Tony Bannioni makes a secret ATRIAL RfC, mocks new users, and issues threats

The lazy boyz of New Page Patrol, led by the self-important User:TonyBallioni have just made a new RfC.  They want to make ACTRIAL permanent, and shuttle their workload to the broken Articles for Creation project.

Their biggest argument, according to Tony, is to hold up for public ridicule the first edit of a new user named ShrkantArts.

I want to close with this quote from, Shrikantarts’, the first article created by a new editor after ACTRIAL ended: Hello, Myself [Name]. Art has always been an inspiration to me. That inspiration credits goes to my Brother and my mom, who stood up always when I started falling apart. I don’t think I can make a better case than that. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:39, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

I have already pointed out elsewhere Tony’s penchant for the gratuitous use of the phrase  “fuck you” so let me paraphrase this.

ShrikantArt, who is probably in India, given the name “Shrikant”, and who expresses gratitude for people who have helped him, and is thereby clearly not Wikipedia material, so fuck you ShrikantArt, and fuck all new users that you symbolize.

One hapless Wikipedian-in-residence has the temerity to oppose, but only briefly:

I’d like to include a few more voices from Outreach in this discussion so we get a consensus that truly suits everyone. Incidentally I really don’t think common agreement is now far away on this. I know a few Wiki usernames, Twitter accounts, Facebook groups (e.g. Wikipedia & education) where Outreach editors lurk I would like to raise awareness of this discussion without swaying one way or t’other as I don’t want to fall foul of WP:Canvas. I know you may argue that it is the fault of Outreach for not being more involved (and I think we have to do a bit of an inquest on why that is) BUT I think any comments of “too bad, too sad” would not be terribly helpful or inclusive at this moment in time.

And is immediately shot down by Tony Bannioni who threatens them with blocking.  Wisely, they change their vote.

…if you do it, I will go to ANI to request that you be blocked from editing. Derailing an RfC by off-wiki canvassing of a group that is not engaged at all with the English Wikipedia is quite frankly the definition of inappropriate canvassing. You are allowed to have your opinion, but you are not allowed to artificially inflate the turnout at an RfC of users who share your opinion, especially when they are not engaged enough on-wiki to notice that it has been posted on every singe major discussion venue and the centralized template.

But nothing has been posted at the Outreach bulletin board of course.  Because Outreach has already learned they have to organize off-wiki if they are going to survive against the ownership of the Pokemon patrollers. It’s a shame really, the people who actually write the articles and make Wikipedia work have to hide from those who are supposed to be policing the site from vandalism. But even Blue Rasberry, who has articulated the Outreach position, is not so stupid as to vote against it when the patrollers are throwing their weight around.

Keilana’s pioneering “outreach” for women scientists’ articles

“Outreach”, of course, is code for “women editing Wikipedia”, which is a huge freakout for the Wikipediocracy crowd.  Wikipediocracy may scoff at these women who only edit once a year, and only at in-person events, and who therefore cannot be tracked down and harassed, but what does the chart say?  Yup, outreach works.  The Wikipediocrazies must be furious.  This blows all their theories about converting first edits to long-time users.  So now we’ve gone full circle, back to Aaron Swartz‘s original essay on “Who Writes Wikipedia?”

“If Wikipedia is written by occasional contributors, then growing it requires making it easier and more rewarding to contribute occasionally. Instead of trying to squeeze more work out of those who spend their life on Wikipedia, we need to broaden the base of those who contribute just a little bit.

“Unfortunately, precisely because such people are only occasional contributors, their opinions aren’t heard by the current Wikipedia process. They don’t get involved in policy debates, they don’t go to meetups, and they don’t hang out with Jimbo Wales. And so things that might help them get pushed on the backburner, assuming they’re even proposed.”

On second thought, this RfC might be for the best.  The power base of the patrollers and the NPP, along with the way this feeds a certain type of individual into the admin pool, has gotten way too out of control. Shut them down, shut them all down.

Make “autoconfirmed” one of the settings that new users can change themselves, along with enabling the Visual Editor.


4 thoughts on “Tony Bannioni makes a secret ATRIAL RfC, mocks new users, and issues threats

  1. Wikipediocracy has barely noticed the issue, except to hail it as a good idea. As you would expect. They didn’t for example spot the fact that in framing his RfC, Tony didn’t exactly faithfully translate the researcher’s findings, which is a basic violation, as serious as canvassing given its potential for swaying opinion. His threat to haul Sledgehammer off to AN/I was outrageous BS – but of course, not one person on Wikipedia pointed out the strawman in his comment (the people he wanted to notify are clearly stakeholders in Wikipedia), nor pushed back on his ridiculous assumption that people who don’t notice or grok the significance of his five word entry on CENT, are not “engaged” with Wikipedia. Not to mention Tony made that threat as an INVOLVED person. Tony is an arrogant ass, a bully, and pretty ignorant if basic policy. But his status as an admin will never be in doubt, let alone threatened. This is all normal for Wikipedia nowadays, if not always, they really have no standards or sense of ethics, and so even Administrators are not very good. They could probably delete WP:ADMIN given how little anyone bothers to consult it anymore.

  2. The “researchers findings”, heh, it’s only about 10% research and the rest is smoke and mirrors. Why do they use percentages and not real numbers? And one user offers to provide the user names of 1000 new students that entered in September, we also know there was an initiative involving several hundred librarians who started during that time frame, does this not skew the sample? Whatever, they are committed to getting rid of this group, no doubt about that. If the guy who has been mentoring them for years wants to give it the big flush, it’s pretty hard to argue with that.

    And yeah the comment that outreach is “not engaged with Wikipedia” is pretty funny. Consider that there are several specialized groups on Facebook alone with over a thousand members each, and now go back to the latest arbcom election where elections were decided by only a few hundred votes, and you will quickly see that the tail is wagging the dog here. A handful of people, many of whom have never even written a Wikipedia article, have learned how to dominate Wikipedia by dominating the dramah boards, and playing the system, and they are not letting go of that power.

    Kind of funny how outreach is trying to explain the education dashboard to these child admins and they are clueless. All they know is Pokeman, and have never run an event themselves, but it doesn’t stop them from trying to micromanage how these professionals should interact with the muckety mucks of world-class institutions.

    Someone on Wikipediocracy thought it was a joke to let these trainees enable their own ability to create articles, no, no joke, if they can find it by word of mouth, they should be able to turn it on. Why should these professionals have to constantly explain their jobs and justify themselves to kids who are not capable of understanding it? You have someone who is willing to run an event and you are going to force them into yet another pissing contest with these people? The sooner this functionality is migrated off of the English Wikipedia and onto neutral territory the better.

    There are what, a thousand events a year? So who is going to process a thousand requests for auto confirmed, especially when the people evaluating the requests are less qualified than the people making them. This is not rocket science. They should start putting this stuff on the education dashboard.

  3. I see they’ve done a hostile takeover of the Signpost now. Kundpung has two pieces there, including a feature on ACTRIAL, but not one word about the outreach problem. How very dishonest, there needs input from different groups to solve this, but not even one comment. Do you see how Tony Bannoni’s people are hounding anyone who votes oppose? No one who has any skin in the game is going to want to get down in the mud and wrestle with these people.

    The foundation needs to look ahead, not just to how articles are going to be created, and how the people who are trying to pitch Wikipedia to the public are being undermined, but to their whole problem-solving approach with “the community”. Because those 2000 or so people on FB are a lot smarter than the Pokeman admins running the show and they do not have a voice. Where are the planning committees that include everyone?

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