Of edit wars and felonious monks

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Of edit wars and felonious monks

Guy Chapman aka JzG
As a party to the arbitration on WebEx and Min Zhu
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/WebEx_and_Min_Zhu)
I note that FeloniousMonk is criticised for using admin powers in a
dispute in which he is involved.  It seems to me that Felonious was
not involved in an editorial capacity, only in the prevention of
reversion of certain content - which he saw (in good faith) as
whitewashing, which is vandalism.  I happen to disagree - I would
always err on the side of removal where living people are concerned -
but I have come to trust Felonious' good faith even while disagreeing
with him.  

Be that as it may, at what point does an admin become "involved" in a
dispute to which (s)he has been called to stop an edit war?  I'm a bit
concerned that use of admin powers in a dispute where one takes a
watching brief without actively editing content might still be
interpreted as abuse, by extension of this precedent.

Or is it that Felonious' reviewing of the evidence and taking a stand
was, in effect, placing himself in the editorial dispute?

My problem here is that once an admin has been called into a
firefight, one side or the other will invariably see them as partisan
almost immediately, and I am not at all certain that I know when to
stop providing administrative support against vandals by request of
trusted editors in contentious articles: at what point am I "involved"
and needing to step back?
Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG

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Re: Of edit wars and felonious monks

Fred Bauder
It seems to me that if you run into a nasty situation while  
intervening, we (the arbitrators and the rest of the community)  
should cut you some slack if a skunk gets some stink on you.

Fred

On Feb 22, 2006, at 5:04 AM, Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote:

> As a party to the arbitration on WebEx and Min Zhu
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/ 
> WebEx_and_Min_Zhu)
> I note that FeloniousMonk is criticised for using admin powers in a
> dispute in which he is involved.  It seems to me that Felonious was
> not involved in an editorial capacity, only in the prevention of
> reversion of certain content - which he saw (in good faith) as
> whitewashing, which is vandalism.  I happen to disagree - I would
> always err on the side of removal where living people are concerned -
> but I have come to trust Felonious' good faith even while disagreeing
> with him.
>
> Be that as it may, at what point does an admin become "involved" in a
> dispute to which (s)he has been called to stop an edit war?  I'm a bit
> concerned that use of admin powers in a dispute where one takes a
> watching brief without actively editing content might still be
> interpreted as abuse, by extension of this precedent.
>
> Or is it that Felonious' reviewing of the evidence and taking a stand
> was, in effect, placing himself in the editorial dispute?
>
> My problem here is that once an admin has been called into a
> firefight, one side or the other will invariably see them as partisan
> almost immediately, and I am not at all certain that I know when to
> stop providing administrative support against vandals by request of
> trusted editors in contentious articles: at what point am I "involved"
> and needing to step back?
> Guy (JzG)
> --
> http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>

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Re: Of edit wars and felonious monks

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Guy Chapman aka JzG
Guy Chapman aka JzG wrote

> My problem here is that once an admin has been called into a
> firefight, one side or the other will invariably see them as partisan
> almost immediately,

Very true.

>and I am not at all certain that I know when to
> stop providing administrative support against vandals by request of
> trusted editors in contentious articles: at what point am I "involved"
> and needing to step back?

My view: with 800 admins, you should be able to call in another one, when
things get rough.  If there are two of you, there is less need to worry
about stepping back; just share the load.

Charles


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Re: Of edit wars and felonious monks

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder
"Fred Bauder" wrote

> It seems to me that if you run into a nasty situation while
> intervening, we (the arbitrators and the rest of the community)
> should cut you some slack if a skunk gets some stink on you.

I agree with Fred.  The last thing we should do it is to deter admins from
getting involved with most contentious issues, where some sort of tarnishing
incident is most likely to happen.

As with the Rajput case, the ArbCom has to note when an admin gets it wrong.
That's not the same as saying we have to impose sanctions.  That's very much
linked to the circumstances, and the way admin powers are being applied.

Charles


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Re: Of edit wars and felonious monks

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 13:25:30 -0000, you wrote:

>My view: with 800 admins, you should be able to call in another one, when
>things get rough.  If there are two of you, there is less need to worry
>about stepping back; just share the load.

This is sound advice, maybe that's where Felonious went wrong.  I have
done this with Simon Wessely, I probably need to do it with some of
the Southern Baptist articles.
Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG

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