User:JWSchmidt/Blog/7 September 2008
Distorting that shape
SB Johnny recently requested review of my behavior (shaping Wikiversity's growth....distorting that shape in a very negative way).
Study question: Who said, "Anyone with a complaint should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity"?
"created a sockpuppet"
About a year ago, Moulton tried to improve a Wikipedia biography about a scientist he knows in real life. Moulton's actions were explicitly protected by Wikipedia policy, "In a few cases, outside interests coincide with Wikipedia’s interests. An important example is that unsupported defamatory material appearing in articles may be removed at once. Anyone may do this, and should do this, and this guideline applies widely to any unsourced or poorly sourced, potentially libelous postings. In this case it is unproblematic to defend the interest of the person or institution involved." In thanks for his good faith effort to improve Wikipedia, Moulton was run out of Wikipedia, in violation of policy. Moulton is now here at Wikiversity and participating in the Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia study project. Moulton was followed here from Wikipedia by people such as "Centaur of attention" and "Salmon of Doubt". I had a discussion with "Salmon of Doubt" about the ethics of using the statement he placed on his Wikiversity user page. Salmon of Doubt said that he feels justified in saying that it would be good if Moulton were banned from Wikiversity. Salmon of Doubt said, "At no point did Moulton attempt to correct biased Wikipedia biographies". I have been looking at Moulton's Wikipedia editing and I do not agree with "Salmon of Doubt". In order to explore the ethical caliber of Salmon of Doubt's views on Moulton, I created a "parody" of Salmon's user page. My little learning project was a "parody" in the sense that it was intended "to broaden understanding of" Salmon's views. I researched and wrote my learning project when it looked like Salmon of Doubt might have abandoned Wikiversity. I created this learning project mainly for myself, but also for Moulton. Moulton had told me that he likes solving puzzles. I wanted to see if Moulton could guess that I had created the learning project. Of course, the approach I adopted for the learning project required that I make user page. I thought that since
1) I had previously questioned Salmon about the ethics of placing his view of Moulton on his user page,
2) in conversation with Moulton I had mentioned the analogy between Gandhi and Moulton,
3) my poor spelling abilities (note the uncorrected mis-spellings of "Gandi"), which I had also discussed with Moulton
it was likely that Moulton would quickly figure out that I had made the learning project. However, he did not figure it out so I left the page there for a few days as a puzzle for Moulton. Several days later, Salmon of Doubt returned to Wikiversity and somehow noticed my learning project about Gandhi. I then made this edit, saying that the learning project was created by me. So, I created a learning project that just happened to involve the creation of an account, I did not "create an online identity for purposes of deception". I'm glad that Salmon of Doubt finally took down his user page comments about Moulton. Since Salmon was upset by my learning project, I told him that I'm sorry and suggested that we get back to studying Wikipedia.
"it should be no surprise that Salmon of Doubt took offense" <-- In our discussion on his talk page (described above), Salmon had assured me that he had absolute confidence in the ethical foundation supporting his user page commentary on Moulton. I thought that, given that assurance from Salmon, I had no reason to worry that he would take offense at my learning project. If he was certain that he was right about Moulton, then my little learning project should not have penetrated his self-confidence. I admit now that I was wrong about that. I still cannot help myself from feeling that it was a useful learning project. My chief regret is that other people find the learning process to be so painful.
I want a pony
Recently, Salmon said "I want a pony (twice). As far as I can tell, this is Salmon's way of saying "I do not want to answer your question". When we were discussing the possible meaning of "I want a pony", Moulton told me a joke similar to this one and I started thinking about kids who want a fancy present like a pony. I did a quick web search for images on the theme of "I want a pony", found one, and added it to the page where Salmon had said, "I want a pony". Since Salmon was not answering questions put to him and was just saying "I want a pony", I thought the image might stimulate Salmon to become more communicative. SB Johnny removed the image and called it "beyond inappropriate". Personally, I think it is funny to look at that picture and imagine this little kid thinking "I want a pony" or the age-appropriate equivalent. Anyhow, we degenerate to such silliness when Salmon refuses to answer questions. It's really just a matter of looking for a way to try to break open the log jam when the going gets slow at Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia. It must mean something when Wikiversity becomes so humorless that learning projects have to be censored in this way...this is a good example where an edit summary explaining the edit would be useful.
Study question: Who said, "Openness and inclusiveness are ..... our radical means to our radical ends"?
Absolutely atrocious behavior
In search of the "absolutely atrocious behavior" leading up to this.
The "Student union" page was created on 21 June 2006. As outlined at History of Wikiversity, the Wikiversity project was not approved until August 2006. In order for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to have some idea of what Wikiversity could become, a few "starter pages" were made for Wikiversity and connected by this template. The "Student union" page was created as one of a few main portals for Wikiversity participants; see the original Student union from the time before Wikiversity existed as an approved project.
In January 2008, it was proposed that the "Student union" page be deleted. At the deletions page, the reason for deleting this page was said to be: "This page is an ancient relic from a time when it looked like a good idea. It's unlikely this page will ever be developed, and it might encourage silliness." At that time, there was a link from the word "Students" in the introduction section of the Main Page to the "Student union" page (see this version). In my view, there are a few types of visitors to Wikiversity that we should anticipate, including students and teachers. We should have a link on the main page for new visitors who self-identify as students. When I noticed the proposed deletion, I objected to the proposed deletion of the "Student union" page.
On April 21, 2008, the link to the "Student union" page from the word "Students" in the introduction section of the Main Page was removed, a change that had been in the works since 19 March, but which had never been discussed. This month, when I noticed that the link had been removed, I created the link again and I started the "Student Study Project of the Month".
On September 4, almost nine months after starting the effort to delete the "Student union" page, the deletion tag was finally removed.
On September 5, the link to the "Student union" page from the word "Students" in the introduction section of the Main Page was again removed and plans were made to turn the "Student union" page into a totally inappropriate redirect to a page that does not even mention students.
Summary. In January, an attempt was made to delete the main Wikiversity portal page for new student participants. In April, with no discussion, the link from the introduction section of the Main Page to the "Student union" page was removed. Additional attempts have been made to prevent students from being able to follow a link from the main page to the main Wikiversity student portal. I have to ask: why would anyone work so hard to disrupt student participation at Wikiversity? Take a look at the edit history of the person (you have to guess who I'm talking about since I've been told not to make this "personal"!) who has tried to delete the main Wikiversity portal page for new student participants, prevent there being a convenient link from the Main Page to the main Wikiversity portal page for new student participants and tried to turn the main Wikiversity portal page for new student participants into a redirect to a page that does not mention students. Ask yourself: has this particular participant (I'm not allowed to use his name) ever accepted that Wikiversity welcomes students and invites them to walk in and participate at Wikiversity?
Look at the edit history of this particular user (sorry, you have to guess who it is, I've been told that if I use the name then I am making a "personal attack") see if he has systematically tried to make Wikiversity welcoming only to teachers and those students who are kept under the strict control of a teacher. You can find it; this attitude is stated explicitly in the edit history.
In contrast, I believe that Wikiversity should be welcoming to all teachers and students.
This particular user (name withheld due to threats made against me) has called me a troll (in a public forum) and refuses to talk to me, leaving me with one remaining communications channel: edit summaries. I'd be happy to stop sending messages to this user by way of edit summaries if he agrees to discuss his efforts to disrupt student participation at Wikiversity. It's interesting that I'm not allowed to make things "personal" by describing the behavior of others, but other people can call me a troll. Ya, that's really "play on a level field".
Someone has to unpack this for me
if I were a Wikipedian looking to contribute here and saw this kind of behavior from a checkuser, I would not contribute here. If John wants to experiment with parody usernames and forced drama, he should request his rights be removed on meta and "play on a level field". <-- I'd like to get an explanation of the "reasoning" behind this. I've been told that if I do not automatically understand this sort of claim, then there is no use in other people discussing the matter with me. I think I'm smart enough to understand things. Please do a full review of my editing, don't just call for a review while also condemning me before you look at the edit history. Tell me what you are upset about. Let's talk. I'd like people to become fully aware of the conditions under which I have been editing. Don't blame me for disrupting your sleep when I'm just dealing with outrages that have been initiated by other users.
"John wants to experiment with parody usernames and forced drama" <-- I've always tried discussion first. When others say to me, "I refuse to talk to you," then I am going to start talking to myself....that might take many forms, some of which can be called "drama". When that happens, it is a result of choices made the people who have refused to talk, discuss matters and explain their editing.
"this kind of behavior from a checkuser" <-- I welcome full evaluation of my behavior and in particular, I demand that all claims about my "bad behavior" be fully described rather than insinuated. Isn't that fair?
--> continue at User:JWSchmidt/Blog/15 September 2008.