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Tortuous justifications for incivility 
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A thread to document some of the more extraordinary ways Wikipedians (specifically Wikipedia Administrators) have found to explain away the existence of the WP:CIVIL policy, to justify their own and their flock's obvious and lamentable inability to maintain a professional working environment.

And before any wise-ass points it out, yes, I know I am often incivil myself (I was just then, see), and no, if you actually think about it, it doesn't undermine the point being made. I choose to be incivil to add emphasis and demonstrate my anger, accepting the fact I am an adult and can restrain myself if asked and indeed if required - you will note the rules here explicitly warned you to expect "unpleasant speech". So, unlike Wikipedia, you can't say you weren't fucking warned!

First example up is this spectacularly circular example of circular logic...
Quote:
Foul language (when used generally) is not any sort of major offence. We always encourage users to use civil language, but we're not censored and editors are allowed to use whatever language they feel best conveys their feelings. Assuming, of course, they are remaining civil. Primefac (talk) 15:51, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
That was how Administrator Primefac summarily shut down a user's complaint that editor Winged Blades of Godric was rude in this post placed in an article talk page......
Quote:
I would be very willing to know....Why the fuck, an encyclopedia cares, who the director dedicated the film to, unless that has been covered by other reliable-media and/or has some special significance?! We aren't a storehouse of useless trivia or a data-dump?....Best,~ Winged Blades Godric 11:47, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
Not sure why he included the last question mark, but it's pretty clear there cannot be any reason for using this sort of foul language to convey such a trivial query.

If editors said fuck every time they made this rather banal observation about a standard (albeit stupid) interpretation of how one best demonstrates encyclopedic worth of a detail lodged in the Wikipedia scribble book, well, that's a lot of fucks. Mr Winged obviously has other quite unrelated issues on his plate to have felt the need here, over and above the sort of day to day stress and questioning of one's self-worth and life choices that being a highly active Wikipedia editor like him induces.

A nice touch is that he appears to be one of these people who uses an automatic signature to convey his "Best" to those he is talking to. Needless to say, he should probably reflect on that. Unsurprisingly, he's never been blocked, and a cursory check reveals no warnings for bad language on his talk page. On Wikipedia, this is indeed a perfectly normal way to speak.

Even though, if Primefac was being honest, he'd have correctly represented Wikipedia's civility policy as "a widely accepted standard that all editors should normally follow" and recognised that it defines the use of gross profanity as something that "can contribute to an uncivil environment". Oh, and that in general, it requires editors to "always treat each other with consideration and respect" and behave "politely, calmly and reasonably, even during heated debates." And finally that WP:NOTCENSORED refers only to the content of articles, not editor's speech, which, as anyone knows, is explicitly not protected by the First Amendment.

About all Primefac was correct on, was the fact an editor is unlikely to be blocked for one mere utterance of "fuck". If reported however, it is not supposed to be ignored or excused, it is meant to be acknowledged for what it is, and the editor reminded of what WP:CIVIL says, and ideally, if not seeking to be marked out as a potential problem user, give some indication they accept it and will try to do better.


Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:10 am
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Here is a pretty classic example of the ways Wikipediots often find to ignore/excuse rank incivility.

It's easier to just read it all rather than me trying to explain it. Here's the sequence of events....

1. Edit warring at Adolf Eichmann

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =833192960

(and the next nine edits)

2. Edit warring report

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... t:_Blocked)

3. Edit warring at User talk:Beyond My Ken

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =833343325

(and the next five edits)

4. AN/I report

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... _complaint

5. Stupidity

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =833369207

(the last four sections)

Believe me, it is well worth a read, as it really does open your eyes to their mindset, or serve as a reminder to us experienced critics how bad they get, even on seemingly routine matters.

This wasn't a one time failure, several editors had chances to do the right thing, and they all failed. But particular fault lies with Administrator Cullen, for his remarkable ability to find ways to downplay the conduct of the attackers (Beyond My Ken and LegacyPac) by finding supposedly equal misconduct by the reporter (InternetMeme), or just plain ignoring stuff.

It will be obvious to people who read it all, that at no point do InternetMeme's violations exceed those of his attackers, and he actually makes a very good point about edit warring - why should he treat edits which are merely knee jerk reverts that call him an idiot, as if they're legitimate and must be discussed?

Cullen is right that it doesn't matter if you're right when edit warring, it is still edit warring, but he certainly seems to be giving the attackers the benefit of the doubt as far as them feeling justified to attack and generally be rude, given Cullen seems to agree with them on the content issue.

The whole incident is also noteworthy for the fact InternetMeme was clearly right on the content issue, and seemingly none of the Wikipedians can see it, either denying it existed, or wanted to ignore the whole thing because they see the task of refining their text's readability as somehow pointless, let alone worth edit warring over. BMK, who somehow manages to do both, even fixes the issue, while still claiming there was no issue. The link to "oath of loyalty" is clearly inducing readers to click it to figure out why it exists, in violation of EGG, and BMK does exactly what is required to fix an EGG link, by adding context ("to Hitler").

Worthy of special mention is this line by BMK (which is naturally rude and dismissive).....[quote]Who the hell cares if something is an WP:EASTEREGG if it conveys the necessary information to the reader?[/quote]The whole point of EGG is ensuring the proper conveyance of information. Does he just not get this, or does he really expect readers to click every damn link on a page?

This from Dave Dial was also particularly nasty.....[quote]Frankly, I don't even know why you're editing on the project. Your edits seem all very pointy and not constructive. Your insistence on trivial matters while reverting other, established editors is disruptive. Stop it.[/quote]InternetMeme acquitted himself admirably with by his riposte though.....[quote]And don't worry: You don't have to know why I'm editing on this project. We probably have very different priorities, and it's therefore quite possible I woudln't see the point in many of your edits. As another established editor, I also get frustrated when other editors undo my work.[/quote]Unsurprisingly, Dave wasn't seen again.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:00 pm
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Here's a great one......

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =834357177

Quote:
Springee states that he or she is asking "only that the accusations etc stop", so let's consider accusations that have been made. (1) Springee has a history of wanting the removal of negative information relating to gun supporters in the United States. Legacypac regards that as editing to support a point of view, and uses the word "whitewashing" to describe it. Legacypac has a perfect right to hold that view, and it is not reasonable to attempt to suppress his or her right to express the opinion.
My bolding. No such rights exist, obviously, and this is well established wikilaw....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia ... aspersions

Not only is it not feasible that an eight year veteran would make such an oversight, it's unbelievable given the rest of the report shows he is fully aware if this aspect of wikilaw, in other contexts. The only conclusion then, is that he made it up, so as to not have to sanction or even curtail the behaviour. This reeks of an unspoken bias. This is why people come away from Wikipedia thinking the system is rigged, and to the benefit of the liberati. The compete lack of respect for due process and equal treatment. Not that Wikipedia has any such codified judicial principles, as they will proudly tell you, but for this sort if insidious incivility, their rules are clear.

As an aside, isn't it interesting that Legacypac has a habit of casting aspersions, has an interest in gun control, and is a fan of Lightbreather's work?


Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:59 am
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The "justification", if that's the right word, is perfectly clear, and indeed expressed more or less clearly in some of these exchanges. The whole concept of "consensus" and "ignore all rules", means precisely the following. On Wikipedia and the other projects, you can do whatever you can get away with, neither more nor less. There are no rules to rely on, and no means of enforcing any rules. It is mob rule and "Lord of the Flies", nothing else. The words that Wikipedians utter appear to have meaning in ordinary language, but they do not. They are utterances, resembling natural languages, but devoid of its content -- they are exactly manoeuvres to gain advantage in the never-ending fight for survival and dominance.


Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:25 pm
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Habitually rude editor Davey2010 is being complained about at AN/I, and the way the report is being handled is eliciting all the usual excuses, creative and otherwise, for why his behaviour isn't a problem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia ... vey2010_(2)

Believe it or not, but this moron has been a Wikipedia Administrator since December 2016.......so much for the high standards supposedly demanded at RfA in recent years.
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Addendum Apparently the gratuitous use of gutter language is considered WP:UNCIVIL. I stand very happily corrected. -Ad Orientem (talk) 15:51, 30 April 2018 (UTC)


Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:09 am
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CrowsNest wrote:
Habitually rude editor Davey2010 is being complained about at AN/I, and the way the report is being handled is eliciting all the usual excuses, creative and otherwise, for why his behaviour isn't a problem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia ... vey2010_(2)

Believe it or not, but this moron has been a Wikipedia Administrator since December 2016.......so much for the high standards supposedly demanded at RfA in recent years.
Quote:
Addendum Apparently the gratuitous use of gutter language is considered WP:UNCIVIL. I stand very happily corrected. -Ad Orientem (talk) 15:51, 30 April 2018 (UTC)


A suggestion. When pointing to a discussion page that is frequently archived, use a permanent link. Otherwise the link becomes almost useless, quickly. As well, something is broken, the link is missing a final ")" Here it is, for future generations and using URL code:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=839207367#Davey2010_(2)

This was oh-so-typical. Apparently female editor complains about "swearing" and asserts that the "F" word is uncivil. Immediately a user pops up with
Quote:
Nah, fuck that. Editors regularly cuss shit out. Its incivility when directed towards individuals, not just because he said "fuck". If it isn't clear: "fuck off" (referring to an article, not an editor), "tough fucking shit" and "fuckssake" are not examples of incivility. Of your other diffs, "idiot" is the only genuine incivility to be found. Mr rnddude (talk) 09:24, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Wikepedia's definition of incivility can be quite crude. "Fuck off" is, however, clearly uncivil, and the complainant confronted that stupidity. A more polite form would be "Don't bother me!" -- which is still uncivil! But to basement dwellers.... Gotta think about the basement dwellers, our most valuable volunteers. Who needs women, the precious snowflakes? If they don't like our clubhouse, they can go fuck themselves!
(Go girl, Celia! I hope you find a better community to enjoy, because Wikipedia is an endless opportunity to interact with the opposite end of the digestive tract. The ones who swear are actually not the worst.)

Mr rnddude gets reamed, but not where it counts. No warning on his Talk page, which is the bare minimum for an actual warning with any kind of teeth. Otherwise it vanishes into the noise.
Davey2010 tells Celia to go do something useful, and makes a series of excuses as to why he was frustrated or angry. In other words, "fuck off!" It's the attitude that is uncivil, and words only express attitude. Davey2010 has not gotten the message, is utterly unrepentant.
Celia is not intimidated.
Quote:
Both these responses are a variety of 'I can offend you, but please don't offend me'. If it's not acceptable for me to say a comparatively weakly worded statement that offends; why is it acceptable to make a much stronger one? Celia Homeford (talk) 14:07, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Mr rnddude's response is simply beyond the pale, and that this took place on AN with nobody warning him is appalling, demonstrating that Wikipedia is not safe for normal women, only for a few.
The close is useless feel-good:
Quote:
Davey2010 will get a grip on his language and save us all from future threads like this. Recognizing you have a problem with your temper is good, taking steps to prevent the problem from affecting our collaborative working environment is better before too many editors get fed up. --NeilN talk to me 04:55, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Nobody was formally warned, and Davey2010 still has a clean block log. While Davey went through the motions of some sort of vague regret, it was pointed out that he had no clear intention to change his behavior, and he continued to imply that there was something wrong with those criticizing him. He will predictably fail, it's almost clockwork, though sometimes people do more or less spontaneously mature out of a behavior. Nobody actually took action, other than the complainants, who learned that complaint is next to useless. Davey2010 appears to have misrepresented his own history (or at least didn't understand it, which then contradicts other representations.)

The structure is defective, with no reliable mechanisms for enforcing policy -- and policies that remain terminally vague (and clarifying policy so that community response becomes predictable is opposed as "instruction creep." There is no understanding of the benefits of rule of law. Rule of law does not negate flexibility, it creates predictability. And without predictabilty, what do we have?

A wiki! When a wiki becomes large without creating clear and reliable decision-making methods, it is a quick way to waste years of effort accomplishing very little of genuine value. Yes, the encyclopedia is useful, in part, but it's sitting on the crossroads, preventing the creation of what could be far more reliable and far less abusive.


Tue May 01, 2018 6:36 pm
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The messages and comments made by Ceoil in response were also uncivil. So long as neither of these issues continue moving forward, administrative action is not necessary - consider it a "bump in the road" and an opportunity to learn positively from this situation moving forward. ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 19:46, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
So sad. The very idea Ceoil is capable of learning, or is on any kind of path to becoming a model editor, is frankly laughable. Why do they do it? Nothing comes of creative excuse making like this, except perhaps to further motivate people who want to fuck with Ceoil on the grounds he definitely deserves it.


Mon May 14, 2018 4:31 pm
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In the very next case after Cassianto's appeal, SPECIFICO (aka: Ice of Pics) is -- once again -- at AE with a packet several packets of diffs showing them unambiguously being a prick (chose your own word if you don't like this one). Tony Ballioni is already saying that a block or topic ban would be too extreme. :lol: :roll:


Fri May 18, 2018 11:43 am
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Here's a pretty standard but nonetheless quite creative way to justify use of a personal attack to your fellow Wikipedians. It's all about making a label seem like it is a useful shorthand, a necessary part of speech used to convey information to those who need it, for example the people you want to support the block of the person you are labelling.

This is creative because it draws on the idea it's generally OK to talk about an editor's conduct if you are doing so in the context of an evidence backed complaint at an appropriate venue. While that is true, it isn't a license to use labels which the target will undoubtedly find offensive, for all the reasons given in WP:NPA as to why personal attacks are unacceptable.

For background, Ian.Thompson was made a Wikipedia Administrator in October 2015 by a landslide, the handful of opposition there being concerned only by his approach to deletion, so you can rest assured this sort of thing is widely accepted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... nge_theory

On 29 May, Ian dragged a user to AN/I, with admittedly plenty of evidence, but also with this rather cute summation......
Quote:
a self-proclaimed expert who rejects academia because they don't "understand" his theories who is acting like he's the only authority we'll ever need
That would be fine, an accepted use of your words to described behaviour others need to be concerned about. Except for the fact he had wikilinked the (my) italiced portion to "crank". FWIW, the Wikipedia article opens with "Crank is a pejorative term", so it's potential to be a personal attack is indisputable, since WP:NPA says "Insulting or disparaging an editor is a personal attack regardless of the manner in which it is done".

As explained above, the attack didn't raise anyone's eyebrows given its perceived contextual applicability, it passed unnoticed and Ian seemingly took that as license to be more bold and include it in an edit summary, a practice particularly frowned upon in WP:NPA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =843805465

The user was duly blocked. Ian then stuck the knife in by being the admin to remove their talk page access, but that's pretty standard as far as Wikipedia's understanding of how to come across as fair goes.

We only later got a more developed understanding of why Ian thinks this sort of attack is acceptable, ironically as someone else pulled him up on it in another unrelated report.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... _topic_ban
Quote:
I called a user who was recently blocked under WP:NOTHERE for promoting a book on a fringe theory while insisting that he's the only person who knows anything about the topic and that academia knows nothing about the topic -- that last part is the definition of crankhood.
That report is hilarious in of itself, but that's for another thread. What we see here is the justification, in all its glory - you can use a personal attack if the target is eventually blocked, and if your use of the attack is correct, per its dictionary definition.

Presumably because it has never even crossed his mind, Ian has proven quite convincingly that Wikipedia Administrators, even the ones promoted in the era when RfA is supposedly a really stressful exercise in intrusively examining your every move and belief, have no real understanding that the essence of WP:NPA is that the AN/I report wasn't remotely made more efficient or brought to a quicker resolution by the use of an attack like "crank", that it was perfectly possible to get the user investigated and blocked without resorting to it, and all that using it achieved was to ensure the blocked user leaves even more aggrieved than he would normally. The only reason it got used, was presumably because Ian gets off on insulting cranks at the same time as he is getting them expelled for being cranks. Which is no surprise, that is probably the case for almost all of Wikipedia's current Administration.


Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:48 am
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It always amazes me how far out of their way some people will go to justify incivility for one person, especially admins, and then block someone else or chastise them for being incivil. Floquenbeam and James Alexander at the WMF are just 2 examples. Floquenbeam is notorious for telling people to F off or go the F away and James Alexander was such an poor admin it simply amazes me the WMF even hired him. Then to put him in the trust and safety section is just a slap in the face to anyone in the community who is trying to improve Wikipedia or the other WMF projects.


Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:52 am
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