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My time at Wikipedia

Back in 2012, I estimate that I ranked somewhere around No. 5 as an active non-administrative editor at Wikipedia. I could boast tens of thousands of edits on as well as a clean eight-year track record. So what does it take for a senior editor to get banned? You can write an essay mocking a feminist friend of Executive Director Sue Gardner.

After I was banned at Wikipedia, I took my case to Wikipediocracy, a Wikipedia criticism site. They banned me almost immediately, like they knew I was coming. Gardner's clique apparently ran both sites at the time. Gardner left Wikipedia in May 2014.

My latest appeal got sixteen angry replies in the space of eight hours, an extraordinary response for an ANI post. According to the guidelines, the admin is always right and the sanctioned user must apologize. So there is a basis to reject my appeal. But not one response made a constructive suggestion of any kind. No one discussed how the appeal could be improved or what trust-building activity might be appropriate. Instead, the commenters attacked on my "mentality" and even described the appeal itself as "practically trolling." (Huh?)

Each discussion of my case has featured a different "real reason" as to why I was banned. The comments are always in synch with the current party line, and no one is confused as to which reason is the "real" one this time around. During my time on Wikipedia, I count five separate occasions when angry mobs came out of nowhere to dominate otherwise sleepy forums. In short, the system is rigged with eager-to-please editors notified through IRC, or however they do it.

Few of the editors who condemn me in the latest discussion have even one tenth the level of experience that I have. Several have less than one twentieth. Yet each and every one of them is confident that they understand Wikipedia better than I do.

Related pages

What I have written