If you see this page on an internet archive, it may have been updated and errors corrected. Always check the current version of archived pages!
Rome Viharo has a blog, WikipediaWeHaveAProblem. While I may revise this later, I will start with this post:
(original date: February 19, 2016)
This is a critique of that page. I will point out errors, if I find them, claims without presented evidence, but I will also confirm what matches my own experience. Rome Viharo is claiming a level of direct experience, and it is a common-law principle that attested testimony is presumed true unless controverted. Liars will claim that others are lying, but in a court, that is sorted by the judge and jury, based on evidence, but also on the presentation of witnesses. We are not in court, but I have talked on the phone with Mr. Viharo. He’s credible. That does not mean that all his claims are correct, we all make mistakes. But he is not lying, my operating assumption. On to the content:
I’ve exposed plenty of the extreme steps that Wikipedia editor Manul took to abuse Wikipedia guidelines to control editing permissions, but the real poster boy for harassment on Wikipedia, We Have a Problem is someone I only refer to as ‘Goblin Face.’
I had never heard of Manul until I started to research the sock puppets that attacked Ben Steigmann on Wikiversity, and then tracked that back to a family of socks the same user had created on Wikipedia, impersonating Steigmann. That first study, originally intended just to look at “Single Purpose Accounts” (SPAs), mentioned Manul (formerly vzaak), but did not criticize him. Yet I was attacked for allegedly attacking Manul. That pattern of lying about what was in what I wrote was continued. I still have no idea, personally, if Manul was abusive on Wikipedia, because I have not researched it.
The sock master is named, on Wikipedia, after an early account, Anglo Pyramidologist. From the early sock investigations, accounts claimed to be the same person claimed to be, instead, two brothers. It’s plausible. Both brothers, however, appear to be highly disruptive, and they support each other.
Manul is not suspected of being an AP sock, though AP socks have claimed to have at least four active accounts on Wikipedia, still. So nothing is completely ruled out. AP has created “good hand accounts,” and, so far, an example might be HealthyGirl, tagged by checkuser as AP. No sign of disruptive editing by “her.”
AP has taken “harassment” to new dimensions. Goblin Face, I had heard of before, because I had noticed the activity and reaction to tumbleman (Rome Vihaor), but also the edits of GF on certain topics I occasionally looked at. This was clearly an editor with a very strong “skeptical point of view.” GF was tagged as an AP sock by checkuser, and indef blocked.
I don’t know who ‘Goblin Face’ is. I do know that evidence indeed shows this individual has created quite an army of accounts on Wikipedia, Rational Wiki, Encyclopedia Dramatica. I do know this individual has confessed to schizophrenia and has been quite active in many fringe areas of the internet, including sites such as Metapedia which deal with topics that relate to White Nationalism.
I’m not on rationalwiki or Encyclopedia Dramatica and have no interest in you or Faintsmile1992, therefore I don’t know why you are creating threads about me on other sites. If someone is pretending to be me, then ignore them. Our debate on population genetics was settled, and I’ve left Metapedia having renounced my views (I requested for my ban, but oddly I was unblocked, but you or another can perm block me now). I don’t want to waste any more time with this. The faheem account was hacked at Egyptsearch. I’ve left this site and all others, but there seem to be a whole crowd of people elsewhere now reporting our behavior and stirring things up. I have no intention or involvement in this and am trying to move on. Atlantid 01:29, 6 December 2013 (CET)
This was the Metapedia account Atlantid addressing Mikemikev, later clearly an enemy of AP. On the Atlantid user page: “I had many edits, but renounced my views on race and left to better my mental health.” His Metapedia contributions create, for me, immediate suspicion that this is an AP account. But how relevant is it that he “admitted” — or claimed — schizophrenia? There are other evidences as well, I have seen. There are clues here that could be followed up, were AP’s early history my major interest. It’s not. I’m interested in recent disruption and activity, and the older material is only of mild interest, as well as disgust. It’s like doing research that involves digging in septic tanks. Sometimes it must be done.
The link provided is to an archive copy, timestamped 19 May 2014 22:54:07 UTC Talk:Bonesandbehaviors on RationalWiki. The comments there were from Saxton (entirely, three edits completed at 22:38, 19 May 2014). Saxton was elsewhere accused of being Atlantid, Saxton claims that this was by Mikemikev. The comments outed Atlantid as Oliver Smith. Jon Donniz requested deletion at 19:19, 22 May 2014, and the page was deleted 19:28, 22 May 2014. None of this is reliable as a source, my opinion. Jon Donniz appears to be AP from the special concern and from other edits. What Saxton writes is credible enough to be worth follow-up. I’m not going there.
I’ve seen this again and again: a user makes a claim — such as Saxton, about that IP being Mikemikev, but does not point to the evidence. I am working on a map of suspected AP IP geolocations, and there was a pile of suspected IPs (based on interest in race), from providers in Seoul, Korea. While I have not yet personally connected this with Mikemikev, others have, but a user with just a few edits who makes a claim like that with no clear evidence is completely wasting his time, just tossing mud, which is all too routine on RationalWiki. This runs through very much I have seen about this affair. But not all.
Rome Viharo continues:
I know him as Goblin Face, but others may know him under his many online impersonations as Atlantid, MikeMev, BookGremlin, Dan Skeptic, Mal Yankton, Krom, David1234, or any of his fifty known Wikipedia skeptic sock puppets, with his most recent and active Wikipedia editing account likely to be found here, based on identical article editing and writing style.
Rome does not provide links. An account name is not useful without the site involved. So let’s start with the SPI socks. Calling AP “skeptic” insults skeptics in general. Socks are socks, and abuse is abuse, whether or not the user is a “skeptic.” By using that term, Viharo plays into the hands of AP, who presents the idea that anyone pointing out his behavior is “against skeptics,” or that such people “attack skeptics.”
The link is to the SPI for Goblin Face. That was merged with the Anglo Pyramidologist report. Wikipedia is clumsy about all this. The full SPI, which includes all the GF socks, is here. About 190 socks are listed there.
I have found another “sock farm” not yet linked formally, so there will be more. As well, the recent impersonation socks are not listed. Wikipedia never figured those out and still has them tagged as Ben Steigmann (i.e., Blastikus).
The “here” is a link to JuliaHunter contributions, who retired March 29, 2016.
The contributions themselves did not leap out at me. I don’t see the attack dog quality (at least not so far). Without seeing more specific connections, I would do nothing more than place the user in a list of “possible suspects.” To be sure, I have not examined the edits in detail.
The most suspicious fact is that retirement. AP socks often formally retire (whereas it is more normal for a user to simply drift away). Retirement — or simply stopping editing — is more common after having been accused. Sometimes the user claims harassment. I see no such claim here, though.
So I looked a little more. First place to look: her talk page. She blanks the page, not archiving it.
The most suspicious fact is that retirement. AP socks often formally retire (whereas it is more normal for a user to simply drift away). Retirement — or simply stopping editing — is more common after having been accused. Sometimes the user claims harassment. I see no such claim here, though.
This edit and This discussion is telling. I have seen AP make exactly the same claims many times. “Julia” quotes Josephson misleadingly. The source is Uri Geller’s blog, not a reliable source (i.e., the Josephson statement might be taken out of context, might have been a casual remark, etc.)
The ad hominem style of argument is very familiar (it was all irrelevant to the editorial issue). It is relatively rare for female editors to argue like this.
I conclude that JuliaHunter very like was an AP sock. I think I’ll make a page here on those arguments. Is parapsychology a science or is it pseudoscience? I find the answer really obvious, but the distinction between “belief in what is studied” and the study itself is often lost on fake skeptics, and there is a Wikipedia faction that seems to think that “what a majority of scientists believe” is fact, instead of opinion. Scientists, especially outside their field, put their pants on one leg at a time. Short summary: JuliaHunter, an anonymous editor with completely unknown qualifications, is arguing with Brian Josephson, a real-name account for a real Nobel Prize winner, about what is science and what is pseusdoscience.
An AP IP sock shows up there: 220.127.116.11 Back to the Rome Viharo article, the account names:
Atlantid is well known.
MikeMev I suspect is a misspelling of Mikemikev, who is not AP but an AP target. He may also be himself disruptive and might even have bad breath or Bad Political Opinions. The misspelling seems common, there are discussions where both spellings are used.
BookGremlin was banned on biodiversity.com. According to RationalWiki, ForumBiodiversity is a racist rant. I have no investigated, but this is an AP theme, I note. Krom showed up editing that article, and possibly other socks.
Dan Skeptic (actually Dan skeptic — case matters) was a Wikipedia editor, retired and was replaced by Goblin Face, (Dan skeptic contributions) before Dan skeptic was blocked 25 December 2014 along with Goblin Face.
Mal Yankton is a one-edit RationalWiki account. Accuses David1234 of being Jon Donnis. However, there are accounts elsewhere. There is a discussion on RationalWiki that mentions Mal Yankton in 2013.
Krom is a retired RationalWiki editor. Still a sysop. Likely AP.
Back to Rome’s blog:
How many Rational Wiki editor accounts he has is unknown, but likely extensive. This individual is suffering from delusion, and has set up so many accounts claiming to be me or any editors that at this stage this individual should receive legally binding order to stay off the internet.
It is extensive. See the work-in-progress study on AP socks, which was the excuse for one of the AP socks, among his last actions, to indef block me there, and then for another to crow about it on the article on me. AP often claims that there is no technical evidence connecting the users. He must think that people are really stupid (“morons,” one user wrote). Yes, if they don’t look at the evidence, they won’t see. But there is technical evidence, AP has been very, very active and has left many evidences, not only checkuser findings on Wikipedia and by stewards for cross-wiki activities, but also sleeper accounts blocked, leading to RationalWiki, leading to an IP address, leading to other contributions following up on AP socks. Further, there are technical resources that AP doesn’t know about, and even when he knows, he makes mistakes. Truth comes out, no matter how much we try to hide.
Rome’s point in linking to the Reddit post is obscure to me. Many accounts are listed there as socks, not of AP, but of Mikemikev. The post is by a user who has only two posts there. That user is very likely AP. I have seen no sign of extensive “attack article” creation on RationalWiki by Mikemikev. I do know that AP has created many such, it becomes apparent when studying the patterns. Whether or not the accounts listed actually belong to Mikemikev is not known to me. Some might be. Some look familiar to me as either AP accounts or favorite targets of AP. Back to the blog:
It took me awhile to sort all of this out, as I had no idea who was doing this to me on the internet, and assumed many of the accounts doing this were often different people when likely they were just this one single user. Last year when I discovered this individual was (finally) busted on Wikipedia for their massive sock puppet army of fake skeptic editor accounts, I received a threatening email, advising I remove all posts about him or he would continue with the harassment by impersonating me.
“You’re already listed as a pseudoscience promoter on your Rational Wiki article, I can easily add creationist to your page.”
This individual then created an account as Rome Viharo on Religious Forums and initiated a discussion on evolution, while posing as me arguing for ‘creationism’. I reached out the that forums admin to have them remove his account, which they did. He then went on Rational Wiki and tried to use this as a source to say say I’m a creationist on Rational Wiki, a continuation of the same strategy I encountered on Wikipedia with editors Manul, Roxy the Dog, and Lucky Louie.
Rome links to his page quoting the email, in a blog post dated November 30, 2015. He does not show the mail headers, only a screenshot from a webmail reader. I hope he still has the original! Those headers are important. He is making an unstated assumption here, that the person who mailed him the threat and who created the Religious Forums account are the same as AP and the socks who harassed him on Wikipedia. Here, he mixes together Manul and maybe others who have not been identified with AP. This is sloppy. There are two levels of disruption here: an attack dog using many accounts, with his own personal agenda, often of revenge, and those who might be using or supporting that attack dog, and then a general penumbra of users who might share some agenda.
From his very understandable outrage, Rome does not appear to realize that something far deeper than honest emotional reaction is called for here. We need evidence, facts. So what can I find from what Rome has given?
The date of the post is given. The forum post was archived, at 17 Nov 2015 02:53:57, (so we can see the original fake name and photo.) It is likely that the impersonator did intend to put this up on RatWiki.
As well, Rome does give a RatWiki link, pointing to this discussion section:
So this is a thing
http://www.religiousforums.com/threads/evolution-is-not-observable-admits-jerry-coyne.181688/ FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 02:26, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Is Rome claiming that FuzzyCatPotato is the one who threatened him? This is very, very unlikely.
To be sure, this was in early 2016 and Rome might no longer think this way. The impersonation was clumsy. RatWiki users didn’t buy it. It is not clear that FCP did, either. He certainly did not argue for it being Rome. Was this Mikemikev? Unlikely, though I would not rule anything out. But why would Mikemikev use his own photo to impersonate another? I can think of one person who might do that, someone who wanted to impersonate Mikemikev impersonating Rome Viharo. Why not an actual photo of Rome?
The threat was a demand to “remove posts on Dan Skeptic/Goblin Face/Atlantid.” Those are clearly known AP socks, so the user was telegraphing that he was AP. AP threatened me similarly (though not by email.)
Rational Wiki, desperate for any information they can find to twist the narrative of me into a crackpot didn’t even fall for this one, although they continue to enable his massive sock puppet farm on Rational Wiki while many of his accounts have edited my article anyway. To this day Rational Wiki’s article on me at the bottom declares that I am harassing Wikipedia editors with the publication of Wikipedia We Have a Problem, an edit that Goblin Face made and was accepted by the community, even though no links support that statement or consensus. Ironically they use a statement Tim Farley made about me on the internet as a reference for labeling me as an ‘internet troll’, a claim Goblin Face continually makes around the web.
Perhaps I should remind Rome that Rational Wiki is not a person and so cannot be “desperate.” Yes. There are many socks on RW attacking him. Yes, his WWHP is not harassment, as such. It is not harassment to document user activities. Now, however, Tim Farley is a real name — as is Rome Viharo. Libelling real persons can be harassment. Bloggers are journalists of a kind, and the same risks and protections exist for them as for journalists in general. Bloggers are responsible, generally (though one can start relatively anonymous blogs).
AP commonly accuses others of being trolls; he will find a person who called him a troll somewhere, never mind whether that person was a troll himself, certainly he has done that about me. If someone is very active on internet fora, as I have been from time to time: it’s easy. Just google the person’s name and “troll.” Presto! Proof. The person is a troll because MrNoName said so! However, again, Tim Farley. He has a Wikipedia article. He has a web site. I must admit I have a bit of a bias against “professional skeptics,” because scientific skepticism — skepticism is essential to science — does not treat others — and entire fields — in clear acceptance of personal beliefs about them, skepticism is reserved for others. It’s pseudoskepticism. It does not us ad-hominem arguments, as we will see Farley present here. One of the signs, by the way, of pseudoskepticism is a rejection of the idea that there is any such thing.
(I will elsewhere examine Farley’s site in more detail. The funniest section is the one under “Pseudoscience,” “Expert Witnesses.” Apparently, they sometimes make mistakes, he lists a series of claimed errors. Amazing! What, exactly, is the “pseudoscience” here? He doesn’t actually say. The site is a compendium of anecdotal evidence. I see no sign that Farley actually has scientific training. The site is fully of easy targets, — joining some dangerous cult with a muderous leader might lead to premature death! — and then some that merely represent people doing something “not mainstream,” which, by definition must be “not critical thinking,” and then something Bad Happened. Is the mainstream ever “not critically thinking.” Any examples on his site of people who followed the “standard of practice,” then died?)
(It is an exercise in “ain’t it awful” fuzzy thinking. Farley-style skeptics, however, have seen the light and use Science to make decisions, so they never make mistakes. Why doesn’t everyone use Science? Those fake “experts” probably thought they knew something, but they were Wrong! Does Farley have any idea of the function at law of expert witnesses? I see no sign of it. He’s an opinionated blowhard, like too many fake skeptics.)
In any case, I found the reference. It’s to an archive.is page. The original is up. This is the thread. Farley was commenting to a “safe community” for him. The topic: RationalWiki invites those who disagree with them to write an essay. Rome Viharo did that. It was deleted by Miekal, one of RW’s teen wonders, now retired, but it had been archived. FuzzyCatPotato and Miekal then wheel-warred over deletion/undeletion, and FCP prevailed as of 20 April 2015. The essay still exists as was noted in the discussion. Farley pops in after that with a mindless, knee-jerk reactive, not showing that he had read the essay. His background belief would be that Viharo was wrong, promoting pseudoscience, and … take it away, Tim:
(Tim is Wikipedia editor Krelnik)
It is clear to me, if only from his extreme verbosity, that this guy is just a troll trying to soak up as much of everyone’s time as possible. Every comment elicits a gigantic reply from him, no issue is too small for him to write thousands of words on it.
This is standard pseudoskeptical cant. If someone writes a lot, they are therefore a troll “trying to soak up everyone’s time.” That is the the motivation of a true troll, except in one way: when the troll is participating in a discussion where actual research would reveal that a person or faction are blowing smoke, the troll will create diversions. Anyone familiar with Wikipedia process would know this. It is not done with “gigantic replies,” however, because people will simply skip them. It is typically done with a brief lie or insult, the goal of a troll being to goad an enemy into massive reply, which then will be ignored by most. It doesn’t matter if the reply is purely emotional or is sober evidence, the troll knows that communities, especially wiki communities, but also on-line discussion fora, are allergic to anything that isn’t quick, that appears as a “wall of text,” for example.
Somehow it escapes whole communities that reading what someone has written is voluntary, every few need to actually read the whole thing (say an admin who is responding to a complaint that a post was uncivil). I complied a list of all edits of JzG, for an RfC on him, and it’s clear that many commenting didn’t understand what it was. All those edit summaries, they thought they were my comments, and obviously I was cherry-picking and had filled it with my opinions. No. It was simply complied from page histories, all the related edits. RfCs are not to be about the filer, and I had a co-signer, Durova (well-known and popular). Still, the vote was about 2:1 Ban Abd. The case went to the Arbitration Committee and the same argument was being made against that evidence page. So an arbitrator wrote a bot and collected the same data. The whole case turned around. JzG was reprimanded …. and, of the next 8 years, took many opportunities to get even. As Rome later says, it is Lord of the Flies. Farley went on:
Do not let him waste your time, he’s not worth the trouble. He’s been angry for years that the top result in Google for his own name is the RationalWiki article about him, so he’s just trying to annoy/aggravate/rile the editors. Don’t fall for it.
That isn’t his motivation at all. Farley is simply making this up as a quick rationalization for his position. I would turn that around: how would Tim Farley feel if a web site that gets high Google placement were to have an attack article on him, that presents every bit of dirt that can be twisted or contorted from fact, and that, in fact, does cause real-world difficulties or harm? That was written by one of the most abusive sock masters I have ever seen, and who claims to have the support of administrators on Wikipedia and a prominent skeptic organization? Farley is apparently involved with two such organizations and it is very possible that he knows who Anglo Pyramidologist is, and he supports him.
Farley, like many pseudoskeptics, is at war with “pseudoscience,” and the friend of his enemies is his enemy, so he could hardly be surprised if that gets turned around. I have only been studying Anglo Pyramidologist, but I keep coming across signs of a penumbra of support for AP, mysterious actions that protect him, seemingly coming out of the blue. So, eventually, I plant to research this far more difficult issue. AP as a sock master is totally obvious. Now, are there any wider implications? How would we know?
Pseudoskeptics know because they just know. They do not actually review evidence and balance it before coming to conclusions. Truzzi wrote about this and so did other genuine skeptics. The judgment of “baloney” or “flim-flam” or “pseudoscience” exists first and then the mind filters reality to prove it.
Farley has a tag display below his comment:
Well, is the RationalWiki article “misinformation”? If so, could it be causing harm? I have never seen Farley document a case where “skeptics” turned out to be incorrect. His site and his world view is filtered, through shit-colored glasses.
I looked at the Facebook page, and this is at the top of comments:
Anti-Wikipedia and anti-RationalWiki woo-woos are hilarious. One claimed an RW article was “constructed by” me, but the edit history of that article clearly shows I’ve never touched it. Then the nitwit brags of how “confident in what I am claiming here” he is. #trolls#subtweet
Notice: a claim with no evidence. Shall we believe it? What article? What does “constructed” mean?
Favorite troll tactic: present an unverifiable and inaccurate claim, designed to irritate the target, then present a claim that, if verified, might seem to negate the target’s claim. What was actually said?
Before I look for it, if this is the Rome Viharo article, it, like many others, were written by Anglo Pyramidologist socks, it is totally obvious from edit history and the pattern of arguments and other contributions. On Wikipedia, that sock master would immediately be tagged, even without checkuser.
The choir responds:
I’m not aware of any Farley socks, as such. However, what if he is paying or arranging payment for the work of Anglo Pyramidologist. That is simply a question, not a claim. What it brings out is, however, that one may construct something in many ways, not merely directly, by personally editing. But if Farley was creating anonymous accounts at RationalWiki, how would we know. What Farley is presenting as if proof that the claimant was wrong was not evidence at all. However, Farley would not show the quite coherent patterns of behavior that Anglo Pyramidologist socks do. His IP edits would not geolocate to a known Anglo Pyramidologist location, etc. I have not researched Farley with any depth. I may get there.
I found the claim. No wonder he doesn’t directly point to it. He knows that would create traffic, the last thing he wants. But he is so misleading that I might as well say he is lying. This is what is there, on Viharo’s blog. Notice how, by the way, he makes the incident into a general claim about all alleged “woo-woo” anti-wikipedia and anti-rationalwiki commentators. This is the typical conversion of anecdote into belief in a pattern of behavior. Are there “legitimate” critics of Wikipedia and RationalWiki? Not in Farley’s world. What Viharo wrote (January 1, 2018):
My “attack” article was written on RationalWiki within a few days after I confronted this group of editors on Wikipedia after they doxxed and outed me on Wikipedia. RationalWiki’s article on me was clearly nothing more than a revenge article, promoted and manipulated by Tim Farley, the Smith brothers, and probably a few of the other Wikipedia editors covered on Wikipedia We Have a Problem.
What’s more, so desperate was this attempt to “revenge” me that they optimized my article on RationalWiki for a number one search result for my name (the number of times I am mentioned on that platform are unbelievable but intentional for this purpose), and all of these internal links create a very strong SEO article they link back to. This was engineered by Tim Farley, by his own admission.
I’m so confident in what I am claiming here that I will show you how to falsify it in case you don’t believe me.
Well, that twitter comment is reasonably convincing that Farely is involved as was, then, promoting the RationalWiki article. It appears that he was writing to the GSOW which is a blatant attempt — successful so far — to coordinate Wikipedia editing. He is inviting Wikipedia editors to point to that RW article. By whom was that article created? I show a long list of AP socks who participated.
See also the list for the talk page.
The article was created as a redirect to a section in the Rupert Sheldrake article, 06:11, 22 October 2013 by David1234, an obvious AP sock (mentioned above), active from 9 September 2013 (first action, creating an article on an alleged parapsychologist), until his last edit 26 November 2013. That section as David1234 pointed to it.
The article was actually created November 4, 2013, by Debunker, another obvious AP sock, active from that date (first edit is to create the Rome Viharo article) to 5 December, 2013. Identical article interests as David1234.
Then, Rome claims that, to verify his claims:
Try to edit or add a source to my RationalWiki article. No one is allowed to edit or add sources to this revenge article on me, other than the same perpetrators who have been stalking me for years since encountering them on Wikipedia.
That is an intentional platform permission, given and allowed to my perpetrator by both David [Gerard] and Trent [Toulouse].
I do not claim to have seen proof of the collusion described, but I have seen evidence. It is not my focus yet. I have looked at many editing situations on the Rome Viharo article, and similar articles on others. There is clearly a system bias, and many users are promptly banned, accused of being “Rome Viharo,” or other alleged trolls, and most especially if a user points to the sock puppetry, they are blocked for “outing” — though describing socks is not outing and that reaction happens with no real-name identity disclosure, and I have seen an AP sock make a mistake and edit by IP that led to an obvious connection with the older socks, and … the edit totally disappeared from the database, it was not merely revision-deleted, and that takes much higher permissions. David Gerard could probably do it. David also has followed the lead of and done the bidding of AP socks. I intend to eventually document this. Today, the topic is the older Rome Viharo post. He went on:
very time Wikipedia, We Have a Problem creates a new post, ‘Goblin Face’ goes on the internet, finds a dark forum somewhere they feel confident they can rile up a mob and enroll them in his paranoid delusions, and continues the damage control narrative Tim Farley and Manul promote to hide their Wikipedia abuses.
The narrative that I am a famous internet troll sock puppet master mind promoter of pseudoscience is being written by him on the internet using multiple accounts on multiple forums to make it appear like many saying these things about me when in reality, it’s just him, Wikipedia editor Manul and Tim Farley who spun this story on Wikipedia and elsewhere to control editing permissions on Wikipedia.
I first encountered this individual while editing on Rupert Sheldrake’s Wikipedia article. At the time, this individual created a new Wikipedia account as ‘Dan Skeptic‘ and used this account to continue the claim that I was a famous internet troll, a promoter of pseudoscience. After I was banned on Wikipedia, this individual was also ‘David1234’ who created the Rational Wiki article on me, used statements made about me by him and Manul on Wikipedia as sources for Rational Wiki’s article on me claiming I am a well known internet troll.
Some of this is readily verifiable:
- 22:26, 30 September 2013 User account Dan skeptic was created.
Dan Skeptic wrote (19:04, 7 October 2013):
Tumbleman you have already mentioned that you are Rome Viharo in one of your posts so I am not “outing” you. You have been banned from countless forums for trolling, and I believe that is what you are doing here. Nothing you suggest has been productive. You have been involved in promoting pseudoscientific ideas at TED talks on woo claims about consciousness. It’s highly likely you know Sheldrake in real life who has been part of these TED talks. You have blog posts and YouTube channel which praises the work of Sheldrake, you have other connections to Sheldrake and you seem to link morphic resonance with your own beliefs. You should just lay out your cards on the table and admit you are a full blown Sheldrake supporter. As for your post… you say Sheldrake is a biologist, he doesn’t classify as promoting fringe ideas and he is part of the mainstream scientific community. That’s not what the sources say and if you honestly believe that then you may need one of these. Dan skeptic (talk) 19:04, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
This was classic AP attack. Tumbleman’s identity was totally irrelevant at that point, and in the discussion where Dan skeptic posted. A full study would look at how this played out, but immediately I notice that there was no blowback. Dan skeptic was not warned for outing and the gross incivility, and this must be seen: AP socks routinely lie.
Tumbleman had not “mentioned” that he was Rome Viharo. I’ve seen the edit: somehow the name of Rome Viharo appeared in a signature; it was immediately corrected and this is the kind of personal revelation, clearly inadvertent, that cannot be pointed to without being “outing.”
Rome was a relatively inexperienced editor and did not know to ask an admin to revision-delete that edit. It would have been immediately done on request. Such a request would be, of course, private (I’d use email). The same can be done on Wikipedia for accidental IP edits…. if it’s easy to fix.
After completing the article by describing some activities on other web sites, Viharo added a note at the top:
UPDATE: Since posting this article, this individual has come forth and I can confirm his identity is Oliver D. Smith.
He may confirm, but he does not tell us how he knows. There are likely two brothers involved, Oliver D. and Darryl Smith. Some accounts do not distinguish between them. While I have begun a study of the behaviors in an attempt to distinguish the personalities, there is also overlap, and we might indeed be seeing some kind of split personality. I consider all this highly speculative at this time.
There was an article posted on RationalWiki by an AP sock “ridiculing the RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory.” It was rather quickly deleted as “Rome Viharo trolling,” but it was not created by Viharo, and it repeated some very familiar arguments, using identical language, that I had seen from identified AP socks. It claims that the whole idea is a fantasy, of a family involved, but that idea comes from what early identified socks themselves claimed on Wikipedia.
These users lie, liberally and routinely. And that is what Tim Farley, for one, has been supporting and defending. This has nothing to do with genuine skepticism and everything to do with arrogance, intellectual bankruptcy, contempt, and, very possibly, corruption in the name of a “good cause,” prom0ting science and debunking pseudoscience.
Science doesn’t need lies for protection. Genuine skepticism is completely comfortable with truth … and with mystery, to be sure.