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PLEASE NOTE! If you came here because you read Wikipedia:Requests for comment/orthogonal, this is not the version of my user page referred to in that RfC. That version can be found here: [1]

User:Snowspinner and I don't agree on much. Our disagreement started when Snowspinner included in his "evidence" before the Arbitration Committee against another user, how that other user had voted. This deeply offended me, as I feel that no one should ever be sanctioned or punished for casting a vote. Allowing anyone to say that another's vote is "incorrect" and deserving of punishment reminiscent of Jim Crow and is to open the floodgates to groupthink and tyranny.

(I purposely do not indicate who that other user was, although I'll say it wasn't me or anyone I knew personally. Sanctioning anyone for his choice in a vote is simply wrong. Maybe it was a "troll", maybe it was Jimmy Wales. Maybe it was you. If you really feel you need to know who it was to judge whether Snowspinner was justified, it's not hard to find out, but then I think you're missing my point.)

Prior to that time, I knew nothing about the user being accused, and what little I knew of Snowspinner had convinced me to likely vote for him for the Arbitration Committee. After I explained to Snowspinner that I thought how someone votes should not be part of a list of evidence, Snowspinner made some rhetorical changes to his evidence, but kept the substance, including his complaints about that other user's votes, this time with the explanation that the user's votes were examples of a "larger issue of not seeming to work within the context of Wikipedia conventions and engaging with the community".

The versions before and after I addressed my concerns to Snowspinner can be seen in the following diff. Please note that you'll need to scroll down to read all of the prior version, and that by following this link you'll necessarily learn the identity of the user Snowspinner collected evidence against and accused: [2].

(The full text of the current version of that "evidence" can be found here [3]. Eventually I (in collaboration with another user, User:zocky) submitted a review of that "evidence" to the Arbitration Committee, as further perusal of Snowspinner's "evidence" showed Snowspinner made such "charges" as "[o]n FAC [Featured Article Candidates], he has made a number of unsuitable nominations". For the totality of such charges, Snowspinner thought the user "should, at MOST, be blocked for a month".
My and zocky's review can be found at the following link, and details more questionable "evidence". But among other things, we assert that the user did not make unsuitable nominations to Featured Article Candidates; his nominations were actually decent, and when they were criticized he worked to fix them. But even if he did make "unsuitable" nominations (unsuitable according to whom?), I think it's outrageous this should be something he should be banned for. Please note that by following this link you'll necessarily learn the identity of the user Snowspinner collected evidence against and accused: [4].
The case is currently before the Arbitration Committee.)

At this point, Snowspinner was running for admin, and I decided that anyone who believed voting for or against one position or candidate could be sanctioned, would not make a fair or impartial sysop. At that point, I very reluctantly voted against Snowspinner's nomination for admin, and pointed out his "evidence" to other users. While I did not advise them how to vote on Snowspinner's nomination, to anyone reading my explanation for own vote against Snowspinner, my intent was clear.

My vote against Snowspinner's nomination for admin can be found here. Please note that in it, I incorrectly stated that the user Snowspinner was collecting evidence against had voted against Snowspinner's first and unsuccessful self-nomination from admin; but that user had actually voted against this second nomination of Snowspinner, and Snowspinner had immediately added that user's vote to his "evidence". When I read the "evidence", I assumed Snowspinner was referring to his first self-nomination, because I assumed he would not add to his evidence events taking place as part of an on-going vote. Please note that by following this link you'll necessarily learn the identity of the user Snowspinner collected evidence against and accused: [5].

Since I believe my vote states a central aspect of Snowspinner's personality, and one that motivated his subsequent RfC against me I'll reproduce it here, eliding the name of the user accused in Snowspinner's evidence, and emphasizing that aspect. This was my vote:

Reluctantly oppose. After reading [Snowspinner's evidence against X], in which Snowspinner includes as "evidence" against [X] that [X] opposed Snowspinner's previous nomination here, and that [X] nominated a candidate Snowspinner finds unworthy, I'm worried that Snowspinner doesn't clearly enough distinguish between his personal opinions and Wikipedia policy, and is too likely to see mere differences of opinion as actionable "rule breaking". I say this as someone who also finds [X] difficult, and as someone who had planned to vote for Snowspinner both here and for ArbCom. -- orthogonal 22:54, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Soon after, Snowspinner won his nomination for admin with an apparently unprecedented number of Support votes, 62 for, 9 against, 3 neutral.

About twelve hours after his victory, Snowspinner left what I found to be a rather pompous and smug message on my talk page, which began, "I notice that you seem to break with the "crowd" on a lot of votes on Wikipedia." In it he admonished me to, among other things, "respect the community". Having been with the community for over twice as long as Snowspinner at that point, I found this a bit presumptuous.

I responded to Snowspinner on my talk page, and as a standard courtesy I perform, copied my response to his talk page as well, where he immediately deleted it, marking that change as a minor edit. At that point I decided that rather than argue with or publicly pillory Snowspinner for his note, it would be most fair and straightforward, most open and transparent, to let people to read Snowspinner's own words, allowing each reader to form his or her or hir own judgment. In other words, I wouldn't "spin" what the dispute is a about, nor would Snowspinner "spin" it, you could read it yourself.

To make it more available but not too much in anyone's face, I decided to link to it from this page, my User page. People interested in learning about me would have a chance to see it, but it wouldn't otherwise interrupt the wikipedia community. I don't especially suppose my user page is a high traffic destination on the web or even on wikipedia.

Originally, the link to Snowspinner's first message was "Read how Snowspinner feels about votes against him", as his message had opened with the sentence "I notice that you seem to break with the "crowd" on a lot of votes on Wikipedia" and the only recent vote which I had been substantially in the minority was my vote against Snowspinner's nomination for sysop.

Subsequently, Snowspinner objected that the text of the link mischaracterized him. His objection took the form of another message on my talk page. That second message was brief enough to reproduce it in its entirety, here:

I would appreciate if you removed the "Read how Snowspinner feels about votes against him" link from your userpage. As a gross misrepresentation of my views, I find it offensive, and to border on being a personal attack, which is inappropriate anywhere on Wikipedia, and especially inappropriate as a prominant [sic] and permanant [sic] link from your userpage.
Thank you. Snowspinner 02:18, Aug 14, 2004 (UTC)

Naturally, following the thinking I have outlined about Snowspinner's first message, I linked to this message and my response to it, on my talk page. The text of that link was "Read how Snowspinner feels linking to his own words 'border on being a personal attack' against him."

Snowspinner subsequently edited my user page to add commentary to the links. I removed his commentary, and added in the edit summary, '"(Please put comments on my talk page, not on my user page. I don't put my comments on yours, and I think we can try to maintain some level of politeness.)"

Snowspinner reverted, adding in the edit summary, "(If you don't want people to make comments on your userpage, don't use it to make comments about them.)". I removed his commentary again.

As his commentary was the same in both version, I'll only link to the diff of one: [6]

While all pages on Wikipedia are editable by everyone, I tend to think that, as we all have a User page and Talk page, that the user himself should be allowed to choose how his own user page should look. Other comments can be made on a user's Talk page, and I have had a policy from the time I joined Wikipedia, of not altering any comment on my Talk page, expect to format it in sections and archive it as needed.

Since I provide the talk page for anyone to say anything they like to me, I didn't feel I also needed to provide Snowspinner a forum on my User page (he's of course free to do whatever he wants with his). I also note that the full text of Snowspinner's comments are available on my talk page, while my responses to him were deleted and not moved to an archive page. Still, it was a hard decision to remove his comments, as I truly feel that one user should never alter another's words on a Talk page. But since Snowspinner was free top make his comments on my Talk page, where they would not have been removed (except eventually to be moved to an archive page), I did remove them.

Snowspinner then opened a Request for Comments, the first step in a "judicial" process on Wikipedia, in part because of my links to his own words on my user page.

(And in part apparently motivated by several revert wars earlier that day, involving Snowspinner changing some proposals that failed to become policy to read that those proposals were "semi-policy", in which Snowspinner reverted my edits and those of several other users. Note that this summary necessarily involves my bias; at a later time I'll provide links to the page histories and diffs so readers can judge for themselves both the reverts and to what extent that may have motivated Snowspinner's opening of the RfC.)

This Request for Comments is currently on-going, and, in line with my desire for openness and transparency, you can find it here: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/orthogonal.

Following advice from user:Geogre on my talk page, I have now altered the links to Snowspinner's comments to use Snowspinner's own, unaltered words. These links can be found below: