This user is no longer active on Wikipedia.

Thank you and a farewell noteEdit

I wanted to say a huge thank you not only to those who have posted supportive messages here and elsewhere, but also to those who have posted criticisms of my actions. It has been a pleasure editing this project alongside each and every one of you, whether we have agreed or not. I hope that those whose advice I have not felt able to follow over the last couple of weeks do think it fell on deaf ears. I have read every word and listened carefully.

Some have suggested that my recent actions have been out of character. I think that overlooks some of my history on this project. I have always believed more in principles than rules. Some may remember my unblock of Giano during the 2008 ArbCom elections, others my staunch objection to the existence of an off-wiki bureaucrat mailing list, or indeed my strong opposition to certain resysop decisions at WP:BN that I felt ran contrary to the best interests of the project. It is probably true to say that I have been one of the most "activist" / "interventionist" bureaucrats. Whether that is a good or bad thing I leave to the judgment of others, but I make no apology for it.

Harassment is a serious issue, and one that has affected me personally in my time editing the project. I have never spoken publicly about the full reasons for my withdrawal from the 2008 ArbCom elections. I did so due to threats I received that actions would be taken against me in the real world to embarrass me and my then employer. I had recently started a new position and was relatively junior, so that was a threat that I could not ignore. I withdrew from the elections and resigned as an admin and bureaucrat. Some months later, when I felt more secure and established at work, I resumed service as an admin and bureaucrat. It has been a matter of great sadness to me to see some suggest that I don't take the issue of harassment seriously or that recent actions by me are supportive of harassment. That is not the case, and I caution people against being overly quick to accept unquestioningly a narrative that has been presented to them. The WMF account of its actions in relation to Fram does not withstand the most cursory scrutiny - it should be treated with utmost suspicion.

There are two very serious problems facing the community at the moment, and neither ought to be allowed to eclipse the other:

  1. WMF v community self-governance. There is an urgent need to clarify the extent to which WMF is required to defer to community consensus, and the extent to which it must explain its actions and be held accountable for them by local communities. Without this, the project will hemorrhage contributors. Absent sufficient autonomy, wikipedia will simply not be the project that many of us chose to give our time to. The number of staffers would need to rise exponentially to fill the gap. I suggest WMF think long and hard about the value to them of the volunteer time they benefit from.
  2. Fair process in WMF actions. In all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, the accused must have basic rights. Those include the right to know the name of their accuser(s), to understand what they are accused of, and to have the opportunity to defend themselves. The accused must also have the right for any public statement about them to clearly identify the misconduct that they were found to have committed, rather than to be subject to vague insinuations and innuendo thrown about from those who claim to speak from a position of authority. Fram has been treated abysmally. The decision of two of my fellow bureaucrats to re-enact a punishment applied by WMF with no respect for basic concepts of fairness was the last straw in convincing me that I could not continue here.

I would remind everyone that over the last few years I been minimally active on the project, with little time to dedicate to it. Everyone will be fine without me. I also think that it is time for this project to stop relying on old hands in key positions. ArbCom is increasingly comprised of re-elected former Arbs, many bureaucrats (including me) were elected over a decade ago. That's not a good thing. We need fresh blood in key roles.

I hope that matters are resolved in relation to the two issues that I have identified above such that in future I will feel able to continue contributing to this project, but my days as a bureaucrat or administrator are done. WJBscribe (talk) 11:05, 26 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Replies to this message and further discussion have been archived

Precious anniversaryEdit

Six years!

miss you - see Die Fliege (the fly) on my talk --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:29, 13 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

... so delighted to read your measured comments again, "old" crat ;) - February flowers - late Valentine, read Alte Liebe and enjoy Handel's birthday! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:21, 23 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Three years ago? Yikes.Edit

On the off chance you still look in from time to time, I saw something that reminded me of something else which in turn reminded me of Framgate, and I'm amazed to see that it all started 3 years ago yesterday. It feels so much more recent. While thinking back on everything, I still don't regret a lot, but I do regret my part in your resignation and retirement. I imagine it was like 95% WMF's fault and 5% mine, but I regret that 5%. Hope you're well, and thanks for caring so much about the integrity of the project. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:17, 11 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You two are forever my heroes for your actions then. Folly Mox (talk) 03:03, 12 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Floquenbeam: It does feel both like a very long time ago and in another way just yesterday. I think even 5% is beating yourself up too much. I don't think events would have played out differently if you hadn't asked for your bits back at the noticeboard; I couldn't have watched things play out from the sidelines. In the end, the result would still have been the same, there wouldn't have been enough support for the actions I took (esp. re: Fram) and my position would have still have ended up untenable.
Ultimately, it's not because I resigned the bits that I don't contribute any more, I miss everyone and care for the project, but I don't want to give valuable free labour to WMF. I was comfortable contributing to a community-run project advancing free knowledge that was largely self-governing save for the minimal legally required role that WMF originally had (and Jimbo's increasingly shrinking founder role). And I was happy to give my time to that project. But increasingly the projects are now run by WMF, which sees itself as having a governance role over a social movement. The goal of trying (perhaps in vain) to build a NPOV online encyclopaedia that was free to all was alluring. This is depressing (it's like they didn't realise WP:PILLARS existed).
The community has failed to stand up to WMF and has tacitly endorsed its every encroaching remit. More of those who have stayed, and those who joined recently, believe that WMF are in charge. They liken WMF to Facebook without understanding how Wikipedia is (was?) different. I feel that Facebook provides a service to its users whereas WMF receives services from the community. But it seems people don't see it that way. That's fine, I get it. From my point of view though, the battle for self-governance we won with Jimbo was then lost to WMF, which whittled it away a piece at a time. WMF forces through policies and tech features that no one wants, while ignoring the features that the community asks for and the bugs it's crying out to have fixed (e.g. Wikipedia:Mobile communication bugs). WMF now attempt to set the agenda, rather than responding to wishes of the projects. WMF even dictates where and how discussions happen, eschewing the noticeboards and consensus building structures we set up. People seem to be grudgingly accepting that. I couldn't and still can't. The result is that I don't want to give my time here any more, however tempting. WJBscribe (talk) 13:19, 13 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I still see echoes of this in the recent UCoC enforcement vote (and many other issues too, but that's foremost in my head). Good to hear from you. Take care. --Floquenbeam (talk) 22:34, 13 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it seems you have nudged me slightly out of my self exile. I have at least commented on the current RfBs. I do look in from time to time. It may be that the community / WMF balance will improve with time. One can only hope... WJBscribe (talk) 11:45, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, only people who support the WMF unconditionally are allowed to oppose RFB candidates. --Floquenbeam (talk) 14:51, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Happy First Edit Day!Edit

ArbCom 2022 Elections voter messageEdit

Hello! Voting in the 2022 Arbitration Committee elections is now open until 23:59 (UTC) on Monday, 12 December 2022. All eligible users are allowed to vote. Users with alternate accounts may only vote once.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2022 election, please review the candidates and submit your choices on the voting page. If you no longer wish to receive these messages, you may add {{NoACEMM}} to your user talk page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 00:30, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Precious anniversaryEdit

Nine years!

Best wishes for what you do with your time, - miss you here. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:28, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]