The only document of significant relevance is the original Complaint, which is available on link 3.
Here is the Wikipedia username listed in the lawsuit:
Actually what was listed was the WMF global account “Abd”.
- ANI: Wikipedia:Administrators’ noticeboard/Archive163#Abd blocked
- ANI: Wikipedia:Administrators’ noticeboard/Archive188#Abd
- ANI: Wikipedia:Administrators’ noticeboard/Archive211#Abd – Community sanction proposal
- ANI: Wikipedia:Administrators’ noticeboard/Archive217#Reinstatement of topic ban
- ANI: Wikipedia:Administrators’ noticeboard/Archive224#Abd
- Arbcom: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Cold fusion 2
- Arbcom: Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Cold fusion 2
None of those are truly relevant. That was all very old, and I never attempted to return to en.wikipedia, having concluded that the context was hopeless. A prior arbitration case involving JzG would be more relevant, because JzG was involved in the activity at the end of 2017, pursuing a vendetta that he had maintained for so many years, taking it to Wikiversity.
I am going to assume that, being part of the WMF, Jimbo cannot comment on any ongoing legal actions. I am under no such restriction, so I will be posting a copy of this at User talk:Guy Macon#Lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation? if anyone wishes to discuss this case with me. —Guy Macon (talk) 18:14, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
I’d be happy to discuss it with him, but I can’t do so on Wikipedia, nor can I arrange to contact him, all of that would involve TOS violations and I have never violated the TOS, nor do I plan to.
- If you have any good secondary sources, put it on Litigation involving the Wikimedia Foundation. Was Abd the cold fusion editor? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:02, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
That’s all shallow. That case was not actually about cold fusion, but about the right of an administrator to unilaterally declare a topic ban and then personally enforce it when an alleged violation was not in itself disruptive. The case decided that my position was correct, and admin could not do this. It also decided to desysop the involved administrator. But it was, as well, used as a coatrack to sanction the complainant, a nasty habit that has worked much harm. File a frivolous complaint, yes, sanctions. But file a valid complaint, irrelevant countercomplaints should require a separate filing, attempts to resolve before filing, etc.
- That was a decision by mikeu, contrary to long-established Wikiversity policy, and admittedly based on anonymous private complaints. Wikiversity does not have articles, Wikipedia “editing” is misleading applied to Wikiversity. It has educational resources where topics may be studied, in great depth. The Wikiversity resource had never been disruptive, there had been no revert warring, nor was it attacked, until the end of 2017, by anonymous users who recruited two Wikipedians to show up and claim that the project was “pseudoscientific.” Those users were clearly following a vendetta, created when I exposed impersonation socking on Wikipedia, filing checkuser requests on the meta wiki, granted, impersonation socking verified. And because the prior sequence raised the issue of anonymous users or SPAs creating disruuptive process, I started to document what had happened. An avalanche of socks were created, disrupting and threatening me and others. So I moved that project to the meta wiki, where there was more supervision available.
I was threatened that everything I had written would be deleted, if I did not stop documenting the blatant socking. And so it was, later by mikeu.
But that is not the cause of action in the lawsuit. There were those who defamed me in complaints to the WMF. I may have a distinct cause of action against other acts of defamation, of which there have been many, but that’s not particularly relevant to this lawsuit, though it could be amended. Mike’s actions violated Wikiversity policy, but that’s a problem for the Wikiversity community, not for me. I was able to recover all my work and place it on another wiki, where it is actually more useful.
How about asking me? Here is the status: a copy of the complaint and a request for waiver of service has been sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Registered Agent for the WMF in Los Angeles. I have not received the receipt back yet, so I need to find my receipt from the post office. It’s somewhere in this pile on my desk. If I don’t get a reply back soon, I will arrange for a process server to deliver it.
- No, Rationalwiki is independent, that’s just weird. They know about this though as I told User:David Gerard. This is a lolsuit (I stole that from the discussion at Wikipediocracy). A sock of the racist Mikemikev told me about it (claiming that I and User:Maunus were responsible for the demise of Rightedia, which sadly neither of us were a party to, and saying he’s back at Metapedia (en.metapedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Lamprecht) where he will write an article about me. I told the WMF – I don’t think they’ve actually been served but that’s just a guess. Abd is trying to find out if the ban was the result of private communications from people who he claims were harassing him. This doesn’t seem to have been his first lawsuit. Abd_Ul-Rahman Lomax has an Encyclopedia Dramatica article but you’ll have to search for it as the link is blacklisted. Doug Weller talk 13:35, 5 April 2019 (UTC) Try this (encyclopediadramatica.rs/Abd_Ul-Rahman_Lomax} – the software seems to allow that. Doug Weller talk 13:36, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
The Encyclopedia Dramatica article on me was written by “Mr. Strong,” an admitted sock of Oliver D. Smith, the brother of Darryl L. Smith, who is the one who created all the disruption on Wikiversity, through impersonation socking on Wikipedia. If I get around to it, I’ll add links here to evidence.
I find it amusing that experience editors aren’t familiar with how to place an information link, but he did it. Just don’t make it a link. Leave out the http:// and the browser will fill it in. I did extensive work with getting useful sites removed from the global blacklist, and, indeed, my involvement with cold fusion began with confronting an abusive blacklisting. I was later topic banned on cold fusion because of a successful delisting request, on meta. Go figure. Basically, by that time the faction backing those I had confronted wanted me gone, and the old-timers who used to defend what I was doing were gone, including an arbitrator who resigned because of in-person, real-life threats against his family.
Before all this flap, I had decided that WMF wikis were unsafe, because policy enforcement protecting users from abusive administration was unreliable, I had seen far too many incidents, and far too little willingness of the community to protect itself. But I saw an abuse, harming an individual, and confronted it, successfully. Somehow mikeu ignored all that, and he ended up also blocking that fellow, for basically nothing but a trumped-up excuse. Very rude, indeed.
So why even link to it? This is weird.
I passed it to the RW board, though we have no idea what, in any coherent sense, to make of it. All involved parties are banned as anything from RW and are still sockpuppeting furiously and getting banned instantly – David Gerard (talk) 00:36, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
No, not all “involved parties” are banned. David Gerard is quite involved, actually, he has shown an intense interest in protecting the Smith brothers on RatWiki, it’s obvious. The Smiths have long created sock puppets on RatWiki. On Wikipedia, they are known as Anglo Pyramidologist, see the SPI archive, but that only shows a fraction of their socks, there are many more, and some have been misidentified as the users they were impersonating. They discovered how to manipulate the WP community.
The user behind Goblin Face (one of the AP socks, actually Darryl L. Smith) claimed to having been paid to edit, by a “major skeptical organization.” That was confirmed by his brother, Oliver D. Smith, in email known to be from him. It is plausible. There are other interest groups, with more money, that might fund certain kinds of astroturfing, particularly on Wikipedia.
- If Jimbo doesn’t protest I think it can be discussed here in a general context because I think there is likely to be lots and lots of lawsuits going forward as American courts, imo, in general, are becoming less and less competent, thus, less predictable in terms of what suits they will or will not entertain, therefore (not talking about this specific case) creating a lottery mentality among potential plaintiffs.
The point of discussing it on Jimbo’s talk page?
Such a policy could be very, very expensive. Ask a lawyer! I’ve never before gone to court as a plaintiff, but I’ve been sued. The plaintiffs told their lawyers not to talk to me. Expensive, that was, for them. Not for me. I’ve never lost in court, because I never took an indefensible stand.
What the WMF has is a policy that global bans are not appealable. (It is totally different from Wikipedia bans.) They also don’t warn users before banning them, that they are doing anything to violate policy, so if the person is doing something harmful, they do nothing to stop it, particularly if that thing doesn’t use the WMF account. They do not explain the ban to the banned user. Yet they publish the ban, and you really should see how the fact of publication has been used.
- Lomax complains that his published SanFranBan was negative publicity that hurt his writing career, but it really depends on who his audience was and what he was trying to accomplish. If he was looking for street cred as a wiki-dissident, the ban may have actually helped him, by showing the WMF establishment was against him. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 02:38, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I have not said it hurt my “writing career,” but I do depend on donations for my journalism. I don’t know the full extent of the damage, it’s difficult to tell. If someone googles my name and finds the RatWiki article and the ban information, that they might then not donate to my work would not be visible to me, necessarily.
What I know is that one of my children, who is somewhat well-known and thus easily findable, received an email expressing concern about me, linking to the RatWiki article, and, as I recall, pointing to the WMF ban as evidence, claiming that, while he couldn’t be sure I wasn’t a pedophile, I was defending one. Which was a lie. I have not defended any known pedophile. That’s an Oliver Smith-type accusation, and there is a case where I pointed out that it was unwarranted –the alleged evidence was not supported by the source. And, by the way, I was banned from Wikipediocracy — without warning, also, years ago — when I pointed out how outrageous certain pedophilia accusations were, and I think that person may have just shown up here.
I am a member of the Wikipediocracy forum and I have been following this case and I know about the details of how all this started, I encountered Abd’s trolling about ten years ago, the guy has not changed.
I have often confronted abusive administration, and abusive administrators — surprise — don’t like that. So an anonymous user claims I’m “trolling.” He’s trolling! Fact-free, all opinion, no evidence.
Abd has opened himself up to countersuit and discovery. As one of our other members put it “The WMF can conclusively show that he’s a net.kook with no reputation to harm. And the WMF can bury him in lawyers.”
They can show that? Good luck, I’d say. Kinda difficult to prove. And that, at best, would impact damages, perhaps, but not the fact of a libel. They can bury me in lawyers? Does this troll have any idea how expensive that can be? It’s not his money that they would be spending, and what would they gain?
The countersuit would be for what? Discovery is, of course, great. I have nothing to hide. There are people involved who do, and who lied with intention to harm. This whole affair started with that, with impersonating “Blastikus” on Wikipedia, in order to induce Wikipedians to attack him and his harmless study on Wikiversity, collecting sources on parapsychology. Talk about TOS violations! And this was confirmed by stewards, but Wikipedians never took notice. Nor, apparently, did mikeu.
However, mikeu has obviously been in communication with the trolls, not only then, but recently. I do not know if he defamed me to the WMF, so I do not know if he is one of the John Does. I’m waiting for discovery, and could amend the action, and I might amend it anyway, but will be seeking counsel. I’m not in a rush.
As for the real reasons Abd was globally banned, it was for harassment and this can be seen publicly from his edits on Wikiversity. Abd was doxxing Wikipedia users (real names, photographs, addresses, work details, families) etc on his personal cold fusion blog to attack users that he blamed for getting his cold fusion project deleted on Wikiversity. You are dealing with a very vicious internet harasser. If Abd falls out with someone on the internet, he takes it personally and will stalk and libel that person, writing thousands if not millions of words about them on his blog. There are many victims of his. I would say his RationalWiki article is actually accurate in that description.
He’s lying. This is very likely one of the Smith brothers. This is common with trolls. A single possible fact of varied possible interpretations is conflated into a vast pattern. Notice that no Wikiversity edits are linked. Further, all the Wikiversity material was deleted, and documentation was moved to meta, and I was never blocked on meta. This is all about two extremely disruptive harassers, famous for it, long before I knew who they were, and I interfered with their agenda, they threatened me, and I didn’t back down. They created the RatWiki article and then went after Wikiversity. And they were aided by three other users, whom they had canvassed from Wikipedia. At least one of those users lied, claiming I had harassed him by email. Had I actually done that, it could have been the basis for a WMF ban. I did send several emails to users, warning them about the Smith brothers, who were trolling them. But I did not harass, not at all, and I did later publish the email with the user who complained publicly. He did not complain to me, he complained to Wikiversity.
Abd also sent Wikipedia users he blamed for his Wikiversity project being deleted “harassing emails”. This user, complained about it here. That same user was also doxed on a public internet forum by Abd and on Abd’s blog ( I will not link to that) but it can be found.
That’s a long story, but the email to that user was to offer to help get things taken down. See, I had added updated information on the user to a forum that had long tangled with him, this was a very uncivil guy with a lot of people angry with him. And at least some of that was deserved. In any case, I did add that information to my blog, on an obscure page. He never complained. However, I deleted my copy and requested that forum delete theirs. They said, “It’s true, it should stay.” I argued that it could be taken down as a courtesy, and they did. But meanwhile Darryl Smith, almost certainly, archived it. (I had server log evidence of this, as I recall.) In other words, these users who are so solicitous of the alleged harassed user, actually perpetuated that information, though it was actually obsolete long ago.
- The user and I emailed back and forth a few times, then it stopped. This was definitely not harassment. Rather, he was using that claim for his own purposes, to create exactly the impression that this troll is harping on here. I think these users conspired to do this, but that’s simply a suspicion. I’ve gone into court on what is clear.
If you check the rules “Inappropriate or unwanted public or private communication, following, or any form of stalking, when directed at another editor, violates the harassment policy.” . Abd’s global ban was therefore justified. He was putting users real life safety at risk.
It would be. So what was the inappropriate communication, and how does a user know that it is “unwanted.” There is a standard way. “Don’t email me!” If one then emails the person, it would be harassment. This is really simple. As to stalking, what I did has never been considered stalking. (And my interest in this editor was about off-wiki behavior and I was not attempting to influence his Wikipedia activity. But I am generally interested in how factions operate on Wikipedia and elsewhere. The community is largely defenseless against factional POV-pushing and the involved users have been openly contemptuous of NPOV.
You can also check Abd’s block log on Wikiversity. He was blocked many times for his online vendettas against other users. The blocking admin wrote to Abd  “Your long term activity at Wikiversity shows a persistent pattern of long term disruption that has been going on for the past SEVEN YEARS! This activity has also drawn a great deal of unwelcome contentious activity to our site that distracts the community from developing learning resources.” Since being banned from Wikipedia, Abd has been doxxing RationalWiki users on his blog and impersonating them. He has an obsessive habit of impersonating users he does not like and blaming his impersonations onto others. I have counted 102 banned sock-puppets that Abd has created on RationalWiki in the last 8 months.
Actually, I have created something three or four socks or so, for legitimate purposes (such as to inform a user that they have been impersonated elsewhere. As an example, on a medical blog, a RatWiki user was impersonated, so I created a sock to ask him if it was him; it was not. The creation of socks like that is a Darryl Smith trademark, and the blog was a blog of one of his targets. When I create a legitimate sock, it is blocked by Darryl (who usually has sysop privileges there) and a large pile of imitation impersonations appear, threatening users with lawsuits, claiming that Lomax will harass them, etc. The fact is that the Smiths were known for this long before I appeared. The person counting my alleged socks has done it on RatWiki. Who else cares? It’s Darryl L. Smith, also known as Debunking spiritualism on RatWiki, Skeptic from Britain on Wikipedia, who created a big mess in December — tagged by Jimbo as a POV pusher — using that account’s retirement to attack a user who had criticized him on his talk page by creating socks outing himself as that person. then claiming he was retiring because of the outing. Clever, eh? Actually, vicious. Here is the story: http://coldfusioncommunity.net/anglo-pyramidologist/darryl-l-smith/skeptic-from-britain/
As for his next move, he wrote recently he is hiring a lawyer from money he will obtain from CrowdFundMe campaign he is starting.
Where did I write that? I write a lot, and may indeed start a GoFundMe campaign. There already is one, raising funds for journalism expenses. I don’t want to mix that with the WMF crap.
His only supporter on the internet is Mikemikev a neo-nazi he has defended.
I have not been supported by Mikemikev. I have only pointed out that certain alleged Mikemikev socks have not been him, which is obvious to anyone who actually investigates this situation. I know that some Wikipedia socks alleged to be Mikemikev have not been him. The creator of the LTA page for Mikemikev would be Oliver Smith (i.e., the original Anglo Pyramidologist), as Stronghold1990
Apparently if someone gets banned from Wikipedia Abd will become friendly with (even if they are a nazi). I personally do not see his lawsuit going anywhere. This is an lolsuit. The man needs to get off the internet for a few days and get a reality check. No doubt he is following this discussion and will write 10, million words about it all and how he is being “harassed”. Anon63622 (talk) 04:25, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I simply document what I see and add what I know. This is not harassing me. I was encouraged to file by a relative who is a paralegal with extensive experience. It’s a real lawsuit, it doesn’t have to “go anywhere.” The WMF will decide how to respond. By the way, a mail sent by the clerk to me was returned to them, but the address was correct (they phoned me to ask about it). They sent it again, and I got it, but someone looking at the docket might think that I had disappeared or something.
The WMF will have a certain amount of time to respond, or a default could be declared. The ban policy of “ignore them” is not going to work for this. The TOS protections also don’t apply, because the TOS does not allow them to libel me, and the restrictions they set up (must file in California, only have a year, and $1000 limit on damages) are irrelevant for an action for defamation by them. I warned them about office bans for years, that it was a slippery slope, they were losing their service provider protections. Deaf ears.
I notice that absent from your narrative are any mention of
list of names redactedetc. who figure prominently in Abd’s version of events.
Mikeu redacted the names. Here is the original text.
I notice that absent from your narrative are any mention of Darryl L. Smith, Ben Steigmann, Anglo Pyramidologist, Goblin Face, Blastikus, Oliver Smith, JzG, Joshua P. Schroeder, Michael Umbricht, John66, Emil Kirkegaard, etc. who figure prominently in Abd’s version of events.
- Anyway, people were saying James Damore’s litigation against Google was an lolsuit too, and you saw how that went. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 04:50, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Note: I redacted the list of names above. Please do not enable his problematic behavior by repeating it on-wiki. This results in a great deal of cross-wiki disruption. A checkuser discovered that the account that left a notification of the lawsuit on my talk page had numerous sleeper sockpuppet accounts. We caught this before they could act. Not only do these actions have real world consquences but they also are a drain on the energy of the community. The more people who amplify his actions, and those of his friends, the more work for our staff to followup. I’d rather spend my time creating content instead of cleaning up a mess. Disclosure: my name was in that list but my identity is hardly a secret. I don’t much care if anyone reverts my edit but I am very sympathetic to the harassed contributors who have reached out to me requesting help. The volunteers who improve our projects are our most vital asset and deserve to be treated with respect.
signed John Doe #N—mikeu talk 01:22, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I still do not know if Mike is one of the John Does. Making stupid or even biased decisions as a bureaucrat is not a basis for a lawsuit. The list is not my list, it is that of another observer, I don’t know who it is, though I have a suspicion. Mikeu had been inactive for a long time, dropped in in the middle of the mess, having no apparently clue about what was happening, but having been emailed, wielded a meat-axe to prohibit the study of fringe on Wikiversity, even when neutrally presented and framed, and where it had not been disruptive at all, blocked me for fixing an issue — creating consensus — where he was involved, decided I had a long block log, though there had been no problems for a long time, blocked me for a vendetta that wasn’t, it was normal documentation of sock puppetry and canvassing, complained about a personal vendetta on meta in a checkuser request that was one of a long series of successful identification of socks, and where another Wikiversity sysop had added much material to it, and then, when I was globally banned, disappeared. He was not there to create content, he was there to be a bully to support other bullies, and he bragged about it on Wikipedia. He has created very little content anywhere, he was only a bureaucrat because he volunteered in the very early days.
Is it possible that one of Abd’s enemies tried to manipulate you into having this very reaction by placing that notification, as a joe job move? That was what Abd claimed in his 18 March blog post was likely going on. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 01:54, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
- Gee, is it possible or is it obvious? The sock puppetry patterns match Darryl Smith socking, the same as on RationalWiki. Names are chosen that are totally obvious. I have rarely created socks and I have almost always confirmed them. There have been non-disruptive socks created with obvious names. In fact, I still have one on Wikipedia that I could use to email users. So what? I’m not going to use it. The WMF global ban prohibits all access, under any name or by any means. It even prohibits anyone from accessing Wikipedia or contacting Wikipedians on my behalf, which is a bridge too far, my opinion, but I’m not going to test it without clear reason. (I have not asked anyone to edit Wikipedia or contact Wikipedians on my behalf. Anyone who does this is doing it on their own initiative. I have only provided information, either verifiable (it gets long because of that) or I will provide verification on request.
- Those joe job accounts lied. Typical.
18.104.22.168, you should not be mentioning real life names taken from Abd’s blog. This is one of the reasons Abd has been banned all over the internet. He tries to connect peoples real life identities with anonymous online accounts, he then claims he knows “100%” who the accounts belong to and digs up where these people work, but offers nothing more than his opinion.
Who is this? There are two people involved in the mess I encountered in 2017: Oliver and Darryl Smith. Oliver has been open about his identity at times, and he is apparently being sued, so he tried to have articles he had written taken down on RatWiki, and as part of that, he confirmed the obvious, that he was indeed the original author. After a long time of being considered a valuable contributor there, he is finally being blocked rather quickly. His brother, if it is his brother, is still active, and is almost certainly the Smith brother active here, the one who obsessively follows everything I write, and then drastically misrepresents it to an audience that almost never checks and compares.
I have offered far more than my opinion, I have extensively documented the very specific traits and activities of these two (known on Wikipedia as Anglo Pyramidolist, and it does appear that the original claim that there were two brothers was true, not merely a “my brother did it” excuse. However, at one point last year, Oliver — using a verified email — claimed that it was all him, he had lied on Wikipedia and he had lied to Tim Farley (about what? he didn’t say, but the communications would be about skeptic activism and probably financial support, but Farley would know best. Farley does not necessarily know what these brothers have done, and probably would not approve.
It is very dangerous business because he has no proof, only his speculations.
That is what the creators of fake news do, “They have no proof.” First of all, I have not claimed, in most cases, “proof.” I have claimed evidence, strong enough evidence to convince a jury or expert panel, if that ever arose. Sock puppetry, when it is large scale — as this has been — leaves clear marks, very difficult to avoid. Then there is the duck test, which is circumstantiial and which is subject to certain possible errors, but is also quite clear in this case. No, he’s lying, and he knows it.
In many cases he has turned out to be wrong (he claims RationalWiki users John66, Bongolian and David Gerard are all the same person – entirely wrong and he was forced to later admit that) but his leaking of real life names can effect people and their businesses.
I never claimed that those were the same, and I never suspected them of being the same. As I recall, I’m not checking now, I did a study of Bongolian as a control, against the edits of known Darryl Smith accounts and suspected ones. Bongolian was clearly distinct, there was no question about it. Claims that Bongolian was John66 were made by sock puppets on RationalWiki. Who created those socks and those claims? It’s obvious (but there is a minor possibility that this was very sophisticated impersonation of them. I’d testify under oath that it was not me. I’m a journalist, and lying would be career suicide.
If I make mistakes, all my work can be commented on and corrected through blog comments. (In spite of many troll comments, often impersonating RatWiki users. And that led me to create accounts to ask about them.)
As for JzG, he is an admin here. Abd has impersonated him on several blogs,
I have never impersonated JzG, I would not, and I’m not aware of impersonations, but I’ve been seeing claims on RatWiki that I’m massively active all over the internet, with impersonations. There is someone who has done that, often, historically. It’s not me. It’s the Smith brothers. Both of them have impersonated. I have proven some of it. No proof? That one was easy. Ask the impersonated person if it was them.
This is a Smith brother, likely Darryl from signs I can see.
as he has impersonated Roxy the dog.
Again, he knows I did not, because it was almost certainly him (I think I recall documenting an impersonation). He has been making accusations like this for a long time, almost never with evidence.
I do not trust Abd at all, he has recently been attacking @Alexbrn: on his blog. When you spend your life online attacking people like Abd it discredits his version of events which appear to be fictional.
This is someone deliberately concealing his identity by using a colocation web host. I’m a real person willing to go into court and attest under oath that I have evidence for my claims. The “attacks” are written documentation (“evidence”), sourced and verifiable, often with little interpretation or with minimal analysis (but on a blog, I also add opinion, it’s my privilege. I distinguish opinion and interpretation from fact.)
The Alexbrn reference would be to this page. science-and-medicine/sara-wilson-as-a-target-of-medical-fascism/
His entire lawsuit is basically about a grudge he holds because a group of “skeptical” editors submitted his cold fusion material for deletion.
That is his typical hostile mindreading. However, notice the lack of links. This troll does not want people looking at what actually happened. I didn’t care about that content, for itself, though one of the pages, a list of recent peer-reviewed sources on cold fusion, was widely cited. So this damaged many pages across the internet, and that page was rigorously neutral, and, in fact, that whole resource was neutral, but to those who don’t know the research in the field, it can look otherwise. These were wiki pages, open to editing, and anyone who questioned the neutrality could have objected. Deletion was not the method to be used on Wikiversity for non-neutral material, but mikeu had never participated in developing the methods for creating “inclusive neutrality.” It’s not at all difficult, I did it many times, and it totally defused conflict. What was offensive was the attack on a specific innocent user, who was impersonated and defamed by a sock master, who also filed checkuser reports on him and who then complained on Wikiversity about him, and this was steward-verified. And then what was more offensive was the attack on Wikiversity as a place where any topic could be studied. It was a place where neutrality was inclusive rather than exclusive, i.e., like academia rather than like an encyclopedia. No longer, because of mikeu.
My opinion is that wikis without protective structure are intrinsically vulnerable to this, I had already abandoned Wikiversity as a place to create content because of demonstrations that this was the case.
When and where? If I describe what someone has done, is that an “attack”? There is a page on this blog which has been described as an “attack on ජපස“. It is joshua-schroeder-on-pseudoscience-on-wikipedia/. Compare that to what has been routine commentary on me, on this very page, on RatWiki, on Encyclopedia Dramatica, and, in fact, in comments all over the internet and then consider who, by comparison, is engaged in a “vendetta.”
- Has he read these alleged attacks? Would he be so kind, then, to point to them? If I wrote something inappropriate, I can correct it. Roxy is active, my sense, in what calls itself the skeptical project or faction, which, my opinion, is, as organized and active, pseudoskeptical, “believing in the mainstream.” Which is not scientific skepticism. Science is not about belief at all.
It doesn’t surprise me if Abd made some false sockpuppetry allegations based on a dubious interpretation of evidence. I doubt he did it maliciously, though. He’s not the only Wikipedian to make that mistake; it happens all the time that SPIs are closed as “unrelated” because someone’s suspicions turned out to be unfounded. That’s just kind of a routine occurrence.
Yes, one would think. However, I have reported on hundreds of socks, and very few have been shown to be someone else. If contrary evidence appears, I report it. “Unrelated,” by the way, is not always conclusive, unless there are extensive edits. Some users become skilled at creating false impressions. I distinguish between suspicion and conclusion. I report evidence and am not the final judge, but I do, after seeing a great deal of evidence, come to conclusions, which often include alternate interpretations. For example, I have concluded that there really are two brothers, that Oliver was lying to protect his brother, who has made a career of being a “skeptical editor,” attacking “pseudoscience” and “quackery” and, lately certain skepticisms that offend Big Pharma, which has far more resources than the “skeptical organizations” originally served, but I do keep in mind the alternate interpretation, that Oliver, admittedly schizophrenic, actually is the only one. However, the strong preponderance of the evidence is that there are two.
- And that can complicate checkuser, because these brothers do back each other up, and there is crossover. So far, though, I don’t see Oliver as appearing in this discussion.
- As well, there are indications of another anonymous person who has occasionally edited in support of Darryl. Independent SPAs can be difficult to distinguish in a massive cloud of socks.
I think it is debatable how much good can come from banning people for outing users off-wiki. It obviously hasn’t stopped Abd from continuing to do it, because his SanFranBan doesn’t affect what he does on non-Wikimedia platforms.
- Again, I don’t know who this is. There are several possibilities, actually. What he is writing is obvious.
And if Abd had anonymously outed people, maybe it would not have even been possible to hold him accountable.
- Wikipedians are accustomed to anonymous trolls. Then, too often, they treat persons open about identity as if they were trolls. Internet trolling is such a problem because of anonymity, which somehow got enshrined on Wikipedia, and this is the original factor that will keep Wikipedia from ever becoming reliable. Reliable source cannot be anonymous. The police allow anonymous tips, but they are never evidence, and, in court, all evidence must be personally attested or it is not admissible. In Academia, anonymous sources are meaningless unless fully and completely verifiable, but wikis accept the testimony of anonymous users sometimes without question.
- The most serious “outing” was that JPS affair, though it probably caused no harm, and the true outing, that was made indelible through archive.is, was by the Smith troll. Otherwise when I convinced that web admin to remove it, it would all have been gone. And I asked a former WMF board member about this, and he did not think it would rise to the level that would lead the WMF to act. But without knowing what the exact complaints were, I cannot know. After all, outing like that has been common on Wikipedia Review and Wikipediocracy — and Encyclopedia Dramatica.
Because of this type of situation, users who want to keep their IRL identities secret should practice due diligence in not making it easy for people to out them, since the admins and Wikimedia have limited power to control the spread of information that a user has put out there about himself.
I don’t think impersonation is part of Abd’s playbook; he is not known for being a manipulative guy. Some of his adversaries do have that reputation, though, and therefore it wouldn’t surprise me if an impersonator framed Abd for impersonation. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 12:52, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I was not accused of impersonation, ever, before the Smiths created impersonation socks. Impersonation is deeply offensive. I confronted it on usenet as a moderator, because people can die when others believe an impersonation is real. Yet these accusers claim that this is a long-term behavior. It’s recognizable as a lie if anyone actuallyh looks at my history.
I am one of the anonymous John Doe’s listed in Abd’s filing. Thankfully he does not have my real name and I only ever used an IP to edit Wikipedia.
This is fascinating. So, this person complained to the WMF. About what?
Abd wrote some negative things about my IP on his blog and some deliberately false claims about me claiming I was someone else and posting someones business details.
This would narrow him to certain IPs. And does he own the IP? Is it stable? There were certain IPs that were a mobile service provider in a small region in England, and used by Darryl in obvious socking. What claims? What stops this user from being specific?
Well, Darryl is almost never specific, particularly if being specific would lead people to realize the truth.
I sent a complaint to the Wikimedia Health and Safety about his revealing of private information.
What private information? If I falsely claimed that the IP was someone else, how was this his private information? It would merely be wrong, like many claims that an IP is a blocked user, when it is not. Do realize that the claims I made eventually became that all this disruption was by one of the Anglo Pyramidologist socks, so these were like any report of disruptive socking with a request for checkuser.
You say above “and if Abd had anonymously outed people, maybe it would not have even been possible to hold him accountable,” this is wrong, he is entirely accountable.
The Smiths are not terribly smart, and if this is a meat puppet, as is the other reasonable possibility, not terribly smart either. The anon did not claim I was not accountable, I am, for what I do openly or privately, but that it might not be possible to hold me accountable.
He has no reason for doing it, other than harassment. It is not acceptable to be posting where anonymous online users live or work or trying to make those connections. Max Redhill (talk) 20:06, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Now, is this harassment? Am I being harassed by these comments? That’s a question. From my point of view, these people are revealing the reality of how they think and how they act. It is an opportunity for anyone who cares to see what I have seen since 2017. Most people don’t really care. Reality is too boring, they think, if it involves actually looking at evidence.
With every IP contributions display is a geolocation tab. Why? Isn’t that revealing private information?
In addressing disruption, checkusers routinely look at those things, and others often do, you can see it in many SPI archives. I have never posted where “anonymous online users work.” I did post, one time, where a user who is not anonymous, having openly revealed his identity, had worked. It was off wiki, not using my WMF account at all, and not causing any actual harm.
These trolls have, on occasion, contacted employers, they engage in real-life harassment. The mother of one of their targets was fired because of emails they sent, and Oliver, in particular, admitted sending the mail, he merely claimed “I did not ask them to fire her.” These users are vicious, they write defamatory articles on RatWiki, using cherry-picked and out-of-context evidence, entirely misleading, and then feed this to reporters for media, and on occasion, that information is not carefully checked and has shown up in print. Serious accusations!
What I was getting at was, the people who have been banned for off-wiki harassment, outing, etc. have been those who linked those activities to their own Wikipedia account. Another example would be michaeldsuarez, who made it known that he edited Dramatica as JuniusThaddeus. But not every harasser or outer does that, so not all are held accountable. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 20:21, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I don’t know who this guy is – his dramas seem to have happened over the many years time I wasn’t actively editing Wikipedia. But seeing this name, I notice a twitter user named @abdlomax has been favourite-ing tweets where I’ve been under attack over Wikipedia (for background see here). Also during all the low-carbohydrate diet drama centred on Skeptic from Britain I (and presumably a number of other WP editors) were being impersonated on one of the blogs covering the drama, in what looked like shit-stirring (for background see here). What can it all mean? Alexbrn (talk) 16:50, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. That user is me, but I see only one favorite. This conflation of a single action to many is common with abusive users. Skeptic from Britain was not impersonated anywhere, but himself created accusations that he was a user who had criticized him. This is classic Smith MO. So, Alexbrn was impersonated. See a page that documents many comment impersonations on the Malcolm Kendrick blog.
So was Guy Chapman. That comment was blatantly impersonation. It confirmed the false accusation against ME. Guy (JzG) is not that stupid.
Might want to ask the man himself at email@example.com, which is the email address he has been at for years, and which is listed in the complaint. In anything Abd-related, I would caution against making assumptions about authorship, given the amount of impersonation that has been alleged. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 19:15, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, and that is quite general about the internet, and email received. Assumptions about authorship can cause a great deal of damage.
- I am aware of the lawsuit. I personally consider it frivolous and an attempt to harass and intimidate. My block of Abd was justified and long overdue. Ping me if you have a specific question regarding his activity at en-wv and/or the actions that I/we have taken to prevent disruption of our project. I can neither confirm nor deny that I am a “John Doe” in this case as I have not received any official notification off-wiki. I am not at liberty to comment further on ongoing litigation nor can I comment on some of the specifics of this block due to WMF confidentiality requirements. (My block was primarily based on on-wiki activity, however the duration of the block was significantly adjusted to take into account privately expressed concerns which would be inappropriate to share publicly.) —mikeu talk 16:58, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
- Actually, here, Mike did effectively claim to be a John Doe. No he would not be notified until I have clear evidence as to what he actually did, though I could go ahead and amend the complaint based on “information and belief,” and then discovery would include his being asked questions under oath. Mike is here confirming what he wrote before, his actions were based on privately expressed concerns. Those would be libelous. There was no vendetta, there was an attempt to protect the wiki. There was an admin there who expressed an intention to unblock. The information I have is that he was threatened with desysop. There is block and ban process on Wikiversity, which was not followed. Deletion process was also bypassed by Mike. There were lies in the deletion request, confronted by others. There was canvassing of Wikipedia users who were clueless about Wikiversity purposes, practice, and policy.
- But that would merely be incompetent administration, which this affair exposed abundantly. As I have mentioned, I already had decided to abandon putting work into Wikiversity, because it was too dangerous as a place to build content. I had already moved away, toward, for example, writing for publication under peer review, and blogging, and Quora for page views. Far better. Quora is not totally safe, but much safer than WMF wikis. I have 4 million page views there and 2000 followers, which is better than anything I ever did on Wikiversity (though my best work there was never deleted, I’m wondering if they will go for that, too.)
- On Wikiversity, I had demonstrated how to create neutral resources, in the presence of strong differences of opinion. It’s actually easy to do there, with attribution. Wikiversity is much more like a university library than an encyclopedia. Or was until Mike demolished the principles that had been followed for about 15 years.
So I know there are a bunch of links here, and the gist I got is that this is a person who has banned for OUTing users, but who exactly is Abd and what is he trying to get out of this lawsuit? By who, I mean as a Wikipedia user and other known off-wiki accounts of his.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:03, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I outed nobody on WMF wikis. I have not edited Wikipedia since 2011 or so. This blog is owned by Infusion Institute, Inc, but I am admin and do use the blog for topics not always related to cold fusion. I have these other accounts:
- WMF wikis: Abd (currently office-banned, unknown offense)
- RationalWiki: Abd (currently blocked, considered banned but the ordinary process was followed.
- Quora: Abd-Ul-Rahman-Lomax
- Encyclopedia Dramatica: Abd (currently blocked, standard ED lulz)
- Twitter: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax (used very little)
- Wikipedia Review: Abd
- Wikipediocracy: Abd (banned, reason not given, years ago, but context was confronting libel of Wikipedia users by a popular user there, still active. No life.)
- WikipediaSucks: Abd
There are many, many other accounts. Since the early 2000s, I used my Muslim name deliberately, to make a point. Before that there were other accounts. I was a usernet moderator for soc.religion.islam, never, and was a forum moderator on The WELL in the 1980s.
Jimbo Wales commented, and what he wrote was no surprise.
As suggested by others, I can’t really comment on ongoing legal matters. I should also add that in general, for routine legal matters, they are handled by our very competent legal staff and don’t necessarily rise to the level requiring board attention.–Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:11, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
It is still a question as to why this discussion was held on his Talk page. I had good email communication with Wales years ago. I have not attempted to contact him since. I would also advise him to clear any contact with me with counsel, but he could communicate with me with counsel on cc or previewing it, if he wants. One of my email addresses is in the Complaint. I once spoke about my concepts for creating efficient consensus negotiation on Wikipedia, at a WikiConference in New York, before I was WP banned, and he was taking notes. but I don’t know that he ever understood the proposals.
If there are any questions, I am easy to contact. I will see any comment on this blog, for example, and if a real email address is used, and response is requested, I will respond.
Now, what am I trying to get? I don’t try, I do, but a lawsuit involves a “prayer for relief.”
Had the Foundation been willing to communicate with me, this might all have been easily settled. But their policy is that if they — privately, based on private allegations, without warning (either as to improper behavior or or intention to ban) or explanation, decide to ban, they do not communicate with the user, they do not reply and they state only that the ban is not appealable. But they publish it, and only ban a very limited number of people, most of whom are known or accused of serious offenses or conditions, such as pedophiles or accused pedophiles, or extensive harassers. Even in those cases, the policy is, ah, not actually protective and may in fact, increase risk. But that is mere stupidity, not libel. The fact of the ban can be, in context, a libel in itself, and that is what this case is testing.
This is being discussed on Wikipediocracy, initially openly, but now privately. If anyone wishes to reveal that to me (privately if desired), I’d appreciate it. (I have never attempted to create a sock account there, though that’s easy to do. Unless there is necessity, I do not sock. Merely being banned does not create a necessity. Others being impersonated can.) The open discussion I have covered on this subpage.