The case against Gwen Gale

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After Gwen Gale got her administrative tool she quickly turned the mop to a witch's broomstick. Now she uses this broomstick to fly around Wikipedia to collect heads of innocent editors while allowing trolls to troll. "The witch" was the name of one of Gwen Gale's sock accounts.

"I will kill myself tonight and it is all your fault." wrote 16-years old kid at the talk page of Wikipedia administrator Gwen Gale on February 3,2012. This kid, as many other Wikipedia users has became a victim of bullying that is allowed on the site that belongs to non-profit, charitable,tax-exempt organization the Wikimedia Foundation. The scariest part is that the Wikimedia Foundation was aware about Gwen Gale bullying before the latest incident, and did nothing. The 16-years old kid sustained irreversible emotional damage and a Wikimedia Foundation bears a full responsibility for allowing this to happen. Although there is so called Child protection policy on Wikipedia, it does not protect a child from being bullied on Wikipedia. When specifically asked about protecting children from bullying on Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation's employee Philippe Beaudette refused to respond.

Gwen Gale is not the only bully administrator on Wikipedia. She's probably not the worst one either. She's one of hundreds of anonymous bullies with administrative tools that are allowed to roam free in Wikipedia's jungles.

Although the name of the article is The case against Gwen Gale this article could have been named "the case against bullying on Wikipedia".

Below is a real request concerning Gwen Gale. This request was filed on one of Wikipedia sites, and it was deleted with no action taken. Read it and decide for yourself.

Making of a bully or Gwen Gale's Wikipedia's story

Gwen Gale's Wikipedia story

Gwen Gale started editing Wikipedia in 2004 as user Wyss.

In December of 2005 she was banned from the articles involving sexuality. The ban was stated like this "Wyss is banned from making any edit related to a person's alleged homosexuality or bisexuality. The clauses "any edit" and "related to homosexuality or bisexuality" shall be interpreted broadly; this remedy is intended, for example, to prohibit correcting the spelling of "gay"." There are hard on-wiki evidences she evaded her ban on a few occasions.

In December of 2005 just a few days before the imminent ban was imposed Gwen Gale made a sock account The Witch. A month later The Witch was discovered and identified as a sock and as a vandal. She failed to disclose The Witch in her RfA. After she was specifically asked about this account, she lied:"For about 24 hours, two years ago, yes. I quickly decided User:The Witch was an unhelpful username so I went back to User:Wyss. You will please note the account wasn't used to evade the arbcom ruling. I don't consider this brief experiment relevant but I'll be happy to answer questions about it." BTW Fred Bauder had the right to call The Witch "a vandal". Here are two examples taken from The Witch's contributions:

Gwen Gale failed to mention her The Witch account in her statement, when she unsuccessfully tried to get elected to ArbCom.

All histories of talk pages of users Wyss and The Witch were deleted by Fred Bauder in a violation of basic Wikipedia policies and with no explanation. There's no doubt that this deletion that removed some of Gwen's Gale rhetoric was very useful to her in becoming an administrator.

Here are only two examples of Gwen Gale's rhetoric that somehow survived outside her other accounts talk pages:

Gwen Gale's reaction on being blocked

I would have missed on this, if Gwen Gale's behavior as a blocked user versus a blocking administrator were not so drastically different. So let's see a few survived examples of Gwen's reaction on being blocked. These could be compared to the examples I will provide below that will demonstrate Gwen's bullying reaction to the comments of the editors she blocked.

Here is her reaction after 24 hours block for violating of her topic ban on editing articles referring to people's homosexuality: Your block was a misinterpretation of both the arbcomm ruling and its present status. You have been manipulated, at best. The wording of the block notice was equivalent to harassment. I was unable to edit my own talk pages or send emails to admins during the time my block was in force. This represents further negligence on your part and was a violation of Wikipedia policy. The block notice itself was ineptly formatted and represents further negligence. Finally, I find your user signature both disruptive and deceptive since it hides your true user name. In the future, please sign your posts in the normal way, with four tildes. If you wish to communicate with me further concerning these matters, please do so only via the email link on my user page. Thanks. Wyss 21:05, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Here is her reaction for 24 hours block for edit warring "Too many trolls and fools after all, I guess There are too many of them for me here, too many role-playing troll admins, too many troll sockpuppet editors. Bye then. Gwen Gale 06:29, 1 April ,2007".

In a year after this rant was written Heidi Wyss became one of wikipedia administrators under user name Gwen Gale.

Gwen Gale writing articles about herself

One of the biggest problems with Wyss is that she always has been treating herself differently than others, violating the Golden Rule: "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."

One of the biggest problems with Gwen Gale is that she always has been treating herself differently than others. Probably one of the most striking examples of such behavior is a story about Gwen Gale writing two articles on wikipedia about herself. There are two problems with writing articles about herself. The first problem is that Gwen Gale is absolutely not notable. Another problem is conflict of interest: for example a person writing about herself could be not neutral.

As it is seen from her contributions Wyss was well aware about these policies. She was very active in voting on deletion requests of articles written by others,often claiming that a subject of an article is not notable: "*Delete. Ad, vanity, and doing off-colour versions of covers isn't notable." (the article was kept);*Delete not notable Wyss 18:08, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC) (the article was kept).

Then she herself nominated an article for deletion. She wrote:
Conflict of interest, subject of this biographical article is not of encyclopedic interest meyerj is an SPA who created this article to memorialize his father. The subject is not encyclopedic (a routine military career), not widely noted, the article amounts to original research and its creation raises many COI worries. This article was kept. Two articles that Gwen Gale wrote about herself were deleted. So here we go: the same person claims that Leo J. Meyer, who was one of only three hundred and three men who have been awarded three Combat Infantryman Badges out of more than the twenty-three million, "is not of encyclopedic interest", writes two articles about an absolutely not notable person - herself. The same person who writes two articles about not notable herself sees "many COI worries" with a user writing article about his notable father.

In another striking episode, on October 4, 2008, Gwen Gale accused a user in being Stephanie Adams and in violating Wikipedia:Conflict of interest

In particular Gwen wrote

Just stop and think about this. This was written by the very same Gwen Gale who wrote two articles about herself!

The case against Gwen Gale

Some examples of unwarranted blocks and unwarranted removing of talk page access

  • User Super Badnik was blocked indefinitely at 21:03, 9 August 2008. The block was overturned by another administrator.

  • User Breathing Dead at 20:51, 23 July 2009 Gwen removed his talk page access. The talk page access was restored by another administrator.

  • User Mbz1

On December 23, 2010 Gwen Gale responded to canvassing and blocked the editor for a week. She made the block to be indefinite after the editor made this post. She removed the editor's talk page access without warning only because the editor added an indefinite blocked user template to her talk page two times. The talk page access was restored by another administrator.

  • user Ogioh was blocked indefinitely. The block was reverted in less than an hour.

Gwen Gale misusing her administrative tools when involved

The policy that clearly states:

In general, editors should not act as administrators in cases in which they have been involved. This is because involved administrators may have, or may be seen as having, a conflict of interest in disputes they have been a party to or have strong feelings about. Involvement is generally construed very broadly by the community, to include current or past conflicts with an editor (or editors), and disputes on topics, regardless of the nature, age, or outcome of the dispute.


This section states:

Conflict of interest, non-neutrality, or content dispute – Administrators should not use their tools to advantage, or in a content dispute (or article) where they are a party (or significant editor), or where a significant conflict of interest is likely to exist. With few specific exceptions (like obvious vandalism) where tool use is allowed by any admin, administrators should ensure they are reasonably neutral parties when they use the tools.


In this thread Gwen Gale stated:"First, if you are an admin and get involved in a content dispute like this, you cannot use your admin powers to resolve it." It was said on May 16, 2008.

Administrator Magog the Ogre Magog the Ogre had this to say about Gwen's conduct:
Gwen is very very much out of line, not only with the rollback tool but threatening to block a user in a dispute: future edit warring of this type will receive a block.


After Gwen Gale yet another time claimed a good faith edit to be "vandalism" administrator HJ Mitchell had this to say about Gwen's conduct:
In this case, while it might not have been your intention to get into a dispute, you did step over the bright-line rule and, as far as I can see, none of the reverted edits were vandalism. I would suggest being more careful with rollback at the very least. Non-admins have been known to lose it for less. In this case, while it might not have been your intention to get into a dispute, you did step over the bright-line rule and, as far as I can see, none of the reverted edits were vandalism. I would suggest being more careful with rollback at the very least. Non-admins have been known to lose it for less.


Gwen also received a personal message about this incident.

  • This comment was made by Gwen in a section of arbitration enforcement request concerning Mbz1 on April 5, 2011 . The problem with this comment is that it was made in the section that is clearly marked as "This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above." "Uninvolved administrator" means an administrator, who never edits content of the articles that belongs to the topic of the specific sanctions. Gwen Gale have been editing these articles for years. She was edit warring and pushing her point of view in these articles. I have never seen any other admin who made even small edits in the articles under ARBPIA commenting in the section for uninvolved administrators. Most of the times the really uninvolved administrators even will not revert either clear vandalism violations.

Biting newbies

The first block was 24 hours for this edit. The user was right "Lady Isabella Frederica Louisa Hervey (born 9 March 1982) is a British socialite, model, and actress. The second block was for two weeks for this edit in which the user changed "are an English" to "is a British". Please look at the article now. It has "British" not "English" . Looks like the user was right because a few newspapers call them "British". The user was also right in this edit, and the user was right in this edit and probably in all other edits as well.

Gwen Gale warned the user, but a new user could not have known what "consensus" and "sourcing" means.

Here's an analysis of the situation with this user:
1. A new editor made a few contributions.
2. He is warned he has to use sources.
3. So in his next two edits he tries to use sources.In this edit he provides not just one, but three sources almost for every sentence he adds, but he does it like this "(Marks, "Lost Paradise", page 292.) " because he is not sure what is the right way to list references. In his next and the last edit he inserts the external link to the article in Guardian, which of course is a reliable source.
4. The user is blocked and never returns.

Gwen Gale using unnecessary, rude edit summaries in the block log

On June2, 2010 a user was blocked with the edit summary: "smells like dirty laundry to me".

Gwen Gale responding to canvassing

I will provide only two example. More examples could be presented by request.

1. Here Gwen Gale responds to email canvassing by user Daedalus969.

Here is an example of one such conversation about sent email:

  • Ping!— Dædαlus+ Contribs 11:56, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Pong! Gwen Gale (talk) 12:41, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

What Daedalus969 was doing just before he pinged Gwen Gale? He was commenting on the same AN/I thread that Gwen Gale closed just before she ponged. So as soon as Daedalus969 said "Ping" Gwen gladly responded "Pong".

2. With this edit the user admitted he canvassed Gwen Gale to co-nominate him in his RfA and Gwen Gale responded to canvassing. It is funny that the user made his/her admission in response to admin Guerillero saying that Gwen Gale does not instill any trust in him/her.

Gwen Gale makes a fool of yourself and of Wikipedia

A few days ago professor Timothy Messer-Kruse shared his experience in editing Wikipedia. In particular he recalls part of his exchange with Gwen Gale:"Explain to me, then, how a 'minority' source with facts on its side would ever appear against a wrong 'majority' one?" I asked the Wiki-gatekeeper. He responded, "You're more than welcome to discuss reliable sources here, that's what the talk page is for. However, you might want to have a quick look at Wikipedia's civility policy." The complete conversation is preserved here:

Fine. I see I will have to fight these battles one at a time. I will start with the most obvious. Here is a "majority" source, indeed the most often-cited source for information on Haymarket there is, Paul Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy: from page 190: "Spies had heard that two men had been killed, apparently the correct number, but when he picked up the Daily News, the paper reported six deaths." So, it should be evident that this authoratitive source also agrees the proper number should be TWO. As for you claim about Wikipedia's policy, your characterization of it is absurd, especially if the "majority" source that is cited can be shown to be factually wrong. Explain to me, then, how a "minority" source with facts on its side would ever appear against a wrong "majority" one?MesserKruse (talk) 17:41, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

You're more than welcome to discuss reliable sources here, that's what the talk page is for. However, you might want to have a quick look at Wikipedia's civility policy. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:44, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


Gwen Gale was also the one who "welcomed" the professor to Wikipedia: "Did you make this edit while not logged in to this account? You may want to have a look at Wikipedia's policy on sockpuppets. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)"

Professor Timothy Messer-Kruse who is a world famous expert on the subject was ordered to review "Wikipedia's civility policy" although he was civil, and "Wikipedia's policy on sockpuppets" simply because he forgot to log in.

Here's a post at Gwen's talk page concerning her involvement in the matter: "Hello. I just want to point out that I recently read an article in the chronicle here: and it describes what amounts to an edit war that you were engaged in. I looked at the page and discussion in question, and it seems to me that you are boorish and a bully. I would like to suggest that you tone down your air of self-righteous authority, in order to encourage a more civil atmosphere on Wikipedia. It's especially ironic that when presented with what seems to be a very civil point by (presumably) the author of the blog, you ignored the substance of his argument and instead groundlessly accused him of being uncivil himself. If you're going to wear that hat of uncontested arbitrator of *TRUTH*, it would be helpful if you at least justified your claims in detail to those who go to the trouble of trying to actually discuss the truth in a balanced fashion using reliable sources. As it stands, you arbitrarily call seemingly reliable sources "unreliable", and other sources that support your preferred narrative "reliable," and this makes you an awful bully. Please consider changing your behavior and attitudes. Best regards. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ashwinr (talk • contribs) 17:29, 15 February 2012 (UTC)"

Wikipedians about bullying

  • A former wikipedian an award-winning Physicist had this to say about Wikipedia:
  1. ...Wikipedia, on the contrary, is the enshrinement of contempt for learning, knowledge and expertise. It is, for many, a diversionary hobby to which they are prepared devote a great portion of their time, as others do to computer based video games. Unfortunately, it has led also to an inner cult, shrouded in anonymity, with structures and processes of self-regulation that are woefully inadequate. Many of these tools and procedures are reminiscent, in parody, of those of the Inquisition: secret courts, an inner "elite" arbitrarily empowered to censor and exclude all those perceived as a threat to the adopted conventions of the cult; denunciations, character assassination, excommunication. An arbitrarily concocted "rulebook" and language rife with self-referential sanctimoniousness give a superficial illusion of order and good sense, but no such thing exists in practice.It is truly a "Tyranny of the Ignorant".
  2. I have no interest in "defending" myself against false accusations, made with no other intent than harassment. I have a real world identity, and have had more than enough of the absurdities of this fictional pseudo-environment, in which people play out their aggressions as though they were knocking down "enemies" in a video game. I have the impression that many of those for whom this is a permanent romping ground are simply maladjusted individuals in their real lives who have a compulsive need to act out aggressions in this fantasy world as a rather pitiful form of self-affirmation...But individuals who try to launch, within science, campaigns of self-promotion through such absurd vehicles as Wikipedia clearly have no interest in the truth, and are only too happy to support the bullying, intimidation and denunciations of self-appointed enforcers such as User: Cheeser1. Given the opportunity, they would doubtless wish to do the same in real life... My only remaining intention, within this lamentable setting, is to close down all vestiges of such contemptible farce, which is a parody of the well known practices used in police states, where denunciation is sufficient to imply guilt, and intimidation is a stock in trade to contain potential "enemies of the state". The only satisfaction that I have is to be able recall that I anticipated such an onslaught, and said so on record, although I failed to anticipate the scope of its absurdity. No-one with any intelligence or self-respect who becomes aware of the prevalence and apparently, encouragement, of such machinations would agree to participate further in such things.


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