Saturday, September 17, 2016

Erik Möller's friend Gerard Meijssen: The Cactus Peacock

The more of these I write, the more I notice they seem to follow patterns; if we know their real names, we can give a biographical sketch, if not, we can report on the sleuthing done by others to find out how this "handle" started (usually as an IP). So when I deal with a known clown like Gerard* Meijssen (GerardM), it's just very easy. I'm trying to not turn this site into a "rogues gallery" like the gone-but-not-forgotten Conservative Babylon, but the story of Wikipedia is a story of people, shitty people, and to truly know Wikipedia you have to talk about its players.

                                                       Unofficial Wikipedia motto.

The Meijssen File

Not as cool as The Ipcress File, what we know about Gerard Meijssen can be scraped off the Internet, but there are things both Meijssen and Erik "Kinder sind Pornos" Möller have hidden from view. Meijssen is Dutch, lives in Amsterdam, and has been on Wikipedia since 2003, his first edit was to the Cactus article that December. He's really into cacti, says so on his userpage. Paul Laney and Peter van der Puyl had this to say about a non-Wiki cactus database Meijssen wrote: "The cactus database which come the closest to my wishes was the database of Gerard Meijssen (which, by the way, can be freely downloaded from the Succulenta E-group). But that database works only under Access 98, and is more specialised in the scientific side of the plants." Meijssen quickly became a Jimbophile, broken-English Wikipedia-I emailer, and status-quo defender to the extreme, which made sense because Essjay hadn't been outed yet. Somewhere along the line he became a friend of Erik Möller, proving that even the 1940 Rotterdam bombing can be forgotten somehow. By 2007 both of them started a Dutch non-profit called Stichting Open Progress, a group dedicated to creating open source/free software and open source/free content; Erik Möller was the Chief Technology Officer, Meijssen was Director. This is now the thing that they are trying to hide as of 2016; links are impossible to find connecting both men to SOP, a group which came and went like a fart in a windstorm.

Back to Wikipedia, GerardM got further and further involved with the machinery thanks to his friend. Remember "Flow", the threaded discussion system that ultimately went nowhere? Eloquence (Möller) was the guy behind that and a previous incarnation of it, and during the Flow portion of this quixotic quest Meijssen was talking the thing up like mad because his friend was in charge. (I'm afraid to give links because GerardM might gank them like the information on Stichting Open Progress.) The Wikipediocracy Blog did a good writeup on the subject; the author is not stated. Kelly Martin had this to say about the relationship: "Gerard has long been Erik's designated attack-puppy; they collaborate frequently and Gerard has been used by Erik to float test balloons....Of course, both Erik and Gerard are thick in the wikicult, so for either of them to exhibit nonrational attitudes is to be expected." Meijsssen's ditsy use of Wikipedia-I for easy questions was mocked in a Wikipedia Review thread back in 2009; he was also mocked for being angry at a New York Times article on Wikipedia the same month - Greg Kohs mentions how Meijssen seems to hate his guts. He was a supporter of Wikidata from 2009 onwards but only started editing it in 2013; Greg Kohs had this to say on the Wikipediocracy forum (WO-MB): "I cringe that we are trusting the world's largest pile of open data to people who can't even respond to a mailing list thread without trimming the copy of the 16 messages posted prior to their response. That Gerard Meijssen guy is especially guilty of this, and he seems to be a really uppity tool, doesn't he? I think there's a correlation." Meijssen's peak was his 11-month stint as a WMF employee; he was a "Internationalization / Localization outreach consultant", i.e. "the foreign-language advertising guy" in regular English. I wonder if he had "street teams" slapping up stickers all over Amsterdam and sliding flyers under doors. Probably not. Why was he fired? Damned if I know.

Some Quotes

"Hoi, Reliable is not an absolute. Wikipedia is in the final analysis an encyclopaedia. It is not original research. Studies have indicated that Wikipedia is as reliable as its competitors. Wikipedia does link ever more to the VIAF indicators by the OCLC and thereby it links to the sum of all knowledge as it is available in libraries. I think you have it backward. Given that Wikipedia is best of breed, people do care about Wikipedia Zero. It is why Wikipedia Zero is not part of any walled garden; it is there for every company who cares to provide it free of charge. For the rest I find that I am getting annoyed. Thanks, GerardM Gerard Meijssen Sun Apr 5 05:36:48 UTC 2015"

"At Wikidata we have always been open to collaborating with external resources. This open attitude now results in relevance. A relevance that will expose every Wikipedia in every library of the world that is linked to the OCLC through VIAF. How wonderful is that?" (Source: his blog.)

"I certainly welcome Mr Kohs absence from this list. His brinkmanship is well known, he is not welcome on two projects as well and he boasted recently that there are still projects open to him. Getting rid of a troll is imho beneficial to the atmosphere. Mr Damian uses hyperbole to the extend that you would believe there is nothing good to be found in Wikipedia. His posture as a superior mind has become increasingly boring. I hope he will consider his options and decide to tone down this rhetoric. This might make him relevant again I hope. If not tough. So I am one to welcome the move by the list administrators and I am happy to support their action. Thanks, GerardM" (Source.)

"He's consistently a smug prick on that list. I have yet to see him add value to a conversation there."
  - Vigilant, in a WO-MB thread

"He's not any better in person. I ran into him at Wikimania 2006 in Boston. He would only talk about himself and his pet projects; it was impossible to engage him on any topic other than those."
 - Kelly Martin, responding


Beyond all the blather he has written the the back rooms of en.Wikipedia, he has the aforementioned (under-read) blog, a Facebook page with a ton of Wikipedian "friends" on it - all the modern inconveniences of the online life. His ordinariness outside of his Wikipedia role is so dulling to the wits, it was hard to write about the guy.


* To borrow a Harry Plinkett quip, "What is it with Gerards?"

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Beeblebrox Speaks! The Wit and Wisdom of a Wiki-Jerk

As we recently wrote, Beeblebrox left behind/has produced a wealth of just mind-bendingly dumb statements peppered with scads of profanity. Below we will look at his outpourings in non-chronological order.

The Fuck Off Essay

This one was from 2013, repeatedly deleted and posted again:

05:23, 14 August 2013 Beeblebrox (talk | contribs) deleted page User:Beeblebrox/fuck off (because assholes keep trying to use it to try and attack me. find a real reason next time, or just fuck off) 

User:Beeblebrox/fuck off

Once or twice in my wiki-career, I have told another user to fuck off. In each instance there have been several who felt the need to tell me what a bad idea that was, that it didn't help, that it was uncalled for, etc. I don't make a habit out of telling people to fuck off, I only do it when they've really earned it. I deal with the real world, I don't live in the fantasy world some Wikipedians would have us believe in where no matter how ridiculous someone is acting we all have to talk like kindergarten teachers lest somebody be offended. In each case of me using this term the circumstances were as follows:
  • The other user and I were in some sort of dispute
  • I had tried to break off discussion with them as it was not working
  • They persistently posted to my talk page after being asked nicely to stop doing so
  • I told them to fuck off
If that seems wrong to you, then you probably haven't worked a job where you deal with the general public. I have. Sometimes you have to tell somebody that they are too drunk, too loud, too angry, or whatever, and that they need to leave. Usually they feel suitably embarrassed and they do leave without any further fuss. Sometimes they would rather argue about it, embarrassing themselves even further with their inability to understand that they are acting like an ass. That is when it becomes appropriate to resort to using strong language. It has its place and purpose and anyone who thinks it's absolutely never acceptable is free to not use it themselves but should not try and enforce that draconian prohibition on others or endlessly berate them when they do use it.

That being said, don't do this

I really believed in this for a long time. I still believe in the underlying principle, but let's face it: Wikipedia is not a bar, even if people do edit while drunk at three in the morning. What is entirely appropriate behavior in one context may (in this case absolutely will) be seen as entirely inappropriate in another context. Doing this will only change the focus on to you for daring to use a bad word. The persistent jerk who prompted you to say it will get to just walk away while everyone yells at you for telling them to fuck off. A better approach is to just remove the offending posts. If needed, find an uninvolved admin to talk/warn/block them.
So fuck off from fucking off, it just is not a good idea in this environment.

Beeblebrox vs. Bwilkins

Beeblebrox oversight from January 22, 2013: 

 "Beeblebrox (talk • contribs) and his talkpage are on my watchlist. Having viewed the most recent series of edits to his talkpage, including the final one with the edit summary "FUCK OFF YOU PETTY FASCIST IDIOT", I have blocked Beeblebrox indefinitely as a possibly compromised account. This spate of behaviours does not appear to be consistent with Beeb's usual behaviour. Does anyone think we need an emergency desysop? (✉→BWilkins←✎) 21:51, 22 January 2013 (UTC)"

"Couple thoughts here: First, no, he's not got his account compromised, that's Beeblebrox's style that we're seeing. Second, ugh, why must it be Beeblebrox's style. This is the sort of thing people complain about when they say that admins call people names, etc. It's not ok for Joe Editor to do it, and it's not ok for Joe Admin to do it, and it doesn't matter how upset or frustrated either of them claims to be to excuse it. Third: This immediate unblock has made things even more uncomfortable - Bwilkins had already been informed that the "compromised" bit was an error, and whether that part was or not, Beeblebrox has indisputably violated our civility policy. It pains and embarrasses me to have to say it about another admin/functionary, because we're supposed to be the people who know better, but a block for personal attacks was called for here. I would much have preferred letting the blocking admin (or AN) reconsider the block as an NPA block instead of what's now likely to be a bouncing ball of blockage because of the immediate unblock. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:05, 22 January 2013 (UTC)" 

"I don't react well to bullies. I'm referring to Kosh here, not B. Not content to just go away, he appointed himself the civility police as well as the content police, and was equally inept in both roles. So i told him to fuck off. Then he tried to re-open the closed thread, so I told him to fuck off, and that he was a petty fascist idiot. That is in fact exactly what he was acting like. A user persistently posting to my talk page after being asked to stop is the only situation that has ever compelled me to tell another user to fuck off, and I completely stand behind my right to do so. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:17, 22 January 2013 (UTC)"

"Administrators and holders of advanced user rights should set the example, and not dish out personal attacks when feeling frustrated. I stand behind your right to behave like this once in a while, I do not stand behind you doing so in a position where you're representing this project. Snowolf How can I help? 22:20, 22 January 2013 (UTC)" 

The Idiotic Nightscream Arbitration

This one goes on for a while, but that knuckleknob Beeblebrox decided to take Nightscream down a peg for no real reason. Some good quotes:

While reviewing unblock requests a few days ago I came across a block placed by Nightscream on User:Rtkat3. The block was for their edits to the article Gotham City. They edited the page on 7 November. Nightscream edited the page themselves, and then issued a two week block on 6 December. I should think it would be obvious what is wrong about that as there is little preventative purpose to issuing a block a month after an action, and Nightscream was involved in editing the same article so blocking at all for anything but obvious vandalism is completely inappropriate. When I went to speak to Nightscream about this I found that they were also blocked at that time for edit warring at the article Jessica Nigri. A close look at the page history reveals that the final edit before the block was made after the page had already been protected by another admin and Nightscream edited through protection in order to restore their preferred version. It is true that the protecting admin another admin also reverted, to a pre-edit war version, after the page was protected corrected per Salvidrim but that does not seem particularly relevant. Any responsible admin will never make substantive edits to a fully-protected article, and especially not to one they were already involved with in an editorial capacity.

If these were isolated, one-off incidents that would be one thing, but a search of AN and ANI archives quickly reveals a long-term pattern of ignoring WP:INVOLVED going back at least five years. Additionally, they seem to believe that if they perceive a violation of any Wikipedia policy that their subsequent actions related to that content are not subject to the edit warring policy. This would be bad enough in a "regular" user, it is a dangerous and destructive attitude when coming from an administrator. Above are just a few examples demonstrating this pattern, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

In short, I do not believe Nightscream should continue to be permitted to serve as an administrator as they do not respect important policies regarding both editorial and administrative actions, they have repeatedly abused thir position of trust in the community, and in recent times have been utterly unrepentant and refused to even acknowledge their errors in judgement. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Nightscream's response:

Hello, everyone. First let me apologize for not having been able to provide my full response here sooner. The research needed to comb through all the relevant edit histories and diffs, coupled with some issues that I’m experiencing in the non-virtual world prevented me from doing so sooner. I understand the related guideline that requires admins to respond to Arbitration cases “promptly”, though I don’t know why this was interpreted by some here to mean that my earlier message here was not prompt enough, or that my full response now was insufficiently prompt. Is that guideline defined somewhere to mean “within 48 hours”? The need for promptness or not, the posts that need to be composed here are not those that can necessarily be produced within a day or two of their demand. This does not apply to the minor edits I’ve made since I was notified, nor to the ANI post, which required only the summary of things I had bookmarked in a single folder, and was brought about by the fact that the admin who suggested I post in that thread did so at the last minute, after much had already been said in that thread, and when the window for me to get my two cents in edgewise there may have been closing. In any event, SilkTork’s attempt by play Thought Police by claiming to know what I “take seriously”, and Beeblebrox’s unsubstantied accusation that I have engaged in a “delaying tactic” are unwarranted, and are violations of WP:AGF. Simply put, you don’t know me, you don’t know anything about my state of mind or what’s in my heart, and you don’t know anything about how long it took to comb through various edit histories to find the diffs and other material I needed to compose my response here. Putting aside that I have never been accused of this in any of the ANI cases or any other matter in which my response has been required, and the fact that I have a tendency to be comprehensive (so much so that I placed my 2010 evidence against Asgardian on its own page), just because my speed doesn’t match your arbitrary and whimsical time limits doesn’t mean you can gauge anything else about me. That you, SilkTork, would act this way despite being a member of ArbCom is astonishing to me. Let’s hope cooler and more well-reasoned heads prevail here.

Because of the various different accusations and arguments that have been brought up here, my response has grown too large to place here on this page, so much as I did with my evidence in the 2010 Asgardian Arbitration case, I placed it on its own page, divided into the three main areas that have been brought up against me, along with the Conclusion. I apologize for its length; but its in my nature to be comprehensive in matters like this, and I honestly don’t know how to compose such responses more succinctly without sacrificing what may be vital information. Nightscream (talk) 04:39, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I was not able to compose a more condensed version before the "within 24 hours" request by Newyorkbrad expired, but if those here would prefer that I do so now, I can do so. Let me know. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 16:41, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Beeblebrox's hope was to have Nightscream drummed out of Wikipedia; instead they just de-sysoped him in January of 2014. Pure idiocy.


Found on the WO-MB: 

"I have a Remington 870 12 guage short barrel that is very similar to this one, other than the pistol grip. Other than just enjoying a good shotgun, the reason I have it is simple: bears. Black bears come right into town where I live. Last year one was pooping on my property about once a week. I never actually saw it, but the evidence indicates it found my place to be a quiet oasis for napping and crapping, while still close to town were some people are still dumb/inconsiderate enough to leave their garbage out where bears can get into it. There are a variety of 12-gauge slugs designed specifically for taking down bears, they are quite devastating at close range and substantially less expensive and easier to master than a large caliber revolver or a big hunting rifle. I personally know someone who has had to do this in his own front yard." 

"For those same reasons it is also an excellent home defense weapon. I sincerely hope never to use it for either purpose, but if confronted by an angry bear or a desperate junkie trying to invade my home I'd like to be able to do something about it." [sic]


This was the "Ban Appeals Subcommittee" and Beeblebrox wanted it gone because it made getting unbanned "too easy" or some-such Internet Tough Guy rationale. The BASC had been around since 2009, and my notes thought it was "one of the sillier functions of Arbcom"; Beeb put forward his request in October, 2014. Risker had this to say:

"Oppose. First off, if you're planning to include functionaries in a committee, it would be a good idea to poll the functionaries and see if they're interested in taking on this work. You've not done that, and in fact haven't informed the functionaries about this proposal at all. Secondly, BASC is unnecessary. The only reason Arbcom is at all involved in block appeals is that it took it upon itself back in 2007 to review certain blocks, without any mandate from the community, and without any really good reason except that it seems they wanted to unblock someone with the intention to trap them and reblock them. BASC has resulted in almost no unblocks and a massive amount of work for arbitrators. The community is perfectly capable of handling unblock requests through existing processes. The Arbitration Committee should narrow the scope of BASC to review of blocks directly linked to Arbcom cases only, and devolve all other unblock requests. Just remove them from your portfolio. Risker (talk) 00:46, 16 October 2014 (UTC)"

After a lot of hemming-and-hawing the BASC was abolished in November, 2015, almost a full year after Beeblebrox's Arbcom term ended that January. Six years of "work" down the toilet thanks to one idiot.

Pointless Slams of Professor Edward Buckner

On Jimbo's talkpage during the Jagged 85 fiasco, Beeblebrox could not stop hitting Edward Buckner like a child's punching dummy:

"I don't know anything about Jagged 85's case, but I can tell you why Peter Damian/Buckner remains banned: he won't stop evading the ban. For someone who claims to not like this project much he certainly is obsessed with posting to it. If he could just act like a grown up with some self control and stop sockpuppeting for a few months I have no doubt he could get unbanned and be welcomed back, but he apparently can't do that, the most recent evidence being that it is fairly obvious he is the IP who opened this thread and then proceeded to personally attack me, citing my opposition to unbanning him in the most recent discussion, thereby proving my point about his apparent inability to just go away for a while, which he has been told again and again is something he needs to do to get unbanned. He would have us believe that he is so important that WP:SOCK should not apply to him. The community has repeatedly rejected that notion, so he remains banned. Simple as that. he was not banned because he is an expert but in spite of it. His behavior was found to be causing more problems than his contributions were solving. Since that time he has dedicated an absurd amount of time and energy into trying to publicly embarrass Wikipedia instead of following the fairly simple requirements of the standard offer. Apparently the view from his ivory tower does not permit him to see the possibility that he might have behaved poorly and has nobody but himself to blame for the fact that he remains banned. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:45, 26 September 2012 (UTC)"

Some hidden replies:

"Beeblebrox, I just looked at a few stubs you created. It looks like you don't personally know much of anything. It's okay. Not everybody is an academic. What isn't okay is do not let experts to improve Wikipedia . Do you believe that by preventing Peter Damian from editing Wikipedia you are preventing a disruption by a banned editor? No, you are preventing Dr.Edward Buckner from sharing his knowledge with Wikipedia's readers. Unblock Dr. Edward Buckner. Wikipedia will survive, and Dr. Edward Buckner will fix the article mentioned in the Baltimore Sun.-- (talk) 21:49, 25 September 2012 (UTC)"

"Who says Beeblebrox doesn't personally know much of anything. He knows at least something about sizes of weiners (sic) but I do not think this knowledge will be helpful in improving Anselm_of_Canterbury.-- (talk) 01:44, 26 September 2012 (UTC)"

Fighting Cla68 in 2013

After Cla68 posted a link to a notorious Wikipediocracy article about the beautiful Mathsci, Beeb attempted to indef-block Cla. Since Beeb was an oversighter, he had no problem making the original posting disappear. The mess turned into a lengthy thread on the Wikipediocracy forum, wherein numerous complaints about Beeb's abuses were posted. As Cla said, "Beeblebrox is a good example of why WP's administration needs more adult/professional supervision." Editor Wer900 called for administrative reform on Wikipedia, and was threatened by Beeb. [Link to WO-MB.] [Link to Wikipedia.].

(The above was taken directly from the notes, I did not write it.) 

Final Thoughts 

After reading though all of this, would you trust this idiot to run a popsicle stand?