Sunday, November 18, 2007

Durova bulldoza

Former WP admin Kelly Martin has retreated to catty comments on her blog. So a current WP admin named Durova has picked up the slack in creating drama, goofiness, entertainment and general good times. This admin fancies herself a super-sleuth at uncovering sockpuppetry and other evil conspiracies against the holy citadel of Wikipedia.

The Youtube video of Durova suggests a female Walter Mitty with dreams of exposing miscreants and malefactors. This impression is widely shared at Encyclopedia Dramatica and Wikipedia Review, which have gleefully recounted Durova's endless investigations of other WP editors to see if they're sockpuppets, trolls or witches.

Of course, sooner or later one of her crazed-Nancy-Drew trips had to go wildly wrong. Out of the deep blue sky, Durova dropped the banhammer on an established WP editor named !! (honest, that's his user name). A little over an hour later, she had to admit she got it all wrong, and she rescinded the ban. Screaming ensued. Swatjester more or less summed up my view of Durova's myopic private eyeing:

"The question here isn't 'was Durova wrong to have blocked !!', we already know the answer to that. The question here is why are we supporting a continuous failure to assume good faith, and what place does 'sleuthing' have on this project? I thought we were here to write encyclopedias, not to dig up dirt on other editors, certainly not to character assassinate them with evidence that won't be made public by someone heavily involved in the SEO industry using their proprietary tactics. That's just wrong to me. We don't answer to them, we answer to the community, and the community is obviously NOT O.K. with private sleuthing being used without revealing the evidence and the methods involved."

Durova is now running for ArbCom. I'm half-inclined to vote for her just for laughs. But she probably stands no chance after this fart-up. Maybe she'll go out in a blaze of glory and ban Jimbo as a sock of Rudy Giuliani.

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