Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wikipedia's Bastard Children: Metapedia and RationalWiki

Because the MediaWiki software is free and the articles on Wikipedia aren't under copyright, it is very easy to do your own version of "the free encyclopedia."  The irony is that en.Wikipedia itself was full of retyped Encylopaedia Britannica articles early on.

When You Want Your Facts Nazified, Metapedia is Your Nazi Info Source

Metapedia is literally as the line above describes it, a Nazi version of Wikipedia. Originally a Swedish-language wiki created by Anders Lagerström of Linköping, Sweden, Metapedia grew to having 15 versions in various European languages. Anders Lagerström himself was a member of the Svenska Motståndsrörelsen (Swedish Resistance Movement), a neo-Nazi group founded in 1997 that later grew into a multi-national "Nordic Resistance Movement" covering Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. That wasn't good enough for Anders; he formed his own group Nordiska förbundet (The Nordic Association) in 2004 and ran a website called that seems to be a zombie as of 2017. Before forming this group, in 2002 Lagerström started up a publishing firm, Nordic Publishing, selling white power music and books; this is a long-running strategy first seen with American Nazi groups in the 1980s. It should be said that Lagerström follows in the grand tradition of neo-Nazis/skinheads/white nationalists by having a long history with the law: he was convicted of assaulting a police officer with tear gas in 1999, he was nailed on an illegal weapons charge in 2000. The thing that marked the beginning of the end for Nordiska förbundet was a 2008 break-in/assault where he and five NA members attacked a former member at his house, stole things, and beat the man up. Their reason was that the fellow had walked off with an encrypted list of 10,000 Nordic Publishing customers, possibly they were afraid he would go to the press. Most of the attackers only served a few months, some were tried in absentia, Lagerström served three months. The Nordic Association closed down in 2010, allegedly because the website was being used for hacking. The Swedish magazine Expo claims that Nordic Publishing became Arktos Media, which means that Jason Reza Jorjani, the gentleman philosopher of the Alt-Right movement, is being published by the same people behind Metapedia.

In the middle of all this, Lagerström founded Metapedia in 2006, becoming Aurvandil. One of the major members is Upplysning ("Enlightenment") who probably is either Kimmo Alm or his brother Jonni (who was, maybe still is, a member of Svenska Motståndsrörelsen); if it is the former, then Upplysning is not only a violent neo-Nazi and internet spammer, he is also into child porn. There are a number of former members, many who wound up later creating Rightpedia, the "competition": site founder Hu1 (aka Vajna, Antifinnugor, Muki987, Fiala1, eleonora46, and snuki146) who is actually Eleonóra Dubiczki of Pilisszántó, Hungary and was on Wikipedia before joining Metapedia; Mussert (real name unknown; his handle is a reference to Anton Mussert, the Dutch quisling leader of the Dutch Nazi Party, and heavy supporter of the German Nazi police state in occupied Holland, 1940-45) who was Galileo on Metapedia and one of the first people Dubiczki invited to Rightpedia; Mikemikev (Michael Coombs) who has articles about him on Encyclopedia Dramatica and Kiwi Farms Lolcow Wiki; and A Wyatt Man, aka BjornStronginthearm (his Stormfront handle and a Terry Pratchett reference) who is also ED member KimboSlice. One of the most notable members of Metapedia is Gregory Lauder-Frost of the Traditional Britain Group, a Tory's Tory who was promoted to sysop as Cicero and then given the boot a year later by Aurvandil because he could not stop getting into arguments over Poland; not a variant of Wikipedia's insane "is it Freistaat Danzig or Gdansk?" dispute but rather a man's inflexible belief in German Nazi propaganda that Poland somehow started World War II. Michaeldsuarez has proof that last sentence is incorrect, and that Aurvandil deleted Lauder-Frost's articles that were mentioned by Encyclopedia Dramatica, changed all editor names to "Pepe" (as in Pepe the Frog), then gave Cicero the new handle Matt58, in a sloppy editing of history that would make Winston Smith cringe. We should also mention Basileus, who had a long sockpuppeted history on Wikipedia before appearing on Metapedia only to slowly drive those people crazy as well. It did not end well. Finally, there should be some mention of Atlantid (Oliver D. Smith), who is Mikemikev's enemy and fellow inmate at the Lolcow Wiki.

The Horror Show That is Metapedia

Let's be honest; the worldview of Metapedia is repellent. Take for example the Holocaustianity article, in which Anne Frank is labeled "the blessed virgin", the creation of Israel is "the resurrection" and there is a long quote at the bottom from the now-defrocked Bishop Richard N. Williamson, who is a Holocaust-denier. Denial of the Holocaust is a big deal for Metapedia, which is why they have a stub article for Carlos W. Porter, who thinks the entire event was faked by the Soviets. They have 53 pages of similar "Holocaust revisionists", many of them stubs without pictures, but all of them have links to sites that have their writings in .pdf or on simple html sites. None of them believe the same thing; some minimize the numbers, some blame chaotic conditions in the camps at the end of the war for all the corpses the Red Army found in Poland. None of them believe that the SS camp guards used carbon monoxide from diesel motors, and later the pest-exterminating agent "Zyklon-B" (Cyclone-B, the commercial name for the crystallized hydrogen cyanide used in the fake washrooms near the crematoriums). Metapedia does not believe in the Einsatzgruppen as a murder-squad SS army; they are anti-partisan troops only. Metapedia cannot deny the Wannsee Conference, but it has doubts that the document produced by conference, the Wannsee Protocol, is really a mandate for genocide.

When Metapedia isn't a defense of the Nazis, it's a keen supporter of old-timey race science. They have a page on "Dysgenics", aka "racial degeneracy" which, like a lot of the pages inside Metapedia, was originally a Wikipedia article that was made Nazi. Race and intelligence has an article on Metapedia, as does Wikipedia; Metapedia leans heavily on the data, will not discuss any controversies. It would be fascinating to find out if the Metapedians started out with an earlier version of the Wikipedia article (which we know was fought over like mad), or if they built their own counter-article by scratch. And that's something that should never be forgotten: many of the articles on the site seem to have come from Wikipedia and then were re-written offline. Look at their "Race and crime" article; it's a long article (possibly filled with bogus statistics), then compare it to the Wikipedia version. Wikipedia is so touchy on the subject they broke it into four articles; one for the concept, one for the US, one for the UK, and one for Brazil (which is part of the "Social apartheid in Brazil" article). Meanwhile if you try to look up Metapedia's article on Black people, the article is called "Sub-Saharan Africans", lacks any photographs of African-Americans, Africans, Afro-Brazilians, etc., and is full of scare quotes and treats the article subject like a menace. It is probably the most purely racist article on the website beyond their idiotic famous Jews list (aka "Persons of Jewry").

The Endpoint

The point of Metapedia is to make Nazi ideology acceptable again, full stop. That has been a long-running project of far-Right groups for decades (Reason magazine used to publish Holocaust-deniers in the 1970s, because Charles Koch's personal guru to 1980 was Robert LeFevre, who was neck-deep in that world). The difference now is the Internet; instead of buying books from the Institute for Historical Review or the Noontide Press, you can download .pdfs for free. At the end of March, 2017, Metapedia vanished for a week and it reappeared with no statement as to why it had gone. Why the site disappeared is still unknown; what can be guessed is that Metapedia will exist as long as the Wiki model is still viable.

"RationalWiki is a genetic-egalitarian race denialism propaganda website that is run by Ontario resident Trent Toulouse. RationalWiki is a wiki founded by secular humanists in response to Conservapedia. They regard Richard Dawkins as their messiah. It is based on MediaWiki, like Metapedia. The wiki has around 4200 English pages middle of May 2010. The information is inaccurate and sparse. The wiki begs for donations. The site is extremely anti-Christian and anti-Conservative and promotes sodomy and gun restriction."
"Trent Toulouse has promoted like-minded people on the wiki to the rank of bureaucrat, and let themenforce the site’s propaganda and promote other like-minded people to bureaucrat, whereas Trent Toulouse himself does not directly enforce the propaganda. That serves to make Trent Toulouse appear blameless; the same tactic is used by Wikipedia owner Jimbo Wales. Trent Toulouse's primary surrogate is the user “Human”; Human has done much of the bureaucratizing that Trent did not want his name attached to."
Quotes taken from Metapedia's article on RationalWiki as it appeared in 2012-2013.

                                                 Upplysning (image from ED)

                                                    Hu1 (image from ED)

                                                     Atlantid (image from ED)

                                                    Cicero (image from ED)

RationalWiki, not Really what It Claims to Be

RationalWiki poses as this rationalist/secular humanist/skeptics encyclopedia out there to "fight the good fight" against cults, paranormal claims, and lifestyles while promoting science. The truth is, it's a home away from home for Wikipedians and a place for co-founder David Gerard to get his lulz out, among other things.

RationalWiki was begun in the economic meltdown of 2007, founded by Wikipedian Trent Toulouse (Tmtoulouse) and David "Assisted Living Dracula*" Gerard. Their earliest target was Conservapedia, which members of RationalWiki vandalized repeatedly. Conservapedia (founded 2006) was/is this American conservative variation of Wikipedia, begun by Andrew Schlafly (son of longtime, now-dead, Republican activist Phyllis Schlafly) in the Bush II years as this right-wing "antidote" to the alleged liberalism of actual Wikipedia.....and thus two Wiki-knockoffs locked horns, with RationalWiki flooding Conservapedia with fake conservative users who vandalized the site and Conservapedia squealing like a stuck pig about it. RationalWiki also slammed Moonie Wikipedian and Conservapedia honcho Ed Poor, just because. Certainly "Andy" Schlafly deserves some criticism for running Conservapedia with as much of an iron hand as Upplysinig did Metapedia (IP range blocks, drop-of-the-hat bans, etc.), but it's bizarre that another Wiki took it upon themselves to "discipline by vandalism" the site into whatever "normalcy" the RationalWikians found acceptable. Meanwhile since 2014 there has been a complaint on the Ripoff Report website on the RationalMedia Foundation that owns and runs RationalWiki.

What They Do for Fun

Members blocking each other seems to be where some people get their kicks, as the block log clearly shows. They also are extremely friendly with Susan Gerbic's Guerilla Skeptics group (who fought with people over deceased UFO skeptic Phillip Klass' Wikipedia biography in 2013). Really though, they like writing snarky articles on people they don't like, such as Rupert Sheldrake (notice at the bottom of the RationalWiki article the piece is part of the categories "shysters", "batshit crazy", "woo-meisters", and "pseudoscience.") It states literally what the skeptics groups on Wikipedia would like to say about Sheldrake in the BLP they fought over for years, but cannot because it would break the rules of "Wikipedia POV." Of course by mentioning Sheldrake, I have to mention Rome Viharo, who tried to keep the edits of the Sheldrake BLP reasonable and was slandered by RationalWiki for his trouble. Viharo has a site dealing with his issues with RationalWiki, Tim Farley (Vzaak, Manul), and the rest....I feel I can't write about Viharo because he was/is involved in both versions of the Wikipedia Sucks! messageboard. The links speak for themselves.


Because David "Low-Rent Nosferatu" Gerard loves drama and lulz, he gave sysop powers to noted Wikipedia loon Ryulong (Michael Cohen) in late December of 2014 and he only lasted there a few  months, trying to push an anti-Gamer Gate line while being generally annoying. And so we got this on the "Chicken Coop" (RationalWiki version of a noticeboard):

Two days ago, Nutty reopped Exiled. Ryulong removed Exiled's sysop. Nutty removed Ryulong's sysop. Neither of these removals was the result of a discussion on the Chicken Coop. As such, I reopped Exiled and reopped Ryulong. Ryulong has brought this up on numerous pages and mentioned a previous Chicken Coop incident. If we are going to discuss anything in this matter, we should discuss it here, rather than on 50 pages. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 15:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Deop all 3 and call it a day? (talk) 16:14, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Or don't. Since all three currently have sysop status, just leave things as they hang. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:19, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Pretty obviously people randomly removing sysop status because they personally think it's a good idea is a bad way of going about things. If somebody is abusing their sysop status then this is the place to talk about it. --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:11, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
FWIW - The opping of EE struck me as a terrible idea - he's not only a bloody worthless waste of space as a contributor (and a good example of the principle that if you just got kicked off Wikipedia, you won't do any better on RW without changing your ways - really, Caligula in Category:Engineer woo? Wasn't woeful categorisation what he got kicked for?), but also has posted copyvios that then needed removing. Though I don't see any in his blather this week. The key point is that EE lacks the minimal judgement needed not to actually piss all over the carpet, all the time going "what? what? what's the problem? you're so MEAN" and if you were looking for an example of a poor newbie harassed by cantankerous old guard, he's sorta not a great one - David Gerard (talk) 17:38, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I am no particular fan of EE but I'm at a loss to see where he's misused his sysop status. And if that's not the offence he is accused of I don't see the point of removing it.
In any event it would need to be a community decision.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:46, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't care. People are being inconsistent, few have any idea what they're talking about, and this kind of shit is always more about personalities than merits, but do whatever you want. Nutty Roux (talk) 18:03, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I want aware of process to actually know that this was necessary but CensoredScribe is a mess that should not be trusted on any MediaWiki software site with anything beyond reading ability. outside of my action, his bit has been on and off since registration. IRS not even like he was banned from Wikipedia for personality issues or whatever is rumbling there for me. He got banned because he wouldnt stop making bad content decisions when they were discovered and violated his ban on doing anything regarding categories, which he is wont to do here as well.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 18:57, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I largely concur, but at least almost nothing you can do in MediaWiki is irreversible (which is why sysop is actually not a big deal) - David Gerard (talk) 19:00, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
[plain old editor hat] I move we all calm down and back away slowly and have more Christmas drink and it'll be as resolved as anything ever is in a wiki full of argumentative skeptics all convinced of their own perspicacity and everyone else's stupidity - David Gerard (talk) 19:00, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I second David's motion. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 19:07, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I third the motion. I may personally dislike Ryulong; however he has done nothing here to warrant having sysops privileges removed, beyond vengefully removing mine which I've never done to anyone. Ryulong may have committed the capital crime of not capitalizing their O's and using apostrophes correctly, but I do that when stressed by the thought of every post being my last as well.
I ask that this matter be dropped and no ones sysops privileges removed; but if that is too much to ask, than before anyone is tried, may they at least be given warning that a decision is pending, so that they may present their case before a certain time. It will take some time for me to compile a list of my best edits here to refute the less than 10 examples that are cited against me. I have more than 10 good edits, just to science articles.
Inconsistency is correct. I understand I make a lot of edits, but I find it hard to believe you would the majority of them objectionable; this is cherry picking a few bad cherries in a field of hundreds. Also, I'm not an expert on Roman history, however that Caligula article sort of made it sound like he was an engineer who thought he was a god. I would be more than happy just to leave any additions to engineering woo up as a discussion on the respective talk pages, as I've done with UFO; just inform me now what is a personalized banish-able offense for me, and I will avoid it ahead of time.
You never even bother to just ask me politely to discuss categorizations. Nor does anyone bother to demonstrate what is and isn't copyright violations like Drmies did for me the two times I did that as Cassandra Truth. It seems to be like a DNA test done with words, where as little as 6 shared words between the reference cited and the summation of that text constitutes copyright violation. What is the number exactly and if you have a concrete number why isn't it stated somewhere on the site? Try not using a single word from the reference, and see if that's possible and not just completely unrelated to the source at that point; a single drop of plagiarized words like and, the or the article name, poisons the entire well.
We are all in the same boat; the one that isn't Noah's ark. Shiver me timbers! Exiled Encyclopedist (talk) 22:38, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Just an aside, you're not at all obligated to write verbose edit summaries for every edit, you know. Not that there's anything wrong with it, though the effort could be spent on more worthwhile things. (talk) 23:16, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Worthwhile things like taking a few seconds to consider whether adding links to Watergate whenever a -gate topic pops up is really such a splendid idea. >.> (talk) 01:36, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Now the reader knows why there is very little mention of Ryulong's time on RationalWiki.

The Great RationalWiki Break-In of 2017

Just to prove that they don't know what the hell they are doing, there was a massive data breach on a server.....which they announced in June, 2017 but the breach had taken place in February. Did I mention that Gerard is going to shortly e-publish a critical book on cryptocurrencies entitled Attack of the 50-foot Blockchain? Well he is.

What They Think of Us

One of their throwaway accounts posted  the following stub article, which was yanked and kept on their user page.

Wikipedia Sucks is a forum/blog that focuses on cyberstalking and harassing Wikipedia admin and users. Many of its members are former users of Wikipedia either banned for trolling or having their edits reverted and are hence disgruntled, alongside a medley of internet kooks, pseudo-scientists and conspiracy theorists. The forum supports a tin-foil hat conspiracy theory there are "organised skeptics" who control Wikipedia and the forum owner ("Strelnikov") has criticized scepticism.[1]
Wikipedia Sucks also targets Rationalwiki editors.



It's amazing how they got the link to the blog wrong, while the link to the old board is correct.

                            * Where I got that nickname from. Long live Aqua Teen Hunger Force!

[Update, late September: According to this report, Daniel Friberg, head of Arktos Media was at the Alt-Right march/violence festival in Charlottesville, Virginia. Jason Reza Jorjani claimed to the undercover reporter Patrik Hermansson that he was the "link man" between the Alt-Right and the Trump administration through Steve Bannon. Bannon is no longer in the White House and Jorjani is no longer with Arktos.]