User:JWSchmidt/Blog/14 January 2009
To Do List for the new year
1) Old business. Back at the start of the holiday season I was responding to the old "request for custodian action" and I had reached the last part of the charges that were made against me in Wikiversity:Request custodian action/Review of JWSchmidt. I still need to finish the task of responding to the charge that I alienate users from other projects. What this charge really means is that I resist attempts of abusive admins from other wikis who try to spread their abuse to Wikiversity, and I'm proud to admit it. Of course, as a long-time Wikipedian and Wikimedian, I've worked for years to build bridges between Wikiversity and other Wikimedia projects...that is something that will never change.
2) New business; policy updates. Starting in the middle of 2008 the process of developing policy at Wikiversity broke down. Up until that point policy was being developed to support the mission of Wikiversity. Now the status of Wikiversity policy is in doubt. The Ruling Junta of Wikiversity is free to ignore and violate policy and elevate policy violators to positions of "trust" while inventing and enforcing new rules that are never written down as policy or discussed by the community. Efforts have been made to declare some of these unwritten rules as being outside of the bounds of Wikiversity community discussion....a truly great approach to building a learning community. The lesson of Wikiversity is clear: do not question the Rulers. Some of the new rules that are enforced as policy by the Ruling Junta seem designed to keep the Ruling Junta in power and prevent anyone at Wikiversity from questioning their actions. Of course, the hostile takeover of Wikiversity by the Ruling Junta has important implications for Wikiversity and attempts to develop this wiki website as a learning community. Why should anyone participate at Wikiversity when the Ruling Junta can at anytime delete, block, ban and censor and also prevent their actions from even being discussed?
It is clear that I do not know how to get along with the Ruling Junta. When I tried to start down the path towards modification of Wikiversity policy, as had been recommended by Jimmy Wales, I was blocked from editing and had my custodianship terminated. I had a long history of participating at the wikiversity-en IRC channel and taking part there in discussions of policy development for Wikiversity....until the day that User:SB Johnny banned me from that channel without discussion warning or reason given (Wikiversity:Blocks and bans from IRC). I suppose that chat channel is now a safe haven where the Ruling Junta can coordinate their efforts to delete and censor Wikiversity content without anyone questioning their actions. I recently tried to initiate discussion of new policies that will allow the Wikiversity community to come to grips with some of the unwritten rules that are being enforced by the Ruling Junta. Rather than allow discussion, User:Darklama continued to explore his role as a self-appointed censor of Wikiversity.
Since other avenues seem to be closed, I'll try to work here to assemble my thoughts about needed updates to Wikiversity policy. Since this seems to be an activity that is not welcome at Wikiversity, I fully expect this page to be censored or deleted by the Ruling Junta.
update: Tip for busy administrators: do not bother censoring individual pages when you can just block editors. This is a particularly good method for preventing discussions at Wikiversity since the blocker gets to define which discussions of events at Wikiversity constitute policy violations.
1) Research policy. Jimmy Wales suggested a modification to the scope of research at Wikiversity. I was previously blocked and desysopped when I started trying to work on this policy update. I need to find a way of continuing to develop Wikiversity research policy without attracting the mighty ban hammer. See the main discussion page for the Wikiversity research guidelines.
See also: Wikipedia and the 2008 US elections
2) Bans. Wikiversity now has an unwritten policy for banning scholars from participation at Wikiversity. I'll try drafting Wikiversity:Bans here and see how it goes.
Policy for bans (draft)
As usual, I'll start by selecting content from the relevant Wikipedia policy. I'm also addressing Wikiversity policies that mention bans. Will also need links from proposed policies (such as Wikiversity:Banned user) to the new proposed policy for bans.
At Wikiversity, a ban is a decree that prohibits a person from editing one or more pages at Wikiversity for a specified duration of time.
How bans are imposed
Bans are proposed by going to Wikiversity:Colloquium and providing links to edits made by the editor who you propose to ban. A detailed description must be provided of how those edits constitute a violation of Wikiversity policy. Specific grounds for imposing the ban (as listed in the following section) must be cited as the basis in policy for imposing the ban. The community then discusses the proposed ban and if consensus is reached, the ban is imposed. A list of all imposed bans is kept at Wikiversity:Imposed bans.
Grounds for imposing a ban
As described in the Wikiversity policy for Civility, the use of some words "a certain number of times" can result in a ban. In order to impose a ban on an editor for using a particular word, the community must create and enforce a new rule. Each of these rules must be drafted at the censorship policy page and approved by a process involving community discussion and consensus. Censorship rules can take the form: "Editors can be banned from editing pages "w" for a time period of duration "x" if they use the word "y" more than "z" times.
During the specified duration of a ban, if the banned editor edits a page that they are banned from editing then those edits can be reverted.
Other issues for a ban policy
My original thinking about the idea that the use of some words a certain number of times can result in a ban was along these lines: if a vandal came to Wikiversity and decided to repeatedly add certain words to Wikiversity pages, just for shock value, then it might be necessary to ban such an editor from participating at Wikiversity. Given the fact that we now have Wikiversity administrators who are policy violators or who treat non-vandalism edits as if they were vandalism or who exercise a double standard with respect to deciding what constitutes policy violations, I'm reluctant to leave decisions about imposing bans to "common sense". I've spent many years having discussions with collaborators about censoring wiki content, but "censor" seems to have become a "dirty word" at Wikiversity. Given the current atmosphere of censorship at Wikiversity, it would not surprise me to soon see bans imposed at Wikiversity for use of the term "censor".
I've been treated to another SBJ extravaganza in which discussing censorship of Wikiversity is proposed as a banable offense. This seems to validate my prediction of 8 moths ago (see above). This looks like a page right out of the Wikipedia Style Guide for Abusive Admins. It reminds me of when it became an offense against the Mighty Censors of Wikipedia to say "ID Cabal". We really need to make "Wikiversity Censor" a formal office so we can have an associated policy that will describe all of the powers claimed by the self-appointed censors of Wikiversity. The start of that policy will look something like this, "Any discussion that offends an abusive admin can be instantly censored by abusive admins, however they are free to call you "troll" and tell you to "fuck off". Note: this is in their Union Contract." --JWSchmidt 21:39, 25 August 2009 (UTC)