As a very light user of Simple, but experienced user of en-wiki (and light participant at w:WP:ANI), I'm surprised, even stunned, to find myself here, and am sincerely hoping this is just one big misunderstanding, and someone will point out the error of my ways. That said, I feel I have no choice but to bring some facts to light concerning User:Eptalon. I should note at the outset, that I have no prior interaction with them, nor do I know if this represents a pattern of behavior; so I'll just state what I do know. (Fwiw, in 14 years at en-wiki, I've never requested a desysop, and I don't believe I've initiated a block request more than once or twice, so I take this extremely seriously.) I also beg your indulgence, if due to my inexperience here, I've mangled some procedures or not exhibited the conventional conversational style here.
My first/only interaction with Eptalon was at Talk:Nazism, today. (To my knowledge, we have never interacted at en-wiki.) It started when I collapsed a five year old discussion at Talk:Nasism by an IP entitled, "Poison Gas ??? Oh Really?", adding edit summary, "Collapsed denialist nonsense". I considered this a conservative move, and would have simply removed the post had I had more experience at Simple. When ImprovedWikiImprovment (talk·contribs) followed up and deleted it entirely, I was pleased. To my mind, that was the end of it.
I was surprised to see that it reappeared, and was stripped of its collapse bar, in two edits by Eptalon (talk·contribs):
this one (with the Edit summary, "Last known good version, there's on reason to remove a 5 year old discussion"), and
this one (with ES: no reason to hide a 5 year old discussion).
I assumed I was dealing with either a right wing troll, or a newbie unfamiliar with NPOV, OR, not to mention w:WP:NONAZIS (sorry, I'm not as familiar with Simple shortcuts, or even whether such pages exist here), so I headed over to their talk page to see whether I needed to leave them a gentle explanation, or something sterner.
By the time I got there, user IWI had already started this discussion on their talk page. Checking whether they were a newbie or not, I was stunned to find they are an admin, CU, crat and oversighter.
I requested clarification of their two reversions at Talk:Naziism, first to undo IWW's delete, followed by undoing my collapse. Quoting myself:
How about considering this principle, when considering restoring it: there's no reason to restore 5 year old pro-Nazi conspiracy theories by an IP user. And after you restored it, it was still hidden by the collapse bar I previously added, so you doubled down, and uncollapsed it (with ES: no reason to hide a 5 year old discussion) in this edit. Wtf?
At this point, I'm not sure if it's belaboring the discussion here by adding diffs to individual reverts and restores in the article TP history, or on their Talk page (User_talk:Eptalon#Revert) but I will, upon request.
At this point, I have to say I find their TP responses insufficient to allay the doubts I am having. I'm well versed in controversial topics at en-wiki, and have successfully contributed to many of them, including w:Holocaust denial; and I've been around long enough to know what w:WP:GAMING and w:WP:SEALIONing looks like, the tricky part being it's really hard to be sure and the best are highly skilled at tightrope walking, and AGF is of the absolute essence, all the while not allowing oneself to be suckered into their game, by someone who may not have the best interests of the encyclopedia at heart. It's a tricky balance, and all the more important when someone holds the quadruple mop. In a case like this, the response should be crystally clear, overwhelming, forceful, and incontrovertible. It was less than that; excusable, perhaps, from a newbie.
What kind of cinches it for me, is precisely the fact they are vested with such great responsibility, and have been here for fifteen years. Even if it's not a slam-dunk that would block a newbie, or light contributor, is this the kind of response we want to model to others from powerful members here? Shouldn't they know better—a whole lot better? I am trying to piece together a scenario in my mind, where one of the admins I know on en-wiki, through some unfortunate wording or misunderstanding might have left me wondering about their intentions in a case similar this, prompting me to query them on their en-wiki talk page in a similar fashion. I know what the response would have been: a tsunami of apology, explanation, respect, words of thanks for pointing it out, probable strikeouts and redactions, perhaps some self-reverts, and profuse excuses.
In my opinion, Eptalon has no business wielding administrative powers. I'm less aware of the other bits, but my guess is that CU and oversighting involves a lot of powers to view private information, and I'm opposed to someone with this inability to observe norms of behavior having such powers. I'm unaware of what crats do (I learned that abbreviation recently, and that's about the extent of my knowledge of it) so I can't comment on whether Eptalon should retain bureaucratship.
Respectfully submitted (and I really hope this is all just one big misunderstanding),
Things seem to be getting off track, with many votes of support seemingly based on conjectures about Eptalon's beliefs, rather than his behavior. Beliefs have nothing to do with this RfdA request.
I notice some of the votes of support seem to be based on the argument that Eptalon is not a holocaust denier. This is perhaps interesting, but irrelevant to this RfdA. Fwiw, if you care about such things, I notice it appears that the current sentiment is 8-0 that Eptalon is not a denialist and since I *also* don't believe he's a denialist that makes it 9-0. If that's what this is about, then it's unanimous; let's close and end it. But the thing is, that's not what this Rfda is about, and in any case, one can't prove WP:THOUGHTCRIME, and that is not at issue here, nor should it be. (I actually have no objections to even racists, holocaust deniers, and conspiracy theorists contributing, as long as they strictly follow NPOV and all other policies, and keep their opinions out of the encyclopedia. Their private beiefs are none of my business.) I also note that #3 and #8 mention that "Eptalon has not abused his admin tools" and I have no quibble with that either, but this request never made that claim, so that is also irrelevant here.
So, let's get back on track: this request is about whether they should continue be entrusted with powerful tools, given their very poor judgment in a matter of importance, and where after being called out for it on their Talk page, at first calmly, then with increasing alarm, there was no recognition or acknowledgement on their part of anything wrong; on the contrary, there was nonchalant assertion that it was all fine, accompanied by derails into things never at issue. Additionally, whether they live up to the stricter standards of accountability we expect from admins, and whether their behavior and explanations model best practices.
The only thing that matters here is not their beliefs, but their behavior and that's all we can evaluate anyway, since we can't read minds and shouldn't try. In particular, the act of restoration and expansion of Holocaust denialism by an IP user, followed by the non-explanations and evasions at their Talk page when called to account. At the very minimum, the undelete of the denialist comment is incredibly tone deaf, because it gives the appearance that one supports denialism regardless what their beliefs are, and this is hardly the impression we want our admins to be giving. Consider what alternative actions are available, other than restoring a denialist commentary, and imagine which one you might have done, after a visiting en-wiki user collapsed an ancient denialist discussion—would you have chosen one of these:
Some possible options in response to some editor's removal of ancient denialist comments:
Here are some things one might do in response to the collapse, and then removal, of a denialist TP comment:
Do nothing. (this is my personal favorite; if someone deleted an old, racist or denialist comment, just leave it that way)
Click the 'Thank' button in the Rev History, to let the collapsing/deleting editor know he noticed.
Respond, "Good call, thanks."
Respond, "Well, it's a five-year old discussion and nobody's removed it so far, but the guy's a denialist, so whatever."
Respond: "Simple is different than en-wiki; we don't have NOTFORUM, and just so you know for next time, we're more relaxed about extremist or denialist comments on Talk pages," and leave it deleted.
Respond: "Simple is different than en-wiki; in fact, removing such posts is discouraged; I've restored this per [some policy link or guideline]."
Respond: "IP user removed references to poison gas in the article in this edit, which was reverted the same day. Someone quickly restored it."
Respond: "I checked their contributions and they haven't edited since then, so there's nothing actionable at this time. At this point, it's moot, but if you want to collapse/delete it, fine."
Restore the denialist IP user comment to the article Talk page, and follow up with a second undo to uncollapse it.
I'm sure there are plenty of other possibilities.
I would have chosen #1: "Do nothing." And I venture to guess, that many, perhaps most who have responded here so far, would likely also have chosen #1 (or perhaps #4?). Do you see yourself choosing the last one, restoring the deleted discussion, and then uncollapsing it? If so, I'd like to hear your rationale.
Following restoration of the denialist comment, another editor raised a discussion on Eptalon's talk page, asking about it.
Now think about how you would have responded, had you perhaps hit the wrong button resulting in the inadvertent undeletion of a denialist comment by an IP, giving rise to a query like that one on your User talk page.
Wouldn't you be falling all over yourself to explain how it was just a mistake, and how of course you wouldn't knowingly restore racist or denialist material on purpose, and how you'd self-revert if someone else doesn't beat you to it? Or, would you say this, instead:
In what way is that 5 year old discussion revisionist? - Is doubting something revisionist? Talk pages are there for such arguments.
followed by this derail, addressing nothing in the denialist IP user's comment:
The Nazis produced three nerve agents, Tabun, Sarin, and Soman. To my knolwedge, they never used them. It is possible, that some were tested, also in the concentration camps. Sorry: I really don't see what the harm of the statement is.
Would that be your response? I think not. (If my assumption is wrong, I'd like to hear from you.) This is the response of someone who doesn't understand the seriousness of WP:RACISTBELIEFS; perhaps forgivable in a newbie; unforgivable in an experienced user or an admin. If an admin candidate was queried about this in an RfA and in reply to a question about this at the Rfa, replied: "Sorry: I really don't see what the harm of the statement is," would you vote support, or oppose on the Rfa? In my opinion, the answer to that question, should be your answer here. *That* is the issue, not whether we believe Eptalon has racist/denialist beliefs or not (he doesn't; we all agree).
It gets worse; after my incredulous, "Just wow... This is the worst form of denialist nonsense," comment, Eptalon doubled down, responding, "Actually, it isn't," and derailed again, steering away from the IP user's unmistakable denialism, onto some side issue of his own devising involving three other gases the IP user never mentioned. Classic derail. To this date, even now, after challenged on his Talk page several times about why he restored a denialist IP comment, not to mention the content of this page, Eptalon still has given no satisfactory explanation why restoring an old denialist comment was the proper thing to do. If this user were a non-admin, they would need a stern message on their Talk page that this will not be tolerated. As an admin, they need to be desysopped. Mathglot (talk) 11:23, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Per nom. Pro-nazis are not welcome on Wikipedia. I also see that the nominator is unsure of the validity. I can assure you this nazism has happened before. Eptalon has also said the n-word in #wikipedia-simple before and was very close to being kickbanned for it, although it did not occur due to their adminship (which in my opinion is wrong, admins should not be exempt to policies and should be treated the same as any other user). There is also a large amount of disruptvely editing and disregard for policy (i.e. closing RfDs how they personally prefer the outcome and not what the consensus is) from the candidate. More details on this are available below. Naleksuh (talk) 00:40, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Point of order: This comment solely addresses the statement that Eptalon's status as a sysop exempted him from rules on Freenode and the Wikipedia namespace there. I respond because this implication is an accusation towards me as one of the Channel Operators of #wikipedia-simple and the Channel Operator that responded to this incident when it occurred. I personally issued Eptalon an "only warning" via private message. I've issued the same or similar warnings privately to certain other non-admin editors who have had previous issues on IRC or on Wikipedia that followed them to IRC. Operator873talkconnect 01:09, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
@Operator873: Thank you for the clarification. I did not mean to misrepresent why you made the decision you did, I simply intended to tell the situation with Eptalons conduct. For any editors who are reading this consider looking at the 30k foot view. Naleksuh (talk) 01:18, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
@Naleksuh Can I clarify what you mean by "30k foot view" as well as do you have proof of " I can assure you this nazism has happened before. " Thanks much. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:11, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
@Camouflaged Mirage: 30k foot view is basically a figure of speech meaning to focus on the main point and not small irrelevant details. The previous incidents occured in #wikipedia-simple and cannot be shared publicly, but I have it locally saved and can also get testimonials from other editors involved, if you would like that. Naleksuh (talk) 19:09, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Supportdeadminship: Firstly, let me say that my support here is based purely on competence, and I won't comment specifically on the above as I feel enough has been said and that I was involved in the matter; others can determine whether there is an issue there. I will say I do not endorse the claim above that Eptalon is a "Nazi"; I think that is a mischaracterisation of the issue. I'll also start by saying that Eptalon is a valued contributor who creates many articles and participates in this community positively. It is however the case that administrators should be held to a higher degree of accountability, and unfortunately I have seen various instances where Eptalon has not displayed the competence required of an administrator.
In my view, there is a pattern of him not understanding various processes of the admin toolkit and making questionable administrative actions on this wiki. He has also made such comments in the past that suggested admin actions are not contestable by the community, and has repeatedly uttered that non-admins should "respect the decisions admins take" (example here and here (where he suggests admin decisions should not be overturned at deletion review; that is what the page is for)). This is not true; admins are not infallible and, like the rest of us, can make errors in judgment. It's also important to note that admins are supposed to take their actions as a result of community consensus (whether it be through an actual discussion or through an agreed policy). The community is the governing body of a community, and not sysops. This was all in response to one RfD (here) that was closed as kept by him despite it being (in my view) difficult to determine consensus as keep, and he also inserted his opinion on the matter at the top of the request and did not appear to address the consensus below at all. When I questioned him on this on IRC, he described it as a "political decision", which is when I brought it to DRV. There are also numerous other examples that I can provide if needed.
Upon viewing this request, I asked myself "would I support this user in an RfA"; at this point, the answer to that is unfortunately no. I hope his good work on this wiki continues, but I don't feel that it is appropriate he retains functionary or sysop rights at this time, and I wish him all the best in the future. --IWI (talk) 01:14, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
A couple of added notes here. Firstly, what I have said above are just some examples and by no means the only ones. Secondly, I do agree with the below that the above does not show that Eptalon denied the Holocaust or anything like that, and I certainly don't agree with Nakeksuh that he is a "Nazi". As I have said, I have other reasons to support this proposal. --IWI (talk) 09:50, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
At first, I didn't really want to comment on this having being involved, but I feel many on the oppose side may be missing the point. I did see fault with Eptalon's statement that "I really don't see what the harm of the statement is." (this being an actual denialist comment). You can see my response to that on his talk page. I probably would not vote support on an RfA candidate who made this statement. Not challenging this ideology has real world consequences, whether it is what he believes or not is not really the point; we are talking about an ideology that wants Jewish people killed. In this case it was on a talk page, but what about when someone inserts this into an article and a bureaucrat on our wiki says "I don't really see the harm in this". So no, I don't think Eptalon is a "Nazi" or "Holocaust denier", but I do see fault in his response to a Holocaust denier, both in the restoration of the denialist comments and his comments thereafter. --IWI (talk) 12:42, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose I see no valid reason for removal of Eptalon's admin rights. This does not suggest in any way that Eptalon has condoned Holocaust denial. Naddruf (talk) 03:41, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose Per Naddruf. I don't think Eptalon's rights should be removed. --TsugaruLet's Talk! :)🍁 03:46, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose In the strongest possible way. If I had seen the talk page comment added in real time, I probably would have reverted it. But that isn't what happened. Instead, a thorough response was given as to why the comment was wrong. This is also a valid approach. The talk page should be left the way it was, everybody should calm down, and move on with their changing. We can boil this down very simply. Was the IP terribly wrong and misguided? Yes. Was the correct stance explained and the matter settled? Yes. That should be the end of it. Dislike the content all you want, the talk page is to discuss the content of a page, and we can and should shoot down nonsense ideas when they are presented, and escalate that through our policy up to blocking troublemakers as needed. This case is long settled, and should have been left settled. The idea that wanting to leaving the page the way it was somehow implies Eptalon is a holocaust denier is beyond wrong, and is a serious personal attack in my opinion. In terms of the comments at Deletion Review, I also believe Eptalon to be mostly correct. When he says "this decision must not be overturned by another admin." he is correct! If we've got admins overruling each other on very borderline RfD closures, you are essentially edit warring with the mop which is obviously egregious. It can of course be overturned by the community, so he is incorrect in stating that admin actions can't be overturned. Of course they can. The deletion review process exists and as in these examples, it works. In closing, Eptalon has not abused his admin tools. He hasn't harmed the wiki. He doesn't have any long term history of fighting with people and being abusive. Questionable RfD closures sometimes happen when consensus isn't clear, and we have checks and balances on that. So I see absolutely no reason to remove Eptalon's tools.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 03:50, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
The idea that wanting to leaving the page the way it was somehow implies Eptalon is a holocaust denier is beyond wrong, and is a serious personal attack in my opinion.
We seem to be getting off track here; nobody is claiming that Eptalon is a holocaust denier, so you seem to be making a straw man argument. (Since nobody made that claim, there is also no PA, either.) Can we get back to what this Rfda is actually about, which is behavior, not beliefs? I've responded in greater detail at #Reset. Mathglot (talk) 11:31, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
@Gordonrox24: Please see my comments above. I think the point is that no admin should respond to a denialist comment by saying "I really don't see what the harm of the statement is" and restoring it. Nobody is saying he is a holocaust denier and that is not really relevant to this concern. --IWI (talk) 12:51, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Gordonrox24, you addressed the IP's behavior ("Was the IP terribly wrong and misguided? Yes."); you addressed the behavior of the editor who replied 5 years ago ("also a valid approach"); by implication, you addressed the collapser/deleters' edits ("The talk page should be left the way it was"). But you didn't really address Eptalon's behavior. Or rather, you mischaracterized it as "wanting to leaving the page the way it was"; but that's not what happened. Eptalon didn't leave the page the way it was, he restored denialist conspiracy theory to the page, after it was removed. May I ask if you would have done that, under the same circumstances, and if so, under what policy or guideline? Mathglot (talk) 01:00, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
As I've said, I believe the talk page should have been left alone and I have no problem with Eptalon's revert. WP:Talk page tells us "Do not delete discussions. If several editors have discussed something on a talk page, do not delete the discussion if you do not agree with what has been said or if you think the discussion is over. However, if no one adds any other comments to a discussion, after a while the discussion can be moved to an archive page." This was an editorial issue that was resolved it should have been left.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 03:14, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, yes, fine; "should have been left", sure; give me a slap on the wrist or a block for collapsing it if you like, but that's not what is at issue here. The question here is, once it *was deleted* then what? Do you see a policy-based reason to restore it at that point? If so, what? That is the question. Mathglot (talk) 03:51, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
This is honestly getting silly. If, per our guideline, something shouldn't have been removed, and then it was, why should it not be restored? This line of questioning feels like it is running around in circles chasing its own tail. I will not be commenting again, its less than productive at this point. From everything I have read here, there is no reason to desysops Eptalon. --Gordonrox24 | Talk 04:00, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose Gordonrox24 comments above explain it all, more eloquently than I could.Peterdownunder (talk) 06:55, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose Simply because I've come to this realization: if you are not part of, or have no intention of becoming part of a project, then you have no business butting in with their affairs. You can't judge admins from the simple wiki under an enwiki lens, that's just wrong. We enwikipedians tend to assume every wiki operates under more or less the same editing culture as ours, but that's not the case- each project has its own set of guidelines and rules, which can sometimes be very different from the English Wikipedia. Maybe removing or collapsing talk page posts is a huge faux pas on this wiki, I don't know. If this wikipedia wants to embarrass itself with Nazi admins or whatever, then let them figure it out themselves (not saying the admin is a Nazi, but you get my point). Sro23 (talk) 08:11, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Opposedeadminship: Gordonrox24 explains it perfectly. Eptalon is not abusing the tools. --Belwine • 💬 • 📜 16:55, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Since the nom had clarify this have nothing to do with the believes, I see the collapsing an editorial matter, no admin tools had been used. If this is a case where someone is anti-Semitic and propagates here, and this is the locus of the dispute, this might be worth thinking whether he/she should be an a holder of advanced user rights as we cannot allow racial overtones to be here and that will make me doubt whether they will / had used their tools to pursue a certain POV. However, since the filer said this isn't the case they are pursuing it's alright. I also note that IWI had mention eptalon had closed DRV/RFD based on their own beliefs, but indeed RFDs are always subject to a certain degree of admin discrection, especially borderline cases. While I don't agree on some of the closes he made, and I had made a point at DRV, but I think this is the nature of such discussions. I will note that it will benefit if Eptalon will refrain from controversial closes going forward. I think if we can see a systematic abuse of consensus in closure, we can make a point, but given above IWI had only given a few, we cannot be sure is this an exception or the norm. I recall some controversial closes from them, but I think some other admins also made similiar ones, I can't see his rate is higher than the rest. Lastly, I think this is a little too premature, as my thread on WP:ST is, I will appreciate more communication. I note that the filer had communicate with Eptalon, but those seems going nowhere, I will encourage them to seek further community inputs on WP:ST as previous people from enwp did. I recalled once (digging in the Archives), Auntof6 admin actions have been questioned by some enwp people, but it didn't resort to a RFDA as if I recalled Chenzw or DJSasso had mediated to some degree of success. This is what I recommend. With that, since there isn't a mis-use of admin rights in unambiguous terms, I vote to keep his adminship. I will hope Eptalon can take home the message we are telling here though. I still see you having the admin right a net positive. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 12:19, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
I respect your vote here, but it is worth noting that one does not have to abuse the actual tools to be subject to deadminship. Indeed, if an admin were to be consistently uncivil, they would also be subject to deadminship. Like I said, there are countless cases, but I provided one above. --IWI (talk) 12:28, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
I would like to see is the rate of such closes that is deemed by "countless" vs the other admins, is this way too high or is it in general the case here. This will be important to see is it of the common understanding of admins here doing such closes is acceptable (something that can be acceptable or not - community will need to decide then) or is it just Eptalon. In addition, if an admin is dead uncivil, or unkind, I will expect the admin to be warned, and cautioned, if there isn't any improvement, then he/she should be blocked. When they are blocked / warned, we can then consider desysop. There must be some form of refusal to become civil, which go against basic wiki principles, then yes, they should be desysoped. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 12:35, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose-User:Eptalon is a helpful admin, he can't do this at all. Oppose per above.DJRC (talk) 13:25, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose It is not in doubt that the anonymous editor was in error. Their removal of content about poison gas was reverted, and their message on the article's talk page was refuted. As Gordonrox24 and Camouflaged Mirage have alluded to above, that was an editorial matter that has since been settled. Let's talk about what Eptalon did in this incident. I think it is not quite clear what specifically Eptalon did not see the harm in. Did he not see the harm of the denial statement existing in itself, or did he not see the harm of the denial statement existing, taking Macdonald-ross's subsequent rebuttal into consideration? Because depending on which is true, that changes the story and is, in my view, sufficient to tip the balance between "desysop" and "do not desysop". Now that this RfdA is in progress, there is no way to know for sure what Eptalon thought back then, and I am not inclined to believe whichever side has to say now, because only you knew your own true thoughts back then. And with respect to the digression about the three nerve agents, and Zyklon B: Eptalon did not deny that Zyklon B was used, and I don't know whether Eptalon knew that the use of Zyklon B was considered the use of "poison gas" at the time he made his comment (again, we can neither prove nor disprove it now). Because if Eptalon was indeed trying to give the appearance that one supports denialism (as quoted from the Reset section above), then he did an incredibly awful job by stating unequivocally that Zyklon B was used in concentration camps. For that matter, I don't know whether the anonymous editor erroneously believed that Zyklon B was not a poison gas, thus leading to that highly questionable message on the article's talk page. Now, I feel that Eptalon has a history of making digressions (sometimes arguably irrelevant ones) in discussions. In this case the digression definitely did not help to advance and/or clarify his point (if any), and even now I cannot be completely clear what exactly Eptalon was trying to mean. But do I think the presented body of evidence is sufficient to show that he was tone deaf, and/or condoned the views of the anonymous editor? No. Do I think such garbled messaging from him in the context of this incident is enough to justify the sanctioning measure of a de-sysop? No. ChenzwTalk 15:42, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
As a procedural matter: this RfdA was created citing a specific incident as evidence. If it was the intention of the relevant editors to introduce additional evidence from other occasions that are not specifically about nor related to the original Talk:Nazism incident, in support for removal of rights, then I fear that your additional evidence is going to get lost in the midst of discussion about the original incident at hand, and perhaps it would have been better to have such evidence be part of a (co-)nomination statement rather than in support vote(s). Some oppose votes did address the additional evidence in the support vote, and some did not, but we are hardly going to be invalidating the latter oppose votes simply for that reason, are we? ChenzwTalk 15:42, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
@Chenzw:, thank you for your nuanced and well thought out comment. I was encouraged near the top of your comment where you said, "Let's talk about what Eptalon did in this incident" thinking that you would address actions and not beliefs. However, I was disappointed to see that you pretty much immediately switched gears, talking primarily about his thoughts or his intent ("did not see the harm...", "no way to know for sure what Eptalon thought back then", "because only you knew your own true thoughts", and so on) and I think this is unfortunate, since it gets us off the main topic, which imho must be one's actions, and not one's thoughts, as I attempted to say above. I must correct one misquotation if you please, it's only one word off, but that changes everything. You said,
"Because if Eptalon was indeed trying to give the appearance that one supports denialism (as quoted from the Reset section above)"
Yes, you are right that the italic portion is a direct quote, but unfortunately when you prefix that with trying to give that changes everything. Here is the original quote, in context:
"At the very minimum, the undelete of the denialist comment is incredibly tone deaf, because it givesthe appearance that one supports denialismregardless what their beliefs are, and this is hardly the impression we want our admins to be giving."
Do you see the difference? The first, "Trying to give the appearance", is about intent (belief) and is tantamount to an accusation of denialism; the second specifically calls out that it's *not* an attribution of belief. Put another way: viewed the first way, they are malevolent; viewed the second way, they are merely benevolent but clueless. Big difference.
The reason I went into this level of detail about this quotation and how it may be misquoted or misinterpreted, is because I believe it goes to the very heart of the matter in this case. If you reread all my words, I never claimed Eptalon was a denialist, nor do I believe he is; i.e., not malevolent. I do believe his behavior is clueless: that is, it is such an egregiously incorrect action to restore obviously denialist commentary that no reasonable admin would do this, and further, that it was done with apparently little or no self-awareness of how this might be viewed by new editors ([Newbie, thinking to himself]: "Oh, okay, I get it: it's not only okay to post my racist or denialist thoughts here, if someone comes along and hides my comment, one of the most powerful admins on the entire website will put it back. Cool! Now I know what to do...").
I really fear this point is being missed, and the current tally reflects this. Perhaps the import of this malevolent–clueless distinction is too subtle, and is being lost; perhaps I didn't explain it properly (that seems most likely); or perhaps I'm just mistaken, and Simple really is quite different than en-wiki, and this kind of cluelessness simply isn't an issue here, in which case Sro23, who I already thought had the most thought-provoking post, is even more right than I previously thought.
Since I did find your comment equally thought-provoking, I wonder if I could induce you to try the Gedankenexperiment I posed near the collapse bar in the #Reset section above? I would be very interested in your responses. It's a two-part question, which I'll restate here:
You are an admin, and some new editor you haven't seen before has just collapsed a years-old denialist comment at the Nazi talk page. (Someone else soon after deleted it entirely.) How do you respond? (see #Reset collapse or make up your own)
For Q1, see the collapse bar at #Reset for some possible responses, but I'm more interested in what you would do, personally, knowing that some editors are aware you are an admin. Would you argue that the denialist material was appropriately restored, and if so, why? If you wouldn't, then why not? Thanks again for your comments. Mathglot (talk) 23:20, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Regarding your procedural note: I agree, it would perhaps have been better to conominate or marshal everything ahead of time, but I'm new here, and was unaware of such things in advance. (Sro23's comment comes to mind again.) And no, I don't think we're going to be invalidating anybody's votes for that reason, although I hope it is not merely a matter of counting tallies, but evaluating arguments. The tally couldn't be clearer. Mathglot (talk) 23:27, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
@Mathglot: Thank you for the clarification and reply. Addressing the points in order:
The reset collapse: in general, discussions should not be removed from talk pages (per WP:TALK). For this specific example I do not see any particularly strong reason that thread should be exempted from the guideline, since Macdonald-ross has already given a rebuttal to it. Collapsing is fine.
I definitely agree that there was digression and garbled messaging from Eptalon on his talk page. That alone is not strong grounds for de-sysop, however.
And after reading your comment I think I have found what might be the crux of this matter: let's look at Eptalon's removal action in isolation, and temporarily set aside the issue of the discussion on his user talk page (since the discussion occurred after the fact). Were we looking at the removal of the anonymous editor's comment in isolation or were we looking at its removal in the context of Macdonald-ross' already-existing reply? The former looks at the comment, the latter looks at the entire thread (section). Yes, I agree it is tone deaf to unilaterally restore the anonymous editor's comment alone without additional explanation, and yes it sends the wrong signals. However, if we are talking about restoration of the entire thread (including Macdonald-ross' rebuttal) then I do not think that constitutes tone deafness, and certainly not something that is egregiously incorrect. Restoring the thread is more than just restor(ing) obviously denialist commentary; it is restoring said commentary along with its direct refutation. ChenzwTalk 00:56, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
@Chenzw: As a point of clarification for my part in this, I do not recall noticing Macdonald-ross' comment at the time I removed the thread. If I had, I may have left it collapsed as it was. I certainly did not foresee this minor passing action to later become as significant as it is now. --IWI (talk) 01:09, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
@Chenzw:, thanks once again; I think your 00:56 post is the best one yet in analyzing the factors involved from the oppose PoV, and I think you rightly identify a clearly mitigating factor in the restoral. Most !votes were made prior to that with less basis, but given your analysis, would simply have more evidence in their favor so would be highly unlikely to change. I think this makes the outcome here clear.
From my PoV, I'm still stuck on the WWWAD (What Would Wikipedia Admins DO) question, as I still can't picture any of the admins I'm familiar with at en-wiki restoring the deleted discussion, even with the mitigating factor you pointed out that is chained to it. Also, there's the Simple:WP:TALK guideline of not deleting discussions, but here again, we cannot take that completely at face value, as there is a pecking order in the rules, with T&S and Legal at the top, followed by policy, followed by guidelines which is what WP:TALK is; and although Simple doesn't include an exception for denialism/racism specifically, I wonder how that might figure in some future discussion at the guideline page. For example, at en-wiki, the w:WP:TALK page is broader, and has various collapse or removal options such as w:WP:TPO which Simple does not presently, so here once again, Sro23's comment is relevant. Regardless, I appreciate all your comments and analysis, which I think were the most incisive on the page per the merits. Cheers, Mathglot (talk) 00:49, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose, per everyone else. Derpdart56 (talk) 15:51, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose I have been following this discussion for a while now, and the reasoning here is not enough to convince me a desysop here is necessary. I agree with what Chenzw said in the thread above. Also, a few things that IWI said make sense; however, I don't think a desysop here is the solution. Instead, a separate discussion and further clarification may be better.-BRP ever 12:06, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose I've been following this request since it was formed and have considered all statements carefully. The statement the IP editor made in the edit in question is absolutely unacceptable. However, the question at hand is did Eptalon grievously harm the project, the community, or use his tools in breach of policy. The answer is no. And so is mine. Operator873talkconnect 01:07, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Look at my talk page, my statements are there. I wlil again state that we are talking about old comments by an IP (who also turns out to have doubts about Nazism, and the way they operated), from 2014, and a clarifying response by Macdonald-ross, from 2016. About half a year ago Lately, the edit was fitted with a collapsible box, and today, ImprovedWikiImprovement removed it altogether. From my point of view these edits (while the language may have been harsh) also show that we are able to deal with problems constructively; for this reason, a removal wasn't strictly necessary. Mathglot, cited me wrongly/out of context: The Nazis produced three nerve agents, Tabun, Sarin, and Soman. To my knolwedge, they never used them. From this he/she construicted that I said that the Nazis didn't use poison gas, and put me in the revisionist corner. While I tried to keep a low profile, and focus on the issue at hand, Mathglot proved to be extremely aggressive; he went on to personally insult me, and put me in the 'hat-collector' group. So, while I think that the tone of the original statement of the IP of 2014 was a little harsh, I still think that this interaction showed how we are/were able to handle problems. The statements had been there for several years. No matter what the outcome of this is, I expect an apology from Mathglot. Other than that I will no longer interact with the user.--Eptalon (talk) 00:48, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
I'd just like to correct something here; the collapsible box was added today, not half a year ago. --IWI (talk) 01:32, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
@Mathglot: To respond to comments, you should likely do so by replying to the comment as you would with any other talk page comment, rather than appending it to the nomination statement. Naleksuh (talk) 01:46, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you; let me fix that... Mathglot (talk) 02:07, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Moving my response to correct location; indentation may be off...
At 00:48, 24 January 2021 (UTC) Eptalon said,
No matter what the outcome of this is, I expect an apology from Mathglot.
Before filing this, I thought long and hard about it. It cannot be pleasant at all to find oneself here. For any hurt or embarrassment I caused you, Eptalon, I do sincerely apologize; I have no wish to hurt you. That said, my allegiance is to the best interests of the encyclopedia, and that must take precedence. My report was filed in good faith, to that end; and I can also state, that if it is the consensus here that further apology on my part should be forthcoming toward you, I will be more than happy to comply.
Since I'm here again anyway, a couple of minor points:
About half a year ago, the edit was fitted with a collapsible box...
Unless there's another edit I'm unaware of, the collapse took place today at 19:18, 23 January in this edit by me (rev 7319381).
You further claimed,
From this he/she construicted that I said that the Nazis didn't use poison gas, and put me in the revisionist corner.
No, I said that the IP user implied that they didn't use poison gas, not that you did; but that by reinstating that user's denialist edit, and subsequently uncollapsing it, you left open the impression of what your intentions were, giving a bad example of admin (or even regular editor) behavior. I stated (bold in the original): "there's no reason to restore 5 year old pro-Nazi conspiracy theories by an IP user", which is undeniably what you did.
Mathglot proved to be extremely aggressive; he went on to personally insult me, and put me in the 'hat-collector' group.
I'm sorry you found my tone aggressive; I meant it to be strongly supportive of WP policies of NPOV and FRINGE (which I did not feel necessary to link for you, given your experience), and if the tone was too aggressive, well, I'm sorry. I deny any personal insults; they are forbidden on Wikipedia. I cannot respond to the last part, as I do not know what a hat collector is. Someone who unhats collapsed conversations?
Comment-Even, if it is proved that Eptalon is guilty, I think we should give him last chance for proving themselves as not guilty. Even if I come there in this wiki a month ago, I obseved their activites. He is although a trusted user for many years.DJRC (talk) 13:28, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
The outcome at this point is clear. As I said above, Chenzw's 00:56 post gave a good analysis with a mitigating factor for restoration which could support an oppose !vote, for those so inclined. In addition, I have Sro23's 24 Jan. comment in mind as well. In my opinion, there's no point in carrying this further. Eptalon, I don't know if you prefer the official stamp of an uninvolved admin evaluation and closure, but I'm willing to withdraw the nomination if you prefer that alternative. Let me know; if I don't hear anything, I'll let it run its course. Cheers, Mathglot (talk) 01:02, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
As a minor point of order, I believe (if I'm not mistaken) such a request would have to be closed by an uninvolved 'crat (of which there are currently two who have not commented), given that removing admin rights would require them. But yes, the community has spoken and the outcome is clear in any case; I hope Eptalon will take the comments made at this discussion on board for the future. --IWI (talk) 01:16, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
I will be closing it when week is up as an uninvolved crat. -Djsasso (talk) 12:05, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
@Djsasso Might be time to close, 1 week seems to be up? If I didn't get the timezone wrongly. Thanks so much. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 10:53, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
Sorry slipped my mind this weekend. Closing now. -Djsasso (talk) 12:26, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
The above adminship discussion is preserved as an archive of the discussion. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page (such as the talk page of either this nomination or the nominated user). No further edits should be made to this page.