User:GregG/Formal complaint about User:Conservative
To whom it may concern:
User:Conservative is one of our most prolific editors on Conservapedia. At this juncture, I have no plans to block him, and I am not requesting that this user be blocked. Rather, based on the patterns of abuse detailed below, I think that it is appropriate to seriously consider whether User:Conservative should retain administrative powers.
Specific patterns of abuse of administrative powers
Blocking reasons and enforcement of 90/10 rule
User:Conservative has regularly used his blocking privileges to block spam and vandal accounts, as would expected by someone granted with such privileges. However, User:Conservative has issued many blocks based on reasons not found in Conservapedia's policy. Additionally, User:Conservative has gratuitously made personal attacks in block reasons.
From June 2012, here is a representative list of blocks that I would consider abusive:
-  12:22, June 30, 2012 Conservative (Talk | contribs | block) blocked PrayingForKenToDie (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 1 year (account creation disabled) (Silly and/or foul username. Account may be recreated as a first name and last initial: lack of machismo, sour grapes global atheism is shrinking) (unblock | change block)
- The block is certainly valid, as the username is blatantly inappropriate, but User:Conservative has intoned that the blocked user is an atheist and lacks "machismo," both of which are personal attacks.
-  12:59, June 27, 2012 Conservative (Talk | contribs | block) blocked RogerTP (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 1 year (account creation disabled) (90/10 rule: excess of talk rather than edits to substantive entries: lack of machiso obviously upset that worldwide atheism is shrinking) (unblock | change block)
-  09:58, June 23, 2012 Conservative (Talk | contribs | block) blocked Willingham (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 1 year (account creation disabled) (90/10 rule: excess of talk rather than edits to substantive entries) (unblock | change block)
- Although the extant contributions appear to be 1 mainspace edit and 10 talk page edits, the edits appear to me to be insightful and not of the unproductive or argumentative sort that 90/10 is designed to curtail. Here is an example. 
-  15:42, June 17, 2012 Conservative (Talk | contribs | block) blocked KennethThePonce (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 1 year (account creation disabled) (lack of machismo) (unblock | change block)
- In lieu of supplying an actual block reason, User:Conservative appears to turn to personal attacks.
-  20:57, June 6, 2012 Conservative (Talk | contribs | block) changed block settings for Chuckdarwin (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 2013-06-07T01:56:09Z (account creation disabled) (user name policy: please consider recreating your account with a real first name and last initial: purveyor of pseudoscience) (unblock | change block)
- Another gratuitous personal attack.
-  07:21, May 31, 2012 Conservative (Talk | contribs | block) changed block settings for WilcoxD (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 2012-06-14T12:19:56Z (account creation disabled) (90/10 rule: excess of talk rather than edits to substantive entries: lack of machismo!) (unblock | change block)
- In addition to gratuitously insulting the blocked user, User:Conservative also appears to misapply 90/10. A list of WilcoxD's contributions before the block was issued shows 36 talk page edits (including discussion pages of non-articles, such as essay talk pages) and 60 non-talk edits, which clearly indicates a pattern of productive contributions to Conservapedia and certainly should have indicated that this user has not violated 90/10. In addition, User:Conservative made a gratuitous comment on Talk:Main Page  and when User:DavidMM asked about the rationale for imposing 90/10 on WilcoxD, User:Conservative responded by twisting 90/10 to apply to 10 consecutive talk page edits, and he jokingly implied that "lack of machismo!" was a sufficient block reason, further insinuating his personal attack on WilcoxD.
Excessive length of 90/10 blocks
The regular pattern of User:Conservative is to block accounts allegedly violating 90/10 for a period of one year, with account creation disabled. Many of these accounts have no extant contributions, and their user talk pages do not exist. Without a list of contributions, or any indication as to whether these editors have been warned of 90/10, it is impossible to say whether such a draconian sanction is appropriate.
Egregious disregard for Conservapedia's username policy to further unprofessional behavior (including trolling)
Conservapedia:How Conservapedia Differs from Wikipedia point #17 (in the current revision) states:
We do not encourage anti-intellectual editor names that are attracted to Wikipedia. For example, the Wikipedia administrator who initially deleted the entry about Conservapedia uses the name "Nearly Headless Nick." The Hartford Courant observed that another editor posted under the name "The Ostrich." These names send an inappropriate anti-intellectual message for an encyclopedia.
Special:UserLogin states about creating usernames that
Offensive user names will result in that user name being blocked and perhaps the IP address being blocked. Frivolous user names, names of prominent living persons, and user names consisting of, for example, all capital letters or all the same character, may also result in that user name being blocked. User names based on your real name or initials are preferred. Also, do not create multiple accounts.
One of the standard block reasons available for blocking accounts (see MediaWiki:Ipbreason-dropdown) reads
user name policy: please consider recreating your account with a real first name and last initial
The username rule is discretionary, just as enforcement of loitering ordinances is. When a user looks legitimate or has a legitimate track record, as this one does, then no blocking is appropriate.
It is clear that User:Conservative should have the privilege of keeping his username because of his many contributions to Conservapedia. In spite of this grant, User:Conservative has abused this privilege to engage in exactly the sort of anti-intellectual behavior, rampant on Wikipedia, that Conservapedia's user name policy strives to curtail. To my knowledge, User:Conservative has not publicly stated any legitimate reasons (such as witness protection, identity theft, public image on search engines, etc.) why his real first name cannot be disclosed.
Whereas most users are required to create a username based on their real name, User:Conservative refuses to identify which person or persons edit using that account. Recently, User:Conservative has used a charade of using both first person pronouns, I and we, in describing himself. As examples, see , ,  . However, he has also slipped and provided evidence that he is one person, see   , and he even corrected himself on one occasion . Such antics (which will not get a person very far in the academic world) are entirely inconsistent with the intellectual nature of Conservapedia.
Although Conservative fails to disclose a real name or the number of persons using the account, he nevertheless takes the opportunity to use other editor's real names to launch attacks and questions on their personal beliefs. I have been the subject of such inquiries and attacks. He badgered me to agree to a debate on evolution, see , , . He also questioned my belief in the Catholic Faith , , ,  (this diff was part of a response to my drafting this very page). Further, after I suggested the User:Conservative's previous comment went over my head, he suggested that I create an article on atheism and shortness  (diff where Conservative made the comment is not available, unfortunately). He also intoned that I was a "liberal atheist sympathizer" because I wanted to delete Gallery of obese atheists.  I am certainly not alone among the targets of User:Conservative's attacks; other users will undoubtedly have their own stories to share. (In fact, User:SharonW pointed me to the discussion at Talk:Atheism and obesity#Comment for User:Conservative.) I certainly feel my story is representative.
The clear pattern of behavior that has emerged is that User:Conservative asks those who disagree with him personal questions and makes personal attacks against them, while using anonymity (helped by his having a username that does not reflect his real name) to dodge similar inquiries and engage in behavior that is not appropriate for an intellectual encyclopedia. This is abusive.
Abuse of file and page protection
From what I can glean, User:Conservative was granted sysop status in February 2007 to make changes to evolution and other protected articles.  However, User:Conservative has abused page protection to protect his contributions from criticism and deletion. Many essays created by User:Conservative are permanently protected. As an example, looking at the pages found in Essay:Comedy and satires concerning atheism and evolution, all of them except for Essay: Where was Sam Harris when the New Atheists needed him?, Essay: Atheist James Randi and peanut butter, Essay: Atheists' meetings are currently protected from editing. Recently, when I nominated Gallery of obese atheists for deletion , User:Conservative moved the page, permanently protected it, and removed the deletion tag. It is clear to me that User:Conservative has been abusing page protection to prevent legitimate editing of his contributions and whether they belong in Conservapedia or should be deleted instead. This is a clear abuse of his privilege of protecting pages and editing protected pages.
User:Conservative also has a standard practice of protecting all pages in the File namespace. It is unclear what the purpose of this is, as my understanding is that only trusted users can upload images. Nevertheless, when User:Conservative fails to include relevant information about his contributed images, like where they came from, these concerns must be relegated to the File talk page that is not easily visible from the main File page. In fact, even when a File is deleted, the corresponding File talk page remains, for example, File talk:Internet.JPG and File talk:Dinosaur public domain.jpg.
It is appropriate to restrict editing pages that will likely be vandalized from vandalism by new editors. It is also appropriate to temporarily protect pages to allow for discussion of edits instead of edit warring. It is not appropriate for administrators to abuse protection to prevent their work from being "edited mercilessly" and subject to discussion of whether it belongs on Conservapedia.
Uploading copyrighted material and using it outside of fair use
User:Conservative has regularly uploaded copyrighted images (some of which are stock images available for sale or licensing) for use on this website. While they may certainly fall under fair use, the manner in which they are used decoratively is often antithetical to the four factors governing fair use. Examples include  and .
To User:Conservative's credit, he has appeared to take copyright considerations more seriously. Now, he uploads pictures in the public domain for use on Conservapedia. There is certainly a wealth of public domain photographs available, and I'm glad that User:Conservative is taking advantage of said cornucopia. However, because there is no telling as to whether this change in behavior is permanent, I will leave this section here for consideration.
Abuse of oversight/revision deletion
Although I have no direct evidence of oversighted pages available on Conservapedia (since I cannot view them and I have no idea whether they even still exist in the database), there is evidence that User:Conservative has abused oversight in discussions:
- User:Conservative has blocked several editors for 90/10 who currently have no or few visible contributions.
- User:SharonW has alleged abuse of oversight by User:Conservative, see  and 
If User:Conservative wishes to justify such deletions as having material that could have legal consequences if it remains publicly available (albeit not conspicuously available), he is more than welcome to do so. However, based on what evidence I can find, there is a serious issue as to whether User:Conservative has abused oversight privileges in discussions.
Abuse of mainpage editing privileges to excessively promote external websites
The main page and its two content templates, Template:Mainpageleft and Template:Mainpageright, are protected so that only sysops can edit them.   The main page contains many valuable links to external websites, such as websites that have news picks for the "In the news" section, as well as some thought-provoking writing at Conservative News and Views, to name a few examples. I'm not here to question the objectives of the main page. However, to me, it seems that User:Conservative has abused his privilege of editing the main page templates by aggressively promoting external sites such as http://creation.com and http://questionevolution.blogspot.com/, which are, to be honest, useful resources. A quick look at Template:Mainpageleft will show an abundance of links to those sites, to the detriment of other main page content. These links are also promoted on Template:Mainpageright in stories of questionable newsworthiness. However, since I am not in charge of the main page's content, I will leave this section brief. If User:Conservative's contributions to the main page are ultimately inappropriate, this goes to further support removing administrative powers.
It pains me to have to take several hours that could be spent contributing to Conservapedia's articles to write this complaint. However, based on the egregious ongoing abuse of administrator powers by User:Conservative, I feel that I am left with no other option but to respectfully request that User:Conservative have his sysop powers removed, in light of the evidence presented above.
I hope you will seriously consider this issue, and I will trust your judgment in this matter. Please feel free to ask any additional questions you may have.
GregG 17:54, 30 June 2012 (EDT)
- ↑ For the purposes of this discussion, the one or more natural persons who use the screen name User:Conservative will be treated as a single, male person. Although it is interesting to examine whether Conservapedia should allow shared accounts (Wikipedia's ban on shared accounts is based on the author attribution requirement, a requirement not present in Conservapedia:Copyright), it's not a question we need to resolve today
- ↑ Incidentally, User:Conservative engaged in a string of 42 edits, 39 of which were to talk pages, from June 20 through June 21, including 20 consecutive talk page edits.  
- ↑ Of course, User:Conservative may have access to no-longer-public contributions of these editors that may justify the block length. I am not aware of such exacerbating factors, though. In any case, if such talk page edits constituted trolling, User:Conservative had the option of indicating this by selecting the appropriate block reason or adding it.
- ↑ Although I said in charity that I appreciated his inquiry into my faith, I had no idea that it would be used as a springboard for User:Conservative to make further personal attacks. I don't think Christian users should have to face the Hobson's choice of refusing to deny that they are atheists or having their Faith maligned.
- ↑ This is not to say that such inquiries are appropriate; the issue is that User:Conservative engages in them without letting himself be subject to the same treatment.
- ↑ Here I do not make any opinion about whether the pages listed are actually comedies or satires; I solely list them as being included on the page Essay:Comedy and satires concerning atheism and evolution
- ↑ Again, it is unclear why User:Conservative has a pattern of deleting images he uploads, but that is beyond the scope of this complaint.
- ↑ This is not to say that their usage on Conservapedia constitutes copyright infringement, only that such usage would probably not comply with best practices involving the use of copyrighted works on educational websites like Conservapedia. I'm also not suggesting that Conservapedia adopt the draconian approach of the Wikipedia copyright police, see .