Friday, February 5, 2016

Guest Post: The Dark Knight takes on Drmies

This originally appeared as forum post over at http://wikipediasucks.boards.net/ by a member. Check out the board; interesting stuff happens there.

A Disturbing Damnation of Drmies

by "The Dark Knight", assisted by "Mutineer"


One piercing example of Wikipediocracy's (WO's) ineffectiveness as a critic site of Wikipedia (WP) is the damning and disturbing case of Drmies' handling of Mighty Morphin Army Ranger (MMAR) and Brad Dryer. In short, it has looked the other way, perhaps even aided, the rise of a corrupt and belligerent administrator to the highest level on WP. This despite knowing Drmies (hereafter "he," though he has varied his online gender identification) was a proven liar and all-round scum bag. This article is long, but well worth a read if you're a deeply embedded critic. He's an admin and arbitrator on WP. A bad one. Many many people have their own horror stories, and consequently, he hates critic sites, as they're the only places where people can discuss his actions without being blocked by him or one of his allies. He's well known for being a bit of an ass, he has a poor sense of humour and very little dispute resolution skills. He's the sledgehammer who cracks nuts, the vinegar spoiling the honey, etc, etc. Basically, on WP, if he's your mate, you're doing OK, but if he's your enemy, you're screwed. He is a great example of Wikipedia's poorest admins - whether you are wrong or right in policy or fact has very little effect on how long you will last if you go to the mat with him.

This story begins with the tale of WP user Mighty Morphin Army Ranger - who was drawn to purported WP criticism website WO after he was abused and taunted by Drmies on WP. His main complaint was that Drmies lied about the nature of his edits, falsely claiming he had inserted unverified information and indeed had misrepresented sources (in WP, such logical contradictions in accusations are normal). This falsehood was basically excused by AN/I because of the insider/outsider phenomena - MMAR was not an established editor, while Drmies was a trusted admin. Even though he's well aware of it, Drmies has never even acknowledged the falsehood, let alone apologised for it. Through the various machinations which will be familiar to Drmies' enemies, MMAR's career on WP was brought to a shuddering end by admins known to be close allies of Drmies, his talk page blocked and only allowed to appeal through UTRS, which is WP-speak for being shipped to the USA's Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

MMAR stuck around on WO, and having remembered the awful way Drmies had treated him, posted a forensic analysis there about a subsequent Drmies-related case of character assassination - the alleged racist hounding of admin Malik Shabbaz off of Wikipedia by user Brad Dryer (since renamed Bad Dryer). This incident evidently terribly upset Drmies, and led him to make all sorts of claims about how Brad was a racist and Malik was entirely innocent. This narrative was all a load of crap, all debunked in a thread in WO's private forum (evidently WO believes it's too embarrassing for Drmies to have his lies discussed out in the open internet), but it has of course been accepted on Wikipedia as fact. Wikipediocrats weren't even all that interested - it wasn't the sort of easy sound-bite they like, it required lots of reading to figure out just how false the whole thing was. They didn't even bat an eyelid when Malik himself popped up in the thread to accuse MMAR of talking rubbish without actually pointing out a single thing he had said which was untrue.

The plain truth of the incident was this. Having worked tirelessly in the Israel-Palestine area, Malik was a stressed out admin, who had either been acting poorly for a while, or was gradually melting down. Over a trivial edit dispute, Malik launched an unprovoked and arrogant attack on Brad, oozing superiority and self-entitlement, in a way that admins seem to get away with a lot (especially Drmies). Brad jabbed back, using a phrase, "sonny boy," which has two meanings, one innocent, and one racist. Despite having no evidence Brad intended the racist usage, Drmies constantly and loudly pronounced Brad to be a racist. Before anyone could blink, Malik became outraged and committed suicide by admin (resigned), and Brad was reflexively blocked by another notorious cowboy admin, because blood must have blood (Brad had at no point been allowed to even give his side of events). The fact that the context and other factors made it obvious it was most likely the innocent usage, Brad was eventually unblocked, once other typically Wikipedian bureaucratic stumbling blocks had been cleared.

These things all happened months ago, but at the time, with one one or two noted exceptions, they were largely ignored by WO's membership, either because it was all a bit too "inside baseball," but also because of how far down the line WO has gone as far as cosying up to WP and letting die-hard Wikipedians defend their own on their forum by taunting and trolling editors like MMAR.

Consequently, in the subsequent Arbcom elections, Drmies was unbelievably elevated to the high position of an arbitrator, essentially Wikipedia Supreme Court Judge. Not once did anyone from WO think to challenge him on his false statements against MMAR, which spoke to the very heart of his character, even though many of WO's members are WP users in good standing and would be perfectly allowed to ask him such questions. No, their interest in the elections was largely focused on fighting other battles, and weirdly, because a lot of disgruntled Wikipedians are WO members, this manifested on WO in actively drumming up support for Drmies (because he's seen as someone who could bring it back to the good old days of machismo, bullying and tribalism). Now, you could argue this is the evident triumph of a devious hasten-the-day strategy, but in reality, you'd be wrong - the hasten-the-day camp is all but non-existent on WO now.

And then Drmies blocked Brad for personal attacks and harassment over an unrelated dispute, having presumably see his name pop up in lights in an administrators noticeboard report. There's not been a word from Drmies about his obvious INVOLVEMENT withe respect  to Brad, before or after the block (honestly, his prior statements alone are so strong, no reasonable person would sign off on the idea he was not compromised as far as acting as an admin on Brad in any future incident). He had "invited" people to discuss this block , but now that he is an arbitrator, even if he suspected anyone was about to take him to task over it, he must be confident in his standing now that he can pretty much connive his way out of the situation, knowing that the prior incidents happened months ago, and require a hell of a lot of reading to digest.

This will all most likely be quickly forgotten on Wikipedia as an open and shut case - even before the first block, Brad had been painted by some as a POV pusher and likely sock, and the same is being alleged now, so even if the block is INVOLVED and horribly abusive and shows an arbitrator to be a real nasty piece of work, it will likely stand, under the well established Wikipedia doctrine of "the ends justify the means."

The lack of notice taken by Wikipedians to these things is to be expected, but you would expect a so called critic site like WO to at least make sure people are aware of these things? Their role is to inform the outside world that these sorts of abuses are allowed to happen on WP even after Wikipedians have been informed of them. As of right now, there's been no mention of it on WO's public forum. It may have been mentioned in the secret forum, but you can see how much impact that had from the way Drmies was able to ignore it before. Just to remind you - this is an ARBITRATOR getting away with an involved block on someone he clearly hates, and has wanted to block for a while now. While the "inside baseball" characterisation could at least have been forgiven when Drmies was just an admin, now that he is an arbitrator, evidence of blatant abuse like this by one of Wikipedia's most trusted and powerful users, is just an open goal, begging to be put away.

This case will definitely be forgotten now - the same admin which declined Brad's unblock request, has also just closed the case on AN/I, so discussion of Drmies' pretty obvious motive for the block will now not be possible without much wailing about the picking up of dropped sticks. A final attempt at having the block reviewed was subsequently filed on AN, but this just led to more lies - a second admin denying Brad's unblock request claimed he had been "indeffed in the past for making racial comments at another editor. They were unblocked after apologies and promises." Someone who was there (which this admin was) would know that's a lie - Brad specifically denied it was meant as a racially-charged comment. All this was documented in the thread on WO, as well as all being public record in WP's history logs.

In an amusing post-script, Malik Shabazz has just recently made his way back onto Wikipedia, having previously made all sorts of loud noises about never setting foot in the place until justice was done. You can see from his talk page all the people who were ecstatic to see his return. Including, hilariously, the admin who has also just declined Brad's unblock request.

                                                         Drmies: The smile says it all.

9 comments:

  1. Now that he's an arb, he will probably get away with lots of additional abuses. This is how WP will eventually self-implode.

    Every time I see that pointy head and smug little face, I wanna punch him in the mouth. Can't help myself. Argh, must take Klonopin.

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    1. We need to go to the next Wikimania (set for some town in Lombardy) with cricket bats just for the ultimate Wiki-beatdown.

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  2. All Wikipedians are guilty in situations such as this. They are the audience and staff in the colosseum. It doesn't matter if they look at some other part of the arena while this is going on. They know it is the sort of place where this sort of stuff happens all the time, where it must happen, because the place is set up for conflict and confusion. It is so easily fixed if only they all voted with their feet and left. They won't because they enjoy being part of the spectacle. Give me a fiddle and a lighted match.

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    1. Good point. "We're all volunteers" is their usual refrain. As in, 'because I'm not being paid for my time here, I can't possibly be expected to figure out if other people are lying to me'.

      In all their publicity, new sign ups are never given this most important warning about the true nature of Wikipedia's "community" - witch hunts are exceptionally easy to organise and execute.

      If you're a new user, if you've not had enough time to build up a social network, then truth and morality will take a back seat should you do anything to piss off power users like Drmies.

      The Dark Knight

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  3. Kudos for bringing this set of Drmies' abuses to light. It's compelling reading and an excellent synopsis of garden variety evil on "the encyclopedia anyone can edit."

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sorry for deleting this one, I thought I made a typo. But I didn't.

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  5. You are all correct right. Drmies "IS" a scumbag! I tried to report user Homechallenge55 for edit warring and vandalism, and he did nothing about it. He just ignored my report on him and just blamed it on me, he even lied when he said there is no such user named Homechallenge55. I still don't find that possible, he even warned Homechallenge a while back to stop yelling in his edit summaries after he reverts an edit, so he knows who Homechallenge is, Drmies is just a freaking liar! He's not a helpful admin at all. I can tell he's bad, just by the look's on his face and that evil smerk on his face too. Tells you he gets away with everything and acts like he's really proud of it.

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  6. He was even making fun of my spelling too when I was typing, all he did to me was just making excuse after excuse after excuse. Lying to me and everything. I will also post the link of my issue with him.

    Link here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Drmies#Homechallange55

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