Much of this by CrowsNest was brilliant. The problem with CrowsNest was he did not know how to turn it down, and focused his strongest vituperation on what might be called "unworthy targets." I'd be quite happy to have him back, if he would agree to respect site administration. It's not that hard. He essentially demanded to be banned.
I'd say it was a loss, but whether or not it's a loss overall, the jury is out. It was necessary.
One of the largest errors of Wikipedia was not enforcing civility policy with "valuable users."
Wikipedia tends to black and white: you're good or you're blocked. In real-life organizations, if a member of an assembly violates civility, the chair tells them to sit down and shut up. ("Sir, you are out of order.") If the member doesn't stop, the chair will order the sergeant-at-arms to conduct the person out of the room. It is not a ban -- it is only temporary -- and like any action of a chair, it can be appealed to the assembly, but there is no debate, just an immediate vote on a seconded appeal. Wikipedia never created real deliberative process. And when Jimbo blocked Bishonen for gross incivility -- 3 effing hours -- there was a huge outcry and Wales backed down.
I lost all respect for Bishonen when I saw that. She had this incredible opportunity, to respond with "Thanks! I was angry and it's important to stand for civility from everyone, including me." I actually did that with one of my WV short-blocks.
And Wales demonstrated a lack of courage. The issue was obvious, he was doing the right thing, she was not being punished, but he surrendered to "the community," meaning the immediate collection of the most-active, the loudest voices.
So, here, we are moving away from that (as Wikipedia appears to be doing as well, though very slowly). Wikipediocracy is firmly stuck in it, see discussion today.
Quoting Tim from that:
One of my email friends recently made this comment to me. I will paraphrase. Ninety percent of what Vigilant accomplishes is excellent and can't be done in any other way; ten percent is abusive and unspeakable. To which I replied: "Yes. The key is to keep the excesses of the ten percent reined in."
This implies that one must tolerate the "abusive and unspeakable" in order to gain -- what? Because I came under heavy attack by trolls including Vagirunt, I started to review his activities on WPO. Very little is "excellent." In fact, I haven't seen anything, but perhaps someone else will point to it. Maybe he did something good enough in the past. Or not. I remember him as being just as full of hate when I was participating on WPO.
He lies to the WPO community routinely, and it seems to me that they accept many of the lies. That's what happens when we tolerate hatred and lies that are repeated over and over. They insinuate themselves into our general world-view.