Monday, April 18, 2016

Guest Post on Robert "Gamaliel" Fernandez

This was sent to me by a person who has been following this mess for a long time. No major edits were done, which is why the layout is slightly different from the norm.

The Neckbeard's Neckbeard; Robert Fernandez

By Friendly Rich

It's too easy to throw around terms like "basement dweller" or "neckbeard" when talking about Internet nerditry. It goes triple for Wikipedia administrators, who have an incredibly high percentage of total losers and cranks in their ranks. Yet there's one who is rarely mentioned in any discussion of Wikipedia history, in spite of his long years of abusing his power. That would be Robert Fernandez, aka "Gamaliel".

                                       Robert Gamaliel Fernandez in the (ample) flesh, 2015

He showed up on WP in 2004 and diddled the exact sort of content one expects from a loser: political conspiracies, comic books and the University of South Florida, whence he obtained his advanced degree in library science / English. Rob is not a "nerd", he is a NERD; in ten-foot flaming capital letters. And tragically knee-jerkingly left-wing as well. For examples, look at the FAQ for a USF newsgroup he ran in the late 1990s. Or consider old archives of his talkpage. As soon as he logged in to WP he started fighting with people, mostly over politics. One of his favorite off-wiki hobbies was participation in the old college "Quiz Bowl" competitions. That's what anyone would call a nerd.

Rob was the primary "combatant" in a July 2004 battle over John Kerry's "swift boat" career, with a right-winger named Rex071404. This battle led to a very early Request For Comment, leading to Rex's permanent banishment. Rob thereby learned that he could manipulate Wikipedia, with some assistance, pushing his favored political POV and thence make the other party "vanish". His rigid, mechanistic, cold, and policy-quoting method of argument was an early example of successful "Wiki-lawyering". Rob also fought with various people who tried to insert conspiracy talk in the article about Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, or anywhere a conspiracy was claimed in regards to the Kennedys. So he quickly learned how to play the system. Rob is clearly "neuro-atypical", a politically-correct way of saying he is somewhere on the "autism spectrum".

And if anyone needs proof that Rob is a "typical Wikipedia insider" with a typical insider's paranoia and contempt for criticism, consider this very early Wikipedia Review thread. Even as late as 2011, Kennedy conspiracists were still pointlessly complaining about Fernandez.

Inevitably he became a Recent Changes patroller. And as soon as he passed his RFA in November 2004, he started blocking vandals, mostly IP addresses, in his usual robotic style. The people who voted for him in the RFA were the same people who supported him in the Rex071404 dispute; Wikipedia insiders of much infamy. Yet he already was developing a reputation for unpleasantness and abusiveness. His "content work" was mostly minor and bureaucratic in nature, adding categories to articles and such. But he wasn't there to "write an encyclopedia", he was there to collect power. And suck up to insiders such as the now-world-famous Linda "SlimVirgin" Mack.

Rob also enjoys a special mark of distinctiveness as one of the first anonymous administrators to be "outed" by early Wikipedia critic Daniel Brandt. As Brandt wrote on a historic forum thread in December 2006: "Gamaliel is one of the main people behind the move against RPJ. He worked closely with SlimVirgin in the war against LaRouche articles on Wikipedia in early 2005. When SlimVirgin started the bio of me on September 28, 2005, it was mainly because I was quoted in a newsletter about Chip Berlet, where I had pointed out some evidence of intelligence-community collaboration by Berlet in the government's successful effort to jail LaRouche during the 1980s. I independently confirmed this evidence before I wrote about it in the newsletter. SlimVirgin deleted the quote from me and called me "unreliable." Then she started the bio on me a few months later! You can see why I soon launched a war to get my bio taken down. I felt that there was no way I needed a bio on me if it was started by SlimVirgin, who clearly had ulterior motives. Gamaliel worked closely with SlimVirgin and was very active in frustrating all of my efforts to delete my bio. He permanently banned me from Wikipedia in early April, 2006 for making legal threats. I merely pointed out that there was a new federal law in the U.S. that makes it a felony to harass someone while hiding behind a screen name…Fernandez is or was a grad student in library science. He dug out information about me from page 20 of a New York Times story from 1968, and took much delight in using this to brand me as a draft-card burner in my Wikipedia bio. Needless to say, that doesn't help me when I have to send out my resume to try to get a job. Fernandez brags on his user page that he is most proud of his contributions to the Wikipedia article on Lee Harvey Oswald. His edits de-emphasize the conspiracy angle. If I ever find myself in court over my Wikipedia biography, I'd like to put both Jimmy Wales and Rob Fernandez on the stand. Conveniently, Wales and Fernandez both live close to each other, near St. Petersburg, Florida, which is where the Wikipedia servers are located, and where the trial would most likely take place."

Unlike most Wikipedia power-hogs, Rob avoids involvement in petty warfare on noticeboards, so he is little noticed by the usual drama-seeking crowd. He does his shanking in private and with a coldly logical style. And anyone friendly with Brandt becomes a target. Consider the L. Fletcher Prouty article as an example of Rob's "excellent work" in defaming someone via Wikipedia biography. Wikipedia observers suspect that many of the assorted editors appearing in the history of this article are among Rob's undeclared sockpuppets.

He even helped out with occasional coverups. An IP address belonging to the Wikimedia Foundation ( was caught vandalizing the biography of sports writer Rob Parker on 6 January 2012 (during an editwar triggered by a column Parker wrote about Atlanta). Nothing was done until Greg Kohs pointed it out in 2015. Fernandez quietly vanished the edit from visibility, long after the fact. Other defamatory edits of Parker's article were not hidden, because they were not made by a WMF employee.

Should there be any claims that Rob is an "evenhanded" administrator and does not engage in bias or "conflicts of interest", simply bring up his slavish multi-year protection of one biased editor, Scott "Goethean" Zimmerle. You can learn all you want to know about Zimmerle from his blog. He is a minor business drone at DeVry University, he is a Chicago-area progressive, and he has a deep, slavish obsession with an obscure pseudo-mystic philosopher named Ken Wilber. The "integral theory" championed by Wilber has gotten almost no traction in the mainstream academic world, and is today mostly a "fringe" idea cited by Indian mystics. See the archives of the Ken Wilber talkpage for remaining traces of Goethean's obsessive "owning" of this content.

Uncounted numbers of times, Gamaliel protected Goethean's Wikipedia activities against all foes, especially conservative foes like Joe Hazleton. Go to Wikipedia Review and search for the innumerable threads Hazleton started there, only to complain about the two "besting" him over and over. As usual in this kind of dispute, there is no "right" or "wrong" and the winner is the side which is most mechanistic and determined. Having an administrator to protect him, Zimmerle got away with Wiki-murder more times than can be counted, from 2004 to 2012; many  of the relevant Wikipedia edits were later "disappeared". But we can show some remaining examples of Zimmerle getting his way on Wikipedia, no doubt with the silent support of his "pet administrator". Why Fernandez and Zimmerle were so closely connected, other than by similar political goals, remains a mystery; observers suspect they might have common family connections in the Chicago area.

Even Goethean isn't bulletproof, as in September 2013 he was topic-banned by Arbcom from any article dealing with the conservative "Tea Party" movement. And a petty dispute in 2014 over gun-control articles resulted in a mild slap on the wrist. Plus, he was keeping his "war notes" about opponents on user subpages, a longtime practice. And he makes the usual number of blindingly stupid and hypocritical mistakes. Finally, he seems to be losing control of Wilber-related articles. This would have been impossible only six years ago. Perhaps Rob's been too busy to "help" him.

Rob Fernandez reached the pinnacle of Wikipedia warlordism in 2013. First he ran for ARBCOM in December, and failed by a narrow margin. In January 2015, he became a principal editor of Wikipedia's absurd internal newsletter, the Signpost. In March, he wrote this contemptuous Signpost editorial about the "participatory grantmaking" scandal, in which he smugly attacked Wikipedia critic Greg Kohs, and by extension anyone who edits Wikipedia for pay. As usual, it is a "conspiracy theory", therefore Rob says it doesn't exist. And Kohs is a "petty vandal" of glorious Wikipedia, and therefore has no rights as a human being.

The robot speaks: "We should be less concerned about who wrote a borderline Wikipedia article which a little over a thousand people have read and be more concerned about how the WMF is using its funds, so the community can ensure that the encyclopedia has not been improperly monetized by grifters. Perhaps it is not surprising that Kohs has chosen not to complain about this potential monetization of Wikipedia, as Kohs has engaged in eight years of criticism of Wikipedia because he was unable to monetize Wikipedia in the fashion of his choosing."

In December 2015 Rob was given every magical key one might need to abuse power; he was just barely elected to a one-year term on ARBCOM (despite having many enemies in Wiki-world), and was thence given oversight and checkuser abilities. Plus he somehow managed to be elected to the Board of Directors of the Wikimedia DC chapter. Meanwhile, he was making enemies in the Gamergate world, and becoming a regular subject of abuse on the Reddit area r/Wikiinaction. The secretive Wikipedia insider, who was furious about "outings" for years, now appears in public by his real name; is the next logical step a high-ranking job with the Wikimedia Foundation? One can easily "fail up" within certain organizations, it seems.

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 Gaëtan Landry, was a Ayn Rand-loving physics student at the Université 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 ( 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.


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!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Wikipedia Timeline, 1989 - 2011

The following came to me in a cache of  documents from E. A. Barbour; I thought it would be a good idea to post it as an aid to the outsider to understand how Wikipedia flowed chronologically. Outside of italicizing magazine names, book and album titles, and putting article titles in quotes, there has been no major editing of this timeline. Because multiple people submitted items to the chronology, some of the elements do not match stylistically.

This page combines the timeline Wikipedia Timeline by Derktar and Anthony dePierro’s[1] timeline, plus other material sourced by the Wikipedia POV [private wiki.]


  1992-1996: Jimmy Wales runs "Moderated Discussion of Objectivist Philosophy", where Tim Shell and Larry Sanger also participate.


  April 22, 1993: NCSA Mosaic released.
  October 22, 1993: Rick Gates proposes Interpedia[2], "The Internet Encyclopedia" which never leaves the planning stages.


  Computer programmer Ward Cunningham begins work on the software 'WikiWikiWeb' which became the first 'Wiki'. Cunningham later wrote the book Wiki Way describing the process, and remains a member of Wikimedia's Advisory Board.
  March 22nd Larry Sanger, who is an occasional contributor to Wales's Ayn Rand list, writes a 'manifesto' on his own online mailing list (eventually named the Association for Systematic Philosophy). Sanger writes: "The history of philosophy is full of disagreement and confusion. One reaction by philosophers to this state of things is to doubt whether the truth about philosophy can ever be known, or whether there is any such thing as the truth about philosophy. But there is another reaction: one may set out to think more carefully and methodically than one’s intellectual forebears."
  Jimmy Wales employed by Michael Davis at Chicago Options Associates


  May 1996: Brian Dowling files suit against Chicago Options Associates and Michael Davis seeking a portion of COA's profits, plus interest
  November 7, 1996: Jimmy Wales, Tim Shell, and Michael Davis form Bomis, Inc., a Delaware Close Corporation
  November 15, 1996: created. The team are based in Chicago.
  Wales meets Christine at a party


  December – Bomis moves to San Diego - 4455 Lamont St. San Diego, CA 92109 San Diego.


  Software freedom activist and creator of the GNU project Richard Stallman calls for development of a free on-line encyclopedia through the means of inviting the public to contribute articles. He describes this in his essay "The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource."
  April 1999: h2g2 founded.
  October 29, 1999: and created.
  Jimmy Wales begins thinking about a “volunteer-built” online encyclopedia to be funded by Bomis. [?evidence?]


  Larry Sanger sends Jimmy Wales a business proposal for what is in essence a cultural news blog.
  January 2000: Wales invites Sanger to work with him on his free encyclopedia project.
  January 24, 2000:[3]] created.
  February 2000: Sanger arrives in San Diego.
  February 10, 2000: and created.
  March GNU Free Documentation License version 1.1 released.
  March 9th Nupedia founded by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales. Sanger becomes 'Editor in Chief' and states his wish to make Nupedia "the world's largest encyclopedia." Nupedia plans to be a formally constructed online encyclopaedia establishing a verification system to ensure that the expert contributors are experts.*June 2000: Sanger gets his PHD, and a rise.
  On March 10, 2000, the NASDAQ index peaks at an all-time high of 5,048.62. "The decline from this peak signaled the beginning of the dot-com bubble burst."
  July The 'Nupedia Advisory Board' is installed. 'Atonality', believed to be the first Nupedia article, is published after peer review.
  December 21, 2000: Nuevo Proyecto: GNUPedia is posted on Barrapunto[4]
  December 24, 2000: Álvaro Tejero Cantero asks "¿Habéis pensado en diseñar un Wiki específico para el trabajo de pulir los módulos-entradas?. Muchos proyectos de Software están considerando aprovechar la dinámica "Document-mode" de los Wikis como una alternativa a las "message boards" que permite una documentación persistente, no repetitiva e hipertextualmente articulada de los temas que se van tratando a petición de los usuarios."
  December 26, 2000: Jimmy Wales' daughter is born. He names her 'Kira', after Kira Argounova in Ayn Rand's novel We The Living. (p.32)


  January 2, 2001: The conversation[5] at the taco stand
  January 2nd Ben Kovitz (computer programmer and polymath) explains the basic concept of a wiki to Larry Sanger over dinner . Sanger considers the wiki format as suitable for the Nupedia project. (See Sanger's memoirs)
  January 10, 2001: Let's make a wiki [3]
  January 10th Larry Sanger launches a wiki. According to Sanger, "It's an idea to add a little feature to Nupedia. Jimmy Wales thinks that many people might find the idea objectionable, but I think not."
  January 11th Sanger coins the name "Wikipedia" for the Wiki project.
  January 12, 2001: registered.
  January 13, 2001: registered.
  January 15, 2001: Wikipedia publicly launched at after Nupedia's Advisory Board expresses concern about a Wiki being associated with Nupedia. Wikipedia develops a life of its own and begins to function largely independently of Nupedia, although Sanger initially leads activity on Wikipedia by virtue of his position as Nupedia's editor-in-chief.
  January 16th First article created on Wikipedia.
  January 17th GNUPedia, a similar project to develop a free encyclopedia, is launched after being proposed by GNU founder Richard Stallman in 1999. Confusion between GNUPedia and Nupedia stifles the project, not helped by the fact that Jimmy Wales had purchased the domain name.
  January 17, 2001: Slashdot: GNUPedia Project Starting
  January 20, 2001: Slashdot: "Will The Real Nupedia Please Stand Up?"
  January 2001: h2g2 is taken over by the BBC.
  January Nupedia's mailing list grows to almost 2,000 people.
  March Wikipedia boasts over 1300 articles.
  March 5th Jimmy Wales interviewed in Slashdot about Nupedia. He ends the interview stating, "People who want to get started _today_ on contributing free texts to the world can do so at Wikipedia. All the content is released under the GNU FDL, and it already has over 1000 articles. Short, and maybe not the high quality of Nupedia, but with time? Who knows..." *March 16th German language and Catalan Wikipedias launched.
  March 31, 2001: earliest copy of in Internet Archive [4]
  May 11th French language Wikipedia launched.
  June 26th "Wikipedia is now useful!", announces Larry Sanger.
  July 6th Larry Sanger, who still considers Nupedia to be the primary project, proposes a backroom Wiki for Nupedia only viewable to members, where articles can be improved and then approved for publishing by Nupedia. Wikipedia, which is operating concurrently and has far fewer participants, is seen by Sanger as a test case for what could be achieved on Nupedia.
  July 26th Wikipedia editor The Cunctator makes his first edit. He becomes perhaps the first Wiki-addict.
  July 27, 2001: earliest copy of in Internet Archive [5]
  September WikiEN-l mailing list created.
  September 11 2001. The attack on the World Trade Centre provides the opportunity for Wikipedians, including The Cunctator to provide real-time coverage of the disaster. This set a controversial precedent for news coverage on Wikipedia whose momentum has continued ever since.
  September 20th New York Times publishes a piece on Wikipedia called "Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You." Jimbo Wales: It's kind of surprising that you could just open up a site and let people work'.'
  October Wikipedia grows at a rate of around 50 new editors a month.
  October 18th Jimmy Wales proposes the principles of what he terms "cabal membership". This becomes the bureaucratic framework of Wikipedia.
  October 30th Jimmy Wales confirms that Larry Sanger had the idea to use Wiki software for a separate project (Wikipedia) to accompany Nupedia. Later, in 2005, Wales gave a different story stating that "Larry Sanger was my employee working under my direct supervision during the entire process of launching Wikipedia. He was not the originator of the proposal to use a wiki for the encyclopedia project."
  December 2001: Larry Sanger gets married, and moves to Colorado.


The aftermath of the dotcom collapse brings a heavy toll upon Bomis. Sanger is laid off, and the cabal cast around for ways of making Wikipedia profitable. Sanger mentions the idea of 'advertising' and the entire Spanish Wikipedia deserts.
  January Larry Sanger is placed on half-time pay by Bomis.
  February 1st Sanger is no longer a Bomis employee.
  February 12, 2002: Sanger announces "Bomis might well start selling ads on Wikipedia sometime within the next few months, and revenue from those ads might make it possible for me to come back to my old job. This would be great." [6]
  February 26th Participants in the Spanish language Wikipedia leave the project to form "Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español" citing statements from Bomis, Inc. regarding advertising on all Wikipedia sites. The Spanish language Wikipedia suffers, before overtaking the forked Wiki in article numbers in November 2004. See Spanish_fork.
  March 1st Larry Sanger resigns as "Editor in Chief" of Nupedia and "any position of authority I had with Wikipedia".
  April 24th Wikipedia editor Lee Daniel Crocker writes the first version of Wikipedia's No Personal Attacks policy [6].
  May and October 2002: the circuit court of Cook County enters judgments totaling $817,830.45 in favor of Brian Dowling against Chicago Options Associates and Michael Davis
  August changes to
  August 2002: Wales announces "that he would never run commercial advertisements on Wikipedia" [7]
  August 2002: changes to [7][8]
  September 2002: 3Apes directory project begun.
  October 9 2002 - Nasdaq Composite reaches a low of 1114, having lost 78% of its value from its previous high of 5046.
  October 2002: Derek Ramsey develops the first bot program which digested the results of the U.S. census and spat them out onto Wikipedia. He adds nearly 40,000 'articles' to the existing 50,000 in 6 days, virtually doubling Wikipedia's 'content'. This makes a visible spike in the timeline of Wikipedia article development.
  December 12th Wiktionary launched.


  January 2003: ex-wife and minor children of Michael Davis move to Florida.
  February 2003: Michael Davis and his wife move from Chicago, IL to St. Petersburg, FL
  March 16, 2003: registered.
  June 14th Requests for Adminship (RFA) is introduced on Wikipedia.
  June 20th Wikimedia Foundation founded. Wikiquote launched.
  July 10th Wikibooks launched.
  September 26, 2003: shut down.
  October 28th The first arranged meet-up of Wikipedians takes place in Munich. Since then regular meetups of Wikipedians are held.
  November 19, 2003, Dowling files a motion in the circuit court for turnover orders directed to Davis's stock in Bomis
  November 24th Wikisource launched.
  December 8, 2003: registered.
  December 9, 2003: registered.


  2004: (Florence): A [travel] policy was set up in 2004. It allowed 1000 dollars per trimester per board member, 3000 dollars for the chair. This is the last "validated one". In other words, most board members have exceeded their "validated" trimester allocation. I agree it should be expanded, but as it was not--it has been exceeded. Am I to assume that board resolutions regarding spending can be ignored at the discretion of the Board?
  January Arbitration and Mediation Committees announced, compared to Parliament by Jimbo.
  January 4th David Gerard welcomed to Wikipedia on the day he makes his first edit.
  February 2nd The 200,000th article on the English Wikipedia is created.
  February 13th Angela Beesley welcomes Everyking to Wikipedia on the day he makes his first edit.
  March 2nd Yahoo! announces that Wikipedia content will be indexed more often and featured prominently on Yahoo! pages.
  April 20th The 250,000th article on the English Wikipedia is created. The latest 50,000 articles have been created in just 78 days.
  August 20th One of the most notorious vandals in Wikipedia history, Willy On Wheels, begins his antics around this day.
  October 7: registered.
  November 15th Former editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia Britannica Robert McHenry writes "The Faith-Based Encyclopedia", an article critical of Wikipedia, which gains some attention.
  November 28th Voting ends on the topic of implementing a new rule known as the 'three-revert rule' policy. In future, anyone reverting content to a previous state three times on the same article can face sanctions.
  December 21st Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley form Wikia, Inc. as a Florida Corporation
  Tim Starling and Brad Patrick worked for Wikia before being employed by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  December 29th Kelly Martin is welcomed to Wikipedia two days after her first edit.
  December 31st Wikipedia enters Alexa's list of the top 100 English-language websites for the first time.


Throughout 2005 the number of active and very active editors shows a marked increase. Wikipedia begins to be visible to the internet community.
  January 4th Editor SlimVirgin discusses the use of a citation attributed to Daniel Brandt as an article source on the (now deleted) article 'John Train Salon'. This is the first mention of Brandt in relation to Wikipedia who at this time is unaware of the site. SlimVirgin writes: "I removed Daniel Brandt. He's not a credible source..." and shows familiarity with Brandt. SlimVirgin deletes the article and talk page three months later.
  February 14th Wikipedia is accused of being the source of misinformation which found its way into a Washington Post article on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  March 1st The first on site fundraising effort ends raising $94,000.
  March 7th MediaWiki developers activate a feature which ends the ability of new user accounts to perform page moves. This is implemented after a spate of mischievous page moves by notorious activist Willy on Wheels .
  March 18th English Wikipedia reaches 500,000 articles.
  March 21st Wikipedia editor 'Snowspinner', real name Philip Sandifer decides to become a "self-appointed prosecutor" against other Wikipedia editors. Sticking to his pledge, he brings many new requests to be judged by the Arbitration Committee, including accusations against long term editor Everyking. Sandifer sows significant discord among Wikipedians, and sets off a myriad of bitter feuds between users that last for several years.
  March 22nd 'Snowspinner' alongside arbitrators Raul654 and Ambi creates the short lived "District Attorney's Office" group which aims to "prosecute" other editors more efficiently. Snowspinner declares himself "dictator", with other participants being designated as partners. The unpopular venture creates further disharmony and is shelved.
  March 28th Several Wikipedia editors in the UK meet to discuss the possibility of a UK chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation. The group is led by Australian, David Gerard , and 'Vampwillow '. Vampwillow is later revealed to be Alison Wheeler using two admin accounts against policy, and secretly campaigning to keep her own biography on Wikipedia. (Bio since deleted and replaced by that of a notable singer with the same name)
  April 7th The Wikimedia Foundation approve a privacy policy to protect the identification of IP addresses and anonymous users' real life information.
  April 16th The Wikimedia Foundation announce that it has officially been recognized as a tax-exempt charitable organization in the United States.
  April 18th Larry Sanger publishes his "memoirs" of setting up Wikipedia and Nupedia.
  May 16th Jimmy Wales announces the appointment of seven people to official positions in the Wikimedia Foundation. These are; Brion Vibber as Chief Technical Officer; Domas Mituzas as Hardware Officer; Jens Frank as Developer Liaison; Erik Möller as Chief Research Officer; Danny Wool as Grants Coordinator; Elisabeth Bauer as Press Officer; Jean-Baptiste Soufron as Lead Legal Coordinator
  May 26th (Seigenthaler controversy) Brian Chase, a delivery manager in Tennessee, creates a Wikipedia biography of journalist and writer John Seigenthaler. It includes hoax claims that Seigenthaler was "directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby".
  June Wikimedia servers are transported to a new location in Tampa, Florida.
  June 27th English Wikipedia now has 500 administrators.
  July 4th Moderators of Wikipedia's mailing list clamp down on what they claim is "disruptive behavior" by other subscribers. Complaints by Wikipedia administrators Jayjg, Ambi and David Gerard lead to moves by Gerard to moderate new subscribers "by default".
  July 18th Angela Beesley and Florence Nibart-Devouard are re-elected to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.
  July 25th A Wikipedia Arbitrator immediately deletes (out of process and without discussion) a new article on the book The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World. The book details the writer's experience of reading the entire Encyclopædia Britannica. The article is later restored per process.
  August 12th Ezperanza launched. This is a sub-group created within Wikipedia to "indirectly support the encyclopedia by providing support and other assistance for Wikipedians in need, and by strengthening Wikipedia's sense of community". The organization is disbanded in January 2007.
  August 29th Massive spate of mischievous edits by the allusive "Willy On Wheels". Willy, who may be one person or a team of collaborators, manages to change the multiple-language portal at for over an hour, altering the Wikipedia logo on WikiCommons to a picture referencing himself.
  September (Seigenthaler controversy) Victor S. Johnson, Jr., discovers the hoax Wikipedia entry on John Seigenthaler. After Johnson alerted him to the article, Seigenthaler e-mails friends and colleagues about it.
  September 4th Wikipedia editors attempt to get an article on the controversial internet entity Gay Nigger Association of America "featured" and on the site's Main Page.
  Also on September 4th Jimmy Wales edit wars on his own Wikipedia biography to change the words "softcore pornography" to "adult content", in a section detailing his involvement in "Bomis Babes".
  September 21st A day after the death of Simon Wiesenthal, a holocaust survivor who helped track down more than 1000 Nazi war criminals, Wikipedia is discovered to have been displaying outrageous false information about Wiesenthal, claiming he partook in oral sex acts in Austria with other men. The Council of Australian Jewry go public with their complaints.
  September 28th Wikipedia editor SlimVirgin starts a biography on Daniel Brandt.
  October (Seigenthaler controversy) John Seigenthaler contacts Jimmy Wales, who took the then-unusual step of having the affected versions of his biography history hidden from public view in the Wikipedia version logs. Mirror websites not controlled by Wikipedia continue to display the older and inaccurate article.
  October 5th Scottish call-center worker Alan Mcilwraith creates a hoax biography on himself depicting a bogus life as a decorated war hero. The biography lasts until the media break the hoax in April 2006.
  October 11th Jimmy Wales personally appoints editors Mindspillage (Kat Walsh) and Kelly Martin to the Arbitration Committee.
  October 12th SlimVirgin responds to Brandt's complaint that he was not notified about his biography with "we tend not to do that." Brandt begins editing the article himself making corrections. SlimVirgin asks that he ceases.
  October 13th Daniel Brandt launches Wikipedia Watch. On the site, Brandt publishes an open letter requesting that Jimmy Wales "lock down" the article, who replies that this is " impossible and absurd request."
  October 16th SlimVirgin agrees to delete the Daniel Brandt biography entirely.
  October 18th Wikipedia critic Andrew Orlowski runs the article, "Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems" in The Register, which is highly critical of the site.
  October 24th The Wikimedia Foundation announce an increased partnership with provides direct scrapes of Wikipedia articles. In return, Wikipedia and will split advertising revenue from the website
October 26th-29th Philipp Lenssen, a pro-Google blogger antagonistic towards Brandt's anti-Google investigations, restores Brandt's biography. It is immediately deleted for a second time. Lenssen blogs about the situation, and gains support from readers prepared to challenge Brandt. The biography is recreated by administrator Canderson7 who asserts to Brandt that "resistance is in fact futile". The article is filled with increasingly hostile edits.
  October 28th Jimmy Wales edits his own biography to remove mention of Larry Sanger as co-founder of Wikipedia.
  November 4th Daniel Brandt's biography is protected, unprotected, deleted several times and finally restored. Brandt participates in the discussions maintaining his position that he is a private figure and the article is an invasion of privacy. Multiple anonymous administrators goad Brandt with derisory statements including "Poor baby", "He can cry about this until the cows come home", and suggestions that everyone "point and laugh" at Brandt's open letter to Jimmy Wales. Brandt is blocked from the site.
  November 5th First incarnation of Wikipedia Review launches.
  November 7th First Article-for-Deletion debate on the biography of Daniel Brandt ends in a "keep".
  November 9th Jimmy Wales edits his own biography to remove mention of Larry Sanger as "setting up" Wikipedia. This is the second time Wales has removed Sanger from the article.
  Also on November 9th Brandt also launches Hivemind, which lists the real life identity of prominent Wikipedia administrators. Brandt later describes Hivemind as a service "because someone, somewhere, has to take responsibility for the content on Wikipedia".
  November 11th The English article on Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg falsely asserts that he had been in prison for pedophilia. Norwegian media publish stories describing Wikipedia's error.
  November 13th Due to reservations from several Wikipedians, Daniel Brandt's biography is put up for deletion for a second time. The result is keep.
  November 29th (Seigenthaler controversy) USA Today publishes an op-ed written by John Seigenthaler. Seigenthaler describes his Wikipedia defamation experience and calls Wikipedia a "flawed and irresponsible research tool."
  December (Seigenthaler controversy) Daniel Brandt locates the IP address responsible for the Seigenthaler biography hoax to a company in Tennessee.
  December 1st Jimmy Wales edits his own biography again to remove "co" from "co-founder" and demote Larry Sanger's role in the founding of Wikipedia. Wales's revision directly contradicts statements he had made two years earlier.
  December 5th (Seigenthaler controversy) John Seigenthaler appears on CNN. He criticizes Wikipedia and US Congress for passing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which protects ISPs and web sites from being held legally responsible for disseminating content provided by their customers and users, "unlike print and broadcast companies."
  Also on December 5th In light of the Seigenthaler contoversy, Jimmy Wales announces that the creation of new Wikipedia articles will be restricted for accounts that have not set up a user name.
  December 9th (Seigenthaler controversy) Brian Chase confesses to the John Seigenthaler hoax and resigns from his job. Seigenthaler receives a hand-written apology and speaks with Chase on the phone.
  December 11th A Wikipedia biography is created on Brian Chase.
  December 14th Former editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia Britannica Robert McHenry writes a follow-up piece to his 2004 critique "The Faith-Based Encyclopedia", to incorporate the Seigenthaler controversy called "The Faith-Based Encyclopedia Blinks."
  December 17th Wikipedia agrees on a new guideline, 'Biographies of living persons' (BLP). Editorial restrictions are introduced on the creation of new Wikipedia articles; and new tracking categories for the biographies of living people are implemented.
  Also on December 17th, a biography is created of Brian Peppers, a 37 year old American who had become an "internet meme" due to his extreme physical malformations caused by Crouzon syndrome. The article was "speedy deleted" the following day, before being restored with 66% support. The article is deleted and restored several times before being deleted unilaterally by Jimmy Wales on 22nd February 2006. The comings and goings of the article cause considerable dispute between opposing camps.
  December 22nd "Semi-protection" enabled on Wikipedia. This allow administrators to prevent edits from IP addresses and newly created accounts on specific articles.
  December 24th New York Times covers Jimmy Wales's controversial edits to his own biography, and recaps the Seigenthaler controversy.


  At the beginning of January 2006, the number of 'very active' editors (more than 100 edits a month) leaps dramatically to over 3,000.
  January 10th Wikipedia becomes a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  January 12th Kelly Martin resigns from the Arbitration committee.
  January 15th 'Communications committee' formed to handle media inquiries and emails received for the foundation and Wikipedia via the newly implemented OTRS (a ticket handling system).
  January 19th A German Court orders the German-language version of Wikipedia shut down after the family of deceased phreaker/hacker “Tron” sued Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. for using the deceased’s full name in an entry.
  January 22nd Voting ends for elections to the Arbitration Committee. Mindspillage , Charles Matthews and Jayjg are appointed among others (Jayjg had already served several months). Fred Bauder is reelected.
  January 28th (Naked Short Selling controversy) 'Mantanmoreland' makes his first edit to Wikipedia. Formerly, the IP address , suspected of being Mantanmoreland, had been editing the article Naked Short Selling and writing that the practice was a "nonissue".
  February 6th Jimmy Wales redirects a Wikipedia biography of Brian Chase, the Seigenthaler hoaxer. He reasons that Daniel Brandt "violated this man's privacy severely by releasing his name and identity to the press". Brandt defends his position stating that he told the press he was "uncomfortable with Wikipedia putting up a dedicated page on Mr. Chase" and that it was actually Seigenthaler who put Chase's name into print. Brandt's own biography continues to be a source of contention and shows no signs of being similarly redirected.
  Also on February 6th Five Wikipedia administrators are removed of their "duties" by Jimbo Wales after a Wikipedia-War erupts over userboxes. Userboxes are decorative images that editors use to identify themselves on their editor pages. A userbox was created by User:Paroxysm and stated that the user "identifies as a pedophile". Wikipedia libertarians who supported the userbox battled against those who found it distasteful.
  February 26th Second incarnation of Wikipedia Review launches.
  March 1st The Wikimedia Foundation announce the creation of the 1,000,000th article in the English language edition of Wikipedia
  March 10th New York venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners invests $4 million to help Wikia.
  March 12th New York Times publishes critical article "Anonymous Source Is Not the Same as Open Source."
  March 13th Danny Wool, in his new role implementing "Office actions" blanks and protects an article on Jack Thompson, a Florida attorney and activist, for legal reasons. The article had been criticized for its overwhelmingly negative portrayal of Thompson, and its lack of sources. In its last version before it was blanked, the article contained at least 21 uncited statements.
  March 24th BBC and other media outlets cover Encyclopaedia Britannica's debunking of the pro-Wikipedia 2005 Nature study. Britannica say the study contained "a pattern of sloppiness, indifference to basic scholarly standards, and flagrant errors so numerous they completely invalidated the results".
  Also on March 24th Guardian journalist and TV presenter Mark Lawson describes how his life was changed after being erroneously depicted as Jewish in his Wikipedia biography.
  March 26th Wikitruth launched. Wikitruth is a satirical Wiki hosting criticisms of Wikipedia and reposting deleted articles from the site.
  March 28th Bessemer Venture Partners and the investment group of eBay Inc. announce that they are participants in a $4 million initial round of investment in Wikia Inc.
  April 4th Administrator Sam Korn deletes a controversial image described as a "sexualized drawing of minor female" and is taken to task by a number of Wikipedians for "censorship". Jimmy Wales comments, "Sam rocks. For something like this it is far better to err on the side of tastefulness and respect. Let us not let the pedophile trolls set the standard for our debates."
  April 5th Articles for deletion/Daniel Brandt (3rd nomination) ends in another keep.
  April 11th Jimmy Wales controversially adds a new tool intended to bring revenue to Wikipedia from advertising on a partner site, Eric Möller calls for the partnership to be cancelled.
  April 14th (Naked Short Selling controversy) "Mantanmoreland" creates a Wikipedia biography of Gary Weiss.
  April 19th Danny Wool indefinitely blocks Eric Möller (Eloquence ) for "reckless endangerment -- OFFICE". After some too-ing and fro-ing, Jimmy Wales unblocks Möller the same day. Wool, a paid employee of the Wikimedia Foundation, had "stubbed" and protected two articles while representing WP:OFFICE, which means that he is acting under the authority of the Wikimedia Foundation to resolve urgent legal problems. Möller, a researcher for the Wikimedia Foundation and partner of board member Angela Beesley, unprotected the same articles without discussion.
  April 24th A "Paid editor job board" is proposed by an editor, which is met by controversy, but later morphs into the Reward Board which is still running.
  April 29th (Naked Short Selling controversy) Mantamoreland, using another account name of Lastexit , adds significant negative material to the biography of Patrick Byrne. Byrne is a vocal critic of the controversial market practice of Naked Short Selling.
  April 30th The mainstream media notes Wikipedia's capacity to be "a remarkably useful for political dirty tricksters", citing a number of cases including a recent controversy when a US Republican campaign manager reworked an opponent's biography to add scurrilous claims.
  May 22nd Professor Juan Cole, outspoken critic of US foreign policy, describes his negative experiences with his Wikipedia biography, "I gave up trying to correct facts on various issues and now just actively warn students that Wikipedia is not an acceptable source for research projects or even casual knowledge".
  May 24th Influential blogger Nicholas Carr pronounces"The death of Wikipedia".
  May 28th Wikipedians discuss the growing influence of Wikipedia Review. One administrator writes "The Foundation should take one of these trolls and use the legal system and/or the press to crucify him. The value of a troll's head on a pike as a deterrent to other trolls would be worth the cost and difficulty. "
  June Historian Roy Rosenzweig publishes an indepth look at Wikipedia for The Journal of American History.
  June 2nd Resolution:CEO passes, letting Jimmy Wales name the new Chief Executive Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. Ant, Jimmy, Tim, and Michael approve. Angela Beesley opposes.
  June 16th Brad Patrick, heretofore a practicing attorney engaged in some pro bono work with the Foundation starting in the fall of 2005, was named as general counsel and interim executive director; in the latter capacity, Patrick was designated to assist the Board in its search for a permanent executive director.
  June 19th Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch attempts to clarify bad edits made to his biography and is confronted by an anonymous editor KSmrq who writes, "You do not get to choose whether or not an article on you appears in Wikipedia, and you have no veto power over its contents. The article can cast you as a genius or an imbecile, a respected scientist or a crackpot. [...] Wikipedia does not operate by your rules, but by its own conventions; I suggest you learn to accept it. " Haisch described his experience in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. [7]
  July 4th Jimmy Wales releases his Mission Statement for the new site Campaigns Wikia. Wales announces that "This can be the start of the era of net-driven participatory politics".
  July 7th Angela Beesley resigns from the Wikimedia Foundation board.
  Also on July 7th (Naked Short Selling controversy) Judd Bagley, an associate of Patrick Byrne and later Communications Officer for Byrne's company, identifies Mantanmoreland and another account (Lastexit) as journalist Gary Weiss. Bagley's account, Wordbomb, is blocked indefinately from Wikipedia by SlimVirgin for "appearing to try to out another Wikipedian".
  July 12th Angela Beesley attempts to have her Wikipedia biography removed for the third time. "I'm sick of this article being trolled. It's full of lies and nonsense." The article is kept despite a significant number of delete votes.
  July 22nd A Nebraska private school files a lawsuit to determine the identity of the person or persons responsible for edits to the Wikipedia article about the school.
  July 26th Essjay affair. Daniel Brandt starts a thread on Wikipedia Review asking "Who is Essjay?" 'Essjay' is a prolific Wikipedia editor with extraordinary bureaucratic powers on the encyclopedia. 'Essjay' boldly claims on his user page to be a tenured professor at a Catholic College in the US. Essjay Media Watch.
  Also on July 26th, Judd Bagley makes his first post on Wikipedia Review as Wordbomb. (Naked Short Selling controversy)
  Also on July 26th The Onion run a spoof article mocking Wikipedia inaccuracies. Several high profile Wikipedia editors call for significant changes to Wikipedia's registration process in light of the ridicule meted out in the article.
  July 27th A professor at the University of Oklahoma explains that 16 students plagiarised sections of their final papers for a history of science course. Nine of those students, the professor found, had copied entries on Wikipedia virtually verbatim.
  July 31st (Essjay Controversy) The New Yorker publishes an article on Wikipedia, written by Stacy Schiff, which features an interview with 'Essjay'. Essjay repeats his claims that he is a tenured professor.
  August 1st Stephen Colbert segment on Wikipedia where the word wikiality is first coined. Colbert runs a story on the Wikipedia article "Elephant" urging the public to change the details, which causes panic on the site.
  August 2nd Numerous dates of death are mischievously added to biographies of living retired US baseball players. The falsehoods are discovered only after shocked relatives had contacted players themselves.
  August 9th Jimmy Wales blocks the account MyWikiBiz . MyWikiBiz is a venture devised by Gregory Kohs that would allow Kohs to write a comprehensive neutral Wikipedia article at the bequest of paying businesses. Kohs insists he was transparent about his business model.
  August 11th Jimmy Wales unblocks MyWikiBiz having reached what Wales describes as "a very favorable agreement".
  August 28th Daniel Mayer resigns as Chief Financial Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. Tricia Hoffman hired part time as Wikimedia Foundation bookkeeper.
  September (Carolyn Doran affair) Carolyn Doran is hired by the Wikimedia Foundation as a bookkeeper.
  September 2nd Wikipedia now has 1000 administrators.
  September 6th A year on from the Seigenthaler controversy, the edit "On November, 22nd, 1963, John Seigenthaler, Sr. killed and ate then-President John F. Kennedy" stays in his biography for over thirty hours before being spotted.
  September 7th Scholar Jon Awbrey indefinitely banned from Wikipedia by a small group of notorious editors for "wasting the community's patience" while creating projects. Awbrey becomes prolific critic of Wikipedia.
  September 9th Wordbomb's first article on, set up to expose Gary Weiss' sockpuppetry and other dealings in regard to Naked Short Selling on Wikipedia.
  September 25th Erik Möller replaces Angela Beesley on the Wikimedia Foundation board after an election process later described as a "disgrace" by Beesley. The election was marred by leaks, a "list of endorsement" by Möller, and controversial interventions by Jimmy Wales.
  September 28th The Guardian publishes Seth Finkelstein's article I'm on Wikipedia, get me out of here which describes the journalist's problems dealing with his Wikipedia biography.
  October The Wikipedia biography of Don Murphy, co-producer of the Transformers movies, is repeatedly hit by malicious vandalism from fans of the series. Murphy is forced to remove the material himself using the pseudonym ColScott and other aliases, leading to his requests that his biography be removed from Wikipedia. The biography is retained by Wikipedians. Murphy's accounts are later banned by Wikipedia administrators, and thus he becomes forthright and active critic of Wikipedia.
  October 3rd Wikipedia Weekly is launched, first episode airs the week of October 16th.
  October 4th Jimmy Wales again blocks MyWikiBiz indefinitely, for "inappropriate use of Wikipedia name in commerce; implying that people can pay him to get listed in Wikipedia". (More info here)
  October 17th Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger releases a press statement announcing the creation of Citizendium, a wiki based encyclopedia that requires real name verification to edit.
  October 22nd Jimmy Wales steps down as Chair of the Wikimedia board of Trustees to be replaced by Florence Devouard. The remaining official roles on the board were also filled at this time, with Tim Shell chosen as Vice-Chair, Erik Möller as Executive Secretary, and Michael E. Davis as Treasurer.
  October 23rd Arbitrator Fred Bauder changes all the spellings of "Encyclopedia Dramatica" to "damatica" in other people's comments during the long MONGO Arbitration case over the 'BADSITES' issue as paranoia towards external sites gains strength.
  October 26th The 'MONGO Arbitration case' comes to a close, and sets a precedent for the 'BADSITES' disputes which dominate the site for two years. The decision allows for the removal of links to sites that host criticisms of Wikipedians, regardless of whether they were relevant or on internal project pages.
  October 27th Daniel Brandt launches the first study of plagiarism in Wikipedia that has been undertaken, using a program he created to run a few sentences from about 12,000 articles against Google Inc.'s (GOOG) search engine. Brandt ended with a list of 142 articles, which he brought to Wikipedia's attention. The project gains mainstream media coverage.
  November 30th (Rachel Marsden scandal) Arbitration case concerning biased editing on TV pundit Rachel Marsden's biography ends. Jimmy Wales is seen to intervene in the case. 'Somey' from Wikipedia Review notes, "Maybe this could be the start of a beautiful relationship!"
  December 4th Angela Beesley creates a mailing list and an external wiki for use exclusively by female Wikipedia editors, called WikiChix. Due to the approved culture of secrecy and fake identities that dominates Wikipedia, the list inevitably becomes infiltrated by males disguising themselves as female editors.
  December 7th Wikimedia Foundation bylaws revised, Board expanded to include Kat Walsh, Oscar van Dillen and Jan-Bart de Vreede.
  December 17th Voting closes for elections to the Arbitration Committee.
  December 23rd Jimmy Wales makes a passing comment regarding the possibility of a wiki-based internet search. The result is extensive media coverage publishing the statement as an announcement, forcing Wales's Wikia company to re-brand and relaunch its previous search engine proposal under the temporary name of "Search Wikia".
  December 28 Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Daniel Brandt (11th nomination). Nominated by Majorly . Consensus remains "Keep".
  December 29th Wales attempts to clarify several issues regarding "Search Wikia". He says that funding received from is not specific to the search project and also restates that Wikia and Wikipedia have separate management, even though they shared three key stakeholders.


"At some point around 2007 "anyone can edit" came to mean "everyone is of equal value". [8]
  January 1st Wikipedia temporarily blocks the entire nation of Qatar by mistake.
  January (early) (Essjay Controversy) 'Essjay' is hired by Wikia.
  January 7th (Essjay Controversy) Essjay posts autobiographical details on his user page at Wikia (not Wikipedia), giving his supposed real name (Ryan Jordan), age, and previous employment history from age 19, and his positions within various Wikimedia Foundation projects. These details differ sharply from previous assertions on 'Essjay's' Wikipedia user page about his academic and professional credentials.
  mid January, 2007 - "Mid January, the board asked Brad to stop being ED at the end of January. At that time, there was no ED, but there was already an ED search planned, so we had high expectations to have an ED within 3-4 months, say May or June."
  January 18th The Ottawa Citizen examines the life of Wikipedia editor and arbitrator Simon Pulsifer, making light of the fact that he is unemployed and living with his parents.
  January 20th It is revealed that Professor Tim Pierce of Northern Illinois University had instructed students to vandalize Wikipedia to demonstrate how simple it is to change information on the site, before restoring the articles to their previous state. Pierce devised the test after he was "getting a lot of Wikipedia cites last semester where students were citing really dubious information from there". Wikipedia administrator Zoe shoots off several angry emails to Pierce and the University's Office of Public Affairs claiming the act is a "federal offense" and threatens to go to the press to expose Pierce. The University replies that Zoe be "cautious about accusing individuals and public academic institutions of illegal actions" and advises that Wikipedia "consider making its website content more secure by assuring it cannot be changed by outsiders". Jimmy Wales dismisses Zoes' actions as "highly inappropriate". Zoe leaves the site.
  Also January 20th Jimmy Wales reverses a previous decision ignoring two polls to the contrary, to automatically add "no follow" tags to all outward links on Wikipedia. Any site that used to be a destination from Wikipedia, and thus highly ranked, will abruptly fall in search engine rankings. According to critic Nicholas Carr: "it turns Wikipedia into something of a black hole on the Net. It sucks up vast quantities of link energy but never releases any."
  January 21st (Essjay Controversy) Daniel Brandt contacts the author of the New Yorker article about discrepancies in 'Essjay's' biography. Brandt asks 'Essjay' to explain himself on Wikipedia but receives no response.
  January 22, 2007 - "The Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Sandra Ordonez as Communications Manager." [11]
  January 23rd Notorious Wikipedia administrator Guy Chapman (JzG) hands out a "community ban" to the already banned Gregory Kohs of MyWikiBiz for using multiple accounts.
  January 24, 2007 – Carolyn Doran named COO, one board member votes oppose, "The position will be re-evaluated upon hiring an Executive Director" [12]
  January 24, 2007 - "The Board authorizes hiring "Phillips Oppenheim" to help Wikimedia Foundation in the process of finding its Executive Director" passes with one abstention [13]
  January 24th Microsoft employees explain that the company paid a blogger to edit certain Wikipedia pages relating to Open Office standards. According to one Microsoft employee, the step was taken to avoid Wikipedia's Conflict Of Interest policy, and because articles were previously "heavily written by people at IBM, a rival standard supporter, and that Microsoft had gotten nowhere flagging mistakes to Wikipedia’s volunteer editors."
  also January 24th Journalist Brian Bergstein interviews MyWikiBiz founder Gregory Kohs on his travails with Wikipedia over paid editing.
  January 28th Wikimedia Foundation announce the creation of an Advisory board. The board includes Angela Beesley, wiki inventor Ward Cunningham, and pro-Wikipedia Tech journalist Clay Shirky.
  January 29th It is revealed that US courts are increasingly citing Wikipedia in court cases.
  January 31, 2007 - Board passes a hidden "Resolution:Legal tasks February March 2007"
  end of January, 2007 - "Mid January, the board asked Brad to stop being ED end of January"
  February 3, 2007 - Brad's departure as ED is announced [14]
  February 5th Several Wikipedia Arbitrators make a formal statement warning against the growing power of Wikipedia's Internet Relay Chat channel for administrators. The private channel was set up by Jimmy Wales, and is inaccessible to non-administrators, some of whom accuse the channel of being a haven for organized retributions against other editors.
  February 10th Wikipedia editor 'Worldtraveller' writes the essay "Wikipedia is Failing".
  February 16th Distinguished Turkish scholar Taner Akçam is wrongly detained at the Montreal airport on the basis of false anonymous insertions in his Wikipedia biography. (see Wikipedia Review thread)
  February 22nd Fuzzy Zoeller sues a Miami firm due to defamatory posts made on Wikipedia.
  February 23rd (Essjay Controversy) Jimmy Wales announces the appointment of 'Essjay' to Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee (ArbCom). Wales later asserts that the appointment was "at the request of and unanimous support of" ArbCom.
  Also on February 23rd The Daniel Brandt biography is deleted five more times, and undeleted six times in 24 hours. The article remains, but the editors are chastised by Jimmy Wales.
  February 26th (Essjay Controversy) The New Yorker publishes a correction for its July 31 issue. Jiimmy Wales is quoted on Essjay's false persona, “I regard it as a pseudonym and I don’t really have a problem with it.”
  March 3rd (Essjay Controversy) After an outpouring of rage from Wikipedians, and much negative publicity in the major media, Wales asks Essjay to resign his "positions of trust". Essjay promptly retires from Wikipedia altogether and later resigns from his position at Wikia. In his initial apology, Essjay makes an extraordinary claim that New Yorker journalist Schiff had offered to pay him during his interview, which was flatly denied. Essjay also suggested that his false identity was designed to protect himself from Daniel Brandt, though it was created long before Brandt's involvement in Wikipedia.
  March 7th Jimmy Wales gives interviews to the media announcing that Wikipedians should only be allowed to cite some professional expertise in a subject if those credentials have been verified.
  March 8th Jimmy Wales drafts a "Credentials Verification" policy.
  March 8th Jimmy Wales announces plans for Wikia's proposed search engine ("Search Wikia") to rival those of Google and Yahoo. According to Wales, "The idea that Google has some edge because they've got super-duper rocket scientists may be a little antiquated now."
  March 9, 2007 - Resolution passes accepting Brad Patrick's "resignation". "You, Danny, consider that the staff can very well handle itself alone, without any ED. Actually, your opinion is that Carolyn can be the ED. At that point, Carolyn opinion is the same. The board opinion is not the same."
  March 12th Jimmy Wales tells the New York Times that "some version of his [credentials verification] proposal would begin on the site in a week” in an article titled 'After False Claim, Wikipedia to Check Degrees'. The proposal is never implemented, and now reads as "currently inactive" retained only for "historical reference".
  March 16th Wikipedia falsely claims that US entertainer 'Sinbad' has died. Rumors begin circulating after the posting, and Sinbad first hears about it himself via a telephone call from his daughter.
  March 19th Cary Bass (Bastique ) is hired by the Wikimedia Foundation as Volunteer Coordinator.
  March 20th Jimmy Wales unilaterally reverts the merger of three core Wikipedia policies into one (WP:ATT), stating that the merger is "a monumentally bad idea". The merger had been organized and pushed by editor SlimVirgin causing significant controversy among editors.
  March 20, 2007? Danny Wool resigns
  March 22nd * Brad Patrick resigns as General Counsel to the Wikimedia Foundation. Danny Wool also quits as Wikimedia Foundation "grants coordinator" and resigns his roles on Wikipedia. Both Wool and Patrick cite disagreements with the Board of Trustees. (Further Commentary here - broken link.)
  March 23rd Jimmy Wales unblocks Gregory Kohs of MyWikiBiz again saying "he asked nicely, i think the issue is completed". Wales was apparently unaware that MyWikiBiz had been "community banned" by notorious administrator JzG a few months earlier.
  March 23, 2007 - Carolyn Doran signs the 990
  March 23-25, 2007: Board meeting in Florida. Jimmy Wales not present due to traveling in Japan.
  March 29th Gregory Kohs of MyWikiBiz is banned again for a variety of unclear reasons.
  Also on March 29th Robert and Bona Mugabe BLP vandalism. See also.
  April 1st Jimmy Wales is interviewed on TV by Ellen Fanning for Australia's Nine Network. Fanning points out a blatant falsehood in her Wikipedia biography, which leads Wales to later complain of "getting hammered" during the interview. Also during the discussion (audio file of interview), Wales calls the Seigenthaler defamation "amusing" and appears to blame the journalist for the controversy. Having heard the recorded interview, Seigenthaler describes Wales as "duplicitous", and concludes that "it all demonstrates again that Wikipedia is beset by flaw and fraud".
  April 4th Wikipedia Review placed on a de facto Wikipedia blacklist. This means the site can't be linked to from any part of Wikipedia on pain of sanctions against any person who does so.
  April 11th Larry Sanger announces in an interview with the press that Wikipedia is “broken beyond repair” and no longer reliable.
  Also on April 11th UK education secretary, Alan Johnson, comes under fire from teaching unions after recommending the use of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia for schoolwork. According to the general secretary of the NASWUT union, the union itself had been the victim of scurrilous claims on Wikipedia, and she would not recommend the site to pupils.
  April 13th John Seigenthaler gives a speech at Florida State University. Seigenthaler details his experiences with Wikipedia, giving some 30 examples of defamation. According to Seigenthaler, "When I explained that it was speech protected by section 230 of the the CDA and that these defamers were hiding behind veils of anonymity and virtually untraceable IP numbers there was astonishment."
  April 19th Wales grants ArbCom the right to review his decisions.
  April 27th Internet figure Jason Scott gives a speech to Notacon 4 in Cleveland, Ohio focusing on the negative exploitable nature of Wikipedia.
  April 30th Backlogs of tasks needing attention continue to grow, including the number of articles lacking any sources.
  May 7th Four administrator accounts with weak passwords are hacked. The perpetrator(s) goes on a spree of adding erroneous content to articles, and banning other users. A fifth administrator also "goes rogue", and is discovered to be an account of a previously banned user who had created a new character and surreptitiously risen up the Wikipedia hierarchy for such a purpose.
  May 15th Citizendium, Larry Sanger's rival wiki project, decides to place NOINDEX tags on their project pages. This means that any defamatory statements made on talk pages are henceforth unable to be located by search engines. Wikipedia refused to do the same until pressure mounted two years later.
  May 17th Due to edits on Wikipedia, Google's entry description for Wikipedia's much viewed article on George Washington reads, “George Washington Had a shit on a stick and then told people that it was ok to have unprotected sex…”.
  May 19th More BADSITES. An attempt is made (but quickly reverted) to take off a link to Kelly Martin's blog on her user page because it contains criticisms of individual Wikipedians.
  May 20, 2007 - Carolyn Doran arrested, pays $5000+$250 bond, apparently using the foundation credit card for the $5000.
  May 21st The Wikipedia biography of co-founder Larry Sanger is downgraded to "mid-importance" priority by Wikipedia's bureaucracy. This places his article below articles on Jimmy Wales, Wikimania and even Wikipedia Review.
  May 23rd An editor is opposed for adminship after admitting he thought it "unhelpful for editors to either add or remove links [to Wikipedia Review] merely to make a point". The opposition is orchestrated by administrator SlimVirgin. Her actions are described as an attempt to implement the controversial BADSITES ban on linking to critical sites "via the backdoor".
  May 27th Wikipedia editor Will Beback requests that all links to and mentions of Teresa Nielsen Hayden's blog Making Light be removed from Wikipedia as an "attack site" or 'BADSITE', after an entry in one of the site's forums criticises Wikipedia's treatment of science fiction writer Kathryn Cramer. An edit war ensues. Will Beback also demands that the criticisms on Making Light be removed before the links can be restored. Well known internet figure Cory Doctorow jumps to the defense of Making Light and Cramer stating, "You are a Wikipedia editor; this does not confer upon you the right to edit other peoples' websites, too."
  June 1-3 Wikimedia Foundation board meeting. Sue Gardner and Mike Godwin are visitors, and the decision is made to hire the pair.
  June 4th Disputes continue to rage over "single-incident biographies" and their relationship to the policy of Biographies of Living People.
  June 5th Writer Andrew Keen releases the book Cult of The Amateur, a critique of the enthusiasm surrounding user generated content, peer production, and other Web 2.0-related phenomena including Wikipedia.
  June 7th More BADSITES incidents. An edit war attempts (unsuccessfully) to remove links to Wikitruth from the article about the site.
  June 14th Daniel Brandt biography is finally deleted on the 14th attempt. It is not recreated. Seth Finkelstein, who wrote "I'm on Wikipedia, get me out of here" argues successfully to see his biography deleted the same day.
  June 15th Various links to Conservapedia within the Wikipedia article are redacted on the basis of BADSITES.
  June 25th A statement is added to the biography of Pro-Wrestler Chris Benoit describing the death of his wife, fourteen hours before police discovered the bodies of Benoit and his family.
  June 26th The media reports that the German government plan to improve entries to the German Wikipedia, via the private-sector Nova Institute.
  July 3rd Wikimedia Foundation announce Mike Godwin as the new General Counsel and Legal Coordinator.
  July 4, 2007 - The hidden "Resolution:Carolyn Doran" is passed. According to Danny Wool, Carolyn is fired for "misuse of credit card. Debt of $5,000 was already paid back before it was discovered."
  July 5, 2007 - Travel Policy resolution passes [15]
  July 5, 2007 - Resolution to hire Sue Gardner as "Management Consultant"
  July 6th Register journalist Cade Metz writes his first article exposing Wikipedia's combative subculture.
  July 9th Florence Devouard, chairwoman of the Wikipedia Foundation, states, "It's possible one day I'll be more proud of Wikipedia than of the kids."
  July 12th Wikimedia Board of Trustees incumbents Erik Möller (Eloquence) and Kathleen Walsh (Mindspillage) are re-elected for a two-year term, with Frieda Brioschi (Frieda) narrowly edging out incumbent Oscar van Dillen (Oscar) for the third and final seat.
  mid July, 2007 - Erik reports to the internal mailing list about his meetings in SF the previous week, including a meeting with Roger McNamee initiated by Jimmy. For those with access to the Internal mailing list, you will find the statement in the last paragraph: "On Jimmy's initiative, I also met with Roger McNamee, co founder of Elevation Partners (Bono's investment firm), who has helped us out a number of times already." [16]
  July 26th Ludwig De Braeckeleer distributes an article on administrator SlimVirgin. The article features Daniel Brandt's assertion that SlimVirgin (who started the Wikipedia biography of Brandt) the user name of a former ABC News Reporter thought to be embroiled in the investigation the Lockerbie Pan-Am terrorist attack of 1987. The article is picked up by Slashdot and other sites, and SlimVirgin is portrayed as a "Spy infiltrating Wikipedia".
  August 14th Episode 2 of Richard Dawkins's Enemies of Reason TV series is aired. In the documentary, Dawkins gives a grave critique of the erosion of evidence based thinking in front a scrolling screen of Wikipedia pages. According to Dawkins, "Wikipedia world creates great opportunity and great danger."
  August 17th WikiScanner released. This is a tool created by Virgil Griffith which consists of a publicly searchable database that links millions of anonymous Wikipedia IP edits to the organizations where those edits apparently originated.
  August 20th Due to the newly launched Wikiscanner, the media begin to highlight edits made from many leading organizations causing "minor public relations disasters". The inhouse Wikipedia magazine Signpost writes; "Durova, who works extensively with sleuthing 'the dark side' of Wikipedia, has implied that many more major stories await tech-savvy reporters who know how to comb Wikipedia's logs efficiently. The next generation of Wikipedia manipulation stories may be more than just 'minor public relations disasters'."
  August 24th (Naked Short Selling controversy) A link to Judd Bagley's is removed per BADSITES where it was being used to display evidence of sockpuppetry. After some edit-warring, it was replaced by a link to a page at another URL that copied the relevant information.
  Links to Michael Moore's official site are removed and edit warred over per BADSITES, because the site contains criticisms of Wikipedia editor Ted Frank.
  September 4th (Naked Short Selling controversy) Spokesperson for Wikimedia UK David Gerard blocks an IP range in Utah to prevent Judd Bagley making his case on Wikipedia against account abuse by Mantanmoreland. Later he writes "ps. fuck off Bagley". Gerard also blocks the IP address of a Wikipedia contributor in Basingstoke, England as an "apparent open proxy being abused by Judd Bagley".
  Also on September 4th In who would become one of the most notorious vandals on Wikipedia, Grawp, previously JarlaxleArtemis, begins his vandalism career on this day. Due to his antics, he would later be responsible for more restrictive measures being employed on Wikipedia.
  September 9th (Naked Short Selling controversy) Controversial administrator JzG adds Judd Bagley's to the English Wikipedia spam blacklist "without any discussion whatsoever".
  September 12th Wikipedia arbitrator Fred Bauder admits "There has been extensive discussion [about the spam blacklist addition], although not in a public forum. We have had enough of Judd Bagley and his site." and "The group who discussed this included the arbitration committee, the staff of Foundation, and SlimVirgin and others who have from time to time been victims of harassment or stalking. We listened particularly to the advice of those who have have been harassed."
  Fred Bauder, controversial administrators SlimVirgin, JzG, Durova and others create a secret "Cyberstalking email list" on Wikia to discuss matters. Included on the list are Mantanmoreland and at least one of his sockpuppets. The list is administrated by SlimVirgin.
  September 17, 2007: audit begins [17]
  September 23rd During a heated BADSITES hearing at Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee, founder of the committee Fred Bauder makes a formal proposal to redirect biographies of people who maintain "external sites" which criticize Wikipedians to the article "Clown".
  September 19th Jimmy Wales's tiny (misspelled) article entry on Mzoli's Meats, a South African restaurant and gathering place is deleted per process as 'non-notable'. Wales complains bitterly, and the article is restored by Wales's supporters. Debate rages about favortism and Wales's influence over the site. (See Wikipedia Review thread)
  October 8th Jimmy Wales explains that he gets about 10 emails a week from "students who end up in trouble because they cited the online encyclopedia in a paper and the information turned out to be wrong", but he has little sympathy for them.
  October 12th A link to a Slate Magazine article is removed per BADSITES, because it contains an interview with Daniel Brandt.
  October 20th (Naked Short Selling controversy) Durova blocks the respected editor Cla68 for making an uncontroversial edit to the biography of Gary Weiss. Jimmy Wales approves of the block, writing: "Durova and Guy have my full support here. No nonsense, zero tolerance, shoot on sight. No kidding, this has gone on long enough"
  October 30, 2007 - Florence Devouard is approached by Sue Gardner about hiring Erik Moeller as deputy director.
  November 1st Wikimedia Foundation prevail in a lawsuit brought by three people over defamation on the French Wikipedia. According to the plaintiffs, they had contacted the foundation to complain. But no record of their complaint could be found.
  November 3rd - November 10th A secret "Investigations email list" is created by prominent controversial Wikipedia administrators including Durova "to separate discussions about general sockpuppetry from the cyberstalking list".
  November 18th The Durova incident. Wikipedia editor!! is temporarily blocked by Durova based on secret evidence. The incident[9] is later nicknamed the "Durova Dustup." Documented here[10]. When asked about the block, Durova states that it cannot be discussed in public. The Wikipedia editor turns out to be an innocent new account of a former respected editor.
  November 21st A New Jersey Middle School begins a campaign of "Just Say No to Wikipedia" by putting signs over the computers in the school library. Apparently, teachers and students at the school found at least two cases of incorrect information while using Wikipedia, and white supremacist information in the entry for Martin Luther King.
  November 22nd A leak from the secret "Investigations email list" is published. The leak contains Durova's incorrect rationale for the block of User:!!, and exposes the methods a clique of administrators were using to control other editors. Durova's "evidence" contains various fantastical claims about Wikipedia Review tactics based on evidence of the behavior of innocent users who were not even members of Wikipedia Review at the time. Wikipedia is in turmoil over the revelations.
  November 26, 2007 - Resolution:Appointment of Sue Gardner as ED
  November 27, 2007 - Erik Moeller applies for his work visa. [18; broken link.]
  November 28th Sue Gardner appointed as Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation.
  December 4th The Register publishes the article "Secret mailing list rocks Wikipedia" which describes the Durova / Secret list scandal. The story hits the international news. More in-depth timeline here.
  December 5th Alex Roshuk, the lawyer who assisted Jimmy Wales in writing the Wikimedia Foundation's bylaws and in setting up the Foundation as a 501-c (3) organization, describes Wales as "flaky" and someone who "does not keep his word".
  December 6th (Naked Short Selling controversy) The Register publishes the article Wikipedia black helicopters circle Utah's Traverse Mountain which covers Wikipedia's Naked Short Selling controversy. The piece includes interviews with Judd Bagley, and describes the blanket bans of affiliated accounts, as well as anyone who supports their point of view in the controversy.
  December 7th According to the BBC, Jimmy Wales dismissed teachers who refused students access to Wikipedia as "bad educators" in a speech in London.
  December 8th Florence Devouard, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, writes, "I can not help thinking that the rather ugly atmosphere that developped[sic] on enwiki is largely due to the very large and uncontrolled use of the checkuser tool by a minority."
  December 9th The Guardian publishes an article by Jenny Kleeman based on statements by arbitrator Charles Matthews which claims that Carl Hewitt, associate professor emeritus in electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "disrupted Wikipedia". Hewitt later complains about the article and other critics accuse Matthews of breaking confidentiality. Matthews is also accused of "creating the news" by contacting Kleeman himself with stories about Hewitt's editing. Matthews had previously been interviewed by Kleeman and the journalist had become an informal press contact.
  December 11th Jimbo Wales testifies before Congress. Before his testimony, he protected Sen. Lieberman's article using the rationale "bad day for vandalism" and promptly unprotected the article after the hearing was over. The article is immediately hit by defamatory statements after unprotection.
  December 13th The Register reveals that Carolyn Doran, Chief Operating Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, is a convicted felon for shooting a former boyfriend, and was still on parole for another offense. See full timeline here.
  December 16th Voting closes for elections to the Arbitration Committee. The elected winners include Newyorkbrad, FT2 , and Sam Blacketer. Though new arbitrators are expected to provide personal details to the Wikimedia Foundation, the identities of the new arbitrators remain a mystery to the wider community and outsiders.
  December 17th Erik Möller resigns from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, and is named the Deputy Director of the Foundation.
  December 26th Wikipedia editor David Shankbone visits Wikipedia at the invitation of the Israeli Foreign Ministry in the hope of reversing a "one-dimensional view of Israel".


  January Wikipedia moves its headquarters from St. Petersburg to a secret location in San Fransisco.See also [sentence fragment.]
  January 6th Jimmy Wales replies to journalist Seth Finkelstein, "Seth, you're an idiot." Seth had questioned the viability of the about-to-be launched Wikia Search.
  January 7th Wikia Search launched by Jimmy Wales. According to Wales, "I don't know how long it will take to reach industry-standard quality search results, but I'd say at least two years."
  January 22nd Boy scouts are for spanking - Thread about an inappropriate wiki site hosted by Wikia, later shut down due to outcry about the content hosted.
  January 25th Danny Wool's first post on his blog, All's Wool that End's Wool.
  February 6th The Register publishes the story Wikipedia ruled by 'Lord of the Universe' which covers the conflict of interest of prominent editor Jossi Fresco. Fresco, the creator of the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard, has been involved in a cult-like organisation and engaged in edits relating to that organisation that violate conflict of interest rules. The story comes directly from a Wikipedia Review thread.
  February 7th Notorious administrator User:JzG makes a number of changes to the biography of Rachel Marsden.
  February 13th Two major encyclopedias, the German Brockhaus and the French Quid announce the end of print production citing Wikipedia as the reason for falling sales.
  February 14th JoshuaZ sockpuppeting post. Notorious administrator JoshuaZ is discovered to have been using several accounts to stack up votes against biographical subjects who wished to see their articles deleted.
  February 17th Emerald Group release a study revealing inaccuracies in eight of nine Wikipedia articles examined, and major flaws in at least two of the nine Wikipedia entries. Overall, Wikipedia's accuracy rate was 80 percent compared with 95-96 percent accuracy within other encyclopedia sources.
  February 29th Valleywag reveals that Jimmy Wales has been having a relationship with Fox TV reporter Rachel Marsden. Wales intervened in her Wikipedia biography back in 2006, as was noted by Wikipedia Review, and the intervention reportedly led to an in-person meeting. Valleywag also publishes "transcripts of Wikipedia founder's sex chats" with Marsden. (More information here)
  March 1st Former Wikimedia Foundation employee Danny Wool blogs that Jimmy Wales used to boast about several affairs extra-marital affairs during his time at the organization. Wool also alleges that Wales "was certainly not frugal in his spending on his endless trips abroad" and that Wales was "careless" with his receipts while using money donated to the Foundation in good faith. Wool also alleges that Wales spent donation money on a massage parlour in Moscow, spent $650 of donors cash on two bottles of wine, and thought he needed a limousine "because I am like a rockstar too." Associated Press report that WMF Chair Florence Devouard castigated Wales, "I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past. Get a grip!"
  Valleywag publishes a timeline of the Wales / Marden affair. According to Valleywag, Wales "sent a mass email to a 'special' Wikipedia list of admins at the beginning of February" ordering that Rachel Marsden's article be cleaned up right before he was set to spend the weekend with Marsden in Washington DC.
  Jimmy Wales writes a statement on Wikipedia announcing, "I am no longer involved with Rachel Marsden."
  March 2nd Rachel Marsden places a stained T-shirt belonging to Jimmy Wales on ebay in apparent revenge for Wales's announcement on Wikipedia the previous day.
  Rachel Marsden releases more private chats between herself and Jimmy Wales to Valleywag. The chats suggest that Wales violated Wikipedia's rules to encourage favorable changes to Marsden's Wikipedia profile.
  March 4th Jimmy Wales debates with Wikipedia critic Andrew Keen at the Commonwealth Club, which is broadcast on ForaTV.
  Started by Privatemusings, the first episode of NotTheWikipediaWeekly is launched (later renamed to Wikivoices in November of 2008).
  March 5th The mainstream media universally cover both Jimmy Wales's Rachel Marsden debacle, and the allegations from Danny Wool that Wales misused money donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.
  March 22nd Jimmy Wales is photographed on vacation with Richard Branson and Tony Blair.
  March 23rd Rachel Marsden, using the alias 'Bramlet Abercrombie', posts a scathing attack on Jimmy Wales's Wikipedia talk page. She writes, "You couldn't have cared less about my Wikipedia entry until we started sleeping together, Jimmy."
  March 24th Wikimedia Foundation announce that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have awarded a grant of US$1,000,000 yearly for the next three years, for a $3 million total grant.
  April 4th Weekly podcast show NotTheWikipediaWeekly features interviews with Wikipedia Reviewers Judd Bagley, Gregory Kohs, Barry Kort (Moulton) and site chieftain 'Somey'.
  April 7th Release of the documentary The Truth According to Wikipedia which interviews supporters and critics including Larry Sanger and Andrew Keen.
  April 14th A professor of information systems at Deakins University says that Wikipedia is "fostering a climate of blind trust among people seeking information". She also criticises the unaccountability of Wikipedia and the creation of a "new and anonymous elite".
  April 19th A student in California is arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats against students via the Wikipedia article on his school.
  April 21st A series of emails by members and associates of the pro-Israel group CAMERA are exposed. The emails detail a concerted effort to manipulate Wikipedia content.
  April 29th Arbitrator NewYorkBrad leaves Wikipedia after his real life identity is revealed by Daniel Brandt on Hivemind. Jimmy Wales writes; "I consider it a tragedy when trolls drive good people away from charity work by engaging in underhanded personal attacks." Brad returned shortly after, and was giving interviews using his real name a year later.
  May 2nd Literary agent Barbara Bauer sues the Wikimedia Foundation in the New Jersey Superior Court claiming that the Wikimedia Foundation is liable for malicious additions to her biography in 2006. The judge dismissed the case in July 2008 citing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) which protects sites from the actions of their users.
  May 5th Valleywag run a story on Erik Möller, the deputy director of the Wikimedia Foundation titled Erik Möller, No. 2 at Wikipedia, a defender of pedophilia.
  May 6th Valleywag run a follow up story on Erik Möller, the deputy director of the Wikimedia Foundation titled, Wikipedia leader Erik Möller: "Children are pornography".
  May 6th WorldNetDaily publish the article Is Wikipedia wicked porn? which asks why Wikipedia hosts pictures of "nude homosexual men engaging in sex acts and a variety of other sexually explicit images and content." The article also brings first attention to the Scorpion's Virgin Killer album cover which is hosted on Wikipedia. (Virgin Killer controversy)
  May 12th Flagged revisions introduced to the German Wikipedia.
  May 16th Mike Godwin, legal council to the WMF, instructs WikiNews to remove a story covering allegations of pornography in Wikipedia, which also referenced the Erik Möller episode. Godwin proposes "some kind of process in which initial versions of news stories are vetted before they're made publicly available for further editing." This is in stark contrast to Wikipedia policies regarding Biographies of Living People.
  May 28th (Naked Short Selling controversy) 'Mantanmoreland' is finally blocked from Wikipedia after an investigation into abuse of multiple accounts.
  June 2nd Wikipedia critic Andrew Keen and disaffected co-founder Larry Sanger debate the proposition that "the internet is the future of knowledge" at Oxford University.
  June 21st Wikipedia is blamed for falling standards in Scottish education by The Scottish Parent Teacher Council.
  June 12th The biography of NBC Journalist Tim Russert is updated only minutes after his death, before his family had discovered the details. This was against the wishes of NBC who had held off reporting the news for two hours so his family wouldn't hear about it first from the media.
  July 17th Michael Snow replaces Florence Nibart-Devouard as chair of the Wikimedia Foundation board.
  July 23rd Google Knol goes live.
  August 9th Wikimedia Foundation Counsel Mike Godwin confirms that Bruce Ivins, a suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks, was a Wikipedia editor under the account name Jimmyflathead, and that the Foundation had been subject to a subpoena regarding the case. Register story published on August 7th.
  August 1st News breaks of Bruce Ivin's Wikipedia edits under the account name Jimmyflathead. Register story published a week later.
  August 24th Opinion columnist Steve Cuozzo pans Wikipedia's New York City coverage, pointing to mistakes in a number of articles, and calls Wikipedia "the engine of ignorance".
  August 31st A Wikipedia user called Young Trigg makes a number of complimentary expository edits to Sarah Palin's article shortly before the announcement of her nomination as the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate.
  September 8th Wikimedia UK is disbanded by UK Chair Alison Wheeler due to lack of interest and "problems with respect to their relationship with the Wikimedia Foundation"
  October 5th Wikipedia Vandalism Study published. Gregory Kohs and Wikipedia Review members methodically catalogue one calendar quarter’s worth of pernicious edits to the 100 WP biographies about the (then) current United States Senators. This is an effort to highlight Wikipedia's lax standards while hosting prominent biographies.
  November 10th New York Times journalist David Rohde is kidnapped by the Taliban. The Times requests a news blackout, which is observed by over 40 news outlets, and approaches Jimmy Wales for assistance to keep the news out of Wikipedia. Wales allocates the task of preventing coverage on WP to a small group of "trusted administrators". Reports of the kidnapping added to Wikipedia are removed by administrators. Times journalist Michael Moss re-edits Rhode's biography to make the subject seem more sympathetic to Muslims.
  November 12th Suspicion is raised on Wikipedia Review regarding the identity of British based elected Arbitrator 'Sam Blacketer'. Arbitrators are expected to verify their identities with the Wikimedia Foundation.
  November 13th A German politician requests and is briefly granted a court order blocking the German Wikipedia after malicious false allegations were added to his biography.
  December 5th (Virgin Killer controversy) The UK Internet Watch Foundation blacklist a Wikipedia image page showing the cover art of The Scorpions' 1976 album Virgin Killer, due to the presence of a potentially illegal photograph of a naked minor. The measure followed complaints from the public. UK internet providers, who automatically act on the blacklist, fed their traffic to Wikipedia through a small number of proxy servers. When Wikipedia admins blocked IP addresses on other pages (as is routine), the action temporarily prevented all unlogged-in editors using those ISPs from editing any page of Wikipedia.
  December 9th (Virgin Killer controversy) The Internet Watch Foundation rescind their block of the Virgin Killer image.
  December 10th (Virgin Killer controversy) Wikimedia UK press spokesperson David Gerard announces in his blog, "a small amount of gleeful dancing on the skulls of the IWF today."
  December 14th Voting closes for elections to the Arbitration Committee. The elected winners include Cool Hand Luke who revealed himself shortly before voting began to be One, a long time member of Wikipedia Review.


  January Wikia relaunches a question-and-answer site called, which Wikia informally calls Wikianswers. Unfortunately, there is already another successful site called WikiAnswers that has no affiliation to Wikia or to any Jimmy Wales project. Confusion reigns in the media.
  January 2nd Wikipedia holds a poll to agree a trial of "flagged revisions". Flagged revisions, which have proved successful on the German Wikipedia, would mean edits would be checked before being published. The proposal would significantly combat Wikipedia's defamatory biographies problem. Supporters include Jimmy Wales. The result is 59.6% in support, 39.2% in opposition, 1.2% neutral.
  January 3rd New statistics on editing frequency show that the size of the active editing community of the English Wikipedia peaked in early 2007 and is in decline.
  January 4th A New Scientist article reports a study which discovered that although Wikipedia is founded on the notion of openly sharing and collecting knowledge as a community, editors scored low on agreeableness and openness.
  January 12th The Times newspaper publishes their '50 best young footballers' list which includes a player that doesn't exist. At number 30 on the list came 'Masal Bugduv', who was created by a Wikipedia hoax.
  January 14th The Wikimedia Foundation announce the appointment of venture capitalist Roger McNamee to the board of advisors.
  January 21st Wikimedia Foundation announce that Wikia has agreed to sublease two of their conference rooms to them, having "matched the best offer". This creates speculation that the two unaffiliated organizations may be self-dealing (which is strictly prohibited), and gives another example of the many connections between them.
  January 21st The Washington Post reports that after Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were both rushed away from Barack Obama's post-inaugural luncheon due to ill-health, their Wikipedia biographies were altered to read that they had died. Jimmy Wales asks the Wikimedia Foundation to turn on Flagged Revisions on the English Wikipedia on his "personal recommendation". Wales cites the Kennedy / Byrd incident. Flagged Revisions timeline.
  January 27th A 25 year old Wikipedia administrator commits suicide. The tragedy occurs after several months of conflict between Wikipedia users.
  January 30th Sedate BBC TV celebrity Alan Titchmarsh is forced to deny claims he is a "sex guru" after his Wikipedia biography claimed he had penned an update to the Kama sutra.
  February 3rd The Independent newspaper publish the article "So is Wikipedia cracking up?" The article describes erroneous edits made to the biography of Bruce Springsteen.
  February 5th Final posting to Wikitruth. The site remains viewable but updates have been closed.
  February 11th A false fact added to the biography of German politician Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is regurgitated by the mainstream media. When editors on the German Wikipedia attempt to remove the falsehood, it is restored on the basis that the "fact" is cited by reliable sources.
  February 15th Akahele launched by Wikipedia Review members Greg Kohs, Judd Bagley, Paul Wehage and Anthony DiPierro.
  February 17th Vandalism to Barack Obama's Wikipedia biography is cached by Google which shows "NIGGA NIGGA NIGGA" on all Google searches for his name.
  February 28th Jimmy Wales is granted nearly unlimited powers project-wide.
  March 15th Wikipedia falsely claims that US TV News anchor Tom Brokaw had an affair with ABC's Diane Sawyer. The New York Daily News who ran the story describes the site as "wacky-pedia".
  March 17th The Abuse Filter is turned on. Prodego pens the first filter to block page moves to "HAGGER". Two days later, NawlinWiki lends credibility to a concern raised a few weeks earlier by enabling a poorly-written filter that de-autoconfirms over 200 innocent users.
  Also on March 17th The Wikipedia Revolution by Andrew Lih is published.
  March 18th (Virgin Killer controversy) The UK Internet Watch Foundation reveal that some of its members have received "threats to their safety" from activists after the organization acted on complaints that Wikipedia was hosting an illegal image by displaying the Virgin Killer album cover.
  March 20th British academics are "astonished" after English Heritage submitted a Wikipedia page as part of its evidence to the government on a key listing case.
  March 23rd The Wikimedia Foundation complains that the Wikipedia Art website may be violating trademark law by its use of “Wikipedia” in the domain name. Wikipedia Art is "an art intervention which explicitly invites performative utterances in order to change the work itself. The ongoing composition and performance of Wikipedia Art is intended to point to the ‘invisible authors and authorities’ of Wikipedia, and by extension the Internet,[2] as well as the site’s extant criticisms: bias, consensus over credentials, reliability and accuracy, vandalism, etc…"
  March 28th Shane Fitzgerald, an Irish student, finds his experimental hoax entry to the biography of Maurice Jarre is picked up by the international media and published in obituaries to the composer as fact.
  March 29th Microsoft pulls the plug on its MSN Encarta encyclopedia websites and software, following Wikipedia's obliteration of the online reference market.
  March 31st Jimmy Wales "closes the doors" on Wikia Search. The site is permanently taken offline.
  April 1st Wikipedia's biography on Russian human rights campaigner Lev Ponomarev announces his death hours before news reports described a near fatal attack on the same man.
  April 8th Co-founder of Wikipedia Larry Sanger delivers a blistering "open letter" to Jimmy Wales on his Wikipedia talk page after Wales gave a press interview discussing his role at the site. According to Sanger, "The lies and distortions it contains are, for me, the last straw". Wales duly removed the letter. Wales also removed Sanger's follow up statement, and a post which linked to the same letter hosted externally. Sanger's posts were also removed several times by Wikipedia editor David Shankbone . Wikipedia critic Seth Finkelstein describes.
  April 24th A New Jersey appeals court reverses a decision after it is discovered that attorneys in New Jersey used facts gleaned from Wikipedia to prevail during a case in 2008. The appeals court statement read, "A Wikipedia page doesn't meet the legal requirement as a "source whose accuracy cannot be reasonably questioned."
  May 12th Jayjg stripped of his flags and privileges.
  May 21st Former Dallas County judge and prosecutor Catherine Crier files a lawsuit against a thus-far unknown editor who posted malicious edits to her Wikipedia biography. Falsehoods included claims she was a "murder suspect, a shoplifter, she's served jail time, she's been disbarred".
  May 26th 'Sam Blacketer' resigns from the Arbitration Committee. The elected arbitrator is discovered to be David Boothroyd, who edited the site previously as User:Dbiv (name changed to User:Fys in 2006). Boothroyd was reprimanded under his previous account name and had his administrative rights removed in 2006. He made no mention of this dalliance as he rose up the ranks under his new pseudonym of Blacketer in 2007. The media make much of his real life position as an elected Labour Party councillor at London's Westminster Council, highlighting pseudonymous edits he made to the biography of a rival political Party Leader.
  June 1st Wikipedia Arbitration ban IP addresses used by the Church of Scientology. The story, and the Arbitration committee are mocked on the Colbert Report.
  June 21st New York Times reveal the news blackout initiated in November 2008 after the return of kidnapped journalist David Rohde. The blackout extended to Wikipedia, through correspondence with Jimmy Wales.
  June 23rd Wikipedia critic Gregory Kohs of MyWikiBiz is unblocked from Wikipedia again. Despite being blocked continuously from July 20, 2007 until June 23, 2009, The kohser maintained an active talk page. Here it is during its zenith [no link.]
  July 8th Political consultant Mark Grebner files a defamation lawsuit against three Wikipedia editors for adding "false and libelous" material into his biography.
  July 10th National Portrait Gallery threatens litigation over the use of its images.
  August 25th Omidyar Network donates $2 million to Wikipedia. It is also announced that Matt Halprin, a partner at Omidyar Network, is appointed to Wikimedia's board of trustees. More commentary here.
  November 29th David Gerard stripped of his flags and privileges. Further discussion here.
  December 4th Actor Ron Livingstone files suit against an individual over vandalism to his Wikipedia entry. Further commentary here.
  December 16th Voting closes for elections to the Arbitration Committee. The elected winners include Wikipedia Review regulars Steve Smith (SarcasticIdealist) and SirFozzie . This is the first Arbcom election to use secret ballots.


  January 19th Mass deletion of unwatched BLPs occurs. See also [fragment, no link.]
  January 28th Elaborate hoax surrounding Stefan de Rothschild exposed.
  February 16th Google donates $2 million to the WMF.
  March 2nd The Mike Handel Story. A look into how a BLP hoax with Seigenthaler-like content makes it onto the DYK section, receiving some 4300 page views. Further analysis here - Dead link, Secondary link [Link not included in document.]
  April 27th Co-founder Larry Sanger informs the FBI that Commons is hosting child pornography. The events are informally dubbed "Wikiporngate." Further commentary and links here: Larry Sanger discovers "illegal pedophilia", Jimbo to Commons!, The Board Speaks on Porn, Ten most underreported facts about Wikiporngate?.

2011 December

Jimmy decides that, following the apparent success of the Italian Wikipedia in protesting the Wiretapping Act[11] by shutting down the Italian Wikipedia on 4 October 2011 and redirecting all pages to a statement opposing the proposed legislation, he should ask the English Wikipedia 'community' whether they should do the same thing to protest about the Stop Online Piracy Act[12]. The SOPA bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives in October 2011, to help copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property.
  14:11, 11 December 2011[13] "A few months ago, the Italian Wikipedia community made a decision to blank all of Italian Wikipedia for a short period in order to protest a law which would infringe on their editorial independence. The Italian Parliament backed down immediately. As Wikipedians may or may not be aware, a much worse law going under the misleading title of "Stop Online Piracy Act' is working its way through Congress on a bit of a fast track. I may be attending a meeting at the White House on Monday (pending confirmation on a couple of fronts) along with executives from many other top Internet firms, and I thought this would be a good time to take a quick reading of the community feeling on this issue. My own view is that a community strike was very powerful and successful in Italy and could be even more powerful in this case. There are obviously many questions about whether the strike should be geotargetted (US-only), etc. (One possible view is that because the law would seriously impact the functioning of Wikipedia for everyone, a global strike of at least the English Wikipedia would put the maximum pressure on the US government.) At the same time, it's of course a very very big deal to do something like this, it is unprecedented for English Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimbo Wales (talk • contribs) 07:42, 10 December 2011
  "This is my personal request for comment in order to guide my thinking and talking with politicians over the next few days. I am also speaking to the Foundation, Foundation attorneys, our paid lobbyists, fellow traveller organizations, etc. Because the Foundation has requested, reasonably due to negotiations under way and the impact that I might have on that by accidentally creating a public furore, I'm not able to say a lot at this time. Part of my job here is to represent the wishes of the community to all these parties, hence the straw poll. As I said before, nothing here is binding - if and when we would do something like this, there would be a much more formal proposal. Right now, what I'm thinking is that if there is a credible threat that this might happen, this could have a positive impact on the thinking of some legislators. Do not underestimate our power - in my opinion, they are terrified of a public uprising about this, and we are uniquely positioned to start that. Back room politics over cigars and promises, or a vigorous public debate? I know what I want, and I know what the other side wants, and they aren't the same thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:11, 11 December 2011 (UTC)"
Not everyone was impressed:
  "A "what the fuck?!?" Oppose. We're an ENCYCLOPEDIA. Did somebody forget this? The purpose of an Encyclopedia is to collect knowledge, not some kind of a means towards political advocacy. We are not a Political action committee and honestly, this whole proposal just illustrates how out of touch with the fundamental purpose of Wikipedia - to build an encyclopedia - a lot of editors here are, including apparently Jimbo himself. Of course anyone is free to support whatever kind of measures they wish on an individual level. So go strike yourself. Put up some infoboxes on your user pages. Stop editing for a month or two. But this whole proposal is just so fundamentally at odds of what this project is about that it's actually mind blowing that this is being proposed with a straight face. Wikipedia is NOT facebook. It is NOT a blog. It is NOT a crusading newspaper. It is NOT a lobbying organization. It is an encyclopedia. How about we go and at least try to get the "encyclopedia: a collection of knowledge" part right first (which, given the low quality of a lot of our content has some ways to go) and then maybe after we manage to get that part right we can give ourselves the latitude to go off on off-topic crusades. Stop trying to be cute, write or improve some articles first. That's what we're here for.And oh yeah. Why this particular cause and not some other? Volunteer Marek 01:09, 11 December 2011 (UTC)". (Some of Marek's comments were later hatted[14] with the comment "Volunteer Marek is explicitly requested to desist from personal attacks on others or stay off my user page").