Hi, this will be long,
I want to start this by saying that there are a lot of amazing referees on this website. But there are also a lot of useless referees, some even actively sabotaging the catalog. And absolutely nothing gets done about it. It actually stopped me from working on some issuers, because it's just a waste of time.
There were just two instances where I felt like I actually was able to change something. One was when two referees got removed because they weren't even online for at least half a year. I still wonder how long it would have taken if I didn't mention it all the time in the forum back then.
The other one was the only instance where my view of the referee changed and I'm now happy to work with him.
That was cmaclean, who revealed to me, that he removed every Scottish coin without a picture from the catalog when he became a referee. Luckily that got sorted out now with a master referee, but I guess we will never know how many pages got deleted by that active sabotaging.
But the reason I'm writing this post now is that I found out another referee is completely useless and it summed up enough now that I think it's a relevant problem of this whole platform now.
When I saw the new entries from the last day, I saw duplicates ... and a lot of them. All from the same referee. loruca
That referee is completely useless. And yes, I really mean it. That referee doesn't check a single request at all. Everything gets accepted without looking. Don't believe me? These are duplicates that got accepted all yesterday by different users:
One even has the same picture for obverse and reverse: https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces320108.html
That referee accepted the same coin from the same auction, probably just minutes apart from each other! And I suspected that referee to just accept everything for a long time now. When I started adding Italian coins some time ago, I used weights from the Krause catalog, because a lot of auctions didn't include them for some reason. I realized after quite some time, that Krause made a huge mistake with their weights. But since everything got accepted by loruca, we have now a lot of Italian Piastre coins on numista which are listed with half their real weight.
I mentioned this and many other problems (like the last entry, which was minted in Modena, while there isn't a fitting currency right now for that) I had with certain new entries I made in the comment sections, and they got all ignored. Except for one time, where I got an answer along the lines of: "I don't know either". And it's sad that this felt like an accomplishment.
Same thing happened with another referee (sadly I don't remember the name, only the issuer. But it was fairly recent, so I'm pretty confident it was the currently listed referee) sujit_kumar.
That referee also just accepts everything without looking. Why do I know? Because that referee accepted 10 requests of coins from the 4th century (so pretty difficult coins) in less than 2 minutes, of course, including a coin which already was on numista.
These types of referees have absolutely no positive effect on this website. I can't imagine that they're even checking the picture source. It would literally be more effective to just let the computer auto-accept everything.
But the even greater problem, in my opinion, are referees who are sabotaging the catalog. And there I had a very recent example too:
I found an auction listing of a coin, searched it on numista, and found its existing entry. But it had no year range, the ruler wasn't even clear, the lettering was wrong and a description was completely missing. So I made a change request for the lettering and description and mentioned the other points in the request comments. What happened? It got completely rejected and the reason was, that it wasn't in french (reason written in french), even tho I requested it through the English site. I even made a forum post about it and what happened? Absolutely nothing. The entry is still as bad and wrong as it was before.
And now we come into the fun part: You think at least the master referees are amazing? Yes, most are, but there are some who are just as incompetent as the ones above. One where I also had language problems was Florino28
That was one of the first problems I had with a referee. The problem was, that that master referee didn't even know which sources numista could use. And that is something every toddler can understand. I give a link to an auction listing and select the auction in the list of the available sources, provided by numista. And still, that referee thought the picture couldn't be used. I can understand that someone can make mistakes, I do too, but instead of asking or anything, my requests just got rejected instantly. So I had to make the whole request again.
That happened multiple times with that referee. And I had to solve this issue through other master referees because Florino28 only speaks French.
But I didn't tell you the best thing yet. One of the requests which got wrongfully rejected was for an Irish coin. Yes, you heard that right, an only French-speaking referee is a referee for Ireland! Even better, Florino28 is, to this day, the ONLY referee for Ireland! That is an absolute joke! And of course, as always, Florino28 is still a MASTER referee and I don't understand why.
Next up, we come to one of my favorites. The second useless master referee Oklahoman
My first memory was that Oklahoman promised to fix a little mistake in the catalog I pointed out. But it didn't get fixed despite multiple reminders until like 4 months later when another problem occurred which was just hilarious.
I added a coin from a Danish auction house that was missing and the request got rejected. A coin auctioned from the biggest Danish coin auction house got rejected by a numista master referee. Reason? "Not enough information".
There are people who deny the earth is round, there are people who deny that vaccines work, and apparently, Oklahoman denies that auctioned coins exist. It wasn't even an ultra-rare coin that surfaced out of nowhere. It was just a stupid modern Gibraltar Bullion coin. But no, apparently it can't be proven this coin exists. The pictures were probably fake.
To make it clear I'm also not a nice perfect human: I wrote a very infantile, insulting, and unnecessary message to Oklahman because of this incident, which I didn't apologize for and never will. I was told I got basically blocked by Oklahoman in response.
There are some more where I don't remember which referee it was exactly. Canada has an awful referee who accepts requests with complete nonsense information sometimes for example. But since this post is already extremely long, I will stop here with examples.
There is one important thing all these incidents have in common too: None of these referees corrected a single mistake they made themselves. None added the rejected coin afterward, none added the rejected information afterward, and to my knowledge, none requested to delete a duplicate afterward. If I really wanted to have change, I had to do it all myself again. But most of the time, I stopped caring. I just don't look into the parts of the catalog some of the referees rule over anymore.
And what I find most surprising is, that no one cares. Once you're a referee, you can do WHATEVER you want. You can be offline for half a year, you can roll a dice to decide if you want to accept a request, you don't even need to have knowledge of the issuer or speak their language. You just won't get removed. EVER.
Thanks for attending my Ted talk.