Battlestar Wiki:Requests for comment/April Arcus

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Statement of the dispute

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April Arcus has on a number of times, changed the "outcome" of a "consensus" (Defined as: at least two people). On their most recent "change" (reverting Galactica (RDM)) as the non FA) to make sure their "points" are heard.


This is dealing with April's inability to calmly work on "operationial" problems during the 11th hour. Instead, they went and made drastic mesures and reverted all the changes I worked on for three hours getting the new FA and new FP up on the front page without even consulting the users who have.

On June 3rd, they added this item to the Featured articles list and a few other items they made comments on. On June 7th, they posted their concenrs in the morning of the "date" of change about the process and the articles that "could" be potiniality the FA for the next month.

During this "reverting" war, they said they listed their points on the "debate" page. They said that: Logically, if we have one featured article per month, that gives us a month each to work on the next one, which should be adequate. The vetting process for featured articles on Wikipedia results in some very high quality work, and I'd like to see that carry over to here. --April Arcus 10:36, 7 June 2006 (CDT). They told me, that this are their "points". However, underneath the "Galactica (RDM)" section they posted ont he 3rd, A good article succsessfully rescued from the abyss by group effort several month ago. Could currently use some minor reformatting - the "running tallies" probably belong in their own article, rather than in the footnotes, and the "fleet details" section seems a little precious. --April Arcus 15:08, 3 June 2006 (CDT).

Now with tradistion, they played no role in tryin to reformat this section so it could be an FA. They just left it. All other users who endorsed this article, did not mention that this was a problem. They agreed that the way it is now was worth endorsing as an BW:FA.

So in their power, they has "reverted" all the pages, deleted all the pages, and changed all the pages that dealt with the two new items that were on the front page without much of a sentence of I have reverted Shane's archival of this debate, as I do not consider it over. The June 7th deadline was declared by fiat, and has not, in my opinion, been adequately defended. Please reply to the points I have raised above before formally declaring "Galactica (RDM)" a featured article. --April Arcus 22:34, 7 June 2006 (CDT).

Further more, calling a user a "fiat" (arbitrary order or decree) which it turns means (based on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice; "an arbitrary decision"; "the arbitrary rule of a dictator"; "an arbitrary penalty"; "of arbitrary size and shape"; "an arbitrary choice"; "arbitrary division of the group into halves") is not refelct me well because on my clearly stated profession on my user page.

In conclussion, I recommend that April be striped of their sysop flag. --Shane (T - C - E) 23:54, 7 June 2006 (CDT)

Evidence of disputed behavior

(Provide diffs. Links to entire articles aren't helpful unless the editor created the entire article. Edit histories also aren't helpful as they change as new edits are performed.)

  1. View Recent Changes - To Much To List
  2. Here This is the revert on the "Main page" subpage of the FA.

Applicable policies

{list the policies that apply to the disputed conduct}

  1. BW:FA - Things and "Ways" have been on these pages for a few month
  2. BW:FP - Things and "Ways" have been on these pages for a few month
  3. BW:DEL - Deletion Policy
  4. BW:BOLD - Not Allowing others to operate without distruciption

Evidence of trying and failing to resolve the dispute

(provide diffs and links)

  1. April's Talk Page
  2. The "debate"

Users certifying the basis for this dispute

{Users who tried and failed to resolve the dispute}

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This is a summary written by the user whose conduct is disputed, or by other users who think that the dispute is unjustified and that the above summary is biased or incomplete. Users signing other sections ("Statement of the dispute" and "Outside Views") should not edit the "Response" section.

I will try to respond to all of Shane's criticisms above.

Issue 1: Un-Archiving of Battlestar Wiki:Featured articles/Current Debate

On June 3rd, Shane nominated four of this month's featured article candidates, and invited me to suggest the fifth via Google Talk:

12:45:31 PM You want to pick thje last page for Featured Article Candidate?

12:51:56 PM hrm.
12:52:14 PM how about one of the Twelve Colony articles?
12:52:54 PM Language?
12:53:09 PM good choice

12:53:20 PM it's one of mine from way back

On June 6th, Steelviper updated the site notice, noting a June 7th deadline for the decision. When I noted that this was unrealistic in Battlestar Wiki:Featured articles/Current Debate#General Comments, Shane replied:

My suggestions on time were out of my head. If there is some other time frame we should pick, that is fine.

I then suggested that we extend the candidate period until the article in question was of sufficient quality. Twelve hours later, without replying to my point, Shane archived the debate and declared "Galactica (RDM)" to be the month's featured article. In response, I un-archived the page and requested a proper response to the points I had made about declaring "Galactica (RDM)" a Featured Article.

The actions I took were within anyone's capacity to do, as they simply consisted of moving and editing various pages. The only deletions I performed were on redirects and Shane's own requests for speedy deletion. Consequently, I do not believe this action constitutes an abuse of my admin privileges.

The sole purpose of my actions was to re-open the debate, which I felt had been closed without due consideration. If the community truly judges this move to be inappropriate, I will stand by that decision. For my part, I do not believe that additional discussion can ever hurt our community, and that the four-day deadline under which we were operating was grossly unrealistic.

Issue 2: Revert of Main Page/Featured Article

In accordance with my other actions, I reverted this to point to the article "Gaius Baltar", noting this as temporary in the edit summary:

Temporary revert until debate is properly concluded.

Shane states that I cost him three hours of work with this action, but his edit is still available in the page history, and can be returned to as soon as "Galactica (RDM)" is in good shape.

Issue 3: Failure to contribute to Galactica (RDM)

Shane writes that "with tradistion, they [April] played no role in tryin to reformat this section so it could be an FA. They just left it."

My only response to this is that my time is limited and I did not become aware of the June 7th deadline until Steelviper announced it the previous day. If we were not currently spending our energies on this RFC, I would probably be contributing to the article right now.

Issue 4: Personal Attacks

I did not "[call] a user a 'fiat'" - I'm not even sure what it would mean if I did so. I did state that the June 7th deadline had been declared by fiat, without community input, and thus lacked legitimacy, but I am completely baffled as to how Shane has misconstrued this as a personal attack. --April Arcus 00:42, 8 June 2006 (CDT)

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Outside view

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Spencerian's Comment: I've reviewed the information here. I see two views: One contributor who is energetic, talented and eager to move things forward, and one contributor who moderates to ensure the best overall result.

One problem that I think permeates many of our special articles that require major consensus (such as standards) involves the relative speed in which some things happen. Many of us visit the wiki daily, others not so much. To place a deadline of less than 2 weeks for a major article or format change not defined in some way by our current standards and guidelines will cause unnecessary rushing. This is what I see with the Featured Articles.

Further, dispite the points that define a FA, I haven't seen a "checklist" that confirmed that Galactica (RDM) was indeed ready. Because of this I concern myself more than we haven't completed what is necessary to qualify an FA, much less approve one for use. In that line of observation, I see April's point.

I see Shane's frustration, but also must remind him and others that actions on a wiki cannot and should not be too rapid. We are an encyclopedia, not a newspaper or even a magazine, and need to be careful in rushing anything other than to prevent widescale changes that disrupt the purpose of the wiki (such as stopping vandals). All else takes time. Likewise, there needs to be an agreed-upon timeframe where discussions can be wrapped up. Again, two weeks may be a sufficient time for this, although for the more youthful of us, this could seem like an eternity. Others must chime in or consensus is not reached, but merely opinion. Shane's request to strip April of admin privileges is non sequitur since, as April noted, the tasks they believed were appropriate could be done by any contributor account (there's a lot less to being an admin than some believe). Steelviper's self-admitted arbitrary time frame might have set a hasty deadline that was too fast for most of us.

I recommend a handful of things: (1) Don't feel pressured to move forward without true consensus. (2) We have plenty of admins that can also assume the role of moderator in addition to adding their two cents. Contributors can defer to admins to close discussions after a two week period, and we will summarize the points and define what consensus came from the discussion. (3) If a topic or change is controversial or needs attention, do what has already been done--add a banner to the main page to note the need for all user comments.

With that: Galactica (RDM) has not been properly defined as a FA based on the list of items on the project page. April apparently believes this but may not have detailed the points of the article that has failed. April may have been abrupt in closing discussion, but their basis was their opinion that sufficient time has elaped on this discussion, while Shane disagreeed. Both were trying to fit things to an arbitrary deadline. FA do not need to be a monthly change, so we don't necessarily need to rush to make this happen. A FA is an FA when it's an FA. Recommend that we close this RFC, note the qualifiers for the FAC article and check consensus in two weeks time from 6/8/06. --Spencerian 12:50, 8 June 2006 (CDT)

  • Comment: I think you have our names reversed in the last paragraph. --April Arcus 16:32, 9 June 2006 (CDT)

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Outside view #2

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The Merovingian's Comment: I agree with much of Spencerian's call for moderation in this. I think Galactica (RDM) was fine myself, and if it needed tweaks, it had enough votes by people who thought it didn't (3-4) that I think it passed: granted, we're all new at this system. Generally, I agree with Shane's basic feeling that the thing should have gone up, however, such a drastic claim that April be somehow stripped of their Administrator status over such a disagreement is just letting anger talk; such a move would be unwarranted. Look guys, we just need to work a few kinks out, but with a little more work things will be fine and we don't need to go to war over this. --The Merovingian (C - E) 17:19, 8 June 2006 (CDT)

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  1. --gougef 17:27, 8 June 2006 (CDT)

Outside view #3

While my participation is reduced on the Wiki as of late, I believe this is merely a case of two great editors who come from different disciplines. As noted by Spencerian, and seconded by Merovingian, one is energetic and wants to achive many things rapidly, the other airs on the side of scrutinizing and ensuring that the overall product is of high quality.

Logically, it's not that difficult to see where there would be friction.

From where I sit, the FA guidelines are fairly new and the waters need to be tested. In doing so, people will argue over where to sail the ship; when you have people of two different mind sets, this is bound to happen.

Therefore, I encourage a process of moderation between the two sides. Both sides share the same goal, this is apparent, so the big questions are: "How do we get there? What wil it take?"

Since the issue of admin tools (and the removal thereof) is brought up, I wish to comment on it:

I find that calling for an admin to be stripped of their status is seriously unnerving to me on a personal level. Calling for such things shouldn't be done lightly; the admin position has a lot of responsibility attached to it, with (admittedly) very little to show for it, in some cases. The duty is thankless, in my view, and I appreciate the efforts of every admin who goes above and beyond the call of duty, as it were, to do their best to make this wiki what it is right now. The same goes for the contributors -- because that is because everyone is a contributor, regardless of what tools are at their disposal.

Also, as April correctly points out, no admin-level tools were used incorrectly, from my determination. Anyone could have done page moves, reverts and edits.

Now, I don't feel like saying anything else, since Spencerian said what I, as of this writing, would have said had he not beaten me to it. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 17:45, 9 June 2006 (CDT)


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