Wiki politics

There is an interesting (if you like that sort of thing) insight into some wiki-politics available from a recent RFA (which stands for [[Wikipedia:Requests for adminship]]. Not to be confused, obviously, with RFA which stands for [[Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests]]). Admins are the folks who do exciting things like blocking vandals (well, and other. My own log is here if you’re interested), deleting pages, and a pile of ill-defined miscellaneous tasks. Once upon a time adminship was handed out to anyone who wanted it and who wasn’t obviously mad; there is still a token pretence that adminship is “no big deal” but it isn’t true, obviously. Edging closer to the politics, there are loose groups of admins (and indeed of other editors) but lacking any interest in wiki politics I don’t know what these groupings are. Charles knows all, and indeed at one point attempted to explain it to me, but alas I failed to listen, since I didn’t care. So who gets to be an admin matters, somewhat, because… well I’m not fully sure. It affects who gets blocked, a bit, at least in extreme cases. The point is that everybody cares, though in my case not enough to bother monitoring RFA’s.

Anyway, the RFA I’m talking about is that of Flying Toaster (as far as I know FT (not to be confused with FT2 of course) is the innocent battleground on which others are playing out their humours). My witty and amusing support vote is here, which will make no sense to most people but is obvious enough to those who were intended to read it (happily enough I would have voted support anyway, not quite sure what I would have done had I felt inclined to oppose. Indulge me here a moment, because now I’ve forgotten how I ended up getting there; a moment before I’d voted for Kotra, which is unusual, as I last voted oh ages ago. I think it must have been this at Wikipedia:Administrators’ noticeboard – that would explain things neatly).

Anyway, I think I’ve at last got to my point, which is there is an interminable “discussion” about how much wiki-management should be done on and off wiki (it long ago became clear that further discussion was pointless and I stopped even attempting to follow it; but people still care). There is a wiki IRC channel (which I read once upon a time, but not for ages) where people, from what I recall, mostly chat. But maybe there are Sekret channels too. Who knows. Anyway people get upset about this, and so you end up with block-voting of the on-wiki folk against the off-wiki folk and so on. Which is what otherwise incomprehensible votes like this mean. Then you get the fanboi’s jumping on the bandwaggon and it becomes rather funny, because when it is pointed out that the “per” they have given is unintelligible, they immeadiately switch to another reason. Tex, at least, had a bizarre sort of integrity: his opposition was incoherent, and remained unapologetically so. I thought it might be fun to tweak him, so I followed up; alas he wasn’t very interesting and was unable to disguise his slavishness.

Incidentally, while I’m talking about wiki to a group of technically literate people, does anyone feel like improving [[Distributed Inter-Process Communication]].

[Update: it all ended in tears (?) -W]

Comments

  1. #1 ericbarbour
    2009/05/19

    well, then, perhaps you’d like to explain this away, William.

    [Explain what? If you have a specific question, and frame it civilly, I’m happy to answer -W]

  2. #2 KC
    2009/05/20

    Cmt: I have never seen anyone refer to Requests for Arbitration as “RFA” – it is always “RFAR”, precluding any confusion.

    [Oww pedant (with four, you can do it better) you can’t spoil my fun -W]

  3. #3 Whatever, Man
    2009/05/20

    Admins do not exist to poke dumb people with a stick and laugh. They exists to prevent, and fix, the dumb things they do. If you can’t accept that, then turn in your badge at the door and [incivility deleted. See [[WP:CIVIL]]].

    If you disagree so completely with the policies under which you requested, and were accepted to arbitrate, you should really step down. Because you’re certainly not going to succeed in changing anything about them.

    [I don’t understand you. I’m an admin, not an arb. And which policies do you think I disagree with? -W]

    Your “witty” comment was undeniably incendiary (“all the right enemies?” Did anyone NOT take that as a direct attack to EVERY SINGLE PERSON that voted Oppose?). You essentially stated that FlyingToaster was obviously a good pick, because everyone that didn’t like her was stupid.

    [Err you’ve failed to understand guv. My comment wasn’t an attack on everyone; it was carefully aimed at one person, and that one person knew exactly who they were; you can tell that by the subsequent responses -W]

    Of course, I haven’t ruled out that you’re only allowing easily-countered arguments to actually appear in the comments section, so we’ll see if anyone even gets to read this.

    [You lose again :-) -W]

  4. #4 Eli Rabett
    2009/05/20

    Sorry, all of this stuff is a great reason to avoid Wikipediadom, insiders talking in voices makes Eli long for North Korea where the politics are real clear.

    [It is the same as anything else, insiders speak their own language. Perhaps it is just a bit more obvious here -W]

  5. #5 Whatever, Man
    2009/05/21

    Deleted on the grounds of [[WP:CIVIL]]?

    Fine, I’m nominating this page for speedy deletion. [[WP:NOT|Wikipedia is not a blog.]]

  6. #6 Eli Rabett
    2009/05/21

    Every second word?

    [That was the aim -W]

  7. #7 eddie
    2009/05/25

    Have you read “The Execution Channel” by Ken MacLeod?

    It features, among other things, an excellent example of what wiki admins are becoming.

  8. #8 anonymous
    2009/05/28

    So you are not an [[exopedian]], I suspect.

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