The Meta-Fiasco

MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Saturday July 20, 2024
Jump to navigationJump to search
Mr. Pickwick addresses the Club, by R. Seymour

Many thanks to all women and men of good faith who are members of the Foundation-l mailing list and/or Meta editors. I was literally swamped with answers to my questions and advice. Such outpouring of good will and fellowship makes it practically impossible for me to thank each and everyone individually. Therefore, I'm writing these few lines to express my deepest gratitude to all that came forward to help.

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to all the others that turned away from a request for assistance. I have personal experience of the consequences of that unfortunate and sometimes inhuman behavior. The dire result of such callousness has been documented many times. On You Tube one can see, among many other examples, the video "Man dies on New York street: Nobody stopped to help him". Let's all pray and/or hope that those who shied away from helping, will not live to regret it. Imagine them requesting assistance for the person they most love at that moment and not getting any. Imagine them watching their most loved one die from lack of assistance. Imagine them recalling that occasion, probably among many others, when they refused to help, thinking it would never happen to them or that it was in their own best self interest not to get involved. I wish that will never happen, but I fear for them, and hope they'll never find themselves in such a predicament.

I understand and have been specifically told, or warned if you prefer, that this "talk page access is open just to give [me the] possibility to request unblock." I have been attacked, abused, and threatened on this very same page. "Take care about your words", "there is a log out button in the top right corner."[1] "The 4th pillar of Wikipedia, was a reason to block you per infinite" (no evidence was provided), "Your whole behavior and your edits are making me sure that you are just for two reasons on meta: the first is to transfer pt. problems to the meta community, and second is trolling." (personal POV without any evidence), "The next try of trolling will end in an infinite block."[2] "you can do it (respond) without prologue."[3] and to "hold it short, and don´t troll, or your talk page access will also be blocked."[4] All this from someone who having felt embarrassed by a quote of some material from Meta itself[5], and unable to control his anger, went on a rampage of outlandish behavior (Block) in a futile attempt to assert his power and authority, and save face, with the complacency and complicity of like minded sycophants.

I understand that some people here on Meta have certain powers. That they will not hesitate to use them. That most likely they are always looking forward to have an excuse to use them. "Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding." My understanding, however, is not so limited. I do have human rights like everybody else. One of those rights (Article 11) entitles any human being to "all the guarantees necessary for his defense." Everything that I have written and will write in this statement is set forth under those inalienable rights.

Let's go back to that first block on Meta, referred above. After the discussion and all the provocations also mentioned, a request to unblock was duly posted on this page.[6] It turned out to be a futile exercise. It was let to linger here for more than two months, leading to the only plausible explanation that, for the fourth time, the objective is to block the user at all costs, no matter what the reason or its merits. For motives, you'll have to ask those involved. There are people specially trained that could help sort those kind of things. This user does not have the required qualifications.

Let's put the other three bans in the proper perspective. brwikimedia and ptwikimedia are the wikis of the Brazilian and Portuguese chapters, that, like the Portuguese Wikipedia are run by the same people. That's the only reason for "being blocked or banned across multiple wikis." Please note that according to a recent news item there's about 30 Portuguese active editors (Population: about 10 million).

The work on Meta was being done in an orderly manner until the disruption provoked and caused by those same people mentioned above. The user is the same. Trouble only started after the interference of the same people from the Portuguese Wikipedia on Meta. Their votes can be seen popping up on the RfA. There has never been a single block on any other Wikimedia project where these editors do not have any influence. The obvious conclusion is that the hostile behavior stays with that people, not this user.

One thing is certain. The accumulation of blocks builds up an "interesting history of cross-wiki issues"[7] that can be used at will, while omitting an outstanding "interesting history" of "cross-wiki" pioneering achievements, a clear violation of a NPOV in decision making, a gross personal attack, and a sorry display of blatant bad faith.

It is risible that after having failed to handle a request to unblock in a reasonable and timely fashion, so much zeal was taken in declining the unblock request[8] "that already expired."[9] Someone must be delusioning himself and deceiving others, thinking that closing the request when it was no longer relevant will instantly turn all wrongs into rights, just like magic.

Several things have been written here on Meta, in pages where I'm prevented from editing. The fact that those statements were not made or quoted in this talk page does not bode well for those user's good faith.

Let's start with the RfA where this user had the audacity to cast the only visible dissenting vote. From there one may look at his comments on that RfA talk page. At this point, please bear in mind that those two comments were the immediate pretext for a request for his"inmediate & indef block" (sic) allegedly for "harassment", "continued hostile behavior", and "no intentions of amendment."

Now lets look at the events that unfolded on the RfA after him being blocked.

There is an occurrence of this statement "I may think Vapmachado is wrong about just about everything and has little to no idea how Wikimedia works at all."[10] The author may think what he wants, but he went a lot further when he wrote about it without any evidence to support the quoted statement. Therefore, it can only be taken for what it is: a convenient lie and a gratuitous attempt to smear the reputation of this user.

Next is a note that "this RfA was canvassed in foundation-l."[11] followed by three comments. One editor argues that the RfA was "firstly mentioned their by the only opposer"[12] as if it really matters who is on first and what's his vote. Then it is argued that it's not the nominee's "fault that people "discuss" this RfA there" a strange way to vouch for any election. As long as the candidate himself is not personally involved in any violation, the election is free and fair? The next editor doesn't get it much better. The RfA was not canvassed but "anti-canvassed"[13]. Then, the author of the "anti-canvassing" is thanked "for having drawn my attention to [the RfA]." Conclusion: "drawing attention to an election" is not canvassing. That much was acknowledge in the third, and last comment. "I thank Vapmachado for having drawn my attention to it."[14], while voting in the same breath. There's also a misleading "I don't think it appropriate to raise a meta RFA on foundation-l," contradicted by "Vapmachado didn't suggest anything: just posting some URLs including this page."

So the question remains. There was "canvassing," "anti-canvassing," or a post with "some URLs including this page." (the RfA)? As far as this user is concerned the fact that a link to a RfA and its talk page was included was purely circumstantial. What was posted was a request for assistance. It was on account of posts made on an RfA and its talk page that the user was asking for whatever assistance was deemed appropriate and capable of being provided. The RfA was never an issue and he could care less how others voted.

That was not the case for three other users [15], [16], [17], who raised this comment: "I'm not sure it's a good idea for others to post their support for Peter's admin nomination - merely on the basis of assuming that any given style of posting will be duplicated until it's a bad idea"[18]. There was indeed some canvassing made by three different users, not this one.

It is on the post just mentioned above that there is another occurrence of a statement similar to the one already quoted: "I do think you have no understanding whatsoever of how Wikimedia works, in detail or broad overview."[19]

From then on, the election goes into a tailspin. The details can be found on the RfA and its history. It would be fastidious to go into the details. Suffice it to say that, as already mentioned, the two comments on that RfA talk page were the immediate pretext for a request for an "inmediate & indef block" allegedly for "harassment", "continued hostile behavior", and "no intentions of amendment."

It is obvious, from reading those two comments,[20] and [21] that the accusations of "harassment" and "continued hostile behavior" are delusional. Please note that neither the accusing editor or anybody else have provided any evidence on which those accusations and block is based, providing answers to the six items listed a) through f), posted on this page since Jan. 5, but that they were aware much earlier, by the accuser's own post on the ban request.[22]

As for intentions, you may look for them in hell, mostly of those that think it is great fun to make a mockery of a request for assistance, have an unruly, derogatory and outright abusive behavior on the Foundation-l mailing list, and have made a sport of attacking the reputation, honor and good name of this user. This user's good deeds on Wikimedia projects can be found a lot easier, but that's an inconvenient truth.

Discussion of what happened on the RfA is not complete until a look is taken at the RfA talk page. There, it can be found the third occurrence of this kind of statement: "I do think you're wrong about almost everything and have no working understanding whatsoever of Wikimedia or any of the projects."Template:Diff This insistence in stating what that user thinks and his "belief" can only be viewed as uncivil and a dissemination of mistrust. One must not forget that the author has recently made an unsavory post about the user[23] that does not vouch for the good intentions or good faith, for all that matters, of "a native speaker of BS."

With the assurance that attacking this user as a "troll" was safe and would go unpunished,Template:Diff, Template:Diff, Template:Diff, and Template:Diff and his complaints about those attacks,Template:Diff among other things, had only resulted in the user being "inmediate & indef" blocked, there were great incentives to continue to call him a "troll," no matter how obnoxious the arguments.

"His persistence," a quality recognized by Horace, Benjamin Franklin, Calvin Coolidge, Alfred Adler, Eric Hoffer, James Whitcomb Riley, Thomas Carlyle, Napoleon Hill, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Abdul Kalam, Thomas A. Buckner, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard M. DeVos, Maya Angelou, in Japanese proverbs and those in many other languages, "makes him a persistent troll."Template:Diff and Template:Diff This is followed by a very detailed explanation of why "the term "troll" applies to his quite clearly in this case; he came to this RfA, opposed without a reason [...]" I beg you pardon, "opposed without a reason?" Sure it doesn't mean that a button was hit by accident? Good. Was it that "Strongly oppose" was written involuntarily? No? Good. Does it mean that no justification was written? Yes? Great. The correct phrase is "without justification," an undeniable fact and voluntary act. Wait, it gets better. "He came to this RfA, opposed without a reason with the sole intention of getting a reaction." Wow! That is quite remarkable. Here is someone who is capable of knowing with absolute certainty the intentions of others, just from reading two words in a RfA. How many of the readers think that this genius is not even aware of the ridicule he his exposing himself? Let's take the genius back. It certainly it's not his fault that he feels entitled to blurt "He then wasted his time and everyone else's by writing walls of text here." Not good, by a long shot. "The application of AGF [assume good faith] should never disrupt the wiki, as it was doing here." Here? Where exactly is "here", and what was the "disruption"? To vote "Strongly oppose"? Would just "oppose" have been less disruptive? Is it "writing walls of text" that "disrupt[s] the wiki? What will be this comment? An himalaya of text? My dear confused, this is not Twitter. If it was, it would not be a wiki, everybody's name would start with "@", the length of the messages would be limited to 140 characters, and we would all have been spared of this awful embarrassment. "That user was here solely to argue and get reactions of out people." Quite amazing indeed. "That is a troll." Sorry, wrong again. It must be a painful exercise to read more than one line of text. One way around that is to read a single line per day. Get over to this wonderful essay and when ready let us all know who is or are the trolls "here." "He has been dealt with as one" will be mercifully also found wrong, once the appropriate section is reached in the essay mentioned. "Can we please move away from this discussion?" Wonderful question. Was someone or something holding you there? Most likely not. You lead. Finally, "This isn't what an RfA's talk page was meant for." "This" is exactly what? "An RfA's talk page [i]s meant" for what? Citation needed!

The above, very long paragraph is proportional to the absurdity of the commentary, and was written a bit in jest. It's difficult to write seriously about so much silliness. However, an important remark must be made. The comment might have been written by a really mean spirited creature, who by now is probably foaming at the mouth. Tough. It might have been written by a well intentioned soul, whose knowledge limitations prevent him for doing much better. This is just one more learning experience. Try a more kind approach, and you'll be taught much more and more gently. The most worrying cases are that this was written by a minor or a person with some sort of learning disability or low IQ. If that is the case, I must apologize, and would rather withdraw both of these two paragraphs and will make no comment whatsoever to those posts even if they are left to linger there, something someone should be paying attention to.

The ban request was made and done in three minutes. There must have been a clear and present danger to the whole Wikimedia Foundation and its projects. It was faced with an imminent threat, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation. It justified taking a preemptive self-defense ban against this user of mass destruction.

Notice the difference in response time: request to unblockTemplate:Diff ignored for almost three months, until after block expired;Template:Diff ban requestTemplate:Diff done in three minutes.[24]

After it was requested and done, there is a brief but interesting and revealing dialog. The accuser posts a link to a Foundation-l thread, commenting "as expected."Template:Diff He reacts to that thread, "as the user has complained that what I quoted from his blocklog on ptwiki may turn out for being difamatory I have removed it from this thread & I excuse. It was probably not a good idea." On the next line, he writes that "I'm not suscribed to foundation-l."Template:Diff If, faced with this sequence of events, you come to the conclusion that the accuser was not acting alone, and was being used as a front, a pawn by somebody else, that's your conclusion, not mine. If you believe that the reason why it took only three minutes to ban this user was because it was pre-arranged outside the wiki, before the request, it's your belief, not mine. If you think that these two other interventions: one commentTemplate:Diff and a request to unblock denied after it "already expired"Template:Diff, both done by a third individual, were not a coincidence, because everything happens for a reason, you're very close to my own thinking, because I might agree with you.

Another coincidence comes to mind. On Christmas Eve, a request to undelete was posted on the Stewards' noticeboard. Template:Diff No action was taken for a week. On New Year's Eve some background was posted for the request.Template:Diff On King's Day, another post was planned to be added to the request to undelete. It would have the heading "History" and would tell the sequence of events that led to that abusive oversight. It was not meant to happen. A block "with an expiry time of infinite" was made on Jan. 5, but the conviction remains that the oversight was not made solely on a single page, but included several comments made on this user's talk page on the Portuguese Wikipedia. Those comments might have been a bit compromising, so they were doomed in order to leave no traces of the misdeed, except to the few who have access to them. For the rest of us, common mortals, the only way to find out, is from a positive response to the request to undelete. That of course would be a terrible blow to the principle of infallibility of the anointed ones, with unpredictable (or perhaps not) consequences. The last twist on that "fait divers" was it's manual archive, even before two weeks of the last post,Template:Diff by the same kindhearted soul that so gallantly did the block for three months.Template:Diff

Blocks "with an expiry time of infinite" have always looked mind boggling. They have also been subject to some great jokes. One must remember that there are four of those![25] Infinity is an awful long time. I don't expect to live that long. I hope that none of bright people that have blocked, and they are just right next to true geniuses, expect to live that long. How can someone explain that attachment to "infinity"? No one can come up with a better word? Ridiculous, isn't it?

Having experienced some weird actions (a.k.a. vandalism), being taken on my user page on the Portuguese Wikipedia by two very good friends, which have been discussed already here om Meta,Template:Diff, Template:Diff, Template:Diff and Template:Diff I'm looking forward to see the future of this Meta user page. It has been a real privilege to be the only blocked user (or to be one of them, if I'm wrong) to have the user page vandalized and live to see it let standing there in that sorry state, as a witness to the hate and rage of a Wikimedia project administrators. What fine gentlemen they are.

Without bothering anyone with the importance of dialog, particularly on a wiki where no regular page comes without a talk or discussion page, it is in plain view for everybody to see that dialog is certainly not the cup of tea of the editors who have graced this narrative. There was a call for dialog, here on Meta, on Jan. 5Template:Diff and another on Foundation-l, on Jan. 6. [26] There was no response to a suggestion to make the whole matter irrelevant. The users involved did not shown any willingness and openness to dialog, and accommodation. However, the accusation was changed, using a privilege that is denied to the user. Given the choice of erasing the strongly oppose vote and his comments on the talk page or being blocked, would the user have any hesitation in choosing the first option? Was a support vote what was so desired? Was unanimity in the voting what was really at stake? If the editor wanted to be administrator that badly, even under those appalling circumstances, and there has not been a single beep as to how he feels about all this "Much Ado About Nothing," what was the problem of extorting one more vote under the threat of an "inmediate & indef block"? The user would have given the "nominee" a thousand votes if he could and if that was what would make everybody happy, get some characters off his back, and let him contribute the best way he can and knows. But that was not in the cards that were being dealt. The above mentioned behavior makes it very hard to make certain users' good faith believable.

Just a cursory reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[27] is enough to realize that people here have the utmost contempt for them. Besides the article already mentioned above, there's no "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family [as] the foundation of freedom, justice and peace," there is "disregard and contempt for human rights [...] result[ing] in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief [as] freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people," that "it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law." There are gross violations of Articles 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 19, 21, 29 and 30 (out of 30): "Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein," just in case you were inclined to think that these rights do not apply here, to you or this user. He is, in case you forgot, a human being. What are you?

RSA Animate - Smile or Die

On more than one occasion there has been a chance to draw from one's education and upbringing, and base both one's writings and actions on those. There has been either no reaction or the response has been negative, a rejection of many things held dear. Very recently there was an opportunity to watch "Smile or Die" on YouTube, and it struck as what might be a reasonable description of the underlying and prevalent behavior on Meta and other Wikimedia projects, that one has been unfortunate to get involved with. Therefore, there was a search somewhere else for principles that, despite some good intentions and well meaning cranks like oneself, might better describe what actually goes on in Wikimedia projects. Consider these:[28]

A depiction of Azazel in his familiar form of a goat-like demon, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal (Paris,1825).
  1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
  2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
  3. When in another wiki, show respect or else do not go there.
  4. If a user in your wiki annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
  5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
  6. Do not edit that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
  7. Acknowledge the power of administrators and stewards if you have relied on them successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of administrators and stewards having called upon them with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
  8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
  9. Do not harm little children.
  10. Do not destroy bots unless you are attacked or for your editing.
  11. When editing, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

Now tell me: what could possibly go wrong if you behave as prescribed above and follow those commandments? Wouldn't you be a true wikimedian?

If there are any questions, please feel free to ask, but remember to do your share in providing some answers to the many questions asked above.

On Jan. 5, the accuser produced this perplexing statement: "If the user wants to appeal his ban it is his talk page the proper venue I think."Template:Diff Why perplexing? Because the author is a Meta administrator, bureaucrat, checkuser and steward. That's as close to being a god or demigod as it gets around these parts. So how come he mentions an "appeal" instead of a "request"? Does he think they are the same thing, i.e. synonyms? Nor even in the Wikitionary he would have such luck. Then he "thinks" that the talk page is the proper venue? What? Almost a demigod and he "thinks"? Isn't he supposed to know these things, to be infallible? Well, despite this disappointment, there's no need to deprive the owners of this wiki of another chance to show off their superpowers and superiority. At the end you will find the best unblock request a simple human being can produce.

Before closing, there's a secret you all must know: these wikis are not really yours. They are ours. You have only accepted to do some tasks voluntarily for our benefit, not yours. When you fail to properly discharge your duties, you can no longer be trusted and you become expendable. For further advice, read about Cuddles.[29] The Night of the Long Knives is also very entertaining.

Wutsje blocked Vapmachado with an expiry time of infinite (per [30])

"Your current IP address is and the block ID is #15438."

Comment - Just a tip; when you are requesting to be unblocked, it is not usually good practice to not only insult those who blocked you, but also to continue what you were doing on that RfA talk page amounts other places - writing paragraphs upon paragraphs in which you manipulate what people say and do for no other reason to cause an argument. That is trolling, and that is not acceptable here. That being said, it is possible to not like how a system works and want to change it. However, there is a certain way of approaching a situation like that - and being insulting, baiting other users into responding and constant manipulation of people and policies is not the way to do it. Ajraddatz (Talk) 01:24, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Comment - I'd like to add that afaic this unblock request (which I will not handle myself for obvious reasons) once more proves that blocking this user was both justified and necessary. It is hard to see how a stream of insults and provocations like the above (The Night of the Long Knives? huh?) could have any other purposes than downright trolling and the disruption of another Wikimedia project. This user's intentions are quite clear and they are not constructive at all. Wutsje 01:50, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Just a note: at least on Portuguese Wikibooks, the contributions made by Vapmachado, as well as his comments on local discussions are very constructive to the project. Helder 14:52, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Comment these wikis are not really yours. They are ours. You have only accepted to do some tasks voluntarily for our benefit, not yours. Doing volunteer job is NOT Carte blanche to be insulted. You are not allowed to insult many people who wholeheartedly are working for benefit of OURS Mardetanha talk 02:10, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Template:Unblock declined