Now, as expected, a demotion petition brings with it a lot of chaos and mixed feelings as well as some rather strong ones. With that in mind I am writing this blog to distill how I feel on the matter after doing a bit of research and the opinions expressed in this blog post are only representative of me.
So let me dive into the situation.
First, I would like to start off by talking about what I feel the responsibilities of an administrator are. An administrator's core job is, of course, the day to day running of the site. Things such as: deleting articles, renaming pages, and blocking users are all on the daily agenda of a wiki admin. However, their role does not end where the technical business stops, no. An administrator is also a steward and an ambassador to the site and as such needs to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects well on the site, its content, and its users. This extends to both their presence on the site itself and off-site as well. An administrator that misbehaves and acts foolish ultimately acts as a poor representation of the site and casts it in a poor light.
While I think that Helel ben Shahaar does a great job when it comes to the technical day to day activities of the wiki I do not feel that he has, in any way, acted in a manner that properly represents the site and its community. Thus far he has reportedly misgendered certain trans members of the community, treated new users in a unkind and unstewardly manner, and tried to use his platform as a prominent member of this community to harass a well-known, and well-respected author.
To start off: It is never okay to misgender someone in order to put them down or cause them any sort of distress. Transgender members of this community need to feel as if they are safe and respected, something that Helel ben Shahaar has not done anything to promote. In fact, according to a transgender member of the community, he has gone out of his way to misgender one or more trans individuals out of seemingly spite. After being asked numerous times not to refer to this individual by a dead name Helel ben Shahaar has continued to do so and even went so far as to publish that on their "wall of shame". This behavior creates an unsafe environment and goes against the responsibility of administrators to create a respectful and conductive environment.
Next we have his mistreatment of new users. While I can understand that as an admin you probably deal with an insurmountable amount of hate comments per day that is no excuse to speak in a brash manner to our new members. His unprofessional, and often insulting, treatment of the new users of the community has left a bad taste in my mouth. As an administrator your job is to be welcoming, understanding, and helpful so as to foster an environment of respect and understanding. It is a fact of life that newer users who are not terribly familiar with the site will make mistakes and it is your job to mentor them so that they can learn from the experience and not make that mistake again. However, the behavior of Helel ben Shahaar has not exhibited this mentoring spirit and stewardship. As such I believe that he is not fit to be in the capacity of administrator.
Lastly, attacking a well-known writer. If you don't know there is an insanely popular and talented writer by the name of Slimebeast who recently had narrations of their stories rightly taken down because the narrators were capitalizing on it without Slimebeast's permission. In the end this left a bad taste in the mouth of the narrators and of Slimebeast. To cut a long story short, the narrator in question is on the board of an up-and-coming creepypasta convention that has been plagued by allegations of abuse and misconduct. In the course of these allegations Slimebeast obtained a copy of a discord voice chat where a member of the con staff talked about killing Slimebeast and his ability to do so. In response to this Helel ben Shahaar felt the need to tell people to go to the video and leave comments "defending the site" even though the conduct of the admin in question is clearly unacceptable in the first place. He then left this comment where he attacks the writer and goes on to say some other things about the situation, much of which is cut off.
With all of this taken into consideration I do not think that Helel ben Shahaar is fit to hold the admin title on the site. While he does work well on his day-to-day activities he fails to act as a steward and ambassador for the site. If you can only do the former then I feel that he needs to step down and take a position as a roleback where he can continue to positively work on the site while also not being in a position of prominence where his actions effectively reflect upon the site as a whole.
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