User talk:Ethical Accountability

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Declared sock of Thekohser[edit source]

This account was created to allow User:Thekohser a means to communicate with the Wikiversity community, using a verified login, while his primary account is globally locked and he cannot log in to that. Any stewards seeing this account are requested to leave it open; the account is blocked so that Thekohser may only edit here. Because Thekohser was blocked originally due to controversy over his criticism of the WikiMedia Foundation projects and wiki users and administrators, Thekohser is requested to refrain from using this page to continue that criticism, it is not for that purpose. I have disallowed email access to err on the side of caution. I have no objection if another admin allows email. --Abd 19:53, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Unblock request for User:Thekohser[edit source]

If there were valid "cross-wiki issues" that could justify a block then the person imposing the block should have explained the block to the Wikiversity community. In the absence of such an explanation, an honest Custodian should have long ago removed the block. --JWSchmidt 22:13, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Because I have set up this process and have communicated extensively with Thekohser off-wiki, I am recusing from making an unblock decision, at least until community consensus is clear. JWSchmidt's argument carries some weight, it is distressing that someone is blocked without explanation, apparently based on what they allegedly did elsewhere. However, "bad block" is not a particularly strong unblock argument, and I believe that there may be some controversy over this. My own opinion is that if there is no consensus for a block, unblock should be routine; further there should only be interference from other wikis or meta or the Foundation if there is a critical issue, and there should be either consensus at meta for that, or a decision by the WMF Board or an authorized representative. However, other members of the Wikiversity community may have different opinions, and we should allow some time to gather them. --Abd 23:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Having seen Thekohser cooperating patiently, and making a reasonable and significant contribution as IP while clearly respecting the block using declared self-reversion, I am unblocking in the hope that positive contributions will continue. I have not reviewed the original block and find it moot at this time. (I did have an impression that it was based on activity other than on Wikiversity, but I don't think it necessary to examine that, for the consensus seems to be, in general, that users may maintain good standing on one WMF wiki regardless of their standing on other WMF wikis, provided that they don't use a "safe" wiki as a safe harbor from which to launch attacks on users on other WMF wikis.) I have requested that Thekohser take particular care to avoid controversial editing here, particularly before he obtains a mentor, probably a custodian willing to consult with him on possibly controversial actions. Until such time, any custodian should feel free to warn Thekohser of problematic actions, and I expect that he would immediately back off and avoid disruptive argument, pending review with a mentor -- or, pending the appointment of a mentor, with me. Thekohser is welcome to contact me on or off-wiki if there are any questions. --Abd 04:22, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I am supposed to be "participating" in this discussion, but I think that the strongest basis for my case rests in the simple fact that my account was in good standing here, when someone who was not a disinterested party regarding my criticisms of the Wikimedia Foundation, blocked my account, then went away. He had to forfeit many of his special advanced administrative tools in the aftermath. It seems that restoration of my account here was sort of "forgotten" in the clean-up and recovery phase. -- Ethical Accountability 15:21, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I note the cooperation of this user, who modified the above statement at my request. --Abd 22:32, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
This happens all the time. Greg (I assume it's okay to use your real name), this page was set up precisely so you can participate in these discussions. The case you present here is cogent, but we will need to allow time for counterargument before acting, my opinion. A neutral admin may at any time grant or deny your unblock template, I've asked that any of those who have blocked you or further restricted you in the past recuse from consideration of the request, which should really be routine. Meanwhile, this is an opportunity to consider any remaining issues of substance. "I did not do anything here worthy of being blocked" is a perfectly good argument that addresses the original block, and there is no other block reason "officially" standing. Adambro has made some comments on the Colloquium, but some of the arguments for block seem to be based on what you did after being -- allegedly -- improperly blocked. I'd urge those be set aside and that the whole question of block/unblock, considering future benefit or harm, be considered de novo. I do not oppose immediate unblock, but given the depth of the underlying controversy, I do think we should make sure that it is first properly discussed. That can be done and can continue whether or not you are unblocked.
Now, as to the argument and possible boundaries for you to respect in this process: Your central argument above is cogent. However, it contains an unnecessary charge or implication, shown by the word "invaded." There is no doubt that someone who was not a regular participant here, who was not well-integrated with Wikiversity culture, but who was concerned about "cross-wiki issues," blocked you, outside of local process, and over the protests of a number of Wikiversitans. The whole affair created substantial damage to Wikiversity, but legally, that person had the right to take these actions as a de-facto representative of the WikiMedia Foundation, even without specific authorization. It's standard executive power, but it is also subject to review. Community review at meta, which also involved another examples of such unilateral action, did result in a resignation of the tools involved, there is no doubt about that. But we need to move on. If there is valid reason that you should be blocked here, we should hear about it. To avoid giving cause for objection to these discussions, and to demonstrate cooperation, I ask that you strike the words "from outside our community invaded this space, he." It's unnecessary and provocative. That person is part of our community if he wants to be, that's how wikis work. He was also, to some degree, a representative of the WMF, for better or for worse, and as long as we rely upon WMF hosting and services, we must respect WMF rights. At the same time as we protect our own -- and, for that matter,those of other WMF projects and their users.
My preference, by the way, is that this account be used only for these discussions and for a possible initial unblock. It will be better if function can be restored to User:Thekohser, either by global unlock or by the renaming device that has been identified. I do not suggest requesting unlock until some history is developed here showing positive contributions, it's bucking the tide to try to do that. We should make the decision easy for stewards by showing solid local consensus, if possible, and avoiding embroiling them in difficult disputes by asking them to decide between factions. I prefer to keep this as low-level as possible, until and unless necessity to escalate is demonstrated.
I advise, Greg, that you not respond any more with "diffuse" arguments, but wait for specific objections or questions to arise here, and answer them as simply and as cleanly as possible. We will be most concerned, I believe, as to future behavior. You could have been GRAWP, as far as I'm concerned, and the question would only be what is best for the community and project -- they cannot be separated -- for the future. What was GRAWP so pissed off about? If the actions were not purely for amusement, on the part of an "insane vandal," perhaps the underlying causes could be addressed, thus avoiding continual enforcement necessity? And you were not a vandal at all. I see every sign that your criticisms were made in basic good faith, intended to improve the "ethical behavior" of the community. But perhaps mixed, at times, with personal reactions.... as happens with everyone. --Abd 17:44, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Question[edit source]

When I think about unblocking, I don't care about the merits of the previous case as I believe that there can be a clean break from the past if there is something worth while in the future. If you wish to be unblocked, here are some questions that I would like answers to as part of any personal consideration of the matter: how would you contribute here to Wikipedia? Would you continue past disputes or bring them up again? What is a greater priority, the idea of justice or the idea of creating educational content? Ottava Rima (talk) 16:34, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

First, this isn't Wikipedia. Second, I have what I thought was a fairly well-known track record of content contributions, intriguing viewpoints, and detection of failures in knowledge management. I won't take offense that you're putting me on the spot, though, to defend my potential value to this community. I've also been working on some items over at However, I think they could benefit from a larger community such as what Wikiversity offers. Nonetheless, if Wikiversity cannot prove to me that my content and participation will be shown some minimal amount of respect, then I'd rather publish (safely) to a smaller community. I really don't need "justice", Ottava, from a cast of characters who have amply demonstrated to me that they are incapable of admitting that they've harmed others unfairly, or showing that they have the capacity for remorse. Gaining justice in such a situation would be a fool's errand. In sum, I think it's fairly clear that I am the type of person who readily enjoys sharing educational content with those who respect educational content and are willing to listen, critique as peers, and share alike. I think "bringing up past disputes" is hardly my mission here at Wikiversity, but if certain agitators are hell-bent on seeing to it that I am practically forced to "bring up past disputes", then I'm only human and will likely oblige them. One might argue that your asking me about whether or not I will "bring up past disputes" is an act of "bringing up past disputes". I don't think censorship of factual topics is a healthy course of action for a reputable learning community. Do you? -- Ethical Accountability 17:26, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that maybe Ottava Rima meant, "How would you contribute here [at Wikiversity] to [works about] Wikipedia?" -- darklama  17:38, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Where I have pertinent knowledge about a work about Wikipedia, if I had the time and inclination, I would likely add my piece of knowledge to the work about Wikipedia. Is that okay? -- Ethical Accountability 19:31, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, what I meant was "how would you contribute here regarding Wikipedia", as your contributions in the past were mostly pertaining to Wikipedia/Jimbo related matters (the private musings stuff was primarily about Wikipedia and cross-project relations). The answer I was hoping for is "I won't, I will only focus on Wikiversity related matters". I'm a strong believer in keeping Wikipedia stuff at Wikipedia and Wikiversity stuff at Wikiversity. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:34, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
This is what I recommend. If you are going to do this, proceed with extreme caution. I've mentioned self-reversion.
more suggestions about self-reversion
If you have any reason to think that a contribution might be controversial, self-revert immediately, requesting review by those who might be interested in and following your contributions. As long as you do not use self-reverted edits to make utterly outrageous accusations or gross incivility, you should not be dinged for a remotely reasonable suggestion or comment, even if it, unreverted, might be considered disruptive.

The secret about self-reversion is that it's a procedure that, in theory, could be followed by any blocked or banned editor to make positive contributions. I've seen it work. My own use of it on Wikipedia was based on prior experience with another banned editor, where self-reversion set up cooperation between a banned editor and the editor who had requested the ban.... Wikipedia has tended to rely way too much on banning, and not nearly enough on finding ways to encourage cooperation.

Considering a self-reverted edit as a violation makes no more sense than considering a 3RR violation such, when one or more of the three reverts were then self-reverted. This consideration represents a loss of IAR functionality in favor of strict adherence to rules; self-reversion, instead of making ban enforcement more difficult, it makes it easier: simply disregard all self-reverted edits, made by the banned account or IP, unless someone specifically complains about that edit in itself, not because of "ban violation."

If someone reverts it back in and it is, in fact or in community judgment, disruptive, then that's the problem user, not you. And if a troll, so to speak, reverts it back in, in order to attack you for "violating" some kind of defined or undefined restriction, then, again, we'd properly look at the troll, not so much at you! Just be careful. This kind of caution is, in fact, in the real world, somewhat expected in academia. Don't poke bears. But you can study them, if you are careful how, and perhaps where, as well. If the President of a University is a bear, maybe that's not the particular university to be used to study bears! There are universities, and, as academic institutions, they are connected and refer to each other, but they are careful how they do so.

In any case, it seems that the President, so to speak, has voluntarily accepted curtailment, in his activities, so there is a kind of power vacuum. Don't expect that to last, but we may take advantage of the opportunity to set up new procedures for resolving meta conflicts, so that they are negotiated and acceptable to both the WMF and our community, instead of being imposed or forced either way. I have no problem with short-term blocks while a matter is being considered, if someone thinks there is an emergency, especially where experienced users are involved, but "bans" are quite another matter.

Take it slowly, wait at least a day, preferably more, if some controversy appears, etc. Wikiversity is particularly slow, so waiting longer before following up on some "debate" may be a good thing. Give people space and time to change their minds, or to make their arguments. I think you know the ropes, really.

I'm providing what I hope is generic advice for editors who have run into problems. I'm trying to set up exemplary procedures and principles that will respect "problem editors" while, at the same, time, protecting the community and the project. If I merely try to enforce my own opinion, I will be no better than any of the others who have tried to control the projects to make them "right." --Abd 22:25, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Greg, I would not ban you from [works about] Wikipedia, but I would ask you that, if the "trolling" you mention ("[practically forcing you] to 'bring up past disputes'") takes place, you simply ignore it. They cannot force you to do anything. Don't bite. Give some time for others to respond, don't jump in swinging if that kind of activity arises, as it may. Make sure that your own behavior is irreproachable, to the extent possible. You don't have to be perfect, but ... if you don't voluntarily restrain yourself, then it opens the door for all the rest of what happened to happen again. Very important: let others defend you. If they don't, rattle their cage, those who might be sympathetic, but do it off-wiki or on user talk pages where you are welcome. If you can't find support that way, your cause is premature and you are better off dropping it, rather than being on a "fool's errand." --Abd 17:53, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

A short aside[edit source]

Just wanted to extend a short apology if I've been a bit testy the past 48 hours. This whole process of having to come back on board the rather exclusive Wikiversity ship by disguising myself as a minor dignitary from a neutral country, because a few commanding officers on the ship have this habit of seeing me only in dread pirate clothing, is a bit tedious and (frankly) humiliating. I want to have the ability to participate in Wikiversity as "Thekohser". I have much to offer. I also have a track record of speaking truth (or what I perceive to be the truth) to authority. I'm not likely to change terribly much, at my age; however, I'm willing to accord those who are trying to help right wrongs the favor of my best restraint. So, I'll toe the line here for a good while. At some point, though, maybe a week or two from now, if we're still farting around with this "Ethical Accountability" account and not the "Thekohser" account, I think it will be time to just cut bait. I'll have another item in my library of "places where dissent is muzzled", and the commanding officers will have another captured pirate flag to pin on their wall. If that's an "Open Learning Community", then it is what it is. -- Ethical Accountability 15:09, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Greg, stop it, please. We are working on this, complicated by a simultaneous and probably failed effort with another "banned user." No more comments about pirates, commanding officers. You dignity is being respect here, at least by me, and I don't see much that is truly offensive from others. There are issues to be faced. What you say elsewhere is your business, but, here, please do, in fact, use your "best restraint," and show patience. It could get complicated, please let it take the time it takes. It was, I'd say, significant progress that you have been allowed this invitation and foray into a return, with complete local consensus. You are not required to grovel, beg for forgiveness, or deny what you have written of what you believe to be truth in the past, nor to promise to never speak the truth again, or any such nonsense. But I'm asking you to consider timing, pace, and other political subtleties, such as where you speak truth to power. If you stand up in the gallery of the U.S. Congress and start proclaiming how corrupt it all is, or in a courtroom, or maybe even during a class in a university, you will be conducted from the building, and it doesn't matter if you are right or wrong. As to the apology for being testy, and considering what you have been through, no apology is necessarily needed, but the more you express your testiness, the more difficult this will be. Please, for now, continue to demonstrate that you are capable of restraint. Okay? --Abd 16:01, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I think you're overreacting to my note, Abd. There are no feelings of testiness today. I was just trying to explain why I had such feelings yesterday. Your point about Congress, court, and classroom is well-taken... but I would also say that there is no "Congress that anyone can legislate in", nor "court that anyone can adjudicate in". And most university classes require the attendee to be paying a big chunk of money to participate, so it would be a bit counter-productive to one's wallet to get yourself tossed from the institution where you've invested so much money. Anyway... your points are well-taken. I'm having fun over at NetKnowledge in the meantime. -- Ethical Accountability 16:39, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm being careful and urging you to be careful, I don't think I'm "over-reacting," but you can say so if you like, I won't take offense. I'm glad you are having fun there, and I'll be checking in and seeing how Wikiversity and NetKnowledge can cooperate without riling everyone up. I'm sure there are ways. It's important to have different places for people to work, with differing policies and procedures, and from the overall collection, we can understand better how to proceed for the future. What works? What doesn't work? So, to return to my possible over-reaction, for the present, I'd suggest avoiding "explaining yourself" when it involves pirates, etc. Nearly all of us understand, to some degree, what you have been through, but, now, we are working on moving on. If we move on and establish solid communities and fair and workable procedures to avoid repetition of the nonsense of the past, where mistakes were certainly made, possibly mostly on one side, more likely all around, we can then look at cleaning up some of the wreckage.
Procedurally, here, I want to allow time for people to object to your being unblocked, and particularly for specific concerns to be raised. At this point, for you, I highly recommend an attitude of patient interest, what do people actually object to? You can have all kinds of ideas, but if we want to see changes, we have to let people express what they currently think first. And to address whatever is possible of their concerns. Above, Ottava is looking for certain conditions for him to support an unblock, maybe even to go ahead and do it. You don't have to satisfy those particularly concerns, but if you do, he'll likely jump on board. The more who jump on board, the more likely this is to sail through at the end of this process (or even immediately). You can see how not to do it by looking at what happened just yesterday or so with User:Moulton AKA User:Caprice. Moulton was originally banned in ways similar to you, and the process seriously damaged Wikiversity, that's obvious. But it seems -- today, it might change -- that Moulton is unwilling to move on, to let bygones be bygones, as you indicated you wanted, yourself, when you started User:Thekohser-2. I and others are talking with him off-wiki, so ... maybe. I'm not holding my breath.
As long as you don't sock, confine yourself to this page for the moment (or maybe use IP, comment the edit with "will self-revert per ban of Thekohser," and self-revert then as promised -- a process which I'd really like to see tried for all banned editors, I've seen it reactivate cooperation, but which is, shall we say, experimental, and only likely to work, short-term, for clearly positive contributions), and are careful not to stir up old wounds (while cooperatively addressing criticisms), we may be able to get through this with everyone's dignity intact. And that must include those "outsiders." If we attack them, they will attack us, it's just human nature. Eventually, we should have a process that doesn't require a banned editor to be some kind of saint, but just reasonably cooperative. I think and hope you can fit, however, into what is needed now.
I may be making some suggestion, a kind of agreement you would make with the community, similar to what I agreed to when asking for probationary custodianship, and which I might renew if I go for permanent custodianship: if any administrator (or could really be any user where I accept that user as part of this agreement) objects to my use of tools, I will recuse and abstain from it as requested, if the admin has supported my request. You could agree to stop any behavior on the objection of anyone who has supported your return. I found the political implications of this fascinating. It did not mean that I would stubbornly insist on ignoring a request from a user who did not support me, just that I was promising to do this for those who support, with a prior agreement that a steward, on being notified of and verifying a violation of the agreement, would remove my admin bit pending a community decision. In reality, this is generally how admins should conduct themselves, but, given all the crap that comes up, I wasn't about to agree in advance to do this for everyone!
Basically, it means that you would come to a screeching halt upon specific objection, and then let others discuss it and decide. You'd avoid using Wikiversity access to argue the point, unless invited and permitted. But that agreement would certainly not restrict you from writing about an issue in private email to consenting users and administrators, or from writing about it on Wikipedia Review, or the like. If you combine that with a practice of approaching any controversial issue carefully, it should satisfy legitimate objections, while not closing the door to any particular area of activity, if approached with community support, which is what passes for university administration here. It's all in how you do it, and how you respect the community -- which includes, er, pirates. Arrrggghhh. --Abd 19:40, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi[edit source]

So, hi, how are you doing? So, what specific things do you think you could contribute? Ottava Rima (talk) 02:59, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I've already alluded to those items above (July 7), even providing convenient hyperlinks for your perusal, Ottava. -- Ethical Accountability 14:43, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I mean right now. Is there anything you want to work on this minute? Anything you want to be added to a conversation? I'm offering to proxy for you. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:15, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I suggest the following, if Ottava and Greg accept it and the community does not intervene (and minor intervention would be harmless.) Greg logs out, makes a constructive edit as IP, with the edit summary, Will self-revert per block of Thekohser. and then self-reverts "per block." Greg may note this edit here, so that it will be noticed. Any user may then revert it back in as a kind of "proxy" for the blocked editor, but it is much more efficient than the blocked editor separately putting together text, the volunteer proxy reading and approving the text, then finding and opening the page and adding it. It establishes original authorship without, in my opinion, actually violating a ban or block. Only if the edit itself is clearly negative and causes trouble, would this be a problem. I seriously tried to propose -- and, eventually, to personally exemplify this on Wikipedia -- but Wikipedia ban enforcement has become clearly punitive and not designed to lead to cooperation, only to absolute exclusion. Which violates WP:IAR, of course. This proposal does not complicate ban or block enforcement, that's part of the point. The edit is acknowledged. It's true that it reveals IP, so someone interested in true socking wouldn't do it.
Ottava and Greg, my hat is off to you both. --Abd 17:04, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
By the way, I have no objection at all to this account being unblocked. I set up the block to reflect the fact that Thekohser is blocked and there is a complication with global lock, and to make sure that unblock was with some kind of consensus, not just my own opinion. --Abd 17:08, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not offering to unblock. :) I'm just offering to proxy any content if he has anything he wants to put somewhere. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:44, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that such an arrangement puts me beholden to another editor, and it obfuscates the provenance of the content. I like credit where it's due, and I don't think even detailed edit summaries cut it. But, thanks for the kind gesture, nonetheless. -- Ethical Accountability 20:43, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
But to answer your question about what I'd like to be doing "now", Ottava, this data cost time and money to generate, and it seems a shame to let it go to waste without some Wikimedians analyzing it. -- Ethical Accountability 20:51, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
And, Adambro deleted the page altogether, leaving little opportunity for someone to restore the edit, if they found it useful for learning. Perhaps Adambro is not "in" on the recommendations Abd's and Ottava's? -- Ethical Accountability 15:01, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Greg, don't worry about the Adambro deletion, and please continue to assume good faith regarding it. Self-reversion as a way of allowing positive contributions that do not complicate block enforcement, from blocked or banned editors, is a new concept for most, and a little counter-intuitive. I do expect that you will be unblocked in short order, especially if you keep up this highly cooperative attitude. We are creating the basis for the Wikiversity community to stand behind you and support your unblock and possibly even an eventual global unlock; for strong political reasons this must be approached carefully and gingerly, rushing this kind of stuff is how, often, problem situations in the past have led to permanent bans. Meanwhile, it is now only slightly more complicated for you to edit anywhere on Wikiversity than it would be if you were unblocked, it's a few extra keystrokes to absolutely avoid any necessity for "block enforcement." The complication here was that you created a page. If it had been an edit to an already-standing page, it would have been less likely to attract speedy deletion as a blanked page, which is routine. Not a problem, though. If you need to create pages, go ahead as you did.
Ottava, the edit is now there not only for you to easily review, but any responsible editor.... Greg, you could also place a self-reverted link to the page on any relevant Wikiversity resource page, or the Talk page of an editor you expect would welcome it.
I restored (undeleted) the page, please see current text (which explains blanking). I have not restored the survey text, I simply haven't had time to review it, but my tentative impression was that it would be fine. Thanks for trying this, Greg.
Note: any registered editor may restore that text, taking responsibility for it not being disruptive. It should be a registered editor to avoid any questions of IP socking, we cannot consider IP editors, though welcome to participate, as "responsible." However, an IP may, of course, edit the page, self-reverting or otherwise. Greg, if you edit it, please do self-revert as you did with this one. Or just wait for someone to restore it (once someone has done that and is willing to stand behind the page, it won't be properly deletable without a deletion discussion. I'm really busy now with Other Stuff, but saw this, and this was the least I could do.... Thanks for your cooperation, it could prove to be very important. --Abd 18:35, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Here is another possible addition to Wikiversity. Amazing how little trouble there is coming from me, huh? -- Ethical Accountability 12:54, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
And yet another. Needless to say, this would be simplified by restoring my original account. But, I'm being patient. -- Ethical Accountability 13:08, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Congratulations. I'm unblocking you. Please don't waste the opportunity. Note to other custodians: this is a provisional unblock, resulting from observing Thekohser's patient willingness to work cooperatively under constraint. I request that he obtain a mentor from any willing custodian or other Wikiversity user acceptable to at least one custodian. I'm willing to serve if he wishes to accept me. The mentor is not a controller, but a mediator. I'm requesting that Thekohser avoid, absent mentor approval, any controversial editing, or, at least, to immediately cease action and/or argument upon reasonable (i.e., possibly reasonable) protest from any Wikiversity user, but especially from any custodian. I request that Thekohser, using the account Ethical Accountability, be allowed to edit normally, and I assume that we will, in time, and with consensus, request global unlock so that the original account can be used. I see no basis for continuing a block here. I ask that any complaints about this user be directed to me on my Talk page. Any admin may reblock, of course, but I request that there be a basis for this in recent actions, here on Wikiversity, not in ancient history or irrelevant action elsewhere. --Abd 04:07, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Eager to continue contributing, but[edit source]

I appear to be re-blocked less than six hours after a generous unblock was granted, yet no comment or notice of this re-block was placed on my User_talk page. Does Wikiversity admin policy suggest to blocking admins that they notify the blocked party of their new status? I was eager to continue adding to the scholarly research here in a more keystroke-efficient manner, but alas, this is now not (easily) possible. Adambro's action today, while presumably logically understandable, seems to defy the spirit of community consensus and (I would think) the letter of admin policy about notifying blocked users. I could be wrong on both counts, though -- who knows? -- Ethical Accountability 13:10, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Furthermore, as I went as a self-reverting IP editor today to the Survey about Wikipedia page to add that the correlation coefficient between age of respondent and time to complete the survey was 0.037026501 (essentially, no correlation), I was nastily greeted with this notice:
You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason:
Your IP address has been automatically blocked because it was used by another user, who was blocked by Adambro. The reason given is this:
Autoblocked because your IP address has been recently used by "Ethical Accountability".
The reason given for Ethical Accountability's block is: "reinstate per concerns at User talk:Abd"
* Start of block: 13:22, 22 July 2010
* Expiry of block: 13:22, 23 July 2010
* Intended blockee:
You may contact Adambro or one of the other administrators to discuss the block.
Note that you may not use the "e-mail this user" feature unless you have a valid e-mail address registered in your user preferences and you have not been blocked from using it.
Your current IP address is, and the block ID is #16844. Please include all above details in any queries you make.
You can view and copy the source of this page...
Is it suggested that I e-mail Adambro? Or, has he simply decided that IPs used with Ethical Accountability may no longer be entitled to edit Wikiversity, even if under the onus of an "immediate self-revert" restriction? I hope others can see how Abd's actions thus far have been measured and attempt to find consensus around inclusion. I similarly hope others can see how Adambro's actions thus far have been unilateral and attempt to railroad consensus around exclusion. Unless, if I read between the lines, Adambro's ambition is to dispense with our pussyfooting here, and simply jump to a community discussion of an un-locking from SUL of User:Thekohser and just put the matter to the test. My feelings aren't hurt. I'm just elaborating on how an "average" user might feel right now. Of course, I am above average, so there you go. ;-) -- Ethical Accountability 13:31, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
As I see it currently, there is neither consensus for this practice of self-reversion nor that Thekohser should be allowed to participate. As I've explained on Abd's talk page, if there is consensus that Thekohser should be able to particpate I would rather, as Thekohser has indicated above, have that being through User:Thekohser, not User:Ethical Accountability or this practice of self-reversion which I feel provides little real demonstration that an unblock is appropriate. I don't think it is appropriate for Abd to be making decisions about this without ensuring the community is on board. The rather unconventional situation, turning a blind-eye to blocked users and allowing them to create alternative accounts rather than work to get their proper account unblocked, is what requires proper discussion and community consensus. If community consensus supports allowing Thekohser to participate then it shouldn't be difficult to convince a 'crat that they should act to get around the global lock to support the community's wishes. I think some of the action here has happened too quickly and without proper discussion with the community. I see little need to rush this at the expense of ensuring things are done right. If the community decides Thekohser should particpate and he is unblocked then the situation will be much clearer and more likely to work. Thekohser is right above to suggest that my ambition here is, if the community wishes for him to participate, for this to be done properly by sorting out his regular account. I would ask for a little more patience from Thekohser to allow time to get this all discussed and sorted in a more conventional fashion. Adambro 13:57, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying, Adambro. Frankly, I tend to agree with you. However, the main problem is this: ever since the Wikiversity community has been disrupted by "the outsiders", there's not much of a local community left. As far as I can tell, the only people who have weighed in on the block (or continuation of the block) of User:Thekohser have been: Abd, Ottava Rima, JWSchmidt, Darklama (though only in passing), and yourself Adambro. Do I also count among the local community? Does Jimbo Wales? Does Mike.lifeguard? Those eight (8) individuals seem to me to comprise "the community" that has thus far shown any interest in my case, which was first raised on July 1. It is now three weeks later, and only 8 individuals have gathered any level of opinion on the matter. Might I suggest that if there is a spot on Wikiversity where more members of "the community" gather, shouldn't my request (and back-story) be advocated there, and then let's see what comes of it? Does this come down to a "vote" in the end? Are some individuals' votes more forceful than others'? Anyway, I have been mostly patient for over 500 hours now. How many more hours do you think "the community" needs to come to some sense of what constitutes justice for this particular scholar? Even a rough estimate would be fine. If you think it's going to take another 500 hours for a decision to be made, I can check back in mid-August. But, to continue "contributing" when the ultimate result may be a slap in the face to me, would be only humiliating. -- Ethical Accountability 15:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Instead of worrying about you being blocked or not, why don't you show what you would do with the information here? The whole point in giving people talk page access is not for them to dwell on their block but so they can put forth material and contribute to the community. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Ottava, I was presented with a plan or mode of operation by User:Abd, and I followed that. So, my "showing what I would do with the information" has already transpired in places outside of my User_talk page, in the Wikiversity forum itself. Some of my intended work has also been taking place at a non-WMF site called NetKnowledge. I've even provided handy links here to almost all of my "off User_talk" activity that would be appropriate for the Wikiversity environment. Are you having trouble following those links and seeing what sorts of things I'd be doing? Or, are you pushing for a different plan or mode of operation from User:Abd, and you would like for me to add content changes here to my Talk page, and that that process will somehow liberate my User:Thekohser account? -- Ethical Accountability 15:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Ottava, what do you think of this contribution versus this contribution? Which one is better for Wikiversity? Would it help you to decide if I place the content of the first contribution on my Talk page? -- Ethical Accountability
As I said, I have no problem with you spending some time demonstrating here how you can help. If you want, I can move this user talk page to another name, allowing you to put all of the content on a clean user talk page, then rename that page so it preserves the history with the content (and then move your user talk page back). Ottava Rima (talk) 16:16, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
But that doesn't sound disruptive and complicated to you? Fascinating. -- Ethical Accountability 16:30, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Slim to none[edit source]

Looks like my chances of returning to Wikiversity are fairly slim now. Maybe it's a conspiracy of "men with short beards". -- Ethical Accountability 17:10, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

It happens. My idea above about moving your user talk page, putting up a blank one for you to put up whatever content you want, then moving that out (thus, preserving the history) is up for grabs if you want it. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:47, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Ottava, do you have any assurance for me that your method will lead to any level of justice or liberation, as far as I'm concerned? If not, then what is the point of mechanically transferring content from one page to another within an environment that lacks justice and liberty? -- Ethical Accountability 18:50, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Justice and liberation are two words that have variable definitions. The only "true" Justice in the Greek sense was "Time destroys all things", thus bringing a final equality. Now, I feel that things over at were never the best for me, yet my priority there is not justice, equality, virtue or the rest, but only to produce content. So I would be accepting of a proposal like I offer to you. If you wouldn't like that, then that is your choice. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:23, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The reblocking of Thekohser by Adambro and your acceptance of that leads me to a condition of relative despair about the future of Wikiversity. I have seen no justification for the blocking of Thekohser based on his behavior at Wikiversity. As he is known as a critic of the WikiMedia Foundation, particularly Wikipedia, the block for "cross-wiki issues," whether or not actually justified, -- that is an extraordinarily complex question -- looks like a kind of retaliation, and his reblocking here then looks like an attempt to appease the WMF (though, in fact, I see no sign that the WMF itself wants Thekohser blocked, and they could certainly tell us so if they wanted to. Individual actions by stewards (the global lock) give us little or no information about an actual WMF position. The general principle that seems to hold across most WMF wikis is that users who behave locally may remain unblocked locally, and exceptions would be rare and presumably either well-justified by consensus or by emergency intervention originating with the WMF. That is not the case with Thekohser, as far as I can tell, and the reblocking by Adambro seems to assume legitimacy for a block that led to massive disruption both on Wikiversity and on meta, with the block being an example of a class of action that led to the resignation of intrusive founder tools by Jimbo.
Two positions have been expressed in this situation, both defective. First, Adambro has claimed that good behavior, i.e., some period of positive contribution, would be no proof of good behavior in the future. While that's correct, we are required by AGF to assume good behavior unless the contrary is shown. The good behavior that I encouraged, and that Thekohser cooperated with, was simply to enhance the position. As JWS has pointed out, in reality, Thekohser should have been -- and should be -- unblocked without conditions. I was simply proceeding cautiously, trying to make the situation clearer, preparing for an ultimate community consensus, hopefully, that Thekohser global account could be unlocked, as it was until May 30. No reason has been given for the action of May 30, that I could find. And I asked. The default condition for all users is "unblocked," and it should take strong evidence of misbehavior to reverse that.
The other position is yours, Ottava, that the Kohser should provide more good content, now by this cumbersome process of putting it on a user Talk page. Certainly that could be done, but it is essentially rubbing salt in wounds, emphasizing the "inferior" status of this account, which should, as far as I can tell, have no stain on it at all, at least not on Wikiversity. Thekohser, in fact, demonstrated extraordinary cooperation, by self-reverting "per block." I've seen the response of genuinely disruptive editors to such a suggestion. They won't do it, because they won't cooperate with a block or ban, period.
The issue of self-reversion and blocks is separate. The modality by which Thekohser created the good content should, for basic wiki purposes, be irrelevant, provided he did not cause disruption. There was no disruption resulting from those edits. Consider the contrast with the contemporaneous behavior of Moulton. Ottava, I'm deeply disappointed with your response here. You claim, above, to be motivated on Wikipedia by "the production of content." Fine. Self-reversion is a technique which will allow blocked and banned users to do that, without complicating ban enforcement. Absolutely, on Wikipedia, it's controversial, but that controversy was political in origin. It was not controversial when it was first proposed, and the basis of the later controversy was a dependence on whose ox was being gored. And then on the position that "a ban is a ban is a ban," i.e., no editing, though that is a violation of IAR, i.e., of the purpose of bans and all the guidelines and policies, the creation of content. Presumably good content, with minimal disruption. --Abd 23:55, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Abd, you were given temporary ops even though you had no background experience nor deep connection to this community simply so you could see what they were like when you would probably never be given them anywhere else at the WMF. If you feel that you could have a system more to your liking elsewhere, you can go and find one but I doubt they would be as generous. Thekohser owns his own Wiki system. We all know it. He doesn't -need- us, especially when his is superior to Wikipedia et al. Moulton also has his own academic system which is superior to Wikiversity. If you feel as strongly as you do above, why not seek adminship over at their projects and work with them? I am sure they would appreciate the help. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:28, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Ottava, you offered the ops, presumably for your own reasons, when I was only looking for rollback to help with vandalism patrol. You have a privileged position with respect to my usage of the tools, as my mentor, but generally you have not exercised that privilege, even though I've clearly promised to respect such action. I was not offering my acquiescence to what I see as certain of your actions that are damaging Wikiversity, nor certain of your arguments which I see as defective. As to experience, my relevant experience spans way over twenty years of on-line responsibility and activity. It's true that I've not been a sysop on a WMF wiki before (I do have ops elsewhere), but I've been a close student of how adminship works on Wikipedia and elsewhere, for about three years. So once I had the tools here, I've used them for the benefit of this project, and I'm perfectly willing to stand before this community on every usage; what you are doing now is to argue against, not my use of tools, but my position, by telling me that if I don't like Wikiversity I can go elsewhere, which must be translated to "if I don't like your position."
My position is now better informed than it was, because I've had to look at certain issues more closely, but the basic principles have not changed. Yes, I feel strongly, and I intend to advocate the position here whether or not I'm a sysop. Being a sysop is a burden, not a privilege, it has sucked in many hours of work and I'm attempting to use that for the benefit of the community and project. Wikiversity does indeed have generous defacto policies, in some cases, but my own primary work is entirely outside of wikis and this kind of crap. I am in a position to solicit and probably obtain serious participation in Wikiversity by substantial numbers of people involved with alternative education, or in other fields, but the recent disruption has caused me to postpone that, I'm not going to try to bring people into this mess until I see some stability and ability of the community to respond appropriately to crisis, and what you and certain others have been doing is far from encouraging stability, it is perpetuating conflict and disruption.
Greg, sure, if you'd like help, I'm available to a degree. But my plate is pretty full already, and, I'm sure you know that I might be, er, "critical." Some people like that, I was once flown in to Baton Rouge and put up in a very nice hotel for a conference by the main presenter because I was the only cogent critic he knew of his work, but others somehow think that avoiding criticism is helpful. I'll agree that criticism itself has its ethical responsibilities. To each his own.... In any case, you can judge for yourself how I've acted here as a custodian. I presume it would be more or less the same in a different environment. --Abd 21:57, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Edits of this user as IP, for review.[edit source]

Please confine this talk section to a list of edits made by IP and openly disclosed by this user.

Comments on self-reversion.[edit source]

Greg, please don't repeat these IP edits just to get attention for them. It could be that nobody notices them, easily. And repeating will only pick this up when someone is watching Recent Changes. So, instead, put a notice of the edit, if you think it's been overlooked, which it easily can be, on this Talk page, preferably as Ethical Accountability, but it's okay to put a note on, say, my User talk page or the user talk page of any consenting editor, as the same IP, you can create a section just for that and add diffs ready for me or anyone to examine and perhaps revert! Repeating makes it all more complicated, and the name of this game is Keep It Simple, and keep it open and perfectly transparent. Anyway, thanks for your patience and your contributions, and I hope that the inconvenience of this procedure, while better than suggesting you put content here, doesn't last long. I'll note one thing so far. That IP has not been blocked, in spite of the blinking sign that says Thekohser<--, and one or more custodians normally keen on block enforcement. Cool, eh? In spite of a little flak -- very little --, it seems to be working. Right now, no news is good news. --Abd 23:01, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I understand. The reason why I re-did that one particular edit is because I had notified someone about it by e-mail (and I even think here on this Talk page), but nothing had been done to restore it, which makes it difficult to know whether the edit had been overlooked or whether it had been rejected.
In the meantime, I have entered in another correlation coefficient. Of course, I have all of the correlation coefficients calculated, but I am using this method of "one at a time" as a demonstration of the inefficiency of keeping me subjugated as a self-reverting IP editor, rather than the community simply coming to its senses and unlocking my Thekohser account. Upon unlock of my Thekohser account, I will enter in all of the correlation data, make it look nice, and then we can begin to evaluate if there are conclusions that might be drawn from the data. You know, in the spirit of an actual, thriving educational community. -- Ethical Accountability 16:27, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
  • If you have content ready to go, contribute it. The same wikitext that could be entered by you on the page could be entered here, just edit the page as-is, then put it here, say at the bottom, after a distinctive section header. No more work for you. The extra work falls on Ottava, per his promise, but not only on him. Anyone else could see that text and utilize it, as long as you have permitted this, so add a permission at the top, and an editor copying it can refer to here, easily. But, of course, this is far more cumbersome and you have hit the nail on the head about this. But don't belabor that point.
  • You have other means open to contribute content. You can send wikitext to anyone, including me. It's up to them whether or not to contribute it, according to permissions or restrictions you provide.
  • I would not blame you at all for not wanting to put in more work for a community which is disrespecting you.
  • I'm not aware of any misbehavior of yours on Wikiversity, but it is possible that some will want to see certain assurances from you, based on, perhaps, behavior elsewhere. That's reasonable, so please do provide assurances that may be reasonable, on request. Generally, this would only be assurances that you would avoid actions that should be avoided by all editors. If you think some restriction is unfair and unequal in substance, not merely in that you are being asked to explicitly agree to it (which is unfair in a way, but not substantially), protest and don't agree, unless it really isn't important to you. There is no value in coerced agreements, they tend to fail.
  • Again, please don't reassert content. Once is enough, in situ. Self-reversion will be less acceptable, the more it complicates Recent Changes and page history. Ultimately, software may provide better solutions. And thanks for participating in this demonstration of self-reversion, which has been successful in my view, with the IP block just imposed being technically allowed but substantially improper, in that no disruptive editing was going on. Such blocks are generally allowed, in substance, because the IP editing creates cleanup and monitoring problems, but self-reversion leaves behind no cleanup, if revision deletion isn't necessary, and that no disruptive edits preceded the block shows that Adambro hasn't a clue as to why rules are the way they are, and that's dangerous in a custodian. Hopefully, he'll learn. --Abd 18:39, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Adambro disapproves[edit source]

It would appear that Adambro disapproves of Abd's suggested method of self-reversion of IP editing.
16:22, 30 July 2010 Adambro (Talk | contribs) blocked (Talk) with an expiry time of 1 week (anonymous users only, account creation disabled) ‎ (Cross-wiki disruptive editing: block evasion by User:Thekohser, shouldn't be editing by proxy)

What now, Abd? What now, Ottava? -- Ethical Accountability 17:11, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I gave you a plan. You stated that you were afraid of your attribution from being removed. That was why I offered you a plan that allowed you to have your name registered in the history and wouldn't be too hard. Instead, you started using an IP which does not give you any real attribution. That makes me think that you don't really care about attribution at all. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:13, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
You couldn't be more wrong, "Ottava". I found your plan to be awkward and cumbersome, not to mention disruptive and too-heavily reliant on one person taking care to evaluate and transfer content. Thus, I chose the IP plan offered by your mentee, as it was less awkward, less cumbersome, less disruptive, and more open to any person taking care to evaluate and restore content. As for caring about attribution, the WHOLE POINT of this process is to return to a point where I am editing Wikiversity with my named account ("Thekohser") such that I receive full attribution of the excellent work and reputation that I will build. That you fail to recognize such a simple fact leads me to believe that you might be acting out of "sour grapes" that I opted for your mentee's approach rather than your own. Now, Ottava, are you saying that a mandatory condition of your ever supporting my unlocked "Thekohser" account editing Wikiversity is that this account create good content in User space, which you will then move to project space? If that is the mandatory condition, then let me politely state for the record that I do not wish to re-enter Wikiversity under that proviso. I have stated plenty of reasons why it is unacceptable to me, not to mention you have shown a public history of "moving the goal posts" on others, and I'm not willing to kick field goals with you under the crossbar. -- Ethical Accountability 17:29, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
The only thing I would be involved in doing is the deletion of redirects. You could move the pages yourself and any other admin could delete the redirects. I think an IP can move pages but I could be wrong. And I do it for my own stuff quite regularly. Its your loss, but it would be the way that 1. preserves your account name in the history and the diffs, 2. can't be a way to say that you "went around the block" as it would be done within the limitations of the block and 3. allows you to produce the content. I think it is rather ingenious. You wont be unblocked or unlocked anytime soon, but this would be a way to have content within the rules so when it comes down to the next time people weigh positive and negative contributions, it would be positive. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:57, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
P.S., I have to pound down on the "t" to get it to work. It is a laptop, so you can't just replace the keys or keyboard. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:00, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm confused. So you'd have Ethical Accountability evade the block by editing in his user space, which would require IP editing, unless blocked editors can still edit in their user space (I'd surely like to know if that's true, but the block interface implies otherwise.) And then you'd have him move the page to mainspace? IP users apparently can't move pages. What if it is an existing page with edits by others? Should he copy it to his user space and edit it? What if someone else then edits it in the meantime? There would be a fork. How is this any better than just editing a page, in-place, as IP, with disclosure and, even better, self-reversion, until and unless unblocked, in which case he'd use Ethical Accountability, or, later, after global unlock, Thekohser? We lose nothing by allowing and encouraging this, because he could do it whether we permit it or not, except, of course, if we vigorously enforce the block with IP blocks and range blocks for harmless edits, self-reverted, he'd lose all incentive for cooperating and making it easy for us. Ottava, if you will look at his self-reverted edits, they have the account name in the history, because he writes it in the summary. It's simple and straightforward and non-disruptive. I can see no reason for you to insist on this more complex and cumbersome procedure, which still involves technical block evasion, except "not my way," and that seems to be a huge problem here. I hope that we can move beyond that.
In one way, though, your proposal is appropriate. If he creates a page, doing it in his user space (probably the space of Thekohser would be best), if that is possible (is there a pagename blacklisting?), or otherwise in this user space, could be best, and the page can be moved as part of the review, and self-reversion might not be needed for that original creation, because of the location. It's still technical block evasion. But not disruptive. --Abd 01:07, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

I think this little experiment has run its course. Abd wanted to see whether you would comply with his instructions and make some useful contributions. That seems to be the case. However, I don't conclude from that, as I wouldn't from the way Ottava suggests you contribute, that a few useful contributions means an unblock would be appropriate. I'm unconvinced that offering to unblock someone if they make a few useful contributions is a particularly useful way of determining whether someone should be unblocked. I don't doubt the ability of Thekohser to make useful contributions so any demonstration whilst blocked that he can do so doesn't help me. The question is whether any useful contributions would be overshadowed by other issues. Unfortunately it seemed that Abd wasn't really that interested in discussing some of the concerns that I raised. To conclude, this editing by proxy, whether by Abd's or Ottava's methods is pretty pointless. As I've said, I appreciate that Thekohser has the ability to make useful contributions and I'm not aware that anyone has suggested otherwise. Therefore, I suggest we just assume that Thekohser is able to make useful contributions and instead focus on discussing some of the behaviour concerns I've raised. We can have a community discussion about those concerns and any others and decide whether it would be appropriate to unblock. If there is consensus to do so then a 'crat should act to deal with the lock on Thekohser's account so he can edit properly. Adambro 17:49, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Greg, it takes time to address a situation that is entrenched in administrative intransigence. Adambro's position isn't completely off-the-wall, though it's surely incorrect. Adambro, basic principle: do not prohibit what you cannot control. Keep your eye on what improves the project and protects the community, as distinct from narrow "rule enforcement," and, in this case, and in another, you are enforcing imaginary rules, ignoring fundamental policy. The IP block you issued is technically correct and substantially wrong, and that's part of a series of administrative gaffes that are creating or maintaining damage to this project. There is substantial discontent with this, but Wikiversity has not learned how to establish cascading consensus, and so we are highly vulnerable to the quirks and whims of a few custodians. All this can be fixed with time, and will. Adambro, you can be part of the future or you can be trampled by it. Your choice. You are setting up a no-win situation. Start looking for win-win solutions, or you will become irrelevant.
Again, Greg, I urge patience, allow the situation to unfold. You can still make positive contributions if you want, and I can still assist that, I don't need admin tools at all. Patience will always trump stupid obstacles, they are like silly putty.
Adambro, you want examination of behavior by Thekohser. Can you point me to any Wikiversity examples of problem behavior by Thekohser? If there are such, I'd be handling this situation very differently, and, in any case, I unblocked this account, understanding that I'd watch the account closely for misbehavior, as could others. The concept of some kind of default condition ("blocked") that requires a community consensus before lifting it is not sound wiki policy unless there has been already serious discussion and consensus on a block, and, as you know, there was no such consensus here, and substantial fear about the sky falling if we dare to unblock. It's clear to me that if we allow improper editing here, and do not address it, there could be intervention from outside, but aside from that, no. There was no risk from leaving this account free to edit in a trial interrupted by your action. None. And there is ongoing danger of disruption if we, without clear cause, keep it blocked. Please unblock and wait for actual problems before reblocking. Better, recuse and leave that decision to others unless there is an actual emergency. --Abd 18:26, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
"Can you point me to any Wikiversity examples of problem behavior by Thekohser?" I have previously expressed my concerns but you seemed to simply brush them aside. You weren't particularly interested I felt. His talk page provides some useful background, you can of course review his contributions yourself, and you can consider his comments on Wikipedia Review which might provide a feel for his attitude which you may or may not wish to consider as part of your assessment of the appropriateness of an unblock. Adambro 18:41, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Adambro. You are revealing more of the problem. Wikipedia Review? Are you claiming that a Wikiversity participant should be blocked because of opinions or "attitudes" expressed on Wikipedia Review, which is kind of like the local bar, a place where everyone can let their hair down and speak freely. That includes Wikipedia Arbitrators, high-level functionaries, and, yes, Thekohser and Moulton. And myself, by the way. Will I be next to be blocked for something I've said there? Can you imagine a university administrator expelling a student or teacher because the person gave a strident or even offensive speech in a local bar? I know exactly what would happen, Adambro. The administrator would quite likely be fired, because the Board would prefer that to a strike by the students or faculty, who tend to look dimly on attempts to restrict their freedom of speech, most strongly when those attempts reach off-campus. I read your comments on my Talk page, you can be sure, and I just re-read them. No misbehavior by Thekohser or Ethical Accountability was cited there. On User talk:Thekohser, I see no evidence that this user was warned for misbehavior here, or elsewhere, for that matter. There was no block notice, even. Adambro, you are out on a limb, busy sawing it off. I suggest you stop and take a deep breath and start to notice the environment and the rest of us. The only "offense" cited there is block evasion, which is a status offense and which should never be used to justify the underlying block. If the evading edits themselves, confirmed as his, were actually offensive (rather than a normal protest against being blocked or other abuse), that might be different. Those edits were openly disclosed and were not the kind of evading sock puppetry that causes serious problems. It was not necessary for you to waste the time of a checkuser, and cutting off Talk page access because of socking was way overkill, the opposite of measured response and yet another example of why you should have been recusing, not insisting on personally keeping this user blocked. --Abd 00:46, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
It seems I'm wasting my time, just as I felt I was before when you weren't interested in discussing Thekohser's behaviour. You seem quick to dismiss any concerns and not interested in having a serious discussion about them. Of course I don't think Wikipedia Review should be taken too seriously but some of his comments there do relate to his actions on Wikiversity and perhaps indicate his motivation for wanting to get unblocked. Students, in your example, regularly get disciplined for behaviour off-campus because it can sometimes bring the university into disrepute so I'm not convinced by the suggestion that what Wikiversity users say and do elsewhere shouldn't be taken into account in situations like this. If say, in a similar situation, someone made off-wiki a clear threat that if they were unblocked they would go on a vandalism spree, would you not take that into consideration? I would hope so. It all helps build up a clearer picture about an individual. I must say I'm rather unconvinced by what seems to be a suggestion that we should consider his edits whilst evading his block to be legitimate protest because they weren't, you suggest, actually offensive. Its a shame that instead of properly considering my concerns you want to brush them aside. Adambro 10:49, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
detailed response, why WR is irrelevant outside of emergency action, why this situation is important, etc.
Adambro, I was "interested" in discussing Thekohser's behavior, but only his on-wiki behavior, at this wiki. The block reason of "cross-wiki issues" was invented to cover expansion of rapid disruption across wikis, i.e., a vandal. However, like many wiki inventions, such as the spam blacklist, it's easily abused to prevent criticism or, perhaps in rare cases, to pursue personal agendas. The general result of the disruption in March was to disconnect the individual wikis, to disapprove of central decision-making about problematic users, except with high consensus, and there was no high consensus on the blocking of Thekohser, he was explicitly unblocked at a number of WMF projects, such as de.wikipedia. An isolated decision, not discussed openly, led to the global lock of Thekohser on May 30. That could be challenged at meta, but first, my opinion, local consensus should be obtained. The general principle is that if a user contains allegedly disruptive behavior, they may enjoy free contribution at any WMF wiki. Ottava Rima is banned from en.wikipedia, but he is an active custodian here. I could claim that he is repeated here behavior that was seen on Wikipedia, and on Wikipedia Review, but I will not. He should be judged solely on his behavior here, and that principle is extremely important.
I have followed much of Thekohser's writing on Wikipedia Review and I see no sign there of true disruptive intention. He is a critic of WMF ethics. So am I and so are many others, up to and including functionaries, and, my guess, properly engaged, Jimbo himself. We have a problem. Now, what do we do about it? Excluding critics qua critics is not the answer. Allowing unrestrained criticism with no ethical guidelines is also not the answer. Developing guidelines, with wide participation, and then encouraging projects to adopt those guidelines, is the answer I suggest. There is only one project where the study of wikis is appropriate, and that is Wikiversity, because of the allowance of original research. This is the place for it. But if the major critics are excluded, per se, the study will be deficient. On the other hand, if they are included and unrestrained, and allowed to cause direct damage to other projects through improper criticism, what can amount to personal harassment, we will see -- and quite properly so -- WMF intervention, through stewards or staff.
To judge Thekohser's intentions here through his behavior on Wikipedia Review is a complex judgment, way too complex for an individual custodian to assess and base custodial action on, without risking a mere imposition of personal disaffection or dislike. Custodial actions are not the deliberated decisions of a court, and possibly controversial actions fall into two categories: ad-hoc decisions for the protection of the community, or implementation of deliberated decisions. (In standard police work, this would be original arrest, or later implementation of a court order.) There has been no process on-wiki regarding Thekohser, ending with consensus for a block, therefore your actions maintaining the block of Thekohser are in the first category. That category should always be tentative, not firm (a police officer cannot lock someone up and throw away the key, but only inhibit freedom of action pending trial, and where police action simply excludes a person from a place without actual personal arrest, it is up to the excluded person to complain and request reversal either from the officer, other police, or the courts), and should not involve wheel-warring except under the most dire emergencies. You will notice that I did not contest your reblock of Thekohser by again unblocking. That would have been wheel-warring. But because you had previously acted to block Thekohser, you were thus involved, maintaining your own opinion, and your reblock was thus wheel-warring. Ottava had the right to undo my unblock, without wheel-warring, a special privilege due to the conditions of my probationary custodianship. You did not wait for that, and I don't know if he'd have done it or not. What was the emergency justifying your use of tools while involved? There was no disruptive editing. There was not even continued illegitimate socking. (An alternate account used under supervision, as was this account, is not "illegitimate," nor is IP editing, per se.) What was done was something that could be attempted with any blocked account, and it was an important aspect of this affair to establish that, leading to something much closer to what JWS earnestly desires and has been banging at for two years. JWS does not understand the need for protection, but it seems that some don't understand the need to avoid censorship, some think that "academic freedom" is some kind of disruptive joke allowing clowns to take over. It's not. It's so important that some people are willing to literally go to jail for it. Self-reversion set up a way for a blocked editor to do two things: demonstrate a willingness to be cooperative under difficult conditions -- it is not easy to be cooperative when people are impugning your motives and excluding you -- and make positive contributions, and, after all, positive contributions are the entire goal of allowing public editing. If we are willing to tolerate IP editing, with a constant need for supervision and a high incidence of vandalism, surely we can tolerate self-reversion as IP by a blocked editor, which leaves behind no mess to clean up. *We cannot stop the editing itself, except by massive and inefficient effort, so why not elicit the cooperation of the blocked editor?* It is trivial to see that an edit has been self-reverted and requires no review, we can safely trust that if there is something in the edit which is harmful (outing would be an example), someone will complain. Self-reversion provides so much benefit, at so low a cost, that it should really be a no-brainer, except for one thing: some people actually do want to censor what is contributed. That is why I pointed out, recently, how the Colloquium was protected to stop "IP socking" when there was no disruptive socking, only reasonably positive criticisms, by an identified person (IP but not anonymous). Had that person been self-reverting, there would have been no need for custodial action at all. This is why I want to encourage self-reversion. It's a device used on Wikipedia even for unblocked editors making what they know might be controversial, w:WP:BRD includes self-reversion. (BRD editing can be done under revert war conditions, it's completely allowed, where simply making the edit without self-reversion would be prohibited.) Efficient way to propose an edit for discussion, far more efficient than just talking about it first. Even without making any other compromise or promise, if Moulton were to self-revert, then JWS or anyone else could review the edits and decide whether or not they were acceptable, thus efficiently gaining positive contributions with far lower risk of disruptive contributions. (If JWS or anyone were to revert in something truly offensive, he would be responsible for that, and could be warned and blocked himself.)
This is innovative, to be sure. However, the only custodians who have even questioned self-reversion have been you and Ottava, both involved in trying to maintain the highly controversial blocks originally made by Jimbo. The Moulton block is more complicated because a ban was, in fact, discussed, and could be argued to be legitimate. (Thus, I agree, unsupervised unblock should be discussed before being done; when I unblocked Caprice, it was an aspect of it that I understood my obligation for close supervision, and it was quite possible, given Moulton's habits, that I'd have reblocked quickly. Or not. I see signs that Moulton was beginning to consider positive cooperation, and, off-wiki, he is, for the first time, AFAIK, inviting negotiation. (Jimbo tried to negotiate with him, apparently sincerely and respectfully, I'll note, and Moulton did not respect the effort -- or chose to make a point by being defiant.) But with whom can he negotiate? Ideally, and most simply, with the last blocking admin, or with any other admin willing to consider unblocking under the circumstances. It's impossible to negotiate clearly with a vague community, which is why wiki structure always sets up a supervising individual, even though this is not widely understood. A closer of any discussion can always reverse the decision, based on new evidence or considerations, the view that a decision based on a community discussion cannot be reversed without another community discussion is highly defective and incorrect, as shown by the fact that a closer can originally close opposite to even a strong majority !vote. What a closer could originally do, the closer could later do upon reconsideration. And then there is a single individual with whom a blocked editor can negotiate, without any issue of wheel-warring or necessity for massive, contentious, wide-ranging argument.
We really do need a Wiki Studies department, it's important that how wikis work -- and don't work -- become better understood, and there is no better place in the world to do this than here. And this would bring in a great deal of highly knowledgeable participation, all by itself. But, of course, guidelines are needed, and better process overall.
This is why I considered it progress that you and Ottava reblocked Thekohser and Moulton. You are now single individuals with whom a blocked editor can negotiate. But are you the right individuals for that job? Recusal policy would suggest not. There are many ways out of this dilemma. The easiest and most universally applicable would be for you to transfer the right of decision to another custodian, being trusted by you to make a reasonably sensible decision in your place. The deepest solution would be to find such a custodian or other arbitrator who was mutually agreeable to you and the blocked editor. This is, Adambro, how to resolve disputes, as distinct from just making a personal decision. When disputes are resolved, there is no continued disruption. While it takes work, it is, in the long run, far more efficient. Custodians should act to resolve disputes, not merely to attempt to bury them.
You mentioned that students are "regularly disciplined" for off-campus behavior. That's true. However, consider the application of the analogy. The general rule, per privacy policy, is that off-wiki behavior is off-limits for discussion on-wiki. There are exceptions, but they are all hazardous, as far as I've seen. Thus necessity must be shown. The most common is off-wiki harassment, more than simply incivility or taunting, such as attempting to harm a person's employment. I saw an egregious abuse of consideration of off-wiki behavior in the Eastern European Mailing List case before ArbComm, last year I think it was. Someone hacked or improperly revealed an archive of posts to the EEML list. This was illegal, but ArbComm, for reasons of its own (improper, in my opinion, seriously wrong-headed, but based on knee-jerk response to an appearance of canvassing or cabal-like cooperation exercising power, all of which could have been considered without reference to off-wiki evidence) decided to use the archive evidence, and it was clear that the motive was 'exemplary punishment,' to attempt to prevent 'off-wiki coordination,' while, in fact, there is plenty of off-wiki coordination, it is routinely accepted if those collaborating are part of the oligarchy. That evidence was quite like the evidence available from Wikipedia Review. Mere talk, without actual on-wiki abuse, was conflated into an image of some conspiracy to control Wikipedia. One of the best administrators, without any serious on-wiki behavior, lost his tools. This was an academic, with published papers on Wikipedia, very favorable, but ... not understanding how the process could break down politically. Come to think of it, I'll invite him to participate here. Highly experienced, and very cautious and careful about recusal. The worst action he took, supposedly improperly based on list discussion, was the lightest possible, semiprotection of an article under revert warring by IP editors, and registered editors from an opposing faction took over and then the article was quickly full protected independently.
If a student were disciplined for merely criticizing the university administration off-campus, or stating there that he intends to submit papers in classes, or speak up in classes, protesting administration action or policies, you could see a strike or riot. And that is the situation that is analogous. From the arguments you have given here, I'm very clear that you should have recused, and that if you do not recuse, you should be restricted in the use of your tools, or should lose them. I have not begun, beyond warning you a few times, process to enforce this. You could avoid all this by simply doing the right thing: recuse. Stop being the enforcer of these blocks. I've written extensively on recusal policy. If you sincerely believe that emergency conditions require the continued block of Thekohser, you do not need to unblock, but because you wheel-warred to implement this block, your judgment of emergency will be another aspect of this that will be questioned. I'm not unexperienced in this, Adambro, I want you to take this seriously. I know how to organize and obtain effective deliberation with unorganized groups, I've guided chaotic conventions of highly contentious people in to rapid and efficient consensus process. I takes work, and I don't always have the time. But I'm in this for the long run.
Because I am no longer a custodian, for the time being, anyway, I cannot take responsibility for direct action in supervising Thekohser. But as a user, I can promise to request custodian action if Thekohser misbehaves and does not stop immediately upon warning, and I would watch his contributions and so act. But I really don't think there will be problems, beyond possibly an occasional need for warning, if that. There is valuable work to be done here, in important areas, and Thekohser will be an important participant, and he won't want to trash that by rash incivility, for example. Hence,
Please unblock Ethical Accountability. You may set any specific conditions you consider necessary, but be careful, please do not set conditions that require him to refrain from legitimate conduct. And unless there is a true emergency, do not touch this account, or Thekohser, with your tools again unless such action is supported by consensus or is clearly not inimical. There are other custodians far less involved and attached. If you unblock, it will not be necessary to review your behavior with respect to this, Wikiversity has far more important work to be done than to go over what has become moot. Wikis do not properly punish, they only protect, on-going. Word to the wise. --Abd 17:08, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Greg, I recommend that you put up an unblock template. Be patient, and good luck. Keep it simple, I think you know the ropes, what an unblocking custodian would want to see. --Abd 05:00, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

The kohser unblocked[edit source]

As a result of this discussion, Thekohser was unblocked. This account is an acknowledged sock of Thekohser, and if he wishes this account unblocked, he may so request. I will request that Adambro unblock. This account appears to be globally locked, so if it is to be used, a rename process may be needed, requiring a 'crat to act. --Abd 00:23, 18 August 2010 (UTC)