Saturday, October 24, 2020

A Boring Halloween: #Wikipedia IRC on October 31, 2011. Plus a non-IRC bonus!

For kicks and giggles, here is the main #Wikipedia Internet Relay Chat room on Halloween 2011. Lots of online doors opening and slamming for some stupid reason. These people needed to get out of the basement, get some fresh air.

Session Start: Mon Oct 31 16:24:06 2011

Session Ident: #wikipedia
[16:24] * Now talking in #wikipedia
[16:24] * Topic is 'Wikipedia: | Status: Up | No public logging | Specific Wikipedias: #wikipedia-<lang> | Channel guidelines: | Channel operators: join #wikimedia-ops or, if urgent, type !ops'
[16:24] * Set by Theo10011!~Theo10011@wikimedia/Theo10011 on Sat Oct 08 12:14:21
[16:24] #wikipedia url is
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[18:57] <jemfinch> doesn't feel like it's written in NPOV, but I can't quite put my finger on what, exactly, isn't NPOV.  Can someone more skilled than I with wikipeida confirm/deny my suspicion and, if I'm right, maybe explain why that article makes me feel this way?
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[19:09] <wwycno> !ops
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[19:09] * ChanServ sets mode: +o SpitfireWP
[19:09] <DeltaQuad> abuse....
[19:09] * SpitfireWP sets mode: +q *!*
[19:09] * ChanServ sets mode: -o SpitfireWP
[19:09] <Fluffernutter> hurk
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[19:11] * DeltaQuad sets mode: +b *!*
[19:11] <SpitfireWP> /mode +b-q *!* *!*  ftw
[19:11] <derp> Rude.
[19:11] <DeltaQuad> I know >_>
[19:11] <SpitfireWP> v.
[19:11] * DeltaQuad sets mode: -q *!*
[19:12] * DeltaQuad sets mode: -o DeltaQuad
[19:12] <SpitfireWP> *beep*
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Session Close: Mon Oct 31 22:39:34 2011


Saturday, October 17, 2020

How to Demolish a Minority Language: Let Wikipedia Handle It!

Scots was a collection of dialects, a West Germanic language spoken by around 90,000 primary speakers with 1.6 million secondary speakers spread across Scotland and Ulster county in Northern Ireland, continually confused with Scottish Gaelic. Now it's a freaking joke thanks to AmaryllisGardner, who edited about 20,000 of the 60,000 articles on Scots Wikipedia using a method of "writing the language" by mostly using existing en.Wikipedia articles, then running words through translation software or a Scots dictionary and considering his assemblages "articles" in Scots, which is mostly a spoken language. There were also others involved with this, but AmaryllisGardner took the blame in the media because he did the most "work."

Reddit is Finally Useful for Once

Near the end of August, Redditor u/Ultach posted  to the r/Scotland subreddit the post "I’ve discovered that almost every single article on the Scots version of Wikipedia is written by the same person - an American teenager who can’t speak Scots" which brutally laid out the facts: 

The Scots language version of Wikipedia is legendarily bad. People embroiled in linguistic debates about Scots often use it as evidence that Scots isn’t a language, and if it was an accurate representation, they’d probably be right. It uses almost no Scots vocabulary, what little it does use is usually incorrect, and the grammar always conforms to standard English, not Scots. I’ve been broadly aware of this over the years and I’ve just chalked it up to inexperienced amateurs. But I’ve recently discovered it’s more or less all the work of one person. I happened onto a Scots Wikipedia page while googling for something and it was the usual fare - poorly spelled English with the odd Scots word thrown in haphazardly. I checked the edit history to see if anyone had ever tried to correct it, but it had only ever been edited by one person. Out of curiosity I clicked on their user page, and found that they had created and edited tens of thousands of other articles, and this on a Wiki with only 60,000 or so articles total! Every page they'd created was the same. Identical to the English version of the article but with some modified spelling here and there, and if you were really lucky maybe one Scots word thrown into the middle of it. 
.....I’ll just say that if you click on the edit history of pretty much any article on the Scots version of Wikipedia, this person will probably have created it and have been the majority of the edits, and you’ll be able to view their user page from there. They are insanely prolific. They stopped updating their milestones in 2018 but at that time they had written 20,000 articles and made 200,000 edits. That is over a third of all the content currently on the Scots Wikipedia directly attributable to them, and I expect it’d be much more than that if they had updated their milestones, as they continued to make edits and create articles between 2018 and 2020. If they had done this properly it would’ve been an incredible achievement. They’d been at this for nearly a decade, averaging about 9 articles a day. And on top of all that, they were the main administrator for the Scots language Wikipedia itself, and had been for about 7 years. All articles were written according to their standards.

The problem is that this person cannot speak Scots. I don’t mean this in a mean spirited or gatekeeping way where they’re trying their best but are making a few mistakes, I mean they don’t seem to have any knowledge of the language at all. They misuse common elements of Scots that are even regularly found in Scots English like “syne” and “an aw”, they invent words which look like phonetically written English words spoken in a Scottish accent like “knaw” (an actual Middle Scots word to be fair, thanks u/lauchteuch9) instead of “ken”, “saive” instead of “hain” and “moost” instead of “maun”, sometimes they just sometimes leave entire English phrases and sentences in the articles without even making an attempt at Scottifying them, nevermind using the appropriate Scots words. Scots words that aren’t also found in an alternate form in English are barely ever used, and never used correctly. Scots grammar is simply not used, there are only Scots words inserted at random into English sentences.

And the most important points:

This is going to sound incredibly hyperbolic and hysterical but I think this person has possibly done more damage to the Scots language than anyone else in history. They engaged in cultural vandalism on a hitherto unprecedented scale. Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites in the world. Potentially tens of millions of people now think that Scots is a horribly mangled rendering of English rather than being a language or dialect of its own, all because they were exposed to a mangled rendering of English being called Scots by this person and by this person alone. They wrote such a massive volume of this pretend Scots that anyone writing in genuine Scots would have their work drowned out by rubbish. Or, even worse, edited to be more in line with said rubbish. (Underlines ours. S.)

Wikipedia could have been an invaluable resource for the struggling language. Instead, it’s just become another source of ammunition for people wanting to disparage and mock it, all because of this one person and their bizarre fixation on Scots, which unfortunately never extended so far as wanting to properly learn it.

Ultach also includes a screenshot of actual Scots speakers trying to get AmaryllisGardner to cease and desist in December of 2016, which he did not respond to at all. 

Then came the Gizmodo article "Alleged Teen Brony Has Filled the Scots Wikipedia With Thousands of Fake Translations" (which got the update "Confirmed Teen, No Longer Brony") and it became a short-lived social media topic. But that isn't the point of this article, it's the "why" and the aftermath. 

Explanations Not Forthcoming

AmaryllisGardner, so far as we can see, has never apologized for the damage done and Wikipedia has not drummed him out nor chastised him for creating a Wiki of utter crud.

 (post under construction.)

Monday, October 5, 2020

Before Metapedia: Stormfront Messageboard Users Editing Wikipedia

This is another short post on the recent history of Wikipedia.....Stormfront is one of the oldest surviving white supremacist/neo-Nazi websites in America, founded in 1995 by Don Black, who has been hip-deep in the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and various American neo-Nazi groups since the 1970s. The site has had a messageboard since the late 1990s, and some of the denizens of that space were Wikipedia editors, such as Amalekite, who was banned in 2005 for posting a list of "Wikipedia Jews" to the Stormfront messageboard; one of the people listed and who spent a lot of effort getting Frank Sinatra (his Stormfront handle) / Amalekite kicked was none other than SlimVirgin. Another user was Paul Vogel, whose personal page was edited by none other than David Gerard (he listed all the IPs Paul Vogel allegedly used, and it was a long-ish list), after one of the earliest Requests for arbitration which blocked him for one year in 2004 or 2005; they didn't give a date of sentencing. Hilariously they allowed "outsider responses" and one of the randos was JRR Trollkien, who later was labeled a sockpuppet of EntmootsOfTrolls (banned by Jimbo Himself in 2003) who was also a number of other accounts according to the deleted List of banned users (not to be confused with the WMF Global Ban.) The final example we can give is Svigor, whose handle on Stormfront was Svyatoslav_Igorevich, a reference to Svyatoslav I (943-972), a Prince of Kiev who fought the Khazar kingdom in 969. (The Khazars were reputed to have converted to Judaism, science says no.) His user page was open that he was a White Nationalist and he vanished after 2004.

Stormfront Was Open About Wikipedia Propagandizing

In 2012 a thread on Stormfront's messageboard discussed editing Wikipedia articles, one of the posters (Palmer) wrote the following:

For some e-activism... I would say Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia!
I know, anyone can just edit and add whatever they want to Wikipedia, but chances are your changes will be reverted if it's not factual/relevant or has any sources.

Here is one that I did: Vodacom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vodacom is a South African company that said White people can't invest in there Yeboyethu program, this wasn't shown anywhere on the wiki article so I added it.

If you don't know how to Wiki. Just use ==Section Title== to add the bolded title sections, type whatever you need under that title, then use <ref></ref> tags to add references (the little [1] for those that don't know) which allows you to add supporting links. Example: <ref>http://link-to-the-page</ref>
This way you can raise awareness on pages like this and "anti-White racism" and obvious double standards. Just use credible sources and word it politely, and remember to save your text somewhere on your computer in case they delete it, then you can post it back on the wiki article and maybe re-word it or look for better sources, etc.

Of course long before this, Wikipedia was arguing back-and-forth about Stormfront on a talk page that lasted from 2005 to 2019 and we got a bunch of charming gunk over the years:

This RfC

There are lists "proving" it a hate/neo-nazi website yet these "sources" fail to qualify their accusations. Think about it. When you go to SF it alleges to be a "White Nationalist" website. That is from the horse's mouth. But what about neo-nazi? SF never claimed it, some of the member are neo-nazis but not only are they not the majority there are others who condemn them who are white NATIONALISTS. At the very mosts it is a white nationalist website with members who are neo-nazis. At most. And ADL sources; seriously? We'll talk about neutrality on Wikipedia all the time but that's because most of the time it works for us.

Seriously, if we can't be honest when writing these articles what is the point of Wikipedia? Answer: there is none. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:45, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

You might have a point is we were basing it on the ADL. But we're basing it on the SPLC, the Univ. of AZ, the Daily Telegraph etc. Niteshift36 (talk)
The IP still has a point. WP:LABEL is a problem on this and other articles. Why do we need to apply a contentious label in the first sentence? There is no argument that it is white nationalist (from what I can tell) so that is fine. However, neo-nazi is disputed. We also all know that the media has a tendency to be sensationalist and does not have Wikipedia's strict and needed neutrality standards. An easy fix is to have the second line in the lead be "It is often described as a neo-nazi..." or something. Then Wikipedia would not be applying the label but giving the description the prominence it deserves.Cptnono (talk) 06:17, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
This as been discussed at great length. The overwhelming consensus was what we currently have. Niteshift36 (talk) 17:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
And people keep on complaining about it so it is a good thing that consensus can change. Can you provide a policy based reasoning on the label to be applied in the first line instead of being handle slightly different in the second line?Cptnono (talk) 20:57, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Since Stormfront doesn't openly admit that they're a neo-Nazi website you think that all of Wikipedia sucks.? That's just idiotic. Stormfront won't acknowledge that they obviously love Nazism because they fear repercussions. How do you justify saying that it's "at the very most a white nationalist website with members who are neo-nazis??" You object to this article claiming that Stormfront is a neo-nazi website even when it can cite references backing that claim up, yet I sincerely doubt that you could justify your assertion that any particular member of Stormfront is a neo-nazi. The website appeals to neo-Nazi's for a reason: the beliefs and ideas exchanged on Stormfront are consistent with Nazism. Stormfront denies being neo-nazi because that would be bad for their already poor public image (see for example, Warman v. Kouba, 2006 CHRT 50 - 2006-11-22 - Canadian Human Rights Tribunal — Federal: one poster talks about how he doesn't want white nationalism publicly associated with neo-nazism). Stormfront has an entire forum dedicated to "revision" - that is, the discussion about how the holocaust (allegedly) didn't happen. You'll find many of these discussions involve obvious admiration of Hitler's desire to get Jews off "Aryan" lands and how the holocaust was really a hoax and is an example of the kind of lies and deception that Hitler knew the jews were capable of and used to manipulate world politics. In particular, the *obvious* admiration of Adolf Hitler and the ideals of the Nazi regime expressed by many posters on stormfront is the best evidence that Stormfront is a neo-nazi website (I think it is OBVIOUS to anyone who reads the site that it is a neo-nazi website - how anyone can try denying this is beyond me). People post on Stormfront regularly because they identify with others who post there and like you said, many of those who post there are neo-nazis. That's precisely the reason that they're posting on the site: they want to talk with other neo-nazis and talk about how bad the jews are or how blacks are ruining civilization. To say that Wikipedia is a bad resource because of the claim that Stormfront is a neo-nazi website really just suggests that you would also rather not have "white nationalism" associated publicly with neo-nazism. I'm curious, you claim that the "sources" (there is no reason to put sources in quotes, they ARE sources) don't "prove" that Stormfront is a neo-nazi website. Have you looked at absolutely everything on those sites? (talk) 23:43, 17 October 2010 (UTC) A white guy who's ashamed of the idiots at Stormfront.
The label is one thing, (clearly, clearly racist), but there are conditions which must be met to be neo-nazi. As far as adherence to nationalistic socialism, anti-communist sentiment, fascistic ideologies, or anti-capitalism, the question should be whether or not the contributions that make up the forum are supportive of those ideas. I don't know that they are or are not, but if I had to guess, it's probably just some racist people saying racist things, with very few posts outlining the problems of capitalist structures. Racism in itself is not NSDAP, and even a claim to NSDAP affiliation cannot simply be taken as proof. That second part has two connotations, both that if I were to claim neo-nazi membership, it wouldn't just be valid in virtue of the claim, but would require some kind of evidence, AND that if the SPLC claims it, it isn't true just because they've said it. The SPLC happens to be very on the ball, so I imagine if they've claimed it, it wasn't out of the blue. Can anyone direct me to evidence of genuine Nazi components of belief? I don't doubt that they exist, but both sides seem to be looking for this. It's potentially in these many pages of history here... (talk) 02:55, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
As Wikipedia editors, our job is just to verifiably summarize reliable sources using the neutral point of view. We should not make determinations based on our own theories. that said: [].   Will Beback  talk  03:11, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Maybe if this is continuing to come up it is still a problem. Good thing we have an easy solution. Too bad established editors don't want to implement it.Cptnono (talk) 07:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Which solution? Niteshift36 (talk) 13:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Removing it as a label in the first line and spelling it out clearly in the second line. This is inline with WP:LABELCptnono (talk) 20:00, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think there's really an ongoing problem with the article. I think what's fairly obvious is that we have an occasional neo-Nazi visiting this talk page as an IP and claiming the he and his neo-Nazi friends are not really neo-Nazis. Best way to respond to that is to do nothing. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 03:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a neo-nazi and I see a problem with it. I kind of feel for those guys in this circumstance since their socially unacceptable beliefs causes Wikipedia editors to disregard NPOV (again, see LABEL). This isn't the only article it has been a problem on.Cptnono (talk) 03:46, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think WP:NPOV actually supports you in this case. As far as I know, there are no reliable sources that dispute these descriptions/labels. Jayjg (talk) 04:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Then "use in-text attribution" is required per that guideline. But instead: There is no dispute that it is white nationalist. However, if the site denies that it is the other two then there is no reason to apply the label like that. Simply say "Stormfront is a white nationalist Internet forum. It is often considered white-supremacist and neo-Nazi." There is zero way anyone can dispute that line.Cptnono (talk) 04:54, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
"In-text attribution" is forbidden here, because it would imply "apparent parity between the supermajority view and a tiny minority". See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#Explanation of the neutral point of view . And practically speaking it would be ridiculous anyway. Would you write "According to source1, source2, source3, source4, source5, source6, source7, source8, source9, source10, source11 and source12, Stormfront is white supremacist"? Jayjg (talk) 04:00, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
In text attribution would be ridiculous but it would actually be inline with the standards. Alternatively, it could be simply written as "It is often called...". It would address the concern below. It keeps on coming up when it is an easy fix.Cptnono (talk) 04:47, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

This stuff.

Does anyone here actually dispute that they are Tatarophobic?--PlanespotterA320 (talk) 20:45, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source that says that they are? Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:27, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

It Has No Real Ending

Thanks to the "social media revolution", doing Nazism has gotten a lot easier: podcasting, streaming video, ranting on Reddit, having your own racist Wiki (Metapedia), so on. The need to infiltrate Wikipedia has fallen away because the culture of Wikipedia is too annoying to survive for long as whatever flavor of Nazi the farthest-Right user is, especially if they are extremely militant. Also, if a project is tied to Stormfront like The Political Cesspool radio show, the article about it will be fought over as well. We live in a never ending nightmare spawned by the mind of Don Black, the Nazi who looks like a paint store manager.

                               Don Black sometime in the mid-1990s. The hair is grey now.