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Claimed to be Oliver D. Smith. (Copyright unknown. Fair use claimed.)
I thought about what to call this page. Anglo Pyramidologist was the name of an early appearance of the user — or family of users –, and the primary Wikipedia Sock Puppet Investigation page uses that name. There is another account sometimes used to refer to the user or family (Atlantid). One of the characteristics of AP socks is impersonation, and it is possible that
- There have been impersonations of AP.
- There have been accounts incorrectly identified with AP.
- There are family members — or friends — who have been tagged because of using family IP or computers This can also happen from sharing internet access, not only at home, but also at, say, a cafe or library.
In the fog created by all these possibilities, what can be known? Plenty.
AP has had certain identifiable interests and practices, leading to the “duck test,” which is often so clear on Wikipedia that an SPI will be closed with no checkuser. That process, however, has been vulnerable to impersonation socks, designed to target an individual by creating blatantly abusive socks.
My long-term practice in many fields is to collect and present evidence first, before drawing conclusions. Such collections may involve days or weeks of research. Ideally, I come back and summarize and may draw some conclusions. But understanding derives from experience, not so much from analysis and conclusions. Here I am initially collecting reports on the identity and behavior of “AP socks.” These come from sources of varied probity and reliability. AP has attacked anyone who has exposed him, and he me that he would not rest until all my work was deleted. He’s had some “success” in that; but he does it by presenting “plausible lies” to those inclined not to look carefully. That all, in time, is being documented. I will stop collecting data when I die, which will happen soon enough. I’m not dead yet.
I have now been looking at many hundreds of possible AP edits and accounts. Patterns appear. However, I do not expect anyone to “believe” my conclusions, though I do request the courtesy of either examining evidence or suspending judgment. I will review pages and posts reviewing AP socks on subpages.
The first page I saw was one of the Rome Viharo pages. Rome Viharo was Wikipedia editor tumbleman, and a handful of socks. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition,” and not on Wikipedia, countless editors have showed up, believing that Wikipedia was run according to the generally-excellent policies, and it usually is, but where there is a strong faction, a faction that includes a few administrators, with a strong point of view it often is not. This exception will generally aligned with what is believed to be a “majority point of view.” The problem is not the point of view, in itself, but the methods used to imbalance articles well beyond “due weight,” which methods include targeting and banning those believed to have some “minority point of view.”
These methods include what I have called “attack dogs.” These are users willing to stretch the limits and even act outside them, but who are mysteriously protected and often not sanctioned. With many years of experience, I have concluded they are protected because they serve others allied against some minority view, who are not willing to risk sanctions themselves. Rome Viharo independently came to similar conclusions.
Pages here on Anglo Pyramidologist:
Wikipedia/Anglo Pyramidologist list of suspected (and checkusered) socks including IP. Mostly organized by date of checkuser requests or IP discovery.
MrRowser a brief SPA, mentioned in passing (not actually accused), came back recently to attack the studies. Clearly AP from the later comments.
RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist list of suspected RW socks organized by article or page of interest.
Geolocation List of identified IP addresses. A map is in preparation.
AP socks commonly claim that the “Smith brothers conspiracy theory” is an invention and claim with no evidence. In fact, the idea of brothers originally came from the socks themselves. From the Wikipedia Sock Puppet Investigation in April, 2011.(my bolding) we have a claim of 188.8.131.52 that he is not his brother (Anglo Pyramidologist) but that they sometimes edit from the same house. There are details about alleged positions on issues.
Many analysts don’t make the brother claim, but some do. My own opinion has become that there may indeed be two major users behind “AP,” matching the stories of “Oliver D. Smith” and “Darryl Smith.” Some alleged these are twins. Another possibility is a multiple personality (deliberate or otherwise), but there are people claiming to have seen evidence on the family composition.
There are various sites and pages covering Anglo Pyramidologist. It has been claimed on RationalWiki that I am supporting the people behind those pages. I have not investigated the various positions of these people (beyond, a little, Rome Viharo). These sites, however, provide clues for further investigation. I will comment a little on each. Inclusion here is in no way an approval of or ratification of the politics or content of a site, unless that is specifically expressed. This is material for research.
Rome Viharo, the blogger, was attacked on Wikipedia by a skeptical faction there. I had also confronted that faction (and anyone who confronts that faction is risking their account).
However, until recently, I was not aware of extensive socking as part of the problem. Rome started out by describing certain users who are not suspected of being AP.
AP socks commonly lie about Rome Viharo, and an AP sock just posted to my RationalWiki article a comment I made several years ago, on RationalWiki — I had forgotten all about this — that Rome Viharo was a troll (specifically, that what appeared to be his RationalWiki editing was trolling, not that he was trolling elsewhere.) When I first saw this, I thought that I may have been writing about an impersonation sock. No, it was about the RomeViharo account on RW, which was almost certainly Rome. My fuller comment places this in better context. I was critical of Rome, and have been, as well, recently, though about older posts of his.
Rome has been impersonated and extensively maligned and threatened, and people who go through that often are not polite and carefully correct in response. However, I wrote “opinionated self-important blowhard.” At that point, I had given up on RationalWiki, my edits were few, but that kind of rhetoric was common RationalWiki snark. I apologize to Rome for writing that, it was beyond the pale. He was merely wrong.
This is not the point here. The point is what claims are being made about Anglo Pyramidologist (or Atlantid, or other equivalent names).
Skeptic Sockpuppet army gets busted on Wikipedia. November 15, 2015. Understates the problem.
Latest Email threatens to increase harassment if I don’t stop reporting on it. November 30, 2015. The style resembles the style of threats I received. Threat of impersonation socks to ruin his reputation. Actual sock had been created and wrote fake opinion. At this point he did not have a name.
WP Editor Manul tries to bully WP Admin Liz on Wikipedia, continues with ‘Tumbleman’ paranoia. January 8, 2016. There are some claims here that I may follow up on when I begin to document the “fellow travellers” who have supported and been supported by Anglo Pyramidologist socks. I am indirectly mentioned — I had an article in that issue of Current Science, which is a mainstream peer-reviewed journal. I had seen discussion of it on Wikipedia, which was all strange. Long-term, peer-reviewed reviews of cold fusion have been excluded. The argument might generally be “undue weight,” but where are the reviews in the other direction? Recent reviews are disregarded and very old reviews — that may have reflected the status of cold fusion at the time, perhaps more than twenty years ago — are instead emphasized. In this post, however, Viharo mentions the Smith brothers.
One of those editors on Wikipedia is ‘Goblin Face‘, who edited on the Sheldrake article as ‘Dan Skeptic’. Dan Skeptic was one of over 50 sock puppet accounts used by a ‘skeptic army’ on Wikipedia which has now been busted and linked to the Smith brothers, Oliver and Daryll.
The Smith brothers picked up where Manul left off with their original slanderous comments and began a campaign of harassment and slander which they took to Rational Wiki, Reddit, and Encyclopedia Dramatica, Wikia, and a host of other forums.
When I started to study the AP sock disruption, I mentioned Manul (the former vzaak). It was a casual mention, not an accusation of any wrong-doing. Yet I was immediately attacked by AP sock puppets for that mention, one of the attacking accounts was named Friend of Manul.
Viharo does not provide a source for the Smith brothers claim. The page he links (also linked above) doesn’t contain any mention of Smith.
What will Wikipedia and RationalWiki editor Goblin Face/Atlantid do next? February 19, 2016. This is covered elsewhere. It has a claim of identity of the sock master as Oliver D. Smith. No source.
Factual harassment versus fictional harassment, Deepak Chopra’s Wikipedia article reflects larger problem. March 26, 2016. I’ve seen evidence for much of what Viharo claims, but I wouldn’t expect others to believe it from what he writes, there are too many claims without evidence. It’s a blog, one can simply state one’s opinion on a blog. It is also difficult to establish interest such that people will read evidence, but if the evidence is not available, it’s impossible. Few will do independent research. Most people just react, believing whatever they want to believe. So-called skeptics can be even worse than ordinary people in this way.
Clear Language, Clear Mind (Emil Kirkegaard)
This is reasonably correct, but does not directly provide evidence about identity (though this is where I got the photo of Oliver D. Smith. I have verified a few facts stated there. For example, Kirkegaard claims that he compiled a list of RationalWiki socks and was then blocked for doxxing. That’s true. The list was compiled on his user page. It was as archived. It was not doxxing, it was a claim of socking, which is very, very different. It was deleted by Skeptical, an AP RW sysop (who was shortly to disappear when outed).
Just about Skeptical’s last cough (November 7, 2017):
How’s it been holding up big guy? Parkordude91
Abd Lomax’s conspiracy theory about my identity is getting old… I’m not that person. […] Skeptical (talk) 03:12, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
At that point, “Oliver” hadn’t been mentioned by me, as I recall. It was all over the internet, though, long before I was aware of the existence of these socks. Skeptical’s behavior had led me to conclude, by about the time Skeptical blocked me, that he was indeed AP. Emil points to my small study of Skeptical.
Other links from his page:
- Lolcow Wiki, archived from April 2017. Someone did a lot of research. The foundation is laid, thoroughly, for a claim that Atlantid and the rest are Oliver D. Smith. There is also mention of the brother, but the link is dead. There are many socks I recognize from my own research, but others I had not found and will investigate. I recall an AP sock claiming that the Smith brothers story came from Encyclopedia Dramatica, and from what I show below, the clear identification as Oliver D. Smith may indeed have come from there. It’s completely plausible and is at least roughly confirmed by other sources, such as a Smith bio on Wikia.
I’m skipping the three Encyclopedia Dramatica links. There is some research there into early activities, but it’s not worth digging through the noise — and exposing others to it through links.
- Psience quest points to a comment that links to another more usable Encyclopedia Dramatica page with much the same content as Lolcow Wiki.
I found another Lolcowiki discussion.
It gives a home address. There is a reference to another discussion which has a list of five names, appearing to have been taken from some directory, all at the same address, which would be Oliver’s mother and father and then his two brothers. Darryl and Oliver are listed as the same age, roughly confirming the idea I’ve seen that these are twin brothers. I’m putting that address into the IP map database for comparison. (that other discussion shows what purports to be a threat from Oliver Smith to harass Joshua Connor Moon (of Lolcow wiki). I’m not showing more evidence here on that, but apparently there was real-life harassment and damage.
On the issue of the real-life identity of Anglo Pyramidologist, I spent a day compiling information, shown on the Identity subpage.
I received some comments from Anglo Pyramidologist (apparently). I don’t want those conversations featured on the blog home page, so they are moved to a comments subpage.