I get the feeling I should contact them: the Register has done a fantastic followup on a particularly egregious case that looks even worse than the Durova scandal.
Look below - what have I been talking about in my previous posts? The automatic assumption that anyone who disagrees with certain administrators is a "sockpuppet" of someone they hate. The automatic bannings and threats when anyone tries to correct what's on wikipedia.
And of even worse import, this story isn't just in a vacuum - like the Siegenthaler story a long while back, like the Essjay scandal, this one turns out to have real-world implications in the stock market.
David Gerard, of course, is his usual congenial self. First he accuses anyone who doesn't agree with him and his friends of "abuse of the wiki", then a few more items:
Meanwhile, posts to Wikipedia show that David Gerard has a personal beef with Bagley. "Bagley's case is that he's been stalking people with quite some viciousness for commercial gain. He even got writeups in the NYT and NY Post, so I can state he's an odious stalking arsehole with Reliable Sources!" Gerard writes. "I urge you to start reading up - he's really at a new and exciting level of odiousness." Elsewhere he adds: "ps: Fuck off, Bagley."
Of course, there's also Jimbo doing his thing:
Without a doubt, Judd Bagley has seriously angered the powers that be at Wikipedia. He's even received an email from Jimbo Wales saying: "Your feigned innocence is not very endearing" and "It would be helpful if you could come to terms with the fact that you have behaved very very badly over a long period of time."
Jimbo and his cronies always behave like this - it's never abuse on the part of them or their friends(even when, like the Durova affair or Essjay affair, it actually is); it's never they that need to step back and calm down; it's always the person they're attacking that needs to somehow subsume themselves to the glorious wikipedian masters, admit they're wrong... and then go away. And they hate anyone who won't just vanish into the ether, but at the same time, they need them. After all, if their antagonists went away, what would be left to them with nobody to fight? Why, they'd have to pick someone new and accuse them of being a returning sockpuppet in order to have someone to rail against.
The Register has a great article on this if you haven't seen it - Wikipedia's cliques have been secretly organizing to ban editors and control pages.
That's right - you don't have to have done anything ban-worthy. They just arbitrarily decide to ban you, inform the secret list, and that's that. This is something those who were never in the head clique always knew about, but it's the first time someone actually revealed how frequently it goes on.
The list is hosted by Wikia, the Jimmy Wales-founded open source web portal that was setup as an entirely separate entity from the not-for-profit Wikimedia Foundation that oversees Wikipedia.
The sign-up page explains that the list is designed to quash "cyberstalking" and "harassment." But it would seem that things have gotten a bit out-of-hand. Clearly, the list is also used to land "the banhammer" on innocent bystanders.
"The problem is that their false positive rate is about 90 per cent - or higher," says Kelly Martin. "It's possible that every last person Durova has identified is innocent."
Not just possible, but extremely likely - in my experience, far greater than 90% of "suspected sockpuppets" are really editors who're just being harassed by abusive administrators trying to get a bannable rise and control an article.
Sorry if I've been away; physical therapy is rough.
The best news I have today: my casts are off. My legs have had a bath and no longer stink. My skin no longer itches. Now, I have to rebuild the muscles. That's going to be difficult, they can barely hold themselves up right now, let alone the rest of me.
An interesting thing's been going on in Wikipedia in my absence, however. A user by the name of DennyColt has been on a campaign, together with abusive administrators like SlimVirgin and JzG, to have what they claim are "attack sites" banned from being linked by Wikipedia. Even on talk pages. Even though Wikipedia's external links are now nofollow, and don't get indexed by search engines.
This is but one step more in the continued closing-off of Wikipedia. <a href="http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2007-April/067930.html">They're closing ranks</a>. The goal is, quite simply, to try to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Attack_sites">shut up everyone they disagree with.</a>
DennyColt has gone so far as to quote his own essay, referenced above, claiming it is "policy" and reason enough to remove links from wikipedia.
I've been having some interesting e-mail exchanges, and an interesting time watching what goes on with Wikipedia in general.
In particular to note:
FIRST - the "Unblock-en-l" list, which was supposedly created to allow a new avenue for people to seek unblock (once people on wikien-l got tired of people asking for unblock there), has been Completely Closed Off. The archives are no longer public record. Nobody is allowed to subscribe, save for those who are in the "good graces" of a certain group of abusive administrators already. Anyone can submit an email to it, but until such time as they see an email back, they cannot see the discussion surrounding them, or the behavior of those inside the group.
I can tell you why this is. It is simply because the Unblock-en-l group is a total and utter fraud. It was never intended, and has never been intended, that it be a legitimate place for legitimate users to get unblocked. Rather, it's yet another rubber-stamp on the lies and deception necessary to keep anyone who page-owning administrators and interest groups feel might one day be part of a consensus against their particular point of view, out.
SECOND - Interesting emails have come to me. They are transcripts of the private "discussion" surrounding the banning of anyone who disagrees with abusive administrators in general on wikien-l, and in particular, my own ban - which was placed, not for the lying reasons they gave, but because I was making sense, I had exposed their lies and abuses, and they knew that I had the proper evidence on a CheckUser that they had deliberately lied about. They source to David Gerard, and my analysis was spot-on; he was the genesis of the banning campaign, which is no surprise, as he's always been the most totalitarian, corrupt, hotheaded, and completely worthless representative of any of the Wikipedia and Wikien-l higher-ups.
Such is the Wikipedia way, the way that exists in most totalitarian states; if you are not right, you simply kill the messenger. They are doing their level best to do this, to this day. That they are trying to close off and shutter anyone who exposes them, and further hiding their back channels to hide their misdeeds, is plenty of proof.
[Update]: How very interesting... it appears that David Gerard (IP address 126.96.36.199, precisely the same as earlier!) is once again trolling this site.
David, since I know you're reading this, feel free to go soak your totalitarian, corrupt, worthless head.
One of the more humorous aspects of dealing with Wikipedia is how contradictory the actions of administrators are to the message they try to convey.
So for this update, I thought I'd like to expose some of the "Great Lies" of wikipedia.
Lie #1: "It's the message, not the messenger." This is often quoted by administrators claiming they are "fair" on a given topic.
Unfortunately, the opposite is shown by the evidence at hand. If the message was to be dealt with fairly, administrators would not be in such a rush to hunt down "suspected sockpuppets" constantly, vandalizing user pages and terrorizing new users while claiming they are "sockpuppets" of some long-lost grudge.
Slimvirgin, David Gerard, and various of their toady suck-ups have recently been on an attack vector again, declaring a large swath of new users to be "sockpuppets" of the old Enviroknot account.
Exceedingly funny is that if one examines the Contributions of this account, it never broke the rules. How they got rid of this user for disagreeing with them? They conflated the account with an arbitration it had nothing to do with, lied about CheckUser evidence (this wasn't the first time David Gerard did that, nor has the recent spate of poorly justified "Checkuser" results helped the situation any), and generally abused users constantly.
Up until right before he was banned, Enviroknot was still making useful contributions to the encyclopedia.
The joke is: it's always the "messenger". If the messenger is new and has only written on one subject, they are a "single purpose account" and subject to removal/harassment. If they are new, they are a "suspected sockpuppet" - and the verdict is always the same, Guilty. If they have been around a while, they are a "sleeper account."
The bottom line is that when an abusive administrator decides to attack someone, the message or whether they are a good editor is secondary to whether or not the administrator just really wants to remove them. If they do, it'll happen, because the administrator will either cook up some excuse, or just harass them until they do something "block-worthy" in return.
Which brings us to Lie #2: Nobody new ever comes to Wikipedia
This is, of course, a lie. New people come to wikipedia all the time.
However, the policies in place ON wikipedia are specifically designed to prevent new editors from coming up unless they are friends of established POV warriors or administrators themselves. New contributors who don't agree with the orthodoxy or have an administrator friend to help them are wiped out quickly so that the established POV gangs can maintain control over their articles.
Examples of this are quite simple: Sockpuppet policy gives administrators broad latitude to declare anyone they like a "sockpuppet."
Funnily enough, wikipedia has contradictory policies. Policy #1: "Keep heated issues in a small area", allows for users to create new accounts before editing on a controversial topic. This is contradicted by the single purpose account policy, which says that accounts that only edit in a given area may be ignored and reverted at will.
Policy #2: "Don't bite the Newbies" - this, in a nutshell, tells administrators to assume good faith on the part of new accounts.
It is also to be described as "If someone isn't as dumb as a box of rocks, they're not new" - or at least, that's how administrators behave. The most common "reasoning" for an administrator calling someone a "sockpuppet" is that they have done something "no new user could possibly know how to do" - in other words, someone who reads the policies, lurks, and examines how edits work before editing is going to get called a sockpuppet just for learning how the system works.
Interestingly enough, the BITE policy has a telling statement: nothing scares potentially valuable contributors away faster than hostility or elitism.
Why is this interesting? Because this is precisely the goal of the abusive administrators. They want, no, need, to drive away anyone new who disagrees with them, because if they did not, then ultimately they bear the risk of enough new users coming in to overturn their bogus "consensus" on the articles they control.
If you ban the new users as they come in, however, they are never more than one or two strong, and the rest of the corrupt administration will support you for it.
The past couple weeks, Wikipedia finally had what could be described as a full-blown meltdown. One of the "rising stars" of the project was an administrator named Essjay.
For a long time, "Essjay" was a highly "respected" (read: cabal member) administrator. He claimed multiple degrees in religious study, and used these claimed credentials to add to the weight of his arguments in content disputes, especially when he was introducing material to attack the Catholic Church.
Eventually, he got high up enough that Jimbo hired him at Wikia, another branch of Jimbo's setup. Due to this, Essjay's nature was finally revealed.
He was a 24-year-old kid named Ryan Jordan. Didn't have a single degree, much less multiple graduate-level degrees.
Immediately, the shit hit the fan as it were. The New York Times - which had published an interview with "Essjay" earlier - was forced to print a disclaimer that they hadn't known about Essjay's real identity. Jimbo, off in India, released a statement in his usual clueless sense saying that he supported Essjay's duplicity fully. A few days later and a couple doses of "wake the hell up" juice, and Jimbo asked Essjay to resign.
Meanwhile, the Wikipedia spin machine's been hard at work. The administrators most enamored of power, types like David Gerard, have been working overtime to quash anyone who isn't fully supportive of Essjay. A "Request for Comment" on Essjay's duplicity was bounced around through three or more areas of wikipedia to try to hide it, and then Gerard came along and deleted it out of hand.
Users who post comments that are less than flattering to Essjay's talk page or elsewhere are routinely having their comments deleted and their accounts banned by the power-hungry administrators, for reasons of "civility." The count is currently up to at least 50 users, with ban reasons ranging from "incivility at Essjay's page" to "Don't dance on someone's grave."
Look below, and I'm sure the pattern will be clear; it's the same pattern I pointed out before. Hide the content, Delete what you don't like, Ban your opponent, and claim they were being "incivil" or something else.
On an unrelated note: After my "banning" from the wikien-l mailing list, I emailed Jimbo. He didn't respond. I also had an email exchange with one Mark Ryan, who claims he "abstained" from the decision on the mailing list banning.
He asked me to send an email to all of the other list administrators, to request a review. I did so.
I got an interesting response back. Not a single one of them would answer the real email I sent. However, one did decided to make a throwaway email account, copying my email back, with "fuck you" as the only added content.
The email address sent from was "ParkerPetersIsAFag@hotmail.com." The IP address? London, British Telecom, DSL line.
Interesting thing that passed by my email inbox today; apparently the Wikipedian overlords are so embarassed by my exposing their abuse, that their response has been to abuse more.
A while back I wrote a goodbye letter, that was posted to the wikien-l mailing list. This was the genesis of some of their bad behavior, especially David Gerard, who I specifically named for his past abuses.
The email was originally in Wikipedia's mailing list archive list at this address. Notice something?
Yes, that's right. Someone sort-of-cunningly reindexed the month.
And this is why Wikipedia will fail. Because power-mad, insane people like David Gerard are in charge, and have no intention of building an encyclopedia, just trying to consolidate what power they can.
I had earlier been posting with no problem - REALLY interacting with people to show how the system is broken, and "experienced wikipedians" make enemies of newbies all the time, enemies that either don't contribute - and verbally slag Wikipedia whenever they can - or worse, turn into vandals who do bad to wikipedia just for the fun of it.
Why did they decide now was the time to enact a "ban"? The only thing I can think of is that my analysis of admin malfeasance - and my exposure of the CheckUser results that cabal member JPGordon lied about - came too close to home, and they're running scared. Trying to shut me up was their first step.
Don't worry. I can still see everything they do. They're running around trying to figure out my sources right now, conducting their own internal Kristallnacht.
Lesson #4: How to abuse people for speaking out, or The Scarlet Letter
While I was out, medicated, I really didn't have much chance to look at what was going on in Wikipedia. I've thankfully recovered enough to make a post, and what do I discover? Another series of abusive behavior, this time involving one The Epopt, who is a well-known user and member of the Arbitration Committee.
Sean Barrett, aka The_Epopt, aka Sean@Epoptic.com, also felt it was so necessary that his part in this little problem not be exposed that he chose to block notification of this article's creation from Wikipedia's mailing list. Such is the power of Wikipedia's "elites" to hide their misdeeds, they accumulate power wherever they can for this precise purpose.
The web site "Epoptic.com" has the wonderful message "Go Away" in big block letters.
Tucows was nice enough to have more info on him, but I won't reveal that. Yet.
The Epopt is such a good and civil user, apparently, that he sent a message that was viewable by all members of the wikien-l mailing list that stated "Get lost, you pathetic little wanker" to someone he himself had abused. Aren't Wikipedians just such civil people?
A user later came along by the name of TruthBeholder. You'll note his name from the Theresa Knott post above, as well as the abusive administrator behavior related to the user's talk page. The user apparently followed some links to wikipedia from the Slashdot discussion, and was rightly outraged about the way wikipedia administrators cover up their misdeeds.
TruthBeholder is, of course, now indefinitely blocked. Discussion of administrator behavior on RunedChozo's case and the abuse targeted at RunedChozo is, of course, dissuaded by fiat.
The message? Here is how Wikipedia administrators work when they want to cover something up. Theresa Knott, Grandmasterka, and a few others are very good at it, mostly because they constantly scan the WP:ANI and other project pages to look for people to abuse.
1. - "Scarlet Letter" harassment. Find any tag you can put on a user's pages - the more insulting the better - and insist that it be put on their pages. If you've got admin rights, lock their userpage down so they can't remove it themselves. Make sure that you inform your toadies via the back channels, so that the "Scarlet Letter" can be brought up whenever you need to argue against something they've said - after all, why try to actually bring well-thought conversation or logical points when you can just kill the messenger.
The goal of Scarlet Letter Harassment is to make it impossible for someone that the abusive users are targeting to work within Wikipedia even if they want to. Once someone is tagged by a "Scarlet Letter" item, everything they do is suspect: normal edits, normal suggestions, instead of being taken seriously, are treated with disgust, contempt, and ridicule because of what's been forced onto their pages. If they speak out against someone abusing them? "Oh look, a scarlet letter on their page, they are obviously guilty" - it becomes a method of control and a justification for all sorts of abusive, insulting behavior.
And it goes directly against the idea that Wikipedia's mechanisms are not supposed to be punitive in nature, but then again, Wikipedia threw that idea out long ago: the new method by which blocking and administrator tools are used is to browbeat and attack people until they know better than to ever cross an administrator's path again.
The new Modus Operandi of administrator blocks: #1 - Block once for anything #2 - If blocking again, no matter how minor a reason, slap on an extra 3 days. Claim it's "because the first block didn't work." #3 - Double up the block if the user so much as posts an unblock request, to punish them for daring to question the judgement of an administrator. #4 - Go to Infinite. Why? Because you're an administrator. Nobody's going to question an administrator, you're all-powerful.
2 - Pretext, pretext, pretext. One of the notes left about RunedChozo claims that he was "being a jerk to Itaqallah (one of the more mild-mannered editors on Wikipedia)"; in the first place, Itaqallah and RunedChozo were both at fault and mutually antagonistic to each other, and to call Itaqallah a "mild-mannered" editor is an outright lie; Itaqallah's been involved in numerous edit wars, and I've debunked both his and his friend Tariqabjotu's "good faith" numerous times in other emails published in the wiken-l archives. Particularly damning is their behavior from back in december.
The goal of pretext is to create "something" that in some way could be construed to be a blockable offense, and then use it to beat the person you're targeting over the head.
3 - Block and terminate. Steel359 shows us how to do this quite succinctly: not only does he block RunedChozo for infinite duration (21:21, 14 February 2007 Steel359 (Talk | contribs) blocked "RunedChozo (contribs)" (anon. only, account creation blocked) with an expiry time of indefinite) but he's the one who locks down the talk page as well as removes the unblock request for a block he himself created.
4 - Hide your deeds. In this case, it's Itaqallah doing some of the dirty work making sockpuppet accusations with no basis (again see Scarlet Letter, the goal is to block anyone from investigating malfeasance), it's JKelly removing secondary comments.
The goal? To hide the evidence of administrator malfeasance, especially when it's an administrator like Steel359 who's connected to an abusive (see above) admin who somehow got into the Arbcom.
Well, that pretty much charts the way that administrators are currently going about their abuse on wikipedia. Expect the note on how wikipedia easily turns "consensus" into "groupthink" - as well as how fine the line is between them - sometime soon.
And enjoy your weekend. Unless you're an abusive wikipedia administrator or one of the liars and criminals from C Bean Trucking, in which case I hope that you have a run-in with each other and get to experience what I get to: two months unable to walk at all and at least six of painful rehab.