Fucking arbcom can fucking fuck off with their fucking locker room standards

“No one cares if someone swears; what they should care about is if someone becomes so hard to work with that it gets in the way of developing good content. That was the open question before the Committee, not whether the phrase “fuck off” is inherently upsetting.” — Euryalus¹

This, ladies and gentlemen, is not some 12 year old kid picking his nose on the playground and trying out his “big boy” fuck-talk vocabulary. This is a member of the arbitration committee firing off f-bombs into the echo chamber of the English Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, and who is in turn being cited like Moses on the mountain bringing down the ten commandments.

This is someone who believes there is absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone to fuck off. And this is someone whose sense of their own authoritarianism is so absolute that they think there is absolutely nothing wrong with imposing their own arbitrary local workplace standards as interpreted by them as a substitute for international and global standards agreed on by community consensus. These are the people who set the tone for the entire project.

“Rule of thumb – if you could do or say it in a standard real-world workplace, feel free to do or say it here (and plenty of people where I work swear in a collegiate manner every day).” —Euryalus ²

bog standard

So who is this Euryalus person and what kind of “standard” place do they work, if they talk about fucking all the time? A brothel? A locker room?

And just like a room full of chimpanzees, the rest of the arbitrators chime in with their own f-bombs: Opabinia regalis, GorillaWarfare, Amanda (aka DQ) all have to drop gratuitous f-bombs to prove they’re one of the boyz, and even Newyorkbrad, who used to have more class than that. Do we really think he sits up in his law office and talks the same way he talks now on Wikipedia?

At this point I have to admit to a little schadenfreude — there may be some extenuating circumstances here, as one of the main people being told to fuck off is that nasty little Toddst1, who every time he is brought to a noticeboard pretends to go on vacation or retire until people feel oh so sorry for him and then when the latest miserable episode falls off the radar, three days later he’s back. Maybe for just this one admin we could have a “3x fuck off” standard similar to the 3X revert edit war limit….

That the arbitration committee is once again talking about these playground issues is a measure of how unprofessional the Wikipedia has become and how the lack of decorum goes all the way to the top.  Truly, as someone said recently, the arbitration committee is children telling adults how to act.

So “no one cares if someone swears”?

Yes, people do care if someone swears.  It matters where there are small children, where there are people with security clearances, where there are public representative of religious organizations.

Does the arbcom really not get the basic workplace standards of “suitability”, and “conduct unbecoming”?  It is an unspoken condition in the private sector that you must not become a public disgrace.

The edgy, outrageous, in-your-face  LGBT culture of the West Coast simply does not fly in the rest of the country.  It will close off access to some parts of society, in particular where there are small children.  People do care what kind of people are around their children.

So now we are getting around to it, that the arbitration committee is not composed of people with children, they are children themselves. In fact, you cannot keep people in the movement once they have children, because it’s just too expensive.

So check this thread:

“Salary needed to afford the median house in San Francisco is now $303,000. Not a misprint. $303,000. According to the California Realtors Association Again, that salary is $303,000”:

“As a non-profit employer, I cannot see how we reconcile this with a future for our organization in San Francisco. Its nonsensical for our staff, our donors, our ability to recruit and retain.”

To unfold the whole Twitter conversation, click on the box.

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23 thoughts on “Fucking arbcom can fucking fuck off with their fucking locker room standards

  1. To avoid enriching your language with a few choice expletives at work or at home is to let the political-correctness of some out-of-phase social norms take precedence over your own liberty of intelligence and expression. The only thing that disappoints me with the word “fuck” is its overrepresentation in the repertoire of English profanity, especially compared to the highly colorful expletive of my native Canadian French (most of which are corruptions of catholic relic words, even!!!)

  2. Depends on the region, really, and a lot of this I think is not accurate, based on what I hear, maybe b/c it is based more on written samples. https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/mapping-the-united-swears-of-america/

    Here’s Quebec http://languagehat.com/swearing-in-quebec/

    Not at work though, we have Civil Rights Act.

    And if you hear it on the street, it means someone has Issues, maybe ex-con or off their meds, best to not stick around.

    1. Would you be so kind as to point me to the part of the Civil Rights Act which covers the level of language deemed acceptable?

      1. Here goes one now.

        https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/08/health/duval-county-teacher-racial-slur-trnd/index.html
        “If your boyfriend says bad things to you and/or treats you wrong, that means he’s acting like a n—–,” Swinyar said according to student testimony in a school district investigative report. “You all should not be dating all these different African-American boys because they are not worth it.”

        They will quietly let his contract expire. No one’s lawyers will make any money off of this one.

  3. The WMF moving to Oakland sounds like a good idea. I don’t know why I keep running across the Stein quote about there being no there there. It would be great for the WMF to show that — in fact — there is.

    Otherewise, there’s “Be Bold” Provo where I’m sure the rents are cheaper… ^^

    The ArbCom members are not doing the job they’re supposed to be doing. This is a great example, because it doesn’t require any special knowledge. I still think that they accepted the call to bungle these 2 recent cases only to give the appearance of being busy.

  4. I didn’t realize that quote was about Oakland. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-werner/oakland-in-popular-memory_b_1560227.html My impression of Oakland was about the same as that, it’s just another city that looks like every other city in the world, whereas SF has a special unique quality.

    What Katherine said on that thread:
    “Agree that moving the offices to Oakland would be interesting. When we looked at that option 1.5 years ago, office rents off BART were commensurate with some SF areas, including some class A highrise FiDi”

    They are in the financial district now, their old digs a few blocks south was a little more raunchy, but SF has street people everywhere. Judging by the comments on that thread asking Katherine to support various affordable housing initiatives, I would guess the housing in Oakland is just as expensive as commercial property. Everyone wants to be next to the public transportation grid.

    Agreed that arbcom has been spectacularly ineffective at dealing with harassment, although they will probably scream bloody murder if the foundation tries to deal with it. Funny how the f-word is okay but they object to the word “lie”. If someone is trying to inject inaccurate information into an article, maybe that’s the issue they need to be looking at, how to vet sources and how to express objections on a talk page. Don’t they try to teach people these skills? Where is their famous mediation?

  5. I think a similar topic came up in Another Place. It so happens that I personally prefer people not to use foul language in my workplace, and it’s rather unlikely that they would in a work context. But what’s going on here is not foul language as such but bullying. If you are foolish enough to show bullies that something upsets you, then they double down on it, to show you that you can’t stop them. It would be bullying if someone asked you politely not to mention, say, the Parkland school shooting because their cousin was killed there and everyone suddenly started talking about parkland, even though “parkland” is far from being foul language. Proper grown-ups, especially those who have worked with children and teenagers, know this perfectly well, and for a professional like Brad to indulge the bullying behaviour of his Wikipedians is way below the standards I would have expected him to set himself and others.

  6. Ira used to be … more thoughtful, I suppose.

    The operant phrase above is of course “gets in the way of developing good content”, which, besides being an unfortunate dogwhistle for exclusion of women, means the definition of harassment is a variable.

    Too bad CrowsNest has disappeared, he (?) seemed to have some deep knowledge of Wikipedia, even if a lot of his stuff was TLDR. [On second thought, not, he has just turned up elsewhere, with too many adjectives, not enough facts, and some exceptionally cringeworthy remarks about pee-pees.]

    You have to wonder if indeed there are users capable of bringing down Wikipedia entirely if their whims are not catered to.

  7. And some fairly divisive political polemics. Very surprising, I had thought he was a political liberal, but I have to admit British politics is not my strong suit. So I wonder why he didn’t pick the other “elsewhere”, the one that is aligned with Breitbart and friends.

  8. The Crow flies as the crow flies. Anything I say about politics is typically a commentary on Wikipedia’s failings – no inference should be made about my personal views, which are of course quite irrelevant to Wikipedia criticism. But if people call me a centre right libertarian (British spectrum), I’d not object.

    What’s all this about pee pees? For my sins, I could probably write a book on Wikipedia’s troubles with defining what is and is not proper workplace conduct. This knowledge is in no way undercut by my own use of language in venues that are decidedly not meant to be workplaces. What differentiates me from a Wikipedian, is I have the necessary self-control to moderate my language when necessary, and I am fully aware of the moral and logical case to do so.

    It has never really been the case that posts on the forums are being read by the world’s decision makers and influence wielders. Therefore, I take the view that if the main audience are the people I am trying to frighten or shock into action, or cast as shameful people in the eyes of people with morals, salty language and strong condemnation is a necessity.

    It really isn’t true that a moral person wouldnt believe an accusation that someone is a liar for example, if that accusation is delivered with some venom. Quite the reverse, right thinking people should recognise that venom is a product of anger, and anger comes from observing injustice. All that matters are the facts – as is my reputation, any requests for clarification will be answered.

    Similarly, intelligent people do not need to see an argument about Wikipedia’s deficiencies in how it regulates editor behaviour presented in the same high standards, lest it undercut its own impact. All that matters is, is the tone appropriate for the platform.

    These are my views on how I should conduct my activities, and they’ve served me well so far. If the alternative approach, the polite, softly spoken tactics espoused by some people really did work, I’d use it, of course. What people don’t seem to realise, is that Wikipedians and Wikipedia have been approached many times in this fashion. It does not work.

  9. O hai, CN, I have to admit I find you intriguing, but my, how very long-winded you are. As they say, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

    I was going to get a screen shot of the off-putting language, but perhaps better not — if something is written in the heat of frustration, it may well be regretted later. There were a few “c-bombs” which of course will not earn you any points for being grownup here, and the phrase “libtard”, at which point I pretty much stop reading, since I prefer someone who thinks of their own way of speaking and using language, even if it is to convey something that they think a lot of other people are saying. IMO if an argument needs anger or intimidation to convince people, it is probably not that strong an argument to begin with. A toddler may win one round by throwing a tantrum in public, but next time the parents will leave them at home with a babysitter.

    We do poke fun at Wikipedia and Wikipediocracy here, but it always has a specific point — and we try to be somewhat lighthearted about it and not twist the knife too much.

  10. No, you gotta twist that knife, you gotta pour that petrol and light that match, imho. But obviously, the underlying points have to be correct – would I be right in assuming you wouldn’t find any fault with them if you did hold your nose and actually read it all?

    This is asymmetric warfare – for every one person trying to expose the truth, there are ten trying to deny/hide it, and a hundred who are completely oblivious to the idea there’s any conflict going on. This is an imbalance that calls for passion and detail, to accompany the facts. Although as I said, it really does depend on the venue – this isn’t how I’d write for a reputable outlet. I’d still be aiming to convey the passion and anger though.

    Looking back, if you’re talking about the ‘cowards of Wikipediocracy’ thread, I’ll readily admit that both uses of the c-word were unecessarily gratuitous, but were indeed committed to the page at a time of particular anger. Sadly it is too late to edit them out now (their premoderation prevented an immediate review), but I doubt they detract too much from the main point, since what would replace it wouldn’t exactly be polite.

    I’m happy with my use of libtard, even though in Ming’s case he probably doesn’t meet the literal definition. I’m trying to convey the fact he is a person whose capacity for reason, indeed his willingness to engage with people who disagree with him, is clouded by his undoubtedly partizan view of politics. The guy barely even tries to draw a distinction between mainstream Conservatives and alt-right nutters in his posts, and happily assumed that I was alt-right for merely pointing out a Wikipedia fault that smears them. This lazy thinking born of partisanship is endemic in Wikipedians, and by extension, Wikipediocrats. It warrants condemnation in strong terms, since there’s very little which is actually worse, in terms of the rules and norms of written combat.

  11. Whatever.

    And I am happy with the use of “dittohead”.

    In case you have not noticed, the U.S. does not have “mainstream conservatives”, unless you count Hillary, who after all started her political career as a Goldwater Republican. The alt-right is now the entire political spectrum.

    But why spam Wikipedia forums with a bunch of political polemics, when there are so many other smelly places for that.

    And not to disparage the male LGBT community or anything, but when you use the whole female pee-pee thing as a stand-in for everything you find repugnant in this universe, it pretty much tells me everything I need to know about how you are willing to relate to me as a human being.

  12. I guess I do it because the people I’m talking about are so clearly affected by their own politics. Or rather that one specific person. I’m sure there must be some mainstream Republicans left in the US, although the centre right in the UK is probably a faction of the Democratic Party. As for the c-word, like I said, I’d edit it out if it was possible now – until you mentioned it here I had honestly forgot I had even used it (although I suspect that probably makes me even worse in your eyes!).

  13. So I guess I got my point across without knives and matches then.

    I guess you’re talking about Ming, I’ve never noticed anything really politicized about their remarks, even in the thread you took such exception to. Their comments have always been restrained, nuanced, and in that 3rd person character they always use–not at all compatible with the knock down drag out, wall-of-text style you engaged them with. Your points were completely meaningless to most readers, and delivered in a jarring and opaque style. When it comes to politics, people might pay attention to broad generalities for a few sentences, but nobody really cares how many angels dance on the head of a pin. I am beginning to think of Wikipediocracy more as entertainment than as criticism, as they were in the old days. But then again, the foundation doesn’t do as much stupid stuff as they used to.

    Today I did read some of your comments about another user and had to smile at your observations on the internal power politics, not quite ready to talk about that yet though.

  14. Ming’s views on politics are anything but nuanced. If readers took away anything from our exchanges, it would have surely been that. Basically, in the Gateway Pundit thread, he barely even understood what was being talked about, all he was interested in doing was making, and mindlessly repeating, a WP:BLUE based argument to justify a Wikipedia hosted smear of an alt-right website. People like him are the reason the alt-right has flourished to the extent the mainstream right has swept the board, they make it easy for them to demonstrate the mainstream media and the liberal elite are in collusion to shape their own reality, define their own truth, and cast anyone who doubts it, as crazies. People like him don’t want to hear stories such as how the mainstream media were trolled by 4chan and Reddit into printing fake news about the Parkland shooter, fake news that was eagerly regurgitated by Wikipedia, for the very reasons I was getting at in the Gateway Pundit thread. This basic react was reported in Gateway Pundit, even though in Ming’s version of reality that site is “known for” spreading hoaxes, not exposing them. Wikipedia says so, Google says so, he says so, so it is true. People like Ming don’t want to hear stories about when Wikipedia is wrong or being manipulated when the result is information that conforms to their own politics. These aren’t simple concepts, it takes time and effort to appreciate the truth of these statements.

  15. Not just “Ming’s version of reality”, this is what reliable sources are printing. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/what-is-gateway-pundit-the-conspiracy-hawking-site-at-the-center-of-the-bogus-florida-crisis-actors-hype/2018/02/23/dded562a-174e-11e8-b681-2d4d462a1921_story.html?utm_term=.859a1ade3de1

    You should know by now Wikipedia does not have “truth” it only has “verifiability”.

    Your defense of obviously non-reliable sources elsewhere (Daily Mail???!1!) does not help your credibility. Sure you can read them to get background on what the mainstream will not print, but if the mainstream will not print it, very possibly there is a reason. These planted stories pop up everywhere, and are part of the tactics, polemics, joe-jobs, and outright lies that have become an unfortunate part of our political landscape. You cannot give undue weight WP:UNDUE to every single conspiracy theory du jour that appears in the moment-by-moment partisan ping pong game. If something is important enough and factual enough to be included in WP, sooner or later it will be printed in a RS.

  16. Of course. If it was important enough to state the Gateway Pundit is “known for” spreading hoaxes and disinformation, rather than it merely being the case that examples of such generate clicks in today’s media landscape, a reliable source would have said it. They have not said it. With the exception of Politico, who deserve proper attribution for it in Wikipedia. It doesn’t make me an oddball to point out that simple and obvious fact, nor does it make me a supporter of Nazis or the alt-right or any of the other lazy conclusions Ming drew from it. It makes me a Wikipedia critic.

    That WaPo piece is new to me, but you’ll have surely noted it doesn’t really support “known for” in a way that wouldn’t require identifying those making the claim and on whose behalf, and indeed it doesn’t seem to appreciate the irony that many of their examples of it spreading hoaxes and disinformation, are times when the erroneous story was taken down when the mistake was identified.

    I mean, do you seriously not appreciate the irony of GP being attacked for making a mistake in their early reporting of Nicholas Cruz, when the mainstream media made exactly the same mistakes, for exactly the same reasons. They happily printed bullshit sourced only to Reddit and social media accounts, because fast is first, and ensuring accuracy is just a real pain in the ass. They all simply cover their asses with later corrections when it inevitably fails apart, anyone who pretends this isn’t now the mainstream media works now, isn’t paying attention.

    Stories like this carry little weight when they have to use examples of responsibility, in their “track record” of irresponsibility, and they have to so blatantly ignore the poop in their own henhouse. And of course, that story is compromised, as have past WaPo stories on GP, by their willingness to cite the Berkman-Klein study, which has quite probably been influenced in their view of GP not by scholarship, but by consulting Wikipedia. Ming wanted no part of that side of the issue as he talked down to me, and it’s not hard to see why.

    What has happened to the Daily Mail at the hands of the Wikipedians is no different, there are no reliable sources that actually support their conclusions in their own reliable words, so they actually have to resort to letting someone like Hillbilly holiday lie to achieve a ‘ban’, then let Guy Macon present his own thoughts as that of the Wikipedia community, and stuff it in the Wikipedia article of the Daily Mail, in a pretty huge violation of WP:UNDUE.

    At time of writing, that article doesn’t yet even contain the reaction of the British mainstream right wing non-tablid press to their ‘ban’, let alone the sort of detailed observations of that Forbes contributor I highlighted. Ming wouldn’t have a problem with that, because not hearing inconvenient sources that contradict his own view of the world, is what he is all about.

    These Wikipedians are dealing in “truth” not “verifiability”, the problem being they’re choosing for themselves what the truth actually is. There is no profit in this for the left, it is exactly the sort of hypocrisy that has fueled the alt-right up to now.

  17. I can see you’re really into this.

    Wikipedia won’t print my reaction to not being a RS either–I am only a “blog” after all, even if I am willing to strike stuff out if someone can convince me it’s not accurate enough.

    I miss the days when tabloids were doing useful stuff like UFOs and Elvis sightings.

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