Given the history and behavior of user: StevenOstrowski, a consensus was taken of the wiki users to resolve an action to hopefully lead to a better community.

Options

A

- retracted -

B

Implemented: Lock Steve out of entries specifically and allow all others to edit the pages like normal. Ban Steve's fake accounts. He would be free to contribute to discussion on the Talk pages and to edit the other pages around the wiki as usual.

C

(This option added hours after B was implemented.) Implemented: Banish the user from the editorship of the wiki.

Discussion

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2007-09-06 12:12:34   Sounds good to me. When you say new users though, do you mean newly registered users or just anybody that hasn't posted on one of his pages yet? —BradBenedict

  • It would work like a spam whitelist. Here's the first revision of the notice: —jw

Unable to include ProtectedEntry

2007-09-06 12:18:04   I think it should be tried on a trial basis and assess its effectiveness on a regular basis. —JamesSchwab


2007-09-06 12:18:04   I think, if Steve is to be locked out of entries, that it would be good to just lock him out (and ban his fake accounts) and not instead create this "whitelist" style system. The wiki should be free for all to edit. I greatly oppose a whitelist-style system. I think we should do B. —PhilipNeustrom

  • The goal is to prevent a flurry of fake accounts and whack-a-mole. It's a whitelist rather than blacklist for the same reason it works well for spam. It creates a nasty gatekeeper system, but I can't see any other *practical* method. I think this might be a solution that could work, as opposed to banning, which is exclusionary, incites petty warfare and is ultimately ineffective. If he hadn't already pulled a series of sockpuppets, both blatant and subtle, I'd agree with just locking him out. This falls into the category of "it's a bad solution, but the best of the bad ones". Let me be very clear — I also agree this is a bad idea. That's why I numbered the proposal and did it as a proposal. It is just the best of the bad ideas I could find. —JabberWokky
    • The amount of work required by admins to maintain this "good approved wiki editor list" is greater larger than the amount of work required to ban his occasional fake accounts. There are also philosophical issues (elitism, mostly) that come with such a list. Why dive into a complex proposal rather than trying out something simple like locking him out first? We can see how that goes and adapt accordingly. I think the overwhelming consensus of the community is that Steve ought not to be able to edit a few particular problem pages, but that Steve himself is someone who could potentially contribute to the wiki in positive ways. —PhilipNeustrom
      • Yeah, I hated the idea as well. I just wanted to propose anything other than kicking a member of the community out of an open community resource. You could have pointed out the simple solution when I emailed you. ;) (note to everybody else... he did point it out in his reply, but I didn't parse it until after I had posted the proposal). No worries... a group with one account in it is a blindingly obvious thing that didn't occur to me because I was so worried about dealing with escalation. No need to worry unless it occurs. —JabberWokky

2007-09-06 12:48:42   'b' sounds cool. —PxlAted


2007-09-06 12:53:25   Let's hope he doesn't start editing from other places to try to get around the ban. I'm glad that the madness has subsided for now. —KarlMogel


2007-09-06 14:05:50   If we're locking Steve out of pages that he tends to allow no changes to, I certainly hope that we are also applying that rule to other people who do the same. Double standards are lame. —JoseBleckman

2007-09-06 14:10:32   Who does the same? —JamesSchwab

2007-09-06 14:13:42   Take a gander at any revert war that goes on and on without either (or one side) attempting compromise edits. —JoseBleckman

2007-09-06 14:17:04   Commissioner Bleckman, I don't know of anyone else who won't allow changes to a page. I mean, sometimes I get on my high horse, but when I realize that a lot of people are against me, I just go to sleep and let others sort out the debate. Fundamentally, a wiki is made to edit. Those who don't want it edited and who have been told repeatedly over months that they weren't playing fair — sure, I think we can lock those people out of certain pages.

Or, you know, just ban them and get it over with. —BrentLaabs

2007-09-06 17:13:40   No one else edits as he does. Who else has ever been like this on multiple pages? He always tries to keep info secret and refuses to ever do anything about it. That's not a double standard at all. It's more than "just reverts" which is why I vote ban. —EdWins


2007-09-06 17:22:34   Steve has contributed almost NOTHING of value and his antics have gone on for too long. Sure, B is good because it ended these current edit wars. However, Steve's going to keep on editing in the same way and we will simply have to keep on adding to the list of pages that he isn't allowed to edit. The work required to maintain such a list is not justified in light of the quality and nature of the other non-controversial edits that he makes. Additionally, B is not sufficiently punitive. Steve has blatantly disregarded wiki-norms for months and has gotten away with his behavior with little consequences besides losing his edit wars. A ban would be most appropriate. It's a permanent solution to the problem that is Steve. It also will signal that we as a wiki are tired of funny business and will not tolerate repeated, intentional, and malicious disregard for community standards. —WilliamLewis


2007-09-06 17:26:43   There was only one option up on this page (the first was taken off in hours?), and it was implemented almost instantly. I disagree. JabberWokky made the proposal, but I don't think it was a fair set of choices from what's been voiced.

From the last 48 hours on the ban page, several people voiced in favor of banning: me, Karl, SteveDaubert, JesseSingh, WilliamLewis, Pxlated, BradBenedict (6monthban), JamesSchwab. There were also many votes prior to the last 48 hours as it's a rather long page, but not including those. (Though it's indicative of former frequent editors opinions which (imo) are still valid and just shows that theres a lot of people in favor of banning).

JasonAller posted said he doesn't prefer a ban, but wanted a limitation. No one posted in SO's favor (JabberWokky asked if anyone would defend him). Several people called for a ban yet again, none defended, and yet banning isn't even on this proposal, which was implemented immediately? Maybe people are fine with choice "b" now, but if banning wasn't even offered....I don't really feel like that's appropriately representative. That is, unless B is temporarily implemented until a ban takes place? Are people waiting for more feedback? It's not really clear. —EdWins

You're right — the community heavily favors a ban, but there's a couple of (older) exceptions. The reason why I said we ought to just lock him out, and allow him to edit other pages, is that it encourages — or at least gives him the option — of contributing elsewhere. I was thinking that it would decrease the likelihood that he'll "play nasty" and try and create sockpuppet accounts because he still has general wiki editing privileges, just not on a couple of pages. In the past, with the other person we'd banned, it became a bit of a nightmare (for admins) because the individual felt it necessary to continually circumvent bans. By allowing Steve to be a legitimate user we can send the message that we want him to use his normal account for all of his edits.

We should do what the community wants. We'll ban him if that's what people really want, but keep in mind that it will probably create more trouble than its worth, at least for the admins. —PhilipNeustrom


2007-09-06 17:58:22   Nobody saying being an admin would be easy. And I'd rather trouble the few admins than the hundreds of users who have to put up with his nonsense on a daily basis. Proposal B would've been good... 6 months ago. —JesseSingh

  • Exactly. I feel like we're cycling through the same cycle of edits. Like I said, sure, he'll occasionally make some good edits, but he obviously has _not_ changed anything about it. The ban page has been around for over 9 months, and he was a user well before that. That right there should be a sign that obviously something is not going right, so why would it start now? This whole idea with locking out is too little too late. I think he's abused and shown to be anything but deserving of a normal user status. Short of vandalizing every single page, is there anything else he could do to be worthy of a ban? It's not even just revert wars, so I don't think even JasonAller's request will have effect - it's the stuff like: this. Steadfast refusal. And even JA noted that questions dont get answered. After all the shenigans, I think any "good" that may come out of his edits is far outweighed by ultimately every other action on the wiki for well over a year. How many chances has he already been given, been asked of, or begged to do? On a side note, I think this is good precedent for future editors there may be on-going problems with. I really have to say that I feel that a lot of this could have been headed off completely, were it to be done around 6 months ago as many are saying. Lack of action then was, of course in hindsight, an error. -ES

I think you all know where I am on this proposal, being the one that created the Ban Steven Ostrowski page, at least 100 years ago. —BrentLaabs


2007-09-06 20:38:43   steve can play the game of politics and come up with cute wordings all day long, I'm just sick of it —StevenDaubert


2007-09-06 21:20:26   It may create more trouble initially, (remembering What's-his-face from Vacaville). However once this has settled down, if he is banned, his puppet pages should be pared down and removed of the slights against him. This should reduce his desire to try to find a workaround to continue doing what he does.

I am continually disturbed at his choice of language in this matter, rather than duck his head he is saying "do what you want to me now - I'll have it my way when you look the other way" which pretty much signals that he has no desire to do things differently. Ban him from specific pages, he'll just create more for himself to play in and clog the Recent Changes with his drama. Even with option B we still have whack-a-mole.

He's got until June 2008, and then he graduates, and will probably be gone and won't look back. The question may become, which will be the easiest way to keep him from peeing all over the wiki until then? CKarlMogel


2007-09-06 23:00:30   Because Steve has repeatedly and blatantly and willfully violated our community standards for so long, and yet because I do believe that people can redeem themselves, I vote to ban Steve for 6 months.

I'll help on the admin side (mostly with IP address investigation, firewalling, and filing abuse complaints) when Steve tries to circumvent the ban.

However, I no longer have the time to keep an eye on Recent Changes, so I'll rely on the community to notify me via email/Jabber/phone when Steve plays fake account games. —Graham.Freeman


2007-09-07 15:49:45   Backoff editing > Banning. Try it, folks. It'll work. —JoseBleckman

  • How does backoff editing apply to instant reverts? Gabe posted a comment - Steven reverted it. JasonAller then reverted that, re-adding Gabe's comment. Who was supposed to have backed off there? - Edwins
    • In general I dislike reverts, but I would say that both sides should make an effort to backoff edit. Just because one side does not, shouldn't be a carde blanche for their rivals to reciprocate. Its stuff like that that ends up cluttering recent changes. —JoseBleckman

2007-09-07 16:18:53   Clearly, as these games progress, Steve has no respect for the Davis Wiki Community. Each warning goes in one ear and out the other. —KarlMogel


2007-09-07 23:09:53   I support a ban. I don't want to see Recent Changes cluttered with junk anymore. —GregWebb


2007-09-08 00:56:30   What Karl said...

It's also the way he will obfuscate at everything —StevenDaubert


I'll throw my hat into the "no-ban" pile. Banning him from certain pages is one thing, but knocking him off completely would be, in my opinion, a terrible blow to the wiki's ability to fairly and accurately represent certain aspects of Davis. In my opinion, he represents a sizable portion of the community (opposition parties in student government, for example) that we don't have many other examples of hella-active editors from. Any "problems" he causes on a page can and will be worked out eventually, and I have faith that it will ideally be through consensus, not by the silencing of his side. —JoseBleckman

We've already locked him out from the very pages you say he's worth keeping over. Thus, your reason for keeping him no longer exists. Notwithstanding that, should he be allowed to write about ASUCD stuff and his stuff again, the [email protected] page demonstrates that he is not a trustworthy source. He is not interested in the truth. He has been given many chances to change his ways over the months and he has shown no willingness to strive for accuracy. Also, you'd always side with him regardless of any other considerations, despite what you'd have us believe about your independence. It's obvious to outsiders and even moreso to people involved in ASUCD. You're his lackey. A vote against a ban from you is ever so slightly more objective than a vote against a ban from Steve himself. Finally, we're not silencing his side. If someone (i.e. you) wants to come in and write extensively about Steve's ASUCD antics in a manner sympathetic to him, nobody is going to remove those edits. We're worried about his continual efforts to censor and whitewash things in a way favorable to himself. Steve's edits have not been informative; they have been propaganda. -wl

  • Lackey? Choosing to insult someone you're debating is, in my opinion, detrimental to keeping positive wiki dialogue. Do try to refrain from doing so. I haven't been playing ultraclose attention to the proceedings, but I wasn't aware that he was locked out of every single ASUCD page. Is that so? Now yes, I am his friend. Discounting opinions of his friends makes no more sence than discounting opinions of those who dislike him. Shall we discount them too? I supose eliminating the feelings of those pro- and anti- certain subjects would result in a neutral result, but it would also lead to a wiki with less flavour. While I would certainly prefer more people who represent all points of view to be active on the wiki, we're not blessed with that situation. For whatever reason, Steve is one of the more active editors, and silencing him is not going to suddenly encourage more people to take his place. Oh, it might lead to a more "happy" wiki, one where less points of views are questioned. It certainly would make for a "cleaner" recent changes. "Yay." —JoseBleckman

It's not about what Steven stands for. 1) If Steven were a moderate or a liberal and behaved in this manner we'd still be having this conversation. 2) Steven is not above the rules of the wiki just because he "represtents" a political minority ("shares the views of" might be a better term, since many far-right conservatives on campus are warry of being associated with Mr. Ostrowski). If your argument held, Joseph, nobody on the wiki could ever be held responsible for anything so long as he or she holds 'any' political perspective.

I agree with you, though, that the purpose of our Wiki is to fairly and accurately represent Davis. Many of us have realized that Ostrowski's tactics do nothing to keep the Wiki fair and accurate; quite to the contrary, Steven deliberately uses the wiki to foster chaos and confusion. Considering nothing else, I think the general quality of information on the Wiki would increase with a total ban of SO.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I've fought against nearly everything Steven has done in and regarding ASUCD, largely because his tactics and goals in student government are so similar to his tactics on the wiki. This being said, I'd like to see a full ban of Steven Ostrowski. -Paul Harms

His antics are childish and shouldn't be allowed. I'd like to see a full ban as well. -Matt Shannon


2007-09-08 11:37:20   what about just allowing him to make comments but not allowing him to edit pages. This way he can still add his opinions to the wiki, marked with his user name, but can't do anything beyond that. —MattHh

The software isn't currently built to do that. Ability to leave a comment inherently is ability to edit. -wl


2007-09-09 09:32:51   A lot of you guys are talking in generalalities. Pick a page, any page, and I will tell you why I must be on the Davis Wiki to provide balance. —SteveOstrowski


2007-09-10 09:58:18   Though I am just taking a gander at this issue after my long vacation from all this drama, I am still adding my two cents as a quasi-netizen of this community. It seems clear to me that Steven has an obsession regarding certian issues and topics on the wiki, perhaps stemming from his own internal political beliefs (libertarianism thus anti-governmentish) and religious beliefs (catholic thus 'pro-life'), and perhaps personal sentiment against certian individuals who have been a barrier to him in accomplishing his goals. I am a bit of an optimist but I do not think that either a lockout nor ban are appropiate options for the community (I am curious as to what A is). Perhaps these problems are reflective of Steven's personal problems in life or something like that, or they are highly contrived attempts at manipulation for a greater sense of personal power (which reflects that he feels a lack of such power), in either case I suppose the question becomes that of the community 'putting up' with the difficulties caused by Steven. Before such measures are considered, has anyone attempted to talk with Steve, in person, in a non confrontational way? perhaps differences may be explained or resolved such that these things could work better, Steven probably feels that the crowd is against him (judging by this page it is), I dunno, perhaps you guys are being a bit to hard on the poor sod, thus is my sympathetic vote, talk to the guy? —DavidPoole


2007-09-10 10:25:04   Though I am just taking a gander at this issue after my long vacation from all this drama, I am still adding my two cents as a quasi-netizen of this community. It seems clear to me that Steven has an obsession regarding certian issues and topics on the wiki, perhaps stemming from his own internal political beliefs (libertarianism thus anti-governmentish) and religious beliefs (catholic thus 'pro-life'), and perhaps personal sentiment against certian individuals who have been a barrier to him in accomplishing his goals. I am a bit of an optimist but I do not think that either a lockout nor ban are appropiate options for the community (I am curious as to what A is). Perhaps these problems are reflective of Steven's personal problems in life or something like that, or they are highly contrived attempts at manipulation for a greater sense of personal power (which reflects that he feels a lack of such power), in either case I suppose the question becomes that of the community 'putting up' with the difficulties caused by Steven. Before such measures are considered, has anyone attempted to talk with Steve, in person, in a non confrontational way? perhaps differences may be explained or resolved such that these things could work better, Steven probably feels that the crowd is against him (judging by this page it is), I dunno, perhaps you guys are being a bit to hard on the poor sod, thus is my sympathetic vote, talk to the guy? —DavidPoole


2007-09-10 10:27:53   Dude...the first ban page was started in December of 2006. That was a pretty long time ago. I'm pretty sure that several people have spoken with him, many many times. Many times. Of course, every time the banpage is bumped, someone asks "why not try talking to him?". I'm just asking you keep the time frame in month - it doesn't seem to stick. If someone's been on the verge of being banned for *that* long...that alone should speak of a problem. JabberWokky has spoken to him on the telephone several times over the months, including as recent as within the last week I believe, and JasonAller is always the nice guy who tries to talk with him. I think the "talking with him option" wore out a while ago. —EdWins

  • Not to interrupt your intriguing conversation but I received only one phone call from Jabber Walky and that was a few days ago. I have received none since I first became an editor. As for being contacted by others, the last one who talked with me was Craig and it was an issue in which we both agreed on for some reason, other than that I don't recall anyone contacting me. But continue your talk. —SteveOstrowski

2007-09-10 10:49:17   I was pretty sure I remember JabberWokky asking for your number months ago, then commenting that he had left you messages. I assumed that since he had your number, and commented that he was trying to talk to you multiple times, that he eventually had. Sorry for assuming! He may also have left his number for you to call around the same time, but I don't want to dig through the 10 million edits to find the page versions. [talk continued]. —EdWins

  • He may have, I don't doubt that maybe he tried over the last few months but I never got a voice mail and sometimes I don't possess a phone because I tend to lose them. Some of the editors here, I have been in contact with many a time in ASUCD but I wouldn't say those conversations were about the Davis Wiki and if they existed at all would be very brief. —SteveOstrowski
    • He may have? Only one? oic. Here:

From a long time ago

2007-03-05 09:28:50 Steve, you have been an editor on this wiki for quite awhile. I am asking you very seriously to reconsider your editing style and make an effort to compromise and work with other editors, recognizing their input and allowing it to be represented on entries. —JabberWokky

Is not a matter of that. Superiors told me that if there was a problem with the content on the Davis Wiki, we have to go back and figure out what else can be done. —SteveOstrowski

Steve, call me. 615 517-6900. We need to discuss this. —JabberWokky

I have class most of the day but I will keep the number in mind. —SteveOstrowski

2007-03-05 11:33:20 Steve, I have called and left several messages. If you are able to update the wiki, does that mean you have time to speak briefly? It is important that we talk. —JabberWokky

Around the same time, JabberWokky edited a few pages with comment logs with stuff like "Steve, call me." He then added the phone number to his wikipage with the best times to reach hmim. Anyway, just posting this to show, as I said, that the effort has been made many times to try to seriously talk with him, even on the telephone by a neutral party! Even if Steve denies it. He also replied to JabberWokkys comments about his phone batteries being dead, so at the time there's no way he couldn't have known. -ES

  • Steve also acknowledged that he got JabberWokky's voicemail message, although seemed to indicate that he wouldn't answer it. Here's the following edit from March 5th.
    • Phone is out of batteries and I am in a computer lab classroom. My activity will cease at around 2 due to another class. —SteveOstrowski

Unless the cell phone account was closed, Steve deleted the voicemail and declined getting in contact with JabberWokky. (Unless he hangs onto it to listen to it from time to time... you never know)

Am I the only one that finds it odd that he tried to sell cell phones and still can't seem to get them to work for him? -KJM

  • Yeah, those who know me best know that I am notorious for not charging my phone, reading my voice mail, or not calling people when I should. I am getting better at it through necessity but that's the deal with that. I don't remember hearing any voice mails, doesn't mean they didn't arrive in my inbox but I never picked them up or replied back. Also, I have had three phones since January 2007, I keep losing them for some reason. The deal is that I have only heard Jabber Wokky's voice once and that was a few days ago and I am not going to reveal the contents of that conversation, but Jabber can testify himself that he has only talked to me on the phone that one time. Now, for the quotes that you have mentioned I never called Jabber Wokky despite his request at the time and the issue in which he wished to call about how been resolved as far as I was concerned so afterwards I didn't feel a need to call. And of course, I don't need that edit to tell me his phone number, it has always existed on his own page. —SteveOstrowski

Um...that's not a very good excuse. Sorry. -PH

Excuse implies that I feel guilty about it or that I should feel guilty about it which I feel neigther. I don't even remember what it was about, probably something very trivial. The point being is that Jabber wanted to call me that one time and I didn't get the phone call for whatever reason and I decided not to reply back because the issue had already been resolved. I would rather not have to call people about such things like the Davis Wiki. —SteveOstrowski


The question may become, which will be the easiest way to keep him from peeing all over the wiki until then? —KarlMogel

Yup. His good edits contribute little or nothing to the DW knowledge base. His bad edits, which are legion, clog the pipes with misinformation and edit-war BS. Complete silence from him would not rob us of any meaningful content, but would instead let us spend our time and bytes on real information and opinion.

The real question is, what is the best way to get silence, from the admins' point of view? We are waay beyond any freedom of speech issues here. If Option B would result in silence but with less work for the admins, I'll support it. But I am not bothered by any accusations of squelching speech associated with Option C. If that's the easiest path to silence, I'm all for it. — MattJurach


2007-09-10 13:11:53   Well, Graham offered (up the page) to help take care of enforcing a ban admin side. —EdWins


2007-09-10 16:37:37   WOW i had no idea the Davis Wiki was such a censor-whore. Who knew they're were a few powerful men who went around trying to shut up....ONE man on the wiki. I hope you are all satisfied with yourselves. Hope im not next... —WeMo

.... Sorry to stoop to a personal attack, but did you read the proposal? Can you try to understand why DW is fed up with Steve? —StevenDaubert


2007-09-10 18:02:57   ....Yes i have read it, but i, unlike some of you have actually sat down with Steve and have had a personal conversation to understand where he is coming from....did i get get fed up? Nope... —WeMo

If you have read why he was banned and think it's censorship, I respectfully submit that you do not understand what happened. Sorry. -wl


2007-09-10 18:19:04   Thanks for making that comment extremely CLEAR....both on this page and my own.... i wasnt sure i got it the first time around..... you've expressed your opinion a dozen times.... so i think its only fair you let me express mine about Steve once....yea? Or is going to get me into WIKI trouble too? :::gasps::: —WeMo


2007-09-10 18:36:29   Don't embarrass yourself. —BrentLaabs