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Requests for comment/Administrator abuse on the Croatian Wikipedia

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I am addressing you because there isn't a page describing the dispute resolution process on the Croatian Wikipedia, the English article on dispute resolution just links to the list of administrators on the Croatian Wikipedia; and also because the abusive behavior seems to be characteristic to the whole administrator group of hr.wikipedia.org; with a history of past blatant abuse and silencing all inquiries on irregularities and critique by blocking users.

The article on the terrorist and convicted murderer Miro Barešić (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miro_Bare%C5%A1i%C4%87) on the Croatian Wikipedia contained in the lead section the statements that he was a patriot (domoljub) which is obviously subjective and, absurdly, that he was a revolutionary (He didn't participate in any revolution. Whoever wrote that surely referred to the break up of Yugoslavia, but that didn't happen in a revolution, since the country was decentralized enough politically to just break up into separate independent states.).

I tried to remove those inappropriate statements and add the curiously missing information on him being a murderer in the lead; with a source. (This edit: https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Miro_Bare%C5%A1i%C4%87&oldid=4753964 )

A few minutes after that a user reverted my edit without comment, so I reverted it back as it was.

Then an administrator came and also started reverting my edit, also *without giving a reason in the edit*, and soon locked it so it would only be editable by admins.

Afterwards I read that the administrator (MaGa) messaged me on my user page with two vague sentences implying that he reverted my edit because he didn't think what Barešić did was wrong (See here: https://hr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Razgovor_sa_suradnikom:Notrium&oldid=4754009; a rough translation would be: "By that logic American Indians would also be murderers and terrorists"), although Barešić was convicted in Sweden and got sentenced for life. MaGa thus proved that he is abusing his position.

Edit: A thing I should have noted before is that Barešić used and profited from the image of the Ustaše, a fascist group that ruled the puppet state NDH, Barešić acted as part of a group that was directly descended from escaped Ustaše war criminals. Thus when they are defending Barešić's presentation in the article they are defending that fascist regime and it's descendant criminal and terroristic organizations.

I was a bit shocked by this blatant abuse of an administrator's position, but soon came worse...

On this meta RFC page (in English and Croatian) from 2013 (!) there are a LOT of examples of blatant abuse by current administrators and bureaucrats of the Croatian Wikipedia, there is even an example of their misconduct on the English Wikipedia:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/2013_issues_on_Croatian_Wikipedia/Evidence/Conduct

Also this: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/2013_issues_on_Croatian_Wikipedia

After reading some parts of that RFC it seems that the body of administrators of hr.wikipedia.org is made up of fascists who use their administrator status to promote their ideologies instead of truthful information.

The fact that those people still rule hr.wikipedia.org is highly worrying as it undermines the reputability of the whole Wikimedia Foundation, and I suggest demotion of all administrators of the Croatian Wikipedia ASAP!

Another thing worth noting: this phenomenon of the (still same) administrators abusing their position for furthering of fascist ideologies has actually been publicized a lot on in 2013, eg. see these articles in English:

http://www.dailydot.com/layer8/croatian-wikipedia-fascist-takeover-controversy-right-wing

http://wikipediocracy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3003&start=50

If you don't mind translating the page (it's trivial with Google Chrome) here is a good article with a lot of concrete examples of serious misdoings also perpetrated by the current administrators (they forced anti-LGBT viewpoints on the encyclopedia articles). I'll also for reference put here articles from Jutarnji List:

http://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/ndh-nije-bila-totalitarna-a-zrtve-u-jasenovcu-pobili-su-partizani-desnicari-preuzeli-uredivanje-hrvatske-wikipedije/1068473

and Al Jazeera: http://balkans.aljazeera.net/vijesti/historija-koju-pisu-administratori


To reiterate: the fact that hr.wikipedia.org is administered by supporters of murder and fascism is a huge flaw in Wikimedia's integrity and should be corrected immediately.

Regards, Notrium (talk) 19:18, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Notrium, what to say after all, and how to say it? I'll constrain myself just to main points.
Let me begin with this: Croatian Wikipedia is a Wikipedia in name only.
The administrators are in full control of everything that's going on, which results in heavy right-wing bias, arbitrariness, and attacking behavior - generally speaking, I don't think there is a Wikipedia policy that isn't cynically, wantonly trampled. I have 11 years of experience at the English Wikipedia, and I have never seen anything even remotely like that.
You had the misfortune of having to deal with Kubura, a long-standing admin. He has to be an all-around champion in ineptness, rudeness and bias - I've seen the exchange you had with him and however extreme and ludicrous it may seem, it's actually par for the course.
There is nothing one can do about it: the Croatian Wikipedia has been purged of everyone who disagreed, chiefly by bans and continuous harassment.
There was an attempt to vote down some of the admins in 2013, but it was narrowly defeated due to heavy sockpuppeting. The sockpuppeting is no longer necessary though, since most of the editors who voted against the admins have been driven out since, as already noted.
I consider the Croatian Wikipedia a disgrace for Croatia, but above all it is a disgrace for the WMF.
Demotion of all admins is the only way to go. GregorB (talk) 19:46, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

Contents

See alsoEdit

Adminship candidacy processEdit

GregorB and Notrium, I looked at Croatian edition of the adminship candidacy process ([1]). I'm checking the bureaucrat candidacy, and I found that no one has considered bureaucratship or checkuser-ship after 2010. The ones after 2013 may be interesting to look at.

I don't know the language well, so I would like to hear all sides about the RfA process at Croatian Wikipedia please. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 06:18, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

George Ho, I'm somewhat familiar with the circumstances - what aspects of the RfA process in question are you interested in? GregorB (talk) 07:26, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Everything about the Croatian RfA process, GregorB, including how it's different from English Wikipedia. Does it have the discretionary range? Also, how were the arguments and votes regarding the candidacies? Also, why has very little amount of people taken chances to become an admin? How promoted admins turned out. Also, how promoted bureaucrats turned out. Also, does the Croatian version of "Pending changes" exist? Anything possible. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 07:39, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for taking interest in this issue. Please allow a couple of days before I respond in detail. GregorB (talk) 08:36, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

This is how the RfA process works:

  • No self-nomination, a candidate must be recommended by another user, both must have 6 months of experience and 1000+ mainspace edits. (This is not effectively much different from en wiki, where editors with less experience than that are unlikely to become admins.)
  • After a failed RfA, an editor can't be nominated again in the next three months. After three failed RfAs, the editor permanently loses the right to run for admin.
  • There are no Q&A sessions for candidates, just voting with comments. (Once I asked about why there are no Q&A, and an admin told me that would be unnecessary because he knew how to recognize quality candidates.)
  • Voters must have one month of experience, a total of 200+ mainspace edits, and 50+ edits in the last year.
  • Voting lasts for 7 days. A simple majority (50% + 1 vote, counting just "Support" and "Oppose") is sufficient.
  • Now a tricky bit involving autopatrolled user right: one cannot get it if there are two or more "Oppose" votes from admins or patrollers. So, two admins/patrollers who are in agreement can indefinitely deny autopatrolled status to any given editor. Admin candidates need not be autopatrolled, but if they are not, this is used heavily against them in the RfA process. In particular, this was the case in the Argo Navis/Dean72/Conquistador RfA ("But he is not even autopatrolled"). Therefore, a handful of editors are able to effectively hobble someone's RfA. (An aside: despite 100k+ edits and 10+ years of en wiki experience, I was never able to get autopatrolled status on hr wiki.)
  • Arguments in the RfA process are otherwise generally within expectations. (Which are, I must say, not particularly high when hr wiki is concerned.) My impression is that the RfA process is usually a formality, as asking questions and opening a meaningful discussion is discouraged.
  • Bloc voting is very pronounced. Admins typically form a bloc which effectively decides the outcome.
  • In the Argo Navis/Dean72/Conquistador RfA there was - in my opinion - strong evidence of sockpuppeting and/or meatpuppeting with the goal to defeat the three. Sockpuppeting and meatpuppeting are major RfA problems IMO: since a dozen or two votes are sufficient to promote or defeat the candidate, manipulating the outcome with sleeper accounts is fairly easy.
  • Croatian Wikipedia does not have an ArbCom (used to have it some 8 years ago or so), and the procedure to demote an admin is not defined. There was a popular vote to demote three admins in 2013, which was narrowly defeated.

That's pretty much it for the time being regarding the RfA - surely I have not covered everything so feel free to ask. Time permitting, I'll be back with more on bureaucrats, CUs, pending changes and other stuff. GregorB (talk) 09:08, 11 July 2017 (UTC)

Part II:

  • Why more people did not run for admin? Because it's not up to them, really. The admins effectively decide that: when they feel someone should become an admin, they do, and when they feel someone shouldn't, they don't. To be fair, it's a fairly small wiki and I don't think there is a shortage of admins really.
  • A couple of words about CUs: there are two CUs now, which is the minimum allowed number per wiki if I'm not mistaken. Until 2013 I believe that there were 3, but one of them was an admin who narrowly survived the above-mentioned vote of confidence - got 55% or so, which is not considered sufficient for a CU, so he lost that function. The threshold is 70% I believe, so: 1) probably too high for anyone right now, and 2) no pressing need.
  • I must say I know very little about bureaucrats. I suppose it's more or less the same story as with CUs.
  • All articles are patrolled, and all edits coming from users other than autopatrolled are subject to revision by patrollers, who accept or reject the changes. In theory, this shields against vandalism and poor quality content. In practice, in 2013 in the article on anti-fascism an IP added a paragraph-length rant describing anti-fascism as a "genetic disorder", which survived multiple attempts of removal over several weeks, with dozens of intervening edits. How all this sneaked past patrollers has never been explained. It didn't quite sneak past admins, though - the article was duly locked with the offending content in. This and other similar stuff then led to a major media controversy.
  • The conduct (and, to a significant degree, also the competence) of some admins is absolutely dismal, not comparable with anything I've seen in 12 years of editing in en wiki. This is a big topic and I won't go into particulars here.

That's about it. Questions are welcome. I wish more editors presented their experiences and assessments here. GregorB (talk) 20:02, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for your insights on this, GregorB. Here are the list of current administrators, the list of bureaucrats, the list of checkusers, the list of ophoditelji (some kind of "patrollers" or "new page patrollers"?), the list of autopatrollers, and the list of those IP-block exempt. --George Ho (talk) 20:33, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, ophoditelji means "patrollers" - it differs from en wiki in that all non-autopatrolled edits are reviewed, not just new pages.
Let me also add that some of the current admins are inactive (1 year of more since the last edit). The WMF wanted hr wiki to establish an inactivity policy for admins and unlist those who meet the threshold, but they have apparently never gotten around to it and these admins are formally still listed. GregorB (talk) 21:13, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

All those deficiencies mentioned above could go in the advantage or to the damage of both sides.
Some of the deficiencies mentioned above are untrue.
Some of the weak parts (that could affect any side) of the voting process are solved, so the remarks is obsolete.
We brought the rule to solve the problem of the sleeper accounts: sleepers and "gaming the system " scheme are now disabled.
Don't bite the bait of "anti-fascism". It's the floscula from the Communist times, used by ruling Communist caste to discredit and to shut-up the political opponents and oppressed ethnicities, whenever they raised their voice for equality.[2][3] Anyone who wanted to start the democratization process was denigrated as "fascist" etc. Stalin, Mao and other Communist dictators and their gendarmerie, police, secret service etc. were also anti-fascists. That method of political denigration and discrediting of opponents is, unfortunately still in use in Croatia, as well as some neighbouring countries use that denigration when they want to shut-up the Croats, the oppressed people in Yugoslavia. Serbian state leadership use those methods against Croatia and Croats a lot, attacking the country, state civil and military leadership, etc., like 27 ys. ago when they tried to white wash the greaterserbianist aggression against Croatia [4] (Dačić ponovno napada: “Predsjednica Hrvatske, tvrdeći da u Hrvatskoj nema ustaštva i fašizma, izrekla je očiglednu laž”)[5] (Ivica Dačić: Laž je da Hrvatska ne rehabilitira fašizam, oni su rehabilitirali Stepinca i oslobađaju zločince od 1990.)[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]. Kubura (talk) 08:04, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

You should stick to the first four lines of your comment and expand on them. What specifically could be useful/damaging to both sides (I assume you're referring to sysop nominees v. people who participate in the RfA)? What did Gregor say that wasn't true? What "weak parts" of the "voting" system have been solved? How and when did that happen? Can you link to the rule against sleeper accounts? How has "gaming the system" been "disabled"? The rest of your comment isn't relevant to this discussion. – Srdjan m (talk) 10:39, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

The possibility that two votes against can block any proposal for autopatrol/patroller can be frustrating. Still, this does not happen a lot. Some users gain the confidence of the community quickly, some don't. Edit style, adjustment. Later even the opposer says "yes". Good user always gets the status, sooner or later.
On the other hand, this is small Wikipedia and it's sometimes hard to draw more than two users interested in that topic. That's why only two votes against are enough. Kubura (talk) 08:29, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

Other issues about Croatian WikipediaEdit

Any processes out there?Edit

Reading some page move requests, I noticed that most requests were moving drafts from article namespace to talk namespace. There is not one namespace for draft articles.

Also, I could not find a process similar to articles for deletion, proposed deletion, deletion review, or requests for undeletion. Well, I found the process of speedy deletion requests, but it seems abandoned. Also, I could not find one deletion policy.

I could not find one process similar to articles for creation. --George Ho (talk) 21:08, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Hr wiki practice is for admins to move new articles which are judged to be of sub-par quality to talk. After cleanup, editors issue a request to move it back to article space, which is granted or denied based on the condition of the article. I suppose this process serves a purpose, but in my opinion at least three things are problematic: 1) both decisions (to move to talk and to move - or not - back to article space) are made solely at an admin's discretion, and 2) normal discussion about the article's content and its cleanup is not possible, since the talk is occupied with the article text, 3) the criteria for "sub-par" are strange: one might post an otherwise solid prose, but omit the wikilinks, and the article will be moved to talk; the same might happen to an unsourced non-BLP article. That's stricter than en wiki, which seems out of place at best and detrimental at worst for a small wiki not known for high standards of quality.
Also a peculiarity of hr wiki: one risks a block for "saving too often", i.e. making a number of small changes to an article in a short time. This is purportedly because it places an undue burden on the patrollers. Editing drafts in user space won't help - userspace is patrolled too, and the same restriction applies.
BTW, my pet peeve on hr wiki is that all uses of the "citation needed" template must be accompanied by an explanation in the talk page: what exactly is being challenged and why. Absent the explanation, the "citation needed" template may be (and often is) summarily removed from the article. Not sure what the WMF would make of that.
hr:Wikipedija:Glasovanje is actually a historical page not directly related to speedy deletion; AFAIK, hr wiki has never had speedy deletion. I'll be back within a day or two with more on deletion process. GregorB (talk) 21:47, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
In hr wiki, there is no central page that lists all current articles for deletion, with transcluded discussions. (Excepting deletion categories, which display all articles nominated for deletion on a given day.) The deletion discussion takes place in the article's talk (which is itself not deleted with the article). The absence of a central page means that many editors will be unaware of the ongoing deletion discussions - not great in a wiki that's not too big (looking at the number of active editors) to begin with.
In en wiki, votes are sometimes called !votes - not here though. All votes (in the deletion process and otherwise) are actually votes, which means: 1) simple majority wins, 2) rationales need not be based on policy or make sense. For example, one could vote "delete", adding an arbitrary explanation like "this article is uninteresting, nobody is going to read it anyway", and this will count towards deletion.
Notability criteria are very rudimentary and not well-thought-out. (Also, they haven't changed much since c. 2006.) For example, in the talk page, one can see an admin arguing that "the basic criterion is - importance [of the subject]". That's basically a tautology ("important is what is important") and not helpful at all in deletion discussions, as one might imagine. The absence of basic criteria (e.g. an equivalent of WP:GNG) and a disincentivized discussion (what's the point of providing arguments and counterarguments when the majority wins by virtue of being a majority?) makes deletion outcomes somewhat haphazard. However, not only would it make no sense to discount votes not based on policy if the policy itself is rather crude and incomplete - it would actually make things worse.
I'm unaware of a deletion review or requests for undeletion - I don't think these processes exist per se. These kinds of complaints should I believe be directed to the admin RfC. Oddly, what admins say there is not binding, and complaints put forward there have a remarkably low success rate anyway (close to zero).
Will be back with more comments. GregorB (talk) 20:08, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Deletion of pagesEdit

Here is the log of deleted pages. I noticed that, on one of the pages, the articles are deleted for poor quality, even when some of them might be... notable. --George Ho (talk) 23:32, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes, the articles do get deleted for poor quality, and this is in itself not controversial. The problem is that, normally, this should apply only to articles which are of extremely low quality, such as that fixing them wouldn't be much easier than writing them from scratch. I remember there was an article which was easily notable, but was deleted in the end because it was not wikilinked (?!).
The threshold of notability is also a problem. Here is an interesting example:
  • The Croatian equivalent of en:2014 unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina was nominated for deletion, purportedly as a non-notable event. (Despite the fact that, looking at the English article and its coverage by reliable sources, this kind of argument would have been extremely hard to make.)
  • In the article's talk, two editors have supported the deletion, while three were against it.
  • In the end, the article was deleted anyway (by the admin who nominated it).
  • I asked him why the article was deleted, and he refused to answer.
In this particular case, the procedure, the outcome, as well as admin conduct, were severely deficient. GregorB (talk) 07:55, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

"Burek revolucija" moved to user subpageEdit

Weird, GregorB. hr:Burek revolucija (now fully protected) was moved to user subpage by an administrator. But you're right about the discussion. I'll ping the editor and ask him about this. But I don't know whether that editor can speak English. Maybe you and that user can communicate in Croatian language. --George Ho (talk) 17:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

"Burek revolucija" is a userspace draft which appears to be recently created. The original deletion discussion can be found here: hr:Razgovor:Nemiri u Federaciji Bosne i Hercegovine 2014.. GregorB (talk) 18:45, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Pinging Wüstenfuchs, Man Usk, Dean72, and MaGa about this. --George Ho (talk) 19:12, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

This is the talk page of the article Burek revolucija [21]. The article Burek revolucija is very good, but, no consensus on the sight, one of the sides that was for deletion is the colleague admin, both sides were dug in their positions, situation was 2:1 and deletion on the sight. Too much arguing and explaining (yes-no-yes-no) draws our time and human resources, so they lose their time on arguing, instead of creating and filling the articles or maintaining the project. I did not want to engage in the arguing and to lose my time there or to get into some wheel war "delete-undelete". To avoid all that, I redirected this very good article on a subpage. Writing the explanation takes much more time than to write a good small article. In my opinion, article should be in the mainspace. Kubura (talk) 07:24, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

Croatian Wikipedia extreme right wing bias in mediaEdit

After this news article Sabirni kamp Jasenovac page got even worse introduction with claimes from known Holocaust denier that "there were no mass murders in Jasenovac" and that "no one was interned in the camp because of his national or religious affiliation but as a political opponent of the Independent State of Croatia". Most of the artice is not about extermination camp but promoting lies and conspiracy theories from known fascist revisionists and convicted criminals.

--DobarSkroz (talk) 20:29, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

The new entry extensively quotes Vukic’s new book, Labour Camp Jasenovac which has drawn negative reactions from Holocaust experts. The entry quotes Vukic’s book as saying that “no one was interned at the camp for their national or religious background, but as political opponents of the Independent State of Croatia”. The Wikipedia entry now also quotes a Slovenian researcher Roman Leljak, who claims that Yugoslav military archives in Belgrade speak only of 1,654 victims. (The Jasenovac Memorial Site's name-by-name list says 83,145 Serbs, Roma, Jews and anti-Fascists were killed by the Croatian Fascist Ustasa movement there between 1941 and 1945.) The entry gives much space to the alleged existence of a Communist camp, for which there is no scientific evidence. --DobarSkroz (talk) 10:44, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

The Fact checking site compared policy about using sources in English and Croatian Wikipedias. Croatian Wikipedia is based od mainly extreme right sources.--DobarSkroz (talk) 14:19, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

On the state of Croatian WikipediaEdit

I've just written an open letter to Jimbo Wales which provides evidence for major administrator abuse, far-right bias and historical revisionism that is currently taking place in Croatian Wikipedia. It is currently located here.

I'm pinging George Ho, Rschen7754 and Stryn, as they have all either expressed a degree of interest in the topic of goings-on in the Croatian Wikipedia, or have some familiarity with it (in Stryn's case, that's at least what I've been told).

Yeah, it's a big heap of text, but 15 minutes is all that's needed.

I'd really appreciate if you could:

  1. Speed-read it at least, or maybe really read it if you find it interesting.
  2. Try to interest others in reading it.
  3. Provide some feedback.

Thanks! GregorB (talk) 20:29, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

Huh, why I've been mentioned here? Stryn (talk) 21:37, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
I am personally skeptical that it will do much good, unfortunately. --Rschen7754 00:16, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
...and you are not the only one - myself included, I must readily admit. Still, my persistence happens to be far stronger than my skepticism, so here we are. If Jimbo actually reads it and says nah - fair enough, as far as I'm concerned. GregorB (talk) 16:18, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
New link on open letter, it is in archive now --DobarSkroz (talk) 14:05, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

The issues continue...Edit

It has been months and it still seems like no action has been taken. Most of the people responsible for the issues back in 2013 are still admins (some are even bureaucrats now!) and there is still massive bias in the articles.

Reading some of the articles, everything is just as bad as before. The article hr:Srpskohrvatski jezik, for example, reads like an essay and has a clearly nationalist POV. Of particular note is the following paragraph:

"Ovaj je projekt dio jezičnog genocida (izraz je upotrijebio Joža Skok)[5] koji se je provodio nad hrvatskim jezikom otkad je srpski pjesnik Đuro Daničić pod okriljem austroslavističkih ideja došao na čelo "jugoslavenskog projekta", primivši 1866. godine imenovanje za tajnika tadašnje Jugoslavenske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti u Zagrebu. Daničićev "Rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpskog jezika" objavljen 1880. - 1882. god pri ondašnjoj JAZU (od 1990. HAZU), a slučajevi - rijetki - da se hrvatskoj djeci u RH u pojedinim lokalnim sredinama ne dopušta učiti hrvatski jezik bilježe se do najnovijeg vremena (primjerice, škola u Jagodnjaku).[6] Projekt je međutim bio suočen s nespremnošću pripadnika raznih naroda koje se htjelo prepoznati kao govornike hibridnog jezika - da prihvate zajednički identitet; kako jezični, tako i nacionalni. Ta nespremnost je bila jednako raširena među širokim masama govornika, kao i među intelektualnim i političkim elitama."  

I don't know enough Croatian to translate this accurately (if anyone can, please do) but it's essentially saying that the Serbo-Croatian language is some sort of "language genocide" (that's not even a legitimate term, and Croatian Wikipedia has a red link there!) and that there were some sort of attempts to suppress the Croatian language by instead teaching children in Serbian, or something like this. This is all nonsense, but it was once worse: this paragraph was in the lead section. In this edit the problematic content was removed from the lead section, but it was ultimately left in. A neutrality template was placed on the article at one point, but then it was removed without any substantial changes.

In addition, the article hr:Ustaše neglects to explicitly mention that the Ustaše was fascist, and the lead of that article subtly attacks Yugoslavia and Serbs, while trying to distance the Ustaše from responsibility for its war crimes. In this edit, Kubura removes the adjectives "fascist" and "chauvinist" from the lead sentence. When the user who added these adjectives asked what was wrong, Kubura gave this response. Kubura said this:

"Saveznici fašista, dosta slično, ali ne i isto. Dosta sličnosti imaju i sa SSSR-om, samo su se našli na drugoj strani. Zato je "totalitarizam" prava riječ. Šovinizam je atribut koji se može pridati odmah i Titovoj Jugoslaviji, zbog odnosa prema Hrvatima i Albancima. Nažalost šovinizam je nazočan i u zapadnim demokratskim sustavima." 

Kubura is basically not answering the question while attacking the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. It gets worse; in this edit, Kubura says,

"Već ti je o tome bilo govora na drugim stranicama za razgovor. Ustaški pokret dovoljno je kompromitiran, ali ne treba se povoditi motivima onih koji bi htjeli Hrvatskoj i Hrvatima nalijepiti stigmu kao da su Hrvati izmislili fašizam i nacizam, pa stalno time atribuiraju sve hrvatsko. Evo ti usporedni primjer: titoizam ima kao i staljinizam trag mrtvih, političke progone i svoj oblik progona, zlostavljanja i ubijanja u zemlji i inozemstvu nepoželjnih "reakcionarnih" i "nazadnih" naroda i uzdizanja nekih naroda kao državotvornih i "revolucionarnih" i "naprednih", ali je pogrješno izjednačavati ta dva sustava, ma koliko bili slični."

This is attempted whitewashing of the image of the Ustaše, by claiming they were only "compromised" by fascism but weren't fascist themselves, which flies in the face of the historical record.

This kind of nationalist POV is in flagrant violation of en:WP:NPOV, one of the five pillars of Wikipedia. In order to solve massive issues like this, drastic action is needed. My suggestion is to make a proposal similar to this one to gain a consensus for such action.

I am pinging George Ho, Rschen7754, Notrium, GregorB, and DobarSkroz because they have participated in this discussion in the past and their input in finding a solution to these massive issues would be appreciated. DraconicDark (talk) 00:13, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

I don't know. The Azerbaijan issues were a bit more clear-cut. But I think where the 2013 discussions failed was that nothing was ever formally proposed. A wiki like this should not have CheckUsers, for one. --Rschen7754 16:47, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
@Rschen7754: What do you mean when you say the issues with Azerbaijani Wikipedia are more clear-cut? I see this as basically the same issue, but with different players. For azwiki it's the Armenian Genocide denialists and the Pan-Turkists, for hrwiki it's the fascists and/or nationalists, but they're doing the same thing in both places. Both issues seem very clear-cut and warranting the same kind of direct action. As for CheckUsers, any issues with those should be referred to the stewards per policy. If you have any evidence of CheckUser abuse, please mention it there and/or here. The CheckUsers at hrwiki have both been admins for a while, so there's probably something there. DraconicDark (talk) 23:25, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
In that case, there was blatant use of the admin tools to keep a page at a title with obvious POV. Here, there would need to be a significant investigation required to boil the evidence down into something that the community can understand so they can vote accordingly. I know there are pages upon pages of complaints about Croatian Wikipedia that need to be investigated. --Rschen7754 01:06, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, there is already plenty of evidence, in addition to what we have on this page. What exactly would we still need in order to make a formal proposal? DraconicDark (talk) 11:56, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
DraconicDark, thank you for taking the time to address this issue.
The article on Serbo-Croatian is heavily biased and confused. It so happens that I commented on its opening paragraphs fairly recently[22] - even the basic definition of the term is wildly off, and the article in general seems ridiculous compared to its English counterpart.
I must say, however, that - as far as these examples from Croatian Wikipedia go - this is actually tame.
Your proposal is a fairly radical one, but - at the same time - it's perhaps not radical enough. From what I could see, while the az wiki situation has some similarities to this, the problem is much deeper. The current state of Croatian Wikipedia is a result of more than a decade of sustained, organized activity which has completely re-shaped the community. It's not any longer a handful of right-wingers - although they still run the show - it's now an entire pyramid of hand-picked like-minded editors, or at least of those who proved completely tone-deaf to the outside observations that something's wrong. Everybody else has been driven out. As we speak, an editor who called Ante Pavelić "one of the greats of Croatian history" (in article space too!) and who is active editing Jasenovac concentration camp article on a Holocaust revisionist platform, is being elected a patroller, with full support from Kubura and Zeljko (who are aware of the Pavelić statement, because it has been pointed out to them), and not-so-subtle threats to a single editor who voted against.
Consequently, a period of 6-12 months with no local admins would be absolutely hellish, because there are tons of biased content and a 90%+ majority of editors who think it's just fine. There is also little doubt what would ensue when "new" admins are elected 12 months later, given the prevailing sentiments and the already well-oiled sockpuppet/meatpuppet machine.
"What exactly would we still need in order to make a formal proposal" - that's an excellent question, and the one that's been frustrating me for years now. There is certainly no shortage of evidence. Some of the individual incidents are so serious they would end a career of any en wiki admin in an instant, so while there are surely hundreds of examples, there would be no need to go through all of them.
I'm currently finishing an article on the state of Croatian Wikipedia for The Signpost. It is going to be based on what I've written to Jimbo Wales - nothing new, really, just shorter and more focused. Maybe that will get the ball rolling - one can try, that's all there is at the moment. GregorB (talk) 18:58, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
I would recommend waiting until the azwiki RFC is closed before making any proposal.
Here's the thing: you basically have to sell what you are proposing. It needs to be spelled out and clear enough so that an editor who is completely unfamiliar with what is going on can understand. But it needs to be concise. You don't need to use every diff of evidence possible, just enough to make your point and using the most blatant diffs.
You have to 1) prove that there is something bad going on there, beyond "just a dumb way to do things", that there is clear abuse of admin tools taking place to push a particular view. Then the question becomes: 2) Why do we have to intervene? Why can't hrwiki solve it on its own? Generally the answer has to be in the form of some steward action, we can't just go and rewrite the content or change hrwiki content policies. And the third question that came up in azwiki, 3) How do you restore autonomy to the community? Do all admins have to be removed, or just some? How long does hrwiki go without (temporary, and then permanent) admins? What about long-term blocked users? --Rschen7754 22:30, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
@Rschen7754: Addressing every point you made: 1) there is already plenty of evidence that there has been something bad going on for YEARS that everyone's been turning a blind eye to, which I linked earlier. 2) We have to intervene because, as GregorB said, the entire hrwiki community is in some way complicit, so they won't do anything themselves, and if we just do nothing, it reflects poorly on Wikimedia as a whole. 3) All admins/bureaucrats have to be removed. There is no alternative. In order to restore autonomy to the community, first, everyone who is currently blocked on hrwiki should be unblocked. Many people fled (or were blocked from) hrwiki and migrated to shwiki because they disagreed with the admins' actions, and in order to ensure a functioning community, those who were forced out must be allowed to return. The next logical step would be to appoint temporary admins from shwiki, as shwiki is the least likely of all of the wikis in Serbo-Croatian varieties to have nationalistic bias. Only after the influence of the bad actors is reduced can Croatian Wikipedia function as it should.

@GregorB: Any thoughts on this? DraconicDark (talk) 15:24, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

DraconicDark, Rschen7754: by now I'm acutely aware I'm selling - trouble is, it is a much harder sell than I expected.
Yes, I will be concise for The Signpost - 1500 words, more or less - and I'll constrain myself to the most egregious stuff. The way I see it, it's a slam dunk case anyway, if explained with reasonable clarity. The question is, of course: a case for what, exactly?
While I still maintain that all admins are complicit - it's only a matter of degree - removing them all would definitely not be my first choice. No layoffs; instead, I'd terminate three of them and I'd terminate them for cause. I also believe the case against them is so strong (in significant part due to reasons which might become obvious later) that they should be permanently banned from reapplying. For the future of Croatian Wikipedia, it is supremely important that what they did gets clearly, publicly, and permanently delegitimized. They should not be allowed to go quietly into the night; they should rather be sent packing.
I also believe that substantially defending their actions is incompatible with wiki values to such a degree that desysopping everyone who has seen the evidence, yet maintains these three did nothing wrong, would be absolutely fair game.
This is not personal. For the record, I was indef-banned there for quite a while, but the admin who banned me is not among those three. That's not because I think the ban was warranted (it wasn't), but because the overall case against him is weak. That's all there is to it.
While I'm sympathetic to those who remain blocked, and I'd support a some sort of block revision process, I don't think this is a major issue. I'd say the vast majority of those who left were not blocked, but rather could not see the point in continuing. It is important to try and bring them back.
Absolutely the hardest sell, however, is the idea things should go beyond steward action. I still believe it, even if I understand this may not be realistic. In the article, I will say my piece, but I will not propose anything. GregorB (talk) 18:30, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
Looking at the azwiki RFC, I can see why waiting until it's closed may be a good idea.
I was aiming for the June edition of The Signpost (June 30), but I might hold it off until July. GregorB (talk) 17:45, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for continuing to report out about the situation, and for preparing to write it up. I agree that it needs to be addressed by the global community, and that this is an exceptional case in both current and historical ways, with no direct precedent. –SJ talk  19:11, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Refactoring / cleaning up this pageEdit

@GregorB: As a prelude to a report in the signpost or elsewhere, it might be worth cleaning up this page and pointing in a more templated fashion to past and parallel discussions about these issues: both on wikis and on the Web. –SJ talk  19:12, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

And you might want to explicitly get input from the various stewards who have looked into the issue over the years. –SJ talk  19:13, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
@Sj: thanks. That was also my thinking: after The Signpost, I'd rather start the RfC/discussion anew. As for cleaning up the page, I don't have any objections (or ideas how to clean it up, to be honest :) ).
Regarding input from the stewards, apart from Rschen7754, right now I can't think of anyone who has been involved with this issue, so pointers would be more than welcome. GregorB (talk) 19:44, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
For clarification, I since stepped down from the steward team, though I'm still around on Meta. --Rschen7754 00:14, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Clean-up: a version of a report, but here on Meta for commentary and revision. I think if you pinged the stewards list you'd find a few others who had looked into this matter over the years. –SJ talk  13:47, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

Where do we go from here?Edit

@GregorB: Any updates on the Signpost article?

@Rschen7754:@Sj: The Azerbaijani Wikipedia discussion has concluded. With its outcome and process in mind, we need to figure out where this discussion goes.

Nothing has changed at hrwiki; here is the word "fascist" being removed from the article on the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), and here is a junk POV article that was pointed out in 2013 that still exists. There are piles upon piles of evidence that there is still something wrong, and I believe it is time to make a formal proposal. What do you think such a proposal should entail? DraconicDark (talk) 21:52, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

I was originally aiming for the July issue of the Signpost, but it seems it's going to be August. (The article itself is more or less finished.) I'd wait with the actual RfC until then, as it will hopefully provide both evidence and visibility.
Still, evidence is indeed not the real problem here. The question of whether something should be done or not is also, in my opinion, not a difficult one. For me, the eternally vexing question is what exactly should be proposed. It seems obvious that removing the three worst offenders won't help if the rest of the admins continue in the same vein. Since dissenting editors have been thoroughly purged, future RfAs will likely end in more biased admins being elected, and there will be more of the same. Also, I can't stress this enough: hr wiki has been this way for more than a decade, virtually right from the start, so there are no editors who know better (unless they edit in other language editions, of course). This is why I think any substantial action must involve a some sort of guidance or oversight. My original suggestion was to appoint (not elect, obviously, in the sense the community would choose the members!) an ArbCom. Establishment of the ArbCom is something the three admins in question would vehemently oppose, for obvious reasons - they opposed it a decade ago, campaigned hard against it, and finally managed to dismantle it in 2010.
I'm worried about asking for too little (because it won't really help) and asking for too much (because nothing would be done then). Now is a great time to discuss it, so any ideas? GregorB (talk) 08:26, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
I think it's always the case that removing the worst offenders is helpful. It makes a strong statement that local practice can't overrule the core global pillars of behavior. You may come up with many better options, but that's a fine one and better than nothing when there is a local negative-feedback-loop running wild. –SJ talk  08:45, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
A good point. To be honest, right now I'd settle for that. I do have my reservations about the long-term dynamics, but I suppose "better options" may come later, if necessary. GregorB (talk) 15:47, 30 July 2019 (UTC)