Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Riana's RfB a referendum on Kelly Martin?

See: Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/Riana, closure currently pending a closed but public "Bureaucrat discussion" -- the sort we see when a single crat isn't willing to close a discussion alone.

There are apparently two major points of contention, as described by WJBScribe in the bcrat chat:
  • The fact that Riana's decision to nominate Kelly Martin for adminship calls into question her judgment (emphasis mine)
  • Issues of temperament - with diffs cited of a couple of incidents involved the use of profanity/incivility
I won't speak to the second. In my mind, that's a legitimate reason to oppose, regardless of whether I agree.

The first, however, I have to take strong issue with. Since when did a single RfA nomination become a defining moment in anybody's Wikipedia career? Are we so bitter with ourselves, so divided into petty factions, that we deny a widely trusted and long-active user access on such a flimsy basis? Apparently some of us are so far gone that even the mere spectre of Kelly Martin becomes a deciding factor in bureaucrat discussion.

Sound nuts? Not everyone thinks so. After FeloniousMonk's oppose first linked Martin's second RfA from October 2007, several others including Guettarda, SlimVirgin, Jossi, Secret, OrangeMarlin, KillerChihuahua, B, and even Mailer Diablo stated the KM nomination as the primary or even sole reason for their opposition. Others, including MONGO and Ral315, later withdrew similar opposition.

Riana's been a Wikipedian for two years, now, and an administrator for about half that (see her hugely successful RfA). According to ST47's ADMINSTATS, she's logged over 17,000 admin actions. One failed RfA nom overrides all of that? We're not even discussing two years of dedication, here, because of one thought the community happened to reject.

There's one thing several in opposition seem to have missed: Riana is not Kelly Martin. If you want to oppose KM, fine and go ahead, but that's not the topic under discussion. The impression I get is that it's not what you do for the wiki that counts, but who you happen to bring forward for consideration by the community.

Mailer's comment about the "full gravity and consequence" of the nomination was rightly quipped down by Dorftroffel: "The full consequence was that Kelly was (of course) not promoted." Isn't that how we're supposed to look at these things? If "adminship isn't a big deal," as the saying goes, why is the mere nomination given center stage?

Personally, I don't keep track of who nominated whom. I don't consider it important, and definitely not in the long run. Doing anything else will only breed an atmosphere of political infighting and careful cabalism.

All I ask the community and the bureaucrats is this: show some sense of fair play and let Riana stand or fall on her own merits. It would be a damned shame to judge her on any other basis.


Kelly Martin said...

I am finding this situation totally amusing. That Wikipedia is willing to allow a tiny but vocal minority with an unhealthy obsession to control it, is clear and unmistakable evidence of the fundamental bankruptcy of Wikipedia's governance.

At one glance, it would seem that the proper thing for the bureaucrats to do, of course, would be to promote, on the hopes that at least some of the obsessives in opposition will petulantly leave Wikipedia. However, this will not work. These people's obsession for me is only exceeded by their obsession for Wikipedia. They will not leave. Instead, they will just find other, even more destructive, ways to express their destructive obsession.

It is events like this that lead me to the inescapable conclusion that there is no hope for Wikipedia.

Luk said...

I am not the slightest amused, personally. I find it kinda sad that the community is not able to let this event go.

I guess we all love to rewrite history, but deep inside I think people are still angry that they got fooled by Kelly's sick little joke.

I just hope the bureaucrats will weight the arguments, for and against, instead of blindly applying a 90% threshold.

Luk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luk said...

(luk = lucasbfr)

Scarian said...

Nice post Luna.

I'm sorry you had that first comment from her :-(