This is just sad. I’m looking at the “Conduct of Mister Wiki editors” arbcom case and I see they have set the schedule to extend through the Christmas season. If Salvidrim and the other paid editor were planning any seasonal festivities, well, they will spend the holiday twisting in the wind instead, waiting for the arbcom ax to fall. You can bet the arbitrators will be taking a break.
This isn’t just about paid editing, it’s about Wikipedia’s past history with Salvidrim. And it looks like his relationship with the women power users, not to mention cab drivers, has been quite rocky.
Salvidrim’s response has been sad too, dropping f-bombs throughout the arbcom pages, typing a new cringeworthy mea culpa on his user page, then inexplicably taking the blame for the other editor, even though the offline communications screenshot shows otherwise. Kind of awkward, that. The other editor turns him on to a paid editing gig and gets dragged to arbcom for his trouble. But Salvidrim is a sysop and the other editor is not. If arbcom turns their attention in that direction, the guy is toast.
This case has something for everyone.
The anti-COI crowd has their pitchforks and torches out, but the quarry is too often out of reach, the litigious paid editing syndicates of India harassing arbitrators in their place of work, but themselves untouchable by the law. This gives them a home grown although much more boring target to make an example of. It functions as a sort of SLAPP suit, making paid editing so much of a nuisance and potential liability that only the most obnoxious paid editors, like Wikipediocracy and India Against Corruption will be willing to tackle it. The WMF strategy should be the opposite, to make paid editing so clearcut and risk free that even the most unsophisticated blundering idiot can succeed at it and drive the assholes out of business.
The anti-gamergate crowd should be happy too. Common decency is finally coming into fashion. As the Banner/Milo playbook becomes clear, and the former 14-year-old trolls turn 18 and start publishing their gamergate confessionals, the 30-somethings who were hangers-on to the movement, perhaps themselves victims of a cycle of abuse, where the abused becomes an abuser, have been left high and dry with no excitement in their lives. Will they finally develop any empathy for women, or will they be stuck forever trying to reclaim their misspent youth? As always, everything starts with self-respect, but unfortunately the arbcom’s usual sub-dom dynamic leaves little room for that.
How about some nice thoughts and prayers. Here is three minutes of Arvo Pärt, “the most performed living composer in the world” with the Magnificat Antiphon for December 19.