Requests for comment/Sysop abuse in the swahili Wikipedia

This is a subpage; for more information, see the Requests for comments page.

The user Riccardo Riccioni is an admin and bureaucrat in the swwiki. He has been denigrating minority groups for a long time. See here. He make this wiht a edtiwar against several users. This is neither compatible with the terms of use or with the principles of the project. His response to the SRM request is also insufficient. m:Special:Permalink/26580050

It is allowed to make mistakes, but to commit such abuse as an administrator is unacceptable. As an administrator, having a certain external impact means you have to behave accordingly. Riccardo Riccion is not trustworthy, but this is a requirement for his permissions. I therefore suggest removing for protection of the project his permissions. --π–π’π€π’ππšπ²πžπ« πŸ‘€πŸ’¬ 19:11, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

That project has 8 other active admins that could block as needed - is this RFC a suggestion that the entire local governance of swwiki has become defective? β€” xaosflux Talk 23:51, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
On Minorax's talk page, Riccardo Riccioni did claim that: [we] Swahili sysops discussed this question during a video meeting on January 20th, 3pm-4pm East African Time. All agreed on a common attitude.[1] Though I'm not sure how true this claim is, given his edits have gone unaddressed for over 4 years[2] a discussion about the conduct of other SwWiki sysops may be relevant. ArkHyena (talk) 00:09, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Xaosflux I haven't noticed anything so far. No one else was involved in these edits.
It's hard to say, the project has more administrators than other small projects, but this is not a big project.
In the past, there have always been cases in other projects in which other users have ignored abuses in order not to "suffer damage" themselves. As an admin, he also has a certain "power" and can also exert pressure here. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get concrete details about the project, as the language is only readable for most people here with bing translator or other translators.
In my opinion, we should tackle the obvious part first. If further abuse is uncovered, we should of course also investigate this. π–π’π€π’ππšπ²πžπ« πŸ‘€πŸ’¬ 06:56, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Speaking of those admins, one of them is running in the 2024 U4C elections, which is incredibly concerning. LilianaUwU (talk / contribs) 23:32, 14 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I've also been recently banned from Swahili Wikipedia for a period of 3 months. I've been banned, as they describe it quite explicitly, for reporting this UCoC violation, and because I interfered with African culture by writing neutrally on the subject of homosexuality. This individual supports my banning. I don't understand why someone who retaliates against people who report UCoC violations is running for the U4C. Kisare 16:45, 15 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Ndugu @Kisare, salam?
Pole kwa changamoto na kadhia iliyotokea kule SWWP. Ninaamini una nia ya dhati ya kuzuia hizi vurumai na majibizano yanayoendelea hapa. Iwapo utaona inafaa, ni kheri kusitisha nia yako ya kuendeleza mjadala huu kwa U4C. Haulazimishwi. Ni ombi. Pengine tungeendelea kuwasiliana katika Wikipedia ya Kiswahili kupitia ukurasa wa jumuia. Utoe mchango na mawazo yako kwa nia ya kujenga na kubomoa. Kama tatizo lishatokea tayari. Hakuna cha kufanya. Lakini kuendelea au kutoendelea iko ndani ya uwezo wako. Kwa niaba ya wengine, naomba utusamehe sana. Salaam tele kutoka Dar es Salaam. Naomba ujibu. Usikae kimya. User:Muddyb (Talk) 13:33, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Is the entire local governance of swwiki considered defective due to the mistake of one person? We have been editing for over 17 years. Our dignity and time are being disregarded because of someone who appeared three weeks ago? Why are you insulting us to this extent? User:Muddyb (Talk) 19:25, 19 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Of the nine active admins and two bureaucrats,
  • One admin directly calls gay people mentally ill and repeats transphobes' stances as fact, which Kisare and User:CuriousScientist1 have been trying to revert, only to be met with the same old accusation of cultural imperialism. This has been a longterm issue; CuriousScientist1 was also blocked for trying to fix the article. See here.
  • Four other admins and one bureaucrat (you) are all involved in or have expressed support for Kisare's block.
  • Swwiki admins apparently hopped on an online call to discuss and sanction this action together.
I would say that is a pretty catastrophic failure of local governance.
How long you have been with us is irrelevant; if you do not fix your homophobia you will not be the first long-term users we have lost to conduct issues, nor will you be the last. Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk) 04:43, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Okay. I'm lifting Kisare's ban. Let him come again and do whatever he pleases. We will not bother him. We will pretend as if we are not there. After all, the project is only coming from his home country. User:Muddyb (Talk) 06:18, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I hope you understand this is not going to close the matter just yet. This issue has nothing to do with the fact that the WMF and Kisare are American, and everything to do with the fact that swwiki admins are treating this as a great battle of cultures, and implying that cultural opinions (rather than RS and NPOV) are the things that matter on Wikipedia.
Homosexuality is not a mental illness (no matter what "Swahili culture" or "American imperialist culture" or any other culture say) and that reliable sources all agree that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexual attraction. Do you understand this or do you still see this whole thing as colonialist Americans forcing their culture upon Africa? Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk) 07:19, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Official Statement!
Dear All,
We deeply regret our actions in obstructing the improvement of misinformation on the Swahili Wikipedia. While we may have our personal opinions, we understand that Wikipedia is not the appropriate platform for such biases. We are committed to ensuring that the rights of every individual are respected and upheld, regardless of differing viewpoints. Our African identity does not negate the adherence to Wikipedia’s policies, guidelines, and standards.
We promise to collaborate with everyone in the community and to uphold the Universal Code of Conduct (UCC). We sincerely apologize for any disruptions caused and pledge to adhere to the principles of neutrality and verifiability in our future contributions.
We also urge the user Kisare to utilize the discussion platform available on the Swahili Wikipedia to voice his opinions. We value cooperation and believe that making significant systemic changes without proper communication is unproductive.
Moving forward, we commit to editing and participating in line with the principles of Neutral Point of View (NPOV).
Yours sincerely,
Swahili Wikipedia Admins Team. User:Muddyb (Talk) 10:32, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I get that you want to put this behind and move on avoiding further attention, but your message above doesn't sound like your style of writing (compared to your other messages barring this comment). If you are using ChatGPT or another AI model to write your message, can I say it's counterproductive to say the least, and can come out very rude – you as a bureaucrat should know better than relying on ChatGPT to write your messages. If you didn't use ChatGPT or another AI model, I apologise and you can ignore this message. --SHB2000 (t β€’ c) 11:55, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Again, someone is looking for an angle to make sure nothing goes to rest. Are we going to rest this case make continue working on our projects? It looks like not any time soon. We keep messaging back and forth. I want this to end even right now. User:Muddyb (Talk) 12:05, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
"Rest[ing] the case" entirely misses what was problematic here and does nothing to solve the problem at hand. --SHB2000 (t β€’ c) 12:10, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What need doing to solve the case at hand? Please enlighten me! User:Muddyb (Talk) 12:19, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Uhm, the name of this thread? You may have unblocked Kisare, but that does not magically vanish the UCoC violations that happened from the swwiki sysop team right before they were blocked. --SHB2000 (t β€’ c) 12:31, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
We know that. We apologize for that. Can you let us continue building our small community? User:Muddyb (Talk) 12:36, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with SHB200, I don't want to say that ChatGTP was used. It doesn't matter how the statement came about. The statement is meant to sweep the case under the table. But this is not an option. The case must be investigated. π–π’π€π’ππšπ²πžπ« πŸ‘€πŸ’¬ 13:47, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Muddyb: this message is signed as "Swahili Wikipedia Admins Team". Does this include all administrators on this list, or is it a specific subset? If it is a specific subset, could we get a list of administrators on the Admins Team? 0xDeadbeef (talk) 12:01, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Could you please be more specific? Why you need the subset list? User:Muddyb (Talk) 12:10, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Who were the people behind this response? Swahili Wikipedia Admins Team is vague, and just seems to say a specific number of Swahili Wikipedia Admins which include Muddyb.
Why do I need the subset list? To keep people accountable. If you are going to release a statement from a body, then either you have to affirm that this is a consensus from the entire body (its fine that some members did not agree too, just that this coordination happened between ALL admins.)
If this coordination did not happen between all admins, you need to give us a list of people who coordinated to put up this statement. Otherwise I just have to assume that this statement only came from you. 0xDeadbeef (talk) 12:53, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Noted. User:Muddyb (Talk) 13:07, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Muddyb unblocked Kisare with the following message (machine translated): "Brother Kisare, You are free to do whatever you want. Even if you feel like closing Kiswahili Wikipedia completely. Feel free! We will not follow you or question you for anything. Obviously our partner is much stronger than us." I do not think creating a scene like this is going to help the swwiki admins' case. Indeed, it only reinforces my suspicion that they should lose their bits.
It is a real shame that they're choosing to burn through all the goodwill they've built through years of genuine good work at keeping such a small volunteer project with such a low bus-factor alive. I live in the most populous country in the world and enwiki is the dominant encyclopedia here, yet swwiki members have been active enough to match and even surpass the activity levels I see in usergroups around my neck of the woods. All down the drain because they have fundamentally misunderstood what Wikipedia is and how seriously NPOV, BALANCE, and encyclopedic writing should be taken. Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk) 07:55, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
'our partner is much stronger than us totally wrong. The machine gave you a wrong translation. We've made a huge sacrifice to reach this far. If you think we've not done good enough for the wiki because of Kisare, my apology. As I said before, we will not bother him or anyone else who is willing to do anything.... User:Muddyb (Talk) 09:18, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's not a "sacrifice" to uphold the WMF's ToS, no matter what your views on this are. --SHB2000 (t β€’ c) 10:32, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Understandably! User:Muddyb (Talk) 12:36, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Muddyb: I'd like to get a clarification on what you meant by Obviously mwenzetu una nguvu sana kuliko sisi. - from checking google translate it suggests "Obviously our colleagues (presumably people here at Meta) are stronger than us". You said that this is a wrong translation. What would be the correct translation instead? 0xDeadbeef (talk) 12:05, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes. That is what I was trying to convey my message to Kisare. But I feel sorry for myself. Again I did not mean to cause any harm. But things took heavily turn. I shouldn't have done that. My apology. User:Muddyb (Talk) 12:29, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Just clarifying that "mwenzetu" is singular, not plural. It means "our colleague." Kisare (talk) 22:20, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for clarifying and providing the context. --SHB2000 (t β€’ c) 11:49, 26 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Muddyb also made this edit to his userpage directly after the unblock. What a tantrum! Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk) 10:13, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Oh deary me. That said, it's nowhere near as egregious as the incidents of sysop abuse. --SHB2000 (t β€’ c) 10:18, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That is my personal opinion. It might be on something else. I was about to change since long time. Maybe it's bad timing. But do not include anyone else for my own actions. Please leave the entire team out of this. If you think I deserve punishment for my own opinions, it's okay. Again, leave the team out of this. But I did not intend to point anyone. Are we really going to wrap this peaceful? Looks like we are looking for angles here. Which is not okay. Thanks! User:Muddyb (Talk) 11:27, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Oh that particular message is very much about your conduct in particular, not the others'. You must consider that your sarcastic unblock message and that quote on your userpage makes the person you unblocked feel socially unwelcome to edit again despite being technically able to do so. Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk) 11:37, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVIIt is true what you say. My message was filled with many uncertainties. As a leader and an experienced editor, I should not have made statements with aggressive or passive undertones. Instead, I should have been more welcoming. I am human, like everyone else. I do not possess angelic qualities. Is there something that can be done to set things right? If making mistakes is human, I have surely erred despite my position. Please forgive me. In the future, I will be more careful with my words and decisions. I have never faced such a challenge before. User:Muddyb (Talk) 11:53, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I understand your frustration. It's clear that Riccardo Riccion holds significant value within the Kiswahili Wikipedia community, being one of the most active contributors alongside the late Kipala. His contributions not only reflect his dedication but also serve as guidance for others. To dismiss his credibility entirely is not only disrespectful to him but also undermines the community's integrity.
While disagreements may arise within any community, stripping away the recognition of individuals like Riccardo diminishes the essence of our collective efforts. It's crucial to address conflicts constructively without resorting to devaluing the contributions and character of fellow community members. Let's uphold the respect and dignity of everyone involved while striving for resolution and progress. User:Muddyb (Talk) 11:26, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Muddyb"It's crucial to address conflicts constructively " This is not about a conflict. This is about persistent abuse. This is unacceptable and definitely harms the project, and also the community. π–π’π€π’ππšπ²πžπ« πŸ‘€πŸ’¬ 11:53, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Muddyb: We don't have to look for new angles. We have enough already. We're just threshing out what should be done with that information.

An apology letter doesn't suffice - we aren't asking for an apology in the first place (my advice would be to apologise to Kisare, not to us). What the wider Wikimedia community will be looking at is what specific policy changes will be made on swwiki to prevent this kind of admin abuse from happening in the future.

The more you say we are hounding you, the longer this discussion will stay open. In all likelihood, this issue will remain open either until the U4C is installed and takes it up, unless all admins involved in this fiasco give up their tools and agree to continue as normal editors at least for several months or a year.

Your and Riccardo's positions as crats WILL be debated; this was bound to happen from the moment Kisare made their complaint, or at least from the moment Justine Msechu chose to run for the most publicised Wikimedia election of this year so far.

None of this–yet–prevents you from editing articles as normal, engaging Swahili speakers worldwide, participating in the Kilimanjaro user group, etc. Being an admin or crat is not necessary to build your encyclopedia. Those userrights merely confer certain technical tools; they are not leadership positions. Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk) 13:10, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]