Meta/User talk:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist

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Correction of errors in this study, concerns about privacy

I have made every effort to be accurate on this page and to provide supporting evidence for any significant claims. If any report here is inaccurate, or in error, or violates privacy policies, any autoconfirmed user may correct it or remove it. For privacy violations, remove them without comment and email me (or privately ask a sysop to rev-del). Do not openly discuss privacy violations, there is are email addresses for privacy concerns. (See Requests for oversight. This is not an attack on any person, but is about accounts, and is a description of a known family of socks, active more widely than on Wikipedia alone, known as Anglo Pyramidologist there, see the Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Anglo_Pyramidologist/Archive and with the addition of information from recent meta steward and administrator activity, and Wikiversity as well.

This page is intended to be in compliance with the Wikipedia policy on harassment, which I consider to reasonably cover all the wikis. This study does not attempt to reveal the real-name person or persons behind the Anglo Pyramidologist socks. I have information relevant to that, including private technical evidence, but will only reveal that, privately, on the request of a WMF functionary with the right to access private information.

For ordinary errors, correction is invited, which may be prior to discussion, and explanations belong on this talk page. AP socks have attempted to vandalize this page, which is why it is protected. Please do not revert war with me, however, should I not accept the correction. I am responsible for content in the study, until it is edited and probably condensed and moved to mainspace, but please discuss alleged errors here. I am in no rush.

This study aims to be broader and possibly more useful than the Wikipedia documentation, because far more attention is being paid, more effort to neutrally identify behavioral patterns. Wikipedia sometimes errs in sock identifications, but does not aim for accuracy, rather for immediate protection of the project. --Abd (talk) 20:15, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Speedy deletion request removed

(edit conflict with below added section by same user) This edit added a speedy deletion tag to the user page, giving the reason:

Stalking, attack piece on AngloPyramidologist. Abd has had person beef with AngloPyramidologist for years, he accuses this user of 'impersonations' but has no technical evidence and his presenting his libellous allegations as factual

First, this page is a study of an alleged LTA , currently active by creating many sock puppets which show up, with very little edit history, freshly registered (so far), and making very recognizable, consistently pointed arguments. They are often outright lies.

This is a documentation of wiki history with some level of analysis. It is not an "attack," unless documenting the behavior of a person is an attack. It can be, if cherry-picked. However, the remedy for cherry-picking is to pick the rest of the cherries. Conclusions can be and should be set off as such.

I never knew who Anglo Pyramidologist was until about a week ago, when I discovered the impersonations (and impersonation is no longer in any reasonable doubt. What could be doubted is that AP is the puppet master. Actual decision on that, if needed, will wait until a global lock or global ban request, and decision will not be up to me. If AP is innocent, he is long gone and doesn't care. Someone else, then, cares very much. The evidence on this page shows the long-term activity, and it was only recently that other "puppet masters" were connected with AP. If that's an error, it could be corrected.

So he is lying about a "person[al] beef with "AngloPyramidologist." I notice the spelling, twice (and I saw this elsewhere from him). Disruptive users will often mispell a name if they want to create confusion, since there is no account by that name. There is also no global account, because AP was blocked before SUL, I think. The Wikipedia SPI archive is for Anglo Pyramidologist.

At this point, this page had not been linked from anywhere public, other than being shown in my meta or global edit history. Given the obvious point of view of the tagger here, that person is very likely the current disruptive sock master, searching my contributions for something to attack, and a checkuser request will be filed for this and certain other pending socks, most obvious, and, so far, these requests are turning up sleepers that then expand the available information. So far, every request has been a complete hit. This is obvious obvious. Stewards are now locking accounts on sight, but that takes time.

I am still not at all ready to publish the information here, but it is far more efficient to draft this on meta than to do it elsewhere. No evidence is presented in the speedy deletion tag, so it could not be actioned without discussion, hence I removed it. I will revert disruptive edits to this user page by SPAs without further comment. However, I will continue to assume good faith for normal registered users, and especially invite -- even from SPAs -- correction of errors. Find an error, as an SPA, get to see your edit kept! Or at least part of it with a link to the full! --Abd (talk) 00:35, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

You have 0 technical evidence to link AngloPyramidologist to the alleged bannings of Ben Steigmann in 2017 (which you call impersonations). You say this user has impersonated Steigmann but you have no evidence to prove this. Note that AngloPyramidologist also claims to have brothers and sisters and other family members, you have no clue to who or what has edited from his IP range.
You are not an admin here, and you have no technical evidence to link an old account AngloPyramidologist to a 2017 new user: Michael Skater. So what you are writing is slander. Do you not get this? Your entire case study is creepy and not normal behaviour for a wiki. Would you like it if someone starting writing negative things about yourself? The aim of Meta-Wiki is not to spend time stalking Wikipedia users and writing negative things about them. At the very least you should use a disclaimer notice that your 'evidence' is not proven fact, these are all your allegations. AngloPyramidologist has denied your allegations, you are trying to damage this person's Wikipedia name by claiming he 'impersonates' people. He has denied all of your allegations. I am very tired of this. I wish you would move on in your life, delete all of this. You are causing serious unneeded drama. From a tower (talk) 00:55, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Claims of error

The same user who tagged this user page also left an edit on my Talk page, reverted for basic principles as can be seen in w:WP:RBI. Stewards are currently reverting and locking these accounts on site, so my own behavior is certainly not extreme. However, this was what the SPA wrote (with interspersed response by me):

Pottinger's Cats

You can contact Ben Steigmann through Facebook (he made this public many times on his Wikipedia/Wikiversity account or over email. He has admitted to being Pottinger's Cats. If you look through that users edits it matches to Ben's interest in spamming pseudoscience onto Wikipedia and promoting conspiracy theories [1] about a New World Order. Just ask Ben and he will confirm that account was him. Please stop writing misinformation about non-existent 'impersonations'.

While the expression of a particular point of view can be diagnostic of socking, it is far from conclusive in itself. Timing can also be important, and context, and other behavioral evidences. "Spamming pseudoscience onto Wikipedia" is the description of someone far from neutral, and that is why this user has been blocked, in many incarnations, on Wikipedia. I have not examined the edits of Pottinger's Cats, but what I've seen of other recent Ben Steigmann editing, none of it looked like this description to me.

Pottinger's Cats has not edited since 2013. This is one dead horse being beaten here. Was Steigmann Pottinger's Cats?

You wrote "possible impersonation". Can you please remove that false claim? You also say "Ben Steigmann was almost certainly the real Ben Steigmann", no, it is 100% the real Ben Steigmann.

You also wrote "My conclusion: Blastikus is not banned on Wikipedia". I do not understand this, he is perm banned:[2]

He is correct. He does not understand -- or he's lying. Here is a ban discussion for Blastikus. It failed. Being blocked with no talk page access, as happened to Blastikus in 2011, is sometimes called a "defacto ban", but it is not actually a ban, and any administrator may unblock. But how will the administrator find out? Well, how about email? (None of the Blastikus/Ben Steigmann actual accounts, including Pottinger's Cat, have email enabled. But they are not globally locked, so they could log in and enable email, and then could email an administrator or a list. How about someone else files a request, and that can be done on occasion? Ben Steigmann was unblocked on Wikiversity with no request by Ben.
Pottinger's Cat still has talk page enabled. So does the Wikipedia account for Ben Steigmann. The real name account is the account he would probably use for an unblock request, and this time, if he wants to go that way and listens to advice, he will be unblocked -- or told exactly what to do to cause that to eventually happen. This is all quite straightforward, but AP knows nothing about it -- or lies. Of Ben wants it, he can get a "clean start" account. His socking was not beyond limits for that, my opinion. The blast of impersonation accounts may have helped, he might readily be seen as an unfortunate victim. But he is responsible for actual socking, including, to a degree, IP socking. AP is still IP socking and recently. I am not yet showing that, to keep this away from the "revealing personal information" edge. But it can be done, under proper conditions.

"09:44, 5 June 2011 DangerousPanda (talk | contribs) changed block settings for Blastikus (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of indefinite (account creation blocked, cannot edit own talk page) (Still making attacks in unblocks)"

Yes. That is not what a ban notice looks like. Here is one, from 2011 also, mine. The difference is that for me, someone would have to create an unban discussion, or appeal to the Arbitration Committee, and I have never attempted this because I truly abandoned Wikipedia as being far more trouble than it was worth. Anything I really need to do there, I know how to do it within policy, quite well. I was banned because of a single sock, non-disruptive, but ... it was still socking, and I had a purpose, which has all been documented elsewhere. I discovered what I wanted to know. The original Wikipedia fundamental policies had died, somewhere along the road, and few noticed. Maybe they are only sleeping. So I left the project in the hands of the community, where it does belong.

You also say it illegal, you do not mention what was 'illegal'. It is not illegal to create sock-puppets on Wikipedia.

Probably not. However, when I edited Wikipedia by IP for a short time, an Arbitrator, who happened to also be a lawyer, sent me a threatening email. I responded like I would to any lawyer, tell him politely that surely he knew better and could stuff it. He gave up and I never actually got a formal letter. As to the legal issue, you don't really know until there is a test case. Want to volunteer? Keep it up and piss them off enough, you might find out. But I know of no case. However, that's not the issue.

It is not 'illegal' to use the name "Steigmann" on the internet.

This gets dicier. If the effect of using the name is defamation it can be libel, which can be quite illegal. In this case, there was a clear intention to harm. I am not threatening anything, but a legal question was raised here. I think there are cases, but nobody is paying me to do legal research. I would say to a friend "Don't do that. Don't touch it with a ten-foot pole." Unless you are fully prepared to take the heat. It could cost plenty to defend yourself even if you prevail. The police can get server records, can penetrate normal privacy. And even a civil plaintiff can get them. Basic rule: do not piss people off unless you have a critical interest to defend. Then, you pay your money and you take your choice. You can even collect donations, if the cause has an appeal.

You also have failed to mention that Ben got into trouble with Wikipedia admins for making anti-Semitic comments.

This is probably untrue. Not that he made "anti-Semitic comments," I don't know, but he got into trouble, it's quite plain, for putting up long arguments, thus irritating enough Wikipedians that they acted to stop it. It's not uncommon with noobs, and, of course, he made long arguments with his unblock requests which got his talk page access shut down. If "anti-semitic" was a part of it, I have not read carefully enough to know, and don't care. This was a young man six years ago. Young people often advocate stupid ideas, and, indeed, it may be the fastest way to learn they are stupid, if one is willing to learn.

On his public Facebook page he admits to being a racist. If you do some research on this individual you will see he is a white supremacist with links to the far-right. Your 'case' study is thus defending a racist/anti-Semite/white supremacist. You really are doing yourself no favours. Take care. From a tower (talk) 22:11, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

I was a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1962, actually secretary of the Cal Tech chapter. I am defending the rights of human beings, and if someone is a "racist" they do not lose their rights. But I don't think this accurately describes Ben Steigmann now, and it might more accurately describe his accuser, here, but I'm not sure about that. I am sure about almost nothing from the behavior of this highly disruptive troll. And this is much more of an answer than he deserved. But he gets an answer once. If anyone else has any questions and is not an SPA that will immediately look like him, please, ask. --Abd (talk) 00:35, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

About the latest claim

About the claim on my User talk page. I have seen well enough to know that nothing this user writes can be trusted. Nothing. This much is in the record for Anglo Pyramidologist. There are claimed to be two brothers (and this is also reported by many on the internet.) They have distinct interests. The one most commonly identified with Anglo Pyramidologist is one brother, the other brother has an interest in "debunking quackery." This user is claiming to be, essentially, the second brother. However, the currently active identified socks show both interests. It is possible that they are identified by using the same internet access, so I cannot be sure that this sock is lying. However, it actually doesn't matter. By not blowing the whistle on the brother, the brother becomes responsible. I don't really care about the ultimate user, but about the effect, and this current user is claiming to have "four active Wikipedia accounts," and to be widely supported because Wikipedia administration allegedly loves what he does. While there may be some truth to that (i.e., he cloaks his activity within what can be popular in some circles), those administrators and other users are not responsible for his disruption. He is. And anyone sharing access with him will be held responsible as well if they allow that to happen.

He has claimed "no technical evidence." If I put up technical evidence, he will scream "outing," though he has done that himself many times. As I have stated, I will provide technical evidence to any WMF sysop with the privilege level to read IP addresses, with the understanding that it will be treated as confidential unless necessary to reveal. In other words, the usual.

I don't think it is necessary at this time. Long-term abusers can also learn how to run multiple accounts, it is not rocket science. However, it's a PITA and one slip and there can go a lot of work in a flash, unless you have high-level privileges, and, even then, using the tools like this can result in even more damage, and liars and sock puppeteers do slip, and that's how I got some of the evidence.

AP is here attempting to trick me into going after other Wikipedia users, and there is one obvious name that he has heavily and furiously defended (other than AP). That is partly how he works: creating impressions that then send people off on chases that get them in trouble. He has already tried it in this current situation, and this could be the same. I'm not falling for it. I have seen no problem editing from that user. The most I might do is to watch sometimes. Truth comes out, we don't actually have to dig, it just sprouts out of the ground all by itself, if we pay attention.

And if I do find evidence, I will not be pushing it through piles of sock puppets, it will all be done within policy, and with clear requests. If not, if I make mistakes, these are wikis. Mistakes can easily be fixed. I trust the stewards, in the long run, even though I have not always agreed with all of them. --Abd (talk) 02:12, 30 September 2017 (UTC)