I see that Ant has invited me to be one of a number of mediators. I am certainly flattered, and would be happy to serve in this capacity -- of course, I have been involved in conflicts with others that needed mediation ... I guess that is why there needs to be a number of mediators. By the way, for a variety of personal reasons I have not gotten involved in the list-serve discussion. I understand, in principle, why as the Wikipedia community gets bigger, a committee of mediators may be a good thing. Nevertheless, in the past it seems that the community has done a pretty good job of policing itself (in fact, so far this list seems more like a formal recognition of specific individuals who have at various times in the past intervened in some conflict in a constructive way; even if there were no committee I am sure the people on this list, and others, would continue to intervene constructively, at least sometimes). Maybe I am being insensitive to some of the issues that have been concerning many active contributors. But I have been around for a while now and have seen most conflicts work themselves out -- most contentious contributors either getting tired and leaving on their own, or growing and learning to work with others quite productively, and only a few major (and yes, I recognize, very irritating) cases that needed to be banned. So far there has been only one case of banning that I don't support -- although it involved someone who is also very difficult to work with, let alone mediate; in any event there seemed to be a healthy exchange of views on the listserve so I saw no point in getting involved. I also have to say, I am very wary of one aspect of the proposal: anonymity. Again, I understand in principle why this can be a good thing. But one of the things I value about Wikipedia is the relative transparency -- I mean, once someone becomes a member of the community as such by choosing a user-name, it is relatively clear to everyone what that person does. I'm concerned that anonymity suggests or will breed a certain elitism. Anyway. I am of course willing to be on such a committee if (and at whatever time) Jimbo and the community want -- just let me know, Slrubenstein
- Thanks for your answer Slrubenstein. You were invited *precisely* because you were one of the few able to work with this difficult user, and the very sign he has been banned (even temporarily) makes it obvious to me that there is perhaps need to work on other options, to complement the current (great) ones. This user was difficult, but some think he was also beneficial to Wikipedia. Consequently, its temporary banning, which was mostly meant as a warning, ended up in a poor way. Mediation would probably have been more appropriate. You showed yourself a very precious help with him on previous occasion, and it was greatly appreciated.
- Regarding anonymity, I may add that it is all relative, as developpers could always look for IPs in case of a problem. But I understand your concern. Similarly, the proposal of Alex, though not anonymous, would be to be off-line, ie, with no public visibility. This may also be problematic, or on the contrary could be seen as helpful. I suppose both public/non public and anonymous/non-anonymous have qualities and drawbacks.
- With thanks.
I've just read a lot more of the list-serve discussion and must admit to some confusion over the history of the discussion of this issue. I want to make sure nothing I have written has offended Anthere in any way as I value her participation in the community. I also do agree that discussing the idea of mediators or a committee of mediators is a good idea. But I think it may be premature to make, or ask for, nominations. It is an interesting idea, whatever my own reservations might be. I hope there can be serious discussion of it. Slrubenstein