Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/Ceradon 2

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Hello all,

I thank all who participated in this RfA for their time -- support and oppose. Both have brought forth salient points. But, it all comes back to me; and well, right now, I do not believe I have demonstrated a level of trustworthiness and accountability necessary for an administrator. Therefore, I am withdrawing this RfA. While I hope that the community will see fit to allow me to serve it in a greater capacity, that time is not now, regardless of whether or not I want it to be. I do not see myself coming back to RfA any time before a year has passed. In the meantime, I have a reputation to rebuild from the ground up. I better get to work. Thank you all, --ceradon (talkedits) 04:07, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


While I certainly understand why the community is grilling me, I don't think it makes much sense for me to disclose my past accounts in an attempt to rid my closet of any skeletons, only to add more skeletons to it. --ceradon (talkedits) 16:55, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can think of any number of reasons someone might come partially clean in a situation like this (not related to you in particular; I just read too many crime novels >_>). Perhaps one offense is more forgiveable than another, and the hope is that admitting to X will innoculate against anyone noticing Y. Perhaps an offwiki venue has threatened to out X, but doesn't know about Y, so admitting to X but not Y is as much as one judges to be necessary. Etc, etc. I think what people are trying to do is make sure that you're not admitting "easy to forgive" stuff while judiciously omitting stuff that might be more damning - thus the questions about things like how you could have forgotten X while doing thing-related-to-X. You're asking us to trust you that you were untruthful last time, but this time, you're being totally truthful. For the most part, people do seem to be trusting you, but I don't think it's surprising that some people want a little more information before deciding. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 17:03, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's logical.—cyberpowerChat:Limited Access 18:45, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, but no[edit]

If this had been just some old blocked account and a bit of subsequent sockpuppetry, I'd have been the first to say that the voluntary disclosure was an honorable act and the past years of decent work are proof enough of trustworthiness. I might even have come to the conclusion that it was not so much sockpuppetry but a successful and legitimate "clean start" and nothing to worry over. But something doesn't quite add up.

Ceradon: yesterday, on AN, you said "I could say that I never intentionally mislead the community during my RfA, as, in the four years since 2011, and in a two-year absence, I forgot about those accounts. But, that's bullshit. I have been misleading the community from the day I created this account" [1]. Today, you seem to have changed your tune, and want to make us believe that you honestly had forgotten all about your previous wiki life when you created your account. How are we to understand that?

And it doesn't stop there. You are also apparently now claiming that you still don't remember why you were even blocked originally (your answer to question 6 by Cryptic: "Nothing that I can remember. Prodego is MIA, so I can't ask him"). Well, it's not really that difficult to find out, is it? It's all in your talk archives. These must have been memorable (and embarrassing) events; I wonder how somebody could so completely forget them.

You were blocked originally with the following explanation from the blocking admin: "SunCountryGuy01, while chatting on IRC, directly stated that he and a friend (of sorts) used this account, and then exhausted any remaining supplies of good faith by repeatedly lying about the extent. It is rather difficult to set unblock conditions since I can't actually trust a word he says." [2] You then raised an unblock request (which was declined) begging for a second chance and claiming it was all "a big misunderstanding" [3]. Subsequently, you apparently had some e-mail conversations with Arbcom, during which you falsely alleged that some other editors had been harassing you on your talkpage, making up a story about harassing postings that had somehow been oversighted from your talkpage history (a claim that oversighters then clarified was false [4]). This was the reason for your second indef block by Arbcom. You admitted making these accusations up in a second unblock request [5] (and this is when the reviewing admin found that you had also been socking on top of all this.)

What I'm seeing here is a pattern of alternating between behaviours that entangle you in a net of lies, and intermediate bouts of "coming clear" and asking for forgiveness. Which of these two phases are we in right now?

Sorry, but I can't trust here. Fut.Perf. 19:10, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Future Perfect at Sunrise: I was pontificating on how I might have just forgotten all of that. I'm not doctor or psychologist, but maybe the ending was so dramatic and embarrassing, I just repressed them. Now, I don't think I changed my tune. I don't deny that I deceived the community, unknowingly, but deception is deception. I'm just clarifying, at the request of members of the community, how I got to remember those accounts, etc. As for "pattern of alternating between behaviours that entangle you in a net of lies" Wow. That's quite a demoralizing assassination of character. I did this because I wanted to come completely clean and regain the trust of the community. Now I'm wondering whether it would have just been better to resign and leave when I'll be putting up with that for a while after. That's not intended as an indictment against you, just... wow. --ceradon (talkedits) 19:32, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) I won't defend anything else here, but "I could say that I never intentionally mislead the community during my RfA, as, in the four years since 2011, and in a two-year absence, I forgot about those accounts. But, that's bullshit. I have been misleading the community from the day I created this account" was picked up at AN. ceradon gave an explanation here, although still not a particularly clear one: I take the quote to mean "I could take the easy way out by saying that I didn't intentionally mislead the community ... but that's a cheap explanation ... the truth is that I deceived the community, even thought it was unintentional", but that's what I'm reading into the quote rather than what it actually says. I think it would help if Ceradon tried to explain a bit better, if only to clear up my confusion. This comment seems to have been made mostly redundant by the above edit conflict but oh well. Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 19:41, 20 August 2015 (UTC) Pedantic change: "ANI" → "AN" Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 20:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That was pretty much my intention; you said it better though. --ceradon (talkedits) 19:42, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Addressing the original block[edit]

@Ceradon: Have you considered whether you're willing/able to appeal the original block? I supported here, but then realized the block is still in place. I have no doubt that you would be a net positive to the project with the tools, but I have difficulty accepting the idea of ignoring all rules in such a serious manner as handing admin tools to a sock that policy would say to indef. If the original block were not still in place, that would ease my concerns, and possibly those of some opposing editors. ~ RobTalk 20:03, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think going through a block appeal when not currently blocked would be far too much beaurocracy, since it would essentially be a mere formality. As they haven't been blocked since revealing their previous accounts, it can be assumed that the community has waved their previous block. G S Palmer (talkcontribs) 20:12, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@BU Rob13: I suppose since I was the one that invoked WP:IAR on the RfA page, I should comment. Ceradon socked for several years, in the sense that he (admittedly) created this account to continue editing when all of his other accounts were blocked, and some of those accounts were apparently created in order to continue editing after the main account was blocked. Normally, upon discovering such a series of transgressions, the new user would be indef'd immediately, but Ceradon escaped notice. We only know now because he told us. We only knew that SunCountryGuy01 was being used by multiple people because, again, he told us so. The WP:STANDARDOFFER says that users may normally apply to be unblocked after six months if they follow the three conditions. One, he clearly didn't wait six months, he went back to editing almost immediately with another sock account. However on the other two, he has apparently avoided whatever led to the block (we don't know what it was but he hasn't been blocked since), and he has obviously not created any extraordinary reasons to object to unblocking, as he passed RfA which is practically purpose-built to dig up past transgressions, and of course not counting the revelation at hand. Also, I think with his several FA contributions he's certainly passed {{2nd chance}}.
Furthermore, blocks are meant to be preventative, not punitive, and extending a four-year-old block to as prolific a contributor as Ceradon just because of a matter of process is purely punitive. So if we're not going to indef him right now (which policy says we should) then we should acknowledge that the block is void, and move on. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 20:38, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:NOTBUREAUCRACY: Just consider this current account as the "master account" now, and those older accounts as the socks, no longer used, that can remain blocked. Don't think we really need them to move back to the orig accounts.—Bagumba (talk) 20:48, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wasn't proposing moving back to the original account, only appealing the original block to ArbCom. It's also somewhat unclear to me whether this is a block made by someone in ArbCom or an actual ban from ArbCom. Editors more experienced than I can probably tell the difference, but I know very little about ArbCom. ~ RobTalk 20:52, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Experimental format[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship#"Discussion" section (special:permalink/677068609#"Discussion" section); I've gone ahead and reformatted the RfA to see if it breaks the bot (special:Diff/677068232). If anyone (including the candidate) feels this is problematic from a procedural standpoint, feel free to revert. –xenotalk 22:52, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Disclosure of medical conditions[edit]

@Cyberpower678: I don't think we should be asking for individuals to disclose any medical conditions they may or may not have even if the questions are optional. No matter what, people read things into questions that are not answered, and I think even asking this question does cross an ethical line. I realize that forgetfulness is a part of this RFA in particular, but even if there were to be a medical condition that affected it, denying this person the tools would be discriminatory. You may disagree in which I'm happy to talk about it. Please don't take this any sort of hostility or comment on your character, it's more about the question. I think you're a fine editor. Mkdwtalk 23:20, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was thinking about that. I was simply curious. To be honest, I would have supported if he said yes, as that would have explained everything. I don't discriminate based on medical conditions. As a matter of fact I'd like to think I don't discriminate at all. I myself am autistic, and have ADHD to top it off. I'm grateful to everyone around me, both Wikipedia and in RL, to not have discriminated against me because of it. If he had a medical condition, I could've completely understood the story of forgotten accounts. He was also free to openly deny answering the question, and I would have understood that. My mother is a doctor and also has a major in Psychology, so I do understand the sensitive nature of the question I asked. Since he answered the question, I presented the answer to my mother, and it does raise another concern. Embarrassing situations don't cause memory repression. If even his memories were repressed they wouldn't surface so easily. He would have had to have dealt with something traumatic at the time. I doubt Wikipedia is traumatizing. Regardless, I will continue to ponder over it.
Would you feel better if I deleted my question though?—cyberpowerChat:Online 23:43, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The question has already been asked, and answered, so I don't think there's much to be done at this point. My only concern would be for this to set a precedent or for others to take this as a cue that these types of questions can/should be asked. It's clear you were very mindful of the implications but others might not. I would like to think that if it came to it, you or I would speak up about these same concerns if such a situation arose. I thought it was brave for you to publicly share such personal details about yourself. Mkdwtalk 23:55, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I don't disclose it very often as I try my best to fit in with the crowd. You have no idea how difficult it is sometimes. If you ever encounter such a case where there is a need to speak up, feel free to ping me. :-)—cyberpowerChat:Online 00:02, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My attempt at a timeline[edit]

To the best that I can recall, I will try to clarify what I could:

  • I created SunCountryGuy01 on December 30, 2010. I made 3600 edits. I was blocked by Ironholds on 4 April 2011 under the premise of a compromised account. I was unblocked by HJ Mitchell with a promise that my account would be kept secure. That account was later blocked by Prodego on April 9 with the block message, "Please contact the arbitration committee at regarding what we discussed in email, and on your talk page." There is little clarification on that block that I can find in the archives. From my recollection, it was because I lied about harassment to get my talk page protected. An especially stupid reason. It wasn't that I was shifting off the responsibility to research to ArbCom; I just wanted ArbCom to check their archives and make sure. My memory has gotten me into enough problems.
  • On April 5 I created MauchoEagle to evade a previous block. That account was blocked as a sockpuppet when I raised an unblock request on my original account, SunCountryGuy01, on June 2, 2011.
  • On June 7, I created another account, "Croises Majestic", which was later renamed "Ceradon". I was initially active for several months, followed by a period of roughly two years of no activity/dispassionate editing. My activity ramped up in late December 2014 in an effort to improve the article Battle of Malvern Hill. I ended up staying.

If anyone has questions/concerns over this timeline, I would be willing to clarify to the best of my ability. I deeply regret what I did, but I'm hoping that I would have demonstrated my use to Wikipedia. I'm trying to throw as many details as I can possibly remember out. Please keep the questions coming. --ceradon (talkedits) 23:44, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The complete truth[edit]

Hello all,

SilkTork posted a message in the "General comments" section that is exactly correct. I did remember my past accounts, even during my RfA. Why didn't I disclose them? Sheer embarrassment. The guilt of being accountable to a community that I was, in the meantime, lying to became quite heavy. So I told the truth, but only a part of it. Why I didn't disclose the whole truth upfront, was because of sheer and unadulterated embarrassment and shame. I was incredibly conflicted for a long time. With the posting of this message, I won't be. I was aware of my past accounts. I ran for RfA, and passed. I never thought I would, but I did. I wouldn;t be surprised if you never believe another thing I say. So be it. But for whatever it's worth, this whole thing is out of my character. I wish it would never have happened. I wish I had been completely forthwith with my past. I wasn't, and I'm a piece of shit for it. I wouldn't be surprised if this sinks this RfA, or if you think I'm a waste of time. Quite frankly, I think I'm a waste of time at this point. But I do not want this to go on without everyone knowing the complete truth. And the complete truth is this: I returned Wikipedia to improve content, but knowing that I had used previous accounts, and I ended up being an administrator. I didn't think my chances were that great, but still, the community found enough in me to give me the bit. Now that I'm asking for my bit back, I can only hope the community will see that I have been a productive member of the community, willing to have my actions reviewed, and willing to review my own actions. Why I bothered to lie when I was supposed to be telling the truth, I will never know. I think it was out of sheer embarrassment, shame and complete and utter idiocy.

Now it's more than likely that this will sink this RfA. Well, so be it. But if I do end up an administrator or wherever I end up, I will not let this haunt me. I'm free. --ceradon (talkedits) 00:45, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aha here we go. The pieces finally come together. I can totally understand an embarrassing situation and not coming forth, but wanting to. It's like trying to ask that one person out but just can't bring yourself to ask them.—cyberpowerChat:Online 00:56, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have no idea how right you are. Anyway, I've added a {{soft redirect}} to all my past sock accounts. I hope that should loudly announce to the world my past. My admission may have been difficult, but necessary, and I feel happy now. --ceradon (talkedits) 00:58, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually if you want to be loud like Mr. Torgue, you should use all caps and wrap it in level 2 header tags. :D—cyberpowerChat:Online 01:00, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hehe. --ceradon (talkedits) 01:02, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for that Ceradon. I think your decision to tell the truth shows good moral fibre. That it took a little while to get there, is understandable. The important thing is that we got there. I have moved to support, though I note above that you have withdrawn. Never mind - you can run again in a few months time. SilkTork ✔Tea time 06:37, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I feel like such a fool, buying a story that turned out to be a lie. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:56, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, Wikimandia's post says it all .... -- Softlavender (talk) 07:17, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you have to balance this with the fact that they have made a complete disclosure, which is an admirable thing to do, which was obviously very difficult for them to do so. And something that came on their own volition. I still stand by my support, and believe we should encourage this sort of disclosure. Try to put yourself in their shoes: having made the mistakes they have made, would you have acted that differently with the Ceradon account? Unfortunately, many editors make the same mistakes with Ceradon's earlier accounts, and want to make amends by returning as a constructive editor. But unfortunately, under the current rules on socking this is simply impossible without breaking the rules. And it is a failing of the rules really that this is the case. We all know there was no chance of Ceradon's former accounts being unblocked, so to return to Wikipedia as a constructive editor they took the only road open. Do you judge them on the person they were or the person they are now? I choose the person they are now. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 10:33, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It wasn't a complete disclosure by any means. There was no "forgetting" the other, blocked/banned, accounts, there were actual deliberate negative interactions with the old blocked accounts in order to fool people. Read Wikimandia's post and the links therein. Softlavender (talk) 10:50, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've looked at the evidence. It is unfortunate that the initial disclosure was not complete, but I also recognize how difficult it was to make. I think you've balance these things out, and see how this was a very positive and worthy series of disclosures. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 11:03, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know the reasoning behind or the genesis of the so-called "disclosures", and since they were neither true nor helpful I don't personally view them as positive -- more like an endless series of Russian dolls wherein the real and full truth has yet to be discovered. So I guess we disagree. I'm not here to debate, however; I just wanted to present the excellent piece of evidence Wikimandia brought forth. Softlavender (talk) 11:13, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jules said "they have made a complete disclosure, which is an admirable thing to do, which was obviously very difficult for them to do so. And something that came on their own volition." Given the way this story has developed, I have severe doubts that the disclosure was "on their own volition". Here we have someone who, even while "disclosing" their past, continually evaded and shaded the truth and attempted to cover up. Does that sound like someone who spontaneously admitted their past out of pure idealism and a desire to set the record straight? We will never know the truth, but my hunch is that someone had found out about the past socking and warned them, "Either you go to ArbCom with this, or I will." That would fit the pattern we have seen here - much better than "Oh, I just felt so bad about it that I decided to come forward." --MelanieN (talk) 13:57, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well you might be right, the full story might never be known. But I think that we must be in a better position now than before the confession, in terms of disclosure. I think my main points are (a) as far as we know, he was under no obligation to mention any of this; if not for the WP:AN post maybe none of this would ever have been known; (b) It is unfortunate that a clean confession was not initially made, but I also understand the reasons why this was difficult; (c) in general I admire people who make disclosures and admit fault; (d) I don't necessarily expect people to agree, but I wanted to give my views on the subject. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 14:27, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Do you judge them on the person they were or the person they are now?" Neither. This is not a judgement on them as a person. It's looking at their present claims and actions and judging their claims and present actions, and what they may mean for whether placing community trust for a position of continuing trust is sound. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:26, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Typo in my !vote[edit]

Since the RfA is closed, I'm unable to alter it directly, but let it be known that I feel Ceradon deserves the bit, not a butt. Sorry, for that.—cyberpowerChat:Limited Access 11:53, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

LOL! --Jules (Mrjulesd) 11:58, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A pity this was closed so fast[edit]

For the record, I would have been firmly in the Oppose camp. Carrite (talk) 17:34, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Carrite: It strikes me as unnecessarily demoralizing to the candidate to post on the talk page wishing the RfA had stayed open longer so you could oppose them. Since the RfA resulted in your preferred outcome anyway, it just seems like a jab at the candidate. G S Palmer (talkcontribs) 17:44, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just saying my piece where I could, since this was shut down 2-to-1 in favor, before the shit hit the fan. Let there be no mistake, there will be shit to hit the fan if this comes up again anytime soon... Carrite (talk) 17:54, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, obviously. Nonetheless, we still want to avoid gravedancing. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:30, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]