Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dastardly vicious attack by Nihiltres (aka "Alex") on Yahoo! Answers

Almost as often as people ask in the Men's Health category of Yahoo! Answers whether their member is big enough, in the Wikipedia category people keep asking if Wikipedia is reliable or accurate. Each time that question comes up, Nihiltres is ready with his multiple Yahoo! accounts to respond that yes, Wikipedia is 99% reliable. Several different people have been trying to educate those who read Yahoo! Answers that in fact Wikipedia is 0% reliable. What's the reaction of Nihiltres?

Waaah! Waaah! Not fair! How dare they! Waaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Here's me playing the world's smallest violin.

So, as "Alex," he posted the question "Why is the wikipedia section on Yahoo answers only answered by people who hate wikipedia?" yesterday. Then, today, as Nihiltres (we're getting to the dastardly part now), posted an answer saying that there are three reasons people contribute to Yahoo! Answers; the first is altruistic, the second is balancing, and the third is to push a point of view. And that the third reason is the reason why the "Wikipedia haters" keep answering questions in the Wikipedia category, according to Nihiltres. (It couldn't possibly be altruistic to want to keep other people from feeding themselves false information from Wikipedia.)

Here's the dastardly part: Nihiltres says that "Gregory Kohs earlier admitted privately to me that he had used multiple accounts to cheat on Yahoo! Answers, and there's nothing stopping this from happening again, assuming it isn't already." Oooh, what a bastard!

The feint is hardly original. Robert, an answerer who spoke up two hours after the dastardly attack, pointed it out: "Of course Gregory Kohs admitted that to you privately, and not publicly, where others can scrutinize for themselves the exact wording of the admission. That's a play straight out of the Wikipedia secret manual. I bet you also have server logs to prove Greg's misdeeds, but out of privacy concerns, you can't show them to us."

Meanwhile, Nihiltres logged out his main account, got back in his car, drove to another WiFi hotspot, and logged in Alex, who then promptly chose the answer from Nihiltres as Best Answer. Supposedly because "it was ballenced [sic] and well reasoned." Please! Even Gregory's answer was more balanced, and Greg is the guy who still can't let it go that Wikipedia rejected his article about Arch Coal.

In the big picture of things, it doesn't really matter if I'm wrong about Alex being a sockpuppet of Nihiltres on Yahoo! Answers. The fact remains that thousands of people are still blissfully ignorant of Wikipedia's awfulness, and all the efforts of college professors, late-night comedians and "haters" on the blogosphere are still failing to wake the ignorant up to the truth: Wikipedia sucks; it's not worthy of use for any purpose whatsoever.

Dastardly as the actions of Nihiltres were today, since they took place outside of Wikipedia, they don't qualify him as a brutal Wikipedia warrior of the week.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Warrior of the week: Arcadian

In November 2007, Picaroon blocked Arcadian, then reversed that decision the next minute. The block was supposedly for vandalism, the unblock for "so sorry." But neither Arcadian nor Picaroon is sorry. The reason is that Picaroon is really a sockpuppet of Arcadian. Picaroon, supposedly disappointed with the state of Wikipedia (though there really are people very disappointed in Wikipedia), hasn't edited since March 2008. But Arcadian continues his relentless war, with Picaroon remaining a secret weapon ready and waiting for the most opportune deployment.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Veropedia: still watching

Just for the sake of the blip on the radar screen: I'm still watching the Veropedia website. It still says "The original version of Veropedia has been taken down for now while we work on a new Veropedia. This new Veropedia will have a superior method of handling articles and introduces an improved interface."

For what it's worth (not much), Wikipedia says that in the original version of Veropedia, "Veropedia editors chose Wikipedia articles that met the site's reliability standards; information was then scraped, or chosen by an automatic process, and thereafter a stable version of the article was posted on Veropedia." If that's true, Veropedia editors must've soon realized that very little information was actually coming through the process.

The reason for the failure of the original version of Veropedia is that Wikipedia is worthless. The only thing worth taking from Wikipedia is its stated ideal. Nothing else.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Michael Snow

Michael Snow double majored in history and political science at college. Well, at least that's what his user page says. The whole Essjay scandal showed that you can't trust claims of having degrees made by Wikipedia users. Oh, and by the way, Michael Snow was involved in the whole Essjay business.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The myth of Wikipedia's paid fact-checkers

For some reason, people believe that the Wikimedia Foundation pays people to fact-check Wikipedia's articles. Nothing could be further from the truth! No one gets paid to review Wikipedia's articles for factual accuracy. The WP:CITEWIKI page says "you should ... independently verify the accuracy of Wikipedia information." This means that the responsibility for checking facts on Wikipedia rests solely with you! The following sentence from the can-clinking appeal for donations from Jimbo Wales is quite telling: Wikipedia is "a community creation, entirely written and funded by people like you." There is no money whatsoever alloted to experts to write articles, nor is there money alloted to pay fact-checkers. As long as Wikipedia gets a lot more money in donations than it really needs to keep running, factual accuracy will never be a concern for them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vicious warrior of the week: FCYTravis

It seems extremely well-fitting that a Wikipedia administrator should be a diaper fetishist. FCYTravis maintained extensive online journals and forums devoted to his diaper fetish, and apparently still lives with his parents. Supposedly he's on "wikibreak and will be back on Wikipedia when the community wises up." You might say that he hasn't edited Wikipedia since July. That's true, at least for the FCYTravis account.

Isn't it interesting that FCYTravis was blocked by User:Nandesuka, then unblocked by Redwolf24, and then again by Nandesuka? Wikipediot admins and their block wars!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now Wikipedia lies even in its pledge drive

These days there's something else at the top of Wikipedia articles for lazy college students to ignore: quotes of letters from recent donors hoping to encourage others to donate to Wikipedia. A lot of those messages are predictably hagiographic but can't really be faulted as lies.

But today I saw one that is just way too much of a whopper to swallow. Supposedly William Knecht donated $50 to Wikipedia, saying that "As a professional scientist, Wikipedia is my go-to source for ideas and concepts new to me. Donate for this? You bet!"

A scientist for whom Wikipedia is a go-to source? Given the high regard professional scientists have for scientific journals with their peer review rigmarole, I seriously doubt any professional scientist would be willing to admit to making Wikipedia their "go-to source," much less donating money to it. Come up with more believable lies, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Warrior of the week: Mike Godwin

This week's featured wiki-warrior is one of the Wikimedia Foundation's legal eagles. His sharp legal mind has battled the idea that the lead of the Wikipedia article on Roman Polanski should say anything about accusations of child molestation against him. But I suppose anyone who believes in "innocent until proven guilty" would come to the same conclusion.

What should be troubling about Mike Godwin is the way he defends Wikipedia's lawlessness. Look him up on Wikitruth. Truly horrifying stuff.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Warrior of the week: ClockworkLunch

For a self-declared ex-editor, User:ClockworkLunch stills edits Wikipedia quite often. Granted that his most recent edit is from October of this year, but the last edit to his talk page, the one where he declares himself an "ex-editor," is from July of this year. So forgive me if I have a little difficulty believing he's really an ex-editor. If he makes no further edits by April 2010 I'll believe him then.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Warrior of the week: David Gerard

There's not much for me to say about David Gerard. Wikitruth has said a lot about him, and not much more needs to be added.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Commander Keane

It's not enough for this brutal warrior to be a savagely vicious rank, he also has need of a high rank. Commander. Please.

Often I name potential sockpuppets for these warriors, but with Commander Keane I'm very certain of at least one: "After Midnight." You see, on May 18, 2007, Commander Keane "accidentally" blocked himself for vandalism at 03:19. After Midnight was ready and standing by to unblock Commander Keane the next minute.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Warrior of the week: Cprompt

What is a C prompt anyway? Those of you old enough to remember MS-DOS might remember those black and green computer screens with the mysterious "C:\Windows>" prompt at which one had to type strange short commands. That's what the Wikipedia user Cprompt named himself after.

Now, unlike most warriors, Cprompt has a list of articles he'd "like to showcase." But what is so suspicious about Cprompt is the fact that having been made a "bureaucrat" (an insult in the real world, but quite a badge of honor on Wikipedia), he has never taken advantage of his bureaucrat privileges. This almost certainly means that he has at least one sockpuppet which also has bureaucrat rights, and is intending to keep Cprompt unsullied by any controversy. Quite the sneaky warrior this one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Warrior of the month: Gwen Gale

This month I just had to choose the most notorious of the bunch. Good old Gwen Gale. Purported novelist, all-around vicious warrior.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Warrior of the week: WikiLaurent

Any Wikipedia user with "wiki" in their user name is up to no good. WikiLaurent is a rollbacker, hasn't been blocked, who likes waging war on users without a log-in. Supposedly French, WikiLaurent uses all the idiotic WP abbreviations of en.wikipedia with fluent aplomb. Quite the dastardly warrior.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brutal wikiwarrior of the week: Gwen Gale

An excellent example of Wikipedia's hostility of experts is exemplified by the way Arthur Rubin was treated in 2008. The renowned mathematician was blocked eight times in about as many months. Two admins blocked him twice, one of those being Gwen Gale. You look at Gwen Gale's user page, and, surprise, surprise, it's protected! Who protected it? The last one was Gwen Gale himself. (I seriously doubt Gwen Gale is female, but I could be wrong). The blog "Gwen Gale Revealed" identifies her as female; regardless I must agree with that blogger's characterization of Gwen Gale as one of the worst administrators. Gwen Gale is also a notorious sockpuppeteer, surely, and I surely wouldn't be surprised if Gwen Gale reported as sockpuppets users who actually only use one account. Also, any Wikipedia users who displays as many barnstars (Wikipedia's idiotic equivalent to military medals) as Gwen Gale does must have surely earned them through diligent wikiwarring. Which makes it all the more ironic that Arthur Rubin was once blocked by Gwen Gale for edit warring.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Warrior of the week: Dravecky

Dravecky has a very healthy proportion of article edits, well over 80% compared to talk page edits, user page, project pages, etc. Still, I can't escape the feeling that Dravecky has sockpuppet admins and sysops to do his dirty work.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Warrior of the week: Epbr123

Epbr123 is a sysop whose main obsession is dealing with vandalism from users who are not logged in. However, it's quite telling that the top link on his user page is "Category:Candidates for speedy deletion." The next two links are pages of recent edits by new users and recent edits from IPs. He has a healthy proportion of edits to articles, but his constant monitoring of requests for adminship is surely the mark of one of Wikipedia's most viciously brutal warriors.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Better sources of information than Wikipedia? Try the library!

Supposedly Wikipedia is dedicated to the ideal that "information should be free." Now, we know that that really isn't Wikipedia's purpose, but I'll expound on that in other posts.

Even if Wikipedia really was dedicated to that stated ideal, the fact is that information just isn't free. You always have to pay something for information, and it's not always necessarily money. In the cases that you do pay money, it might not be money that you pay directly to the information provider (as would be the case if you have a subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica's website).

You pay money to your local public library in the form of taxes. It's time that you started taking advantage of it. Any general knowledge question you might have can be answered by a trip to your local public library. To not use your library would be like shelling out money for information and then not using the information you're given.

Besides, consider what is the true price of using information from Wikipedia: your credibility. If you have credibility, that's too valuable a thing to pay just for the illusion of convenience Wikipedia provides.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Warrior of the Month: CRGreathouse

The great martyr CRGreathouse is still martyrizing himself! 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vicious warrior of the week: Antandrus

The block log for Antandrus is very fascinating reading, so I will quote it verbatim here:
So, he's blocked himself thrice and unblocked himself as many times. What could possibly be the reason for such a game? Simple: to educate himself for the purpose of operating his admin sockpuppets more efficiently! But at this point I can only say for sure that Antandrus has sockpuppets with admin privileges, but I have no idea what the user names are. I am far more willing to wager that the non-admins DavidRF and Eusebeus are sockpuppets of Antandrus.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This week's brutal warrior: Rascal the Peaceful

With a username like that, he couldn't possibly be a brutal warrior, right? Well, you have to be suspicious when the vast majority of his edits are to User and User talk pages. Of his past 300 edits, only 22 have been to articles. And he uses "Friendly" to welcome new users. Yeah, this one really throws you off the scent of wikiwarriors. But the notifications of speedy deletions are what convinces me that what we have here is a bona fide brutal warrior.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: CRGreathouse

Nothing pisses me off more than brutal warriors who self-martyrize. The great CRGreathouse so selflessly releases all the content he creates on Wikipedia (asterisk) into public domain for all to use in whatever way they see fit! Oh, how noble! Oh, how selfless! Puh-lease. Give me a break.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Debating Wikipedia's accuracy

A lot of people ask on Yahoo Answers whether or not Wikipedia is reliable or accurate. A recently reran Saturday Night Live skit from last season really puts that question into perspective: A straight man (Jason Sudeikis) pretends to be gay so he can be the roommate of a beautiful woman (yes, I think Casey Wilson is beautiful). To explain an erection that she felt, the man creates a Wikipedia article on "boner-plasia." When he's finally forced to admit that not only is he a straight man, he also created the Wikipedia article on "boner-plasia."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Warrior4321

Sometimes this blogging gig is just way too easy. Warrior4321. His username says it all. And, surprise surprise, he's a rollbacker. He does edit articles a little bit more often than your typical wikiwarrior, but still, he's a warrior. And a damn crafty one at that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wikipedia Warrior of the Week: Cimon Avaro

This white dude could've chosen to give himself the identity of a Latina girl. But he knew better, and just left it at Latino. And in an extreme stroke of arrogance, Cimon Avaro has declared himself a "Grognard Extraordinary," which to the common man means... exactly nothing. Just another brutal butcher.

Overlapping edits mean nothing

On Blogger, I can schedule blog posts for future publication. I can also back-date blog posts. Theoretically, if I had another Blogger account, I could have them making blog posts at the same time. But what would be the point of that? There could be some deceptive value to post back-dating: when the first incident of Wikipedia-related homicide occurs, I could write up some blog post with some sketchy approximation of what actually happened and back-date to say, a month prior. Then my blog post would seem prophetic.

On Wikipedia, as far as I know, there is no way to schedule edits nor back-date edits. At least I can say such tools are not available to the average Wikipedia user. But that doesn't mean that Wikipedia's most brutal warriors don't find ways to both schedule edits and back-date them. Scheduling is probably easy, as computers offer us plenty of ways to command them to do something at a specific time in the future. Back-dating edits would certainly be more work, in part because it requires access to the server itself. But Wikipedia's most vicious warriors definitely have such access.

Although those brutal bastards can have many sock accounts and give the appearance of independent users by having overlapping edits, that means nothing. They can just as easily declare a bunch of you to be operated by single sockmaster.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Brutal warrior of the month: Dpbsmith

If there is a brutal warrior who's best learnt the lessons of Emperor Palpatine and Machiavelli's Prince, my money would be on Dpbsmith. Enough said.

Using Wikipedia's most vicious bastards for your own personal amusement

Thanks to Wikipedia's most vicious bastards, those brutal idiots concerned only with their own aggrandizement, Wikipedia's stated goal of presenting the sum of human knowledge without any monetary barriers will never be realized, and Wikipedia's potential will never get even halfway close to its theoretical maximum.

But it's not all doom and gloom when it comes to Wikipedia's most vicious bastards. Some of them can be manipulated for your personal amusement, according to "Dakota." She went to a cybercafe, got a new Wikipedia account, then chose three brutal warriors to target. She opened three tabs on the Web browser, each pointed to the User contributions page of each of her targeted bastards. Then, she randomly chose an article the bastard had edited recently, and made some random edit to it, something which "any normal person would realize doesn't change the essential meaning of the article at all." In some cases, Dakota made one paragraph slightly more verbose. In others, she made the wording more concise. Most amusing of all, she changed double spaces after periods to single spaces in some articles and viceversa, doing nothing else whatsoever: so, the article's byte count goes up or down a little, but it displays the same!

A normal person who patrols recent changes (do they exist?) would say to themselves, "That isn't bad, but it isn't good either. I might as well leave it alone." But not so with the brutal warriors Dakota targeted. They flew into a frenzy of angry reverting. "You have to do a lot of these quickly, and in a short period of time," Dakota explained, "because unlike you and me, brutal wikiwarriors are logged on to Wikipedia almost 24/7. If you just make one change like this, you're not going to get the full entertainment value of watching those morons act as if they're being martyrized."

Along the way, if you happen to spot any information that is wrong and you can correct without having to spend too much time doing it, go for it. It will only up the entertainment value when the idiotic warriors revert the correction.

A few more words of advice: "Don't edit the same article twice, or they can immediately block you for 3RR." (Actually, they can block you for 3RR even if you don't revert anything, which is why speed is of the essence here). "Don't blank any sections and don't create any new articles. Don't respond to anything on your talk page." And don't keep at it for longer than ten minutes or so. After that, log out, go to your user contributions page and just watch as the moron warriors fall over themselves to revert every single thing you did as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This week's brutal warrior: Aarktica

Have you ever wondered why it is that almost anyone can edit your user page? I didn't wonder that until recently because the few times I edited Wikipedia, I didn't get a user name. I guess I assumed that if I got a user name, only I would be able to edit my user page; those who wanted to communicate with me would be able to utilize my user talk page for that purpose. But, as was recently pointed out to me, anyone can edit your user page.

That is, of course, unless you are a powerful brutal warrior on Wikipedia. Then you can 'protect' your own user page. And in fact, Aarktica, this week's brutal warrior, has done precisely that, and he even had the boldness to use his main account to do that instead of one of his sock admins. Aarktica protected the User:Aarktica page on December 11, 2007. There haven't been any further edits to that page since then.

As you probably know, Jimbo Wales has his own Wikipedia user page. Anyone can edit it! In fact, it was edited at least fifty times in the past month, and Jimbo Wales hasn't edited it himself since April 19! The page has been protected from time to time, but always with expiry times: most recently, Jehochman protected the page on Sunday with an expiration of September 6. If you have an established Wikipedia user name (that is, more than a month old), try this today: not logged in, go to Jimbo Wales' user page. You can't edit it. Log in. You can edit his page! Come September 7, you can edit his page without logging in.

So why does Aarktica merit eternal protection for his user page but not the founder of Wikipedia? Because Aarktica is a brutal warrior, and more than that, one with a very brittle ego. Say what you will about Jimbo Wales. He's not afraid of people saying bad things about him. But with Aarktica, it sets him crying like a little girl. And it angers him to new heights of destructiveness.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Warrior of the week: Cobaltbluetony

Cobaltbluetony is yet another wikiwarrior whose user page says he's on break or vacation. To be fair, it was yesterday that he put on that message, and he hasn't edited today. Let's see how long that lasts. Cobaltbluetony may one day give Teapotgeorge a run for his money on the title of "Butcher of Speedy Deletion."

Friday, August 21, 2009

The thievery of Wikipedia

Supposedly Wikipedia is on a mission to make knowledge free. But thanks to its dishonesty and thievery, Wikipedia is actually causing the cost of knowledge to rise ever higher. According to BBC News, Derrick Coetzee stole more than three thousand digital reproductions of artwork curated at the National Portrait Gallery in England and uploaded them all to Wikipedia. (The article gave his name rather than his screen name).

So what's the big deal? Think about it: when was the last time you had to scan images into your computer? Even with today's scanners, it still takes time and money just to scan in a few snapshots. Consider what it takes to digitize a large art collection. In order to pay for the labor and equipment, the Gallery licensed its high-quality images for reasonable fees. But now that Wikipedia has stolen three thousand of those images, who will pay the Gallery's fees when they can just get them for free from Wikipedia? How will the Gallery be able to afford its digitization project now? Will the Gallery allow even its low-quality images on the Web now? In exchange for three thousand high-quality images, Wikipedia has cost us access to millions of images at any resolution. No museum will want to share its digital files anymore.

Wikipedia's long rap sheet already had libel on it, and now larceny is added. Murder seems less farfetched with each coming day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How long to the first Wikipedia-related homicide?

"Maybe you're like one of those nuts who forecast the end of the world," someone suggested to me recently. Maybe it's true that the first Wikipedia-related homicide won't happen for a long time. When forecasting death, you kind of wish you'll be proven wrong. But sadly, Wikipedia-related violence has already happened. We'll call him "Ted." Ted fits the stereotype of the typical nerd almost to a T, except he has a girlfriend. Let's say Ted knows a lot about "math."

He got into a disagreement with a little Wikipedia god-king who claims to have a Ph.D. in calculus, we'll say his screen name is "Wiki Authority 45." Even without the example of Essjay, you have to take claims of advanced degrees with a grain of salt. Well, Wiki Authority 45 hired a thug, drove who knows how many miles with the thug, tracked down Ted and had the thug beat Ted up, as Wiki Authority 45 yelled "I am the ultimate authority on Wikipedia. Don't you ever forget that." Ted won't press charges, and he won't let me tell you his story. I don't know if Ted still edits Wikipedia.

But at least Ted has learned one lesson: if you have a webcam on a motorized truck toy, don't let strangers on the Internet operate it! Nor should you ever put your real name on the same webpage as your Wikipedia username! Because otherwise Wiki Authority 45 can track you down and have a thug beat you up.

By the way, how does Wiki Authority 45 have the time to track down those who disagree with him to beat them up and still have time to make dozens of 'contributions' to Wikipedia each and every day? Ted's theory is that Wiki Authority 45 has an undeclared robot patrolling new articles and tagging suitable deletion candidates automatically based on "lopsided binary tree heuristics" or some other technobabble along those lines. Sure it takes skill to program the robot. But to actually write deletion nomination babble takes so little skill that even a robot can do it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eusebeus and David R. Floristan, sockpuppets of the same hand

Eusebeus and DavidRF must be sockpuppets of the same sockmaster. About a couple of weeks ago, "DavidRF" declared he was going to go on vacation "from mid August until late August." That account made no edits to Wikipedia between the 14th and 19th. Meanwhile, "Eusebeus" declared no vacation but was similarly silent from the 13th to the 19th. Both accounts pretend to be experts on the subject of classical music, yet I know more about it than either of them even though I only go to classical concerts when the wife drags me along. I learned an interesting tidbit when I tried to sneak out of the concert hall to go to the football stadium: Robert Schumann, the German composer who went crazy when a single G-flat wouldn't stop playing in his head, had in the 19th century what Wikipedia's most vicious idiots would call "sockpuppets:" he called them Eusebius and Florestan. Eusebius represented the cheerful side of his personality, while Floristan represented the brooding, melancholy part. At least Robert Schumann wrote some halfway passable music, and he wrote no ballet music. (Ballet is absolutely the most boring thing ever.) Will the sockmaster of Eusebeus and David R. Floristan
leave anything any man's wife will care to drag her husband along to in a hundred years? Not bloody likely.

By the way to William: I still think Eusebeus is a puppet and not a master. The 'vacation' certainly points to something fishy, but it doesn't rule out that Eusebeus could be a sockpuppet. So either send me more convincing evidence or drop it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Dpbsmith

Dpbsmith hasn't nominated anything for deletion since November 19, 2008. At least that's what he wants you to think. But can you really be sure that a bastard who still so proudly displays a "flower" of Wiki-thanks from 2005 "For making me laugh when reading VFD [Votes For Deletion, what Articles For Deletion used to be called]" would not continue to be energetically involved in Wikipedia's sacred deletion process? No, he must still be strongly and energetically pushing for deleting Wikipedia content. Just not in any way that can be publicly seen.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Least subtle warrior award goes to Toddst1

Recently, Wikipedia user Willi Gers07 was brought to my attention. Toddst1 had tried to tell Willi Gers07 that Wikipedia is not a battlefield. Willi Gers07 dared warrior Toddst1 to "defeat" him right then and there so Toddst1 could concentrate on more important enemies. Toddst1 did exactly that! He deleted Willi Gers07's userpage and blocked him permanently. He then went on to attack more important enemies. Way to prove him wrong by doing exactly as Willi suggested, Todd!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Maurreen

A woman can be a brutal wikiwarrior? I strongly doubt it. Maurreen is almost certainly a man. You see, pretending to be a woman can be a little bit like hiding a cannon in an ambulance. It can be a highly effective tactic for disorienting your enemies. And his creation of Wikipedia's "Wikiquette alerts" marks him as one of the foremost brutal warriors. Supposedly, the Wikiquette alerts board is to mediate "impolite, uncivil or other difficult communications with editors." But in reality, Wikiquette alerts are to notify when people disrespect tenured wikiwarriors. The slightest disrespect is subject to tremendous reprisal, and initiating a reprisal through an Orwellianly named Wikiquette alert is just brilliant. Here's a toast to Maurreen: not an amazon, but indeed a relentlessly tough, brutal, vicious warrior of the keyboard.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brutal warrior of the month: Mastcell

Still supposedly on sabbatical, the viciously ferocious MastCell continues to toil away at Wikipedia. Who wants to bet his sockpuppets are just as active? What a brutal warrior that MastCell is.


Wikitruth suggested that Wikipedia's massive stupidity might be fixed once it gets bought out by Yahoo, and at the time that idea made sense. But realistically, Google is now a much likelier prospect for taking Wikipedia over and turning it into a respectable reference rather than a battleground for ignorant idiots to fight each other over the color of a template. So: don't donate money to Wikipedia. Allow it to get to such a point that it can't refuse a Google take over. When Google takes it over, it would be nice if it would rename it "Googlepedia," to usher in a new era of actual reference-building, and put all the idiotic fighting in its past.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Warrior of the week: TTN

Some of Wikipedia's most ferociously brutal warriors have the battle scars to prove the vindictive ferociousness of their campaigns. TTN is one such warrior. To date he has been blocked three times: the first for violating the sacred 3-revert rule in an article about a fictional character, the second and third time for the scary-sounding "arbitration enforcement." But don't be fooled, these are all just for show. The second block was just for a week and it was simply allowed to expire. But the third block, for two weeks, was reversed by the blocking admin barely four days after the sentence. This way, Wikipedia's ruling idiots have it both way: they can claim to uphold the supposedly lofty principles of Wikipedia while letting off the true violators with slaps on the wrist, practically love taps.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Mastcell

Something seems to be wrong with his WikiStress Meter, which is broken at the "became insane" level. That's what MastCell wants you to believe. Though his master account may be on sabbatical, his many sockpuppets are busy doing his will. Actually, when you look at his contributions page, you see that his master account has never really been on sabbatical! What a vicious, ferocious, brutal warrior MastCell is.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One possible reason your college professor hates Wikipedia so much

A lot of college students are wondering why their professors are so damn uptight about Wikipedia. Those professors are being "pesky" or "uncool."

Those of you still in college, try this experiment: go up to your professor and say something along the lines of: "Professor, I was wondering what kinds of lies and misconceptions are out there about [topic you teach], so I went to Wikipedia." Watch him or her launch on a speech about how Wikipedia is unreliable, how it has no peer review, how no one is accountable for its content, how some schools (including perhaps yours) give failing grades to students who cite Wikipedia, etc. In fact that speech is the very same one they'd give if you had said you believed something you read on Wikipedia.

What is it about Wikipedia that sets professors off on such a paroxysm of hatred? When I was in college (don't ask how long ago, suffice it to say Wikipedia didn't even exist back then) I don't remember any professor getting in such an angry mood at the mere mention of Encyclopedia Britannica. "Don't use it as your only source," is the most strongly-worded advice on the matter I can remember.

The publically-stated principle of Wikipedia sounds very good on paper: instead of the encyclopedia seeking out experts (like a traditional encyclopedia does), Wikipedia lets the experts find the encyclopedia. Idealistically, this has the advantage of bringing up experts the traditional encyclopedia would have overlooked. In fact it's possible your college professor bought into this four or five years ago and enthusiastically started contributing to Wikipedia.

But soon he or she would have found out the reality of Wikipedia is very different from its purported ideals. His or her contributions were probably reverted immediately, despite his or her best efforts to comply with Wikipedia's shifting-sand standards. Professor can't cite himself in Wikipedia? Fine, he or she knows plenty other scholars to cite. If he or she was not discouraged at that first difficulty, he or she would eventually have been more thoroughly attacked, his credentials ridiculed and his views mocked. He or she was probably called every name in the Wikipedia book: vandal, sock, troll, pedant, wikiholic, inclusionist, deletionist, etc.

Your professor soon realized that the true purpose of Wikipedia is to provide an arena for self-important ignorant idiots to battle each other for the amusement of Jimbo Wales. Your professor realized that fighting ignorant idiots on Wikipedia is a waste of his time. At the same time, he or she saw, with increasing distress, how his students turn to Wikipedia for information on almost everything. But he or she's too proud to admit that his hatred of Wikipedia stems from the lousy treatment he received at the hands of Wikipedia's ruling idiots. An encyclopedia ruled by idiots is certain to have many other flaws, some of which the professor can use in his anti-Wikipedia speech without any personal embarrassment.

But I'm not letting professors off the hook completely. I say to them: Before launching into your anti-Wikipedia speech, take a second to assess whether you're really telling a misguided student something he or she hasn't heard before or you're actually preaching to the choir.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Martin451

Sometimes you have to look for evidence of a brutal warrior's arrogance. But with some warriors, it is right there in their user page for all to see. Martin451 is one such brutal warrior. He "enjoys contributing to Wikipedia without wearing clothes"? And he "fights vandalism with Huggle and Twinkle. Sometimes simultaneously..." Enough said.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Editing Wikipedia: Your privilege to grant or deny

Let's call him "Michael." Let's say Michael knows a lot about "1970s American automobiles." For one thing, he has already restored three such cars and is working on a fourth. For some reason I still can't figure out, Michael was very enthusiastic about sharing his deep knowledge of this topic on Wikipedia. Then one day, Michael found himself fingered a sockpuppet of some conservative keyboard warrior who only edited articles about political figures. Michael usually edited late at night, long after having gotten off work. But now all his time stamps were falsified to say that he edited during what would be his working hours. The only computer in Michael's work area can't connect to the Web, it's a very specialized device. Michael would have to leave his work area to go to the front office, hope a computer is available, and from there make detailed edits to several articles about old cars and several articles about politicians and pundits, all within a time span of less than half an hour. I find that a little hard to believe.

Thus, Wikipedia has clearly told Michael that he's not wanted there. And yet, he wants to edit Wikipedia again. He has the deluded notion that if he can prove his time stamps were falsified, he might be given his "editing privileges" again (his phrase, not mine) and be exonerated of the much-dreaded sockpuppet label. It's unlikely he would succeed in that endeavor, because most likely the "little God-king" (to use the Wikitruth phrase) who got him booted is an admin. What Michael could do instead is install and IP thrower on his home computer, as well as an edit scheduler, and carefully build a new persona on Wikipedia, one who would at first work on topics which don't interest Michael very much and gradually find his way back to antique cars, and also one who would edit at all hours of the day and night (Wikipedia winners are often lifeless losers in real life).

But why should Michael go to all that trouble? Shouldn't Wikipedia be falling over itself to recruit and keep people with great practical or academic expertise on specific topics? Since Wikipedia can't pay money to experts, shouldn't Wikipedia try instead to pay them something intangible but perhaps more valuable, instead of treating them like crap?

The moral of the story is this: If you have expertise in a given topic, editing Wikipedia is a privilege that you grant to Wikipedia. Thinking the other way around is incredibly backwards and idiotic, and some pretty smart people have made that mistake. The valuable time you spend editing Wikipedia, which could just as easily be spent doing things that could actually bring you money and/or prestige, that is a privilege you can grant or deny Wikipedia. For now, Wikipedia has shown itself to be completely undeserving of that privilege.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brutal Warrior of the Week: Teapotgeorge

This week's brutal warrior of the week, Teapotgeorge, could perhaps be nicknamed "the Butcher of Speedy Deletion." Always patrolling recent changes, Teapotgeorge is ready and standing by to nominate for speedy deletion any new articles created by new users. He often gets his way. But it should give everyone pause noticing how many articles he nominates for swift, thoughtless deletion are rescued by other users.

Just in the past week, the articles for the Montclair Historical Society of New Jersey, Detroit councilwoman Sheila Cockrel, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, the computer program BrowseControl, the computer company Eazybusiness, and businessman Stefan Andriopoulos have all been nominated for speedy deletion by Teapotgeorge and they have all been rescued from such unthinking obliteration by other uses.

Additionally, the articles on the book Justice for All: Mental Illness and the Law, and the Morgan Stanley Matrix, have been referred to "proposed deletion" (a little slower than speedy deletion but still not requiring community 'debate' like "articles for deletion") because other users feel uncomfortable just rushing in to delete those articles without giving anyone else a chance to respond.

This is just a tiny sampling of all the articles Teapotgeorge has nominated for speedy deletion. Was there any merit whatsoever to the articles on Merlin Blencowe, the Coricidin Kid, the Clear Code Method, Penneyspeak, Soula Withycombe, Sales Partner Software, photographer Jimmy Forsyth, Vishalexercise? (These are just from the past 24 hours) We will never know, because those requests were all granted. It's between Teapotgeorge, the granting admin, and God now. No one else can do anything.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wikipedia: worthless as a source for anything

It bears repeating: Wikipedia shouldn't be trusted as a source for anything. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. For anything you want to know, no matter how ephemeral, obscure, or unimportant, there is always a far better source, and often that source is on the Web. Sports trivia? Nope. Try looking in a sports almanac. Try looking at ESPN on the Web instead. How about obscure German movies from the 1960s? Try the IMDb. Or maybe the latest fads in American slang? Urban Dictionary is far more thorough and a lot less uptight. You can ask me for any category of human knowledge and I can point you to a better source than Wikipedia.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brutal Warrior of the Month: Savidan

This month's brutal warrior is Savidan. I had thought about Casliber, but there is almost something debonair to the way he conducts his wikiwar atrocities, something sportsmanlike. The brutal warrior of the year should be so evil, so rabid, so foaming at the mouth, that he wouldn't even think of doing anything that would even theoretically upset the status quo. So Casliber, with his poll on the civility policy, which has the potential to make the sport of wikiwarring a little more challenging (though it also has the potential to leave things exactly as they are), shouldn't advance to the warrior of the month level. Savidan fits that bill a lot better. Mysterious and brutal, he's a perfect candidate for warrior of the year. So for now he's warrior of the month.

To all the people suggesting Eusebeus as a warrior of the week: I'm not going to name sockpuppets as warriors. Get me some convincing evidence as to who the Eusebean sockmaster might be, and I'll consider naming that sockmaster a brutal warrior of the week in the future.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Warrior of the week: Casliber

Some warriors have clean block logs. Like Casliber. His socks do the dirty work. But apparently the great warrior has gotten somewhat bored with the current state of things. The Wikipedia policy on civility (WP:CIVIL) makes it way too easy for Wikipedia warriors to deal with their enemies. So he started a poll on the civility policy, asking whether the current policy is satisfactory or not, whether or not it is too strict or too lenient, whether or not it's harsh on new users, etc. Maybe the poll will succeed in making the civility policy less of a tool for Wikipedia's most brutal, most vicious warriors to commit their most vicious atrocities. In that case, being a Wikipedia warrior would become more interesting, as they woud have to operate with greater sophistication... and sophistry. Or it could just wind up keeping things as they are. Either way, Wikipedia's most atrocious warriors win.

How to pin your sockpuppets on someone else

Wikitruth has it right: "sockpuppet" is a wonderfully vague and elusive insult that can be used against anyone who disagrees with you on Wikipedia. Instead of dozens of people disagreeing with you, there is only one real person and several sockpuppets!

But when reality begs to differ, Wikipedia's most vicious warriors have ways of making the logs tell a different tale. The warrior finds out the IP address of the person he wants to pin the socks on. Then he goes about the business of creating and grooming the socks. The warriors with more money might even invest in houses in the same city where their target lives, equipping them only with electricity, a computer, and an Internet connection which accepts Web browser commands from the warrior's house. Though that's somewhat of a waste of money, because IP addresses can always be falsified later. Once the warrior is ready to pin the socks on his enemies, he has one of them do something that will grab someone's attention and prompt them to file a Checkuser request. The IP addresses of all the socks are falsified, and the warrior makes sure that none of his enemy's edits overlap time-wise with the socks. But if they do, all he has to do is falsify the edit times for those inconvenient edits. The person who does the Checkuser may either be an unwitting idiot or a knowing accomplice. Either way, the will of the warrior is done.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wikipedia's lame attempt to gain credibility will backfire

Read the following scenario and tell me if it's happened to you recently:

"A friend asks you a question. You don't know the answer off the top of your head, but you do know where to find the information, so you tell them to look up such and such in Wikipedia. They go to the article you specified and they fail to find the information they sought. So you look it up in another source and find the information that you thought Wikipedia had. Later on, you examine the edit history of the Wikipedia article, and you find that the information you thought Wikipedia used to have was in fact there all along after all. Some idiot deleted it because the idiot thought it was trivia. You would really like to know who the hell appointed that idiot to the position of ultimate decider of what is and what isn't trivia."

It's happening more and more often, but eventually it will stop happening. That's because people will realize that Wikipedia is worthless as a source for any information. What happened is that by 2007, a lot of people thought that Wikipedia could contain all that information that a regular encyclopedia wishes it could embrace but for which it just doesn't have the room. So a lot of people started adding in a lot of information of that sort, getting into great detail, generally getting their facts right even if their spelling and grammar occasionally left something to be desired. Unfortunately for them, those people didn't realize that Wikipedia is not about providing information for everyone, but providing gladiator-style entertainment for its founder; thus they thought that they didn't think they would have to fight anyone in order to make sure that true information stayed in Wikipedia.

The great Wikipedia warriors started cracking down on the new users, systematically removing the new information they brought under the pretense of "trivia clean-up" (in every case perverting the real policy on trivia). These warriors didn't care whether or not the information was true or relevant to the topic. All that mattered is that it offered an easy opportunity to assert their authority, rack up edits on a wide variety of subjects and hopefully get themselves elected to positions of power in Wikipedia.

Random, unexpected connections between high culture and pop culture are often targets of the so-called trivia "clean-up." Supposedly they're irrelevant. But back in 2005, that's all Wikipedia was! A network of random, unexpected connections! Precisely the sort of thing there's no room for in a regular encyclopedia.

The ultimate end result of all this is that Wikipedia will eventually contain a lot less information than a regular paper encyclopedia. People will realize that Wikipedia is worthless as a source of information for any topic. For the most popular topic areas, there is almost always an online source that has more information on that topic than Wikipedia does, and has far greater credibility and accountability to boot. For the less popular topic areas, there is the library. You know, the building that has a few thousand books next to the computer terminals.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brutal Warrior of the Week: Borock

Yesterday Borock nominated the article about the Hawaii Free Press for deletion. At first he was a little crude at his canvassing efforts, but now he's gotten more sophisticated, targetting users who will likely vote the way he wants them to without appearing to suggest how they should vote. I believe that at this time Borock has no sockpuppets. But he sure has the makings of one of Wikipedia's top ten most brutal warriors in the future.

Can't give the specifics of the first Wikipedia-related murder

When the first Wikipedia-related murder happens, the police better not look to me for clues. I only deal in what is publically visible from the website. Given that most of Wikipedia's logs are falsified on a daily basis, I could easily be wrong when I say such and such user is a sockpuppet of another. Indeed, most CheckUser requests yield laughably wrong information. But what is the real information? That is lost due to so much falsification. So when the first Wikipedia-related murder happens, I won't know anything more about it than can be seen on the user pages of the involved users.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brutal Warrior of the Week: Savidan

Sorry I'm late this week. This week's brutal warrior is Savidan. The violent nature of his wikiwar is quite apparent from his userpage, which features a violent painting. Potential socks include Sky Attacker (notice the motif of violence), TexasAndroid, Niteshift36, ChildofMidnight, etc. I seriously doubt Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (I think I typed that right) is a sock of Savidan, but I could be wrong.

Someone suggested I nominate Jimbo Wales as a brutal warrior of the week. The idea is so ridiculous I had to mention it. That would be like giving a gladiator's trophy to the owner of a gladiatorial arena.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How do you deal with Wikipedia's most vicious bastards?

I was recently asked: "How do you deal with Wikipedia's most vicious bastards?" My answer is that I don't. After just a few edits, I quit trying. But I do have respect and admiration for those who continue to try to get facts into Wikipedia despite the most vicious bastards of the ruling class, composed almost entirely of brutal wikiwarriors and their sockpuppets. It is thanks to those people who add facts regardless of what Wikipedia's ruling class thinks that Wikipedia is not completely made up of lies and inane half-truths.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Warrior of the Week: Xymmax

Xymmax latest victory occurred last month, and it pertained to the topic of contraception. He couldn't have achieved it without the help of his many sockpuppets, some of which include Phil Sandifer, Drawn Some, Llewdor, Colonel Warden, Bearian and Eusebeus. Eusebeus in particular stands out as a definite sockpuppet: he edits with such blind ignorance and stupidity that he's surely one of Xymmax's socks. Eusebeus has been blocked twice, each time for a few minutes, while Xymmax has been blocked only once. Quite suspiciously, the block lasted barely a minute.

Arrogantly signing as "Xymmax let it be written let it be done," he proudly points people to his main account's talk page and his contributions listing. But he hardly contributes anything. Most of his contributions involve page protection and deletion. He himself admits on his talk page: "I've gotten involved pretty deeply in AfD work." How noble. Please.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brutal Warrior of the Month: Ctjf83

This month's brutal warrior of the month is Ctjf83. Why not Charles Matthews, who after all, managed to get on ArbCom? Well, that would have been the easy choice. Besides, how can you know Ctjf83 doesn't have sockpuppets on ArbCom, even if not as many as Charles Matthews? In any case, Ctjf83's reprehensible tactic of pretending to be gay online puts him far above Charles Matthews in brutality and viciousness. Simply disgusting. I have family and friends who are gay. It is an insult to them when others pretend.

Wikipedia-related murder still on the horizon

Someday, a brutal warrior will find out the true location of one of his enemies and show up in person to kill him. The brutal warriors take Wikipedia that seriously. The only reason it hasn't happened yet is actually a positive side effect of the ridiculously idiotic sockpuppet witch-hunt: Warrior A wants to kill warrior B. However, warrior C has falsified the IP address and edit time stamps of warrior B in order to have warrior B declared a sockpuppet of one of warrior C's sockpuppets, so now warrior A doesn't have reliable information from which to figure out the location of warrior B. Hopefully warrior A won't kill anyone if he arrives at the wrong location and fails to find warrior B. Either way, warrior B's life is saved because he's been declared a sockpuppet of warrior C's sockpuppet (which was created specifically for the purpose of being a sockmaster of real users).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wikipedia Brutal Warrior of the Week: Charles Matthews

Charles Matthews was on ArbCom for a year and he was eager for a second year. Why? Most likely because he didn't have enough sockpuppets on ArbCom to maintain his authority. Probably now only half the members of ArbCom are Charles Matthews sockpuppets, which means that not even a simple majority is guaranteed for Charles' way of thinking. Still, ArbCom makes decisions suspiciously fast. The Supreme Court takes weeks and it's just nine people. Often a brutal warrior will say to an alleged vandal: "I'll talk it over with ArbCom." Seconds later: "ArbCom has decided you're permanently blocked." Of course Charles Matthews will have to start working on making new sockpuppets eligible to be elevated to ArbCom at the next election cycle, because his current socks won't be able to 'serve' again. Does that sound like a lot of work to devote to an online encyclopedia that pays nothing in money or prestige? You bet it does. But as the author of How Wikipedia Works, Charles Matthews has shown an intense dedication to Wikipedia. He has amassed great power and will stop at nothing to become even more powerful. However, his veneer of goodness is quite thick, I must admit.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sockpuppetry: the most worn out weapon in the arsenal of the brutal wikiwarrior

Accusing other Wikipedia users of sockpuppetry has become such a cliche that its effectiveness as a weapon should be greatly diminished by now. But some brutal wikiwarriors are still using it. Just as McCarthy saw communists at every turn, brutal warriors see sockpuppets everywhere. The irony is obviously that they have many sockpuppets themselves. To evade being caught with sockpuppets, some brutal warriors maintain computers in houses all over the country or even all over the world, and remotely control them. Do you have any idea how easy it is to set up a computer program to operate a Web browser from far away? Thus the Wikipedia server logs the IP address of the computer being remotely controlled, and not the IP address where the brutal warrior is actually making the edits from. Furthermore, the warrior can arrange it so that he makes edits from his own account at the same time as some of his sockpuppets. The only difficulty then is getting the house and setting up the computer for remote control.

But of course they must realize that going to all that trouble is somewhat pointless because any brutal warrior with administrator privileges can falsify Wikipedia's server logs. When "Recent changes" shows a "database lag" due to maintenance, you can bet that log falsification is going on in order to support sockpuppetry claims. Depending on how often you edit Wikipedia, it might be enough to falsify your IP address. But if you edit a lot more often than that, they might have to falsify your edit times so that you don't overlap with whoever they're trying to peg you as a sockpuppet of. Because I barely edited Wikipedia and didn't have a username, this is not something I can talk about from personal experience. But it's happened to so many people: they log in to Wikipedia and find themselves blocked because someone decided to hang a sockpuppet jacket on them. And why was that jacket hung on them? Because they dared to disagree with a brutal warrior.

Being labelled a sockpuppet when you're not must be unpleasant. It's not something I've experienced firsthand, but if you read those serious-sounding "sockpuppet investigations," you'll see the sort of discourtesy people so labelled experience. A brutal warrior hangs a sockpuppet jacket on you and suddenly you become subhuman in the eyes of everyone in the "community." They snicker and refer to you as "it." After being treated like that, would you ever want to edit Wikipedia again? I know I wouldn't, I left for a lot less, and so do some of the other "missing Wikipedians."

Eventually there won't be any real persons editing Wikipedia except the brutal warriors. Every other account will be a sockpuppet of one or more warriors. Not all warriors will agree with each other, and their sockpuppets will do battle like so many robotized foot soldiers. If you thought wikibattles are intense now, you haven't seen nothing yet!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Brutal Warrior of the Week: Wiki alf

This specimen has mastered the veneer of the brutal Wikipedia warrior, a veneer of the utmost civility. But call it a hunch, I have a very bad feeling about that one. He sometimes reverts his own edits! Not that it's good to be mule-headed and never change your mind, but that sort of practice can almost only point to something very dark and very shady. Oh, and he's an administrator, and quite likely has something up his sleeve.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The five V's of a Wikipedia brutal warrior

Though not all of Wikipedia's brutal warriors will exhibit these traits in equal proportions, they are very certain markers:

VICIOUSNESS Massive deletions, reverts, or tagging, across multiple articles, in a matter of minutes. As Machiavelli said in The Prince, when you're going to commit a bunch of evil deeds, do them as quickly as possible.
VINDICTIVENESS Point out the viciousness of a brutal warrior and you'll get retribution dressed up as your alleged failure to obey Wikipedia's policies. Criticizing a brutal warrior is "trolling," because brutal warriors see themselves as the personification of Wikipedia.
VARIETY Brutal warriors edit a wide variety of articles, because they have expertise in only one subject: wiki-war. Very few doctors, scientists, lawyers, artists, etc., edit Wikipedia, and they usually know well enough to limit themselves to topics they actually know something about.
VOTING Brutal warriors vote on everything there is to vote on in Wikipedia: articles for deletion, adminship nominations, block requests, etc. Often, those votes vastly outnumber article edits. To become an admin on Wikipedia, the support of brutal warriors is essential. That goes a hundredfold for ArbCom.
VENEER To cover up their viciousness and vindictiveness, brutal warriors maintain an appearance of civility. You will very rarely see a brutal warrior using profanity, and when they do use profanity, it is not directed at someone. For example, they might say, "that book is #@$&!" but they will never say "you're an ^@$#*!"

But of course this is a very shallow look at the psychopathology of Wikipedia's brutal warriors.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brutal Wikipedia Warrior of the Week: Ctjf83

This week I'm late because of Memorial Day.

This week's Brutal Wikipedia Warrior of the Week is User:Ctjf83, a supposedly gay user. But make no mistake, he's no limp-wristed pushover, but one of Wikipedia's fiercest, most brutal warriors. His current mission is to break the spirit of User:BrianGriffin-FG. BrianGriffin-FG has a passion for Family Guy and actually thinks Wikipedia can become a true reference work (instead of just giving the appearance of such). Ctjf83's mind games are working, and in April, BrianGriffin-FG let out an outburst which prompted Ctjf83 to issue a WP:CIVIL warning. On the face of it, the warning appears well-meaning, especially to those unaware of the sophistication of the mind games Ctjf83 has played on BrianGriffin-FG. BrianGriffin-FG will either quit Wikipedia on his own or let out such an outburst of uncivil words towards his relentless tormentor that he will be banned from Wikipedia. If such an outburst happens, it will seem completely unjustified and unreasonable, and that's precisely the evil genius of many of Wikipedia's most brutal warriors.

Ctjf83 aspires to be an admin, and he's been getting some "coaching" towards that goal. But it's just another game: there is no doubt Ctjf83 will eventually become an admin and score much greater victories over his most hated enemies. The stalled nominations are just theatrical grandstanding, and that bit of theater is as gay as Ctjf83 gets. See the courage actual gay people have to be who they are offline! Fakers like Ctjf83 are disgusting.

Possible Ctjf83 sockpuppets include SatyrTN, Red Pen of Doom, and Grsz11, who's been blocked and unblocked a few times. However, the similarity of that last username to Ctjf83's main account casts some doubt on the sock theory, because brutal warriors are generally smart enough to make the usernames of their socks so different no one suspects a connection. Or maybe Ctjf83 intends to pin Grsz11 as someone else's sock in the future once he can get no more use out of that account (for example, the next time it gets blocked).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wikipedia Brutal Warrior of the Week: AKMask

This week we have a brutal but also a very sly, smooth warrior, AKMask, who generally signs off as just "M" (shady indeed). Potential sockpuppets include UsaSatsui, Phoenix-wiki, Doug, Scott5114. He seems perfectly reasonable if you're just skimming his contributions. But it's concerning all his activity on the Administrator's noticeboard. Also note how easily he accuses others of being uncivil. Everyone else has "civility issues." Not him. When it comes to deletion debates, he prefers to let his socks do the talking, but he has voted in a few debates where his desired outcome was hardly in doubt, just to throw off suspicion. Also, anyone who is proud to have a photo of himself with Jimbo Wales is probably up to no good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

How to pervert Wikipedia's policies

As mentioned in the previous post, every single one of Wikipedia's policies can be perverted through selective enforcement, playing off against other policies, falsification of computer logs, and sometimes just plain ignoring what the policy actually says. But you can pervert the policies only if you're a member of Wikipedia's ruling class.

Here's a look at some of the most popular pervertible policies:

* WP:3RR Members of Wikipedia's ruling class can revert as many times as they want, making each revert slightly different. Reverts by non-members, regardless of how many differences there are between the current and previous reverts, is the same revert. A non-member who violates this policy may be blocked. A member of the ruling class who violates this policy can have the article protected, and locked to his last revert.
* WP:CIVIL Any criticism of Wikipedia's ruling class is uncivil. But members of Wikipedia's ruling class can insult anyone not in the ruling class and it's perfectly civil.
* WP:CONS If there is concensus in Wikipedia's ruling class, that's all that counts. Concensus among non-members of the ruling class, even if they're more numerous than the ruling class, is irrelevant. Concensus outside the ruling class can quashed through the application of WP:3RR, WP:CIVIL, or WP:SOCK.
* WP:DELETE This is perhaps the most sacred of Wikipedia's policies. In the past there was voting to delete articles, with each user having one vote. But now it's supposed to be a tallying and weighing of reasons, not of voters. But the fact is that it's still a matter of tallying voters, but the vote of a member of the ruling class counts for double, triple, maximum if need be. Furthermore, the members of the ruling class can have their sockpuppets agree with them, but making sure to put in one sock that disagrees. But those outside the ruling class who dare disagree with them on a deletion debate run the risk of being exposed as sockpuppets themselves, and then their votes then count for nothing, regardless of whatever reasons they may bring to the table. Given how riddled Wikipedia is with falsehoods and omissions, the exalted, sacred status of the deletion process is utterly ridiculous. Deletion debates are not marketplaces of ideas, but instead showcases for Wikipedia duckspeak and doubletalk. A lot of idiotic-sounding WP:ACRONYMs are tossed around as if they were policies (and to be fair, a few policies such as the ones mentioned here also get trotted out). Also, a lot of votes are just "Delete per nom" (meaning the user who nominated the article for deletion). Those votes count when they come from a member of the ruling class. But if it comes from a non-member, suddenly that non-member is reminded that it's not about voting.
* WP:IGNORE This one is just precious. "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it." Supposedly it's neither "a trump card nor a carte blanche." It is if you're a member of Wikipedia's ruling class! Anyone else who ignores Wikipedia's rules will be dealt with. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse for violating them.
* WP:NOR On the face of it, no original research on Wikipedia sounds like a good idea. But who is the arbiter of "original research"? You guessed it. Wikipedia's ruling class. If you present one scholarly citation, you will be accused of being the author of that paper. And if you then present multiple citations by multiple different authors, you will have violated WP:3RR. Don't dare appeal to the common sense of the ruling class, much less suggest that they lack it; that's a violation of WP:CIVIL. Expertise in any field is a liability. Wikipedia can't attract top-notch experts to contribute to it, so, being a bunch of sour grapes, they punish any near top-notch expert who dares contribute according to his expertise.
* WP:NOT This one details things that Wikipedia is not meant to be. Ideally, Wikipedia is not anything other than an encyclopedia, although one lacking the limitations of standard encyclopedias like Britannica. But in reality, Wikipedia is not anything its ruling class doesn't want it to be. If its ruling class doesn't want it to be a complete reference on, say, MacGyver, but does want it to be a complete reference on Brideshead Revisited, then by golly, it will be a complete reference to all things Brideshead but have less information on MacGyver than
* WP:NPA Supposedly, no one should make personal attacks on other users. Criticism should be of the content, not the contributor. Well, when a member of the ruling class reverts an edit by a non-member, calling it "utterly worthless junk," or "total cruft," or "vandalism," it's a little hard not to take it personally. But don't dare criticize a member of the ruling class for this: anything said to a member of the ruling class that is slightly less than respectful counts as a personal attack against said member of the ruling class.
* WP:OWN Supposedly, no one owns any Wikipedia articles, which is why Wikipedia articles don't have bylines at the end (the way reliable encyclopedias do), much less at the beginning like newspaper articles. The truth is that each article is owned by Wikipedia's ruling class. If the ruling class doesn't like how an article is being edited, they can "protect" it in order to enforce their ownership of it.
* WP:PROTECT When there's concensus outside the ruling class about article content, an article is "protected" so as to enforce the concensus of the ruling class.
* WP:SOCK Only one person in the world is dumb enough to disagree with the ruling class. Any other users who disagree with the ruling class must be sockpuppets. Supposedly very few users have "CheckUser" power, and even they only see IP addresses in "hash" form. But in truth, they have full view of the IP addresses and can falsify them at will, and they can also falsify edit dates and times. Don't forget that Wikipedia is the source that smeared John Seigenthaler, they have no compunction about smearing you. However, they know well enough to use this one as a last resort. At the same time, several members of Wikipedia's ruling class have sockpuppets they use to make their opinions look like the concensus of the Wikipedia "community."
* WP:VANDAL This is the tool to deal with newbies. Any edit made by someone new to Wikipedia is vandalism. If a newbie is not discouraged by being labeled a vandal, it's time to move on to other policies to discredit them. Members of the ruling class are wising up to the fact that they really can't use this one against the more established users, because the "community" will see clearly that it is a misapplication of the policy. But never fear, there's plenty of other policies to use against those users who haven't been discouraged by the initial rough treatment of newbies.
* WP:VERIFY This one establishes a hierarchy of reliable sources, with blogs at the bottom and peer-reviewed journals at the top. Fair enough. But with the ruling class, anything is possible: they can decree a particular peer-reviewed journal is not a reliable source, and that a particular blog is! The reliability of sources is directly correlated to how close the Wikipedia user is to the ruling class: any source brought forward by a member of the ruling class is reliable, while any source brought forth by a newbie is worthless.

Note that WP:TRIVIA is not actually an official policy. But the way the ruling class invokes it, it is treated as such.

Here are some policies that are routinely ignored, under the authority WP:IGNORE gives the ruling class:

* WP:HARASS You can't harass anyone else on Wikipedia. Unless you're a member of the ruling class, in which case you can harass any non-member by perverting any policy. Whatever they do in a misguided attempt to abide by "concensus," they have violated some other rule. It's a can't-win scenario for anyone outside the ruling class, and one of the most effective methods of harassment on Wikipedia.
* WP:IMPROVE "Wikipedia is a work in progress" and "try to fix problems: preserve information." Forget about it. A wikiruler can tag an article then delete any content he disapproves of the very next second. The tag is just for the sake of appearances.
* WP:LIBEL Did I mention how Wikipedia smeared John Seigenthaler? If they know your name, they can smear you. People wealthy enough to hire publicists can appeal to Jimbo Wales and the libel will get "officed" out. But what about poor people famous enough to smear on Wikipedia? Mother Theresa would be powerless to do anything about a wikismear.

The take-home message is: Wikipedia is about stroking the egos of its ruling class. If any usable reference material is created in the process, that's by accident and not by design.

Inaugural blog post

This blog will chronicle the most brutal warriors on the English-language version of Wikipedia. Think Wikipedia is a democratic encyclopedia anyone may edit? Think Wikipedia is a factually true and complete reference? Think again. What Wikipedia really is, despite all protestations to the contrary, is a battleground. A ruling class has emerged, and that ruling class will stop at nothing to remain the ruling class. The founder of Wikipedia, Jimbo Wales, is OK with this, and pretends to allow the democratic process to take place without input from him. In fact, the reason he does not meddle is that he wants to be a spectator on the gladiatorial arena. That Wikipedia turned out to be a reference so many people accept blindly was just a bonus.

How does the fighting take place? It's intellectual and psychological (e.g., mind games) rather than physical. Rules and policies have evolved, which the wiki ruling class has consistently shaped to maintain its dominance. Every single policy, even those that sound perfectly fair on the face of it, are routinely perverted through selective enforcement, playing off against other policies, falsification of computer logs, and sometimes just plain ignoring what the policy actually says.

Each Tuesday, this blog will name the Wikipedia Brutal Warrior of the Week. Every fourth Wednesday, the Brutal Warrior of the Month. And every fifty-second Thursday, the Brutal Warrior of the Year. To nominate a Brutal Warrior, just reply to a blog post. But refer to them by user name only, not their real names, even if you know them. We're talking about people who are most likely too physically weak to defend themselves in a physical conflict. I won't be held responsible for some brutal Wikipedia warrior getting beat up offline.

A little bit about me: I've edited Wikipedia ten or twelve times from three different IP addresses, all from the same ISP, without registering for a user name. Each time I wrote something true, and backed it up with something from Google Books, Google News, or Google Scholar. Each time my edit was reverted and I was branded a vandal. I have a couple of friends who have user names on Wikipedia. They're not treated much better. Aside from a canned welcome message, they get all the same accusations of vandalism, and on to add insult to injury, accusations of sockpuppetry. If you can't get into Wikipedia's ruling class, your edits are worthless, regardless of any scholarly or professional expertise you may have on the topics you edit on. I don't edit Wikipedia anymore, and I don't recommend that you do either.

But do look at talk pages and edit histories. You will see perfectly good and true information deleted just because it offended someone on Wikipedia's ruling class. You will see all kinds of idiocy on talk pages.