The Signpost

+ Add a comment

Discuss this story

  • I fear I find reposting an email here is certainly unacceptable, whether one finds its earlier reposting to the mailing list improper or not. Collect (talk) 20:16, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    • Why? It's already the matter of widespread public discussion. We can't put that genie back in the bottle. Gamaliel (talk) 20:21, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
      • Yes, no use closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out. But I have to say that User:Peteforsyth was completely out-of-line releasing a private e-mail without permission. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:33, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
        • Jimmy Wales and I have never had a substantive professional relationship. There is no reason for him to expect that I would keep an unsolicited email private; he never requested that I do so; and he himself has not, to date, expressed any concern about my having shared such an email. He was welcome, of course, to continue the discussion he put in motion by sending me this unsolicited email; but my reply went unanswered. I violated no agreement, nor even any request, by publishing the email. -Pete (talk)
        • However, I did not take the decision to publish such an email lightly. I did ensure that Doc James consented, since he was the one who was insulted in the message. As I said on the list:
          Manipulative behavior thrives in an environment where a person can say different things to different audiences, and can speak freely with the expectation they will not be held accountable for their words. -Pete (talk) 21:06, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
            • As I stated on the mailing list, there is not much one can say in response to an email such as Jimmy's.[1] I was and am more than happy to discuss the evidence behind my statements or to clarify my position but I do not see his email to me as a request for such a conversation. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:25, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
              • Here's an observation I've made over the years, in part based on my own experience, in part part based on other incidents (I hope this stuff helps explain a dynamic, but sadly it never seems to do any good): In some disputes, I believe Jimmy Wales interacts with people as if he is a senior executive or superior officer who is "chewing out" a lowly subordinate. I mean in that sort of style, that social mode. That is, he's not looking to have "a conversation" with you, on terms of equal status. Rather, he's giving you a chance to explain yourself to an angry superior, in the presumed context of having done something very wrong. You're expected to endure the recitation of how you have messed up due to personal failings, and to be contrite to him. Note this often does not work well when the other person doesn't think of themselves as being "outranked", much less as having done something very wrong. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:46, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
                  • I think it would do not only Jimmy but the rest of the movement good if he stood for community election in 2017. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:51, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
                    • Not going to happen. He's a former options trader. He doesn't make bets where he has little to gain and much to lose. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:58, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
                      • I think the same was sort of said before a few other recent major changes. If there was a RfC with a super majority in support it would be hard to say no. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:20, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Par for the course for Wales to engage in personal attacks like that. DuncanHill (talk) 21:38, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
agree that email reflects poorly on the sender--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 22:01, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Maybe my view is coloured by years as a committed trade unionist, but to my mind any manager who would speak to one of their subordinates like that (and in writing!) would be guilty of workplace misconduct. If that email was sent from a superior at my current place of work, and the recipient complained, they'd have a fair bit of explaining to do to HR. Lankiveil (speak to me) 03:23, 14 March 2016 (UTC).[reply]
  • Lankiveil, you definitely work in a far more civil & fair environment than the ones in the US I am familiar with. Complaining to an American HR about an abusive boss is (at best) a waste of time, & (at worst) begging to be fired. (And I regret I have say that.) This is probably why Wales thinks he can get away with that. -- llywrch (talk) 05:59, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Good idea. WMF's director's name is Kat! --violetnese 23:06, 13 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I just read the entire email thread. I recommend that others trying to understand all of this do the same. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:05, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Starting from where? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 11:25, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Start at and keep hitting the next message link. There are currently 37 messages in the thread. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:55, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I do think people are reacting viscerally to this email. The root of the whole imbroglio is very likely a communication problem. Jimmy appears to be trying his best to get to the root of the later disagreement, even if his phraseology might not be ideal, it is far better than things that have been said publicly by both sides. A "sit down" with an honest broker would not necessarily be a bad thing. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 14:15, 14 March 2016 (UTC).[reply]

Telling someone they're either dishonest, an idiot, or over-emotional, is never a way to start a constructive conversation. And as Lankiveil says, such an email would result in disciplinary action against the sender in many companies. I'd also suggest anyone who thinks it is ok try sending something similar through the Wikipedia "email this user" function to half-a-dozen admins, and seeing how long they retain the ability to use Wikipedia email, or even to edit. DuncanHill (talk) 14:46, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
User:Rich Farmbrough you mention worse thing being publically stated by both sides. I am unclear where I have made personal attacks against JW. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:31, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I can assure you, from discussions with fellow Wikimedians, that you are by no means a "side" of one person.
But the important point is that you and Jimmy are talking past each other. From the outside I see that both your positions can be compatible with different scenarios where neither party is behaving deliberately badly.
If so, it would be good if this could be clarified, lessons learned and we all move on. I am aware that is a difficult thing to make happen. You would have to both feel it "worth the candle", and even then it may not get any further than "He thought I meant X, when I meant Y, and there's no convincing him otherwise."
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:59, 14 March 2016 (UTC).[reply]
Yes we have of course disagreed regarding the correct interpretation of the KF grant application and documents. But I do not see stating that we disagree as a public personal attack. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:12, 14 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]


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