Sunday, May 25, 2008

The official Soviet red herring

Maybe it hasn't been totally clear why I tread lightly in political disputes. It started in the fall of 2006 when an editor (apparently a Cuban expatriate) insisted that that I was a Russian Communist. When I blocked him for using the talk page of the Fidel Castro article as a blog he dismissed my assurance that the blog was based in policy: no, a Russian username transformed me into a supporter of Fidel Castro. He even supposed the time stamps of my edits suggested I was in Eastern Europe. (Gee, and I thought I was here in San Diego).

Never mind that I did cite valid policy. And never mind that I chose the username to honor the first female officer of the Russian Army who retired more than a century before the Communist revolution began, and that it's darned hard to find any Communists in Russia these days. I can claim to be anything on the Internet; I happen to have claimed consistently for years that I hold a degree in history from Columbia University and that I'm a female war veteran, and that the username might have something to do with a touch of mild feminism, but I'm not Russian in the slightest.

Really, I've never set foot in Russia. I speak maybe six words of Russian. I've never dated a Russian. I'm not Russian by descent. Nadezhda Durova published her service journal after she met Pushkin, and I think that's pretty cool. There ain't much more to be said there.

But sometimes editors are so darned certain...

One of the other more memorable occasions happened in summer 2007 when a Serb editor and a Croat editor brought a dispute to an administrative noticeboard. I looked at their arguments and their evidence and looked at the policies, and I decided the Serb was right. And then of course the Croat was furious.

You see, Russia is a historic ally of Serbia. Certainly that must have been why I agreed with the Serb. Never mind the policy I'd quoted.

This is all a great cover for my FBI work, or vice versa.

So in honor of moments like that I'm going to award the Official Soviet Red Herring to the best story I receive. I want your memoirs--the silliest incidents where an edit warrior has mistaken your politics or ideology just because you cited a policy that went against that person's wishes. The best account will win that cute Communist herring above--get yours straight from the apparat-chick herself in the Soviet Socialist Republic of California. Diffs earn bonus points, but I'll consider all fish tales if they're funny enough and you swear on Mao's Little Red Book that you're completely true.

Please post your red herring candidates in the comments section below.

1 comment:

Igor Berger said...

There is a little, little tiny, troll, hiding on Wikipedia his name is...I would like to tell you, but I respect Wikipedia netiquette, not to mention editors by name!

But the troll has been trolling Wikipedia for years under different user names.

Every time he is banned he resurfaces under a new user name. Sometime he is a she or she is a he, it is really hard to figure it out.

The Troll takes on a different character and personality every times he comes around. He is like a complete different person.

Who knows who he actually is! Could he be The Zodiac Killer Fugitive?