Wikinews:Dispute resolution/Users Neutralizer and Amgine

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There is an existing dispute between these users, which may include others, which has been resistant to other attempts at relief, and so has been brough to Dispute resolution.

Statement of dispute: Amgine[edit]

It is my opinion that User:Neutralizer is not capable of working within a wiki environment which subscribes to a Neutral point of view in articles and edits. It is my opinion the user has given clear evidence of an inability to subscribe to community norms, standards, and policies, and so constitutes an ongoing disruption to the community. As such, the user may be banned indefinitely under current blocking policy.

The community has stated it feels not all attempts at mediation have been exhausted. Finding no other method of arbitration available, I'm bringing this here in hopes of either resolving Neutralizer's disruptive behaviour or to evidence the futility in further attempting to do so. - Amgine / talk 01:11, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Examples of dispute behavior:

Armed conflicts in the world down by 40% since early 1990s.[edit]

User:Neutralizer tagged this article for {{NPOV}}[1] and then {{Deletion request}}[2]. This despite publishing the same article earlier[3]. These are the only three edits Neutralizer made to this article, however to be fair he may have determined to flag this article because I had just published it[4] (I unpublished as soon as it was flagged[5]) while cleaning up the developing articles template.

User:Neutralizer did not explain the reasoning for the {{NPOV}} until after User:Chiacomo asked for clarification on his talk page[6]. His NPOV statements[7] were restatements of the talk page comments, some of which had already been addressed in the article, and all but one of which had been on the talk page before he published it previously.

When Chiacomo asked for other objections, since the others had already been dealt with ([8]), the response[9] seemed to indicate the primary objection to the story is was old and had been "resurrected", and that previous editors (who had never tagged the article with a dispute tag) had not been consulted[10](not logged in, see [11]). After Chiacomo addressed the previously raised concerns which had not been addressed in earlier edits and republished the article, Neutralizer announced[12] he would put the article up for deletion. On the deletion requests, Neutralizer misleadingly said the article could be tagged with 3 or 4 dispute tags[13].

During the ensuing discussions (see final form at [14]) Neutralizer accused Chiacomo of not assuming good faith, demanded he contact the four previous talk page contributors, and then said he would not continue "this distracting 2 party debate."

Conclusions 
Neutralizer either began the entire event while stalking my edits and wishing to oppose them due to their author (failing to assume good faith, acting to disrupt the community), or honestly felt the concerns of editors on the talk page needed to be addressed. In the latter case, he had previously ignored their concerns in publishing the article (does not listen to the concerns other editors). It is my opinion, based on personal experiences with this contributor, the user probably was unaware of the earlier publishing of the article. The user selectively applies community guidelines to others while completely missing the fact xi is simultaneously violating the same guidelines (Assume good faith).

POV pushing in article titles[edit]

Neutralizer has a penchant for sensational titles for articles. While not necessarily an especially problematic issue, the user page-move wars over article titles, and selects both particularly provocative titles and ones which are misleading even when other editors dispute the title.

Title example link Summary
President Bush afraid of a confrontation with Chavez?

Bush runs away from Chavez
President Bush avoids of a confrontation with Chavez

[15] [16] clearer
EU to investigate secret CIA jails in Romania/Poland

EU to investigate CIA prisons in Romania/Poland
EU to investigate secret CIA establisments in Romania, Poland

[17] [18] [19]
Spain issues arrest warrant for U.S. soldiers who killed 2 journalists

Spain issues arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers who killed Spanish journalist
Spain issues arrest warrant for U.S. soldiers who killed a journalist
Spain issues arrest warrant for U.S. soldiers who killed a journalist
Spain issues arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers accused of killing two journalists in 2003

[20] [21] [22] [23] [24]
Spanish issued arrest warrant for soldiers accused by the court of causing the death of a single Spanish journalist. (note: title changed back after article was published.)
Bush has a rehearsed tele-conference with US troops in Iraq

Bush has a rehearsed tele-conference with US troops in Iraq
Bush teleconference with US troops criticized as rehearsed
Bush has a rehearsed tele-conference with US troops in Iraq

[25] [26] [27] [28]
The teleconference was not rehearsed, but the soldiers (exclusively officers) were taped being coached for topics, scripting. (note: article title changed back after article was published)
U.S. force-feeding Guantanamo hunger strikers [29]
White House denies that God told Bush to invade Iraq

Whitehouse denies that God told Bush to invade Iraq:

[30] [31] Title must relate to the story
In fact, the White House denied an accusation from an Egyptian official that Bush said God told him to invade, making the title more than misleading. (note: article title changed back after publication)
U.S. Government ordered to release images of child rape at Abu Ghraib

U.S. Government ordered to release images of child rape at Abu Ghraib
U.S. Government ordered to release more images related to Abu Ghraib case
U.S. Government ordered to release images of child rape at Abu Ghraib

[32] [33] [34] [35] Title now better reflects the meat of the story
Article covered judge's order to release documents in a FOIA decision; the ACLU believes they may depict torture or mistreatment but no source indicated they depicted child rape (though they may very well do so.)
Babies on U.S. no-fly lists holding up passengers [36] Previous reference to "under 12" should have been "under 2"
The original source had "children under 12", not "under 2". There were 14 of the 82 children who were under 12 reported as under 2.
Conclusions 
User is willing to sacrifice accuracy and honesty to push a particular point of view. User is not able to meet standards of the community. User circumvents other editors by waiting until changes have been made to allow publication, then reverting to biased or inaccurate versions. User does not accept requirement that all factual statements, including those in titles, must be supported by sources, or that Wikinews does not make judgements.

Late edits[edit]

A single example of this will suffice.

In Libby, former Cheney aide, pleads not guilty, after the article was published, Neutralizer inserted, with an edit summary "NPOV", the following[37]:

A presidential pardon is a possibility if Libby is convicted. President Bush has not ruled that possibility out, even though Democratic leaders have asked the president to do so.

On the talk page the contributor added "I expanded the article by bringing out more info from the second source." However, on examination of the sources it was clear they said nothing about presidential pardons, and I removed it with a summary of "Not supported by sources."

The user reinserted the text[38], with an edit summary "supported by sfgate source" and a talk page comment of "Reinserted reference supported by SF Gate source." I had previously examined this source[39], and it was not supported, but I re-examined it very carefully in case I had missed it somehow before removing it a second time, and leaving a lengthy justification on the talk page.

Conclusion 
The user ignores edit summaries of other editors, or performs late article edits to insert POV and unsupported opinions, conjecture, or speculation. Based on other edits by the contributor in my opinion it is actually both. User does not examine sources for fact checking. User does not verify factual statements when editing.

POVioring[edit]

POVioring, a verbing of a contraction of "a POV warrior" - on Wikipedia known as POV-pushing - is not acceptable behavior under the neutral point of view policy. User:Neutralizer has repeatedly been informed of this from many contributors - on user's talk page(s) [40] (as User:NPOV, indicated user had read the NPOV [41]), [42], [43], [44], [45] ([46] and [47]), [48] ([49] and [50]); on article talk pages [51] (as NPOV, anon IP), [52] (as NPOV, Neutralizer), [53] (NPOV, Neutralizer), [54], [55], [56], [57], [58], [59], [60].

Despite coaching, discussion and explanation from and with a wide range of Wikinews contributors, Neutralizer seems unable or unwilling to grasp that it is the responsibility of every contributor to not add POV content. By self-policing, rather than becoming defensive, contributors avoid conflict. User Neutralizer's response has often been, instead, something akin to if you feel it's POV, edit it out[61]

Evidence of this behaviour is extensive, and some previously posted either here or on the Water cooler, so only a very few separate examples here: [62] [63],

User promotes a poisonous atmosphere[edit]

Ranging from accusations of spying/government propaganda officer to implying to new contributors the community is somehow lacking, User:Neutralizer creates an uncomfortable and unpleasant environment for other contributors to work in. The aggressive and adversarial interactions with others naturally invoke aggressive and adversarial responses from them. The user uses talk pages, project pages, and user pages to attack, dispute, and proselytize when these pages are designed to facilitate article creation, editing and publication as well as community communication and development.

The abuse of community processes is particularly marked. While the contributor may not realize it, accusations of abuse of administrative privilege or accusations that administrators abuse site policy immediately and severely disrupt the community. Most administrators will investigate thoroughly any such accusation against a fellow administrator - taking up the time of each such investigation by each administrator. With repeated false claims of abuse, the user damages the collaboration between administrators, and promotes a false sense of separation between admins and the community. Excessive and spurious accusations result in admins choosing not to investigate, which allows abuse to occur without response.

A very wide range of examples which cause community strife could be listed, but I'll present a sampling of pages and descriptions of outcomes:

  • Montreal lab questions ethics of recent EPO doping claims against Lance Armstrong/talk page: User took a carefully researched but biased article and "neutralized it" in an aggressive and detrimental manner, making rude comments on the talk page, biting the new contributor, and ridiculing the new contributor on the water cooler[64]. The target has never, to my knowledge, returned.
  • 60th anniversary of the end of the war in Asia and Pacific commemorated/talk page: User aggressively pushed POV that article should include information regarding the war crimes and attrocities committed during WWII by the USA. Personal attacks, spurious arguments on the talk page, listed the article for deletion as "Pure western opinion piece.POV drips from every sentence and link. Pride in the victory and no mention of the victims. Not a current event; a 60th. anniversary of what? Firebombing and atomic bombing women and children?"
  • U.S. Government ordered to release more images related to Abu Ghraib case/talk page in addition to repeatedly republishing an article while it was being discussed, move-warring over the title and revert-warring over its placement as a lead article while still disputed, user repeatedly reinserted the following text, including late edits after article was published with consensus[65] [66] [67] [68]:
    Translated testimony from a detainee, given the designation #151108, includes the following statement:
    "I saw [name deleted] fucking a kid, his age would be about 15 - 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn't covered and I saw [name deleted] who was wearing the military uniform putting his dick in the little kid's ass. I couldn't see the face of the kid because his face wasn't in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures. [name deleted], I think he is [deleted] because of his accent, and he was not skinny or short, and he acted like a homosexual (gay). And that was in cell #23 as best as I remember."
  • Contacting anonymous IPs who engage in personal attacks and other anti-social behaviour to encourage their continued contributions on the site (see WN:E: "to show the door to trolls, vandals, and wiki-anarchists, who if permitted would waste your time and create a poisonous atmosphere here." ): [69], [70], [71], [72], [73]
  • Personal attacks, accusations: [74], [75] (not logged in, see [76] as NPOV), [77] (not logged in, see [78], the start of the infamous accusations of government infiltrators), more but out of time.
Conclusions 
User does not understand or accept the concepts in the ettiquette guidelines, and is unaware of or does not understand the concepts of an online community. User may be a wiki-anarchist or troll.

Rebuttal by Neutralizer[edit]

Re;Armed conflicts in the world down by 40% since early 1990s. I should say that the number of tags and drs that I have made must be among the lowest in the community. Regarding this article, there was no "stalking" Amgine on my part; and if he is wondering about that then I submit that is not in keeping with "assume good faith".

I just saw this article when I was perusing "recent edits" and wondered about such a late publishing. When I looked at the talk page I saw where 4 different editors had concerns that had not been addressed well(imo); and since the article was dated, I figured those editors might not see where it had been republished. I rarely use tags, but I thought this was an article that had 4 outstanding concerns by 4 different editors(none were me) on the talk page. I did publish it early on in its development, before Submarine and Mrmiscellanious placed their objections. I was particularly influenced by Submarine's objection. Anyway, I tried hard to explain on the talk page to Chiacomo why I did what I did and I also said all along that I would remove the tag if there was a consensus among the 4 editors to do so. Since Chiacomo and I were the only ones discussing the matter and since an abandoned flag had been put on it earlier, I felt that putting it up for deletion was warranted. While up for deletion, MrM'S comments were; "Now, I would vote for a Keep and hope people will work to address the issues brought by other users. When it is complete, publish it" and "There are concerns from me already on the talk page of the article." Both comments, to me indicate that the article had indeed needed more work and that the tag and dr were warranted.

Re; POV pushing in article titles- I may be seen as being a bit sensational in my word choices, I admit. I suppose the problem could be that I worked in advertising for years and the acronym for good ads is AIDA....meaning Attention,Interest,Desire and Action. The first thing you have to do if you want someone to read something is to get their attention....hence the need for dramatic headlines in ads . I hope I never made a misleading headline or pushed a POV in the headline; but I can understand where headlines by me might be seen by some as too dramatic. Obviously, I realize we are not writing ads and so I have been trying to tone down my titles and edits but, equally obviously, I have more work to do in that regard.

Re; Libby article edit One thing I must say is that I have not been involved in wiki projects before wikinews. I really did not know that "late edits" is a problem. I thought the article was too pro-Libby as the quotes were/are from his lawyer and himself and that the reference to the possible pardon maybe showed why he may not admit to guilt if he is guilty. Now, when I read the SF source the pardon reference was there. We all know how some sources switch around their articles with the same link. After spending about an hour last night I finally found the SFgate article on the 4th. that mentioned the pardon [79]. "The possibility of a presidential pardon has already been raised by Democratic leaders, who urged President Bush to promise not to pardon Libby if he is convicted. Bush has not responded." Once again if good faith had been assumed, I would not have been accused (above) of fabricating that edit.

_________________________________________________________

All of my rebuttal below is related to Amgine's late additions to his statement.

Re;late additions to Amgine's statement; These late additions to Amgine's statement, I think, largely show some of the points I raise; e.g.

1. Amgine's name calling; "User may be a wiki-anarchist or troll". He does this often; with the inclusion of weasel words like "may". On the water cooler[80] vonbergm just advised us that Amgine wrongly accused him of being a sockpuppet; "quote: 'I have no reason to believe that you are not a sockpuppet'". I also did something similar when I said "in my opinion" about the old government agent thing; however, I have retracted that suggestion twice; I don't believe Amgine has retracted what he said to vonbergm and I doubt I will see a retraction to what he just called me above.

This shows the overriding hypocritical attitude by Amgine (he accuses me and others of personal attacks and of not assuming good faith) which I think is the core problem with his current effect on the project.

2. Etiquette ;We were asked to have our statements completed by about 04:03 yesterday(about 32 hours ago) and have our rebuttals done by about 8 hours ago. Amgine added substantially to his statement some 27 hours after the requested cut off (even after Ilya began his review) and put me in a position where my rebuttals to his late additions will be late..all without any agreement to a time extension. This shows the lack of etiquette or just plain inconsideration for the other people he is dealing with at any point in time.

3. Misleading accusations; This story U.S. Government ordered to release more images related to Abu Ghraib case included work by 2 new contributors,Johnodee,Nyarlathotep, who both,along with myself felt the profane quote was necessary to capture the fact this story had NEW and shocking information about Abu Ghraib rather than a rehash. Senator Graham used the word "shocking" in descrivbing this news so "shocking" was part of the story. By the time the story was published, the story was exactly as Amgine and MrM wanted it. They not only removed that quote (which was admittedly questionable) but also the reference to Senator Graham and most of the sources. Those 2 new contributors were completely blown out of the story's editing. The last time I put the quote back in, there was a majority who wanted it in as you can see below, later, there was a 3 to 3 tie about that. I should also mention that I have rarely thought profanity belonged in a story but in this case, when I reinserted it, a majority of the editors thought it did.

(cur) (last) 15:41, 7 October 2005 Cspurrier (rv, as can be seen from the history atleast that many disagree with including it) (cur) (last) 12:55, 7 October 2005 Neutralizer (Johnodee,Nyarlathotep and myself feel this quote belongs in this published story)

Johnodee entered this edit (cur) (last) 12:22, 6 October 2005 Johnodee (The quote is clearly related; the "speculation" is from respected sources) and Johnodee has not contributed to Wikinews since October 6th. This story is another example,in my opinion, of how pushy Amgine can be and how he,imo, drives away new contributors. There are other times, like right now , where he explicitly targets someone to drive away or exile; and he doesn't seem to care about any collateral damage when he gets it wrong, as even he may admit(if pressed) he did with vonbergm .

This story U.S. Government ordered to release more images related to Abu Ghraib case ended up being completely castrated of all news value(imo) by the time it was finalized.

4. Amgine says I have been implying to new contributors the community is somehow lacking; I can only suppose he is referring to my typical message to new contributors; "Wikinews needs you". This would mean that the US army thinks it is somehow lacking; "Uncle Sam needs you". I try to encourage all new contributors to come on board wikinews; as do many others. If they turn out to be vandals they will be blocked; but I have never invited in a vandal and I have no crystal ball for knowing what their potential might be.

5. POV; what I try to do with my edits is to not include a subliminal western bias. In that effort I am sure I sometimes may go overboard; and that is something I need to work on somewhat. But I hope I'm allowed to retain some of my attitude; not everybody sees my work the way Amgine does;I was just asked on my talk page [81] by an anon to

"do the right thing and report on the facts...This should be done in a free country no matter who is in the White House. Let's see if we are still in a free country... with a free press... with a free wikinews that TRULY can handle a NPOV".

I immediately challenged this anon to join us here at wikinews; but this is one of the anons on Amgine's list of "trolls, vandals, and wiki-anarchists" above; so maybe there's just a difference of opinion between Amgine and myself as to who should be welcome here.

Statement of dispute: User:Neutralizer[edit]

From my limited exposure to mediation, I am under the impression it is important to get everything off of one's chest right at the beginning to "clear the air" so to speak and to get to the underlying feelings which usually must be addressed in order to really have a healing process. So, hold on tight while I try to get my inner feelings out in the open here.

1. Amgine has hit me with 4 spurious blocks in the past 4 months (see my talk page); all of which have been rescinded early because of their inappropriateness. That is administrative abuse, and, more importantly, he has never once apologized for any of those blocks. To me it's a megalomaniacal vendetta on his part; pure and simple.

2.I do feel that it is insulting to the site, and hence to myself as a contributor, that his user page and talk page are offsite http://Journowiki.org/wiki/User:Amgine Amgine / http://journowiki.org/wiki/User_talk:Amgine talk which means among other things that if a contributor needs to talk to him about a wikinews issue I/they are forced to visit another website or IRC where, in both cases, the duscussion is not part of the all important(imo) wikinews historical record. In addition; because his talk page is offsite it is not subject to edit blocking as the rest of our talk pages are. This may seem minor but I think it is an example of his general attitude which, in my opinion, has been consistently hypocritical,arrogant and insulting to anyone who dares to not give in to his pov about NPOV or any other aspect of editing.

2;A; I feel so strongly about the user page and talk page issue that I respectfully ask Amgine for the purpose of this mediation to use his wikinews userpage signature, even though the user page still has his "I quit" message on it. I really feel as though I'm in discussions with a troll whenever I see that damn "Journowiki.org" thing pop up on the edit pages.

3. It is not me but Amgine who consistently disrupts the site with aggressive confrontative tactics with many,many editors; a lot of whom just give up and quit. The difference between Amgine and me is I can prove my statements. Just look at the history of this very dispute resolution page. Amgine is the number 1 mediation participant because he creates such hard feelings with so many different editors and is unable to resolve them by stage 1 or stage 2, mainly because,imo, he really doesn't try or want to resolve disputes; he just wants to win them.

Now, that's about it. All I really want is for Amgine to follow the wikinews rules(e.g.etiquette & assume good faith) as he expects others to.

________________________________________________________________


Here are the links to support my statement; since A and B are both within the blocking log link, I counted those as 1 link.

___________________


Link #1 Vendetta blocks

Shown below are the relevant blocks

A;shows 3 of the blocks against me which were rescinded http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/User_talk:Neutralizer#Spurious_Blocks

B;shows the last block against me done after Amgine and I clearly were in conflict

02:13, 6 November 2005 Amgine blocked "User:Neutralizer" with an expiry time of 6 months

___________________

Link#2; Off site dossier http://journowiki.org/w/index.php?title=User:Chiacomo/Sandbox&action=history

___________________

Link#3;Dan100's list of Amgine's "bullying and poor behaviour" http://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews:Water_cooler/policy&oldid=93656#Amgine

which includes Amgine's blocking war with Simeon

____________________

Link#4; Eloquence's reference to Amgine/Simeon conflict http://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Simeon&oldid=61054#Mediation

____________________

Link#5 Record of Amgine's other stage 3 conflicts http://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews:Dispute_resolution&oldid=58975

_____________________

Rebuttal by Amgine[edit]

I hope you do not mind, but I will be less formal as I have limited time to respond.

1. Blocking without policy basis[edit]

Since mid-August, when User:Neutralizer became a regular contributor, I have logged 74 blocks and unblocks. 10 of these involved Neutralizer, broken down as follows:

  • 00:34, 3 October 2005 - 72 hour block after repeated personal attacks on WN:A, including after warning. User was unblocked by User:Eloquence appropriately as it was the incorrect justification for blocking the user. Correct justification would have been disruption, w:no personal attacks.
  • 20:27, 5 October 2005 24 hour block for repeated removal of article tags, publishing, POV title moves. Block served.
  • 00:13, 7 October 2005 72 hour block for repeated changes to lead article. This was a gross error on my part, believing the article still in disputed and unpublished state (as it had been for the previous several days) and having already witnessed a previous round of Neutralizer attempting to publish the article to a lead article. It was pointed out to me within the hour that I had blocked in error (I believe Craig Spurrier pointed it out), and I unblocked at 01:06, 7 October 2005. I did not apologize for my error, which I should have done.
  • 07:26, 23 October 2005 72 hour block for 3RR violation. User was edit warring over whether or not an insurgent may be suspected of insurgency. I counted four edits of the same text, applied the block, but only three were reverts. When I returned online 7 hours later, I had a message from User:The_bellman pointing out my error, and I unblocked at 14:32, 23 October 2005. Apologized for error.
  • 21:11, 5 November 2005 after weeks of consistently disruptive behaviour, dozens of attempts by many contributors to moderate or mitigate the user's unwiki behaviours, and considerable research into the user's editing habits (including discovering that fully half of all edits prior to October 6th constituted personal attacks or POV-pushing), I blocked the user for 6 months under the blocking policy which specifically did not limit the time frame a user may be blocked. The block length is in line with similar decisions by the Wikipedia arbcom for trolls who edit across topic regions. I made the decision to do so after considering the cost and time involved in creating either an arbitration committee system or a quick polls system to develop a banning process, and also because I feel changes to the blocking policy undertaken during the height of the cowicide events went too far and gave admins too much ability to interpret the policy to suit any whim. If the block were allowed by the community, a method of applying bans to consistently disruptive users would be available. If not, the community would be discussing methods of doing so and also choose to restore a reasonable blocking policy limitation on admins.
  • 01:18, 6 November 2005, 02:13, 6 November 2005 and 02:24, 6 November 2005 reblocks of user after admin unblocked in violation of existing blocking policy.

2. Offsite dossier[edit]

The listing offsite is on a publically viewable/editable wiki, one of my personal sites. It was not my initial plan to work offsite, but another editor began the project. My initial expectation, that such a listing (similar to that maintained by the user) would have a salutory effect on the users behaviour which, initially, it did. It has served its purpose, and I am willing to remove my contributions to the user's space article (I suspect the initial creator would likewise be willing to have all contributions deleted.) At no time did I consider creating such a dossier on a private or uneditable space, which was an option.

3. Previous allegations of bad behaviour[edit]

I do not respond to personal attacks in violation of policy on project pages. I would encourage you to exam any, all, of those allegations in their context.

The event with Simeon resulted in my requesting emergency de-adminship for both he and I. Given my experiences since I would handle the situation differently, but with the experience I had at the time I would do exactly the same as I did; the user violated 3RR and then Blocking policy and no contributor deserves special treatement - especially not an admin, who should be more careful of policy than any others as they are responsible to enforce it. One item you may not be aware of - Simeon was in the IRC channel with us when we were discussing what to do about his actions.

4. Eloquence's comment[edit]

Referred to the above dispute with Simeon.

5. Previous dispute resolutions[edit]

I have been one of the most active editors, and administrators, on Wikinews since January of 2005. During some of that time I averaged well over 50 edits per day for weeks on end; it is inevitable that I would likewise have a disproportionate number of conflicts.

The disputes which I recall:

  • User:TalkHard: brought me to mediation because I attempted to resolve an article left as abandoned and disputed for the archival sake (incidentally I had been dealing with hundreds of these.) Resolution: to not archive the article, but preserve it as an example of the early development stages. When preserving it, it was further edited, effectively destroying its value as an example. <shrug>
  • User:Paulrevere2005: I'm still unsure why Paul brought me to mediation; I repeatedly supported him as potentially valuable as a contributor. He was at the time, in my opinion, having extreme difficulty with the concept of online community. Resolution: Paul accepted Dan100's proposal that he moderate his behavior to meet community standards, which he has done (<grin> more or less, Paul, more or less... <wink>)

I believe that means I've stood for 2 of 3 dispute resolutions. Which, for a community of this size over the period of time covered is a very surprisingly low number of conflicts.

Request for a mediator[edit]

I would request User:The bellman as a mediator, as he has limited involvement in the dispute, has proven his abilities as a mediator previously, and helped to create this portion of Wikinews. - Amgine / talk 01:11, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I would request Eloquence as a mediator as he is a bureaucrat and is the most long serving and experienced administrator. If he does not wish to mediate, then the bellman would be my second choice. -- posted by User:Neutralizer

I would be opposed to User:Eloquence as mediator. - Amgine / talk 01:43, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I have had personal disputes with Amgine in the past, so I would not be a good choice. Ilya Haykinson or The bellman would both be good mediators, I think.--Eloquence 03:00, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I have decided this would be a good experience for one of the newer admins. who have not been around long enough to have a dispute with either Amgine nor myself; so I propose either Borofkin or Bawolff. Neutralizer 03:21, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Respectfully decline - sorry guys. Too much to do, too little time. - Borofkin 04:02, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

If both parties accept me, I will attempt to mediate this. -- IlyaHaykinson 03:50, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I accept Ilya; thank you for offering. Neutralizer 03:55, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I, too, accept Ilya. Amgine  03:56, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
And just as i was about to say i accept, oh well, good luck Ilya. Peace and Love. ~The bellman | Smile 04:01, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Process[edit]

I am able to provide e-mail, private forum, and other resources if the participants feel they would be better served by these. - Amgine / talk 01:11, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Discussion section[edit]

While awaiting a response from requested Mediators, I would suggest we begin discussing the points raised our statements of opposition, in hopes of achieving a start toward resolutions we can both live with. Is this agreeable to you, Neutralizer? Amgine  02:29, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with the concept; but I am really exhausted from the banning commotion, so I was planning on taking it easy for a few days and just do simple edits for a few days. I prefer to get rolling on this next week if that's ok with you? Neutralizer 03:25, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Not really. I feel you should currently be restricted to reading the site, rather than editing it. Perhaps we could discuss elements you would like to be involved in on the site? - Amgine  03:28, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Ok, but please excuse me if I am a bit slow or have to cjhange my edits as I am really exhausted right now..also..Is it ok if I go to bed in a few minutes..I'm on the east coast as you know. What do you mean by "elements" above. Neutralizer 03:42, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I really think we should have a mediator before we start discussion; are either of the 2 I just proposed acceptable to you? Neutralizer 03:46, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Resolution statements by all parties[edit]

  • For the duration of the Dispute resolution process, I will use a signature which does not link to any site or location. I will continue to read my user talk page on Wikinews as usual. - Amgine  02:25, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand; where is your "user talk page on Wikinews"? I respectfully request that since this is a wikinews mediation that you comply with the established protocol of using a wikinews handle for these discussions...to me its a matter of respect for the establishment that we are working within; sort of like wearing a shirt when you go to church. Neutralizer 03:31, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
My user talk page is here. My 'signature' does not contain a link to any page. Signatures are a part of the user preferences and may be modified to include a range of mediawiki syntax elements, at the user's choice. So long as they are not offensive, there is no established protocol which covers them which I am aware of. - Amgine  03:37, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Ok; why do I always get the journalwiki when I hit your "talk" button? Neutralizer 03:45, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Because I set my preferences to do that. I had been, and expect to be again soon, more active on Journowiki than on en.Wikinews and so I am more able to respond if people leave messages where I am, rather than where they are. (You would be more insulted if I didn't respond in a reasonable time simply because I never got your message.) - Amgine  08:59, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I see; are the talk pages usually part of the wikinews historical record? Neutralizer 05:25, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
For all intents and purposes, Mediawiki (the software we're using) is a content versioning system. As far as I am aware, all edits to any editable page in the site are stored as part of a permanent historical record. Edits can be deleted from an article's history through something called selective restoration, used to remove copyright violations from an article's viewable history, but a record of both the edit and the removal are stored (the removed edit is retained as well until a database purge is performed by the developers, but is only accessible through an undelete.) - Amgine  07:05, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Mediator's Request[edit]

Please make sure that each of your statements say what you want them to say, and that within 24 hours from now you post any rebuttals to the other side's statement, if you wish. Also, since this is about blocking, please include links to no more than 5 cases which you feel are prime examples of your dispute. I will review some more info tonight, and more still tomorrow after the rebuttals are final, and may request additional info then. In the meanwhile, I respectfully request that both sides refrain from making anything beyond grammar or spelling type minor edits, and definitely refrain from blocking. -- IlyaHaykinson 04:03, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

ok; just to clarify; you mean any and all editing or just edits relating to Amgine? Neutralizer 04:07, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

ok, it's after 11 here now so I'm off to bed. I have to work tomorrow til 3 pm and will get back to this tomorrow afternoon. Neutralizer 04:10, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

To clarify: Amgine is making certain claims about Neutralizer's behavior and his alleged ongoing disruption — I would like to see a few specific examples, across a wide time range. Neutralizer is claiming that Amgine has made certain blocks and is aggressive and drives people off the site — I would like to see a few specific examples of that. I am not looking for "evidence" as I'm not trying to punish anyone, but I would like each of you to show me examples of that which makes you strongly disagree with each other. -- IlyaHaykinson 04:22, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I wanted to advise that in light of the promise of an imminent block by MrM http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Water_cooler/policy#Neutralizer.27s_punishment I have opened a medition request for him and I; HOWEVER, I have also asked him to please wait for Amgine and me's mediation to be completed. I opened the other request so that MrM would know I am anxious to make amends with him as soon as possible and also so that, hopefully, he can hold back on his blocking actions until this mediation (Amgine and I) has been completed. Neutralizer 18:32, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I also wish to ask patience from both Amgine and Ilya with my edits as my habit is to write things down ,post them, and then have second or third thoughts a few minutes later and then clarify/alter my edits. So, I believe I have until 04:00 to post my final rebuttals so you may notice a few changes in my edits between now and then. Neutralizer 18:37, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Understood. I am, likewise, still working on my other two examples and will get to rebuttals after. I believe IlyaHaykinson will be reasonably flexible with the deadline if we are both working toward resolution. - Amgine 18:42, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I have started reviewing the links, and will continue again in the morning. I hope that's not too slow for you guys. -- IlyaHaykinson 06:05, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • That's fine with me; please note Amgine made late additions to his statement and I have added rebuttals to those late aditions. Neutralizer 14:23, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to apologize for the lateness of my 4th and 5th examples, and my rebuttal. A combined personal/professional crisis has come up, which interrupted my ability to spend time on this - and my submissions are less than thoroughly researched. It is not my intention to imply this mediation is not of great importance to me, but I may be somewhat less available than usual. Check irc and of course e-mail if I do not respond here quickly. - Amgine  19:24, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I seem to have developed a medical condition that might be stress related. I am wondering whether we might be able to suspend mediation for 4 days (until next Tuesday evening) until I can see my doctor? (my appointment is next Tuesday). This is only a request as I can/will continue if necessary. Neutralizer 13:47, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Ok; I'm actually much better now; so I'm ready to proceed at whatever pace you 2 are comfortable with...just bear with me if I am a little bit less available than usual. Neutralizer 22:45, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Mediation, continued[edit]

Amgine, Neutralizer,

First a word of apology. My internet problems at home and a sudden mountain of work have taken the toll on this process — I apologize for not communicating this to you earlier. I have taken a day off work to clear this (and other things) up.

I was not immediately sure on how to approach this process. On one hand it is the role of the mediator to bring a process to resolution, but on the other hand it is not the mediator's job to dole out punishment. Therefore, what I say below are suggestions for modifying behavior given my take on the course of events. Even if you disagree with my assessment of the situation, I urge you to accept my suggestions and to make it binding on you to follow them.

You've both provided a lot of good links and a lot of back-story on the events that unfolded and continue to unfold. Both of you are opinionated, dedicated, and if I may say hot-headed. And both of you have very serious problems with balance.

Neutralizer[edit]

You tend to identify what you sees as systemic bias in some articles, but fail to accept that your "dramatized" titles and approaches to articles introduce very strong bias. Amgine is right; your work carries your personal point of view, and you often bring in facts that may be related but may not be, and when mixed into a story they carry a lot of weight that is undue. This is true on the WWII commemoration story, this is true on the Libby story, this is true on the Abu Ghraib child rape story.

Basically, your edits — whether intentionally or not — appear to carry out some sort of "justice" to Wikinews as a whole or to particular stories: a left-leaning justice, or an anti-western justice, etc. Wikinews is not about justice, it's about writing researched articles that are comparable to those you might find in a major metropolitan newspaper, or magazine, or news provider.

No system is without some inerent bias, and Wikinews is no exception. Our bias, however, is mainly expressed by the choice of the stories we try to write. Since contributors decide what they're working on, the stories they want to cover get covered. However, that's where the choice of the contributor is supposed to end, and the work of the community begins. If you start a story on Abu Ghraib abuse, be prepared to accept a very different spin on the story in the resulting article from what you started, especially if you describe yourself as being at odds with the government point of view.

You are also easily upset. A few of your comments are about Amgine's behavior on the site: his signature, assumption of good faith, his collaborations with others (MrM), his mediation past. You've mentioned government consipiracies in the past in relation to some edits. Amgine is definitely within his right to collaborate with other editors that agree with him, to change his signature to point to any wiki site he wants to (you can always go to User_talk:Amgine to leave him a note on this site), or to go through as many mediations as he needs to in order to resolve issue with other contributors. I don't know how to communicate this, but you need to make what Amgine does concern you much less.

My suggestion for you is to do one of two things. One is to find another venue. Honestly, I think that if you've been here for months and you're still at odds with lots of editors (and I think from looking at various Talk pages, you often end up at odds), Wikinews might not be a good venue for stories that you wish to write. However, the second option is to remain on Wikinews and accept oversight. If you submit a story, let others rename them or edit them mercilessly. If you make an edit and someone else reverts it, accept that as alright. If you do this for a month or so, you'll see how much better you'll be able to predict how to write stories that touch on issues that you care about, but without causing confrontation with others.

Amgine[edit]

You've been here long enough to know better than to do 6 month blocks without policy changes and consensus. If a person is consistently injecting bias into stories over a course of several months, you need to work to revise the blocking policy or to create other policy to deal with these situations, not block people just to have them unblocked soon afterwards.

Much like Neutralizer, you accept conflict too quickly. You obviously have a problem with him, but you keep trying to justify applying the rules of the site instead of letting others in the community deal with him. If there was one rule I'd add to the blocking policy, it'd be that if you have a personal conflict with a user, don't block.

Despite my opinion that you're a great contributor to Wikinews, I have very strongly disagreed with you on a lot of things you've done here as well. I thought the Open English thing was a horrible idea, I disagreed with you on layout and other issues in the past, I've even thought that your signature and your user page were very misleading, but when the time comes for decision making, I let you walk your own path. Issues you've created were very destabilizing to Wikinews but the community continues to work with you and accept you despite that. You need to do the same with Neutralizer. Accept the fact that he is prone to creating bias. Accept the fact that he's confrontational. And accept him as you would a new user who's just not getting the NPOV: politely revert a couple of times. If he violates the 3RR, block for a day. But if you violate the 3RR on the same article too, don't be surprised if you get blocked either.

You too often try to be the sole enforcer of site policies. Perhaps you should let others do some of that, and concentrate more on the anti-vandal portion of your administrator responsibilities. I suggest that you make the commitment to self-regulate your administrator privileges to vandalism or very clear violations of objective policies only, and to explicitly let some other admin deal with Neutralizer if you run into future problems with his work. If you feel that you would be unable to self-regulate, then please submit a self-de-admin request.

Closing comments[edit]

I welcome your comments, below. I also urge you to accept my course of action outlined above. I again apologize for the lateness in response, and hope that you both will still allow this process to continue. -- IlyaHaykinson 19:39, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Responses from Amgine[edit]

At 21:11, 5 November 2005 the blocking policy regarding site disruption read in part: "For static IPs and user names, such blocks should initially last 24 hours, but repeat violators may be blocked for longer." It had included this language since 28 August 2005. While the policy and decision to block may disputed, it can't be said the block was made without policy basis. (Policy has since been restored to a maximum of 30 days by an admin as per discussion on the Water cooler, as well as adding - at one point, though unsure if it has survived the revert wars - a 3RR extension and a 'do not block if you are in conflict with user' extension.)

It is my opinion user Neutralizer will continue to be disruptive of the site and the community regardless of both community and individual attempts to moderate his behaviour. During this mediation the user has initiated challenges to policy, changed policy repeatedly without community consensus, and reverted community requested changes to policy. User has initiated controversial articles, has announced he will disregard policy on talk pages of disputed articles, and continues to encourage disruptive contributors who use open proxies to hide their identities. The user continues to attack admins to intimidate them. Where the user is in violation of policy and as appropriate, I will block according to policy.

I understand that you and I do not agree on multiple subjects; I do not see how this is relevant to a mediation between user Neutralizer and myself. I have never violated an appropriately applied block on my account, or even an inappropriately applied block.

I do not accept your suggestion that I limit my administrative privilege use either to "vandalism or very clear violations of objective policies only, and to explicitly let some other admin deal with Neutralizer" or "submit a self-de-admin request." I do many things at Wikinews, despite cutting back to far less than half my usual involvement. Some of the administrative privilege uses I am involved in include deletions, article archiving, and various elements of RC patrolling - most of which would not be allowed under your suggestion. I am profoundly disturbed by the implication I should either give up practicing as an admin or I should give up my adminship.

I'm sorry to sound so negative regarding your help in this mediation; I do appreciate the time you've put into the case and the difficulties you have faced during it. I'm not sure we had similar expectations as to what would occur during mediation, but this "resolution" was certainly not mine.

- Amgine 02:35, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Responses from Neutralizer[edit]

Thank you,Ilya, for taking the time to work on this mediation. I must admit that your analysis of my rooms for improvement (enough to fill a house,it seems) ring true though I am not happy about it. Your comments about persuit of "justice", getting too easily upset and not submitting to the collaborative nature of article development/changes are issues that I can not deny.

I absolutely accept all of your suggestions and make them binding on myself to follow them. I will accept oversight and when I submit stories, let others rename them or edit them mercilessly. Neutralizer 04:06, 20 November 2005 (UTC)