JessicaT (aka, KotomiT, Kotomi Tanaka, ことみ 田中), is the newest addition to Conservapedia's Goon Squad. Despite her claims to the contrary, her surname, Tanaka in the Latin alphabet, is a Samurai name. It is in fact rather glamorous and historical.
She first discovered Conservapedia while she was in South Africa, where it seems her immediate family have lived for a number of years - her father's transfer abroad may be another indication of her family's status being higher than she lets on. This probably accounts to some extent for her decent command of written English, though many Japanese students learn English to a fairly high degree.
However, she appears to be the polar opposite of any of the other Conservapedia sysops and far from being yet another member of Andy's echo-chamber, she seems unaware of, or probably rather studiously ignores, the usual ideological minefields. Instead, she simply concentrates on writing articles - 90% of which deal with Japanese language, culture and history; she does pitch in and revert vandalism when she comes across it. She is not at fault for the problems at Conservapedia. No one except Aschlafly can sort it.
She's the fifth non-U.S. citizen to be given block rights (after Phil Rayment, Joaquin, BrianCo and Bugler) and is a teacher (albeit at what appears to be a private Christian academy ), which - given Andy's loathing of the formal school system - makes her promotion unusual.
Whether or not the new powers she has been granted will bring about a change in behaviour, remains to be seen, although she does seem to be getting used to swinging her new powers.
She rarely engages with other users (most often with Ed Poor, Joaquin and DinsdaleP, whom she calls a friend) on the site, and is always polite and respectful when she does - and these sentiments are generally returned in kind. This, combined with her chosen subject matter, might account for her empty block log - surely some kind of record amongst ordinary CP editors.
The only times she has really spoken out before 13th Dec '08 was on pro-Japanese matters - objecting to DeanS linking the Akihabara knife attack to gun control, tackling RJJensen on his use of Hirohito, where she insisted he should be referred to as Showa, but later backed down (all her articles do refer to him as Showa, however) and taking on Karajou in this debate. (It appears as if she's another Conservapede who reads WIGO and TWIGO ).
She also seems to be having fun over there, often signing the edit summary of copyedits to her articles with a "baka!" (idiot!) and even engaging (probably due to the lack of blocking powers) in a humourous revert war with several wandals during "Conservapedia Day".
She appears to be a genuinely nice (and cute, if you see her userpage), but misguided person, which makes her presence (and status) there all the more unusual.
13 Dec 08
(The full text of a remarkable edit by JessicaT)
=== An Appeal To All Of Us ===
I have been watching recent developments with an ever-growing sense of dismay and finally - despite the consequences this may have for my continued participation in the project - I can no longer, with a clear conscience, keep my head down and say nothing. It might sound melodramatic - I am girl, after all, we do that - but sometimes it breaks my heart to see some of the goings-on lately. I apologise that this is so long, I can only ask for your indulgence and that you take the time to read it.
Why are we seemingly at each other’s throats all the time? We are a small enough group of regular contributors as it is - maybe 40, if you look at a day's history and ignoring the vandals and the students writing their papers. Of that, maybe half are "editors with block rights" and higher. It is to this group in particular that I direct this appeal.
The leadership (i.e. those entrusted with varying degrees of authority to assist running the project) seem to be spilt into two camps (three if you count those, like me, who remained silent until now.) This should not be happening. It creates a terrible impression amongst both the other editors here, as well as the students, who, I am sure, are not oblivious to what is going on and provides endless mirth, no doubt, to people out there opposed to this project.
We need to realise and accept that as humans, we all think differently, and the fact that somebody does not think exactly the same way you do, should not make them a target for abuse. We have already been accused of "groupthink" and it is a frighteningly small step from "groupthink" to "kristalnacht." We need to set aside our differences, take a good hard look at ourselves, and start pulling together. As has been often said, we are not NPOV. That is fine, but that also means, by implication, that we are actually 20POV or 30POV - unless, of course, we are guilty of groupthink. The fact that I might be 7POV and you are 4POV does not, and should never, make me fair game. (Want examples of this? Ok, wanting to ban atheists from CP (there is a kristalnacht waiting to happen); posts querying if Catholics or Mormons are Christians (the minute we start debating degrees of acceptability, yellow stars are just around the corner); frequent references to this being an American project - I am fine with that, but some people seem to equte that with "for Americans only", which I am not fine with. If "my kind" are not welcome here, please tell me now.
That said; there are a couple of points and suggestions I wish to make:
- We need to decide "what" kind of authority we are - prefects, police (and here I have a British Bobby in mind, rather than the tonton macoute) or thugs? Sadly, I am seeing too much of the latter and too little of the former lately (although I have known some pretty horrible prefects in my time too). I have said elsewhere that I do not mind if I am liked, hated, or respected here, but I do not want to be feared. Nobody should - that is not what wielding authority is about. If you think it is, then you should - in all honesty - be demoted. As somebody once said, 'Wanting to be a politician should automatically disqualify you from being a politician."
- Ideally, we should be people editors can approach with a problem, or for assistance, and we should be able to work together to resolve it. Can anybody here honestly say that their behaviour over the past few days and weeks would encourage anybody to approach them with a problem? Honestly?
- Yes, we do have a problem with vandals and I dislike it and find it as childish, as much as the rest of you, but that does not mean that every editor who has a different point of view to you is automatically a vandal. We cannot all be experts in everything and I, for example, can no more patrol edits to the maths articles than I would expect somebody to accurately patrol my little "empire of the sun." If you are not sure - ask, or Google the fact in question. The "shoot first, ask later" policy of blocking must stop, especially as it is seemingly combined with a handy MYOB policy, which only serves to protect those who block by mistake, or maliciously. I am sure nobody is truly happy editing with the constant threat of suddenly being blocked hanging over them.
- Still, there appears to be a great deal of harassment, bullying and foul language directed towards editors (including admins) who are, after all, giving up their free time to help build this project. In addition, much of this is behaviour for which editors are blocked if they display similar behaviour. This is totally uncalled for and unacceptable under any conditions - situations can be resolved without resorting to such tactics. A couple of editors, whom I shall not mention, keep returning despite this treatment, which leads me to believe they are either saints or masochists. I can only take my hat off to them - they are clearly dedicated to this project, and they have my respect and my pledge of assistance, for what it is worth.
- Which brings me to a serious point regarding language. People have asked politely - and been ignored. People have asked less politely and still been ignored. People have complained - and been ignored. So, I am saying this now - one of the block reasons is "negative personal comments" and last time I checked, that still applies to everybody here. The time for talk is over - unless the horrific language used by us towards editors and admins alike is toned down, the time to start making examples of people has arrived. I, for one, am tired of seeing unkind, uncouth, and frankly un-Christian comments flying around here.
- If you really must write something nasty - firstly think very carefully what the target audience of Conservapedia is. Would you want your child to read some of the things that have been written here? Secondly, I will be watching...
- Finally, and I am addressing this to those of us who are "editors with blocking rights" - you know who you are. Our remit, with the privileges we have been given, is to assist the senior admins in blocking and reverting blatant vandalism. It is not to block somebody whose addition to a page (unless it is clearly vandalism) we do not like and it is certainly not for enforcing 90/10. This issue has already been made abundantly clear to us by a very senior admin on here, and yet her comments have been blatantly ignored. How must others view us, when we, who have some authority, simply ignore a higher authority? In addition, butting into another conversation that you have not been part of, simply to block for 90/10 is not only outside our jurisdiction, it is incomprehensibly rude. There is normally a senior admin involved in an ongoing discussion anyway; let them decide if the rules have been broken.
We are a small group, to whom the responsibility of ensuring the smooth running of this project has been delegated. Given that we have neither the numbers, nor the structures of a certain other place, our job is all the more important and to let petty personality clashes get in the way is, quite simply, stupid. Are we going to pull ourselves towards ourselves and actually start doing this properly, or continue to bicker like a bunch of elementary school children who, quite frankly, need their collective heads banged together?
We are all guilty; there are no victims here (and as Kami-sama is my witness, I will personally block the first one who posts a "but he said..." message. Clear?). The true victims here are those those with no "powers," who have been caught up in our squabbles and have been trodden on. To them, hopefully on behalf of all of us, I can only virtually kneel, bow, and say, "Gomennasai, mina-sama, I have let you down."
I ask you all again - please - set aside your differences and let us get on with it. It might be a pipe dream, but I would love to see a list below this saying "I agree,” with everybody's signature alongside.
This is an appeal for cooperation, not my resignation letter. I choose not to walk away, but to continue to work here and make this a better place. If somebody deems it fit to retire me for what I have said, so be it - my conscience is clear. I can only hope that my act of virtual seppuku was not in vain and that people are more interested in working together, than sowing discord and tearing this project apart.
However, if it is to be, then
I have enjoyed my time here and 'met' some interesting people.
I hope one day, somebody can finish what I have started.
Tanaka Kotomi Jesshika
Ed Poor added a comment. He explains how he feels children should be taught to be polite and finished, “You have blocking rights. I hope you will use them liberally.” Perhaps he hopes if she gets used to using teh power and finds it satisfying she’ll stop worrying about unfair blocks. Joaquín Martínez and BRichtigen added their comments here. Ed poor reverted just one of the two comments. The reason is unclear. Jessica says she plans to (do what? Make the vandals feel her blocking power?). Then belatedly she reinstates the deleted comment and complains. A sad little Christian, probably brainwashed by the blocking process supports the blockers. Await developments.