RationalWiki talk:All things in moderation/Archive40

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This is an archive page, last updated 31 July 2021. Please do not make edits to this page.

Dealing with bad faith ghosters.[edit]

Okay, let's address this: Some of our articles have a habit of attracting a large number of users who show up with cheap, poorly sourced arguments. Then, when asked for specific sources, they end up ghosting the site for literal months, only to then show up to the page again with another facetiously terrible argument, and the cycle continues. The most recent incident of this happening is with our article on Anita Sarkeesian, but it's also happened on Vaush's article, Shoe0nhead's article and a couple others.

Since we have a relatively low amount of users who take the time to respond to every political figure article on the site (who attract this stuff by far the most, although it's somewhat across the board); I would like to find a way to figure out making dealing with these kinds of driveby bad faith users something easier that doesn't drive those who do respond to this stuff away from the Wiki. In other words, we might be forming a problem of WP:RANDYWikipedia. This is of course something somewhat inevitable as we attract more users, but we need a solution to this.

Here's my suggestion: A new form of page-specific sanction. Mods can freely choose to apply this sanction (don't think it needs a vote); but specifically, a requirement to discuss and argue in good faith and substantiated arguments is required. Not doing so after being asked (basically, we impose a single requirement on people responding and that's to politely ask for a source once) and jumping to another discussion topic on the same page instead (ignoring the argument, not even responding with "nevermind, I don't know") will be met with short term blocks. This ruling would go for sysops as well as regular users. Repeated violations (but also repeated "I don't knows", basically if the user is just spitting every little bit of garbage possible on the page to see what sticks) can be brought to ATIM for a more permanent resolution (blocking that user from interacting with that page for example or topic banning them on a greater amount of articles).

This sounds very much more freeing in terms of permissions than what we usually have (and might need a CS change?), but I want to point out that we need a solution to this as it's unreasonable to expect only a few users to deal with this, only to then get continuously badgered and having their arguments ignored. The alternative is to get a lot more users responding to our random driveby bad faith arguers (some of whom have sysop), but given most users don't want to do that, I don't want to force that on anyone either.

This is open for discussion, but we really need a resolution to this stuff. Editor burnout over this thing is a real risk (I know, it's a part of the reason I took a short low activity break from the site earlier this year) and I want a solution to this kinda thing so we don't lose our active editors over this. Let me be clear in saying that if we continue as we do right now, we'd probably end up quite a number of our most active editors on this matter and our talkpages would quickly flood with these kinds of dumbfucks going unchallenged (sometimes happens already because nobody has the energy to keep arguing it). We aren't the scale of Wikipedia and can't risk losing our most active editors on crap like this. I don't want that to happen. Techpriest (talk) 21:18, 17 July 2021 (UTC)

Is there reason to believe that this would work in the type of case that you're addressing? If they're coming back months later, I think that most people would have forgotten about the page-specific ban. What about a 1-year page protection against non-autoconfirmed users in such cases? What was WP's solution if any to Randy in Boise? Bongolian (talk) 21:39, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
There is no benefit to making something as up to interpretation as “you must argue in good faith” a formal policy. Who’s meant to enforce this? Who’s meant to enforce this rule? Mods or sysops?
People are giving far too much attention to a stupid argument. Christopher (talk) 21:49, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
The problem is that some of these users sometimes get speedy demotions to sysop (we're seeing a current one in the rather obviously facetious Sarkeesian AfD, the user in question has been poorly bad faith badgering the page with weaksauce arguments and doesn't respond when shit is called on them), which makes the autoconfirmed solution not one I'd suggest on it's own. It'd be a solution for drivebies but people have gamed their role to sysop and I'm hesistant to strip those or modlock the page. Basically, sysop/autoconfirmed locking doesn't work for this on it's own.
Wikipedia's solution is uh... draconian civility policies and politely engaging with every Randy on the planet. They also have an additional role restriction to lock certain pages from "young" accounts (comparable to our voting egilglibility rules). That works for them because they have the raw editor muscle where even if one prolific editor is drummed out, 20 can take their place. We don't have that muscle. We have maybe... 5% of our active editors who also maintain and respond to talkpages as a whole and it's also the place where editor turnover tends to happen. The other 95% of the site is just sharing booze in the bar or updating WIGO (not that I myself am in any way much better here).
Another solution is to have our mods in general be more active in trying to mediate these things so that we don't reach a point where a Randy situation escalates to editors boiling over (which we then end up finger wagging at editors for). It's what I tried doing at the beginning, but it's working up against a metaphorical tsunami of bad faith discussions and it causes similar burnout problems. We need a more proactive solution to either give the responders a way to interact with this or we need mods to be far more active and able to reach out to these discussions before they can escalate to situations like what's happening/happened with the Sarkeesian AfD. Techpriest (talk) 21:55, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
Also Chris, this doesn't happen in isolation. Just go back through the archives of ATIM for the past two years. When it wasn't dealing with Raven or some procedural troll that was just persistent enough to deal with a discussion, it was users boiling over on arguments like this because this kinda shit eventually gets to people. Techpriest (talk) 21:58, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
Give bad faith argumentation the bird and then move on. Let them waste time. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 22:18, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
Not sure how I reverted that. Thanks for undoing Christopher ShabiDOO 10:07, 18 July 2021 (UTC)

Removal of Pelobello's autopatrol[edit]

Speaking in terms of establishing a general precedent, should purely ideological grounds (with the exception of extremisms, of course) be sufficient for revoking user rights? I raise this point in regard to @Spud removing "Autopatrolled" from @Joseph D. Pelobello \ Daniel William "Danny" Wilson. UShistoryanalyzer (talk) 02:14, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

First, do you understand what "autopatrol" is. Second, do you understand that "purely ideological grounds" is you translating from "has opinions that goes well against the wiki's mission and has made edits reflective of that opinion, thus their edits need to be vetted"? Also @Spud, can you tell @Monet knock it off with these bad judgements with user rights? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 02:59, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
I didn't check his edits, but I imagine from his talk page that he was striped from his autopatrolled rights for supporting YEC, so we can keep an eye on him. GeeJayK (talk) 03:02, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
From a quick history check on the talk page, seems like autopatrolled isn't appropriate for this user. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 03:05, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Is it possible to put Monet on probation from giving people user rights? He tried to give TAOB autopatrolled, among many other misjudgements. Plutocow (talk) 03:20, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
"(with the exception of extremisms, of course)": from his page: Other beliefs: Young-Earth creationism, Biblical literalism. If that isn't extremism I know not what is. Scream!! (talk) 03:50, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
In terms of extremisms, my reference was to far-left and far-right ideologies. Creationism does not fall into that category. UShistoryanalyzer (talk) 03:57, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
"Extremism" is an inherently subjective term. Once upon a time liberalism was an extremist position. Oxyaena Harass 05:28, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Of course it does: it's extreme stupidity. Scream!! (talk) 04:07, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Well, politics are just a small fraction of the mission and the content of this site. YEC is a radical view because it contradicts everything we know about Geology and Earth's Natural History. GeeJayK (talk) 04:34, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It's true that Pelobello's a YEC, but beyond that, he's just immature — both age-wise and editing quality. His edits need patrolling both for clarity and for BS. At this point, I would support suspension of Monet's ability to give change user rights. Bongolian (talk) 04:49, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

Revoke the ability of Monet to change user rights? How pathetic and representing of a sore loser mentality. UShistoryanalyzer (talk) 04:55, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Keep going! Bongolian (talk) 04:57, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
I don't support suspension, just tell 'em to stop it with user rights all together. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 05:44, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Look at his users rights, I already removed TAOBs Autopatrolled. Monet strikes again! 05:46, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
(EC)This is a repeated pattern of Monet not understanding what autopatrol is for and giving it to people who were here for awhile, regardless of whether or not their edits need extra scrutiny. I propose dealing with it in a manner similar to a topic ban where if Monet violates their conditions, they get a short block. Plutocow (talk) 05:48, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) And UShistoryanalyzer again do you not know what "autopatrol" is? It doesn't grant users any additional privileges, it's for sysops that patrol edits. It's to automatically mark users with good edits as checked so people don't need to constantly vet edits from trusted users. Why the hell would we auto-vet a YEC who tried editing our articles?? I asked you once if you really understood and you don't understand and you're obviously unwilling. I don't understand why people want to keep you around, you've been nothing but a pain in the neck and constantly arguing like a concern troll. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 05:51, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
I agree completely with the above. Under no circumstances should this user be autopatroled.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:11, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Just to clarify: I don't support suspending Monet at this time, just suspending Monet's right to change user rights of other users. Monet's use of user rights management has shown a consistent pattern of bad judgment. Bongolian (talk) 07:38, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, I will stop demoting users for now. Monet strikes again! 09:06, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

Very sensible Monet ShabiDOO 09:31, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Thank you. Monet strikes again! 09:41, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
If anybody cares anymore, it would be one thing if a self-confessed Biblical literalist and Young Earth Creationist only posted stuff in the Saloon Bar, on talk pages and that kind of thing. It would even be one thing if that same Biblical literalist and Young Earth Creationist steered well clear of articles that had the vaguest connection to religion or the age of the Earth. Then I would oppose what I'd done as being purely ideologically motivated. But it's entirely another thing if that Biblical literalist and Young Earth Creationist is making edits on mainspace articles, some trying to push their pseudoscientific bollocks, that keep getting reverted. Srill, I'm happy that things seem to have worked out all right and I don't have a case to answer (of course I bloody don't). I've had a bit of a tough day at work again. I'm off for a beer. Spud (talk) 12:03, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Of course there is no merit to the complaint. In the first case our first two mission statements are that we should be, "(1) Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement and (2) Documenting the full range of crank ideas" It is clear that YEC opinions fall into both of these categories and we would hardly want to encourage anyone promoting this nuttyness in the wiki articles.
Secondly, you have in no way prevented the user from expressing any opinion they might wish. Their edits are now simply subject to a somewhat enhanced level of vigilance to ensure that they correspond with points one and two.
Finally, we also have an commitment to: "encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue". Removing autopatrol in no way prevents them from engaging with the community. There is literately nothing here beyond blatant concern trolling.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:16, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, Bob. It's been a tough day. But now you've sent me to bed with a smile on my face. Spud (talk) 14:29, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

Mobile view?[edit]

This discussion was moved to RW:technical support.