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I ask the 'crats to forgive me for closing this discussion on "their" noticeboard, but it seems clear that is the best result at this point. (the TLDR answer is "no") Beeblebrox (talk) 01:15, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anne Ammundsen, blocked indef for several months, has decided she'd rather leave the project than be unblocked. She would like to have as much of her connection to it removed, including a rename (after which we can do the other two, easier parts: RevDel'ing any edits that mention her name and real-life identity, and deleting her user and talk pages. Can someone here take care of the rename? The kind that redoes every sig she's left? Daniel Case (talk) 05:19, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(non-Bureaucrat comment) @Daniel Case:WP:VANISH makes clear that the process is only for users in "good standing", and it's already been pointed out several times on Anne's talk page that she doesn't qualify for that. My concern would be that if she returns as a sock puppet later on, it makes it harder to connect the dots. Also, again as per WP:VANISH, I don't think there's ever a vanishing that includes rewriting all signatures, that would be a huge undertaking that would spam people's Watchlists and also make past conversations harder to follow. Similarly with "revdelling any edits which mention her name" - this is also airbrushing history. I think if Anne wishes to leave Wikipedia she should do just that. Walk away and move on with her life, but there's no need for a courtesy vanishing, other than blanking her personal user and talk pages. Cheers — Amakuru (talk) 05:48, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) @Daniel Case: This user has made 2673 edits to talk pages since 2007 and presumably signed their real name in every single one; there's absolutely no way we can remove all that, even if we make an exception to the usual rule that vanishing is only open to users "in good standing". Rev-deleting everybody who ever mentioned her username would also cause huge disruption and deleting user talk pages is only to be done in exceptional circumstances. This doesn't look one to me.
Because I thought this might be something a 'crat could handle. I'll just go and delete her user and talk pages then. Daniel Case (talk) 06:00, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I was thinking about was what you see here, for example ... a vanished user's sig from 14 years ago replaced with "VanishedUser XXXX". I thought that, at least, could be done.
I mean, speaking as another user who uses their real name, I think that our privacy, should we decide to assert it, should be as equally protected as someone who does not. Anne feels that her time here has adversely affected her mental health and reputation and that having a continued, easily discovered connection to the site will make it that much harder to move on with her life as you suggest—ought that not to count for something?
I do agree, though, that it might not be possible to remove other mentions of her name. Daniel Case (talk) 06:13, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think it's a question of what we choose to do or not, it's about recognising the reality and setting people's expectations accordingly. Even if this user were renamed and all her old signatures were changed (which to be clear they can, there's just no automated process for it), it'd still be in the page history. And even if we decided we could sacrifice the histories of god knows how many pages to revdel them all, it'd still be plain to see in countless Wikipedia mirrors, forks and backups that we have no control of.
Basically your privacy here isn't protected, whether you assert it or not, whether you use your real name or not, because everything we contribute is published on the internet under an open license. Sometimes people expect us to be able to honour GDPR-style requests to remove "personal data", but it's not like that: it's more like writing a book, then a few years later asking the publisher to track down every copy and cut your name out of it. – Joe (talk) 06:26, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yikes. Unfortunate, but a good example of why people should not use their real name on the internet, unless they've thought it through. Pecopteris (talk) 06:28, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. Obviously I have a lot of sympathy for the individual in question, she sounds like a very genuine person, albeit that coming to Wikipedia with an agenda of rewriting the narrative concerning a 200-year-old ancestor is rather misguided. (I know nothing about Asgill and Washington, so perhaps Anne's entirely right and recorded history has it wrong, but as COIs go this is rather blatant). But attribution and history is important on this project. Anyway, @Daniel Case: just to note, if I've understood correctly the declined unblock requests should remain on the user talk page per WP:BLANKING. Cheers — Amakuru (talk) 06:38, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would it be possible to sufficiently solve this problem by performing the rename and then manually going through all of this user's 1,671 talk page edits, 565 user talk page edits, 99 Wikipedia talk edits, and 8 template talk edits to change the signature on those comments to the new name? Would that be sufficient for her liking? Useight (talk) 18:43, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If she wanted to do that, and were not blocked, she could do that. We will not do that. Primefac (talk) 18:48, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. A regular editor did indeed go through their entire talk page history and change their sigs, around 10 (?) years ago and all it did was draw attention to themselves because it pinged everyone who had any of those pages on their watchlist. Black Kite (talk) 19:12, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Speaking of the Streisand effect, this discussion certainly isn't doing the user in question any favors. It seems unlikely that any action will be taken as a result of this discussion (aside from maybe deleting her user page), so perhaps it should be speedily collapsed and archived. — SamX [talk·contribs] 19:44, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If she wanted to do that, and were not blocked, she could do that - my impression is this isn't something people were supposed to do. There's this wording at WP:CHU: Existing signatures and mentions of the old username in discussions are not affected by a rename, although that could also be interpreted to be a procedural limitation (i.e. the rename won't do this, without prohibiting anyone from doing so manually). Still, if Ser Amantio decided to change his name, or even me for that matter (in terms of edit counts), that seems rather unreasonable to go back through thousands of archives. And, as pointed out, it's also entirely transparent so long as it's not revdelled/oversighted and Streisandy to such an extent that even if we do allow it, we might want to document discouragement. — Rhododendritestalk \\ 20:05, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
we might want to document discouragement. this is not a bad idea. WP:STREISAND exists, but its a short essay (written by Ritchie333) discouraging the placing of "(redacted)" tags in ANI threads. We (the Oversight team) do have boilerplate text we can send when someone asks us to e.g. remove their IP address from ancient edits that would make a decent start to such an information page.
All Wikipedia content that is in a public log, such as a page history, is available in periodic database "dumps" which are free for downloading to anyone. With the age of your request this means that while we can remove it from the live version of Wikipedia, we cannot remove the edit from the internet entirely. The consequence of this is that if you have a serious concern over someone trying to invade your privacy, often times removing the edit, IP address or username has the potential to escalate the problem since the information is available elsewhere and may cause a greater concern for privacy than you had in the beginning.
It was originally written by Keegan back in 2010, and it is as true today as it was then. I don't want to violate WP:Beans but it's not hard to find plenty of information about our users even without the dumps, and using a RL name simply makes it easier. Risker (talk) 06:12, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As long as they're following WP:SIGLINK, if someone wants to (non-disruptively) update their signature, I don't think it matters much (per WP:UNC). And while I agree that the Streisand effect is a concern, I could see how trying to minimize bot-scraping might make it worth the effort. But I also agree that someone should not expect this be done for them as some sort of a service. We're a volunteer site, after all. - jc37 21:01, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would emphasize the Streisand effect. Admittedly, I Googled the user in question after reading this thread, and would have had no idea who she was otherwise. At this point, I feel bad for her.
Since there's a consensus here that we won't be scrubbing her name from the website, I think this conversation is doing the user in question more harm than good. I second the suggestion to speedily collapse and archive this discussion. Pecopteris (talk) 22:21, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like to stow the mop for a bit, to avoid stressors and distractions as I deal with a pressing off-wiki issue affecting someone close to me. This situation could last anywhere from days to months, although, regardless of what happens, I don't intend to request resysop for at least 2 weeks. I'll probably continue to do some content and technical work, so if possible, I'd like to retain/regain the three rights I find useful for such work: autopatrolled, page mover, and template editor. Thanks. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 03:45, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After 18 years, it has become clear to me that there are significant disagreements between where this site is going and where I believe it needs to go. Considering that I need to be spending less time on Wikipedia due to a career and personal life, it seems better to part ways and move on. I thank those that I have worked with and wish them the best. Rschen7754 00:00, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm pretty sad to see this and hope you find your way back. But even if you don't, thanks so much for all you've done and I wish you all the best as you focus on your career and personal life. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:23, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Echoing what Barkeep said. I vaguely recall that you and I got off to a rocky start, but that was smoothed out many years ago and I've known you to be a good admin and a great Wikipedian. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:25, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also agree with Barkeep, it's always a shame when a good Wikipedian leaves the project and it's even worse when good Wikipedians feel they are driven off the project. Thryduulf (talk) 09:03, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]