Wikipedia:Requests for comment/WikiUser

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Statement of the dispute[edit]

WikiUser has persistently and willfully engaged in a pattern of personal attacks and other deliberately disruptive behavior, including repeated reversions of articles, refusal to abide by Wikipedia policies and Wikiquette, and making strongly POV edits. He consistently refuses to compromise and refuses to enter into civilized dialogue with other editors with whom he disagrees. He also constantly accuses others of making personal attacks, including that they are "Nazis", "racists", "stalkers" and "fascists" and are guilty of "discrimination" against him. He spends most of his time complaining about his supposed wrongful treatment or attacking editors in often crude personal terms. He has repeatedly made legal threats against users and the "Wikipedia Foundation" (sic) and has made several frivolous attempts to invoke mediation and arbitration procedures against users who have questioned his conduct. He has been temporarily banned on several occasions and his conduct criticised by many editors and administrators, including Jimbo himself, but his conduct does not appear to have been improved in the process.

NB: This matter is now the subject of a request for arbitration.


WikiUser first appeared on Wikipedia on 18 June 2004 to make a number of contentious edits on England. His first edits set the pattern for what was to follow - the introduction of unsupported, highly contentious POV statements without debate, repeated reversions of the article and the posting of personal attacks on the related Talk page. This included claims that other editors were Nazis and that he was being discriminated against, viz.:


After being reverted by a number of editors, including myself, he declared his intention of going to arbitration within 4 days of his acquiring a Wikipedia account (is this a record?). He eventually posted a frivolous request for arbitration against User:Fred Bauder on 4 August 2004, asking that Fred and User:Guanaco be banned. He also made legal threats to sue "The Wikipedia and any ISP or server owner that carries it" (sic). The request was dismissed but as the record will show, he has continued to abuse Wikipedia procedures to start frivolous proceedings against other users.

During a period which he largely spent campaigning for and (mostly) against candidates in the Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2004, he came into conflict with User:Neutrality, who banned him for 24 hours for "editing in bad faith, personal attacks". In response, WikiUser posted a bizarre rant to the WikiEN-l mailing list, asking "to have the viscious abuser "Neutrality" booted off The Wikipedia permanently; for mis-using his position, and the $50,000 donated, and therefore (officially acting as The Wikipedia Foundation's agent) breaking a Federal law due to his corruptly mis-using these funds." [1] Needless to say, this got short shrift from other contributors ("Can someone please block this delusional nutjob from posting to WikiEN-l?").

Jimbo was also not impressed, commenting that a "user [who] has a long history of calling people Nazi, and accusing people of being "racist against the English" for the flimsiest of reasons and so on" was "taking advantage of our boundless good will." In response, WikiUser posted a personal attack to Jimbo's user talk page, accusing him of corruptly misusing "the $50,000 recently donated".

At the end of 2004, WikiUser took a step forward - creating new articles for the first time - but immediately took two steps back, attacking editors for editing and "sabotaging" "his" articles. Ironically, although he frequently attacks people for "putting in spelling and grammar mistakes", very often people are correcting WikiUser's own errors. After he broke the 3RR in two separate instances, he was asked by User:Violetriga, and myself, User:ChrisO, to follow the rules and not break the 3RR. We both chose not to ban him even though we had an argument for doing so, prefering to give him a warning. In response, he posted rants to the talk pages of Violetriga and myself. WikiUser also posted a rant to the talk page of User:Evil Monkey, who pointed out that his edits did not comply with the Wikipedia manual of style and apparently offended WikiUser by editing one of "his" articles. In each case, he has accused editors of "TARGETTING ME FOR ABUSE" and threatening them with pursuing "all the complaint actions possible on the wikipedia against yer".

WikiUser has since posted a frivolous request for mediation against Violetriga, without going through a request for comment as required by the dispute procedure, and despite being advised that his complaint of "discrimination" is not appropriate for mediation. There is simply no factual dispute here: WikiUser is, in effect, complaining that an administrator has asked him to abide by the 3RR.

WikiUser appears to believe that he is being "stalked" by other editors, when in fact this is a case of editors correcting his articles and asking him to desist from his disruptive behaviour. He also claims that he is suffering "discrimination" on the grounds that he is English/Jewish/disabled (delete as applicable). He posts crude personal abuse against other editors, including that they are "Nazis", "racists", "stalkers", "vandles" (sic) and "fascists", refuses to post any corroboration of these assertions and refuses to retract them when challenged. He also appears to believe that his status as an English/Jewish/disabled person means that he is free to disregard extant Wikipedia policies to which his attention has repeatedly been drawn, as listed in "Applicable policies" below. He claims that he is treated differently from everyone else, but has offered no explanation of why he should be given an exemption from policies that everyone else is obliged to follow.

WikiUser has also edited anonymously from the IP address Although he always signs his comments when posting under his own name and takes some trouble to do so (e.g. going back to add his signature when he forgets to do so), he has never signed a single comment posted anonymously. This suggests that he is using the anonymous IP address as a sock puppet account, though he has not denied that he was behind its usage.

In summary, WikiUser is a continually disruptive user who is consistently unwilling to abide by the basic rules of civility or Wikipedia policy. Jimbo referred to the Wikipedia community's "boundless good will" in tolerating WikiUser's conduct for this surprisingly long time, but there comes a point - in my opinion, now - when we have to show that good will towards abusive users does indeed have a limit.

Evidence of disputed behavior[edit]

Uncategorized personal attacks[edit]

  • WikiUser consistently demonstrates a hypersensitive personal hostility towards anyone who edits his articles in ways that he doesn't like, or asks him to abide by policies or style standards. See e.g. [2]. This is one of many, many examples from his edit history. He appears to be incapable of interacting with other users without assuming that they are being hostile towards him.
  • Hostile personal attacks against User:Imaglang on that user page [3].

Uncategorized false accusations against other users[edit]

  • False accusations that Wikipedia is "in the control of corrupt people who use it to internet stalk and racially hassle users that are English and Jewish" [9]
  • False accusations that other users, including User:Evil Monkey, User:MykReeve and User:ChrisO are guilty of "vandalism" and "taking all my articles and sabotaging them by putting in spelling and grammar mistakes" (in this instance, fixing WikiUser's own mistakes and non-conformance with established style): [10], [11], [12]
  • False accusations that other users are personally abusing WikiUser (this appears to be his stock response to requests and polite criticism): [13], [14], [15] and passim
  • False accusations that User:Violetriga is misusing her administrator status in asking WikiUser to abide by policy and standards: [16]
  • False accusations of corrupt misuse of Wikimedia donations (made against Jimbo, of all people, as well as User:Neutrality): [17], [18]
  • False accusations of stalking (see edit summary): [19]

Violation of three-revert rule[edit]

Edit history at Secondary modern school (4 reverts in under 24 hours, warned not blocked):

Edit history at List of United Kingdom nations by population (4 reverts in over 24 hours):

Edit history at England (8 reverts in total, closest to violation is 4 reverts in 24 hours and 3 minutes):

Possible sockpuppetry[edit]

  • Use of IP address to make hostile and abusive anonymous posts & edits. All comments are unsigned (clearly deliberate, as WikiUser is careful to sign whenever he is logged in). [29] [30] (edit summary)
  • Use of IP address to make a hostile comment, that was within ten minutes expanded and signed under the name WikiUser. [31] and [32]

Frivolous abuse of Wikipedia procedures[edit]

  • Frivolous request for arbitration after only 12 days' editing ("Please don't waste my time with nonsense about earlier steps") and despite being told beforehand that it was inappropriate ([36]) - [37], speedily deleted following legal threats - [38]
  • Frivolous request for mediation after being asked to follow the 3RR: [39]

POV editing[edit]

  • Deletion of supposed "racist" listing of the UK's four nations: [40]
  • Repeated deletion of supposedly "racist" material from England: [41] (one of numerous examples)
  • Deletion of supposed "fantasy referenda" (anticipated future refedendums) from Referendums in the United Kingdom: [42]
  • Various UK-related articles - repeated deletion without discussion of the term "nations" in reference to the UK's constituent elements, even where the article titles refer to "nations" - e.g. [43], [44]
  • Removed Category:Jazz saxophonists from Benny Green, writing in the edit summary that "i am British damaging wiki to list benny Green as this when not known as it He was a leading JOURNALIST AND BROADCASTER and THAT is what he is known for."

Claims of being driven to suicide[edit]

  • Claims of being driven to suicide on his talk page and an article talk page: "And I want The Wikipedia Foundation to note that this discrimination, insult and abuse is driving me towards considering suicide." [45], "You are driving me to suicide with your continual abuse of me. <LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" [46]

Attempts to log in as another user[edit]

  • User:Violetriga received 30 new passwords after unsuccessful attempts by to log in using that username.
  • User:ChrisO received fifteen new passwords on 26 Feb 2005 after unsuccessful attempts on by to log in using that username.
  • User:Sannse reports receiving multiple new passwords after unsuccessful attempts on by to log in using that username.

Applicable policies[edit]

  1. Wikipedia:Civility
  2. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view
  3. Wikipedia:No legal threats
  4. Wikipedia:No personal attacks
  5. Wikipedia:Staying cool when the editing gets hot
  6. Wikipedia:Three revert rule
  7. Wikipedia:Wikiquette

Evidence of trying and failing to resolve the dispute[edit]

A number of different editors have attempted to resolve disputes with WikiUser on article and personal talk pages. These have all, without exceptions, ended in failure as WikiUser takes a consistently hostile and defensive attitude towards even the mildest criticism and requests to abide by the rules. He has responded to administrators' warnings in an even more hostile vein. On more than one occasion, he has simply deleted other users' comments and requests rather than answer them. Very often, WikiUser attempts to sidestep any dispute resolution by making strawman accusations of "discrimination" and bizarre allegations that people are claiming that he has "no right to edit" (actually, he doesn't, it's a privilege not a right - but it's not one that people have tried to take away from him yet). Examples:

  • 19:04, 30 Jan 2005 - Request to conform to style guidelines is rejected: [47]
  • 18:14, 28 Jan 2005 - Request to discuss changes to articles receives a threat to invoke mediation for "claiming I have no right to edit the pages and you do": [48]
  • 15:11, 26 Jan 2005 - Request to abide by MOS guidelines and the 3RR produces angry rants: [49]
  • 13:52, 26 Jan 2005 - Reminder that WikiUser doesn't own articles produces a threat to pursue "all the complaint actions possible on the wikipedia against yer": [50]
  • 13:48, 26 Jan 2005 - Request to "show me where I have made spelling and grammar mistakes" in a number of articles produces accusations of "targetted abuse and trashing articles": [51]
  • 20:17, 6 Aug 2004 - Instruction to desist from posting legal threats is replied to with "Try banning the letters I'll send to sue ythew nazois who OWN wikipedia, |YOU filthy NMazi!!!!!!!!!!Q" [52]
  • 19:14, 5 Aug 2004 - Request to abide by Wikipedia: Wikiquette and Wikipedia:Civility is deleted: "Deleted latest hassle by nazi stalkers"

Users certifying the basis for this dispute[edit]

  1. I have compiled and certify the evidence set out in this RfC. -- ChrisO 08:44, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  2. I certify the basis for this dispute. --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:58, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  3. Certified. Looks good to me. humblefool® 05:36, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  4. Certified from participant. violet/riga (t) 10:02, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  5. Certified from participant - MykReeve 12:53, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  6. Certified from participant - Evil MonkeyHello? 09:54, Feb 2, 2005 (UTC)
  7. Well, I'd have to recuse myself from any Arbitration case anyway, so I might as well voice my support for action against "WikiUser," who's a bad-faith belligerent troll. If this behavior continues, WikiUser ought to be the subject of a request for arbitration. We've got plenty of evidence that could simply be copied and pasted. Neutralitytalk 01:38, Feb 2, 2005 (UTC)
  8. I tried to be nice. -- Netoholic @ 22:26, 2005 Feb 11 (UTC)

Other users who endorse this summary[edit]

  1. --fvw* 01:44, 2005 Feb 2 (UTC)
  2. Dan | Talk 02:08, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  3. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:28, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  4. Disagreeable fellow. Excellent, well-written summary. Entertaining dispute. -Ashley Pomeroy 18:28, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC) (you wait... time passes) (shortly after I wrote this line, a British-based chap using User: vandalised my user page [53] - however, judging by the replies below, this was probably not WikiUser at all). -Ashley Pomeroy 20:21, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    I think that will be a coincidence - doesn't appear to be WikiUser's style, to me, and the edits don't match up with anything he's worked on previously. violet/riga (t) 22:49, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    Plus a (very cursory) examination of this IP's other edits reveals what appears to be a reasonable history. This IP belongs to NTL, so it's probably a proxy used by multiple people, maybe even including WikiUser. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 14:56, Feb 4, 2005 (UTC)
    Definitely not WikiUser. His Internet access appears to be courtesy of the Easy Internet Cafe Glasgow, judging by his anon IP edits. -- ChrisO 00:13, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  5. My encounters with WikiUser (which included him requesting arbitration against me, as I recall) have shown me a user who is relentlessly hostile (often irrationally so) and antagonistic. This site gains nothing from his contributions, and loses much. Jwrosenzweig 23:59, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  6. Having now been at the sharp end of this guy's temper, Francs2000 | Talk [[]] 23:59, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Outside view[edit]

... from Noisy | Talk[edit]

I have not been involved in any of the interactions that are attested to above. I have been aware of some of the events described. (Hard to miss, given the range of articles that I monitor.) I had an off-site role in one of them, in which I exchanged emails with WikiUser. This concerned the election of User:Neutrality to the ArbCom, where WikiUser approached me privately. I expressed the opinion to him that while I agreed with the views stated, I wasn't going to get involved, and that he should moderate his attitude if he was to achieve any sort of influence.

There are three views that can be taken of WikiUser's attitude:

  1. WikiUser is a troll, deliberately setting out to undermine Wikipedia
  2. WikiUser's attitude is genuine, but represents someone who doesn't have the skills to interact with such a diverse community. (Not having any medical experience, I am not going to jump in and lable this behaviour.)
  3. WikiUser has been goaded to these actions by the reaction of those who he interacts with.

My belief is that most people would plump for a combination of the first two, but I am of the opinion that it is a combination of the last two. In particular, I think that if some of WikiUser's first interactions involved Neutrality, then I can well understand why WikiUser would develop a mistrust of other Wiki users who carry their 'authority' like an axe to be wielded.

We have to deal with all sorts of folk on this project. Yes, WikiUser is (very!) difficult to deal with, and we are not all skilled in dealing with such personalities, but we've got to try. Abuse and invective are not very easy to take, and do warrant a reaction and censure, but in doing so, we should recognise that this is probably just someone who can't interact in a way that we may lable as 'normal'. When in doubt, fall back on Wikipedia:Civility and Wikipedia: Assume good faith on our part.

Noisy | Talk 19:25, Feb 2, 2005 (UTC)

Not entirely sure how you can say the third point mentioned there. While I've not known WikiUser for any particular length of time I can say that virtually all reactions to him have been appropriate and inoffensive. He makes outrageous claims against users that have done nothing wrong in any way. violet/riga (t) 22:03, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Offensive behavior directed at someone does not justify them responding with invective in turn. If he was goaded into it, he should have filed the RfC before responding in kind. --kizzle 02:02, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)
I think he simply didn't know about such measures. He recently learned of the mediation process and has been asking everyone in a content dispute to engage in mediation. IMO, this can show either of two things: (1) That he is willing to engage in mediaion or some other form of dispute resolution after learning about it, or (2) That he is combative, and sees mediation as a type of weapon to wield. I'm inclined to go with (1). If he sees it as a weapon, he'd be threatening people with RfArbs left, right, and centre.
For the record, I don't think WikiUser is a troll (Noisy's 1), I think a combination of Noisy's 2 and 3 (but more 2 than 3) is closer to the truth. I pointed him towards the dispute resolution page when he asked for information on the mediation process, but haven't been involved with him beyond that. I've looked over his talk pages, and as an outsider, I think WikiUser is earnest and loves to contribute. I think that he sees his contributions (article creation and edits) as belonging to him, and takes it personally when people edit or revert his contributions. --Deathphoenix 15:50, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
WikiUser's first interactions on Wikipedia were with respect to England and the question of whether it has a national anthem. Neutrality was not involved in any form, and WikiUser quickly got angry and abusive on the talk page, with precious little provocation that I can tell. After a couple polite messages on his talk page, WikiUser then resorted directly to a request for arbitration, with more invective, which was quickly dismissed. More people left messages trying to calm him down, again doing their best to be polite and bend over backwards to assume good faith. This also seemed to have no effect, and things don't seem to have improved much since. In sum, I don't believe that being goaded, or some personality conflict with Neutrality, is much of an explanation for WikiUser's conduct at all. --Michael Snow 22:53, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Michael is entirely right -- Noisy, I don't know how you got the impression of WikiUser's arrival that you did. When he arrived, ChrisO notified him of the 3 revert guideline (all it was at the time was a guideline), and then I made these two comments [54] [55]. WikiUser deleted them both, calling them "vandalism", and hastened to the Help Desk [56] claiming that: he was being abused; I was refusing to settle the dispute despite his sincere desire to do so; I was, in fact, following him around and lying about him; and that he needed arbitration for protection from other users. Anyone who actually takes the time to look at these links and some of the other evidence provided should have no doubt in their mind as to WikiUser's responsibility for his completely irrational behavior. To suggest our interactions with him "goaded" him into misbehavior is so insulting that I have to assume Noisy hadn't looked at the evidence. Noisy, I hope you will take the time to look it over, and consider altering your position. I, for one, would very much appreciate it. Jwrosenzweig 00:17, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm sad that you didn't take the opportunity to read what I wrote, because I think you may have found it useful. Instead, you seem to have read what you wanted to, because everyone is 'against' Wikiuser. I didn't respond immediately, because I thought you might have wanted to temper your words. I'll try again.
I don't condone anything that Wikiuser has done. All I say is that there may be reasons for his actions which cannot be understood by interacting with him over the Internet. If this is the case, then I say "assume good faith".
When I write "WikiUser has been goaded to these actions by the reaction of those who he interacts with" you seem to assume I mean everyone that he interacts with. Patently that is nonsense, but there are many thin-skinned people on Wikipedia (and I don't exclude myself) who jump in feet first. It only takes a couple of interactions with people like this before you become wary of everyone.
Please read my words again. I'm not involved – thankfully – but it is obvious that if he is not capable of defending himself in a reasonable manner then there may be some reason for it: all I'm doing is giving the outside view that this section is for. He requested an advocate, but the one response I saw didn't seem to understand what the role of an advocate is. It's not a role that I care to take on, but I thought that there were things that needed saying, that only DeathPhoenix (and ChrisO to some extent) seem to have listened to. Noisy | Talk 17:49, Feb 12, 2005 (UTC)
I think Jwrosenzweig and Michael Snow have it exactly right. I agree that WikiUser is keen to contribute; the problem is that he appears to want to contribute only on his own terms, is dismissive of any pre-existing standards, opposes any attempt by others to implement them by altering "his" articles and is relentlessly hostile towards anyone who asks him to abide by them. This doesn't constitute "goading"; it's simply unwillingness or inability to work with the community. Looking back on this dispute, I don't think there's anything we as editors could have done to avoid it. WikiUser's contentious edits would have been reverted and his violations of the 3RR would have been called out wherever happened. He chose to respond as he did, and that was entirely his responsibility. -- ChrisO 09:09, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
ChrisO provided an excellent summary of the situation. I think WikiUser's "ownership issues" combined with his inability to work in a community are what caused this dispute. --Deathphoenix 15:09, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Although the comment is directed more at Noisy than me, I would like to point out that I think that 2>>>>3. That is, it wouldn't take much "goading" to set him off. Like Noisy, I wouldn't presume to put a label on this behaviour because I don't have any medical experience either. I'm not sure how to deal with someone like that. I apologise if my early agreement offended other parties, but then, I was never involved in these disputes. --Deathphoenix 01:02, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"To suggest our interactions with him "goaded" him into misbehavior is so insulting..." - my thoughts exactly. violet/riga (t) 15:34, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)