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Roger Davies: Wikipedia’s Imperial Arbitrator

By  Agahnim and TDA

Unlike other ‘Top Ten’ websites such as Google and Facebook, Wikipedia has no corporate hierarchy to maintain control. The well-funded Wikimedia Foundation exerts no authority over its content, instead leaving the site’s loose-knit community to govern everything. Wikipedia’s editors create and control its content through a continual series of conflicts and wars of attrition, governed by a system of inconsistent and vague policies and rules where one rule may be negated by another rule. Should these factions fail to settle their differences, then Wikipedia’s highest authority, known as the Arbitration Committee, settles disputes based on its evaluation of the parties’ conduct.

The Arbitration Committee, also known as ArbCom, is officially leaderless and its membership is changed in part every year by elections and resignations, leaving its longest-serving members with substantial influence over its operations. Its cases are decided by discussion on the Committee’s secretive mailing list and the Committee is kept functioning as a cohesive unit by a “Coordinating Arbitrator”, who may serve in that position as long as he or she remains on the Committee.

So, who is the longest-serving Arbitrator? Who runs the mailing list? Who is the Coordinating Arbitrator? All three positions are currently held by the same man, possibly the most powerful leader in Wikipedia’s chaotic power structure, who has authored many of the Arbitration Committee’s important decisions.

His name is Roger Davies.

Who is Roger Davies? How did he become so become so influential? More importantly, how has he wielded this influence over Wikipedia’s community? Unfortunately, just as Richard Nixon used his influence as President of the United States to protect supporters and to crush dissent from undesirables, so has Roger Davies used his power to aid his cronies and be rid of people who annoy him.

His rise to power and weathering controversy

Roger Davies is a mysterious figure. Although he edits under his real name, he has given no further information about his identity — unlike many of his colleagues. Most of what we know about him is gleaned from his editing history on Wikipedia. Roger Davies spent much of his early editing history working on articles for the Military History WikiProject alongside arbitrator Kirill Lokshin, whom Davies eventually succeeded as lead coordinator of the project. Davies had been active at Wikipedia for less than two years, and an administrator for only ten months, when he first successfully ran for ArbCom in December 2008.

The position of “Coordinating Arbitrator” was created the next month and given to Kirill Lokshin, with the newly-elected Roger Davies as his deputy. Six months later, Kirill temporarily resigned and the still green Roger Davies became Coordinating Arbitrator, a position he continued to hold even after Kirill returned to ArbCom in 2010.

Davies had his first brush with scandal during his time on the Committee in February 2010, when it was discovered that in several of the Wikipedia articles Roger Davies helped write, he had lifted entire sentences or paragraphs from sources and passed them off as his own writing (as previously discussed at Wikipedia Review.) One explanation he offered is known on Wikipedia as the Oops defense:

Roger Davies wrote:

My apologies: the text should have been enclosed in quotes and at this distance in time (nearly two years) I really don’t know why I didn’t do so.

And in response to another person’s complaint:

I used to cut and paste sources into Word and then edit them and I guess this got tangled up with article (sic).

These quotes refer to examples which were a few years old at the time, but some cases of plagiarism reported there include those he committed while serving as an arbitrator. This carelessness from a major authority figure, papered over with a thin layer of excuses, was a taste of things to come.

The plagiarism debacle did not slow Roger Davies’ ascent to power. Although it’s unclear when Davies was promoted to mailing administrator, this role was revealed in June 2011 following the ArbCom mailing list leaks.

Every politician has a few incidents that embarrass them in front of their constituency, whether it’s George Bush Senior throwing up on the prime minister of Japan, or his son nearly choking to death on a pretzel. Then there are scandals, such as Bill Clinton’s attempt to cover up his trysts with a White House intern, or Reagan’s Iran-Contra debacle. Citizens tolerate perhaps a few minor examples and one major example of this per politician, and when a politician such as Richard Nixon exceeds his allotment of scandal and dishonesty, the powers behind the scenes typically tell him it’s time to leave. What makes Roger Davies unique is that while he’s been tangled in scandals and negligence for years, there has not yet been any check to his authority.

Protecting his own

The true mark of an arbitrator is how effectively he or she resolves disputes. For Roger Davies, his first serious test was an arbitration case about the ninth most controversial topic at Wikipedia: race and intelligence. Handling such an emotionally loaded topic with Wikipedia’s required neutrality is understandably complicated, but the Arbitration Committee seemed up to the task. One goal of arbitration in such cases is to remove misbehaving editors, regardless of their affiliations, in order to minimize conflict.

In his initial handling of the case as the drafter of its final decision, Davies stayed true to this principle. However, in subsequent reviews and amendments, Davies expanded the area of conflict by creating site-wide restrictions on how to interact with editors “associated with” race and intelligence. Instead of resolving disputes related to the topic, this abnormal approach brought only marginally involved editors into the case.

Davies first took this approach with sanctions against two editors named SightWatcher and TrevelyanL85A2, prohibiting them from discussing the conduct of editors “who have worked in the topic”, even if said conduct was from an unrelated dispute. A few months later, he drafted a new rule mandating that when a change made by a banned editor is undone, it cannot be restored if it “relates, directly or indirectly, to either the R&I topic or to any editor associated with the R&I topic.” Due to these extremely broad restrictions, people were reported for violating his “race and intelligence” rules even if they had never edited anything remotely related to race or intelligence. One person reported for violating these restrictions, D. Lazard, had edited nothing but mathematics articles. Another, SilkTork, was one of Davies’ fellow arbitrators.

Problems these restrictions caused were brought before ArbCom six times, by five different people in the last six months of 2012. Combined with reports accusing editors of violating his remedies, this amounted to well over a hundred hours of other people’s time. Several arbitrators knew that the remedies Roger Davies had written were responsible for creating these problems, or suggested the restrictions be modified. But instead of trying to fix the problems he’d created, in both August-September 2012 and December 2012 Roger Davies made every effort to prevent other arbitrators from repairing them. The first instance was especially egregious, as Davies hijacked a legitimate complaint about his existing remedies in order to expand them even further.

The mishandling of this case may seem like mere incompetence, but there’s another important piece of the puzzle. Each “remedy” was proposed in response to other editors’ complaints about Mathsci, an editor topic-banned in the original R&I case for abusive behavior and whose ban Davies had unexpectedly rescinded a few months later. These subsequent complaints concerned conduct Davies himself had previously criticized. But instead of addressing this ongoing misconduct, Davies’ remedies protected Mathsci, who then used these remedies against his critics. Davies even violated the procedure for a review case by adding SightWatcher and TrevelyanL85A2 as parties so they could be sanctioned, after Mathsci had lobbied for it. As both editors were added to the months-long case a week before it concluded and had been offline nearly the whole time, they did not get to confront the evidence presented against them, even though allowing editors that opportunity is standard practice for arbitration.

Davies was somewhat evasive about why he used such tactics. Mathsci, on the other hand, had fewer qualms about discussing the apparent favoritism. In one somewhat vague response he stated: “About cronyism: I do admit to liking Roger Davies. Is there something wrong with that?” He was a little more upfront in this statement:

On a personal note, did you know that Roger Davies is almost a neighbour down here?

This friendly relationship was often mentioned cavalierly by Mathsci whenever his conduct was raised as an issue, but it did not save him forever. In October 2013, Mathsci publicized where another editor lived and worked. Mathsci was breaking one of Wikipedia’s cardinal rules by posting another editor’s personal information, and Davies could no longer be seen defending him without diminishing his own standing within the Committee. As a matter of political expediency, Davies had no choice but to have Mathsci banned.

The Davies approach to harassment

One reason Davies frequently gave for deferring any action against Mathsci, in favor of increasingly vague and broad restrictions, was that Mathsci had been harassed by banned editors using sockpuppet accounts. It is not uncommon that editors cite harassment as a reason why they or others should receive special treatment. But while Davies seemed to take a very permissive stance when it came to Mathsci, later decisions show a different attitude when it came to disputes regarding gender politics.

In a case concerning the Gender Gap Task Force, a WikiProject established to address potential gender bias on Wikipedia, Davies voted with other arbitrators to ban two members of the group, one female and another of unstated gender. Several male editors, who were heckling the GGTF due to a belief it was being used to push a feminist agenda, received lighter sanctions. In its finding supporting the ban of female GGTF member Carol Moore, ArbCom primarily cited comments she made about a male critic, Sitush, after he engaged in an intimidating pattern of behavior that included an attempt to write an unflattering Wikipedia page about her. Davies endorsed this finding, the site-ban based on it, and an ingratiatingly tepid finding about Sitush’s behavior. The result of the case was criticized by David Auerbach at Slate who went on to state Wikipedia had “become a rancorous, sexist, elitist, stupidly bureaucratic mess.”

Even as that case was closing ArbCom had accepted another case touching on gender politics, this time concerning the infamous controversy over GamerGate, and on this case Davies was one of the final decision’s drafters. Once more there was a question of the Committee’s stance on harassment, since even the initial draft decision noted that one editor critical of GamerGate had received repeated harassment on Wikipedia. Though editors on both sides of the controversy received harassment and sanctions, the draft decision came down hard on editors critical of GamerGate, proposing that four of its most active critics should be banned from articles related to gender or sexuality. One outraged Wikipedian wrote multiple blog posts condemning the initial proposed decision, prompting a firestorm of criticism from news media. The Committee issued a press release clarifying some erroneous claims in the blog posts. However, rather than citing the litany of offenses for which editors were sanctioned, it only mentioned civility as the reason for the sanctions. This just served to further inflame critics, who saw the decision as punishing editors for losing their cool after repeated harassment from an “anonymous hate mob”, as GamerGate has been labeled.

Despite the previous two cases being criticized in the media as examples of a sexist and male-oriented culture on Wikipedia, Davies showed no sensitivity to these concerns when ArbCom took on yet another case tied to gender politics where he served as drafter once again. The case regarded Lightbreather, a female editor who edited primarily on gun control before getting involved in discussions about civility on Wikipedia and how it may threaten the participation of female editors. Soon after the case started, Lightbreather found that someone named Avrgguy01 had uploaded several pornographic images of women on a sex site and tagged them with Lightbreather’s username. Her efforts to privately get ArbCom to take action against whoever posted the images resulted in no action. The Committee claimed they were unable to confidently prove who from Wikipedia was responsible. Lightbreather then went public with the information on the Wikipediocracy thread about the case.

Amidst the resulting discussion of this and other harassment allegations, Roger Davies published his initial draft of the decision on Lightbreather and included two questionable principles regarding harassment. One argued editors who have been harassed should not “fight back” and seemed to treat harassment the same as legitimate criticism. Another principle suggested editors should keep a “low profile” when faced with harassment. Both proposals were criticized by several different editors and on social media as tone-deaf and insensitive, prompting several subsequent revisions and an alternative proposal. Though the final decision included a finding that Lightbreather had been sexually harassed off-site by Avrgguy01, it also included a finding seemingly castigating Lightbreather for attempting to identify this user. In the end, the toxic cocktail of sanctions against Lightbreather that Davies proposed was approved by ArbCom and she was banned from Wikipedia, though not without protest from some arbitrators, including what arbitrator Courcelles described as“perhaps my strongest dissent with the outcome in two and a half years on this committee”.

Given his earlier experience with Mathsci and how his enabling of that editor only caused endless grief, it would be tempting to conclude this apparent change in attitude from Davies regarding harassment was simply him overcompensating for earlier mistakes. However, we have to wonder if, just as it would seem with Mathsci, Davies was basing his decisions off pre-existing biases.

Davies in the flesh

Perhaps a clue could be found in his comments at the London Wikimania conference in August 2014, where Davies spoke indecorously about efforts by the Wikimedia Foundation to address the gender gap on Wikipedia. This is how it was described by a member of Wikipediocracy who observed it in person:

At the London conference, Steven Walling, assisted by Mariana Pinchuk, gave a talk to a packed audience on how to make Wikipedia more attractive to women. After the talk, a group of Wikipediocrats met Davies in the corridor and mentioned the talk. Davies hadn’t even heard of Walling. It was explained that Walling was charged with retention of female editors at Wikipedia. Roger Davies was astonished. “WHAT, THE ONES WITH BIG TITS?? HAR HAR!!” Davies has a loud and penetrating voice. At that very moment, Katy Love, who is in charge of the Funds Dissemination Committee at the Foundation, passed behind us, carrying her young daughter. Her face froze in horror and dismay.

Roger’s point was the absurdity of having a man in charge of gender issues at the Foundation, or so he explained after realising the gaffe, but Katy did not have the context. After he had gone, Katy reappeared. Who was that man, and had he gone, she asked? It was explained he was a long-standing administrator and important member of the English WP arbitration committee. She seemed upset that they were doing all this work to make Wikipedia a kinder and more welcoming place for women, and then they had people like this making foul-mouthed comments in front of her and her young daughter.

These were not the only questionable remarks Davies made at the event. On Wikipedia, Davies has presented himself as a person who cares about enforcing the site’s civility policy and setting a good example of it. When Wikipedia user LT910001 requested a “civility” arbitration case in August 2014, Roger Davies turned it down in what seemed to be a polite and carefully-reasoned manner:

I’m not seeing an actionable issue here, and even if there were – given the broad spectrum of sharply differing opinions about what constititues incivility that exist within the community – it’s difficult to see how a case would do any good at all.

Yet, when discussing the same request in real life at Wikimania 2014, Davies was more candid about his feelings:

Civility case? (Har har) no fucking way you cunts!

As it so happens, the requested civility case stemmed from a civility discussion started by Lightbreather herself over another editor’s use of the term “cunt” in an earlier civility discussion, nearly a year before Davies would draft the decision banning Lightbreather.

The authors stand by the accuracy of this account of Davies’ conduct at Wikimania, which was observed firsthand by two other members of Wikipediocracy.

This situation is an example of the frequent contradiction between the Wikimedia Foundation’s goals and the reality of how Wikipedia operates. The Wikimedia Foundation considers it important to change the perception that Wikipedia is hostile to its female editors, and to close the gender gap in its contributors, as evidenced by the Wikimania presentation from Walling and Pinchuk. On the other hand, since the WMF has no day-to-day involvement in how Wikipedia is run, they can accomplish very little in this area without ArbCom’s cooperation — and, by extension, the cooperation of Roger Davies.

Putting the interests of the community first

As of 2015, Roger Davies has been a member of ArbCom for nearly twice as long as any other currently serving arbitrator, and has held the position of coordinating arbitrator for over 90% of the time that the position has existed.

Roger Davies on Arbcom(On-Wiki source for this graph)

Being the most influential figure on ArbCom, Roger Davies has greater power over Wikipedia’s community than any other single person, and more than anyone else can shape how people perceive that community both on Wikipedia and off. Many Wikipedians seem to view him as the model of a good arbitrator — an honest, level-headed person who works hard to dispense justice in an impartial way. Yet in his actions he has shown a tendency to move heaven and earth for those willing to ingratiate themselves to him, while bringing heaven and earth down around those who were not. In person he seems to regard some of the biggest issues facing the site with blithe dismissal, even as he projects a calm and rational demeanor about them on Wikipedia.

Those of us who live in the United States, and who remember the early 1970s, will remember what it is like to be under an elected authority figure who tarnished the reputation of his office. From 1969 until 1974, the most powerful person in the United States was someone who was willing to bend the rules for the benefit of himself and his associates; whose arrogance and corruption created immense amounts of turmoil and work for others; and whose smooth public persona concealed the bigoted comments he made when he thought nobody important was listening. Like Roger Davies, Richard Nixon had many legitimate accomplishments during his time in power, but when his abuses were uncovered the American people were unwilling to forgive him. Will the people of Wikipedia continue to forgive Roger Davies?

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Edit: The graph had an error and has been corrected (09/03/2015)

Edit: For more discussion of this article, including Roger Davies’ response, click here: link to Wikipediocracy forum topic on this blog entry (added 09/14/2015)

9 comments to Roger Davies: Wikipedia’s Imperial Arbitrator

  • Anthonyhcole

    I was present when Roger made the “What? The ones with big tits?” gaffe. I read it at the time as ironic impersonation: speaking in the voice of the one you are mocking. I didn’t hear Roger’s subsequent clarification as described by the authors above, but it gels with my reading. It was a bit tin-eared to say it loudly in that context but, at least in isolation, quite forgivable, and something I hope he has learned from.

  • HRIP7

    I’d seen an earlier version of that blog post when I was still part of the blog writers’ team here. I didn’t like it then, and predictably, I still don’t like it now.

    I looked at the plagiarism issues at the time; they really amounted to nothing in my opinion. I remember one example involved Roger’s using a technical phrase (some kind of stirrup?) that was used independently in three different books by three different authors to describe that same thing. Sometimes a certain phrase is just what you call things.

    As for Roger’s supposed faux-pas at Wikimania, I’m in agreement with Anthony Cole’s comment above. Anything to do with women’s participation may not be Roger’s strongest point (I did disagree with aspects of how the Lightbreather case went down), but he has that in common with a lot of other male Wikipedians.

    At the same time, I remember many good decisions ArbCom Roger had a decisive hand in.

    Lastly, I’m not overly fond of this custom of authors hiding behind fancy pseudonyms and acronyms.

    • Agahnim

      If you look at the two examples of plagiarism that Davies was trying to explain in the comments we quoted, they were considerably more severe than just using the same technical term that’s used in a source. In his comment about getting sources tangled up with the article, this was the example he was discussing:

      Source: “In June 1944, the last internees were evacuated and deported to Dachau in the ‘Ghost Train.’ In total about 40,000 persons of 58 nationalities were interned in the camp–mainly men but also women and children.”

      Davies’ text: “In June 1944, the last internees were evacuated and deported to Dachau in the ‘Ghost Train’. In total, about 40,000 persons of 58 nationalities were interned in the camp; mainly men but also women and children.”

      That’s two entire sentences, and the only difference between the source and Davies’ text is the punctuation. If the problem had just been using technical terms that have no other phrase for them, he wouldn’t have needed to come up with such an unconvincing excuse.

      As Cla68 said in the forum thread, the real question is whether the good decisions Davies has been involved in are worth the amount of strife he’s caused. There are plenty of other arbitrators who know how to write competent decisions, but to my knowledge no other arbitrator in the past three years has produced as much conflict as Davies’ decisions have. If Davies’ ArbCom term had ended in 2011, I doubt any of the cases he’s contributed to positively since then would have gone much differently, but everyone else would have been saved a lot of difficulty.

      • Anthonyhcole

        Regarding: “unconvincing excuse”. I often copy and paste from a source into an article I’m working on, then re-write – it’s easier than flipping between tabs. I don’t think I’ve ever done it, but I’m always conscious of the possibility I might get interrupted and leave a swathe of un-paraphrased text behind. It’s a well-known practice and often warned against for that reason.

        So, no, it’s not unconvincing, it’s quite believable.

  • Jon

    As much as I enjoy reading these articles about how Wikipedia has become nothing more than a social experiment that proves the case points of Orwell’s Animal Farm, does writing these pieces actually do any good?

    It would seem that no matter what is written about him, Mr Davies will remain in situ doing what he’s been doing according to the site’s male demographics.

    Personally I think Wikipediocracy could do a better job if it juxtaposes this sort of person against the core tenet of Wikipedia’s existence which is “to make human knowledge available to every person on the planet”.

    From reading the article, it is clear Davies isn’t interested in helping humanity only himself. The higher goals of Wikipedia are just a side show to this guy’s unchecked ego. It isn’t going to change though.

    It’s way to easy to show that Wikipedia is run by a bunch of half-baked, megalomaniac white guys who would better serve society by going back to playing Gary Gygax’s Dungeons&Dragons! But actually getting change is another matter.

  • Tim Davenport/Carrite/RfB

    A hatchet piece. Roger Davies is probably the most even-handed and reliable member of ArbCom, not one grinding political axes.

    Also, I think your graph is wrong: Courcelles does not hold continuous membership on ArbCom from 2012.

  • eagle

    The fundamental problem is that an unrepresentative minority of people who edit actually participates in the ArbCom selection process. Most people who edit Wikipedia do not know that the ArbCom exists, and those that have heard of it, assume that it arbitrates content disputes.

    The policies of Wikipedia are developed through crowd sourcing and are not written by ArbCom. Most disciplinary actions are taken by individual administrators without any “quasi-judicial” process. Most banning and shunning is done by a quick ad hoc poll taken at the Administrative Notice Boards. ArbCom cases are brought by insiders who believe they have a better chance at ArbCom than at a mob-rule noticeboard.

    The blog post hints at the existence of various political factions within Wikipedia and their representation on ArbCom. For example, there ae ArbCom members from the United Kingdom, from the United States and from Australia. The Military History project has also been over-represented relative to its portion of the general editing population.

    ArbCom members do not receive adequate training for their responsibilities and as discussed by the blog post are not properly vetted.

  • Mike Cleven

    from Eagle’s comments: “Most disciplinary actions are taken by individual administrators without any “quasi-judicial” process. Most banning and shunning is done by a quick ad hoc poll taken at the Administrative Notice Boards.”

    Which is what happened to me, by persons not interesting in the content, with no knowledge of the content, who refused to read or investigate the causes of the dispute, and who tolerated all manner of personal attacks on myself. My talkpage is now being archived without me asking for it, as also the talkpage of the article under dispute, and yet another personal attack levelled against me by someone with no knowledge of the content or the POV issues making equivocatory statements about it while denouncing me and gloating over my ban with the “I told you so”. ….

    That Wikipedia “bannings and shunnings” can be done by any uppity/ stuck-up high-on-themselves admins on “behavioural grounds” and sweeping aside any content problems or seriouis concerns, even claiming that behavioural guidelines trump the NPOV policy and its POV-fork, is one of the main problems with *CONTENT*. Junk is left to stand, those trying to correct or balance it wind up banned by people who don’t know s**t and care even less, and admins protecting each other etc….. nearly all of the blocks against me were one-man/woman jobbies, right from the start when Zoe blocked me for uttering threats when it was ME who had been threatened (in the real world)…..then as blocks escalate, each one more arbitrary and longer, the escalations are used as the excuse for an “indefinite ban”…. none of them voted by consensus, all attempts to block me with consensus at ANI *failed*, and yet still out of the blue blocks came at me…all by people with no knowledge of the content matter at hand, who refused to read anything I said, pronouncing anything a “rant”, while ranting themselves – and mis-quoting policies and guidelines. And using NPA to justify their claims of my own NPAs while those of my opponent were excused or ignored…..

    And ARBCOM – like DRV and other upper-tier recourses, it decides things based on someone’s *conduct*, not on an examination of the issues; and the “conduct” is as pronounced by those who damned me, not by any actual examination of the dispute.

    The people who are most “disruptive” in Wikipedia, a term levelled against me, are those who wade into a dispute with no knowledge of the subject matter but who think their adminship gives them the right to play combination judge-jury and psychiatrist….. all such individuals should be “outed” and their real-life persona investigated.

    The current block against me was levelled by a WMF staffer who refused to read anything I said about POV, then claimed I had made no case for POV; and took sides from day one of the persecution, always saying she ‘didn’t have time’ to review the issues but wanted someone to blame for it: me.

    The article is a piece of trash full of bigotry and synth (Chinese Canadians in British Columbia) and is mirrored by even worse bigotry and synth at “Chinese Canadians in Vancouver”, which ultimately is a POV fork encouraged and abetted by somneone (Viriditas) who engaged in gross NPAs against me while encouraging the “bandit” whose abuse of content/neutrality/procedure could fill a doctoral thesis; his lengthy board posts seeking to discredt me were vastly larger than my rebuttals, the lenght of which got dumped on as”unreadable rants”by those with no more attention span than a housefly and no knowledge at all of the content matter…..

    As long as ANI exists in all its bear-pit bullshit and as long as admins can arbitrarily block – including email blocks to cut those they block off from those who might and probably would support me/ denounce the block – puts t he lie to the “Wikipedia is not censored” maxim.

    it’s censored ALL the time when any Wikipedian is blocked; by people who don’t care about content, only about “behaviour”

    And my experience of female editors is they’re impatient, take sides without thinking, claim behavioural issues while they have their own, and make blatantly false statements to back up their positions rather than argue rationally…..some exceptions exist e.g. Montanabw and the long-gone Phaedriel – the ones I’m talking about are MoonriddenGirl, Uyvsdi and Brown-Haired Girl about whom I’ll have a whole lot more to say when writing my own article on Wikipediocracy……the female editors in BC who were very valuable, CindyBo and KootenayVolcano, have long since left Wikipedia in disgust at all the waste-of-time bullshit that goes on coming out of AfD/CfD/TfD, RM and ANI…….

  • Mike Cleven

    re ” Most banning and shunning is done by a quick ad hoc poll taken at the Administrative Notice Boards.”

    Well, no, at least in my case. ALL blocks were imposed by single admins, including some posed on entirely personal grounds when there were open ANIs about me; ALL ANI votes against me FAILED. But still I was blocked.

    My very first block, by someone whose fake name is Zoe, was for uttering threats; it was me who had been threatened, in the real world, but even when this was explained to her, she made no response; someone advised me to recant my claim and admit to having made a threat I did not in fact make, and she removed the block, saying I had confessed/apologized……but making no admission of her own mistake.

    Then came the “FOO policies of the Harper government” AfD during the 2011 Canadian election, where admitted conservative commentors’ claims were taken at face value, and their insults let stand, while various comments by informed Canadians that, yes, that’s a recognizably POV title and arguable constitute advertising during an election, I was castigated and hounded by said conservatives until being blocked by Bushranger, then a 19 year old teenager in Scotland with NO knowledge of Canadian politics and no sense of political acument at all. but oh man, a sense of authority from being an admin; he showed up again with a personal attack during the CfD or RM re “Squamish people”, claiming BLUDGEON – while doing that to me and derailing what had been a very winnable RM/CfD…..

    I boycotted Wikipedia in the months after until discovering POV vandalism on the Theresa Spence and Idle No More articles which had been ignored by other Wiki-Canadians and also ignored by any other watchers of those articles; then after coming back in discovered that Kwamikagami moved several thousand articles on New Years Eve while no one else was around….cf the various RMs on St’at’imc, Ktunaxa and others (five initially, later over 80) which I ‘fought’ and managed to get consensus to restore to their proper titles…..all the while being insulted and degraded by Kwamikagami and his followers and pals (JorisV, Maunus, Vegaswikian, Uyvsdi) who tried to blockade all the correcting-RMs and sought to have me blocked; Maunus and Uyvsdi making patently false claims in an ANI launched against me, while making NPAs and AGFs against me all over the place; and “who’s the bad guy?”

    So…. amidst all that sea of *disruptiveness* launched by a highly POV editor (Kwami) and reinforced by a sea of the ill-informed and just plain arrogant, a very racist-toned RM on the Skwxwu7mesh article was held, citing the then-still unreverted “Lillooet people (St’at’imc)”, Kutenai people (Ktunaxa), Thompson people (Nlaka’pamux), Chilcotin people (Tsilhqot’in) and Shuswap people (Secwepemc) examples as rationales for the move to “Squamish people”; and not a single one of those in the RM had any knowledge of these people (one actually voted having admitted to thinking they were the Suguamish in Washington) and the proponent of the move complained that the Skwxwu7mesh title was “gibberish” (it had been chosen by the Skwxwu7mesh editor of that entire series of articles, User:OldManRivers who had boycotted Wikipedia since all this screw-around). Other titles like Carrier/Dakelh and Owekeeno/Wuikinuxv were similarly screwed around, single-handedly and en masse, by Kwami with no regard to the consequences.

    One of those consequences being that Uyvsdi, who had crossed swords with me on Native American category usages in Nevada, falsely pronouncing my corrections/categorization as ‘vandalism’, causing something of a small edit/cat-war, there had supposedly been a ‘working peace’ for us to stay out of each others’ way, moved into BC wikispace as if to cause trouble, and moved the Skwxwu7mesh category to “Squamish” – which is a big bad issue as the primary topic of “Squamish” is the town by that name *even when Canadian sources are excluded*, with some wiki-twits out there making the claim that “global usage” should prevail over Canadian usage on Canadian articles (WTF?) [note: one last bit from Kwami I saw was on the Canadian English article where he added a “dubious” or “cite demanded” shit-disturber tag on the whole subject of Canadian English; where native endonyms like Sto:lo, St’at’imc, Mi’kmaq and Skwxwu7mesh are now not just commonplace but official – something that stuck in his craw as the reason he lost so many RM-defenses against my corrections; with someone (Maunus) standing up for him saying he “knows his stuff” – which no he does NOT, or rather he’s in the business of concocting a separate reality and a more than somewhat anti-native one.

    ANYWAY, point is that I was accused of “disruptive” behaviour and ‘undiscussed moves’ even though everything I was successfully moving was done with consensus and gee-whiz actually facts and stats……

    So in the midst of all this, Fayenatic London, whose expertise is film reviews in the UK, blocked me completely and with patronizing comments about doing it “for my health”…then along comes Brown-Haired Girl, taking on the Squamish CfD and saying “she doesn’t have time to read all of it” and invoking TLDR (which is not supposed to used on anything but articles) to close the CfD against me, making personal/NPA comments in her close (as she would again later in other closes), and stating that her ignorance of the subject matter made her the preferable arbiter of the decision…..

    There was an ANI opened against me during this; I had support, it was frustrating her, I found a side-discussion between her and another admin of the “lack of consensus my ass, I’m going to block him anyway” variety; she blocked me, then proceeded to go after all the remaining open RMs about endonyms and those involving related BC towns, closing them against me, along with some other Brit, David Leigh Ellis, making fake claims as to what RS required and formatting data (which are not in the guidelines she says they’re in) and making specious judgements as to “well it’s only a town of 1500 people it can’t be the primary topic vs a well-known native people [who today number less than 700]” that only someone from another country with no knowledge of BC geography could conceivably make…..

    In one case, despite all in the RM stating clearly that the Town of ‘Comox’ was the primary topic of that name, she didn’t do what those in the discussion said and wanted, while making another bad call; not as bad as her eventual approval of the reversion of ‘Okanagan people’ to “Syilx” (which she begrudgingly granted, only to misspell it “Sylix”).

    Then once the block was over, she attacked a new category I’d started – trying to work on something innocuous in a field where I’m very much the resident wiki-expert (geography of the Pacific Northwest), “Rivers of the Boundary Ranges” and made up guideline-claims which turned out to be false; when I complained that she was being vindictive, as also with the various RMs she hostile-closed with NO reference to the related 80-100 closed in ‘my’ favour (back to the correct title), that she was “UNINVOLVED” by some weird logic that doesn’t make any sense……

    So in the meantime, Maunus launched another ANI, which Uyvsdi lied and confabulated on, and NPAd me viciously on certain pages; while Kwami fought and fought and fought to keep the Naming Conventions for Languages in the wording he had built it into to justify his endonym-changes but which was AT CONFLICT with TITLE, NCET and variuos other guidelines; edit-warring to the point where a freeze was put on the article; making deceiving edit comments and misleading contrarian statements…and the admin imposing the freeze didn’t want to examine teh substance, just locked it in place……

    So….despite Ravenswing’s claim that I have had ‘several’ blocks for being ‘disruptive’ *(see my talkpage User:Skookum1) that claim like so many others made just doesn’t bear up as true; and like others who drop by to be insulting and patronizing, he has no knowledge of the subject matter nor any interest in it….

    The last actual ANI was held on me AFTER I was blocked, the one before that launched by LegacyPac in relation to the ‘war’ with WhisperToMe re “Chinese Canadians in British Columbia” (and actually about another dozen titles where WTM has been very POV/aggressive); but LegacyPac, like Kwami, made false edit comments on the Ottawa shootings article and also edit-warred on the talkpage deleting me posts for pointing out his deceptions……that ANI was going nowhere, much to WhisperToMe’s chagrin…as it was around then that he began sourcing who had been my “enemies” (Resolute, HongQiGong and others) and sucking up to them, asking if they could somehow block me *without it going to ANI” where I had support and a consensus-block would fail.

    So it wound up to a tag-team of bullies – Moon-Ridden Girl, Viriditas, Resolute, The Interior – demanding I back down from my criticisms of WhisperToMe’s behaviour and content-agenda while letting him say anything he wanted; nobody would read my critiques of the content problems to be found on the article talkpage, I was castigated for “walls of text” while WTM’s much more massive discussion board attacks on me were somehow OK, and over and over I was told that nobody would read anything I said so shut up about it; Viriditas and Resolute and others engaged in personal attacks just as Ravenswing has more recently done….. and it sounds, to me, like there’s some other place than visible to ordinary editors where admins get togehter and tut-tut with each other about ordinary editors.

    So only if I recant and tolerate the continued existence of a piece of racist-driven TRASH and not criticize WhisperToMe, whose No. 21 ranking far exceeds me only No. 370 or so (of all-time edit totals), that I will be “allowed” to edit again.

    All blocked and shunned and shut out from even email contract by a paid WMF staffer in the Bay Area who knows nothing about BC history, and who refuses to this day to read any of my explanations or look at any of the considerable evidence I’ve presented that WTM’s articles are pieces of confabulated TRASH with a decided political purpose, or consider the execrably bad writing in the article content that is so clearly a different person from the one waging procedural war against me from his first days staking out OWNership of Canadian content starting about this time last year (see CANTALK about Air India, maybe in October rather than September).

    So blocks and shuns and bans are NOT done so much by ANI – maybe there’s a stat on those that DID have consensus – but by sole-admin actions and arbitary judgments; they’re not by consensus; as a gander at what’s on WP:EXR also would demonstrate….

    Admin power should be severely diluted; those admins who do not know about a subject under disupte should STAY OUT OF THE WAY (unless they undertake to learn about the subject) and RfAs should not be passed like ass-wipe out to anyone who can pose passive-aggressive enough to get on (WhisperToMe included). There should be intelligence and logic tests, and also at least ‘general knowledge’ testing…….and national wikiproject guidelines and conventions should always be referred to and consulted, so that completely cluless editors like WhisperToMe cannot claim a cite from the US is sufficient to overturn Canadian linguistic and lexical conventions – or that British editors can’t vote to overturn a CAnadian usage, as with the “Power stations” category so very long ago…

    Prejudice and systemic bias are everywhere in Wikipedia; see the talkpage at New Albion for more evidence of same – but add on ignorance, plus arrogance, plus sweeping admin powers (backed up by the water-cooler klatch at WMF HQ in my case) are a sure-fire way to keep Wikipedia from being self-correcting and “open to all” where “anyone can edit”; problem is, anyone DOES….especially the ignorant, or those with axes to grind

    So here I am, the most prolific British Columbia editor, blocked on behalf of a teenager in Texas by a group of people in California, none of them with any genuine knowledge of interest; and a false claim that “behavioural guidelines” are more important than content/NPOV – what is this, a debating club with Nurse Ratchet in control – or a collaborative encyclopedia where knowledge is welcome, not shut out because some jackass wants someone more knowledgeable than himself from correcting his POV *c*r*a*p*.

    Wading into an argument, not investigating what the argument is really about, immediately taking sides and pointing fingers – that’s what MoonRidden Girl has done, and BrownHaired Girl before her, and Zoe in the first place…. all unjust and unwise decisions, all arbitrary, all illogical, all citing or mis-citing guidlines and mis-directing blame…..

    I’ll be taking up teh matter of the blocking of a Canadian editor by US and UK editors and what it means for Canadian content in our national media at some point; they’re a bit distracted by now – and I’m not monitoring the party leader articles and related items for a very good reason; the info-moles are all over them and there’s no one left in Wikipedai with the political acumen about Canada to recognize POV bullshit when they see it; other than those paid not to, like certain WP:Canada editors who I know are loyal Tories….

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