Perfect encapsulation of what's gone wrong here in this debate. Andy makes
some really solid points; OTRS is a black hole, has a history of being
clubby, etc. That history has a lot of smudge marks on it going all the way
back to wiki-en IRC channels and the overlap between IRC admins and OTRS
admins and how it all fed into toxicity and secrecy.

The end goal - transparency in OTRS - is therefore a no brainer, but the
strategy being deployed to make progress is ineffective.

Below is an example of why: Tomasz notes, correctly, that OTRS agents
on *general
info queues* (which he distinguished from permission queues) just answer
questions, they don't exercise authority. Andy's reply is both
argumentative and inaccurate. Tomasz could easily be on-side for genuine
reform. He's an insider at OTRS who acknowledges room for improvement. But
it wouldn't surprise me if this response converts him to an opponent.

This is a common dynamic on Wikipedia itself, and a big part of why people
burnout and stuff doesn't get done. No one is inspired to collaborate from
what reads as angry, argumentative accusations liberally applied to all

Whether you agree with the ultimate objective or not, it's easier to just

On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 11:36 AM Andy Mabbett <>

> On Mon, 20 Jul 2020 at 10:01, Tomasz Ganicz <> wrote:
> > In fact - OTRS agents answering questions for general info queues have no
> > special power - I mean they do not make any "secretive" decisions
> But they do; and we know that they do. The specific case to which you
> refer above occurred when an OS agen declined to accept multiple
> in-scope photographs, from multiple correspondents, sent at the
> request of Wikidata editors, to OTRS by non-Wikimdians. This only came
> to light because the person who had organised the campaign noticed,
> and brought it to the attention of Wikidata editors, on Wikidata.
> Nonetheless, that specific case led to general questions. about how
> ORS operates across our movement.
> And note that not one of the ten questions I referred to at the top of
> this thread mentones any specific case.
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: and
New messages to:

Reply via email to