Jimbo Wales and “lunatic charlatans”

Looking at recent developments on Wikipedia with “fringe” and “quacks,” I’ve found many symptoms of a systemic corruption, and this will show how the project lost its direction, at core and in a failure to honor the original community intentions, it’s become quite explicit. This started with looking at the user page of Roxy the dog. Wikipedia made what may have been a fatal error in not only allowing anonymous edits (probably necessary and highly useful) but also in allowing advanced privileges for anonymous accounts. In this, it deviated widely from academic traditions. It eliminated the “responsible publisher” for itself, creating mob rule.

This protected the Foundation, but not the project. This is classic: organizations are formed for purposes, but their own survival, if it comes into conflict with the purpose, becomes a priority. So if the trial of “community governance” fails — in the absence of clear structures that create responsible actors — nothing can be done. It’s up to the community, not the site owners. Wikipedia is famously not a reliable source. Why not? Precisely because there is no responsible publisher!

The possibility existed for a community project to become more reliable than any such effort in history. That is, in fact, why I worked on Wikipedia as long as I did. But the radically unreliable governance, vulnerable to participation bias (whoever happens to show up in specific discussions, and where some kinds of factional canvassing are allowed, plus the possibly random nature of who closes discussions, where bias in closing could be very difficult to detect, and, if detected, they shoot the messenger), led to a conclusion that the situation was unworkable.

Wikipedia will be replaced by a project that harnesses what Wikipedia has done, but that adds reliable governance and responsibility. This may be for-profit or nonprofit, it could be done either way.

It was clear to me at one point that Jimbo Wales (with Larry Sanger the founder of Wikipedia) was interested in governance reform. However, something was missing, and I’m coming to think that what was missing was an understanding of neutrality. He almost had it, but it’s clear that knee-jerk “popular,” not academic or scientific, responses, very obviously not neutral, took over for him. And this then explains, in part, how “popular factions” came to dominate Wikipedia, as many have noted. They lose, sometimes, their control is not absolute, but it creates a steady pressure and, over time, it’s apparent to me, the project has devolved away from neutrality, and a particular faction has, many times, opposed neutrality and has declared allegiance to a point of view, and they act to push that point of view.

Anyone trained in journalism will recognize the problem, how it infects the language and overall tenor of pages. Blatant violations of neutrality policy, misrepresentations of sources, in favor of attempting to create in readers POV impressions, are, in some areas, practically the rule rather than a transient exception. Revert warring is tolerated, if done by factional editors, who are considered “valuable volunteers” precisely because they work tirelessly for their point of view.

Editors with contrary points of view are isolated and sanctioned and topic- or site-banned. Editors promoting SPOV (“Scientific point of view,” when they go beyond limits in that promotion, may be sanctioned, but also are regarded as heroes. And so if they are actually banned, they often come back. Wouldn’t you?

This is what Roxy the dog has from Wales:

“Wikipedia’s policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.”
“What we won’t do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of ‘true scientific discourse’. It isn’t.[1][2]

Roxy the dog uses this as I’d expect, to justify a series of claims of being justifiably biased. First, what exactly did Wales say, in what context.?

Wikipedia developed a procedure for creating a neutral project and he is referring to it, but he overspecifies that procedure, narrowing it in a way that favors the bias Roxy the dog displays. Was this merely accidental, incautious?

and, in fact, it’s obvious. From that page:

Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales this week sent a clear signal to skeptics who edit the user-created encyclopedia – he agrees with our focus on science and good evidence. He did this by responding firmly in the negative to a Change.org petition created by alternative medicine and holistic healing advocates. His response, which referred to paranormalists as “lunatic charlatans”, was widely reported on Twitter.

I’ve been recommending skeptics pay close attention to Wikipedia since the earliest days of this blog, almost six years ago. Susan Gerbic took up that gauntlet and created her wildly successful Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia project.

In the last year or so, the success of Susan’s project has gotten many paranormal and alternative medicine advocates riled up. They’ve repeatedly floated conspiracy theories that skeptics are somehow rigging the game on Wikipedia, or even bullying opponents off the site. Even personalities like Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak Chopra have gotten involved. None of these accusations have been supported by facts, and both Sheldrake and Chopra have been subsequently embarrassed by their own supporters’ rule-breaking behavior on the service.

This is common.

There is skeptic organization and this blog is proud of it. But if others point to organization, it’s a “conspiracy theory.”

Indeed, I have seen over-reaction, suspicion that, say, drug companies are paying editors to promote statin drugs and attack cholesterol skeptics. I find that implausible, but this is what happens where there are organizations that operate behind the scenes.

Sheldrake and Chopra have popular support, and people with popular support will be defended by some, often people with no real understanding of how Wikipedia works, and so they violate rules. But wait! Wikipedia Rule Number One, promoted by Wales himself, was “If a Rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it!” (WP:IAR)

I used to point out the Corollary, that if you have never been blocked for breaking the rules, you are not trying hard enough to improve the project.

The vision of the original Wikipedians has been lost, and this was practically inevitable (see  Iron law of oligarchy), if protective structure was not created, and it was not.

Wales response was to a petition asking for reform.

As is common with reform efforts, what might be a valid objection to the Wikipedia status quo was mixed with lack of understanding of how Wikipedia operates, and a point of view. The title of the petition shows a lack of understanding of the purpose of Wikipedia and the process of creating an encyclopedia.

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia: Create and enforce new policies that allow for true scientific discourse about holistic approaches to healing.

I will list problems with this request:

  1. Wales was not in charge of Wikipedia, he was the Founder, not the Governor. (In the other direction, he remained influential.)
  2. Wikipedia is not a site for “scientific discourse.” Wikiversity was, and could have remained so, but that was demolished, ultimately, by the faction, early this year. It was trivial to create neutral discourse, and it worked for years.
  3. The policies on inclusion were not the problem, the problem was lack of workable enforcement structure. The structure worked, though very inefficiently, for handling vandalism and isolated point of view pushing, but, increasingly, as factions developed power, poorly with factional point of view pushing.

Wales responded. 

MAR 23, 2014 — No, you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful.

Wikipedia’s policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.

What we won’t do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of “true scientific discourse”. It isn’t.

The blog claims that the organizers of the petition were “tone-deaf,” because they quoted Larry Sanger, thus, allegedly, irritating Wales. Sanger was quoted in the petition:

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, left the organization due to concerns about its integrity. He stated: “In some fields and some topics, there are groups who ‘squat’ on articles and insist on making them reflect their own specific biases. There is no credible mechanism to approve versions of articles.” 

Sanger’s comment was a simple conclusion matching what many, many, with high experience with Wikipedia, have found. That happens. It happens in all directions, but . . . factions that represent the “fringe” are, by definition, not popular, and that condition in the population will be reflected in the editorial community, so these factions are readily identified and their efforts interdicted, whereas the faction that is biased toward a popular point of view, can operate with far higher impunity, and in the absence of neutral enforcement, that bias can dominate.

This happened to some extent with traditional encyclopedias, but these were generally written with high academic integrity. Wales became confused on this issue, and was, himself, tone-deaf. Many have complained, and the complaints are routine and remain common. Wales only looks at what was wrong with the petition, and fails to practice what he preaches:

to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful.”

So Wikipedia sails on, undisturbed by self-examination, supporting the “Scientific Point of View,” which is an oxymoron.

Rather, the Pillars of Wikipedia include one that would, if followed, establish journalistic and academic integrity:

Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view
We strive for articles in an impartial tone that document and explain major points of view, giving due weight with respect to their prominence. We avoid advocacy, and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them. In some areas there may be just one well-recognized point of view; in others, we describe multiple points of view, presenting each accurately and in context rather than as “the truth” or “the best view”. All articles must strive for verifiable accuracyciting reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons. Editors’ personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong.

Wikipedia proposed a solution to crowd-sourcing, to allow it to be verifiable. “Reliable” source does not mean “correct.” It refers to independently published sources, presented with a neutral tone. Stating an interpretation as if fact without attribution is not “honesty.” It’s easy to convert, say, a non-neutral interpretation (which might be found in a reliable source) into a fact by attributing it. “According to . . . ”

Yet there are “skeptical faction” editors inserting their own interpretations as if fact, even about living persons, or entire fields. Because I just noticed it, here is an example, about Gary Taubes:

This is in the lead (current version), which should, by the guideline, be rigorously neutral, enjoying high consensus. The lead has:

Some of the views propounded by Taubes are inconsisent [sic] with known science surrounding obesity.[3]

The source is a book review, and such a review is the opinion of the author, particularly if it is an off-hand comment. What the review actually has, besides praise for the book (“… has much useful information and is well worth reading “):

some of the conclusions that the author reaches are not consistent with current concepts about obesity.

Are “current concepts” the same as “known science”? In fact, Taubes is challenging common concepts, explicitly and deliberately, as not being rooted in “known science,” i.e., known through the scientific method. This has been his theme for his entire career. The editor, however, believes what he has written and so considers that interpretation of the source to be a simple restatement.

The reviewer was not precise. “Current concepts” has a lost performative. Whose concepts? I used “common” as a vague term that would cover what I think is true. The concepts Taubes is challenging became common about forty years ago, through a political process that was only peripherally scientific. Documenting that has been much of Taube’s work.

This begins the lead:

Gary Taubes (born April 30, 1956) is an American journalist, writer and low-carbohydrate diet advocate.

Is he? This was there until a few days ago:

Gary Taubes (born April 30, 1956) is an American science writer.

To the faction, many examples can be shown, “low carbohydrate diet advocate” is a dog whistle to call skeptical attention to a person, who, in other contexts , might be called a “fad diet promoter,” “quack,” and “charlatan.”

Remember, verifiability not truth. The statement about “diet advocate” is not sourced. It’s misleading. What Taubes has been advocating is twofold:

  • improved public understanding of the history of the lipid hypothesis and the demonization of fat, as well as the evidence of the “diseases of civilization” being associated with high refined carbohydrate consumption,
  • but, more important (certainly to him), the encouragement and facilitation (read funding) of scientific research into diet. Taubes is not a ‘believer,” but he has drawn some conclusions and has been acting on them. That is normal in science. Wales wrote:

If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.

First of all, he was misstating the actual policy. “Published in respectable scientific journals” is not the actual standard, and such publication can happen without “replicable scientific experiments,” that is only one aspect of science, and the reliance is not on “replicable,” but on “confirmed,” i.e., actually replicated, as shown in peer-reviewed reviews of a topic, secondary sources. Many facts can be reported (with maximum freedom, by guidelines) if attributed. The attribution should be to a reliable source, but the source may be weaker, though still reliable. The skeptical faction uses their own factional publications, that focus on “debunking” and are not neutrally peer-reviewed by experts in the fields, as if reliable source, it’s been common for years, whereas independently peer-reviewed secondary source reviews are excluded by the faction as “junk” or “fringe believer author.”

These are obvious violations of the neutrality pillar, but are tolerated because of a false opp0sition as reflected in Wales’ defense of Wikipedia.

A paper that was invited by a major peer-reviewed journal of high reputation, with Gary Taubes as one of the authors:

Dietary fat and cardiometabolic health: evidence, controversies, and consensus for guidance June 13, 2018

This review treats the topic with academic tone. It presents a variety of major points of view. This is what Wikipedia could be like, were it actually supporting science. Instead, it is supporting a highly judgmental and often fanatic debunking point-of-view.

Another example: Wales wanted to see “replicable experiments.” That is not required for notability, Wales is actually substituting his own ideas for the policy, but . . . I was banned from cold fusion on Wikipedia and the claim was made that I was promoting it, and this was often connected with claims that “cold fusion” is “pseudoscience.” In fact, what I was promoting, what was actually important to me at the time, was Wikipedia neutrality and genuine consensus process. However, when I was banned from the topic, I then investigated “cold fusion” more thoroughly, and eventually wrote an article, published in a significant journal, which would, in theory, satisfy the claims Wales made:

Replicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio

Okay, a review. Check. Peer-reviewed. Check. Describes multiple confirmations of a crucial experiment, that demonstrates that there is a real anomaly, that looks like it could be fusion (but probably not what most physicists would think of). Check.

Okay, is that cited? I don’t know if anyone attempted it. It was cited on Wikiversity. Much older and weaker sources on claims of helium detection (deprecating them) have been cited on Wikipedia, and remain. As I was about to be topic banned for the second time, I put up another review in a journal of very high reputation for consideration on the Reliable Source Noticeboard. It was found usable as reliable source. And after all that, was the source allowed? No. Immediately removed every time presented.

Status of cold fusion (2010)

Peer-reviewed review in a major multidisciplinary journal, Naturwissenschaften. Check. Stronger source than any other source used in the article. If editors think it was a mistake, it could be attributed.

See the arguments against it on RSN. That discussion was narrow and focused but was never “closed.” Consensus was clear. The paper is RS, and as with all sources, to be used with appropriate caution. Just because something is in reliable source does not make it “truth,” it makes it notable. And wikipedia was properly founded on notability, established by what is found in responsible publishers.

So what happened then? I have made the point often that the major problem with Wikipedia has been inefficiency. To establish what should have been accomplished by a reference to policy and guidelines, a matter of a few sentences, took a massive discussion. A responsible publisher would go bankrupt if their editorial process were like this.

There are plenty of Wikipedia editors who understood the policies and attempted to apply them neutrally. They burn out, faced with editors who ignore the policies, are persistent, and who are enabled to continue this, year after year.

removes reference to Storms (2010) based on argument rejected at RSN. Editor: ජපස, who has changed his name many times. He is the one who made the argument about Storms being an editor. That was an attributed reference, clearly neutral. This reverted the edit of Enric Naval.

Eventually, in 2015, the bibliographic reference to Storms (2010), and another citation of it, were removed by JzG, a highly involved factional editor and administrator who had been reprimanded by the Arbitration Committee for his actions with regard to cold fusion. Apparently nobody noticed. Jzg removed the reference to the 2007 book, and the 2010 journal review of cold fusion. His edit summary:

(pruning some WP:PRIMARY, including for example a book review written by a True Believer. We have sufficient high quality sources that we don’t need to dumpster-dive.)

These are the arguments that completely failed to be accepted at WP:RSN. Are there stronger sources by Wikipedia RS standards and the standards for science topics? What was left was weaker, or if not weak, substantially older.

None of these were primary sources, and he’s highly experienced, so . . . he lied, they were all secondary. (2007) was published World Scientific, an academic press, and (2010) was discussed above. The Book Review reference is unclear. JzG also removed material cited in Simon (2002), which is an academic secondary source review (a book), not a “book review”). He did remove from the bibliography one primary source (at least arguably so), Shanahan (2006). There was an appalling discussion in talk, no consensus, and the editor objecting was “reminded” about discretionary sanctions, which was essentially a threat that he could be blocked. This was a blatant and smug display of factional POV editing, and, as usual, without consequence, JzG (and William M. Connolley), sailed on, undisturbed, as they have for years. (In two cases, I took them to the Arbitration Committee, JzG was reprimanded, Connolley was desysopped. But the net effect was, with extensive effort, long term, zero. Discretionary sanctions were established as a result of the second case, (with neutral enforcement, a good idea), but it has only been used to support the skeptical faction and threaten or block anyone appearing to have a different point of view.)

In 2015, Current Science published a special section on low-energy nuclear reactions. It included a number of reviews of aspects of the field, written by major researchers (and one journalist, me). There was mention of this in the article that resisted removal, it’s still there. However, none of those papers are cited in the article, in spite of being recent specific reviews of aspects of the field, on topics discussed in the article.

Wales is either ignorant about what actually happens on Wikipedia, or he’s lying. I prefer the former interpretation, but I also hold him responsible for maintaining his ignorance in spite of complaints. Instead of actually investigating the complaints, or setting up a review process, he smugly proclaimed an extreme interpretation of the policy that then, very clearly, encouraged the SPOV-pushers. I’ve seen a shift since that time, and this might explain it.

No, if one does research and gets it published in peer-reviewed journals, it is inadequate to shift the Wikipedia balance, because the balance is maintained in the impressions and interpretations of editors, and it’s very well-known that when people have committed themselves to a position (by using language like “charlatan” and “fringe believers” and “crank”) they become resistant to change, and will continue to invent justifications and reasons to continue to believe the same.

Ironically, this is what this faction believes about others, that they are “die-hards” and “pseudoscientific.” If someone calls them “pseudoskeptical” or “pathoskeptic,” they will block or arrange for the person to be blocked, but claims in the other direction are routine and tolerated. Enforcement is biased, creating a long-term pressure away from neutrality.

Wikipedia could be transformed, but what has been created is so highly entrenched that it might take a major event.

I’ve suggested that a new encyclopedia could be created that uses Wikipedia content, routinely, but that creates a filter and process for reviewing it. I’ve suggested that such a site might pay authors and editors, and that it might sell itself as “Wikipedia, but more reliable.” And it would solicit donations, but would also sell advertising, carefully vetted to be reliable, itself, which is quite doable. (The advertising would pay for the writing and editorial work.)

Sometimes, you get what you pay for. If you use volunteers, they work for their own purposes. It can be great, but large human organizations pay management, even when they use many volunteers.

Everipedia looks like an effort in that direction, but it utterly fails to attract me, so far, nor does it look like it could attract the kind of massive use and participation that could take it beyond Wikipedia. The Everipedia article on cold fusion is a fork of the Wikipedia article (so far, what I’d expect, but, then, if I read the article, does it invite me to improve it? If so, I don’t see how or where.)

To succeed, an improved project must present something clearly better than Wikipedia, such that users would have an incentive to look up a topic there rather than on Wikipedia. There are also complications, Google being a major supporter of Wikipedia. But a better product does not have to be better in every way, just in some, and it could flag what has been fact-checked and reviewed for neutrality, for example, and what was merely copied from Wikipedia. (Everipedia may do that, I can’t tell, but Everipedia seems to be focusing on selling access to businesses or people who want to control articles about themselves. Not on setting up an expert review process or other structure that would create reliability.)

It would use Wikipedia’s process to create a level of reliability, and then improve it. It would make comparisons with Wikipedia easy, as an example, so that changes to Wikipedia would be imported as (1) automatic if the fork article has not been validated, or as (2) reviewed, as with the contributions of any non-empowered editor on Wikipedia.

The focus appears to be on how to preserve one of the major weaknesses of Wikipedia, anonymity. That’s a double-edged sword. The new project, if linked to Wikipedia, would already have a way for anonymous editors to contribute: on Wikipedia! It could also allow suggested edits on its own versions.

(Wikipedia could also bring in content the other way, through a process that was used on wikipedia when a banned user created an article elsewhere, and then there was a Request for Comment on importing that (radical change) as a single edit. This is actually a far simpler question than the one-edit at a time process Wikipedia follows: “Is A or B better?” )

It would need to have layers of detail. It could have better editorial review tools than Wikipedia. An example of something missing from Wikipedia is an ability to search history, the entire history of the project or of an article, or of user contributions. Now, you can obtain logs, but they are not generally searchable, except primitively. I do it, but by downloading histories (the logs will not retrieve more than 5000 operations), merging them, and then using search in a text editor or in Excel, and that doesn’t give me the editorial text, only edit summaries.

It is possible to search project full-history XML, but it can be incredibly cumbersome.

Everipedia is not showing signs of being well-designed and implemented. The FAQ I find far too complicated. Wikipedia made it easy and quick for anyone to edit. While “anyone can edit” fell apart to some extent, becoming more like “anyone can waste time trying to improve the project,” that ease of use was crucial to Wikipedia’s initial success. Wikipedia failed not from that, but from failure to establish reliable review process, something that is normally crucial for serious publishers.

Another issue is that Wikipedia not only failed to reward expert attention, it actually became hostile to ordinary experts. Wikibooks and Wikiversity were much friendlier, but then I discovered something. Most experts were not terribly interested in sustained free contributions to books or educational resources, if there was no benefit for them other than simply being able to write. And if what was written was fragile, and easily hacked up by Randy from Boise, and if they have plenty of other places to publish, why should they contribute? Many people will do it occasionally just because people are mostly nice. But regularly and reliably? No.

(To assist someone who wanted to study the subject, I set up a Parapsychology resource on Wikiversity, and it actually attracted some notable scientists. But they did not regularly contribute, nor did they watch the pages. That project was deleted early this year when the skeptical faction extended its reach to Wikiversity. Long story. JzG was involved. They also deleted the Wikiversity resource on cold fusion, all based on the action of a single bureaucrat, not supported by the community. Efforts like that had always failed in the past. But the Wikiversity community that had always supported academic freedom and the inclusive neutrality of Wikiversity as distinct from the exclusive neutrality of Wikipedia (i.e., academic standards rather than encyclopedic) was, as usual, asleep. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

I rescued those resources. Cold fusion. Parapsychology. Wikiversity showed how resources could be inclusively neutral. (A clearer example, where there would have been, on Wikipedia, or any other single-level wiki, edit warring, is Landmark Education.) Parapsychology was neutral, I’d been very careful to set it up that way. Cold fusion might not have been completely neutral, (I’d written most of it) but it would have taken about five minutes, with no harm being done, to rigorously neutralize it. The Wikiversity cold fusion article was often attacked on Wikipedia, but it was open for editing, and it had not been at all disruptive. Real neutrality is not disruptive, certainly not in itself. Real neutrality, with good-faith participants, can normally find complete consensus, even in the presence of major controversies. Wikipedia never understood this.

If I just want to shoot off my mouth, or to enjoy writing, I’ll start a blog, not start up an account on a wiki. It is far, far easier and, believe me, far more fun. And I can actually obtain funding for it. (Thanks!)

As an example, I know much of the cold fusion research community. Only very small number have ever attempted to edit Wikipedia. Met with entrenched hostility, for the most part, the handful who tried it simply gave up quickly. The field needs funding, and funding is not obtained by writing about cold fusion on Wikipedia. The inefficiency of Wikipedia makes it seriously wasteful.

Malcolm Kendrick

UNDER CONSTRUCTION, TO BE EDITED AND SUMMARIZED

Subpage of anglo-pyramidologist/darryl-l-smith/skeptic-from-britain/

drmalcolmkendrick.org/2018/12/03/dr-malcolm-kendrick-deletion-from-wikipedia/ 616 replies
drmalcolmkendrick.org/2018/12/18/wikipedia-a-parable-for-our-times/ 460 replies

Dr. Kendrick’s blog came to my attention because I was accused of being Skeptic from Britain. When I looked, it was clear who this was and I have verified the identity through a review of contributions, both on Wikipedia and on RationalWiki, a hangout for “skeptics” who are, much more often, pseudoskeptics.

Dr. Kendrick’s Wikipedia article, and low-carb food plans and related information, in general, were attacked by that faction. It has not been uncommon. The same faction attacks and attempts to suppress “non-mainstream” information in Wikipedia, far more than policy would allow, and often being decades out-of-date.

This page will examine the issues, and hopefully provide some guidance for those who tangle with that faction. Misunderstanding of how Wikipedia works is very common, so perhaps some of that can be cleared up. Continue reading “Malcolm Kendrick”

Skeptic from Britain

Subpage of anglo-pyramidologist/darryl-l-smith/

Subpages of this page:

Collecting evidence on the “Skeptic from Britain” obvious Darryl L. Smith Wikipedia sock.

They will claim “there is no evidence,” and then they will claim that I will write “endless words.” In fact, what I write becomes long because I show evidence. I do not always provide links, but if anyone has a question about any assertion (anywhere on this blog) ask. If comments are not enabled on a page, link to the page in a comment on any page with comments enabled, which could include all posts (i.e, what can be seen from the main page, http://coldfusioncommunity.net).

If any page is confusing because too long, comment and ask for a summary. I read all comments. The first comment from a user (which may refer to the email address provided by the user, I’m not sure) must be approved, as an anti-spam measure, but subsequent comments, after one is approved, are automatically approved unless I actually ban the user, which I have never done. Trolls are skewered and served for lunch, not banned. Welcome! Come on over for lunch!

Baseless allegations against [XXX, name redacted]

There were accusations that SfB was [XXX], or [XXX]. (This libel was created by highly suspicious anonymous accounts in the middle of widespread outrage over the activities of SfB. This kind of diversionary tactic was used in the first AP incident I investigated. It is used to stir up enmity toward an enemy, in some cases, or in this case, to make their targets (which would be anyone considered “fringe” by them) look foolish.

(If [XXX] wants these mentions removed, he may comment here, giving a real email address (which will not be published) and I will contact him. The purpose here is to protect him from these false claims, not to increase harassment. But it will be his choice, I would anonymize the references where possible. We should discuss it. Note: he did so request, see comments on this page and on the subpage.)

I do not know [XXX] and have had no connection with him [as this was first written].  My purpose is, as it has long been, to expose deception and impersonation and the creation of conflict through lies.

This is general, not about [XXX]: when someone lies about another whose politics may be questionable, it’s still a lie, and we do not transform the world for the better by lying about anything, nor do we create “hope not hate” by hating anyone; in fact, hating racism, while understandable, is also not going to heal the wounds. Hatred itself is the enemy, and not to be hated, but understood . . . and transformed.

The trolling (or perhaps clueless in some cases) blog comments:

(some of these, since I pointed out the problems, have been deleted by the blog owners):

James 

skeptic from Britain has an Instagram [redacted]

his name is [XXX] . he is a vegetarian SJW, but oddly claims to eat red meat twice a week.

This comment is typical for AP socks (could be Darryl or his brother). They will attempt to create an appearance of hypocrisy. The claims are not evidenced, at all. The instagram page shows no evidence supporting the claim. This is all attempting create an attack on [XXX]. This then is picked up by others, some might be innocent, some are obviously Skeptic from Britain or his brother.

Stephen Rhodes 

Not sure whether this helps but over at fatheadthemovie someone has posted;

skeptic from Britain has an Instagram [redacted]

his name is [XXX] . he is a vegetarian SJW, but oddly claims to eat red meat twice a week.

[SJW == Social Justice Warrior]

That was very fast. However, Stephen Rhodes looks legitimate, simply naive, repeating a story without noting the lack of verification. Isn’t social media wonderful?

Alex Davis 
Skeptic from Britain is clearly the [XXX] guy. The age range and diet matches. Now he has been outed he quickly changed his username as a false flag to detract attention and confuse. Note that Skeptic from Britain submitted Fat Head for deletion yesterday https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Head. He is clearly angry at Tom Naughton for being outed and wants revenge. I doubt he lives in Manchester, looks like another false flag to me. His editing history matches a US timezone.
It is not clear to me where Darryl currently lives, but he did live in Radlett. He would create, however, many diversions. Naughton had not outed him, rather the trolls had “outed” someone certainly innocent.
It can be tricky to infer location from editing pattern. Notice that non-Wikipedians will not know how to confirm the claim about time zone. This is, again, typical. (Claims without easily verifiable evidence. and anonymous, with nobody to contact to check.)
The current Skeptic from Britain account name is Vanisheduser3334743743i43i434 (the link is to archived contributions, there are currently 4622 live edits. (That’s a high rate for the time period involved, though not unusual for someone who has become very involved.) (There are more edits on Commons.)
This is a histogram of edit times (GMT), converted to fractions of an hour:
The minimum edit time is from 3:54 AM to 6:30 AM. Peak activity starts increasing at 1 PM, rising steadily to 10:06, and then falling off after midnight. This is quite consistent with a UK location. For the US mainland, that would be, East Coast, 10:54 PM to 1:30 AM. West Coast, 7:54 PM to 10:30 AM. Far from a typical Wikipedia editing pattern. While it remains possible (someone may have odd work hours and habits), it is quite incorrect to say that edit timing indicates U.S. location.
SfB showed up 12 February, 2018, making classic Darryl edits, obviously an experienced user already. This is not [XXX], at all, but an editor showing a very familiar pattern (Wikipedians should check “Goblin Face,” checkuser-identified. I will do a study of the edit timings, it will take some time (the SfB histogram was easy, but there is a lot more that can be done. I have edit timing for at least one known and active Darryl Smith sock in this period.  At this point, it looks like “Alex Davis” was lying. However, he might simply be mistaken and a bit careless. There is an Alex Davis with an interest in low-carb diets, but, as well, the Smith brothers pick real names for impersonations, it’s not uncommon, and there are no other comments from Alex Davis on that blog. Will the real Alex Davis stand up?
Goblin Face had over 7600 edits in 2014. This chart shows his last 5000 edits, times are again GMT, converted to fractions of an hour:
The match is strong. These two people are likely in the same time zone, with matching edits. Goblin Face was in England, matching the timing of Skeptic from Britain . There could be more found, much more, and again it will take time.
Low-Carb Man 

Because Skeptic from Britain got outed as [XXX] he changed his Wikipedia username and claims to be leaving the website because he was doxed, but he has submitted your Fat Head movie on Wikipedia to deletion, so you must have touched a nerve of his!

You should check Malcolm Kendrick’s blog comments various vegans have turned up to defend [XXX]. This was no doubt an attack from vegan SJW’s and they claim this is only round 1. You were right.

If a vegan is attacked, and vegans show up to defend him, would this be surprising? However, at least some of those who showed up are clearly socks, pretending to be vegan in order to stir up animosity. While there are some vegans who are fanatics about meat-eaters, it’s not normal. To SfB, all fringe believers are to be debunked and attacked, and if he can get them fighting with each other, so much the better! He creates false flag accounts, I’ve seen many of them.

Jacob 
[XXX]– vegetarian fanatic who claims to live in Manchester as of 2018, but there is virtually nothing about him on the internet apart from some old photographs on Instagram. Let’s hope he goes public about all this! If he studies biology like he claims, then he is editing at a university… I wonder what the university is he at thinks about this (!) Editing Wikipedia on their servers?

No evidence of any of the claims.  There is another post by “Jacob” on the blog. Different avatar. What I notice is the assumption that [XXX] is Skeptic from Britain, and “claims to live in Manchester.” Where? The account was named for a few days MatthewManchester1994. I found no claim to be “from Manchester,” either from Skeptic from Britain or [XXX]. So Jacob is either a troll who happens to use a name used before (which can be easy to do in blog comments) or is very incautious. The claims being made would be common for Darryl L. Smith, though relatively mild.

 Low-Carb guy
I think [XXX] is about the give up the game. Check the latest edits on his account MatthewManchester1994 . He says he has been outed by the low-carb community so he is closing his Wikipedia account and never returning.

This is a Smith brother. Skeptic from Britain was a highly experienced Wikipedia editor, with almost 5000 edits and obviously not new when that started. He would know that this announcement would create a red flag for anyone who wants to find his identity. When researching accounts, one of the first places to look would be the last edit. Here it is. No, this was a red herring. However, long-term, the SfB account has created a great deal of recent evidence, grist for the mill.

The twins are the most effectively disruptive users I have ever encountered, in over twenty years of on-line activity. Their behavior will perplex even highly-experienced users. However, they have, over time, been identified and outed, which they richly deserve for behavior such as impersonations (clearly proven) and attack libels against many, and creating harassment for innocent persons, such as [XXX], as far as I can see. Zero evidence to back up the claims. Not even reasonable circumstantial evidence. None. Zilch. Why did they pick him? They might live near him, might know him. They are in their late twenties, but still incredibly juvenile. Or they picked him at random as a “vegan.” [I found another reason, but do not wish to disclose it because it would create breadcrumbs to the real name of this person, but he is not vegan. He was for a time. He is not a fanatic.)]

I will be researching this further. Darryl has, here, created a body of evidence larger than I have seen for some time. He may now be very careful about editing Wikipedia for a time, because it is possible that checkuser would nail him. But there is more, much more. It will take time to review the evidence. Until after his twin, Oliver D. Smith, started trolling intensely on Encyclopedia Dramatica at the end of last month, I had stopped watching Smith activities.

When Oliver accused Rome Viharo of being Skeptic from Britain, I didn’t notice. But when he went to my talk page, where I get email notifications, and effectively accused me of the same, I looked. Wow! It was immediately obvious who Skeptic from Britain was. He obviously wanted me to see that (or he is really stupid in addition to being insane). Why?

Well, maybe he’s angry with his brother, maybe his brother has been angry with him. It happens in families. Or maybe there is some other reason, or no reason at all, maybe he was drunk or actually schizophrenic, as he once claimed.

Conclusive evidence

I have conclusive verifiable evidence that Skeptic from Britain is the same user as Debunking spiritualism on Rational Wiki, which would be Darryl L. Smith. ( a few people think that the “brother” story is just another deception. I consider it unlikely, but I could investigate this if anyone thinks it really matters.) I will share the evidence with anyone with a need to know. (Including WMF sysops or checkusers). Contact me by requesting an email through any comment on this blog (the comment need not use your real name, but, obviously, the email must be yours!) The contact will remain confidential.

(Anyone could find this, one merely needs to know where and how to look.)

Comments continued.

Low-Carb man

Abd Lomax is probably behind the “Skeptic from Britain” account himself.

https://encyclopediadramatica.rs/Abd_Ul-Rahman_Lomax

The above website says he is Skeptic from Britain, it also has a photograph of Kendrick.

Another website claims Abd Lomax has a history of impersonating people

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax

I would say this is a scam. Why are you targeting LCHF writers Lomax?

This looks like a Smith brother, but … “Low-Carb man” was just blocked by a Wikipedia checkuser as a sock of Amandazz100. See the suspected sock puppet page. This is a huge mess. Checkusers do sometimes make mistakes. Amandazz100 is definitely not a Smith brother. There is a real person involved: Angela A Stanton. If Ms. Stanton sees this, please contact me. (Leave a comment on this page with a request for email, and be sure to include a real email address. The comment itself may be anonymous.)

(The comment below appears to have been taken down. I replied to it, and that comment also does not appear, which is more or less what I would expect.)

 Wikipedia Astronomer 

I am a Wikipedia user that has been following this discussion as it was posted on the ScienceProject. Readers here should be aware that Abd ul-Rahman Lomax a 74 year old was globally banned from Wikipedia for impersonating people and doxxing them. Over 40 people complained to Wikipedia about this person including the known astronomer, my friend Joshua P. Schroeder.

Did Joshua P. Schroeder complain? How does “Wikipedia Astronomer” know what he claims? I was not banned from Wikipedia for impersonation and doxing. I was never accused of impersonation, and there were no serious charges of doxxing except from … Smith socks and a few friends. What I had done (of “documentation”) was actually approved by a WMF steward, etc. So the ban claim is  a straightforward lie, and this person would know it if he actually knows JPS and how WMF wikis work. (I was previously banned, years ago, from “Wikipedia,” the only WMF wiki with such a ban. The “impersonations” were checkuser-confirmed as a single person, and this affair embarrassed some admins who had made incorrect conclusions about identity. Some may have been more upset with me for exposing the impersonations rather than with the impersonator … who is almost certainly already de-facto banned from Wikipedia, and who is globally locked, an effective ban from all WMF wikis. But they simply create more socks, most successfully using mobile IP.

What is the “Science Project”?  There is a Wikiproject Science, but I don’t think he is referring to it. Rather it would be Wikiproject Skepticism. And there were discussions. This user doesn’t want to call it the real name because he knows how that will look in this context. So he twists the name a little. Here are the relevant discussions:

These edits to the Fat Head AfD repeated the accusation against XXX as if fact. Quackwatch was a red herring planted by a troll account, this is not completely clear I have not researched connections with Quackwatch, but I did see that Quackwatch was cited on Wikipedia as if a reliable source, which it certainly is not, and that would be expected from Darryl Smith. This discussion indicates the alignment of Literaturegeek with the XXX story and other deceptive information. LG is a long-term editor. Darryl claimed to have many Wikipedia accounts “in good standing.”  I have not seen enough yet to do more than raise some suspicion on this point. If Darryl has “good hand accounts” he would likely partition the interests, but, then, might slip and dive into a discussion like this. I will be looking at what will be massive evidence, now. If he is not Darryl, I should be able to confirm it and likewise identity if he is.]

LG shows high familiarity with the arguments being presented on the blogs, and repeats them. This is remarkable:

British sceptics spell sceptic with a letter ‘c’ whereas in the USA it is spelt with a K so even his username is a red flag.–Literaturegeek | T@1k? 04:41, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

That is a bogus argument, but LG obviously is British! I covered this here.

This is still not enough to accuse LG, but LG being British, does he know how “British sceptics” spell the word? (Hint, they use “Skeptic.”) Perhaps he doesn’t and he’s just making an ignorant comment. Or he does, and he is making a red herring argument that he thinks will fly with the audience, which is Smith brother behavior. It seems plausible until one actually checks. Sources were easy to find, and experienced Wikipedia editors become quite good at that. I definitely see enough to look more closely at his history, and if this is an Anglo Pyramidologist sock, it would be the biggest one ever caught (almost 27,000 live edits, started in 2007(!), was largely inactive for some years, but edited as another account starting in 2014, an “interesting year.” Loose lips sink ships. (There are doubtless other users who support the AP agenda from time to time, so the coincidences here are not enough to establish anything more than mild suspicion.)

Wikiproject Skepticism is one method the skeptical faction uses to canvass, it is how editors who identify as “skeptics” will know to show up for an AfD or other discussion that might impact the factional interests of “skeptics.” Another method is the use of the Fringe theories noticeboard, which the pseudoskeptical faction uses like a chat line. I’ve seen it used to create biased participation on another wiki, which would be totally irrelevant to Wikipedia. That faction is emboldened by years of being able to violate policies with relative impunity.

The Kendrick article would be a Biography of a Living Person. It is not a science topic, not really in the scope of the Wikiproject, as stated. But the skeptical faction wants to make sure that everyone knows that so-and-so is a quack, etc. The deletion issue for a BLP would solely be the existence of independent reliable sources, and that can be a bit complex to a noob. It does not mean “true sources.” It’s complicated and arcane. For science articles, there may be a weight on peer-reviewed and academic publications, but for biographies, coverage by a newspaper, for example, is adequate. Most blogs are not adequate, etc., but some might be, if they have serious editorial review.

So they canvas, but if someone not part of the “in crowd” on Wikipedia discusses a deletion, that’s “snails and worms.” To be sure, outsiders coming in will often be clueless about what the issues really are….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Abd

When a user is office banned, that notice will often be put on the user page.  It says that questions should be referred to “trust and safety.” The only notice to the user is a single email, if the user has email enabled. It gives no reason for the ban, and it states that it is not appealable. There is no warning that a ban is being considered and no opportunity or process for correcting errors. So why was I banned? This user says it. “Over 40 people complained.” That is a larger number than I have heard before. Oliver Smith bragged that he was one, and showed his response from the Foundation. He has long been banned on Wikipedia. I assume that his brother also complained, and he is actually globally banned under many accounts. Did they know all this.

Email access for the user is shut down, because a global lock is simply preventing log-in. But when it was realized that other Wikipedia users could still email the user, they eventually prevented that. In other words, the Office (or locking steward) is also preventing any discussion with the banned user. The community is being censored, not just the user. And hardly anyone notices or cares. This happens in nonprofits, the central authority does not actually trust the membership, because they “know better.” And they might, sometimes, but humans being humans  . . .

Joshua P. Schroeder almost certainly complained. He has often been banned but has nine lives, because the skeptical faction loves him. The page here on his accounts. He came off a self-requested three month block in July 2018. There is story about the history on that page.

JzG would have complained, and the bureaucrat Mu301 (Michael Umbricht) on Wikiversity probably did (he is the one who claimed I was using Wikiversity for a vendetta, though I had moved all activity relating to the sock puppetry of Anglo Pyramidologist off of Wikiversity.) (AP, originally an Oliver account, refers to Oliver and Darryl Smith, though I did not use those names on-wiki, and didn’t publish them until later, after becoming convinced of the identification).

There was a discussion of my Office ban on Wikipediasucks.co.  Two single purpose accounts show up there Catapult and Max. Catapult was banned as a troll. Max was not banned, but only made four posts. Max wrote:

I received an email from the Wikimedia Foundation that they had received “six” complaints of this nature about Abd. Joshua was not the only person to complain. Regards.

The Wikimedia Foundation, by policy, does not discuss global bans. They don’t explain them. We do have a response mail put up by Oliver on RationalWiki. I’ll see if I can find it.

There are more comments from Max there. He is confronted by the obvious variation from policy that I mention above. I had discussed the situation with a former member of the WMF board. I actually thought he was still a member, but he’d left the board not long before. He told me that what I had actually done would not be considered harassment within the meaning of the Terms of Service. He was wrong, except … the complainers probably lied about what I had done. For example, Joshua Schroeder claimed email harassment, which would have been using the WMF interface originally (but not in later emails). In fact, the communication was voluntary and he never requested it stop. But the WMF could see there had been an email, thus they might consider the “harassment” claim plausible. In fact, I published those emails when Schroeder complained about harassment. Did they look at those? They showed I was attempting to cooperate with him, it was a Smith brother (probably Darryl)  who had really made it difficult to delete the information (which was much more harmless than the Smiths make out), by archiving it in case I took it down. His purpose was not to protect Schroeder, but to attack me. And he announced the “outing” and linked to it on Wikipedia, and he also thereby revealed to me JPS’s most recent name, which I had not known. (I was tracking this IP’s posts. These are Anglo Pyramidologist socks. There is a small chance that there was a third user, geographically located close to the Smith brothers, using the same mobile access.)

The discussion on JPS’s talk page:  You can see there how the plan to complain to the WMF was hatched. None of this would protect JPS in any way. I was not using my WMF account to harass JPS at all. The Smith brothers could complain that I was “outing” them, except, at that point, I wasn’t. The alleged publication of family members was transient, immediately taken down so that only the two brothers showed, and nobody would be able to find the house by what was published of the address. And that information is up elsewhere and basically can’t be deleted. I’ve redacted my copies to even remove the town. Still, what was a single incident becomes “doxes addresses and family members.” These people do much, much more than that. As I said above, I discussed this with a WMF board member, and he did not think I had violated policy.

But these people will use any excuse they can find.

Max went on with more details:

The list of people who sent complaints about Abd:

1. Myself (Public IP 74.175.117.2 on Wikiversity)
2. IP 82.21.88.44 (privately confirmed his identity to the Wikimedia Foundation)
3. Joshua P. Shroeder (claims Abd sent him harassing emails)
4. Guy Chapman (Wikipedia admin JzG)
5. Oliver Smith (actually leaked one of the emails)

No proof of this one, but it is obvious (I have emailed him): 
6. Michael Umbrecht – (Username Mu301 – Bureaucrat on Wikiversity)

Indeed. Now, which one is Darryl? Oliver is not the person who had created all the impersonation socks on Wikiversity and Wikipedia. It is that person whom I first documented. Most of the socks I listed as suspected were not Oliver. Oliver was accidentally named in my original study, because the name was in a URL. That was immediately redacted and actually revision-deleted. Michael Umbricht suddenly appeared after long inactivity, attacked me and “fringe science” on Wikiversity, blocked me for an action that the other active bureaucrat thought was within discretion, threatened the administrator who also had made checkuser requests on meta over the socking, and went on a deletion spree. And then he disappeared, he has not edited since February, 2018.

Wikiversity was the place in the WMF wikis where science either fringe or alleged to be fringe, could be *studied.* Contrary to the claims of the pseudoskeptical faction, Wikiversity does not have “articles” in mainspace. It has educational resources, which can include student projects. I developed traditions on Wikiversity (I maintained the site for quite some time) that a mainspace page must be rigorously neutral (even more so than on Wikipedia, it must be neutral by high consensus), but subpages could be attributed and, again by tradition, “owned.” I demonstrated with high success how what would have been major edit warring on other projects turned into collaboration and cooperation on Wikiversity. And Umbricht unilaterally declared that “fringe science” must be first subject to approval by a Review Board that did not exist. And, based on requests from … guess who? … he deleted two projects, Cold fusion (which I had not started, but which I had expanded for a time, and which was not active at this point, I had effectively abandoned Wikiversity, realizing it was unsafe, which subsequent events proved) and Parapsychology. I started that resource as a place where Parapsychology could be studied. I am not a “believer” in psychic phenomena, but the Parapsychological Assocation is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The definition of parapsychology establishes it as a science, it is the *study* of paranormal phenomena. It is not a “belief” in such phenomena, except to this extent. Here, read the resource, I rescued it when it was deleted.

Cold fusion was possibly more problematic. I simply wrote most of what was in that resource. It’s huge, many pages. Skeptics participated on occasion. There were debates that resulted in at least one scientific paper being written (by a skeptical electrochemist, by the way). If the mainspace page was not neutral, no skeptic had attempted to make it so. I previously showed how major and deep disputes could be resolved, but I actually abandoned that resource, leaving it for others, and had not made more than trivial edits for some years.

This was obviously not an “article.” But Wikiversity was “neutral by inclusion,” not by exclusion, like Wikipedia. (This is much closer to academic neutrality.) That has been demolished by Michael Umbricht, whereas other attempts to attack the inclusive neutrality of Wikiversity had long failed. There was a documentation project in my user space that had been proposed for deletion. Community consensus was to keep it. Umbricht unilaterally deleted it. After he’d done all this damage, he then disappeared again. This would be the most “reputable” administrator to complain, probably. The other would be JzG, who was highly involved in dispute with me on Wikipedia, and who blamed me for the poor condition of the WP cold fusion article, though I had been a very conservative editor on it (and that was before I actually studied the field and published in a scientific journal on it). JzG was still grumbling years later, because I had taken him to the Arbitration Committee and prevailed. That’s wiki-suicide for most non-admins. Long story, again.

The cold fusion resource had this at the top:

Welcome to the Cold Fusion learning project. The Wikipedia article on cold fusion is here (link).

These resources and seminars may present personal opinions of the writer(s). As the resources mature, controversial statements should be clarified and sourced, and any contrary opinions presented. Opinions expressed as original research, and not as a general consensus, should be attributed. Please help make this top-level resource neutral.

It was claimed that the resource was such a mess that it would be too difficult to clean up. That would be a claim that would show no understanding of how consensus would be reached on Wikiversity. If a good-faith editor showed up and blanked everything in the resource that didn’t look neutral, there would have been no edit warring. Rather, “neutrality by inclusion” does not require agreement on an unattributed page, rather, the page will be stripped to what there is agreement on, and it could have been as little as that introduction at the top. And then the resource would have links to subpages. As one option that was tried (and it worked spectacularly), “sections” would be created. These have a named and responsible section leader, who would (by tradition) have the right to supervise content on his or her pages. Here is an example of where that was done with a highly controversial subject: Landmark Education. That is, in fact, the most important work I did on Wikiversity. Until now, not noticed by the Smith brothers. It will be interesting to see if they now go after it.

Continuing the comment by “Wikipedia astronomer”:

Abd Lomax has been running around the internet for a year claiming that a group of “brothers” were responsible for his ban. It’s all nonsense. His account was banned by the WMF Office, not anyone else. The Wikimedia Foundation have globally banned less than 50 people out of millions and millions of users. Yes they ban many but rarely ever globally ban.

This is deliberately deceptive. First of all, the “brothers” claim was not mine, originally. I had only come to the conclusion that it was correct shortly before this time. Yes, the account was “Office-banned,” but these bans are not explained, and they have banned, for example, critics of the Foundation, or a journalist who had no account (Jake Christie). Office bans are relatively new. I was familiar with them before being banned, pointed out the hazard, and saw them as a slippery slope, that would, for the first time, expose the WMF to legal jeopardy. They attempt to run them in a way to avoid that, but … this has never been tested. Perhaps it will be. There would have been other ways to protect the project without those risks. But oligarchs (often considering themselves simply public servants) almost always opt for the most direct power and freedom from oversight.

This means Lomax did something very very wrong.

What did Jake Christie do wrong?

The WMF office is not allowed to give any details but to those who were online the day he was banned, we all know what he did.

And then he straight-out lied. He was “online the day [Abd] was banned.” Who is he? I think it’s obvious. He’s Darryl.

He created fake accounts of people on Wikipedia then “framed” certain users of this on his personal website, including posting personal information about where these people live.

I created no “fake accounts” on Wikipedia, but someone did. What I actually did was to identify the fake accounts and request steward checkuser, which confirmed the suspicion, and who was behind those accounts? It’s again obvious: a long-time attacker of parapsychology and of any user who interferes with his agenda. One of the accounts with substantial edits would be Goblin face, discovered accidentally by Wikipedia checkuser. The “brother” story originated with one of the early Anglo Pyramidologist accounts. Oliver confirmed it in many places, then claimed he’d been lying, then retracted that. However, there are clearly two personalities involved. There are claims that Oliver is schizophrenic, and so there might be a multiple personality. I doubt it.

Any time someone edits by IP, information about where they live can be created, and the Smith brothers often failed to take steps to prevent this (less and less, recently. If I receive a harassing comment here, it’s normally coming from a Tor node.) In theory, WMF checkusers are not supposed to connect IPs with accounts, but it happens all the time. Yes, I published information available on the internet with the family composition, but I also redacted this quickly. It’s still up in other places. Quickly, it was just the names of the two brothers and their ages and the town they live in. Everything else was redacted. I did ask a former WMF board member about this.

There are two aspects to this: one is that Wikipedia criticism sites often out Wikipedia users, it’s almost routine. I have always taken down extremely personal information, if I ever post it. These brothers have done far more, actually, with the families of their targets, the mother of one critic was actually fired from her job based on harassing email, and the mother of another was doxxed, even though he wasn’t living with her, in a clear attempt to harass through family. Simply showing a listing with names isn’t harassment, unless presented in such a way as to invite attacks (which was precisely the case in the second doxxing mentioned.)

As of 22/12/2018 he is still doing this. He has faced several libel suits, he has been forced to remove things from his website, but he still continues to go after these “brothers”. He says he “100%” knows it is them, but when you look at his evidence it is non-existent.

I have never been sued for libel. It has never been threatened. I have never been “forced” to remove things from my web site, except for one copy of copyrighted material, subject of a DMCA claim. That’s routine.

There is a contradiction here: there is “evidence” to look at, but it is “non-existent.” Which is it? Evidence can be misleading, the Smith brothers are experts at finding it, but “non-existent” is the common argument of pseudoskeptics: “There is no evidence for X,” they will say, when It is totally obvious that there is evidence. They commonly confuse “evidence” with “proof,” and then deny evidence that is even strong enough to hold up in court. “100% knows” is a reference to what I just found. Nobody, as far as I know, ever looked that this evidence before. What is the “non-existent” evidence? I haven’t stated the evidence that created certainty for me, so how would he “look at” it?

When users are blocked on Wikipedia for sock puppetry, the common remark is “See contributions for evidence.” Okay, I claim that Skeptic from Britain (and see Commons and Wikidata.) is Debunking spiritualism (Rationalwiki), see contributions for evidence. DS (notice the initials) is not ODS, who was rather openly Oliver D. Smith. ODS and other ODS socks, often self-acknowledged, have outed DLS socks. DS is Darryl Smith, behaviorally (as is SFB). Behavior is called the “duck test” on Wikipedia.

It’s a lot of work to document the duck test. They usually don’t bother on Wikipedia. Any admin who disagrees can unblock, and then it might be discussed. But the “100% certainty” is not the duck test. It does not depend on, say, point-of-view or other content issues. I’m not revealing how the data is studied, not yet, but he might figure it out, and his first reaction is going to be “Oh, shit!” because he cannot go back and hide. And it would be very difficult to hide for the future, without seriously cramping his style.

His account on meta-wiki that shows it is globally locked.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Abd

Which is obvious.

WMFOffice banned and locked his account on every wiki on the internet, this is exremely rare and only happens in serious situations of abuse.

This is far from “every wiki on the internet, and the lock is only of the global account, that’s one account, and we know that the WMF bans even when there is no account to lock, they just declare it, and in the Jake Christie case, J. Alexander then personally attempted to eject Mr. Christie from a WMF-sponsored event held in a public place where Christie lives, based on the declared ban. He invited them to call the police…. they didn’t. And he was not being disruptive there, nor is there any evidence as far as I have seen that he was ever disruptive. He was investigating, as a journalist. That’s it. They do what they can to silence criticism, and the claim that the global locks are only used to prevent policy violations is completely bogus.

This is interesting: Jalexander-WMF is globally locked. What was the serious offense?  This WMF account lock was unnecessary, unless it was abused. The abuse would be prevented by removing the tools that could be abused, which had been done. The global lock, however, not only prevents the user’s access to email through the system, it also prevents anyone from emailing them through the system. The global lock tool has long been known as a primitive hack. It simply disallows log-in, so the user then cannot see, for example, their own watchlist. The global lock tool has been abused on occasion by stewards. In fact, I documented that at one point, simply studying the previous 5000 global locks (a little over three months). The study was neutral and made no accusations. What do you think the stewards did?

If you know how stewards operate, lucky guess. Oversighted, by the other Italian steward, a friend of the only steward who had made possibly abusive locks (as many as 5 out of 5000, most locks were routine, for spammers, and often with no edits, which revealed that stewards look at login.wiki). Not even admins could see that list and study, only stewards. There was no explanation that made any sense. It was simply a list sorting information in the public global lock log. It did not out anyone nor accuse anyone of misbehavior. It simple looked at what stewards were actually doing.

Wiki theory is that the community can watch and act to correct abusive administration. That was an idea that was never given teeth on WMF wikis.

I was told that if I appealed the action, I’d be blocked. I pointed to it on the meta community discussion page. Nobody cared. And that’s how the wikis go south. Nobody cares enough to look at how they are being administered. And if someone pointed out a problem in the steward re-election process, I saw them threatened with blocks. The system is corrupt, and it’s obvious, and this could be expected to happen, given the structures that were set up. The system could be fixed, but only if the community wakes up, and it would much rather sleep, usually. Unless someone attacks their porn.

(That’s a hilarious story, where Jimbo Wales used his Founder tools to start deleting porn from Commons. Using Founder tools to interfere with Wikiversity academic freedom had caused a meta Request for Comment to be opened, but it had little participation and the vote was running something like “Stop Wales”:”Close Wikiversity”, 1:2.

When Wales then used his tools on Commons, to delete porn, the vote reversed dramatically, with high participation, and Wales caved and surrendered the most intrusive tools, and kept only oversight, because the tool is primitive and the abilities to see oversighted edits (he considered essential, and I agree), and to hide edits, could not be separated.)

There is a substantial segment of the WMF community, and even more the administrative community, that hates academic freedom. It’s long-term obvious.

Meanwhile, Office bans are generally implemented with WMFOffice and what is linked there is the global account log, showing almost 3800 actions. Now, many of those actions are on socks. There is one action for Abd. No socks. (But I had a few declared socks, and a few more undeclared that would be very difficult to find now, I never socked abusively.) I see 26 actions with the tag “WMF global ban.” I see 2923 changes with “banned user” in the summary, which would be sock locks. For example, there was a long-term Wikipedia critic, Thekohser, Jimbo had attempted to ban him and failed, and he was eventually office-banned. I know Greg Kohs, and his offense was being a paid editor, as well as pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. While paid editing does violate the TOS, if not disclosed, it certainly did not require an office action, because “paid editing” is a neutrality and content issue, not a safety issue. I see 9 actions for names including “kohs”.  When office-banned, he clearly created some socks, they are obvious from the names. (Socks named like that, if actually the person named, are not truly disruptive, and not a safety issue. Unless they are impersonations.)

It is possible that the global ban was based on his off-wiki activities, but this is remarkable: if someone is actually harassing users off-wiki, will globally banning the person actually protect the alleged victim? No, it would only prevent on-wiki harassment. More likely, it could sufficiently piss off the banned user enough to cause them to increase the harassment.

It is possible that the threat of a global ban could cause a user to refrain from “off-wiki harassment,” but (1) there is no warning and no definition of what is allowed and what is not (2) there is no appeal procedure, global ban decisions are “final,” and email and even legal notices sent registered are ignored. So there is no possibility of a negotiated settlement that could include removal of alleged off-wiki harassment, or correction of it.

This is done, as it is done, because it seems easy, not because it is effective. Greg Kohs easily could continue his work as a paid editor. I have been a paid Wikipedia editor, at $50 per hour, after I was banned there. This did not violate any policy, because I did not edit anything related to what I was paid to do. (or much of anything at all, I documented what I did on Wikiversity, it was deleted by the admin who blocked me there. But here it is.

I created wikitext for sourcing an article for a business, as one example. As another, I advised a blocked notable person how they could be unblocked, and provided wikitext to the person, who put it on their user talk page and was very predictably unblocked.

Greg Kohs, globally banned, has no incentive at all to refrain from actual paid editing, which is more efficient from the customer point of view. He will simply create hidden accounts. With the first issued global ban (decided by the community), I argued that applying a global ban would actually make the wikis less safe from the user, not more safe, because he was only editing one wiki at that point (Wikiversity), doing good work there, and this would provide a steady flow of IP information for checkusers to look at in case he tried to edit other WMF wikis. The practical argument was ignored in favor of punishment, which was the obvious real purpose. This guy had embarrassed some bureaucrats and others.

So, the predictable result: He did create a sock account, and became a Wikiversity administrator (this is easy to do on the wikis if one has a little patience and knows how the wikis operate), and was nominated for bureaucrat, and was about to be approved, when someone, somehow, figured out who he was and outed him. This, by the way, was real-life outing, and he’d been harassed at work by wiki enemies, who were not sanctioned at all for it. For all I know, he might have done it again. Ham-handed administration fails, easily, it can create endless work that creates no improvement of the projects.

Russavia was office-banned, and that was very unpopular on Commons. I don’t know if he is still doing it, but he might as well have been following “a sock a day keeps the blues away.” He continued his very popular work, only now the Office was spending paid time watching for socks. A Wikiversity checkuser took it on as a personal task to enforce the ban, and ran into massive disapproval and the ultimate followup from that was that he lost his tools, and was, in fact, eventually Office-banned himself. (INeverCry).

The WMF is not terribly sophisticated. The original idea (content and user behavior issues left to the community) was far better than what they eventually fell into. Instead of working to support more efficient and effective community consensus process, including procedures for privacy protection, and continuing to leave content and user decisions to the community, they went in the direction of direct control, which, they will find, I predict, opens up many legal cans of worms. Direct control with no appeal is toxic, but because it only affects a few users, there is little protest. After all, “I didn’t like that editor anyway.” And that is how societies devolve into tyrannies. “They came for the Jews and I wasn’t a Jew ….” is famous. 

As Lomax has a history of doxxing people and libel suits, you should probably remove mention of the real life names that he mentions without proof of owning the SKB account.

That’s up to the blog owner. However, I have no history of libel suits. I have never sued for libel or been sued for it. I have called a spade a spade on the blog. The argument would apply even more to mention of XXX, who was completely innocent, there are no credible assertions as to his identity except for obvious trolls (or someone repeating what a troll has written elsewhere, same problem, really.) However, I’m a real person, widely known, and the comments were attributed to me. If the blog owner allows open comment, then I would be responsible, not him. There is a procedure for takedown notices. It does not involve trusting anonymous users.

What the Smith brothers do is to attack others, real persons, generally by real name, while hiding behind their own anonymity. In this case, I have definitive evidence, strong enough to place before a jury if needed, that SFB was Darryl L. Smith, which then completely exonerates XXX. I have an obligation to communicate that knowledge. If I’m wrong, well, correction is always possible in comments here or there, but correction from anonymous users, replete with lies and claims of lying is not adequate. I will look at any evidence presented. What I have seen, instead, is actual and real-life harassment, obvious, and some of it legally actionable.

He has a vendetta to spread misinformation.

No actual misinformation has been pointed to, only conclusions that they claim are unproven. The cries of “lies” started when I first started simply listing AP socks, based on clear evidence and checkuser findings and Wikipedia decisions (which can certainly be in error, but they are still evidence). It was called “lies,” but when I asked for specific corrections, the requests were ignored.

I’m a journalist. My job is collecting and organizing and presenting information. If any of it is misinformation, that’s a career disaster! But everyone makes mistakes, so what a journalist will do is to invite and allow correction (or even alleged correction.) So they imagine that I hate them and that’s why I’m doing this. No, I’m simply telling the truth about what I have seen, and, in addition, what I have concluded. What I have seen is evidence, and my testimony regarding it is also evidence. My conclusions are not evidence, except if I am accepted as an expert by whomever is making decisions.

(Common law principle, and often statutory as well: Testimony is presumed true unless controverted. Testimony in that case is never anonymous, nor could controversion be anonymous. There must be a real person behind it. Anonymous testimony can be presented in court only with the consent of a judge, who will know who is behind it, and, generally, counsel for the parties will know. It is disliked and there would need to be a strong reason. Juries and judges want to see the person when they testify.)

There is not a shred of proof a group of brothers own the SKB account. He will no doubt turn up here and write thousands and thousands of words about it and try and mislead readers with false flags. He has been banned from practically every blog, forum and wiki on the internet in relation to these matters. Don’t fall for it.

They repeat that over and over. I have participated in hundreds of forums and wikis, and have been banned from few, and as to recent bans, mostly connected with the Smith brothers or the faction that one of them works for. Notice that “every” is a very strong claim. The evidence is? I am most active, in recent years, besides on my own blog, on Quora. Not banned there. Over four million page views and 1900 followers. Oliver D. Smith has a Quora account (they require real names and are totally intolerant of incivility). He’s behaved himself there, so far, and he has  9600 page views and 14 followers. I knew that his email address was authentic when he wrote me because he has published that address in a number of places, and the photo on Quora matches others.

I had activity on over a hundred WMF wikis, significant activity on 10. I had, when banned, over 36,000 global edits. I was not shy about getting involved with controversial topics. I confronted abuse, especially administrative abuse, and often successfully. I resolved and prevented disputes from boiling over, at leaswt

Anyone who is a whistle-blower will see blowback, it goes with the territory. I was banned only on one wiki, the English Wikipedia, and that’s a long story by itself. I’m proud of what I accomplished there, but abandoned the project (I was no longer editing at all when actually banned). I was not banned on any other wiki. I was, at the end, blocked only on Wikiversity, by the unilateral action of a single administrator (Umbrecht) and there was no community consensus for ban (and Wikiversity policy required such a consensus even to maintain a block, though what I saw was that, increasingly, the policy was dead and admins could do whatever they pleased. So I had also almost entirely abandoned Wikiversity editing and only became involved to protect a user who had been impersonated and attacked, and to defend the academic freedom of Wikiversity. I knew it was dangerous, and also that the effort could fail, precisely because of what happened. I can provide links as evidence for all the factual assertions here, but this is already getting way too long.

The faction that has supported the Smith brothers (possibly not realizing what they are doing) hates academic freedom, and also neutrality policy. They are occasionally explicit about this. They had long attacked Wikiversity, and, previously, were unsuccessful, often due to my intervention. However, where I really failed was in not inspiring the community to create protective processes and to build in watchdog roles. The software actually allows it, but the user functions are generally not enabled. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

There are something like 800 WMF wikis. I am not banned on those wikis, except for one, enwiki. Rather, my account is globally locked and a ban was declared by the WMF. At one time, local wikis had discretion to ignore global bans, any local bureaucrat could detach an account. That changed, the ability of local admins to bypass a global ban was taken away with the establishment of Single User Log-in, and I pointed that out. Basically, nobody cared. What was a reality, though difficult to maintain, was destroyed with hardly a notice. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. If we don’t protect it, it walks away — or is stolen.

There is a Wikipedia list of 100 notable wikis. As wikis define bans, I am banned on only one: the English Wikipedia. I am blocked on two more: Wikiversity and Rationalwiki. That’s it. In addition to those wikis, I have accounts on about 12 of those notable wikis, not blocked. (|This includes a few WMF wikis where there was no block).

Wikiindex lists something over 2,100 wikis. I’m only banned through normal process on one (many years ago) blocked on two more, (Wikiversity and RationalWiki) and then globally locked by the WikiMedia Foundation Office. That’s definitely not the same as being banned on many wikis,which would require, one would think, misbehavior on many wikis. Or at least wiki administration that thinks so.

In addition, I have participated in many fora over the years, going back to the W.E.L.L. in the 1980s,where I was a moderator. I am banned on lenr-forum.com, that’s the only one. This latter is a bit ironic. I am not banned on e-catworld.com, where I am very well known as a critic of the claims of Andrea Rossi, “inventor” of the “e-cat,” allegedly a “cold fusion” device, but am banned on lenr-forum, where I was, at the time of the ban, probably the most popular user. How did that happen? It’s the same old same old, I pointed out that a moderator was deleting posts with no notice or warning and without providing any way to recover the content, and declared that I was not going to post there unless this was addressed, because unexpected deletion is a problem for a serious writer. So I was banned. With no explanation, and protests from the community were ignored. This happens all over. My position is that the site owner has the right to do whatever the F he or she pleases, though there can be some moral issues.

The Smith brothers lie about me as they have lied about many people. One difference is that I use the lies to expose them, to fight lying, not with yelling and blame, but simply with the truth. They clearly hate that.

Their support has been evaporating, that can be seen in the Skeptic from Britain sequence, if one knows where to look, and on RationalWiki, where users have been getting tired of being used as a platform for personal vendettas, weaponizing Google (i.e., what they accuse me of, but what they have been doing for many years, long before I was involved.)

Update

Darryl L. Smith had been, as far as I could see, inactive on RationalWiki since May. (Though his brother was active). In hindsight, I can see that he turned his focus to Wikipedia, as Skeptic from Britain. Now that Skeptic from Britain is out of the picture, I was watching to see signs of him on RationalWiki. Today, I found them (I only check periodically, it is like inspecting a sewer. Tough job, but someone has to do it.)

John66. Registered 19:52, 22 November 2018. Apparently, Skeptic from Britain was preparing to shut down Wikipedia activity. Articles edited or created (N): (updated 11/10/2019)

Warning:  the common RationalWiki user is a so-called “rational skeptic,” and may edit with a showing of views similar to Darryl L. Smith. That, in itself, is not evidence of being this highly disruptive troll/sock master. I do not recommend that people not familiar with RationalWiki attempt to attack the articles or users, on-wiki or even off. AP socks  use this and will even create sock puppets that will repeat the arguments. If a critic allows their real identity to be revealed, they will up the game with real-world harassment, I have seen all this reviewing history, but particularly in the last year, when I became involved. If anyone wants to consider action, please create an email connection. Leaving an anonymous comment here with a real email address, requesting an email, will do that. Trolls will be sprinkled with parmesan cheese and broiled.

I am careful about identifying socks, and maintain a distinction between mere suspicion (usually based on point of view and interest in specific topics) and stronger evidence. When I was merely pointing to obvious suspicion, from WikiMedia Foundation checkuser reports about impersonation socking to defame, I was warned and threatened, which was a clue to me that I was touching a nerve, that this was bigger than some transient tomfoolery. This was amply confirmed!

I have already seen enough to be quite sure that “John66” is “Skeptic from Britain” and that they are both Darryl L. Smith. I will be looking at further evidence that takes some time to examine. I have already used this kind of evidence to clarify the original identification of SfB, and to confirm my opinion that Bongolian (the RW sysop who has no given John66 sysop privileges) is not the same user.

Something like 1% of registered RationalWiki users may be Smith brothers. That’s quite a large number, but it is normally only a very few at a time, but continued over the years. Most of the socks, as with most AP socks on Wikipedia, only show a few edits. Here is an example that turned up from looking at John66, from history for Courtney_Brown:

Brian_Gene_Kelley, only three edits in 2013, two on that article, one on Rome Viharo, a red flag.

I have edit timing studies of other DLS socks in 2013, I will see how this fits. The behavioral pattern is quite common and not usual, ordinary new user behavior: the user appears immediately creating entire articles, on a narrow range of topics. That is very popular on RationalWiki, and someone who does this in line with the site point-of-view will quickly be given sysop privileges, I’ve seen it over and over again for Smith socks. They know how to do it.

These are anonymous trolls who hide their identity in order to attack real people. I did not get involved because I agreed with their targets, but because they used lies, deception, and impersonations to attack others, which harms everyone. For blowing the whistle, I was threatened and attacked, in many ways. It’s just history.

In my training, “If they are not shooting at you, you are not doing anything worth wasting bullets on.”

The focus of Darryl on “diet woo” is recent, but reasonably consistent. After spending the day looking at the data, my confidence has increased.

  • This is not a vegan plot, nor is it funded by big pharma. This is Darryl L. Smith pandering to where his bread is buttered, the “skeptical” movement, debunkers, aligned with the Amazing Randi and friends. A much milder incarnation of this movement is Tim Farley., whose connection with Darryl Smith has been claimed but is not clear, and if there has been a connection, that Farley knows what Darryl does is even more unclear. Tim Farley’s web site is a collection of anecdotes where people believed in or were deluded by or defrauded by this or that “woo,” and died or suffered losses of some kind. No comparison is made with following “conventional wisdom,” or the “standard of practice” which can also be fatal. The skeptical movement, unfortunately, does not actually educate in critical thinking, the real thing, but rather the site is utterly unscientific, even though many of the ideas covered are often thoroughly wiggy. It is obvious that defective ideas and thinking can kill us, including the ideas that if I do whatever a doctor tells me, I’m safe, and if my doctor follows the standard of practice uncritically, he’s a skilled physician and I should trust him. The standard of practice is not necessarily and truly “evidence-based.” There is science behind much of it, but  not all of it, and the exceptions can be killers.
  • The Malcolm Kendrick article was not deleted because of Skeptic from Britain’s arguments. His claims of “quackery” and the like were irrelevant. The issue was the normal one for biographies that are deleted: a lack of reliable secondary sources. This has almost nothing to do with how well known Kendrick is in certain circles. His popularity has not yet resulted in adequate secondary sources about him. It will, I predict, and then the article could be re-created. That process will be faster if it is not recreated out-of-process, and if unskilled attempts are not made.
  • There are certain people allied with the skeptical movement and Wikipedia faction who use impersonation and other highly unethical (and sometimes illegal) tactics to promote the movement. These do not use critical thinking, they use and promote knee-jerk response to dog whistles. “Critical thinking”, properly understood, looks at balance and does not uncritically accept the mainstream, it only uses reactive thinking to identify what is “wrong” with fringe ideas.
  • Skeptic from Britain is the same user as Debunking spiritualism, Goblin Face and many identified socks, and most recently John66. (The objective evidence on the last account is weaker, because there are not yet as many edits overlapping in time, but there are enough to show consistency, and the duck test — which could be documented — is strong. Skeptic from Britain lied about his intentions, and lied in order to use his alleged departure from Wikipedia to attack an innocent user who had criticized him. That is a classic Darryl Smith behavior. Research is continuing on the set of socks, but overlap of DS and SfB is clear. It takes time to do edit correlation studies. I’m learning, so it gets easier.
  • Wikipedia is vulnerable to factional manipulation. This is not a simple problem, given the Wikipedia systems and structures that developed and became highly resistant to reform. The problem is not the policies (which can seem counter-intuitive to those who don’t understand them). The problem is enforcement of the policies, and this problem is as old as Wikipedia. Solutions are possible but the will to implement them has never existed.

One final point.

Historically, Darryl Smith and his twin brother Oliver were confused on Wikipedia, and defacto-banned under the user name Anglo Pyramidologist. The identification of Oliver D. Smith is definitive. The real Oliver Smith has many times admitted his identity. He has a known public email account, and I and others have received email from that account, responded, and he responded back. This rises to the level of proof. However, he also lied in those mails, changing his story radically as conditions changed. On Wikipedia, they did not care which brother was which account, and the accounts were linked because (according to one of them) they were both visiting their parents when editing Wikipedia. That story was consider the usual “evil twin” excuse and was ignored, but behaviorally, there was always the appearance of two users, with distinct interests and habits.

The existence of a twin brother (probably) was established from a public record for the family, showing the two brothers the same age. Oliver D. Smith has shown a strong interest in Atlantis, and wrote a paper on the topic accepted at a peer-reviewed journal. This interest has all contributed to his positive identification. However, positive identification for Darryl L. Smith, the twin, is not so easily available. Most of my opinion on this is from comments made by Oliver, who, when Darryl was outed, defended his “brother” or his “family.” (And in the emails, he, attempting to deflect blame from himself, he claimed that most of the socking had been his brother. From what I’m seeing, that was a gross exaggeration, as to certain kinds of socking.) It is Darryl, with his interest in debunking the paranormal or fringe, who created impersonation accounts and later, when I documented this, organized a quite visible campaign to privately arrange my global ban on Wikipedia.

There is another brother, older. I have seen no trace of this brother. However, in the cloud of confusion that has been created, it is possible that individual accounts might be incorrectly identified with one of the AP brothers. This is implausible with accounts where long-term behavior is visible.

Darryl claimed that he had other accounts in good standing on Wikipedia. That could be true, and it would simply indicate that he learned to use evasive techniques, to avoid checkuser identification, and partitioned his interests to avoid suspicion. I found one account that I suspected might be such a “good hand” account. When I did an edit timing study, my conclusion was, no, this was not Darryl. If anyone suspects other accounts that are or were active on Wikipedia, that have not already been identified, please let me know by establishing email connection. (which can be done by any comment here, and anonymity will be protected; however, don’t lie. All protections disappear for those who lie. Don’t worry, I know the difference between error and lying.)

(If someone names a plausible sock in a comment here, I will also investigate, at least briefly. I will respond as the situation warrants. Too many people have already been wrongly accused, such as the user attacked as being SfB based on the knee-jerk assumption that SfB would be telling the truth! (And then, that this user was allegedly vegan — it was false — led to claims that Malcolm Kendrick had been attacked by fanatic vegans! That’s a common Wikipedia error, when an impersonation sock says, “I’m BannedUser,” they believe him. That’s not an immediate problem because the response is to block that user, but when, then, there is retaliatory action on another wiki, based on this, harm has been done. That is what happened, and that is how I got involved. These tactics are repeated because they work, and so much for “critical thinking.”)

I have also done one major control study, Bongolian. This is an established RW user with advanced privileges . One look at his contribution history shows immediately, this is not Oliver or Darryl!!! (I have never suspected him of being anything more than an “enabler.”) The level of sophistication that would be required to create the appearance of being distinct would be phenomenal! It would be far, far too much work to be practical.

The comparison between Bongolian and Skeptic from Britain shows that these users are independent, with a very high level of certainty, and it anecdotally confirms the methods I am using.

List of comment socks and timeline

(and possible “meat puppets — if one carelessly repeats as if fact what is from a puppet master, one risks being called a “meat puppet,” one of those charming Wikipedian terms.) (MK is Kendrick’s blog, FH, Naughton’s)

    • MK Stephen Rhodes December 4, 2018 at 5:12 pm provided misleading information, not “first post by [SfB]”, but an essay by JzG, a factional admin. There is a post here about the source of that phrase, “Lunatic Charlatans.”
    • MK Stephen Rhodes  December 4, 2018 at 5:17 pm points to User page for SfB, edit of March 7, 2018. SfB added a userbox created by JzG. This was a notice of factional affiliation, nothing more (or less). That is linked from 59 pages. 
    • FH james    (deleted) Fathead blog appearance of false claim of identity for SfB. No evidence was given.
    • FH Wikipedia editor December 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm
    • MK Stephen Rhodes December 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm repeats the false claim from james.
    • MK Alex Davis  December 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm
    • December 14, 2018 MrStrong (Oliver Smith) hints, to Michaeldsuarez, that Skeptic from Britain is his brother (Darryl), then effectively admits it.
    • December 15, 2018, Skeptic from Britain has his name changed to MatthewManchester1994. He had previously claimed to be from Manchester. This was very likely a lie. He also claimed an interest in biology, and one of his former sock names was Skeptical biologist.
    • December 17, 2018 MrStrong claims Rome Viharo is Skeptic from Britain .
    • December 19, 2019 MrStrong claims I (Abd) am Skeptic from Britain (MatthewManchester1994) (and a host of other accounts well-known to be him or his brother.)
    • (Setting aside Michaeldsuarez — to whom Oliver admitted SfB identity — Rome Viharo and I would be the most likely people on the planet to recognize the work of Darryl Smith.)
    • FH Low-Carb Man  December 19, 2018 at 4:57 pm (that name blocked on Wikipedia as sock of Amanda ZZ, all very suspicious. Repeats the story of “XXX” being Skeptic from Britain, ascribing cause to “outing”. In fact, that alleged outing was almost certainly Skeptic from Britain planting a red herring to cause disruption. Darryl does that. Oliver might do it too.
    • December 20, 2018 MrStrong threatens to expose me to the people upset with Skeptic from Britain, on my user talk page, guaranteeing it would get my attention. So I investigated and published this page, December 21, 2018. I did not know about the conversation with Michaeldsuarez until more recently. All is not well between the brothers, if Oliver was not simply lying again. His story about RationalWiki , told to Suarez, checks out, and he predicted the articles appearing there (under John66).
    • December 20, 2018, MatthewManchester1994 puts up “farewell,” claims real-name outing (which would validate it, if it had happened, SfB was obviously an experienced user and would realize that announcing that you have been outed is inviting everyone to look for it and believe it), and then changes his name again.
    • MK Wikipedia Astronomer  repeats standard Smith story about me.

Wikipedia on cold fusion patents

This is a subpage of jcmns/v13/p118, a review of an article by David French on Patents and Cold Fusion

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cold_fusion&oldid=852432636#Patents

Patents

Although details have not surfaced, it appears that the University of Utah forced the 23 March 1989 Fleischmann and Pons announcement to establish priority over the discovery and its patents before the joint publication with Jones.[30] The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced on 12 April 1989 that it had applied for its own patents based on theoretical work of one of its researchers, Peter L. Hagelstein, who had been sending papers to journals from the 5 to 12 April.[174] On 2 December 1993 the University of Utah licensed all its cold fusion patents to ENECO, a new company created to profit from cold fusion discoveries,[175] and in March 1998 it said that it would no longer defend its patents.[75]

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) now rejects patents claiming cold fusion.[88] Esther Kepplinger, the deputy commissioner of patents in 2004, said that this was done using the same argument as with perpetual motion machines: that they do not work.[88]

It’s a problem when Wikipedia alleges a current state of affairs with “now,” especially based on an old source. Reference 18 is to this article, from 2004. From that article, this:

… The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has refused to grant a patent on any invention claiming cold fusion. According to Esther Kepplinger, the deputy commissioner of patents, this is for the same reason it wouldn’t give one for a perpetual motion machine: It doesn’t work.

This is popular language, not a legal position. Perpetual motion machines violate a strongly-held understanding of thermodynamics, so any claim of one is going to be met with skepticism, and if skepticism is broad and wide on a particular class of inventions, and if the USPTO notices this, and if an invention actually claims what is considered impossible (that is not the same as actually being impossible), it will require proof of utility and enablement. 

These problems, Hagelstein and McKubre argue, are all tied to the 1989 DOE review. While the report’s language was measured, pointing out the lack of experimental evidence, “it was absolutely the intention of most of the framers of that document to kill cold fusion,” McKubre says.

McKubre was probably correct about that intention, though the document itself was modified to avoid that, in theory (it actually recommended research). However, the intention, whatever it was, is irrelevant to the patent situation. What is the problem is a widespread belief that cold fusion experiments are not reliably reproducible, or not reliably reproduced from a specific protocol, or . And that belief happens to be reasonable, it’s also understood by many LENR researchers, and that bears directly on patentability.

Not all real effects are patentable. They must actually be useful, and not merely potentially useful at some point in the future, but in the present. The enabling description in the patent must be adequate to generate practical results, of practical utility, when implemented by a Person Having Ordinary Skill In The Art (PHOSITA), and not only that, the patent and evidence shown to the USPTO must be such as to convince such persons that the invention will work. (or at least is likely to work!)

There came to be, after that rushed 1989 report, plenty of experimental evidence that there was a real effect, and even that the effect was nuclear in nature. (Some of that evidence shows the reality without requiring reliability, through correlation; specifically, the effect is difficult to set up, but when it does occur, there are reliable correlates.)

[. . . ] According to McKubre, the reason cold fusion experiments can’t be reproduced on demand is a materials issue: It’s a matter of developing a form of palladium, or another metal, with the right mix of impurities. With help on that issue and more funding, he suggests, a small cold-fusion-powered heater or generator could be ready in as little as two years.

And that’s the rub. That “issue” is still unresolved. If it were resolved, the suggested possibility is not unreasonable. With such a material to specify, if it were creating reliable heat and if this heat were adequate for practical use, not merely measurable experimentally — which would be enough for science — then such a generator could be patented. Until then, once the substantial doubt has been raised, clear evidence is required to rebut the skepticism.

This is often considered unfair, because most patents don’t need to provide that kind of proof. However, the courts have again and again supported this position, and I have to agree that it is sensible. There are ways for inventors to proceed, if they actually have found a way to make a practical device.

Patent applications are required to show that the invention is “useful”, and this utility is dependent on the invention’s ability to function.[176] In general USPTO rejections on the sole grounds of the invention’s being “inoperative” are rare, since such rejections need to demonstrate “proof of total incapacity”,[176] and cases where those rejections are upheld in a Federal Court are even rarer: nevertheless, in 2000, a rejection of a cold fusion patent was appealed in a Federal Court and it was upheld, in part on the grounds that the inventor was unable to establish the utility of the invention.[176][notes 5]

Yes. (This is much better than what the article used to have on this topic, by the way.) Note 176 refers to In re Swartz, called “Swartz I” in the 2018 Swartz v. PATO rejection.

A U.S. patent might still be granted when given a different name to disassociate it from cold fusion,[177] though this strategy has had little success in the US: the same claims that need to be patented can identify it with cold fusion, and most of these patents cannot avoid mentioning Fleischmann and Pons’ research due to legal constraints, thus alerting the patent reviewer that it is a cold-fusion-related patent.[177]

The issue is not the name, so much as the claim. Patents have been granted which were cold-fusion related. One of the problems is that “cold fusion” is a loose popular name for the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect, and there is a large family of such effects, more commonly called Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, and that the “reactions” are nuclear in nature is a matter of theory, and only in a few instances, strong and direct evidence. Mostly what is seen is anomalous heat. “Little success in the US” is a bit misleading. Looking up the source, this was Voss, in Science, 1999, ‘New Physics’ Finds a Haven at the Patent Office and I doubt he understood the real situation (he seems to think that fringe science should not be patentable). Few cold fusion related patents had been granted by 1999, and there are fast-approval exceptions, for example for the age of the inventor. There are more, now. I don’t have the article (paywall). There was a sidebar, though, referring to Thomas Valone case. A Free Energy Enthusiast Seeks Like-Minded Colleagues. Valone won an arbitration with the USPTO. 

David Voss said in 1999 that some patents that closely resemble cold fusion processes, and that use materials used in cold fusion, have been granted by the USPTO.[178] The inventor of three such patents had his applications initially rejected when they were reviewed by experts in nuclear science; but then he rewrote the patents to focus more in the electrochemical parts so they would be reviewed instead by experts in electrochemistry, who approved them.[178][179]

Note 178 refers to Voss and gives the three patents:

US 5,616,219  US 5,628,886  US 5,672,259 are broken links. These work:  US5616219 US5628886 US5672259 .  These are Patterson patents. My understanding is that these were issued under a fast-track rule for inventors over 70 years old. So these have nothing to do with normal Patent Office practice.

Note 178 refers to a Law Review article, which I found of high interest. 2006 Wis. L. Rev. 1275 (2006) They cite an Internet Archive copy, this is the original publication: A Case Study of Inoperable Inventions: Why is the USPTO Patenting Pseudoscience, Daniel Rislove. Rislove covers the patenting of inoperable inventions, recognizes the difficulties involved, but seems to think that nevertheless the USPTO should protect the public by not issuing patents to “pseudoscientific” inventions. However, the mission of the Patent Office is not to protect the public, but to benefit inventors. The problem is that the issuance of a patent can appear to support an inventor’s claim of legitimacy, in some cases. The problem is actually public ignorance and the ability of some inventors to deceive the public or investors as to the utility of their inventions, by the fact of a patent. Rislove seems to believe that that problem is insoluble, therefore the Patent Office should avoid harm to the public by taking greater care to reject inoperable inventions. But this will raise costs to inventors, and can also harm the public (he is aware that what is considered impossible might not actually be so. Perhaps an invention operates by an unknown principle, instead of what the inventor thinks. Patents are not scientific theories, and are not “pseudoscientific,” if described accurately.

The FDA is mentioned, but the mission of the FDA is to protect the public. At least in theory! There are other legal institutions that can protect the public from fraud and fakery. On the patent issue, every patent could be accompanied by a disclaimer that the patent does not guarantee operability or suitability for purpose. It could be made a form of fraud to claim that a patent shows these things.

When asked about the resemblance to cold fusion, the patent holder said that it used nuclear processes involving “new nuclear physics” unrelated to cold fusion.[178]

The quoted phrase is not found in source 178. Rislove does cite Voss so maybe the Wikipedia editor was confused. However, that would be a generic argument. “New nuclear physics” is not inherently incredible. “Cold fusion” conjures up a specific idea that is probably impossible under the relevant conditions. But there can always be new physics, including new nuclear physics. It’s merely unlikely, and until and unless the new physics is confirmed, the USPTO may have a basis for challenging it. But it is not clear to me that this right is actually useful for the purposes of patent law. Such rejections, as Rislove points out, are rare, but plenty of garbage is patented.

Melvin Miles was granted in 2004 a patent for a cold fusion device, and in 2007 he described his efforts to remove all instances of “cold fusion” from the patent description to avoid having it rejected outright.[180]

The source is an article, Cold fusion is back at the American Chemical Society It quotes Miles:

Miles is also careful to avoid using the words ‘cold fusion’. “There are code names you can use,” he says. In 2004 Miles and colleagues were granted a US patent for a palladium material doped with boron for use in low-energy nuclear reactions, but if the patent application contained the CF words it would never have been granted, Miles says. “We kind of disguised what we did.”

The Wikipedia link for the patent is dead. US6764561B1 Remarkably, though, the patent does cover the use of his material for generating energy. My emphasis:

The present invention generally relates to processes for the production of a high-strength alloy that may be used as a gas purification membrane, as an electrode for numerous applications including the generation of heat energy or other electrochemical processes, and more particularly to the preparation and use of two-phase palladium-boron alloys which have greater strength and hardness than other palladium metals or alloys and which thus can be advantageously utilized in a variety of applications including hydrogen purification membranes or electrodes.

And then in the Background, again my emphasis:

. . . the demand for energy increases each year while the world’s natural energy sources such as fossil fuels are finite and are being used up. Accordingly, the development of alternative energy sources is very important and a number of potential new energy sources are under study. Although there have been many attempts to develop a palladium compound which can be utilized in processes to generate heat, such as through the introduction of aqueous deuterium, none of these attempts have been successful or repeatable, and there is thus a distinct need to develop palladium alloys which can be utilized for the generation of heat as a potential energy source.

So he is claiming a possible use, but not standing the patent on “nuclear reactions,” even though he is obviously talking about what is known as “cold fusion.” He is centrally claiming an alloy with multiple uses. It is not “incredible” that an alloy can be made. The utility of such an alloy might be claimed, but this is where the burden of proof would be on the USPTO, to show that it is not useful.

At least one patent related to cold fusion has been granted by the European Patent Office.[181]

The Davis patent I have cited elsewhere, which is a US patent which clearly cited Fleischmann and Pons, also cites this patent, EP0568118, “Process for storing hydrogen, and apparatus for cold nuclear fusion and method for generating heat energy, using the process.” application 1990, granted to Canon in 1993.

There are other European patents, for sure, but Wikipedia can only cite what is in reliable secondary sources, and the source here was a 1994 article in New Scientist.

A patent only legally prevents others from using or benefiting from one’s invention. However, the general public perceives a patent as a stamp of approval, and a holder of three cold fusion patents said the patents were very valuable and had helped in getting investments.[178]

Yes. Patents are not stamps of approval. Period. You want approval, for safety, go to Underwriter’s Laboratories. For drugs, go to the Food and Drug Administration (in the U.S). For investment in cold fusion inventions, scream and run in the opposite direction unless you have experts with you. Even scientists have been fooled by “demonstrations.”

What is required for validation is verification by independent experts, in circumstances under the control of those experts. For an investor, the most important word in this is “independent.” Cold fusion is not impossible, we know that, because of controlled experiment, multiply confirmed. (But the word “fusion” could still be misleading.) As it stands, a lot of very smart people have worked for decades to create reliable devices and they have failed. So a reliable cold fusion device is quite unexpected. The US Patent Office, rightly or wrongly, wants to see proof of utility and enablement, and if you actually have such a device, proving it should not be all that difficult. Unless you want to keep secrets, or don’t actually have something reliable, then it could be impossible.

Yes, Virgina, there is a cabal

A link to this was posted here, and I didn’t see it until recently. By itself, this is only a rant of a disturbed fanatic skeptic, who is known to lie, but there are breadcrumbs, pieces that fit together over time, and this comment caused the picture to pop into view. I wrote in 2009, there is a cabal, presented evidence of de-facto coordinated editing on Wikipedia, by a faction. I did not claim that this violated policy, in itself, but the effect was a warping of Wikipedia process, and I wanted ArbComm to look at that. Unfortunately, ArbComm was infected by the cabal or the cabal point of view.

The cabal uses attack dogs to create a cloud of confusion that allows others to intervene to “prevent disruption,” blaming the target and the dogs, and the dogs don’t care, because there is an endless supply of dogs, a dog can be created from any non-blocked IP.


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From later research and evidence, this was Darryl L. Smith. The story matches information from his twin brother, Oliver D. Smith.

Wikipedia activity and impersonation

This is a red flag waving with “Oliver Smith” embroidered on it. Last edit 18:04, 17 April 2018 implied retirement previous edit.
confirmation on RationalWiki:
Agent47 is an acknowledged Oliver D. Smith sock. addition dated 21:46, 17 April 2018 (next edit retired) Next Oliver D. Smith sock would be Aeschylus.
The article has unfit sources. Someone complained.
Reverted with “(Open Proxy IP and unconstructive drive by tagging Undid revision 838983183 by 162.210.197.59 (talk))* The revert was little more than an hour later, indicating someone watching the article, likely the creator. The tagging was obviously legitimate, as is shown later. The reversion was by mobile phone IP known to have been used by the Smith brothers, it is likely that this is Oliver.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rightpedia&diff=838995174 IP Telephonica O2 mobile phone network likely used by Oliver before, supporting his brother on Wikiversity and meta and on Wikipedia.
tags restored:
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rightpedia&diff=839071675 (proxy server). “(Undid revision 838995174 by 82.132.217.247 (talk) no unconstructive: article uses primary sources und forum posts)”)
Apparent impersonators began to blank the article with multiple accounts:
129.21.234.92(Undid revision 839153038 by Money emoji (talk) I am Eleonora, the owner of Rightpedia. This article was written by a known anti-fascist Oliver Smith and his friend Nick Lowles from Hope Not Hate. Please remove.)” IP is a Tor exit node. Block notice says it is being used by two accounts to make the same edits. A user openly declaring real identity would not use a Tor node. This … and the two accounts … is an impersonator, and AP socks have long done this.
It is highly unlikely that “Nick Lowles” has anything to do with this. The article was written by Oliver D. Smith. There is a small possibility that the Tor IP is Oliver’s brother Darryl, known to use impersonation socking.
 this kind of imitation offensive point of view is common with impersonation socks. Sometimes they actually copy text written by the target, but then add twists, such as threats or spamming the original text, obviously seeking to be identified as the target and blocked as such. Then, in articles (commonly on RationalWiki) they point to all these socks as proof of how disruptive their targets are. And it works, there, and it has also worked on Wikipedia. This can be seen in the comments on the ANI report
Doug Weller:
Rightpedia owner and Admins being disruptive

Three accounts were registered today, Rightpedia 1488 (talk · contribs), Eleonóra Dubiczki 1488 (talk · contribs) who identifies as Rightpedia’s owner, and Wyatt from Rightpedia (talk · contribs). I can confirm that they are all editing from the same IP address and probably the same machine, although as it’s a university address I’m not sure. No surprise, they are being disruptive. Wyatt’s only edited once[232] to add racist nonsense to an article on a fish. User:Maunus has been told “We will be covering other left-wing Wikipedia users and those such as yourself who deny race. Our admins Mikemikev and Wyatt will be writing them all. [[User:Eleonora Goldmann” who also “Created page with ‘https://en.rightpedia.info/w/Wikipedia Wikipedia is a Communist-controlled website.” They’ve been editing Rightpedia and Metapedia to delete material about Rightpedia. Obviously I could block them, but I’ve got a WMF call in a minute and in any case the community might want to handle this. Doug Weller talk 16:59, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

So Weller is using off-wiki evidence for part of this, but ignoring the RationalWiki evidence. The threat to Maunus is classic impersonation socking.  Those edits were hidden, as was the “Communist-controlled edit,” which was to Talk:Rightpedia.

I understand Wyatt is American, while Eleonora is in Hungary, so the real Wyatt and Eleonora wouldn’t be editing from the same location, so impersonation likely occurred. Since it’s unlikely that Eleonora would impersonate Wyatt, the more likely culprit is a Smith brother. Alternatively, it appears that a Tor node was being used, and, again, users waving their supposed real-life identity would be very unlikely to use an anonymizer. I have seen many Smith socks, including impersonations, using proxy servers and sometimes Tor nodes.
The usernames were obviously chosen so that Rightpedia’s userbase would be blamed.
“::*(Non-admin comment) Only thing I want to add is that clearly there was no attempt to be subtle here. Plastering [[Fourteen Words|1488]] all over their user names shows that they wanted to be recognised and to cause as much of a stink as they could, possibly to provoke us into doing the opposite of what they appear to want. The best thing we can do is to not let it change our behaviour at all. If that article needs to be deleted then delete it. If not then don’t. That said, if it is kept then it needs a lot of work to get the sourcing up to minimum standards. –[[User:DanielRigal|DanielRigal]] ([[User talk:DanielRigal|talk]]) 18:09, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Something about Wikipedia is filtering for obtuse. Daniel is correct, but he does not proceed to reasonably obvious conclusions. Wikipedia structure is heavily invested in dealing with vandalism, and vandals often DGAF, they are “in your face.” Long term POV pushers, however, will hide, not make it obvious who they are. A real person, displaying their real name, will not use a Tor node to broadcast it. No, the person using the Tor node wants to conceal where they are editing from.
There is an LTA — actually two brothers, as claimed in the SPI archive — who does all this. He even “outs himself,” on occasion, to cast aspersions on his targets, whom he (or his brother) impersonates. He is writing articles about these people on RationalWiki, and he recently admitted this.
Any SPA who waves a Block Me flag should be suspect as not who s/he appears to be. Yes, the account should be blocked either way, but the LTAs involved here have claimed to have active Wikipedia accounts. Occasionally, over the years, they slipped up and checkuser identified them. Checkuser should still be run, looking for sleepers or other accounts.
Through impersonation and false-flag vandalism, Oliver creates naive responses like that of Doug Weller. He has done this extensively on RationalWiki, manufacturing animosity between the RationalWiki community and his enemies, which results in the RationalWiki community keeping and guarding the hit pieces that Oliver writes.
Have Oliver’s tactics backfired?. By drawing so much attention to the article, it has been nominated for deletion. We may easily assume that he didn’t want that. Making assumptions about the Smith brothers is a dangerous business. He will  have archived the article, for starters, and he can continue to point to it on RationalWiki. He will point to the alleged “Rightpedia administrator” socks.
is snowing delete. What started this cascade is an IP tagging the article with the obvious tags. Who was that IP? There are many enemies Oliver has created. I am no fan of Rightpedia, but I will agree that it is not notable by Wikipedia standards. Oliver has been spamming RationalWiki articles all over the internet. In the impersonation sock edits, he’s promoting the idea that he is a prominent “anti-fascist.” What he is actually prominent for is trolling and harassment.
A user opened an SPI case for Eleonora Goldmann. They missed an important IP to check.
Doug Weller wrote there:
To clarify. Goldman identifies as the owner of Rightpedia. Wyatt from Rightpedia (talk · contribs) is an Admin there as is [[User:Mikemikev]], known for being so racist Metapedia kicked him off, also a prolific socker here. But on second thought, he’s not Rightpedia as the geographical location is different. Doug Weller talk 17:06, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Again, naive. Mikemikev and Oliver Smith have a long-term feud running. He has been impersonated, and he has also socked on Wikipedia, but not extensively and recently. Weller has apparently confused a Tor exit node with an actual geolocation, but he is completely missing the obvious: any account waving a Block Me Flag together with an identifying name or edits should be suspect as an impersonator. Impersonation was confirmed by stewards in the case that got me involved investigating Anglo Pyramidologist socks. They are still at it. The “Tor node” was also identified by a steward, Wikipedia checkusers again being asleep at the switch — if the steward is right –, failing to check for the obvious obvious.
Also missing from check as very possibly related:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/NemeanOdes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/82.132.217.247 (that provider was strongly suspected by me of being a Smith brother, and I had additional evidence. There is an open admission of involvement on WikipediaSucks by a user claiming to be the person who was editing then, claiming to be different from Oliver, but not disclaiming being the brother. And there is a massive tissue of lies that contradict each other.)
That there are two Smith brothers (“Anglo Pyramidologist”) can confuse the hell out of checkusers. Sometimes they make mistakes and edit from common IP. Mostly they keep identities separate by using open proxies or access from different locations (it is believed that they no longer live together.)
Weller claims “‘Wyatt from Rightpedia’ is an admin there.” However, what he named is a Wikipedia account and very unlikely to be Wyatt, and it is “Wyatt” who is an admin. As well, the Mikemikev Metapedia story is Oliver Smith propaganda. Has he verified it? And what does this have to do with the SPI case? Those should focus on accounts. Stewards very much dislike this kind of discussion, on their Steward requests/checkuser page. Wikipedia never figured that out and checkuser findings and “block” considerations get all mixed up.
(If an SPA creates an article and another SPA vandalizes it, it simply does not show up on Wikipedian radar as possible that they are the same. In the original impersonation case, a user, openly stating he was using a new account to conceal his identity, filed a checkuser request. When that request was going nowhere, he then created a flock of blatant, disruptive impersonation socks, which got attention and set up retaliation on Wikiversity, the original goal.
When I first filed a checkuser request on meta, a steward declined to look, pointing out that Wikipedia checkusers would surely have seen the problem. No. Obviously, they didn’t. They may have checked the filer when the original case was filed (which was actually about some relatively minor socking by his target), but not in the additional case for the impersonation socks. Again: take-home lesson, if anyone is watching. Whenever socks are Blatant Obvious and Openly Disruptive, suspect impersonation! Long-term POV-pushers or other blocked users who want to edit articles do not generally behave like this!
So then there is the Eleanora Dubiczki SPI case.  And the archive. That was apparent impersonation socking. But in the present case, Doug Weller claims:
No sleepers. I can confirm that the accounts in the earlier SPI are identical, but they locate to Prague, while these are in the US. Two of the socks there identify as the owner, one of them using the owner’s name. I can’t confirm that that lot is technically the same as this lot, but they’re clearly the same people. Eleonora Goldmann (talk · contribs) is identical to those in this SPI. So we’ve clearly got block evasion, not just meatpuppetry and probable socks. Doug Weller talk 17:49, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Geolocation to Prague could easily be an open proxy there. Dubiczki is apparently located in Hungary. The three accounts in the present report are, no surprise, identical. The problem is that Weller assumes that “same people” is Dubiczki, not an impersonator. He seems completely unaware of of what those who have followed these issues know: there is impersonation socking, which happens to be illegal (impersonation to defame is illegal everywhere.
Completely missing in Weller’s understanding is that the creator of the Rightpedia article is a well-known LTA (“Anglo Pyramidologist,” actually the original AP account, not his brother, but his brother might support him with some impersonation socking.) The accounts for the creator and the supporting IP (that removed the tags that were proper on the article) should also be checked.
This may not be conclusive, but the sock master(s) make mistakes from time to time.

Protecting the fringe allows the mainstream to breathe

Wikipedia is famously biased against fringe points of view or fringe science (and actually the bias can appear with any position considered “truth” by a majority or plurality faction). The pseudoskeptical faction there claims that there is no bias, but it’s quite clear that reliable sources exist, per Wikipedia definitions, that are excluded, and weaker sources “debunking” the fringe are allowed, plus if editors appears to be “fringe,” they are readily harassed and blocked or banned, whereas more egregious behavior, violating Wikipedia policies, is overlooked, if an editor is allied with the “skeptical” faction. Over time, the original Wikipedians, who actually supported Neutral Point of View policy, have substantially been marginalized and ignored, and the faction has become increasingly bold.

When I first confronted factional editing, before the Arbitration Committee in 2009, the faction was relatively weak. However, over the ensuing years, the debunkers organized, Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia (GSoW) came into existence, and operates openly. People who come to Wikipedia to attempt to push toward neutrality (or toward “believer” positions) are sanctioned for treating Wikipedia as a battleground, but that is exactly what the skeptics have done, and the Guerrilla Skeptics (consider the name!) create a consistent push with a factional position.

There is increasing evidence of additional off-wiki coordination. It would actually be surprising if it did not exist, it can be difficult to detect. But we have an incident, now.

February 24, 2018 I was banned by the WikiMediaFoundation. There was no warning, and no explanation, and there is no appeal from a global ban. Why? To my knowledge, I did not violate the Terms of Service in any way. There was, however, at least one claim that I did, an allegation by a user that I had “harassed” him by email, the first of our emails was sent through the WMF servers, so if, in fact, that email was harassment, it would be a TOS violation, though a single violation, unless truly egregious, has never been known to result in a ban. I have published all the emails with that user here.

This much is known, however. One of those who claimed to have complained about me to the WMF posted a list of those complaining on the forum, Wikipedia Sucks. It is practically identical to the list I had inferred; it is, then, a convenient list of those who likely libelled me. However, I will be, ah, requesting the information from the WikiMedia Foundation.

Meanwhile, the purpose of this post is to consider the situation with fringe science and an encyclopedia project. First of all, what is fringe science?

The Wikipedia article, no surprise, is massively confused on this.

Description

The term “fringe science” denotes unorthodox scientific theories and models. Persons who create fringe science may have employed the scientific method in their work, but their results are not accepted by the mainstream scientific community. Fringe science may be advocated by a scientist who has some recognition within the larger scientific community, but this is not always the case. Usually the evidence provided by fringe science is accepted only by a minority and is rejected by most experts.[citation needed]

Indeed, citation needed! Evidence is evidence, and is often confused with conclusions. Rejection of evidence is essentially a claim of fraud or reporting error, which is rare for professional scientists, because it can be career suicide. Rather, a scientist may discover an anomaly, au unexplained phenomenon, more precisely, unexplained results. Then a cause may be hypothesized. If this hypothesis is unexpected within existing scientific knowledge, yet the hypothesis is not yet confirmed independently, it may be “rejected” as premature or even wrong. If there are experts in the relevant field who accept it as possible and worthy of investigation, this then is “possible new science.” There may be experts who reject the new analysis, for various reasons, and we will look at a well-known example, “continental drift.”

There is no “journal of mainstream opinion,” but there are journals considered “mainstream.” The term “mainstream” is casually used by many authors without any clear definition. In my own work, I defined “mainstream journals” as journals acceptable as such by Dieter Britz, a skeptical electrochemist. As well, the issue of speciality arises. If there is an electrochemical anomaly discovered, heat the expert chemists cannot explain through chemistry, what is the relevant field of expertise. Often those who claim a field is “fringe” are referring to the opinions of those who are not expert in the directly relevant field, but whose expertise, perhaps, leads to conclusions that are, on the face, contradicted by evidence gathered with expertise other than in their field.

With “cold fusion,” named after a hypothesized source for anomalous heat,  in the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect,  (also found by many others), it was immediately assumed that the relevant field would be nuclear physics. It was also assumed that if “cold fusion” were real, it would overturn established physical theory. That was a blatant analytical error, because it assumed a specific model of the heat source, a specific mechanism, which was actually contradicted by the experimental evidence, most notably by the “dead graduate student effect.” If the FPHE were caused by the direct fusion of two deuterons to form helium, the third of Huizenga’s three “miracles,” if absent, would have generated fatal levels of gamma radiation. The second miracle was the reaction being guided in to the very rare helium branch, instead of there being fatal levels of neutron radiation, and the first would be the fusion itself. However, that first miracle would not contradict existing physics, because an unknown form of catalysis may exist, and one is already known, muon-catalyzed fusion.

Evidence is not provided by “fringe science.” It is provided by ordinary scientific study. In cargo cult science, ordinary thinking is worshipped as if conclusive, without the rigorous application of the scientific method. Real science is always open, no matter how well-established a theory. The existing theory may be incomplete. Ptolemaic astronomy provided a modal that was quite good at explaining the motions of planets. Ptolemaic astronomy passed into history when a simpler model was found.

Galileo’s observations were rejected because they contradicted certain beliefs.  The observations were evidence, and “contradiction” is an interpretation, not evidence in itself. (It is not uncommon for  apparently contradictory evidence to be later understood as indicating an underlying reality. But with Galileo, his very observations were rejected — I think, it would be interesting to study this in detail — and if he were lying, it would be a serious moral offense, actually heresy.

The boundary between fringe science and pseudoscience is disputed. The connotation of “fringe science” is that the enterprise is rational but is unlikely to produce good results for a variety of reasons, including incomplete or contradictory evidence.[7]

The “boundary question” is an aspect of the sociology of science. “Unlikely to produce good results,” first of all, creates a bias, where results are classified as “good” or “poor” or “wrong,” all of which moves away from evidence to opinion and interpretation. “Contradictory evidence,” then, suggests anomalies. “Contradiction” does not exist in nature. With cold fusion, an example is the neutron radiation issue. Theory would predict, for two-deuteron fusion, massive neutron radiation. So that Pons and Fleischmann reported neutron radiation, but at levels far, far below what would be expected for d-d fusion generating the reported heat, first of all, contradicted the d-d fusion theory, on theoretical grounds. They were quite aware of this, hence what they actually proposed in their first paper was not “d-d fusion” but an “unknown nuclear reaction.” That was largely ignored, so much noise was being made about “fusion,” it was practically a Perfect Storm.

Further, any substantial neutron radiation would be remarkable as a result from an electrochemical experiment. As came out rather rapidly, Pons and Fleischmann had erred. Later work that established an upper limit for neutron radiation was itself defective (the FP heat effect was very difficult to set up, and it was not enough to create an alleged “FP cell” and look for neutrons, because many such cells produce no measurable heat), but it is clear from later work that neutron generation, if it exists at all, is at extremely low levels, basically irrelevant to the main effect.

Such neutron findings were considered “negative” by Britz. In fact, all experimental findings contribute to knowledge; it became a well-established characteristic of the FP Heat Effect that it does not generate significant high-energy radiation, nor has the heat ever been correlated (across multiple experiments and by multiple independent groups) with any other nuclear product except helium. 

The term may be considered pejorative. For example, Lyell D. Henry Jr. wrote that, “fringe science [is] a term also suggesting kookiness.”[8] This characterization is perhaps inspired by the eccentric behavior of many researchers of the kind known colloquially (and with considerable historical precedent) as mad scientists.[9]

The term does suggest that. The looseness of the definition allows inclusion of many different findings and claims, which do include isolated and idiosyncratic ideas of so-called “mad scientists.” This is all pop science, complicated by the fact that some scientists age and suffer from forms of dementia. However, some highly successful scientists also move into a disregard of popular opinion, which can create an impression of “kookiness,” which is, after all, popular judgment and not objective. They may be willing to consider ideas rejected for social reasons by others.

Although most fringe science is rejected, the scientific community has come to accept some portions of it.[10] One example of such is plate tectonics, an idea which had its origin in the fringe science of continental drift and was rejected for decades.[11]

There are lost and crucial details. Rejected by whom, and when? The present tense is used, and this is common with the anti-fringe faction on Wikipedia. If something was rejected by some or by many, that condition is assumed to continee and is reported in the present tense, as as it were a continuing fact, when an author cannot do more than express an opinion about the future.  Now, plate tectonics is mentioned. “Continental drift” is called “fringe science,” even after it became widely accepted.

Wegener’s proposal of continental drift is a fascinating example. The Wikipedia article does not mention “fringe science.” The Wikipedia article is quite good, it seems to me. One particular snippet is of high interest:

David Attenborough, who attended university in the second half of the 1940s, recounted an incident illustrating its lack of acceptance then: “I once asked one of my lecturers why he was not talking to us about continental drift and I was told, sneeringly, that if I could prove there was a force that could move continents, then he might think about it. The idea was moonshine, I was informed.”[47]

As late as 1953 – just five years before Carey[48] introduced the theory of plate tectonics – the theory of continental drift was rejected by the physicist Scheidegger on the following grounds.[49]

That rejection was essentially pseudoskepticism and pseudoscientific. There was observation (experimental evidence) suggesting drift. The lack of explanatory theory is not evidence of anything other than possible ignorance. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

The fact is that the continental drift hypothesis, as an explanation for the map appearance and fossil record, was not generally accepted. What shifted opinion was the appearance of a plausible theory. Worthy of note was how strongly the opinion of “impossible” was, such that “proof” was demanded. This is a sign of a fixed mind, not open to new ideas. The history of science is a long story of developing methods to overcome prejudice like that. This is a struggle between established belief and actual fact. Experimental evidence is fact. Such and such was observed, such and such was measured. These are truth, the best we have. It can turn out that recorded data was a result of artifact, and some records are incorrect, but that is relatively rare. Scientists are trained to record data accurately and to report it neutrally. Sometimes they fail, they are human. But science has the potential to grow beyond present limitations because of this habit.

Anomalies, observations that are not understood within existing scientific models, are indications that existing models are incomplete. Rejecting new data or analyses because they don’t fit existing models is circular. Rather, a far better understanding of this is that the evidence for a new idea has not risen to a level of detail, including controlled tests, to overcome standing ideas. Science, as a whole, properly remains agnostic. Proof is for math, not the rest of science. This does not require acceptance of new ideas until one is convinced by the preponderance of evidence. Pseudoskeptics often demand “proof.” “Extraordinary claims” require extraordinary evidence.” Yes, but what does that actually mean? What if there is “ordinary evidence?” What is the definition of an “extraordinary claim,” such that ordinary evidence is to be disregarded?

It’s subjective. It means nothing other than “surprising to me” — or to “us,” often defined to exclude anyone with a contrary opinion. For Wikipedia, peer-reviewed secondary source in a clearly mainstream journal is rejected because the author is allegedly a “believer.” That is editorial opinion, clearly not neutral. Back to the fringe science article:

The confusion between science and pseudoscience, between honest scientific error and genuine scientific discovery, is not new, and it is a permanent feature of the scientific landscape …. Acceptance of new science can come slowly.[12]

This was presented by formatting as a quotation, but was not attributed in the text. This should be “According to Michael W. Friedlander.” in his book on the topic, At the Fringes of Science (1005). He is very clear: there is no clear demarcation between “science” and “fringe science.”

Friedlander does cover cold fusion, to some degree. He hedges his comments. On page 1, “… after months of independent, costly, and exhaustive checks by hundreds of scientist around the world, the excitement over cold fusion cooled off, and the claim is probably destined to take its place alongside monopoles, N-rays, polywater, and other fly-by-night “discoveries” that flash across our scientific skies to end up as part of our folklore.”

He hedged with “probably.” On what evidence was he basing that assessment?  Cold fusion was not actually his primary investigation. On pp. 27-34, he reports the early days of the cold fusion fiasco, (with some errors), and doesn’t report on what came later. He doesn’t mention the later confirmations of the heat effect, nor the discovery of a nuclear product, published in 1993 in a mainstream journal (though announced in 1991, Huizenga covered it in 1993). He does not distinguish between the”fusion theory” and the actual report of anomalous heat by experts in heat measurement, not to mention the later discovery of a correlated nuclear product. He closes that section with:

To summarize briefly, the cold fusion “discovery” will surely be remembered as a striking example of how science should not be done. Taubes has compared “many of the proponents of cold fusion” to Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth century scientist who “renounced a life of science for one of faith>” [Bad Science (1993), 92] The whole episode certainly illustrates the practical difficulty in implementing an innocuous-sounding “replication” and points to the need for full and open disclosure if there are to be meaningful tests and checks. It has also exposed some unfortunate professional sensitivities, jealousies, and resentments. At least to date, the exercise appears to be devoid of redeeming scientific value — but perhaps something may yet turn up as the few holdouts tenaciously pursue a theory as evasive as the Cheshire cat.

I agree with much of this, excepting his ignorance of results in the field, and his idea that what was to be pursued was a “theory.” No, what was needed was clear confirmation of the heat anomaly, then confirmation of the direct evidence that it was nuclear in nature (correlated helium!), and then far more intensive study of the effect itself, its conditions and other correlates and only then would a viable theory become likely.

Cold fusion was the “Scientific Fiasco of the Century” (Huizenga, 1992) It looks like Friendlander did not look at the second edition of Huizenga’s book, where he pointed to the amazing discovery of correlated helium. There was a problem in cold fusion research, that there were many “confirmations” of the heat effect, but they were not exact replications, mostly. Much of the rush to confirm — or disconfirm — was premature and focused on what was not present: “expected” nuclear products, i.e., neutrons. Tritium was confirmed but at very low levels and not correlated with heat (often the tritium studies were of cells where heat was not measured).

Nobody sane would argue that fringe claims should be “believed” without evidence, and where each individual draws the line on what level of evidence is necessary is a personal choice. It is offensive, however, when those who support a fringe claim are attacked and belittled and sometimes hounded. If fringe claims are to be rejected ipso facto, i.e., because they are considered fringe, the possibility of growth in scientific understanding is suppressed. This will be true even if most fringe claims ultimately disappear. Ordinary evidence showing some anomaly is just that, showing an anomaly. By definition, an anomaly indicates something is not understood.

With cold fusion, evidence for a heat anomaly accumulated, and because the conditions required to create the anomaly were very poorly understood, a “negative confirmation” was largely meaningless, indicating only that whatever approach was used did not generate the claimed effect, and it could have been understood that the claimed effect was not “fusion,” but anomalous heat. If the millions of dollars per month that the U.S. DoE was spending frantically in 1989 to test the claim had been understood that way, and if time had been allowed for confirmation to appear, it might not have been wasted.

As it is, Bayesian analysis of the major “negative confirmations” shows that with what became known later, those experiments could be strongly predicted to fail, they simply did not set up the conditions that became known as necessary. This was the result of a rush to judgment, pressure was put on the DoE to come up with quick answers, perhaps because the billion-dollar-per-year hot fusion effort was being, it was thought, threatened, with heavy political implications. Think of a billion dollars per year no longer being available for salaries for, say, plasma physicists.

However, though they were widely thought to have “rejected” cold fusion, the reality is that both U.S. DoE reviews were aware of the existence of evidence supporting the heat effect and its nuclear nature, and recommended further research to resolve open questions; in 2004, the 18-member panel was evenly divided on the heat question, with half considering the evidence to be conclusive and half not. Then on the issue of a nuclear origin, a third considered the evidence for a nuclear effect to be “conclusive or somewhat conclusive.”

The heat question has nothing to do with nuclear theory, but it is clear that some panel members rejected the heat evidence because of theory. The most recent major scientific work on cold fusion terms itself as a study of the Anomalous Heat Effect, and they are working on improving precision of heat and helium measurements.

If one does not accept the heat results, there would be no reason to accept nuclear evidence! So it is clear from the 2004 DoE review that cold fusion was, by then, moving into the mainstream, even though there was still rampant skepticism.

The rejection of cold fusion became an entrenched idea, an information cascade that, as is normal for such cascades, perpetuates itself, as scientists and others assume that was “everyone thinks” must be true.

In mainstream journals, publication of papers, and more significantly, reviews that accept the reality of the effect began increasing around 2005. There are no negative reviews that were more than a passing mention. What is missing is reviews in certain major journals that essentially promised to not publish on the topic, over a quarter-century ago.

One of the difficulties is that the basic research that shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the effect is real and nuclear in nature was all done more than a decade ago. It is old news, even though it was not widely reported. Hence my proposal, beginning quite a few years ago, was for replication of that work with increased precision, which is a classic measure of “pathological science.” Will the correlation decline or disappear with increased precision?

This is exactly the work that a genuine skeptic would want to see.

I have often written that genuine skepticism is essential to science. As well, those who will give new ideas or reported anomalies enough credence to support testing are also essential. Some of them will be accused of being “believers” or “proponents,” or even “diehards.”

The mainstream needs the fringes to be alive, in order to breathe and grow.

Diehard believers have hope, especially if they also trust reality. Diehard skeptics are simply dying.

(More accurately, “diehard skeptic” is an oxymoron. Such a person is a pseudoskeptic, a negative believer.)

New

Working page, in process.

List of accounts

List of impersonation accounts (likely)

 

Details for accounts:

Largewarhammer (metawiki contributions)

first edits to Forum, revision-deleted by Billinghurst.

Acknowledges being Oliver D. Smith. — archive copy.

Interacts with Michaeldsuarez.archive copy.

(ODS has acknowledged that he was ZaFrumi in an email to me (published on this blog) where he said all the other socking in that period was his twin brother, i.e., Darryl L. Smith. Later, a few days ago, he claimed that this was all lies, that there is no brother. Yeah, right.)

Discussion on User talk:Billinghurst. — archive copy. Blanked by MDS.

Billinghurst would know, if he were paying attention, that the new account was the original Anglo Pyramidologist, Wikipedia defacto banned and with associated accounts globally locked. He’s quite correct to say that this mess doesn’t belong on meta. We’ll see what he does with this.

By the way, could this be an impersonation? It’s pretty elaborate. Not impossible, but unlikely. The arguments are fresh-baked Oliver D. Smith.

Then the sock adds more:

Thanks and request

I removed comments I made about that drama not relevant to here. I just have one request. A banned Wikipedia editor whose website is blacklisted for harassment is misusing his user-page on this wiki as traffic to that website. His name is Rome Viharo. His only edits on this wiki was creating a userpage to influence google searches of his name so his website is advertised. The website Wikipedia we have a problem is blacklisted by Wikipedia, it doxes and attacks Wikipedia & RationalWiki editors. I’m a sysop from the latter and we have an article on Rome Viharo that documents more about his harassment against Wikipedians. It’s not appropriate he misuses this wiki for traffic to his website. Largewarhammer (talk) 12:35, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

The page itself is no different from hundreds or thousands of others. In itself I have no scope to delete it. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:41, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Remarkable. So Rome linking to his own blog (very normal for a user page) is offensive, but linking to Oliver D. Smith’s wiki is not? Billinghurst is not noticing that this is harassment of Viharo, a real person, using his real name, by someone hiding (though he is effectively outing himself in many of his comments).

Final request

I’m no longer posting here, but have a final request. Can you delete this and this. The user Abd was recently globally banned by the WMF for harassment, as part of that he was creating LTA “studies” filled with misinformation on another user. Those separate articles were taken down, but he has two “user-data” links still up that still links to the edits; someone else recently blanked them complaining, but they should be completely deleted. Abd deceptively is linking to this on his blog still since there are still edits on that page if you view the history, as well as it comes up on a google search. Is there any chance these here and this link can be deleted completely? Largewarhammer (talk) 15:08, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

That has already been assessed by another administrator, and I have no need to override their decision by discussion at my user page. — billinghurst sDrewth 15:10, 14 April 2018 (UT

Smith lied in several ways. The history, in fact, showed the attack socking, of course he wanted that hidden. The links are redlinks as displayed on meta. So I made them red above. That signifies that the pages have been deleted. Yes, Oliver simply forum-shopped, and found an admin who didn’t realize the history and deleted. He cited speedy deletion criterion G3, which would not apply. That content was not created after I was banned. It’s hard to find good help.

Not that it matters. I knew that those pages could evaporate at any time. Wikis are unstable.

OMG! He even deleted my Sandbox! Waaa! My favorite Sandbox, carefully raked! (I’m not going to complain about this — I’m globally WMF banned and any use of WMF facilities would violate the TOS, other than reading what is public — but anyone could. But does it matter enough to be worth the effort?

So, I had exported the pages and imported them to the CFC wiki. With full history, which is what was most important.

(the main LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist study was copied to the blog long ago. The current version is here.)

(The pages use meta templates. They are broken, and it’s not worth fixing them yet.)

Why did he pick that admin? I don’t know, but the fellow is a ‘crat on Wikipedia. The Wikipedia G5 criterion is very similar. One would think he’d know the principle! One might think he would also look at prior history, deletion discussion, etc., but either he didn’t or he wanted plausible deniability.

Just something to keep in mind.

Canaries demonstrate that the air is toxic. Billinghurst knew to be suspicious of a new account demanding sanctions against another user. That deletion request was a personal attack on me. Xaosflux apparently did not suspect a problem, and rushed to satisfy the misleading request. I have seen that many, many times on Wikipedia.

Rightpedia activity

NemeanOdes an obvious Oliver sock. created an article on Rightpedia.

There were then disruptive socks, with names characteristic of AP impersonations. Impersonation socks want to be seen as socks and blocked, the goal is to defame the impersonated one. This is a great example:

Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Eleonóra Dubiczki/Archive#21_February_2018

Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Eleonora_Goldmann#01_May_2018

(Notice how readily some Wikipedians assume that an account waving a Red Flag is a Red. Most real socks with a political agenda don’t do that, only trolls do it. And impersonators.

Tumbleman

DRAFT

If you are reading this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates, corrections, or retractions.

Comments to correct errors are welcome below.

Tumbleman, it was revealed, was Rome Viharo, who has written extensively about his experiences on “WWHP,” his blog, Wikipedia We Have a Problem. This is also covered elsewhere, and there is an extensive attack on Rome Viharo on RationalWiki.

Contributions/Tumbleman

Statistics

Right off, I notice the block log.

Even setting aside the obvious stumbling incompetence of the admin blocking indef, this was an unusual block log. Normally, a user will be blocked for a series of offenses, shorter blocks, gradually reaching to indef. If we look at the Talk page, there will be warnings, generally before blocks.

What happened? There is reference to an AE discussion. On the face, the filing was outrageous, grossly uncivil, relied on off-wiki activity (doxxing!) and consensus was not obvious. Tumbleman was not permitted to defend himself. But I’ll come back to that. What was the background?

Tumbleman was not an experienced editor when he dove in to Rupert Sheldrake. His first contributions, in 2005, were adding links to his own concept or site, OS 0 1 2, and then to the deletion discussion.

(the discussion refers to it being “spammed all over the wiki.” Contributions show three links placed. To some editors, that is “all over the wiki,” but this was, quite simply, an unskillful user, who did not yet know how to sign comments, nor what was appropriate for articles and deletion discussions. Very common for noobs.)

(“OS 1 2”) article on another wiki, written apparently by Tumbleman. I can now see that he was headed for a conflict with Wikipedia culture, which nominally seeks consensus (the only measure of neutrality is the level of consensus found; organizations use lower than 100% as a practical measure, but if the wiki actually valued true consensus, it would recognize anything short of 100% as less desirable; however, “wiki” also means quick, and while full-consensus process was developed extensively in the twentieth century, it requires much discussion, which the wiki tends to avoid and even sanction.  Full consensus process works in small groups, so larger groups require some kind of representative process, and time for feedback and broader communication, all of which Wikipedia, in its naivete, suppressed.)

Edit counts by month shows no activity until July and August of 2006, a burst then, (still not highly active), sporadic for a year, then almost nothing until August, 2013.

In 2006, his user talk page bloviated about AfD process, based on his very limited experience. He thought in terms of “winning” and “losing.” Apparently he had recreated the “OS 1 2” article — a newbie mistake — and it was deleted. He filed a Deletion review (that’s proper process, but the article was doomed, even though enough supported undeletion to allow it.) So the second AfD was created procedurally. Tumbleman argued extensively. That’s a losing strategy on Wikipedia. The way to get an article kept is to show adequate independent reliable source showing notability, but Tumbleman had no concept of this, he was thinking in terms of what people might be “interested” in. (and a user changed his vote in the DRV because he found the article “interesting”). The second AfD was a mess. He still didn’t know how to sign a comment. He was not informed until 2013.

With very little experience, Tumbleman “explained” to experienced Wikipedians how Wikipedia worked. He thought. He also was reactively uncivil. Was Tumbleman warned? No. Too bad. Tumbleman was a bright guy who had thought a lot about group process, and had strong ideas about what Wikipedia should be. People like this often run into trouble, if their ideas don’t match the editors they interact with. Wikipedia can brutal with these. Efforts to create a welcoming culture that would educate new users, mentoring them, were mostly crushed.

So, Tumbleman returned in 2013 and used his User page as a discussion page. He did not realize that what he was writing could be reliably predicted to be used against him. Even a much less explicit suspicion of using Wikipedia as an experiment has resulted in community rejection. Wikipedia is not generally open to new ideas and “outsiders” coming in with ways to improve the project are commonly treated with hostility. He was naive and did not actually study how Wikipedia worked before diving in.

When I became involved with Wikipedia governance,attempting to support balance and informed consensus, I also did a great deal of Recent Changes Patrol, and participated in many and widely varied processes. Tumbleman simply did not know what he was doing, and he was diving into what was, by that time, a quite firmly established editorial faction. How did he handle it?

The place to express personal ideas would be in a user space essay (subpage), if you are going to do it. Then people may comment on the attached talk page. Tumbleman did respond appropriately to the helpful criticism that appeared — which matched more or less what I wrote above.

Tumbleman moved that discussion to the Talk page. The talk page ended up being Archived here. But there was a previous archive (I call that “archiving to history). It is invisible to the Wikipedia search facility, which is why it’s not such a good idea, unless one wants to avoid the content showing up in searches.

I saw this conversation with vzaak (renamed to Manul):

I accept your olive branch and I can assure you I am quite serious about my role maintaining a WP NPOV. I did notice that you took your page down, I undid it without viewing this first so please feel free to take it down once more. If you remove your page, I shall remove this page, and we can return to a purely NPOV conversation on the Sheldrake page when I get back to editing. Sound fair? The Tumbleman (talk) 19:30, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Vzaak for your honorable resolution to this issue and I look forward working with you again maintaining WP NPOV. See you on the page! The Tumbleman (talk) 19:44, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

The faction does not support NPOV, often explicitly denigrates it. I’ve seen user essays promoting what was called SPOV, or Scientific Point of View (Joshua P. Schroeder used to have that on his user page, as I recall). That, of course, means “mainstream.” When push comes to shove, with wide community attention, the faction loses. And “Scientific point of view” is an oxymoron. The whole point of science is to move beyond “point of view.” “Purely NPOV” would mean, legitimately, “purely detached.” Not going to happen. The skeptical faction is explicitly dedicated to promoting “rational skepticism,” or “fighting pseudoscience.” Yet they get away with it.

Tumbleman was a noob and was slaughtered. A noob with a skeptical (more accurately, debunking) point of view would have been protected by the faction. We will see that Tumbleman made many mistakes, but they are very common newbie errors. His stated goals were noble. There were some who recognized this and who argued against the indef block. They were outnumbered.

How does that happen? It’s easy, factional coordination is facilitated by watchlists. By 2013, there was also increased off-wiki communication. As well, any factional “member” — it’s not necessarily formal — will be protected if any sanction process starts, and enough supporters will show up to prevent anything like a consensus from being formed, even if behavior was outrageous.

So in that discussion with vzaak is a clue to conflict. What are the “pages” referred to? I don’t think they were pages, they were talk page sections. And this could be it.

Vzaak outs Tumbleman as Rome Viharo. One basis was the OS 0 1 2 history, plus off-wiki research. Not legitimate. The other was linked without explanation. This was all a blatant personal attack, not an attempt to communicate with Tumbleman.

Tumbleman’s response was too-typical noob. He tells Vzaak that what he is doing could be sanctioned. It’s a normal knee-jerk reaction, but it is similar to the childhood “I’ll tell!” No, for outing, the standard response is to privately message an administrator to get it revision-deleted. (And the admin might decide to warn or block.) Instead, Tumbleman argued.  Vzaak denied “revealing personal details.” That strongly reminds me of later denials of the obvious obvious by his friends. (or him?)

Notice the diff of Tumbleman’s first response.

He accepted the default edit summary with the section title. Responding at all was a blunder. Basically, at that point, STFU and get help. Now, Vzaak claimed that Tumbleman had “identified himself on WP by real name.” The argument about the deleted article was not adequate, it took off-site research to put that together. Basically, that public records establish an identity (say, by reasonable inference) is not consent to reveal or argue based on off-wiki evidence. Where did Tumbleman identify himself? vzaak pointed to the edit. Looking at the diff: “[[User:Tumbleman|Rome Viharo]] ([[User talk:Tumbleman|talk]]) 20:02, 31 August 2013 (UTC)”

One minute later, Tumbleman corrected that, so this was clearly unintentional. Now, we know that Tumbleman was Rome Viharo, that’s water under the bridge. However, that was not a wilful revelation of the connection, and Rome, as a noob, did not realize that he could have requested revision deletion of that version. It would take an admin a minute, if he sent the diff.

… and nobody protected him.

Dan skeptic (declared alternate account of Goblin Face, later blocked as an AP sock) made the claim here, a few days later. Did anyone warn vzaak or Dan skeptic? No (other than Tumbleman himself).

This is certainly not the complete Tumbleman story. But looking for that incident — which shows that those are deceptive who continue to argue that Tumbleman was not “doxxed” — has also shown me what I had seen some years ago. The Tumbleman affair was a factional hit, one of many. Many familiar names show up. And Dan skeptic argues like Oliver, in fact, but so might Darryl. The interest, from prior information, would be Darryl. And then there are the factional editors who slobber over Dan skeptic. And when I mentioned Manul/vzaak in the original AP study, with no accusation of any wrongdoing, AP socks went ballistic. The lady doth protest to much, methinks.

The suspicion that arises from the protest is not that Manul was an AP sock, though that is possible. Rather it would be that Manul was an asset to be zealously protected, even overprotected, because that calls attention to possibilities. Dan skeptic was an AP sock, that’s well-established. Which brother? Who cares?

The story of Viharo’s supposed voluntary self-outing has been oft repeated by AP socks, and then, perhaps, by others. It started with vzaak/Manul, apparently.

A fuller review would look at the factional editing, and the very rough treatment accorded Tumbleman, in spite of a few voices opposing that. Those voices, as I’ve seen happen many times, gave up. A faction with as many as a few dozen editors can be wiki-suicide to confront, and I saw an admin resign when he realized that another admin was going to ignore policy and get away with hit. The sane people walked away, over and over, so what was left?

Not purely left, because some sane people, with time to devote and a lot of patience, remained. Increasingly outnumbered, though, because the community, in spite of many opportunities, refused to face the structural problems that facilitate all the incredibly inefficient disruption, and that create defacto factional domination unless someone invests the enormous effort involved in filing an Arbitration case. To overcome this requires quite what the GSoW have done: cooperation. A faction cannot be defeated alone. At least not easily!!!

Total breakdown

If you are reading this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates, corrections, retractions, etc.

If Oliver Smith had, as a goal, thoroughly exposing the idiocy of RationalWiki — and to a lesser degree, also the WMF wikis — he couldn’t have done a better job.

From his own emails and comments on RationalWiki:

Oliver Smith claims

  • He made up the brother story years ago to get unblocked on Wikipedia.
  • He fed the story to many, fooling them. It was a joke, and funny as hell.
  • He lied to Tim Farley.
  • His real brother’s name is now being published. [It is!]
  • Yet his real brother isn’t involved at all. [Is he?]
  • Nobody is paid, that was all his deception.
  • He’s the victim of massive harassment.
  • And Lomax is crazy for declaring as possible the story that Oliver made up and repeated for many years.

Let’s take a look!

His emails to me — and my recent replies — are here.

A few days ago, I protected most pages dealing with Anglo Pyramidologist, requiring a password, which, for the time being ,will be revealed to those with a need to know.

Then, April 4, 2018,  I received an email from  Oliver Smith, from the known and verified email address for him, offering a “truce,” he would fix the RationalWiki article on me if I removed mention of him on my blog (and he sent the exact same oemail to Rome Viharo). I responded as can be seen there. I thanked Oliver for certain things and pointed out that improvement he proposed on RationalWiki would not address many of the problems created by the Smith brothers’ history, including perhaps the most serious (a massive sock and then cross-wiki canvassed attack on Wikiversity and Wikiversity users). I suggested simply telling the truth.

April 5, Debunking spiritualism attempted to edit the RW article on me to make it more about substantial subjects, but was — as I’d have predicted — promptly reverted.  He then wrote on the Talk page (archive copy of the page):

Proposed re-write

I re-wrote some sections, but they got reverted. I’ve spoken to Lomax by email, and he says he will no longer disrupt or make more articles on RationalWiki on his blog etc., if we just focus more on his cold fusion and try to more neutrally present his research on this. The problem is his page has been a battleground and much drama over his activities on wikis that are mostly irrelevant to RationalWiki – its main purpose is to document pseudoscience. I just think its sensible if we rewrite his article and the drama will end.Debunking spiritualism (talk) 21:46, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Wait? Who spoke to me by email? I was communicating with Oliver D. Smith, who was, until recently, ODS on RationalWiki. Many evidences from ODS pointed to his brother, Darryl L. Smith, as “DS.” Second problem, here, I never did disrupt RationalWiki, this was done by a series of impersonation socks. The user with an extensive history of similar impersonation would be DS, and it was almost certainly a sock of DS who wrote the article, and DS had been obsessively editing it. The page had not been a battleground except, briefly, impersonation socks vandalized it, pretending to be me.

While I have never ruled out the possibility of a third party impersonator, the impersonation patterns were those of the sock master I confronted on WMF wikis as “Anglo Pyramidologist,” and, with evidence and claims from Oliver, almost certainly his twin brother, Darryl. (AP, there, is both brothers — or Oliver Smith lied from the beginning, which he has now claimed.) The other possible troll would have had no interest at that time, and there was no cooperation from the Smiths that would have exposed the impersonations. No, Darryl was the impersonator. Or there is another possibility that arises here, and it’s remarkable. The whole thing was a lie and harassment targets were not the only ones impersonated.

This possibility aligns with the opinion of another critic of the Smiths: there is no brother, this is all one person, pretending to be two. To deal with what has been published, this requires one of two possibilities: (1) there is literally no brother, and the public record that purported to show that was fake, created by Oliver as a red herring, or (2) Darryl is silent, uninvolved.

The appearance here, given the emails to me, is that Oliver is Debunking spiritualism, who has carried on conversations with ODS and other Oliver socks, and this was all fake, deception. There is a more likely scenario, I’ll get to that. GrammarCommie, obviously believing in the tissue of lies created by the impersonator and the Smith editing, continues with

RationalWiki is objective not neutral. Furthermore this sounds like extortion to me, i.e. “do what I say or else I’ll harass you.” ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 21:49, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

What “sounds like extortion” is a story made up by DS. I have not threatened anyone with harassment. I have pointed out the obvious: what one writes on a wiki is public and open to examination and critique. I would not attempt to coerce anyone, and have not. But someone has done this, through the impersonation socks, pretending to be me. I have circumstantial evidence — not proof — that the harassment socks were “Anglo Pyramidologist.” Yet the RatWikians who show up in this present discussion obviously assume they were me. In fact, they were designed that way. They copied text from me, using names that someone naive might think I would use — I have no history of disruptive account socking — and then tacking in threats and accusations, or simple vandalism.

I actually proposed to re-write some of it. At the very least there’s been lots of mistakes & errors on the article. What I wrote was actually a lot more objective. I would invite Lomax here to correct things he has a problem with, but he’s already published a response on his blog and I went over it. He’s mostly telling the truth about his cold fusion research. It is misrepresented by the original article creator. Of course I’m not defending Lomax’s antics on wikis and other sites (he recently got blocked on the RW reddit section), but I think the article should more accurately present his cold fusion stuff.Debunking spiritualism (talk) 21:58, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I invited @Bongolian and a few others to discuss my edit.Debunking spiritualism (talk) 23:21, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Remarkable. “He’s mostly telling the truth about his cold fusion research.” Who was the original article creator? That creator complained about me and I was promoted (sysop tools removed) as a result. Then another obviously related user indef blocked me for “doxxing,” when I had not doxxed, another sock had, I had merely responded. This was all someone with long experience manipulating wiki communities, preying on the naive, ready to make knee-jerk assumptions that involve primitive models of human behavior.

The “response on my blog” that I wrote was months ago and the article changed a lot since then. What I suggested, with a declared sock, was that I be unblocked and I could then make suggestions on the Talk page. What DS proposes here — and that unblock — would be more or less standard for RW, as to how RW presents itself to the world on the Main Page. But the problem is far, far deeper than my article.

DS knows how and why I was blocked on the “RW Reddit section.” He complained to David Gerard, and it was immediately actioned. There, I had responded to a few blatant attack posts, by users who showed up only to make them, referring to RW articles of which they were likely the author. Someone has been abusing RW, for a long time, as a personal attack platform. (Looking at that now, I wondered how DS knows. Reddit does not show who is banned. I logged out, and a comment I made, visible when logged in,  now shows as “Removed.” This is the thread. My response was

RationalWiki is run by people apparently terrified of real discussion, believing in a mission that involves suppressing whatever they think is wrong and anyone not a true believer in their brand of skepticism. They pretened to be about rejecting authoritarianism. They lie.

If it’s a matter of correcting errors on RW, then, yes, this should be done. We should not however be put in a position of tone policing ourselves because of Lomax. I don’t think that Lomax is a trustworthy actor based on his past documented history here and elsewhere, and we should not cater to his whims. There is no possible guarantee that he could make that he will not continue his harassment on or off of RW. Bongolian (talk) 00:13, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

That “documented” history is full of misrepresentations and deceptions, most recently the massive impersonation socking on RW. Generally, aside from his acceptance of a load of deception, I’d agree with his position. However, there need be no binding guarantee, were I proposing some quid pro quo. Suppose, for simplicity, that the article were deleted. (That is not the most inspiring possibility!). And I committed to not writing about RationalWiki. Not that I would, mind you, I’m a journalist, but I do have choices about where to focus. If I violated my commitment, the article could simply be restored. If the agreement were public, there would be some actual misbehavior — a lack of integrity — to point to. It would take a minute to undelete the article.

These guys have little or no business experience or imagination. It’s hard to find good help. But this was all actually irrelevant, since I was not making or offering any guarantee, this was a Smith initiative, and the question arises, “Why now?”

Lomax wants some kind of deal where his lead is edited, and the cyber-harasser and troll is removed and the article accurately reflects his cold fusion research. Lomax had about 30 articles very negative about Rationalwiki users, some of these contained dox. He has now removed some those from public-view and they are password protected, but he is talking about contacting the media privately about his ban from Rationalwiki and Wikipedia. He says that is a possibility, he also says his obsession with all of this has damaged his health, I can believe that. He was writing thousands of words about this every-day, it was not normal.

I personally would have his RW article deleted, I actually voted delete in the deletion discussion. The whole thing has caused too much trouble here and these petty internet feuds with Lomax are messing with peoples lives. It would be better for everyone if this was all to just end. Obviously many people voted to keep his article so it will not be deleted but I don’t know if it is worth inviting him here to comment on what he wants changed on his article. Debunking spiritualism (talk) 00:28, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

How does he know what I want? Telepathy? He’d be evidence it doesn’t exist. But, yes, a focus on cold fusion would not be a problem, if that’s considered worthy of an article.  The only “dox” was, eventually, long after being “banned” for doxxing, the names of the Smith brothers. RW articles, written by the brothers, routinely dox targets…. Oliver apparently just created an article on Michael Coombs on Wrongpedia that gives the address of Coombs’ mother, with no excuse other than a suggestion she could be harassed because he visits home sometimes.

DS showed up to comment in that deletion discussion months after it closed. It was pointed out how odd it was for him to show up and vote delete for an article that he was obviously obsessively editing. At a certain point I began to emphasize “Darryl L. Smith,” because I was realizing that it was likely that most actual damage, in many areas, was coming from that brother. Maybe he was realizing that he had attempted character assassination on a target who can defend himself. And there is more.

If Lomax permanently removed and deletes all the negative commentary about Rationalwiki on his cold fusion community blog and decides to move on with his life, is it possible his article could be deleted? This might not be policy but is it not possible to arrange some kind of deal like this? Both parties would win at the end of the day and people could move on with their lives. Several users have been doxed by Lomax on his blog so all this is having real life consequences. Debunking spiritualism (talk) 00:34, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
@Rimuru Tempest, @Readymade, @Christopher @David Gerard your thoughts about the above? Debunking spiritualism (talk) 00:39, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

I know RationalWiki reasonably well. This proposal had no chance of success as stated.

First of all, who is feeling “real life consequences?” There would be one class of such: the targets of many articles created by the crazy duo, and fewer by articles created by other RatWikians. Almost all RatWiki users are fully anonymous. Oliver and Darryl Smith are only not anonymous because they were so massively disruptive in so many fora that they attracted a great deal of attention. The first three pinged are anonymous, to my knowledge, and would not care personally about this. David Gerard probably believes he is completely secure. He might be, the legal theory on which I might sue him is thin. But it doesn’t really cost a lot to try. RW is a more inviting target, and RW actually has raised money on the idea that they need it for legal defense. RW, however, is not yet on the hook, there is due process that remains first.

The only two actually feeling consequences — or simply fearing them — would be Oliver and Darryl Smith. But they are not appealing based on the truth. I’m not sure what the point of this exercise was. It seems that DS wants to maintain the myth of “Abd harassing multitudes all over the internet,” while shutting down attention on himself and his brother. They created that myth, creating evidence for it (such as the Reddit ban, simply a decision probably by Gerard — though there is another moderator), just as they created the WMF ban by canvassing for complaints, all visible if anyone looks.

Let me put it this way: Fuck no!!! We will not cave in to every halfassed crank that suddenly decides that they’ve “reformed”. that is the very definition of whitewashing. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:43, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Sure. But what “halfassed crank” has “suddenly decided” that he has “reformed”? The DS narrative, backed as it is by several months of bombarding RW with impersonation socks, is accepted, whole hog.

I think he has delusions of self-grandeur if he thinks “the media” will be interested in his petty squabbles and persecution complex. Password-protecting his doxing is not a particularly conciliatory action in my view: this is basically an admission that he has been a harasser. I invite other moderators @CheeseburgerFace, @Christopher, @CowHouse, @DiamondDisc1, @LeftyGreenMario, as well as the semi-active: @David Gerard to comment. Bongolian (talk) 00:48, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

The story as they would imagine it would not be of interest to the media. Did I mention the media? If I file an action, I would probably create a press release, and an organization might be involved. The main show would be an action against the WikiMedia Foundation, with RationalWiki being a minor player.

I never indicated the password protection as “conciliatory.” It was explained here.

Until this point, all my work was public, my research notes were public. “Going dark” means creating access security, as I work with legal issues, counsel, and develop necessary resources, until a final report is created and action taken. It is tempting to explain more thoroughly, but I’m resisting that. They can guess but they won’t know until this hits them.

The ordinary RW users probably have nothing to fear, it’s not worth going after useless basement-dwellers and twits and anti-crank cranks (and a handful of sincere and perhaps genuine skeptics), but RW itself might see some action, that depends on how they respond to challenges. This is a matter for RMF legal, not ordinary users, and they need not consider it.

I don’t think we should whitewash his past. If he shows signs of a changed man for over 5 years, we can add that to the article and perhaps give him a nicer writeup.—♥€h33s3βurg3rF@€3♥ Spinning-Burger.gif (talk • stalk) 03:15, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

I think he’s clueless. I have not suggested, nor would I suggest, “whitewashing” my past. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but he and RatWiki in general have no clue what that is. They have believed a story invented by the Smith brothers, and intensely marketed through impersonation socking. Even as it becomes completely obvious that these brothers are liars and highly deceptive. To accept that, they would need to become skeptical of their own ideas and reactions. Which would make them genuine skeptics. Some of them would rather die first.

On second thought, why are we even covering Internet drama? We care about woo. I was under the impression that we don’t cover Internet drama for anyone on this website.—♥€h33s3βurg3rF@€3♥ Spinning-Burger.gif (talk • stalk) 03:18, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Indeed. My answer for him: RW is covering internet drama because it allowed the Twin Queens of Internet Drama to create hundreds of sock puppets on RationalWiki (probably an understatement) to create articles that were intrinsically attack and revenge and fanaticism, it enabled them and protected them against exposure, opped them and encouraged them, because those who are loudest rueing Teh Drama often do the most to create it and enjoy it. DS here was proposing to focus on woo and alleged pseudoscience, which was, indeed, missional. But the Mob loves Drama! And it cares nothing about truth and careful and thorough research, but only wants to react to the latest hue and cry.

It is the opposite of rational thinking, so RW has a foundational contradiction. Snark is an appeal to quick reaction, and snark is policy on RW. It appeals to the immature. It’s fun. RW is not my problem. However, where the site and its defacto policies create an “attractive nuisance,” there can be consequences.

Honestly, after looking into all of this stuff I’m not so sure we can just throw it under the rug. I agree with Cheeseburger on this, let him show he decided to change through his actions and others will begin to see better of him. Let us not forget what we do here at RW.
Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:
1.Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement;
2.Documenting the full range of crank ideas;
3.Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism;
4.Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.Rimuru TempestRimuru Slime.png 03:40, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

What I notice is a massive confusion of conflicting ideas. If the article were objective, there would simply be no question. If facts alleged in the article were backed by sources that actually confirm the claim, or that are not simply cherry-picked from a vast corpus of work, if conclusions stated in the article could be challenged and discussed with someone knowledgeable (i.e., the article subject if the subject is willing), the issue of “change” would be irrelevant. The thinking here is high-school, as if I were some juvenile critically concerned about how people see me, and whining “But I’ve changed.” If I did any such whining, please point it out, so I can stomp on it. I change all the time, I hope I will continue to change until I die, but I am responsible for all of it.

All this discussion was based on the thinking of a deranged Smith brother, his imaginary presentation of what I supposedly wrote to him, that I didn’t. The full emails are on that page from the recent correspondence.

focusing on each and every crank rather than the ideas they espouse is such a waste of time and energy. Anyways, if this Lomax fellow is vandalizing the article, just lock it down–“Shut upBrx.”02:33, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

That’s RatWiki. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Especially on RatWiki. “If this Lomax fellow is vandalizing . . . .” Well, is he? Brx is two clicks away from seeing the history, but the RW cry is “Don’t confuse me with facts!” I never vandalized the article. I edited the article once only, in October 2017. The edit stuck. The short period of editing by socks with my name on them were not me. It’s reasonably obvious who they were, because the behavior is quite old, oft-repeated, long before I was ever involved, and only one person would be interested at that point.

I stumbled across his site at one point, didn’t think much of it, I kept scrolling down and I saw my name of his “Enablers and Supporter” claiming he was working on a draft of me. Idk what he is or was going to write (as he seems to have password blocked it) but after reading a few things of his I think now see him in a worse light than I did at first. I don’t know why he put me on one of his pages and made it seem like I told him “The Christian God is the real God and not Allah” but seeing what he said about everyone I wont really believe him unless he actually shows a change and apologized to those who he attacked. I’m not going to hold a grudge with him but he needs to show we can trust him.リムルテンペストRimuru Slime.png 04:01, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Enablers and Supporters is a page to describe how the AP socks have managed to effectively abuse wikis and sites, and RationalWiki in particular. He doesn’t say what I wrote, it wasn’t anything like what I wrote. He was attacked by impersonation socks and believed they were me. He didn’t ask me. But he did respond to my question about a sock who impersonated him here.

To apologize for an “attack,” I’ll need to have a reference to the attack. Documenting what an account has done is not an attack. If it is, then is Rimuru  acknowledging that RationalWiki articles are “attacks”? Does he and other RatWikians believe that anyone on the internet is fair game for documentation, but RatWikians? “Supporters and Enablers” would actually  be a compliment if what was supported and enabled is laudable!

His report is weird. The main page shows blog posts, but all the AP and related documentation is pages, used for information and studies. There is a sidebar with Pages, which lists all of them. He would see the page hierarchy, which is RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist/Supporters and Enablers, and the subpages with certain people where there are notes. All my page work is “studies.” If he was able to see the S&E page, he’d have seen, in the TOC,

Rimuru Tempest subpage (draft, not yet published)

Some of the above have been added from a narrow suspicion, and S&E may be inadvertent or ignorant or otherwise

Further down the page, there was his name and a link to his RW contributions. That was all. What does this have to do with “Christian God” and “Allah”? In any case, I looked at the draft page and published it so that Rimuru Tempest may comment on it if he chooses. It is just some notes with a little speculation. Nothing to call a lawyer over, in fact, calling that page an “attack” would be just plain crazy. Perhaps I might flesh out the subpage, except I have a hundred things to do more worthwhile at this point.

An apology and even a website wipe won’t be enough to have us remove what he has done with the past. He remains responsible for any harm he has done and he will learn the consequences of being a little less than an unpleasant piece of work. I’m not holding any grudges, but this person will have to do quite a bit to make up for all the the trouble he has caused. –It’s-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 05:41, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

The issue here is belief not founded in fact. What trouble did I cause and how? I did not create the AP sock farm, I didn’t even hear about it until September, 2017. 200 socks on Wikipedia, and then, I began to discover, many more even there that aren’t documented, they are quietly blocked. At one point an AP sock claimed to be running RatWiki, having created 700 socks. That might not actually be an exaggeration.

What harm have I done? Any specifics? I can say exactly what harm has been done by AP socks, and it will become far more visible over the next few months. The waste of time on RatWiki from the impersonation socks I certainly did not create. But RatWiki is not actually that important to me.

You have two users lying to you, here on this RW Talk page, and it’s easy to see if you look, and you don’t care. You win the prize, you have to live with the mess.

Any actual inaccuracies should obviously be removed, but don’t cave in to his threats and don’t remove information about what he’s done in the past just because he claims to have changed. Christopher (talk) 08:15, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Again, all this discussion was founded on claims from DS. Nobody seems to suspect the accuracy of his report. This was all radically confused. I have not claimed to have “changed.” I shifted tactics, that’s all.

Since this affair began, AP socks called the studies I was doing — merely listing accounts on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and meta (mostly checkuser-identified) — “Lies,” but never pointed to any specifics. If I have erred, I always appreciate correction, and I don’t hide my past. I learn from it.

I have made no threats. There were threats made by impersonation socks. By “cave in,” Christopher would be referring to threats of harm if one doesn’t do what is demanded, i.e., coercion. I hate coercion. What was demanded by me? (There were demands by impersonation socks.)

I would appreciate making the changes Debunking spiritualism made to the article. I’m someone Lomax smeared and doxed on his blog. He’s since removed nearly everything and is happy to stop this feud if we make amendments. There are clearly inaccuracies, just like Lomax writing lies and hearsay about people on his blog, so it would help to correct/remove the misrepresentations, errors, poorly sourced content and mistakes from Lomax’s article. Agent47 (talk) 22:43, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Agent47 is obviously Oliver D. Smith. Early on, the AP message was that documentation of AP socking was a “vendetta” or “feud.” It was Oliver who actually emailed me, not DS … if they are different. I did hide material, and I didn’t reject Oliver’s offer, but thought that he would not be able to deliver unless he revealed the truth about the history. His comments here show that he was keeping up the story that I was lying, even while pretending to advocate some reasonable action to do what he imagined would “settle the feud.” I have some sympathy, because the truly vicious behavior was probably not him, probably his brother … but he’s completely insane, this comes out. He demonstrates that no matter how we slices it, he lied or he is lying. Why? That’s what gets interesting.

Perhaps @Debunking spiritualism could write a short synopsis here of each correction along with a supporting reference for each correction, then we can move forward. Bongolian (talk) 23:11, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Sensible. There is actually a better way, I saw used on Wikipedia. A rewrite in user space, to be then compared with the standing article. May the better article win! and then the better might still have some content merged from the old. But it might all be a waste if I demand take-down from the RMF, which is under consideration. If the article were actually improved with a plan for keeping it that way, I might not demand take-down. Criticism of cold fusion research is normal, expected, and actually appreciated. However, I just looked at the article. It is heavily designed to defame, full of appeals to knee-jerk assumptions, single incidents conflated to an alleged long-term pattern, and other niceties that afflict far too many RW articles.

RW is full of articles created by this team. One of them has claimed the other is paid (“to the best of his knowledge”) by a major skeptical organization. It’s plausible, and the other has hinted at the same, and then this all starts to get very ugly.

And then this, together with the actual emails, takes the cake:

Lomax email

The above attempted re-writes or deletions requests is because of Lomax blackmailing, coercing and harassing RW users – so like myself we want the option of being left alone by this nutcase. Below is a harassing email I’ve just received. Lomax believes I have a brother involved in this website, I don’t. That’s the “smith brother conspiracy theory” he’s obsessed with. Aside from this misinformation and conspiracy theory, he claims to be taking legal action. But note how rude and aggressive this old prick is:

If I don’t want RW to have an article on me, my recourse is with the RMF. I did email them, they ignored it (not surprising). Next step is a certified letter, a formal demand.

You and your brother have lied so extensively about me and what I was doing, and created such a widespread mess, that the only way to undo it is probably to come completely clean, and openly acknowledge what you know, in a way that is verifiably you. Otherwise it would be considered impersonation. That is the mess you and your brother have created.

You complained to the WMF. What did you complain about? That is not going to be a privileged communication, it’s vulnerable to subpoena.

I don’t think you realize how difficult it could be to undo the damage you and your brother have done. Having a sysop account is largely meaningless on RW. Any user, generally, can rewrite an article. I could rewrite may article. But would it stick? The two of you have created a myth that the RW community believes, demonstrating how naive and gullible they are.

All those vandalizing socks on RationalWiki, copying my text, twisting it, and vandalizing with it, who were they?

David Gerard only acts when he has cover. He is, after all, real-name and vulnerable to defamation suits.

And it appears that it will be coming to that.

I basically retract my claims above. There are no inaccuracies on the article, its just that Lomax has threatened us and doxed our family members etc, that people want a way out of this dispute and some of us were prepared to give in to his demands and whitewash the article. I’ve changed my mind and won’t be further doing this. I don’t see this guy stopping his harassment, he’ll probably end up getting a restraining order against him, or sectioned under a mental health act. Agent47 (talk) 02:02, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

What claims is he retracting? His lies and misrepresentations? Who is “us”? The documentation has all been about Oliver D. and Darryl L. Smith, twin brothers, long ago (2011) tagged and blocked on Wikipedia as “Anglo Pyramidologist.” Oliver was much better known outside of Wikipedia, and many of those confronting this monster sock drawer have focused on him. Even where Darryl was mentioned, it was almost as a footnote. What shifted with my involvement was shining the disinfectant light on Darryl.

Because of this claim above, I have published the entire email set. What I wrote was not sent to Oliver D. Smith to harass him, at all. It was a response to his mail.

It was assertive, not aggressive. It did not threaten. Oliver Smith published, on RationalWiki, the WMF response to his complaint, so I know he complained. From what he has written about me and others, and from what I know I was actually doing, I can reasonably suspect that he misrepresented the truth (and he has done this with many others, getting web sites taken down, he got the mother of an enemy fired with a harassing email to her employer, and the only thing keeping him out of a U.K. prison is police inertia, which then takes coordinated action to move. Tim Farley, years ago, showed how it was done. And, by the way, I do not consider Tim Farley an enemy, and attacks on Tim Farley on RW were by impersonation socks. The Smith brothers attempt to stir up enmity, to get supposed enemies of their targets angry and to arouse them to attack their target. It’s really an amazing strategy, particularly considering how well it worked in various venues.

So I’m warning him that more lying isn’t going to help. His response: more lies — or, amazingly, his claim that he was lying previously, as if somehow that’s going to prove that those exposing him are wrong. Look how he fooled them with his lies! The stupids!

Will RationalWikians see this and realize how they have been taken for fools? I’m not betting either way. But there is more. He didn’t quote, of course, his own claims, though he refers to them with his “smith brothers conspiracy theory” rant. I will not be so shy. Quoting from his last email to me.

Ask Rome Viharo to see the last email I sent him. There is no brother. I’ve just had fun misleading people, like yourself stalking me as have other RW sysops who have tried to protect their identities. It’s a problem though that you would target and dox an innocent family member of mine, based on this. Ask Viharo to see the full email, or I can post it here later. The ” smith brother” conspiracy theory is a joke.

No, if he is not lying, he created the theory as a joke, and now is disliking the consequences. But does he claim up by telling the truth, the whole truth? No. And what he says is internally contradictory and requires a long-term conspiracy, and, in particular, a compliant brother who doesn’t blow the whistle on this. There are only two “family members” involved in what has been published by me (and by Rome Viharo): Oliver and Darryl. If there is no brother, who, then, is the “innocent family member”?

He has extensively attacked Mikemikev for publishing a page, apparently from a public record, showing the names of inhabitants for a certain house in the U.K., as doxxing his family, giving the “address,” which is a road, with no street number (apparently a rural road, so mail would go to the name on that road). As it was, technically.

Doxxing at that level, per se, is not necessarily illegal, but if it can be considered harassment, it can be subject to prosecution. Briefly, I had the text from that public record on the Identity page here. I redacted that immediately, but the Smith brothers continued to insist that I was doxxing the family. Here, Oliver Smith is claiming that he was lying back in 2011, and then further in his edits to RW referring to DS as his brother, and in prior emails to me (where he blamed “most of the socks” on his brother.” (Those are published on that same page.)

Just a little joke! Heh! Whatsa matta? Can’t take a joke?

Debunking spiritualism is, on the face, an anti-parapsychology fanatic (not actually a skeptic, “fanatic skeptic” is actually an oxymoron), easily identified by his editing patterns and interests, as what I, for a time, called AP/D, probably also Goblin Face on Wikipedia, and others. But this is all called into question by Oliver’s new claims. I do not assume that someone is lying, in any particular instance, because even liars tell the truth on occasion.

I’m not really interested in you complaining about lies, since all you’ve done is lie about me. You’re currently writing all sorts of nonsense and smears about me on Wikipedia sucks on the bizarre mikemikev section on your blog. I’ve never in my life been to Birkbeck college, I never studied at London University and never have been a “white nationalist”. Also, I don’t live close to Birkbeck. None of the accounts you claim are me are mine, but mikemikev.

I wasn’t “complaining about lies.” I was telling him that his lies have consequences. Oliver is either simply lying, or incapable of understanding the difference between a statement of suspicion and allegation. I never claimed he had been to Birkbeck college. It was simply a suspicion, and it would only take one trip, a little outing, on one day, to then create an impression that anyone editing from Birkbeck on certain topics was Mikemikev. Read the SPI reports!

“White nationalist,” a term which Oliver tosses around casually about others, is not a fact but an interpretation, a judgment, and Oliver was a supporter of the BNP, it’s easy to see his Metapedia comments. He claims that those were impersonations of him. Fine. Did he let those impersonations stand, or did he document and disclaim them? Those are matters of fact or evidence.

He is calling “lies” what arises from his own interpretations. The “mikemikev” section is a subpage of a review of a blog post on Hatewatch, where the RW article on Mikemikev was used as a source to make claims about problems with Wikipedia socking.  So I looked at the Mikemikev Wikipedia Sock puppet investigations page and reviewed it. It’s quite long, and my impression is — unverified — that Mikemikev did sock extensively on Wikipedia, originally, but that, later, impersonation socks appeared, and that is a known AP pattern, to take a blocked target and impersonate them, to ramp up enmity toward the target, and that is exactly what has been done with me on RationalWiki: many disruptive socks, using my names or ready associations.

Someone is impersonating me. Who? Default hypothesis: the same person as the one who impersonated a user on Wikipedia in order to arouse attack on his work on Wikiversity. I had assumed the brother Darryl, the one with a long-term declared interest in “spiritualism,” etc., whereas Oliver had settled on other topic areas, such as racism and fascism. Now Oliver is claiming that it’s all him. There is an obvious suspicion to report.

Also the impersonation claims are bizarre, considering Mikemikev has impersonated me all over the internet including at Metapedia. I closed my account, it was then reopened to impersonate me with a false accusation of having schizophrenia. This is proven if you bothered to actually view the logs.

I’m not sure how one “closes an account” on a wiki. I think Oliver claimed to have spiked the password, and if you do this with email turned off, access is lost. Very much, this is not recommended! Anyone with a sufficiently high privilege level can “fix” the problem. Oliver has just set up an extensive task which would take hours. I did review his Metapedia contributions, and some, at least, of the logs. On the face, he would be claiming that there is evidence for what he is now claiming. It should, then, take a few minutes at most for him to point to the logs that I could allegedly examine. I’m not going to go digging through ancient refuse for something that actually matters very little. His Metapedia history is merely ironic, at most. I pointed out that he disclaimed it.

The claim of schizophrenia appears in a number of places. Given what I have seen of his behavior, by email, it’s plausible. Certainly something is radically off in what he is displaying, in the emails and on RationalWiki and elsewhere.

“Proven” is language used by believers, not by genuine skeptics, outside of narrow circumstances. There is a lost performative. Something is “proven” by a claimant to the satisfaction of a judge, an observer. It does not exist in the evidence itself. Evidence is used in a proof. Language around this can be sloppy, though. In this case, the claim and the proof exist only in Oliver’s mind. He could change that, with clear communication, but he doesn’t do “clear communication.” He just makes wild claims, asserted as fact, even when the evidence which he sometimes cites is more contradictory than confirming, when read carefully.

He depends on wiki users not caring to undertake that careful examination, but, too often, reasoning from conclusions, i.e., the conclusions stated match their own assumptions or prejudices, so they accept the claims.

I also find it mind boggling that you dispute Mikemikev is an online nazi.

I haven’t. Smith’s inability to interpret sane text is remarkably poor. He is probably referring to my comment a few days earlier, referring to what he had written that Mikemikev had written to him.

Mikemikev is cute, eh? I have little problem with his being called a racist, he may qualify, but … I just found a bio of him and I will be reviewing it. I have had no communication with Mikemikev. However, your brother is lying about him admitting to all those socks. That was obviously not what he meant.

The Wrongpedia attack on Mikemikev and his mother is beyond the pale. So you are continuing your rampage. Or is someone deviously impersonating you on RatWiki?

Where does this “dispute” the claim? Smith apparently sees everything as a dispute or argument or feud. and lack of agreement — or in this case, weak agreement — is seen as crazy opposition, as if it is necessary for me to believe what he believes or I am the enemy. Whoever has been behind all the AP mess for many years does apparently think like that. They are intellectual fascists, who is not loyal to the Cause is an enemy.

your emails are being ignored by the RationalWiki foundation, I was told this.

Far out. Told by whom? In this affair, what has appeared is something long obvious to many, but denied by some. There is a cabal. In my attempt to raise the attention of the Arbitration Committe to the issue of de-facto coordinated editing by a faction — which was actually obvious from the evidence I presented — the Committee reprimanded me by claiming I had not presented evidence of policy violations. But the problem was that this did not violate policy, unless there was off-wiki coordination. It happens through watchlist patterns. However, what has become much more visible since is that there is off-wiki coordination, so policy is being violated. And that is tolerated, and why? I find that an interesting question.

(My solution to the “cabal” problem  would be not to ban cabals, but to actually encourage and identify them and to then regulate activity. It is a soluble problem, but not if the very existence of the problem is denied. Wikipedia got stuck in the idea that it could and should ban “POV-pushing,” which is what cabals do. That then made the attainment of genuine consensus probably impossible. To find consensus — which is powerful and self-maintaining — requires all parties to be at the table. This is all basic organizational understanding that was unclear to a naive Wikipedia community, mostly composed, early on, of computer techies. Not academics.)

So Oliver suggested that I contact Rome Viharo. He provided me with his correspondence with Oliver, so I added it to the Oliver D. Smith email archive here. The story is mind-Boglin.

The emails of

To repeat what I wrote above: Oliver Smith claims

  • He made up the brother story years ago to get unblocked on Wikipedia.
  • He fed the story to many, fooling them. It was a joke, and funny as hell.
  • He lied to Tim Farley.
  • His real brother’s name is now being published.
  • Yet his real brother isn’t involved at all.
  • Nobody is paid, that was all his deception.
  • He’s the victim of massive harassment.
  • And Lomax is crazy for declaring as possible the story that Oliver made up and repeated for many years.

Sometimes the truth, when it is incomplete, can appear implausible. However, Occam’s razor, here, indicates that he is now lying through his teeth, but why?

It’s obvious: His brother is pissed, Oliver shot off his mouth far too much, and his actual family is putting pressure on him, because it is indeed a possibility that the brother could be harmed.

Someone did the impersonation socking on Wikipedia, which was illegal, and Darryl might be in hot water over that, or might fear it. So Oliver, who was not being paid to engage in all this crap, and could more readily walk away, decides to take the rap, but without admitting what was illegal (the impersonation socking, for starters). Nice. Will he perjure himself if deposed? Inquiring minds want to know.

If the brother is actually “innocent,” my advice for him would be the same as I gave Oliver months ago when he was claiming his brother had been the sock master: tell the truth, the whole truth, reveal what you know, or stand as equally responsible. At that point he denied knowing what his brother was up to, even though any warm body could see it from miles away, if it simply looked.

Defamation may be remediated by full disclosure, sometimes. Legally, it’s their best shot.

 

 

Notes

from contributions of the sock:

Rome Viharo & Abd Lomax filing fake sockpuppet investigations
A known troublemaker and banned Wikipedian and Wikiversity user Abd is filing fake sockuppet investigations; another today was done on MetaWiki, but his request was declined and he admits he is a;sp doing them via email. Some background to Abd's internet antics and stalking of Anglo_Pyramidologist can be found on RationalWiki: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax#Wikipedia

I noticed abd accusing Anglo as creating the tumbleman2018 accounts, that were Viharo’s. So these are fake filed sockpuppets. evidence for viharo and lomax working together is found on Lomax’s website who has a rome viharo section WayoftheSamurai4 (talk) 17:11, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

I wondered what he was talking about “admits he is [doing them] by email. Then I realized he was talking about the email sent to the stewards with confidential, private information about IP and editing. The request was public, only the additional evidence was by email.

Someone recently emailed me about this. None of the above accounts are AP. The person who filed the block did it externally, and there is zero technical evidence and the duck test is dubious. A known troublemaker and banned Wikipedian and Wikiversity user Abd is filing these fake sockuppet investigations; another today was done on MetaWiki, but his request was declined and he admits he is a;sp doing them via email. Some background to Abd’s internet antics and stalking of Anglo_Pyramidologist can be found on RationalWiki: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax#Wikiversity  WayoftheSamurai4 (talk) 17:05, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Harassment on Krelnik talk.

(notice edits of 82.132.186.199 to the page)

The original history is here.  Edits of interest:

(cur | prev) 14:44, 4 February 2018‎ Defending Rhine (talk | contribs)‎ . . (73,246 bytes) (+1,298)‎ . . (Nancy Appleton: http://coldfusioncommunity.net/w/index.php?title=WikiversityParapsychology/Sources/Steigmann/Parapsychology)

Check February access records for access to the misnamed page (starting with WikiversityParapsychology).

Rhine Defender was the last real Blastikus sock to edit. Defending Rhine was effectively blocked as Blastikus. The AP strategy works, because Wikipedia is utterly naive about impersonation socking. It has occasionally been noticed. Checkusers do not follow up. Why bother, since impersonation or block evasion, the result is the same: block? Hence AP normally gets away with massive impersonation socking, until there are cross-wiki consequences, Abd notices it, and asks for steward checkuser. All those impersonation socks, clearly identified as not Blastikus, are still listed on Wikipedia as Blastikus. In the last checkuser request, these socks were not noticed. Others were. And the stewards had become hostile, and the source of that is fairly clear. Private complaints.

See the Blastikus SPI archive for February 4. Blastikus has acknowledged Rhine Revival (edited 30 November 2017) and Areyoumoral  (a sock that edited none-disruptively in March 2017 and then  November 30 on the Blastikus SPI to apologize for prior views.  Rhine Revival self-reverted. JzG, clearly involved, used tools. That’s what got him sanctioned before, in the case I filed.

AP socks take content from their target and post it, in order to amplify impressions of disruptiveness and vandalism. Back to those edits. There is an additional possible motivation in the FTN filing: to get the cold fusion community blog and wiki blacklisted. I’ll check on that. More edits:

(AP has been doing quite the same thing on RationalWiki, creating impersonation socks, pretending to be me, and pointing to the CFC blog.)

(By the way, Blastikus had not edited the CFC wiki. Rather, that was material exported from Wikiversity, and imported to CFC, as a courtesy, pending restoration of sanity on Wikiversity. AP was here attacking it, using impersonations.) Roxy the dog welcomed the user…. then

naturally. Blocked for username violation.

You are the pseudoskeptic Roxy who has been harassing my friend Rome Viharo and removing paranormal research from Wikipedia articles. [[User:Roxy the dog pseudoskeptic|Roxy the dog pseudoskeptic]] ([[User talk:Roxy the dog pseudoskeptic|talk]]) 14:56, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

The goal is to increase conflict with Rome Viharo. I’m not sure that Blastikus even knows about Rome Viharo, but maybe. Anyone who has studied the AP/D editing would immediately recognize this as Darryl, who is an anti-fringe fanatic. Roxy the dog feeds the troll. The snark is so common that it isn’t even noticed. (Guidelines would suggest ignoring this obvious trolling.)

I’ll just leave this here.Guy Macon (talk) 16:01, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

My, my, linking to an attack article on Rome Viharo on RationalWiki.  Perhaps Guy thinks he is being helpful. Instead, it appears he is one more clueless Wikipedian. Unless he is in on it.

Slaterstephen makes an ordinary skeptical comment. “Extraordinary claims” do not need “extra ordinary sources,” because “extraordinary” is POV. Rather, reliable source is reliable source. Editorial consensus will decide whether or not to report as fact or attributed statement. What has been done, though, is cherry-pick sources according to editorial judgment of “fringe” or not, rather than using RS guidelines, and Guy Macon’s user page shows the problem. He may really believe what he’s saying. His view requires the Wikipedia community to be ontologically naive, to not distinguish between fact and interpretation.

I think Defending Rhine is identical with Rhine defenderRadin Revival and the Rhine Revival who has been blocked indefinitely for using multiple accounts. —Hob Gadling (talk) 16:50, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

He was almost right. Rhine Revival was not the others. The checkuser wasn’t explicit, but would have indicated that Rhine Revival and Areyoumoral was not likely to be the same as the others. Open proxies were being used. When Blastikus edited with disclosure of who he was, he would have had no reason to use an open proxy. But AP socks would. This is all so obvious. Hob Gadling is a bit suspicious…. some overlap with AP socks. Reading this discussion on Atlantis, referred back from a more recent Hob Gadling comment on Talk:Atlantis, I’m reminded of why I was so relieved to be banned from Wikipedia. What could be simple if there was a genuine seeking of consensus becomes tedious and repetitive. One of the signs that consensus has not been found is that argument continues endlessly. Solutions to all this were suggested years ago and ignored. “It is not how we do things,” so endless hours continue to be wasted.

Also Viharo revival. Probably more. Obviously trying unsuccessfully to walk through a wall again and again, like General Albert Stubblebine. —Hob Gadling (talk) 16:56, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

No, the sock master is doing exactly what he wants and getting exactly the response he wants. Until that is understood and effective response designed and created, disruption will continue, because what he wants is to blame the disruption on someone else, and so that blame, readily concluded in spite of many evidences to the contrary, creates more and more incentive for this troll. The checkuser evidence on Wikiepdia, plus the checkuser evidence on meta, shows the fact. Someone is using impersonation socking to defame and attract a desired response.

What is of more concern, though, is the appearance of signs that the sock master is being protected by a faction. He doesn’t care if his socks are blocked, after all, he has well over 200 blocked socks, that’s meaningless. What he cares about is that his targets and their topics of interest are banned not only from Wikipedia, but from the internet entirely, and he has been on this mission for at least six years or so. He claims that he’s being paid. By whom? By a major skeptical organization. Was he lying? Maybe. AP socks — and even the AP masters (there are at least two brothers — regularly lie or exaggerate.

But the existence of coordination behind the scenes has become obvious and almost open.

For years, I assumed that ignorant comments that supported the factional agenda were just that, ignorant. That may still be true for most who edit supporting the faction. But there is something more, and those who would know about it are tolerating, and to read what AP socks have written, encouraging it.

This is corruption, all for a “good cause,” i.e., lying for truth.

Slatersteven correctly pointed out that FT/N was not the place to discuss socking. But AP accomplishes his purposes by placing what may have some detested truth to it, in front of those who follow FT/N, which is the faction he abuses (or which uses him). He developed a strategy, a bit counter-intuitive for most Wikipedians. If you hate a point of view, create straw man accounts to abusively push it. This should be suspected whenever socks appear that wave red flags, “I’m a sock.” WP:RBI would be a correct response, but often much more than that is done: the socks are tagged with the intended target, making it far more difficult for such a target, if they want it, to take advantage of the Standard Offer, an increasing the perception that those who support that detested point of view are fanatics and lunatic believers. Or, even, sometimes, those who simply want to move articles toward a consensus neutrality, which is not that difficult if the goal is clear and there are users who support it. Too often, though, fringe or alleged fringe articles are “owned” by “majority POV users,” which means, in fact, a majority of those aware of or interested in the article, not a majority of all users.

I’ve blocked Viharo revival. A hearty quack to all. Bishonen pseudosceptic | talk 20:52, 4 February 2018 (UTC).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going dark on a topic

(May 2, 2018) This is obsolete. Some pages are still hidden, being reviewed before being re-opened. The content here has been misrepresented elsewhere. Simple documentation has been called “attack.” If we are attacked by reality, we are in big trouble no matter what others say!)

I have been documenting the Anglo Pyramidologist sock puppetry and massive disruption. Because of what I have found, and the tasks before me over the next year, I am going dark. All pages in the category of Anglo Pyramidologist will be hidden, pending, and possibly some others. Some have been archived (often on archive.is) and will remain available there. If anyone has a need-to-know, or wants to support the work, contact me (comments on this post will be seen by me, and if privacy is requested, that will be honored, the comments will not be published. Provide me with an email and a request for contact and I will do so.)

The connection with cold fusion is thin, but exists and is significant.

Warning: documenting AP can be hazardous to your health.

As well, the next year’s journalism will need support, some of this may become expensive. I will be asking for support, to supplement what is already available or in the pipeline.

Sometimes reality comes to our door and knocks. Do we invite her in? Other times we need to search for her. Ask and you shall receive. She is kind and generous.

Don’t ask, and reality might seem to punch you in the nose, and you might be offended. In reality, you just walked into a lamp post. Who knew?

Summary:

The sock family known on Wikipedia as Anglo Pyramidologist is two brothers, Oliver D. Smith (the original Anglo Pyramidologist) and Darryl L. Smith, perhaps best known as Goblin Face, who continues to be highly active with the “skeptic faction” on Wikipedia. It is possible that there is a third brother involved.

They have engaged in impersonation socking, disrupting Wikipedia while pretending to be a blocked user, leading to defamation of the target user, and they have engaged in similar behavior elsewhere.

I was attacked for documenting the proven impersonation and other socking. My behaviot did not violate any policies or the Terms of Service,

The Smith brothers were able to coordinate or canvass for multiple complaints, (they have bragged about complaining) and it is possible that this led to the WikiMedia Foundation global ban, but those bans are not explained and the banned user is not warned, and has no opportunity to appeal or contest them.

Substantial damage was done to the long-standing tradition of academic freedom on Wikiversity.

Action to remedy this will continue, but privately.

MIkemikev SPI archive

If you are reading this page on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for possible updates, corrections, or retractions.

Corrections of errors or misinterpretations are welcome in comments here, but trolling may be moved or, in some cases, copied to a page for such, and trolls have limited rights, and impersonators, none.

This is a review of the Wikipedia SPI archive for Mikemikev, undertaken as a result of references to it from Hatewatch. These are my notes as I reviewed it. “Bill Connors” had written:

The cofounder of Rightpedia is neo-Nazi Michael Coombs who users the name Mikemikev, he writes hit-piece articles about anti-fascists on Rightpedia. On Wikipedia he has 143 suspected socks https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…

That points to a Category:Suspected_Wikipedia_sockpuppets_of_Mikemikev. A more reliable page would be Category:Wikipedia_sockpuppets_of_Mikemikev

Such categories are highly unreliable. It takes one person to add the category, and it sticks if nobody cares to remove it. Most of these are not accounts, what ordinary people will think of as “socks.” The SPI case archive is much more reliable, but even there they often will tag impersonation socks as being the target. Like much Wikipedia administration, it can be very sloppy. Yes, there are 143 user pages in the suspected category, but only 41 are named accounts.

The more definitive category has this introduction for usage:

To add an account to this category use {{Sockpuppet|Mikemikev|confirmed}} if confirmed by a checkuser or {{Sockpuppet|Mikemikev|proven}} if the behavioural evidence makes the link beyond reasonable doubt. IPs may be added to this category using {{IPsock|Mikemikev|confirmed}} if they have been confirmed by a CheckUser and are static.

Wikipedia process does not allow confirmation “beyond reasonable doubt,” and this can be seen in SPI Archive; the fact is that any user may add the category to a suspected sock page, there is generally no review at all, unless a user appeals the block (which is unusual, and sometimes with sock tagging, the user’s ability to edit their talk page is blocked.

The more definitive category has 120 tags. Of these, 49 are IP addresses, leaving 71 accounts, and looking at this, I immediately see socks, that from the SPI case, are certainly not identified “beyond reasonable doubt.” This is common with Wikipedia, I call it an “unfunded mandate” established by policy or guidelines with no structure in place to actually enforce it. Strangely, Wikipedia pretends to protect the privacy of users, but “block evasion” is about the user behind the blocked account, obviously. The contradictions in policy and practice have never been clearly addressed.

The SPI archive shows 110 reports, from the first in 2010 (“unrelated’) to the latest in February 2018 (“unrelated”). I have not studied the entire archive — it’s long — but there were many unrelated accounts reported, and, as well, many accounts that were socks of each other but not clearly shown to be mikemikev (but they will be tagged as such, often, because it’s simple). That high level of unconfirmed reports is indicative of POV enforcement.  People with a strong POV will often report others with contrary POV of being socks of a blocked or banned user. Of highest interest would be recent reports, so, going back a little more than a year:

15_November_2016 likely unrelated.

19_November_2016 confirmed socking, but not specifically to mikemikev, only to other active sleepers. The sock name, Sam Smith 4, could indicate an entirely different user, known to be associated with Oliver D. Smith. To recognise this as plausible, I’d need to study actual mikemikev editing. As pointed out in the SPLC article, that can be a lot of work…. Edit count: Samuel_Smith_4 49 edits over 1 day, clearly disruptive user to attract attention. Checkuser confirmed as sock of accounts previously identified. The POV of those accounts could match mikemike v, but what AP does is to create additional socks that amplify what actual socks do. So I would not rule out a little trip to the Brikbeck library…

10_April_2017 IP 193.61.48.26 blocked based on subject area (which would also match Oliver D. Smith) and geolocation to Birkbeck College could also indicate a Smith brother, it’s close to where they live. This account was an obvious troll looking to be blocked. Nothing here clearly points to mikemikev. Looking back, an impression is shown as to where mikemikev lives. What came from what? These investigations are not intended to definitively identify the real person behind the edits. They are used to decide block/not block, and if an editor appears to be disruptive, they don’t really care who it is, and they can be quite careless about the identification. Tracking edits long-term, on RationalWiki, I found what was apparent mikemikev edits from South Korea, many of them. But the story is that he moved from there. Where to? What evidence is there? I don’t know.

08_May_2017 Ethicosian was blocked. The first checkuser finding was unrelated, but then checkusers reviewed it and coverted it to “Possible.” And so Ethicosian was blocked and tagged. This is often done on very weak evidence, and when biased administrators become involved, it can get crazy. Bottom line, users with a POV hated by the administrator can be in trouble. This user did claim bias. I handled a case of admin bias, successfully. It took an insane amount of work. The structure is highly defective and there is little value placed on careful investigation and the compilation of evidence. Indeed, it is mistrusted, since the common Wikipedia belief is that someone who puts in that kind of work must be biased. In this case, I do not know if the involved administrator is biased. The user did put up an unblock template, most busted sock masters don’t bother. Ethicosian had 25 edits.

13_July_2017  David Mendlesohn 8 edits, all on one day. No sleepers. Some of the behavioral cues used could indicate expertise in a topic (particularly from a point of view. In these archives, an incorrect identifaction can then propagate down the line to subsequent ones. So there is socking, occasionally shown, but the identifications are weak. The level of disruption is not high, compared to many cases I have studied. The identification was weak. This should be realized: if an account has few edits, it is considered that a false identification will do little harm. All this mess is a result of the Wikipedia schizophrenia about anonymous accounts. In my view, real-name accounts should be given far more care. But sometimes “real-name accounts” are actually impersonation socks, because there is no verification process.

14_October_2017  Rupert_the_Frog 69 edits over three days. This edit, mentioned in the SPI, is a common red flag for an impersonation account. They will be defiant, seeking to get themselves blocked; this especially happens when the impersonator is attacking the target elsewhere and wants to use the socking as proof of BAD. 188.112.131.133 Looking at RPF and the IP’s two edits, I don’t think this was Mikemikev, I would suspect an ethnic Russian or the like. The IP geolocates to Riga, Latvia. Diane Diamond  7 edits. My summary: troll. These are not “civil POV pushers.”

17_October_2017 David_Smythe5 This is very suspicious. The account name DaveSmythe was previously tagged as a Mikemikev sock. The difficult kinds of socks do not telegraph who they are, troll socks do. They are blocked quickly on Wikipedia, and are often tagged as the sock master from the SPI.

17_October_2017_2 Emil Kirkegaard is highly suspicious. This is the real name of a common AP target, who has an active Wikipedia account. AP socks would want to get him blocked. I find it unlikely that mikemikev would choose this name, because he may consider Kirkegaard a beneficial racialist or hereditarian researcher. The account only has a single edit, waving the troll flag. The Smith brothers create accounts that edit like this, contrary to their presumed point of view. A purpose of the edit would be to discredit the source referenced as supporting racialism, such that anyone else who points to that source in the future would then be suspected. The discussion demonstrates a dominant bias, using arguments common with the faction. My point is not that they are “wrong,”but that discussion from a minority point of view is suppressed. Blogs are not generally reliable source, but these could be a basis for discussion, and reliable source is not needed to discuss. “Emil Kirkegaard” would be a likely sock of DaveSmythe5, who was blocked at 21:22, 17 October 2017. It is unlikely, then, that either of these were Mikemikev. I suspect them both of being socks of Oliver D. Smith. There are tools that I will be bringing to bear that may provide further evidence on this. If it is true that Mikemikev was known to have edited from the Brikbeck library, Oliver Smith may have edited from there himself, in order to create responses. I have seen no commentary from mikemikev specific to this. No checkuser was reported, which I find unfortunate in these cases, but that failing is common. When I arranged for it to be run by stewards, socks blocked and tagged as a blocked user were found to be actually from an enemy, yet this information never made its way back to Wikipedia. Vekimekim was also added to the report. Mikemikev spelled backwards.The single edit was in-your-face, following an accusation of editing by mikemikev. I have seen this behavior from Oliver Smith or his brother many times, I have documented it extensively on other pages. The interest area, though, would be Oliver Smith.

18_October_2017 tagged Rupert the Great and KirkegaardEmil. These blatant socks are demonstrating an AP pattern, and Anglo Pyramidologist would be a stronger suspicion than mikemikev. It appears that checkuser was not run. Wikipedians have not figured out that it can matter who the master is, all they care about is block/not block, and a block evader should be blocked and an impersonation sock should be blocked. However, if they were to run checkuser, they might come up with sleepers and good hand accounts. In fact, I’ve seen one do that and then shut up, from not wanting to block a good hand, particularly if it is an administrator. I have also seen administrators create disruptive socks and get caught. Massively embarrassing. Many administrators are very young and it’s fun, to create a sock and then block it.

15_December_2017 leading to the block of 69.123.131.248 This is diagnostic. Oliver D. Smith has been impersonation socking. I’m not checking now, but he has been a student at London University. [This was an imperfect memory, and this report was not a demonstration of impersonation socking, but rather was an identification error. Not all “race realists” — as they call themselves — are Mikemikev!] [about the reports in general] Impersonation socks commonly provide red flags, since their purpose is to get blocked and discredit any arguments or evidence they present. This behavior became very obvious on RationalWiki a few months later, where I was impersonated with many, many socks, that copied text from me and used it to vandalize, and then the sock master listed all these socks as mine in the talk page for the article he had created on me. It worked. The RW community is convinced that I’ve been massively vandalizing that project., when none of my editing was remotely vandalism.

24_December_2017 A10000000000975 was reported by Sro23. The first edit of the suspect was not skillful, but reasonable, pointing to a neutrality problem. The text is not a fully clear representation of what was in the source. “Claimed” can indeed be a scare word, but the replacement text was clumsy. That this was simply reverted without discussion by Sro23 raises some level of suspicion that Sro23 (who clerks SPI cases) is factional. The suspect went on to what might be a common point of view (up to a few percent of the population). The opinions expressed of Wikipedia bias are also common. This was considered not mikemikev. I agree. The user was blocked for 72 hours (which was well within reason), then reblocked indef (which was, my view, offensive, but not necessarily wrong. This was probably a returning user, but I can see the older caution has been abandoned. Long-term, administrators become impatient and over-reactive). Blocking talk page access when it has not been abused is a bridge too far.

12_February_2018 RespectWamen I see no remote indication this was mikemikev, that this was a suspected mikemikev sock is crazy. Once upon a time, in a wiki far awy, the checkusers would not check on unsupported or weak suspicion. I can see that changed. This was tagged as a sock of another user. 

Conclusions. I have not reviewed the early SPI reports. I consider it plausible that mikemikev did sock for a time or on occasion, even substantially is possible. It is very common for users to do that, and especially users who believe they have been targeted for their opinions. However, recent socking was not actually confirmed as being mikemikev. No careful investigations are done on Wikipedia, so an incorrect identification at some point in the long history could have led to many false taggings. The level of alleged sock editing was low and transient.

It is very obvious that some users began reporting suspected Mikemikev socks based on point of view, rather than more specific behavioral cues. So the reality is that there are new users with racialist or racist points of view, some of whom are contemptuous of the politics of Wikipedia. Nobody should be surprised by this!

There are more serious problems, in my view, particularly socking and biased editing from more popular points of view, violating neutrality policy, because these, if allowed and tolerated, increase conflict and inhibit the formation of the only reliable standard for neutrality, maximized consensus. While some minority point of view editors will not be able to participate in civil discussion, seeking consensus (on sources and what is in them, not on conclusions, necessarily!) some will, and when the majority becomes “intolerant of [alleged] intolerance,” for example, the possibility of deep and reliable articles is damaged. There are academics with “rejected” points of view, and generally academics have training and experience in civil discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wikilegal libel study

If you see this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates and possible corrections. These are research notes, as are many pages on this blog.

I have been libelled by the WikiMedia Foundation, by the issuance of a global ban with no foundation in fact, apparently based on private complaints considered valid without any opportunity to respond. The WMF appears to think that issuing a global ban with no explanation protects them from liability for libel. However, they have claimed that global bans are issued only rarely, for exceptional cases, to protect the community. The fact of the ban is being used as an element in a series of defamations, by a person known to be one of the complainers. I believe that I have sufficient cause, based on this, for action to require the WMF to lift the ban or to provide evidence, and specifically the complaint mails or other evidence and arguments considered by them. I need not prove libel to file an action, as long as the legal theory on which the filing is based is possibly valid. Here, I’m looking at information sites and cases that might relate to this issue.

As to the WMF, the primary claim would be for libel, from the global ban issuance. For a libel claim, the restrictions of the TOS on the liability, and court jurisdiction for action against the WMF may not apply.

As to the RationalWiki Foundation, a different legal theory might apply, it’s more difficult. My sense from what I have seen is that the RWF will take down defamatory material on demand, unless they see it as mission-critical. I did already email them, they ignored it. (and there is a claim from Oliver D. Smith that he was told this was deliberate. So the next step would be a certified demand letter to the registered agent.)

In all cases, as I understand the matter, communications from users of these web sites are not privileged and would be subject to discovery, and users are not protected from defamation for actions they take, the protections of Section 230 are for removal of material, not for provision of it.

Libel_case_against_Wikimedia_Foundation_dismissed

As a minor point, the Wikinews article has, at the very end:

The Register has a long history of denigrating Wikimedia projects.

That is an obvious neutrality violation. The preceding text fails to distinguish between reporting and editorializing. The Register source was an editorial by Cade Metz, not “the Register.” This what you get when amateurs are given collective control. They play at journalism. In any case, the Register article is excellent.

Memorandum of law in support of motion to dismiss

47 U.S. Code § 230 – Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material

isp-liability-for-internet-defamation looks good. (those who post defamation may be held liable. The liability of the ISP may vary with context and conditions. It’s looking to me like it might take a court order to force this, if the ISP is merely inactive. But if it takes a positive step that has the effect of defamation, it could become liable.

the-decline-and-fall-of-section-230/ is a gold mine to be carefully studied.

At this point, this is the bottom line. There is sufficient case law that it may be possible for an action for libel to survive a motion to dismiss, and a motion to dismiss will still require expenditure by the defendant. That would not allow the filing of a frivolous suit without associated hazards. If the cause of action is reasonably plausible, it need not be bulletproof to be effective for remediation purposes.

Further, the law does not protect the individuals who defamed, nor is the WMF or the RWF likely to defend them. The impersonation socking I have been describing has known individuals as perpetrators, very likely, and I do have evidence that can be used, and more evidence can be obtained lawfully. I will continue to study the case law and analysis.

(The issues with involved individuals, the WMF, and the RMF, are distinct and different.)

https://law.stackexchange.com/a/6822 confirms user liability, and site owner is protected if they take the libel down. That’s my understanding of Section 230. They cannot maintain the defense of “the community did it” in the face of a specific claim of defamation, unless they take it down. By taking an action on their own judgment, they become liable for defamation, if the action defames. I expect the WMF will argue that the action was needed for user protection, but that argument, given the facts, is false, and, more directly, the defamation involved in a global ban is unnecessary for protection. If they formally notified the user that they are prohibited from editing, and the user violates that, this would be a TOS violation, and it would then allow the use of the global lock tool and public announcement. The banned user would still have a right to see defamatory claims (the evidence considered), for possible action against those who  may have defamed.

At this point, I don’t know if this has been tested anywhere. Untested legal theories, if plausible, can make for actions that will survive summary judgment.

http://www.adlexsolicitors.co.uk/internet-defamation.htm focuses on UK law (some actions related to the issues may be filed in U.K. courts). They suggest a first response is a “lawyer letter.” Legally, a demand letter does not require a lawyer, in my opinion, but such a letter is more likely to be taken seriously. My interest will be that such letters be legally sufficient to put a site operator — or an individual — on notice that their behavior is defamatory, so that they may take remedial action, and if such action is reasonably prompt, it may allow, then, the “service provider” protection to be effective.

https://seqlegal.com/blog/10-things-you-should-know-about-libel again focuses on the UK.

This is handy.

Wikimedia Foundation
c/o CT Corporation System
818 West Seventh Street
Los Angeles, California 90017
legal@wikimedia.org

and then

Business ID#: 4330247 Status: Active
Entity Name: THE RATIONALWIKI FOUNDATION, INC. Standing: Good Standing
Entity Type: Domestic Nonprofit Corporation Domestic State: New Mexico
Statute Law Code: 53-8-1 to 53-8-99
Mailing Address:
122 GIRARD SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
Principal Place of Business in New Mexico:
122 GIRARD SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Character Of Affairs: Operating sites RationalWiki.org and EvolutionWiki.org and related.

Director Information

  • David Gerard: 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Aidan Bissell-Siders, 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Eric Doe 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Simon Peter Hughes 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Officer Information

  • Chief Operating Officer:Trent Toulouse 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Chief Executive Officer:Huw Powell 122 Girard Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

08/04/2010 Certificate Of Incorporation THE RATIONALWIKI FOUNDATION, INC. 3 PAGES PERPETUAL 08/05/2010 893489

The RationalWiki article on the Foundation lists current directors as:

Below is mostly dicta.

There is a discrepancy. Huw Powell (RW User:Human) is not listed by New Mexico as a Director, but as the CEO. Openly real name. Human’s  edits to the John Fuerst article seemed designed to improve it (toward objectivity). As a board member, does Powell know about the deliberate lack of response to a complaint email, as claimed by Oliver Smith? Maybe I’ll ask him. Not the most urgent task on my list. Human has almost entirely stopped editing RW for the last six months.

David Gerard is, of course, David Gerard. Interesting that someone who has supported the libellers — generally indirectly and possibly maintaining plausible deniability , but quickly actioning requests — is on the Board. The claim of the RMF is that it does not make content decisions, but if Board members are active members with high privilege, and use that privilege, this is disingenuous. The RMF does, in fact, make content decisions, I’ve seen at least one page deletion made as official, with warnings to users not to restore the page. My guess: someone didn’t just send a complaining email, they took more substantial action. The WikiMedia Foundation not uncommonly does that with some kinds of complaints. The protections of Section 230 do not extend to the maintenance of alleged defamatory material or other illegal material after notice provided.

Simon Peter Hughes is openly Spud. As they say on RW, seems sane.

Aidan Bissel-Siders is probably this nice kid, who wrote this RW-interest paper, serious work addressing (actually taking the piss out of) a stupid claim. Fun. I’ve done a fair amount of that kind of writing, though not normally so sarcastic. However, that kind of sarcasm is so common on RW that I don’t yet see a clue as to which user Bissel-Siders might be. So far, the candidates are FuzzyCatPotato and Reverend Black Percy.

Eric Doe I could find nothing on with a quick search. However, Rev. Black Percy has not edited for over six months, but I’d expect Bissel-Siders to remain active (given his research paper and age). I vote for the latter as being FuzzyCatPotato.

From prior history, I expect I may see complaints on RationalWiki that I am “attacking” RW users here. Yet what I am actually doing is showing who is responsible for RationalWiki, the real people involved. Board members are presumably covered by errors and omissions insurance. This actually makes them attractive targets. However, the only board member where some liability might be imputed, so far, is David Gerard. (Basically, his action to support defamation would be asserted. It is not necessary to have proof to assert a claim; proof may not exist until discovery.

My guess is that the RMF will settle relatively easily, if pushed. With the WMF, I’ll be challenging a process they have used for a few years. I have no crystal ball.

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/civil-litigation/demand-letter-defamation-case.html
https://jux.law/cease-desist-defamation-of-character-template-example-sample-form/

Pro Se filing in US District Court

Reviews

 

RationalWiki had a wide reputation as a joke wiki, where skeptics and atheists — and adolescents — fully engaged in unrestrained snark. There are many reviews, but start with the Wikipedia article. It will be fun to compare that article to the favorite targets of the RatWikians and their allies, the Guerilla Skeptics on Wikipedia. Any socks there? Some much to research, so little time…. That one is for later. I immediately see POV-pushing in the editing….

This was reasonable, on the face, this was not, it involves synthesis, unless there is reliable source for the claim that criticism is because “beliefs” are challenged. That kind of claim is difficult even when reliable source can be found for it, it should be attributed … unless there was a formal study!

Lets start with a list of reviews. First, from Wikipedia:

http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5597/4652

At first glance, this source is misrepresented in the article. (note 13). What the article has is synthesis from the source. The source does not actually say that.

  •  Smith, Jonathan C. Critical Thinking: Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. John Wiley & Sons, 2017, pp 77. 9781119029489
  • Shvets, Alexander (October 2, 2014). Filev, D.; Jabłkowski, J.; Kacprzyk, J.; et al., eds. Intelligent Systems’2014: Proceedings of the 7th IEEE International Conference Intelligent Systems IS’2014, September 24–26, 2014, Warsaw, Poland, Volume 2: Tools, Architectures, Systems, Applications. Series: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, Vol. 323Springer Publishing. A Method of Automatic Detection of Pseudoscientific Publications, page 533 et seq. ISBN 978-3-319-11310-4.

This is a conference paper, such are often not carefully reviewed. This is the sourced text:

In Intelligent Systems’2014, Alexander Shvets stated that RationalWiki is one of the few online resources that “provide some information about pseudoscientific theories” and notes that it attempts to “organize and categorize knowledge about pseudoscientific theories, personalities, and organizations”.

What RationalWiki does is to organize, not knowledge (Wikipedia does that), but snark, loosely based on very irregularly collected sources, often terminally weak.

This is a conference paper as well. The mention of RationalWiki is shallow, the authors do not appear to have done more than look at the stated purposes, and a hosted essay by Carl Sagan. The impression one would get from reading the article is not the impression I would see from the source.

  • https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/11/rationalwiki_emamerican_thinkerem_is_a_wingnut_publication.html
  • https://www.cato.org/blog/ten-things-every-economist-should-know-about-gold-standard
  • Einspruch, Franklin (September 6, 2016). “Cultural Marxists Are Actually Pomofascists”The Federalist. Retrieved August 14, 2017

These are sources that mention a specific RationalWiki article to expose it or argue against it. No source so far is actually a review of the site, anything more than a passing mention. I’ll keep looking.

Dissertations are not generally considered reliable source, they would be primary sources. This dissertation simply mentions an idea taken from RationalWiki, and it describes the purpose of the site, with no analysis of whether or not the site actually accomplishes that purpose.

This went on with links showing that someone referenced RationalWiki in some way. Actual reviews? None (neither positive nor negative.)

Okay, I know to look at history. Did anyone attempt to add actual reviews? Wikipedia does not make it easy to search history. While that could easily be done from the database, no priority has been given it. Someone might take advantage of that and create a site with full-database search access. It would make certain kinds of wiki studies far easier!

I found a brief review that had been added and immediately removed, as it was a “blog” and thus “not reliable source.” This was only a superficial analysis of “site bias,” not actually controversial and not very informative.

There was an Articles for deletion discussion on RationalWiki. I find no assertion of source sufficient to establish notability. Passing mentions don’t count. It was kept, though there was much opinion to keep it as a redirect to the Conservapedia article. In the discussion I found these sources:

  • http://blastmagazine.com/2007/09/03/thoughts-on-a-conservapedia/
  • http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jun/19/nation/na-schlafly19/2 (page 2 is important. I couldn’t find this at first.)

Those are passing mention, really about Conservapedia. This was weak, but that’s Wikipedia. An admin takes a glance at a discussion, makes a snap decision, and unless someone cares enough to appeal it, there it goes, enshrined as a community decision (which it didn’t look like to me! Most wanted to see better sources. My own opinion as an inclusionist would do something very different…. )

https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/the-rationalwiki-foundation/albuquerque-new-mexico-87106/the-rationalwiki-foundation-rationalwiki-rational-wiki-rw-rationalwikiorg-rationalwi-1143383

Not considered reliable source, but an actual review! With details! This report describes RatWiki as it was when I was active there. Some of that atmosphere is still there. the report was by “Rational Wiki Exposed,” not exactly an encouraging author if one is looking for neutrality. But it was fairly sober.

Okay, I found a genuine revert war, starting with [ this edit], adding a review.  The user, an SPA, was warned for edit warring and disappeared. The source:

RationalWiki guts a reader’s attempt to correct its article on female genital mutilation

This is another source that is based on “RationalWiki is wrong on X.” This happens to be a topic I know a great deal about. Many sources misrepresent the position of Islam on the topic. What upsets people so much is not what is allowed or approved, and the majority opinion is that the extreme practices are prohibited. But this is not our topic here. The RatWiki article on this topic is far from the worst there.

I round a reference to the RW article where they brag report about mentions.

That quotes from many mentions. Indeed, it quotes from the book mentioned above:

Smith, Jonathan. Critical Thinking: Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, 2nd Ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2017. 9781119029489. Lists RationalWiki as a logical fallacy library.

This is hilarious. I’m not really sure what the author intended. The instructions are to “select an example of a logical fallacy.” So RatWiki is a place to find the expression of logical fallacies. The training that I can imagine is to teach students how to spot logical fallacies. If a site is merely a list of logical fallacies with examples given, there would be little or no challenge. Rather, each of those sites, it is highly likely, expresses logical fallacies. The Nizkor.org site is not about logical fallacies, as such, it is political. If one’s political beliefs align with the beliefs of a source, one is far less likely to spot the fallacies.

Sound training will practice identifying logical fallacies in our own thinking or argument, or in the arguments and thinking of those we might agree with. I generally agree with the substance of what is on the Nizkor site. But there is at least one blatant logical fallacy on the home page. Can you spot one?

5.4 Group Exercise: Identify the FallacyIn this exercise, divide into two teams. Each team selects an example of a logical fallacy (from this chapter) from one of these websites:

Team 1 presents its example to Team 2. Team 2 has five minutes to identify it and explain it. If the explanation is acceptable to the moderator, Team 2 gets a point. Repeat for Team 2. Complete until each team has a chance to identify five logical fallacies. The team correctly identifying the most fallacies wins.

I have created a link for each site. How the exercise would be done is unclear. There is a form of logical fallacy, “straw man,” where one presents an argument that is allegedly the argument of another, but it is not actually what the other says, thinks, or believes. So if students pick a description of someone else’s argument, they would be explaining a fantasy. Much more interesting, I’d think, to identify logical fallacies presented as factual or logical, and RatWiki is full of those, it is practically the norm in some articles.  For extra credit, identify logical errors in the thinking of people you agree with, and for a doctorate, identify them in your own thinking, because everyone does this (at least until it is distinguished). A loglcal fallacy does not mean that the conclusion is wrong, set that right/wrong mess aside. It merely means that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. Something may be missing.

from other sources:

This refers to the RW article, Michael Prescott

(If Mr. Prescott sees this and requests that the link be removed, I’ll do it. Links raise Google ranking. Unfortunately, to study RationalWiki and create something verifiable, I need to place links, but I can find less convenient ways to do it, on request. I have not yet studied the Prescott article, but I’ve certainly seen worse on RatWiki!)

The public comments are interesting…. I decided to look at who created this article.

This then led me to more socks…. another day, another set of socks documented. There are certain red flags, easy to see, sometimes. Some identifications are not so easy, and there are probably some errors. The Smiths have no monopoly on snarky defamation.

to be continued ….

To live outside the law you must be honest

–Bob Dylan, Absolutely Sweet Marie (19 freaking 66)

This is a call for action.

Wikipedia Policy: Ignore all rules.

If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.

Years ago, I wrote an essay, Wikipedia Rule Zero. When all my Wikipedia user pages were put up for deletion by JzG, in 2011, the essay was rescued. So I can also rescue it now. Thanks, Toth. (Those pages were harmless, — there were lies  — ah, careless errors? — in the deletion arguments. Why the rush? Notice how many wanted the pages not to be deleted, or at least considered individually.) Well, that’s a long story, and it just got repeated on Wikiversity without so much fuss as a deletion discussion or even a deletion tag that would notify the user. Deleted using a bot with an edit summary for most of them that was so false I might as well call it a lie.

The talk page of that essay lays out a concept for Wikipedia reform, off-wiki “committee” organization. This has generally been considered Canvassing, and users have been sanctioned for participating in a mailing list, a strong example being the Eastern European Mailing List, an ArbComm case where the Arbitration Committee — which deliberates privately on a mailing list! — threw the book at users and an administrator who had done very little, but the very concept scared them, because they knew how vulnerable Wikipedia is to off-wiki organization. However, it is impossible to prevent, and a more recent example could be Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia. 

It is quite obvious that GSOW is communicating in an organized way, privately. The Facebook page claims high activity, but the page shows little. And that’s obviously because it is all private.

I have spent a few months documenting the activities of Anglo Pyramidologist, the name  on Wikipedia for a sock master, with more than 190 tagged sock puppets on Wikipedia, and many more elsewhere. AP has claimed to be paid for his work, by a “major skeptic organization.” There are claims that this is GSOW.

Lying or not, the recent AP activities have clearly demonstrated that WMF wikis and others are vulnerable to manipulation through sock puppets and what they can do, particularly if they seem to be supporting some position that can be seen as “majority” or “mainstream.” They routinely lie, but design the lies to appeal to common ideas and knee-jerk opinion.

Recently, cold fusion was banned as a topic on Wikiversity, (unilaterally by the same sysop as deleted all those pages of mine), entirely contrary to prior policy and practice. It was claimed that the resource had been disruptive, but there had been no disruption, until a request for deletion was filed the other day by socks — and two users from Wikipedia canvassed by socks — showed up attacking the resource and me. So this became very, very clearly related to cold fusion.

However, the problem is general. I claimed years ago that Wikipedia was being damaged by factional editing without any claim of off-wiki organization — at least I had no evidence for that. It happens through watchlists and shared long-term and predictable interests.

Wikipedia policy suggests that decisions be made, when there is dispute, by users who were not involved. Yet I have never seen any examination of “voters” based on involvement, so the policy was dead in the water, has never actually been followed. It just sounds like a good idea! (and many Wikipedia policies are like that. There is no reliable enforcement. It’s too much work! When I did this kind of analysis, it was hated!)

So … a general solution: organize off-wiki to support generation of genuine consensus on-wiki. I will create a mailing list, but to be maximally effective this must not be, in itself, factional. However, having a “point of view” does not make one factional. People can easily have points of view, even strong ones, while still recognizing fairness and balance through full self-expression. Wikipedia, as an encyclopedia, is neutral through exclusion, but if points of view are excluded in the deliberative process, as they often have been whenever those were minority points of view — in the “local mob” — consensus becomes impossible. Wikiversity was, in the educational resources, neutral by inclusion. And the AP socks and supporters just demolished that.

These off-wiki structure must also be security-conscious, because all prior similar efforts have not taken precautions and were crushed as a result. In the talk page for that Rule 0 essay, I described Esperanza, a clear example.

This will go nowhere if there is no support. But even one person participating in this could make a difference. A dozen could seriously interrupt the activities of the factions. Two dozen could probably transform not only Wikpedia, but the world.

Wikipedia was designed with a dependence on consensus, but never clearly developed structures that would generate true consensus. Given how many efforts there have been on-wiki, my conclusion is that it isn’t going to happen spontaneously and through on-wiki process, because of the Iron Law of Oligarchy and its consequences. Reform will come from independent, self-organized structures. I will not here describe the exact details, but … it can be done.

I used to say “Lift a finger, change the world. But few will lift a finger.” Sometimes none.

Is that still true? Contact me if you are willing to lift a finger, to move toward a world where the people know how to create genuine consensus, and do what it takes for that. Comments left here can request privacy. Email addresses will be known to me and will be kept private for any post with any shred of good-faith effort to communicate.

Another slogan was “If we are going to transform the world, it must be easy.”

There will be participants in this who are public, real-name. I will be one. More than that will depend on the response that this sees. Thanks for reading this and, at least, considering it!

 

 

Identity

If you see this page on an internet archive, it may have been updated and errors corrected (or even retracted!). Always check the current version of archived pages!

This page contains material that could be seen as harassment; however, I’m prepared to testify if the occasion arises that I have been heavily harassed by these people, as have many others. (I am taking action toward filing legal process.) I just found that my family was contacted with defamation linking to the RationalWiki article. It’s time that these people be held responsible for what they have done.

(I will publish responses to this page from them or any member of the family. I already redacted unnecessary information. None of this is intended to harass, but public interest requires that this all become public. They know my address if they want to file legal process — as they have been claiming they will).

(See below for open public confirmation by Oliver Smith of the basic information here. I have correspondence with Oliver Smith which I am publishing on a subpage under a claim of fair use. He used a previously-published gmail address.)

A post by mikemikev on Lolcow wiki,  provided a screenshot, allegedly from another user, giving what appears to be some kind of directory listing.

Transcribing it:

  • DARRYL L SMITH, [street redacted] [town redacted],  [postal code redacted], Age: 27
  • [name of apparent mother omitted],[street redacted], [town redacted],  [postal code redacted], Age: 59
  • [name of apparent father omitted], [street redacted], [town redacted],  [postal code redacted], Age: 59
  • [name of apparent older brother omitted], [street redacted], [town redacted],  [postal code redacted], Age: 32
  • OLIVER D SMITH, [street redacted] [town redacted],  [postal code redacted] Age: 27

An account claiming to be mikemikev also recently wrote an article on Oliver D. Smith on Rightpedia, with the same information. Reading it generally, mikemikev is not lying. I probably would want to have little to do with him, due to his apparent politics, but Oliver D. Smith is a liar and intensely harasses his targets. He (and/or his brother) has certainly attempted that with me, for the crime of pointing out what he did on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and the meta wiki. That full story has not yet been told. However:

Famously, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”

It fits perfectly.

And, in fact, Oliver D. Smith has now acknowledged being some of the AP socks, both in correspondence with me, and in a blog he started to attack Emil Kirkegaard. I thought of archiving it, but … it was already archived twice. Here is the latest.

In that blog post, he acknowledges the following:

. . . I was a RationalWiki sysop (Krom) who wrote their racialism article (see here) which refutes the traditional race concept, that Fuerst supports. . . .

Many people hold what I consider obsolete ideas about race. It is not my task to defend “racialists,” much less “racists,” and there is a distinction that can be made, even though racialism sometimes is used to justify racism. For years I wrote that “race” is a myth, (while population genetics is not, and this is a complex topic often difficult to discuss, like some other topics that come up.) I have no idea where these alleged racists or racialists stand, because it really isn’t my business. I’m concerned about impersonation and defamation, and in the latter case, AP socks made it very personal and have cause damage, particularly to Wikiversity, all pursuing revenge. RationalWiki has been used as a tool for retaliation, by the Smith brothers (with some possible collusion from others, that I consider “under investigation.”) Krom actually admitted his use of RationalWiki in his farewell edit there. His real politics are very different from the general politics of RationalWiki, but he, and his brother, found they could gain mileage there.

Near the start of 2016, I created Emil O. W. Kirkegaard‘s and John Fuerst‘s RationalWiki articles. . . .

That had become obvious in my research (which both Oliver and Darryl have ridiculed as a “paranoid conspiracy theory”) But what account did he use? Krom? No. He impersonated a favorite target. Favorite target of which brother? I don’t know. Oliver has denied being the one who impersonated [redacted] on Wikipedia, blaming that activity on his brother (or, alternatively, claiming that this was some other troll, he was quite unclear), but here, in 2016, he was himself impersonating [[redacted] . Oliver attacked [redacted] in his emails to me; my sense is that this was all coming from a major political grudge, not mere disagreement.

Kirkegaard and Fuerst were quickly permabanned from RationalWiki for disruption; Fuerst within a single month, while Kirkegaard in 3 months. In contrast, I’ve used RationalWiki for 6 years and have never been banned.

Like most what AP socks have claimed, this is quite misleading. RationalWiki does not ordinarily ban users, that takes a special discussion, called a “cooping.” There was no cooping for either Kirkegaard nor Feurst. So there is no “permaban.” What there is, is an “indef block”. I saw Kirkegaard attempting to defend himself on RationalWiki and I saw impersonation socks appearing. I’ve also seen AP socks create massive disruption that resulted in blocks of impersonated targets, and that has recently happened on Wikipedia, which I will be documenting and may file a checkuser request over.

Has Oliver ever been blocked? Well, it is difficult to tell, because there are so many accounts and each one may be one or the other brother, but right off the top, he has been blocked as an IP editor, 86.14.2.77

Oliver has claimed that I’m “permabanned” on RationalWiki, but … I was merely indefinitely blocked by one of the AP socks. He talks about that account:

The user Skeptical, a sysop, I know in person; is easy to verify isn’t me by email and he denied being me after a mistaken claim of identity by what could be a Kirkegaard sock (see here).

This claim of knowing one of the socks “in person” has been common for AP, with accounts that were considered by checkuser to be the same person. A massive tissue of lies and confusion has been created, so when does it stop? How can one “easily verify” that Skeptical is not an AP sock? Skeptical does not have RW email enabled. As well, it might be his brother.  Further, at the beginning of this, I thought it possible that there was a group of users who sometimes cooperated, “meat puppets.” However, what has been surprising is that, while others have supported AP socks, checkuser has detected most of the socks, when requested.

(Oliver Smith may be telling the truth that he was not Skeptical, it could be his brother Darryl, and there is a possibility that there is a third person occasionally involved, it’s been claimed. There is contrary but circumstantial evidence. For example, Skeptical scattered when called “Oliver.” I consider it more likely that he actually was Skeptical, and practically a certainty that, as well, the Smiths work with others.)

After Kirkegaard was exposed in news sources as a paedophile and neo-Nazi, for example The Guardian describes Kirkegaard a “weird far right paedophilia apologist” (see here), Evolve Politics and RT describe him as a “paedophile” and “Nazi” 

What the “news sources” demonstrate is a totally sloppy reliance on the RationalWiki articles for “fact.” Kirkegaard has an apparent cause of action for several pieces in the Guardian. I have examined the claimed evidence for “paedophile,” and it is completely bogus. While “paedophile apologist” has slightly more support, it is also bogus. (Basically, that is an extremely hot topic, and there are simple truths, which if stated, can cause some to cry “pedophile apologist.” And I mean “truths.” Like the definition of “pedophile” or (British) “paedophile.”

I wrote what is below before this, and I had taken this page down. However, I am updating it with new information. Prior conclusions are largely confirmed. Oliver Smith has objected to some claims and I will note those, but his objections are largely based on “I am not my brother, and he’s created most of the socks.” The rest of us can be forgiven, I think, for lumping these trolls together as one, originally because of checkuser findings that would often confuse such. Both were disruptive, which is one reason why, after an initial attempt to protect one from blocks of the other, the Wikipedians gave up. In my view, unless a brother is fully honest — including what he knows about the other brother — he is responsible. What has been revealed is quite close cooperation.

Of course, the Smiths are not on trial. Not yet, anyway. Rather, I’m a journalist, and responsible to my readers for both accuracy and caution. First of all, is the information — which is not much better at this point than an anonymous tip — plausible? Does it fit what else we know?

The evidence shown below, in addition to much on the page supra, connects Oliver D. Smith, particularly, to the family of sockpuppets called “Anglo Pyramidologist.”

(And then the early socks, before anyone would have been motivated to impersonate them, acknowledged being brothers. I have no clue that [redacted, the third known brother] has been involved in anything disruptive, nor the other family members. Just Oliver and Darryl.)

So then is the address given a present or former residence? Are Darryl and Oliver Smith brothers, possibly twin brothers? [Smith has acknowledged that Darryl is his twin brother.] For the purposes of my study, I am not attempting to strongly distinguish between the brothers. Oliver Smith is far more visible as an open identity, but it is entirely possible that the more viciously disruptive Smith is Darryl. That is mostly speculation at this point.

Oliver D. Smith has this Facebook page. (archive copy). It gives his birthdate as  22 April 1990. That would make him 27 years old in 2017. Of course, someone may have found that information and faked the directory entry. Smith has enemies, many of them (as he continues creating them). Sooner or later, such behavior will generate real-world blowback. But why would an enemy create a false lead? The known enemies would want to expose him, not create some fake target.

From Facebook: Education:  University Of Roehampton, London Class of 2013. B.A. (Hons) Classical Civilization

The real Oliver D. Smith, if he is not Anglo Pyramidologist, must be aware of the claims. He’s not some shrinking violet who would merely hide. When a person is far better known as a internet troll than as the basic identity, and does nothing visible about it, something is off.

His Twitter account. Oliveratlantis is recent, Joined November 2017, Born in 1990, “Classicist and gamer.”

His blog points to a paper he wrote, published August 8, 2016, in a journal, Shim, a real peer-reviewed journal, though the paper (and perhaps the whole issue) was slightly askew from the general focus of the journal. It was a special issue on Atlantis. A comment from Smith on another blog. I may review this, because it shows that Smith understands the problem of considering “what most think,” when most are not experts.

I see one problem with the paper that connects with the internet style of Anglo Pyramidologist: his thesis is that Plato was a liar, when there are other possible interpretations that would still allow the story to be mythical. The paper is thus flawed by a lack of academic reserve. The paper, however, shows writing skill, aside from that problem.

This Wikipedia single-purpose-account, In an archive, is probably Smith. The account points to the special issue on the talk page for the Wikipedia Atlantis article. If I wanted to add a reference to a paper of mine on Wikipedia, I’d suggest it to a friend, who could do so, as long as the mention iteself was not disruptive. But that friend would not then edit the article, with the common Smith style of very many edits, each with a very small change (very visible on the Wikia articles he wrote, and the RationalWiki articles as well), because the friend would not be the expert on Atlantis, with high interest, I would. These edits emphasize Smith’s thesis and remove sourced material that might suggest the contrary.  Other suspected Smith socks that edited that article, after Anglo Pyramidologist was blocked 30 May 2011:

  • 82.41.20.26 just before block
  • 86.6.44.155
  • 86.169.254.143
  • I looked through early 2013. That early socking was mild and not “disruptive socking,” my impression.
  • https://whatismyipaddress.com/ip/87.85.76.243 19 February 2015
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/2.98.92.12 IP is a bit of a stretch, but AP has used Talk Talk.
  • In_the_springtime Probable. Nobody noticed (nor should they have). Last edit: 14 May 2015
  • SolontheAthenian blocked as sock of Quack Hunter, i.e., Anglo Pyramidologist, see the SPI filing Something is missing , an archive for Bender235, mentioned in the SPI case. In the springtime was fresh at that point. However, AP uses different service providers (in addition to open proxies) so it might have been missed. Was this an impersonation sock? Or a disruptive brother? If so, by not openly addressing the problem, Smith leaves little for us but to assume it was not. Meanwhile AP socks — and fellow travellers — accuse others of a paranoid conspiracy theory for what has overwhelming evidence, and is the opposite of a conspiracy theory!
  • JesusWater 10 June 2015, blocked as AP sock.
  • 86.5.229.93 13 July 2015 (vandalism from possible related IP, not like AP but his brother might do it)
  • Isambard_Kingdom. Nothing leapt out immediately from contributions, but then the retirement notice! I looked a little more and began to see possible AP interests. Before I decide this is to be set aside as unlikely, I’ll want to look further. Something spooked the user. “Isambard Kingdom” is not a named person.  (If one does not wish to call attention to an account, it’s simple: stop editing. Sometimes retirement templates are placed to avoid investigations for policy violations — it has often worked. Then the user takes up the account later (it is trivial to “unretire,” or waits out the checkuser data retention period and starts a new account that cannot be connected with the old by checkuser. This listing is not a claim of editorial misbehavior.
  • 86.171.20.133 Again a stretch but AP has used BT. The edit could be AP or the brother.
  • 135.196.27.1 only adding and removing space.
  • CritiasAtlantis  blocked and confirmed as AP.
  • JonathanJoshy blocked and confirmed as AP.
  • Whitjr this user is noted for an interest in the occult only, for future examination. It should not be necessary to say this … but … not all users with some interest in Atlantis and another AP topic will be AP!

Oliver D. Smith is also administrator of the Atlantis Wikia

According to his bio on Atlantipedia, dated June, 2013, he “studied classics at Roehampton University and is currently studying archaeology at the Oxford Learning College.”

Verifying that address listing

On 192.com, I found listings for Oliver David Smith and Darryl Luke Smith both  age range 26-30). I found a listing for [redacted, the apparent mother}. I didn’t want to spend what it would take to see the listings.

On findmypast.com, I searched the electoral register (up to 2014) and found that Oliver David Smith, from Radlett, voted in 2008 (when he would have turned 18, minimum voting age) to 2014. For Darryl Luke Smith, the voting was in 2009-2014. Either they are twins and Darryl didn’t vote that first year, or Darryl is not a twin, but a year younger. The other brother, [name redacted], first voted in 2003. So [the other brother], if he voted at first opportunity, would be five years older than Oliver, confirming the image data.

Whitepages.co.uk (which is shutting down, so an archive link) shows Darryl L Smith, Radlett, WD7 (the rest of the postal code isn’t shown, but one could presumably buy the data — and perhaps full address data — on 192.com) as voting 2009-2014.

At this point the preponderance of the evidence is that mikemikev was passing on a true image of some directory page. This is mostly useful at this point for supporting the IP information that shows geolocation data consistent with that residence.

Wikipedia activity 16 April 2018

This is very likely to be tagged as Anglo Pyramidologist.

Alleged harassing emails

If you are reading this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates, corrections, retractions, etc.

Joshua P. Schroeder claimed, on Wikiversity, that I had harassed him by email.

  • Delete and ban User:Abd for harassing me in e-mails. Wikiversity should be ashamed of itself for continuing to let him abusively campaign here. I have asked the foundation for a ruling as well. ජපස (discuss • contribs) 22:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

It is possible that his complaint was one that the bureaucrat who blocked me was referring to. He was lying two ways: first, I did not harass him with emails (this page documents them). Second, I was not “campaigning” on Wikiversity, and, for two years, I had been mostly inactive, becoming active only because I saw genuine harassment, involving impersonation, leading me to identify massive disruption, cross-wiki and on other web sites, and I documented the WMF portion of it on the meta wiki. Many socks were blocked and locked, but the user vowed revenge.

I first wrote, through the Wikipedia interface:

On Sat, Dec 2, 2017 at 12:04 AM, Wikipedia <wiki@wikimedia.org> wrote:

I see that 117.20.41.9, who is a very crazy person, probably Daryl [Darryl] Smith, has kindly pointed out your new user page, and has elsewhere called you a “very old friend.” https://en.wikiversity.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Abd&diff=next&oldid=1764384

(I have asked for that edit to be rev-del’d for obvious reasons.) I am not obsessed with you and hadn’t thought about you for quite some time. However, there may be some issues between us. If you ever want to talk, you will now have my email address. My talk page on Wikiversity and on meta can also be used.

Meanwhile, if you have friends like Smith, you are in trouble. You might take a look at the global contributions of this IP and also the .10, which was just globally blocked and .9 will probably be blocked soon, it’s so obviously socking, block evasion. The guy has at least 200 socks on wikipedia and was just stirring up shit, calling a lot of attention to himself. And now to you. I have no plan to publish your new user name unless some reason appears. If you have any requests to make, you may make them.

Good luck with your work. Astronomy is fun. Real science is fun.

This was, by the way, taking some risk, because my email has never been blocked on Wikipedia. So his later claim of harassment could be very serious, if taken seriously. He replied:
From: X X <[redacted]>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 13:07:40 -0500

Why did you post the post to thunderbolts.info? Would you be willing to delete it?

 To be clear, that post is exactly why I changed my username.
 
We then corresponded directly.
Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 10:20 AM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[redacted]> wrote:

That post was in an obscure forum. It was then posted, about a month later, on my blog. (the blog post has a date, but that is the date it was created. It was private at first, only made public later, as I was under extensive attack by your “friend.” Your “friend” also pointed me, very handily, to your new account. This[Thus] if my motive were actually to expose and attack, as he is claiming, he made it easier.

But that is not my motive, and I hope for your career success.

Why I posted it is irrelevant now, but we can discuss that later. Yes, I am willing to delete it, but that may be useless, since your “old friend,” he called himself, archived both it and the later copy on my own blog. I already deleted the personal information there, but he’s linking to archive copies. (I have IP and timestamp evidence that he is the one who archived it.)

This is an extremely disruptive troll. I will attempt to delete the thunderbird post. I don’t know if I can do it, but I will certainly support a deletion request by you if it helps. Let me try first.

We can then discuss any issues we have, which might go into the reasons I posted that.

But first things first.

I did, in fact, take the post on my blog private, as a courtesy. I did that immediately. I also requested that the thunderbolts post be taken down.

From: X X <[redacted]> Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 13:07:40 -0500

Look, I don’t care one way or another about any of this and I have no idea who the IP is who is posting to my page. I just want you to stop writing long screeds about me around the internet, okay?

Someday maybe you can take a step back and consider what evidence there is that I have been personally attacking you. I can point to a lot of times where you have personally attacked me on fora where I am not active.
The same user behind the IP also canvassed him to come to Wikiversity and vote in an RfD that was hardly even disguised as an attack on me. To not care who is leading him around by the nose is foolish.

On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 9:32 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd@lomaxdesign.com> wrote:

This is not encouraging, Joshua. I took down what I could and did what I could and you show zero appreciation. I have not been writing “long screeds” about you on the internet. I have written much more about Joshua Cude, which I do suspect is you from a number of evidences. That was old. Mostly he’s smart and relatively knowledgeable, like you. I said we have issues, and I’d hope we can talk about them and possibly come to some agreement, but if you prefer to maintain hostility, I don’t predict a good outcome.

I have not claimed you were personally attacking me, unless you did so as Joshua Cude. (I [And] that’s not how I think about him.) However, there are other issues. What you do has effects. At this point I’m not making any claims or asking you to change anything, except maybe that battleground attitude. I’d prefer to see you let go of the past and move into a future that will be far more satisfying.

Your comment on that Noticeboard in response to the IP, who was clearly attacking me, in a completely inappropriate place, it had nothing to do with the business of that Noticeboard, was discouraging. (He was doing [this] on Wikiversity and on meta as well, and that’s why he was globally blocked. He was also lying, about many things.)

JPS was essentially supporting the anonymity of an user who was blatantly attacking, in a place where it was irrelevant.

That person is vicious, and vicious people will make “true accusations” but mixed with poison. He is the one who has made it difficult to get that material on you taken down, not me. If you don’t know who he is, maybe it’s time you learn. You have worked with him, I’m pretty sure. But I have not researched that specific issue.

I have specific technical evidence on that claim about who ordered the archive.is and archive.org copies being made. “Worked with him” might only mean as a Wikipedia editor, before the AP accounts were identified and blocked. But it might mean more than that. However, if JPS had not worked with him before, he proceeded to do so, clearly and aggressively.

I have not done anything, as far as I know, to real-life harass you. Documenting your accounts is what I did, which would not be harmful unless (1) those accounts did things which will harm your career or (2) others will real-life harass you. But they could also do what I did. It wasn’t that difficult!

The socks of Anglo Pyramidologist/Dan Skeptic/Goblin Face and many other names have attacked people — and continue it — who might be interested in harassing you, if you appear to be allied with them. That comment in the Noticeboard made me think you might actually be allied.

In other words, you may be creating causes for your own harassment. (By others, not by me.) Doing that while attempting to hide is crazy. Attempting to hide actually motivates search and discovery.

I’m not really that interested in you, you are not anywhere near as much of a threat and harm as Anglo Pyramidologist.

You could, you know, have asked me months ago to delete that material. If you had done that, it would have been gone before they found it and archived it.

One more comment. You wrote: ” I can point to a lot of times where you have personally attacked me on fora where I am not active.”

“personally attacked” is often not an objective statement. It is more of an emotional response. If I wrote anything about you that was untrue, do point to it and maybe I can correct it. I could even correct old material on Wikipedia, indirectly. Don’t assume I would not be cooperative, and you might actually see cooperation!

Good luck. Again, if I can assist with the removal of that material from archive.is and the internet archive, let me know. (they are attacking me for removing the material from my blog!)

From: X X <[redacted]> Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 11:50:42 -0500

I’m sorry, I’m not in the mood to thank you for taking something down you shouldn’t have done in the first place.

The fact that you think I’m “Joshua Cude” still is just more evidence of your continued paranoia. Stay in your lane.

That was suspicion, not belief. It is not paranoid to suspect what is reasonably obvious as a possibility, on evidence. So he was accusing me of being crazy. In spite of years of Wikipedia experience, he has no idea of how to calm disputes and find agreement. He does the opposite of what it would take.

On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 1:42 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[redacted]> wrote:

Joshua, you create the response you get. You must prefer insults and fighting to actual discussion and cooperation. That explains a lot.

“Joshua Cude” was reasonable surmise and I never attempted to prove it. Too much work for too little value.

I may or may not restore the material. I may or may not cooperate with you as I said I would, hoping that you would appreciate that much. I may or may not point to your new account, except that I now have, because of that discussion that you encouraged on your Talk page, which leads into some very dangerous territory, attacking not just me, but Wikiversity and, in fact, academic freedom.

Instead you prefer to maintain that I was “wrong” to write what is available in public logs and documents you created about you. Your friends, and you are treating them as friends, when I documented the ruthless attack they made on [redacted] (Blastikus), impersonating him and then attacking his Wikiversity account, where he had done no harm, and, I can see, Wikiversity itself, which you are seeking to destroy, created an article on me on RationalWiki. Enjoy it. It’s probably how you think.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax

This was not created by “skeptics.” It was created by one of the Smith brothers. That’s all making it quite clear how they operate. That’s what I’ve been documenting, not your sorry history, that was over two months ago, and I actually don’t remember at this point why I wrote that. You are motivating me to look at your edit history. Proud of it? I’m proud of mine, and I’ve always been public, real name available. I’ve never hidden and I’m responsible for what I write.

You are collateral damage and I was hoping to ameliorate it. Forget that!

From: X X <[redacted> Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 21:56:12 -0500

You are behaving unethically. It is really amazing.
Some days later I responded:
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax 12/07/2017 (11:45:21 AM MST)

confirmation bias. your approach to interpersonal communication can be predicted to fail. How often have you succeeded in creating cooperation by accusing someone of unethical behavior?

In none of this conversation have you shown that you were actually paying attention to what was said.

If you actually cared about removing that material, one would think you would cooperate first, then deal with “issues.” That’s exactly what I proposed.

However, you don’t, it’s obvious. Sanely, you would have immediately deleted that material from the obvious sock on your talk page, and would have located all other occurrences of WMF references to the documentation, and asked a steward or the stewards list (better) for rev-del or suppression of all of it (easy to find those, just follow the sock edits — and, of course, you can find all the recent socks on my study page on meta. That’s what it’s for. I would have done this except if you don’t care, why should I?

You could start at any time. Meanwhile, because that sock is active and has been encouraged to file a complaint with the WMF, I’ve taken precautions.

Can you point to any evidence that what I did was “unethical”? It is contrary to Wikipedia policy, but, Joshua, I’m banned. I have no contract with Wikipedia. (One of the stupid aspects of banning instead of working with a user to create cooperation, which is possible and I’ve proven it.)

I could sock there and point to the archive copies that I did not create — that sock did, and the evidence I have is conclusive — and keep it up. If I actually wanted to harass you, you’d be experiencing a lot more harassment. As it is, because of this incident and your response, I am studying your history more closely, something I’d never done. But that’s not being documented openly and won’t unless it appears to be useful, which I don’t know yet.

I do not start with an assumption of bad behavior and then look for proof. I don’t know what I will find. But I look.

The world is much broader than Wikipedia.

He did not respond. Again, a few days later, with developments as they arose, I wrote:

The problematic material I was willing to delete (and the rest, temporarily) was your present name and employment. I apologize for posting that information. It is not relevant to what you have done on wikipedia. I would advise you to live openly, but I have no intention of aiding those who might harass you.

My interest is in community process and often Wikipedia. Your wikipedia history and activity is quite relevant to my work and it is not private information. Your extensive attempts to cover it up are an attack on the ability of the community to police itself. You got away with a lot that would have resulted in blocks for anyone else, because of lack of documentation and short institutional memory.

As a courtesy, I am informing you of a study I have begun on the blog. This is on a “page,” not a “post,” i.e,. the blog part of the site. It may or may not be referenced from blogs, which more people read.

http://coldfusioncommunity.net/wikipedia/joshua-p-schroeder/

Comments on it are open and you may, if you wish, correct any errors there (or at least assert your position). You may also do so by email. I will consider removal of material, but make no promises on that.

Reviewing the history, you got in with a bad crowd. Hipocrite especially, a troll who told me on RationalWiki to “go fuck my kids.” (When that was tolerated by mods, I stopped doing anything much on RationalWiki.) Sometimes, Joshua, we suffer for the behavior of our friends, sometimes our “friends” are our worst enemies.

No response is required.

(I remain willing to cooperate with you in getting those archived pages deleted and the Thunderbolts forum post deleted. I asked again and this time actually posted a request, and the mod just responded to me, seeking clarification. “Corrections” would be useless. Cat out of bag.)

That was my last email to JPS. He did not complain about either of the last two. I would ordinarily not publish private email, but when “harassment” is claimed, privacy rights have been waived.

The moderator of Thunderbolts decided to delete the posts as a result of my communication with him. So at that point, the truly private information (even though found in public documents), his changed working name (legally changed? I don’t know) and current employment as an astronomer, was hidden except for the archive.org and archive.is copies his “friend” made in order to attack me. He showed no interest or inclination to confront the obvious disruptive troll.

So … I republished that information. The page I pointed to was retitled “Joshua P. Schroeder on Cold fusion,” and at this point it is mostly a list of 313 edits to the Wikipedia cold fusion article. Contrary to what is claimed, that page is not an “attack, ” unless describing with links what JPS has actually done on Wikipedia is an “attack.” It would not be the first time research and documentation has been considered an attack. But is it an attack? Perhaps he did good work?

He did some socking, those accounts are listed. I have not yet checked to see if they edited cold fusion.

The information, besides existing on archive.org and archive.is, might end up being actually useful to someone. I don’t know. I have not yet analyzed those editings, I merely spent the considerable time to copy them into the page, so I saw some idea of the extent. I could jump to conclusions, but it would not be thoroughly grounded. It might be contaminated by my understanding of Joshua Cude. Was he Joshua Cude? Elsewhere I state the reasons why I suspected it, but it doesn’t really matter.

It is not illegal to create and use an anonymous account. Whether it is ethical or not depends on how one uses the account.

With his comments on that Wikiversity Cold fusion request for deletion, he established himself as an active enemy of academic freedom, and someone willing to be highly deceptive in order to disparage another, with a serious charge, of harassing emails. He deserves no protection (even though I redacted his email address above. Perhaps he might want to communicate in the future, so I will protect that, at least … unless he actually started harassing me by email, which I doubt he would do.

MrRowser

In the original Anglo Pyramidologist study, there was this, one name is now bolded as is the disclaimer at the top:


The older Wikiversity SPA accounts possibly involved (listing here is not necessarily a claim of disruptive behavior):

MrRowser, his Wikiversity contributions, edited on 8 March and 14 March 2015.  His edits did not display extreme skepticism or incivility. There were a few hints that raised my eyebrows, but … the behavior was not disruptive. (Some others listed were actually disruptive.)

Then, after no apparent WMF editing with this account, for over two years, he showed up on the meta wiki, to address the Anglo Pyramidologist undeletion request.

Delete I just received an email from another user that I was included in Abd’s study so I will respond here. Abd has now ported this study to his personal website Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist. I did a handful of edits in regard to the Wikiversity article on parapsychology back in 2015. I am a skeptic who has published a handful of papers debunking psychics. I am not a fan of the parapsychology article on Wikiversity, it was written Abd’s friend [redacted] a banned Wikipedia user and neo-Nazi. I am not a troll or a sock, vandal that Abd claims. I have never heard of AngloPyramidologist (what a stupid username!) so I would appreciate if Abd would please remove my username from your “study” which is now on your website and contains false information. This is defamation and I will email the Wikimedia project about this. You are not a steward here so I am not sure why you are hosting these personal investigations!? My username is now blacklisted on your personal website. Please remove. MrRowser (talk) 22:21, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

The study was open here for a short time, accidentally. That link is broken now, because the open page was caused by a WordPress duplicate page. Remove the 2 from the end and it would work now. When I saw this comment I immediately took it private. The arguments given are, however, vintage Anglo Pyramidologist. MrRowser was mentioned as shown above. [redacted] did not write the Wikiversity Parapsychology resource, though he contributed to it and was the author of a few subpages. Called [redacted] my “friend” has been common for AP, and so is pointing to his Wikipedia block (he is not banned there), but has been indef blocked. There is a difference. Calling him a neo-Nazi may or may not be correct, but is likely related to old positions, he has moved on. There are indications that the long-term conflict between [redacted] and AP were related to problems on other web sites. AP is possibly a fascist but certainly has a high interest in political organizations that have been called fascist. He was not called a “troll or sock,” then. He is now. He has not pointed to any false information. (Stating that he was possibly involved wasn’t a claim of being a troll or sock. There is evidence of some level of off-wiki coordination — notice the claimed email — but I have not emphasized this yet. He was making a legal threat (“defamation.”) “You are not a steward here” was commonly repeated by AP. His username was not “blacklisted” anywhere.

That density of false or misleading information is an AP characteristic. I suspect that he forgot that in 20165 he was running a good hand account. But AP does not care if he is identified and blocked. After all, he has created hundreds of accounts. An SPA is a throwaway, the only benefit gained is autoconfirmation, and it is easy to get that for a new account.

I considered filing a checkuser request, but … at this point MrRowser is not causing particular harm and I want to be quite careful about filing any more such. There are hostile watchers. So there would need to be benefit. I already know, from the evidence here, that MrRowser is an AP account and I don’t need checkuser for that. If he wants to prove that he is not AP, he could do so. I doubt he will try, but commentary is open here. I’ll see it.

Abd

I noticed you deleted his study which is a good thing! He has incorrectly put me on his study. See my edit here. Abd has now ported his study to his personal website [8]. How do I go about getting this removed? I am not the person he claims I am. According to another IP who has complained Abd is also attacking Wikipedia users on his website [9]. Is this behaviour to be tolerated?! MrRowser (talk) 22:27, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Stirring up shit with stewards is another AP trait. AP has freely linked to my pages that are allegedly attacks, which is the direct opposite of how to handle them. AP has even archived pages allegedly containing privacy violations, so that I could not even hide them, and then linked to the archive. The page he points to is primarily a list of the edits of Joshua P. Schroeder. It consists of a list of his accounts and then a list of his edits to the Cold fusion article on Wikipedia. That’s an “attack”? However, JPS strongly dislikes exposure of his activities, and has been allied with AP socks in the past.

My blog pages do not violate any WMF policy. He was wasting Vittuzu’s time.  The full discussion in which I suggested that Vituzzu checkuser MrRowser, and MrRowser replied, digging the hole deeper:

Abd you included my username in your LTA study and you have been writing about me on your website.

He is not careful. He slips. At that point “MrRowser” had not been mentioned on this site. The other IPs recently commenting also made the same claim, that I was writing about them. But the study is only about AP socks, including recent socks locked and blocked for disruption. Is he one of them? There were a very few users mentioned in the study that were reasonably suspected as being involved in some way, withotu definitive identification, which could include meat puppetry — and MrRowser is effectively admitting meat puppetry here. He wanted the study deleted because, in fact, it is about him. He went on:

I have been emailed what you have been doing, you have now deleted the evidence on your website which is very dishonest because you are now running scared.

That damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t-argument has been used often by AP. “Evidence”? He complained about being “included” in a study that was accidentally published, and so I deleted it, and he claims that this means I am “running scared.” Identified AP socks have claimed that. At that point, by the way, I had not seen the extended evidence that he thoughtfully provided that, in fact, he’s AP (or one of the family).

You wrote to another IP on the undeletion request that your study only included “blocked” users, but that is a lie because it included many unblocked IPS!

Two things happened recently. AP stopped using logged-in accounts and started using open proxies. Those were blocked. Then he started using a mobile phone provider (O2). Stewards will be reluctant to block those, because they are constantly reassigned. I took a look at the range involved, and there are many edits probably not AP. However, geolocation is very close to that of known AP IP. Without looking at the post … he provided no link — I don’t know if the claim was true at the time. AP often distorts what has been written in a way that makes it untrue. It can be a small shift, a single word omitted, for example, and if someone looks at the evidence, they might fall for it!

You have included innocent people in your study such as myself and other IPs who are not socks.

An IP is not a person. An IP which continues the exact arguments of a blocked IP/user will often be tagged as a sock. Vituzzu could have confirmed or disconfirmed this, though AP is getting more sophisticated and knows how to defeat checkuser. The narrow focus and arguments, though, completely betray that MrRowser is AP.

I just told you it is defamation and within 20 minutes of my reply you deleted it from your website.

I did that immediately, giving him the benefit of the doubt. I did that from his first edit, and thanked him for calling attention to it. As have other AP socks, he is making an attempt to comply with a request, at least temporarily, into a claim of misbehavior, “dishonesty.” I explained the page and the removal in my response to him in the request for undeletion he linked to.

I was not agreeing that it was defamation. The comment can be seen above. It was not defamation at all.

You have been accusing innocent people of being Anglopyramidologist, a user you have a vendetta against for allegedly creating your Rationalwiki article.

AP makes up arguments that he thinks will fly with his audience. First of all, he is not “innocent,” but he wasn’t accused. By the way, AP socks, mentioning AP usually mispell it, perhaps so that Google searches will fail. Just one more small sign. Secondly, I did not have a vendetta against AP, but AP attacked a user, using impersonation socks to make him seem far more disruptive than any actuality (the reality was very minor, a small amount of socking, not disruptive in itself, except for being block evasion. AP has done a hundred times that, and disruptively, attacking.) So I investigated, realized what a huge sock family there was, and started to document it. AP went bananas, creating more and more socks. That made me think I was onto something! The RationalWiki article, which he is pleased to link to, did not exist at that point. AP vowed he would get even and he has now succeeded in obtaining a deletion decision on Wikiversity — which is trashing Wikiversity traditions — but I had already decided to not invest more work in Wikiversity itself, and the recent sequence shows that the decision was sane.

No, the vendetta is his, and that will be documented more thoroughly. He announced it plentifully, as a threat! However, I don’t intend to stop documenting what he is done and it will now be on this blog, cooperating with others who have done the same for some time. I can now reveal some of what was kept private because I was still working with WMF policies and traditions. I have much more freedom here.

As the IP pointed out in the un-deletion request, you originally wrote here [10], Friends and Enemies.

And what does that mean? It’s still up, that page. The link is to a diff where I was changing the section name from Friends and Enemies to a clearer expression of the intention, . “Other persons named by AP”

You appear to being using this website to attack users you have personal issues against, your “enemies”.

No, AP names others in many of his account names, and they mostly are his enemies. It’s a behavioral characteristic, that is obvious, if one looks at the list of account names. Apparently this argument fooled a Wikiversity administrator who referred to it.

I also do not understand your other LTA study [11], it lists socks of AngloPyramidologist which are found here [12] active from 2011-2015 on Wikipedia but then you added about 50 other accounts unrelated to AngloPyramidologist that were active on Wikiversity in 2017.

Actually active on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and meta. He understands. He’s lying.

Your study is not supported by solid check-user evidence and you appear to be making false connections.

Appear to whom? AP made a few mistakes that connected the older and newer accounts. This argument is a particular obsession of AP. “You have no technical evidence” he has said many times. First of all, the duck test evidence is even stronger than checkuser technical evidence. They are, however, supportive of each other. I have private evidence, and he had edited IP on RationalWiki there in a way that connected him with a newly blocked sock in the Michaelskater series. That was promptly revision deleted, but I was a sysop at the time and could read such edits. The IP had edited a Wikipedia article, carrying on the work of HealthyGirl, who had been blocked as an AP sock.

Most of the former meta LTA study is from checkuser evidence, though. What MrRowser is arguing is that there is no proof that there are not two separate families of socks. Who is the judge?

For my own life and what I write, I am. I am responsible.

You are not a steward so you should not be conducting these investigations. AngloPryamidologist was a sockpuppeteer but I do not see evidence he was any of those accounts in 2017.

So? There are many incorrect sock identifications on Wikipedia. (and AP created some of them!) Why is he obsessed with this one? It’s obvious. And “you are not a steward” is a common AP argument. True, but without consequences. Stewards don’t do investigations that lead to checkuser requests. The community does, those who decide to do it.

I just read over what the various IPS have written about all this.

I will be putting all that together to make it easy to review.

Admins have complained about your behaviour [13], you have also accused innocent IPs of being AngloPyramidologist which they have denied [14][15].

They are not innocent. The most recent O2 IPs geolocate to AP’s home location, which, of course, I could not reveal on meta. They were continuing the same arguments as the blocked open proxies he had been using just before that, and those open proxies connect with technical evidence to much AP activity. What they were doing was exactly what AP socks had promised they would do, in an apparent attempt to intimidate me.

You have sent another Wikipedia user harassing emails [16]

He claimed that, yes. Did I actually send harassing emails? I will show the emails to a qualified functionary with a need to know, but I sent one email to Joshua P. Schroeder through the WMF interface, to his current user name, which the IPs had pointed me to.

The way that works is that it is forwarded by the WMF to the addressee, who may ignore it or respond. The original mail was an offer to cooperate in getting certain material taken down from another web site and then saved on archive.is and archive.org by AP. And, yes I have proof of that. JPS responded, which he would not do for a harassing mail (he has claimed to be harassed for years, and it certainly wasn’t me!) We went back and forth and he never requested I stop mailing him, though he did not reply to my last mail, I think. This is not “harassing emails.” However, as a result of that false claim, which was libelous and may have influenced the thinking of others, I have returned all the material that I had hidden.

AP thinks it is perfectly okay to out and defame users on RationalWiki — and he did create that article on me, that is quite clear, but if someone documents what he does, he’s oh, so offended. He is a liar and a hypocrite and probably fucks sheep without their consent.

Ahem. I’m human and I can actually get angry. Reading MrRowser lying, over and over, I am reminded this is not about some attack on “skeptics,” or, from the other side, simply exposing pseudoscience and “woo.” Genuine skepticism — ancient and honorable — does not need to lie, ever. There is a far darker agenda involved here. It’s been exposed on many sites, and I’ll be collecting that muck as well. This is about violations of basic human decency.

 and you defame him on your website [17][18] on several articles

Where is the defamation there? 17 is a link to a page on JPS edits to Cold fusion. It is, at this point, almost entirely a list of edits without comment. If anything there is defamation, I appreciate knowing. (But I will probably begin to analyze the edits, so it could be come more, ah, controversial.

18 is a link to a list of his accounts and, now, what had been removed, his current real name and current position as an astronomer. Information like this is routinely posted on RationalWiki, without the consent of the targets, largely by AP (many articles have been documented in the RationalWiki page). That is certainly not defamation, or is it, Mr. Smith?

According to another admin you spoke to there have been numerous complaints about your behaviour. The same admin on that talk-page says the Wikimedia foundation have received “numerous legitimate complaints about your activity over a long period of time.”

I’m easily accessible and I have received no indication of Foundation interest and I’m told by someone who should know that the Foundation is very unlikely to be interested. People have complained about me for years. Why? Well, I confronted administrative abuse on Wikipedia, successfully (one admin reprimanded that then one who came after me, possibly in retribution, desysopped), and people who do that had better be prepared to face complaints.

In my training — yes, I’m trained — we were told, “If you are not being shot at, you are not doing anything worth wasting bullets on.” A bit of an unusual perspective, eh?

My own version, before the training, related to Wikipedia Rule Number One: (If a rule prevents you from improving the project, ignore the rule.) If you have not been blocked, you are not trying hard enough to improve the project. It follows from the Rule and from human nature.

As this IP wrote [19], you are using these “LTA” studies to “defame” innocent people. You then link to it on your personal website.

He does not name one innocent person defamed! Over 200 socks are listed, plus a few IP addresses globally locked and then a few checkuser-declined (for technical reasons). (And the LTA studies are completely independent from the material about JPS or others sometimes described on these pages, except that AP is now attempting to create allies by claiming a common “enemy.” That is another AP trait.

To defame a person I must name them or show their identity. Mobile phone IP addresses, which this user was so concerned to defend, are not identified people, as such, and cannot be defamed. However, we can share that information because it may be useful to an administrator somewhere, and there are also legal actions being contemplated by some. AP has allegedly real-life harassed people, with phone calls and threats, and his internet activities have caused damage to business interests. Sooner or later someone with resources that can be dedicated to that will say “enough!”

I have not been harmed, or I’d be talking to an attorney myself. But I will cooperate with anyone needing assistance. AP is defaming people under real names (such as me! but many others)

You also have an obsession with claiming different people are “AP” a target of yours, as another IP pointed out this is extreme paranoia.

Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you.

However, I present evidence, not just wild accusations. I was originally completely ignorant of AP, I knew a little about one sock, Goblin Face, but no idea that this was a sock of a large family of socks. Just seemed like a highly opinionated user, and ready to make accusations of others. It was Wikipedia business which hasn’t been my business, as such, for about six years. Except I am interested and involved with cold fusion, and the state of the article there is atrocious, so I have researched sources that others might use if they choose.

I can assure you none of us are that stupid user from years ago!!

This is absolutely amazing. He is describing himself as “one of us,” which must be one of a number of people named in the study, which describes, for the largest part, blocked and socked users, who have lied and been uncovered and blocked and locked. He could mean the recent IPs, which geolocate the same as AP. It’s like he believes readers won’t put that together. And he might be right. Wikis seem to generate clueless users, or burn them out and make them so.

I do not know what the official rule on off-site harassment is, but as you have been harassing different Wikipedia users on your website I will email the Wikimedia Foundation and see what they say about this. You obviously need to be blocked because you have no intention of stopping. MrRowser (talk) 02:49, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

He will be wasting their time. I doubt he will actually email, because it would reveal more about his real identity, and the WMF will ignore anonymous complaints, I’m fairly sure. I cannot be stopped by the WMF, even if they wanted to, and they don’t. That is, my account could be locked, that they can do. But that would not stop me at all, it would merely give me higher motivation, which all of AP’s fuss has done.

He seems to have believed his own propaganda, that I was using Wikiversity to “push” pseudoscience. I actually stopped most work on Wikiversity years ago because I concluded it wasn’t safe, it was vulnerable to attack from Wikipedians, in this case led by a troll, obviously socking. And that reveals a great deal about Wikipedia and about wikis in general. I just found out out obtuse some administrators can be.

So the guy walks across the street to a police officer to report a mugging taking place, and the officer arrests him for jaywalking. However, when life gives me lemons, I don’t just make lemonade, I make lemon chiffon pie or lemon chicken. Yippee!

I warned AP that I was the Tar Baby and that attacking me was a Bad Idea. His response was to complain about 73-year old cranks who should not be allowed access to the internet. Ah, no respect for elders! His choice, though.

MrRowser now does actually join the list. Previously, there was only a mild suspicion and his edits looked much like common skeptical edits, reasonably ordinary.

MrRowser is not merely suggesting that he was improperly “blacklisted” — the study was not a blacklist at all, and had no such effect — he was attacking the list and supporting and using the block on RationalWiki, which he linked to (such external links will normally be considered harassment), which block was by … an AP sock; one such sock claimed, on RW to be “running the place” and to have about 700 socks. Joke? Maybe. Like editors affiliated with what was called in reliable source a “cabal” had, almost always, a “Cabal Approved” template on their user pages.

Update

And now another clue. An AP sock just posted notes on my Wikiversity talk page:

he also attacks Wikiversity and Wikipedia admins on his website.

I have made references to a Wikipedia administrator,JzG; and I have not reviewed them for consideration as “attacks.” However, Wikiversity administrators? Where? The only Wikiversity users I have discussed here have been AP socks (on the AP study page) and … this page, just created, on MrRowser. Or is he simply lying? In any case, I am putting together a study of recent events on Wikiversity, and connecting them with a long-term trend, where Wikiversity was slowly going down the tubes. I have never told the story in one place. It will name names, which would have been avoided, generally, before now. I’m going to add the IP information to the AP study and tell why I conclude the IPs are Anglo Pyramidologist.

 

Anglo Pyramidologist

I will be reporting newer activity on this page: wikipedia/anglo-pyramidologist/new/

UNDER MAJOR REVISION

This study of the massive socking called “Anglo Pyramidologist” was originally on the meta wiki, the first study having been moved from wikiversity to avoid disruption, as the file User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist, but was deleted there for mysterious reasons, given that it was the source, the evidence, for a list of socks that was allowed by the same steward. That page was ported here from an archive of the meta page and I am removing all the chatty discussion of why I started the study, etc., the page before such stripping can be read at http://archive.is/iJ1SI

When hosted on meta,  I attempted to comply with WMF privacy policy, and some material was not disclosed there, that is disclosed here, where there is no such restriction. This user is the most disruptive and libelous I have ever seen, and does not deserve protection, and those who are protecting him (and there are some), are taking a side against decency, not to mention WMF neutrality policy.

Subpages:

  • MrRowser deserves a special honor being at this point the most recent identified AP sock to edit using his account. (Identified by the duck test.)  There are other new IP accounts listed.
 There are indications that AP is more than one person, twin brothers are often mentioned on other sites (Oliver D. Smith and Darryl L. Smith) and there may be a third brother or a sister (HealthyGirl?). Behavioral differences may be seen.
Recently (April 7 2018) Oliver D. Smith claimed he had been lying since 2011, that there is no brother, he made up the story to get unblocked. However, in many other places, Oliver Smith  claimed that most socking had been his brother, (example) and there are at least two apparent personalities (sets of interests) involved. (In fact, it’s clear there is a brother, but the issue would be who did all the socking, including impersonations and other major disruption…. He is really saying it was all him, and that his brother is “innocent.”)
Complicating matters is that, as Anglo Pyramidologist is known to impersonate enemies in order to bring down  the thunder on them, it is possible that he has also been impersonated. He has not complained about this, as far as I know, with specifics in any context where claims could be verified. It has not been investigated using checkuser or similar tools, to my knowledge. I am finding, for sure, strong signs that almost all of the activity is coming from one location in England, where IP can be identified (the user often uses open proxies, but not always).
This will be covered in the IP section.
On Wikipedia, though, all the accounts are classified as Anglo Pyramidologist, they don’t really care if it is one or two people, if they behaviorally match one of the tagged accounts, and/or are confirmed by checkuser (which can fail to distinguish between people using the same internet access).
I was banned by the WMF, reasons not explained, and will be pursuing recourse on that. What is known is that there were complaints, and the documentation of the AP socks figured prominently; Oliver Smith, in particular, published, on RationalWiki, the WMF response to his complaint. He was quite proud of it.
Contents

Disclaimers

Inclusion of an account here is not a claim that identification is correct, only that it — or suspicion — can be documented in some way. If a claim is included that is not documented, correction is invited.
The recent activity has been through SPAs, which register and dive immediately into high conflict discussions, these are easily recognized. Most recently, open proxies and then mobile phone IP addresses have been used
You can delete this message if you like. Just to let you know I will not be further engaging you. It seems you live for this drama, I will not longer be involved. I will do my best behind the scenes via email to get admins to delete all your material.
He meant it, and he has done just that, but was lying when he said he would not be involved. He continued to create sock puppets — or to create disruption with open proxies and then mobile IP>
If you want to spend the rest of your life stalking someone that is up to you, but it is not healthy.
On his favorite web site, RationalWiki, that is called “concern trolling.” The sock master has obviously been stalking Ben Steigmann, then me, and many others.
I object to such a thing. I am done with this.
Excellent, but he just contradicted that with a threat of endless effort.

I would like to add though that AngloPyramidologist is innocent. If you want the debunker of parapsychology/or pseudoscience it is me.

This would be, I tentatively assume, Darryl Smith, whereas AP was Oliver Smith. I don’t really care. Both were disruptive and the checkuser evidence does not distinguish. There does appear to be crossover, i.e., some shared interests. If the original AP is inactive, good for him, but the other brother, then has also taken on some of his brother’s interests, because the original patterns still show up.

I have debated Ben in the past, he knows who I am, I have talked to him on Wikipedia in 2014. I have nothing against Ben personally, unfortunately he uses Wikipedia to promote his fringe beliefs, he promised in 2014 not to come back but his mistake was coming back in 2017.

Obsession with Ben Steigmann is an AP trait.

Take care. Btw I do object to the ‘troll’ allegations. I have written over 250 articles on Wikipedia. As to this very day 30/9/2017 I have four Wikipedia accounts and 12 others I occasionally use, the admins are only interested in banning vandals.

Most of the provocative posts this user made were trolling, poking, attempting to find some vulnerability that could be exploited. On Wikipedia, this user, perhaps hiding his true mission, would poke and provoke until a naive user explodes … and then he can get the person blocked for incivility. There is a trail of wreckage, if one were to look back.

If you are atheist, pro-skeptic like me and debunking fringe beliefs the admins love us.

If admins love this, they have lost the core of Wikipedia, NPOV, in favor of something they like personally. I could think of a couple who might, but most would recoil in horror, and the SPOV faction has lost every time the issue comes to serious community attention.

I can’t go wrong. I was even offered paid work from the owner of a skeptic group.

There are possible connections between AP, the faction mentioned, and a well-known “skeptic group,” but others are working on that aspect of this. I’m not, at this point. That is, I think this may be true, and I may know who that “owner” is. However, I also know that it is possible that some enemy of those people is pretending to be their friend, here.

 

I still create articles perhaps 12 or so a week. I have serious knowledge and I have improved the Wikipedia in skeptical related articles in relation to fringe beliefs.

I have found some recent activity, but I have not begun systematic study. Now, if this is true, why would he tell me? Indications are that this person is mid-twenties, and is obviously arrogant. He is likely unaware of all the ways that activity can be studied, that socks can be identified. He may imagine that certain defenses are impregnable. Truth, however, tends to out. If he stops attempting to disrupt Wikiversity, and to attack me, maybe I’ll never get to it. He’s been quiet for a day now. I’ve been warned that these people never give up, so we’ll see.

Your statement we are all vandals or doing illegal activity is false.

First of all, there may only be one of him. Secondly, impersonation with intention to defame is a crime almost everywhere.

This is common in his arguments, they misrepresent what has been said. It has not been claimed that the accounts or IPs are “all vandals or doing illegal activity.”

Take care and Good bye. My advise for you would be to give up. You are fighting a war you cannot win.

I’ve already won, thanks to reality. Survival is a game that we always lose, eventually, if that’s the game we play and the war we fight. However, at my age, every day that I’m still alive is a victory, and the mystery is how many more I have left to win.

You will never work out who I am or get rid of me from Wikipedia.

Leon. From a tower (talk) 01:24, 30 September 2017 (UTC) [this section has a link to the edit in the heading]

Relying on sources I consider reasonably reliable, I have some developed opinions as to personal identity, I’ve mentioned that. This would be AP/D, probably. It doesn’t matter. I’m unlikely to sue, because I have not been damaged. Some, however, might.

If Wikipedia is infested with him, that’s their problem, not mine. No critical interest of mine depends on Wikipedia at all. Nor, in fact, on Wikiversity or any WMF wiki. There are sincere people there, working for the goal of a user-created encyclopedia based on neutral presentation of what is in reliable sources, and that goal is damaged by those who work to selectively exclude some point of view or position, rather than channelling these into collaborative work. Wikiversity, not having limited space for specific topics, is not normally afflicted by factional wars, AP/D attempted to take such conflict there. He failed, because I recognized what had happened and addressed it.

(However, the last attack, by IP, including canvassing on Wikipedia, drawing in his faction, the one that he claims “loves him.” And something was indeed going on behind the scene, because admin response on Wikiversity (1) completely ignored the previous history and obvious personal attacks, and (2) served the AP agenda.  The effect of that is to demonstrate conclusively to me that Wikiversity is not safe, so, unless something drastically shifts, bye bye Wikiversity!

I will continue to document what has happened and is happening. I’m not dead yet.

 SPI investigation archive for Anglo Pyramidologist

roughly 190 socks on Wikipedia, plus IP
11 April 2011

15 June 2011

28 November 2011
13 December 2011
above confirmed mutual.
21 September 2011
27 September 2011
03 October 2011
03 October 2011, take 2
05 October 2011
IP check declined for privacy reasons. There was “other behavior” which the checkuser declined to disclose. I have a suspicion of off-wiki coordinated editing, and the checkuser may have detected actual sock accounts and left them alone. I may look more closely at this later. These are all Verizon wireless. So why doesn’t the account register, if they want to edit that much? Likely reason: they don’t want to be identified. Wikipedia went overboard in privacy protection. Privacy is important, but … sometimes there are higher values. I don’t know if that applies here, yet.
It appears that IPs were blocked. These IPs don’t look like AP, but … open proxies or something else.
02 November 2011
all confirmed. match to BookWorm44.
13 June 2012
claimed to be w:User:Earthisalive
Quack. Previously blocked as User:Earthisalive, now returning as User:The earth has a mind, First edit is to recreate European origin of modern humans as Out of Europe theory. Check user requested to check for sleepers. SummerPhD (talk) 23:35, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Follow-up. Mentions a series of articles deleted, that lead to RationalWiki articles and more possible socks there. AP has been claiming that he has created many Wikipedia articles and RationalWiki articles. Yes, he has. Often very disruptive articles, the cloaca of RationalWiki. See the tip of the iceberg in the RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist study. 
29 September 2012

From a combination of the duck test (which I have not confirmed (but the account names!!!), I have not yet studied these account activities) and the checkuser confirmations, I suspect that AP may have been using some kind of open proxy then, though that also seems unlikely.

11 November 2012
24 December 2014
10 June 2015
all confirmed

17 January 2016

At this point investigations were moved to Anglo Pyramidologist

29 March 2016

all confirmed. Again, Anglo Pyramidologist asserted as master.

08 August 2016