Global ban - poetlister?

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Global ban - poetlister?

Doc glasgow
What does it take for a global ban?

 

Do you remember "Poetlister"? Aka Cato, aka Runcorn, aka Quillercouch, aka
British Civil servant with various anti-social problems.  Multiple
sockpuppeting, manipulation, lies, harassment, identity theft, acquiring
checkuser and crat status on various projects. Banned from en.wp, banned
from commons, banned even from wikisource.  

 

The same user is now opening editing on Wikiversity:
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Poetlister

 

I'm genuinely shocked.

 

I know projects value their independence, but really? Can this user simply
wander round projects wreaking havoc? It seems that the only person evil
enough to get globally banned is Greg Kohs - and as annoying as he is, he
does not reach this level of fuckedup.

 

(For background see

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Poetlister_and_Cato

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2008-09-15/Poetlis
ter )

 

 

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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Peter Coombe
On 3 June 2011 09:17, Scott MacDonald <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What does it take for a global ban?
>
>
>
> Do you remember "Poetlister"? Aka Cato, aka Runcorn, aka Quillercouch, aka
> British Civil servant with various anti-social problems.  Multiple
> sockpuppeting, manipulation, lies, harassment, identity theft, acquiring
> checkuser and crat status on various projects. Banned from en.wp, banned
> from commons, banned even from wikisource.
>
>
>
> The same user is now opening editing on Wikiversity:
> http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Poetlister
>
>
>
> I'm genuinely shocked.
>
>
>
> I know projects value their independence, but really? Can this user simply
> wander round projects wreaking havoc? It seems that the only person evil
> enough to get globally banned is Greg Kohs - and as annoying as he is, he
> does not reach this level of fuckedup.
>

Even old Greg is not banned everywhere anymore - see
http://toolserver.org/~vvv/sulutil.php?user=Thekohser
His account was globally locked at one point on "word of Jimbo", but
it was decided that this was out of order and that individual projects
should be free to decide for themselves. A few (including en.wikinews)
have unblocked him after some discussion.

I am somewhat shocked at Poetlister though, that was a truly
monumental case of deception and abuse, probably the worst ever seen
on our projects. But if the Wikiversity community wants to let him
continue editing, I suppose it's their funeral.

Pete / the wub

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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Doc glasgow

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:foundation-l-
> [hidden email]] On Behalf Of Peter Coombe
> Sent: 03 June 2011 13:14
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?
>
> On 3 June 2011 09:17, Scott MacDonald <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > What does it take for a global ban?
> >
> >
> >
> > Do you remember "Poetlister"? Aka Cato, aka Runcorn, aka
> Quillercouch, aka
> > British Civil servant with various anti-social problems.  Multiple
> > sockpuppeting, manipulation, lies, harassment, identity theft,
> acquiring
> > checkuser and crat status on various projects. Banned from en.wp,
> banned
> > from commons, banned even from wikisource.
> >
> >
> >
> > The same user is now opening editing on Wikiversity:
> > http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Poetlister
> >
> >
> >
> > I'm genuinely shocked.
> >
> >
> >
> > I know projects value their independence, but really? Can this user
> simply
> > wander round projects wreaking havoc? It seems that the only person
> evil
> > enough to get globally banned is Greg Kohs - and as annoying as he
> is, he
> > does not reach this level of fuckedup.
> >
>
> Even old Greg is not banned everywhere anymore - see
> http://toolserver.org/~vvv/sulutil.php?user=Thekohser
> His account was globally locked at one point on "word of Jimbo", but
> it was decided that this was out of order and that individual projects
> should be free to decide for themselves. A few (including en.wikinews)
> have unblocked him after some discussion.
>
> I am somewhat shocked at Poetlister though, that was a truly
> monumental case of deception and abuse, probably the worst ever seen
> on our projects. But if the Wikiversity community wants to let him
> continue editing, I suppose it's their funeral.
>
> Pete / the wub
>
> _______________________________________________


The attitude that every project decides for itself and sinks or swims by its
wisdom, is fine up to a point. However, there is a point where the continued
presence of a user will serve to bring all the projects into disrepute.

Imagine if poetlister now engages in identity theft and deception at
Wikiversity. When the press print "Despite his earlier activities and being
banned, Wikipedia's masters knowing allowed him to continue on sister
projects" they will not observe the internal self-determination. The
reputation of projects stands or falls together.

To take it to extremes, does someone banned for criminal activities get to
edit any other project unless that project wises up?

There should be a basis for saying "once banned independently from three
projects, you don't get to use a forth."

Scott

 


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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Doc glasgow
In reply to this post by Peter Coombe


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:foundation-l-
> [hidden email]] On Behalf Of Peter Coombe
> Sent: 03 June 2011 13:14
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?
>
> Even old Greg is not banned everywhere anymore - see
> http://toolserver.org/~vvv/sulutil.php?user=Thekohser
> His account was globally locked at one point on "word of Jimbo", but
> it was decided that this was out of order and that individual projects
> should be free to decide for themselves. A few (including en.wikinews)
> have unblocked him after some discussion.
>

Username: Thekohser
User ID: 3481615
User registration: 14:19, 09 July 2009
Home wiki: enwiki
Locked: *yes*
Hidden: no

Doesn't that mean he is blocked?


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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

arablue99
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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia)
In view of the entire history of this matter, not all of which should
necessarily be discussed publicly, Poetlister should not be editing under
any account name on any project.  The fact that as recently as a couple of
months ago he was applying for advanced permissions on a project is
particularly concerning and I would not be averse to Foundation-level
intervention at this time.

Newyorkbrad

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM, Aaron Adrignola
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: "Scott MacDonald" <[hidden email]>
> > To: "'Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List'" <
> > [hidden email]>
> > Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2011 09:17:54 +0100
> > Subject: [Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?
> > What does it take for a global ban?
> >
> > Do you remember "Poetlister"? Aka Cato, aka Runcorn, aka Quillercouch,
> aka
> > British Civil servant with various anti-social problems.  Multiple
> > sockpuppeting, manipulation, lies, harassment, identity theft, acquiring
> > checkuser and crat status on various projects. Banned from en.wp, banned
> > from commons, banned even from wikisource.
> >
> > The same user is now opening editing on Wikiversity:
> > http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Poetlister
> >
> > I'm genuinely shocked.
> >
> > I know projects value their independence, but really? Can this user
> simply
> > wander round projects wreaking havoc? It seems that the only person evil
> > enough to get globally banned is Greg Kohs - and as annoying as he is, he
> > does not reach this level of fuckedup.
> >
> >
> Glad you pointed out Thekohser.  I will point out that despite the use of a
> global lock on the account (not vandalism/spam only [1]) several projects
> have detached the local account from the global one through a double rename
> by bureaucrats [2].  Projects do value their independence and will detach
> accounts globally locked by stewards in cases where their ability to make
> their own decisions has been infringed.  Wikiversity has done this for
> several users globally locked.  No policy prohibits it.
>
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_lock#Global_locks
> [2] http://toolserver.org/~vvv/sulutil.php?rights=1&user=thekohser
>  _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

David Gerard-2
On 3 June 2011 16:40, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In view of the entire history of this matter, not all of which should
> necessarily be discussed publicly, Poetlister should not be editing under
> any account name on any project.  The fact that as recently as a couple of
> months ago he was applying for advanced permissions on a project is
> particularly concerning and I would not be averse to Foundation-level
> intervention at this time.


Poetlister is the level of case where project autonomy is an actively
bad idea. e.g. en.wikiquote deciding to demonstrate their independence
of en:wp by letting him onto the Checkuser list. Nice one.


- d.

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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia)
On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 8:40 AM, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In view of the entire history of this matter, not all of which should
> necessarily be discussed publicly, Poetlister should not be editing under
> any account name on any project.  The fact that as recently as a couple of
> months ago he was applying for advanced permissions on a project is
> particularly concerning and I would not be averse to Foundation-level
> intervention at this time.
>
> Newyorkbrad
>

Thanks for commenting Nyb.

I just wanted to suggest that, rather than setting the precedent of the
Foundation enacting a global ban (even if it's from community request),
people should simply ask the Stewards to do it.

I realize that they're not used to fulfilling such a role when there are
local admins, but if community members wanted to make the case strongly to
them that this is one exceptional situation, then it may be a solution that
keeps staff from stepping in to ban folks who have violated community norms
consistently and egregiously across the projects.

As an added assurance to the Stewards that this is truly exceptional, I
would suggest starting a draft of a global community ban policy on Meta,
which could be worked on in good time after the situation with Poetlister is
dealt with. I don't know if that has been tried and failed before, but with
a very specific example like this one to show need and a very very limited
set of use cases, it may be shown to be necessary.

Just my two cents anyway. While I've been at the Foundation I've been
thinking a lot about how greater communication and cooperation between the
projects could seriously reduce the need to rely on the Foundation or the
Board for certain aspects of global Wikimedia governance. I would love to
see that happen.

Steven Walling
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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia)
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
>
> Poetlister is the level of case where project autonomy is an actively
> bad idea. e.g. en.wikiquote deciding to demonstrate their independence
> of en:wp by letting him onto the Checkuser list. Nice one.
> - d.
>

Not to digress, but in fairness to the folks active on Wikiquote, I don't
think that WQ User:Cato had been identified as Poetlister at the time he was
made a checkuser there.

Newyorkbrad
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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

David Gerard-2
On 3 June 2011 17:21, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Poetlister is the level of case where project autonomy is an actively
>> bad idea. e.g. en.wikiquote deciding to demonstrate their independence
>> of en:wp by letting him onto the Checkuser list. Nice one.

> Not to digress, but in fairness to the folks active on Wikiquote, I don't
> think that WQ User:Cato had been identified as Poetlister at the time he was
> made a checkuser there.


We had extremely strong suspicions, but the reasons some en:wq people
gave for ignoring them was that they wouldn't be told what to do by
en:wp.

I suspect there is more than a little of that in current local wiki
defiance of global bans. And it's really, really not a good idea.


- d.

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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Risker
I think that one of the biggest barriers to the implementation and
enforcement of global bans are past history, a lack of understanding of the
forced interdependence of projects through the SUL process, and difficulties
in finding ways to share information about the seriousness of problems
created by certain users (which often include non-public information).

I have heard from users active in projects other than English Wikipedia that
the Enwp practice of suggesting that their community-banned editors spend
six months contributing to another project has had negative effects on other
projects.  I can certainly see why this has created a sense that other
projects were being used as a "dumping ground" for people deemed unsuitable
for the Enwp community.  This philosophy is slowly abating on our project
(in recent years, the closest an Arbitration Committee statement has come is
saying that contributions to other projects will be considered in future
ban/block reviews), but it's not entirely dissipated.  Sister projects
should not be considered informal rehabilitation facilities for problem
users.

On the other hand, it probably has not really occurred to other projects
that the SUL process has enabled users banned on some projects to continue
to create problems without leaving a publicly visible trail of activity.
These problems can range from inappropriate use of the "Email this user"
feature to resumption of activities on the project where they've been banned
because they've been allowed to create a new account name on the "alternate"
project, with many other permutations along the way.  It's often difficult
to figure out who to share the background information with on various
projects, because of cultural differences (for example, different "rules"
for checkusers), and because public revelation of some of the information
may repeat the harm that was caused by the banned user in the first place.

I too would like to see the development of a process for global banning of
users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
multiple-project level.

Risker/Anne
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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Yaroslav M. Blanter


> I too would like to see the development of a process for global banning
of
> users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
> multiple-project level.
>
> Risker/Anne

I see your reasoning, but I also see at least two serious deficiencies:

1) Some projects explicitly rejected the community ban after extensive
discussion;
2) Any meta-discussion of the community ban would be inevitably dominated
by the English Wikipedia users (and thus may be unacceptable for those
projects which rejected the community ban).

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Sue Gardner-2
In reply to this post by Risker
On 3 June 2011 10:00, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I too would like to see the development of a process for global banning of
> users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
> multiple-project level.

Is there something the Foundation could do to support that happening?

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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Doc glasgow
In reply to this post by Yaroslav M. Blanter


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:foundation-l-
> [hidden email]] On Behalf Of Yaroslav M. Blanter
> Sent: 03 June 2011 18:05
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?
>
>
>
> > I too would like to see the development of a process for global
> banning
> of
> > users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
> > multiple-project level.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
>
> I see your reasoning, but I also see at least two serious deficiencies:
>
> 1) Some projects explicitly rejected the community ban after extensive
> discussion;
> 2) Any meta-discussion of the community ban would be inevitably
> dominated
> by the English Wikipedia users (and thus may be unacceptable for those
> projects which rejected the community ban).
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>

These should be surmountable.

First the grounds for a global ban ought to be limited. Where users have
engaged in activity which goes beyond trolling and disruption towards
illegality, or the type of harassment that has real-life consequences, or
endangers vulnerable people, then a global hard ban should be considered -
which overrides any local agreements to the contrary. In cases where the
user has simply disrupted two or more projects then a presumptive ban would
be more appropriate - that is the user cannot participate in any further
community without specific local consent. (That stops the dumping problem.)

What you need is a mechanism so that one local community, when banning a
user who meets the criteria, can refer the case to a cross-project review
group for a global decision. This group needs to be loaded so that en.wp
cannot dominate - and that other projects can have confidence that this is
the case. It might simply be a conclave of stewards, or it could be a group
with each member nominated by a different project.

Scott






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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Sue Gardner-2
Sue Gardner wrote:
> On 3 June 2011 10:00, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I too would like to see the development of a process for global banning of
>> users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
>> multiple-project level.
>
> Is there something the Foundation could do to support that happening?

As far as I know, no, not really. It's not a Wikimedia Foundation issue,
it's more of Wikimedia community (Meta-Wiki) issue. Someone needs to propose
a global banning policy and then get (global community) consensus to enact
and enforce such a policy. Once there's a reasonable level of
consensus/support, the Wikimedia stewards can enact global locks on
problematic accounts. Most of the technical infrastructure seems to be in
place already, in some form.

A bit more info is available here:
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_blocks_and_locks#Global_locks>.

As noted on the page at Meta-Wiki, I suppose one area where the Wikimedia
Foundation could help is assigning resources to implement global blocking
(currently there's only global locking). More info about that is available
here: <https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=15294>.

MZMcBride



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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Doc glasgow
In reply to this post by Sue Gardner-2


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:foundation-l-
> [hidden email]] On Behalf Of Sue Gardner
> Sent: 03 June 2011 18:11
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?
>
> On 3 June 2011 10:00, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I too would like to see the development of a process for global
> banning of
> > users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
> > multiple-project level.
>
> Is there something the Foundation could do to support that happening?
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

Sue,

The first thing you could do is simply decree that the user known as
poetlister is not welcome on any project controlled by the Foundation. This
would be a precedent, but one in fairly unique circumstances (I'm sure
Newyorkbrad is a better place to update you on them that I am. But I have no
doubt you'll agree the need for a ban.)

Then, if people don't like the precedent of a decree, charge the communities
to develop an agreeable mechanism with appropriate checks and balances, to
handle any future cases - with the caveat that there must be some provision
that can global ban people such as this.

Scott


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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Sue Gardner-2
> On 3 June 2011 10:00, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I too would like to see the development of a process for global banning
>> of
>> users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
>> multiple-project level.
>
> Is there something the Foundation could do to support that happening?

At bottom there is a policy issue involving autonomy of separate
projects. The downside is stove-piping, see the English Wikipedia
article: Stovepipe (organisation)

Fred



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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Doc glasgow
Scott MacDonald wrote:
> The same user is now opening editing on Wikiversity:
> http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Poetlister

And? I don't see a problem with those contributions. Are they problematic in
some way (particularly in a way that the English Wikiversity admins can't
handle)?

There seem to be a number of _institutional_ failures that allow certain
dedicated, willing people to be able to manipulate the system. A number of
forums across the wikiverse have promoted this user to administrator,
bureaucrat, checkuser, etc. That's generally a sign that the user is doing
good work. If those systems are broken, I'd suggest focusing time and energy
on fixing them.

The idea that you can stop manipulation of the system by sporadic (and
wildly inefficient) witch-hunts is rather insane. If the door is unlocked,
you don't imprison every person who tries to open it, you lock it (and then
imprison those who break in).

MZMcBride



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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

Doc glasgow
> And? I don't see a problem with those contributions. Are they
> problematic in
> some way (particularly in a way that the English Wikiversity admins
> can't
> handle)?
>
>
> The idea that you can stop manipulation of the system by sporadic (and
> wildly inefficient) witch-hunts is rather insane. If the door is
> unlocked,
> you don't imprison every person who tries to open it, you lock it (and
> then
> imprison those who break in).
>
> MZMcBride

You don't need a witch-hunt when the witch is there wearing a pointy hat and
holding a broomstick.

Nor is it responsible to let people who are unquestionably dangerous, and
have abused and manipulated Wikimedia and Wikimedians, run about because
"over in this particular corner they've not killed anyone *yet*". Good users
simply deserve better. This user is a persistent and unreformable menace,
and there's no problem with saying NO.

I take the point that creating a security state will not work - but that
doesn't mean we open the jails.

Scott    


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Re: Global ban - poetlister?

geni
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
On 3 June 2011 18:43, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Scott MacDonald wrote:
>> The same user is now opening editing on Wikiversity:
>> http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Poetlister
>
> And? I don't see a problem with those contributions. Are they problematic in
> some way (particularly in a way that the English Wikiversity admins can't
> handle)?

It would not be unrealistic to suggest that those few elements of the
english wikipedia admin community who are aware of their wikiversity
colleges don't hold them in the highest regard.

> There seem to be a number of _institutional_ failures that allow certain
> dedicated, willing people to be able to manipulate the system. A number of
> forums across the wikiverse have promoted this user to administrator,
> bureaucrat, checkuser, etc. That's generally a sign that the user is doing
> good work. If those systems are broken, I'd suggest focusing time and energy
> on fixing them.

There is no practical way to impact another projects RFA process (with
the possible exception of commons and meta). It tends to be an area
where projects like to make their independence clear.

> The idea that you can stop manipulation of the system by sporadic (and
> wildly inefficient) witch-hunts is rather insane. If the door is unlocked,
> you don't imprison every person who tries to open it, you lock it (and then
> imprison those who break in).

Stopping it is always impossible. Zee aim is to reduce it.

--
geni

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