<CPOV> Community run or royal decree?

Mathieu ONeil mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au
Tue May 4 18:26:58 CEST 2010

Hi Gregory

Thanks for your message, which brings attention to a seeming power imbalance within WM projects. It is not completely clear though, so could you please explain a little more what exactly what the nature of the "spoof" as well as where and why there were the kinds of "exploitative" imagery you describe on WM sites?


----- Original Message -----
From: Gregory Kohs <thekohser at gmail.com>
Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 4:10 pm
Subject: <CPOV> Community run or royal decree?
To: cpov at listcultures.org

> It may be interesting to observe the following recent incident that ran across all Wikimedia projects.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&oldid=360060669#Thekohser
> http://en.wikiquote.org/w/index.php?title=Wikiquote:Administrators%27_noticeboard&oldid=1119503#Global_ban_enforcement
> And perhaps most tellingly:
> http://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Wikisource:Administrators%27_noticeboard&oldid=1870066#Global_ban_enforcement
> In summary, about two months ago, Jimmy Wales was spoofed into thinking that a Wikiversity project was setting out to undermine Wikipedia.  He stepped in and began blocking and desysopping long-time contributors to that project.  He also matter-of-factly stated that "as far as he was concerned" the user Thekohser (that's me) is blocked from all projects.  A few weeks passed, and after I began to draw attention to the fact that Wikimedia Commons hosts exploitative images of children fellating men, another user took it upon himself to make sure Jimmy's decree was made law throughout the land.  He and Jimmy didn't even know that a "global account lock" feature exists on Meta Wikimedia.  This is the gentleman who worked to have my account globally blocked:
> http://web.archive.org/web/20000930112202/www.cris.com/~Jeffg/gski109.jpg
> This is me:
> http://www.mywikibiz.com/File:Gregory_Kohs_headshot.jpg
> The public relations mantra of the Wikimedia projects is that they are "community run", at least in theory.  But, it would seem that royal decree, executed by mustachioed sycophants, is the actual practice.
> As a footnote, if anyone is interested in some of my various contributions to Wikimedia projects over the past couple of years:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Arch_Coal&oldid=76592206
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Job_sharing&oldid=299529822
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Line_management&oldid=301438047
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=National_Fuel_Gas&oldid=238999676
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Propositional_function&oldid=309988531
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Robert_Half_International&oldid=300305693
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zale_Corporation&oldid=76232040
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kurume_hybrid_Azalea_x_Rhododendron_%27Firefly%27.jpg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ben_Franklin_Bridge_from_Adventure_Aquarium.jpg
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk%3AFundraising_2009%2FSurvey&action=historysubmit&diff=1556772&oldid=1544535
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Funding&action=historysubmit&diff=1908812&oldid=330554
> Apparently this sort of content is so utterly subversive to the Wikimedia community and mission, it calls for an extraordinary "global ban" from all projects.  Why is that?
> -- 
> Gregory Kohs
> Cell: 302.463.1354
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Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University
email: mathieu.oneil[at]anu.edu.au
web: http://adsri.anu.edu.au/people/visitors/mathieu.php

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