Coordination on Secret/private lists

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Coordination on Secret/private lists

Alec Conroy-2
On 12/5/07, jayjg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What's boring are continuing snide insinuations. Why [doesn't]
> anyone else who insists that the Cyberstalking list was used to
> co-ordinate !!'s block say straight out that they think Matt and Guy
> and Slim are lying, if that's what they think, rather than using
> weaselly innuendo to try to press their point?

I know this horse is sorta dead, but since peopel are still engaging
in the post-mortem, I thought I should chime in.

First of all, Matt and Guy and Slim can't lie about something they
can't possibly have known.  The truth is, they have no clue whether
the list was used to coordiante or not.  Durova posted to the list
about !! to the list--  what responses she got back through email,
only Durova and her sleuths know.   People can say "I didn't see any
full-formed coordination", but they can't actually know there was no
such coordination.

Secondly, there's no need to fixate just on the !! issue.  The list
had been running long before !!, and it was "high volume".   It
certainly seems that the Cyberstalking and the Investigations lists
existed to cooridinate SOMETHING.   What exactly were they
coordinating, who knws-- but it's obvious  people on it were talking
about wikipedia, they weren't  swapping recipes, running a support
group, or investigating the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

Precisely which specfic incidents were discussed and were
coordidnated-- that we can't say.  Was that coordnation improper?
That we cannot answer.

But obviously, there was some sort of coordination, and there was SOME
 reason that even the mere EXISTENCE of the lists were being kept
secret-- rather than just keeping hte contents of the list private.

What could they have been coordinating?  Who knows.

*  !!'s block was one obvious candidate, because we know Durova sent
out a "inviation to coordination" on the list.   But t enough people
have come forward to claim Durova's post was just an invitation to
coordiation, and if an future coordination occurred (as Durova claims
it did), that coordination took place off list.

*  Miltopias block was almost certainly coordinated on the list--
Durova strongly implies it, and in fact Durova seems to practically
gloat that the coordination over that went undiscovered.

*  DanT has speculated that the pro-BADSITES group coordinated the
edit wars at WP:NPA and Robert Black and Judd Bagley there, but I
don't think he claims to know that it was coordinated, or if he just
suspects it.

*  I got an anonymous 'leak' some someone who was supposedly on the
list who claims that the list was use to coordinate an edit-war at
Wikipedia:Sock puppetry that occurred in November-- I personally have
no way of knowing if that's true or not.
----


If some of these speculations turn out to be false, it's regretable,
but inevitable.


This is the risk you take when you run "lists that THEY don't know
exist" --- when THEY (the community) finally do find out you've been
running such lists,  THEY are going to assume there's a reason THEY
weren't allowed to about the existence of the lists.

"We just wanted a private place to share our feelings" isn't going to
assauge the community's fear that the list was used to coordinate
something, somewhere, somehow.

Whether that coordination is improper or broke the rules, who can say.
  That's another er risk of  secret/private lists-- whatever evidence
the participants have that might be used in their defense, they've
elected to keep that evidence "secret"--  which only contributes to
suspicion that something was rotten in Denmark.

If it's all one big misunderstanding, if the lists really weren't used
for anything inappropriate ever, I'd suggest making the archives as
public as possible, redacting on only the truly private info-- the
easiest way to show people you've got nothing to hide is to stop
hiding  stuff.

Alec

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Matthew Brown-5
On Dec 5, 2007 10:10 PM, Alec Conroy <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This is the risk you take when you run "lists that THEY don't know
> exist" --- when THEY (the community) finally do find out you've been
> running such lists,  THEY are going to assume there's a reason THEY
> weren't allowed to about the existence of the lists.

Given the context, it was obvious that Durova's THEY meant "Wikipedia Review".

-Matt

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by Alec Conroy-2
On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 01:10:34 -0500, "Alec Conroy"
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>I know this horse is sorta dead, but since peopel are still engaging
>in the post-mortem, I thought I should chime in.

No, I think you should shut the fuck up.  You clearly have
*absolutely no idea* about the list, its history, its constitution,
or what went on on the list, and this despite your having been told
most of it numerous times; this leads me to believe that you are
sitting there with your fingers in your ears chanting "laa laa I'm
not listening" unless you hear something that supports your wrong
interpretation, a wrong interpretation whose complete wrongness has
been pointed out to you by just about everybody who (unlike you) has
any detailed knowledge of the situation.

Your wilful ignorance is, by this point, functionally
indistinguishable from deliberate trolling.

Come back when you've had kooks calling your wife at home because
you dared to interfere in their agenda-promotion.

Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG


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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Michel Vuijlsteke-2
On Dec 6, 2007 2:23 PM, Guy Chapman aka JzG <[hidden email]> wrote:

>No, I think you should shut the fuck up.
>

This is getting incredibly old.
Can't everyone just agree to disagree and move on? Please?

Michel
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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Guy Chapman aka JzG
On 06/12/2007, Guy Chapman aka JzG <[hidden email]> wrote:

> No, I think you should shut the fuck up.  You clearly have


This is unsuitable phrasing for this list ... infuriating as it undoubtedly is.

Guy, please don't do this again.
Alec, please stop repeating yourself.

Next topic, anyone?


- d.

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Guettarda
In reply to this post by Alec Conroy-2
On Dec 6, 2007 12:10 AM, Alec Conroy <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>  The list...existed to cooridinate SOMETHING.   What exactly were they
> coordinating, who knws-- but it's obvious  people ...weren't  swapping
> recipes, running a support group, or investigating the disappearance of
> Amelia Earhart.


Yeah, I think that's the real problem.  I would like to propose that until
such time as we have a definitive answer to her fate, this list should be
used exclusively for that topic.

David, is it possible to filter posts to WikiEn-L, and block everything
that's not about Amelia Earhart?  Please?
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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 15:50:07 +0000, "David Gerard"
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>This is unsuitable phrasing for this list ... infuriating as it undoubtedly is.

Sorry, you are right of course.  "Handles trolls badly", I think it
was.  Never a truer word.

Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG


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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Ray Saintonge
Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 15:50:07 +0000, "David Gerard" wrote:
>  
>> This is unsuitable phrasing for this list ... infuriating as it undoubtedly is.
>>    
> Sorry, you are right of course.  "Handles trolls badly", I think it
> was.  Never a truer word.
Better still, if, in your opinion, they are trolls try not feeding them
hallucinogenic drugs.

Ec

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Guy Chapman aka JzG
On Thu, 06 Dec 2007 10:35:12 -0800, Ray Saintonge
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>Better still, if, in your opinion, they are trolls try not feeding them
>hallucinogenic drugs.

Ray, I am sorry, but I really hate it when people tell lies, and
continue to tell lies after they have been told by people who
(unlike them) know the truth, that they are indeed lies.

It is a character flaw.

Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG


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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Guettarda
Guettarda wrote:

> On Dec 6, 2007 12:10 AM, Alec Conroy wrote:
>  
>>  The list...existed to cooridinate SOMETHING.   What exactly were they
>> coordinating, who knws-- but it's obvious  people ...weren't  swapping
>> recipes, running a support group, or investigating the disappearance of
>> Amelia Earhart.
>>    
> Yeah, I think that's the real problem.  I would like to propose that until
> such time as we have a definitive answer to her fate, this list should be
> used exclusively for that topic.
>
> David, is it possible to filter posts to WikiEn-L, and block everything
> that's not about Amelia Earhart?  Please?
It sounds as though you are suggesting that a mention of Amelia Earhart
could be used as an antidote to Godwin's law.

Ec

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Alec Conroy-2
I am glad to see Alec laying his cards on the table here.

Alec Conroy wrote:

> On 12/5/07, jayjg <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> What's boring are continuing snide insinuations. Why [doesn't]
>> anyone else who insists that the Cyberstalking list was used to
>> co-ordinate !!'s block say straight out that they think Matt and Guy
>> and Slim are lying, if that's what they think, rather than using
>> weaselly innuendo to try to press their point?
>
> I know this horse is sorta dead, but since peopel are still engaging
> in the post-mortem, I thought I should chime in.
>
> First of all, Matt and Guy and Slim can't lie about something they
> can't possibly have known.  The truth is, they have no clue whether
> the list was used to coordiante or not.  Durova posted to the list
> about !! to the list--  what responses she got back through email,
> only Durova and her sleuths know.   People can say "I didn't see any
> full-formed coordination", but they can't actually know there was no
> such coordination.

So we now have established that the list was not secret and was not used
directly to coordinate the !! block.  So Alec shifts gears with a new
allegation: maybe people responded *privately* to Durova's post with
support.

Note well, this is not an argument against ad hoc side mailing lists,
this is an argument against mailing lists, period.  Actually, it is an
argument against anyone posting anything anywhere, public or private,
since who knows, people might respond privately by email.

> Secondly, there's no need to fixate just on the !! issue.  The list
> had been running long before !!, and it was "high volume".   It
> certainly seems that the Cyberstalking and the Investigations lists
> existed to cooridinate SOMETHING.   What exactly were they
> coordinating, who knws-- but it's obvious  people on it were talking
> about wikipedia, they weren't  swapping recipes, running a support
> group, or investigating the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

Uh, Alec, I think this has been explained to you multiple times now.

The list was an outgrowth of an ad hoc mailing list to discuss the
complex and painful issue of people being cyberstalked as a result of
their participation on Wikipedia.

> But obviously, there was some sort of coordination, and there was SOME
>  reason that even the mere EXISTENCE of the lists were being kept
> secret-- rather than just keeping hte contents of the list private.

The existence of the lists was never a secret.

> *  Miltopias block was almost certainly coordinated on the list--
> Durova strongly implies it, and in fact Durova seems to practically
> gloat that the coordination over that went undiscovered.

As the blocking admin, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the
Miltopia block was not "coordinated" on the list.  I have no idea what
that would even mean in this context.

> "We just wanted a private place to share our feelings" isn't going to
> assauge the community's fear that the list was used to coordinate
> something, somewhere, somehow.

I think it makes sense to the community that some people have been badly
hurt, to the point that the police have had to be called.  That may mean
nothing to you, but you do not speak for the entire community here.

--Jimbo


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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Bryan Derksen
Jimmy Wales wrote:

> I am glad to see Alec laying his cards on the table here.
>
> Alec Conroy wrote:
>> "We just wanted a private place to share our feelings" isn't going to
>> assauge the community's fear that the list was used to coordinate
>> something, somewhere, somehow.
>
> I think it makes sense to the community that some people have been badly
> hurt, to the point that the police have had to be called.  That may mean
> nothing to you, but you do not speak for the entire community here.
I doubt that Alec is some sort of evil fiend who doesn't care if people
get harassed. I think his main point here is not that nothing should be
done to help those who have been harassed, but that helping those who
have been harassed is not the sole consideration that has to be taken
into account. The concerns of other segments of the editing community
need to be addressed as well.

Nobody speaks for the _entire_ community. That's why we need to listen
to each others' concerns and find compromises to hopefully satisfy all
of them.


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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

James Farrar
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 08/12/2007, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Alec Conroy wrote:
> > On 12/5/07, jayjg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > First of all, Matt and Guy and Slim can't lie about something they
> > can't possibly have known.  The truth is, they have no clue whether
> > the list was used to coordiante or not.  Durova posted to the list
> > about !! to the list--  what responses she got back through email,
> > only Durova and her sleuths know.   People can say "I didn't see any
> > full-formed coordination", but they can't actually know there was no
> > such coordination.
>
> So we now have established that the list was not secret and was not used
> directly to coordinate the !! block.  So Alec shifts gears with a new
> allegation: maybe people responded *privately* to Durova's post with
> support.

This is not a new allegation. It follows logically from statements
from Durova, Jay and others, too.

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Alec Conroy-2
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 12/8/07, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I am glad to see Alec laying his cards on the table here.

Ouch!   Well, I don't know how to take this, per se, other than to
apologize for inadvertant toe-stepping.  Granted, I wasn't unaware
that some toes were getting tender, but I didn't realize what large
and influencial toes they were.

--
Reading you email, I get the feeling like you feel like this whole
issue was manufacture by malcontents-- but really, all I and other
concerned editors have done is reeped the seeds of confusion sown by
Durova's own words.

Durova was quite clear that she had consulted with other "sleuths" and
that she had received "enthusiastic" endorsements.  I didn't concoct
the theory that there was extensive collaboration-- Durova cited that
collaboration to justify her actions.  When it turned out that
whatever group had collaborated in the !! was, essentially, smoking
crack,  I honestly thought I could help the project out by asking
pointed questions to try to determine who the amorphous assortment
was.

Similarly, I didn't create the idea of a 'list, the existence of which
is unknown', I just quoted Durova.  Whether it was an email list, a
Wikipedia list, a Wikia list,  or what-- that I have never known.  I
honestly thought it would be useful to the project to know what forum
was involved, and I thought it would be helpful to ask pointed
questions on that subject.

Again, when I suggested the list had been used to collaborate, again,
I'm just quoting what Durova herself seems to confirm.
PrivateMusings asked if there has been any off-wiki collaboration,
Durova cites PM's query as evidence that "they" don't know about the
list.  You needed be of any conspiratorial bent to somehow suspect
that, in Durova's mind at least, some "list they don't know exists" is
connected to "off-wiki collaboration".  Durova's the one who privately
answered PM's query by referring to the list-- not me.

Look at it from my point of view, Jimbo.  In the leaked "secret
evidence" email, Durova certainly  'appears' to have claimed there is
some list, somewhere, that was secret, that was being used for
collaboration.

I mean, we can all agree that is how things certain appear from an
outside vantage point, right?  That's what all the fuss is about.

Durova didn't lose her bit for a 75 mins "oops" that she herself
corrected, after all.   She didn't drop out of the election because
she accidently hit the wrong button, and Mercury didn't get 67 oppose
votes in less than five hours because he just accidently supported a
bad block.  These things occurred because there was a very real
concern about how this block was made, who discussed it, where it was
discussed, what they said about it, and what similar discussions have
taken place.

From my point of view, that was a problem, and I just wanted to lend a
hand to those who wanted it solved--  a group of people that, judging
from the RFC and the election results, is quite massive.    I didn't
create the problem, I didn't manufacture it, I didn't even uncover
it--  I  just found it lying here, and thought I'd lend a hand at
solving it.  And once I shut up about the problem (which I will do at
the conclusion of this email) , the concerns of the community won't
leave with me--- they'll still exist, until they are either answered
or forgotten.
--

To somebody who has been "in the loop" at all points, it may look like
transparency isn't a concern, because you forget how much was unknown.

First the reason for the !! block was secret.  Then some details about
the reasons came out, but the specific the evidence was secret.  Then
the general nature of the evidence was revealed, but the email was
secret.  Then the email was leaked, but it was oversighted to try to
keep it secret.  Then the email was mirrored, and the list referred to
in it was secret.  Then the name of the cyberstalking list came out,
but the "other" list was secret.  Then the investigations list came
out, but the membership was secret.  Then the membership lists were
leaked, but the discussions were still secret.  The "fives sleuths"
are still secret, or else Durova's fabrication of them is still
secret.

I discovered this bruhaha only at the end-- I personally  was only
involved in the last few of those steps,  But looking over the record,
it's clear that at every step, it was like pulling teeth.

I doubt a desysopping would have occured if  Durova had just said
uprfont :  Me, Jimbo, and n number of other admins are all part of a
private, heretofore unknown, "Cyberstalking" email list where we
discuss how to identify perpetators of cyberstalking. Two weeks ago, I
sent out this email full of evidence against !!-- here's a copy of
that email.   In response, five admins, named a b c d and e,  wrote me
back.  They enthusiastically endorsing the block of !!, and here's a
copy of their reasoning.

If that had happened, would peope have assembled pitchforks and
torches and demanded  a desysopping of Durova?  I doubt it.   But all
the cloak and dagger-- secret lists and secret evidence and secret
sleuths-- that's what caused the unrest.

And the unrest is still there.  Because when every step is like
pulling teeth, people naturally assume there's a few teeth left
unpulled.

Now if you (Jimbo) genuinely believe the community has no concerns
about transparency and that there never were any secret lists, secret
collaborations, or secret sleuths-- well, hopefully you're right, and
you of course should know the community far far better than me, so
hopefully they're no problem then.

I can only say, in my defense, from where _I_ sat-- knowing only what
had been made public and looking over RFC, RFArs, and ArbcomElection
Results--  it looked like there was a very big problem, and great
concern among the community.  .  I did my best to get to the bottom of
it for the community.  I actually assumed that except for a few bad
apples, practically everyone would appreciate the attempt, but in the
end, it seems quite a lot of people would rather some questions be
left unanswered, or at least, unasked, or at least, not asked by me in
the manner and form I've been asking them.  I have officially been
told to shut the fuck up, I shall do so now.

We'll just have to live with the fact that we'll never know who all
endorsed the block of !!, what forum they endorsed it in, and what
similar actions they've collaboratively endorsed, or whether Durova
made the whole thing up.

I think it would have been better for the project for to have gotten
to the bottom of it-- to find out just who endorsed what, when then
endorsed it, where they endorsed it, why they endorsed it, and what
else they've endorsed.  Durova's RFC seemed to me to be a massive
Request for Answers-- I would have thought it best to find the answers
and publicize them  But I'm just a two-bit article editor who can't
even figure out how to save his Visio-created .PNGs into .SVGs--  who
am I to argue about what's best for the project with the project's
founder?


Alec

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Risker
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On Dec 8, 2007 9:15 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I am glad to see Alec laying his cards on the table here.
>
> Alec Conroy wrote:
> > On 12/5/07, jayjg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> <snip>
>


>
> > "We just wanted a private place to share our feelings" isn't going to
> > assauge the community's fear that the list was used to coordinate
> > something, somewhere, somehow.
>
> I think it makes sense to the community that some people have been badly
> hurt, to the point that the police have had to be called.  That may mean
> nothing to you, but you do not speak for the entire community here.
>
> --Jimbo
>


>  Jimmy, I hope you can see that this was quite possibly the least
> effective and most Orwellian way to try to address harassment and stalking
> on Wikipedia.  I think everyone can concede that this aberrant behaviour
> exists to some degree; however, right now it is managed on an ad hoc basis
> by people whose definition of "stalking" can include things as simple as
> unwanted messages on their talk pages.
>

In spite of some remaining uncertainty on my part, I will give the benefit
of the doubt to those involved in the cyberstalking mailing list that its
intentions were to provide support and brainstorm ideas about how to address
harassment and real-life stalking that originates from Wikipedia
interactions.  So - instead of identifying and discussing a Wikipedia
problem *on* Wikipedia, it was sequestered off the project. There was not
even an indication that such a forum of discussion existed.  Meanwhile,
actual victims of stalking and harassment would have had no idea where to
turn, other than perhaps to show up at ANI and hope that someone who was
around would have the knowledge and ability to assist them in dealing with
potentially very serious issues. The mailing list was not of use to them;
first they would have had to find out about it, then request an invitation,
then be approved...and only then would their case have been discussed.  The
decision to involve police in such incidents needs to be made very promptly,
it cannot wait until perhaps a few days later when the list owner happens to
get around to it.

Jimbo, serious harassment and stalking has been an issue since before I
started here three years ago.  It is part of the reason why my Wikipedia
username and email are sequestered from all the rest of my online and
real-life activity. It's time to take this seriously, and for the
development of an on-wiki, skilled and knowledgeable group of admins who are
willing to operate using their real names (for the purpose of police
interaction) to genuinely provide assistance to users on this very serious
subject.  Consider this the Wikipedia equivalent of spousal abuse - the most
effective action is to bring it out into the light and address it head on.

Risker

>
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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

private musings
In reply to this post by Alec Conroy-2
To my mind, this dialog has become rather unfortunately overly polarised.
It's probably not as hard as we think to find common ground, which would
certainly be for the good.

My main concern in all this (which I think is echoed elsewhere clearly and
loudly) is that people have been taking 'on-wiki' actions without the
appropriate level of 'on-wiki' discussion. I think we would all agree that a
group (say 4 or 5) of 'senior' editors forming opinions privately, and then
each taking action in the matter at hand at the very least is behaviour
which probably requires great care to avoid becoming problematic.

.....and a small extra - in my view it also really helps to think about the
good faith reasoning behind the posts on all sides, there's a little too
much of the 'old school' 'anything goes' repartee of usenet past in some of
these discussions. I guess what I mean by that is that a sensible, nuanced
(diplomatic?) discussion isn't helped by incredulity on anyone's part,
feigned or otherwise. If you are genuinely incredulous, I'd recommend the
advice given previously - take a walk, calm down, and have a think before
you post - "what the heck are you on about? I have no idea what you're
talking about!" is part of the problem.

to my mind, almost all of these apply in some way;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Brandeis#Selected_quotations

PM.
ps. many thanks for allowing this post onto the list.
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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

jayjg
On Dec 9, 2007 5:37 PM, private musings <[hidden email]> wrote:

> To my mind, this dialog has become rather unfortunately overly polarised.
> It's probably not as hard as we think to find common ground, which would
> certainly be for the good.
>
> My main concern in all this (which I think is echoed elsewhere clearly and
> loudly) is that people have been taking 'on-wiki' actions without the
> appropriate level of 'on-wiki' discussion. I think we would all agree that a
> group (say 4 or 5) of 'senior' editors forming opinions privately, and then
> each taking action in the matter at hand at the very least is behaviour
> which probably requires great care to avoid becoming problematic.

Why do you keep repeating these things as if they're facts? Do you
think it helps the tenor of the conversation to continually post
unproven (and, in fact, repudiated) allegations, and then claim that
they represent a "problematic" issue about which "great care" must be
taken?

Here's what would help the tenor of discussions on the list; stop
speculating, and then insisting the sky is falling based on that
speculation.

> If you are genuinely incredulous, I'd recommend the
> advice given previously - take a walk, calm down,

People who have no idea what others are talking don't need to "calm
down"; mystification does not imply a lack of calmness, and it's very
odd you would suggest they are the same thing, or inevitably accompany
each other.

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

private musings
a brief response to Jajjg;

I don't think the sky is falling in, or there's a big mean conspiracy, or
even that the wiki has lost it's innocence to a point of no return - it's
all ok (honest, it is). Relax a little - I'm afraid I would best describe
the tenor of your post as a chunter.

If you feel my previous post took the tenor of continually posting unproven
and repudiated allegations, then it seems to me you're tilting at windmills,
and though of course mystification doesn't imply a lack of calmness, it
certainly doesn't help much, and a nice stroll might!

Is it a fair presumption that you see nothing worth discussing herein?

best,
PM
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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

jayjg
In reply to this post by Alec Conroy-2
On Dec 9, 2007 4:20 AM, Alec Conroy <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 12/8/07, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I am glad to see Alec laying his cards on the table here.
>
> Ouch!   Well, I don't know how to take this, per se, other than to
> apologize for inadvertant toe-stepping.  Granted, I wasn't unaware
> that some toes were getting tender, but I didn't realize what large
> and influencial toes they were.
>
> --
> Reading you email, I get the feeling like you feel like this whole
> issue was manufacture by malcontents-- but really, all I and other
> concerned editors have done is reeped the seeds of confusion sown by
> Durova's own words.
>
> Durova was quite clear that she had consulted with other "sleuths" and
> that she had received "enthusiastic" endorsements.  I didn't concoct
> the theory that there was extensive collaboration-- Durova cited that
> collaboration to justify her actions.  When it turned out that
> whatever group had collaborated in the !! was, essentially, smoking
> crack,  I honestly thought I could help the project out by asking
> pointed questions to try to determine who the amorphous assortment
> was.
>
> Similarly, I didn't create the idea of a 'list, the existence of which
> is unknown', I just quoted Durova.  Whether it was an email list, a
> Wikipedia list, a Wikia list,  or what-- that I have never known.  I
> honestly thought it would be useful to the project to know what forum
> was involved, and I thought it would be helpful to ask pointed
> questions on that subject.
>
> Again, when I suggested the list had been used to collaborate, again,
> I'm just quoting what Durova herself seems to confirm.
> PrivateMusings asked if there has been any off-wiki collaboration,
> Durova cites PM's query as evidence that "they" don't know about the
> list.  You needed be of any conspiratorial bent to somehow suspect
> that, in Durova's mind at least, some "list they don't know exists" is
> connected to "off-wiki collaboration".  Durova's the one who privately
> answered PM's query by referring to the list-- not me.
>
> Look at it from my point of view, Jimbo.  In the leaked "secret
> evidence" email, Durova certainly  'appears' to have claimed there is
> some list, somewhere, that was secret, that was being used for
> collaboration.
>
> I mean, we can all agree that is how things certain appear from an
> outside vantage point, right?  That's what all the fuss is about.

The problem was not that you assumed the cyberstalking list had been
used to co-ordinate the block, but the fact that for days you loudly
insisted that it *had* been used to do just that, despite multiple
statements to the contrary by multiple members of the list. The first
time you insisted SHOW ME THE E-MAILS was not disruptive, but when you
did it again and again, day after day, you were effectively saying,
over and over again, that these people were lying. To use your
metaphor, "toes were tender" not because you stepped on them by
accident once, but because you kept jumping up and down on them after
their owners politely asked you to stop. Stop calling people liars,
stop inventing fantasies about their actions that have no relation to
the reality they know, and they will stop being "tender".

> Durova didn't lose her bit for a 75 mins "oops" that she herself
> corrected, after all.   She didn't drop out of the election because
> she accidently hit the wrong button, and Mercury didn't get 67 oppose
> votes in less than five hours because he just accidently supported a
> bad block.  These things occurred because there was a very real
> concern about how this block was made, who discussed it, where it was
> discussed, what they said about it, and what similar discussions have
> taken place.
>
> From my point of view, that was a problem, and I just wanted to lend a
> hand to those who wanted it solved--  a group of people that, judging
> from the RFC and the election results, is quite massive.    I didn't
> create the problem, I didn't manufacture it, I didn't even uncover
> it--  I  just found it lying here, and thought I'd lend a hand at
> solving it.

No, Alec, you actually created the problem; you, and a small number of
others. You kept insisting the cyberstalking (or investigations) list
had been used to co-ordinate the block; screaming about it. Others who
were doing the same went to disreputable tabloids to repeat this (and
other) falsehoods as if they were fact. A non-existent block
co-ordination is not a "problem". A group of editors who deliberately
sully Wikipedia's reputation with calumny in the service of yellow
journalism are the problem.

> But all
> the cloak and dagger-- secret lists and secret evidence and secret
> sleuths-- that's what caused the unrest.

Again, it was the agitation about "secret lists" that "caused the
unrest". You *knew* the phrase "secret list" was deliberately
provocative, and were told as much many times, yet insisted on using
the phrase anyway, because of its sensationalist connotations.

> Because when every step is like
> pulling teeth, people naturally assume there's a few teeth left
> unpulled.

Yeah, that reminded me of the teeth pulling scene with Laurence
Olivier and Dustin Hoffman in The Marathon Man:

Szell: Is it safe?... Is it safe?
Babe: You're talking to me?
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Is what safe?
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: I don't know what you mean. I can't tell you something's safe or
not, unless I know specifically what you're talking about.
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Tell me what the "it" refers to.
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Yes, it's safe, it's very safe, it's so safe you wouldn't believe it.
Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: No. It's not safe, it's... very dangerous, be careful.

> I did my best to get to the bottom of it for the community...
> I think it would have been better for the project for to have gotten
> to the bottom of it-- to find out just who endorsed what, when then
> endorsed it, where they endorsed it, why they endorsed it, and what
> else they've endorsed.

You keep assuming there's an "it" to be gotten to the bottom of.
That's why *you* are the problem, not non-existent co-ordination of
blocks.

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Re: Coordination on Secret/private lists

Relata Refero
On Dec 10, 2007 8:47 AM, jayjg <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Dec 9, 2007 4:20 AM, Alec Conroy <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 12/8/07, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > I am glad to see Alec laying his cards on the table here.
> >
> > Ouch!   Well, I don't know how to take this, per se, other than to
> > apologize for inadvertant toe-stepping.  Granted, I wasn't unaware
> > that some toes were getting tender, but I didn't realize what large
> > and influencial toes they were.
> >
> > --
> > Reading you email, I get the feeling like you feel like this whole
> > issue was manufacture by malcontents-- but really, all I and other
> > concerned editors have done is reeped the seeds of confusion sown by
> > Durova's own words.
> >
> > Durova was quite clear that she had consulted with other "sleuths" and
> > that she had received "enthusiastic" endorsements.  I didn't concoct
> > the theory that there was extensive collaboration-- Durova cited that
> > collaboration to justify her actions.  When it turned out that
> > whatever group had collaborated in the !! was, essentially, smoking
> > crack,  I honestly thought I could help the project out by asking
> > pointed questions to try to determine who the amorphous assortment
> > was.
> >
> > Similarly, I didn't create the idea of a 'list, the existence of which
> > is unknown', I just quoted Durova.  Whether it was an email list, a
> > Wikipedia list, a Wikia list,  or what-- that I have never known.  I
> > honestly thought it would be useful to the project to know what forum
> > was involved, and I thought it would be helpful to ask pointed
> > questions on that subject.
> >
> > Again, when I suggested the list had been used to collaborate, again,
> > I'm just quoting what Durova herself seems to confirm.
> > PrivateMusings asked if there has been any off-wiki collaboration,
> > Durova cites PM's query as evidence that "they" don't know about the
> > list.  You needed be of any conspiratorial bent to somehow suspect
> > that, in Durova's mind at least, some "list they don't know exists" is
> > connected to "off-wiki collaboration".  Durova's the one who privately
> > answered PM's query by referring to the list-- not me.
> >
> > Look at it from my point of view, Jimbo.  In the leaked "secret
> > evidence" email, Durova certainly  'appears' to have claimed there is
> > some list, somewhere, that was secret, that was being used for
> > collaboration.
> >
> > I mean, we can all agree that is how things certain appear from an
> > outside vantage point, right?  That's what all the fuss is about.
>
> The problem was not that you assumed the cyberstalking list had been
> used to co-ordinate the block, but the fact that for days you loudly
> insisted that it *had* been used to do just that, despite multiple
> statements to the contrary by multiple members of the list. The first
> time you insisted SHOW ME THE E-MAILS was not disruptive, but when you
> did it again and again, day after day, you were effectively saying,
> over and over again, that these people were lying. To use your
> metaphor, "toes were tender" not because you stepped on them by
> accident once, but because you kept jumping up and down on them after
> their owners politely asked you to stop. Stop calling people liars,
> stop inventing fantasies about their actions that have no relation to
> the reality they know, and they will stop being "tender".
>

Jay, I can only suppose you've stopped reading Alec's emails, which is
fine - I'm sure a lot of people have. Unfortunately, you haven't
stopped replying to them.
He quite clearly laid out the sequence of what was initially obscured
and then leaked/clarified; you ignored it magisterially. Your
caricature of his behaviour is unhelpful, misleading and
inappropriate, and I suggest you stop it now. If you don't have
anything useful to contribute to the discussion, remain silent, as
most of us have been doing.
Alec has moved well beyond claiming that there was any discussion
on-list, which was what was specifically denied. We all did that,
weeks ago now. It is a pity you haven't stopped denying it.

> > My main concern in all this (which I think is echoed elsewhere clearly and
> > loudly) is that people have been taking 'on-wiki' actions without the
> > appropriate level of 'on-wiki' discussion. I think we would all agree that a
> > group (say 4 or 5) of 'senior' editors forming opinions privately, and then
> > each taking action in the matter at hand at the very least is behaviour
> > which probably requires great care to avoid becoming problematic.
>
> Why do you keep repeating these things as if they're facts? Do you
> think it helps the tenor of the conversation to continually post
> unproven (and, in fact, repudiated) allegations, and then claim that
> they represent a "problematic" issue about which "great care" must be
> taken?

This, for example, has not, as far as I know, been repudiated; either
in the case of !!'s block or in the case of PM's block. In fact, in
the case of PM's block, it was quite clearly confirmed. (Jimbo says
there was no discussion of Miltopia's block off-wiki in advance.) Your
repeated conflation of Alec's carefully worded statement with "no
discussion on the list" is problematic.

RR


RR

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