Three-revert rule

Three-revert rule enforcement practices debated

The three-revert rule was debated extensively last week after long-time editor Steve Rubenstein was blocked for violating it.

The incident started with an edit war last Tuesday over the Race article between Rubenstein and Jalnet2. Jalnet2 asked for an administrator to block Rubenstein, and Dante Alighieri elected to block both users, since they had both violated the rule.

After he was blocked, Rubenstein posted a message on the mailing list, not asking to be unblocked but questioning the application of the rule itself. This prompted an extended debate, much of it about how literally to apply the rule. One of the main issues discussed was whether the rule deals with three reverts of the same content, or simply any three reverts of the same article, even if different material is involved.

Jimbo Wales commented that a fairly literal interpretation was needed to keep the enforcement process simple. While acknowledging that a mechanical rule was problematic, he argued that the rule "is necessary and useful *even though* it also has some unfortunate negative side effects."

Acidmonkey and CheeseDreams

After his return to editing, Rubenstein was soon involved in another incident that led to a request for arbitration. This involved Acidmonkey, who began making nonsensical edits to several articles where Rubenstein had been working, including Race. Most of the other articles were those where Rubenstein had been disputing with CheeseDreams earlier, leading to suspicions that this might be yet another of CheeseDreams' sockpuppets.

Apparent sockpuppet activity proliferated last week, starting with Tigermoon, who engaged in conversations with CheeseDreams to give the impression of being a different person (however, as OneGuy pointed out, it was rather unusual that Tigermoon responded to an email from CheeseDreams on a Wikipedia talk page). After an initial block was reversed, Tigermoon reinstated the same edit for CheeseDreams, and was thereafter blocked for one week.

More accounts followed, using CheeseDreams' usual pattern of small variations on her username, and were quickly blocked. Because CheeseDreams edits from a dialup connection, the IP autoblocker had little effect.

A conclusive connection between Acidmonkey and CheeseDreams was not established, but Acidmonkey was blocked anyway simply for vandalism. Ambi reported that after consulting with a developer, "it looks more likely than not that this is someone trying to set up CheeseDreams," rather than being CheeseDreams herself.

Over the course of the day on Saturday, several more IPs were blocked for 24 hours as vandalism continued. But since the matter could be handled normally under the blocking policy, the Arbitrators concluded that they did not need to accept Rubenstein's request to hear the case.

+ Add a comment

Discuss this story

To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache.
No comments yet. Yours could be the first!


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0