The appearance of a page history here and of suspected AP socks who have edited that page is not a defense of the subject of the page. In many cases, I have no independent knowledge.
(When I have, on occasion, researched the article targets, I have found gross exaggeration in the articles, at best. At worst, the articles lie about what sources show. And nothing is done about it when that is pointed out, except that the whistle-blowers are harassed and often blocked.)
This us a study of what appears as massive sock puppetry on RationalWiki, with an appearance as well that this is a user pursuing private (external) agendas against the targets of articles. It is not the function of this page to argue error on the articles, that happens elsewhere. This is solely about the process by which RationalWiki articles reach their form: massive article creation with, then, long term pressure by multiple socks can do that to almost any wiki without strong administration. A troll will pick weak targets to attack, will provoke them and prod them to induce responses that then get them blocked. The first step in addressing this is to identify the socks, to observe whether the issue is major or minor.
It is major. The months of study that have gone into this page, and a previous page on WMF wikis, and the reactions of the socks — and the sock master, who eventually came into the open to “defend” the indefensible — have demonstrated the intense series of vendettas behind the behavior.
Someone not familiar with how the Anglo Pyramidologist socks have operated may not understand this page. My history with this may help. I became aware of a Wikiversity resource created by Ben Steigmann having been deleted, and investigated. What I found and ultimately demonstrated, through steward checkuser findings, was that an admitted sock puppet (now globally locked) created an array of socks impersonating Steigmann on Wikipedia in order to arouse an angry response. It worked. When I began to examine the history of this, I was massively attacked by sock puppets, first on Wikiversity, then on the meta wiki. All this has been documented on meta. [now deleted, see archive.is and the current page here.] One of the socks claimed to have four active Wikipedia accounts, and many others with low activity. Defeated at meta, with attempts to get the study deleted (which would accomplish nothing, it’s archived) being ignored by stewards, continued retribution was promised. And so, after some delay, an article on me was published on RationalWiki by a brand-new account, which is SOP for these socks for many targets. This article on me must have taken many hours of research, this new account was highly motivated.
“Outing” and doxxing by these socks is often tolerated on RationalWiki, but the socks are largely disposable. When blatant and disruptive sock puppetry is tolerated, as it often is on RationalWiki, communities fall apart and private agendas dominate. This is a statement by one of the socks on RationalWiki:
I’ve pretty much been running this website since 2012 by content/article creations; around 700 socks to date. God bless RationalWiki! I love the fact this wiki has no check-user. lol.
This ColdFusionCommunity page is apparently considered worthy of an indefinite block on RationalWiki, by the only sysop there whom I had mentioned so far, AFAIK, Skeptical. He had previously deleted the on-RW version of this page. (And also the deletion discussion for that page), and his contribution history is full of AP obsessions, with little else. His obsession with my writing here has now converted me from some suspicion that he is likely a sock from the “Anglo Pyramidologist family” to this being a high probability– just as previous attacks by probable socks of the family, see the meta pages referenced below, had convinced me that I was on the right track and increased my suspicion of some of those that they insanely “defended” (i.e., that were not actually being attacked.)
(Anglo Pyramidologist also attempts to create enmity between users, so, for example, if I mentioned a user offhand, not “attacking” that user, AP then treats it as an attack, perhaps hoping that the user will see it and not realize that it’s not an attack, and then join in attacking me. The only possible appearance of AP in comments on this blog was an impersonation of a user known to have disagreements with me. Classic AP arguments were used.)
Special studies: Skeptical
There is a terrible problem that sock masters face. It is work to keep an account active, so even with accounts where the user obtains privileged access, the user moves on to new accounts. Most AP accounts are very short-activity SPAs. But others show longer sustained activity, and then we see “Retired” templates … or they simply stop editing. Skeptical started out as a typical AP sock, with AP interests. He never went beyond those. Skeptical started editing 4 October 2017, diving immediately into high activity with AP obsessions. When he was granted sysop status, his actions were entirely involved with AP or AP obsessions. He blocked a pile of blatant AP attack socks. The naive might think this indicates he wasn’t AP, but the timing actually indicates that he had direct information, the response was so swift. And he lied about the content of the study and other pages he deleted. And then, he protected his User page and User Talk page, 7 November 2017. For a sysop to full-protect their user page is very odd. If harassed, yes, semiprotection. But what had actually happened was that someone outed him. I’ll document this on the special page.
There are indications or claims that more than one person is behind the AP socks. It would also be easy to imitate them (though not so easy to get steward/checkuser identification). There is much information — or misinformation — on the internet about the AP socks, and about the supposed “Smith Brothers” behind the family. What is happening on RationalWiki is that what is totally obvious is effectively banned there, but quite irregularly. AP socks are tolerated for an obvious reason: it serves the purposes of those who dominate that wiki, and that is the same reason likely behind behavior by some on Wikipedia. so when a target user comes to RationalWiki and points out the obvious obvious — and the socks will create a huge ruckus so that it is truly obvious — that target can then be sanctioned for “outing” or “doxxing,” whereas outing or doxxing from the AP socks is routinely tolerated.
Now, back to our regular programming:
General note: some of these accounts have very few edits. With such accounts, the error rate is probably higher, in some cases, than with other accounts with more extensive editing. As well, impersonation is always a possibility. However, I am confident that the vast bulk of these identifications are correct. At least they are reasonable, though I do not generally explain. Anyone familiar with the AP patterns would easily see this. (In some cases we now have more direct confirmation from the original Anglo Pyramidologist himself, i.e., from Oliver D. Smith.)
Socks organized by edited page or source
- Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
- Talk:Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
- User talk:Abd
- RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory
- Talk::RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory
- From Wikiversity
- Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
- Talk:Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
- Rome Viharo
- Talk:Rome Viharo
- Laird Shaw
- User talk:Heyguy
- John Fuerst
- Talk:John Fuerst
- Callum E. Cooper
- Kiwi Farms
- Ben Steigmann
- Guerilla Skeptics on Wikipedia
- Angelo John Gage
- Wife with a Purpose
- Ryan Faulk
- RationalWiki:Saloon Bar
- London Conference on Intelligence New February 9, 2018
- Geolocation of IP (Including suspected WMF socks)
Anglo Pyramidologist is an account that was blocked on Wikipedia in 2011, but that is considered to have been operating a large number of sock puppets. It is possible that this is more than one actual user, perhaps using the same internet access; possibly members of the same family (and this is claimed on various web sites), but certain areas of interest and behavioral characteristics can be seen through the possible noise. This study of RationalWiki user patterns is informed by prior studies of Wikipedia and WMF sock behavior, which are still live on the meta wiki, but which can also be seen at User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist and User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist/User data (archive.is copies)
There were extensive attempts to harass me on Wikiversity and on the meta wiki, and when those were interdicted by stewards, an article was created on me on RationalWiki, where I had sysop privileges (since 2012, but mostly inactive). There was, again, massive harassment there. As part of my prior research, I had seen how AP uses socks, including impersonations, to attack perceived enemies and to create disruption that can then serve as a cover for hidden agendas. I started to list the accounts on RationalWiki and this was promptly deleted and I was blocked. That is all of ultimate interest. I’m starting here to recreate and expand the list of accounts to support further study.
This sock family has done extensive damage to Wikipedia and to other sites and users. These accounts are identified by characteristics seen in the past. Because “innocent bystanders” may show some of these characteristics, the listing here is merely an indication of suspicion, in most cases, not a claim of definitive identification. In some cases the evidence is very strong, however.
There are many indications in the history that there is more than one person behind “Anglo Pyramidologist.” This Wikipedia Checkuser request from July 2016 is remarkable. There are earlier claims of two brothers and a sister.
These are being sorted by the RationalWiki pages on which activity was seen as this list is compiled (which will not be complete). What is given is the contributions display for the user, which is also being archived as found for some users. Notes may be added. Most listing are based on multiple signs, which still may not be conclusive. If a listing has a question mark, this is a shallow appearance, to be reviewed later.
If the contributions history of editors of “articles of interest” are examined, AP socks with more than a few contributions stand out quite clearly, there is a constellation of interests and activities that are quite distinct from ordinary RationalWiki users. This is not merely someone else interested in, say, Rome Viharo, not merely some skeptic. Few of the accounts listed below are questionable. If there is a question mark, there was not enough data available to make a determination. It is also possible that a perfect storm of coincidences hit someone. However, what is very, very obvious is that there is a sock master (maybe two) creating massive numbers of socks, often impersonating users, and there are claims of real-world harassment from this person. RationalWiki is being used as a tool for harassment.
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
- Marky (started article as first edit)
- 184.108.40.206 — IP info Talk Talk, Camden, UK no global WMF
- 220.127.116.11 — IP info Talk Talk, London, UK global WMF — one edit.
- 18.104.22.168 — IP info (suspected network sharing device) no global WMF
- SkepticDave See this copy of his user page, his last edit, joking about how many accounts he has. He may only have a thousand, maybe even less.
- In_a_Fort_on_the_Street (this is a hint at doxxing me)
- 22.214.171.124 possible open proxy
Hilarious: From last edit of anti racist man:
Why are you making so many accounts? Ｓｐｒｉｇｇｉｎａ （ｔａｌｋ） （ｃｏｎｔｒｉｂｓ） @ 23:11, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Using public internet café. Anti racist man (talk) 23:12, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
(That would be a reason for creating an account rather than using a main account, but it would not be a reason for creating many. This is AP, lying as usual.
- https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/ColdFusion Sole edit vandalized the article,replacing it with the full content copied from this page. Account creation. Blocked by GrammarCommie as “(Block evasion: As well a spam.)” Revision deleted, comment says “[username or IP address removed – edit hidden from contributions].” Ah, the virtues of notifications.
Talk:Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
- https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/The_amazing_agnostic (I blocked this user)
- https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Coolcat_99 (I blocked)
- https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Abd_sockpuppet (I blocked)
- http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/126.96.36.199 IP info open proxy no WP contribs
- http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Zeus46 (name of LENR Forum user, very unlikely to register and comment)
This is really funny from AstroPhysics:
Abd and his sock-puppets
Indeed I was. I documented all this on Wikiversity, in fact. I created one sock in 2011 as a test of the old policy that checkuser was not run for a user who was not disruptive, and not without a filing or complaint. What I found was what I suspected: the old policy had been abandoned and there were private investigations — without any emergency. I had no more reason to sock, having completed the research.
One might notice there is no sock puppet investigation page on me on Wikipedia. AP has hundreds of tagged Wikipedia socks, with high disruption — and Astrophysics is clearly AP, I have technical evidence in addition to the duck test.
188.8.131.52 open proxy globally blocked on WMF wikis. Hmm… I’ll need to look into this. No visible global contributions. This sequence was amazing:
I had created a post with some updated research on Joshua P. Schroeder, who had changed his real-life name (once) and Wikipedia account names (many times) to avoid scrutiny, on a web site where there was a topic on him. It was not an “attack.” It simply described what was in public records — and AP has repeatedly claimed that this is not “doxxing.”
I also copied this to this blog, but left it private. About a month later, I made it public. I had wanted to avoid making a big splash with it (the blog does not display such delayed publication as current.) Then AP socks, on Wikipedia, pointed to it, and also effectively led me to an even newer account. Instead of privately informing JPS, they created a big fuss. As part of this, they archived the post to archive.org and my copy to archive.is.
When I saw that they were publicizing it, I made my post private and then updated it without the more private information, and I also requested that that web site delete my posts. (And eventually they did.) A genuine privacy violation should never be archived, unless the person doesn’t actually care about the “target’s” privacy. And they don’t. What they care about is “exposing” Abd as Bad. When I made the information private, they, of course, claimed that as evidence of hiding something. Hiding is Bad.
What this did, in the end, was expose JPS as a liar and a hypocrite. I had suggested, in email, that he have his page revision-deleted, which he easily could have done. Instead, on Wikiversity, he claimed I had harassed him by email. The actual email of mine had reported what I was doing and offered cooperation in getting the other material taken down. He response was grossly uncivil. So … gee, I’m no longer inspired to try to protect his privacy! I have replaced all the information, but AP still lies about it. For example, a page that is almost nothing but a list of his edits to the Wikipedia cold fusion article is called an “attack.” That was done to allow research. The research might show something of interest or it might not. Drawing conclusions might possibly be called an “attack,” but the revenge articles on RationalWiki are far more deserving of such a label. and as this is writing, I still have not drawn those conclusions. I don’t do that before study. Copies of the alleged harassing emails. This is not even close to any reasonable definition of harassment.
- Muslim (I blocked)
- Abd_is_my_hero (I blocked)
- Skeptical (this one will take some explanation! Sysop. See subpage, Skeptical)
RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory
Talk:RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory
- 184.108.40.206 — IP info EGI Hosting Germany — no global WMF
- 220.127.116.11 — IP info EGI Hosting “spam source” no global WMF
- Rome_Viharo_will_destroy_those_smith_boys! (I blocked)
File talk:John Fuerst
- Muslim_man (I blocked)
- Welliver [see edit adding image uploaded to Commons by AP sock] 12:37, 20 August 2017. That image was originally added by an IP address, shortly before. The IP address had edited Wikipedia on at least one article that was a focus of an identified AP sock (and the image had just been added to Commons by an AP sock.) probably just before 12:15, 20 August 2017, from the Commons welcome bot. The IP edit here was originally visible to sysops. It is now completely gone. The suppression log shows nothing. Someone with serious tools is seriously protecting AP.
From blocks of Skeptical
Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
- BenSteigmans created, impersonation account. Oliver D. Smith claims to be the creator of this article (note 1). Thus he admits impersonating Steigmann.
- OldSword “sword” is common in AP names
- 18.104.22.168 — IP info Virgin Media Watford UK global WMF gblock LTA 02:49 15 October 2017 immediately after global lock. Absolutely AP. notice RW block.
- Welliver (see above)
- 22.214.171.124 — IP info EGI Hosting no global WMF
- E._O._W._Kirkegaard (impersonation?)
- Skeptical (and see above)
- ANTIFAGuy ?
Talk:Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
See this edit specifically from IP 126.96.36.199. This is admitting bringing off-wiki conflict on-wiki (which is what AP does, using RW for vengeance). I looked at the meta wiki for that IP. Globally blocked for long-term abuse. Stewards will not disclose information about IP, but this IP locates to Virgin media, reputed to be common for AP socks (in addition to using proxies) and I have seen the Hertfordshire location for many AP IPs. This is additional “technical evidence” which AP socks have claimed to be lacking (there is more). On Wikipedia, the IP is also “checkuser blocked.” Recent interest on Wikipedia: paranormal biographies. Edit compare utility . Edit compare with HealthyGirl (identified as an AP sock on Wikipedia, blocked 5 August 2016) See also the comparison with Goblin Face, blocked 5 December 2014).
This is likely the same user, which is additional technical information tying the RW socks to the Wikipedia Anglo Pyramidologist family.
- “Chuck” (This is probably John Fuerst.)
- E._O._W._K. impersonation account
- EmilOWK apparently the real Emil
The real Emil confronts the RW “doxxing” policy (and points to impersonations) and AP socks show up: Skeptical is there, and Asgardian.. AP is intensely interested in his targets. Mikemikev is an AP enemy (on Wikiversity, an AP sock — identified with checkuser — attempted to raise suspicion that the massive socking was by mikemikev.) Asgardian, then, is following standard AP practice, using his own socking to attempt to create enmity toward others, and points to a Wikipedia SP investigation on the account Emil Kirkegaard. The SPI did not checkuser, the account was considered throwaway, which would also be the case with the other account Asgardian pointed to, KirkegaardEmil: SPI mention (no checkuser)
AP has been impersonating others for a long time, apparently. Disentangling this takes caution. I do not know mikevmikev, but there is no resemblance between the alleged mikemikev socks and the behavior of AP socks, there is only some overlap of interest in racism.
I originally discovered the AP habit of creating disruption with impersonation socks because he had done it with Ben Steigmann, a Wikiversity user. AP has discovered that if a sock waves a big flag saying “I’m a sock puppet of So-and-So, blocked user),” Wikipedia administrators buy it, lock, stock, and barrel. So-and-so gets tagged as having created not only a sock or a pile of socks, but directly and clearly disruptive and defiant ones to boot. Asgardian points to a block of mikemikev on a site run by Emil. And then Skeptical blocked EmilOWK, the one being impersonated, for “posting dox of someone including full real name of someone called “Ben”, also linking off-site to other accounts and IP addresses.”
In correspondence, a “family member” of AP claimed that the name Ben Steigmann was not a personal identity, therefore not doxxing. Basically, he claims whatever serves his purpose at the time. Doxxing, not doxxing, depends on whose ox is being gored.
- This is what Skeptical blocked him for, and then hid. “Doxxing” is a splendid reason to use, because one can hide it and only sysops can see it. But this had been archived just in case. He listed RW user names for Asgardian, Aza, Skeptical, Welliver, Antifa Ireland, Ben Steigmans, and OldSword. He also pointed to a reddit account for Ben Steigmann. The way he did it indicates to me that he had no idea who Ben Steigmann actually was. The Rational Wiki account was impersonating him for sure, and as to the Reddit account, correctly spelled, it was probably also an impersonation. Aza I had noticed and rejected as probably not AP (but I can see why he thought so). Antifa Ireland looks like an AP name, but has only one edit. Probable. There was no actual doxxing there. Kirkegaard did not claim that any of those names were real names. However, Skeptical would know what these were, because Skeptical (or his brother!) created those accounts — or most of them.Back to the socks on that Talk page:
- 188.8.131.52 — IP info Virgin Media Watford UK global WMF gblock LTA 02:49 15 October 2017 immediately after global lock. Absolutely AP. notice RW block.
- 184.108.40.206 — IP info EGI Hosting, Germany no global WMF
- IP info EGI Hosting “spam source”
Maybe”Chuck” may be John Fuerst. What he mentioned there leads me, finally, to “Krom.” He quotes the alleged creator of his own article and the Kirkegaard article: “I created both their entries at Rationalwiki”… and that then can be found with Google. Krom1991 wrote that. Unless he was lying, then, Krom1991 is BenSteigmans, an impersonation account that started both articles. Krom1991 is involved in massive flame warring with Michaeldsuarez, there on Reddit, and MDS is also a common AP target.
On RationalWiki, Krom “retired” in 2015, but he is still a sysop there (so he can see ordinary deleted material). His parting comments reveal what was important to him. This could be Anglo Pyramidologist, the original, the one who complained about his brother socking on Wikipedia. But they are both highly disruptive.
(Note: with older articles, behavior becomes less crisply visible, interests shifted, perhaps. Some identifications here could be opposite POV. AP does create socks that give the opposite of his POV. These are likely to be very transient.)
- Boglin … AP topics, last edit is re mikemikev
- Scythes ?
- 220.127.116.11 ? IP info Australia WMF global (very unlikely to be AP)
- 18.104.22.168 ? — IP info Telus Vancouver WMF global (nothing relevant)
- 22.214.171.124 ?
- 126.96.36.199 ?
- Dust77 ?
- 188.8.131.52 ?
- 184.108.40.206 ?
- 220.127.116.11 ?
- 18.104.22.168 ?
- Arcticos extremely likely
- Social_Justice_Warrior (mentioned on talk. probable impersonation)
- 22.214.171.124 ?
- JohnFuerstwithhispantsdown (see this edit, pure AP)
- Faulty_Logic ?
- Lysdexia ?
This OldWatch edit is remarkable:
Krom/Schizophrenic/Forests/DinosCrisis/Goosebumps are all the same person.
All the same guy. He’s a patient at Nightingale Hospital London being treated for Schizophrenia.
Krom, Schizophrenic, and Goosebumps, maybe, even probably AP. [Krom is certain, admitted.] Forests (retired) and Dinoscrisis (retired) may be red herrings. Forests’ contribution history leads to a pile of AP obsessions, claims and counterclaims of impersonation, and user names that have been repeated many times by AP socks. Massive disruption has been going on for a long time. So who is OldWatch? The name smells “AP.” Looking at edits led me to a massive pile of AP socks not yet documented on Talk:Human Varieties.(and the article, which became a redirect to John Fuerst, but history is still public.)
In this edit, (outing, by the way), OldWatch’s interests reveal he is likely the sockmaster behind the attack on Ben Steigmann using impersonation socks on Wikipedia, then on Wikiversity, and then on me there (for exposing it) and on meta, and on to RationalWiki. [This would probably be Darryl Smith, not Oliver, and it would be Oliver described as being in the hospital…. or the entire sequence is trolling.)
An AP tactic is to disruptively doxx himself, with a disposable sock, in an attempt to create the idea of a crazy conspiracy theory. So the implausible Nightingale Hospital story is tacked onto a piece of reality. However, apparently AP has acknowledged being schizophrenic, so maybe it’s true.
Having conclusively identified from technical evidence that at least one of these socks is connected with the others and with a specific location, I have started to look at other internet information about the person (and the IP address). This person is blocked and banned in many places. He is blocked on RationalWiki (under various accounts, and connecting them there, so far, is forbidden.)
- David1234 retired sysop, one of at least 3 socks that are (still) RW sysops. Many red flags.
- Ben_Steigmann might actually be Steigmann, but Steigmann impersonation is an AP specialty
- Viharo ?
- RBryant ?
- Tenchu2 (blocked as if Rome Viharo — hilarious!)
- Skeptical (Created as first edit) [also above]
- MrOrganic (immed, hidden edits) [also above]
- RV prob. Rome Viharo impersonation
- 126.96.36.199 geolocation
- Crank_destroyer [also above]
- 188.8.131.52 geolocation
- 184.108.40.206 geolocation
- SkepticDave Obvious from contribs.
deleted revisions, hiding exposure of AP.
- 17:54, 23 September 2017 CheeseburgerFace changed visibility of 7 revisions on page Talk:Laird Shaw: (Inappropriate comment or personal information)
- 17:52, 23 September 2017 CheeseburgerFace changed visibility of a revision on page Talk:Laird Shaw: content hidden and edit summary hidden (Inappropriate comment or personal information)
- 17:51, 23 September 2017 CheeseburgerFace changed visibility of a revision on page Talk:Laird Shaw: content hidden, edit summary hidden and username hidden (Inappropriate comment or personal information)
- 17:49, 23 September 2017 CheeseburgerFace changed visibility of a revision on page Talk:Laird Shaw: content hidden and edit summary hidden (Good call from BoNs)
- I notice that Heyguy, who was being harassed by the SPA edit (first account above), giving two real names (Rome Viharo and Ben Steigmann) is blocked, but Rome Viharo Krom heyguy is not blocked. Heyguy was accused of revealing personal information, and this was hidden by RoninMacbeth, whereas sections on Talk:Heyguy remain as attempted doxxing of Heyguy.Cheeseburger Face intervened, semiprotecting the Talk page for a short time, which stopped the IP edits. However, CF appears to consider Heyguy to be the Badguy. He blocked him. and revision-deleted his comments. But he left, with dismissive comments, attempted doxxing on the Talk page he protected.Apparently it is acceptable to real-name doxx alleged socks of “cranks and crackpots,” but not “RationalWiki users,” and cranks and crackpots don’t count as RationalWiki users, who are all sober skeptics, valuable volunteers and promoters of critical thinking. Unless.This is general RationalWiki insanity, not merely the Smith brothers, the more-or-less ordinary RW community enables these highly disruptive socks. RoninMacbeth attempted some amelioration, and blocked the sock who reverted her, but must have seen the rest that came down, including Cheeseburger Face’s collapse of her comment as “Drama.” and did nothing. This edit by a clear Smith sock (archive) stands on User:Heyguy.MrOrganic created the RationalWiki Smith brothers conspiracy theory article, which was deleted as harassment, allegedly as Rome Viharo content. But MrOrganic has not been blocked; rather his targets have been blocked. At some point, this all becomes Obvious Obvious. What MrOrganic wrote:
Calm down, take a chill-pill
What appears to be the problem? This is a website that covers pseudo-science; Mr. Laird is a pseudo-scientist who believes in some crazy things. Why is it a problem if someone adds an entry on him here? You can avoid an entry on this website by being rational; if you believe in irrational things you might get an entry written here. So calm down sir.MrOrganic (talk) 16:43, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
This is what the Smith brothers do: they attack others, on various fora. If anyone exposes them or frustrates their agenda, they attack that person, if they think they have found a vulnerability. They create impersonation socks and attack socks, many of them. They attempt to coerce and intimidate (they threatened Wikiversity with an avalance of socks). And they create revenge articles on RationalWiki, commonly exaggerating the beliefs or alleged beliefs of their targets.
Everyone on the planet “believes in irrational things,” at least occasionally. If that were the goal of RationalWiki, there would be endless content. Notice: the standard for article creation is really that someone has challenged the agenda of MrOrganic, who is one of the Smith brothers, I have no doubt. The article on me was created by Marky, and followed threats to attack my work (on meta, the WMF coordinating wiki).
What is odd about this comment is that it appears to assume that there is not already an article on Heyguy. I.e., that Heyguy is not actually Rome Viharo. (I don’t know and I have not asked, and it doesn’t matter.)
The RationalWiki community tolerates this. They treat any outraged response — or response they imagine is outraged — as “drama,” but the drama is largely created by these attack dogs. RW sysops block the targets, not the dogs. (Some of the attack accounts are blocked, but these users do not care; one of them expressed how much he loved that RW had no Checkuser. They use open proxies or other anonymous access facilities (i.e., they do what they accuse others of, but they do it prolifically. This sock master is obsessed, insane … and useful to others with a more coherent agenda. Conspiracy theory? Sometimes there are defacto conspiracies with no organization, and there are also organizations involved, such as Guerilla Skeptics or the James Randi Educational Foundation. There are indications — from AP socks bragging! — of being paid.)
James Randi is an obvious crank. (Being a crank does not mean that one’s position on some issue is wrong, crank is about obsession and narrow thinking.) Smith is an obvious crank. If internet notoriety is enough to create sufficient notability for an article, there should be one. But, of course, this would be “doxxing.” Wait? Doxxing of whom? Articles are created about real people, not usually accounts. Then if the real person is identified as having accounts, those are sometimes allowed to be mentioned. Certainly this has been allowed for Rome Viharo!
- BenSteigmans creates as first edit. (also listed above)
- 220.127.116.11 ?
- 18.104.22.168 ?
- Welliver connected with AP Commons image
- Skeptical (also noted above)
- Fuerst probably not Fuerst though blocked as such
- “Chuck” Fuerst? Maybe but maybe not.
- 22.214.171.124 ?
- John_chuck_Fuerst Fuerst? Not.
- Asgardian (shown above)
As I find them:
(Started as an article on Joshua Connor Moon)
RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/Joshua Conner Moon
- 126.96.36.199 claims to be former RW sysop. IP and duck test reveals this as a likely AP sock. Virgin Media geolocation. See also WMF activity. This is conclusive.
- Nitro_Man (possible)
- 188.8.131.52 O2 mobile, geolocation consistent with AP, IP range to be documented. See WMF activities from range. Very likely AP from duck test there.
- NateSpidgewood possible.
The close is quite funny, and shows possible covert support for AP. David Gerard headed it with “Result: no consensus possible, discussion crapped up.” But who “crapped it up?” Essentially, the users who wanted the article kept, so they got what they wanted by “crapping up the discussion,” and they have done this many times. The discussion was crapped up by the sock master who either created the article or worked on it quickly. If David Gerard doesn’t know that, he is colossally dumb, and I don’t think he is. I will eventually be writing about the role of those who have enabled AP socks. Some do so out of ignorance, but I’m coming to think there is more going on than that, at least on occasion. Others are already convinced. I’m not, not yet, but … becoming suspicious. And when I am suspicious and curious, I research and when someone starts shooting at me for doing the research, and lies about it (as AP has done, many times), I then suspect strongly that I’m onto something. Drawing fire is a way to expose a sniper.
- Anti-Fascist_for_life created this very obvious revenge article. Eventually, I will link to the WMF threats.
Callum E. Cooper
This article was mentioned in a private message published by Rome Viharo, November 21, 2017, wherein a claim was made of continued creation of articles on RationalWiki.
- DangerZone created article as first edit, October 22, 2017.
While this is an AP pattern, no AP claims can be trusted. I consider DangerZone likely to be AP,. but not as fully established as other socks. See Talk:Callum E. Cooper, where DangerZone outs Carter82 as Cooper. (I had already concluded that before seeing this, it was obvious, but RW sysops freely block users for doxxing (and this was doxxing) unless the doxxed users are targets of AP, in which case it’s unusual. I have seen much doxxing by AP socks on RW with no action to hide it or sanction the user, but AP himself, as Skeptical, indef blocks users for doing less, calling it “doxxing,” (a user claiming sock puppetry — which has been Obvious Obvious — is not necessarily doxxing, that’s very well-established on Wikipedia.)
It would take deeper study to distinguish AP socks from imitators, which might exist. AP has made many, many enemies. (And AP socks retire, claiming harassment as the reason, good example is Wikipedia HealthyGirl) Mostly AP socks disappear after a time, few create long contribution histories.
That Talk page comment points to a podcast interviewing Cooper which purports to describe Wikipedia experience, behavior that is well-known among Wikipedia critics, abusive editing. This is not the point here, but the behavior is pseudoskepticism, not genuine skepticism. The claim that anyone studying parapsychology is a “pseudoscientist” is remarkable, because that would make CSI, originally CSICOP, “pseudoscientific,” i.e., the “Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal,” and any serious study will generate evidences in various directions and then the scientific process attempts to sort them and understand them, through, hopefully, controlled experiment. Errors can be made, but error does not make one a “pseudoscientist” and someone who studies parapsychology is not, then, a “pseudoscience promoter.” That’s confusing science with the object of scientific study; as if it is a belief. (Untestable beliefs, if claimed to be scientific, are “pseudoscience.” But debunkers use the word very loosely.)
This is routine on RationalWiki, it is not just AP socks. In some places, a better RW understanding is manifest, but AP socks entirely jump on the full “debunking” bandwagon, with high sarcasm and snark. (And few stop them.) That also happens to a lesser degree on Wikipedia, where almost 200 AP socks have been checkusered and blocked. Cooper mentions a Wikipedia biography, and information that was added that was cherry-picked, incomplete. It was added by this user, blocked as an AP sock. In the interview, however, Cooper appears to be talking about RationalWiki, the article on him, not “Wikipedia” as he says. I was unable to find records of his experience on Wikipedia.
Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia
- DangerZone “GSoW conspiracy theory”? GSOW is a real organization, with a mission. It’s open about it, though not necessarily about all activities. This kind of accusation has been made by many AP socks. The Conspiracy Theory du Jour.
Angelo John Gage
- Gelzer created article. Congratulated by Skeptical blocked for doxxing 7 Nov 2017 definitely AP sock, created articles trolling Mikemikev/Michael Coombs.
Wife with a Purpose
- Anti-Fascist_for_life created article
I notice that David Gerard removed over three days of discussion: November 30, 2016, to December 3, 2016. (159 intermediate revisions by 29 users not shown) The edits have been suppressed, not merely hidden, so ordinary RW sysops cannot see them. There is an explanation:
”’The remainder of this section has been nuked by unanimous board resolution.”’ No, you can’t use RationalWiki as platform to call living people paedophiles, allude to claims of them being paedophiles, link to claims them being paedophiles, etc be banned. You’d think this was simple well-understood rule which made obvious sense in every way, but it appears not – David Gerard 3 December </ins2016 (UTC)
- (AP socks have violated this, but a policy with no enforcement is meaningless.)
- This account goes beyond legal threats, threatening real-world attack. The threat. Blocked? No, but mention Anglo Pyramidologist socks and they come after you with pitchforks. However, the edit was reverted within minutes by a regular.
This about a complaint to the host for Rome Viharo’s site was pretty funny. Follow the URL and you can see that message. My guess is that many sites might display the same, with the right URL. Did it actually get suspended? That can happen for lots of reasons, including complaints, and may happen temporarily while the host investigates. Correlation is not causation. The site is up and running. I just checked. Yes. That message displays with sites that are not suspended. If the sock did what he is claiming to have done, it was harassment.
An archive.is copy was loaded 10 November, 2016 as redirected from the primary URL. That would be an actual suspension message. It appears to have lasted at least until 14 November, 2016. Details are not clear.
- https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Tuna article creation used to troll a user. This was pure trolling, no mere disagreement.
- 184.108.40.206 ? IP Vodafone Kabel Germany
- 220.127.116.11 ? Greece
- 18.104.22.168 ? Cogent, California (very unlikely AP)
- 22.214.171.124 certainly not AP! but proxy server
London Conference on Intelligence
This appears to be a long-term AP habit. I first became aware of AP socks impersonating another user on Wikipedia, see the Wikipedia study. The same persons have often been impersonated on RationalWiki.
The goal is to discredit the person and, remarkably, sometimes, to discredit revelations of the nature of AP socking by presenting it in a voice that appears biased and disruptive, irritating the community.
I recently saw impersonations of Rome Viharo on Wikipedia. (Admins treat them as if clearly Viharo, which is extremely unlikely.) And today I found impersonations of me, treated by RationalWiki admin as if me. See below.
Rome Viharo has assured me that the following three accounts were not him and that he doesn’t know who they were. As with Ben Steigmann socks on Wikipedia, they were blatantly socks or the like, and were “too good to be true” if the goal was to ban the user’s contributions. In the mind of some wiki users, cranks are eager to promote themselves and don’t care if it is disruptive or will be reverted and the accounts blocked. Of course, in this regard, the Royalty of Cranks is Anglo Pyramidologist. I high recommend suspecting that any account that claims to be Mister Crank be suspected as an impersonation. There is an account listed above that openly claimed to be Oliver Smith. I suspect impersonation … but Smith socks have also revealed apparently true details, and so the reality is not clear merely from the edits. That “Oliver here” sock had previously appeared to be a Smith sock, and the actual edits were standard Smith argument.
“PhilosophyFellow” was accused of being a sock of Rome Viharo (tumbleman) on Wikipedia. The user was tagged as a sock, but this was not actually confirmed by checkuser; it was the “duck test,” presumably, which can fail if examining someone somehow connected with the alleged sock master. It can fail simply if a user has an unusual point of view. However, Rome Viharo would know that this name would be immediately recognized.
I did not ask Viharo about “KateGombert,” but the only edit of KateGombert was to create two pages:
“KateGombert” is also a suspected Wikipedia sock of tumbleman. This is complex. Rome Viharo, however, would definitely not use that name. Someone who wanted this to appear to be Rome might. It worked, see the block log.
Kate’s deleted contributions:
- 04:21, 9 January 2018 (diff) . . The Attack of David Gerard’s 50ft troll farm and the RationalWiki hustles (Created page with “What Trent Toulouse doesn’t tell you is that their community of editors are literal “trolls”, a huge portion has only a high school diploma (according to their own surve…”)
- 04:20, 9 January 2018 (diff) . . The Attack of David Gerard’s 50ft troll farm and the RationalWiki hustle (Created page with “What Trent Toulouse doesn’t tell you is that their community of editors are literal “trolls”, a huge portion has only a high school diploma (according to their own surve…”)
The content was taken from Rome’s blog — which was not linked. Brilliant article, by the way. Factually correct (generally, at least, I will write a detailed critique), and the interpretations seem plausible, from what I personally know. The deletion log:
- 04:23, 9 January 2018 CheeseburgerFace deleted page The Attack of David Gerard’s 50ft troll farm and the RationalWiki hustle (content was: “What Trent Toulouse doesn’t tell you is that their community of editors are literal “trolls”, a huge portion has onl…”, and the only contributor was “KateGombert“
- 04:17, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie deleted page The Attack of David Gerard’s 50ft troll farm and the RationalWiki hustle (content was: “Trent probably doesn’t want to tell his fundraisers that RationalWiki’s own editors are impersonating t…”, and the only contributor was “Philosophyfellow“
FRIEND OF ROME VIHARO‘s contributions:
Classic AP trolling. The content was only: “WIKIPEDIA WE HAVE A PROBLEM HAS DEBUNKED RATIONALWIKI [[Category:Rome Viharo is a legend]]”
It takes two 2 tango ‘s contribution is diagnostic that this is not Rome Viharo. AP commonly archives a page before citing it, and this was so archived. I would not do this for a reference to my own blog. Why link to something inflexible? Heh! I’m archiving the edit because I have seen that evidence I pointed to on RationalWiki had a way of disappearing, In one case, an edit that connected recent socks with older Wikipedia AP socks was clearly suppressed entirely, no trace, even to a sysop, which takes high-level intervention. Rome is onto something.
- 04:32, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie changed block settings for KateGombert with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Spam: Get a life Rome)
- 04:22, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie blocked KateGombert with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled) (Spam)
- 04:24, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie blocked Philosophyfellow with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Spam)
- 04:43, 9 January 2018 GrammarCommie blocked FRIEND OF ROME VIHARO with an expiration time of π×infinity! (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Harassment)
- 00:07, 9 January 2018 Cosmikdebris blocked It takes two 2 tango with an expiration time of 3.14 months (account creation disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (Unfunny vandalism: Rome Viharo troll and spam)
GrammarCommie and Cosmikdebris are RW regulars, not suspected by me to be socks. However, they have clearly swallowed the deception, and this has been going on for a long time. The real offense here was impersonation, but by labelling this “Rome Viharo troll,” the users are implementing the AP attack agenda. AP has created hosts of socks, in one case, so that another sock could quickly block them.
Indeed, GrammarCommie recently tangled with an AP sock, DrWitt. Notice, DrWitt had hidden revisions on a claim of doxxing, and GC reverted those because he found no doxxing. AP has done this many times. See the page log.
So, looking at the Dr. Witt user page, I see that he has retired, using the same template as many RW AP socks. I am not the only person to notice this…. The page shows my name, as a file link. Looking at page history, the first edit, January 8, was the text: “The man with a million accounts, apparently.” Then the next edit added a photo of me, with the caption, “Crazy old man.” The connection?
I never claimed a million accounts. I have not claimed a thousand, but it might be possible. One of the socks claimed 700 accounts on RationalWiki, and there are more than 190 socks identified on Wikipedia, more at meta … and there is at least one “isolated sock master” that was clearly him. (RationalWiki does not prohibit socking; it is part of the lulz there; however they block accounts — or allow blocking by socks — that simply describe what has been happening, even when it is not “doxxing.”
See the subpage on Dr. Witt and the diagnostic discussion that ensued when he retired in a burst of smoke and bad smell.
- AbdLomax created 04:13, 16 February 2018, edited Chicken coop with summary “sockpupeteer on this wiki with allegedly 700 accounts: new section,”, revision-deleted, summary “(Possible Doxxing. Please doublecheck my findings to be sure.) ” and account blocked by GrammarCommie for “(Block evasion)” Whose block was evaded? I’m not site banned, there was no cooping either for the removal of sysop privileges, nor for an indef block. I should be able to appeal (and the classic and non-disruptive way to appeal a block is to register a new account there. That has almost always been permitted except for actually banned users. Perhaps I registered the account to do that. Except I didn’t. This is a classic AP trick, creating disruptive impersonation socks. And administrators everywhere, elevated above competence, fall for it. Seeing that happen on Wikipedia, I confronted it, filing checkuser requests to confirm it, and that led to an AP vendetta, all the while accusing me of vendetta, and others, clueless and ignorant, take it up and act on that idea.
As to “doxxing,” that post (vandalism as posted) was a copy of the original AP study on RationalWiki, which contained no doxxing, in spite of claims that it did. It contained a list of accounts, with no mention of real names behind the accounts. GrammarCommie didn’t read it, obviously. I would not have posted this old study, which contained many early inaccuracies — and many suspicions that were later confirmed.
- ColdFusion created 04:34, 16 February 2018, 04:39 vandalized Abd ul-Rahman Lomax by replacing all content with the contents of this page — which would certainly not be allowed on RationalWiki, unless something changes radically, blocked by GrammarCommie, and apparently the user name was considered so Awful that it was hidden when the content was also hidden as “possible doxxing.” (Yes. This page now contains the name of Oliver D. Smith. If I wanted to link to a page here, I’d create one that is scrubbed.
It would appear that GC imagines that I was that user. AP does this to create a confirmation for RW users that an AP target is disruptive, then creating higher reactivity if the actual target shows up. I’ve seen a number of examples of this in this study, and it is currently going on on Wikipedia.
I am assuming that GrammarCommie is not AP. AP, however, may have some long-term “good hand” accounts. (He has certainly claimed that about Wikipedia, and it has happened that long-term accounts — not his obvious pattern — were accidentally exposed by checkuser, a strong example being GoblinFace, but there have been others.
- Oliver D. Smith, blog post, January 30, 2018: “Near the start of 2016, I created Emil O. W. Kirkegaard’s and John Fuerst’s RationalWiki articles.”