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> The idiocy and the irony, banning nonsense goes full circle
Kato
post Sat 5th September 2009, 1:27pm
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QUOTE(Lar @ Sat 5th September 2009, 1:40pm) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 5th September 2009, 2:27am) *

Don't forget the one where 172 and Cognition are using the same Wi-Fi network... dry.gif

Apparently doesn't fit the available data the way the first three options do.

Admittedly, that would be a major coincidence. 172 actually had a run-in with Cognition in 2006 according to diffs and the chances of the same two people now sharing a Wi-Fi network is minimal.

No. The most likely explanation (amazing as it sounds) is that Cognition was a "black ops" account created to demonize Hersch and add fuel to the theory that LaRouchies were attacking WP. 172 seemed to work in a small tight group which included Adam Carr and Will Beback, and these guys were adamant that WP had fallen into the hands of conspiracy theorists. They clearly co-ordinated their exploits, and saw their anti LaRouche activities as a war. This was in the old days, when there really was a cabal. Fred Bauder and even Jimbo Wales were on the periphery, overseeing the anti-LaRouche campaign. And it is on record that Will Beback plotted "black ops" accounts against enemies. Slim was influential, but was almost certainly not party to this, if true.

Here's Cognition editing the article of Michael Danby, Adam Carr's real life boss.

On his user page, Cognition states that his "areas of expertise" include Bretton Woods system (T-H-L-K-D). 172 actually wrote that article back in 2004.

Here, Cognition sarcastically gives Slim a barnstar. Is this a spoof or is this genuine? It seems hysterical even for a LaRouchie.

As I said, if this is true, then it explains a lot about the history of Wikipedia - and the McCarthyite atmosphere that prevailed. It may turn out that even the pro-LaRouche behavior was in part a fake. This is important, not because it concerns LaRouche, but because it had repercussions on governance throughout the site which still resonate today.
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taiwopanfob
post Sat 5th September 2009, 2:30pm
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QUOTE(Lar @ Sat 5th September 2009, 12:40pm) *
Here the simpler technical explanation points to a much more complicated social explanation though... that 172 ran a con for a long time is rather a complex (social) explanation.


The reaction of Wikipedia to the LaRouche contingent has always been ridiculously over-the-top. That one of the anti-LaRouche people has been attacking Wikipedia to egg on the assuming-good-faithful administration at Wikipedia isn't so much of a surprise when one considers Mantanmoreland, Essjay, and the like.

Ha ha!

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=311922201

You see? It's all a Cognition issue, not that Mr. BeBack and the rest of the screeching fanatics were conned ... for years. Cognitive dissonance at it's finest! Will Wikipedia's logo soon decorate the definition of "terminally credulous"?


This post has been edited by taiwopanfob: Sat 5th September 2009, 2:36pm
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Herschelkrustofsky
post Sat 5th September 2009, 2:53pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 6:27am) *

No. The most likely explanation (amazing as it sounds) is that Cognition was a "black ops" account created to demonize Hersch and add fuel to the theory that LaRouchies were attacking WP.
That's not credible, because the Cognition who was editing back before I was banned had a detailed knowledge of LaRouchismo that would be nearly impossible to fake.


QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 6:27am) *

On his user page, Cognition states that his "areas of expertise" include Bretton Woods system (T-H-L-K-D). 172 actually wrote that article back in 2004.


And here, SV adds "ignorance" to Cognition's "areas of expertise."
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Kato
post Sat 5th September 2009, 3:45pm
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Slim reckons the black ops / stalking horse theory "was already discredited".

I'm not so sure.

It still looks more credible than Slim's belief in the outrageous coincidence that 172 and his nemesis were both editing from the same terminal.

Cognition's behaviour looks typical LaRouche and fakeable. Unless there is something in his profile that is simply too LaRouchesque for an imposter like 172 to fake, then surely the "black-ops" theory is the most likely? Hersch?
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Sat 5th September 2009, 4:01pm
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Is it possible that there is a huge technical glitch in the checkuser system?
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One
post Sat 5th September 2009, 4:08pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 3:45pm) *

It still looks more credible than Slim's belief in the outrageous coincidence that 172 and his nemesis were both editing from the same terminal.

Actually, it would have to be a "following each other around from terminal to terminal" theory, which pushes it beyond even unreasonable doubt--something like saying Cognition used the same home address and internet cafe. As Thatcher explains at the bottom of this section, the residential IP is considered a direct hit, but they also shared a more public access point.

It's a compromised account or Cognition really was a bad hand (or other increasingly unlikely events like IP table failure, etc.)
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Hell Freezes Over
post Sat 5th September 2009, 4:11pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 3:45pm) *

Cognition's behaviour looks typical LaRouche and fakeable. Unless there is something in his profile that is simply too LaRouchesque for an imposter like 172 to fake, then surely the "black-ops" theory is the most likely? Hersch?


I think it would be quite hard to fake this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Req....7BCognition.7D

"Chip Berlet is a 5 cent thug in a long-range Aristotelian network, an evil, Venetian-based clique which has found its most demonic individuals in men such as Bertrand Russell, the advocate of nuclear genocide; Adolf Hitler, a perverted figure of anti-christ calibre who was installed into power by British bankers; and the Beatles, generals of a literal "British Invasion," doped-up zombie devils whose atrocious personal lives matched the Satanic musical presentation of their pop songs." smile.gif

This post has been edited by Hell Freezes Over: Sat 5th September 2009, 4:14pm
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MBisanz
post Sat 5th September 2009, 4:30pm
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I don't know anything about the current players in this particular incident, but I would tend to agree that multiple moving CU hits tends to establish a connection better than most other methods. If PoetGuy, RickK, Lightmouse, Mantanmoreland, et. al. have taught us anything, it is apparently very easy to maintain multiple accounts over a very long period of time without detection. If anything, I suspect CUs are on the cautious side and rarely check synchronicities they see (like similar editing times, similar topics, etc) unless there is an outside request, just because they tend to be swamped with other requests and their own editing.

Of course the other issue to look at is that 172 has not denied being Cognition or even asked for unblock. I often wonder why people insist on defending/appealing on the behalf of persons who can't even be bothered to deny the accusation. Aren't there enough people actively asking for unblock (via CAT:UNB, unblock-l, #-unblock, BASC, etc.) to fill the admin's workload? I do think so.
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Somey
post Sat 5th September 2009, 4:50pm
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First of all, the WP database definitely is f**cked up, to the point where I should probably stop using asterisks in that word. Look at those dates, WP'ers - does that look right to you folks? I don't think even WR has ever had anything like that happen, and we've definitely had our share of problems in that area.

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Sat 5th September 2009, 9:53am) *
QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 6:27am) *
No. The most likely explanation (amazing as it sounds) is that Cognition was a "black ops" account created to demonize Hersch and add fuel to the theory that LaRouchies were attacking WP.
That's not credible, because the Cognition who was editing back before I was banned had a detailed knowledge of LaRouchismo that would be nearly impossible to fake.

Nearly impossible for whom, though? I'd tend to disagree with this - someone like Adam Carr or Will Beback, or even King & Berlet, probably got at least some of their information by reading uncritical commentaries and essays written by Larouche supporters. At some point they might easily have reached the point where they could imitate it.

Also, the fact that he was mainly active only during that few weeks in Summer '05 actually makes it more likely to me that the account was a "stalking horse" sock puppet, not less. Remember to always look at the first article edit - in this case, changing the photo for the article on Immanuel Kant. I'll admit it's not out of the realm of possibility, but is that normal for an inexperienced first-time editor? I don't think it is, and the anti-Larouche people on WP must not have thought so either at the time, because they quickly assumed he was a sock puppet of either HK or someone named "C Colden." (Also, the account might have been active longer if it hadn't been banned, obviously.)

The thing about User:Cognition, based on a closer look at his contribs, is that s/he always got reverted, in most cases very quickly:

Chip Berlet:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...&oldid=17992862

The Beatles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...&oldid=17880311

Australian Larouche Youth Movement:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...&oldid=18529862

Moreover, Cognition was clearly Australian - his hours of activity were the same as Carr's, often responding to Carr's talk page entries within five minutes, whereas he sometimes took several hours to respond to SlimVirgin, who presumably was/is in Canada. Cognition's spelling is British (favored by Aussies), not American - s/he "apologises," and doesn't "apologize," for example.

Incidentally, this actually got me confused about HK, too, back in 2006 - because of Carr, the number of Larouche-related conflicts involving Australia was so much greater than one would have expected, I guessed (wrongly) that HK was also Australian. (I was a little less experienced at the time, of course.)

User:172 is clearly British, however - he generally seems to have avoided anything Aussie-related. So, my working crackpot theory would be that Cognition was Carr's brainchild, but that they shared the account among several WP'ers (including User:172) in need of a convenient stalking horse. Or else, when Carr got bored with WP he simply turned the account over to 172. Either way, 172 tried to revive the account, possibly for the same purpose it was used for before, but got caught. It sounds crazy, and it definitely is, but not many other explanations can account for all the facts here - even given that the database has been corrupted.

QUOTE(Hell Freezes Over @ Sat 5th September 2009, 11:11am) *
I think it would be quite hard to fake this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Req....7BCognition.7D

On the contrary - the more over-the-top it is, the more likely it is to have been faked in order to make the Larouchies look like nutcases. (I'm not saying they're not nutcases, but let's try to be serious about this.)

Try to find a diff on WP where Herschelkrustofsky, whom we know to be genuine, says anything close to that - I don't believe you can.
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GlassBeadGame
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:04pm
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QUOTE(Hell Freezes Over @ Sat 5th September 2009, 10:11am) *

QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 3:45pm) *

Cognition's behaviour looks typical LaRouche and fakeable. Unless there is something in his profile that is simply too LaRouchesque for an imposter like 172 to fake, then surely the "black-ops" theory is the most likely? Hersch?


I think it would be quite hard to fake this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Req....7BCognition.7D

"Chip Berlet is a 5 cent thug in a long-range Aristotelian network, an evil, Venetian-based clique which has found its most demonic individuals in men such as Bertrand Russell, the advocate of nuclear genocide; Adolf Hitler, a perverted figure of anti-christ calibre who was installed into power by British bankers; and the Beatles, generals of a literal "British Invasion," doped-up zombie devils whose atrocious personal lives matched the Satanic musical presentation of their pop songs." smile.gif


Right. Impossible to fake an over the top rant using stilted language and references to every embarrassing crank idea that his supposed leader ever uttered? I don't pay much attention to internal Wikipedian edit wars and such but you have convinced me that this is an account created to discredit the views of an opponent by providing a vehicle to put his worst foot forward at every opportunity. I don't know what makes you look worse being duped by this ploy or being in on it. Don't you think that it time to just to leave and get something of value out of what is left to your life?
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Kato
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:18pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 5th September 2009, 5:50pm) *


User:172 is clearly British, however

No, 172 is (was) in Miami. I can't find it now, but it was on his user page. He was a liberal scholar in economics and history.

QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 5th September 2009, 5:50pm) *

So, my working crackpot theory would be that Cognition was Carr's brainchild, but that they shared the account among several WP'ers (including User:172) in need of a convenient stalking horse. Or else, when Carr got bored with WP he simply turned the account over to 172. Either way, 172 tried to revive the account, possibly for the same purpose it was used for before, but got caught. It sounds crazy, and it definitely is, but not many other explanations can account for all the facts here - even given that the database has been corrupted.

That's what I'm thinking as well.
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Newyorkbrad
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:18pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Fri 4th September 2009, 9:29pm) *

(background snipped)
Well here comes the most ridiculous development yet. Having spent years orchestrating witch-hunts with Slim and Will against LaRouchies, former admin User:172 has himself been indefinitely banned by some lunatic administrator - on the declaration that he is the pro-LaRouche renegade Cognition (T-C-L-K-R-D) based on "checkuser evidence".

The original LaRouche controversy is well before my time on Wikipedia, and I think we've established that by my own admission I'm not an authority on technical aspects of checkuser or sockpuppetry investigations, so no direct comment from me on this block. So instead I'll comment on this WR thread itself.

Whatever disagreements exist between the checkuser team on Wikipedia and the longtime members of Wikipedia Review, I think there has been a trend recently for Wikipedians to recognize that valid comments and criticism sometimes appear on this site (amongst other posts that I won't characterize), and for Wikipedia Reviewers to recognize that many people on Wikipedia are trying to do their best. And this situation is an example. It may not be clear just what the relationship is among the accounts that were blocked, but several Persons Generally Recognized As Clueful have explained that the action that was taken was not arbitrary.

So it just seems to me that it might have been better for this topic to have been opened by observing that a potentially unjustified and mistaken block had been made and required an explanation, if that was the poster's view. I don't quite see how starting out with an accusation that an idiotic action was taken by a lunatic advances the cause of healthy and convincing Wikipedia criticism.

Of course, that's probably just my usual mamby-pambyism flaring up again, so feel free to ignore.
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Somey
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:19pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 12:14pm) *
QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 5th September 2009, 5:50pm) *
User:172 is clearly British, however
No, 172 is (was) in Miami.

I just meant that he seemed like a British (or I should probably say "English") person, regardless of where he was editing from - based on the sorts of articles he was interested in early on. (Though I have to wonder what someone in Miami would be doing editing WP at all, given all the beaches and nightclubs and late-night parties with women in bikinis. I know fr damn sure I'd be doing something other than edit-warring over Larouche propaganda if I lived in a place like that! tongue.gif )
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Kato
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:23pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 5th September 2009, 6:19pm) *

QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 12:14pm) *
QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 5th September 2009, 5:50pm) *
User:172 is clearly British, however
No, 172 is (was) in Miami.

I just meant that he seemed like a British (or I should probably say "English") person, regardless of where he was editing from - based on the sorts of articles he was interested in early on.

No, he was a Jewish-American and about as British as Groucho Marx.

QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Sat 5th September 2009, 6:18pm) *

So it just seems to me that it might have been better for this topic to have been opened by observing that a potentially unjustified and mistaken block had been made and required an explanation, if that was the poster's view. I don't quite see how starting out with an accusation that an idiotic action was taken by a lunatic advances the cause of healthy and convincing Wikipedia criticism.

Of course, that's probably just my usual mamby-pambyism flaring up again, so feel free to ignore.

I will ignore. Convincing Wikipedia criticism is not possible without using terms like "lunatic" and "idiotic". Don't blame the critics, blame Wikipedia.
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Somey
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:24pm
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QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Sat 5th September 2009, 12:18pm) *
So it just seems to me that it might have been better for this topic to have been opened by observing that a potentially unjustified and mistaken block had been made and required an explanation, if that was the poster's view. I don't quite see how starting out with an accusation that an idiotic action was taken by a lunatic advances the cause of healthy and convincing Wikipedia criticism.

But that's exactly what did happen, isn't it? To me, it looks like Kato's initial post treated the "stalking horse account" idea as rather far-fetched.

IMO it was actually One, aka arbitrator CHL, who got the ball rolling by stating, "I don't get it either... But consider: what better way to exaggerate the Larouche peril than make your own evil sock master?" Not that I'm blaming him, of course - I think he may have been right.
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Kato
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:35pm
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QUOTE(Hell Freezes Over @ Sat 5th September 2009, 5:11pm) *

"Chip Berlet is a 5 cent thug in a long-range Aristotelian network, an evil, Venetian-based clique which has found its most demonic individuals in men such as Bertrand Russell, the advocate of nuclear genocide; Adolf Hitler, a perverted figure of anti-christ calibre who was installed into power by British bankers; and the Beatles, generals of a literal "British Invasion," doped-up zombie devils whose atrocious personal lives matched the Satanic musical presentation of their pop songs." smile.gif

It looks to me like it would be quite easy to fake that.
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Somey
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:44pm
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For more background, there's this thread, which User:172 obviously read at some point or other.

I guess I can accept the idea that he's actually from Miami, but his contribs indicate practically zero interest in local Florida/Miami issues, other than perhaps an edit like this one, which I'd missed earlier because it was posted under an IP address before 172 registered an account. It's a side issue, in any event - sorry I brought it up! ermm.gif
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Kato
post Sat 5th September 2009, 5:50pm
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The plot thickens.

Someone has corrected me on the Cognition talk page. I misremembered. 172 wasn't in Miami, he was in St Petersburg.

This is interesting because Cognition wrote in 2005 of his willingness to attend the Wikipedia:Meetup/St. Petersburg2.

It's also interesting because, as we know, St Petersburg was the home of Wikipedia. Where's Danny Wool when you need him. Danny?
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Somey
post Sat 5th September 2009, 6:19pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 12:50pm) *
This is interesting because Cognition wrote in 2005 of his willingness to attend the Wikipedia:Meetup/St. Petersburg2.

Apparently, Cognition claims to have made it to the event (or so it says in the current version of the Meetup page). And there's even a group photo, with Jimbo, Angela, and Danny Wool - and also Phil Sandifer, who was one of the more vociferous of those trying to get Cognition banned.

Here's another one, with Raul654 pictured more clearly (I believe his face is obscured in the first one). laugh.gif
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dtobias
post Sat 5th September 2009, 6:29pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 5th September 2009, 1:23pm) *

I will ignore. Convincing Wikipedia criticism is not possible without using terms like "lunatic" and "idiotic". Don't blame the critics, blame Wikipedia.


I would disagree strongly there. No criticism that uses terms like "lunatic" and "idiotic" is likely to be convincing (of anybody other than the "choir" who already agrees with your side). I admit that there is a cathartic venting aspect to criticism that is more satisfying the stronger the language that is used, and I sometimes feel like using such terms to describe whoever I'm against at the moment, but it's not a particularly useful tactic.
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