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.
The following, now italicized, was speculation mixed with evidence, based on early impressions. The real story has become quite clear with time and familiarity. There is no evidence, other than claims from AP socks, that a father or sister or others are involved. At the time this page was created, I was not naming the Smith brothers, but later found it necessary, and all this has been amply confirmed by the Smith brothers themselves. They are twins, Oliver D. and Darryl L. Smith. They have created a wide swath of defamation and deception, and in spite of claims that they have stopped, they have not stopped at all, they simply continue creating new accounts, while certain RationalWiki users follow along, eating the droppings. (Others are clearly wary, but the Smiths overwhelm opposition, accusing everyone else of being disruptive, blaming them for what they, themselves, create through massive socking, including impersonation socking.)
And they and their enablers point to documentation of all this as obsessive and proof of some vendetta. Simply describing what happened on pages not widely promoted becomes, to these, “trolling,” while they troll and harass, through many media, beyond anything I have seen before. They succeeded in getting Joshua Connor Moon’s mother fired from her job. They file private complaints to site administrators to get the accounts of enemies blocked, and then use the blocks as proof that the enemies were disruptive. They allege email harassment, when they initiated the email exchanges. They have been doing this for a long time, long before I was involved.
They especially attack anyone who documents what they are doing. Documenting long term abusers — which the AP socks are considered on WMF wikis — is normal there, to make it easier to identify new accounts. When I found impersonation socking (illegal!) and documented it, I was attacked and threatened with reprisals. They made good on the threats, and all this has demonstrated something long suspected but not proven: the existence of factional activity on Wikipedia, violating site neutrality policies, but taking place through off-wiki structures and communication. In spite of claims by Oliver Smith, my original contact was not with him, but with the twin brother, Darryl. And Oliver has claimed that “to his knowledge,” his brother Darryl was being paid by a skeptic organization for his work. There are thus larger issues than a pair of internet trolls.
There are legal issues, being pursued through legal consultation and action. These are not “threats,” intended to coerce (a form of trolling). Real money is being spent, to address blatant libel. That takes time. The RationalWiki Foundation is ignoring the first level of notice, by email. The WikiMedia Foundation has, so far, ignored the second level, a certified mail. In each case, then, further steps will be taken and will become visible, not as blog posts, but as court filings.
Meanwhile, I write about what I see. I’m very busy at this time preparing for a scientific conference. The Smths are not the center of my universe, nor is RationalWiki. Claims are being made of my continued activity there. That’s all error or worse, downright lies.
Reality prevails, always. To become visible to us, it may take time.
I had read the description of “brothers,” but I had never researched that edit. It was by 184.108.40.206 (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 sister. (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?
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.