Requests for comment/threatening language and censorship by two Arabic Wikipedia admins

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

Unfortunately, this is a complaint regarding the behavior @Freedom's Falcon: and @باسم:, two admins of the Arabic Wikipedia. I believe the language that they used while we were discussing the Levantine Arabic Wikipedia was not constructive and could be considered threatening. Moreover, باسم has irreversibly deleted my invitation on a user's talk page on Arabic Wikipedia, for collaborating on this Levantine Arabic edition of Wikipedia, calling it to be "propaganda". I believe most of our fellow Wikipedians here would agree that inviting someone to collaborate on a different Wikimedia Foundation project is not propaganda. On the contrary, it is a very legitimate use case for the user talk pages. Deleting my invitation message with a justification like this is pure censorship.

Below are the translations of their comments in the discussion on meta: on a sub-page under Wikimedians of the Levant, created in a very friendly way by one member of the user group to solicit opinion on the Levantine Arabic (a.k.a Shami) edition of Wikipedia. These comments could have been less problematic had they not been from administrators. But since they are, these left no room for further discussions and potentially intimidated others who could be interested in participating. Note that almost all members of the user group are also editors on the Arabic Wikipedia, and these administrators knew that. Emphasis belongs to me below.

باسم: "I am from Lebanon, and I do not support any of these Levantine dialects. Who said that the southern Levant has one dialect, the northern Levant has another dialect, and the eastern Levant has another dialect? Have we stopped understanding each other's dialects now? Let us move away from this stupidity and speak frankly, boldly, and without euphemisms. We all know the orientations of those who support the creation of encyclopedias in local dialects. Let them say it openly and not hide behind flowery talk about spreading knowledge and the like. The Levantine proverb says, "Our neighborhood is narrow and we know each other." (I apologize to those who speak classical Arabic because they will not understand this language!) The first and last word in determining what is a dialect and what is a language belongs to the speakers of the language, and no one else. This remains a dialect with no rules, no regulatory bodies, and no written works of value."
Freedom's Falcon: "I am from Jordan. As an editor and administrator on Wikipedia, a member of the Wikimedia Levant Board of Directors, and one of its founders, I believe that this project is nothing more than a link in the chain of previous separatist projects - such as the so-called Egyptian, colloquial, and Algerian Wikipedias - as it is a project that is completely detached from reality, and will not be accepted by any of the Levantine users in our group, who are supposed to be using their own dialect. In short, stop messing with our language!!!"

Hence, I believe that these admins' actions do not align with the Wikimedia Foundation Universal Code of Conduct. To fix the situation, I kindly request that the stewards ask them not to continue this kind of behavior, and restore the deleted invitation message on SarahFossil's user talk page on the Arabic Wikipedia. - TheJoyfulTentmaker (talk) 03:42, 22 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Have you spoken to them on a neutral wiki (such as Meta)? --SHB2000 (talk | contribs) 12:25, 22 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@SHB2000 On these neutral platforms, the primary language isn't Arabic. I'd like to freely invite Arabic Wikipedia editors in Arabic, many of whom speak Shami, to contribute to this new project. (Over time, I expect new editors to join the Shami Wikipedia and contribute to both Arabic and Shami projects.) Since the talk pages are publicly visible, others also can learn about this initiative.
Dear @باسم: I would like to kindly invite you here. Would you like to share more about your decision to irreversibly delete my message to SarahFossil's talk page about collaborating on the Shami Wikipedia? If there is any mistake on my part I am very open to feedback and would be happy to hear that as well. TheJoyfulTentmaker (talk) 14:36, 23 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Dear @TheJoyfulTentmaker: if you want to make an announcement on, then please head over to our village pump, maybe to this section . Messaging users or certain users is considered canvassing on, so don't do it again-- باسم (talk) 19:32, 23 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks so much for the explanation! Here's the English translation of what I wrote on SarahFossil's user talk page. Honestly, I'm struggling to understand how it could possibly violate the canvassing guideline you linked.
"Hi SarahFossil, I was wondering if you would be interested in joining the efforts to create a Wikipedia in Levantine Arabic? It will be a new version of Wikipedia. Here are some more details." TheJoyfulTentmaker (talk) 17:42, 24 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hello @TheJoyfulTentmaker:. Unfortunately, your apparent intention here, which seems negative, is evident in selectively quoting and distorting dissenting opinions, which you characterize as a threat! For instance, why did you omit my statement from the ongoing discussion, where I clearly expressed our support for the freedom to express opinions? Freedom's Falcon (talk) 20:37, 24 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hi @Freedom's Falcon. Sorry to hear that it is perceived that way. I appreciate your second statement, which is softer in tone and encourages open discussion. However, unfortunately, you haven't acknowledged the issue with the first statement, which ends with three exclamation marks. I believe it is especially important, since it comes from an admin, and if we don't discuss it, it may be repeated by others. Also, do you happen to agree with باسم on his decision to irreversibly delete my message on SarahFossil's user talk page? I would like to invite @علاء and @Sotiale to this discussion as well, if they have time. TheJoyfulTentmaker (talk) 03:46, 25 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Meta is a multilingual wiki. --SHB2000 (talk | contribs) 11:42, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@SHB2000 Thanks, good to know. But still, using the meta is not as effective as communicating on the Arabic Wikipedia. Users are more likely to ignore a notification from the meta if they are not active here. And more importantly, I am honestly not convinced that my invitation violates the canvassing guidelines there, and see this arbitrariness in the admin actioning very problematic. TheJoyfulTentmaker (talk) 05:17, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No, Meta/global policies should override local policies. SHB2000 (talk | contribs) 05:40, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Well, my point is I believe I did not violate the local policies, but the admins have violated the global ones about abuse of power. Even if I can solve my problem by contacting the users on a neutral wiki, I believe there is benefit in discussing the admin behavior. Their "canvassing" claim is not convincing, because:
  • my message was not about gathering votes for an in-wiki discussion.
  • I only messaged one person
  • I did not ask them to vote in a certain way
  • I did not even ask them to vote, I just asked for help for a separate WMF project
  • The originally stated reason for the deletion was "propaganda", not "canvassing"
What is worse is that they deleted my message irreversibly, leaving no chance for the community to examine what had happened. Suppose the admins use the local guidelines in such arbitrary ways. In that case, it also has implications for other Ar-Wiki RFCs: For instance, can we talk about a true community consensus in that Wiki for any decision, including the banner discussion, if the admins use their power in such ways? TheJoyfulTentmaker (talk) 10:44, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
?! So far, a list of local CheckUser policies are nonsense, as they are not what people should obey, we should obey, and only obey, the global CheckUser policy one? Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:35, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What I meant by that is that a local policy shouldn't directly conflict with a global policy as listed on Category:Global policies (or by the WMF). As an example, you cannot have a policy that invalidates the UCoC, because the UCoC applies globally. --SHB2000 (talk | contribs) 11:38, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]