Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the week: CactusWriter

Most vicious Wikipedia warriors have much more edits to user talk pages and deletion vote pages than they do to articles. CactusWriter is an excpetion to this, but that's because he does most of his vicious work through his many sockpuppets.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Relentless warrior of the week: Daniel Olsen

This week's brutal warrior plagiarizes the work of more skilled photographers and passes it off on Wikipedia as his own. For shame, for shame!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Crazysane

Crazysane may be a little of the latter, but certainly a lot of the former. Supposedly he was or is an Information Assurance Security Officer in the United States Army. I bet he's also won the Medal of Honor. Lucky for him, the Stolen Valor Act has been declared unconstitutional. All free speech is protected, even lies and drivel. He may not really be a warrior in real life, but he's certainly a warrior on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the month: ChristTheDude

For the vicious warrior of the month this month I had to go with the guy with the Christ complex. Pure and simple.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Bibliomaniac15

He's hoping that by his username you'll be fooled into thinking that he actually cares about and does something about holding Wikipedia to a high academic standard of bibliographic sourcing. In reality, what Bibliomaniac15 is really a maniac about is his various deletion battles, and his eagerly enthusiastic blocking of new users for silly reasons.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crybaby of the Week: Ten Thousand Argonauts

Wah! Wah! Yahoo! Answers Nihilsock Ten Thousand Argonauts is crying us a river. In response to a college professor desperately trying to get his students to stop using Wikipedia, the man thought he might get some hints on how to that. Instead, he gets accused by a sock of being a sock of someone who disagrees with that sock.

So, the most productive way is CLEARLY to create ever more dozens of sockpuppets on Yahoo! Answers to ask questions about how Wikipedia is evil, COMPLETELY 100% FACT-FREE, and going to hypnotize you before it slurps up your brain through a straw. Oh, and be sure to always give another one of your accounts "Best Answer" so that they all dominate the "Top Answerers" list.

But wait, you're doing that already, aren't you?

This satire is too thinly concealed to be particularly DELICIOUS.

Yes, folks, this guys a BIG FAT PHONY. Take my advice before he uses all his other accounts to thumb this down into oblivion.
The Nihilsock's satire is also too thinly concealed. But it is delicious.

Wait a minute, though: it is the Nihilsocks who actually dominate the Top Answerers list in the Wikipedia category: Nihiltres with almost 400 last I checked, and Nihilsock Wikipedia Answers a distant second with almost 200. It's taken Eddie (a Wikipedia Review sock according to various Nihilsocks) years to reach third place now just short of 150. "Wikipedia Review socks" My Wiki Business, Bill and Moses are on the board but still well short of even a hundred.

And another thing: Wikipedia is not "completely 100% fact-free" nor do the "Wikipedia Review socks" claim that it is. Part of the reason Wikipedia is so dangerous is that it does get a few facts right, mixed in with lots of lies, and people just assume it's 100% correct.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the week: Anthony Appleyard

He may have a "Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar," but make no mistake, Anthony Appleyard is one of the rudest, most vicious Wikipedia warriors. An unearned metal medal costs very little, and an unearned virtual medal costs nothing at all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: ChrisTheDude

It's not uncommon for Wikipedia sysops to have a Christ complex. One of the most well-developed such complexes belongs to User:ChrisTheDude. But dude, for a Christ he sure is stuck in the Old Testament: eye for an eye, consequences be damned! His brutality, viciousness and cutthroat savegery knows no bounds.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Ranjithsutari

Supposedly Ranjithsutari is an Indian user of Wikipedia. Don't fall for it. He's really as white as they come. This relentlessly brutal warrior can't be bothered to welcome new users in a friendly manner, but still wants the appearance boost of doing so, so he uses an automated tool to get this chore out of the way. Just because you get a seemingly warm welcome message to Wikipedia from him don't fool yourself into thinking he would hesitate to stab you in the back if it suited his battle strategy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vicious warrior of the month: AlexiusHoratius

This highly decorated, vicious attack dog is the winner hands down of this month's vicious warrior award. If you are naive enough to think you can make a difference on Wikipedia for the better, let's pray you never come across this brutal bastard.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the week: Department of Redundancy Department

TravisTX supposedly became disillusioned with Wikipedia politics a year ago, and melodramatically abandoned his Wikipedia account. Seems it had something to do with the "article rescue squadron." (Yeah right). Barely half a year passed, he was having such trouble dealing with Wikipedia withdrawal that he created a new account.

User:Department of Redundancy Department. I'll admit I chuckled the first time I read that. But Travis's newfound viciousness and dastardliness are hardly a laughing matter. In any case, it's more fun to laugh at the fact that he blocked himself on January 30 for a full minute.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: AlexiusHoratius

Wikipedia's bravest warriors don't get any combat pay, but boy, do they get compensated in fake virtual medals. AlexiusHoratius, for example, is a "Veteran Editor IV," which apparently entitles him to display a picture of a crappy Medal of Honor knockoff on his user page. That is an honor which does not come by easily. How much keyboard war did he wage in order to earn that medal? A lot.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: David Fuchs

So David Fuchs mostly busies himself "writing and reviewing articles over at Featured Article Candidates, but" he also does "a smattering of Good article nominations and peer reviews." Sounds admirable, doesn't it? On WikiChecker, a good half of his Recent 500 Edits pie goes to article edits, and a much smaller proportion to User talk edits. However, it is quite telling that he prefers to respond to messages posted on his talk page on the other user's talk page. That frees up his user talk page to mostly only show messages by robots, like the WP:FILMS newsletter announcement. Quite clever, huh?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Myths about Wikipedia: It is more accurate than Britannica

Did you hear that a study in the scholarly journal Nature declared that Wikipedia is more accurate than Britannica? Take that, you British dullards!

Well, there are several problems with that declaration. For starters, the study was not really a study, it was a piece of journalism that did not go through the same rigors of peer review as other articles published in Nature.

But much more importantly, the "study" was RIGGED!!! In the sample of 50 scientific topics covered by both Britannica and Wikipedia, Jim Giles, the author of the "study" found that experts counted 162 errors in Wikipedia and 123 in Britannica. Now, I'm no mathematician, but I have the feeling that 162 is greater than 123. So how do you derive that Wikipedia "is more accurate" from those numbers? Easy, you downplay, explain away, or completely dismiss some of Wikipedia's errors so that you don't have to count them. That's exactly what the author of the "study" did.

By the same token, you exaggerate mistakes in Britannica. In the articles on the Acheulean industry, the expert consulted by Giles found ONLY ONE mistake in the Britannica article and SEVEN mistakes in the Wikipedia article. So if you count Britannica's one mistake as twenty mistakes, and discard six of Wikipedia's mistakes, then yeah, Wikipedia, while still not perfect, is more accurate than Britannica. That's a result that can be arrived at only by very careful manipulation of the data!

For much more details, go to Nicholas Carr's blog: http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/02/community_and_h.php

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Aaron Brenneman

The vast majority of brutal Wikipedia warriors make a very detailed and careful study of the politics of Votes for Deletion. However, I have so far only encountered one warrior willing to show some of the results of his research so openly: User:Aaron Brenneman, whose user subpage "Am I in a cabal?" is, contrary to what one would expect, a systematic study of the votes for deletion process when it comes to Wikipedia's coverage of middle schools and high schools. That's not the only one of his user subpages that demonstrates his careful study of the sacred deletion process. He could write a book on the subject if he wanted to.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the week: Butseriouslyfolks

But seriously, folks, this is delicious: User:Butseriouslyfolks blocked himself in 2007 for copyright violations. The guy is supposedly a copyright patroler, then unblocked himself. How can we take Wikipedia's alleged commitment to respecting copyrights if those charged with upholding that are clowning around, like a bunch of cops playing around with their guns? This is another case where it's better to laugh than to cry.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Deacon of Pndapetzim

He might as well call himself Mxyzptlk. Gah, we're supposed to be impressed by your unpronounceable user name.

Take a look at his block log: It's always funny when admins do admin action war, such as when Stemonitis blocked Pndapetzim for edit warring, then Angusmcclellan comes along and unblocks Pndapetzim. Of course Stemonitis is an obvious Pndapetzim sock.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Cburnett

Supposedly Cburnett adheres to the following "wikiphilosophy":

With each and every edit ask yourself this: does the edit make Wikipedia better? Edit warring is an automatic no. Bad Faith editing is an automatic no. Edits that suit your personal/political agenda is an automatic no. Edits that suit a business's agenda (advertising) is an automatic no.

And yes, Cburnett does adhere to that philosophy. At least his main account does. Open the sock drawer and a much different story emerges. As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all of the time...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Warrior of the Week: Commander Keane

For some reason it doesn't quite annoy me as much when Wikipedia users claim to have military rank they don't actually have, like Commander Keane does. Despite his lack of real life military experience, don't be fooled: User:Commander Keane is a consummate wikiwarrior.

One of User:Commander Keane's many sockpuppets is User:After Midnight, who on May 18, 2007 promptly unblocked Keane after Keane blocked himself "by accident." Right.

It's not enough for Wikipedia to give wrong information in its articles, it also has to give wrong info in user pages: for example, in Keane's user page, he claims that "if you use Firefox you can go to any Wikipedia article by typing "wp Article name" into the address bar." I tried that in Firefox 3.6.2 for Mac OS X: no cigar.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Darthgriz98

So the pretentious Darthgriz98 is no longer active on Wikipedia. Hmm. Or is he perhaps more like Darth Sidious, manipulating things behind the scenes, not drawing attention to himself, getting ready to strike when no one expects it? The main account has been inactive since August 2009, but the alternate accounts have been very busy, moving all the weapons into position.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vicious warrior of the year: Ctjf83

I still find it so thoroughly disgusting that Ctjf83 continues to pretend to be gay as part of his dastardly strategy to mow down his enemies on Wikipedia. Think of all the gay people who have died because of hate crimes, while that bastard Ctjf83 pretends to be gay online while being straight offline. Horrendous. Appallingl.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Brutal warrior of the month: Eluchil404

It was a close one this month, but the honor certainly goes to Eluchil404. His brutality and viciousness are quite unparalleled.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the week: Davidcannon

Have you ever thought of hiring a halfway good looking Asian woman and a little kid to pose with you in a picture to put on social networking sites like Wikipedia, such as User:Davidcannon has done with his family? Okay, that's low and tacky of me, but that could have been prevented from happening in the first place by not putting pictures of them on social networking sites like Wikipedia.

The picture of the family is necessary to support the idea that Davidcannon has a very busy life. His list of contributions would seem to support that idea. In his latest 50 contributions, you can still see contributions from February 2009. But what of his many alternate accounts? You don't get to be a sysop on Wikipedia without engaging political cloak-and-dagger. Look in particular at all those who supported his Request for Adminship, and also quite a few of the ones who opposed it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Myths about Wikipedia: Mistakes are reverted quickly

A frequent response to examples of mistakes in Wikipedia is that "mistakes get reverted quickly." If I were to write "Barack Obama is a Klingon from the Classic Trek era born in the year 2288 and sent back in time to fight the machines" in the Obama article, that would get reverted within the minute, if not sooner.

But that's a blatantly obvious error and no one would take it seriously even if it wasn't reverted immediately. What if instead I put in a mistake about someone "notable" enough to merit their own Wikipedia entry but not famous enough to have more than 30 'watchers'? (Watchers are Wikipedia users who put the article on their watchlists to be alerted of changes in real time).

Gregory Kohs at Akahele posted a carefully-researched account of how the Mike Ilitch article was wrong for almost three years! (See http://akahele.org/2009/07/where-in-the-world-was-mike-ilitch/). Randomly pick a date within the past six years the article has been up, and the chance of Ilitch's place of birth being correctly stated is about the same as is that of a tossed coin landing on heads—50/50.

Don't even get me started on the Seigenthaler scandal, the false Wikipedia biography that stood for months. If his son hadn't noticed it, who knows how much longer it would've gone unchallenged?

To my knowledge, the most recent example of an inexcusable Wikipedia mistake is the Sarah Palin death rumor I mentioned some posts ago. I had already mentioned that although that stood for just little over half an hour, it is still inexcusable because the article has almost seven hundred watchers. Sarah Palin was unknown five years ago and will hopefully sink back to obscurity in another five years, but at this point in time, how do you explain that none of the almost seven hundred watchers were awake and logged on at the very moment the false death announcement was made?

Maybe you think you're helping Wikipedia out when you correct a mistake you detect in it. Next time you do that, after your edit, look in the edit history (by clicking the "history" tab) and try to determine how long ago the mistake you just fixed was inserted. The results will be quite enlightening.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Deathphoenix

So Deathphoenix is the famous inventor of the "!vote." Are you bored yet?

If you are, that's how he wants you to be. That way, you won't pay any attention to his dastardly warrior moves behind the scenes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gregory Kohs loses Yahoo! Answers account... again

I don't know why the guy keeps coming back to Yahoo! Answers. Gregory Kohs has lost his account thrice already that I'm aware of.

What is his big sin, anyway? I don't know the official reason he's been kicked off each time, but the thing the pro-Wikipedia duckspeakers have against him is that he asks "push" questions—questions he already knows the answer to but with which he hopes to provoke other people to the realization that Wikipedia is completely worthless as a source of information on anything and completely unworthy of donations.

But given that thousands if not millions of people continue to trust Wikipedia as being "good enough," it is important for people like Gregory Kohs to continue trying to do everything they can think of to educate people about Wikipedia. If, in researching the answer to a question Greg posts, someone gets it across his thick skull that Wikipedia can be trusted with neither intellectual property nor money, it will have been worth it. Besides, a question is a question, regardless of whether or not the asker knows the answer.

I suppose Greg might comment on this post and disclose his new username on Yahoo! Answers. It doesn't matter if he does, the Wikipediots on Yahoo! Answers have already figured out what it is. In one of his latest "push" questions, the user calling himself "Death Panelist" (previously "GrimJack") wrote "And try not to lose your Yahoo! account this time, OK?" Which quite likely means that it was him who reported Greg for a violation. That's the kind of thing Wikipedia apologists expend their limited intelligence on: figuring out the identities of Wikipedia critics.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dastardly warrior of the week: Eluchil404

Of all the numbers to put in your username, 404 has to be the worst. If you choose 666, at least you can say you're being cute or facetious. But 404, the File Not Found error code. Something's off.

Eluchil404 aspires to be a "wikignome" (barf) but his frequent participation in deletion discussions clearly indicates he does not take his aspiration seriously. And hell knows why he feels it necessary to express an opinion about inclusion criteria in Latin. Dorkus maximus.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Ahoerstemeier

Given that he's a self-confessed "Wikipediholic," it is kind of hard to believe that Ahoerstemeier really has a degree in physics and a job using the Delphi programming language. When would such a person find all that time to edit Wikipedia?

So proud is Ahoerstmeier of editing Wikipedia that he claims to have been specifically mentioned in the New York Times. Sure, whatever you say.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brutal warrior of the month: Drilnoth

As brutal and vicious as the warriors selected last month were, you have to agree that Drilnoth outdoes them all in ruthlessness and drive. I have little to add to what I said earlier other than that now he has added a rather annoying bar to his user page, a bar that follows the bottom edge as one scrolls. Ugh.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brutal Warrior of the Week: Anonymous Dissident

Oh, poor Anonymous Dissident! About a month ago, the poor guy declared that because of mounting real world pressures, he's "no longer able to sustain interwiki activity," so he's resigned administrative positions on all wikis except en.wikipedia. Cry me a river! And yes, his activity on en. is somewhat scaled back. But his sockpuppet activity is off the charts. Soon many of his socks will also reach admin status. It's only a matter of time now.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Phil Sandifer

Phil Sandifer is a textbook wikiwarrior. His pie on WikiChecker is about three quarters devoted to the Project, Help, MediaWiki and Portal namespaces, while the slice for articles is barely an eighth, if that.

It is also worthwhile to note that Phil Sandifer became a sysop in April 2004, and it was in August 2004 that he launched a dastardly attack on User:Orthogonal which led Orthogonal to get tired of Wikipedia's crap and leave the project. The "request for comments" regarding Orthogonal's alleged lack of good faith and failure to resolve a dispute started out in high melodramatic fashion, with Phil Sandifer the poor martyr accusing Orthogonal of trying to come up with a new Wikipedia policy specifically as an attack on him. Soon after Phil Sandifer's sock attack poodle certified the dispute.

I could go on, but this particular litany of melodrama is getting very tiresome. Still, it is important to be aware of such things, because that's how things are decided on Wikipedia, whether it's a matter of personnel or of determining the factual validity of something.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Myths about Wikipedia: The paid fact-checkers

In this awful economy, people are quickly realizing how thoroughly uneffective the want ads in the paper are for getting a job. They would have more fun flushing their resume down the toilet. So they realize that they must "think outside the box" in their job search, and try to figure out where the jobs could possibly be at. There's a restaurant near my house, and they don't seem to have enough waiters, or I heard in the news that there is a shortage of truck drivers, etc.

So then they think: "Wikipedia is a pretty good reference, but it has the occasional bit of false info, therefore, they need more paid fact-checkers." Such a line of thought is wrong on so many levels, but first consider why Wikipedia can't pay fact-checkers: it can't pay anyone to work on the content.

When Wikipedia started to become famous, the more puritannical elements of our society were first and foremost concerned that Wikipedia would become a source of free porn for bored teenagers. In order to escape persecution as pornographers, the Wikimedia Foundation hides behind Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act: Wikipedia doesn't provide content; it provides a service for users to post content.

Mike Godwin, Wikipedia's general counsel, is aware of this and he likes to edit Wikipedia. Therefore, his user page has the following disclaimer: "Unless it is otherwise stated, any edit or contribution to Wikimedia projects by Mike Godwin is an act of a regular member of the community, not a legal or official action of the General Counsel or the Legal Department of the Wikimedia Foundation."

Theoretically, this means that if Mike Godwin chose to upload a picture of himself going down on himself, the responsibility for that action would be solely his, and not the Wikimedia Foundation's.

A side effect of this is that then the Wikimedia Foundation is protected against claims of libel. If Mike Godwin were to edit Wikipedia to say that John McCain likes to go down on himself, again, the responsibility for such a statement would fall on Mike Godwin, and not the Foundation. However, in that scenario, we know who Mike Godwin is, whereas in real life we often have little clue as to who an IP address or a cryptic user name represents.

That sweet deal would be invalidated if Wikipedia paid anyone to check facts. The next time John McCain gets slandered on Wikipedia, people would ask if the paid fact-checkers were asleep at the wheel. So it's much easier to not pay fact-checkers at all.

If you want a job at Wikipedia, you have to be a close friend of Jimbo's. Otherwise, the only kind of job you can get in Wikipedia is the kind that doesn't pay anything, monetarily or otherwise.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Amberrock

Amberrock contributes using Microsoft Windows Vista. Oh please. You're so full of yourself. His attack poodle is Ansett, which whom he frequently confabulates both on Wikipedia and through IRC.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Coffee

I had almost forgotten about Coffee, who, at least on Yahoo! Answers, may be a Nihilsock; I was reminded when I saw his user name come up yet again on WikiChecker's recent queries. I'm inclined to think that on Wikipedia, User:Coffee is a main account rather than a sock account, and for Yahoo! Answers Coffee has given permission to Nihiltres to have an account in his name, also signed off with saying "I'm an administrator on Wikipedia."

At the top of Coffee's user page on Wikipedia, there is a banner that says "Coffee has a real life, therefore Wikipedia isn't his main concern. He will take his time getting to queries." The banner has the Air Force logo. Notice how he doesn't say "I'm in the Air Force." You're supposed to jump to that conclusion. Frankly, I think it's disgusting to pretend to be in the military, especially these days when the National Defense ribbon is too often earned together with a Purple Heart.

And if Coffee is really so busy in real life with the Air Force, where does he find the time to create the most sophisticated Wikipedia user page I have ever seen? Maybe you don't find that convincing enough, since he hasn't edited his user page in months—oops, I mean days. Then consider this: As I write this blog entry, Coffee's logs page (which you can get to by clicking the "Logs" link on his user page 'toolbox') has at least 50 deletion actions performed today (or maybe last night, I get confused by Wikipedia's use of zulu time sometimes). And if you look at his user contributions, you still see a great deal of contributions for today.

You know, if I was as "busy in real life" as Coffee is, I would be able to write daily posts for this blog.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Myths about Wikipedia: Every article must have sources

One of the most prevalent myths about Wikipedia is that articles must have sources or else they're deleted. It is true that a lot of articles get deleted on Wikipedia, but lack of sources is rarely the real reason, though it may often be given as the official reason. Click "Random article" just a few times and you will encounter:
  • Articles with no sources whatsoever, but the article is not tagged with one of those infamous orange "This article does not cite any references or sources" tags. For example, Fairfax District (Kansas City, Kansas) as of today.
  • Articles that do cite one source in the preferred inline format yet are tagged as unreferenced just the same. For example, Ryers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as of today.
  • Articles with one external link, which happens to be broken. For example, Oil Heritage Route as of today.
  • Articles cited with a website in a foreign language (which would be just fine if we all spoke all other languages). For example, Asmane Gnegne as of today.
  • Articles incorporating information from another language Wikipedia, where the other Wikipedia has no citations whatsoever, and the English Wikipedia has two or three footnotes all from the same place. For example, as of today, National Mint of Bolivia is pretty much trimmed down from the Spanish article though with the addition of three citations from Euromint.net.
And who knows, maybe someone will do something about the specific articles (listed in bold above) mentioned here. (And for some reason "Random article" turns up a lot of geography stubs). But for each of these example there are dozens of Wikipedia articles in similar states of uncitedness.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Searching without Wikipedia

It's so damn annoying how Wikipedia is the very first result in most of my Wikipedia searches. Sure I can suffix all my searches with "-site:wikipedia.org," but it gets rather tiresome.

To address this need, the folks at Distilled came up with a plug-in for Firefox that removes Wikipedia search results from Wikipedia. Read more about it: http://www.distilled.co.uk/blog/seo/search-google-without-wikipedia-a-firefox-search-plugin/

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Jake Wartenberg

Jake Wartenberg blocked SonGoku786 "as a sockpuppet of LOTRrules." The funny thing is, that if you look past the smoke and mirrors, SonGoku786 and LOTRrules are actually both sockpuppets of Jake Wartenberg. Very well played by Jake. Most other people will be fooled.

Oh, and by the way, Jake Wartenberg is part of "WikiVoices," a project that has a cat as executive producer. This stuff is just too hilarious to invent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vicious warrior of the month: Bradeos Graphon

So supposedly Bradeos Graphon got married last year and that's why he hasn't edited Wikipedia in months. But we're on to him, and we're not fooled by his incredible self-control in not using his main account (which has administrator privileges). Or does it still count as self-control if some of his sockpuppets also have admin 'privileges'?

Attack of the Nihilsocks

Can you get straight answers about Wikipedia on Yahoo! Answers? Sometimes, depending on whether or not Nihiltres and his thirty or so Nihilsocks are standing by to thumb them down, or to vote for the pro-Wikipedia duckspeaking answer. Inevitably a lot of the Nihilsocks have attained Level 2 by accumulating 250 points each, meaning that they can thumb answers up or down. If an answer gets enough thumbs down, it will be hidden from view. You can vote at any level, and so you often see Nihiltres winning Best Answer with 40 or 50 votes, which is funny when you consider that most questions in the Wikipedia category get less than 20 votes total.

But this is not to say that Nihiltres is the only person who believes in the glory of Wikipedia. The existence of Nihilsocks does not negate the fact that thousands of people have fundamental misconceptions about Wikipedia, and remain oblivious to its gross inaccuracy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Drilnoth

As if editing Wikipedia wasn't fast and loose enough, Drilnoth had to go on and create a new user script to outdo "TWINKLE, Friendly, FurMe, and AssessorTags, among others." Less than 25% of Drilnoth's edits are in "article space" (according to WikiChecker.com), but surprisingly that proportion is larger than that of his edits to the "WP:" namespace. The majority of his edits are in the Image, Category and Template namespaces. Still, this is a less positive indication than someone who makes more edits in the article space than other spaces.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Dave souza

Why would anyone be proud of being a "wiki sloth"? Slightly worthier of being proud of, he's a "rouge admin." What the hell does that mean? Apparently it's "Wikipedia humor." What, not even a chuckle? Not surprising. The so-called humor disguises the extreme brutality of the rouge admins, of which Dave souza is an excellent example.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wikipedia kills Sarah Palin

Did you hear that Sarah Palin died in her home earlier today? Supposedly,

Sarah Palin died in the early mourning [sic] of February 17, 2010, estimated 4:37 AM due to an increased blood pressure in the brain while she slept. Stress brought on by the criticism she has received since running for presidency is believed to have caused this. Sarah Palin's children and husband were asleep at the time leaving them unable to rush Sarah to the hospital. Paramedics arrived on scene not until two hours later, when Sarah Palin's husband woke up, and tried to revive her but by that time she was dead.
No, you haven't heard that? That's because you get your news from a reputable source, like CNN.com, or even Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. Not from Wikipedia. At 01:00 Greenwich time (already February 18 over there), HeliAce added that paragraph quoted above to the Wikipedia entry on Sarah Palin. It wasn't until 01:36 that it was reverted.

Now, half hour and change is not bad compared to how long it took for the slander against John Seigenthaler to be removed from Wikipedia. But when you take into account that Sarah Palin is these days far better known than John Seigenthaler, a half hour to revert false information about her on Wikipedia is way too long. Supposedly the article is on the watchlists of almost seven hundred Wikipedia users.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Bradeos Graphon

Supposedly Bradeos Graphon got married, which explains why he hasn't edited Wikipedia since July of last year. At least his main account hasn't, since July of last year. Even if the wife really does exist, a wiki-warrior as vicious and brutal as Bradeos Graphon would most likely not go into hibernation. It is interesting to note that after he edited his user pages to announce his marriage, he made one edit to an article on tai chi chuan. Hmm...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reviewing Wikipedia's accuracy: Tulsa Port of Catoosa

Next in my review of Wikipedia's accuracy is the article about the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. The short article hasn't been edited since November of last year. The first thing I looked at was the coordinates given for the place, I plugged them into Google Maps and they seem to be correct.

I think the administrators of the port would be happy with this article. Most of its content seems to be lifeted straight off http://www.tulsaport.com/profile.html with only the PR hyperbole removed. In fact, the last edit to the article last year removed the company's claim that it is the "most inland river-port" in the United States.

However, the claim that the Tulsa Port of Catoosa "is located 15 miles from the Tulsa International Airport" merits further scrutiny. I asked Google Maps to give me driving directions from Tulsa International Airport to the Catoosa port, and it said 15.3 miles. Well, it would be petty of me to make a big deal over 0.3 miles. However, the port's website says it's just 7 miles from the airport, and remember that I gave Google the coordinates I got off Wikipedia. Neither Wikipedia nor tulsaport.com give the criteria for their distance measurements. I'm guessing the port people are measuring from the outermost gate of the port to the outermost gate of the airport, and I won't venture to guess how Wikipedia is measuring.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Applying Wikipedia's rules to Yahoo! Answers

One of the great unwritten rules of Wikipedia is that you don't criticize Wikipedia on Wikipedia. Sure, there is an article called "criticism of Wikipedia," but outside of that article, you're not allowed to criticize Wikipedia in any way. Doing so on your user page is one of the surest ways to get your user page deleted.

Recently, Eddie on Yahoo! Answers asked "Why do some Wikipedia admins insist that the rules of Wikipedia be applied all throughout the Internet?" GrimJack, a notorious Wikipedia apologist on Answers, answered the question with another question: "Do you have any specific examples of this?"

Well, I have a specific example for you: Nihiltres and Coffee seem to think that since Gregory Kohs was banned from Wikipedia, that means he also needs to be banned from Yahoo! Answers. The bastards have gotten him kicked off as both "MyWikiBiz" and "Try MyWikiBiz," the latter within days of the account being signed up. Supposedly Gregory Kohs uses multiple accounts on Answers, but no doubt the hypocritical Nihiltres and Coffee do so too, and on Wikipedia as well (in fact, they might be the same person).

Much more importantly, Gregory Kohs violated the unwritten rule of Wikipedia: You shouldn't criticize Wikipedia, which Nihiltres and Coffee and their various apologist sockpuppets on Answers wish to have extended to Yahoo! Answers. The reason this is important is that so many people turn to Answers to ask whether Wikipedia is reliable or not. There needs to be someone there to tell them that no, Wikipedia is not one bit reliable, and point them to the websites that tell the truth about Wikipedia, like Wikitruth (obviously), Wikipedia Review, Wikipedia Watch, MyWikiBiz, this blog, and even respectable newspapers of record like the New York Times and USA Today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: Carlossuarez46

Carlossuarez46 boasts to being a native speaker of both English and Spanish. But something interesting happens when you go to his user page in the Spanish Wikipedia. There he says he wants to be contacted in his user page in the English Wikipedia! Apparently, the Wikipedia wars in the nearly two dozen other language Wikipedias he has user pages in aren't heated enough to his liking. Only the fighting at en.wikipedia.org gives him the adrenaline rush he needs, en.wikipedia is the only platform suitable for him to exert his vicious aggressions. So there you have it: Carlossuarez, warrior and liar.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Reviewing Wikipedia's accuracy: Regimental Sergeant Major

Next in my review of Wikipedia's accuracy is, quite appropriately for a blog about Wikipedia warriors, the article on Regimental Sergeant Major. It could be the case that the article is factually accurate, but they do a lousy job of explaining the concept. From the very first line any reader with a passing familiarity with American military ranks will be confused. A Regimental Sergeant Major is a Warrant Officer in the Royal Army? What? I know they do things differently in the United Kingdom, but that sounds like a huge difference.

You see, back in high school, I was in Army ROTC. I seriously thought about joining the Army, but I have not inhaled, if you catch my drift. Still, I remember what I was taught about the difference between officers and enlisted personnel. A Sergeant Major is a senior enlisted rank. And while no Sergeant Major would mind terribly being addressed as "Sir," I doubt a Warrant Officer would much like being addressed as "Sergeant Major." There has been a lot of discussion on this particular point in the article's talk page, but it looks like a very confused argument between weaklings who would be turned away by even the most overzealous recruiters.

The article mentions that the equivalent in the U. S. Army is Command Sergeant Major, which is an E-9 rank. But the article says nothing about why it's WO-1 in the various military branches of the Commonwealth but not the American military.

Now, I realize that I set out to gauge accuracy, not clarity of presentation. So I will have to table this part of the review until I can consult with someone more knowledgeable on the British military.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vicious warrior of the month: Encephalon

Among the warriors chosen last month, Encephalon stands out as an example of the warrior spirit, of viciousness and brutality. That's why he's warrior of the month this month.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: BorgHunter

A Star Trek geek at heart, BorgHunter proudly displays the "Starfleet barnstar" on his user page, an award which was supposedly bestowed on him by the fictional Federation Council. If you've ever wondered why Wikipedia is so disconnected from reality, this gives you a hint why.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Reviewing Wikipedia's accuracy: Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi in Târgu Jiu

First in my review of Wikipedia's accuracy is the article on the Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi in Târgu Jiu. Already I'm biting my tongue on my promise not to criticize the grammar and spelling in the articles.

The Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi in Târgu Jiu consists of a set of sculptures by the artist Constantin Brâncuşi which are in the Romanian city of Târgu Jiu. The Wikipedia article has no references in the usual sense demanded by its rules on "reliable sources," making my review of this article so much easier. The whole article seems to be little more than a trimmed down regurgitation of this page: http://www.ici.ro/romania/en/cultura/mz_asbrancusi.html from the ICI in Bucharest. I'm going to have to get a book about Constantin Brâncuşi before commenting further on this.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vicious warrior of the week: ClockworkSoul

We see that ClockworkSoul is "just writing his thesis proposal." Sure, whatever you say, you Essjay wannabe. Supposedly this will take him a couple of months, at which time "he'll be coming back to life." So what is ClockworkSoul's definition of "life"? Arguing with other idiots on the Internet? What else can you expect from a self-described clockwork soul?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My own review of Wikipedia's accuracy

The study in the journal Nature proclaiming Wikipedia's accuracy has been a favorite tool of Wikipedia apologists. Many have pointed out that the study was from the start handicapped in Wikipedia's favor. Since the question of Wikipedia accuracy, or rather, lack thereof, remains an unsettled question in the minds of many, it is necessary to do more studies.

That is why I have decided to do my own study of Wikipedia's accuracy. I hope that by publishing which articles I intend to use for the purpose of my study and clearly stating my methodology, others can see for themselves whether my conclusions are supported by the data or if I have just shaped the data to fit my conclusion.

My first instinct was to use random articles with the "Random article" link provided on all Wikipedia pages. The problem with that is that perhaps the selection of articles would not be as representative as I would like. My next idea was to use "ancient" pages, but the Ancient Pages report has not been refreshed in a long time.

So what I'm going to do is this: on the Main Page, there are eight "portals" listed: Arts, Biography, Geography, History, Mathematics, Science, Society, Technology, and also a link to a list of all the portals. A Wikipedia portal looks much like the Main Page, but all its content is dedicated to a given topic. I don't know if the eight portals I've just listed are the portals that are always listed, but they're the portals listed as of today. From each portal, I'm going to choose either an article that has has barely been edited in a year, or in the case of the "Did you know..." and "On this day..." boxes, articles which have had very few edits for a year prior to being chosen for those features, or I'm going to choose an article that has been nominated for one of those features which has similarly laid unedited for a long time.

It could be argued that this is biased against Wikipedia from the start, since it would enable me to blow mistakes out of proportion saying that they stood uncorrected for months. Maybe so. To compensate, I will completely ignore spelling and grammar errors if they have no impact on the factual accuracy of the article. For example, "Martin Luther King, Jr. was asasssinated in 1968" would be acceptable since anyone reading that would understand what is meant regardless of whether or not they notice the misspelled word. By contrast, "The researcher was injured when a stalagmite that had hung from the ceiling of the cave for centuries fell down" would not be acceptable because by misspelling "stalactite" a factual error has been introduced into the text. (I'm sure stalagmites can fall down, too, but it would be a very different danger).

This is the list of articles I will use for this review:

1. From the Arts Portal: Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi in Târgu Jiu (two edits in 2009, one of them by a robot).
2. From the Biography Portal: Regimental Sergeant Major (five edits in 2009, none so far this year to date).
3. From the Geography Portal: Tulsa Port of Catoosa (four edits in 2009, none so far this year to date).
4. From the History Portal: Jus exclusivae (five edits in 2009, none so far this year).
5. From the Mathematics Portal: Permutohedron (only one edit in 2009! Could it possibly be any good?)
6. From the Science Portal: Jon Lomberg (five edits in 2009, two so far this year).
7. From the Society Portal: Benjamin Franklin Burch (article created March 5 of last year, edited five more times over the next two months and not again since).
8. From the Technology Portal: GWR 1076 Class (three edits in 2009, two of which were by robots!)

These are all articles I am fairly certain I had never read prior to embarking on this review. I plan to read one of these each week, and examine its factual accuracy while abstaining from commenting on its quality as literature. For each of this I will use the version of the article as it was on the date of this post. It would be just fine if people decided to improve these articles before I got to them in my review. However, it might be possible to defeat my study by falsifying the edit histories for these articles, by dating major improvements prior to the date of this post).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Angusmcclellan

So a lot of Angusmclellan's 50 most recent contributions have "(top)" next to them (meaning that they're the last edit to the page). It becomes scary when you realize that a lot of his edits are to user talk pages. Is anyone listening to what that blowhard is saying? Just anyone who wants to emulate him on being a brutal Wikipedia warrior.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Warrior of the week: Encephalon

So Encephalon has a committed SHA-512 identity. So what. Not only is Encephalon a tremendous Wikipedia warrior, he's also a pretentious blowhard. His logo is "Vivitur ingenio, caetera mortis erunt." Sweet hell, he sure has a high opinion of himself. It is suspicious that he hasn't edited Wikipedia as Encephalon since September of last year. But rest assured that his socks have been busy. The Encephalon account lies at the ready.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Not ready to name Warrior of the Year

Since it's January, it's perfectly understandable that some of you might expect me to name the Warrior of the Year this month. However, this blog has only been around since May of last year. So that means that there aren't yet enough brutal warriors named Warrior of the Month from which to select a vicious Warrior of the Year. That'll have to wait until May. Wikipedia is still so full of raging soldiers that I could even have Warrior of the Day and I'd still not get to everyone.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Warrior of the month: Michael Snow

Michael Snow supposedly has bachelor's degrees in history and political science. But given the relentlessness and viciousness of his wikiwarring, someone needs to award him an honorary doctorate in wikiwar, honoris causa!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brutal warrior of the week: Adam Bishop

Adam Bishop is such a warrior. Near the top of his user page has a user box (those annoying little boxes that report inane, sometimes false, tidbits about the user in question) claiming that Adam Bishop is "is addicted to semicolons; he or she uses them frequently." Topmost on his user page (on the user-customizable part) is the canned message that "This is a Wikipedia user page," blah, blah, blah. The various awards (barn stars and even the ridiculous Plutonium Editor Star) which Adam Bishop has earned for his brave warring, are at the bottom of his user page. What's up with the false modesty? Adam, you're a remarkable wikiwarrior, be proud of it!

If placement near the top is any indication of pride, then one of the things Adam Bishop is proudest of is having reverted the change of Pope Lando's old picture to a picture of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian on Empire Strikes Back (or Return of the Jedi, one of those). Yes, there really was a Catholic supreme pontiff by that name, I checked in the Old Catholic Encyclopedia just in case it was a Wikipedia hoax. Adam says he cracks up every time he reverts the picture of Han Solo's token black buddy back to the old drawing of the bishop from Sabina. Please.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Kind of wrong about Nihiltres

So I made a mistake in my last post of 2009. When Nihiltres said that MyWikiBiz had privately admitted to him to having sockpuppets on Yahoo! Answers, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that Nihiltres had invented the confession. "Privately admitted?" How convenient, I thought.

Now it seems that MyWikiBiz did "privately admit" to having multiple accounts on Yahoo! Answers to Nihiltres, and followed that with a public admission at http://akahele.org/2009/04/searching-for-answers/. So, unlike Wikipedia's powers that be, I must admit to my mistake.

But does my mistake really change anything? The fact remains that despite an increasingly larger chorus of condemnation for Wikipedia, way too many people still have way too many misconceptions about Wikipedia (that it's a charity, that it's accurate, for starters).