Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/The Cunctator

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Moved from the main Wikipedia:Requests for adminship page 11am 4th December 2003.

Attempt to summarize opinions[edit]

(this may or may not be a vote, depending on your wikipolitiks) (summary created by Daniel Quinlan, trying to determine whether there is any consensus)

Original request and subsequent discussion[edit]

I would like the request that User:The Cunctator be de-sysoped -- or could someone tell me why they should be a sysop. Recently they undeleted the santorum page, after the page had been deleted after the normal vfd procedure, and undeletion talk favored keeping the page deleted. Then they decide, unilaterally again, that a certain page listed on vfd shouldn't be deleted and proceeded to remove the vfd boilerplate from that page. When this change was reverted, they instead moved the boilerplate to the bottom of the page -- leading to small edit war over the position of the notice. Another sysop stepped in a protected the page, however 12 hours later The Cunctator unprotected the page (something that only sysops can do) and restored their edit. The Cunctator seems to believe that the vfd page is irrelevant and that he is not bound by it, or the communities consensus, in any way by. Beyond that, I don't trust their judgement, and good judgement is why someone is supposed to become a sysop in the first place. Maximus Rex 06:40, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Please note that all of the editing had nothing to do with the content of the article, and that there is nothing in the formal VfD policy which states that the boilerplate text must appear at the top. --The Cunctator

I support this request. It is worth pointing out also that when questions were raised about The Cunctator's behavior in the edit war, the main reasoning behind his remarks in his own defense were along the lines that different rules should apply to administrators than apply to other users. This is not the sort of attitude we should foster here. - Hephaestos 14:01, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

That is a misinterpretation of my remarks. --The Cunctator
Read them again. Or, just read below. - Hephaestos 05:31, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I cannot honestly oppose this request. In my view he is a valuable contributor. But we should be able to require that sysops, either accede to the policies formed in consensus which even non-sysops have an equal input, or in the contrary case act consistently to change the policy, but remain within the policy while the change is being debated. This is just my view. Others may legitimately disagree. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 14:11, Nov 27, 2003 (UTC)

Out of curiosity, where is that proposition that sysops and non sysops should follow different rules Cimon ? What does it consist in ? Is it just in a talk page or is there a meta page mentionning it ? ant
Definitely not in my comment, maybe you are mistaken somehow. My comment in fact made the point that sysops should be as bound by rules decided by the editorship as other editors. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 12:47, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)
I never said it was in your comments Cimon. I did see you did not say such a thing. It is more in reference to what Hephaestos said and to tc answer just above. I just asked you because I know you a little bit more, and because you appeared more neutral, so more likely to provide me with information. I was just asking, not criticizing. I see that no one seems to be willing to answer to me, or to point out where tc said different rules should apply to admin and to regular users. I think it is unfortunate that things are said about a user without providing references. That is all. Hope today is better for you than the other day. Anthère
Anthère, it was when TC said that protecting a page in an edit war between admins was pointless, because they could both just ignore it, that I decided to support this motion. Protection and other measures are in place in the software to prevent disruption of honest work here. When we appoint administrators, we are implicitly saying that we trust them to conduct themselves during the heat of the moment as we could force them to if they did not have the power to override the software. TC violated that trust by overriding safeguards on a page in which he was involved in an edit war (not by unprotecting it, but rather to continue identical edits). It is not this violation that inclines me to support the revocation of his adminship; it is not his apparent ignorance of the guidelines, despite having been here longer than most of us; it is not his history of ignoring (seemingly egotistically) consensus opinion; it is not his utter lack (to this point) of any admission of wrongdoing whatsoever on his part; it is rather all of these put together that makes me thing he should go, and makes me wonder again about my original question (which as you rightly pointed out is much more logically answered by those who made the appointment than by him), why was this appointment made? So far this question remains unanswered. - Hephaestos 03:06, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I deeply thank you for your detailed answer Heph. Your position is perfectly understandable and fair. I think the guidelines have changed in 2 years very much. I could not say whether they change for best or worse, they just changed, because the situation is different and people are different. There mostly were far less rules, there were less people. This was a time where most people knew each other more, and perhaps conflicts, though of similar substance, were managed differently. There was a time there was no page protection, not even any notion of sysops. Just Larry and Jimbo for en :-). I think that was a time of more creativity possibilities, with less factions. These are my memories, and this is also my feeling of the evolution of smaller wikipedias. More liberty of action did not mean people were less trusted. And perhaps, one person could impact more then than now. But the current evolution is perhaps one that cannot be avoided. Perhaps is it a sign that some oldbies feel drifting away from a project, that endorse another direction than before. The needs may be different for the project.
I have no memory of how sysops were made before. But perhaps was it less relying on this "trust" point (though, naturally, they were probably trusted), than in balance of powers, in mixing of positions, in representativity, and in involvement. I think that, because this is how we make sysops on fr. Not by suggesting any trusted person should become one. It is my belief this is a better option, and in this view, people like tc are part of balance very much. Maybe is that part of the answer you are looking for ?
(In case I said something inappropriate or offensive to anyone, I did not mean to).

He should receive a specific warning before any further action his taken. His actions, while inappropriate, were not substantially so. Other sysops have made more serious violations, and no action has been taken whatsoever against them. Lirath Q. Pynnor

I think this is a worrysome interpretation, because it raises the spectre that we should continue to tolerate the kind of behaviour that the person under discussion has been guilty of; by him and others, maybe even newcomers. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 12:47, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)

I think The Cunctator's behaviour over a long period has been way beyond what is acceptable for a sysop (his antics on ignoring the consensus on the redesigned front page was just one example). But using sysop powers to unprotect a page so that he could, not for the first time, ignore everyone else, was abuse of his powers. On its own it was highly questionable, but given it was not the first, or the second, or the third, time he acted in gross breach of consensus, I think there is no other alternative now but to remove his administratorship. FearÉIREANN 22:03, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)


If you claim that I have repeatedly acted in gross breach of consensus, please list such actions explicitly, rather than making the broad claim, with links to support your characterization of my action. --The Cunctator 03:23, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Most of Jtdirls comments I agree with, and have no problem with. But I would remark that the repetitive nature of his infractions over a long period should not in my view compound the effect of the current acts under discussion, any more than his acts should be valued differently just because he is a long time contributor.
What those repeated problems definitely do, is prevent him from claiming that his actions were a momentary lapse of judgement, and thus should be given a bye "just this time". But that is all.
The other statement by JTDIrl I would take issue with is the claim that there is "no" other solution but forcible de-sysoping. Clearly there are alternatives.
  1. He may decide voluntarily to ask that his sysop powers be rescinded. I think it is a fair assessment, that such a decision would not diminish his stature within the community in any way.
  2. He may make a statement which addresses the concerns of those requesting his de-sysoping to a sufficient degree for them to withdraw their claim. The possible statements which could achieve this include:
    1. "I was wrong to do what I did, let me off the hook already."
    2. "I was right to do what I did, but I promise not to do it again."
    3. "I accept that the mere fact that what I did was right, does not releive me of the obligation to try to follow the guidelines which most other sysops try to follow. I will try to do better in the future."
    4. "I accept that many people perceive that I did not follow the common guidelines set for sysops to excercise their special powers. I do not contest this view, but ask that the judgement be made on the whole of my character, and my motivations."
  3. He may make a direct appeal to his seniority in this project, and this may be sufficient to grant him special dispensation to flout our guidelines, as long as his motives for this flouting are not malicious. This may become a policy for all other senior contributors. Thus codifying something people already seem to believe is the rule now. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 17:12, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)

In my estimation, The Cunctator has not been using his administratorship well, so I support removing it. Most notably, he repeatedly unprotected a page where he was actively involved in an edit war and seems to have been the main instigator. 4 or 5 different sysops attempted to re-protect the page, but The Cunctator repeatedly unprotected it. This is way over the line. I am concerned that sysops who abuse of their status can cause more harm to Wikipedia than users, drive more people away, waste more time, etc. Daniel Quinlan 00:17, Nov 28, 2003 (UTC)

Let's be clear: protecting and unprotecting the page had no effect on my, or RickK's, or Angela's, or MyRedDice, or Fuzheado's ability to edit the page. I removed the VfD heading once; RickK put it back. I moved it to the bottom three times in a twelve-hour period. Is that an edit war? What is the criteria? Does the VfD heading need to be on the top of the page?
Protecting the page prevents non-sysops from being able to edit the page--the only users that are being harmed by such an action are non-sysops. The page should not have been protected, especially after any of the involved parties had stopped editing the page.
No-one other than RickK asked me to stop moving the header to the bottom before Haephestos protected the page.
Finally, I would like to note that this page states "If you're requesting de-adminship of someone else, you can do so here, but please first try to discuss the issue directly with the admin in question." I may be wrong, but I don't feel that those requesting my de-adminship have tried to discuss the issue with me first. --The Cunctator
Your appeal to the guidelines enunciated at the top of this page would carry a heck of more weight, if they were accurate and if you demonstrated that you yourself were bound by other similar guidelines. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 17:12, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)


Protecting the page, as one can see by reviewing the edit history, certainly did effect the editing of RickK, Angela, Fuzheado etc. Just not you. The sole diffence here is that they are all responsible administrators. You are not.

After no edits to the page for ten hours, you and Rick reverted each other six times in an hour, and there was no reason to think either of you would stop. So I protected the page, stated so on the talk page and on Wikipedia:Protected page, and thought that was the end of it. The next step should have been a resolution of differences on the talk page, not a unilateral decision by you to continue it twelve hours later with no discussion whatsoever.

Now you compound the situation with an outright lie, claiming that nobody discussed your de-adminship with you before bringing it here, when I specifically did so on that article's talk page and it is still there for all to see.

You ask JTD for an explicit listing of complaints against you, I think, in an effort to buy time. Unilateral undeletion of an article voted for deletion, the fiasco over the redesign of the main page, heck nobody has time to list every single one of your screwups, there've been so many (although you've done a fair job of archiving them yourself). I repeat the question I asked on the mailing list and never got an answer to: why on earth were you ever made an admin at all? - Hephaestos 05:31, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Hi Cunc et al, I've been following this little dustup, and I'd like to share my point of view on the events. First off, here's my understanding of what has occurred:

  • Cunc removed the VfD notice from Sunset High School, and RickK reverted.
  • Cunc then moved the VfD notice to the bottom of the article, and RickK reverted. I believe RickK was under the misimpression that Cunc was still removing the VfD notice entirely; unless one scrolls down, the diff does make it seems that way.
  • Cunc again moved the VfD notice to the bottom of the page; Fuzheado reverted.
  • Hephaestos protected the page.
  • The page remained protected (other than an accidental unprotect by Fuzheado, which he quickly caught) for about 12 hours. The action moved to Talk:Sunset High School, although the question of where the VfD notice should go was not discussed in any detail.
  • Cunc unprotected the page and moved the VfD notice to the bottom almost simultaneously; the ordering of the two events is ambiguous from the logs and histories.
  • Four and a half hours later, Angela reverted to Fuzheado's version and reprotected the page.
  • Angela and Cunc cycled between protecting and unprotecting the page four times; Hephaestos took a turn protecting, and Cunc unprotects; and finally RickK protected, and Cunc unprotected.


This is, I believe, the undisputed sequence of events. Now, those who want Cunc's de-adminship have one interpretation of these events, and Cunc (and perhaps also Eclecticology, who seems to support him on the mailing list) have a different interpretation.

The anti-Cunc interpretation:

  • the cycle of reversions constituted an edit war, and so protection was justified; since the participants were all sysops, the protection was symbolic: any sysop editing a protected page to pursue an edit war is clearly abusing sysop powers;
  • as a party to the edit war, Cunc did not have the moral right to either edit or unprotect the page, and in doing so, abused his sysop powers.

The Cunc interpretation (which has been affirmed by Cunc on my talk page):

  • the reversions that occured did not constitute an edit war, although it might possibly be called a "meta-edit war", the difference being that no substantive changes were being made to the content of the article
  • protecting the page was an empty gesture, because the participants were all sysops, and could edit the page anyway;
  • furthermore, protection fruitlessly prevented non-sysops from editing, so Cunc unprotected it. He didn't need to unprotect it to edit it, but rather to allow non-sysops to edit;
  • at the same time as he unprotected the page, he reinstated his edit, once again moving the VfD notice to the bottom.

Now here's my opinion:

  • the cycle of reversions that occured before the first protection did indeed constitute an edit war: the editors, having a difference of opinion, were trying to "win" a contest over the existence/placement of the VfD notice. Also, if protection had not occured, the cycle of reversions would likely have continued unabated;
  • the lack of discussion, post-protection, of the question of where the notice would be placed was a failure of our protection system for resolving disputes;
  • the key idea of protecting a page when the disputants are sysops is specifically because after protection, editing (or unprotecting) by the parties to the dispute can bring the possibility of loss of sysop powers; it is the threat of this punishment that makes protection useful even when the disputants are all sysops. I do not believe Cunc is acquainted with particular idea, and I don't know if he would accept it (in fact, I rather doubt it).

In the end, I perceive that Cunc's understanding of how and why to use protection in the resolving of disputes is out of sync with my understanding of the community consensus on these issues, which I believe I share with Maximus Rex, Angela, Hephaestos, Jiang, Daniel Quinlan and Cimon avaro. I accept Cunc's claim that he believes his actions were reasonable, but nonetheless, I do not oppose the removal of his sysop privileges (but will I not actively seek such action). -- Cyan 05:50, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I oppose this request. silsor 06:44, Nov 28, 2003 (UTC)

I have been reluctant to support this motion but I find unprotecting a page six times in a row grievously disrespectful to one's fellow admins as well as being in clear contravention of due process for resolving conflicts. In favor. -- Viajero 22:31, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Oppose. The Cunctator seems to have complied with the proposed policy regarding no more than three reversions and the protection seems to have been applied too early (just), when discussion would have been a better course and did resolve the matter. The Cunctator, while the presence of the notice is not mandatory it belongs at the top even though the edit had already served the purpose of alerting those interested in the VfD process. Your editing after the protection was applied, even though I think the protection was done too early, and your repeated protection/deprotection issue, were not appropriate and shouldn't be repeated. Ask others to intervene instead - this time they would have told you that you were acting foolishly, as you were. Jamesday 16:32, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think that Cunc needs to explain himself BEFORE making a major edit. He cut lists from the Philadelphia article and plaed them in about six other articles. He did the same thing, to about the same extent, in the New York, New York article.

In the New York article, he moved the history off to a separate page and then gave one sentence as a summary, which isn't much. Mav told me not to do that about a month ago, unless I make a good "news style" summary.

And I don't see why the Timeline of New York city crimes deserves its own article.

Meh, I haven't voted yet. I'm still trying to make up my mind on him. WhisperToMe 00:06, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Observations as to his behavior strictly as a user don't really have a bearing on the question anyway. - Hephaestos 00:10, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Haeph question[edit]

Heaph is asking tc a question I repeat the question I asked on the mailing list and never got an answer to: why on earth were you ever made an admin at all? -

I think Haeph, that is not a question to ask to tc. Because it is not him to justify why he has been thought worth of trust by a communitee. It is to the communitee you should ask this question. When a long time employee is called by a new boss who want to fire him, the new boss will pile up a list of griefs, he will not request from the employee to justify why he has been hired in the first place. First because the employee "cannot" answer that question other than by "well, I had some good references, and the previous boss thought I would do the job" and second because the employee is not responsible for having been chosen. the responsability relies on the employer, here the community. Tc has been a nearly 3 years old contributor, and probably somewhere like 2 years old sysop. He was probably made sysop after the upgrade to phase II, and likely, the sysoping was either suggested by a group of core contributors, or by Jimbo himself, and in any case, it was supported by Jimbo at that time. So, I suggest you ask the old contributors still here, Stephen Gilbert, Astronomo, I suggest you contact Koyannis, and mostly I recommand you ask Jimbo, ~why on earth did they ever made tc an admin at all :-) Anthère

About the role of tc in the community[edit]

This is just my perception. Tc role is to break groupthink, to insure community is not taking the first visible and thought correct decision. Usually, the first easy solution, is the easiest one, and it is easy for a community to quickly agree on it, forgetting to look for other solutions. To avoid hasty decision, most communities relying on consensus need someone (or a group of someone) to question decisions taken, a devil advocate. This is an essential element. But this is a dangerous state for a person, because this person finds itself always in the role of complaining, of grumbling, of opposing. Often, and it is the case in my firm, the role is hold anonymously (that is the little white box where you put the anonymous complaint or suggestion); another way to avoid someone becoming the black sheep, is that this role turns in a community, several members taking the role one after the other. I believe tc is taken more than his share, and is now bearing the consequences for holding that essential role, which is often not recognised. I know it is tough to have someone always opposing, but that is one of the ways to avoid hasty decisions. The second benefit (after the one suggesting that the solution found is perhaps not the best one) is to nurture those who do not dare to speak, because they see the flow of dominators going over a discussion, and they dare not speaking up their mind. All to aware speaking up their mind might results in bad consequences for them. And, all to often, this is true. In voicing in very loud voice, and convincing voice he does not agree, tc helps those who are timid to speak; in not saying why a decision is wrong, he fosters thoughts in other people minds; so that other people, not him, find a good solution, and are proud of it. In all communities, there are those who are noisy, and those who are shy. Tc nurtures the shy ones; he gives them protection, shield them a bit, to allow them to speak.
Whatever what you can think of him (and I sure recognise these actions may be irritating), I think those who made him sysops recognise this ability in tc. Anthère 07:59, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

About what we are building : community or encyclopedia[edit]

We are first building an encyclopedia. Building a community is a side project, as it helps building the real project. TC has been helping to build the main project, I am sure everyone will recognise this. Many people also think he has been building the community as well. I certainly do.Anthère 07:59, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

But there is also the question of what role do the rules and guidelines we are supposed follow fulfil. Do they have any significance at all? Or are they just something to scare the newcomers with?
I suppose that is just a rhetorical question :-)

About exclusion of the community[edit]

This is what some of you are suggesting. Do not answer "but no, we are not excluding him, we are just unsysoping him". That is the same. There are two communities on Wikipedia. The community of trusted users, who are sysops, and the community of non trusted ones (essentially, though I agree there are a few sparse elements who are trusted), the non sysops. You are excluding him from the trusted community, from which he has been part for three years. That is, the importance of building the community is placed above the importance of building the encyclopedia. I regret this. In any cases, I think exclusion, be it from the trusted or from the other community is a *major* act, and not to be done quickly, i also suggest that oldbies and Jimbo's opinion is taking into considerationAnthère 07:59, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Here you are flat-out wrong. Those who genuinely treat sysops and other editors differently are the people I cannot trust at all, and should be watched over most meticulously (they exist, and I do keep my eye at least, on them). Sysops should not be trusted in any special way; rather, we should all endeavour to distrust those who only trust sysops.
Sysops should not be trusted in any special way; rather, we should all endeavour to distrust those who only trust sysops. :
Extract from the page about admin : Administrators are Wikipedians who have "sysop rights". Current Wikipedia policy is to grant this access liberally to anyone who has been an active Wikipedia contributor for a while and is generally a known and trusted member of the community.
This is clear evidence that what defines a sysop is 1) someone known and trusted and 2) willing to be one (in effect, some trusted people delibaretly choose not to be, as I mentionned above, this does not make them less trusted). It is generally practiced on the english wikipedia to propose trusted people for sysophood. Consequently, your position that claims we should not trust sysops appears to be one of a minority
Nope. It is only clear evidence that a sysop must at the moment of his inception be a trusted person. As you say, some people (for me most) who do not attain, nor perhaps aspire to sysopdom, are quite as trusted as sysops, and the way most of us trust them is in no way special from the way we trust some (but in my case at least, perhaps only just only a majority of) sysops, just as I also said.
I still maintain that those who do not belong to that "most of us"; those elitists who explicitly only trust or respect all sysops, and no others, potentially do harm to wikipedia, and bear close watching.
OK. I see no problem with that. I trust most users. A few I do not. Some of those I do not trust are sysops, some are not. I do not see to who you make reference as being elitists who give trust only to sysops. I do not think there are any of us thinking that.
I personally will not trust The Cunctator any more (perhaps less), if he retains his sysopdom than if he rescinds it by choice or is stripped it by force. In fact either case might well make him considerably more trustworthy. This is my opinion, and if it genuinely is a minority one, as you state, I am very worried about this community. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 08:21, Dec 4, 2003 (UTC)
I think we did not understand each other.
Newcomers may be reasonably be expected to be in need of guidance; but experienced users who are not sysops, are definitely not second class editors. And as for your implied opinion that oldtimers should be the only voices (along with Jimbo) to consider; I fart in its general direction. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 12:47, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)
And as for your implied opinion that oldtimers should be the only voices (along with Jimbo) to consider;, it is non sequitur. Please, do not distort my point of view.
I fart in its general direction. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 12:47, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)

::this is just plain and unjustified rudeness. It is pitifull to see a good argument being spoiled by rude langage.


Uhh. What is French for "backfire"? Cause that line sure did, big time.
Retour de feu ? Aller retour direct ? Cimon, je ne connaissais pas l'expression que tu as utilisée. J'ai vu la plupart des films des Monthy Pythons, mais je les ai vu en français. Pas en anglais. Je n'ai donc pas la moindre idée des phrases tirées de ces films, faisant partie de votre language collectif. Je peux aussi choisir de communiquer avec toi en français, et m'amuser à te lancer des bons mots, dont tout français comprendrais qu'ils ne constituent que de l'humour, mais que toi ne pourra interpréter que comme une insulte.
Je fais l'effort de parler dans ta langue, et est donc régulièrement victime de mon ignorance culturelle. Le terme que tu as utilisé (fart in its general direction) pourrait un peu être traduit par "je te pisse à la raie" par example, et crois moi, si un de mes collegues de travail s'aventurait à me dire cela, il se prendra directement une bonne baffe dans la figure.
I still haven't really decided what to think of your reaction to my little bon mot. But I think I can directly explain what my thinking was while I typed those "fateful words".
Je pense que ma réaction est parfaitement compréhensible si on estime que je ne connaissais pas cette expression. Il ne restait au final qu'une insulte bien franche de mon point de vue.
My hand on a stack of amulets, the other hand holding my testicles (may they shrivel if I tell a lie), by the stump and stone, cross my heart and hope do die (spit, spit, spit); I did not have the slightest intention of offending you, quite the contrary.
Do not press the testicles too hard though. It would not be necessary for you to feel pain over this.
Don't worry, I wasn't really grasping them fully. (too small hands :-)
Braggart ;-)
D'accord. J'appécie cette remarque. Et je suis désolée de ne pas avoir compris ton commentaire comme de l'humour. Je saurais désormais que ton humour est assez noir.
I thought that I should indicate in some way, that I was not disagreeing with you, but merely your opinion. So how to do it? Suddenly a figurative lightbulb lit up next to my head: "Aha, Anthere has a wonderful sense of humour; maybe if I cracked a joke, she would realize that my profound disagreement with her views does not mean that I am not still most empathetic towards her!" Well, you can see above how that turned out... -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 11:01, Dec 4, 2003 (UTC)
Anthere a un tres grand sens de l'humour. Encore faut il qu'elle comprenne qu'une blague est une blague. A partir du moment ou tu utilises des références culturelles que je ne connais pas, il y a toutes les chances que je ne saisisse pas *du tout* ce qui est amusant. La prochaine fois Cimon, je te suggère de considérer ta blague avec un oeil innocent, et de te demander si la blague peut être mal interprétée par son destinataire. Si oui, suggestion : met ta blague entre commentaire : <humour>I fart in its general direction.</humour>.
Dans ce cas, je commencerais par te demander en quoi consiste la blague, puis, quand tu me l'auras expliquée, je rirais avec toi. Avec plaisir :-)
je suis profondemment désolée. Je veux bien faire l'effort d'imaginer que ce qui ressemble à une insulte est juste une blague, mais vous aussi, les anglophones, pouver faire l'effort de comprendre que *justement* je ne comprend pas tout ce que vous dites.

About the fault and the punishment[edit]

I will not say anything about the fault itself, because I know not enough the en rules to be able to weight precisely enough the amound of the misdeed. The important point indeed is that some do not trust tc, and this is a fact. If some think he has done wrong, that must be acknowledged. But wrongs and punishment are two different things, which must be evaluated separatly. I am glad Cyan gave a two sided perspective for that, showing that the situation is not a clear as some would like to say. Whatever the conclusion (fault, or not fault), to my opinion, a punishment should be at the level of the fault, or the exclusion should be at the level of the lack of trust. That is, just unsysoping is quite a final act. There are several options at hand. First, there could be a warning, and I believe this discussion sure is a warning. Second there could be a limited in time desysoping just to show displeasure (perhaps a week, perhaps a month, dunno); and most important, there could be a limitation in sysop powers themselve. Do we trust tc to fight against vandalism (ie, to block ip) ? do we trust tc to delete a page that has been vandalised (ie, to delete a page, or to do an administration deletion) ? do we trust tc to protect a page (ie, like in an edit war). These are thoughts I offer, as I believe, just as when we ban someone, there are warning, there are steps. It is never black and white. We might trust him to stop doing on the things we think him doing bad. Perhaps he could be ask not to use protection/unprotection for a while, but be allowed to delete or undelete. This is just a suggestion.

Error description first; estimate whether it is a fault or a mistake; if a fault estimation of the gravity and risk for the encyclopedia itself; depending on the risk, decision over a punishment. One step at a time would be nice. Anthère 07:59, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Wow. Are you trying to out-talk everyone? It's not really about punishing TC. At least, I don't see it that way. It's just that TC has illustrated particularly poor judgement as a sysop. He could be a nice guy and a great contributor and a boon to the community, but I've opposed nice guys, great contributors, and boons to the community — when I didn't think they would be good sysops based on how they interact during the editing process. That is why I think it would be better to not have TC as a sysop. We have plenty of other sysops who do a better job of staying above reproach. If I wanted to show displeasure, I would complain on a talk page. Daniel Quinlan 21:24, Dec 1, 2003 (UTC)
what does out-talk mean ? ant
Well, you are not quite making an Argumentum ad nauseam, which is common on Wikipedia, but writing a lot about any topic is often sufficient to cause any decision or resolution to be avoided, rather like a filibuster. That is what it seems is happening here, so I will try to summarize opinions and see if there is any consensus. I don't like doing that, but it now seems necessary given the length of discussion by a few people. Daniel Quinlan 23:19, Dec 1, 2003 (UTC)
you are not quite making an Argumentum ad nauseam
Not quite yes. It would be pleasant to quality a comment as an argument from repetition when the comment is only made one time, at one place, about one person :-)
but writing a lot about any topic is often sufficient to cause any decision or resolution to be avoided
So...are you saying we should limit discussion of the topic and of the options at hand to insure speed resolution of the case ? :-))
rather like a filibuster
Are you comparing my carefully crafted set of points, and suggestions for conflict resolution to the satisfaction of everyone (such as voluntary abstention of doing certain sysop functions) to senatorial disgression ? :-)))
My sentiment is towards desysoping, but I've registered as uncertain and not not opposed to... because I agree with Anthere. Unsysoping is quite a grave act and a collective failure of the Wikipedia community, and should not be taken lightly. I've had my run-ins with TC, on the VfD notice location and the purported logical fallacies. I find TC evasive, oblique, condescending and instigative on many issues, something I do not find ideal sysop qualities. (Maybe I've changed my own mind during the crafting of this comment). But as such, I'm not convinced yet that it warrants what amounts to expulsion. Any type of contrition from TC would also convince me to keep TC around. Fuzheado 04:20, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I agree with Fuzheado; any type of contrition from TC would convince me to keep TC around. My confidence in that ever happening is such, though, that I'm not moving my name around on the roster yet. - Hephaestos 15:45, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The Cunctator - I would encourage you to voluntarilly refrain from unprotecting pages or editing protected pages over the next few months. This seems like the best way forward at this point. Martin 23:09, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)
In my personal view, which has not changed one iota by all the verbiage above, is that his acts "as acts" were bad enought to warrant immediate de-sysoping. But his motivation was not malicious or vandalous, but merely grievously self-righteous. Self-righteousness can be an evil in itself (and this is the category which the statement "Mother Teresa did evil things" falls under BTW). If he had done the exact same acts with pure vandalous intent, we would not be discussing here for one byte. He would have been gone, history, finito. It really is as simple as that.
The fact that we justly are not de-sysoping him out of hand, may well give some comfort to someone less moral than himself, who comes on later. "Hey, The Cunctator did the precise thing earlier, and you in the end decided not to de-sysop him, why are you busting my balls?". Just this fact in itself is evil. Even he be a good man who eventually be de-sysopped, the reguarding agaist this impersonal evil, to me is enough to justifie such an act, though I would not feel it in me to instigate it against a moral, useful contributor. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 12:47, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)
I think it should be made clear that it is not the case that the community has decided not to de-sysop The Cunctator, but that the community has not decided to de-sysop The Cunctator. The community reserves the right to act decisively, even where it has previously been divided. Martin 16:22, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Jimbo has appointed the Cunctator to a wikiquette arbitration committee (see the mailing list) which, along with this post, pretty much puts an end to the possibility of the Cunctator being de-sysoped. Maximus Rex 22:18, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't think that's true: Firstly, arbitrators don't need to be sysops, though the arbitration committee needs the respect of sysops to enforce its judgements. Secondly, the community can act in these matters even if Jimbo does not: specifically, it would require a sufficiently bold developer. That said, while opinion is somewhat split on the matter, we're unlikely to find a sufficiently bold developer - but if by some miracle we reached a consensus, Jimbo is not required to explicitly agree with that consensus.
Agree emphatically. Jimbo's pronouncements have the outward form of imperial decree (of necessity), but their force comes largely from the fact that he is usually (but not exclusively) merely stating the obvious. In this he is much like the king in Antoine de St Exuperys The Little Prince who every morning commands the sun to rise. I am 110% certain he would be the first to acknowledge (and 99% sure he has even said this on occasion) that though we are "playing with his toys", he is the tyrant (in the classical sense) very much through our consent.
If this issue is still going in the new year, this is one possible case that might be referred to mediation and/or arbitration. Martin 00:04, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I agree with martin.
One can NOT mediate a case involving their self. So T.C.'s membership in the mediation committee is irrevelent. —Noldoaran (Talk) 05:09, Dec 14, 2003 (UTC)
I support desysopping The Cunctator if he does not stop acting so unilaterally. Some of his posts are quite biased (e.g. Dividend tax), and a sysop should know better than to act like this. - Mark Ryan 06:26, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Procedural note[edit]

Well, I think all those who intend to express an opinion have done so, and it is therefore time to take the next step. There are two ways this can go: further pursuit of de-sysoping, or closing the matter and archiving the discussion.

I don't believe that developers have the responsibility of deciding when a user can no longer be trusted with sysop privileges. Therefore, the next step in the "de-sysoping" direction is for someone who actively seeks de-sysoping to collect evidence and make a case to Jimbo. (Any such case should note the dissenting opinions expressed here.) If no one will do this within 3 days, I will take it as a sign that the matter is considered closed, and will perform the required archiving (unless I hear different from someone). -- Cyan 22:16, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It seems I was too hasty in saying that all those who intend to express an opinion have done so. I will archive this discusison when it receives no posts for three consecutive days (unless I hear different from someone). -- Cyan 05:20, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)


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