Friday, April 15, 2016

Awful Wikipedians, A Sampling

Wikipedia has a long ugly history of abusive trolls who gamed the system to harass people and seem to only exist on Wikipedia to bother selected targets, as certain people have found out. Besides the sociopath "evil patrollers" there are also the determined vandals hitting "targets" for a number of reasons. Before we begin I would like to thank Peter Damian for his work on the subject, and E.A. Barbour for sending me the material on top of the work he also did on the subject. This is not an exhaustive list of these people, just the ones that seemed to embody certain types of Wiki-maniacs.

The Vandals

Runtshit - I know eyes will roll, but Runtshit is still at it having racked up 1768 sockpuppets (but how many truly were him?) just to deface articles on Marxism, Israel-Palestine, and the personal page and work of RolandR (Roland Rance), a British Jewish Marxist and pro-Palestinian activist. Runtshit started in September 2006; they traced his IP to the University of Haifa, Israel. The attacks later came from an IP at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary which meant that he was vandalizing Wikipedia as a grad student. When he was in Haifa he used a number of Bezeq (an Israeli internet provider) IPs; he has a history of  using open proxies when vandalizing Wikipedia, and like a boy scout he prepared a large number of sockpuppets just in case his current account was suspended - many of them were never used. There is a belief that Runtshit was involved with Steven Plaut's IsraCampus organization; Plaut teaches Business Administration at the University of Haifa, and like Runtshit is a farthest-Right Zionist. Runtshit is probably a junior professor now, a fact that probably makes Bertrand Russell roll in his grave.

Grawp - What happens when a Harry Potter-obsessed Dungeons & Dragons player finds Wikipedia. Truly deserving of his own article because the guy allegedly worked with 4channers and Encyclopaedia Dramatica users to move Wikipedia articles to new locations with gibberish and "HAGGAR" as the titles. Grawp (actual name Jeremy D. Hanson; handle is a Harry Potter character) first appeared in January 2005 as JarlaxleArtemis (D&D reference) when he was a college student. He started off as a normal editor, doing work on the Final Fantasy games and other fantasy and science-fiction pages. By June of that year he was arguing with people on their talkpages, by August he was being blocked for "personal attacks." That was the turning point for Hanson; after that it was learning how to subvert the wiki by moving pages around while sticking nasty little factoids he had found out about other Wikipedians in the edit summaries of the page moves, lines that could not be easily removed because of oversights in the programming of the MediaWiki software. Grawp did this hundreds of times. By 2008, there was a Request for checkuser; they had figured out that Grawp was JarlaxleArtemis, and just like Runtshit he started using open proxies and multiple sockpuppets, but unlike the Israeli, all of the discovered sockpuppets have been deleted without a creating a museum of them (probably because Uncyclopedia mocked Wikipedia for creating a "shrine" in its Runtshit article.) According to this page, Hanson moved the personal pages of fellow vandal Willy on Wheels and our old friend Zzuuzz. However like Runtshit, Grawp was involved in the Israel-Palestine editwar as a pro-Israeli. It is unclear if Grawp gave up the vandalism, or if he is still at it, or all the "long-term abuse" admins quit, or that Jimbo fears that he is still out there waiting to strike again like the Zodiac Killer.

The Patrollers

Wknight94 - Little to nothing is known about him except that he lives near Fort Myers, Florida and that he dumped scads of photos on Commons, allegedly taken by him while on vacation, though some might be copyrighted images. Was involved with Wikipedia from 2005 to 2013-ish. Might be William R. Knight (possible LinkedIn account.) Was allowed to become an administrator in July, 2006; RFA got no opposition. Was counseled on being uncivil to Elonka (Elonka Dunin; one of the glitteratti, annoying) and doing pointless page moves. Banned vandals, but would occasionally hit people for no real reason. Only included here because he is too dull to make a separate blog post about him.

Headbomb - Also known to Wikipedians as Ga√ętan Landry, was a Ayn Rand-loving physics student at the Universit√© de Moncton in Quebec, Canada; he first showed up in May, 2006. My notes call him "an incredible backstabbing little shit.....[t]he finest of Wikipedians";  he tried to defame British physicist Paul Davies as a theist. Headbomb fought over the Infraparticle article in 2010. Went through three Requests for adminship in 2008-2009, turned down every time. In 2009 Peter Damian tried to start an Association of Established Editors, hoping to pick up the rational and reasonable editors and Headbomb was one of the manipulators who sunk the AEE before it even left the harbor. He used "off-wiki" methods to get the needed votes. He's still fighting people on Wikipedia to this day, we will probably hear from him in the comments thread below. He may accuse us of being fans of Ruggero Santilli (he edited that BLP.)

Stifle - True name Joseph Daly, notes call him ".....[i]n short, a classic robot deletionist." Was made an admin in February, 2006; joined Wikipedia in November 2005. Never edited anything of any value, was just there to patrol pages and delete non-free images mindlessly. AN/I had a thread on his "alleged" abuse in 2009, thread is marked "settled", then that mark is struck through. Liked handing out insulting barnstars. Walked away in 2011, then came back this year.

Skomorokh - Only interesting to me because the name is a Russian term for a medieval jester/harlequin clown. Actual person is probably British; account was started under the name Fsbirdman April 17, 2007, then switched to Skomorokh the next day. Notes say "UK student" and "male." There was some 2008 editing idiocy about the Stormfront (neo-Nazi website) article; Orange Marlin started an AN/I thread about it stating: "I consider this editors activities to be disruptive, lacking in good faith, and borderline racially based. This editor's support of whitewashing the Stormfront (website) article is not acceptable. I ask that this editor be blocked or permanently banned from the project. We don't need his type around here." The next year Skomorokh self-nominated an RfA, would not answer questions from a number of Wikipedians (all from Groomtech; all from ThaddeusB; one from Fastly; all from Carlossuarez46; Juliancolton's sole question), and yet was elected to adminship. Besides the patrolling, was also editor of The Signpost, the built-in Wikipedia newsletter from 2010 onward, though the toll of being a Wikipedian forced him to quit on doctor's orders (too out of shape to breathe?) in 2011, though he kept on grinding until 2012. Skomorokh only occasionally shows up now.

Bbb23 - Another account where no external reality is visible, so there is a great possibility it's a sock puppet; notes claim it is a "he." A big fighter of creationism. Account was created in August 2008, may have sat unused until January 2009, however the editing history seems to have been edited itself; chunks are missing. Was allowed into adminship in 2012. Some voices opposing: "Oppose Bbb23 has a severe case of owning articles. Portillo (talk) 06:32, 16 July 2012 (UTC).....Oppose - I am uncomfortable giving deletion tools to anyone who essentially feels that all unsourced content should be removed (which is what the answers to 17+21 tell me). Policy does not require referencing for every fact, and in practice many many clearly correct things are unreferenced at current. Wholesale removal of uncontentious material is not helpful - we have {{unreferenced}} and {{fact}} tags for a reason. --ThaddeusB (talk) 06:44, 19 July 2012 (UTC)." Bbb23 remains a big reason why the Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya) article is so negative, because he watches it like a peeper. In early April 2014, he reverted every small edit made by an IP (142.136.131.97) just because he could.

Aitias - Allegedly German, did a lot of work on German law articles, went through three RfAs, all in 2008; made it in on third attempt. Began on Wikipedia in December of 2007. Had a true hatred of Eric Barbour, tried to get him banned from Wikipedia in 2009 just based on his Wikipedia Review forum comments, a move which failed. Went through two Requests for comment based on his actions, which were pretty cackhanded even for Wikipedia. After arbitration, he lost his admin powers and then either quit or wandered off after 2009. His personal page is still up.

JamesBWatson - Discussed in this Wikipediocracy forum thread; the handle is not this person's real name. Was given adminship in 2010. Blocked 9500 user accounts in four years, 2010-2014. As of 2016, has blocked a total of 11304 users, deleted 34094 pages. Obliterates all the evidence. Admits to have been a nameless IP editor before being JamesBWatson on his person page. Gave confused rationale against favoritism here. Unknown if the handle is a reference to deceased anthropologist James B. Watson (who has no Wikipedia page) or obscure hermaphrodite serial killer James B. Watson (also no Wikipedia page.) Also had "alternate" account JamesAWatson, proving what a robot this person really is.

Other accounts listed in the document

Hrafn (Tim Makinson of Dunedin, New Zealand); SheffieldSteel (previously mentioned by me in Scientology articles, alleged sockpuppet with IP in Belgium); KoshVorlon (Dave Trombley); SarekOfVulcan (Garrett Fitzgerald); and Roux (aka Mancunium.)

For each of these, there are fifty more on Wikipedia.

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As of this moment, this blog has hit 40,208 views! I would like to thank all my readers across the globe!! With luck we will hit a million views right before Wikipedia implodes!




3 comments:

  1. JamesBWatson identifies as a mathematician, but he was an absolute disaster as a mathematics editor, as pedestrian as pedestrian can be. He's one of those who thinks maths is just a collection of formulas. Dreadful.

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    Replies
    1. I thought his name was a Sherlock Holmes reference.

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  2. And believe me, most of these flakes who "quit or wandered off" are still editing somewhere in Wikimedia space. Everyone has sockpuppets at the ready and only "fools" don't have sockpuppets. Any insider who claims not to have socks is almost certainly lying like a rug.

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