Saturday, June 28, 2008

Disagreement is forbidden!

A somewhat disturbing trend on Wikipedia that I have noticed is an increasing intolerance of disagreement. This has manifested itself in a number of ways.

On RfAs and similar kinds of polls, it has become accepted practice to "badger" and argue with those who vote in what is deemed to be the "wrong way". The "wrong way" is usually identified with those who have voted to "oppose" the candidate. I have even recently seen some claim in discussions that to vote "oppose", in particular with little if any explanation of the vote, is effectively equivalent to bullying of the candidate [1]. This is an amazing position, in my opinion.

Even more disturbing, I have noticed that there seems to be a growing tendency to attack other editors in vengeance for perceived "wrong" votes on RfAs and RfBs [2][3][4]. I was even attacked for voting incorrectly on two RfAs I did not vote on at all [5]. Interestingly, although I brought one of these incidents to the attention of Arbcomm as part of an Arbcomm proceeding over a month ago [6], and although this behavior is strictly against Wikipedia policy, Arbcomm has not even issued a hint that they intend to enforce this policy, or would like to see it enforced.

I have seen it frequently claimed that disagreeing with someone who is advocating a FRINGE position is a violation of the CIVIL policy on Wikipedia. What sort of reasoning is that?

Now I have even been attacked for defending others, and this is the main complaint about me included as part of an RfC: [7]. The same sort of accusation was placed on an Arbcomm proceeding talk page [8]. Also, during a "peace conference" that was held in association with the RfC, the charge was made that I was guilty of mounting a defense, and so I published a blog post containing my side of the story. Even my blog post defending myself was deemed offensive and I was asked to remove it, so I did [9].

An even more amazing example is the recent "secret" Arbcomm trial of Orangemarlin and Odd nature. Neither Orangemarlin nor Odd nature were allowed to post any evidence in their defense, and were not even notified of the existence of this secret proceeding, or of the charges against them. According to the arbitrator who posted it, they were not interested in hearing a defense [10].

Incredible. Just incredible.


What I find even funnier, given the predictable turmoil and outrage that this caused, is that the arbitrator who posted it claimed they conducted the trial in secret, denying the accused a chance to defend himself, because they were trying to avoid "drama". Avoid drama?? What planet do you live on?

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