Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Stuff That has Nothing to do With Wikipedia: The Politics of YouTube

This is a story about a video-streaming/video-storage website (Internet people call it "a platform") that became popular, was bought out by Google, grew even more popular, and then a section of the video producers ("content creators") and the commenters noisily went insane. Some of it had to do with Anita Sarkeesian and GamerGate, some of it with a resurgent feminism during the Obama years and the "mens' rights" backlash that came with it, some of it with this march to the Right that happened in the last few years of the Obama administration.

An Anti-History of YouTube

You can go to Jimbo's Jungle to find an actual history of YouTube, but literally it was just three employees of everyone's favorite buggy cash-transfer website PayPal creating the YT website while working in a jury-rigged office above a sushi restaurant and a pizzeria in San Mateo, California. Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, and Chad Hurley were able to get "angel investors" to pay for their idea, and Jawad Karim appeared in the first YouTube video, shot at the San Diego Zoo.


That video appeared on the site in April 23, 2005. We bring it up because notice that Karim and his cameraman (high school buddy Yakov Lapitsky) are at the sort of place families go and where home movies are shot - it's one of my beliefs about the founders of YouTube is that they didn't understand just what sort of AV stuff would get put on the site. Early on there were no time restrictions, so one maniac spent hours uploading the Coleman Francis clunker The Beast of Yucca Flats in March of 2006. Why? Because the version that ran on Mystery Science Theater 3000 was under copyright.

And that was during the early period, before Google bought the platform in October of 2006, cut down the upload time for videos down to ten minutes (something that did not go away for years), and before the ads began showing up on videos. Of course the site grew by leaps and bounds before Google took it over and it grew even more under the Crayon G, which allowed the site to diversify: parts of it are a video junkdrawer of high-school and college basic videography and animation class projects, some of it is (obnoxious) combat footage left over from the US occupation of Iraq, some of it are entire movies illegally uploaded, parts of it are utterly bizarre crap, and then there are the one-person-talking-into-a-camera "channels" focused on a number of topics (Jim Sterling's "Jimquisition" video-game reviews are a good example). That's what allows YouTube to be political beyond the clips of news shows, late night talk shows, and recordings of speeches - just ordinary people talking about politics, and it has been fascinating to see that change over time.


Phil Mason (aka "Thunderf00t") has gone through a long transformation from "atheist fighting YouTube Creationists" to "angry man ranting on YouTube about Anita Sarkeesian" - and let it never be forgotten that Phillip E. Mason is a working scientist who has published papers. So I don't know why he was wasting time on YouTube. Pretty much there was a war on YouTube between the Fundamentalist Christian Creationists and the atheists/pro-science crowd during the final years of the tottering/slowly imploding Bush II administration, provoked by all the faith promotion done in George W. Bush's first term, and shored up* by movies like Idiocracy (2006) and Religulous (2008). It didn't help that there was a general belief that 20th Century Fox "abandoned" Idiocracy upon release by under-promoting it and not having a critic's screening. But back to of his first set of videos was titled "Why do people laugh at creationists?" and in it he went after then-topical Creationist Kent Hovind, aka "Dr. Dino":

In fact the "creationists" videos are still coming and he is now up to forty-five of them. Below is his newest, ranting about Ken Ham's Noah's Ark theme park:

Where I first heard about Thunderf00t was his war with a wannabe Fundamentalist preacher/Creationist called VenomFangX (Shawn Karon, a Canadian [!] of all things), which was an extremely complicated multi-year street fight where Karon would pull DMCA takedowns of videos, be pimp-slapped by Mason and a fellow Briton named dprjones (himself running a war against that faith healer/late-night cable TV shyster Peter Popoff) plus other now-obscure YouTubers like FactsvsReligion. Here is VenomFangX doing an awful Heath Ledger Joker impression because that was the then-current way YouTube dipshits told people off:

Thunderf00t has an entire playlist of how Shawn Karon was browbeaten into submission and forced off YouTube (of course, just like Peter Popoff, he returned.....because he was too smarmy to be a used car salesman). And that was the second time VenomFangX was kicked off YouTube. Here is PhilHellenes lecturing Shawn Karon's father (just because he could):

I could also mention the series of videos Mason did with Creationist Ray Comfort, but that would drag us further off target. What dragged Phil Mason into the crazy world of GamerGate was the onrush of accusations in the Obama years that some of the big names in organized atheism/"Freethought"/skepticism liked being cads with any women who showed up to conferences, including "The Amaz!ng Meeting"** (now-defunct) run by the James Randi Educational Foundation (not doing too well itself). Also you have the wonderful Islamophobia of Richard Dawkins (and he managed to drag in the 2009 Rebecca Watson "Elevatorgate" issue as well) which first exploded onto the scene in 2011. (Watson wrote about the incident in 2012.) Thunderf00t decided to blame the entire debacle and the long aftermath of blogposts, email chains, and online video with his own take....which was to pull a Julius Evola and double down, claiming that is the feminists that are wrecking the show (and he did a series on it, of course.)

Above is the first of seven videos....before that he was involved with PZ Myers' FreethoughtBlogs website, and that fell apart. So whatever it was that pushed him down that path, he has decided that this is the way to go, even though we are sure it's costing him at work. Meanwhile former (erstwhile?) partner in crime Dick Coughlin recently spent an hour ripping it all apart:

Where it all started to go under was March 2013, when he made the video below, giving vent to the subjects he would spend the next four years and counting ranting about: Anita Sarkeesian, feminism in media, and why it's all a scam or intellectually vapid or scientifically vapid or Something. (You figure it out.)

He now has seventy-five videos on this one subject and Sarkeesian is part of all of them. I could give a long, rambling explanation for why Thunderf00t does what he does, but a British man has done a better job than any I could do:

Thank you, Harris Bomberguy! We'll see him again in this, don't worry.

I would like to state that, while I was not a fan of Phil Mason, seeing his ability to reason rot like an egg in broken refrigerator has been utterly horrifying. This is what happens when ideology replaces critical thought and obsessions outstrip balance.

Jason Pullara

Also known as "LordKaT", Jason Pullara first came to my attention years ago, when he had a show called "Until We Win" on the Internet review aggregator site Channel Awesome (formerly "That Guy With the Glasses" - a reference to Doug Walker, the sweatshop site owner). At the time (2007-2011) Doug and his brother Rob Walker were getting as many YouTube reviewers as possible to come over, transfer their videos to, and "get exposure."*** Pullara was just one of those people, and unlike most, he ditched his show to do internet streaming, usually talking to people on Skype (he calls it LordKaT Live!). I'm not a fan  of these videos, mainly because Pullara occasionally belches into the microphone. Here is the old version of LordKaT playing the Nintendo version of Ghostbusters on an emulator (it's a re-upload from a fan):

Here he is a few years later on his stream, ranting about Noah "TheSpoonyOne" Antwiler. Spoony was the reason I stumbled on this ghetto Twilight Zone of online "entertainment" - he hosted Brad "The Cinema Snob" Jones' videos for a short time while Jones was setting up his Cinema Snob homepage because Jones had been booted off YouTube for a copyright strike (the jagoffs who own Nailgun Massacre didn't like his review). Spoony predated Channel Awesome slightly with videos, though he had written for the role-playing game magazine Knights of the Dinner Table before that. LordKaT is mostly ranting about Spoony's comedic screaming of "BETRAYAL" over a new version of XCOM at E3 2010 (it's a videogame convention; XCOM is a game series), and somehow that kept Jason Pullara from meeting a game developer he wanted to pitch ideas to (because he wanted to leave the reviewing ghetto and make games instead). He also mocks Antweiler's semi-standup that he did for fans at a convention. It's all very petty, and you get to hear an hour of it.

Here is his YouTube channel; he has now decided to change the name of his show to Drop Dead Cynical, but we're not interested in that. Here he is this Spring ranting abut Brianna Wu's fundraising for her Congressional run, which he thinks is a scam. (Brianna Wu was/is one of the targets in GamerGate.)

He also spent time in 2015 riffing on Doug Walker's semi-failed gameshow Pop Quiz Hotshot. He also ranted about Walker complaining about getting a DMCA copyright strike in January 2016. The reason why I bring LordKaT up is that he went for GamerGate in a big way:

If you do a search for GamerGate on Pullara's channel, you get a long list of videos; some of them have GamerGate in the title, some are tagged that way. And the more thoughtful parts of Youtube are noticing, such as this Dan Olson "Folding Ideas" video from October 2014 (skip to 7:05 to see Jason Pullara named alongside people like Davis Aurini and Phil Mason):

....And that's as much as I am willing to write about LordKaT.

The Amazing Atheist

Thomas James "TJ" Kirk III, aka The Amazing Atheist (RationalWiki overview; Encyclopaedia Dramatica semi-satirical takedown) is, like Phil Mason, one of the older YouTubers still working on the site; he started in 2006. In the 2007-2008 time period if you typed "atheist" the choice was either him or Pat Condell ranting in an unfinished room of his house (or was it his garden shed?) At this point TJ has thousands of videos out there, many of them mirrored by fans because the originals were yanked by YouTube, and you can watch him in almost real time shift from from Libertarian to moderate liberal Democrat all while still denouncing feminism. Here is a video that was the basis for a remix video that was part of the old ED article on Kirk:

That was from some time in 2008 or 2009 because he's talking about the Great Recession before he coins the word the video is known for, "nigggot" which he wanted applied to fans of Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus or the fandom of the entire Cyrus family, he wasn't sure.

The Amazing Atheist early on got into a lot of online arguments, including with Pekka-Eric Auvinen, the Finnish teenager who later carried out the Jokela High School shooting in Finland in 2007. Auvinen was Sturmgeist89 on YouTube. Shades of Pat Condell, TJ Kirk did an angry response video in his garage, a video that TJ Kirk flagged so that remote playback on other sites is impossible (you can do that as a YT channel operator).

From 2009 to 2011 he also made videos for TGWTG/Channel Awesome under the name The Distressed Watcher; his show was called Trailer Failure and he ranted about movies. They were all on Blip and some of them were mirrored (by fans) on YouTube, like this rant about Kevin Smith's nullity of a film Cop Out. He talks about what happened to his show in the video below:

 When the Paul Feig version of Ghostbusters became a massive online shitstorm last year, TJ Kirk was there every time it got slightly interesting. And when the movie hit video, he and his friend Paul Zego did a running commentary in the style of a reaction video where the movie ran in a small box in the corner, but they did it on Vimeo to try to dodge the copyright 'bots, and they charged three dollars to see it. That video has vanished, though I did see a copy on YT (also since vanished) and they were mostly smoking dope and commenting on how the lighting was wrong for a horror comedy. Below is the only online proof they made the video:

I think it is obvious that TJ Kirk will be making videos on YouTube until he dies or the site dies, whichever comes first.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a human face ranting on YouTube—for ever.” 

I am certain the YouTube addicts are wondering why Sargon of Akkad and Mr. Metokur weren't mentioned, and the reason is that they are the foreseeable future of this style of online AM talk radio. Also, they both give me hives.

Here is more of H. Bomberguy talking about the related Pick-Up Artist movement which runs alongside the Men's Rights movement that overlaps with GamerGate. If you skip to 7:58 you will get to see Dan Olson recount how he infiltrated a Roosh V forum meetup in Canada. Below is a video H. Bomberguy did on Carl "Sargon of Akkad" Benjamin:

Finally, this:

And yes those goofy hats actually existed, but you can't buy them now:


* There was this general sense that Bush II was sucking us into a Second Coming for the Moral Majority, 1980s abortion protest politics fused with the patriotic fury unleashed after September 11, 2001. It fell apart pretty quickly after Hurricane Katrina, the numerous failures of the "Global War on Terror", and the Wall Street collapse of 2007.

** We had to get that ephemeral MastCell connection in there somehow, not that he had anything to do with Rebecca Watson, Michael Shermer, et. al.

*** People were not paid by Walker - they were paid through which let ads run so the videos could be monetized. I still do not understand the Walkers' business model, though the rumors of their on-set behavior during the making of their bad satire "film" Kickassia (2010) have been hilarious to read. (Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug says they are lies. Delicious, delicious lies.)

Before the Lolcow people complain, yes we know that Thunderf00t has a Kiwi Farms messageboard thread, and that the one for The Amazing Atheist is longer because it's years older.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

End of the Summer Grab Bag

We have made it past the 100 post mark, and we will shortly have 100,000 views. Unlike last summer, this has not been an easy ride, for a number of reasons.

"He went AWOL for two months, sir", the Sergent said.

Thanks to computer issues since resolved, we could not work on the blog during the crucial May and June months, a period that would be a good bet for when Wikipedia finally closes shop and the WMF staff slinks out of San Fransisco with the millions taped to their bodies. Suffice it to say, that won't happen again.

Pointless Drama

The little world of Wikipedia criticism keeps getting roiled by things; in the last month it was HRA1924, which is the collective account of a group claiming to be part of the India Against Corruption movement within India. On the Wikipedia Sucks! board one or more of them was going under the name Moneypenny (with an avatar taken from Wikipedia of Lois Maxwell as the James Bond character), after that was banned, they were using the creative title Username3 (also banned). Of course they were involved with en.Wikipedia, which has a "long-term abuse" page on the group, and a list of the sockpuppets they were using:

Wikipedia claims the group's MO is the following:
  • Primary target is India Against Corruption but also people and political parties mentioned in the article, Indian journalists, and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (and its related articles). Since October 2014 this has extended to articles mentioning both the words "India" and "Corruption", e.g. this one and this one, and then to articles on Indian topics which are the subject of controversies/edit wars.
  • Repeated assertions that all independently published sources which do not support their claims are hoaxes or written by corrupt journalists.
  • Repeated references to cartels/cabals of compromised Wikipedia administrators
  • Extensive use of legal threats directed at both the WMF and individual editors
  • Extreme harassment both on and off-wiki, attempts at outing, demands to know the real-life identity of editors.
  • Tactic as of 2014 has been to launch various claims of copyright violation, impersonation, defamation, sexual harassment, paid editing, racism, pornography, forgery, and "violations of terms of use" on:
In September 2014, much of this was done via accounts claiming to represent the company "Name Defend", which in turn claims to legally represent "India Against Corruption 2", but whose website was created the day before the first Name Defend account was created and is registered to the National Convenor of "India Against Corruption 2" (background here).
  • Engage in off-wiki canvassing and mail list spamming via "Wikimedia India Editors Forum"/"Wikimedia XYZ editor forums", which have no connection whatsoever to the WMF or to the official Wikimedia India chapter (see here and here) and via blogs and Google Groups impersonating other Wikimedia initiatives.
They call the group "India Against Corruption 2" because they claim it isn't the original one (the original split in half after existing from 2011 to 2012 and they both went in different directions). We decided to copypaste all of the above so you can see what the list of alleged sockpuppets looked like at the end of August 2017; knowing Wikipedia, this list might change or vanish entirely.

The other thing, somewhat related is that Auggie's Wikipedia Review was yanked by ProBoards this last week. Allegedly some of the takedown had to do with HRA1924 writing insane stuff similar to:

Hey guys -- I'm Carlos the Jackal. I'm an international terrorist and am gonna blow up the WMF office in San Fran. Just thought I'd let you know so you can stay clear of the area and avoid collateral damage. 

Auggie banned them, but the board vanished anyway. The Dark Knight tried to ask the ProBoards people on their complaints forum about transparency, and it did not go well:

Is anyone here actually aware of any occasion when the abuse department has responded with anything other than a pointless form letter after deleting a forum citing Section 25(a), which of course gives them carte blanche to delete a forum for "any reason at all" (said form letter simply reminds the victim this is the case). Since the reason for my post is that I have never heard of it occurring yet, despite two pretty big forums being yanked in this fashion, and with all emails to the abuse department having been brushed off with form letters failing to give a reason, which is all anyone is after (presumably so they can take retaliatory legal action against the reporter), I would appreciate not being directed to mail the abuse department. A simple "no" would suffice as an answer, if that is the case. Or if "yes", some idea of the case in question (no identifying details needed, obviously), as I doubt it could have involved the loss of more data or the annoyance of more customers than the two cases I am aware of. If this is standard operating procedure for ProBoards, I am amazed you get any custom, and can only presume it is because your Support documentation doesn't give fair warning to customers signing up that this is how the business operates.
- The Dark Knight (as "darkknightthe")

Which was responded to by Scott the ProBoards Admin:

Is anyone here actually aware of any occasion when the abuse department has responded with anything other than a pointless form letter after deleting a forum citing Section 25(a), which of course gives them carte blanche to delete a forum for "any reason at all" (said form letter simply reminds the victim this is the case).

Yes - I have been witness to this.

Since the reason for my post is that I have never heard of it occurring yet, despite two pretty big forums being yanked in this fashion, and with all emails to the abuse department having been brushed off with form letters failing to give a reason, which is all anyone is after (presumably so they can take retaliatory legal action against the reporter), I would appreciate not being directed to mail the abuse department. A simple "no" would suffice as an answer, if that is the case. Or if "yes", some idea of the case in question (no identifying details needed, obviously), as I doubt it could have involved the loss of more data or the annoyance of more customers than the two cases I am aware of. If this is standard operating procedure for ProBoards, I am amazed you get any custom, and can only presume it is because your Support documentation doesn't give fair warning to customers signing up that this is how the business operates.

Our Terms of Service are very clear on what is expected and these terms are agreed to when a forum is created.  If someone chooses to not adhere, then that is their choice.  And unless a forum is so egregious in their violation of the Terms of Service that deletion is inevitable, admins are notified of any infraction and given the chance to rectify it.

Your thread title speaks of transparency and yet your "first" time here and first post broaches this topic?  Seems there may be more to the story.

The Dark Knight's response:

Your terms are indeed very clear - forums can be deleted for "any reason at all", so talk of egregious violations is nonsensical, particularly when no reason is given except to refer back to "any reason at all" - a customer cannot egregiously violate an open ended term, whose application is decided entirely by the enforcer, as any logician would point out. And if this is the unspoken rule, understood by people like yourself, but not the poor saps who sign up for a forum here, then it might be worth clarifying it in your support documentation and these pointless form letters, which certainly make no mention of egregious violations (of your open ended terms) as the reason for wholesale and unrecoverable deletion. It seems the only people who think these violations are so obvious and unworthy of being pointed out, are the abuse department. They might need to rethink their strategy, as due to these deletions, ProBoard's reputation is now in the toilet in the community these particular forums cater for (and happily still do, on an independent and proudly 'not ProBoards' footing). Indeed, ProBoards are being seen as complicit in preventing legal action being taken against the people who either complained or posted whatever it was that was seen to be egregious, by being so reluctant to identify reasons (because naturally, knowing the reason would identify the person or persons guilty of endangering a forum). Not that it is really possible to endanger a forum whose existence is solely at the discretion of people who think "any reason at all" is a perfectly reasonable Term of Use that any sane person would willingly sign up to in advance. They would not.

And then he posted again:

As for transparency, there is nothing more to this that what was outlined - to my knowledge, the abuse department has twice blown off forum owners with a form letter after a 25(a) board deletion, which pointlessly refers them back to the rule which refers board owners to their error in signing up for a service where "any reason at all" is considered a fair and reasonable, never mind legally enforceable, term of use. It is not, not from the standpoint of reasonableness. Certainly not when the reason is not given. You would be well within your rights to delete a forum for any reason at all if you really thought that commercially wise, just as board owners are well within their rights to decide your stated reason is unreasonable and merits further action. You appear to be avoiding this possibility merely by deliberately avoiding giving a reason. Hence the call for transparency. I appreciate the natural response then is to try to turn the tables and accuse the accuser, but I owe you now such courtesy, especially since I am not the owner(s) in question, thus have no say in the matter according to your own oft repeated policy here. I'm just a very interested observer, and sometime media commentator.

Which got a response from Kami:

A vast majority of Terms of Service for various services come with a clause that states either party -- the Service and the User -- is able to terminate their agreement at any time for any reason. It is a frequent part of contract writing to allow a clause that would allow one or both parties to terminate the relationship without breech of contract.

If you are under the impression that "no one" would sign up for something with these terms, then my supposition has to be that the people included in this do not read the TOS of a Service prior to registration otherwise they would not have registered.

Additionally, ProBoards clearly outlines prohibited content and uses in their TOS. I have personally received warnings to fix prohibited content, which PB is always reasonable about when the forum purpose as a whole does not countermand the terms outlined in the service agreement.

ProBoards would be foolish to arbitrarily remove forums based on unfounded accusations because it's a loss of revenue. If a forum is removed without warning, it is either a) because the warnings sent to the admin account were unheeded; or b) because the entire purpose of the forum went against, or intended to go against, the terms of service.

There are also legal ramifications to disclosing the reasons behind a termination of contract to persons who are not involved in said contract. Without the ability to verify identity, and without legal representation on behalf of the querent, ProBoards can open itself up to legal trouble if they responded to emailed demands for an explanation.

If you are under the impression, or are confident you "know" the reasons a forum is entirely removed, then you must have better contacts than I in the 12 years that I have used this service.

Finally Scott got the last word:

It is clearly obvious that you are one of those individuals who does not read terms of service or does so after the fact in an effort to justify an action you should not have done.

Our terms are quite in line with other social sites. In fact a competitor of ours has this in their terms:

"_____ Forum Hosting, may at its sole discretion, terminate any Customer and their site for any reason or no reason.
_____ Forum Hosting is not required to tell any Customer why their account was terminated."

While I can appreciate your attempt to besmudge ProBoards, blithering on with nothing constructive to say is pointless and does not belong on this Support Board - which you would know if you, again, read the rules of this board.

I'm locking this thread as it's not appropriate for this board and offers no constructive help in using the forum software (the intent of this board).  If you have concerns about the process used by the Abuse Department, then I suggest you contact them via email at

Thank you.

In full disclosure, I should write that I had dealings with Kami, possibly Scott, when the ProBoards version of the WS! board was trashed, and they were just as unhelpful then as now. Probably it is impossible to use ProBoards for Wikipedia work, possibly because there are links between the two.

Auggie now has a board here.

"And that's the waaay the news goes!"

This is the world we live in online, where you can't run a board criticizing a nearly-dead Internet encyclopedia project for fear of having it taken down if you don't have the cash to have your own server space. This is absolutely lame. Wikipedia is sixteen years old (which is 10,000 years in Internet time) and yet still commands such respect from the internet business community it's astounding.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Guest Post: Wikipedia is a (Broken) Hippie Commune


by E. A. Barbour

While reading this recent article in Sonoma County’s lifestyle magazine, I realized Wikipedia is running in a similar way to two counterculture communal groups, both established in western Sonoma County in 1966, a year before San Francisco’s notorious “Summer of Love”.

Wheeler Ranch and Morning Star Ranch were among the first "hippie communes" in the world. They were both started by (obviously egotistical) gents with commendable ideas of freedom and love (maaan). What they started, soon attracted too much attention, and then too many people. Some of them proved to be very bad people – petty thieves, liars, sex and drug addicts, the violence-prone, and so forth. The normal “filters” that a human society creates to prevent collapse were not followed in these early communes. I can easily picture Lou Gottleib, sitting naked in a yurt, spluttering “We don’t need the outside world! We don’t need laws and taxes and money!” I can also picture him saying “We don’t need ‘experts’, either”…..
Then both these pioneering communities self-destructed in an ugly and public fashion, as the founders fought with county government and the sheriff’s office over the problems that were denied to be “problems”. Thousands of other communes have been started around the world since then -- and most of them have eventually failed. “The Farm” in Tennessee is one of the very few to survive more than 40 years. Occasional media stories about communal living often mention their economic struggles—the outside world always ends up intruding.

Wikipedia represents a clear online parallel to communes. It is following a similar curve of idealism, massive growth, political problems (and denial thereof), and collapse, although it's doing it more slowly than most 1960s communes. It was also established along libertarian lines, allegedly free of government or taxes or censorship. Most Wikipedia content writers appear to be reasonably honorable people, yet there are unquestionably some troublemakers writing biased content. And their all-volunteer administration has always contained a number of raving liars, crackpots and persons not on Wikipedia for honorable reasons. It started with Jimbo making administrators out of bad people who then installed other bad people. And even after 17 years and numerous scandals, bad people continue to edit and to try to control it. The only things keeping Wikipedia alive are annual infusions of cash from millions of their well-propagandized readers; and ruthless propagandizing.

One thing was most prominent to me: the comment about Kevin Kelly's 85%-15% rule struck a nerve. We kept seeing approximate 85-15 balances in our statistical studies of WP content and the behavior of its "community", and in the comments of others. Allow me to quote an appendix I originally wrote in 2013 for the book I co-authored about Wikipedia’s history. Four major examples of that roughly-85%-15% split are given.

“How do Wikipedia articles break down by size? Since the available WMF statistics do not tell us very much, the authors decided to take a sample of 200 completely random articles and sort them by length, into four categories: stubs, “short” (less than 10k bytes and therefore probably not complete for many academic subjects), and “long” (more than 10k bytes), plus those odd little things called “disambiguation pages”, which are used to cover a name shared by more than one article, and are commonly considered to be “bureaucratic overhead”…...About 39% of English Wikipedia appears to be stubs, 36% are less than 10k bytes (about 1700 words), and 7% are disambiguation pages. So, only 17% of Wikipedia's items (perhaps 650,000 articles) are likely to be of useful length.”

Association football (soccer) dominates Wikipedia. If biographies of football players are included, it appears that football makes up the largest single specific subject area on all of English Wikipedia, a staggering 13% of the entire database of 5-million-plus articles. It is most ironic that the American-invented and American-dominated English Wikipedia is obsessed with the world's biggest non-American sport.”

Because Wikipedia is the “encyclopedia anyone can edit”, inevitably some people will write their own biographies, or hire someone to do so. And they have done so. The biography sample was read, and some rough notes were taken of the bias of each of the living people, positive or negative. This is a contentious area, so these figures can be viewed only as rough guesses. However, it appears that about 15% of Wikipedia BLPs are overly positive, and are likely to have been edited by their subjects or by representatives of their subjects.”

“Finally, in 2010, the nabobs of Wikipedia began to admit they had problems. In November, Wikimedia Foundation director Sue Gardner posted on her personal blog something she had mentioned before: that a WMF study had shown that very few women were editing Wikipedia, only 13% of editors were female. Some media coverage resulted. Yet the percentage of women continued to decline, according to another study in June 2011. By way of comparison, we have estimated that about 95% of Wikipedia's active administrators are men.”

Personally speaking I can’t manage to say anything nice about Kelly. As the founding editor of WIRED magazine, he was a mainspring and cheerleader for the magical purity of the “digital world”. He was previously an editor at the Whole Earth Catalog and Whole Earth Review, two of hippiedom’s primary mouthpieces—so he straddles two very different worlds, that evolved to resemble each other. He pontificated and spewed about the Internet being a “perfectly free cyberplace” and not subject to pesky things like laws, taxes and economics.

Yet only eight years after WIRED started, and six years after the Internet was opened to the general public, the booming dot-com industry melted down in 2000-2001. Later startup businesses (Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.) were far more ruthless and learned from the foolish hippie mistakes of the pioneers. Kevin Kelly, no longer pontificating at WIRED, is currently a “freelance genius” taking fat speaking fees. Just like Jimbo Wales.

Unlike Wales, Kelly enjoys a fanboy-written biography on Wikipedia that is carefully watched and is always totally free of negative information. The Wales bio is currently more than ten times as long as Kelly’s bio, and despite efforts by insiders to keep it happy, it now has two “Controversies” sections. Because not everyone on Wikipedia loves him. And in spite of a 10-year-and-continuing program to hire Wikipedia volunteer insiders at the Wikimedia Foundation to “keep them happy”, squabbling and “purges” are still commonplace. Sex? Ask me about Wikimedia Commons sometime.

They could not escape the “real world”, money, censorship, and other things that cool hippies don’t need, maaan. The freaks in this commune are becoming unhappy. The fires have already started; it’s probably only a matter of time before the bulldozers show up.

Monday, July 31, 2017

"Never mind that shit....Here comes Mongo!"

Now that we have survived seven months and counting under the incompetent-thuggish presidency of Donald John Trump, we should talk about the thuggish goonery of MONGO, the outsider member of the Cabal and spiritual grandfather to Wiki-cops like Tyler van Wormer (Tiptoety). He had endless fights with Encyclopaedia Dramatica, to the point where ED has multiple pages on MONGO, because he has vandalized their site, possibly while at work, a thing he claimed he did while editing Wikipedia articles.

What Little We Know About Him 

Pretty much he was Ron Swanson before that Parks and Recreation character existed; right-wing and a Federal government employee, he claimed to be working for the Department of Homeland Security in some unspecified role, and a US Park Service Ranger before that. According to ED, as a ranger he had worked at the Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Shenandoah national parks, had never traveled outside of the United States (though he had traveled extensively through America), and possibly lived somewhere in Nebraska or Illinois. Encyclopaedia Dramatica accused him of using the IP address to vandalize their wiki during the Bush II years, and that geolocates to Omaha, Nebraska.

MONGO was/is a hater of Muslims (example from his blog), would fly into fits of rage if anybody on Wikipedia talked about September 11th conspiracies, liked to make threats on Wikipedia, had a massive block log in 2005-6. For his Islamophobia, Jayjg was a supporter, and he got help from Tony Sidaway during his long edit wars on September 11th-related articles, and he got support from fellow conservatives Tom_harrison and Robert Djurdjevic.

                                                    Possible Image of MONGO?

The Damage Done

MONGO showed up in January of 2005 to edit the George W. Bush BLP and do work on certain national park articles but by the summer of that year it had become screamingly obvious that he didn't get along with a large number of editors....though that is hard to track because MONGO decided to play hardball and rev-delete or oversight his past edits at points, as with the talk page of Karwynn:

Additionally, see this [] Same story here. He did not block him for poor judgement in that comment. He blocked him for alleged '''deliberate trollery.''' This is entirely inappropriate, considering the lengths both Hardvice and I have gone to show that our actions are in good faith, even if we are wrong. Tony Sidaway is not allowing anyone to question MONGO's judgement, despite having very concrete reasons to do so, which most have made abundantly clear, even if they were ignored by Tony. Tony Sidaway is not fit to be blocking people for these reasons and ought to recuse himself and let someone else review these blocks. Maybe someone who is willing to follow [[WP:AGF]] should take a look at this. [[User:Karwynn|Karwynn]] [[User_Talk:Karwynn|(talk)]] 17:54, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
To which MONGO responded:

*You know what, I think I will now delete the history of those IP's just so you stay curious. I suppose I need to get an account at ED and tell them it is me so they can then do a checkuser and then you'll see that it is the one and only time I logged into there. ''But'', the problem is, I don't want those guys posting my true IP on the article that is over there about me. Don't you think I would have either gone into that website myself or had one of my "friends" take care of it if it was my IP...think.--[[User:MONGO|MONGO]] 18:00, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

His real use was as a hatchet-man for "the Cabal" (Mantanmoreland/Gary Weiss,  JzG/Guy Chapman, Tracy Walker, Fred Bauder, William McWhinney, Raymond Arritt, SlimVirgin/Sarah McEwan/Linda Mack, Philip Sandifer, etc.) and they backed him up in return. Bizarrely, MONGO got his first Request for adminship in November of 2005 - and he was allowed to be an administrator. If the reader looks at the comments of opposing voters, they will see a large number of strikethroughs and reversals - people were pressured to let MONGO emerge into Wikipedia leadership like Godzilla walking out of Tokyo Bay in 1954.

After a year of fighting people over the Collapse of World Trade Center article, he went through his first Request for comment "hearing" in June of 2006 which he was allowed to censor (!), then there was the first Request for arbitration in November of 2006, which was supposed to be about Seabhcan, but like the best Alice in Wonderland trials it sucked in MONGO and both were stripped of their admin powers, Seabhcan for piddling reasons and MONGO for his personality and actions. There was a second Rfc in April 2007 over 9/11 conspiracy editing, which he was fighting tooth and nail. Just to show what a pain-in-the-ass he is to the Wikipedia system, he had YET ANOTHER Rfc in November of 2007, this time over the BADSITES nonsense. He was never blocked, just reprimanded, eveen though he remains the King of the POV Pushers. He tried to do a Request for adminship in January 2008 and November 2012 and was turned down both times - Wikipedia post-Essjay was no longer so tolerant of known problem users getting back into administration.

Of course there was MONGO's brown-nosing, he said nice things about Guy Chapman in a 2008 RFC, Tony Sidaway in a 2005 RFC, about Bishonen in his second RFC in the summer of 2007, and Cyde's 2006 RFC. He even defended Arbcom twice!

The Outside World pays attention

Besides Encylopaedia Dramatica, MONGO was discussed on Wikipediocracy's messageboard before they let him join (!) about two years ago. The nearly-dead original Wikipedia Review once had an entire subforum dedicated to him, but they deleted it in 2009 "because he wasn't important." That said there are still threads like: example one, example two, example three, example four, example five.....the notes I got from Mr. Barbour have at least fifteen links about MONGO from WR alone. I am surprised that Mother Jones magazine didn't do an "Angry Right-wing Editors of Wikipedia" article ten years ago featuring MONGO like they did one of Richard Spencer last year. He deserves to be known outside of WikiWorld, just like how Manos: the 'Hands' of Fate (1966) should be shown to film students as an example of how to not make a movie.

                                       You knew we had to put this in, it was inevitable.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wikipedia's Bastard Children: Metapedia and RationalWiki

Because the MediaWiki software is free and the articles on Wikipedia aren't under copyright, it is very easy to do your own version of "the free encyclopedia."  The irony is that en.Wikipedia itself was full of retyped Encylopaedia Britannica articles early on.

When You Want Your Facts Nazified, Metapedia is Your Nazi Info Source

Metapedia is literally as the line above describes it, a Nazi version of Wikipedia. Originally a Swedish-language wiki created by Anders Lagerström of Linköping, Sweden, Metapedia grew to having 15 versions in various European languages. Anders Lagerström himself was a member of the Svenska Motståndsrörelsen (Swedish Resistance Movement), a neo-Nazi group founded in 1997 that later grew into a multi-national "Nordic Resistance Movement" covering Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. That wasn't good enough for Anders; he formed his own group Nordiska förbundet (The Nordic Association) in 2004 and ran a website called that seems to be a zombie as of 2017. Before forming this group, in 2002 Lagerström started up a publishing firm, Nordic Publishing, selling white power music and books; this is a long-running strategy first seen with American Nazi groups in the 1980s. It should be said that Lagerström follows in the grand tradition of neo-Nazis/skinheads/white nationalists by having a long history with the law: he was convicted of assaulting a police officer with tear gas in 1999, he was nailed on an illegal weapons charge in 2000. The thing that marked the beginning of the end for Nordiska förbundet was a 2008 break-in/assault where he and five NA members attacked a former member at his house, stole things, and beat the man up. Their reason was that the fellow had walked off with an encrypted list of 10,000 Nordic Publishing customers, possibly they were afraid he would go to the press. Most of the attackers only served a few months, some were tried in absentia, Lagerström served three months. The Nordic Association closed down in 2010, allegedly because the website was being used for hacking. The Swedish magazine Expo claims that Nordic Publishing became Arktos Media, which means that Jason Reza Jorjani, the gentleman philosopher of the Alt-Right movement, is being published by the same people behind Metapedia.

In the middle of all this, Lagerström founded Metapedia in 2006, becoming Aurvandil. One of the major members is Upplysning ("Enlightenment") who probably is either Kimmo Alm or his brother Jonni (who was, maybe still is, a member of Svenska Motståndsrörelsen); if it is the former, then Upplysning is not only a violent neo-Nazi and internet spammer, he is also into child porn. There are a number of former members, many who wound up later creating Rightpedia, the "competition": site founder Hu1 (aka Vajna, Antifinnugor, Muki987, Fiala1, eleonora46, and snuki146) who is actually Eleonóra Dubiczki of Pilisszántó, Hungary and was on Wikipedia before joining Metapedia; Mussert (real name unknown; his handle is a reference to Anton Mussert, the Dutch quisling leader of the Dutch Nazi Party, and heavy supporter of the German Nazi police state in occupied Holland, 1940-45) who was Galileo on Metapedia and one of the first people Dubiczki invited to Rightpedia; Mikemikev (Michael Coombs) who has articles about him on Encyclopedia Dramatica and Kiwi Farms Lolcow Wiki; and A Wyatt Man, aka BjornStronginthearm (his Stormfront handle and a Terry Pratchett reference) who is also ED member KimboSlice. One of the most notable members of Metapedia is Gregory Lauder-Frost of the Traditional Britain Group, a Tory's Tory who was promoted to sysop as Cicero and then given the boot a year later by Aurvandil because he could not stop getting into arguments over Poland; not a variant of Wikipedia's insane "is it Freistaat Danzig or Gdansk?" dispute but rather a man's inflexible belief in German Nazi propaganda that Poland somehow started World War II. Michaeldsuarez has proof that last sentence is incorrect, and that Aurvandil deleted Lauder-Frost's articles that were mentioned by Encyclopedia Dramatica, changed all editor names to "Pepe" (as in Pepe the Frog), then gave Cicero the new handle Matt58, in a sloppy editing of history that would make Winston Smith cringe. We should also mention Basileus, who had a long sockpuppeted history on Wikipedia before appearing on Metapedia only to slowly drive those people crazy as well. It did not end well. Finally, there should be some mention of Atlantid (Oliver D. Smith), who is Mikemikev's enemy and fellow inmate at the Lolcow Wiki.

The Horror Show That is Metapedia

Let's be honest; the worldview of Metapedia is repellent. Take for example the Holocaustianity article, in which Anne Frank is labeled "the blessed virgin", the creation of Israel is "the resurrection" and there is a long quote at the bottom from the now-defrocked Bishop Richard N. Williamson, who is a Holocaust-denier. Denial of the Holocaust is a big deal for Metapedia, which is why they have a stub article for Carlos W. Porter, who thinks the entire event was faked by the Soviets. They have 53 pages of similar "Holocaust revisionists", many of them stubs without pictures, but all of them have links to sites that have their writings in .pdf or on simple html sites. None of them believe the same thing; some minimize the numbers, some blame chaotic conditions in the camps at the end of the war for all the corpses the Red Army found in Poland. None of them believe that the SS camp guards used carbon monoxide from diesel motors, and later the pest-exterminating agent "Zyklon-B" (Cyclone-B, the commercial name for the crystallized hydrogen cyanide used in the fake washrooms near the crematoriums). Metapedia does not believe in the Einsatzgruppen as a murder-squad SS army; they are anti-partisan troops only. Metapedia cannot deny the Wannsee Conference, but it has doubts that the document produced by conference, the Wannsee Protocol, is really a mandate for genocide.

When Metapedia isn't a defense of the Nazis, it's a keen supporter of old-timey race science. They have a page on "Dysgenics", aka "racial degeneracy" which, like a lot of the pages inside Metapedia, was originally a Wikipedia article that was made Nazi. Race and intelligence has an article on Metapedia, as does Wikipedia; Metapedia leans heavily on the data, will not discuss any controversies. It would be fascinating to find out if the Metapedians started out with an earlier version of the Wikipedia article (which we know was fought over like mad), or if they built their own counter-article by scratch. And that's something that should never be forgotten: many of the articles on the site seem to have come from Wikipedia and then were re-written offline. Look at their "Race and crime" article; it's a long article (possibly filled with bogus statistics), then compare it to the Wikipedia version. Wikipedia is so touchy on the subject they broke it into four articles; one for the concept, one for the US, one for the UK, and one for Brazil (which is part of the "Social apartheid in Brazil" article). Meanwhile if you try to look up Metapedia's article on Black people, the article is called "Sub-Saharan Africans", lacks any photographs of African-Americans, Africans, Afro-Brazilians, etc., and is full of scare quotes and treats the article subject like a menace. It is probably the most purely racist article on the website beyond their idiotic famous Jews list (aka "Persons of Jewry").

The Endpoint

The point of Metapedia is to make Nazi ideology acceptable again, full stop. That has been a long-running project of far-Right groups for decades (Reason magazine used to publish Holocaust-deniers in the 1970s, because Charles Koch's personal guru to 1980 was Robert LeFevre, who was neck-deep in that world). The difference now is the Internet; instead of buying books from the Institute for Historical Review or the Noontide Press, you can download .pdfs for free. At the end of March, 2017, Metapedia vanished for a week and it reappeared with no statement as to why it had gone. Why the site disappeared is still unknown; what can be guessed is that Metapedia will exist as long as the Wiki model is still viable.

"RationalWiki is a genetic-egalitarian race denialism propaganda website that is run by Ontario resident Trent Toulouse. RationalWiki is a wiki founded by secular humanists in response to Conservapedia. They regard Richard Dawkins as their messiah. It is based on MediaWiki, like Metapedia. The wiki has around 4200 English pages middle of May 2010. The information is inaccurate and sparse. The wiki begs for donations. The site is extremely anti-Christian and anti-Conservative and promotes sodomy and gun restriction."
"Trent Toulouse has promoted like-minded people on the wiki to the rank of bureaucrat, and let themenforce the site’s propaganda and promote other like-minded people to bureaucrat, whereas Trent Toulouse himself does not directly enforce the propaganda. That serves to make Trent Toulouse appear blameless; the same tactic is used by Wikipedia owner Jimbo Wales. Trent Toulouse's primary surrogate is the user “Human”; Human has done much of the bureaucratizing that Trent did not want his name attached to."
Quotes taken from Metapedia's article on RationalWiki as it appeared in 2012-2013.

                                                 Upplysning (image from ED)

                                                    Hu1 (image from ED)

                                                     Atlantid (image from ED)

                                                    Cicero (image from ED)

RationalWiki, not Really what It Claims to Be

RationalWiki poses as this rationalist/secular humanist/skeptics encyclopedia out there to "fight the good fight" against cults, paranormal claims, and lifestyles while promoting science. The truth is, it's a home away from home for Wikipedians and a place for co-founder David Gerard to get his lulz out, among other things.

RationalWiki was begun in the economic meltdown of 2007, founded by Wikipedian Trent Toulouse (Tmtoulouse) and David "Assisted Living Dracula*" Gerard. Their earliest target was Conservapedia, which members of RationalWiki vandalized repeatedly. Conservapedia (founded 2006) was/is this American conservative variation of Wikipedia, begun by Andrew Schlafly (son of longtime, now-dead, Republican activist Phyllis Schlafly) in the Bush II years as this right-wing "antidote" to the alleged liberalism of actual Wikipedia.....and thus two Wiki-knockoffs locked horns, with RationalWiki flooding Conservapedia with fake conservative users who vandalized the site and Conservapedia squealing like a stuck pig about it. RationalWiki also slammed Moonie Wikipedian and Conservapedia honcho Ed Poor, just because. Certainly "Andy" Schlafly deserves some criticism for running Conservapedia with as much of an iron hand as Upplysinig did Metapedia (IP range blocks, drop-of-the-hat bans, etc.), but it's bizarre that another Wiki took it upon themselves to "discipline by vandalism" the site into whatever "normalcy" the RationalWikians found acceptable. Meanwhile since 2014 there has been a complaint on the Ripoff Report website on the RationalMedia Foundation that owns and runs RationalWiki.

What They Do for Fun

Members blocking each other seems to be where some people get their kicks, as the block log clearly shows. They also are extremely friendly with Susan Gerbic's Guerilla Skeptics group (who fought with people over deceased UFO skeptic Phillip Klass' Wikipedia biography in 2013). Really though, they like writing snarky articles on people they don't like, such as Rupert Sheldrake (notice at the bottom of the RationalWiki article the piece is part of the categories "shysters", "batshit crazy", "woo-meisters", and "pseudoscience.") It states literally what the skeptics groups on Wikipedia would like to say about Sheldrake in the BLP they fought over for years, but cannot because it would break the rules of "Wikipedia POV." Of course by mentioning Sheldrake, I have to mention Rome Viharo, who tried to keep the edits of the Sheldrake BLP reasonable and was slandered by RationalWiki for his trouble. Viharo has a site dealing with his issues with RationalWiki, Tim Farley (Vzaak, Manul), and the rest....I feel I can't write about Viharo because he was/is involved in both versions of the Wikipedia Sucks! messageboard. The links speak for themselves.


Because David "Low-Rent Nosferatu" Gerard loves drama and lulz, he gave sysop powers to noted Wikipedia loon Ryulong (Michael Cohen) in late December of 2014 and he only lasted there a few  months, trying to push an anti-Gamer Gate line while being generally annoying. And so we got this on the "Chicken Coop" (RationalWiki version of a noticeboard):

Two days ago, Nutty reopped Exiled. Ryulong removed Exiled's sysop. Nutty removed Ryulong's sysop. Neither of these removals was the result of a discussion on the Chicken Coop. As such, I reopped Exiled and reopped Ryulong. Ryulong has brought this up on numerous pages and mentioned a previous Chicken Coop incident. If we are going to discuss anything in this matter, we should discuss it here, rather than on 50 pages. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 15:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Deop all 3 and call it a day? (talk) 16:14, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Or don't. Since all three currently have sysop status, just leave things as they hang. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:19, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Pretty obviously people randomly removing sysop status because they personally think it's a good idea is a bad way of going about things. If somebody is abusing their sysop status then this is the place to talk about it. --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:11, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
FWIW - The opping of EE struck me as a terrible idea - he's not only a bloody worthless waste of space as a contributor (and a good example of the principle that if you just got kicked off Wikipedia, you won't do any better on RW without changing your ways - really, Caligula in Category:Engineer woo? Wasn't woeful categorisation what he got kicked for?), but also has posted copyvios that then needed removing. Though I don't see any in his blather this week. The key point is that EE lacks the minimal judgement needed not to actually piss all over the carpet, all the time going "what? what? what's the problem? you're so MEAN" and if you were looking for an example of a poor newbie harassed by cantankerous old guard, he's sorta not a great one - David Gerard (talk) 17:38, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I am no particular fan of EE but I'm at a loss to see where he's misused his sysop status. And if that's not the offence he is accused of I don't see the point of removing it.
In any event it would need to be a community decision.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:46, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't care. People are being inconsistent, few have any idea what they're talking about, and this kind of shit is always more about personalities than merits, but do whatever you want. Nutty Roux (talk) 18:03, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I want aware of process to actually know that this was necessary but CensoredScribe is a mess that should not be trusted on any MediaWiki software site with anything beyond reading ability. outside of my action, his bit has been on and off since registration. IRS not even like he was banned from Wikipedia for personality issues or whatever is rumbling there for me. He got banned because he wouldnt stop making bad content decisions when they were discovered and violated his ban on doing anything regarding categories, which he is wont to do here as well.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 18:57, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I largely concur, but at least almost nothing you can do in MediaWiki is irreversible (which is why sysop is actually not a big deal) - David Gerard (talk) 19:00, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
[plain old editor hat] I move we all calm down and back away slowly and have more Christmas drink and it'll be as resolved as anything ever is in a wiki full of argumentative skeptics all convinced of their own perspicacity and everyone else's stupidity - David Gerard (talk) 19:00, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I second David's motion. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 19:07, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I third the motion. I may personally dislike Ryulong; however he has done nothing here to warrant having sysops privileges removed, beyond vengefully removing mine which I've never done to anyone. Ryulong may have committed the capital crime of not capitalizing their O's and using apostrophes correctly, but I do that when stressed by the thought of every post being my last as well.
I ask that this matter be dropped and no ones sysops privileges removed; but if that is too much to ask, than before anyone is tried, may they at least be given warning that a decision is pending, so that they may present their case before a certain time. It will take some time for me to compile a list of my best edits here to refute the less than 10 examples that are cited against me. I have more than 10 good edits, just to science articles.
Inconsistency is correct. I understand I make a lot of edits, but I find it hard to believe you would the majority of them objectionable; this is cherry picking a few bad cherries in a field of hundreds. Also, I'm not an expert on Roman history, however that Caligula article sort of made it sound like he was an engineer who thought he was a god. I would be more than happy just to leave any additions to engineering woo up as a discussion on the respective talk pages, as I've done with UFO; just inform me now what is a personalized banish-able offense for me, and I will avoid it ahead of time.
You never even bother to just ask me politely to discuss categorizations. Nor does anyone bother to demonstrate what is and isn't copyright violations like Drmies did for me the two times I did that as Cassandra Truth. It seems to be like a DNA test done with words, where as little as 6 shared words between the reference cited and the summation of that text constitutes copyright violation. What is the number exactly and if you have a concrete number why isn't it stated somewhere on the site? Try not using a single word from the reference, and see if that's possible and not just completely unrelated to the source at that point; a single drop of plagiarized words like and, the or the article name, poisons the entire well.
We are all in the same boat; the one that isn't Noah's ark. Shiver me timbers! Exiled Encyclopedist (talk) 22:38, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Just an aside, you're not at all obligated to write verbose edit summaries for every edit, you know. Not that there's anything wrong with it, though the effort could be spent on more worthwhile things. (talk) 23:16, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Worthwhile things like taking a few seconds to consider whether adding links to Watergate whenever a -gate topic pops up is really such a splendid idea. >.> (talk) 01:36, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Now the reader knows why there is very little mention of Ryulong's time on RationalWiki.

The Great RationalWiki Break-In of 2017

Just to prove that they don't know what the hell they are doing, there was a massive data breach on a server.....which they announced in June, 2017 but the breach had taken place in February. Did I mention that Gerard is going to shortly e-publish a critical book on cryptocurrencies entitled Attack of the 50-foot Blockchain? Well he is.

What They Think of Us

One of their throwaway accounts posted  the following stub article, which was yanked and kept on their user page.

Wikipedia Sucks is a forum/blog that focuses on cyberstalking and harassing Wikipedia admin and users. Many of its members are former users of Wikipedia either banned for trolling or having their edits reverted and are hence disgruntled, alongside a medley of internet kooks, pseudo-scientists and conspiracy theorists. The forum supports a tin-foil hat conspiracy theory there are "organised skeptics" who control Wikipedia and the forum owner ("Strelnikov") has criticized scepticism.[1]
Wikipedia Sucks also targets Rationalwiki editors.



It's amazing how they got the link to the blog wrong, while the link to the old board is correct.

                     * Where I got that nickname from. Long live Aqua Teen Hunger Force!