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This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Jimbo Wales (talk | contribs) at 09:28, 13 April 2023 (→‎Paid editing recruitment allegation). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.

Requests for arbitration

Initiated by -- Amanda (she/her) at 23:15, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried

Statement by AmandaNP

As a former Arb, the last place I want to be is ArbCom. Sincerely, the last. This issue though, if we don't want it just swept under the rug, has to be addressed here. The problem is, we have allegations that are private and can't be disclosed on wiki for the community to properly review and for what has or has not already been sent to the committee, there is no guarentee a collective result will come of it (whether that's nothing or something) or that it's going to be collectively reviewed even.

In the past couple of days, the founder has dropped an allegation than an inactive former arb is recruiting for WikiExperts, doubled down on it and then dismissed it as an active investigation. This was apparently worth dropping this allegation on a public user talk page, without evidence, while the "evidence" remained under private view. Last I checked, this is a neon-level brightline stuff that you don't do, especially as an adminstrator, much less CU, OS and Founder.

There are now emerging viewpoints that the evidence is a (insert your typical sentence meaning it's not worth the money it's printed on).

We have already had the discussion attempted to be shut down for ArbCom to review, that being reversed, and a (good faith?) attempt to wipe the discussion off of wiki a good faith attempt to remove the discussion not to further slight Bradv. Further more, I wouldn't be surprised if User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Please_respond gets shut down over people repeatedly saying this is wrong 20 different ways or a return to work order misguided prioritization of what we are here for.

Disclaimer: I have not reviewed said evidence, nor - as far as I have been made aware - have access to said information, not that I need it.

I have left the parties to a minimum as I don't think anyone else's actions rise to the level of needing to be reviewed here. I formally request ArbCom to review this matter, regardless of the outcome. -- Amanda (she/her) 23:15, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GeneralNotability: At absolute minimum - a formal/collective response to the evidence, some thoughts/acknowledgement about how many levels of WP:SUPERMARIO apply here that will likely make Jimbo immune to any steps that would have been taken, and an admonishment for the conduct. Beyond that, I'm not gong to backseat arb - something I hated in my days - and tell you where this should go. -- Amanda (she/her) 23:35, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To also be further clear, I did not link WP:ADMINACCT, I linked WP:ADMINCOND - two very different standards. -- Amanda (she/her) 23:48, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A reply to Rhododendrites -- Amanda (she/her) 01:14, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re lack of ANI: I specifically elected not to draw up ANI because it would have gone the exact same direction as the two user talks with no one having the power to do anything except determine a collective "yes, this was wrong" which doesn't need to be exercised from the talk to ANI. Beyond that, this involves private evidence - something that the community has been time and time over is ArbCom jurisdiction. Furthermore, as CU, the paid editing angle has a functional framework with in that tool this issue can be addressed - that was blatantly ignored until just last night. I could go on, but you get the point - this is not something the community can handle on it's own.
@SilkTork: "But while Wales has made mistakes, he tends to apologise, and not to repeat them." So you are apologizing for them? That's not how this works. As I said in my original statement, he was told he was wrong, doubled down, and is now hiding behind an "investigation" without retracting nor apologizing. But I didn't realize that this is the "reasonable, respectable, and are the Wiki way". Had he done that, I wouldn't be here. "unreasonable and provocative and generate more heat than light" - if you need to make me a martyr for asking for an apology or ArbCom action, go ahead. I'm here to stand for the community that has no recourse as a regular editor to address this.
GeneralNotability: Any sort of legitimate retraction and apology for the shade and disruption caused, and I'll happily back down with the case request. But until I see that, holding him responsible for his conduct is the only way I see this moving forward. Whether that through a case, an RFC, or whatever - a lot of the community is a lot more creative than I will ever be - but as long as things are addressed. -- Amanda (she/her) 11:52, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Jimbo Wales

First, a statement of personal belief and commitment which I think virtually anyone one who knows me will know is sincere: I believe that people ought to treat each other with civility and respect even in tense situations, and I believe that when people err in that, they should apologise, and I believe that an understanding of human nature means that we should be generous and WP:AGF about such apologies. I was intemperate in my remarks because I am passionate about the problem of COI editing, and it upset me to imagine that an admin might be actually recommending such services. Per the guidance at WP:COICOIN the first thing to do in such a situation is reach out directly to the editor with concerns, and I wish that I had done that in a better way. I did not realize that BradV has been gone from the project for a year, or I would have pursued the matter differently.

Second, even though this case has nothing to do with admin rights or tools at all, people are raising those as some kind of stakes on the table. That's entirely unnecessary and a complete distraction. I am asking T&S to simply remove all my advanced permissions across all projects, leaving only the founder flag as a small kindness to me, but with no actual technical capabilities. I don't use those powers at all, have no intention to use those powers, and if it will prevent people from gearing up for some kind of wild constitutional crisis, then by all means, let's just take that off the table. What I do for the projects, and my role in the projects, is not about technical rights in the software, and hasn't been for a great many years. The last time we adjusted my rights was in 2021 "(Updating at Jimbo’s request to improve overall site security)" and I will ask them to see to it that this happens again.

I'd like us all to get back to the real issue at hand, which is not about me getting irritated and then apologizing, and it is not about advanced tools in the software that I'm not even using. The real issue is one that I hope we can rally everyone on together which is the problem of paid professional COI editing going on and someone being victimized to the tune of $15,000. (That part is not seriously in doubt in this case, and it should upset us all.)

In terms of whether or not ArbCom should take up this case, I would obviously argue that the answer is no. I've looked for every reasonable or unreasonable "remedy" suggested here and decided to just take those actions myself voluntarily to quickly move this along to a more productive discussion. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:28, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Bradv

Statement by Rhododendrites

I don't wish to be involved with this, but will respond to this insulting question mark and loaded language: a (good faith?) attempt to wipe the discussion off of wiki.

I saw the thread on Bradv's talk page when it was linked to from WP:POST/TIPS. Jimmy went in hot, making an allegation based on off-wiki evidence, apparently not knowing that he was describing a common scam. It was something that could've been handled off-wiki, or the suspicions assuaged by a private conversation with someone familiar with the paid editing racket. IMO the best thing would've been for the first admin who saw the allegation to remove it, send a message to Jimmy with advice, and maybe even revdel it. Having an accusation like that on your user talk when you're not active is pretty uncool, especially when it's so unlikely to be adequately substantiated, and especially from the founder, whose actions inevitably attract a great deal of attention. Someone should've nipped it in the bud and reached out to Jimmy to say "I don't blame you for being worried by whatever you saw, but FYI it's a well-documented tactic and very likely bogus. No harm in asking privately, but this wasn't the way to handle it." That way we minimize the amount of attention the allegations can get and we avoid a situation where they explode into a dramabomb (about the content of the allegations and/or about the allegations themselves), which everyone should want to avoid.

So yeah, I hatted it. In doing so, I described hatting as a cowardly half-measure, then quickly thought better and removed it. I didn't see that anyone had hatted/unhatted it already, and when I realized they had, I pinged the two users involved on my talk page. I was clear it was a bold action and that anyone could undo if they felt strongly. Nobody has.

As for why we're here, being a founder while making a mistake doesn't seem like a good reason for a case. A lot of people have already given him the business, but a drawn out case doesn't seem like it would do anyone any good. A mea culpa at this point should put it to bed. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 00:03, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Hurricane Noah

I have seen the discussion on Bradv's talk page and agree the accusations were handled in a very inappropriate manner. I'm mainly concerned with how everyone is going to approach this because Jimbo Wales is the founder of WP. He shouldn't be treated like a king or a god who is mightier than thou and above all policies. He should be treated the same as any other admin or editor who has done the same conduct. No one editor is more important than another which is demonstrated by the fact that we don't give experienced editors a supervote over newer ones in discussions, argument strength aside. We shouldn't give the founder of WP a pass here just because he is the founder. He should be held accountable for his conduct the same as anyone else, otherwise, it will set a bad precedent that certain people are above all reproach on WP. NoahTalk 00:19, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is years of misconduct that needs to be addressed here. As occurred with the Meghan Markle fiasco, he said he doesn't care and would do his move against consensus again anyways. Does this sound like someone who should have advanced permissions? Quite frankly I have to agree with others that Jimbo lacks the trust required to retain his advanced permissions and these should be removed by some venue. Everytime he comes here and does something it starts drama. People need to hold him to the standards everyone else are subject to. Someone else with his advanced permissions surely would have lost them long ago with everything that has happened over the years. NoahTalk 12:01, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by LilianaUwU

For some reason, I feel like this will end with no consequences for Jimbo. Why, you must be asking? Because he's untouchable, and everyone knows it. But it doesn't have to be this way. There's obvious evidence of misconduct by Mr. Wales here, and he should be treated like any other admin who throws around unfounded accusations. LilianaUwU (talk / contributions) 00:36, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Then again, I often accuse people of COI - but it's usually obvious enough that I'm clear of any outing issues. If anything, Jimbo should've contacted Bradv privately, considering the evidence was supposedly private. LilianaUwU (talk / contributions) 01:12, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Bilby

I must admit that I'm a tad confused by the drama around this. Asking if an editor has a COI or is engaged in paid editing is a common thing to do - we have a string of templates that do exactly that, and raising the issue with the editor is what is recommended. So I assume that asking Bradv is not, in itself, a concern. Therefore, the problem must be one of tone or one of authority - either the issue here is that it should have been handled better (something which I don't see a lot of need for ArbCom to comment on, and certainly no need for a case, as that seems to have been accepted by everyone by now) or that questions about COI can't be made of or by certain people, which isn't how this should work. Thus yes, I agree that this should have been handled better, but I'm not seeing much room for ArbCom here, especially given that Bradv - one of the two main people involved in this - hasn't commented, nor has even edited for close to a year. - Bilby (talk) 01:03, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by The Wordsmith

All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again. This isn't our first rodeo; every time Jimbo takes rash action dating back to at least 2009 he's been found to be out of touch with community norms and processes. Jimbo wields an incredible amount of soft power, but the reason this request exists is that he also holds considerable hard power in his advanced permissions, namely the CO, OS and Founder flags. Arbcom is the only avenue outside of an Office Action that can review his continued possession of these flags. In particular, Jimbo cannot overrule an Arbcom decision against him.[1] There's also precedent; his flags were removed at Commons, Meta and English Wikinews.

Given the circumstances I'm not sure how much there would be for Arbcom to do directly, since it seems pretty cut and dried. Nor do I think Arbcom should be taking a hard look at removing his advanced permissions without discussion, especially since no tools were used (as far as we know) in this snafu. I do think the least unproductive use of the Committee's time would be a motion creating a binding RFC to ask the Community at large to discuss Jimbo's advanced permissions, and whether he should be transitioned to a more ceremonial role. The WordsmithTalk to me 02:07, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Dennis Brown

Barkeep49, treating him like "any other admin" is virtually impossible, and if you think about it a minute, an ANI report is about impossible. Use your imagination. This is the only reasonable venue. We *should* hold him to the same conduct requirements we expect of others. Honestly, Wales shouldn't have the advanced privledges at this point. Not for this incident in particular, and it isn't personal, but he simply isn't up to date with community expectations for advanced permissions usage. It is Arb's responsibility to decide who gets OS and CU exclusively. As for admin bits, I wonder if he actually qualifies under the new rules that were implimented last year. Maybe. But regardless, only Arb can consider the advanced privs, and this is as good a reason as any to review those. Dennis Brown - 02:33, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by GRuban

So, wait. The thing that Jimbo is being criticised for is asking whether Bradv accepted money for making a Wikipedia article? Not stating that he did, but asking whether he did? Surely asking the question is not out of bounds; that's a standard question for at Requests for Adminship, for example. --GRuban (talk) 02:38, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by BilledMammal

While the reasons Rhododendrites hatted and then removed the discussion are understandable, I don't think it was the right move without also moving the discussion to another forum, such as WP:AN - the behavioral issues demonstrated there need to be reviewed, not hidden in a pages contribution history.

An alternative to AN is as AmandaNP suggests; an ARBCOM case, and the structured format may be beneficial to reviewing this issue.

Statement by Usedtobecool

We should not require Jimbo to be perfect. He's a symbol here but he is still human. Time to move on. Usedtobecool ☎️ 02:53, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Rschen7754

  • Wikipedia:Casting aspersions has been a principle in so many ArbCom cases.
  • Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Audit/Statistics says that Jimbo is currently failing the activity policy. I won't dig into the page history, but it is my recollection that it has been the case for several years. I will point out that in the past Jimbo has had global CU/OS access, but apparently in 2021 that was removed at his own request.
  • Very few admins are going to block Jimbo, even for legitimate reasons. Since that is the first thing many compromised accounts have done, doing so could lead to an emergency global lock. --Rschen7754 03:49, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by MarioGom

Jimbo publicly accused Bradv of being associated with WikiExperts based on a credible report [2]. To anyone familiar with undisclosed paid editing (UPE), this is absurd, since we know this is a common modus operandi of some UPE. But, even if it was genuinely credible, the place to report admin abuse based on private communications is ArbCom's email. This is a mistake that can be understandable if made by a newbie, but Jimbo is an admin and has access to the functionaries mailing lists where this kind of case is often reported. A public retraction could have settled it. Several editors raised concerns and explained why exactly the original message was wrong. However, Jimbo doubled down, not addressing a single concern, maintaining the accusation, and also insinuating that other admins could also be involved in WikiExperts operations ([...] he - and perhaps other admins [...] [3]). I think that, from that point, it has become a serious misconduct case. The third message by Jimbo [4] has no retraction or acknowledgement of any of the concerns raised before, and also suggest that Jimbo didn't even have evidence at hand in the first place. I doubt any other functionary would retain access to functionaries mailing list after this. It is not ok to just move on while Jimbo does not address any concern and does not retract the accusations.

If the case is accepted, I'll present on-wiki and off-wiki evidence about cases of extortion by UPEs and cases of (blatant) admin impersonation. Jimbo is on functionaries mailing lists, so I assume he has received evidence of this type of case before. MarioGom (talk) 06:41, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To the question of why ArbCom: Although this case initially involved only on-wiki conduct, and could have been handled at ANI if needed (even without ANI if there was a retraction!), there are now some aspects that I think warrant ArbCom involvement:
  • There are private communications between Jimbo and ArbCom involved. These communications cannot be assessed at ANI.
  • Jimbo has access to functionaries mailing lists, and this incident suggests he cannot be trusted when receiving private evidence of impersonation. As far as I understand it, ArbCom oversees access to CheckUser privileges and access to these mailing lists.
MarioGom (talk) 06:55, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I submitted evidence to ArbCom too: A screenshot of a WikiExperts Inc sales agent claiming that their editing team consists of 3 admins and 2 veteran editors, all identified by user name. Next time, they will claim 5 different random admin accounts. This is what they do. All the time. None of them was Bradv, by the way. MarioGom (talk) 20:20, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Galobtter

I think a case should be opened to examine his admin and CU/OS permissions, as per WP:ADMINCOND. Making insinuations based on supposed off-wiki evidence is WP:Casting aspersions; I think a regular administrator would at least get an admonishment. And considering that according to GeneralNotability "there's no evidence. It's just a vague assertion by Jimbo. No screenshots, no indication of who the target of the scam was, certainly nothing strong enough to publicly accuse anybody of UPE" - this calls into question his ability to block people based on off-wiki evidence, so I don't think he should hold CU/OS permissions.

In addition, I don't see why the committee shouldn't treat him as any other user, enforce the inactivity policy, and remove the CU/OS permissions for that reason. Galobtter (talk) 07:07, 12 April 2023 (UTC) Especially considering the inactivity policy is partly for security reasons and his account has been hacked before. Galobtter (talk) 07:40, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I also think The Wordsmith's suggestion of a binding RfC is a reasonable alternative. There's a clear loss of community trust in him using his advanced permissions, from this and other incidents. Since there's no community desysop process, I think if ArbCom doesn't want a case, it should allow the community to decide if he has enough trust to remain an admin.
The main confounding factor here seems to be that he rarely actually uses his permissions, and incidents involving him are infrequent enough where it hard to say the individual action necessitates action. (I note the last time he meaningfully used his permissions, was an out-of-process move through move-protect that only caused more drama.) Galobtter (talk) 07:40, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement from Harry Mitchell

Jimbo Wales has a long history of rash, ill-considered actions. This incident did not involve the use of admin tools but many previously have and future incidents will unless something changes. It is clear that Jimbo does not have the fluency with our policies and guidelines that we expect of an administrator, let alone a checkuser or oversighter. The best way to avoid drama and ill feeling would be for him to voluntarily relinquish the rights; this should be no hardship as he almost never uses them. If it was ever necessary for him to view something on WMF business, the WMF can facilitate access as they do for their staff. Failing a voluntary resignation, I endorse The Wordsmith's suggestion for an ArbCom-mandated binding RfC.

This pattern of rash actions is not one we tolerate from any other admin. An admin with such a track record would not be granted functionary permissions and would have been desysopped or encouraged to resign a long time ago. The very fact that it has got this far is evidence that we are not dealing with "any other admin". That we are referring to him as Jimmy or Jimbo is evidence that this is not "just another admin"; I routinely use my first name on Wikipedia but if I were the subject of an arbitration request, I can't imagine any arbitrator referring to me as Harry.

None of this is to say that Jimmy is not welcome to participate in the community. On the contrary. I have no doubt that he is deeply invested in Wikipedia's success and we should welcome his participation in writing articles and contributing to discussions. But it would be best for all if he participated without special privileges that he doesn't use anyway. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 11:31, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There seems to be a school of thought forming that this is a one-off incident and that nothing needs to be done because there's no reason to think it will happen again. This is not the case. Jimbo has a history of poorly considered actions. They are infrequent, but he edits (aside from his talk page) infrequently and uses his advanced permissions even less frequently. We would not tolerate any other admin with a cycle of appearing after long lapses in activity to make an ill-considered action then returning to inactivity (which has many parallels with Dbachmann, who was desysopped last week). This incident should be examined as part of a pattern, otherwise we'll be having this conversation again in a few months or a few years. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:09, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Ritchie333

On first glance, this looks like a tempest in a teapot, with invective such as "This is so below the line of WP:5P4 and WP:NPA ... You do have resources ... use it next time you want to try this crap." followed by Jimbo replying with "Let me apologize for the unnecessary tone in my inquiry." The principal issues here are a) BradV isn't around and couldn't shut the discussion down quickly by moving the conversation somewhere private where he could refute the accusation in detail, and b) Jimbo doesn't have enough time to devote himself to the regular administrative side of Wikipedia and so has a tendency to potentially come across as using hit and run management, and every time it happens it creates drama, as Galobtter mentions above. So I think a case would be worthwhile, simply because this a problem that the community cannot resolve on their own. At least one arb has said Jimbo should not be an administrator; the committee should therefore take a case to see if that's a majority or minority view. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:35, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by WaltCip

This is interesting. An Arbcom request against an advanced rights holder where the desired outcome isn't a de-sysop or a ban, but rather an apology or formal response regarding unfounded allegations that were made. A relevant quote to this is on WP:ARBHIST: In April 2007, Wales confirmed that the Committee could overturn any decision he makes in his traditional capacity within Wikipedia. So given AmandaNP's decision to bring this before the committee to resolve, the first question is whether ArbCom has the ability to require such a response be made by Jimmy. The second question is whether the conduct to this point has been so unwarrantable as to require such a response. I certainly understand AmandaNP's concern about being able to hear these grievances in an impartial environment where the first immediate response is not "move along, nothing to see here, go build an encyclopedia", and I also believe that such an accusation from Jimmy runs a huge risk of authority bias, but I don't know that ArbCom can make a full case out of this. It seems like a very straightforward issue, probably easiest resolved by a motion of censure.

Another thing: I'm not sure I agree that we need to look into removing admin tools or CU rights or things of that nature, because the misconduct that has taken place here does not specifically apply to his use of the tools. --WaltClipper -(talk) 13:05, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

With Jimbo now emailing evidence to the committee, it's clear that my previous statement may no longer be operative, and that we may actually need a full case. --WaltClipper -(talk) 19:59, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by North8000

One thing often overlooked here and other venues is the usefulness of making a careful and official finding on the action in question, separate from dealing with possible remedies in response to that finding. Including on whether or not it was wrong, and if so how serious the offense was. This would also include findings on whether or not advanced permissions (including access that goes with them) were utilized in that action. Since this may involve off-wiki evidence, I think that only arbcom can handle this. All of the other premature conjecture about major changes (such as removal of tools) is just that. We know that Jimbo is passionate about UPE. If what he did is found to be wrong, it might have been a lapse in a heated moment. EN-Wiki has no top level structure except disciplinary, and regarding steering the ship I trust Jimbo far more than the largely self-appointed WMF ivory tower. We seem to be randomly hypothesizing or talking about large scale deprecation of Jimbo over an incident which has not even had a finding and which even under many of the possible negative determinations would not warrant such a thing. Arbcom should take on making a finding on the specific incident. Then if possible further action looks warranted, perhaps a community discussion at that point would be good, which would be informed by those findings. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 16:18, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update: Findings were the basis of my post. Jimbo has stipulated that he tone of his post was wrong and apologized for the wrong tone. Regarding findings this leaves a lot less open and thus tentatively negates my post. North8000 (talk) 20:21, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Alanscottwalker

This case request is an overreaction. Most the comments on the page where this began were an overreaction. Should Jimbo have asked the question better, perhaps and he apologized for that already, but the questioning itself especially on a User's talk page is legitimate. As is anyone deciding that someone who supposedly told them something is credible - evidence is not just documents, evidence is what people say, too. There is no WP:ASPERSION, here, and there no way that a single Yes/No question can be aspersion in this matter in any reasonable sense. And, we as a community in substance ask for the same information on Wiki, all the time (see eg RfA). Please decline. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:44, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As for how admins should conduct themselves (ADMINCOND), they should be more than open to discuss yes and no whether they are involved or not involved in such a matter, and they should be open to discussing the use or misuse of their wiki nom-de-plum (their wiki nom-de-plum is, at least in some sense, the responsibility of Wikipedia). Being open about it, is the only way the pedia, the admin, and others can be protected. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:57, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If admins names are being used (whether voluntarily or especially involuntarily) in advertising, it makes absolutely no sense to not openly discuss it on Wikipedia. Advertising is not private, advertising is public commercial speech, and that's true whether it's a web page or a solictation e-mail. The only ethical thing to do is discuss it openly on the Pedia (most particularly, if it is a fraud, otherwise we are complicit in the fraud once we know, and act to keep the public in the dark). Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:42, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Buffs

This is a particularly egregious misuse of private information being a)publicly disclosed and b) in such a manner that it cannot be refuted (it's private). Jimbo could have gone any number of ways with this and, instead, chose to violate a host of policies/guidelines:

  • WP:AGF - AGF wasn't even present...
  • WP:CIVIL - this is hardly the civil course of action
  • WP:COMPETENCEISREQUIRED - Jimbo should know better than to behave like this if he has these editing rights
  • WP:No legal threats - this is a de facto accusation of illegality/scam
  • WP:DR - could have followed this route
  • WP:BLP - applies to WPians as well
  • and others I'm sure.

Pressures or not, JW has an obligation to serve in his capacities in a manner befitting his position(s). If he or anyone in such a role demonstrates they cannot or will not do so, that individual should be removed from said position(s), he should be removed forthwith. At a bare minimum, an admonishment should follow (a summary judgement from ArbCom w/o evidence would be sufficient in this instance). Buffs (talk) 17:04, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • @Floquenbeam: "This is Jimbo being Jimbo, and I don't see how we change that." We change that the same way we'd change anyone: someone in a position of authority says "enough!" and does something about it. We should never accept poor behavior just because "that's how he is". For way too long in society, we accepted what we now deem intolerable behavior. Our rules/policies are meaningless if we ignore them; they are a cudgel of the oligarchs if we ignore them for the chosen people. Buffs (talk) 22:10, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Floq

I'd decline this as a case. The main reason we’re here is not that someone accused someone else of being involved in paid editing, or that they violated some policy doing so. That happens a lot, actually. The main reason we’re here is that one of the founders of Wikipedia (in theory, the more clueful one) is quite often a bull in a china shop, and in this case made an obviously-dumb-on-its face public accusation, and it’s a bigger deal because of the weight of his position, and how clueless the concern was. We already look bad because of the other one, but it makes it worse when this founder publicly says clueless things, but that isn't really an ArbCom issue. This problem isn’t going to be solved by taking any permissions away (although, for other reasons, I don’t really think he should have them anymore), or "sanctioning" Jimbo, or saying "tsk tsk" in a more official way than we already have. This can only be solved by an apology, and a promise to do better; one that isn't going to be "forced" by ArbCom action. I'm not holding my breath; contra Silk Tork, that's not really how I've observed Jimbo rolling. tl;dr: This is Jimbo being Jimbo, and I don't see how we change that. --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:36, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Jayron32

  • This is the standard "tempest in a teacup" that happens whenever Jimbo says something controversial. I highly doubt we'd even be considering an arbcom case if this were any other user. It seems the main request is to remove advanced permissions from Jimbo, which really should only be considered for either a) abusing those tools or b) Doing something so egregious that it boggles the mind; basically it should be bad enough that, even if tools weren't involved, it would be a permaban anyways. This is neither. Should Jimbo has said what he should have? No, he shouldn't. Should he perhaps be admonished formally for saying those things, and reminded that he shouldn't say them again. Beyond that, what I see is people being more harsh than they would with anyone else. I mean, that's why ArbCom exists, to have a level head and not get caught up in the "zOMG Jimbo!!!11!" dramaz. I urge the committee members to decline this case as a formal case, and at best to issue a formal admonishment and request that Jimbo use the correct channels for accusations of this type going forward. --Jayron32 17:46, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Tryptofish

I think the first step here should be to wait until Jimbo makes a statement in his designated section of this request page. Let's see what he says. "Co-founder of Wikipedia does something ill-considered" is not an immediate threat to the editing community, and doesn't strike me as being that big a deal. Yes, he has had a history of stuff like this. And en-wiki is still here. The sky didn't fall. Yes, he's done it now, pretty embarrassingly. But the sky won't fall now, either. (Arguably, another Board member did worse during Framgate.) Depending on what he says, ArbCom has an option of passing a motion that might look a little like the letter to WMF during Framgate. I also think it might do some good to examine whether desysopping on the basis of inactivity is warranted, and checkuser and oversight would necessarily accompany that. But the thought of a case, with Jimbo presenting evidence or rebutting evidence – well, one should take a deep breath before going there. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:27, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just as an fyi, I started a related discussion at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest#Do we need a disclaimer/warning?. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:30, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by BD2412

Just noting for the record that as a relatively well-known admin, I get emails all the time asserting some kind of wrongdoing needing to be looked into. Some are more serious or better framed than others, and while I frankly rarely check the email associated with my Wikipedia account (because people rarely bother to tell me I've got mail), when I see something that genuinely raises an eyebrow, I look into it. The wording of Jimbo's inquiry was overly accusatory and poorly done (I can think of a thousand ways to note the concern having been raised without sounding like I believe it), but the best solution is a firm trouting. A firm trouting from Arbcom would be appropriate, but could just as well come from another venue. BD2412 T 20:37, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Giraffer

Despite how it may have reached him, Jimbo made the talk page post in his personal capacity as an editor, and so it would make the most sense for his conduct to be examined purely from that perspective -- the same perspective from which any regular admin or functionary in front of the committee is looked at. Whether he holds those roles ex officio as founder or not, he should be accountable to the policies that govern them, as well as those that govern the rest of us. The extent to which Jimbo's soft power as founder should play a role in any potential proceedings is something only ArbCom can really decide, but his position should absolutely not absolve him of responsibility (akin to any other functionary) for his actions.

I don't know what the committee's remit pertaining to founder-related things is. It seems like prior disputes involving Jimbo have been resolved informally, but his inadequate/insufficient responses over the past few days is making something like that increasingly less appealing to some people. Even though bringing this straight to ArbCom is not really "treating him like a regular admin", I think it was the right step. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I find it hard to see any hypothetical AN(I) thread not descending into an existential mess; the rigorous clerking system here seems like a better option, even though ArbCom isn't a parallel process to the adminboards.

The evidence here seems to be limited, and so my first thought in terms of solutions is to resolve this by motion, be that an admonishment, warning, reminder, etc. as the committee feels fit. Giraffer (talk·contribs) 22:00, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Jehochman

Jimmy, I endorse the benefits of resigning advanced ops that you don’t use frequently enough to remain current on their best practices. I did this myself and have been happier since I joined the ranks of ordinary editors.

Everyone else, I think we should forgive an occasional error by somebody who has done so much good for so long.

We have an article that may be relevant: Joe job. When somebody gets taken in we shouldn’t fault them too hard. Jehochman Talk 04:45, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Yngvadottir

Admin tools were not used, and Jimbo has promised not to use his tools on, so I do not believe his admin rights are directly relevant here, and also believe it's only fair to continue to exempt him from admin activity requirements. But both the manner of his broaching the topic with Bradv and the evidently inadequate evidence that he found credible (especially since he must have been aware of Orangemoody and other blackmail / scam cases, given his access to functionary reports) indicate poor judgement, below the standard expected at RfA. I'm aware of one prior incident where he was uncivil, to Sitush in 2014. I gave him a warning via e-mail and others also objected; this is his apology the next day while maintaining that he was right on the issue. Several statements above allude to a pattern of rash actions, but I believe the core issue here is that his lack of discretion and tendency to waive civility concerns because he thinks he is right render him unfit to retain access to private information. I urge the committee to examine whether he should lose his functionary rights on If that requires a case with extended evidence, so be it, but the committee may choose to determine that this event and other statements here are enough for a summary judgement. Yngvadottir (talk) 08:03, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by {Non-party}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should address why or why not the Committee should accept the case request or provide additional information.

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

  • So here's my question to AmandaNP (and the inevitable horde of people who will weigh in on any case request): what do you want ArbCom to do here? I'm going to quote directly from a comment I made internally on the arb list, since it outlines my stance quite clearly: Jimbo has not abused any advanced perms here, so this isn't an ADMINACCT deal. The misuse was of his "soft" power as founder by making a poorly-thought-out accusation. That is, theoretically, something the community is supposed to be able to address on its own. While I am quite displeased with Jimbo's behavior here, and I have made my views on that very clear on-wiki, I don't know what ArbCom specifically can/should do here. I was also opposed to us taking action on our own, but now that there's a case request in front of us I'm open to suggestions at least. GeneralNotability (talk) 23:24, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I had no problem with Rhododendrites removing the thread, and I agree it was probably better to remove the thread entirely. The back-and-forth between me and SilkTork was a disagreement about how the discussion was closed, not whether it was closed. I also agree with both Rhododendrites and Barkeep that this can be resolved fairly amicably with a public apology. As I said on Jimbo's talk page: If Jimbo had responded with "sorry, I didn't know this was a common scam, sorry Bradv, I'll email my evidence to the correct places and let them handle it," I would have been more than happy to forgive and forget. We all make mistakes, and anyone can fall victim to a scam. The problem is that Jimbo doubled down, insisting that Brad answer directly, even after a half dozen very trusted folks told him that he was making a mistake. I think there is still room for that apology, though it will not carry as much weight as if it had been given earlier before things escalated. GeneralNotability (talk) 00:18, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Okay, now we've actually received evidence (screenshots of text or Telegram or something conversations with a couple of scammers). I won't fault the person who was conned here (since they're clearly not familiar with Wikipedia), but anyone who knows bradv can tell you that the person claiming to be him in these messages...clearly wasn't. The person was using unusual wording that suggests to me that they're not a native speaker, either - and anyone who's worked with Brad can tell you that he's quite well-spoken. The person also made a number of nonsensical policy claims that Brad would know better than to make. Beyond that, there's the sheer nonsensicality of the conversation. Summary of the relevant bits:
    The mark received an unsolicited contact from not-Brad saying "I'm an administrator and your article failed our notability review." They then gave the standard paid editor nonsense about needing a "verified editor" to get one's article published (referring them to Wiki Experts in the process). Later on, we get to my my personal favorite part - he says that someone else has "claimed" the article in question already (so he can't edit it) and he needs to find an "arbitrator" to get it back. This is all steering them toward the Wiki Experts person (who's pretty clearly either the same person or a confederate), who is helpfully saying "of course we can help you, but it will cost (lots of money)." Page gets deleted or marked as UPE or something, lots of stalling ensues, mark requests a refund and doesn't get it, etc., etc. They also tell the victim that they've talked to 20+ arbitrators to get the page returned to them (news to me, would the secret extra arbs please raise a hand) and most of the arbs would charge $4k but they found one who will do it for $2k.
    The second persona in the con is a new one for me, but this is nothing we haven't seen a thousand times before, and anyone who's done work dealing with paid editing could have told Jimbo in a heartbeat that this is an obvious scam. Jimbo should have known better. If he wants to take a hard line on paid editing, there are a lot of people around here (me included) who are familiar with the tricks and would be happy to work with him and the Foundation to come up with better ways to respond.
    And speaking as one of the people in that area, since people brought it up: yes, it is normal to ask people whether they're COI/paid. This is almost exclusively done based on their behavior on-wiki - obvious promotional tone, writing articles exclusively related to a certain person or company, etc. We don't go off of claims from paid editing groups or unsolicited contacts that people forward to the paid-en-wp que for exactly this reason: they lie to look good. Half of these companies have a list of "their" articles on their website, and closer investigation usually indicates that the articles have no editors in common, no scent of paid editing, and were probably chosen just for name recognition among potential clients.
    Helpfully, ArbCom also received screenshots from an editor who visited WikiExperts and asked to make a page; they claimed a half-dozen other admins as their editors too. I will not share their names, lest they be subjected to unfounded accusations as well, because the point is clear without those - these folks claim admins as their own in order to look good before they extort their clients.
    So...where does this leave us? Well, for starters, Jimbo could have sent us this evidence much sooner in the dispute, or better, before making any accusations. If we get a full and public apology to Brad, we may still be able to make our way out of this in a friendly manner, though given how long it's taken for the apology to come and how it's being prompted it probably won't be enough. Let me emphasize here: my problem is not with Jimbo's tone in the accusation, it's that he had a sufficient failure of judgment to see all of this evidence, fall for the scam, and be so convinced that he chose to make a public accusation rather than contact the functionaries or paid-en-wp or the Arbitration Committee first. I will not accept "I'm sorry for my tone" as an apology here, because that was not the problem, and Jimbo's failure to understand that is not helping his case with me. If such an apology doesn't come, well, I'm leaning toward accepting a case - I'm starting to think there's a pattern of ADMINCOND concerns here. GeneralNotability (talk) 20:34, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Flibbertigibbets, can't say I find the ChatGPT-generated commentary particularly constructive. Don't do that again. GeneralNotability (talk) 03:09, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Acknowledging that I've seen this. I have also been on the "we shouldn't do anything here until asked to do so by the community". We now have a request, but I am very curious about hearing from members of the community about their thinking. On my mind more than Jimmy's status as an admin is his holding of the enwiki Checkuser permission given that the community has chosen CUs to be responsible for handling off-wiki evidence around UPE. But this also definitely feels like a situation where Jimmy could adjust course in a way that would mean no committee action would ultimately be necessary (this is my reply to Jimmy suggesting a rethink). Barkeep49 (talk) 00:05, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Since it's come up early, I want to address the "treat Jimmy like any other admin" thinking. Given the lack of community noticeboard attempts if Jimmy were just an admin, I would be saying "This feels like an AN/ANI topic" not saying "I want to seriously hear from the community about how they think ArbCom should handle this." My list of "you do this, you get deysoped no matter how good your record is otherwise" is pretty narrow with two of the big ones being wheel warring (actual WHEEL warring not just one admin reversing another admin) and reversing an Arbitration Committee (including those under CT) out of process. That post doesn't cross the line for me. So giving Jimmy a chance to set it right is treating him the same as I would treat any other admin (and I expect more from admins than non-admins so a meaningful correction from a non-admin is more meaningful to me). Importantly, I don't think Admin Foo lands at ArbCom for making the exact same post. I think we're here precisely because Jimmy isn't just an admin but instead has other roles, including the enwiki user group of founder) given how I read Amanda's filing. Barkeep49 (talk) 00:46, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Noting that I am on phone due to an Easter break and will thoroughly review at the weekend, but I do think this is largely a case of Jimbo going in hard because he's passionate about something, combined with his status that he does seem to forget. I do think this whole situation could be resolved by a public message apologising for his tone and a commitment to use the proper procedures in future. If that hasn't happened by the weekend, I expect I'll have more to say. WormTT(talk) 09:39, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Decline. Wales made an error. He did not assume good faith, was too assertive, and asked his question in the wrong place. I can't begin to understand the sort of pressures that Wales has to deal with as the face and spokesperson for Wikipedia, especially when people bring complaints to him, particularly about paid editing. Paid editing appears to be a particular touch point for Wales, and I know that many Wikipedians share Wales' concerns about the reputation of Wikipedia being diminished through allegations of corrupted editing. But I can't imagine that there is anyone, given Wales' role as founder and developer of Wikipedia, who would have as deep a concern for Wikipedia's reputation as Wales himself. Wales made a mistake here. But I don't see it as a malicious one, merely a thoughtless one, presumably driven by Wales' concern for the reputation of Wikipedia. This is not the first mistake that Wales has made, and possibly won't be the last. But while Wales has made mistakes, he tends to apologise, and not to repeat them. He also tends to respond well to people raising concerns. If folks have concerns about some of the functions that Wales holds then the first thing to do is raise those concerns directly with Wales who maintains a presence here on Wikipedia, and has an open door policy. Something I wish other leading Foundation staff would do. Going straight to ArbCom appears to me to be little different to Wales going straight to Bradv's talkpage. We all know there are ways of doing things that are reasonable, respectable, and are the Wiki way. And we know that there are ways that are unreasonable and provocative and generate more heat than light. Wales made an error. Let's not compound that error by making another one. SilkTork (talk) 09:42, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User:AmandaNP, I hope I'm not apologising for Wales. I apologise if I gave that impression, it was not my intention. When someone makes a mistake, we all appreciate it when that mistake is acknowledged, an apology is made, and a commitment is made not to make that mistake again. My intention was to say that in my experience, Wales tends to apologise. For example, Wales said on Bradv's talkpage: "First, let me apologize for the unnecessary tone in my inquiry". Again, this is not me apologising for Wales, but noting that he was aware that his tone was harsh and inappropriate, and he has apologised for that. I think there is some way to go on the apology, but that is a step in the right direction.
My intention is not to make anyone a martyr. My intention is to make this situation less heated and problematic than it already is. My feeling is that an ArbCom case would scale up the heat rather than dial it down, and would be difficult to resolve. That doesn't mean that I think this incident should be dismissed, but that there are perhaps more appropriate and calmer ways of looking into what should be done - for example, raising concerns on Wales' talkpage; including any suggestions that he voluntarily give up certain functions that folks feel concerned about.
My comment "Going straight to ArbCom..." on reflection was poorly written. The intention was not to comment on you bringing this case, but on the case request itself: that I feel it had come too hastily without going through appropriate dispute resolution process (in the same way that Wales' comment on Bradv's talkpage was too hasty, and should have gone though appropriate channels), and that a case itself would be an error. I could have worded that better, and I apologise for that. I hope this explanation has been helpful. If not, let me know. SilkTork (talk)
The evidence consists of WhatsApp conversations from someone who claims to be Bradv. There is a genuine link to Bradv's userpage, but there is also a mock up of a Wikipedia "Entry Notability Review" page, which has this as the start of the url address: "" - which is clearly false. It is clear from the conversations that the person who wanted an article created has been cheated out of money. The processes described do not match up to Wikipedia processes, and there are users (including "moderators") named who do not exist. The person asks many times for their money back, and eventually there is silence.
I don't get involved in investigating paid editing, so this is an eye opener to me how people are being scammed like this, and how much they are willing to pay to have a vanity article on Wikipedia for one year (that's all this person wanted, that the article would remain live for one year).
I am 100% satisfied that Bradv had nothing to do with this. I am 100% satisfied that this is a scam. There are legal implications here, which are the Foundation's responsibility not ArbCom's or the community's. There are links to WikiExperts pricing policy in the screenshots, though there is no certainty from what I have seen that it is WikiExperts who are dealing with this person - it could be scammers pretending to be WikiExperts as well as pretending to have Wikipedia admins (and arbitrators as well - apparently the going rate for an arbitrator is $4K) working for them. There are a number of screenshots (jumbled up), and it's not clear who contacted who, nor who the money is being paid to. The info may be in the data, but I haven't seen it yet. A confirmation of payment screenshot only shows who is paying, not who is being paid. SilkTork (talk) 23:47, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept I disagree that this is not about admin accountability. Jimbo is an admin on this website, and made a very serious public accusation towards another admin. When a unanimous chorus of of other admins and advanced permission holders, along with other members of the community, all said how completely out of line this was, his response was to repeat the allegations. When asked repeatedly if he would just forward whatever evidence he had to the committee, he eventually replied that he had already shared it in an email to one individual arbitrator. What he shared with that arb is just a rehash of what he said on-wiki with zero actual evidence of any kind. We did not go looking for this problem, it is entirely of Mr. Wales own making, he has multiple chances to do the right thing and has chosen not to. He has had numerous people explain that this is a common scam that we are all very familiar with and still insists he is on to something here and the only problem was the tone of his initial remarks, not the entire accusation that he refuses to provide evidence of. If this was a "regular" admin we would not still be debating whether this is a real problem or not. This absolutely is a case of an admin refusing to be accountable, which is firmly within the committee's remit. Beeblebrox (talk) 15:15, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'd like to join the others in expressing how utterly uncompelling the off-wiki evidence is. If there's a smoking gun in there that proves this was Brad, I haven't seen it as of now. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:45, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Here are some things I think are within our power to do:

    1. Assess whether Jimmy's behavior crosses a threshold to remove the administrator group. I think there is a viable case along these lines solely for this incident per WP:ADMINCOND.
    2. Assess whether Jimmy's behavior crosses a threshold to remove the checkuser group. I think there is a viable case along these lines given the nature of the specific incident. Additionally, I think a case could be made that if administrator goes, checkuser also should go. Given the inactivity noted above, there is a different question that I think should be asked about why he's gotten a free pass with the group (to which I suspect the answer will not-unreasonably be "how it's always been" and/or "he's Jimmy").
    3. Assess whether Jimmy's behavior crosses a threshold to remove the oversight group. I think a case could be made that if administrator goes, oversight also should go. Given the inactivity noted above, there is a different question that I think should be asked about why he's gotten a free pass with the group (to which I suspect the answer will not-unreasonably be "how it's always been" and/or "he's Jimmy").
    4. Potentially, assess whether Jimmy's behavior crosses a threshold to remove the edit all user rights permission from the founder group. I do not however think it is within ArbCom's scope to assess whether his behavior has crossed a threshold to remove the founder group itself. (NB, removing the permission, from what I can tell, would make the local group's single remaining permission a subset of the global group of which he is a member per WP:Founder, so in this regard it could be removed simply because it's totally unnecessary.)

      I think a case could be made that if administrator goes, that specific permission also should go. I think it would be more fruitful and a stronger message for the community to assess whether Jimmy should have this permission or local group (currently the permission is shared only with stewards, even bureaucrats do not have this permission; at this point in the wiki's life, I don't think the permission is necessary to have locally at all).

    5. Assess whether Jimmy's behavior crosses a threshold to block or ban Jimmy. I do not think there is a viable case here. I think it would also not be fruitful for the community to discuss it, but it is something in the community's power, and it would certainly send a strong message. (See also required prior attempts at resolution.)

    I based the above viability assessments on this specific incident. I'd be open to a review of previous flareups Jimmy has been party to to assess further along the lines of ADMINCOND.

    Now, should we (ArbCom) do any of these? I really would rather not. I agree with GN's self-quotation above and I agree with the following sentence that if Jimmy had just said "woops, sorry, I'll do the things everyone is telling me to do", this would be a nothingburger (well, as much as any other of the flareups).... So, Jimmy, do us the favor.

    Regarding whether the community can decide to remove the CU, OS, and admin groups (again, I think it could decide to remove the local founder group on its own), I am not sure they can by policy. But I think ArbCom can be flexible on the point if need be given that I think we all recognize that he does not use the tools of interest and has not done so for a long time (and if this incident is indicative of how Jimmy would use the tools, there is decidedly scope for a full case...). I'd accordingly be open to a motion that indicates we would accept the outcome of a community discussion.

    I wrote most of this last night, though skimming responses since doesn't seem to change much. Izno (talk) 16:25, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Jimbo has now emailed evidence to the committee. As for this case request, I'll need to see things develop more. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 19:55, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    While I'm glad Jimbo has sent us the evidence, I think GN summarizes the evidence very well. The texts are outright goofy, a highlight being an Arbitrator charging thousands of dollars for an "arbitration fee"-- I didn't know this job paid that money! It is impossible for this to be Bradv; this is the scammiest scammer ever. This would be funnier if someone unfamiliar with our rules wasn't being taken advantage of and Bradv's name wasn't besmirched. I still want to think more about what comes next but I can see GN's argument for this being an ADMINCOND issue. WIll have to think further. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 21:21, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • My kudos to Jimbo for sending us the evidence, though I must echo the general thoughts that it should have just been sent to us in the first place...if that had happened, maybe we wouldn't be here. My assessment of the Jimbo evidence is that this was just a classic Orangemoody-esque scam. A rather unfortunate mark got scammed out of a lot of money by someone claiming to be Bradv (but who clearly wasn't). The scammer also seems to have impersonated another admin in the process. The mark then contacted Jimbo, they talked, the mark gave Jimbo evidence, and Jimbo then posted the note on Bradv's page. Like, I feel bad for the guy who got scammed. But unfortunately, there's not much that can be done, and Jimbo should've understood that and been upfront with the mark. From reading the evidence...I gotta admit, it makes Jimbo look pretty clueless. It was immediately apparent to me that the guy claiming to Bradv was not, and it had all the hallmarks of a classic impersonation scam. For Jimbo, I think a good trouting is in order, but I don't think this raises to the level of removing perms. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 20:55, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If Jimbo had seen the evidence he sent to us prior to his inquiry of Bradv, then I have quite grave questions about his decision to follow through on this. I don't do paid editing work, and it is so obviously a scam that it boggles the mind how one could see what he sent us and take it seriously. The alternative is that Jimbo hadn't seen the evidence sent to us prior to his inquiry of Bradv, in which case, why would someone (let alone the founder and sitting member of the board of trustees) publicly question the integrity of a community member without having done prior due diligence? The issue here is not the tone with which Jimbo questioned Bradv; the issue is that Jimbo's limited experience in this area is creating problems for others to clean up. An apology for the tone is nice, but what I'd prefer is an apology for wasting the community's time dealing with an issue that could have been avoided with the diligence and prudence normally expected of functionaries. Wug·a·po·des 21:27, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I am leaning towards declining this request, with no prejudice towards AmandaNP for bringing it before us. Was this issue handled well? I think we can all agree that the answer is a definite "no". However, when I saw one of our sitting arbitrators making the comment I don't get involved in investigating paid editing, so this is an eye opener to me how people are being scammed like this it made me realise that, tone and tact issues aside, this was likely inevitable. Most of the arbitrators, checkusers, admins, and folks working with WP:AFC will know about paid editing scams (AFC has its own boilerplate on the issue) but if one is not on the front lines in actually dealing with these cases, or trying clever ways of getting them to admit which actual accounts they are using, it is nothing more than a nebulous "sure, paid editing schemes happen, we should be wary". In other words, if this is the first time Jimbo is seeing first-hand the results of a successful paid editing scam, I am not overly surprised he reacted in the way he did. Having looked through the evidence, it is clear to the arbitrators that it is clearly not bradv, but Jimbo has never worked alongside bradv like we have to know immediately that the tone, style, and language is entirely off.
    I am not trying to make excuses for Jimbo or try to sweep this under the rug, but other than highlighting what seems to be the common knowledge that Jimbo is out of touch with the everyday editor I genuinely do not see what sort of remedies would come out of a case specifically around this incident. Do I personally think that he does not strictly need admin, CU, or OS? Yes, but that is a discussion we can (and likely should) have with him directly, and not through a case, and certainly not as a result of this specific incident (even though it may be the impetus for us to have that discussion). Primefac (talk) 08:58, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]