The eighty+ Wikipedians who gave a testimonial to Jytdog

Editors, Admins and Bureaucrats Oh my!
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The eighty+ Wikipedians who gave a testimonial to Jytdog

Post by CrowsNest » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:57 pm

I was amused to see this in the Wikipedia newsletter...... ... 1-31/Essay

On 3 December 2018 with over 188,000 edits since 2008, COIN expert Jytdog scrambled his password and left. The details of his retirement are a separate issue but over 80 testimonials in recognition of his work demonstrate that his efforts to keep the encyclopedia clean are almost irreplaceable.
The details of his retirement are that this supposed expert thought it would be a good idea to trawl a Wikipedia editor's edits, in an effort to figure out their phone number, so he could call them up out of the blue and berate them for damaging Wikipedia with their COI edits.

This was such a dumb move, it was one of those cases where the Wikipedians struggled to even find a specific policy that says don't do it, because frankly nobody thought anyone would be stupid enough to do it.

This so called expert was stupid enough, and he high tailed it out of Wikipedia once it dawned on him that it had been noticed by others that it was part of a pattern of dumb behaviour of similar seriousness, and therefore it was highly likely he would receive a topic ban from COI or even a year long site ban once he came out the other side of a disciplinary procedure that had already been initiated, but was then mooted by his cowardice.

So there you have it. Now you know precisely why you can't separate the details of his retirement and whether or not be was a "COI expert" who was "almost irreplaceable", I urge you to review the names of the over eighty editors who, in Kudpung's words, gave this guy a testimonial. If you ever find yourself dealing with them, remember what they said about the loss of Jytdog, and more importantly, what they didn't say.

As I said at the time.....
If you want to truly understand the Wikipedia community, you need to see for yourself just how many people reacted to this by doing one or more of the following things:

-ignored the seriousness of Jytdog's behaviour
-acknowledged but downplayed his bad behaviour
-ignored the likely outcome of that Arbitration Case (or wished it would go differently)
-remembered Jytdog for only his good works
-cast Jytdog as a victim of others
-urged him to just come back as a sock

Very few people, a literal handful, reacted to this the way a normal well balanced human being should, the sort of person you would happily entrust the building of a volunteer driven encyclopedia to, one where it theoretically matters when people have serious and persistent errors of judgement regarding their most serious policies (the prevention of Wikipedia generated harm on people's lives), and where there is theoretically a system of rules and norms to prevent it.

By all means, thank him for his positive contributions and express hope he might one day return (legitimately), but do not pretend like what he has done wasn't of the upmost seriousness, stuff which isn't really wiped out by good contributions (and there is a case to be made that this entire Wikipedia philosophy of allowing people to bank good edits so as to offset bad ones is morally bankrupt). And absolutely don't pretend like he doesn't have a case to answer, that he wasn't realistically facing a site ban, or worst of all, pretend that somehow he can just sneak back in (amazing how many people told told him to just totally violate the policy they arguably do hold most important - sock-puppetry).

It should disturb you even more, to realise how many of those people doing those things, are Administrators or higher, the so called trusted members of the community, the ones who exist to represent their principles and uphold the policies. The problem goes right to the very top, because their system of promotion doesn't select people based on things the real world considers admirable qualities. It seems to go completely over these people's heads that Jytdog never would have passed RfA, even in their screwy system where people happily give tremendous weight to the good things he did.

It was also remarkable how many people turned out to ONLY express sadness for Jytdog, showing no regard for his victims at all, much less his impact on Wikipedia as a whole. Even Jytdog recognised he has done both individuals and the community wrong, and needed to face the consequences. His supporters, not so much. Sick.

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