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.