The Second Trial of the Tumbleman

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Official Wikipedia Arbitration Enforcement Hearing: The Tumbleman

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The second trial was over in 24 hours and I was banned from Wikipedia indefinitely through an act of AE with all access to my user Talk page blocked as well. This AE hearing was the second hearing on Wikipedia to sanction me that I was not even allowed to defend myself in the hearing. Without being able to defend myself, the skeptic activist editors involved could just pretty much say whatever they wanted.

It happened so quickly I was taken off guard. It was co-ordinated, with a exhausted list of evidence already prepared.  I was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia for ‘not contributing’ – with Vzaak’s charge of trolling and disruption sticking.

5 of the editors who wanted me banned were all the skeptic editors. However 5 editors did not want me banned and spoke in my favor at the hearing, requesting that admins look at the actual talk page, the diffs they were showing were not accurate – and let me come and defend myself. All of their requests were ignored.

The ‘hearing’ was a farce of high order. All the evidence that was given in the form of ‘diffs’. None of the diffs supported the claim around them. All of these diffs were used as evidence of me disrupting the ‘Talk’ page. All the admins had to do was click on them to see a shell game was being played. They didn’t. Even uninvolved editors from the outside would come in and notice this. It didn’t matter.

I was then given the offer to post my comments to this trial on my user ‘Talk’ page.

Note that Tumbleman (talk · contribs) cannot edit this page because he was blocked for one week for socking. I suggest as a compromise, Tumbleman (talk · contribs) posts any comment to his talk page at user talk: Tumbleman and it can be copied here. Barney the barney barney (talk) 14:52, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Next Liz, an uninvolved and very respected editor on Wikipedia jumped in to challenge the nature of this trial.

Barney the barney barney, can you inform him of this opportunity on his Talk Page? I suggest that no action be taken until this questionable block is over and Tumbleman can fully participate here. I fully believe that Editors involved here will work to push this action forward and rush this through before the block is lifted. Liz Read! Talk! 16:16, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

James Watson, an admin who was ‘needling’ me on my talk page, then challenged Liz.

Do you have any grounds for that belief in bad faith on the part of other editors? JamesBWatson (talk) 17:03, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

I responded to James Watson’s inquiry on my talk page, since I was given the invitation to respond there.

My response to James Watson was

I was preparing that for the other arb case in which it was requested of me but I have been so busy with defending myself from these charges. When I provide them, can you assure me you will review them with impartiality? The Tumbleman (talk) 18:52, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

James Watson did not respond to my question. Liz however framed it from an uninvolved and independent point of view and responded to James.

JamesBWatson, the actions involving Tumbleman (launching a SPI, setting up this complaint), happened within the past three days. There is a hurried aspect to this all. The heated discussion on the Sheldrake Talk Page has been going on for weeks now but after Tumbleman was reported, another Editor who disagreed with IRWolfie- got a threat diff that he/she might be taken to Arbitration. AC/DS shouldn’t be a mallet…  it shouldn’t be that the winning viewpoint goes to the last person standing. Liz Read! Talk! 22:47, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

James Watson did not respond to Liz either. His only response, as an admin, was to warn me on my ‘Talk’ page that I was ‘abusing’  it in my attempts to defend myself.

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What was I doing wrong on my talk page?

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While I had one group of editors telling me I could defend myself on my talk page, I had another group of admins saying that I was abusing my talk page for doing so. Each statement IRWolfie made about me in my hearings I pinged him on my reply on my talk page, which was then used against me as further evidence I was trolling. Talk about a frustrating experience. No matter what action I took with what intention, it was all to be interpreted as evidence of me being a troll.

On my talk page, EEng and James Watson were baiting me during the trial, giving me conflicting advice and ‘needling’ reactions from me. What is disturbing to me is how EEng is framing his ‘advice’ – like he is genuinely interested in helping me. At the time I thought he genuinely was. After I was banned EEng was one of the principle Wikipedians who began to personally harass me on my talk page, attacking me as a troll and autistic.

What disturbs me about being called an ‘autistic’ (other than I am not autistic) is that if this was true – why would an editor abuse someone over a psychological ailment? To me this was evidence of a ‘poisoned’ online culture, where abuse could occur so often that genuinely offensive comments like this are not recognized as abusive.

Also, I was new to this process, if I was doing something wrong, I had no idea what it was and I am not sure what sort of reactions they wanted, especially because this experience is so upsetting. How would anyone respond to such harassment and harmful accusations? I was trying to maintain my center the best I could.

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My last comment as Tumbleman

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So I tried one last time to clarify to the admins – and I left this final comment, taking the ‘humble’ and honest approach which seemed like the only rational alternative to give them.

Floquenbeam (talk), Reaper Eternal (talk), MastCell Talk

My only intention on Wikipedia is to make better pages and help build a better NPOV consensus (ironic, considering what I’ve been accused of). I don’t have an ideological agenda, I’m not a pseudoscience believer and I’m agnostic towards Sheldrake’s theories. What I do believe in is building a rational consensus – and to that end I believe in the value of collective editing platforms….I also believe I can be a valuable editor to this community. I want you to believe that about me too. I’m sorry if my intentions were poorly communicated and apologize that my enthusiasm was seen as belligerence. I became interested in the Rupert Sheldrake page and focused on the talk pages to avoid edit warring, but I’m afraid that in my naiveté I stepped on toes and created a negative perception of myself that I deeply regret. I value my ability to help improve Wikipedia and will adjust my behavior to prevent the appearance of trolling. I strongly believe that if you take me at my word and allow me to do the work here that I believe I can do – you will not be disappointed. The Tumbleman (talk) 07:05, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Admin James Watson jumped in with his response directly back to me.

I am not sure whether I could possibly have made it any clearer that you were on the verge of having talk page access removed. However, not only have you continued to make posts here which come rather close to the borderline, but you have yet again pinged IRWolfie, which you cannot possibly have failed to realise would be provocative. As you had been told would be the case, your talk page access has therefore been removed for the duration of this block. As for your claims that you are prevented from taking part in the discussion on possible arbitration enforcement, that is complete nonsense, since you were invited to submit comments here, accompanied by a request to copy them to that discussion, and you have chosen not to take up that offer. JamesBWatson (talk) 12:28, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

I truly felt as if it was ‘Through the looking glass’ logic in a ‘Mad Max’ environment. I could hardly believe that on one hand JamesBWatson was telling me that I was lying that I was not given a voice in my hearing since I was allowed to post my responses on my talk page – and then telling me I’m abusing my talk page by responding to those charges, blocking me from that process.

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The Admin Ruling: Welcome to crazy town.

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Five admins immediately weighed in on the issue. With the exception of one admin MAST CELL, all of them abused me and called for my immediate sanction. None of them addressed any of the concerns, clearly none of them actually checked the evidence, and none of them checked to see the reference to a online discussion in 2005 as a personal attack.

Instead, I got this.

  • Sweet Jesus, what a time sink. The only reason I’m not blocking indef right now is because I’m only online for a little while tonight, and I can’t guarantee being available to reply to people who disagree (I’m disappointed to see there isn’t unanimity for blocking). But I’m all for pulling the plug on this now; This user is pure WP:SOUP, and I don’t see any reason to wait a week and let them play silly buggers here on this page too, or find some other topic area to do the exact same thing on. I can’t solve all the problems with that article talk page – I simply don’t have the time – but I can spot low hanging fruit when I see it. This is low hanging fruit. —Floquenbeam (talk) 23:13, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I personally think this is likely just a troll. The email he sent me did nothing to help me decide whether this is socking or account sharing. The CU data is consistent with account sharing. However, it is also consistent with somebody knowingly evading IP blocks, and messing up once. I’d also consider blocking the other, though technically  Unlikely, sock if he is indefinitely blocked, since it is from a similar location and the behavior is a perfect match. Reaper Eternal (talk) 02:34, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I’d support an indefinite block of Tumbleman per WP:SOUP, as argued by User:Floquenbeam. The editor seems not to be here to help the encyclopedia. Even when a person holds non-mainstream views you would expect to see some flashes of sincerity and a genuine point that they are trying to express. But Tumbleman seems happy to keep the discussion going in circles. EdJohnston (talk) 04:34, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
  • This is a thoroughly disruptive editor, and either a troll or else someone with serious WP:COMPETENCE issues, as well as a WP:BATTLEGROUND approach to other editors, and god knows how many other problems. I personally think that TROLL is more likely than COMPETENCE, but it really doesn’t matter which it is, as the end result is the same: an editor who gives no benefit to the project, and wastes a lot of people’s time that could be spent more constructively. The question is when, not whether, he eventually gets indefinitely blocked, and the longer we delay the more time is wasted. The only reason given in this section for not indef-blocking immediately is MastCell’s suggestion of waiting for the present block to expire, to give him a chance to respond here. However, I invited him to post responses on his talk page, together with a request for them to be copied here, and he has chosen not to do so. . JamesBWatson (talk) 13:12, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Result is indef block per WP:NOTHERE. Block applied, will close. Zad68 13:24, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

 

 

I was banned, for life, from editing on Wikipedia.  All any admin had to do was actually click on the links or diffs provided by the editors who wanted me banned.  All they had to do was actually see the evidence they were provided was dated back to 2005 and hosted on internet archives. Not one of them did. Specifically, James Watson came to my talk page to warn me twice that I was abusing it when I was posting my responses to defend myself.

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Support for Tumbleman

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This trial cause a bit of an uproar, not just with the other editors on the page, but a number of other bystanders and a challenge to the hearing being issued in a new AE filing.

  1. I just wanted to record my displeasure at the recent Tumbleman WP:AR. It seems that only admin MastCell was at least willing to wait before making a more circumspect decision. The rest of the process seemed not too dissimilar from Monty Python’s Life of Brian “Blasphemy” sketch. I am disgusted at thisWP:AR:
  2. It concluded in less than 24 hours, whatever happened to due process?
  3. Tumbleman has not even contributed, whatever happened to a right to reply, or providing his side of the story?
  4. Not one editing diff was provided showing inappropriate editing of any kind.
  5. No diff showing an initial warning from an involved administrator, as required by Discretionary sanctions.
  6. Blocked per WP:NOTHERE when his contributions to this page are demonstrably constructive.
  7. Two WP:AR administrators who should know better, in addition to editors, showing clear incivility with personal attacks, such as questioning his competence (WP:COMPETENCE).
  8. Of the nine editors who responded to the WP:AR request, five where clearly not in favour of sanctions against Tumbleman. That’s a majority of 55% against. Whatever happened toWP:CONSENSUS?
  9. Tumbleman has been blocked indefinitely.[31] This seems contrary to Discretionary Sanctions, which states that “sanctions imposed may include blocks of up to one year in length”.WP:AC/DS

I am dismayed at this flawed process, ashamed that Wikipedia allows this to happen, and not in the least bit surprised. —Iantresman (talk) 17:11, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Some Editors really know how to work the system. I’ll just say that I’m surprised that so many Admins came down so harshly upon an Editor who was participating in a content discussion. It makes me wonder who is next. It is really chilling. And if I’m accused of not AGF I’ll just say I’m assuming as much good faith towards others as they extended to Tumbleman. Liz Read! Talk! 17:48, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Forget weak consensus on the indef block, there was no consensus. I’m worried on what that could mean for others taken to AE. It’s certainly a matter that needs more looking into. KonveyorBelt 18:38, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

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Challenges to this AE hearing were ignored.

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A few days later, the AE trial was even challenged which you can find here. Editors again responded with supportive statements, evidence with diffs, and reasonable arguments. Nothing suggests that any of these comments are points that were considered by any of the involved admins.

I primarily hold Wikipedia editor Manul as they were the editor that initiated this crusade. Next, I hold editors IRWolfie, Barney the Barney Barney, Roxy the Dog, Red Pen of Doom and Miles Money directly responsible for this harassment and sharing of personal information to the Wikipedia community.

Yet after the hearing, I personally hold all WP admins and all the editors involved in making this case against me as evidence of online cyber bullying as a matter of arriving at consensus on Wikipedia. I don’t make that charge lightly. I also do not make that charge personally. I am making this charge, and am bringing it to the public attention so Wikipedia can be a better place. I expected some sort of harassing behavior from the activist editors on Sheldrake’s article, but not from the admins. The failure of admins to identify ‘cyberbullying’ as a tactic suggests Wikipedia is enabling this behavior which is surely to drive away interested editors.

 

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