All about Liz Let’s Talk
Liz is one of the most respected editors I have encountered on Wikipedia. I believe she really looks at her work as a true service. Going to her talk page, it’s easy to see how much respect and community support she has. She has extended lots of good will on Wikipedia to other editors seeking out her clear and sensible voice.
Liz found ‘The Tumbleman‘ on the Administrator’s Noticeboards/Incidents, or AN/I. This is where editors come to bring their complaints about other editors and this was where the skeptical activists brought up the complaint of me spreading ‘conspiracy theories’ as an attempt to sanction me. Liz goes there to see if she can help in any mediation.
A neutral and uninvolved assessment
I’m uninvolved in the Sheldrake discussion but I went over to the Talk Page several times to read through the discussion over the past three weeks. I see the polarity that I’ve noted in previous discussion between skeptics and sympathizers. While I didn’t follow all of Tumbleman‘s arguments and comments, he shouldn’t be turned into a scapegoat for what is a very uncivil and heated conversation. This minor sock incident and some old message board comments from 2005 have been brought up and it’s grounds for an indefinite block? Sometimes, to the casual observer, it seems like AN, AN/I and ARBCOM are just a means for driving Editors who one disagrees with off of Wikipedia. And the more I dig into the ARBCOM case files, well, I see the same names come up again and again and again. Liz Read! Talk!22:02, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I don’t think I would have had the clarity of my case if it was not for the support from Liz during my trial. I was hoping I deserved it and Liz also had to take a lot of flak for supporting me too. But she still stuck to her guns and made a strong case for cool heads during my AE hearing.
Weeks later she even approached Zad68 on his talk page, questing him about my ‘suspicious’ banning. This can be found here.
I’m including Liz comments in this study because when it came to the skeptic activist behaviors, both her and I were witnesses to the same thing. If my study is a primary source, then her accounts would be a good secondary source for what happened.
Liz also has credibility on Wikipedia, something I naturally do not have. I’m hoping her words here can address the broader issue and problem.
Liz on the Tumbleman indefinite ban
I don’t know what their angle is beyond trying to silence you on this particular article. The detail some Editors have devoted to this sock investigation is definitely over-kill and I am a bit stunned at the apparent time and energy spent on compiling “evidence” and the minute dissection of how you phrase things and spell words.Truthfully, I think most people would let themselves be driven off by this barrage of negativity. But I hope you don’t go. I didn’t agree with you on some issues but Wikipedia needs all types of voices and perspectives to balance out their coverage. Liz Read! Talk! 04:51, 16 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)
Olive, another independent editor, also responded to Liz on the issue.
@Liz: How does an intelligent person react to the heated, often illogical arguments presented without the experience to see what the outcomes can be given the Wikipedia environment? What do they feel they have to do in desperation as they try to have their points heard. There are those who understand and have the experience to manipulate the system in favour of a world view. I believe this encyclopedia is collaborative, that behaviours that are deliberate attempts to damage other editors and get rid of them are the most egregious and in the long run the most dangerous to the collaborative environment, and to Wikipedia.(olive (talk) 15:43, 17 October 2013 (UTC))
Liz responds to Vzaak
After I was banned, Vzaak paid a visit to Liz’s talk page.
Hello, I appreciate many of the points you made at the Tumbleman AE. I would only say that it was not the right place to make those points. I was surprised that Tumbleman had supporters at all, since I don’t think he makes anyone look good…Tumbleman had harassed me about it on my talk page. It’s all nuts…I value your perspective in these Sheldrakian matters, which is why I want you to be informed about the absurd propaganda that’s part of all this. vzaak (talk) 17:53, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Liz’s response made her position clear.
…I appreciate you approaching me politely as I’m coming from an opposing viewpoint to yours….Without seeing your evidence, from where I’m standing now, it looks like an united effort was made to drive off an Editor that some others found annoying. And I find that tactic chilling.You will prove me 100% wrong if it turns out that those who are skeptical of Sheldrake can work constructively with those who support him to come up with a biography that has a NPOV. If I see other users receiving blocks for expressing their opinions, well, I guess I called it right. But I’d be happy to be proven wrong. Liz Read! Talk! 18:32, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Liz unfortunately was not proven wrong. Since I was banned, more editors have received harassment and more editors have been banned from the page.
Liz thoughts on ‘harassing’ skeptic activists on Sheldrake page and new case of harassment
A week after she addressed Vzaak, another editor on the board Lou Sander came by to request her voice on the Sheldrake article, to see if she could assist weigh in through the chaos of the problem. Lou was brought into a new AN/I case by user Red Pen of Doom for requesting Liz’s attention
Liz’s response to this was very human.
They have this lame, childish “let’s call everyone who disagrees with us a ‘troll’ and get them banned” attitude. You would think that if they were so sure of their position, they wouldn’t rely on tactics to remove opponents from the discussion, that they would let their superior argument help form consensus. Instead they annoy everyone at AN/I. They seem to prefer drama over compromise.By the way, I’ve noticed at least one account seems to be a SPA who just seems to be here to edit the Sheldrake article. And several accounts have less than 1,000 edits, for what it’s worth. Liz Read! Talk! 20:02, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
A number of the skeptic activist editors engaged with her on her talk page, challenging her position and informing her of the ‘skeptical point of view’ on how Wikipedia needs to handle matters of a biography of a living person.
It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that WP:NPOV does not require us to treat fringe theories as equal in scientific regard to the mainstream of actual present-day science, be theyindigo children, flat earth, scientific creationism or morphic resonance. —Orange Mike | Talk 19:37, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Liz, who continually expressed zero interest in Sheldrake has a topic, simply saw the same thing that seemed reasonable to many other editors
Orange Mike (and everyone else), Sheldrake’s article is a biography, it is not a page on Theories of Morphic Resonance. Of course the man’s ideas need to be included but the bulk of the article should be factual, about Sheldrake’s life and work. Within an article like this, of course, it can be stated that the science community doesn’t accept certain ideas. But at most, this is a paragraph or two of the entire article. You can present someone’s work without saying, “and this is TRUE” or “this is FALSE”. It just is. Present who the man is and let the reader pass judgment. Liz Read! Talk! 21:01, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I read over the Fringe Noticeboard today, Keithbob, and found it really depressing. It’s a very lop-sided discussion board, the participants seem to be in agreement that the goal is to get theories they find unacceptable to be identified as “fringe” and then they can be mocked. It seems like the view of the world is very black and white there. Liz Read! Talk! 21:32, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Liz’s POV on how ‘edit wars’ get played out on Wikipedia on ideological articles
- Since the body of the world’s scientists or theologians don’t gather together to debate these matters, it all becomes a race for sources that back up what you believe to be true. Instead of swords, people pull out references and duel with them. You would think the least painful resolution for all concerned would be compromise but it’s become a matter of ideology so people consider this a matter of TRUTH (WP:But it’s true!) so Editors are reluctant to back down from their entrenched positions.
- From what I can gather, the most common way for disagreements on contentious subjects to be settled on Wikipedia is:
- outnumber your opponent by bringing in reinforcements
- overwhelm them with data/references and ask them to refute each one
- get them kicked off of WP for 3Rs or edit warring
- someone gets frustrated, angry and gets bounced off WP for launching a personal attack or
- you wear your opponent down until they get tired of the fight and leave