wikipedians for review by placing it within a Wikipedia user's sub-page space. This contradicted what Jimmy Wales had told me earlier was "Absolutely unacceptable, sorry." So, I sent Wales an e-mail asking which direction I might take, citing as an example that Arch Coal had been scraped into Wikipedia a week or two earlier by an independent editor, but it would have been easier and more transparent for everyone involved if that material had begun within Wikipedia.
  3. On October 5, 2006, Wales responded to my e-mail by blocking my account, deleting Arch Coal, calling it a "travesty of NPOV" and a "PR puff piece", then replacing my User page with a menacing screed against my ethics and the risks I was bringing to clients. He then later offered up his disappointment that my website suggested that by paying me, clients could get articles into Wikipedia. Well, I thought that was the point of the effort, and I made no guarantees of such to clients.
  4. In January 2008, after a discussion on WikBack.com about paid editing, where someone who claimed to be JzG declared that the Wikipedia "community" had emphatically decided that paid editing is unwelcome and contrary to the volunteer mission of a project like Wikipedia, User:JzG went back into the "contribs" history of the Arch Coal article and deleted the original version and attribution that showed (in the edit summary) that the article had been authored initially by MyWikiBiz.com. Instead, JzG now held the attribution rights for the article, and he blustered on WikBack.com that he alone had authored the version ab initio, from scratch, with no aid from my original article. If I recall, the timestamp evidence showed that he did all this (while concurrently participating in the deletion review discussion) in only 26 minutes. Of course, by comparing diffs, everyone could see that he had clearly plagiarized the original, and only through a personal appeal from me did Jimmy Wales restore the original version (begrudgingly).
What this shows me is a project that, from the top down, does not respect its word to contributors, does not respect attribution rights, and does not respect those who present valid criticisms. You seem to paint this situation as me having the "problem" in asking for and expecting some apologies before I even consider returning to making contributions -- ironically, using the EXACT SAME METHODOLOGY that I just described above, which GOT US ALL INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE!
Does this begin to explain to you why you are going about your efforts to see me return in the absolute wrong way, however compassionate you may think it should seem? What is needed is a top-down recognition that WP:COI is in complete and utter conflict with the tenets of WP:PRIVACY. If someone is entitled to edit Wikipedia anonymously, with citations from reliable sources, you don't have any right to suspect or demand to know if that person has a conflict of interest with the subject matter. With anonymity, you have absolutely no guarantee of knowing if an editor is the chief marketing officer of the company he or she is writing about, or whether he or she is the CMO of that company's most hated competitor, or whether he or she is a loyal employee, or whether he or she is a disgruntled ex-employee, or whether he or she is a paid-to-edit content developer, or whether he or she is a volunteer content developer.
What I attempted was to bathe myself in the broad, disinfecting sunlight of full disclosure. Jimmy Wales and a segment of powerful administrators saw to it that my open and transparent approach was SHUT DOWN, quickly.
Why is that?
Answer that question, and then maybe we can have useful discussions about what the Dalai lama advises us to do. As for the "restaurant knives" analogy that Jimbo uses... I have a provocative retort for that, as you might expect. When Jimmy talks to a journalist about the "Wikipedia Grille" where there are no cages around the knife-and-fork wielding patrons, he doesn't let the journalist tour the kitchen, where the head chefs are swearing at the wait staff, spitting in your soup, and cutting the flour with sawdust.
Why is that? -- Thekohser 14:02, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Maybe I missed it, did you answer Pete's question; "...what it is you would like to have happen, at this point?"
What I would like to see happen is for you to be unbanned, so that you can contribute and pursue your grievances unhindered and, just maybe, get over it. --Duk 15:22, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
(takes deep breath) I do appreciate all that but I'm not entirely sure what you do want. The answers to both "Why is that?"s are: people here are human and people make mistakes. Yes, you were treated shabbily in that Jimmy Wales and the WMF shifted their policies beneath your feet – but that was two years in the past and we can't turn back time. Jimbo is already on record as saying he thinks you should be unblocked, and I'm sure some kind of "keep away from each other" deal could be brokered between you and Guy. I personally think you're absolutely right about WP:COI and WP:PRIVACY; I don't see anything wrong with paid editing as long as it can be shown to be unbiased, and I don't see how there's any more of a COI than allowing fans to write about their favorite band, or people to write about their hometowns, or how we can even know a COI exists unless the contributor chooses to disclose it – but that is for the WMF, and not for me, you, or Guy, to decide; Guy may have a strong opinion but he doesn't speak for the WMF any more than I do. Personally, I think that while on policy issues I probably disagree with you more often than I agree, some of your points – particularly some of your suggestions around semi-protecting BLPs and the use of "control groups" of articles to test new policies, are very sound. As I said to you during the WMF elections, I do believe there's too much of a bunker mentality when it comes to our critics and people like you and Jon A, who have potentially valid points to make, shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. But, as WAS is (more or less) saying, it's not quite clear exactly what you want. If you want to contribute articles and fix errors, say so; if you want to change policy then (rightly or wrongly) you've probably stepped on too many toes to get policy changed yourself, but that doesn't mean people won't listen to you. – iridescent 15:28, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

What I want

I want an overhaul review of WP:COI with a two-fold public policy declaration that paid editing is neither antithetical to the Wikipedia mission, nor reliably detectable under WP:PRIVACY anyway. I want a public apology from Jimmy Wales, JzG, Durova, and Raul654, recognizing and taking responsibility for their various lies and misdeeds they've executed pertaining to me and my reputation, which I also feel have undermined the reputation of this project. Personally, I'm not really itching to edit or contribute to Wikipedia article space, unless something just happens to motivate me personally to create or improve content, just like 90% of other contributors, I suspect. These may or may not be self-interested edits, but I would always adhere to the principles of WP:V and WP:RS and WP:OWN. So, that's what I want. How do we get there? -- Thekohser 16:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

This is a good question, and a good development in what I think has generally been a productive discussion. But Greg, if we're going to keep having the discussion here, and if we're going to make any progress toward getting the ban lifted, you're going to need to be careful about revealing people's identities. There may be a good case to be made, that these people's identities are already public knowledge; I don't know. But I can promise you, that you attempting to make that case, is not going to be productive. If you have a problem with people referring to you by your full name, let us know, and I suspect many of us will adjust. But you have to concede, that for whatever reason -- right or wrong, I don't know the history -- you, as distinct from the people named above, are most commonly known on Wikipedia and on the Internet by your full, given name; so it will be a challenge for anyone to adjust to referring to you any other way.
I think we should try to find a different venue to continue this discussion. One possibility would be David Shankbone's blog post, on which you've already commented. Or, we could set something else up, for a fresher start. Please email me if you'd like to pursue this. -Pete (talk) 21:17, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

{{#invoke:Message box|tmbox}}

I've asked Hersfold to reverse his protection. Perhaps he didn't realize that at the time of protection TheKohser was Removing peoples names, not adding them. --Duk 23:19, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the note above -- I'm not sure the discussion can proceed effectively, without referring to even user names of involved parties. If there's some ArbCom judgment or something that disallows that, maybe another web site is a better bet for the discussion anyway. I had a brief email from Greg that indicated he might like to continue the discussion on MyWikiBiz.com. -Pete (talk) 23:48, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Protection cleared. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Hersfold (t/a/c) 23:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

MBisanz, it is beyond ridiculous to suggest that someone can not refer to other users by their username. People have a right to air their grievances. Thekohser, at some point you will get unblocked, and everybody already knows of the conflict between right to be anon and COI and no sockpuppeting; but the rest seems highly unlikely and I would not waste my time pursuing it. WAS 4.250 (talk) 01:07, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

WAS, considering such a restriction worked wonders in the Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Everyking_3#Everyking_will_not_interact_with_or_comment_about_Snowspinner matter, I do not see why such a thing would not work here, also, while we are at it, {{BannedMeansBanned}} can apply, so unless Kohs is discussing his unblock matter, and not engaging in idle chatter, I do not see the purpose of letting him have a talk page to out and harass other users. MBisanz talk 01:32, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I thought in the "unban me" discussion, there was some consensus that I am not a "banned" user, but rather a "blocked user for whom there is not consensus to unblock". So, {{BannedMeansBanned}} may be a nifty template, but, am I banned? -- Thekohser 20:01, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, it is an objective fact that your known accounts are blocked; but as has been pointed out, "anyone can edit" is literally true in that no one can stop you from editing from some library under a not known alias. It is even more a matter of semantics whether you are banned, as different definitions are used by different people and in different circumstances. Outside an official ban by arbcom, it merely means your known accounts are blocked and it makes people happy to describe that as a ban. Calling it a ban has no bearing on whether you get unblocked or not, just that people can rush madly about shouting "Banned means banned" and get their rocks off reverting your edits whether they are good edits or not. Some people are here for purposes that do not require much thought. Punishing "bad" people at the end of a day of being pushed around at work/school feels righteous to some people. WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:46, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

We disagree about the usefulness of trying to censor people trying to air their complaints. I, also, do not support outing or harassing. We disagree about what those words mean, apparently. If I say Jimbo=Jimmy Wales; I am not outing anyone. If I recount something that happened accurately; I am not harassing. Instead calling it harassment is itself an attempt to cover up the harassment accurately recounted and gives encouragement to future harassment because people know they can cover it up by yelling "harassment" when the person harassed merely complains about their unjust treatment. WAS 4.250 (talk) 02:18, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Mbisanz, I agree with everything WAS just said. What you have going on here is several very long-term, productive Wikipedia editors, discussing the value of various policies and the direction of the project. Whatever the past issues, Greg Kohs is bringing up issues that it's healthy for the project to consider. If there were a lot of people bringing them up, and going to the trouble to make a good case, we might be able to afford the "luxury" of excluding editors who have become unpopular for one reason or another; but there aren't. It has been stated many times that Greg Kohs bears nothing but ill will toward the project; but if you follow the thread of the discussion here, you will see that's far from true. Considering that the alleged intent to disrupt the project is a cornerstone of the ban, it's only fair to allow him to clarify what his desired contribution to the project is; and there has been much discussion about how to do that.
This talk page is not in article space; those who aren't interested in it needn't read it. There's something going on here that is potentially valuable to the future of Wikipedia. If you don't want to participate, at the very least, please don't interfere. -Pete (talk) 05:30, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Peteforsyth. In all fairness, anyone who only knows Greg based on his clowning around at Wikipedia Review might get the impression that "Greg Kohs bears nothing but ill will toward the project"; but in fact all of us who have followed his tale can verify that he is a reasonable man who seeks to do well by doing good ... or whatever else that is legal that works. Society functions best by enabling people to benefit themselves by benefiting society. Wikipedia and Greg can mutually benefit if we both act rationally. WAS 4.250 (talk) 09:10, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I've asked MBisanz to stay off this page. His recent edits were not productive. --Duk 14:43, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

ID verification

You said at WR: "My, wouldn't it be nice if the Wikimedia Foundation grew some balls and decided to implement an identity verification system." After the Essjay scandal, Jimbo said he wanted to implement a verification program for people who wished to assert their credentials. The Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees (now out of office, her term expired and she chose not to run again) said there was no money in the budget for any such thing. And the community voted down all permutations of that proposal. If WikiMedia is going to ID verify a few thousand admins in hundreds of languages and countries for all our projects we will need someone to donate millions just for that task. Do you volunteer any money for that task? I thought not. Seemingly simple ways (pay $1.00 by credit card) are trivial to scam by some and impossible to do by some honest contributors (under 18 and living in Pakistan). The fact is that reliable IDing of even just the admins is beyond our current ability. Restricting adminship to people who can be reliably IDed could be done, but at the cost of loss of much free labor. Basically, we have a catch-22 situation where no ads means not enough money to do things right, but having ads will drive away the contributors to a fork of the project. So we are what we are and we are stuck with making do. Currently the Foundation is trying to do everything but have ads to try to raise money. If they can raise enough maybe in a few years we can gradually start to ID more and more top people. But it will all take time and effort and won't be easy. If this wiki stuff were easy, you would be having more success with yours, right? It's harder than it looks. You guys at WR like to assert a dozen easy solutions a day, but if they had any value you could implement them on your wiki and make a million. WAS 4.250 (talk) 10:06, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for that bit of very shallow thinking. You don't think that there's a commercial ID-verification firm that would jump at the chance to serve the #7 website, with maybe a 50-50 split of the credit card fees, or simply a split of advertised "premium" services at the time of verification? Honestly, the WMF, if it didn't have its collective head where the sun doesn't shine, would understand that this process would actually be a revenue source, not an outlay. You saying "it's hard" doesn't mean it actually is hard, nor does it forgive not doing a damn thing to move in that direction. I recall George Bush telling us that the lack of progress in Iraq was because it was "hard work", and therefore any criticism or recommendation to proceed along a new path was unwelcome. You say you're "stuck". I can see why. Too many people are happy with Wikipedia as a gigantic, unaccountable revenge platform, and that is the honest reason why we won't see ID-verification procedures deployed. -- Thekohser 15:28, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Greg, my thinking on this subject is not shallow. It is ignorant. I don't know anything about the possibilities of doing what you just suggested. I suggest that you take this as a money making opportunity and think of Jimbo's request to do this ID thing as a Request for Proposal. Put together a formal document outlining in exact detail what you just said to me and mail it to the board members and to Sue. It is an opportunity for you. Give it a try. I can help you, for free, on this wiki, with wording that I think would appeal to them - for example, don't even begin to suggest IDing everybody; instead put the camel's nose in the tent with taking up Jimbo's request that WikiMedia have a process to allow people who wish their credentials to be verified to be verified. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:01, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
See your comment about about "doing what's fun". Helping Jimbo take credit for other people's ideas is not my bag of "fun". -- Thekohser 15:07, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
You might be interested in reading Richard M. Stallman's 1999 Free Encyclopedia Project proposal. See http://www.gnu.org/encyclopedia/ and http://www.gnu.org/encyclopedia/free-encyclopedia.html . WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:10, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Comcast as a telephone provider

The first sentence of the Comcast article is still ridiculous. Comcast has more than 5 million households subscribed to its home telephone service, making it the fourth-largest telephone carrier in the United States. The voice service is a key part of the "Triple Play" bundle. But, no mention of it in the lede of the Comcast article. Wikipedia is so juvenile, it's embarrassing. -- Thekohser 15:55, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

How is a missing piece of information juvenile? Provide a cite, and I'll add it. Avruch T 16:20, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Try to keep up, Avruch. A few weeks ago, someone had already made an attempt to add the telephone provider information to the lede, and some Wikipediot promptly removed it (presumably because it was awkwardly written, without citation) rather than improve the verbiage and finding a citation. This is what I consider juvenile behavior -- to remove factual information because that's the "easier" thing to do than to improve it. It's also juvenile to ban me from simply adding this information to the Comcast article, simply because I am (take your pick) banned for having run afoul of Jimmy Wales personally, or being an employee of Comcast.
Here is a collection of about 31 citations from which to choose. Those mostly date to early 2008, and it's my understanding that Comcast crossed over 5,000,000 phone subscribers around May 31, but that may not be publicly disclosed. No, wait, it is -- 5.6 million Digital Voice customers. You're welcome. -- Thekohser 18:18, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I have no real interest in keeping up with the Comcast article, and haven't bothered scanning your page to see if it was discussed in another section. Despite being a customer, I'm not terribly impressed (although Adelphia was worse, just ask my friend from Coudersport...). It's common practice to remove uncited information, particularly about living people or companies. Lazy, sure. Juvenile? I don't see it. Anyway, it is there and cited now. Avruch T 18:43, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not so much about "keeping up with" the Comcast article, Avruch. All in all, it's a very poorly-written, disorganized mess. Just read the first 10 paragraphs. Flatly from a stylistic and organizational sense, it's extremely disjointed. And with your edit, where you felt compelled to add a parenthetical "according to the company" (as if to cast doubt), even though multiple independent sources were available that vouch for the 4th-place ranking, apart from the company's claim. That, my co-volunteer, is an example of being "juvenile". -- Thekohser 23:24, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
You're making assumptions based on limited evidence - I added "(according to the company)" because, in the first four articles I read on the subject, each one included the proviso "according to the company" or "according to Comcast." While the cite I eventually included did not, I picked that particular cite mostly because it was the more reputable of the first bunch I read and not because it was the most specific or detailed. The point wasn't to cast doubt, but merely to make it clear that the data for the claim comes from Comcast and not an independent review. Avruch T 23:43, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Great. I understand. I've got about 16,000 other articles about companies that are probably going to need a few parenthetical "according to the company" phrases. -- Thekohser 00:36, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Good point Greg -- we've all got a lot of work to do! Back to it… -Pete (talk) 00:48, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

(<---) Greg, it is commonplace for companies and people to inflate numbers to make them seem more attractive to others. Like the value of a home mortgage for example. I'm sure you keep up with the news. Anyway, it is a matter of editorial judgement to decide when to include phrases like "according to the company" and when not to. Unfortunately we rely on volunteers who are often teenagers and it is inevitable that the result will often (but not always) be unprofessional and juvenile. Are you also surprised when children act childish? It is amazing that Wikipedia is as useful as it is. It is amazing that we keep getting more useful. It is wonderful that is is free to read, copy, modify, and redistribute. One could suggest that theoretically it could be better; but most people thought that theoretically it could never even be this useful. WAS 4.250 (talk) 14:18, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Comcast is a regulated enterprise, watchdogged at the Federal, State, and even Local government levels. While I'm not absolutely sure, I strongly suspect that Comcast would actually be liable for legal consequences if they deliberately "inflate numbers" of subscribers to their regulated services. So, I think that defense is out the window. -- Thekohser 18:47, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia as sausage factory

As for your rah-rah boosterism of the "amazing" Wikipedia, I think your final quip is actually a strawman. Where are these "most people" on the record saying that Wikipedia could "never even be this useful"? How useful was Wikipedia for Taner Akcam? How useful was it for Ryan Jordan? Both from an author-perspective and from a subject-perspective, Wikipedia can be far more destructive to real-world lives than I think anyone owns up to. Your failure of imagination and observation is not my problem, WAS 4.250. I guess we'll just agree to disagree. -- Thekohser 18:47, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

You are a funny guy, Greg. Something is illegal (e.g. bank robbery), therefore it does not happen? Something, like a car, causes problems (deaths) and therefore is not useful? You crack me up. WAS 4.250 (talk) 14:32, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
You're an even funnier guy, "WAS 4.250". Something, like a sausage factory, has a piece of production equipment made from an alloy that leaches cyanide into the product, fatal to 0.1% of your customers. The part could be fairly easily replaced with a non-toxic substitute, but you elect not to replace the leaching part, because you've always made top-selling sausage with that piece of machinery and the new part might slow down production by 30%, and the general public doesn't seem too concerned about the "few" fatalities you're causing? You crack me up. Wish I knew your name, even though you know and use mine. -- Thekohser 15:00, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Except that we give them away, and we say right on the package that it may or may not kill you because the ingredients are provided by donations from the public and are not verified. Further the government tells us it is legal. And millions of people every day drop by for some of what we are giving away for free. People are responsible for the use they make of it. It seems that for many it is eat it or die of starvation. People with adequate resources buy a better product, but for many people is is this or starvation. Which is better? 100% chance of starving or a 0.1% chance of poisoning? WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:56, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Except that the founder of the tax-advantaged "free sausage" factory also has a team of employees and volunteers who work furiously to take some of the free sausage, slap a "Wikia, Inc. Sausage" label on it, then sell it for profit. While they get maybe 2% of the customers that the Free Sausage Factory has, the Wikia Sausage revenue and staffing would be next-to-nothing without the Free Factory pushing out product and future employees. Since one person holds controlling positions in both places, it's very easy to silence anyone who questions whether that this is indeed a fair situation for a tax-advantaged organization to "feed" the sausage needs of the commercial enterprise. Starvation? Really? What with Google also cranking out free ad-supported sausage, and free ad-supported pork cutlets, and free ad-supported hamburger, and free ad-supported beef tips? Keep these analogies coming, "WAS 4.250" (whoever you are). I've got snappy retorts for all of 'em, I suspect. Remember, according to Wikipedia, "China currently had more than 25 million cable tv users in 2007". I told you all about this yesterday, and even provided a link for remedial citation purposes. But, you're here trolling my Talk page. Great work, "WAS 4.250". -- Thekohser 16:10, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

(<---)The world is filled with problems. I'm glad to see that you enjoy pointing some of them out. Well, enough of this. It is time for me to go outside and point out litter to passersby. I keep pointing it out. It's amazing how many people don't pick up and correctly throw away the litter others dropped and I have gone out of my way to point out. Ingrates! WAS 4.250 (talk) 17:48, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Thing is, WAS 4.250, I was here to pick up bushels of litter, and I even had a few third-parties with funding who would compensate me modestly for my time, effort, and skill-set. Your community told me "thanks, but no thanks". Now whenever I notice problems with the encyclopedia project (such as the BIG one; you know, IP editing on BLPs), I put myself out there (again!) to do what I can through the Board of Directors to fix it, but once again, the response from your community is "thanks, but no thanks". So, yes... "ingrates"! -- Thekohser 20:32, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Greg, for the most part I'm pretty sure it's not your pointing stuff out that is unappreciated -- it's all the other junk that comes along with it. Such as, for instance, your demanding demeanor in this very discussion, about the facts that are very important to you, but not necessarily to the people who keep an eye on your talk page.
You have expressed a strong desire to help Wikipedia present information that is accurate and ethical, which is generous; the problem is, you appear to be utterly inflexible in the form that help may take. You do not acknowledge when the community points out actions of yours that we feel are counterproductive. Flexibility is perhaps the most important trait of a productive member of a collaborative project, with an ability to suppress one's own ego running a close second. You have many strengths, Greg, and I admire you; but those two traits, in my interactions with you, seem rather elusive.
If you truly want to be involved here, I suggest that you say so clearly (which you did not the last time your unbanning came up), and make a strong effort to listen to what people ask of you, and take it to heart; if you don't, I'm sure you could find much better uses for your time than bitching at the few of us who still occasionally take time out of our day to look at your talk page. -Pete (talk) 20:42, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, Pete. I had what I thought was a great, positive attitude toward Wikipedia and Wikipedians, oh from about March of 2005 through about September of 2006. Your community made me change my attitude to one that is far more counterproductive, and I'm afraid it's permanent. If you don't like the "tone" you see here on this page, then perhaps you should stop reading it. -- Thekohser 20:47, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Understood. It's not so much that I don't like the tone, though. What keeps me here is this: I think you have some insights about the project, and some important motivations, that are sorely lacking in the rest of the community. What makes me want to drift away is this: I can't figure out what you are trying to accomplish. If I could, I suspect I would be trying to help you -- when I can understand what you're aiming for, I think I often agree with you. It's when you appear to be acting out of emotion and spite that I lose the thread, and wonder why I'm reading it. There is a Greg Kohs that I really like and admire; is he really "gone for good?" Is this all now just about how you feel, rather than about the goals of the project? If I'm off base -- what is it about? What are you trying to accomplish when you log into Wikipedia? -Pete (talk) 20:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Now, there's a good point, Pete. I appreciate the supportive comment. Have you read all of my Board of Trustees candidacy "answers to questions" on Meta? If you haven't, I'd start there. If you have, then you really already know what I'm trying to accomplish. The thing is, it should be pretty clear to me, to you, to anyone with half a brain, that I'm not actually going to accomplish changing Wikipedia for the better. The best I can possibly hope for is to provide solace for maybe the 1% of visitors to this page who feel the way I do, but don't bother to leave a supportive comment. Look at the discussion above. By the shear volume of it, I must be onto something. If I were a complete crackpot, wouldn't this page be mostly ignored? But, it isn't. -- Thekohser 21:05, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
As far as actual content, I'm being told by a certain detractor of mine that my work is puny and meaningless compared to the valiant and uplifting work he is doing. Do you think that's a fair assessment, Pete? -- Thekohser 21:13, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, that does help me understand what you're doing, to some degree. No, I had not previously read your board app responses in detail, but I just did. (I assume everything you're referring to is here, yes?) As I said before, you have many valuable insights; but since you say you are giving up on accomplishing them, it leaves that aspect of my question unanswered. I think the loss of your focused input is a serious loss to the project -- and thereby to the Internet as a whole, and the world at large. I wish you would regard things differently, but of course, there's not much I can do to change your mind. Be well, -Pete (talk) 21:24, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
As for the second part of your response -- you and David have both done excellent work for the project, though in this discussion, I see lots of stuff from both of you that isn't exactly advancing the project. No opinion, really, regarding your question. You both have lots to offer -- and I do mean lots -- but at times, I want to tell you both to just get over yourselves. -Pete (talk)
Pete, if I promise to forthrightly and earnestly focus my input so that I am persistently and carefully pointing out FIXABLE problems to the Wikipedia Community, would you promise to engage these ideas forthrightly and earnestly? ---Thekohser 21:27, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate what you're saying, but I'm not here to make deals. I try to deal with all fellow editors with respect, and keep in mind the goals of the project more than my personal opinion of other editors. Also, I have my own priorities in the content I want to build here; your aspirations and mine (which tend to center on Oregon and the Pacific NW) don't really intersect that much. If you can be less disparaging in your delivery, however, I will definitely be more proactive in making the kind of factual edits you have requested re: cable subscriptions. I won't promise to address every one, but I will try to pitch in. -Pete (talk) 21:33, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Your continuing sockpuppetry

I'm curious why you use sockpuppets on Foot fetish articles, but not to fix cable articles? You previously left a comment with your Comcast IP on the talk page, that you admitted to as your sockpuppet User:Tortsarebad, from the same range and the same location you used over on Meta, and that you also used to troll me on the Chihuahua page[1], even making a seeming threat. We can run Checkusers to verify all this, but that's not necessary, is it Greg? This certainly isn't the way to win my love. Why do you use sockpuppets and meatpuppets to troll me, but you won't use them to fix your cable company problems? --David Shankbone 05:12, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

To both parties - I have slightly redacted the above. See here. FT2 (Talk | email) 05:40, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Listen carefully, Shankbone. User:Tortsarebad is not my doing. In fact, I've never heard of that user before 3 minutes ago. You seem to think that a "Comcast IP" is a specifically-identifying fingerprint. May I educate you on something? Comcast is not only an employer of 90,000 people who might use Wikipedia from a "Comcast IP", but Comcast is also an Internet Service Provider to more than 15 million households, all of whom would be accessing Wikipedia from a "Comcast IP". You have once again gone over the line, and considering what was redacted, WAY over the line. Grow up, and leave me alone. -- Thekohser 10:40, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Now you listen carefully, Kohs: virtually everyone on here is tired of your games. I realize that there's just tons of Shankbone-infatuated Comcast IPs in Pennsylvania, but the games you play, sockpuppetry, trolling (er, Durova, JzG, JoshuaZ, Elonka, Jimbo, et al. anyone?) is exactly what you and your cohort Jon Awbrey are known for, and exactly why you both are blocked and people do not want you back. Is it just coincidence that Comcast IPs from Pennsylvania show up following me around the same time you were trying to get my blog removed from Planet Wikimedia (at the same time you were trying to get the Wikipedia Review blog listed, which is known for attacks and outing editors), calling me an an SPA, to using your Comcast position and salary (really, how gauche) to self-promote all across Wikimedia and all across the Internet. Playing coy is not going to cut it. A project-wide ban for your disruption and trolling is overdue. --David Shankbone 11:21, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
But I guess it's just a stunning coincidence that Template:User, Template:User and Template:User all come from around your area, all making the same edits? And a checkuser has confirmed you are still socking, evading your block/ban, which is why you will never be welcome back here, and need to be officially gone. --David Shankbone 11:44, 24 September 2008 (UTC)