User talk:Moulton/Wikiversity Community Review

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page is where Wikiversity participants can discuss and review issues, attempt to determine consensus, and decide on what to do if anything. A good attitude to have is "I see a possible problem or issue, but I am not sure, what do others think?". When responding, a good attitude to have is to think of ways to resolve issues that keeps most Wikiversity participants happy and productive. Finding ways to improve things is the preferred outcome of any discussion here. Please be respectful, polite, civil, and considerate in discussions.


JWSchmidt was blocked and had custodial and checkuser flags removed. I think he at least ought to be unblocked and at least have his custodian and probably also check user flags put back on. This is presuming there has been no abuse of the checkuser tool; I have not heard of any occurring. I am bringing this up for civil, respectful, polite, thoughtful discussion. Emesee 01:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I support an unblock and a reflagging of User:JWSchmidt. I do not know of any abuse of checkuser functions, and I have not seen any use of custodial tools that seems to warrant deflagging those either. Emesee 01:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I am not aware of any abuse of the tools either, and I think that is not why the tools were removed. Perhaps recent events led some people to feel ill at ease with JWSchmidt continuing to have access to the checkuser tools, but that is speculation. What I do know is from a software stand point in order to ban or block a person such tools would need to be removed in order to keep them from being able to unblock or unban themselves, so there may be no connection with abuse, just on what was required to enforce a block or ban on JWSchmidt. Perhaps the question should focus first on if JWSchmidt should of been blocked or banned, and if the community feels he should not of been, can than discuss whether the tools should be given back next? --darkYin yang.svglama 02:28, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Clarification: John's tools were removed and then SB Johnny blocked him. Johnny hadn't cited a specific rationale for his action and it has led to an (in my opinion) confusing on-going discussion on John Schmidt's talk page where John is claiming that the block was unjustified. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 02:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I found the following problematic: what was started as a review of John Schmidt's action Wikiversity:Request custodian action/Review of JWSchmidt become a overwhelmingly negative portrait of only the recent part of John Schmidt's work on wikiversity. It was structured as a bureaucrat report, and I found it difficult to add to it. And then it was used by Bastique on Meta to remove John Schmidt's tools, even before John had a chance to provide a wholesome answer to his charges. If there is any emergency in Bastique's action, I would like to see someone (Johnny?) point it out. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 02:25, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure. I think Review of JWSchmidt was done in an attempt to satisfy JWSchmidt's request that people who had issues with him, list what problems they had with him and to provide evidence or such. I think some of the confusion might be due to some of the discussion that led to that page happened on the IRC channel, by email, by phone, and/or over voice chat. Perhaps the ones involved in its creation thought a bureaucrat report was what JWSchmidt was asking for? I think JWSchmidt mentioned responding to the list of problems on, what seems to me like, several occasions on some subpage of his. Does anyone actually know if the review page was used to justify the removal of the tools from JWSchmidt? Sounds like speculation to me. --darkYin yang.svglama 02:56, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Darklama, Thanks. I was too lazy to provide the link to meta: Bastique removed John Schmidt's tools [1][2] at the request of SB Johnny [3]. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 03:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
The first link suggests to me that Bastique thought the review was relevant to his decision to follow through on the request. The third link, where the actual request was made, suggests a different story though for why the request was made, that the bureaucrats agreed that the removal was necessary. --darkYin yang.svglama 03:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Sure it was a bureaucratic decision. However, I cannot imagine what else the bureaucrats based their decision upon if not the review which they had worked hard on. A steward usually would not remove a sysop tool without community consensus or specific reasons. And on Johnny's (or the bureaucrats'?) comment:[4] We owe the community a more detailed explanation of the decision-making processes. ... well? Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 03:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Both the block and the removal of status were decided after seeing JWS's replies to the review, which contained justifications for the behaviors, but showed very little understanding of why others found it so offensive, and absolutely nothing would give the impression that he would not repeat this in the future. His way of "making a point" was not just disruptive, but brought to the point of bullying as he responded with inappropriate tones (to put it mildly) when several users asked him to stop. We also saw a blatant misuse of ops privledges on irc :Salmon of Doubt had requested that Moulton be kicked (he was posting private correspondence, names and email addresses of people who had not given consent to do so). When Salmon asked who had ops, JWS opped himself, but did not kick or ban... he was just showing who had the tools. Salmon had been treated rather badly by JWS and Moulton on the channel prior to this, and felt this action was done in a threatening way (which is quite understandable). A second time Moulton was doing similar things I myself had asked JWS to kick him, but again he refused (I got ops later that day, as did all the 'crats and the other custodians who are regulars on the channel).
More later, gotta work. --SB_Johnny talk 13:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
What's been most distressing for me about this is that I just couldn't imagine that JWS really, honestly felt that the way he was treating others was acceptable. In the discussions leading up to the action, we all felt it was completely inappropriate for someone who treated people that way to have sysop tools (let alone checkuser, since he and Moulton were having long and public conversations on the IRC channel about the real identities of pseudonymous users). The block was intended to just give JWS some time to cool off and talk about "rules of engagement", since (again) his responses to the "review" showed anything but regret for the unfair treatment he had been giving people. We honestly thought it would be a week or so, since it's just hard to imagine anyone wouldn't understand how inappropriate that was. The problem is that since the block we have been trying to talk to him (for my part mostly about converting pages into personal critiques of a fellow Wikiversity contributor), and his responses have made it clear that this is a worst-case scenario (and a completely unexpected one): JWS either really believes his behavior was perfectly appropriate, or he refuses to admit that it was.
So there's two problems now. First, we can't expect him to show courtesey and collegiality if he genuinely believes that he has been doing so in the past, because I can't imagine many people would think that he was after eading the "cases" of the review. We also can't possibly come up with an exhaustive list of "please don'ts". Second, I don't think we can enter into a "moderation/mediation" mode with him, because he has repeatedly made clear that he considers the "charges" to be "false and twisted", and that the actions taken to try to avoid further disruption are "illegal".
I really don't see a good way forward that involves unblocking at this point. Off to work again. --SB_Johnny talk 16:37, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
After reading this, I would support the continued removal of his sysop (etc.) tools. I do think he should be unblocked however; if he continues to be disruptive, he can then be reblocked. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:08, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Oppose the block/an, but Support removal of checkuser access. JWS has not demonstated the maturity and level of procedural trust required in one who can violate foundation level policies at a whim. Salmon of Doubt 16:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC) Support continued block untill such time as Moulton's disruption is ended. Salmon of Doubt 19:35, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Unblock and recall because I think there are issues being inappropriately mixed. If the same rationale to block JWS was applied on other users, there would be more users blocked. Let's move on. Dzonatas 17:01, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Unblock - This block looks to me like a political move to unfairly disempower and stigmatize a long-standing member who refused to go along with a questionable move by other officials. Political disagreements are inevitable in any community, and it is important that fundamental issues be discussed in an open, honest, and dignified manner. JWSchmidt can't even speak for himself in this thread, where his fate is being discussed. It is a fundamental issue of fair play that a person is entitled to respond to his critics. Wikiversity diminishes itself first by blocking a well-respected academic on specious grounds and then denying him right to answer and challenge his critics. Original Spin 18:50, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
This user account has no prior editing history on Wikiversity, and may be a sockpuppet or SPA. (I suspect it is a sockpuppet of Moulton). The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:08, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Point of clarification - In case anyone thinks otherwise, this block was always meant as a temporary measure - it was conceived as a means of forcing John to take a step back from his editing, and reflect on how his behaviour had affected other editors. The review was not designed as an overview of everything that John has done for Wikiversity (which, I would say, has been overwhelmingly positive), but a POV on aspects of his recent editing that had been raised as problematic by various editors. Subsequent discussion has been ongoing on John's talk page. Cormaggio talk 20:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
The notion of using political power to force a scholar to cease from his labors is one that I find ominous and disturbing. In any event, all it has done is force JWSchmidt to confine his responses to his own talk page, whilst denying him the opportunity to respond to his critics in the threads where his work ethic has been called into question. If his fellows scholars feel compelled to call his work ethic into question, do they not have an obligation to afford him the courtesy of a response? Original Spin 20:42, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
There has been extensive discussion on his talk page, and let's not forget the Review of JWSchmidt. I'd consider all that the courtesy of a response. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:59, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I vehemently disagree. It is an egregious breach of the fundamental principles of collegial ethics to post a scathing indictment of someone in a venue where they are not permitted the courtesy of responding in a timely manner with equal vigor. Original Spin 04:01, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, he was permitted to respond in a timely manner. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 04:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

One thing at a time: should JWSchmidt be unblocked?[edit]

I think there's just too much going on in the conversation above, and that makes it more or less impossible to try to get a feel for the consensus view. Please weigh in with your opinions on whether or not the block should be kept or removed, and nothing else. I'll go first. --SB_Johnny talk 21:02, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Support Support unblocking. We decided to block him in the first place because we were deeply concerned that he would be disruptive and get in the way of rebuilding the community. It's pretty clear to me now that the block itself is now causing disruption, so I'd rather take my chances with unblocking him. --SB_Johnny talk 21:00, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
  • {{oppose}} No Opinion unblocking until it is made clear that he will not be creating any learning excersizes about me, that mock me, or that are anything other than professionally distant with repsect to me, that he will not engage in the outing of any contributors to this or other projects, and that he will cease aiding and abetting Moulton in his illicit attempts to edit this site. Salmon of Doubt 21:03, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
    • I will reblock him if he does that. Does that satisfy your concern? --SB_Johnny talk 21:12, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
      • Yes. Salmon of Doubt 21:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
        • That condition should be made mutual. No one-way conditional unblocks since especially SB Johnny said this vote should be either 'block' or "unblock' and nothing else, but the conditional unblocks is obviously already something else. Dzonatas 21:56, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
          • Oh, that's easy. I will not create any learning excersizes about him, that mock him, or are anything other than professionally distant withrespect to him, and I will not engage in the outing of any contributors to this or other projects and I will not aid or abett Moulton in anything, ever. Salmon of Doubt 22:03, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
            • It's not conditional. I'll block anyone who tries to use Wikiversity as a medium for making grudge pages. Users who have difficulty getting along with other users should just ask for assistance from an uninvolved party. --SB_Johnny talk 22:07, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support unblocking, with the understanding that he may be reblocked if no behavior change is evidenced. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:06, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support immediate and unconditional unblocking with the pledge never again to block a scholar who is participating in good faith, no matter how iconoclastic his or her views may be. An erroneous belief or misconception will fail the test of time, but stifling a minority view is not only uncollegial, it undermines the very function of scholarly research, which is to develop insightful new ideas that potentially overthrow existing misconceptions. Original Spin 22:04, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
    • I think it's important to remind ourselves sometimes that the whole point of creating things via wiki is that we can share the burden of creating something great. The "brick and mortar" academic world tends to emphasize individual achievment (professors getting tenure or grants, students getting grades), but on a wiki we need to focus always on community achievement. You need to be humble, and always be "just one of the guys". We're all scholars here, but we're all equals. --SB_Johnny talk 22:13, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
      • I'm not entirely sure that it's appropriate for Moulton, who is currently blocked, to be voting here. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 04:01, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
        • I'm not entirely sure that it's appropriate for Jimbo to disrupt the academic demeanor of Wikiversity by summarily executing an out of process block, in breach of the core values of Wikiversity and in breach of the advertised mission of WMF. Original Spin 04:07, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Unblock. I think he should be given a chance to move on. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε
  • Comment the whole situation distresses me. I don't like the fighting, the problems, or the rest, and I hope there wont be any future ones. I don't know if there is an answer to this. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support unblock -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:16, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Comment I missed that there was even a vote going on here. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:22, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral I do not support an unblock at this time, because I would like to see more progress on addressing the issues that have been raised. But the discussions on JWSchmidt's talk page seem to have reached an impasse so I'm will to give other methods a try. --mikeu talk 03:14, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


User:Jimbo Wales banned Moulton for incivilty . This may have not been the most transparent of actions and may have been a surprise to some. I am posting this here so if Wikiversity users would like, they can discuss it here to see if there is in fact consensus among Wikiversity users to ban User:Moulton. I'm not suggesting lifting the ban at all, although Wikiversity:Community Review seems like it would be the place to do it. Emesee 01:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Supports the ban To separate me a bit from that, I will start this new indented reply. I support the banning of User:Moulton for a cople reasons and probably more. 1. he should have known better than to post emails and other things that have had to be oversighted multiple times 2. Jimbo Wales believes he should be blocked for the good of the wiki and the community - Wikipedia is much more mature and "successful" than Wikiversity thus far and we should follow his advice based on his accumulated experience with facilitating the success of projects. 3. not respecting and also circumventing the block thus far. So I support a ban until furthur notice. He is certainly more than welcome to participate and in a thoughtful and considerate manner on other wikis and show that he can do so in ways that is accepted by the larger community. Emesee 01:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
While I agree with below comments showing concern for the way the block was implimented, I am highly disconcerted by the way Moulton has refused to acknowledge his block, and continues to antagonize elements of Wikiversity, setting himself up as a martyr. I would like to see better behavior coming from him before lifting the block. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 04:00, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't necessarily see bad behavior. He is trying to effect a major paradigm shift. When you look at what he has done from other perspectives, it can be justified. I am going to establish a sub section were we can set out exactly what we see as bad. I don't think we have ever sat down and done this. i would rather not lose a visiting scientist at MIT with a PhD in Network Technology. Geo.plrd 05:21, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Experts can be a valuable resource to wikivervsity and we should encourage their contributions. But, I think we need to distinguish between mere affiliation or credentials and the more important issue of the quality of the contributions which an expert makes here within their field of study. Isn't that the real reason why wikiversity should strive to encourage an expert to participate? I am not aware of any edits that Moulton has made to "Network Technology" pages. Please provide links if I have missed something. The majority of his contributions have little to do with his research. See: Wikiversity the Movie/Wikiversity is a Mighty Fine Ditch or this example (copy of one of his contributions which was deleted from wv.) Please clarify how his position at MIT is relevant to this dicussion. --mikeu talk 14:10, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Mikeu. Moulton's PhD is only relevant if he had been contributing significantly in a relevant field at Wikiversity. As it is, he seems to have entirely ignored his specialty, and as such, his role as an "expert" is meaningless here. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:12, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I primarily am concerned with the precedent Jimbo has set with this block. It appears from the discussion that he will remain blocked. The main point I want is that Jimbo is out of line, not that Moulton is unblocked. Geo.plrd 19:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
i don't think that following the lead of Wikipedia is a good idea. The mission of Wikipedia contradicts that of Wikiversity. Its like having a Professor of English do your taxes. The foundation of the community is that the Community has paramount power. Jimbo stepping in and unilaterally imposing sanctions takes power from the community. While I have no problem with him expressing the opinion that Moulton was wrong, I do not believe it is academically sound to allow him to force that opinion down our throats. Regardless of whether it was right, it is the wrong path to start down. In the law, this is called a slippery slope. You don't go down these slippery slopes because of the ways it can spiral into unpleasant things. Geo.plrd 05:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
As fas I'm concerned, we're not going to be applying this as an example of judicial precedent here. If it becomes something other than an isolated incident, the community might have to draw up a statement to send to Wales to encourage him to back off. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:14, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Procedural Reverse I move to reverse the ban on the grounds that Jimbo has overstepped his authority. Geo.plrd 01:38, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Emesee, I take it that you do not distinguish a block and a ban. Anyway, Jimbo Wales has not edited Wikiversity since its launch and we can consider him a (re-)newcomer and unfamiliar with Wikiversity as it is now. His unfamiliarity can be seen, at least, in this edit [5], where he said he was happy to "remove" Dtobias from the project (a very unwikiversity expression!) if necessary over an action a month before under completely different environment, atmosphere and circumstances. I consider his action very much "wikipedia-like" and is unsuitable for wikiversity, which has a different demographic and has evolved differently. Looking at the (in my opinion) juvenile flame wars on wikipedia (sample of which has recently been seen on wikiversity), I would not consider wikipedia in any way more "mature" than wikiversity. If Moulton were to be blocked, there should be a community discussion of the reasons; Moulton should have been given a specific final warning on-wiki, and a suitable time-limit be proposed. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 02:11, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
It sounds like you think that a block and a ban are different. Emesee 02:29, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
That is right. For example, I do not oppose if, as an emergency measure, a wikiversity custodian blocked Moulton for a specific time limit for a specific thing he did (like posting private information on wikiversity, or flooding the recentchanges with edit wars). However, as wikiversity is a wiki, a ban should be by the community - or, as it is a website, the owner of the host. As it stands, Moulton was blocked by Wales in consultation with the bureaucrats and the community still has to discuss the block. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 02:57, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Support block. For reasons that we have started to elaborate on at Requests relating to Moulton, Moulton's block, Moulton's talk page and range block log. I will contribute much more on this page in the coming days... --mikeu talk 14:22, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Do you support the precedent that this block set? Geo.plrd 19:46, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Realize that one can support the block without supporting the precedent (see above). The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I do not believe that the initial block set a precedent. --mikeu talk 02:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I would also Support a ban, although we should probably clarify what we mean by the terms "block" and "ban" in the context of this discussion. --mikeu talk 04:21, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
This might be a good juncture to point out the earliest known reference to a "ban" in the written law. Oddly enough, the very first law ever set in stone makes reference to a ban. 3750 years ago, Hammurabi of Babylonia (Mesopotamia) set 282 laws into stone. Here are the first three of them:

1. If any one ensnare another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.

2. If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

3. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.

The second of Hammurabi's laws is a rather odd one. Perhaps it's the origin of the expression, "Go jump in the lake."
Isn't it a tad ironic that here in cyberspace in 2008, Jimbo is reprising a practice first defined in law by none other than Hammurabi himself? And according to Hammurabi's version, Jimbo has to prove his allegation of incivility to make the ban stick.
Original Spin 04:39, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Strongest support block/an possible Not here to create learning resources. A consumate troll across multiple internet sites. Salmon of Doubt 16:36, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Do you support the precedent that this block set? Geo.plrd 19:46, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
See above. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I support this block. I also urge people to look through the activity documented at User:Cormaggio/Moulton's_block. However, I am still not happy with the precedent of this block, and encourage the community to continue working on our principles and policies to ensure that, in the future, we take these sorts of decisions and actions as a community. Cormaggio talk 17:47, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Support ban. I disagree with how it came about, but I do not support unblocking based purely on procedure. Moulton's behavior on WV was inappropriate before the block, and has only gotten worse after. His scientific expertise is mostly irrelevant, as his only contributions have been well outside his sphere. In fact, I have not seen a single edit of his that could be considered a worthwhile contribution to WV. He's too focused on his personal feuds to make unblocking him a good idea, as being wronged on Wikipedia does not excuse his behavior here. I agree with Cormaggio that this should not be considered a precedent, but instead an exception. We in the WV community need to develop a better method for dealing with problem behavior in the future. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:57, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Should Jimbo have come in here and IARed a block on Moulton? Probably not, despite statements from some curators that effectively admit that at the time they temporarily lacked the will to do it themselves. So... bad process. But good outcome. Unblock because of bad process? No. Cost benefit analysis shows Moulton to be a huge drain on resources, far in excess of what most people would judge as the benefit. This is especially bad for smaller wikis that have less resources. I support this ban. But I have little to no standing in this community, take it as an outside view, nothing more. ++Lar: t/c 22:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Support Support block, per reasons already given. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 04:36, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Procedural Matter[edit]

I would like to amend the above matter and focus on a broader issue, the role of Jimbo. What power should he have. He is not an active member of this community, and arbitrary actions seem to make us subject to his will, a violation of academic freedom. Geo.plrd 01:38, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Could you detail your involvement with "Arbcab," your multiple rejected bids for admin/MedCab on en.wp, your sanction for providing legal advice re. MyWikiBiz, what Zoe, Quiddity and ^demon have determined your motiviations were for your various en.wp edits, along with your involvement in "Esperanza" and the disruptive recreation of such? Inquring minds want to know exactly how much drama you intend to bring here before someone makes you stop. Why aren't you out powertripping at Conservapedia, exactly? Salmon of Doubt 16:36, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me? I was under the impression that this is Wikiversity? If I am mistaken, please let me know. Geo.plrd 19:52, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Could you also comment on your invasion of User:H's privacy (I believe you were banned from en.wp over this), as it's especially relevent to this matter. Salmon of Doubt 16:42, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
You mean the mistake Daniel made? He thought another user was me and made an honest mistake. Geo.plrd 19:52, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
And how is any of that relevant, Salmon? If you have a problem with what Geo.plrd is doing, why not address that, rather than attempt to poison the well? Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:02, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
It's only poisoning the well if it's unrelated. Geoff's consistant actions to create disruptive bureaucracy and then attempt join it in a position of power is exactly what we have here. It's laughable. Salmon of Doubt 17:06, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Salmon, you are spinning discussion away from the pressing issue of a bad precedent. For general information, here is what I have done here. I revamped a dormant department and am working on a survey course of US history? What is so bureaucratic about that? Geo.plrd 19:52, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Blocking disruptive influences with a minimum of your inflamed bureaucracy is not a bad precedent. You are spimming discussion away from the pressing issue of your three year long abuse of process and sockpuppetry. Salmon of Doubt 20:42, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Salmon, while Geo may hold a minority view here at Community Review, his contributions at Wikiversity which I have noticed have been thus far constructive. I do not think it is appropriate to be attacking him for his actions at other pages here. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:19, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. If Geo, a consumate bureaucratic warrior, were arguing for anything but more bureaucratic nonsense, that would be true. Salmon of Doubt 20:42, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Are you ignoring his other constructive contributions at Wikiversity recently? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:04, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
No. Beyond the damage he's causing here, I am deeply concerned that a high school junior (16 years old, for those not in the US) whose most substantial contribution to the public discourse is at "conservapedia," widely seen as anti-historical and a polemical far-rightist institution of disinformation intends to be the "INSTRUCTOR" in a "survey of the history of the United States of America, taught at the college level." Luckily, Wikiversity is the university that everyone can edit - when he attempts to inform us that Uncle Roy Cohn was a GREAT MAN WHO DID NOT DIE OF AIDS AND WAS CERTAINLY NO HOMOSEXUAL, I'll be right there to remind everyone that that's nonsense. Salmon of Doubt 21:09, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that you are ignoring his other constructive contributions. Please be aware, Salmon, that right now you appear to be engaging in outing, and you are without question being very rude. I know a few teenagers with enough understanding of American History to be able to teach many others about elements of it, including myself, and I hold a degree in History. As you are not involved at the School of History at all, I do not see how you consider yourself to be in any position to judge who should or should not contribute there. I do not see Geo doing "any damage" on Wikiversity. Apart from his disagreement with you on this page, can you point out any other specific examples of "damage" he has done on Wikiversity? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:14, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I would be engaging in "outing" if I revealed anything at all about Geoff that was non public or even remotely hidden. It is, however, not. Geoff reveals his name here. He talks about Conservapedia here. He reveals his age here. This is all public. I look foward to Geoff to not damaging wikiversity any further. Salmon of Doubt 21:22, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Your actions are still very hostile and rude. And you have ignored my other comments and concerns. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:26, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Unnecessarily rude and hostile behavior is certainly not any improvement over advocating unnecessary bureaucracy. A simple argument would have been far better than dragging up what I still consider irrelevant history. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Geoff: Jimbo acted as he very occasionally does, and in the same way as all stewards occasionally do: intervening in (often) unprecedented circumstances, and where the community is either non-existent, or damaged, or where there could be a danger of serious community damage. I think the 'precedent' we should be discussing here is action which had not been explicitly discussed in a community forum - not whether Jimbo has any authority here. The key issue is whether we, as a community, have policies and procedures in place to deal with problems when they arise - which, when working within Wikimedia's broad mission, would mean that Jimbo, or any steward, or Wikimedia agent would never have to intervene. Cormaggio talk 20:53, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Rather than attempt to tell Jimbo what to do, it would be wiser and more effective just to make his intervention unnecessary in the future. This page seems to be a move to create a more appropriate place to discuss the less cut-and-dried issues that will arise now and then. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Moulton's Behavior[edit]

What behavior of Moulton's do we see as unaccpetable? Geo.plrd 05:21, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Taunting other contributors on this project and Releasing private information of individuals on this project, for starters. Salmon of Doubt 16:36, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I believe Moulton has thoroughly demonstrated he will not constructively contribute to this project:

  • Using a project as a platform for a personal feud was the biggest problem, IMO. His "case study" is a good example of this.
  • When others attempt to address his poor behavior, he tends to lawyer based on procedure, rather than address the issues. When dealing with my removal of his bogus case studies, he refused to address my arguments, instead claiming that I was not following the correct procedure (mostly through private channels). See also his unblock request
  • He tends to spam his work through excessive links and multiple cut-and-pastes.
  • Rather than moderate his behavior, he edit-wars (see the Wikiversity:Requests for Deletion history).
  • When KillerChihuahua joined the project in order to address what she felt were inappropriate attacks, Moulton taunted and attacked her with her real name multiple times (I believe most of that is now oversighted). This is related to his attempt to continue a feud here that began on Wikipedia.

In short, Moulton is obsessed with getting back at those he feels wronged him, has acted against the goals of the Wikiversity project, and has not been willing to moderate his behavior, instead taking advantage of the patient, inclusive atmosphere. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:38, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

See User:Cormaggio/Moulton's_block for more detailed examples. Cormaggio talk 17:47, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
While the point about the edit-wars may be valid, it is also valid to say there were others involved. It would only be fair to name who else was involved in the edit-wars. Dzonatas 23:34, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
True, though I don't think it's absolutely necessary to name the others here, since this was specifically about Moulton's behavior. It's worth noting that he has also reinserted edits removed for more serious issues, such as when he used real names. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:51, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
If it is not worth it to mention the others, then it is not worth it to mention there was an edit-war at all. Dzonatas 00:14, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

I feel that his constant violations against his (initially temporary) block combined with his use of totally one-sided examples and loaded rhetoric to push forward his POV are what are what are most unacceptable (in addition to "outing"). The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:21, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

The initial temporary block by SB_Johnny was only for two hours. Do you have any evidence to support the allegation that Moulton posted during that two hour interregnum? Original Spin 04:19, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm talking about your current block. Posting comments on this page right now seems particularly inappropriate for you. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 04:34, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


Transactional analysis offers some ways of understanding what seem in these two cases to be somewhat intractable conflicts. However, in the words of Ken Wilber (1981, p. 328),

at this point in history, the most radical, pervasive, and earth-shaking transformation would occur simply if everybody truly evolved to a mature, rational, and responsible ego, capable of freely participating in the open exchange of mutual self-esteem.

-- Jtneill - Talk - c 14:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

See also: answer to Philosophical Question #3 and User:Hillgentleman/consensus and the zeroth law of robotics. --mikeu talk 15:08, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Those two references raise the issue of what the overarching community values are in this project. Very likely the different factions are prioritizing their idiosyncratic values in ways that create a difficult conflict to analyze or resolve. In most cases, finding a way to balance conflicting cultural values is a solvable problem, although it might involve some creative problem solving. For starters, it would be helpful if people were more tolerant of cultural differences. Diversity is a strength that a learning community like this one should celebrate and embrace. Original Spin 19:00, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Original Spin[edit]

I reiterate - I can technically ban Moulton from this project. It is trivial. Why are his accounts and IP addresses allowed to keep going on like this? Salmon of Doubt 20:45, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Wait until the Community Review has passed, at least. I would very much like to see Moulton exhibit better behavior on his own. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:01, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
So would I. His failures are epic, if not downright tragic. Original Spin 23:41, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I think someone besides Salmon should do it, if it becomes necessary. There's far too much personal animosity between Salmon and Moulton. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 21:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

It has not been demonstrated that any one other than me has the technical ability to do so. I'll release my source code. Salmon of Doubt 21:22, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
For those of us trying to catch up, could you clarify what you mean here? A pointer to a previous discussion would be fine... but I'm not following this just yet. ++Lar: t/c 22:59, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I think he means that he can set up a bot to revert Moulton. --SB_Johnny talk 23:14, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
The heuristic to detect Moulton is trivial. SB Johnny is correct. Salmon of Doubt 01:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
You've got a point there. Regrettably. ++Lar: t/c 03:52, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Very good point. I agree, Sχeptomaniac. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:23, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
MediaWiki is Open-Source software. There is no need to implement close sourced solutions as a bot. Post a patch to the MediaWiki list if you have the technical ability. Dzonatas 23:03, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
It would not be appropriate to ban Moulton from every MediaWiki project. A flag to "ban Moulton from this project" is code creep. I will release the source code of my Moulton reverting/blocking bot under the gpl, making it open source. Salmon of Doubt 01:10, 8 October 2008 (UTC)