UDWiki:Administration/Sysop Archives/Vista/2007-10-11 Misconduct

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11 October 2007

For undermining suggestions rule 10, specifically:

Suggestions created entirely for the purpose of satire, insult, or comedy are considered vandalism and treated appropriately by sysops. If you want to post a joke suggestion put it on the Humorous Page.

In this case Vista failed to adhere to both the letter and intent of the rule which was put into place by a 2.3rds majority vote on the suggestions talk page an age ago. He failed to rectify his error when it was pointed out to him, instead insisting that it was done in "good faith", under which we would have to revoke the warnings given for each and every breach of the rule.

Again, the wording is perfectly clear. Such suggestions ARE vandalism, and are treated appropriately (as vandalism) by sysops. There is no room for interpretation: Post a humourous, insulting or satirical suggestion in the main suggestions space and you get a vandal escalation from the sysop on duty. Vista, by ruling on the case in the negative, closed the door to an appropriate and proper ruling by any other sysop, and from this is where the misconduct stems.

Either Vista recuses himself from the case in question, he reverses his verdict, or the rule is struck (as without reversal there will now be precident for ignoring the rule rendering it utterly meaningless) as well as any and all warnings and bannings that stemmed from it. Sysops cannot ignore and oppose rules with a contrary ruling just because they dont like them. They have to make an appropriate policy on the appropriate page just like everyone else. And the meaning of the rule in question is perfectly clear. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 06:39, 10 October 2007 (BST)

As an aside, i fucking hate to do this, but ive been given no other option. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 06:46, 10 October 2007 (BST)
Wasn't the rule made during the "one page, one page only" era of Suggestions, where crapping up the Suggestions page was a far more bad faith offense? We might want to consider if the rule itself is an anachronism and now be treated as such. --Karlsbad 06:59, 10 October 2007 (BST)
There is a page for humourous suggestions submissions. Submitting them in the main suggestions space is a waste of time for those people who dont want to have anything to do with them. Anyway, even if you were to repeal the rule, you have to keep enforcing it up to the point at which it is repealed. you dont just start letting people off while its still in play. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 07:03, 10 October 2007 (BST)

The letter of the rule clearly states that appropriate action will be taken by a sysop. That means that it is up to the sysop to decide what action will be taken, otherwise that part would've been omitted. Appropriate action by a sysop always means weighing the offence against the good faith standard. For Grim S' reading to be correct the rule should have read: Suggestions created entirely for the purpose of satire, insult, or comedy are considered vandalism and result in an automatic warning. If you want to post a joke suggestion put it on the Humorous Page.

After some digging I found the rule's Discussion and Voting in the archive for further clarification as what was the intend of the rule. It's clear that it was designed to follow the good faith rule, that my explanation of the rule was correct and that grim s' explanation is too strict and based on false assumptions.. There are repeated mentions that sysops are allowed to rule on it as they see fit and a suspicious lack of any mention of it being automatic. So I'm of firm belief that my actions adhered to both the letter and intent of the rule.

Grim S' worry that we then should then automatically revoke all warnings given under this rule is non-sensible as ruling it good faith or bad faith has a personal judgment call. In this case the user had only had a very short edit history and very little editing skills. In the case below it the person the person had made ten times the edits. Clearly each case is different and should be treated differently and blanket actions giving warnings or revoking them are out of the question.

Grim S' claim that following the good faith rule would make the rule useless is also seems strange to me. Every other rule is also subject to the good faith standard and they continue to work just fine. So I fail to see how checking if it was done in good or bad faith in this case would suddenly break this rule. I hope this case is resolved now.-- Vista  +1  10:55, 10 October 2007 (BST)

Not misconduct - testing for good faith is appropriate treatment from the moderators. Also, from the vote on this suggestion rule, this is a re made by the author of the rule when someone expressed a concern that this rule would be harsh on newbies. "Moderators could use discretion and just warn people". Seems clear that the intent was not to punish newbies, but to deal with willful and inconsiderate posters, so the good faith test is still acceptable. Old warnings do not need to be struck -- boxytalk • 11:31 10 October 2007 (BST)

Excuse me Boxy, but you edit conflicted me.
Absolutely none of the discussion says anything about a good faith exception. It is a specific rule that clearly defines those kinds of suggestions as vandalism. Good faith only exists for determining what is and isnt vandalism. It has been utterly bypassed by the clear defining of vandalism in the sense of the rule. All that remains is for appropriate action to be taken, in this case it would be a warning. You failed to take this appropriate action. Rules that are not enforced are meaningless. thus your failure to enforce the rule, as is both its intent and word (nothing in the links says anything otherwise) is rendering the rule meaningless, and setting a fucking horrible precedent. We have absolutely no choice to retroactively retract the warnings for other suggestions, most of which were made also in good faith byy people who were ignorant. In any case, i argue that the suggestion was NOT made in good faith anyway, as not only did he post a humourous suggestion in violation of suggestions rule ten, but he posted two other suggestions that day violating suggestions rule number 9 as well. If it was just one rule, then you could argue that it was good faith, but he showed utter contempt for not one but two rules, and not just one violation but three (two extra suggestion and one humouirous suggestion) which goes to show that not only did he not even attempt to read the rules, but he did not care for the rules, which were clearly marked and very close to the top. Newness is not an excuse for being an idiot, and you cannot possibly argue good faith in the face of his behaviour. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 11:39, 10 October 2007 (BST)
Honest mistakes can be categoriesed as good faith edits, IMO. And this falls into that category. My unofficial warning (before Vista's ruling) can be seen here, along with the posters response indicating understandable ignorance. Giving real newbies a second chance does not undermine the rule... the suggestion is still removed from voting, they are still unofficially warned, and if they do it again (or after having been here long enough to know better) they get the real thing. Humorous suggestions still get removed from the system, which was the stated intent of the rule, which was to keep Kevan from having to wade through unfunny crap (unless he really wanted to) -- boxytalk • 11:59 10 October 2007 (BST)

Comments moved to talk: --Honestmistake 13:05, 10 October 2007 (BST)

Not Misconduct - While we have a rule to punish users who create humorous suggestions in the main suggestions page, i think there is times we need to bend this and several other rules for the goodwill of the entire community. By not warning and, instead, explaining the new user that the suggestion page shouldn't be used for humor, we are improving the relations between new and old users. This freedom to bend the rules, of course, should not be abused, so the next time the user breaks a rule he should be punished by them. Not knowing the rules doesn't make you free to not obey them, but it gives you a get out of jail free card once. --People's Commissar Hagnat [cloned] [mod] 23:40, 10 October 2007 (BST)
The rules were on the damned page. His fault he didnt read them. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 23:52, 10 October 2007 (BST)
Quoting Timmy Turner: No one reads the manual --People's Commissar Hagnat [cloned] [mod] 23:58, 10 October 2007 (BST)
When I kill again Ill be sure to tell the officer that :) Sockem 23:59, 10 October 2007 (BST)

Not Misconduct but this is a nightmare of a case. I believe Vista was wrong in the original VB report but I equally believe that the precedent of misconduct for a tricky judgment call is not in the wikis best interest. I can understand why Vista would rule not vandalism and can see how a giving Kolechovsk a warning could be like "biting the newbie" but Grim makes a very valid point about the need to follow the posted rules and Kolechovsk ignored at least 3 of the guidelines on the suggestion page. Luckily that whole ethics problem, can be avoided on a technicality. Vista didn't use any "Admin only" powers, I can see nothing in the guidelines that would have prevented another Sysop from challengingly Vista's ruling by commenting on the case and waiting for a third opinion (If I am wrong about that leave me a note on my talkpage). Since no sysop powers were used incorrectly no misconduct, this case belongs under A/DS not misconduct - Vantar 01:14, 11 October 2007 (BST)

Strictly speaking, only sysops can rule on cases, which he did. Im not objecting to your ruling, just pointing out an error. Im done. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 03:44, 11 October 2007 (BST)

Not misconduct Asuming good faith is always good.--Thari TжFedCom is BFI! 09:48, 11 October 2007 (BST)

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