Saturday, May 12, 2007

Today's Worst Wikipedian in the World

In his novel Friday, Robert Heinlein presents, through the character of the protagonist's "boss", the thesis that incivility is the hallmark sign of a sick and moribund society (for more on this, see a somewhat interesting article by The Death of Civility, part 2 by Don Webb). Sadly, I see this being the case on Wikipedia.

Of course, I'm sure many of my regular readers are now cleaning the Coke off their monitors, as I am certainly generally known as one of Wikipedia's least civil participants, second perhaps only to Grand Master Giano himself; surely for me to criticize Wikipedians for their lack of civility is the pot calling the kettle black, no? And, yes, I have had certainly had my moments where I have failed to remain civil, although admittedly most of those were for political effect. But I reject any claim that I am in any way responsible for Wikipedia's current crisis of civility, or even that I'm one of the worst offenders.

For example, today's particularly obnoxious offender is recently-promoted Wikipedia administrator Anthony. Despite a very clearly worded statement on my user talk page that I consider such "thank you notes" unwelcome, and despite a general admonishment not to post such notices in the Guide to Request for Adminships, Anthony spewed out a mass-delivered thank you. In the message left on my page, Anthony not only ignored both the general and my specific requests, but even invoked "civility" as an excuse to do so. Apparently, he believes that, because my request is "incivil and rude", he is entitled to ignore it. I have promised to scorn and vilify any editor who ignores my request, and so I hereby do scorn and vilify Anthony for being the rudest Wikipedian I have had the displeasure to deal with in at least the past week or so.

Anybody else feel like submitting him for consideration on Keith Olbermann's Worst Person in the World? Perhaps I should have a "Worst Wikipedian in the World" periodic segment.... Although I am certainly not going to put a MIDI of Bach on autoplay.... You can always email me suggestions.


  1. Oh Jesus Fucking Christ! Kelly, you're the biggest crybaby in the history of Wikipedia, with the possible exception of SPUI (at lease he created content and therefore deserved some consideration).

    I've never seen such sniveling and whining. Go away and don't come back.

    Wait, strike that. Please don't go, every community needs some entertainment.

  2. I think it's somewhat odd that one would thank someone for her contribution yet be disrespectful in the means of doing so. It makes me somewhat wonder if the thank-you-note was more for show than to express actual gratitude.

  3. So someone else was a little rude to you.

    What's the big deal? Ignore and blank the message and move on. Some people are rude today, and others will be rude tomorrow, and it's a little sad that someone older than 12 still can't brush these things off like a rational person.

    If you're going to whine about and dwell on such a utterly trivial thing, then, well, wow.

    Get over yourself.

  4. Depends what you mean by "worst". There are so many arseholes that picking one seems grossly unfair to the others. On the whole though, the community stuff is very unimportant, and eminently ignorable, and content so much more important, so I'd vote for a POV pusher like Jayjg, who has helped create a toxic atmosphere with his abuse of policy, ownership of articles and encouragement of factionalism. Others who have shifted policy so that it backs their POVs would probably deserve the title too. Some prick whining about civility is nowhere like in that league, and a pretentious drama queen such as Giano not even in the contest.

  5. I would like to vote "Doc glasgow" as the second most incivil Wikipedian.

    Inexplicably - I had not read this post.

    But, I did re-add Anthony's thankyou note after "Doc glasgow" had deleted it with a summary as "trolling". It seemed a nice thankyou as Kelly actually had supported Anthony.

    Immediately (within minutes) the post was gone and I was called a troller and threatened with blocking for vandalism.

    I politely requested clarification on Doc's talk page and the post was removed instantly from the talk page with a summary of "trolling".

    Finally - I read this blog, learned the history and informed Doc of the misunderstanding - again instantly the remark was gone without a comment.

    So, Doc glasgow gets my vote as "Incivil Wikipedian of the week"

    Side note:
    Anthony left a nice note: "Good evening (GMT time); regarding Kelly's user talk page and my RfA thanks - I've got no problem with it being removed, and since Kelly doesn't want it there, and I don't mind it *not* being there, it's best for everybody if it stays locked away in the history.

    Therefore, I'd ask you not to re-add it; cheers for your co-operation."

  6. There seems to be plenty of incivility going around on both sides in this particular clash. The way Kelly demands that people not post "thank-you" messages seems a bit rude and whiny, but the person who acknowledged her notice but proceeded to post a thankyou note on her page anyway was acting kind of incivil too... as were some of the people involved in edit-warring to re-add and re-remove the note.