UESPWiki:Community Portal/De-Adminship Request

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This is an archive of past UESPWiki:Community Portal discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.
This is a major community-wide discussion that has been resolved. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

I would like to formally propose, at this point, that Aristeo's elevated privileges, are no longer appropriate.

I feel that by using them to threaten Wyre in what is in effect a person feud is inappropriate and an abuse of power. Furthermore his deletion of content seems totally against the whole ethos of what a wiki should and must be. Further to this i feel his involvement in another project of this nature further compromises him and leaves him open to allegations of deliberately trying to saboteur this site.

Therefore, for the protection of both the UESPWiki and Aristeo himself, I hope my proposal is duly considered.

(NB: I hesitate in doing this, but it seems better to do so now rather than end up doing the same thing further down the line, and thus wasting even more of everyone's time.) Jadrax 20:07, 24 February 2007 (EST)

I share Jadrax's concerns about recent events, and would like to point out some relevant comments that I made to Aristeo a couple weeks ago. At the least Aristeo should step back from this current incident and refrain from taking any administrative action against Wrye because he is personally involved in the situation. There is no reason why a rapid action is necessary at this moment, and therefore no reason why the issue can not be left until other administrators have had time to fully consider what has occurred. --Nephele 20:27, 24 February 2007 (EST)
I'll agree to not block him from editing, regardless of whether the blocking policy supports it or not. Since I might be personally involved, I can see how I might not be the first pick in performing this block.
I sense that everyone is getting feed up with this dispute, so I think it might be appropriate to allow this case to be arbitrated by Daveh. If he agrees, we can model the arbitration proceeding like on Wikipedia just so we don't have to reinvent the wheel. I've read a lot of arbitrations on Wikipedia and I am very familiar with their arbitration policies, so I'll be happy to guide everyone through it.
Wrye, I'll give you one last chance to discuss our differences in IRC to limit the damage and try to come up with a solution in a quicker manner. Who knows, maybe we'll become good friends after all this crap is dealt with. :) --Aristeo | Talk 21:19, 24 February 2007 (EST)
Aristeo, if you'd like to link me to the relevant pages on Arbitration, I'd like to be able to understand the process more before I agree to it, and if both parties agree to it, I could oversee the proceedings, as Daveh may be busy. Personally, I think all the parties involved would be better suited if we just went back to editing the wiki instead of disagreeing about policies that rarely see any use. --Ratwar 22:34, 24 February 2007 (EST)
In my position, this was not something that I could propose myself (nor have I at any time urged anyone else, much less Jadrax, to propose it). However, I do support it.
I'll note that my conflict with Aristeo, while tempered by long battle, has always been directed at the authoritarian and un-wikilike actions that he has repeatedly taken. Aside from that, I think that Jadrax summarizes the reasons quite well above.
Editors who are new to this conflict, may wish to visit recent (and older) links:
Further note in response to Aristeo above. Aristeo mixes a friendly manner with a gross disregard for the input of others. E.g., his overture to discuss our differences in IRC and maybe we'll become good friends after all this crap is dealt with! is completely non-genuine. He's made similar overtures before (see Principles Controversy and Wrye Talk Archive 2007-01.) He then follows this up with a contemptuous post on Wikiscrolls. E.g. (Original or Backup Copy):
Also, I probably should not have engaged with the other user [Wrye] when he opened up the discussion. (The "Do not feed the trolls" concept.) After talking with my friends, I should have opened up a well worded request for comment on the user's conduct on the administrative noticeboard. (example of what I'm talking about).
Follow that link and you end up with stuff like this:
User:Psychohistorian has been consistently and repeatedly, despite being warned against it, and even after the latest warnings, attacking the credentials, knowledge, abilities, sanity and character of people with whom he has disputes. He admits becoming unnecessarily frustrated but has not done anything to correct his behavior or apologize for it.
In short, Aristeo regards me as a troll (or worse, a frustrated, psychotic troll). Any seemingly kind overtures on his part are just part of his "Do not feed the trolls" approach. BTW, I honestly don't know if Aristeo truly regards me as troll, or is engaging in the "big lie" in putting what is in fact, his behavior, off on me. Either way, the overture "to be friends" above is insincere.
Note also that I'm not the only one to receive this treatment. See his attack on Nephele in the Wikiscrolls IRC Meeting Logs:
The first one was caused by a series of private and not-so-private-but-still-not-public mad rants by a user by the name of Nephele towards another user called Lurlock. Then, later, Nephele turned her attention towards me and ranted about things I've done in a rather critical way, which made me leave the room...
Nephele breaks her silence and objects strongly farther down page -- and Aristeo totally brushes her off with a smile. In other words, after being caught making a flagrantly offensive statement about her, and when faced with her strong objections, he doesn't really care. He is clearly contemptuous of her. (I would have to say that she has almost saintly patience in tolerating him as much as she does (e.g., Aristeo's Rewrite).
Again, the thing that's so striking about this, is that if Aristeo is so contemptuous of the other administrators here, and so fed up with them and the general atmosphere that he has started up a rival site, why is he still here, using his admin authority? It's certainly, not as he suggested here to police vandals, but apparently rather to continue to dabble in policymaking, and threaten another admin with blocking.
--Wrye 22:56, 24 February 2007 (EST)

I don't think I've had the pleasure to meet Jadrox before, but hello and welcome to the wiki. I hope you decide to stay. I'm not sure why you think I'm abusing my power – I'm only enforcing the rules on blocking policy. And when a couple respectable people told me not to block Wrye, I didn't. I'm not sure if you all really want Wrye to continue editing the wiki, I know I don't, but hey, it's your call! ;)

In response to your second complaint, when I wrote the deletion policy, I was pretty sure that I put that "user request" criterion in the main article section kind of like how they do it on Wikipedia. I guess I didn't, and I guess I'll have to thank Wrye for reminding me that my speedy delete was done wrong.

I've been thinking about this whole situation for a while now... I think it's a very serious case of conflicting personalities. Wrye and I both have a different way of thinking – which is probably why we disagree on so many different things. I just don't understand Wrye's logic on any of his comments on the wiki, and I'm sure he feels the same way about me.

Back when Wrye decided to take his six month break in May 2006 or something like that, this site was doing a lot of good work. Somehow I turned into the site mentor and director for when newcomers like Nephele and Lurlock came around, and we were getting all kinds of work done. It was amazing.

Then everything seemed to go downhill when Wrye showed up all of a sudden. I'm not saying that it was Wrye's fault exactly that things started to go downhill, but for some reason they did once he came in the picture. We started that whole "principles controversy" crap, and I really regret participating in that conversation. And now people are starting to hold that in the light like it was the consensus that somehow decided how man shall behave on the wiki, but I feel like we're framing our child's first poop on the wall or something similar.

And then I got fed up, along with a couple other people, and we basically left. And then I kind of came back, and now I'm writing the sixth paragraph on this stupid waste of time. Bleh....

So, getting back on subject, I think Wrye and I just have different philosophies. I kind of like taking small risks every now and then, perhaps bending or breaking a rule or two if it means making things better in the big picture. I imagine Wrye is the kind of person who sticks with tradition, eats the same meal every day for breakfast, and isn't into this whole "anyone can edit" concept because the site can be vandalised at any moment.

I try to be nice to everyone, although I'm not perfect at it. In our IRC channel, I discourage my fellow operators from making behavioral corrections in public eye, if they can, and I encourage them to take these things to private message. Wrye isn't afraid to say what he thinks and if there's any behavioral corrections to be made, then by golly we're going to get everyone involved to discuss the matter.

If someone is vandalising the site, I want to give him every opportunity I can in hope that he stops and tries contributing. I think vandals are people as well, and I feel they need to be treated with dignity. Wrye doesn't think that vandals deserve civility, and although I don't know what his personal philosophy is with vandalism, I could make a reasonable guess that he thinks a permanent block is in order for a first offense.

I'll be the first to admit that I make mistakes, probably because, unlike yourselves, I never had a mentor or anyone to look up to on the site. Nephele, Lurlock, Booyah Boy, and several others had me as a mentor. Now people like Jadrax and all these other new names I see on my watch-list are learning from them.

Since I never had anyone to look up to, I had to learn things the hard way. We had no policies for me to look at to learn how to edit, I had to learn by myself. I couldn't ask people how to do this or that with the wiki, if I had a problem then I had to either learn the solution on Wikipedia or on Google. I couldn't learn from past mistakes made by the people before me, I had to make my own mistakes and have them pointed out to me so I could learn from them the hard way. I still have to learn from my mistakes the hard way.

To conclude what has turned into a pretty lengthy statement, I'll tell you all that if you want me to step down from administrator, or at least not do anything administrative, I'll step down. If you want me to stop participating on the site, I'll stop. There's no amount of evidence I can pull up about Wrye that you haven't seen, there's nothing I can say about Wrye that you haven't heard, and at this point, there is no way I can fix what is left of this community that I haven't tried.

The only way we can make this community and ultimately this site work again is with trust and friendship. Enough with this consensus crap. Enough with the policies, enough with the rules, enough with the attempts to fix the site with mud. Use tools that we give you like the IRC channel to make friends, not just "fellow editors". Don't let big words with fuzzy meanings like "consensus" and "community" replace "trust" and "friendship".

May the light be with us all in these dark times. --Aristeo | Talk 02:04, 25 February 2007 (EST)

(P.S. I did not give you permission to host that conversation that you uploaded and published onto the internet. Please take it down immediately, you are violating international copyright law. Thanks!)


Having read through this somewhat lengthy post, I have a few brief points to make.
  1. In no way have I been approached by Wrye, or anyone else about this matter.
  2. My name is Jadrax not Jadrox.
  3. Your contestant acts of vandalism to the wiki seem to have started last August when you deleted all the glitches without any attempt to fix redirects or do anything else other than cause a huge hole in the content here.
  4. Much as you like to blame Wrye for all your bad decisions, I have yet to see him actually do anything wrong.
  5. The 'problem' (Note Singular) with the community here seems entirely down to you underhanded modus operandi, unwillingness to work as an equal and unwillingness to reform. Instead you merely offer apologies that come across as totally insincere and full of snide remarks to boot.
  6. Consensus and Community are both fine moral pillars to aspire to. Beyond that I pretty much find myself Trusting almost everyone here.
  7. Your P.S. with regards to Copyright is both childish and laughable.
  8. Please make this easy on everyone and step down as an Administrator. Jadrax 10:23, 25 February 2007 (EST)
First you were accusing me of administrative abuse, and when that didn't work out you started to accuse me of vandalism? Vandalism? Since you've only been here a month, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you don't know what vandalism is. You might want to read a little more about it before you accuse someone of it.
No, I'm not blaming Wrye for any of my bad decisions. I'm blaming Wrye for maximizing the damage of those bad decisions. I've already admitted that some of the stuff I've done here weren't my best ideas.
And no, I'm not saying that consensus and community aren't important. I'm saying they aren't the most important. Without trust and friendship, we can't have consensus and community.
I don't have the energy to call out every single one of your points. I can only hope that it will be apparent to everyone, or at least the people who matter, that none of these arguments have any logical argument to go with them. They're just accusations. I could make accusations and counter accusations until the end of time. I'm sure a lot of you could do the same.
Instead of a Usenet style debate, let's try talking about these issues like reasonable people without putting a sword over anyone's head. --Aristeo | Talk 12:22, 25 February 2007 (EST)
Erm accusing you of Administrative abuse did work out, mainly as you are clearly guilty of it.
Please, again I ask you to make good your offer and stand down as admin, rather than yet again wasting everyones time and effort in your childish games.12:41, 25 February 2007 (EST)
I'm a bit confused on this issue, where and what are we accusing Aristeo of? Can someone give examples, references and such? Because as far as I've seen Aristeo has only helped UESP to become a better place and I have never seen him be childish, he seems like a nice guy! --Magnus 13:05, 25 February 2007 (EST)

Magnus, Some of the key facts seem to me to be.

  1. Abuse of power by threatening to block a fellow admin. User_talk:Wrye#Offensive_Comments
  2. Abuse of power by using facilities of this site to attempt set up a rival project. wikiscrolls
  3. Childish behaviour by constantly letting his feud with Wrye obstruct the site UESPWiki:Community Portal/Principles Controversy
  4. Childish behaviour with regards to constantly trying to obfuscate points made against him by deletion or archiving. Forum
  5. Childish behaviour with regards to making constant snide remarks about the UESP, including snide remarks about DaveH, Nephele and possibly others. Wikiscrolls IRC Meeting Logs

Jadrax 14:08, 25 February 2007 (EST)

I think I've had enough of this Jaxrod character. I'd much rather talk to some of the more respectable, established members of the site, such as Lurlock, Nephele, or Ratwar so that we can actually get something accomplished. --Aristeo | Talk 16:46, 25 February 2007 (EST)

Nephele's Opinion

Aristeo, this is not a frivolous charge nor is it one that should be dismissed, especially by trying to turn it around into an attack on Jadrax. It seems fairly obvious to me that Jadrax is not acting out of personal prejudice or spite, but rather because he is concerned about the overall influence you are having on the wiki. Since two other administrators (myself and Wrye) have already stated that we support Jadrax's request, it should be clear that this is not a trivial issue; Ratwar's statement that he is willing to arbitrate indicates that he also realizes that this is serious.

In short, I support this request because Aristeo has shown a repeated pattern over several months of questionable judgement, including unjustified administrative actions, ignoring established procedures, and initiating controversial discussions. Despite being repeatedly told that he has made mistakes, there has been no evidence that he has heeded these notices or tried to be more careful in subsequent actions. His contributions to the wiki over the last few months have been almost exclusively confrontational; these problems are not just occasional mistakes made while otherwise helping to improve the wiki. In addition, there is clearly a conflict of interest between Aristeo's control of the wikiscrolls project and his adminship on UESP. I originally was willing to give Aristeo the benefit of the doubt and hope that he would limit his involvement in UESP cases where there was a conflict of interest. However, Aristeo has not shown any such restraint and continues to initiate actions where his motivations are questionable. Given that repeated warnings have not had any effect on Aristeo, and that he has shown no willingness to exercise restraint with his administative abilities, it seems that there is no viable option other than to remove his administrative powers.

Therefore, I believe it is necessary to change Aristeo's user rights to remove the following privileges:

  • sysop, checkuser, map, mapedit, and cartographer

Before going into more details, I would like to emphasize what this action is not about. This request should not be taken to mean that Aristeo has not been an important member of this community, nor does it imply that Aristeo has not previously been a respected and valued administrator. Aristeo stepped up to become administrator at a time when there was clearly an administrative vacuum, and without his leadership last summer the wiki would not have been able to continue growing. He was forced to struggle through several crises on his own without any other administrators to turn to for assistance (in particular during a month-long period when even Daveh was out of reach). He played a vital role in helping to build this community. However, something has clearly changed over the last few months, and his recent actions can no longer be overlooked as anomalies and ignored on the basis of his previous contributions.

Also this request is not about Wrye. There have been several notable incidents involving Aristeo's interactions with Wrye. However, there have also been other incidents involving Aristeo unrelated to Wrye. Furthermore, Aristeo has in almost all cases been the person who initiated the incident, by choosing unprovoked to make a questionable action. The fact that Wrye may frequently have been the person to point out Aristeo's mistakes does not have any bearing when it comes to assessing Aristeo's initial actions. If anyone has any concerns about Wrye's subsequent choices (or about anyone else's subsequent actions), those should be addressed completely independently of this discussion. Getting distracted by peripheral issues will not help to quickly or efficiently resolve the current discussion.

Now, to provide details on what this request is about.

Repeated Cases of Poor Administrative Judgement Aristeo has in multiple instances taken administrative action without proper justification:

  • Threatening to block another admin in a case in which he is personally involved, based upon criteria that are not supported by the community.
  • Using speedy deletion to delete pages that do not meet the criteria
  • Protecting User talk:64.150.0.1 twice, the second time ignoring the established consensus that the page should not be protected.
  • Deleting entire discussions
    • In some cases despite previous discussions clearly concluding that they should not be deleted (e.g., [1], [2])
    • Completely blanking Oblivion:Glitches [3], with this explanation. This was despite active discussions on the talk page about how to work on the glitches page, and despite work that had been done by other editors to try to clean up sections of the page.
    • Deleting an entire active discussion because it was no longer going his way. Although he posted the content here he did not include any links to the new page, and prefaced the page with the bold-face warning "Please don't edit it", thus completely shutting down an active discussion.
  • Changing the site notice (a protected page) to advertise the IRC room without any type of general discussion.

Several of these actions appear to be motivated by Aristeo trying to enforce rules about civility that do not exist, rules that in the only community discussion about the topic were shown to be unpopular. Administrators should not be trying to enforce their personal opinions over the community's objections. And from his comments, it is clear that he understands that his opinions differ from the community's, e.g. "It appears that the agreement here is that unless someone posts something like "you stupid loser!!", then we leave all comments regardless of their civility." (see Aristeo's Conclusion).

Also many of these instances were aggravated by Aristeo rushing to institute actions when there was no need for a hasty decision. In almost every discussion with Aristeo, he has been advised to slow down, by nearly everyone involved (including completely uninvolved commentators such as Endareth and Graye/Booyah Boy). However, each time a new incident erupts, he takes precipitous actions and accelerates the problem. That is a very dangerous trait in an administrator who likes to start controversial discussions.

Initating Controversy This is a list of all the actions that Aristeo has taken just in the last two months that have been confrontational (by initiating a discussion, contributing to a discussion, or editing policy-related or high-profile pages):

None of these edits are individually problematic; Aristeo was fully within his rights to initiate any of these discussions or edits. But altogether they show an unmistakable and somewhat alarming pattern of constantly choosing to get involved in potentially controversial topics.

What makes this pattern even more disturbing is that Aristeo has complained about the very actions that he is doing, namely "making huge controversies out of little problems" (see here). He has shown that he is sensitive to criticism, e.g., leaving the site apparently prompted by Wrye's feedback. And he has advised others "Don't associate with people on the wiki that you don't like" [4]. If he dislikes confrontation so much, why does he keep choosing to make such high-profile, controversial contributions to the wiki?

Lack of Constructive Contributions All of us end up getting into various debates and/or controversies about the best course of action on the wiki. So a few disagreements in the course of actively working on improving the wiki would be completely understandable. However, Aristeo has not shown any interest recently in helping to work on improving the wiki; his contributions over the last few months consist almost entirely of initiating controversies or editing his user page. The discussions he has initiated have not even been directly related to the site content, namely articles on Elder Scrolls games. Although I pointed this pattern out to him nearly two weeks ago and suggested that focussing on less contentious issues would be helpful, he has not changed his pattern of contributions in any way.

Conflict of interest with wikiscrolls I welcome all editors who wish to contribute to UESPWiki, regardless of whatever other projects they may be involved with. However, this is not about Aristeo's involvement as an editor at UESPWiki, but with his involvement as an administrator while simultaneously founding and controlling the wikiscrolls project. Multiple statements have been made by Aristeo himself stating that wikiscrolls has been founded in response to perceived problems at UESP, problems that apparently are so severe that it's not worth even trying to fix them; Aristeo believes that the only fix is to start afresh. This leads to obvious concerns about Aristeo's motivation when he chooses to initiate policy-related dicussions at UESP: if he thinks these problems are unfixable, what is he trying to accomplish? I at first gave Aristeo the benefit of the doubt, hoping that he was planning to limit his administrative role to routine, non-controversial administrative actions (e.g., deleting proposed deletions). However, he has not, and has instead repeatedly chosen actions where there is a conflict of interest.

In summary, this is a pattern of repeated violations that have persisted despite multiple warnings. Aristeo has not shown any willingness to learn from previous mistakes, but instead continues to make the same mistakes over and over again. When even relatively new users such as Jadrax are finding Aristeo's contributions disruptive, it is clearly time to fix this problem. The only viable solution that I see at this point is to remove Aristeo's administrative privleges. --Nephele 16:52, 25 February 2007 (EST)

???

Well. This is interesting. I've been away for a little while, and after popping back in I am reminded of just exactly why I left in the first place; nice to know that some things never change.

After spending quite some time over the past few days reading over numerous posts on UESP, and perusing information available elsewhere on the internet, I am of the opinion that there's plenty of fault to go around in this situation. If there is justification for Aristeo losing his admin status, there is justification for at least two other admins to lose their status as well. This is based not only on recent weeks behavior, but on months of petty bickering and mud-slinging, and it appears to me that this latest initiative is just more of the same. Tsk.

It's a shame, really. The only outcome here is that UESP contributing community will suffer, and that's a real pity. I know I've personally lost interest in the whole initiative here (sigh), as well as lost respect for a few people, although I expect that's of little concern to anyone involved in this spat. (I'll probably pop into the chatroom from time to time, just to say "hey" to a few key people.)

For those of you that are interested in the (blech) drama that's unfolding here and feel compelled to "vote" on this issue, I only ask that you take the initiative and exercise your own due diligence. Don't just take the snippets posted here as the gospel truth when you are forming an opinion upon which to base your decision; take the time to peruse and gather your own information instead of depending on the bullet-point advice of others who have their own agenda.

It looks like there's some new community members here since I took my hiatus several weeks back -- too bad you're getting caught up in this as well. But, then, some people thrive on this sort of thing...I find it distasteful. But I will chime in and state my opinion that, of the people involved here that I am acquainted with, Aristeo is by far the nicest of the group.

And, now to leave all this negativity behind once more; I'm off to more personally satisfying, enjoyable endeavors.--Hoggwild5 02:08, 27 February 2007 (EST)

Well said. I should have followed my advice a while ago and left, but I guess I was still a little addicted to the site. Not anymore.
Could you visit us in the IRC room some? No drama in there :) Just a couple crazy people who think we're pirates. Nevermind, I see you addressed that already in your post. --209.192.10.122 11:19, 27 February 2007 (EST)

This discussion has been resolved: Aristeo has voluntarily requested to resign as administrator. --Nephele 14:37, 27 February 2007 (EST)