If you are reading this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates, corrections, retractions, etc.
Update: Because I saw massive socking on RationalWiki today, impersonating me, I finally created a sock to address the issue there, The real deal, and I posted a comment on the Saloon Bar. This is that edit, and the page as edited is archived here. The post proved identity through a link to this blog. The account was immediately blocked and the comment blanked, by GrammarCommie. Did GC realize what he was doing? I don’t know. The user had seemed somewhat sane. RationalWiki has often claimed that it allowed dissent, but the claim can be highly deceptive. Many article targets are blocked, with shallow reasons. There are appearances that RW is protecting a highly disruptive troll. Is this by (hidden) policy or is it simply a product of standard wiki stupidity as manipulated by a persistent troll?
Back to what was here before:
Since RW user Skeptical has been so kind as to link to this page, I should probably point to the specific discussion he wrote about: RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist
He lied. I will cover Skeptical on RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist/Skeptical. However, what Skeptical wrote:
He now uses his personal blog to spread a paranoid conspiracy theory and misinformation that a group of RationalWiki editors who live in the same house (yes, you read that correctly) created and edited his RW article
My article was created by Marky as his first edit to RationalWiki, and in obvious retaliation (after threats) for my very effective exposure of AP sock activity on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and the meta wiki. I have identified Marky’s location. (This is technical evidence that Anglo Pyramidologist socks frequently claim I don’t have.) This is AP (i.e., at least has the same geographic location, and see below for direct admission of home IP by AP and another AP sock — or the “brother”).
AP socks commonly do this, register an account for a single activity. (This behavior is the main part of how the easy ones are identified.) Some other RW AP socks appeared and have been documented on the RW/AP page. These are not ordinary “RationalWiki editors.” And Skeptical is one of them. The Skeptical account was created for the article on Laird Shaw, an AP target. “Same house” is a red herring. I have not claimed that. What the Wikipedia evidence shows that one brother claims the other is the disruptive sock master, using the same IP when the other brother (“AP”) is home. They do not routinely live in the same house, but the brother visits. Both brothers, however, may be disruptive, “non-AP” being the most radically disruptive. External evidence, I am told, confirms that there are two brothers, and their names, but real-life outing is not the purpose here. What I did on Wikiversity, then on meta, then on RW, was not a “conspiracy theory,” it was an ordinary study of suspected sock puppets, which is routine on Wikipedia. Others have outed them, and apparently the address of the family home is known.
I had read the description of “brothers,” but I had never researched that edit. It was by 18.104.22.168 (IP info). This establishes “brothers” and “home” with the IP being home access. See also this edit with more detail. There is, again, much more later about the brothers. There are two basic hypothoses: The original AP is one brother from a family and a large number of socks (but not all) are another brother, with there being possible other family accounts, or it’s all lies, this is one person. I am leaning toward the first, because of what was noted in the SPI case: personallty differences. Yet both are disruptive and both are effectively banned from Wikipedia. In the massive list of tagged socks, it is possible that there are some other users incorrectly tagged. Perhaps HealthyGirl is a sistere. (Or was a Good Hand account.) Perhaps the father, claimed to be active, was tagged. However, did any incorrectly tagged user appeal? I haven’t seen it yet. There would be ways to create evidence for distinct identity. The fact is that the original accounts were blocked for their own behaviors, primarily, not socking as such. I’ve been using “Anglo Pyramidologist” for the name because Wikipedia used it. I have seen the behavioral differences mentioned. As an example, the older [I assume] brother (“AP”) could be the user Skeptical, who blocked socks created by the younger brother, but who targeted me, probably because of my AP documentation. Both brothers would consider me an enemy. The younger brother. However, if we look at early contributions, these are not “skeptics.” They discovered they could use the skeptical community for their own purposes, and some in that community found them useful as attack dogs, to do what they could not do without risking sanctions.
This placement of a lie (i.e, grossly misleading statement) in an article on RationalWiki is common. Very often, alleged “woo-promoters” are accused of this or that, without sources actually substantiating what is claimed. The claim is assumed from the general idea that the person “believes in” “pseudoscience” or “woo,” and so more neutral RW users don’t bother to check and confirm. And if the target sees the article and points out the problems, and points to the obvious obvious (the single-purpose account that created the article), they then arrange for that user to be blocked for “doxxing.” Neat, eh? There was no doxxing by me, no exposure of real-life identity, beyond noting the Smith brothers conspiracy theory article.
That article was not created by me, but by another Smith sock. It was attacked as “Rome Viharo harassment,” but it did not come from Rome Viharo, one of their targets who has exposed some of this on his own blog. Then extensive attack socking appeared on RW, handled by … Skeptical! Somehow he was the first user to notice all the offensive user names and block them and delete offensive pages! Of course he was. It was him or his brother. And, having created a massive set of block actions, he had more cover to block Abd and delete the real sock report. So who was being harassed?
Back to our regular programming:
RationalWiki, see the Wikipedia article, has been said to be “kind of snarky and rude,” which is a vast understatement. It has been identified as a “debunking site,” and such may purport to be promoting scientific thinking and recognition of pseudscience, but debunking and genuine skepticism are quite distinct. RationalWiki is commonly pseudoskeptical. As a wiki, however, YMMV.
We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.
That is deceptive. People with unpopular views there are harassed, trolled, restricted, and blocked. Harassment by sock puppets is not only tolerated, it is encouraged.
There are connections with Wikipedia, and with the faction that is responsible for the poor condition of the Wikipedia article on cold fusion, I’ll be documenting some of that.
Gateway to CFC articles on RationalWiki.
RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist covers the RationalWiki activity of a family of sock puppets known by that name on Wikipedia.
RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist/Skeptical covers an AP sock who was given sysop privileges and who used them to cover up AP socking.
RationalWiki/Reviews looks at reviews of RationalWiki.