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Did Fram harass other editors?

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By Smallbones

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Fram has elsewhere posted an extensive reply to the anonymous accusation that he posted a sexually harassing link. He says the Signpost would not link to his reply for certain reasons. Be that as it may, we should keep in mind that Fram is currently banned from responding to these anonymous accusations over here. I would be very upset if I were in the position of the Signpost posting serious accusations against me which I was not allowed to reply to. Haukur (talk) 19:59, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Fram has had lots of chances to respond and told me to go ahead with the story yesterday. Perhaps he likes the attention, I don't know why, but he was very cooperative with the investigation. There are some pretty strict rules (both for journalists and for Wikipedians) that I have to follow, and lots of people are watching the articles. If anybody sees me breaking a Wikipedia rule, please do let me know. So there are things I can't put into articles and things I can't link to. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:15, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Well, one thing you can do as a journalist is to verify accusations you get from your sources before printing them anonymously. The source says "Fram repeatedly posted a link to this depiction". Have you confirmed to your satisfaction that this is a fair description of the event in question which gives your readers an accurate impression of the incident? It seems to me, from a brief investigation, that it paints an utterly misleading picture. Haukur (talk) 20:31, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I sometimes saw blunt and harsh behavior from Fram but I do not think I saw what I considered harassment. But, you know, none of us see everything that happens, even if we spend time going through someone's edit history. From the time I've spent on ANI, it's extremely rare for one diff or two to convincingly display a personal attack that the majority of editors will acknowledge is a personal attack. Unless a person uses specific words that everyone agrees are crossing the line, many editors commonly justify rude behavior by looking at the reputation and contributions of the accuser and the accused and basing their judgment on those factors, not on the behavior that is involved in the complaint. And if the harassed is an IP or newbie? There is a zero to slim chance that they will be defended against an experienced editor. Out comes the boomerang. That's just the pervasive bias that runs throughout Wikipedia and I don't foresee that changing any time soon. And it's why I advise newbie/IP editors never to come to ANI with their complaints because that action will most likely backfire on them. Liz Read! Talk! 20:41, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Seconding this query. I'm a female editor who has interacted with Fram and was not approached to comment. Espresso Addict (talk) 22:42, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
How we should do this is a much more difficult question, and I am not implying that I think arb com as presently constituted is necessarily the way to do it. But perhaps the worst way is actions by individuals not answerable to the community, operating in secret , and not accepting the possibility of appeal. It's the exactly wrong direction. I can understand my colleagues on arb com not wanting to get involved; I cannot understand those in the WMF who thought their method would be an improvement--I can only assume they found themselves so frustrated by the current situation that they lost all sense of proportion. DGG ( talk ) 03:01, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

So 9+2 = 11 who felt or saw harassment is one set of 11 and 9 + 2 = 11 the number of respondents is the other set of 11.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:33, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  • I can remember when I started out, back in the days when you could easily upload any old shit you found on the internet, being repeatedly shouted at for uploading copyright violations. I learned quickly, but it was incredibly demoralising, I do remember that. I do try and leave customised, friendly messages for users when I can to make it less demoralising. I think part of figuring out a proper answer to this whole mess will be to de-personalise things like warnings and sanctions for copyright violations or BLP violations - moving away from administrators leaving warnings and having educational content for copyright violations or generating citations included within the editing interface, so it becomes "Wikipedia helping you work out this problem" rather than "that cunt Nick is stopping me from uploading files AGAIN". Nick (talk) 10:19, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Mr Ernie Did the admin's response restore your morale? Did it somehow make you a better editor, to be told that you could stuff your feelings? Did that reply improve the encyclopedia in any way? Or, with the benefit of hindsight, would an interaction such as Nick describes striving for produced the same effect in terms of influencing what you do without the offensive and demoralizing aspect? Is Nick's more thoughtful approach to user interactions detrimental to the quality of the encyclopedic content being produced? MLauba (Talk) 10:30, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Obviously there was a better way to handle the communication with me, but that wasn't my point. My point is that it should not be considered harassment to correct someone's mistakes or prevent them from making more. We are starting to blur the lines between encyclopedia building and social media, with regards to interactions. Is harassment a problem? Of course, and we need to tackle it, but not everything is harassment just because someone thinks so. Mr Ernie (talk) 11:13, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Nick - T&S look at years of post history of both the complainant and the person accused of harassment. They don't only look at the complaint without any context. Wikipedia has tolerated abusive harassment for far too long and the WMF action is welcome. DanBCDanBC (talk) 10:55, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • 1. The sourcing was dubious at best (anonymous "accusations"?) 2. Signpost isn't a newspaper, let alone a "newspaper of record". It's a semi-internal newsletter that has to fall in line with the extant policies, including WP:BLP. - SchroCat (talk) 14:00, 3 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    1. From the discussion above, it sounds like multiple people were anonymous sources for the story. You may not like anonymous sources, but that's not nothing. 2. For better or worse (and it sounds like you view it as the latter) the Signpost absolutely is akin to the "newspaper of record" for the Wikipedia community. And it's a bad look for the community to delete an article in such an organ. That said, it is also a "bad look" for the WMF to circumvent the community to ban an administrator for a year without even consulting Arbcom--which the Signpost also did a good job of highlighting, so it's not as if they're somehow not being evenhanded in their reporting. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 16:12, 3 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1. Did you read the article while it was still live?
2. Just repeating the statement with bits in bold doesn't make something true. I'm looking for anywhere that claims Signpost is a newspaper of record, and I can't find anything. Please note Newspaper of record actually means something: please don't cheapen the language by claiming something that isn't. - SchroCat (talk) 17:24, 3 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1. No. I thought I made that fairly clear in my first post. 2. Stop being tendentious. Of course there's no place that literally uses the words "newspaper of record" in relation to the Signpost. You know very well I'm referring to the practical purpose it serves, given that there's no other journalistic endeavor here on Wikipedia that covers the project the way the Signpost does. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 21:02, 3 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1. I find it interesting you're passing judgement on the sourcing without having read it. It was an attack piece about the level of the Daily Mail. It breached WP:BLP.
2. I'm not being tendentious at all. This is a newsletter, not a newspaper. It's not run by journalists or professionals who understand journalistic ethics, practice or standards. In the past I've run a publication with a circulation of a few thousand, and I know what a newsletter looks and feels like: Signpost is that and nothing more. - SchroCat (talk) 22:03, 3 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1. No, I'm not. I'm commenting on how the sourcing is described in the above discussion. I couldn't actually read the article because it was, you know, deleted. 2. For better or worse (and you clearly think it's for worse), the Signpost is the only journalistic (or journalistic-adjacent, if you prefer) endeavor covering Wikipedia from the inside. And deleting an article like this (instead of, say, blanking it, for example) is not a good look. (Note: My comments here are not in support of the ludicrous, norm-shattering unilateral ban that T&S placed on Fram's account. I do not support that. I just also do not support what happened to this article.) Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 18:58, 4 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
1. Before you try and pass judgement next time, prehaps you should try and do so from a position of knowledge. Everyone else in the thread had read the article before commenting. (It was a BLP violation, and, as you may know, such infringemets cannot stand - that is one of our main policies.
2. It's not even close to journalism (except in the manner of a Daily Mail or National Enquirer opinion piece. The opinions of a very small group of WP editors is not journalism - it's only their opinion. You may not like it being deleted, but if people breach WP:BLP, then they shouldn't run trash pieces on fellow editors based on uninvestigated half-truths and innuendo. If you can't see what is wrong with that, then I doubt I'll be able to persuade you otherwise. - SchroCat (talk) 19:49, 4 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Hallward's Ghost: I've not seen anyone dispute that Smallbones' quotes were genuine quotes he received from email communications, so yes, in the sense you mean the article was sourced, and there were 13 different sources. SchroCat is being rather disingenuous by fighting to delete the article and then attacking people from having not read it, particularly by dancing around points you make that are factually correct ("it sounds like multiple people were anonymous sources for the story"). BLP does not apply to pages that aren't hosted on Wikipedia so I can safely tell you that this Slate article links to an archive of the Signpost article, if you want to take SchroCat up on their suggestion, Before you try and pass judgement next time, prehaps you should try and do so from a position of knowledge. You might also be interested in leaving a statement at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Disputed Signpost article, a potential Arbcom case about the Signpost article and its deletion. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 15:57, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • "SchroCat is being rather disingenuous by fighting to delete the article and then attacking people from having not read it". Nice. And untruthful too. I'm not fighting to delete the article: it's already been deleted. I'm not attacking anyone: I'm questioning why someone has commented without having read the crappy unbalanced attack piece in the first place. Nice bit of soft canvassing, by the way. - SchroCat (talk) 16:46, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thank you for the ping, and for the link. I'll take a look at the Slate article, and will consider writing up a statement for that case. However it doesn't seem Arbcom is willing to step in, so perhaps it's a moot point now? As for SchroCat, given his last reply, I agree with your assessment of disingenuity, and will no longer be replying in that conversation. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 16:32, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Wow. Just read that article, and it was quite fair. Smallbones included extensive quotes from Fram in replying to those who felt harassed. It wasn't one-sided, and I have no idea how it was ever considered a BLP violation. While I disagree with the WMF foundation's 1-year block, deleting that article seems like a fairly obvious attempt to obscure the very real issues that Fram has (had) as an administrator. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 16:43, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • PMSL! Yeah, sounds like you've "investigated" the background, context and events as deeply as Smallbones. If I say "I saw Editor X harass someone", then it be readily believed? Of course not (unless the reader is exceptionally gullible). None of those accusations (including two from anonymous sources) had a single diff by way of evidence. Yeah: if you can'tsee where unproven accusations (incuding from unnamed sources) does not breach BLP, you have no place writing anything of note on an encyclopaedia. - SchroCat (talk) 16:46, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • The anonymous sources have clearly provided evidence to Smallbones but diffs would immediately reveal their identities. It is basic human decency to let a victim of sexual harassment, or even an alleged victim of sexual harassment, maintain anonymity for their own mental wellbeing. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 21:35, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • 1. It is not clear what they have done at all. 2. You are ignoring the accusations from the named editors who neglected to provide diffs (or if they did, they were not published). Such important claims need evidence. I am in no way defending Fram in this thread: ArbCom will be taking this up shortly as the appropriate venue. The irregular newsletter, published by amateurs with no background or training in identifying or investigating harassment is in no way the place to try and hold a kangaroo court. - SchroCat (talk) 05:39, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
The Signpost is not a place to publish anonymous defamatory/inflammatory claims (regardless of how true they might be) and the article had multiple egregious violations of WP:BLPTALK. Giving Fram an opportunity to reply does not in any way alleviate those BLP violations. WP:BLPTALK applies to it just like it applies to every other place on Wikipedia. These would not have be tolerated in userspace, they would not have be tolerated in The Bugle or any other newsletter on Wikipedia. The Signpost isn't exempt from our policies for as long as it remains published (or distributed) on Wikipedia. While I don't doubt this was published in good faith, it is yet another example of astoundingly poor judgment from Signpost EiCs. Kudos to Jehochman for enforcing our policies, even when they are unpopular. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:37, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Where is the place then? Arbcom have refused to investigate the charges and WMF can't take action without causing half of the userbase to retire. Other avenues have failed. Our bureaucratic and deeply ineffective structures for dealing with harassment have failed to do anything to help the toxic and disgraceful atmosphere found on Wikipedia; there's no existing body of authority we have that is effective at taking a stance against harassment or that can do anything to help the waves of editors who are driven away by the abuse they face here. ANI, Arbcom and the WMF cannot be trusted; it's time to spread word out about the problem and time for the community to take a new approach. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 21:35, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • have refused, not are refusing. A subtle point I should have made clearer. They've declined cases and ignored private confidences about Fram in the past. This is part of their consistent pussyfooting around issues of harassment. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 22:02, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • And given that we are not privy to what they received, we can't judge whether or not declined to take on the cases was the right call or not. It's not because someone complains that there is merit to the complain. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:14, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • But that's completely the point of the Signpost article! We are privy to it. The anonymous sources said what they reported to Arbcom, and Fram corroborated that the incidents happened but took issue with the specifics of some of the cases. The article quoted a person who in no uncertain terms said that they reported a serious sexual harassment allegation to Arbcom, and they just shrugged and ignored it. I cannot trust a body which declined this without further investigation to take a tough stance on harassment. I think anyone who can has been too heavily desensitised by the hostile, aggressive and unempathetic culture of the nastier side of this website's community. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 22:24, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
That someone didn't get their way does not make publishing anonymous allegation any less of a WP:BLPTALK violation, or any more acceptable. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:28, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
This isn't a relevant response to someone saying "sexual harassment allegations are not being taken seriously on this website". This isn't a relevant response to someone saying "Arbcom cannot be trusted and here is evidence of why". It's absolutely callous to call a person who has spoken out about their declining mental health when editing this website "someone who didn't get their way" and to dismiss their story without further thought. Answer this point blank: do you think that if an editor is accused of sexual harassment by another editor acting in good faith then that should be investigated? If your answer is yes then you should be outraged that Arbcom did not do so in the past when presented with the opportunity to. If your answer is no then I don't know how to begin to convince somebody of why sexual harassment is bad. And note that you can substitute "sexual harassment" with "multiple accounts of different instances of harassment" if you prefer. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 22:56, 5 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Bilorv, you might wish to note that an arbitrator has already noted that the one alleging such grave stuff is mis-remembering the details. That's as close as she can get, w/o (outright) branding that as a falsification and an attempt at stoking up drama (which it is).
The allegations are easily recognizable to anyone, who was there during those times and the issue had been brought to general attention, earlier. The frivolousness of the allegations is the very reason, that nobody was bothered.
The alleger may feel otherwise but continuing to forum-shop is disruptive and indeed, reverse-harassment. WBGconverse 06:11, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Winged Blades of Godric: Relevant though this is, you'll note that it wasn't the only case reported to Arbcom and turned down, and one of the cases that Arbcom turned down was serious enough for WMF employees to decide to ban Fram for a year. Now that doesn't mean the ban was right (and it certainly wasn't made and enforced in the right way) but by god it means the situation was serious enough for Arbcom to investigate. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 09:58, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Bilorv, who told you that :- one of the cases that Arbcom turned down was serious enough for WMF employees to decide to ban Fram for a year? What led you to so-confidently determine one of the declined case about Fram, as the causal agent behind his ban? How do you disprove that the ban did not stem from any edit/action, that we might have missed in entirety or say, from something which might have made it to ANI but not to ArbCom or say Fram's long-term cumulative behaviour? WBGconverse 15:06, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
There's no point in replying to each of these Gish gallop of questions individually, because each of them misses the thrust of my argument. If the WMF ban was a result of long-term cumulative behaviour then that's still something Arbcom should have investigated, as several cases were brought to them. I don't want to here about the lawyering pedantry of Arbcom's case filing rules or how no case without the exact same wording as those sent to WMF was brought before Arbcom. My point is that here's a case of serious and repeated allegations of harassment and Arbcom did not investigate it; thus, it cannot be trusted to deal with issues of harassment. You'd be better engaging your critical thinking faculties if you tried to look for more steel and less straw, and responded to the high level points I'm making rather than making cheap shots at my wording. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 15:36, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
The point can very well be that someone thought Fram need to be pulled down but knew very well, that he was the one who (actually) ought be faulted, shall someone dig fair and deep. So, they bypassed ArbCom and forumshopped leveraging T&S. If you are free to assume, so am I. ArbCom did not investigate it, because they were determined to be not worth it, per ongoing community standards and that T&S have acted, does not in any manner, justify the worth, retrospectively either. Your arguments continue to make zero sense (you started off with sexual harassment and when pointed out of its falsity, quickly changed it to yet another wrong assumption) and piecewise bad arguments don't ever make a minimally good argument in totality, much less a high level one. Bye, WBGconverse 16:39, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Amusing as your edit summary personal attacks on my intelligence are, they're hardly convincing. I moved away from the sexual harassment allegation because, as I said right from the first comment I mentioned it in, there are 10 other harassment allegations which also need to be taken seriously, and "debunking" one of the 11 cases does nothing to discredit my overall argument. What you assume disregards the broader context of Wikipedia's well-known hostile climate of harassment and bad behaviour, and assumes that 11 individual accusations of harassment are without merit, whereas I am simply assuming that one of them had enough merit to warrant an investigation—not necessarily even any action, but simply giving some of the people who feel they have been harassed a fair opportunity to put forwards their case. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 11:16, 8 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Again, Wikipedia has a policy against making such accusations. See WP:BLPTALK. They can either go to ANI and show proof of harassment, go to ARBCOM, go to literally any newspaper they want (as in actual newspapers, not bound by Wikipedia policy), or to the police. The Signpost isn't the place to publish anonymous, potentially libelous accusations and litigate them. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:26, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
As for whether or not I "should be outraged that Arbcom did not do so in the past when presented", that very much depend on what ARBCOM saw and had for evidence. You presume guilt as if irrefutable proof was provided and ignored. I presume the evidence was either lacking or insufficient. Neither of us know. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:31, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, go to ANI, very funny, but what would you suggest in seriousness? ANI is a toxic cesspool filled with harassers and people with popcorn waiting to laugh at you; it's no place for resolving harassment, and in fact one cannot go to Arbcom until ANI has already been tried. The police is an even funnier suggestion; they refuse to investigate actual death threats made by trolls who have found out your address, as Wikipedians should well know. They would do nothing but laugh if a Wikipedian told them they'd been experiencing harassment. And now that you've failed to suggest an avenue at which someone could get a harasser to stop their harassment, we're getting back to the point that you've been ignoring this whole time: ANI, Arbcom and the WMF cannot be trusted; it's time to spread word out about the problem and time for the community to take a new approach. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 09:58, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Consider that if you have issues trusting "ANI, Arbcom and the WMF", you might find your time is better spent elsewhere than on Wikipedia. One thing Wikipedia clearly isn't for is publishing anonymous and unsubstantiated accusations. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:17, 8 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I'm interested in contributing to articles, unlike many of the busybody admins we have. I notice you are too, which makes this a very odd suggestion; surely you didn't join Wikipedia because you thought that its bureaucracy was excellently-designed. I see the point of this project as collecting the sum of all human knowledge, and to that end ANI, Arbcom and the WMF are all able to be reformed or replaced if they aren't effective in furthering this goal. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 17:06, 8 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]


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