Column 4: Remove by day in their sight (Ez. 12:4)

Well, the move from Conservapedia is complete. Welcome to the new virtual offices. They’re not as convenient as the ones on Conservapedia were, but the view is better and the neighbours friendlier. You’ll find the old columns from Conservapedia reposted below as columns 1-3, although be aware that some of the links may not work. Dewikifying this stuff was quite a job.

Moving on. This week’s most important news from Conservapedia by a wide margin is, needless to say, the fact that I was banned infinitely:

block.jpg O RLY?

This did not come as a complete surprise, of course. However, to give this event a spin that makes it relevant for anyone else than me, I find it remarkable that this ban was enacted by sysop TK, who, as you will recall, also featured prominently in the offending column. I am amazed – and it also amazes me that Conservapedia can in fact continue to amaze me – that a Sysop who is, in a sense, a party to the issue, is allowed to both decide whether or not an opinion about himself constitutes a “personal attack”, and also to enforce the sanctions for this. Where I come from, we call such things “conflict of interest”, and that is usually considered a fairly bad thing. On Conservapedia, this seems to be standard operating procedure.

Another interesting detail to be gathered from this is that apparently, the otherwise well-established Conservapedia principle that “a user’s User Page is his castle” is being eroded. Since the material in question was posted on my user page, and didn’t contain obscenities or any other immediately objectionable materials, the only possible conclusion is that one’s user page is, in fact, no longer one’s castle, or at least that the castle has been placed under siege. Let editors beware.

In other recent news, User:Nematocyte earned himself a one-day ban by Sysop TK on suspicions of maintaining a sock-puppet. The ban followed a brief talk page exchange about… tea. Indeed, tea. I could use this as the basis for another long pontification about due process and administrative accountability, but the situation is so utterly baroque that I’ll just let it speak for itself.

Also, Conservapedia is growing, at least in quantity, which means a need for more Sysops. To deal with this, a Sysop Contest has been launched to find new candidates. The exact rules for this contest are unclear, but the gist of it seems to be that the best and/or most productive nominated editor will be promoted. All well and good. Or not.

Two problems immediately stand out: Firstly, that this process completely ignores the already existing process for promoting editors, namely the Requests for Adminship page, which already has several candidates with very close to unanimous support. And secondly, that whereas on the RfA page it is at least possible to see who votes for or against a candidate, the contest currently suffers from completely opaque requirements and rules. For all we know, the process might – and given Conservapedia’s track record, this is quite likely – simply consist of “Andrew Schlafly picks the editor who agrees the most with him.”

Rather than using the occasion to introduce a clear and objective process for promotions, the Contest represents yet another step away from transparency and accountability, and this will do further damage to Conservapedia’s viability and reputation. The question remains: Why does mr. Schlafly continue to undermine his own project? The search for answers continues.

Meanwhile, I wish you good night, and good luck.

UPDATE: Oh, one more thing. I’d like to thank all those who emailed me with comments and responses about the last column. Thank you for reinforcing my belief in humanity.

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