Thursday, March 6, 2008

Giano stands up for Jimbo

Many of you know who Giano is, but for those of you that don't, he is one of the English Wikipedia's more prolific writers, with many Featured Articles to his credit. Giano has always been unafraid to speak his mind.

Giano stood for ArbCom in the 2007 elections and I was a strong supporter. Although he garnered a lot of votes, he was not among the candidates selected by Jimbo.

Concurrently with the election, the ArbCom IRC case came up and Giano found himself sanctioned by ArbCom, placed on a civility parole for a year, and Giano said he would not be back.

Recently, Giano returned. What brought him back? The current (ongoing?) scandal involving Jimbo, Rachael Marsden, and allegations of impropriety. So did Giano take some potshots at Jimbo in retaliation for Jimbo's chiding him? No. Instead Giano posted a long and heartfelt defense of Jimbo.

What happened next is probably predictable... there was a lot of back and forth, someone tried to take it off the page before discussion finished, harsh words were exchanged, and so forth. But that's not the point.

The point is that Giano, the candidate who detractors said held grudges, acted like a child, would be a bad influence on the project, and on and on... that candidate had the strength of character to stand up on behalf of what he believed right. Not on behalf of a friend, which is admirable, but on behalf of someone who had done him few favours.

That's the sort of person ArbCom needs. That we did not choose him is our loss.


Mackensen said...

Well, he wasn't selected because he finished ninth in the field--more's the pity. I voted for him and I'd probably do it again, if only because I'm heartened to see people willing to take the job and stand up for the project. Wikipedia never had a better partisan.

Lar said...

"Wikipedia never had a better partisan." Just so. Presumably you saw his post at WR defending the project when he first got his account there.

As for ArbCom, perhaps he will still be selected if events cause other arbitrators to resign or whatever. Who can say.

There's always next year I guess.