Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Cop and the Spaceman Call it Quits

We had a choice after the last post: either continue detailing awful Wikipedians [a reference to Ekman, this post is that old], or write about Commons pedophiles. It's summer and Strelnikov would rather write about  these gawdawful people than discuss the brotherhood of Marc Dutroux. What is interesting in both of the following cases is that they both quietly quit in the recent past.

The Long Dorky Arm of the Law

Tiptoety is almost too well-known to write about; he has a page on Encyclopaedia Dramatica (though it isn't up to date). Tyler Van Wormer is his true name; during his seven and a half years on Wikipedia he posed as an adult police officer even though he was in high school when he started being a Wikipedian in May 2007. The truth was that after 2008 he was a cadet officer at the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, which meant he was wandering the outskirts of Portland, Oregon as a sub-trainee. All of Tiptoety's actual additions to Wikipedia were either about Oregon law enforcement or the Sheriff's Office he "worked" out of. What made him useful to the regulars during the post-Essjay collapse/reshuffling of the deck was that he was the ultimate catspaw; he did anything the powerful people asked him to do. Such as this 2008 blocking of four accounts as sockpuppets of Anti-Gorgias, who "turned out" to be Herschelkrustofsky (Daniel Platt). If it was or if it wasn't, Platt was banned before, thanks to the edit war over Lyndon LaRouche (notice that Will Beback was involved in the blocking). Here he is "indefinitely blocking" Jennavecia (now Indubitably) in 2009, which was overturned. He also liked undoing good edits done by banned users, just because he could. He became an unlisted clerk in Sockpuppet Investigations sometime in 2008; there is no record as to why he was allowed to be an unlisted clerk nor why they needed an unlisted clerk. It seems they "let the cop be a cop" even though he wasn't a cop.  He went through the Request for adminship process three times (first, second, third) before he made it in early March of 2008. He could get away with this because he would block all access by a user in dispute before the user could post a formal complaint, so there are few actual complaints about his doings in AN/I, 3RR, or SPI. His style of action is common among the worst patroller types and Wikipoliticians. You can see this in his block of Boodlesthecat, which was part of the Polish antisemitism battle that was raging at the time. (We need to write about that.)

Once he was in as part of the Admin crew, Tiptoety went further and became an Arbcom clerk in April of 2009, ran for checkuser power in 2009 and 2010, making it in May, 2010, even though he only had a positive vote of 64 percent. Five years pass and in September, 2015 Van Wormer is sent a reminder to sign a confidentiality agreement on "non-public information." He ignores it. Gets another notice in October, "please sign this by the 15th of December." Out of nowhere on November 4th, 2015, Tiptoety just up and quits, resigning his adminship and advanced permissions, leaving this note: All is well (not planning on leaving forever, not disgruntled). I simply don't have the time I once did for Wikipedia and don't want my idle account to sit around with so many advanced permissions on so many projects. Thanks for the kind words, User:Tiptoety 10:48, 4 November 2015 (UTC). Why?

Thanks to the anonymous poster below the "secret" is out that Tyler Van Wormer is a campus cop in Oregon. I'm not going to link to the place, anyone can now do a simple search; we've had issues with people showing up to "doxx" Wiki-admins over at the Wikipedia Sucks! board, and I'm not going down that road. But back to Van Wormer - all I can think is that he got his campus cop job sometime after 2012, didn't want to answer questions from co-workers who found the Dramatica article, so he quit Wikipedia, rev-deleted the stuff on his userpage (which itself has vanished) and began forgetting. This post won't let him.

Douglas Adams Would be Ashamed

We don't know his real name, but Beeblebrox (possibly of Homer, Alaska) was a definite nominee for "Asshole King of Wikipedia"; that clown blocked more than 2400 users from 2009 to around 2013. Little to nothing is known about the actual person behind the handle Beeblebrox, which is the name of the erstwhile President of the Galaxy and starship-stealing two-headed alien Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of satirical novels. All we can say about the Wikipedia "Beeb" was that he was about 40 years old, possibly worked some sort of customer service job, and may have been a videogamer.

Beeblebrox showed up five months after the Essjay scandal in 2007, doing minor gnoming of random articles in August of that year, mostly removing things he disliked. He liked copying articles he worked on to edit them offline, then pasted or retyped the "improved" versions back into Wikipedia. That "technique"  increased his statistics immensely, though the clod was a heavy misspeller. Did I say that he likes to write the word "fuck" in edit summaries? Well, he does. He tried a Request for adminship in May of 2009 through self-nomination and it utterly failed. According to here, it fell apart over a nasty thing he did to the now-banned Bambifan101: "He put a "suspected sockpuppet" template for Bambifan101 on an IP editor's talk page with the edit summary "you little shit, stay off my talk page"." So claimed Scott Martin (Hex aka Scott) on the Wikipediocracy messageboard, March 20, 2013. We can't find the evidence now, of course - things like that seem to continually vanish. He would do incredibly stupid crap like claim that Gavia immer, one of the good editors and well-known to boot, was a vandal. As a very poor joke, he did the same to Drmies (Michael Aaij) a few years later in February, 2013: "You have been blocked from editing for a period of forever and ever for being an evil vandal who fooled us all for years, before finally revealing your bad intentions today. Bad Drmies. Go to your time out corner." He did another RfA in August, 2009 and was successful. In that Request he wrote the following: As the owner of a small business, I have personal information regarding my coworkers (I've never liked to think of myself as the boss, we work as a team) including their criminal and driving records. I am also privy to sensitive information regarding our clients, up to and including their home addresses, medical and mental health conditions, medications they take, when they come and go and who they are with when they do so, and sometimes other details that I don't need or want to know. I have to keep all this information to myself, and make sure my coworkers do the same, and have been pretty successful at doing so for the past nine years. In 2000, I also worked for the United States Census Bureau as an enumerator, a person who goes door-to-door finding people who did not fill out a census form and convincing them to fill one out right there on the spot with me. Obviously, this entailed a lot of sensitive information about my neighbors, which I had to listen to, record for posterity, and then forget all about it and never mention it anyone lest I be fined thousands of dollars and thrown in jail. So I'm pretty darn comfortable with keeping other people's personal information to myself." If the above is true, then this is all we truly know about that man from his own admission.

The notes I have on Beeblebrox are twice as long as the ones on Tiptoety and are heavy on quotations because the Alaskan liked sticking his foot in his mouth a lot. He is so infamous, he was discussed on Wikipedia Review, the aformentioned WO-MB thread, this "electric universe" forum, and a page I had to pull up through the Wayback Machine. There was even a now-defunct Facebook page dedicated to following the antics of MuZeMike, AussieLegend, and Beeblebrox. What I have decided to do is publish all of these quotations, fights, and other nonsense as a separate post, the first for September 2016.

His user talk page claims he is taking a long "wikibreak", but he resigned his checkuser and oversight powers on May 7, 2016 and has not been seen since. If he returns we will change this post to reflect that.

                                               A fitting song for the subjects of this post.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cranks and the Mentally Ill, a Long-Running Wikipedia Problem

If you have been reading this blog for long, the reader should have seen a post like this coming.....people who have mental illness and obsessives on certain topics are a component of Wikipedia and have been since the project picked up steam in the early 2000s. Where the crank starts and the mentally ill person ends is hard to say solely based on editing histories, so we are addressing both here as an overlapping pair of categories. We are not here to mock these people, only pointing out that they do exist on en.Wikipedia, and probably on the foreign-language Wikipedias as well.

What we do know

The utility page Userboxes/Health has hundreds of userboxes describing the health issues of Wikipedians; around 60 percent of the boxes are for mental illnesses or processing issues like dyslexia or dyscalculia. In 2014 the list included 33 sufferers of Tourette's syndrome, 23 self-admitted schizophrenics, and Someone_that_loves_cats, who claimed they were a psychopath. This person was a sockpuppet only used in 2013, but that is an odd thing to admit. At the same time there were 512 autism-spectrum users and over a hundred people claiming to be dyslexic. And those are the people who will admit it; there are many more out there on Wikipedia who have mental health issues and say nothing. Wikipedia's secrecy makes knowing the true number of editors and administrators with former or current issues impossible to discover.


The following are things found by Eric Barbour and Peter Damian while researching the topic.

"There are quite a few mentally ill people who edit Wikipedia. I have been stalked and harassed by more than one person here during my tenure, and while almost all of those folks were eventually indef blocked, after awhile, it gets to be too much. It is emotionally and physically draining. While some were mostly annoying time sinks who seemed to be just desperately seeking the attention they must have lacked in their real lives, others have displayed all the signs of full-blown psychosis, particularly in engaging in cyberstalking both on and off Wiki. I foolishly attempted to deal with through a rename, but alas, to my own stupidity I didn't think about the fact that it would be a public process."

- AnmaFinotera, on her userpage, August 2, 2010. She "retired" from Wikipedia after writing that.

Email to Peter Damian about another user, December 2007:

"What i don't understand is your surprise to find such a user; this is Wikipedia, not myspace...i'd say 25% of the big contributers are total psychos, i mean have you seen the detail and time there is in those "child murders" articles? have you taken a look into some of those insanely long discussions? you just have to distance yourself from them, it's simple really." (sic)

Part of a user talk section written by Anthonyhcole, April 12, 2012:

"Like many internet communities, this is a magnet for social outcasts of one colour or another. The bedridden, the housebound, the lonely, the frightened, the hated. This is a good thing. Most outcasts I know are good people, and this provides a place where they can do a lot of unalloyed good in the company of others. But the project needs to face the corollary that there will be an effect on the ethos here. When a bunch of rejects get together and tries to form a society ad hoc, they'll make mistakes that stem from poorly honed social sensitivity. It is highly likely that the social norms regarding each other, our subjects and the world at large (our readership) will be a poor fit for people of normal social sensibility. This matters. It is only just beginning to be addressed, starting with heightened attention to civility, but there's a long way to go, and the more these questions are discussed, the sooner we'll evolve into something that can seamlessly and responsibly engage with the world community."

Jimmy Wales claiming the now-defunct Wikipedia Review was full of mentally ill people, May 2006. An odd way to pass the buck as it were:

"There is actually a strange irony. Some of the people who post to Wikipedia Review are or could be legitimate critics, with thoughtful and perhaps even interesting criticisms of things that we have done wrong, either through honest mistakes, human failings, or bad policy. Such critics might be hard to listen to, but traditionally we have been quite good at doing so, and I am always one of the first to say that we should try to listen to all criticism for nuggets of wisdom. But those who are potentially legitimate critics do themselves a serious disservice by participating in a forum with people who are, quite simply, mental cases, and who discredit the entire operation with what can only be classified as offensive hate speech and stalking." (sic)

Some bizarre theorizing from the IP address on Super Metroid:

the odd Level and enemy names 

"am I the only one who thinks that Kraid looks like Kermit? A green frog. The inventor of Kermit, Jim Henson, died from AIDS. Note: krAID'S lair, contains AIDS and liar. Kermit contains the letters for "krem", the German word for cream when you use the old spelling. Krebs is the German word for cancer. It starts with "KR", just like Kraid. Maridia lacks only two letters and then you get mare and India. Sea and India. When you think of India, you'll probably associate it with curry. And the German word for sea is "Meer". So you'd come up with "Mercury", just like Freddy Mercury, who had died from AIDS about the time Super Metroid was released. When you rearrange the letters of Norfair, you get "Air Fron", like "air front". When I hear "Mother Brain", I think of brain dura mater. Mater also is the latin word for Matrix. Think about the word "dura" one letter up it's "evsb", which contains "BSE", and another letter up following the alphabet it's fwtc, which contains "WTC". I'm pretty sure that there's something wrong with that and that it aren't just my paranoid delusions. The Nintendo developers picked those names with intention because they knew something special."

It should also be known that was also a 9/11 denier, claiming that the World Trade Center jetliner crashes and building implosions were film tricks.

Some userpage ranting from the ex-US Army soldier Kolakowski:

"Civilized countries? I do consider only countries such as Japan to be fully civilized because wisely, their oldest people, with only a small portion of their life span remaining to be lived out, volunteered for the near-suicide mission to save others. However, at their worst, they are worse than almost any other nation. Semi—civilized states: Poland, Germany, France etc. They do try to save people even if they heart has not beaten for an hour (not just professional soccer players, but they did the same for my father, extending his life by about 10 years); they seek volunteers for near—suicide missions from general population (of soldiers). Not civilized but close to it: They do save people for at most 15 minutes and seek volunteers from young men. Brutally uncivilized: Countries using 14 and 15 year olds in combat Foolishly brutally uncivilized: Using kids under 14 in combat (kids under 14 are useless for the purpose of armed combat)! Sincerely, Robert Kolakowski son of Stanislaw son of Jozef Elizabeth, NJ, 07202 Bialystok, Poland JMRC Hohenfels, Germany"


"The positive "holes" do not transmit power, the elctricity travels backwards in time. Proposed on 18APR2010 Robert Kolakowski son of Stanislaw son of Jozef Elizabeth, NJ, 07202"


"Because of the Research (pl.) run on me, I am forced to like Caliph ‘Umar a little, since women were frozen with fear when he appeared; and I am also forced to believe in the Hadith that states that Heaven will be full of poor men, and there will be a very few women. I am dead certain that second only to Devil Himself, a woman, is behind what has happened to me! Sincerely, Robert Kolakowski son of Stanislaw son of Jozef Elizabeth, NJ, 07202 PS Women give birth to children! I do not care; I have no children!"


Before we leave the world of the Wiki mentally ill we need to mention two other users: Serafin and Ulillillia. Both are male; Ulillillia is Nick Smith the gamer and blogger, who wrote the book The Legend of the 10 Elemental Masters, an outsider novel written by a self-described obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferer. We don't know who Serafin is; all the indications are he's Polish, and thus like Kolakowski part of the Brotherhood of Francis E. Dec (if they were more artistic, it would be the Brotherhood of Stanisław Szukalski); he repeatedly defaced the Nicolas Copernicus article with the sentence "Copernicus was a Polish astronomer!"  which was endlessly reverted by Germanophile crank Helga Jonat and some other editors that were also later banned, as was Serafin for running an army of sockpuppets to keep this war going for five years off and on.

Cranks and Crankery

The list is a lot shorter, but that doesn't mean it's any better.

From a Wikipediocracy forum thread, post written by Tarc:

"A recent example is Hopiakuta, subject of a discussion at AN. Creates bizarre redirects, article additions, etc... responses to concerns are near-unintelligible, so they block him. Others are objecting and asking for the users' disabilities to be taken into consideration. I think it will be quite a downward spiral if problematic users are given this sort of trapdoor to avoid responsibility for their negative contributions to the Wikipedia."

Hopiakuta was around from 2006 to 2012, considered a bizarro, and given the third degree at the Administrators' Noticeboard:

Can someone tell me what exactly is this user doing? I've been looking over his history and he's taking a lot of non-existent pages and making them into redirects. Especially his edit summary is impossible to decipher. All I guess by this is that he's doing some sort of google bomb in association with these terms and his edits goes back years. Judging by his talk history, there hasn't been much notice at all about this habit. ViriiK (talk) 10:18, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
  • What is it you want an admin to do here exactly? You don't appear to have tried simply asking them. Beeblebrox (talk) 10:28, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Look at his edit history. I'm guessing he's manipulating wikipedia to his advantage to implement some sort of Google bomb or something similar. ViriiK (talk) 10:34, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
While his edit summaries are incomprehensible, the redirects themselves look good to me. Have you tried contacting the editor? I've notified him of this discussion. Huon (talk) 10:50, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree that this should have been brought up with the user before running to ANI with it, but if garbage like this and this and this is not SEO then I don't know what it is. See User talk:Hopiakuta/ index Samantha Geimer Lot Elizabeth Ann Smart Gilmour Deon Baptiste Ian Baptiste Emmett Louis Till Stanley Ann Dunham Anneke Frank Annele Frank Charles Augustus Lindbergh, which is the user's talk page before it was moved to a hidden sub-page in May. Nearly every edit since the middle of 2007 has been like this.
Is this something like the Sven70 situation? It looks that way, except there was no problem with Sven's articlespace edits, while these ones are indistinguishable from SEO spam to me. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 11:13, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Treat me like I'm dumb. I've been contributing to Wikipedia for years and I've read people's edit history which this was just the first time I've seen this long list of incomprehensible changes in the edit reasons. I felt like there was some motive behind it like a google bomb or some form of SEO manipulation since the edit reasons do have links to the articles or redirects. ViriiK (talk) 11:21, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Requesting some time, leaving a note with Xeno, who at one point was mentoring said user and might be able to shed light on this. - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 11:30, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
You make up fantasy crimes that are not supported by evidence, then delete honest questions.
You have even made Uunartoq_Qeqertaq inhabited, which is absolute nonsense.
hopiakuta Please do sign your communiqué .~~Thank You, DonFphrnqTaub Persina. 11:40, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
I never made up any "fantasy crimes". I simply said that your edit history is incomprehensible and it warranted my suspicion that there was some motive behind your edit reasons. As for "Uunartoq Qeqertaq" where did I do that? It never was inhabited in its entire history so it never was deserted in the first place. How can you desert something if no one has lived there permanently? ViriiK (talk) 11:44, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
(ec, responding to Penwhale:) Xeno seems to be inactive; I asked them about this some time ago (User talk:Xeno/Archive 29#Confusing edits by Hopiakuta) and received no response. In view of talk page contributions that are ... inscrutable ... at best, maybe a preventative block is appropriate? If only because Hopiakuta appears unable to meaningfully communicate with others, which isn't good for a collaborative project like ours.  Sandstein  11:46, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
The only reason how I came across you was because of where you made these modifications that made no sense whatsoever. The company, Stericycle, has nothing to do with any of these categories. Can you explain how you come to these conclusions? ViriiK (talk) 11:47, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
A desert island is uninhabited island is an island that had yet to be (or is not currently) populated by humans. Uninhabited islands are often used in movies or stories about shipwrecked people, and are also used as stereotypes for the idea of "paradise". Some uninhabited islands are protected as nature reserves and some are privately owned. Devon Island in Canada is claimed to be the largest uninhabited island in the world.
Small coral atolls or islands usually have no source of fresh water, but at times a fresh water lens (Ghyben-Herzberg lens) can be reached with a well.
Collaborative fraud.
I do not need to copy them all; this is from google:

Report: Romney made millions from investing in abortion related firm

Jul 3, 2012 – Romney Invested In Abortion Cleanup Company Stericycle ..... $100000 and $250000 in the Bain Capital Asia fund that purchased Uniview.

hopiakuta Please do sign your communiqué .~~Thank You, DonFphrnqTaub Persina. 11:55, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Didn't answer my question on the Stericycle changes. The modifications you made to Stericycle specifically with those categories did not belong there nor was there a valid reason to do so. Also I reverted the changes from that IP address regarding Stericycle because Wikipedia is not a newspaper. WP:NOT#NEWS As for "Desert Island", I'm talking about this change I made specifically because you made this change which you happened to include some non-related article's discussion on an already deleted article. I don't care about the whole "desert island" (although you just answered your own question but I can say that this is a case of WP:COMPETENCE). I'm calling into question how do you come to bring unrelated stuff into the talk pages or any article anywhere on wikipedia? Doing investigation of my own, I assume you own a site called and which thankfully is broken although your name is implicated in the broken links. Chrome actually prevents me from going via to the redirect site but in the link it says var/chroot/home/content/h/o/p/hopiaku/html/htttp:// However had it properly worked Chrome actually let me visited the site, it redirects I would have been sent to a malware website. I'm suspecting that you are doing SEO manipulation on google or some other website to redirect users to malware websites. ViriiK (talk) 12:07, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Your argument is too convoluted & I have not the slightest knowledge how to do most of what you have described, let alone the intent.
that had yet to be (or is not currently) populated by humans.
hopiakuta Please do sign your communiqué .~~Thank You, DonFphrnqTaub Persina. 13:00, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
So you're saying that you don't own these websites despite the fact you linked them in your talk pages (which I've removed) but are now malware redirects? ViriiK (talk) 13:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Frankly, a few minutes looking at this user's 'contributions' reveals that regardless of the motivation for making them, they are gibberish. On that basis, a permanent block per WP:COMPETENCE looks a foregone conclusion. Trying to figure out what is behind this is an irrelevance. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:17, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Egads. Block this nonsensical user now so that the cleanup can begin, i.e. "Condo Rice" redirects to Condoleeza Rice, "Mars Won" to Mars One, etc... Tarc (talk) 13:24, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
He also has the following sockpuppet accounts which are: User:persina & User:Kutahopia ViriiK (talk) 13:33, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Neither account seems to have been used since 2007. I suspect they were never intended for socking - they should likewise be blocked, per WP:COMPETENCE, which is the only relevant issue. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:38, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
I have blocked Hopiakuta (talk · contribs · logs · edit filter log · block log) and his alternate accounts indefinitely because the above contributions show that they lack the ability to communicate (and, at least to an extent, edit) meaningfully.  Sandstein  13:45, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

.....And so he vanished.

The Devil's Advocate of Wikipedia and Wikipediocracy turned out to be a 9/11 Truther who editwarred over the World Trade 7 building collapse, and was temporarily topic-banned in 2011 for their troubles. Then they were kicked off WO-MB for some other later "transgression", don't know when but it happened. Notice in the WO-MB thread (which goes on for four pages) that not only was The Devil's Advocate later banned, but Dan Murphy later "retired" as did rd232, dogbiscuit, Notvelty,while EricBarbour remains a user in theory because they are terrified to kick him out.

Finally, this list from VentureBeat in 2014 of the most-edited Wikipedia pages

1. Deaths in 2014 (19,324)
2. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (10,166)
3. Japanese dissidence during the Shōwa period (8,101)
4. Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa (7,644)
5. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (7,312)
6. 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict (6,485)
7. Shooting of Michael Brown (5,419)
8. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (5,147)
9. 2014 Pacific typhoon season (4,954)
10. List of works by Eugène Guillaume (4,229)

Notice numbers 3 and 10....the now-vanished Greg723 was the author of the Shōwa dissidents article, while Weglinde hammered out the Guillaume list (the subject was a French sculptor of religious statues on cathedrals in the 19th century.)

An Accounting Never to be Made 

Without the mental cases and the monomaniac cranks, en.Wikipedia would be a much smaller place. The real damage has to be the normal people who have to deal with the obsessed and the addled in an environment like Wikipedia which is already a free-for-all gang fight....the Wikipedia Sucks! messageboard has members who have been harassed by Wikipedia's legions of cranks, trolls, and crazies. As the site loses more and more members, we can already guess that the cranks and the mental cases will become the norm in editors and administrators. The Wikimedia Foundation might be better off locking Wikipedia in October 2017 then letting it devolve any further.

Monday, July 18, 2016

"Bitcoin....why did it have to be Bitcoin?"

Yes, the title is a paraphrase of a line Harrison Ford said in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it is true: Bitcoin has been like a pit of venomous snakes for the unwary college kids who passed Computer Science III. And with way too many of these things, Wikipedia was tangentially involved.

 We're not explaining Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a horrendously complicated mess and explaining it is akin to writing a detailed description in words only of all the hydraulic systems in a Grumman F-14 Tomcat jet fighter, an aircraft where almost every hinged surface could be moved by a hydraulic jack and the wings could fold back to fly at supersonic speeds. Luckily there is a snarky FAQ that explains it better than I could. What I will say is that Bitcoin has proven to be an endless goldmine of scammery: Butterfly Labs, who made very expensive and very cruddy Bitcoin mining rigs (devices to create new Bitcoins) decided to buy out the website in 2013 mainly because of the previous article I linked to, deceived the owner of into selling the site to them, then locked the owner out and turned all the articles on Butterfly Labs into puff pieces. They also did that to the owners of Then they were raided by the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 and all of this website nonsense was confirmed by the government's lawyers. Somehow these very untrustworthy people are still in business in 2016. There was also Mt. Gox, the Japanese trading house that began as a Magic the Gathering card trading site (!) in 2007 and then imploded in 2014, taking nearly 500 million dollars, and they blamed the event on "hackers." Never forget that we don't know who actually created Bitcoin; the possibility that "Satoshi Nakamoto" is a front should be forever in everyone's mind. Because of the blockchain method of tracking Bitcoin, owners of 'coins are forced to keep them at one trading house or the other, because to keep them on a home computer means buying more and more portable hard-drives to store all that blockchain info (which is shot through with child porn links, natch.) And then the trading house you have the Bitcoins in goes under.

Literally the only physical things Bitcoin produces are waste heat, obsolete mining equipment, those stupid keychains, and insane timewasters like the St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl. That mainland China does more than 50 percent of the Bitcoin mining in the world should give people pause, because the Communist Party could declare the entire thing a scam overnight and shut it down by brute force. Bitcoin is what happens when a world-historical credit bubble collapses (2007-08) and people go off trying to rebuild their money streams by any flimsy means possible. The difference between Bitcoin and some multi-level marketing scheme is that Bitcoin has a built-in system of internet Libertarians, people wanting to buy illegal stuff by an "untraceable online currency", and hard-core investor types backing it, which is why it keeps on coming back like Dracula. It's digital goldbuggery, pure and simple.

Wikipedia a Bitcoin promoter?

Pretty much it was like Scientology all over again, except the pro-Bitcoin people were like the anti-Scientologists; they were given a lot of leeway. One of the big ones was nullc, aka Gmaxwell (Greg Maxwell.) He does very little on Wikipedia now, but back before Mt. Gox imploded he was hip deep in editing the Bitcoin article. Drmies also did occasional editing on the same article, if just to prove he can insert himself anywhere. Look at the article today; little over 180 kilobytes long, nearly 400 references, 28 archives of back and forth arguments - it reads like an article written by smart paid editors. As of this moment, the chief defender of it is Ladislav_Mercir, a Czech programmer/computer scientist-type who was involved with the REBOL computer language in the mid-2000s. He isn't the odd one; that would be Eclipsed, who managed the short article on the failed BitcoinXT fork almost all by himself, before he abandoned the last account to become 1Wiki8Q5G7FviTHBac3dx8HhdNYwDVstR, and they still only really care about Bitcoin.

Is it promotion? I would say it verges on it a lot, but then we have complicated articles about the Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighter of World War II and all its many variants. The difference is that you can't buy a working Bf-109 G-10; you can use the information on Bitcoin in Wikipedia to get involved in that currency or Litecoin, Ethereum, or Dogecoin because all these cryptocurrencies have thick articles on Wikipedia. But then, that's the difference between Wikipedia and a real encyclopedia; the former is run by "hobbyists" (addicts, really) who know something about a subject and use that knowledge to make or improve articles, the latter is the product of professionals who have deadlines to meet and are writing to a certain reading level, with a prearranged article size for pieces of different types. The only people who are truly burned by these 'coin articles are the readers who are attracted, get involved, and then are ripped off by some dude in Bratislava.

As it should be painfully obvious (what with no mention of paper wallets), the writer has never owned Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, nor a mining rig. Nor is he a propagandist for the US Treasury Department. Take your paranoia elsewhere.