User:Amanda Catherine

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Revision as of 20:06, 4 August 2020 by Amanda Catherine (talk | contribs) (perhaps I don't even need this, since I'm not coming back)
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This user is no longer active on Miraheze.

Since my return to Miraheze in April 2020 after a wikibreak, my satisfaction with the Miraheze service has been continuously going downhill. This is especially in regards to the conduct of system administrators and Stewards who are supposed to positively represent Miraheze. Inside the collapsed box are examples the conduct that I find to be unbecoming of users in these positions, although there definitely other incidents as well.

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  • Misuse and overuse of the CheckUser tool to check any random vandalism-only account or spambot that happens to come through. CheckUser should only be used to investigate concerns about sock puppetry (abuse of multiple accounts). There needs to be a valid reason to suspect the abuse of multiple accounts for a check to be valid. Checks are not valid just for the appearance of the use of multiple accounts with no evidence of abuse; nor are checks valid for just random drive-by vandals that are likely to never return once blocked. This was an issue even before my wikibreak, but has intensified since I returned.
  • The abrupt, unilateral, and unexplained global banning of a contributor in good standing. No rationale was provided for this action, except a vague invocation of the Terms of Use, which doesn't actually say anything. However, after communication with the user in question off-wiki, it appears that even the user themselves was not notified of the reason for the ban. This is absolutely unacceptable. It is a problem to be unilaterally banning good-faith contributors without a public rationale, but it is a completely separate issue to not even provide a reason to the user in question. This is eerily reminiscent of Framgate, and should not be tolerated.
  • A borderline uncivil comment that suggested that I was not thinking about what I was doing. This is the definition of "casting aspersions", yet said comment went unnoticed and without rebuke from other system administrators.
  • Unnecessarily harsh responses/rebukes to good-faith mistakes that could have been and should have been handled with a simple polite and friendly message (Example 1 Example 2)
  • Unnecessary and excessive use of private Phabricator tasks when the task in question does not contain any material related to a direct and specific security risk (Example)
  • Various instances on IRC where my opinions on various issues were either completely ignored or were discredited with "that's not how things work" without being fully processed/understood. I'm not going to post specific logs here, but said instances can be found in the IRC logs for #miraheze.
  • Just within the last 24-48 hours, at least three or four separate instances of system administrators mysteriously vanishing user accounts (renaming them to some random string of letters), globally locking the renamed account and the original account without a public log, and then using Oversight to suppress edits made by the user, and, at least in one case, doing the same to a different user who challenged the original actions. The vast majority of the relevant diffs and logs have also been suppressed, meaning that I can't give specific links, which is part of the very problem here. Apparently, at least some of these cases are involving violations of the GDPR, but privacy leaks/violations are not a reason to be "disappearing" users with no warning and no explanation. Delete the offending material, warn whoever posted it not to do so again, and move on.

In summary, it appears that the attitude of Miraheze staff members, especially sysadmins but to a lesser extent stewards is that they can essentially do whatever they want and then hide behind the Terms of Use/Privacy Policy when asked about it, and thus do not have to be accountable to their actions. The very fact that the ToU says that Miraheze Staff may "terminate access to Miraheze services under Miraheze's sole discretion" (paraphrasing) is a problem. This is just a fancy way of saying "we can ban you from using our services for any reason or for no reason at all", which is completely unacceptable. If Miraheze wants to pride itself in being a community-driven service, this kind of behavior cannot be allowed to happen.

Given the above problems, and given the fact that I have been volunteering my limited free time to Miraheze when it could be spent elsewhere, I am retiring from Miraheze, effective immediately. I won't say that I will never return, but I don't plan on it unless and until there is a substantial change in the workflow and policies around conduct of staff members. I am maintaining my original user page below inside the collapsed box as an archive. Good luck to everyone, and goodbye. I will not be watching my talk page, so please do not post any messages there.

AmandaCath (talk) 20:06, 4 August 2020 (UTC)