intimidation on wikipedia editing

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intimidation on wikipedia editing

luke.leighton
folks hi,

i am a long-time wikipedia user and long-time and low-volume editor,
and a significant contributor to the strategic roadmap of wikipedia
which occurred a few years ago.  i returned to edit a page and found
that the IP address of the HTTP proxy that i use had been blocked.  i
was reminded of an extreme intimidation incident which clearly
violated the spirit of trusting people to contribute to wikipedia, so
thought it best to alert you of this.

the editing last year was carried out - accidentally - anonymously and
using my usual style of making several incremental edits in rapid
succession so as not to lose track of the information being added.  i
was unpleasantly surprised to find that in the middle of the editing
the *entire* set of edits had been reverted.  i had encountered the
user who carried out the blanket reversion before (when logged in) and
he's what one might call a "wiki nazi": very experienced at "the
rules", and uses them to bullying effect rather than works *with* a
less-experienced contributor, usually by doing total-revert in a
highly disruptive manner.

things escalated and a number of idiots piled in, citing the anonymity
as a means to "attack" wikipedia, whereas in fact it was purely
accidental, but the bullying and the lack of trust shown was the
reason why i chose to *remain* anonymous.

the article in question i refuse to name publicly because it will
identify me instantly to the bullies from whom i still wish to remain
anonymous.

it was a corner-case technical article full of technically inaccurate
technically unsubstantiated and speculative "wishful thinking" on the
part of former editors.  i.e. former editors *wish* that the
technology would be successful, but are unfortunately dreadfully
misinformed on basic maths and physics.  the problem is: the lack of
success of anyone to create a commercially successful version of this
technology in over 100 years makes it very difficult to provide any
kind of "wikipedia-acceptable" citations as to why there are no
commercially successful versions of this technology.

the article therefore continues to mis-inform people rather badly.  a
quick check shows that the page has since been updated, but the core
concerns remain as the page is completely lacking basic math and
physics references, as well as having since been marked as requiring
citations.

so there are several things that need to be resolved - bear in mind
that i am *not* prepared to help publicly resolve this unless the
people who carried out the intimidation are taken to task first:

1) the people who carried out the intimidation and accusations need to
be reminded of the spirit of wikipedia to *trust* contributors rather
than automatically assume that they have malicious intent

2) the IP address of my HTTP proxy is to be removed.  it's utterly
pointless to block IP addresses based on an *individual's* assessment,
when there are things such as "Tor" and other truly anonymous proxies.
 anyone wishing to truly vandalise wikipedia could do so with extreme
prejudice in an automated fashion, and they would certainly not use an
HTTP proxy where a simple reverse-DNS lookup would quickly identify
them.

once these things have been done then i am prepared to assist further
in resolving the subtly misleading parts of the article.  i am happy
to provide the details *privately* to more senior individuals within
the wikipedia foundation such that an investigation can be made.

my efforts to improve wikipedia's accuracy are genuine and sincere,
but as a very low-traffic part-time editor of highly-technical
corner-case articles i simply don't have time to go learning all the
"rules": i'm just not interested, to be absolutely frank.  i'm happy
to work with people who are sincere and accommodating who truly
welcome technical input.

l.

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Re: intimidation on wikipedia editing

Fred Bauder-2
The problem with open proxies is that anyone can use them; lists of them
are published. They are blocked routinely due mainly to spambots which
create many accounts and insert nonsense, usually with links to dubious
commercial sources.

I recommend you create an anonymous account and edit in that way.

Fred

> folks hi,
>
> i am a long-time wikipedia user and long-time and low-volume editor,
> and a significant contributor to the strategic roadmap of wikipedia
> which occurred a few years ago.  i returned to edit a page and found
> that the IP address of the HTTP proxy that i use had been blocked.  i
> was reminded of an extreme intimidation incident which clearly
> violated the spirit of trusting people to contribute to wikipedia, so
> thought it best to alert you of this.
>
> the editing last year was carried out - accidentally - anonymously and
> using my usual style of making several incremental edits in rapid
> succession so as not to lose track of the information being added.  i
> was unpleasantly surprised to find that in the middle of the editing
> the *entire* set of edits had been reverted.  i had encountered the
> user who carried out the blanket reversion before (when logged in) and
> he's what one might call a "wiki nazi": very experienced at "the
> rules", and uses them to bullying effect rather than works *with* a
> less-experienced contributor, usually by doing total-revert in a
> highly disruptive manner.
>
> things escalated and a number of idiots piled in, citing the anonymity
> as a means to "attack" wikipedia, whereas in fact it was purely
> accidental, but the bullying and the lack of trust shown was the
> reason why i chose to *remain* anonymous.
>
> the article in question i refuse to name publicly because it will
> identify me instantly to the bullies from whom i still wish to remain
> anonymous.
>
> it was a corner-case technical article full of technically inaccurate
> technically unsubstantiated and speculative "wishful thinking" on the
> part of former editors.  i.e. former editors *wish* that the
> technology would be successful, but are unfortunately dreadfully
> misinformed on basic maths and physics.  the problem is: the lack of
> success of anyone to create a commercially successful version of this
> technology in over 100 years makes it very difficult to provide any
> kind of "wikipedia-acceptable" citations as to why there are no
> commercially successful versions of this technology.
>
> the article therefore continues to mis-inform people rather badly.  a
> quick check shows that the page has since been updated, but the core
> concerns remain as the page is completely lacking basic math and
> physics references, as well as having since been marked as requiring
> citations.
>
> so there are several things that need to be resolved - bear in mind
> that i am *not* prepared to help publicly resolve this unless the
> people who carried out the intimidation are taken to task first:
>
> 1) the people who carried out the intimidation and accusations need to
> be reminded of the spirit of wikipedia to *trust* contributors rather
> than automatically assume that they have malicious intent
>
> 2) the IP address of my HTTP proxy is to be removed.  it's utterly
> pointless to block IP addresses based on an *individual's* assessment,
> when there are things such as "Tor" and other truly anonymous proxies.
>  anyone wishing to truly vandalise wikipedia could do so with extreme
> prejudice in an automated fashion, and they would certainly not use an
> HTTP proxy where a simple reverse-DNS lookup would quickly identify
> them.
>
> once these things have been done then i am prepared to assist further
> in resolving the subtly misleading parts of the article.  i am happy
> to provide the details *privately* to more senior individuals within
> the wikipedia foundation such that an investigation can be made.
>
> my efforts to improve wikipedia's accuracy are genuine and sincere,
> but as a very low-traffic part-time editor of highly-technical
> corner-case articles i simply don't have time to go learning all the
> "rules": i'm just not interested, to be absolutely frank.  i'm happy
> to work with people who are sincere and accommodating who truly
> welcome technical input.
>
> l.
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



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Re: intimidation on wikipedia editing

Martijn Hoekstra
In reply to this post by luke.leighton
On Jul 1, 2013 11:26 AM, "luke.leighton" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> folks hi,
>
> i am a long-time wikipedia user and long-time and low-volume editor,
> and a significant contributor to the strategic roadmap of wikipedia
> which occurred a few years ago.  i returned to edit a page and found
> that the IP address of the HTTP proxy that i use had been blocked.  i
> was reminded of an extreme intimidation incident which clearly
> violated the spirit of trusting people to contribute to wikipedia, so
> thought it best to alert you of this.
>
> the editing last year was carried out - accidentally - anonymously and
> using my usual style of making several incremental edits in rapid
> succession so as not to lose track of the information being added.  i
> was unpleasantly surprised to find that in the middle of the editing
> the *entire* set of edits had been reverted.

Deplorable. Has it been fixed yet?

 i had encountered the

> user who carried out the blanket reversion before (when logged in) and
> he's what one might call a "wiki nazi": very experienced at "the
> rules", and uses them to bullying effect rather than works *with* a
> less-experienced contributor, usually by doing total-revert in a
> highly disruptive manner.
>
> things escalated and a number of idiots piled in, citing the anonymity
> as a means to "attack" wikipedia, whereas in fact it was purely
> accidental, but the bullying and the lack of trust shown was the
> reason why i chose to *remain* anonymous.

Using an account under a pseudonym makes you more anonymous than editing
while logged out.

>
> the article in question i refuse to name publicly because it will
> identify me instantly to the bullies from whom i still wish to remain
> anonymous.
>

While I understand the sentiment, it does make it virtually impossible to
address what's been going on here.

> it was a corner-case technical article full of technically inaccurate
> technically unsubstantiated and speculative "wishful thinking" on the
> part of former editors.  i.e. former editors *wish* that the
> technology would be successful, but are unfortunately dreadfully
> misinformed on basic maths and physics.  the problem is: the lack of
> success of anyone to create a commercially successful version of this
> technology in over 100 years makes it very difficult to provide any
> kind of "wikipedia-acceptable" citations as to why there are no
> commercially successful versions of this technology.
>
> the article therefore continues to mis-inform people rather badly.  a
> quick check shows that the page has since been updated, but the core
> concerns remain as the page is completely lacking basic math and
> physics references, as well as having since been marked as requiring
> citations.
>
> so there are several things that need to be resolved - bear in mind
> that i am *not* prepared to help publicly resolve this unless the
> people who carried out the intimidation are taken to task first:
>
> 1) the people who carried out the intimidation and accusations need to
> be reminded of the spirit of wikipedia to *trust* contributors rather
> than automatically assume that they have malicious intent
>

Sounds reasonable to look in to this, and maybe address it. who were they?
It is rather naive to hope they are on the mailinglist reading this, and
assume this will change anything regarding their bwhaviour

> 2) the IP address of my HTTP proxy is to be removed.  it's utterly
> pointless to block IP addresses based on an *individual's* assessment,
> when there are things such as "Tor" and other truly anonymous proxies.
>  anyone wishing to truly vandalise wikipedia could do so with extreme
> prejudice in an automated fashion, and they would certainly not use an
> HTTP proxy where a simple reverse-DNS lookup would quickly identify
> them.
>

Open proxies are generally blocked not to prevent a single specific user
access, but to prevent vandals from hopping from proxy to proxy. This is
not a theoretical concern, but has been amply proven in practice. Other
open proxies and tor are also agressively blocked. In the case of tor we
even have an entire extension to handle blocks. If your proxy isn't open,
it shouldn't have been blocked as such - though at times the community has
found that particularly problematic ranges from webhosts are blocked
entirely because if the sheer number of proxies that have actively
facilitated vandalism through them. Anyway, requesting unblock on-wiki
should be the first step. While I understand in part why you aren't willing
to divulge the blocked IP here, on the other we can't unblock unknown
blocks.

> once these things have been done then i am prepared to assist further
> in resolving the subtly misleading parts of the article.  i am happy
> to provide the details *privately* to more senior individuals within
> the wikipedia foundation such that an investigation can be made.
>

The foundation can't really do anything about this really. Fixing this
problem lies with the community.

> my efforts to improve wikipedia's accuracy are genuine and sincere,
> but as a very low-traffic part-time editor of highly-technical
> corner-case articles i simply don't have time to go learning all the
> "rules": i'm just not interested, to be absolutely frank.  i'm happy
> to work with people who are sincere and accommodating who truly
> welcome technical input.
>
> l.
>
>

Parts of our community certainly enjoy enforcing "the rules" far more than
is good for the project. This email seems to underline that yet again. But
I'm unsure what you are hoping to accomplish with this email. The problem
is fairly well known, and on the agenda for many already. Senior members of
the foundation don't have any more standing on wiki than volunteers, and
are often less active in wiki , and can't help you any more than normal
community discussion can. Unblock requests are certainly to be made
on-wiki, and if the proxy is open, not going to happen. I'm not sure what
else there is to do for this specific case other than serve as a reminder
that we still have a community that is not always communicating well and
sometimes toxic. For specific action to be taken, the specific situation
must be named.
_______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
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Re: intimidation on wikipedia editing

WereSpielChequers-2
Dear Luke,

One problem with you handling it this way is that we don't know whether the
problem was a misunderstanding, a contentious subject or a difference of
opinion about referencing. May I suggest that you either ask the editor who
reverted you why they did so, or at least tell us the reason they gave in
their edit summary.

What I've observed but not statistically quantified is a drift from tagging
stuff with citation needed to simply just reverting unsourced additions; So
it would be helpful if you could tell us whether you cited your sources
when you made your edits. Apologies if your edits were sourced, but my
experience is that editors who source their edits rarely encounter the sort
of problem that you report.

That isn't to say I defend those who revert unsourced edits on sight, I
actually think that the community is in a bit of a mess where a proportion
of recent changes patrollers are working to a different standard than we
are communicating to our editors as being required. But the solution is
either to change the editing interface to prompt people for their source,
or to clarify that uncontentious but unsourced edits should not be reverted
on sight. Our current compromise whereby many patrollers impose a higher
standard than we officially require is a guarantee of endless newbie biting

Regards

WSC

On 1 July 2013 17:58, Martijn Hoekstra <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Jul 1, 2013 11:26 AM, "luke.leighton" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > folks hi,
> >
> > i am a long-time wikipedia user and long-time and low-volume editor,
> > and a significant contributor to the strategic roadmap of wikipedia
> > which occurred a few years ago.  i returned to edit a page and found
> > that the IP address of the HTTP proxy that i use had been blocked.  i
> > was reminded of an extreme intimidation incident which clearly
> > violated the spirit of trusting people to contribute to wikipedia, so
> > thought it best to alert you of this.
> >
> > the editing last year was carried out - accidentally - anonymously and
> > using my usual style of making several incremental edits in rapid
> > succession so as not to lose track of the information being added.  i
> > was unpleasantly surprised to find that in the middle of the editing
> > the *entire* set of edits had been reverted.
>
> Deplorable. Has it been fixed yet?
>
>  i had encountered the
> > user who carried out the blanket reversion before (when logged in) and
> > he's what one might call a "wiki nazi": very experienced at "the
> > rules", and uses them to bullying effect rather than works *with* a
> > less-experienced contributor, usually by doing total-revert in a
> > highly disruptive manner.
> >
> > things escalated and a number of idiots piled in, citing the anonymity
> > as a means to "attack" wikipedia, whereas in fact it was purely
> > accidental, but the bullying and the lack of trust shown was the
> > reason why i chose to *remain* anonymous.
>
> Using an account under a pseudonym makes you more anonymous than editing
> while logged out.
>
> >
> > the article in question i refuse to name publicly because it will
> > identify me instantly to the bullies from whom i still wish to remain
> > anonymous.
> >
>
> While I understand the sentiment, it does make it virtually impossible to
> address what's been going on here.
>
> > it was a corner-case technical article full of technically inaccurate
> > technically unsubstantiated and speculative "wishful thinking" on the
> > part of former editors.  i.e. former editors *wish* that the
> > technology would be successful, but are unfortunately dreadfully
> > misinformed on basic maths and physics.  the problem is: the lack of
> > success of anyone to create a commercially successful version of this
> > technology in over 100 years makes it very difficult to provide any
> > kind of "wikipedia-acceptable" citations as to why there are no
> > commercially successful versions of this technology.
> >
> > the article therefore continues to mis-inform people rather badly.  a
> > quick check shows that the page has since been updated, but the core
> > concerns remain as the page is completely lacking basic math and
> > physics references, as well as having since been marked as requiring
> > citations.
> >
> > so there are several things that need to be resolved - bear in mind
> > that i am *not* prepared to help publicly resolve this unless the
> > people who carried out the intimidation are taken to task first:
> >
> > 1) the people who carried out the intimidation and accusations need to
> > be reminded of the spirit of wikipedia to *trust* contributors rather
> > than automatically assume that they have malicious intent
> >
>
> Sounds reasonable to look in to this, and maybe address it. who were they?
> It is rather naive to hope they are on the mailinglist reading this, and
> assume this will change anything regarding their bwhaviour
>
> > 2) the IP address of my HTTP proxy is to be removed.  it's utterly
> > pointless to block IP addresses based on an *individual's* assessment,
> > when there are things such as "Tor" and other truly anonymous proxies.
> >  anyone wishing to truly vandalise wikipedia could do so with extreme
> > prejudice in an automated fashion, and they would certainly not use an
> > HTTP proxy where a simple reverse-DNS lookup would quickly identify
> > them.
> >
>
> Open proxies are generally blocked not to prevent a single specific user
> access, but to prevent vandals from hopping from proxy to proxy. This is
> not a theoretical concern, but has been amply proven in practice. Other
> open proxies and tor are also agressively blocked. In the case of tor we
> even have an entire extension to handle blocks. If your proxy isn't open,
> it shouldn't have been blocked as such - though at times the community has
> found that particularly problematic ranges from webhosts are blocked
> entirely because if the sheer number of proxies that have actively
> facilitated vandalism through them. Anyway, requesting unblock on-wiki
> should be the first step. While I understand in part why you aren't willing
> to divulge the blocked IP here, on the other we can't unblock unknown
> blocks.
>
> > once these things have been done then i am prepared to assist further
> > in resolving the subtly misleading parts of the article.  i am happy
> > to provide the details *privately* to more senior individuals within
> > the wikipedia foundation such that an investigation can be made.
> >
>
> The foundation can't really do anything about this really. Fixing this
> problem lies with the community.
>
> > my efforts to improve wikipedia's accuracy are genuine and sincere,
> > but as a very low-traffic part-time editor of highly-technical
> > corner-case articles i simply don't have time to go learning all the
> > "rules": i'm just not interested, to be absolutely frank.  i'm happy
> > to work with people who are sincere and accommodating who truly
> > welcome technical input.
> >
> > l.
> >
> >
>
> Parts of our community certainly enjoy enforcing "the rules" far more than
> is good for the project. This email seems to underline that yet again. But
> I'm unsure what you are hoping to accomplish with this email. The problem
> is fairly well known, and on the agenda for many already. Senior members of
> the foundation don't have any more standing on wiki than volunteers, and
> are often less active in wiki , and can't help you any more than normal
> community discussion can. Unblock requests are certainly to be made
> on-wiki, and if the proxy is open, not going to happen. I'm not sure what
> else there is to do for this specific case other than serve as a reminder
> that we still have a community that is not always communicating well and
> sometimes toxic. For specific action to be taken, the specific situation
> must be named.
> _______________________________________________
> > WikiEN-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
_______________________________________________
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